We need a break..
Hello good people! It has been a long while. Much has happened. I finally finished the solo piano record I have been working on. I had been writing those piano pieces for around 10 years, so finishing it left me with an unexpected and complex feeling. On one hand a sense of completion, and on the other a feeling of being lost. I guess I had been working on it so long that the “working on it” became a large part of my life. When that was gone, there was space, which is scary sometimes .. Anyway this blog isn’t about me and my feelings, it’s about Bears. If you would like to listen to some of the finished piano pieces you can at Amazon, itunes or my website.
There was a reason I started off by talking about finishing the record though. It is the beginning of our next story. Faced with this big space in my life, the Bears suggested we might fill it (at least temporarily) with a vacation somewhere special. What better place to relax and ponder the course of one’s life than beautiful Kauai? My girlfriend, the Bears and I packed up our swimsuits and suntan lotion (Bears have very fair skin you know) and headed for Hawaii!
Traveling with Bears
Traveling with Bears is always an adventure; they are in fact wild animals. When we went through airport security, they each did their best impersonation of a stuffed animal so as to not cause us any problems.. As soon as we had boarded the plane, the Bears took off under the seats. They could periodically be seen running down the isle, then ducking back into the jungle of feet and bags. While down there, they managed to find everyone’s stash of snacks. They would come back to our seats eating all manner of things, from cookies to celery sticks. There was a little drama when they discovered some kid eating Gummi bear candies. They devised an elaborate plan involving Cowbear as a decoy in order to steal away the kid’s Gummi bears and set them free once we arrived in Hawaii. Though successful, this let to an angry kid running through the plane yelling about thieving bears, while I guiltily stuffed the newly pilfered candies into my carry on bag. I felt a bizarre mixture of guilt and pride…
Life on the island
Despite such wild adventures, we made it to Kauai. We stayed at the extreme North end of the island, far away from anything. We marveled at the beauty of the nature. We BBQ’d delicious foods from the island. We hiked, played, and took naps. We danced and made friends with spiders, cats and a horse. We argued with a noisy frog, rode in a canoe, drank Mai Tais, and yes we did set the Gummi bears free. They now inhabit a secret forest on the northern end of the island. So, if you are ever hiking in the north side of Kauai, watch out for wild Gummi Bears!!!
Here are some snapshots we took while on our adventure.
The Bears are sending loving thoughts and prayers to all of the people in Japan affected by the recent disaster.
To give $10 to help Japan please text REDCROSS to 90999 or visit the Red Cross Website and donate more if you can.
Hello good people.. Today (January 24th) is the one year anniversary of the sad day when we lost our sweet Bear #1 and Bear #2. Despite all of our best efforts, our Bears haven’t found their way home. Although we are sad that they are not with us, we are happy and grateful to have the Bear family that we do. We cannot thank you all enough for the encouragement and kindness you have shown us. Bear #3 and #4, Monsieur Bear and little Cowbear have been a great comfort to us, as well as helping us out in our search too! So, I wanted to take this time to thank everyone who has kept with us and supported us this year, as well as the kind folks who sent such lovely new Bears to us. Thank you.
My Sad Plan..
I was feeling sad, thinking about the day we lost the Bears.. I remembered all the feelings I had felt, and how gloomy it all was. In this sad state I formed an idea that we should return to the place we lost the Bears 1 year ago. I imagined us taking Bear #3, Bear #4, Cowbear and the Monsieur to see a movie in the same theatre where Bear #1 and Bear #2 had gone missing. We haven’t been back to the movies since the day we lost them; just the thought of going to the movies makes me feel ill… We could take some pictures, say a little prayer, and stoically walk through that theatre once again. I announced my plan (though no-one seemed very enthusiastic) and prepared for this sad vigil.
Bears don’t like that..
When we woke up on the day of this planned outing, the Bears were nowhere to be seen. Usually they are up and running around, but today it was completely silent. A quick jolt of fear ran through me.. What demonic trick was the universe playing on me?! Then I heard some scuffling in the cabinet next to my bed. I opened it slowly and there they were.
I realized the folly of my plan. I had been thinking about my own sad feelings and not considering how everyone else might be feeling. In my attempt to honor the Bears I was actually doing them a disservice. Bear #1 and Bear #2 would never want us to feel sad; bears hate feeling sad. The best way to honor the Bears would be to do something fun, something fancy..
A Fancy Feast!
We decided to go all out and have a feast worthy of Bears! We got chicken pot pies (one of Bear #1 and Bear #2′s favorite dishes), cheeses, and cakes too! We put on some of our favorite music and had a great time looking at pictures and videos of Bear #1 and Bear #2! We all laughed and ate our fill.
We had a great evening celebrating Bear #1 and Bear #2. I am happy the Bears helped me come to my senses. Otherwise, there would be more sad memories instead of more happy ones!
Wishing you all a great 2011.
Hello good people! I hope you are all in good health and good spirits. The arrival of this holiday season brings feelings of joy and good will, but it also brings the rain and the cold.. It is for that reason that as of late, we have been spending quite a bit of time indoors. While this is great for finishing up those little projects one has been working on, it can also make one feel a certain longing for the outside world and all that it has to offer. This certain longing turns into a absolute necessity when you have four noisy and temperamental Bears living with you. They command a very large presence for creatures so small in size. It is with this in mind that we begin our story..
The long rainy days..
It had been raining for several days straight and it was getting the better of us. The Bears had slowly begun to lose their playful and outgoing spirit that is normally so pronounced. Ordinarily, meal-time was our most festive hour, yet even that was feeling lacking these days. The Bears would quietly chomp away on their marmalade covered cheese crackers while staring out the window at the storm outside. The rest of the time they played cards or just sat with their faces pressed against the window leaving Bear nose prints all over the bottom of the glass. I wasn’t sure how much longer this could go on..
I awoke to the sound of Bears. If you have never awoken to the sound of Bears, I can’t really advise it- it can be a truly startling experience.. I heard the crunching and rustling of paper, and wondered what kind of surprise I was in for this morning. They had the newspaper spread out on the floor with the entertainment section open. Bear #3 walked across the pages with an intense look in her eye; the rest of the Bears stood quietly nearby.. She surveyed the landscape of as if sizing up a potential enemy. Suddenly, she sprinted across the paper to an add in the upper right hand corner. She stopped and read it intently. The other Bears gathered around her to see what she had found. I became curious to, and walked over to see what they were so excited about.. As I approached they all turned to me with great big Bear smiles on their faces.. It was an add for “Madama Butterfly”. Hmmm, I guess we were going to the Opera!
My Girlfriend and I thought it was a fantastic idea! What better way to spend a cold winter evening than with our Bears at the Opera. Dinner and a performance, it was guaranteed to raise our spirits! We dressed up in our finest of finery, made a dinner reservation and we were off.
At the Restaurant..
We decided to try a restaurant in San Francisco called Swell.
We walked through the beautiful and ornate lobby on the way to our seats. The Bears were running up and down the halls, sliding down the marble bannister and having an overall great time. It would appear they had gotten their spirit back. We sat down and the opera began.
Well, this magical night out was just what we needed. Happiness is once again restored- all because of Bear #3′s great idea! So, if you are feeling a little restless or a little down this season, maybe the opera could be the antidote. It worked for us! Be well friends.
Hello good people! This is a story about how The Bears helped create a Birthday surprise to remember!
I woke to the familiar sound of Bears chattering away. The grunts and squeaks trickled into my ear from the corner of my room that they have made their home.. Their “home” consists mostly of cushions and pillows they have gathered from around my apartment and stacked up to create one giant Bear bed. The whispers and grunts emanating from the corner of my room were interrupted by the occasional discernible word-”present”; “pink”; “Achan” ..
Next thing I knew I had 4 Bears perched on my chest, staring me in the face. Though small and cute, their completely silent approach was a little startling; not to mention the warm wave of Bear morning breath that hit me as they all started talking at once.. After a bit of Bear language de-coding, I began to understand what all their excitement was about. My girlfriends birthday was coming up, and they wanted to make her a special birthday present! They were planning to take a nice photo of all the Bears having a birthday party for her! What a great idea! We began brainstorming.. They wanted to take the picture in a special setting, similar to Bear #1 and Bear #2′s Christmas and Thanksgiving photos. We decided it would be best if we built a nice “Bear room” for them to have their “birthday party” in. Time to do some building!
Next stop- the crafts store!
The Bears and I all headed down to the arts and crafts store. Once inside, the Bears scattered in all directions. I started looking for the essentials: glue, some cardboard, tape and all other things one might need for such a project. As I walked down the aisles, Bears appeared here and there . Each had a shopping basket bursting with pink fluffy things which they dutifully pushed through the endless maze of stuff. I think they managed to find every pink item that was in that store! Once we had collected all the supplies we might need, we headed home to make the special “scene” for our portrait.
Late night Building party..
We carved, cut glued and sewed.. I drank wine- the Bears drank ginger-ale.. We went crazy decorating the Bear house for the photo shoot the next day. We worked like professionals. It was nearly morning by the time we were done! CowBear was the first to pass out. At some point in the night’s activities, he headed over to “Bear corner” and started snoring away on a giant pillow. The Monsieur was next. I knew he would not last much longer when he began singing a delirious version “La Vie en Rose”. Sure enough, before he finished the last verse he was snoring away.. Bear #4 hit the sack soon thereafter.. Bear #3 on the other hand kept on working till the very end. She straightened, dusted and prepared the Bears awesome room for the photo we would take the next day.. Once we were ready for the shoot, Bear #3 passed out in the little room we had spent all night creating.
The next day
We all woke up tired. The Bears were worried about getting their picture taken because they all had puffy faces from lack of sleep. They spent all morning making themselves look good for our photo shoot.. We took some test photos before we brought out the cake!
Once we had finished our picture, we had it printed and framed in an awesome blue (had to balance out all the pink) frame. We dressed ourselves nicely for the birthday party, and proudly headed over with our finished present.
The birthday party was amazing. Old friends gathered and celebrated our dear and beloved Achan’s birthday. The Bears looked really cool in the birthday hats we had made the night before. They ate so much cake, I thought they might burst! They didn’t, but they did fall asleep pretty early. Everyone loved the Bears’ special birthday picture, and we all agreed it was a true Bear Masterpiece.
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