About Gie

A dreamer by day, coffeeholic by night/

Likes having a little bit of roughness and edge mixed in with the lace/

Has a diploma she doesn’t use and a job that requires a degree she doesn’t have/

Nothing left in her right brain, and nothing right in her left brain/

Still she can read, write, do some arithmetic and tweet/

Addicted to lipstick, ice cream and coffee. In that order/

A daughter, sister, wife and sometimes a bit of a wallflower/

Say hello at gie [at] acupofgie [dot] com or visit http://about.me/gie.chloe.

We care for the injured and orphaned wildlife of San Benito County


Nan Pipestem Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit organization that operates solely on funds from public donations and fundraisers. We get NO funds from any governmental origin. All the people working for the center are volunteers, with the exception of the Director of Animal Care, Meredith Day, who became the Director after Meredith Pipestem retired. The Director is responsible for the medical treatment and hands on care of the animals that come to the center. There are five other trained Animal Care technicians, all of whom are volunteer assistants and follow the prescribed treatments decided upon by Meredith and the attending Veterinarians.


The mission of NPWRC is:

  • REHABILITATE – to successfully rehabilitate injured wildlife and raise orphans, retaining their wild state
  • RELEASE – to return the animals to their natural habitats
  • EDUCATE – to teach the public in how to help prevent injury, preserve wildlife, and to appreciate the ecological value of every species


Rehabilitating wildlife is a very serious matter for us. We cannot release animals that will come up to people to beg for food. The animals need to be self-sufficient and live their lives in the wild with as little human contact as possible, or they risk getting injured or killed. Therefore, the animals in our care need to have as little contact with people as possible. We cannot run a petting zoo and expect to release animals into the wild that will fear and avoid humans.


Even with all the precautions that rehabilitators took with the California Condors, you probably have heard how the condors in the Grand Canyon are not afraid of humans . One man shot and killed a condor that got too close to his campsite. Park officials are looking for ways to keep the birds from swooping down looking for handouts. They will try to train the condors to fear humans.

That is what we are striving for–to release wild animals that fear humans. If not, our deer will approach the hunter, our raccoons, opossums and skunks will become pests in your yard. We are serious about helping wild animals to be wild and free. For this reason, we cannot be open to the public. But do visit the animals on this website, where you will see the current residents as well as the ones that we have successfully released.

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Posted in Blog by npwrc


The Nan Pipestem Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is looking for a new site to house our facility.

We would like to thank Granite Rock for providing our facility since 1991, and to thank all of you for your support to help maintain that facility, but, in a recent and sudden turn of events, the site of our facility has been sold. We now find ourselves preparing for an unexpected move. This is the second time a relocation of this nature has occurred since our incorporation in 1980 and due to the magnitude of the task we need to find a permanent home.

The Wildlife Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been providing medical care to the sick, injured and orphaned wildlife of San Benito County for over thirty-two years. Those three plus decades have been funded only through fundraisers and private donations, or to put it plainly, we exist only because of the kindness of our community and volunteers. We have been proud to serve our community and glad to help in the ways we are able; to provide animal care, wildlife conflict tips and advice, and offer wildlife information in general when the opportunity arises.

We are looking for a parcel between five and ten acres to meet our habitat space requirements. The main regulation we have to be mindful of is that our animal enclosures must be a distance of 100ft from where domestic animals have access. Ideally the site should include a dwelling for animal security purposes and because this vocation doesn’t keep regular 9am-5pm workdays. A barn is an especially significant source of utility to our cause. Outbuildings for our office and diet prep area would be beneficial, but if not available, we can build.

At this moment in time we are no longer able to accept new patients and the clock is ticking down to our imminent departure from our current location. Each animal that needs our care is being transferred outside of our county so its needs can be met. Our gratitude to the dedicated hands they are being received by is immeasurable, but not all wildlife can be transferred across county lines due to regulations.

We have a place in our county’s history because the community values the magnificence of the wildlife in this breathtaking place we are all lucky enough to steward. We believe it’s not just the beauty of the land that inspires our citizens to love it here, but the majesty of the creatures we meet upon it. It has been the work of many people together that has seen our cause through the decades. We are hopeful together we can ensure that the tradition of caring for our wild neighbors endures for future generations.

If you have property that you would like to donate or would like to make a contribution to our fund to purchase a suitable property, please contact the center at 831-628-3400 or by e-mail to [email protected]

A temporary fund has been established with the Community Foundation for San Benito County. If you would like to make a donation, make your check payable to the “Wildlife Center Relocation Fund” and mail to Community Foundation for San Benito County, 829 San Benito St., Suite 200, Hollister, CA 95023.


Posted in Blog by npwrc


This website will continue it’s growth process. Check out what we have done so far, and come back often. We will be adding more photos and stories as well as more animated pictures and who knows what kind of surprises are in store….(the webmaster knows that’s who).
This site last updated on 09/02/12.
Some of the “Success Stories” pages now have .mpg movie files. See and hear some of the animals at the center!

Please click on one of the following for more information:
SUCCESS STORIES (photos and descriptions)

Wildlife Center email: [email protected]


Posted in Blog by npwrc




Most wild babies are born in the spring. As the weather warms, the birds begin to nest. Some nest on the ground or in buildings. Many nest in trees or shrubs. For this reason, it’s a very good idea to cut trees and prune shrubs before spring. In the unsettled weather of spring, many song bird nests are blown out of their trees. If the nest is only slightly damaged and the young birds are unharmed, the nest can be replaced in its tree and secured with strong twine. As long as the new nest location is near the original site, the parents should return to care for their young. A severely damaged nest can often be tucked into a strawberry basket and then returned to the tree and secured. Songbird parents, with their poor sense of smell, will be none the wiser that you’ve handled their babies.


Those best qualified to raise baby birds are parent birds. Song bird babies are naked and helpless at hatching time. They must be kept warm and fed often by their parents. Young birds have very special diets. Some eat seed, some eat insects, some eat a mixture of both. Whatever the baby bird eats has been predigested to some extent by the parent birds. Song bird babies are ready to leave the nest at only 3 weeks of age. At this stage, they are called fledglings. Their bodies are covered with feathers although their tail feathers are very short. Some still have down on their heads. The parents now begin to teach their youngsters how to avoid the many dangers of today’s world. The fledglings are clumsy and easily distracted, as are all young things. They may not fly well yet, but they learn quickly or they do not survive. The parents continue to feed their young until they learn where to find their own food.


Fledgling birds should be left alone to allow their survival lessons to proceed without interruption. A fledgling found sitting in the street can be tucked away in a nearby shrub; the parents are always close by. If you have cats and dogs, lock them up for a few hours. You should sit and watch the young birds and do so from a distance for about an hour. You will be rewarded by learning first hand some of mother nature’s secrets. If you do not see the parent birds, call your wildlife center for further instructions.


Baby birds that hatch out covered with feathery fuzz, and able to run and peck at their food immediately, are called precocial birds. They are herded along by the mother and covered (brooded) until they are able to control their own body heat. These youngsters are taught survival and foraging skills by their parents. Ducks, quail, pheasant and killdeer are some of the species that are precocial. Young precocial birds who may seem to be lost and alone usually are not. If left alone, their cries for attention soon bring the worried parent who will hurriedly escort her youngster to safety. Remember to stay back, mother birds know about and fear humans. Again, if the parent bird is not seen for an hour, call your wildlife center for further instructions.


The downy babies of hawks and owls need their parents too. Predatory birds feed on rodents and other small prey. Only the parent bird knows which morsels of a mouse are best for their rapidly growing infants. Even a young bird of prey can be dangerous, their feet and beaks are used as weapons when necessary. Young hawks and owls sometimes fall from their nests. It is not a good idea to try to replace them in the nest; the parent bird may misunderstand your intentions and attack. Call your wildlife center for help!


Mammals are warm blooded creatures capable of transmitting rabies. Furry mammal infants need specialized care too. Food you have in your kitchen will cause serious and often deadly problems for any wild thing. Young helpless mammals found away from their denning sites should be left alone. If they are still in the same spot an hour later, call your wildlife center for help. Mother deer often leave their fawns bedded down in a quiet spot while they are off feeding. If you happen to discover the hiding place of a tiny fawn leave it alone! The mother will return for it and it understands that fact. Do not touch the youngster. Learning to trust humans is not a safe thing for a wild animal. Mammal parents have a very good sense of smell.


Nearly all wild birds and mammals are protected under the law. They may not be taken from the wild and kept as pets or patients of an inexperienced person. When a wild animal is truly in need of assistance, it should be taken to a wildlife care facility holding permits through the Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Department of Interior. Wildlife rehabilitators have received extensive training on the care and feeding of native wildlife. The process of rehabilitation and eventual release is more complicated than diet and includes many steps beyond daily care.

Unless you are an experienced rehaber, there is great danger in offering any food or water to a young wild bird. Each species has different dietary requirements which must be met in order to insure survival. A drink of water can drown a young bird. Cow’s milk can cause intestinal problems in wild birds and mammals.


Call a wildlife center. If you are in an unfamiliar area, call a local veterinarian, Sheriff, Police Department or the Department of Fish and Game and ask for the phone number of the nearest wildlife center. Call first to alert the staff and allow them to make necessary preparations.

REMEMBER: Your wildlife center has a staff of people who are knowledgeable in the field of wildlife rehabilitation. They are dedicated and trained to raise a young wild creature so it can be given its freedom and make a successful release into the wilds.

A power greater than our understanding has created the wealth and beauty of nature as we perceive it. Let us all treat wildlife with the awe and reverence it deserves.

Posted in Blog by npwrc


Our little project while he’s back for Christmas and New Year. The kind of shoot we actually wanted to do as part of the pre-wedding shoot but didn’t go through with for some reasons. Simple enough to go through on our own. Had fun.

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I close my eyes to find a place
In different time and different space
And in imagination find
A cloistered arbour for my mind
Where thought may there be unconfined

Then in my dreams a path I take
As in a trance, yet wide awake,
To see the world with open eyes
Its glist`ning sands and azure skies –
I take a walk through P A R A D I S E

– Valerie Dohren

The Man and I just returned from Maldives. A short break from our increasingly gruelling lives. And of course, Maldives is just as out-of-this-world gorgeous as everyone who has been there said. No let-downs; pure bliss.

We stayed at Como hotel on Cocoa Island. We know we paid through our nose for the accommodation but it was worth every penny spent. The Man and I don’t travel twice/thrice/zillion times a year for couple holidays. The furthest we went was Hong Kong but that’s because he was on a work trip and I had leave to clear.

I’m glad we made the trip –  a honeymoon or sorts – and chose Como Hotels. Will share more beautiful images of Cocoa Island in a separate post.


Finally I find time to pore through the 1,000 plus pictures taken on the wedding day. Mind-boggling is the word. Next task on the list – to filter and print those images that our relatives are asking for. O_O”

The morning of wedding day proceeded relatively smooth. I slept well the night before, save for the midnight SMS that woke me up briefly. A guest cancelled her attendance for the dinner – less than 24 hours to the event. The excuses for last minute cancellations these days are getting ridiculous. But it’s a good thing; you can filter bullshitters out from your life.

Back to happier memories. The Mother busied herself in the kitchen while my aunt brought my little niece, who’s also my adorable flower angel, to join the festivity.

Shuqin, my maid-of-honour, was up to something no good. I could hear her sinister laughter from the kitchen as the girls prepared for the gate-crashing games.

I enjoyed a brief period of clowning around with my niece before changing into my wedding gown. Here she was donning a lovely flower crown which I purchased from ISETAN, along with a flower basket in the girliest shade of pink.

Not much of waterworks going on, not even during the traditional veiling. I was just psyched to marry and wanted to enjoy myself as much as possible!

One of my favourite purchases for the wedding is a pair of pearl drop earrings from Aya Jewellery. I have another pair of pearl earrings in champagne and encrusted with diamonates but I still wasn’t sure if it’s ‘The One’. By the stroke of luck, I chanced upon Aya’s gorgeous creations in Esty and the rest of history. More of this lovely Israeli shopkeeper and her creations in my next post.

A clearer look of Aya’s pearl earrings.

My very very tall younger brother

The gate-crashing didn’t go without drama. The Mother was SOOOO anxious that The Man would be late (can’t blame my mum; The Man has a bad rep for being blur and late). And so The Mother paced up and down the corridor, hoping The Man didn’t get cold feet and ran away. LOL. At least that’s what I thought she did. Anyway The Man was on time, but one part of his entourage got lost and ended in another carpark. Hah!

All thanks to smartphones and God-sent technology, I watched the entire gate-crashing process in my room. It was HILARIOUS! Usually brides have to wait in their room, anxious/nervous but they can’t, just CAN’T get out to join the fun. I’m glad I was able to laugh along and not miss out on such an interesting part of my part.

I’m not one who’d have my husband and friends don adult diaper or lick whip cream off one another. Stay classy, people. Stay classy.

So just for fun, The Man was required to:

1. sing a designated song – he claims to be a KTV king but he’s never sung a song proper for me. So there you go!

2. recite a romantic Teochew poem – we attended Teochew classes for beginners last year and this poem is specially meaningful because it lauds the beauty of a wife so beautiful that the husband can look at her all day without feeling hungry. HAHAHAHAHA!

I gave The Man an obvious hint some time ago that he needs to learn the poem. He got it , I guess. He printed the notes but… wait for it… left it in his car! And mind you, this isn’t a poem you can just google. So he had to pay a little penalty to get the note from my girlfriends. And needless to say, he SUCKED at it. I was half-hoping he could recite it again during the dinner but I decided to save him some face and cut him some slack.

My maid-of-honour sprang a last surprise task at the boys – dance to a K-Pop tune! Nothing new but just something for everyone to laugh about. This time, The Man surprised me with his enthusiasm; shaking his hips and twisting his arms to the music! This is the guy who refuses (I repeat: REFUSES) to even nod his head in the club. He hates the club. So this is a first.

The Mother was so proud of her coincidental find when she withdrew money from the ATM – three fresh 10-dollar notes with serial numbers ending with 12, 13 and 14 (our wedding date)!

Taking a break before the tea ceremony begins. The gown, without any can-can, weighs a tonne. I cannot imagine what it would be like if I had wore a ball gown with the full works!

Roasted suckling pig in a very capable man’s hands

The dapper boys

Endless thank you to our friends who woke up crazy early to be part of this. I had so much fun and I hope they did too.

To add more fun to the festivities, we engaged Cloudstaprint, an instant print vendor that transforms all our snaps to 5″ by 3″ glossy prints. It was slightly underutilised in the morning but man, the guests went trigger-happy during the dinner. More of that separately.


A week before our wedding, The Man planned to whisk me off to a dinner date and celebrate my birthday. He kept the venue a surprise and according to him, the restaurant ‘is hard to book’. Sure or nottttt?

Alas, the unfavourable weather conditions in Shanghai caused him a twelve-hour flight delay. I was slightly disappointed when I learnt that because our schedules were pretty packed for the following days; we probably would not have time for a nice, relaxed dinner after that Saturday.

Fortunately The Man managed, by a hair’s breadth, to rush from the airport to meet me in time for dinner. And he drove down a familiar street – Bukit Pasoh. Turns out that we were on our way to The Clan Restaurant.

Reunited and it feels so gooodddddd

I’ve heard ravings of The Clan Restaurant and now know what’s all the fuss about. We each had a 6-course dinner, priced at $65.80++. But mind you, this is not a ‘still feeling hungry’ kind of meal. The servings were just about right, even for a big eater like The Man. For small eaters like me? Well, right after the main course, I experienced a momentary comatose.

My main course – 48 Degree Poached Salmon w Japanese Broth, Dehydrated Wakame & Leek Confit

Cold dish – Alaskan King Crab w Seasonal Greens in Homemade Karashi Dressing

My favourite dessert! Triple Espresso Crème Brûlée

Every dish is prepared immaculately. Starters and cold dishes were not prepared like an after-thought. Salmon is a relatively easy dish to prepare but it can go so wrong with the less attentive. The poached salmon at The Clan was uber tender and succulent, with a wee bit of warm pink centre. Even the greens that accompanied the Alaskan king crab were crunchy to the bite!

The Man had one of the restaurant’s signature mains – 48 Hours Beef Short Ribs on Hoba Leaf with Peppercorn Sauce on Lava Stone. And boy, it was sizzling yummy.

Erm, too bad the restaurant forgot to do the one thing The Man asked them to – a surprise birthday cake for me. Well, they must have been busy.

The price of this 6-course dinner is quite a steal. Probably not the most fantastic meal ever but we felt very satisfied with the quality of food and thoughtful service. Sans the surprise birthday cake though…

It was a great start of the last week leading to our wedding. Glad we spent time connecting with each other and NOT talking about the wedding for abit.


Somewhere while surfing the great milk way of fashion bibles, it was announced to all mankind that micro-pleated skirts is the holy grail for spring/summer (amongst a million other floral/sorbet things).

Of which, a non-fuss black & white colour block midi pleated skirt lays. From Proenza Schouler no less. But mere mortals like me can only stare hard until the earth finishes an entire orbit around the sun and still have no sight of how I can afford this 100% polyester piece of material. Oh of course, the lining is 100% silk so it’s totally justifiable for a $1,000 price tag.

So I embarked on a mission to find a dupe. A fashion dupe. A couple days later, I found an inspiring (obviously inspired by PS) design on ASOS. And YES, ASOS is my HG for on trend designs. Granted 30% of its clothes are borderline trashy, the remaining ones are just amazing. The price too.

I was not sure if people on the streets would appreciate colour-blocking of this sort so I pared down the drama with a simple black Uniqlo airism tee, added a dash of femininity with a long pearl necklace.

The result was surprising – a number of my colleagues thought the whole outfit was pretty. They thought it was a dress! Also I have to tell them repeatedly I wasn’t planning to go party after work. LOL those girls are so adorable.

What’s your prized fashion dupe?