Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Spider and Gecko

I saw the spider and the gecko while playing with Aza in the back yard this morning..

The gecko is pretty old, as it has been around the house for quite a long time. My first encounter with this gecko was when I just got married and spent the first the weekend here for the first time.

I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and it was on the far corner of the bathroom wall. In the dark I thought it was a snake! I realised it wasn't when it stood still with quiet eyes (which I assumed wouldn't be like snake's eyes).

Too bad that everytime the camera's flash was flashing, the gecko ran, and I couldn't get any better pictures than these. This is the best picture I managed to take of the gecko. After a while, it finally decided to leave the painting (yes, behind the large painting was his favourite hiding place) and ran to the roof on the side of the house..

When I tried to catch up with him, I walked past my bedroom window and saw this little (about 5-7 cm) spider. Still the same species (black and yellow garden spider) and a female. I managed to get a good shot at it.

Aza loved watching both back yard dwellers.. so, it was a really nice morning..

Have a great day everyone.. :-)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

More spider pictures..

I took some more photos this morning.. I climbed onto a stool and managed to take some good shots.

The spider was quiet.. maybe it was still sleeping..

This one is my favourite shot.. It looks as if the spider enjoys being in the middle of its beautiful surrounding..

In this one, it looks like the spider is ready to climb down its web and run to wherever it intends to go.. ;-P

My mother-in-law caught the sight of me on the kitchen stool, and asked what I was taking pictures of.. and I showed her the spider photos.. She was a little worried seeing the size, but I explained that this is the non-venomous type.. :-)

Friday, 15 May 2009

Black and Yellow Garden Spiders

I finally decided to search for the big spider on the internet, and it turned out to be quite easy as the species is very common.. and.. it also turned out that the small one and the big one I found around the house are the same species just different age (they actually grow a lot!).

These spiders belong to the 'Black and Yellow Garden Spiders' and they are very common around the world.

And.. I also found a website with Black and Yellow Garden Spider pictures that look very similar to the ones in our front yard. The owner of this website, David Cummins, doesn't have a 'contact me' button on his website, therefore I couldn't ask for his permission for putting a link. However, he has a 'tell a friend' button so, I hope putting a link on my blog here qualifies as telling a friend.

I am still a little afraid of spiders (I will tell you about it another time) but these garden spiders are very beautiful in the sunlight that I just love watching them.


The Spiders..

I took some more pictures of the big spider this morning.. The web was a bit too high for my reach, and when I put zoomed it in, it didn't come out as clear. This was the best that I could do.

I also realised that the spider only had 7 legs! A spider expert at the spider exhibition I went to told me that this was usual as spiders fight and they often lost a leg during the fights..
I also found a little spider in the bushes right outside the front door. Unfortunately, my camera was not equipped with micro shot, so, the pictures did not come out very well either, but if any of you were spider lovers, you would probably still be able to tell me what kind of spider it is..

I still really want to capture the spiders well, so, I might still put up their pictures here another time, but this is the end of my 'spider watching' session for the day.

Have a great day!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Big Spider..

I'm sure all of you have noticed all the links to beautiful picture blogs on my blogs. The reason is because I love nice pictures, especially of the nature and wild life. Looking at those pictures (and reading those blogs, of course) is really my form of R&R whenever my daily schedule doesn't allow me to leave the house except necessary trips to the supermarket or the school for PAT meetings.

I'm not trying to make this blog a picture blog, but as you can see in my Home Blog (Orcalion's World), I have in the past posted pictures that I think were interesting. This particular post is the same case with those picture posts.. :-)

Anyway.. This morning, my husband came in to our room, after taking my eldest son to school and called out to our 2.5, Aza to come out and see the big spider above our front gate. I went with them.

Since we were married, I have noticed that two particular species of spiders have always inhabited particular spots around his family's house (the house I'm living in now), mostly in the front yard.

The first species is a little one, which legs are almost like they were differentiated between front legs and rear legs, because the front 4 are always sort of facing front, and the rear 4 are sort of facing the rear side. This species' web is very beautiful, is the lines in zigzag forms. When I see one, I will take a picture and post it here.

The second species is a big one (A very big sometimes), and this was the one that we saw this morning. The colour of this spider is yellow and black, and the legs are long.

I don't know the name of the spider species, I'm actually hoping that some of you might be able to tell me.. :-)

Oh, I almost forgot about the third species of spider which usually walks around the bathroom and once was taking a day nap wrapped in my shower scrub glove.. ;-)
This species have a family grown inside the house and sometimes they grow pretty big too, but they always run everytime they see one of us. This ones look like normal house spiders, so I don't bother them as long as they don't bother me!
One day, I saw one of the bathroom spiders (one that was napping) was inside a gecko's mouth.. ouch! Poor spider.. it finally had to meet its fate in the circle of life..

Potato Salad

I was thinking to have something different for dinner last night (please bear in mind that potato salad is an unusual option for dinner in Indonesia).

I diced two medium sized potatoes (about 1 cm) and while I was waiting for them to boil, I finely chopped a clove of garlic and diced a little bit of onion to make up a spoonfull.

-note: the potatoes should only brought to boil until the outer part is tender enough for the tip of a fork to go in. Then, turn the fire off and let them sit in the saucepan with a lid on for about 15 minutes or until they are all evenly soft (a sous chef friend once taught me this trick to make sure that the potatoes are not too soft for the salad)-

Then, I mix the prepared garlic and onion with 2 heaped spoonsful of mayonaise and a little bit of oregano. I let the mixture sit while I took the potatoes off the stove and drained them.

After the potatoes are drained, put them for 5-10 minutes in the fridge, and then finally, put them in the mayonaise mixture and mix them thoroughly.

I realise now that I should've taken a picture of my favourite salad, but it's still a potato salad, so you can easily imagine what it should look like anyway.. ;-)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Blog's Privacy..

Blog is a little funny thing.. It's not a open website, but it's not a completely private diary either.. and each blog owner has a unique expectation on who they want to read his/her blog (including putting a comment)..

I have met and become friends with bloggers that I met through the internet and I find this a valuable experience of friendship for me.

I am also following blogs without really ever making any comments, since their blogs are more for information or sales purposes, rather than friendship/communication purposes. These types are are really great if you are really interested in the certain things that they share the information about (or selling).

These two types of blogs are not really difficult to understand for me, as the owners are quite open to anyone who are willing to read, follow and leave comments on their blogs.

The unique ones are the personal blogs that I come across, which the topics addressed are somewhere between personal and general, and the blog owners are very successful in making their blog very very interesting to be read by general public, but they actually don't really expect the wide population to be much involved in their blogs..

I have posted comments in these types of blogs (which needed to be moderated before posted) and my comments were rejected. I feel a little disappointed at first, of course.. but, I grasp the reality that it was the nature of comment moderation that the owner of the blog explicitly states the authority he/she has on what's coming in and going out of his/her blog.

I truly respect that.

If I may, I just would like to say to all blog owners who might have rejected a comment from 'orcalion' .. is that you have a very interesting blog and although I have never met you in person, I really believe that you are a nice person. Therefore, I wish you all the best in your future..

For every blog owner who have become my friends in this blogging world.. I want you to know that I am truly honoured to have met you and have the chance to know you..

Last but not least, for everyone who comes across this blog.. I never moderate any comments posted on my blogs, so, please feel free to visit and leave me a comment or even better, become my friends..

Have a great day!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Human's Adaptability and Self-Preservation

My 2.8 years old son, Aza, has been treated with nebulizer for his allergy since he was 6 months old. He is sensitive to some types of milk (luckily he is not a big fan of milk) and a few other things that often cause allergy reactions, such as, berry-type fruits, prawns (consumption of small quantity is usually fine) and the sudden change of weather. The problem was, the biggest cause of the allergy was still unknown.

Whenever he has allergy attack, he will start coughing roughly which sounds like hard wind coming out of an empty pipe. At first (when he was 6 months), we didn't know what caused the allergy. He kept being treated with the nebulizer so often that he became so familiar with the equipment. When he was 1 year old, as long as his older brother stayed with him during the treatment, he would be happy.

Then, when he was 2 years old, based on the frequency of his allergy attacks, the doctor that we saw at that time suggested that it might actually be the milk that he drank that he was allergic to. So, we changed his milk brand, and amazingly, he almost never had a cough anymore. We were very grateful about this.

We really didn't consider the milk was the main trigger for Aza's allergy since he was drinking one of the brands that most people take. Also, compared to other kids at the same age, Aza drinks very little of milk on daily basis. I mainly compared Aza's milk drinking habit to his brother when he was Aza's age and his cousin (my sister's son who is at the same age with Aza). They both have around 5 - 7 bottles @250 ml./day, while Aza only has 4 - 5 bottles @100 ml./day.

Now, it is time for the season to change again. About a month ago, he had a bad cough. It wasn't really because of his allergy, but he had trouble breathing around sundown, so, I decided to give him the nebulizer treatment. I was ready if he would refuse it at first, but to my surprise, he took the mask, put it on his face and started inhaling.

We didn't go to the very last drop of it (it was only NaCL at that time, since I only wanted to give him some comfort in breathing), but he slept well that night, and he didn't need inhalation anymore until he was recovered from the cough.

Yesterday, after raining almost non-stop for a couple of days, Aza started coughing. I was also forced to change his milk last week because he was bored with his normal brand. I knew that he would only lasted a couple of weeks on other milk brands, but it would be enough to get him to like his usual brand again, so I wasn't too worried (I have to change his milk every once in a while, because he does get bored sometimes and tends to leave his milk unfinished).

However, the hot and humid days which always ended in showery evenings and nights, were not in his favour. Today, he started coughing really bad. I finally decided to buy his ventolin and pulmicort. As he was getting sleepy before the maid came back from the chemist, I asked him not to resist if I put the mask on him after he was asleep. He agreed.

Again, I was surprised, he got woken up by his coughing right when the maid arrived with the nebules. At first he refused the mask because he wanted to sleep, but when I reminded him that he wouldn't be able to sleep if he kept coughing that bad, he took the mask from me and put it on his face. After the first 5 minutes, he found a comfortable laying down position that allowed him to slowly falling asleep while still holding the mask.

He threw up after the ventolin (which was to be expected), and he said he just wanted to sleep. I told him that he would sleep even better after the pulmicort. I also told him that he could just lay down and fall asleep, and I would take care of the mask. Amazingly, he took the mask, put it on his mouth and closed his eyes.

After a couple of minutes, I told him to move the mask up so that it also covered his nose. He nicely did! Then, he closed his eyes again and fell asleep. In about 10 minutes, I could hear that the rough sound of his breathing had softened and I knew that he felt more comfortable too because he told me that he really had enough of the nebulizer.

This time, I took the mask off him and let him find his perfect position to sleep for the night.

It is completely mixed feelings that I feel each time I have to do the nebulizer treatment to Aza. I feel relieved that he is very easy to work with, but I also feel amazed and somewhat sad that a child that young has understood the importance of a complex medication (more than just simple grape or cherry-tasted syrup) and doesn't need any persuation to accept the treatment.

The biggest lesson for me is that human being really has a high instinct of adaptability and self-preservation. It is proven that when a child has been suffering allergy from very young age (before 1 year old), he/she will be comfortable with the use of a nebulizer at a very young age too (in Aza's case, he's only a little older than 2 years old).

When Aza was younger, one of the comfortable position for him during the treatments was to lay half-sitting on my lap, and I would get some of his medication inhaled into my nose or mouth. Nowadays, when I accidently hold my face too close to his, during his inhalation (or he moves around a bit), I could smell the medication too. It doesn't feel nice, and that is really what amazes me every time I see Aza smiling, laughing or even joking with his brother while holding his mask on his face. He must've understood that the funny-tasting smoke allows him to breathe better, so that he is always willingly do his treatments himself.

Really amazing!