Empowering Girls
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bao Bao Busting Out: Part 2

Oh boy, Bao Bao's trying to bust out-bust out no kidding, this time. What a curious little wanderer this six month old baby panda is. I've realized the best times to catch her and mama Mei in action are early in the morning, late at night and around 6 p.m. est.

Click here and check out panda cam live pseudo-interaction! (I pretend she can hear me when I've got her full screen on my laptop and am calling her cute and adventurous.)

Today, I tuned in around 5:30 p.m. cst and little Bao Bao was up and moving in rare form. She roamed from her den to a main room bamboo stuffed destination and all up in and around the rocks. I made the mistake of clicking off the screen for a minute so I could write something down on another page, and I'm not gone for thirty seconds when what do I hear? Metal clanking against concrete. Not a normal panda bear den sound, even for an avid watcher like me.

I clicked back onto Ms. Bao Bao's screen just in time to see her trying to make a break for the outside world, via, what I'm assuming is some type of drainage compartment in her home's floor. Smart gal that she is, she'd pulled out the grated plate on top and was nudging it around with her paws, then her nose. Inquisitive beauty that she is, she then continued to stick her paws and mouth down into the hole. Thankfully, she couldn't fit her whole body. Finally, she walked away and moved on to climbing rocks. Can't say as I blame her. I would've gotten bored pretty quick too, had I found the perfect escape into Rock Creek Park (and I was a bear in my prime) but had not been able to squeeze my way into it.

Yes sir, little Ms. Bao Bao is turning into one sneaky explorer. I wouldn't be surprised if one day soon when I turn on the panda cams, she's nowhere to be found.

In today's adventures...crafty Bao Bao tried to slide open her door lock.

Here she is climbing up and down her door bars attempting to exit her home by scaling to the ceiling.

And finally here's Bao Bao all tuckered out after her big day of climbing and digging adventures.

She is one beautiful cutie! Over twenty-five pounds last I checked. You can also visit her and mama Mei in person at the National Zoo. Do them a favor and don't knock on the glass, just wave and tell her "hi!"

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Kentucky Derby Contender--Bond! Bond Holder!

The pathway to success is, sometimes, challenging to foresee and rarely linear. I cite as example, one beautiful bay colored, horse, Mr. Bond, Bond Holder, owned by Reddam Racing and trained by Doug O'Neill out of Southern California.
Bond Holder is currently in the middle of his three-year-old campaign. His team of human caretakers started 2014 with plans to prep him for the Triple Crown races. Those plans have recently experienced unfortunate setbacks. A tricky plane flight for Bond Holder required he be unexpectedly unloaded in Florida. Although, he wasn't badly injured, a minor hoof irritation according to his team, the intense flight unsettled his nerves. Rather than preparing for the Tampa Bay Derby which he was supposed to run in on March 8th, he now sits at Tampa Bay Downs grazing in pasture, recuperating and leisurely kicking it.
Personally, I can think of much worse places for a horse to wind down than in lovely, sunny February/March Florida. It occurs to me as I write this, Bond Holder might be one of the craftiest horses to compete in the upcoming Kentucky Derby. Come May, I'll certainly be watching him for strategic race placement, moves and impressive last-minute effort on the track. He was, after all, smart enough to convince an entire team of racing expert humans to let him hang out and catch a cool afternoon breeze, rather than high-tailing it around the racetrack when he didn't feel like it.
Horses continue to teach me new things every day. If life jets a curve into your very well-thought-out path, while you're high-tailing it yourself to success, remember Bond Holder. High expectations still exist for this very capable horse. Yes, his recent flight left him feeling unsettled, but his long-term accomplishments won't be determined by a single race or title. The strength, beauty and inspiration of a true champion comes from his ability to endure and keep moving forward, even when his plan deviates from his original intention.

Learn how to create a plan to set and meet personal goals. Dr. Phil says, hang in there Bond Holder! Keep on hoofing it until you're satisfied.