30 December 2010

The Year in Review: 2010 A.D.

(The first year when the 2000 era glasses could not be worn.)

January was a blur of trying to get the house finished, after Guy Spencer had emergency surgery.

Alana and I put up half of the ceiling and the bathroom marble by ourselves. Oi vey.

Alana and I and bunch of people from church and school had a sheetrock sanding/ceiling putting in/taping for painting day.

Alana, Hannah, Dani, and I primered and painted all the walls with Maylin’s help.

Daddy got out of rehab on January 12th, and we started getting things settled in the Palouse.

Less than a week later, Alana started having a bad headache that wouldn’t go away. It got worse and worse. The doctor said stress headache and then meningitis.

I drove to the westside by myself for the first time to see everyone and take a little break. First time seeing Phil in a very long time.

I googled Alana’s symptoms and was disturbed to find that they fit those for a brain tumor. So I made her make an appointment at Colfax Hospital.

On February 2nd Alana got MRIed and there was a large mass in the left frontal lobe of her brain. Taking it over, almost completely. That was the only time I cried...

On February 2nd, Alana was life flighted from the Pullman airport to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. I flew with her in the back of a tiny plane, and we got into Seattle at about midnight.

Much fuss, stress, and bother. SO MANY visitors (that was good). So many doctors trying to figure out what it was. We named it Bob.

On February 7th, Alana had brain surgery... 6 hours of brain surgery. That was a very, very bad day.

She recovered quickly, with no neural deficits. (Some massive black eyes though.) Praise Jesus.

We went to Grandma’s house for 5 days (2 days after surgery, they let Alana leave!?)

Stitches (etc.) came out on day 7, and we got the reports saying that it was part stage 1 brain tumor, and part stage 4 brain tumor. Alana has brain cancer.

In March Alana and I moved to Issaquah and she started chemo and radiation for 6 weeks.

We lived at Kelkari Condos, compliments of Lindy and Lynn Russell.

Brookie cut my hair into a faux hawk. Something to tell my kids :P

Alana and I took the ferry to Victoria B.C. and walked around for 2 days. Got to go to high tea at the Empress :)

Hannah, Alana, and I made a stop motion music video to Owl City’s ‘Hello Seattle’

March 30th Alana and I got two baby rats: Phoebe and Wilhelmina (my little curly rat).

April 6th I got my lip pierced. Also something to tell my kids.

April 9th Kiira, Becca, and I were part of a Glee Flash Mob in Seattle. So fun!

April 11th Colleen and I went to an Abney Park concert / Steampunk convention in Seattle. I was deaf for 2 days afterward, but it was totally worth it.

April 24th Alana, Nate, ZZ, Joe H., and I hiked up around Hurricane Ridge. Barefoot. In the snow. Except Nate, that is, he chickened out.

May 1st a bunch of Rockettes went to the Moscow Renaissance Fair and had some pretty amazing elephant ears.

May 8th Alana had to go to the ER for uncontrollable itching. So weird!

May 13th - May 21st was a whirlwind roadtrip in the jellybean with Dani, Hannah, and Alana down the Oregon coast, through the redwoods, through downtown San Francisco, a day in Disneyland, a visit to the Staley’s, two days in Las Vegas (Dani flew home from there), up past Zion, to Salt Lake City, through Twin Falls, a stop at Voodoo Doughnuts and Powells, and then back to Seattle.

May 25th tested out my new Osprey hiking backpack with a camping trip up past North Bend with Brian, Rachael, and Alana.

May 28th Beth and Kyle Ryan were married in Issaquah.

May 31st I moved to the Machen Ranch, Pearsall, Texas to bottle raise fawns for the summer. 120 fawns total. 71 fawns bottle raised.

Ended up learning how to medicate, bottle feed, tube feed, vaccinate, cut off antlers, wash bottles like a pro, and be a deer midwife. Also learned to love Tex-Mex. I wasn't a vegetarian this summer...

Made some amazing friends, including Barbara, Gary, Felicia, Jason, Justin, Amy, Hallie, and Madison.

Added a ton of birds to my life list (including Green Jays!), saw scorpions, tarantulas, wolf spiders, Texas longhorns, coyotes, The Alamo, country living at its finest, oh, and some amazing deer.

June 16th Barbara found 6 kittens, only about a month old, who’s mother had disappeared. Felicia and I (mostly me...) bottle raised them all. And I kept one to bring home with me. My dear Fletcher.

...I kind of fell in love with Texas actually.

June 7th Lauren and Justine Kinker were married. I wish I could have been there!

The bamboo flooring in Mom and Dad’s house was finally put in around mid June.

June 26th Felicia and I went up to Garner State Park, swam in the Frio River, and went to a country dance.

I shaved my legs. Weirdest sensation ever!

I flew home for a day to be a bridesmaid in Brooke and Phil Aasen’s wedding on July 2nd. Beautiful wedding :)

Mom, Dad, and Alana went to Michigan on the 4th of July.

Started making a quilt around August 20th. Finished said quilt on December 3rd. Hand quilted, and proud of it :)

August 30th, Alana’s blood counts were low, so she took a break from chemo and flew down to Texas to visit me for 5 days.

Alana and I went down to Corpus Christi and saw (and waded in) the Gulf of Mexico.

I got an article published in the Los Cazadores magazine. And I made an advertisement for the Machen’s that was published in an auction magazine.

October 1st I got to go to the International Knife Throwing competition at the Alamo. Darren and Terry Collins were competing.

After some sad goodbyes, Fletcher and I flew back to Washington on October 20th.

Chloe was visiting Alana and was there with both of us for a week. I discovered that I have a pretty cool cousin.

For Halloween I was a female gambel’s quail, Alana was the ultimate WSU fan, and Chloe was an irresponsible mother. Good times.

I went through my series of rabies pre-exposure vaccines in November. Blech!

November 7th Alana, Lee, and I hiked Squak Mountain. I was unreasonably sore afterward.

Speaking of Lee, he proposed to me, via text message, while drunk, 4 times this year. I love that boy :P

Alana and I went over to Palouse twice in November and Dad is doing well physically but not mentally. I miss my Daddy.

While in Palouse we had massive amounts of snow, went sledding, and I almost went off the road (thank you, black ice).

On November 20th Liz and Peter Boothman were married. A bunch of us caravaned to Yakima for the happy event.

November 29th I went on my first actual date.

December 1st Alana had a doctor’s appointment to mark 6 months of chemo, and it was reiterated that she may only have a few months to live. She’s going to continue chemo.

December 2nd... in all honesty, my 23rd birthday kind of sucked. Beth treated me to go see Tangled, and then she, Colleen, Kiira, Sarah, and Phil came over to build a tent in the living room, have pizza, and watch Serenity. I made a Totoro carrot cake. But all of this was done with an aura of depression hanging over head.

December 4th was the Cougar Alumni pseudo-Thanksgiving dinner at the condo. So many people, so much fun! So much flirting... met Phil’s girlfriend for the first time... interesting night.

December 5th, I packed up all my belongings and Fletcher and I moved back to Texas to start an apprenticeship at Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc.

December 7th I started my new job. I was more nervous starting this job than I have ever been about starting any job. But it started well. The people are amazing!

As it stands now I have taken care of raccoons, squirrels, opossums, African sulcata tortoises, red eared sliders, chickens, ducks, geese, mockingbird, doves, pigeons, blue jays, nighthawks, rabbits, parrots, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, eared grebes, coopers hawks, screech owls, roadrunners, skunks, bobcats, black headed vultures, and befriended a fennec fox.

2011 looks to be promising. Lord willing. With a STRONG emphasize on Lord willing.

29 December 2010


*This 'weekend' was a fun one, and a spontaneous one. I enjoyed that. Brandi, Kalley, and I couldn't figure out what to do, so we went to Goodwill in New Braunfels, Target and World Market in San Antonio, experience IHOP for the first time, and ended up seeing a movie.

*The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is worth the trip (from where ever you might be). It's set up like a theater, but it's also a restaurant and you can order food and drinks throughout the movie. Such a cool idea!

*The Voyage of the Dawn Treader made for a good movie, but it made a mess of the book. Sad day! Though both are wonderful in their own right, just don't try and compare them too much.

*One of my housemates (Lindsey) is as much of a neat freak as I am. Oh the joy :) We cleaned the trailer today, and it looks so much better.

*My housemate, Robin, doesn't shave her legs either. It's kind of crazy how well I fit in here...

*I bought a tea kettle yesterday. It's small and black and nothing special, but it beats the microwave by a mile. And next time I'm feeling rich, I'm totally going to order the giraffe tea kettle on Amazon. So cute!

*Speaking of cute, we have a fennec fox here at WRR who is an ex-pet, but still whines and wants his belly rubbed. Honestly, he is one of the cutest animals I've ever seen... and coming from me, that means quite a bit.

*My roommate Jennifer adopted a dog last week. He's super cute (a basenji mix), but remarkably needy and whiney! He feels the need to be close to you at all times, and is not satisfied sitting next to you, he must be sitting on you. Orion doesn't really live up to his name...

*Had an interesting conversation yesterday about cleaning up your friends on facebook. Apparently I am friends with someone because I'm his unicorn... or more specifically because "You are the girl I want, but know I don't deserve and the having of would ruin probably both of our years, and likely longer in your case." *sigh*

*Going outside in the pre-dawn light and hearing the wolves howling, the lions roaring, and the roosters crowing, and then coming inside to feed the birds, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, etc. makes me realize that I have a pretty darn cool job.

*I'm becoming a lotion addict. Washing your hands a few dozen times a day with dish soap will do that to you.

*I guess that's about it. Here's hoping I can go to Austin for New Years eve! Which reminds me, I need to post my year in review. It's so very long this year...

25 December 2010

Happy Christmas

5:00 Making eggs benedict for my roommate and me
(5:30ish Opening some of my Christmas presents)
6:00 Cleaning, feeding, weighing a persnickety little eared grebe
7:00 Force feeding an angry screech owl who I have named Mr. Cranky Pants
8:00 Getting run into and jumped over by a super stressed whitetail deer
9:00 Giving oral medication to a raccoon who really didn't want to take it
(9:20ish Yelling at an emu trying to eat the raccoon's food)
10:00 Cleaning the kennel of a very sick grey fox
11:00 Giving IV fluids and cleaning out a massive s
tomach wound on a very friendly cat
12:00 Rushing through lunch and finding my notes on whitetail deer medication
1:00 Cleaning the office and sweeping the dried mud off the walk ways around the clinic
2:00 Feeding an annoyed bobcat kitten
2:30 Checking to make sure the interns did their jobs properly
3:00 Wrangling a raccoon into a kennel so he can be released
3:30 Done with work, and heading home to call the family
5:00 Listening to Christmas music and thinking about making chili and cornbread

It's been one of my more unusual Christmas days, but it's been a joyful one (and a cold one! Yay!). I got to wear my pom pom hat and walked a
round humming Christmas carols all day :) And despite the fact that I'm far away from the familiar, it doesn't make the whole idea of Christmas any less convicting. If anything it makes it more incredible to me.

Thank you Jesus, thank you so very much. I love you, and Happy Birthday :)

21 December 2010

A good day

It's 3 days until Christmas, 10 days until 2011, and somewhere around 349 days until I get to see most of you again.

I've made friends much more quickly than I expected to. So far, I love this place.

Today I got to start my 'official' apprentice training, and I had a great time. There were some sad moments today (we had to euthanize 4 super sick raccoons, and a baby squirrel died), but there were also some good moments too. Three young cottontails were released on property. I learned how to give sub-q fluids to a pigeon. Crazy thin skin! I was taught how to give IM injections to African sulcata tortoises. There are 10 or so giant sulcatas here, all living in a large, warm, hay filled room, and all have a diameter of at least 2 or 3 feet. They can be quite friendly (following you around, pushing you around, sniffing your shoes and pant legs) until you try to give them injections. They're faster and stronger than they look! I also got to give sub-q fluids to a young, dehydrated whitetail doe. She took it like a champ, even though Lindsey and I had to follow her around with the bag of fluids so the needle wouldn't come out. Last task of the day was to move our bobcat kitten outside to a day cage. I think he hated us all for putting him in a crate, but here's hoping he forgave us when he discovered his new cage, all decked out with bamboo, branches, hay, and blankets. So yes, good day :)

Speaking of 3 days until Christmas... I want a Christmas tree! Maybe I should just break down and buy a little one. And decorate it with popcorn, foil, and paper. And hope the cats don't eat it.

08 December 2010

It is what it is

Well, I'm back in Texas, and I've been here for almost 4 days now.

The people seem quite nice already. We had a staff party last night and ended up watching the Muppet Christmas Carol and Dr. Horrible. Promising.

There are black-headed vultures that just wander the WRR grounds, looking for scraps. Which means they end up inside the Nutrition Center, just hopping around and begging. Pretty darn cute :)

I am destined to become a crazy animal lady. Good evidence tonight involved me laying in bed, snuggling with 2 purring cats.

I'm becoming apathetic about a lot of things. Not good! I'm only 23 for pete's sake.

I've discovered that when you leave all the people you care about, knowing that it will be for an entire year, it makes you miss them 10x more than you expected to.

Turns out, I can be a shameless flirt when I'm around Lee... and it's fun! Maybe not the best idea in the world, but I don't regret it. Plus, he gives phenomenal hugs.

Growing up in a Christian home, with only Christian friends was great, but it makes me sad that it wasn't until recently that I realized just how heartbreaking it is to love someone who does not love Jesus.

I suck at coming up with ideas of what to cook for dinner. Cooking for one is not easy!

Using my quilt is quite satisfying, and it's nice and warm :)

Eye-shine is crazy cool. And also a little bit creepy at night when being stalked by a ninja cat.

I'm so very thankful for Tillamook cheese.

Christmas music rocks my socks. Makes me think that I should maybe send out Christmas cards or something.

I'm back to making lists again, surprise surprise.