Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tis the Season

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Hope everyone is able to have a wonderful happy day tomorrow with loved ones. I will be spending the day with 007 and our furry gaggle of "kids". Then we will rush off to my sisters to see her kids and hear about what Santa brought them.

Until I find some more time to write night all and sleep tight.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Time to Kill....

Time for an update!

Yes, I got the job which has been really cool but with change has come some ups and downs. You know the typical growing pains of being the “new girl”. It’s a bit annoying but I am slowly getting the hang of things.

The hardest adjustment is transitioning to the for profit world. I am so used to the amount of wasted time in government work seeing everyone in the office productive is actually rather shocking to my system. It is also a pleasant and wonderful change of pace. I don’t feel like the odd man out just because I want to do a good job or get a job correct.

As for the drawbacks it seems that everyone is over worked around here so the whole, “work life balance” concept I was going for seems a bit far fetched at the present time. I am still hopeful I can convince them that I am a better employee when I get to work from home!

Yea, it is a long shot but a girl has to dream you know!

Speaking of dreams…. I have an update on my far fetched one.

I made interviews at KSU Vet School and actually had my interview on Saturday. In one word it was very odd.

Yes, odd.

I was asked the exact same questions which I expected so I didn’t prepare a lick minus the night before and the drive down. I mean how does one prepare for lame questions, like “tell me about yourself, and explain the difference between animal rights and animal welfare.” By know I have those questions down pat almost to the point of knee jerk reaction.

This year I wasn’t nervous at all and knew a few of the vets conducting interviews. I figured I would give it another shot!

As the true dork I am I was going for an American idol moment and took in x-rays with me, chest films to be exact. Yep, that is what I did.

I think I will standout because of it. However, other than appearing a bit over eager to please I don’t think it earned me any points.

Oh and back to odd.

They never asked me about my three years at the zoo.

They gave me three LARGE ANIMAL VETS and I haven't worked for a single one.

They seemed more concerned about the 9 months I spent with a humane society and my current rescue than anything medicine related. I told them I had no freaking idea what that one humane society (that will remain nameless) was up to these days. I haven't been a part of their group for like four years or so... maybe less but I have tried to block most of that out!

Here is the question that really through me... and made me just want to scream at them. Are you familiar with the curriculum and do you realize that Vet School would be full time?

WTF!

I seriously didn’t even understand the Vet when she asked this of me. I didn’t understand that she was asking me if I was willing to quiet my job.

Once we got on the same page I profusely sputtered out that yes I was abundantly clear that I would be back in school full time and would not be able to hold down a job. I just couldn’t believe she thought I was that stupid that it hadn’t occurred to me that Vet School would be my full time job! I was so annoyed with her.

Seriously by the time you make interviews you have to complete at a minimum 64 credit hours specific for the Vet School which includes a number of upper level biology and chemistry course work. You also have to have three references, meet a cut off point with your GPA and GRE scores. So to get to the interview point and not realize it’s a full time program is just unimaginable!

Well, enough on that topic. Basically I came out of my interview thinking the whole thing was rigged and colossal waste of my time. However, I will quickly change my mind if I get a set in the class of 2014.

What are my chances?

Well, that is hard to say because the longer I pursue this crazy dream the more I am certain it is pure random as to who the select for the final class roster.

Specifically for KSU they are interviewing probably around 150 in state students give or take a dozen or so. They are also interviewing close to 500 out of state applicants. Most vet schools and KSU is no different has an early admissions program and for this class there are 25 students. The actual class size is 107.

So you can do the math.

KSU is notoriously known for splitting the class almost in-half as far as in-state vs. out of state students. So I don’t think I have ANY advantage by being in-state.

Basically I think my odds are 1 and 8 at best.

Oh well... I am leaving it up to the universe to decide if I am supposed to go down this path. I have done all I can up until this point and now it’s out of my hands.

My goal with this new job is also to blog more so I will try and do that. If I fail at that I’ll wish everyone a very Merry Christmas now just in-case!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Feet…Or something!

Big changes seem to be on the horizon. Let’s hope I am up for the challenge.

What is up?

Well, possibly a new “big kid” job as my friend Sarah would call it. I’m a mix of scared and excited. Scared because I’ll be leaving my comfort zone, which is weird. To say I have grown comfy at my big brother job but I have. I’d be lying if I said otherwise.

The job offer is exciting because they want me to be creative, innovative, fresh, bring a new perspective and they want me to show them how to bring energy conservation to their clients!

The best part is they don’t want me to be an engineer, they have real ones and they don’t need me to be one! This would be my very first job where I don’t have to be an engineer or some type of suedo-engineer. Yea! I can just be me, save the environment, save energy girl, who just so happens to be crazy about animals.

So let’s hope they make me a job offer soon!!!

Gosh, I will be really sad if they decide not to… guess that means I want the job, YIKES!

If you are curious as to where this leaves the whole vet school dream? It is still alive and well, sorta. I think I am just a bit tired of the whole hoping for something to happen or waiting for my life to begin based on some ADCOMS picking me. Plus what is the reality of vet school, tons and tons of work which I would honestly welcome but it does scare the pants off of me!

Granted this didn’t stop me from applying to KSU and ISU this cycle. So, we will see if the stars wink on that notion this year. I won’t know anything until August 2010 and honestly I think I’m a long shot. So why not move forward in the meantime.

Who knows I may even take up running, like Chrystal (wink, wink). Well, at least I could follow her in my Jeep! Way to go girl:)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dark Side of Rescue Work

I will try to do this post justice but it may come out all wrong.

It has been a few days since Melody our 8month old bottle goat was killed. Fortunately I have some amazing friends, fantastic sister, and very understanding and caring husband aka 007. So I would say I am healing. I feel a bit guilty about that, doesn’t seem as if I have grieved long enough or been sad long enough.

Maybe it is my rational scientific brain or it’s the constant grounding I receive from my support group. I can’t really say. However, I have learned a few things from all of this and I would like to share them with you.

First, grief over the loss of a pet regardless of the type is perfectly natural, probably innately human. For some it last a short time and others can experience grief for years. I also have learned that grief associated with a tragic event can be complex and it is best to allow your mind to process the images you are trying to forget. By doing so you are able to accept what happened and then start to let it go, the images are no longer holding you down. A therapist who specializes in pet loss explained this to me.

Second, one must let go of guilt. It will eat you alive and all of the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” you can come up with won’t turn back time. I have found this to be true across the board regardless if your pet died tragically, you had to make the choice to have it euthanized, or there was a behavior issue related problem that could not be corrected. The last I see as the hardest and something that rescue workers face way too often.

By the time a pet gets to me chances are the damage has been done, my job is to see if I can repair that damage and help the pet trust again, in human kindness. I would say I am successful more than I fail. However, I will be the first to admit that I have the privilege to select the projects I take on. I do not run a shelter that receives city our county funds and must take in everything. So I can hedge my bets so to speak and pick the cases that will probably end happily.

However, the dark side of rescue is the reality that you maybe called upon to make a judgment call based on behavior and that will always result in guilty feelings at least for me. I constantly debate a case and I network like a fool. I work with as many people as I can find to see if someone has learned something new that has worked. I have this inability to accept failure. In reality it really isn’t my failure at all or my success. It is just reality and reality sucks sometimes. This leads me to number three…

Third, for people like me who lump ourselves into the control freak category it is easier for our brains to believe we are responsible than to accept the reality that we are not in control of the world. Yea, this one rocked me to my core. Re-read it because not only is this true but it will help with the guilt.

There is a line from an episode of Law and Order; “You can do everything right, and still have a bad outcome.”

Now does this mean I believe I did everything right? No, but I will learn from this and I will make damn sure this never happens again.

Fourth or finally, I know that I must for my own sake open my heart up again. I am a big believer that my path is guided and many along that path are helping me. I entered rescue work and am trying to become a veterinarian because of this fact. My step into rescue work was propelled by the wish to honor a dear pet that had only been in my life maybe six months. Still he left a pawmark and he pushed me forward, his name was Sampson and he was by far the coolest cat I have ever had the pleasure to share space and time with.

I feel a weird and uncertain push yet again and it’s strange and I don’t care for it too much. However, I am listening and well maybe it is my little friend telling me she is ok. Maybe I am weird or odd but I believe in stuff like that.

So, I have been watching the sale barn to see if anyone brings in some goats with the hope of giving them a cushy life at the ranch. Yep, I want to try again and my sister who sent Melody to me has already put me on the list to receive a bottle baby goat if any of her momma goats need help.

Amazing.

This is from St. Theresa’s Prayer and somehow it helped me.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be, may you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pit of Dispair...not what I planned to write about.

Heavy heart, heavy soul, tired. That sums things up in a nut shell. It has been one of those weeks, months, maybe even years. We all have them and some how we survive. I guess that is what we are doing these days surviving.

So why so blue? Well there has been some good moments and some horrific tragedies that no matter what I do I can't seem to make sense of them or to let go.

What am I talking about?
Sorry....

I guess putting it down on paper (I mean the www) makes it just a bit too real.

How do I say this and have it make the impact I feel.

My baby bottle goat passed away. If you don't have a pet well, then you don't understand. Or maybe you do,I don't know. It's all mixed up. Add to that equation that she was killed in a horrific and tragic event. I don't know if I even want to explain.


Seems I can't get things right.

First my one of my cats Merlin was attacked by one of our foster dogs, I named the dog Roger. He's a goof and I would have never guessed that he would hurt anyone or anything. However, I have either gotten soft, too busy, or to0 confident; I can't figure out which.


Merlin was saved by Dr. L and us being able to get him to her in a timely manner. We also got to him quickly. He slipped out of the house and was intercepted by Roger and had some help from another foster dog. It was a mess. I never ever wanted to go through that again.


We talked, we talked, and we talked. Because I am the forever optimist I assume that it was something I had done and that Roger could be fixed. This is where I realize that the ground is slipping out below my feet. I can't save them all and I need more awareness to this fact.


But I read other blogs and I get WAY to many subscriptions to big name rescue groups and if they can rehab the Vick dogs than why can't I "fix" Roger?

So we talked and talked some more and then took Roger to a farmer who then was never home so Roger kept coming back to us. I guess the guys really not a farmer because he's never home. Roger got lonely and showed up.

Merlin got better and I forgot. I am way too good at that.

Roger improves like 99% of the dogs who come through our rescue program. He learns manners, he starts slowly to fit into the pack that we have well established. He learns "sit" which is a huge accomplishment for him because he is way too hyper.

I forgive him, somehow. Because Merlin is fine and I tend to forget. WHY!!!

We have had another foster dog here and this is going to make our program sound like a huge freaking disaster organization, which I swear it is not. However, I have well (we) have made some crappy choices because remember I am the perpetual optimist and I don't realize that I can't help them all. A friend reaches out with a dog with "issues" and I think I can fix him, because that is what I do. I fix.

He's been at the ranch almost 5 and half months. His name is Mic and he's a handsome boy but he does have issues and we work on them. He's aggressive to other dogs and he quickly learns that behavior is not allowed by us or the pack. I could explain how our pack works but just know it is similar to the Dog Whisperer but with some other ideas tossed in. It has worked very well for us and we have rehabed a bunch of dogs. I am not trying to make an excuse just maybe give some background.

I am told in passing by 007 that Mic doesn't care for Roger. Ok, I don't really give it much thought because both are doing great with my pack and well I love to see all the dogs happy and playing. So one day when of course 007 isn't home I opt to let Mic out at the same time Roger is out. Mic was fine, sitting in his run with his tale wagging. It was a sunny day everything was fine.

I let Mic out and he runs full throttle towards Roger who doesn't even see him coming. He goes for his neck and he's fast. He pins him and they tumble all legs, tails, and fur. I try all the techniques I've learned to separate two fighting dogs. My pack can't help and I wouldn't let them if they even wanted to. Nothing stops Mic.

One key thing to point out is that you never stick your hand or limb into a dog fight because it will get bitten. I know this and self preservation takes a hold of me but the other side of my brain engages and realizes I can pull them apart if I get a leash around Mic's back end. I use a long leash and he never knows what is pulling him back. He's snapping at the force pulling him away from his target. I get him to his kennel and he walks right in. Sits down and looks up at me as if to say, "that was a great walk, thanks". I am speechless.

I check Roger over, he has a few puncture wounds, nothing too deep. His neck is fine. I call our Vet and give him some meds I have on hand based on her instructions. I put him in his run and call 007. He's upset, can you blame him, but I swear I had no idea. He goes in to the Vet the next morning for some injectable drugs and more meds.

Mic has been with us while his owner gets her life established here in KS. We have also seeked out an adoptive home for him but have yet to find one. Now I am truly grateful we never did. I ask 007 to talk to his owner and handle it. He does and Mic is no longer at the ranch. He is a classic case of a dog who has been through hell and back and the scars are so deep I can't repair them. We place the next step back on the owner because it is ultimately her decision. You can guess what she has chosen to-do. Honestly I believe it is the right choice. He is a dog that no one can trust and that isn't what a pet should be.

Roger recovers and is back to his mischievous self digging small trenches in my yard in a matter of days. He is fine and remember I have forgave him and now I feel guilty for Mic's actions.

I get soft, lazy, tired, you name it. I let my guard down or I don't engage my brain I have no idea. What the hell I did wrong but thinking sure wasn't apart of it.

We begin to leave Melody our bottle goat out to graze when all the dogs are out. She's a distance off from their normal play area and we stay outside with her and them. Going in and out of the house. Sometimes I let Roger be out at the same time and he seems to ignore her. At first we made a point to always put Roger up when she was out but he barks a lot when everyone but him is out playing.

So I give in.

We have just returned from a really great meal out. I let Melody out and 007 takes her to her spot to graze. She is happy as a clam munching on clover in her little spot. Meanwhile I let Roger out and he happily runs off to romp and play with the other dogs. I watch and I wait he has no interest in her and I never give it a second thought.

Maybe I do somewhere deep in my gut, maybe. It is all starting to blurr already.

007 and I decided to take a nap because we are wiped out from a crazy week and we have just pigged out on BBQ. Everyone looks happy and fine.

I wake-up about 6pm and Melody is still happily out grazing. I have on flip flops and my bathrobe over my pj's so I don't want to go get her. 007 is still asleep and I am annoyed. Why? I just am because we have wasted our time off on a nap.


Never mind the fact that we both needed the nap but I am cranky. Maybe it's that feeling that something bad is about to happen and I just can't shake it. I don't know. Hard to say.


I wake him up to talk about the current delay in the remodel projects. We disagree, we argue, we work it out. It takes us awhile but we do fine. However, it isn't until 8pm or later that I realize that I never went and got Melody.


I freak, 007 runs out of the house and I look for better shoes. He screams bring towels and I know.


I know... it will never be as it was.

Roger has hurt her, very badly.

She is still alive but won't be for long.

I freeze. My mind goes blank. It then begins to function again and I know I can't do a thing for her.

I try to call Dr. L but her phone is off and it's late. I call another vet and another. I finally get a hold of one who specializes in goats in the tri-county area. He tells me what I already know.

I can do nothing to save her.

I have caused her death.

She is 8months old and has never done anything wrong except maybe eat my geranium's. She is a doll baby and Roger has torn her up. I can't stitch her back together, I can't ease her pain.

She is in shock. I keep her warm and listen to her heart fade and I cry huge sobs and I can't stop it.

I am broken. I am grieving and I can't fix any of it. I don't even want to ease my pain.

This week alone I have been unable to save a Tameran monkey named Santos, one of the baby rabbits, and Melody. It has been exhausting.


The baby rabbit probably died of complications from a bacterial infection, which wild bunnies are prone to. The monkey, Santos, died after suffering a stroke five days prior. We did an MRI prior to his death. Hoping against all odds that it was a mass and maybe just maybe we could fix it.

Why?


Because that is what I do "I fix," and I don't mess up. I can't. How did all of this happen and what is the lesson and what is the punishment.

Roger leaves tomorrow and all I can think of is, "murder". He betrayed my trust but I failed him as well. I didn't protect him from himself. I was suppose to but I didn't.

I want to reverse the clock and go back in time and fix all of this but I can't. My only solace in all of this is the belief that they are no longer suffering. That someone greater than me has made them whole again and some how again what I believe now, will actually make me whole again soon as well.

Sorry this is so sad but I had to write it all down and put it out there. They say it begins when you start to accept, the healing that is.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Growing up is hard to-do!

Figured I would try this, "getting it together thing," one more time today and begin with a blog.



We have already fed the baby bunnies twice (more on that soon), I've stepped in dog poop, and we managed to cook an actual REAL breakfast at home! Did I mention I took the day off? Yep and I can't seem to deal with it. Ugh. I drive myself insane and then 007 has to come along for the ride. So is my world.

I have some photos to share because yesterday was one of the most gorgeous days ever around these parts. Beautiful blue sky's, puffy white clouds, and mid 60's weather wise for AUGUST in KS! Hard to freaking believe. Normally you can fry an egg on the sidewalk about this time of year. Eh... I'll take the cool weather for sure.


On Saturday it was a typical weekend day for me I was at the zoo working. As usual I get a random call across the radio from one of the keepers regarding an animal and can I come down to their range. To the golf cart I go and into the elephant and giraffe barn I wonder to find to my surprise, delight, and horror a nest of newborn baby bunnies. Right there in the middle giraffe stall a rabbit made a nest out of alf-alf hay and had five baby bunnies. The keeper in his wisdom had the presence of mind to do nothing and call the Vet Department first.

Typically and let me stress this part if you find wild bunnies in a nest no matter what time of day you should LEAVE THEM ALONE! Why? Because the mommy rabbit will return to feed them. Of course in the event that the bunnies have been born in a giraffe barn you will need to contact a wildlife rehabilitator for assistance in relocating them. Which is what I had to do.

I called left a message and short while later they called me back. I had moved the bunnies to the Vet hospital and had them all snuggled under a heat lamp until I could talk to an expert. The woman was super nice and some how along the way I caught her enthusiasm for baby bunnies and I volunteered to raise them. Yep! Because I have nothing else to do right? Of course.

That was Saturday and it is now Monday and these little buggers have to eat every three hours give or take. Guess what? The bunnies are kicking my rear! Which is why my day is starting at 11am again. Ugh.

They are adorable and already respond to my voice which is kind a cool but a bit overwhelming when they all want to eat at the same time and I only have two hands. There are five. The other kicker to this crappy equation is there is a VERY high mortality rate for wild baby bunnies, so I am really trying hard not to get attached. I haven't even named them, which most people I know will attest is a huge accomplishment for me. UGH!

I am also trying really hard not to think about tomorrow when I have to leave 007 in charge of feeding them when I return to work. I may cry because his hands are so big and I worry. Keep in mind he has helped with a ton of the feedings and done great. They are just so small and he has big man hands so I worry. They are so freaking tiny.

Anyway, send well wishes our way. Hope with us that the bunnies grow up big and strong and then take over my garden because that is my plan assuming I was allowing myself to think about the future and all.
Three Cheers for bunnies!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A photo or two to capture the excitement!

Here are some recent photos from the crazy construction happenings at Happy Tails Ranch. Just about 5 minutes ago 007 finished the kitchen tile. It still needs grouted but that is nothing compared to the insane task of tiling a floor and getting it all to look perfect!

Remember we bought this tile for our anniversary in May and it is mid-August so tiling can be a pain but 007 did an amazing job!
Look, look it's NFM delivery truck! I was home for this and drove the delivery guys a bit nuts with my photo snapping habit. Still it was so exciting and I felt just a little bad for the guys because they back the whole way up our driveway.
The new flat top stove!

A closer view. I am pretty excited about the multiple burners on this baby!
Bring in the fridge. My first side by side with water and ice on the door! I think I am in heaven. Our current plan is to angle the fridge in the corner over there but that may change.
I couldn't resist some amazing bathroom photos. The tub is finally in the bathroom! Hip, hip hooray. You can see the shelf in this photo. Still waiting for the tub to be hooked-up.Another shot of my custom bathroom shelf! Fancy don't ya think.
A closer view, see the magazine rack at the bottom. It will have trim pieces add soon.So there you have it an update on the insanity! What have I learned, well for one I was crazy for agreeing to all of this. The other thing I have learned is this has been worth every awful second of blood sweat and tears. I can't begin to tell ya how much pride goes into all of this and how nice it is to have a place that just fits our life!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The title escapes me

I am home for a brief pit stop while I sit and wait for (get excited) the stove, fridge, and finally a new mattress to arrive! The delivery driver just called and said they are 20 minutes out. I figured I could post in that short time span (hopefully).


The photo on the right was taken just before we had yet another big storm. We have been having a ton of rain which is great for the garden but not good on getting the tomatoes to turn red. Still the view is amazing!

Well, it feels amazing to be getting the house finally in order. We spent a considerable amount of time just cleaning. I had no idea how much we had let the house slide during the whirlwind selling even of our former house. I mean it was gross! The good news is we are back on tack and turning this little pad into a wonderful home.

At work I had to relocate office space which was annoying but so is work. This meant that all of my many plants had to come home. At first I was overwhelmed but in step 007 and he help string my plants all over my home office. I really have a ton! It looks rather cool and this place is starting to really feel like home, my forever home.

We spent last night working on the floor tile in the kitchen. I handed out tiles been did the hard part and Orson our dog did the getting in the way moving the tile to the wrong spot part. Princes one of our foster dogs who will probably stay with us because she is so annoying nobody is going to adopt her and well we love her for some stupid reason. She walked through the mortar and then the cat pranced through the whole mess and flopped on his back and began rocking back and forth. 007 was not having any of this even though I tried to explain that they just wanted to give their stamp of approval for the nice new tile. I ended up putting everyone to be early.

We are close to being done with the tile but dang tiling really sucks! I mean it is slow going and you don't get to use any cool tools except the wet saw and that thing is just loud and well wet! At least I broke down and bought a wet saw this time. When we did the bathroom I rented one and that was a BIG mistake because nothing went according to plan and it put way to much stress on the project because we had to have it back by a set time. Now that we have our own we have slowly but easily tiled the kitchen.

Plus because we have one I have been able to convince 007 to tile the top of a little shelf in the bathroom so I can set a plant on it and other things that might get wood yucky. That turned out amazing. He also added some decorative tile above the shower. Here is a top view of the shelf looking down. To the top of the photo is where the toilet sits and to the bottom is where my claw foot tub will sit, you can see the small water lines laying on the floor maybe. This breaks up the space and allows me to cover the shelf with plants. On the side facing the toilet 007 built custom shelves complete with a magazine rack at the bottom and a smaller shelf just for TP.

This gives you another view of the shelf which might explain it better. That is the frame of the shelf before it was closed in and finished.

Next we will move on to kitchen cabinets and at some point buy a dishwasher and range hood/microwave for over the stove, I hope! Then there is also the install of the washer and dryer. I have the washer but I need to buy my matching dryer. Until than I think I am going to go with a clothes line for August.

Ugh... this process has taken to long.


Well looks like my appliances are here! Yipee;-) Photos to follow soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Time keeps on ticking, ticking away...

Yep... we sold it! Thank the heavens above. It was down to the wire with condition after condition but in the end when we got the call every ounce we poured into that place was worth it to be done, finally free!

So that is the high note and things are looking up but...

Well, I am bummed have been for awhile and the whole blogging hasn't really been a focal point. I've been hooked on facebook crack like nobodies business. Why? That would be the million dollar question of the year. How did I get hooked so freaking bad? Eh, it is what it is. I think I need to connect more and it is oh so good to connect with really great friends. You know the ones from the early years when life seemed complicated but sure as hell wasn't. When all you had was a big test or a pain in the butt teacher to worry about. Or of course the latest and greatest drama from whatever boyfriend or guy you had a crush on.

Ah those times have passed but it is fun to reconnect.

Back to the being blue, its my Grandma I still miss her like crazy. How do people do it the letting go, the living with only the memory? I don't understand. It comes in waves. Sometimes I am perfectly fine and then I'll catch my reflection or be out in the garden and she's there. She is right there. Like now. Its all that is left and its never enough. Don't get me wrong it's wonderful to feel her presence, I just miss her so. I'm not ready to be a big kid, to move into the next phase. I want to stay the grand-kid and enjoy the summer, just a little longer please.

However, time keeps on ticking, ticking away. So my goal and hope is to enjoy the present; one day at a time. Today I enjoyed the hammock and watering the garden. Yes, I think I had company out there. Tomorrow I will enjoy the clinic and the zoo. Getting paid for your favorite hobby, how lucky is that!

So if you can try just a bit to enjoy the present as well and all those you can connect with right now even if it is only on FB crack :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Waiting to exhale

So... we have BIG NEWS! Yes, we do. No, nobodies popping out a kid. Gosh why does my mind always go there? Damn clock, tick, tick.

We have an offer on the house! Yes, a decent one that we have accepted. Now we are holding our breath that the home inspection on Thursday 7/16 goes off without a hitch. Say a prayer for us. I can't imagine there being anything that the inspector would find but our luck hasn't been the best as of late. Hopefully that is about to change.

You maybe wondering just how bad is the housing market in the middle of nowhere KS. Let me explain. My oh so wonderful and unique all stone home is selling for what I paid for it in 2002! Ok, that stings... what is worse is I am OVER THE MOON thrilled about this offer.

Why?

Because it will finally be over and we can get on to life. Get back to remodeling the ranch and hopefully figuring out how to slow the heck down. We've been holding on and maintaining a very insane schedule just to keep the flood gates from busting through.

I was telling a friend yesterday that if someone had asked me when I bought the ranch how long I could swing two house payments I would have said three months tops. We pulled this off for nine!

How?

I have no idea but I do know that I have stress eaten through 90% of it and slept a great deal to avoid it on other days. If I am not clinically depressed then I maybe clinically insane. Hard to really gage that one.

Thankful we see a light at the end of the tunnel and it is getting closer. Hopefully, we will close the end of the month. So now we just have to wait, pack up what is left in the house, and pray nothing changes between now and the 31st. Busy times again but these are great issues to have!

Then I can get back to living my life. Hopefully that will include more rescue work, but more of the administrative crap that has been on pause like 501c3 paperwork, files, kennel building, etc. Yep, I've got big plans but that will take time too.

I am also considering leaving the zoo for real. It's a great job and I love it but I am oh so very tired of working seven days a week. I don't know if I'll actually do it but I am really considering it. Plus it is rather depressing work when every animal I treat ends up dying because well there just old, yea geriatric zoo. I think I would enjoy ER medicine just so I could save a life, you know...practice medicine! Eh, it has been on my mind and well change is needed;)

More to come...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Land Locked

This blog entry was written last week sometime while going over paperwork details for my sailing license. It’s up for renewal… 10 yrs have passed since I managed to snag it, hard to believe! Anyway, I still liked this post so I figured I’d upload it even though it isn’t fresh off the presses.

On of my favorite songs…“Your blue might be grey, your less might be more, and your window to world might be your own front door your shiniest day might come in the middle of the night… That’s just about right…”Blackhawk

Don’t you just hate it when you get the blues?

Me, too

Why does it happen and how do you make it go away?

I have yet to figure that one out. I guess you stay busy or you fight through it but man it’s annoying. I came into my nice, secure, and oh so predictable big brother job this morning and I just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. It feels so suffocating and dull.

I remember as a kid, teenager, and then as a young adult on my way to college dreaming of a life less ordinary. That was my goal dream big, go big, and never look back. I wanted to be an astronaut and no I am not kidding. The first shuttle launched when I was in kindergarten and the Challenger blew-up on live TV in my 4th grade class. I fell out of my chair. Reality hurt. In middle school I went to Space Camp (Academy) and I was hooked. In high school I started an after school club through 4-H called Blue Sky Below My Feet. It was county wide for kids in 1st grade to middle school and ran by myself and two of my high school friends. We even got one of the physics professors at the local college to help us out and used many of the campuses classrooms for our meetings. Somewhere along the way I started flying lessons thanks to my Grandmother’s intervention and I even soloed just after my 16th birthday. I joined Civil Air Patrol and put myself on the right path to attend a service academy. Yep, I had it all figured out. Or so I thought. Until college and reality caught up with me and the academy was harder than I ever thought.

Humph!

What the heck happened?

I love my life at the ranch, that isn’t it at all. Although 007 drives me a little nuts and mildly insane I am pretty sure he’s the best things in my world and a perfect match. Poor guy, I know. Eh, I hope we balance each other out.

Space travel and flying don’t thrill me like they use too. Although, I really did get a huge kick out of the new Star Trek movie if you haven’t seen it, go.

I can say with certainty that it’s the big brother job/predictability of it, but hey it pays the bills, I have about zero responsibility most days, and rarely does anyone check my work because well they either don’t get it or don’t care to get it. I realize that sounds depressing just to write.

Sadly it is very true.

Well the job hunt is in full force but the economy is bad and so far the stars have yet to align in my favor. So yet again the sea is calling and that really annoys me.

“Changes in latitudes; changes in attitudes…” Yep, another favorite song.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We've been Busy!

Wow we are halfway through June and I haven't posted a thing! Well, let me bring you up to speed quickly through photos of what's going on at the Ranch.


A quick update on the garden. Take a look at this monster! It is amazing and in no small part thanks to the help of my Dad's Bobcat and 007 mad skills at building from my silly drawing. Yep, we are rather proud of this huge undertaking and can't wait to get the rock in around the beds. Remember it'll be an English Garden:)



Future location of green beans and sweet corn! Oh, I wish it was already coming up... yes we are getting it in late:(


Tomatoes and two large beds for watermelons, cantaloupe and honey dew melons, yum!


Flower beds going in all over the ranch. Each will have a limestone rock wall around them. The one by the three trees will probably circle only two of the trees. 007 is even more excited about the hammock that will go to the left of this bed between the next two trees. We have yet to put it up because we think it may derail our current plans.


We will be adding flowers around the cement turkey and along the cat shack yard (photos below). I think the Cana Lillies will go along that fence line. The turkey is a rescue from my folks old place, dang thing was VERY heavy

We also had a driveway to fix thanks to wonderful drainage issue. Who says life in the country is dull never had to drive across this on their way to work! I may need new shocks on the Jeep, but it is all smooth now. With the Bobcat 007 made short work of this mess! Now the culvert is working and water run off should go through the culvert instead of over the drive.


Well the ranch would not be complete without some kind a rescue mess to be dealing with on top of everything else. These two adorable boys are Sage and Mic. They are in our Assisted Placement Program (AP) sorta. It's a huge mess and a post in and of itself. Basically giving up a pet is hard to do. We hope to do good by these boys and help their former owner realize what is best for them.
WORK is still going on INSIDE THE HOUSE... because heck, it sure isn't done either...
We have tile getting put down in the kitchen still. Yes, that anniversary tile is still a work in progress but 007 is making it happen slowly but surely. These two photos show you the overall layout and a close up. This is before grouting. I love it! It should look kind a like two rugs in it's design... Not sure if that makes since.

While at Lowe's I also found some very cool stone tile that we added above the shower in the bathroom. It looks rather Celtic to me.


And back at the zoo we have a new addition. He's a Rhino Iguana and he's oh so cool. I was hand feeding him this weekend because he wasn't all that hungry. He is rather gentle but I still keep my fingers back far!


Hope you are enjoying your summer as well!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

To-kill-ya

I’ve got an hour to kill and filling out parasitology paperwork for our entire education department doesn’t thrill me so it can wait until tomorrow.

I am also still recovering from thinking I am still in my 20’s. Sarah, my intern, pall, and chemistry study buddy dragged me out on Thursday night for Margarita’s at a local dive that sells the little devils for $1. I had spent half the day pissed at 007 for the whole school mess and just being frustrated with the status of things in general. Sarah being oh so young knew what would fix my mood (or so she thought) so to the bar we went. She also invited a couple of her friends and one being Ramone. He knows practically everyone at the restaurant so we got the star treatment.

I’ll admit I rarely indulge but when I do I swear I have zero tolerance and self control to admit I so can’t consume little devils. Then there is my dear friend who thought it would be hilarious. Yea, I’ll blame the 23 year old. 007 picked our dumb butts up around 11pm, but the damage was done. I now refer to tequila as to-kill ya. Dear god what was I thinking!

As I paid dearly and 007 took care of me I informed him he had to get it together or I was going to end up a total wreck. He assured me he would and would monitor my stupidity until I realized I was old. Ah thanks hubby! I think he found the whole ordeal pretty funny.

Sad, sad I know but whose perfect these days?

It was nice to be cared for even though I'd been an idiot. If I ever figure out how to send photos from my phone I'll upload them. Ramona told the wait staff it was one of the guys at our tables birthday. That was pretty hilarious complete with sombrero.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ch- Cha Changes…

Ugh. It has been one May for the record books for sure. I haven’t been blogging b/c I just didn’t have the energy, courage, or interest. However, after a few days off and making myself deal with “life” I am feeling better.

Crazy the pressure we put upon ourselves to do, to be, to get done. It is insane and we wonder why so many of us suffer from burn out, depression, anxiety, and poor health.

If you are lucky you get a moment to stop, to re-evaluate the current situation, and make positive changes in a good direction. If you are lucky and if you have the courage to admit the current method isn’t working.

So what isn’t working? The list is long but mostly it consists of being to busy, pushing to hard, and assuming that my better half is happy. He’s not he’s a wreck and had one hell of a semester. To be blunt he’s been kicked while down and now together we must figure out how to fix that fact.

I refer often to my hubby as 007 because in my mind he’s invincible so for him to be human is a bit hard for me to handle. To accept that he faces challenges and has ridiculous thoughts in his head of what I expect of him is hard to accept. However, those things are very real and he is stressed out.

The road back will be long. For starters he will be taking time off from school. Requesting from his Dean a hardship withdraw to hopefully salvage his GPA, which he discussed with the Dean on Friday. It was the Dean’s idea so that is a positive. Yes, it is bad, sad, and crying doesn’t seem to help. To say I have been in his shoes would be true and to say I would never wish this kind a crap on my worst enemy is also true. So to have him experience this is hard for me to accept, deal with, and I am beyond angry.

Mostly because he allowed it to get to this level and kept me in the dark. Or I was too blind to see that school was kicking his rear. I am sure we can spread the blame around and give everyone a little dose but what good does that serve? It doesn’t change the situation. Instead I would prefer to suck it up, regroup, and move forward.

This summer will be spent doing home remodel crap that we put on hold due to last semester and is now driving us insane. 007 claims that working on the house makes him happy, feel accomplished, and proud. Those sound like positive things to me so we will continue with that. We finally picked out kitchen tile yesterday for our 6th Anniversary (yea us!) and we are thrilled with the pattern we have come up with. Pictures coming soon, I promise.

We also plan to do some fishing, well maybe 007 more than me. I hate the whole cleaning the fish and baiting the hook, which honestly leaves very little except sitting in the boat. I know he finds that rather comical and I have to admit for someone who doesn’t flinch at necropsy's to take issue with fishing is a bit odd. Still I am a good boat sitter.

For today I am doing laundry at the local Laundromat, which is weird in and of it self, mostly because whenever I come to a place like this I feel a bit odd like my life has failed some how. Then it occurs to me how fast I can get laundry done and I feel silly for think that first thought. I also have to admit it is hard to walk past my new washer machine that is STILL sitting in the garage from January! However, the upstairs laundry area still needs sheet-rocked and well the washer needs installed so to the Laundromat I must go.

Hopefully I will be able to blog on a more regular basis as we stumble our way through all these changes and figure things out. It will depend on how soon 007 fixes my Internet connection. It is currently down because he managed to cut the cable that connects me to the satellite dish with the mower. Oh, happy day. Guess we should have buried that cable a long time ago. The upside is I may get the unsightly dish moved from the front lawn to behind the garage because of this little “misshape”. Yea, for me!

Hope all is well for all of you out there and if you could after reading just make a brief comment. I would love to read your blogs, see what is going on in your world, basically expand my circle.

Oh, and a few funny photo from the Kansas City Zoo. I visited with my sister, cousin who was in town from Australia, a 11month old baby, a two year old, 2 five year olds, and my nieces 1st grade class. To say I got my butt kicked would be a huge understatement. Anyway, I love these two pics. I think I need to do more of this!


A group shot of the whole gang. Everyone tried to wave at me but it looks more like they don't want their pic taken. The baby is asleep in the 2nd seat of the stroller. It was a fun day!


Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Garden update

It has been raining here for way to many days in a row. As a result the place has been super saturated with rain and all the muddy conditions that go along with it. Our dogs have been oh so annoyed by the amount of time spent in doors and I have been mighty annoyed at the amount of muddy paw prints that still make it into the house!

Eh... life on the ranch right? I guess. I am still getting use to that part and swore a blue streak that I will combat mud and dirt. Of course 007 found it hilarious when I requested that he pave the place I park my jeep so that I can stay on concrete. This coming from a guy who is excited to take Advanced Concrete Design. Whatever!

Well, this weekend the sun came out and we were able to get outside and get back to work on the garden. Well, I should amend that statement to mostly 007 as I can not for the life of me lift one of those railroad ties. Plus you add in the extra weight from all the rain and well forget about it!

Anyway, I wanted to post before pics and a the first photos of the first two beds. Yes, I know we are a long way from my drawing but it is amazing to see it emerging. It is also amazing to cut through all the weeds and make something awesome again!

So here are photos...

The small light colored wooden posts are the perimeter of the garden. Once all the railroad ties, my garden shed, greenhouse and the like are in we will enclose it. Notice the slant of the land that hill in the foreground leads to a small pond. The goal of the garden is to use gravity feed from the pond to water it! Yes, I find this to be fantastic idea!

You can see part of the garden barely in this photo. In the photo below you can see the whole pond it is rather small and we plan to enlarge it as it dried up completely last August. The tree branch that is sticking over the pond is a Weeping Willow tree which 007 plans to put in the middle of the pond on an island. That way we can have a tree swing that dumps you in the pond! Yep, very cool in design but it maybe a few years before we get to that point.



This photos is looking up at the garden from the opposite angle. You can see all the railroad ties being arranged out for consideration in random places. It was a process to come up with a design.

Ok, the yellow lines show the first two beds for the garden and the red shack well that is a long story but it's a really cool building. The guy, that's 007 and you can kind a tell he's smiling as he's very pleased with what he has done today!

Yep, we have a long way to go!