Monday, April 06, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt at The Alaska Zoo

The zoo tried a new thing this year that turned out to be a great success. I have a feeling they’re going to be making it an annual event now!

We had an Easter Egg Hunt!

Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts we had to have it several weeks early. But I don’t think people minded much – the parking lot was crammed full of cars. Even the overflow parking lot was full.

It wasn’t your typical Easter Egg Hunt in that the kids didn’t pick up any eggs they found and place them in their baskets.

Instead, the zookeepers “hid” about 25 large plastic eggs around the zoothat had numbers on them. The kids would walk through the zoo just like normal, and whenever they “found” one they would wright down where it was next to the corresponding number on their game sheet.

We even had a “golden egg” that was hidden in a very special place.

We had prizes for the kids as they finished their game, with extra ones for the children who found the golden egg. I was lucky enough to work at the finish table, so I got to hand out the prizes and see the happy faces on all the people. It was just what I needed after a very bad week!

We had a raffle as well: the cutest stuffed bunny with a big pink bow and long curly whiskers. Tickets went for a dollar a piece or six for five dollars. I don’t have the final numbers yet (either for the raffle or for attendance) but I know that in just the two hours my fellow volunteer and I worked at it, we sold enough tickets to at least pay for the bunny. That means that all the rest of the tickets sold went right into our volunteer fund.

Typically we buy some sort of enrichment for the animals with our fund – or maybe even an animal for the petting zoo! Either way, people who buy raffle tickets are supporting the zoo.

And it’s fun!

Life Gets in the Way

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been… distracted, to say the least.

You know how they say bad things come in threes? Well, they don’t. They come in sixes and sevens… possibly even eights or nines.

But, rather than dwell on everything that’s going on in my life at the moment, which I have a feeling is getting very tiresome for my friends because that’s all I’ve been talking about lately, I’m going to just give a brief synopsis of everything.

Volcano: Mt. Redoubt still blowing, but thankfully the ash is being blown elsewhere. We got a light dusting a few days ago, but nothing at all compared to past explosions. There are some very cool pictures, though. If you’re interested, check out the Alaska Volcano Observatory’s website.

Glacier Valley Farm CSA: I get my second box on Wednesday. Just in time, too, because I just used the last of my first box. I made the best soup ever (but, then, I always say that) using a carrot-ginger base and adding in cauliflower, spinach, potato, carrots, onions, and cabbage. Now I have my lunches all made for a week with some left over for when my sister-in-law comes over for our craft date.

My Job: the big shocker of the month is that I got laid off. Again. I only just recently got off unemployment, and now I have to go back on it. My ex-boss said some pretty bad things to me, too. The odd thing about that is that I think he actually thought he was “helping” me. All he did was ensure that I would go spiraling into a fit of depression, thereby making it even worse. As I’ve said before: I hate being unemployed.

My Physical Therapy: I’ve had to cancel all the PT sessions due to lack of income and lack of insurance. The doctor was not very happy – he really wanted me to find a way to continue so that I wouldn’t loose what small gains we’d started to achieve. The real kicker is that now it’s a “pre-existing condition” so even if I do get insurance again, I’ll have to wait a year before being able to do anything about it. I just hope it doesn’t turn in to an emergency type situation.

My Africa Expedition: I’m still going. Even if I wanted to cancel out of it, I couldn’t. The plane ticket is bought, the expedition is paid for, the hotels are reserved… it’s a done deal. I still have a few things that need to be taken care of, like all the inoculations required, all the gear I need to have with me, and the babysitter here at home. I just hope I’m employed by then so I can relax and enjoy myself properly.

My Financial Status: I am not as prepared for unemployment as I was last time. All my money is tied up in the Africa expedition, so I have none left over for paying bills. My ex-employer did give me 2-weeks severance pay but that only covers a couple months of house payments – I still have all the bills and living expenses to deal with. And I’m not entirely sure I qualify for unemployment again since it hasn’t been even 3 months since I was last on it.

Possible Solution: I’m thinking about renting out a room in my house. This makes good financial sense, but I’m very hesitant. I’ve lived by myself for over 20 years – I don’t know if I can live with anybody now. Plus, I’d have to rearrange my entire house to accommodate somebody. I do have a few ideas to play with on that account – I can make it work if I decide to do it. And, the zoo has summer interns each year that typically need a place to stay. I’m just down the road from the zoo, so that would be perfect for them (they could even walk to work each day) and it would be fairly temporary for me.

My Cats: me and the girls are getting used to life without the Alien. We all still habitually look for him each time we pass by his room. But, I’ve taken his box and heating pad away, and cleaned out his potty. The room seems so empty now.