Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Goats, School, 101

Turn, turn, turn… Seems my life never slows down. So I am sure you are wondering what is up with this title! It’s random isn’t it? I was going for shock value mostly because I just cracked Chrystal up considerably with my goat announcement. Tee hee!

GOATS: Ok, no I do not have goats just yet. I’m thinking about it. You see my niece Brittny is in 4-H and has four or five (I can’t remember) prego Momma goats. This is part of her Meat Goat project. My dear, dear sister in her infinite wisdom has informed her kids that their “Crazy Aunt” does not have a real “farm” but rather an animal sanctuary. Thanks sis! Keep in mind this is my sister’s version and not mine plus its only 10 acres not really a HUGE farm. Still I find it funny that my sister is trying to understand why I work with cats/dogs and find them new homes, i.e. run a rescue in my free time.

Thanks to her Mom, my niece who is seven got to thinking, she’s rather cleaver by the way. It occurred to her that if she sends her goats to Aunt Kristi then they won’t have to go to market. Seemed like a great plan to her and I’ve been receiving the full court press on the matter. She gives me weekly updates on the Momma goats who could possibly deliver around April, maybe.
It’s been comical. You may wonder what does 007 think of goats? He doesn’t care for the idea at all. He thinks they will eat the siding off of the house. I asked him why would they be near the house and he claims they are cleaver like that. Another one of our friends told him they will probable try to climb on top of the vehicles. This did not go over very well but it did get him thinking about building some kind a goat jungle gym. That should make you laugh he is an engineer to the core.

Anyway, goats are a possible addition to the ranch come early spring. Hmmm. Oh, I have no real plan for them. I guess my GSD Orson could practice herding them. Other than that I really don’t know what I’ll do with them. I hear they are good at cleaning up underbrush and maybe trainable to our electronic underground fence. Now wouldn’t that be something!

SCHOOL: Well, its official my vet school application cycle for class 2013 is done. I received rejection letters from the other two schools I applied to. It’s not a huge shock after getting the news from my in-state school. Still it is a blow to the ego. I applied to Colorado(CSU) and Iowa (ISU). Both letters were however nicer than my in-state letter. So I guess that is positive. CSU also said that they receive 1800 qualified applications this year for a class of 115. Yea, that’s some great odds. I feel a bit stupid for even applying there but one never knows if they’ll get lucky. Another gal I know summed it up best, “You have to play in the game to win, chances are you probably won’t win but if you don’t play than it’s guaranteed.” Still it’s a tough game of putting yourself out there and feeling so damn vulnerable.

For me I over analyze at this point in the process and I actually had a nightmare last night that the reason I was rejected was for a math class! Yea, I have no idea where that thought came from as I’ve taken quiet a bit of math courses. I guess it’s just the minds way of trying to figure out how to improve. I am starting to think that there really is no way to predict what the schools are looking for. It’s just a case of having so many qualified applicants to pick from. Add to that fact that many applicants are now applying not only with a Bachelors but also a Masters degree. Yea, great!

I don’t know if I can justify a Master’s degree for this new direction. I already feel rather stupid for getting a 2nd bachelors degree. Granted I always get the advice of, “Well get a Masters in something that interests you so you have a plan B.” That is great advice, believe me it really is. However, it does me no damn good! I honestly can’t for the life of me come up with something else that I want to-do other than get goats. Let me tell ya, the goat thing is far cheaper than a Master’s degree, well theoretically that is! Maybe, I can use that logic on 007. Nah...

Ugh… it would be great if I could figure this mess out… i.e. what the hell am I going to do with myself.

I guess I should also mention that classes have started for Chemistry II, Organic I (on going) and Physics I. Yea, it’s enough to make me want to jump off a bridge because of how mundane they are. It is going fairly well though so I really shouldn’t complain. My friend is taking Parisatology this semester and I am very jealous, but I know if I sign up for that class I’ll neglect my others so I will just SUCK IT up! I may still complain though, so I apologize in advance.

I just can’t fathom how repeating freshman/sophomore courses will prove anything to admissions committees. I guess I won’t know unless I try though. My in-state has told me that they will use whatever course I have the best grade in. NICE! Other schools average the grade which honestly makes more sense but who knows. I think the other strike against me is my in-state needs OOS tuition rates so the number of accepted state residence is only ½ of the class size. Compare this to ten years ago when the class was about 90% state residences.

101: I’ll probable blog about this separate at some point but figured I should put it down. My Grandmother turned 101 on September 10th. She’s a really amazing person and my middle name is shared with her. We are a lot alike and have this bond that has seen me through some challenges. Unfortunately, for me I think our time together is coming to a close. She is in a nursing home in my hometown and the staff is wonderful. I have had the opportunity to get to know quiet a few of them. I am grateful that she has had such good care and I have had so much time with her.

My sister called on Monday to let me know that hospice has stepped in. What a wonderful organization I just can’t thank them enough. Now I don’t know how much time she has or what the next few weeks will hold for us. However, I know it’ll be ok and her pain will be managed. I’ve been going down to see her each day and taking at least one of my dogs with me. They seem to provide some type of comfort on another level. Yesterday, Orson just sat there by her bed with his head close enough so she could just pets him endlessly. Pepe, my toy poodle just curled up near her and rested his head on her arm. It was wonderful to have them there. As for me I just sit there and hold her hand. Sometimes we talk briefly and sometimes I read to her. She is fading in and out of conciseness which is hard to witness but the process is what it is. It’ll be alright.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What a Day...

When you have a blog it seems that ideas come to you of things to write about throughout the day. Then you get home, sit down at the computer, and its hard to put all those thoughts into coherent sentences. Eh... it's a blog so does it really matter? Maybe not so with that in mind hers my ramblings for today.

My weekends are always bizarre in a good way and also in a bad way. See I work seven days a week and sometimes two jobs a day. Yea, insane I truly realize that. However, I have two great jobs that don't pay as much as I need and then one job that is lame but doesn't fully suck and of course it pays enough to cover my bills, yea the one that doesn't involve animals.

Anyway, on the weekends I head to the zoo yep a real zoo. Its crazy that I have landed the "job" I have there. I still think back to the day I walked into Dr. L's office and told her I wanted to change my career. Dr. L's the small animal vet I work for, job number 2 vet assistant. I pretty much idolize Dr. L not in a creepy way in a way that's good. She gave me a chance and exposed me to world I LOVE! I can't thank her enough. I look up to her because she's human and has a ton of heart. She has great days, bad days, patients that break her heart, and clients that piss her off. She goes through all of it and I get to experience the highs and lows so for that I am forever grateful.

Because she took a chance on me I took a chance on myself and went back to school. I slowly wiggled my way into the Biology Department and some how ended up doing research work under the Department Chair. Weird how doors open sometimes. Through the research project I ended up at the zoo.

I was given the title of "volunteer" and assigned to some Zoo Keepers who work with the giraffes, elephants, and a couple of hippos. Yea, it was grunt work and LOTS of it! The novelty of the experience wore off really quickly as I scoped really big poop and used muscles I am sure have atrophy! Still it was a chance and I tried hard to embrace it and get my research work done. To push me along 007 would meet me for lunch and listen to me whine and then send me back for the afternoon.

I made it through and the research work was undergrad stuff so very basic just observations of the giraffes based on a medication change. I got to do T-tests and well my "observations" matched what the Vet predicted and the test results done at an independent lab confirmed. Really it wasn't as cool as it sounds. I have friends doing real research work and this was lame compared to the real stuff they do.

Still my report gave me an opening to talk with the Zoo Vet and she reviewed everything so that was a huge help. Then my semester ended and I left the zoo with my project completed. I was thrilled to be done with scooping big elephant poop! Well Dr. Z, that's not her name but we'll go with that for lack of something more cleaver to call her. Anyway, Dr. Z e-mailed looking for a volunteer to work in the Vet Department, help on rounds, assist with procedures, do grunt work, and anything else asked. I of course nearly fainted when I got the e-mail I was so excited! Of course I said yes and the adventure began. Now it's been about two years of volunteering and one day her Vet Tech decides to move on for various reasons. This leaves Dr. Z with no tech and who does she offer the job too?


Yea, me with no RVT behind my name and trust me when I say this the Tech who had the job prior was amazing and I have zip in skill set compared to her. So besides feeling rather inadequate I am also beyond excited to jump at this next amazing experience. Its also rather cool to finally get paid. So I accept and my working seven days a week begins in earnest. I've been at it now for around 3 months or so, I think. The days are starting to blur together. Granted this is just a weekend gig but its pretty cool for a part-time gig.

So on the weekends I head to the zoo and I do rounds by myself, I check on whatever case we have going on, e-mail an assessment, talk with the Keepers to see if anything new has come up, and do whatever "list" has been left for me from Dr. Z. Its a small zoo and she's about 20minutes out if I need her. Another vet is down the street if I really needed someone within a few minutes (counting phone call and drive time). I could also call Dr. L if I was totally freaked out. She'd probable tell me to call Dr. Z but would still show up. Like I said she's that cool. So I'm not REALLY on my own but I kinda am and some days like today it makes me giddy!

Nothing special happened but when its nice out and the staff is in a great mood the animals just seem perkier. Then you get the feeling that "this job rocks"! Then you head back to the vet hospital to clean up whoever is sick that week and its not so damn glamours after that. Still I can't tell you how much I love it. I get to be within inches of exotic animals. Heck I even get to touch them!

Basically I love my weekend job once I get there. It's the getting out of bed and giving up my time with 007 that's hard. I make it home with a little daylight to spare so we make sure to take the dogs for a walk and spend some quality time together but its getting hard. Then you add to that equation that the zoo is small so we have much older animals and my guess is we don't get the top picks when it comes to genetics. This means most of the cases that I work on are terminal and we're just buying time. That part is tough as it seems weird to get attached to a wild animal. You do and its even a billion times harder for the Keepers. Still you fight against death/disease and sometimes you get lucky.

The real challenge with all of this is I feel as if the cart is in front of the horse. This is an experience I would kill for as a 4th year vet student or as a resident. I feel so inadequate when I evaluate a patient and I worry each time what I've missed. Its very frustrating as that feeling isn't part of the equation or my job, but I feel it just the same.

I am craving the next step in the process which should be classes but I'm stuck just "playing". It just doesn't sit well with me. Keep in mind my job is to observe and report back. I'm the nurse so to speak so all of these "issues" I have are of course self inflicted. Story of my life.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hotel for Dogs

This movie opened tonight in my corner of the world so of course I had to see it today! I have been waiting since the trailers started showing up on TV.

What did I think, to sum it up in a short few words: I LOVED IT!

This movie just made me smile from ear to ear with each scene. Yea, I am cheese sappy type but you know that already. I loved this movie because it highlighted some key things I believe in and one in particular is shelter dogs ROCK! Yes, they are the forgotten and the overlooked. However, in my world they are just diamonds in the rough.

I can say this as I am currently blogging while surrounded by former homeless pets. Pepe (accent on that e) is passed out on the perch of my desk in his dog bed. He was a special case and a blog all himself. Scout is curled up by my feet and he hails from a shelter in Newton, KS. Orson who arrived at my home as a lost stray the day Brown vs Board of Education was dedicated. He's managed to crawl under my desk which is an interesting feat as he's 100lbs these days.

Then there is Thomas my orphaned foster kitten who is now over a year and half and oh by the way has a heart murmur. He's running around everyone and keeps trying to help me type. Rocco decided to put himself to bed and Greta is downstairs helping 007 paint. He doesn't sound happy about the extra assistance. Greta showed up one morning at the clinic smelling like trash. Nobody claimed her so I did and 007 gave her a big bath. Rocco was my birthday gift our first year of marriage and came from a local farmer. He's a rather independant type. There are a number of kitties down stairs in the living room passed out on my couch; Hawkeye, Klinger, Radar, and Merlin. Yep, it's a funny place to live.

Maybe the truth is I already live in a hotel for pets and they are MY FAMILY along with 007 of course!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No more excuses

Yea, I haven't posted since last year:( Pooh on me. It's been a rough few weeks in my neck of the woods. One heck of a roller coaster ride. Now I just don't know what my next move truly is but hey whoever really does. So here is hopefully a detailed up date on things and then I am really going to try and blog most every day as I think about it a lot but I just don't do it. Well... no more excuses!

House remodel update: 007 is currently painting the kitchen and bathroom walls with primer! The Sheetrock nightmare is over! No more dust. However, as if that wasn't awesome enough it has occurred to me that I already want to remodel our future bedroom. Since moving in we have been sleeping in the "guest bedroom/niece and nephews bedroom". Our bedroom just has stuff still in boxes in it. So, we really could remodel the room. Why? Because I am insane and well I want to get all this crap done. I don't want to paint walls I plan to rip out and I sure don't want to keep the walls as is. 007 is mildly annoyed with this "plan" of mine but admitted after a little arm twisting that he has been thinking about it too.

See we or rather him mostly has learned a ton as this process has evolved unfolded. He's got some mad skills now to add to his already mad painting skills. Add to that I can get this accomplished because I'm not really paying for labor or a contractor. So our current compromise, if I plan to proceed with this is: I, yes me has to gut the room by myself! Down to the studs. I have some anger issues that I need to work out and I think wielding a sledge hammer might just be the ticket. Maybe it will boost my confidence too!

Interview update: It went really well. Um I have an e-mail that I sent a friend that at some point when it doesn't sting so much I'll maybe post. It goes through the whole thing. It was at my State Vet School and I honestly thought I kicked serious butt. I really still to this moment think I did. Its just really hard to get in. I have a theory that it is my Science GPA that is holding me back but that is only speculation on my part. It could very well be my GRE scores, my age, the planets, my history, who the hell knows. I am not your "picture perfect" cookie cutter applicant that comes straight out of undergrad and matriculates perfectly into DVM school. Nope I am a 30'ish/change of career/found my calling type.

One would think that would make for a better applicant/student but to ADCOMS (admissions committees) I am a bit of a wild card in their eyes. How to change that view and make them see how serious I am.... well, I am still working on that one and this will detail my journey.

Mailboxes: So I am furious with mine. Yea, it is an inanimate object I get that. I am still royally pissed at mine! Yes, I will explain. Let me preface this story by saying I never have a good New Year's Eve. I don't know if it's the damn anticipating or what the hell it is but it just never works out. I either get sick, we pick a crappy party (bar) to go to, or we have different views of a good time with whatever group we decide to hang with. It always just goes flop at least since we've gotten "hitched". With this in mind we made no plans and just decide to go to dinner. Simple.

We picked my favorite restaurant a local Sushi bar (yep we have these in KS). The place was hoppen and we were happy for the owner as we've gotten to know him. Hey it is KS by the way. So we have a great meal and head home. I am already tired with a little too much Saki on the brain. So like a fool I tell 007 to stop at the mailbox so I can check it.

That's when the anger/sadness hit. I opened it and found a letter size envelope from "the school". I knew before I opened it what it was because I belong to an online forum with other pre-vet hopefuls others had received good news which had come in large envelopes. The one I had in my hand was the "bad news" kind. I was crushed and so I handed it to 007 to open as I just couldn't bare to read the words that ended my plans for 09. He read it and of course said he was so sorry. Yep, rejected outright. Very, very cold.

Now what? I have no idea to that question. The anger/sadness is still there just under the surface of ever day but I am digging myself back out. Slowly. It's hard to get crushed, again. Especially when I have worked for this for a long flippin time and I had such a good vibe/experience with my interview. I am currently working three jobs to pull this off. Now I still have those three jobs but feel defeated. Not a great combo.

For now I have decided that what is best is to try and up that Science GPA so I am repeating Chemistry II, Organic I, and Physics I this semester. My goal is A's but even that is laughable when I get bummed. My other goal is to figure out what "Plan B" is as I don't have one. I have gone all in on this new direction and I just can't picture an alternative. Probable not healthy but it's the truth. I guess growth and discovery are on the horizon for 2009.

Now that semi brings ya up to date! BTW our other home still hasn't sold. Yea, great!