02 January 2013

2012 Review

This was my year, not too much thoughtful contemplation, but it is what it is. This year involved massive amounts of growing and stretching, and still deciding if that was a good thing.

The year 2012 began when I moved in to 402 N. Barrett Lane, Newark, DE with Laura Lariviere, Oil Spill Coordinator at Tri-State Bird Rescue.

I started work on January 4th, and in-between the 1st and the 4th was a mad dash around the area (without internet to guide the way, ugh!) trying to find furniture, groceries, and how to get to work.

Ikea was a lifesaver this year.

Alana stayed for 2 weeks getting me settled, etc. And we got to go see Janelle at UPenn. I think that was the first time I’d seen her in... I don’t even know how long.

And then, well, I worked. I worked a lot. I’m pretty sure my brain almost exploded from how much I had to learn and how fast.

Mid-January I went down to Prime Hook to see Snow Geese for the first time. So many geese!!

Also drove to Baltimore and explored a bit the week after that.

February 2nd Lee officially joined the army. And I’ve been slowly losing him ever since. Darn army.

At the beginning of February I started work on my second serious quilt. Still working on it...

All during February and into March and April there was a diesel oil spill in New Jersey. I learned how to wash geese and turtles during that spill.

February 23rd Lee sent me a “best gal pal” ring after joking for a few weeks about how his “wife” didn’t have a ring but his “fiance” did. Turns out it is solid white gold... I’ll never understand that boy, but it was sweet of him.

March 5th I drove to South St. in Philadelphia and bought myself a new tattoo. A baby quail on my left shoulder with the verse Luke 12:32.

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, on my way home from work I accidentally rear-ended the car in front of me and smashed in the front of my dear Totoro. Over the next couple weeks I wrestled with Progressive (though they were very helpful) and with trying to get to work without a car. Ugh.

March 7th I invested in a 2004 Mazda3 that has seen better days. Though with insurance money I only had to pay $500 out of pocket. Named him Apollo.

I met Sam in March, Brie in April. Good people :)

Mid-April Laura and I moved to 1211 Nottingham Road, Newark, DE 19711. Sooo much better than an apartment complex. Though honestly our landlord is a little crazy and the house isn’t built too terribly well, but it’s nice.

April 23rd I got a pretty white beta and named him Loki :)

We got our first ducklings in April and our first songbird babies in May

At the beginning of May I fostered a little cooter for a couple weeks until she got adopted. I named her Beatrice. Around about the same time Laura started fostering Turtle (aka Olivia) and she is still with us, with her goldfish and minnow worshipers in her 30 gallon tank in the living room.

In late May we started getting crazy amounts of baby English Sparrows and Starlings. And one day I just couldn’t handle it, and saved one. An old relief supervisor and I co-raised Finnegan over the course of May, June, and early July.

In mid-June I started building an aviary for Finny Fin Fin, and it took me over a month to finish, but darnit, it turned out pretty well for not having a chopsaw!

June 10th I met up with Jennifer Burghoffer in D.C. and saw the Smithsonians, White House, Washington Monument, etc. It was pretty cool to see everything in person finally.

June 30th I went to BroNYcon in Seacacus, NJ. Pretty crazy cool (but mostly just crazy). At one point we had to be evacuated because of an electrical fire in the Mane Hall. So we all waited outside, had a few sing-a-longs, you know, the normal stuff that 20 and 30 somethings do :)

July 7th, Finnegan moved in full time. Such an adorable handful and a half!

July 8th, discovered Milburn Orchards and picked 12lbs of blueberries. A good discovery!

Made a lot of cupcakes this year, and canned peaches on my own for the first time.

Summer was mass chaos. I didn’t think anything could compare to WRR, but learning how to supervise, plus being in charge, plus dealing with all the babies was even harder.

Early August we got a black-necked stilt from Poplar Island in the Chesapeake Bay and he started a 3 month long botulism outbreak that brought in 187 birds. Oh buddy.

August 21st I went up to Philly and met Phil (he was on a business trip) and we went and walked around all the historic sites in downtown Philadelphia. Got to meet the liberty bell!

August 22nd Brie and I took her two kayaks down to Assateague State Park and went kayaking, bird watching, and pony searching. AMAZING day, ate lunch on a little secluded beach, a hundred yards or so away from a herd of Chincoteague ponies. Saw a ton of life listers. Saw a pony that looked just like Misty. And put my toes in the Atlantic for the first time.

Mid-September I had to say goodbye to Finnegan because I was neglecting him with all my work and because Laura didn’t like him in the house :( I gave him to Phung Luu, bird trainer extraordinaire, where he’s hanging out, being spoiled until he and Jackie can find a good owner for him.

September 16-18th I took a mini-vacation up through New England
16th - Drove through New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusets. Spent the afternoon exploring Boston. Spent the night on the Liberty Clipper in the Boston harbor. Cramped but cool! 
        17th - Did some more exploring in Boston, went to the Boston Public Garden, walked right past Julia Stiles on a film set! Saw the make way for ducklings statues.Then drove up through New Hampshire into Maine. Explored Portland and spent the night at a little farmette in the middle of nowhere. Met some super nice people (woot woot Airbnb.com!). 
       18th - Drove up to the LL Bean headquarters... it has it’s own zip code! Then drove all the way home from Maine to Delaware. In the midst of a tornado watch and a massive storm in NY and on the NJ turnpike...

Early October I started going to The Journey: Real Church for Real People. Met some pretty darn amazing people.

October 20th Alana came to visit me :) It was going to be 2 weeks, but then it turned into 3 weeks thanks to a hurricane...

October 21st and 22nd Alana and I took the Greyhound up to New York City and saw the sights. Did a hell of a lot of walking, fell in love with Central Park, saw the Statue of Liberty, explored Ellis Island, wandered around Time Square in awe. Spent the night at a lady’s house in Brooklyn, then explored some more the next day. Kinda fell in love with NYC actually. Shocking, I know.

October 29th and 30th were mass chaos on the east coast as Hurricane Sandy made landfall in NJ/DE and trashed the Jersey Shore and NYC. Tri-State was out of power for 24 hours, but made it through otherwise unscathed. First time I’ve ever experienced a driving ban.

Kinda missed Halloween in the midst of the madness... too bad, I had a costume and everything.

And by unscathed I mean the property was undamaged, but after 3 storm-caused oil spills, 3 shearwaters, 2 gannets, 3 scoters, a red-billed tropicbird, and a purple gallinule wandering around a McDonald’s parking lot, we were all pretty darn exhausted.

November 6th Barack Obama was re-elected in the 57th Presidential election. And the way I found out was by laying out newspapers for birds to poop on, and seeing OBAMA 2012 on the front page. It’s a funny world we live in.

November 10th was the annual Benefit for the Birds Gala. Met a lot of “famous” people (famous in the animal world, that is). Got dressed up all fancy. 

November 18th invested in a papasan chair. Yes, that deserves it’s own entry. It is just that comfortable.

November 22nd was Thanksgiving, made pumpkin and apple pies and went over to the Howey household for dinner. Super crazy family, but really fun :)

December 2nd I made it to a quarter century... pretty sure I’m still 17 though. Pretty boring day actually. Made myself a vegan carrot cake. Went over to Eric’s house and a bunch of us had a post-Thanksgiving/Birthday party, ate good food and watched Safe. Good people, and a decent time. Though I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever have a really good birthday again.

December 6th Laura and I went out and bought our Christmas tree (from a part time Elvis impersonator :) and a super friendly cat and some chickens). Fletcher was super stoked, since it was his first real full sized Christmas tree.

December 8th went to NYC to see the Christmas decorations, etc. with Jana, Meg, Estel, Renee, Shawn, Kaitlyn, and her two friends Ben and Jeff. Good times :D

December 10th Visited Finnegan and played with the other birds with Jackie. My little boy is so handsome now :S I miss him...

December 23rd - 26th I flew to Michigan for Christmas. First time we’d all been together since... I don’t even know when. Finally got to meet Don, and all 5 cousins got to squeeze onto the couch for lots and lots of pictures. So glad I got to see them all :)

New Years Eve 2012 I went to Firestone Roasting House in Wilmington for their NYE party. Went with Meg, Shawn, and a few of Shawn’s friends. So many drunk people, so much dancing, and after a whiskey sour, rum and coke, and champagne, I did some dancing too, and with a cute boy. Crazy but surprisingly fun. There was also wonderful pizza. And drunk people are kind of hilarious. Favorite quote of the night: “She rescues underprivileged birds!” Good way to ring in 2013 :)

So yeah, 2012, the year I got overwhelmed by birds, fell in love with birds all over again, discovered Doctor Who, started going to a fantastic church, went through the eye of a hurricane, met 10 states I’d never met before, met soooo many new people (I can’t even remember names anymore), and kinda sorta have a fashion sense now thanks to my roommate. God was good to me this year in so many ways, I wish I had been more grateful and less depressed. I just hope I can pay people back in the coming year.