~Living a life of sophisticated domestication deep in the heart of Texas~

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year....

....and best wishes for every happiness to you all.

The past 12 months have been filled with all sorts of interesting experiences.  Some were easier than others and some were pretty hard.  All in all, we have been blessed, so we are grateful.

I think we are happy to wrap up 2013 and certainly look forward to 2014.


Shawn & SGTex, Sebastian & Seamus

Monday, December 23, 2013


~The Bornean Sun Bear~ 

Conservation website address:


On Facebook:


Through conservation, rehabilitation, education and research, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) aims to protect the future of the world's smallest and least known bear.
MissionThe mission of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sabah, Malaysia, is to promote sun bear conservation in Borneo through animal welfare, conservation, rehabilitation, education and research - giving captured sun bears a better home and restoring their right to live in the wild, by:

Creating the capacity to confiscate, rehabilitate and release suitable orphaned and ex-captive bears back into the wild.

Providing an improved long-term living environment for captive bears that cannot be released.

Educating the public and raising awareness about this species.

Achieving increased protection for sun bears and their habitat through ongoing research, increased knowledge and awareness, and further protection of habitat.


The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) was founded in Sabah, Malaysia in 2008 as a two-stage effort to provide the care, rehabilitation and release of orphaned and captive sun bears, as well as address the lack of knowledge and awareness of this little-known bear both in Malaysia and internationally.

Up until April 2010, there were 12 confiscated young bears living in cramped indoor quarters on the BSBCC site. As the situation for these captive bears was pressing, funding and construction of the BSBCC began to move these bears into more appropriate living environments.

The construction was divided into three development phases to achieve two bear house blocks and eight fenced forest enclosures for the capacity for 50 bears, quarantine facilities, offices, a visitor centre and viewing platform, and a system of forest boardwalks. We are dependent on donated funds for the development and although we are almost half way through, we still have a long way to go.

How to get there, ticket pricing, etc:

The BSBCC centre is currently not open to the public. More details coming soon.

How to contact us?
You can either email, call or leave a message on our page.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday memories....

Some of my friends answered this holiday question:

 What's one of your MOST stand-out favorite memories of the Season?

SHAWN: Being a little girl, shopping with Grandma. The Bon Marche' in Seattle all done up in shades of pink with giant ornaments hanging from the ceiling.   As an adult, taking my annual teacher's bonus check and doing up an entire Xmas celebration for a family with small kids--I brought in a tree and we decorated it, wrapped presents, fixed cookies, candies, music and a meal--the whole shebang.  That was great fun.

 DENNIS: Definitely my mother's attention to detail and all the "treats" she prepared, like homemade ginger bread men, chocolates, and cookies. The brisk walks up back on the farm to cut-down the Christmas tree. The simple things...

PAULA: Getting to come to Abilene where my aunt/uncle would have the tree already up and decorated. From the living room there were 2 doors on the same wall. Uncle went to the farm, cut down 2 cedar trees. The best side was chosen and all the branches cut from the back side. Trees were wired together and all the extra branches were wired in so the tree was always extra full. There were bubble lights and regular light and wonderful old ornaments and presents -LOTS of presents. We got to stay out here until the day before school resumed after the New Year. It was warm with good food, trips to the farm, visiting with grandmother and other relatives and always a warm fire in the fireplace. It was definitely a magical time of the year. The department stores would always have such wonderful windows with all different kinds of animation and featuring the hottest toys of the season. Loved going to see them - it was a big deal!

BONNE: Christmas at Grandma's house. Long car ride, lots of presents, house smelled soooooo good, and she too had bubble lights which fascinated us. We were friends with local kids so we'd go out and play in the snow with them.

SYLVIA: Riding the pink pig around the top of Rich's store in Atlanta Georgia at the age of 5 maybe?

RENATE: Looking at all the decorated shop windows, that were especially beautiful for Xmas and dreaming that Santa would bring one of those wonderful things. I grew up in Germany and we did not get to see the tree till Christmas Eve. The anticipation was huge.

STEPHEN: My fondest memories of all the Christmases past would have to be the two years that I was Santa Claus for Toys for Tots. The second year each child got a bicycle and loads of other stuff. When they sat down on my lap and started telling me what they wanted, and then the bicycles were brought out to them, their faces would transform into pure joy. They were priceless. It felt like it was 120 degrees in that Santa suit, but the expressions on those faces made it totally worthwhile.

JACK: When we lived in Spokane we drove over to Idaho, went up into the mountains in a state forest where one could legally do so, and cut down a tree in a pretty heavy snow. It was about as Christmasy as it gets.

JOANNA: Christmases in Gravenhurst, at our cottage. Skating with our new skates on the frozen lake. Lying on the fresh clean snow counting the many stars in the clearest black sky. The lakes are iffy now at Christmastime, we used to have to portage over frozen Muldrew lake. That was 40 plus yrs ago.....

PAUL: Being Santa at my Grandaughter’s daycare for all of the kids was a blast.

JUDITY: One of my favorite memories was going to Jordan Marsh in Boston and entering the train room in the toy department. That store knew how to celebrate the holidays, and even their window displays with all those moving Christmas dolls seemed magical.

ELIZABETH: One of my favorite memories is going to Bristol, Tennessee, with my mom and dad (before they split). All the store windows were decked out so pretty for Christmas and it was the first time I had ever seen animated mannequins. I was in dreamland (was about 4) and particularly remember a store window that had a living room scene with fireplace, Christmas tree, with Santa and Ms. Claus just rocking away. That was one of the very few good memories I have of my mom and dad as a couple. That was such an exciting day for me.

We hope you make some of your own merry memories, wherever you may be.

Brightest blessings for the season and new year to you from Texas!

Shawn & SGTex

Friday, December 13, 2013


From time to time I'm going to be posting about something dear to my heart:



"Founded by Mary Hutton in 1995, Free the Bears is a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting, preserving and enriching the lives of bears. Please help us in stopping the abuse, neglect and illegal trading,

Dedicated to protecting, preserving and enriching the lives of bears. Please help us in stopping the abuse, neglect and illegal trading.
Company Overview
Founded by Mary Hutton in 1995, Free the Bears is a non-profit organisation based in Perth, Western Australia, dedicated to protecting bears throughout the world. We currently work in six countries throughout Asia where bears are illegally captured to be butchered for their body parts, turned into medicine or bear paw soup or incarcerated in bile farms.

We recently made animal welfare history as part of a coalition of international conservation and animal welfare rescue groups, in tandem with Indian Government bodies, in helping to rescue the last ‘dancing’ bears off the streets of India; bringing an end to a centuries-old tradition that has inflicted terrible cruelty on thousands of highly endangered Sloth bears.

Every single cent donated to Free the Bears is sent directly to our overseas projects as part of our unique 100% guarantee."

Saturday, December 7, 2013