Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Don't Get It

The teacher at the Spanish emersion school told me that I needed to purchase a Spanish-English dictionary for the class I’m taking, and recommended the Oxford Dictionary as being her personal favorite. I went on-line and ordered one thru using the $25.00 gift card I’d earned thru my credit card.

It’s advertized as “a pocket dictionary” so you can imagine my surprise when I received it to find that it’s roughly the size of my StarTrek Lunch Pail, and much heavier! This thing weighs more than my two cats combined, I’m thinking.

Now really = how can you possibly call this a Pocket Dictinary?

And yes, I have a StarTrek Lunch Pail.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back Again!

I know, I know… it’s been over a month since my last update here. I’m sure you all have been just dying to know what’s been going on in my life! So I’ll give you the brief “Reader’s Digest” condensed version:

My Job: work is going quite well. I am busy enough to fill 40 hours a week, and have even managed to go out on a few site visits. The people I work with are all very nice, and I am fitting in easily enough. The dread of getting laid off again is fading, although I do still have nightmares about that. The office is located near enough to my house that it only takes about 10 minutes to get too and from work, so my commute time is very manageable. I may not be riding my bike to work any more, but I can still feel good about it at least.

The Zoo: my volunteering activities seem to be dwindling off here. I do still love the zoo, but seem to be loosing interest in spending so much time there. I may not go back to being a tour guide this next summer even. We’ll see how I feel once it gets closer to that season. For now, I will still do the occasional special event (like ZooBoo and Christmas for the Animals) just to keep my toes in the door. On a slightly un-related topic, two of my good friends no longer work at the zoo: Bryan, the maintenance man, now lives in the valley and has his own Handyman business out there – and Katie, the education director, will be moving out to Fairbanks soon. I definitely wish both of them well in their new endeavors, but my overall opinion of the zoo is lessened by their absence.

Earthwatch: my travel plans are proceeding right on schedule. I made a calendar on Excel with all the important dates noted to ensure that I get everything done when it needs to be done. The most recent tasks are: getting my travel arrangements made with the airlines and getting an appointment with the doctor to sign off on the paperwork. Both are not exactly my favorite thing in the world to do – but both are extremely necessary, as the trip will not happen without them. I believe I have all the gear I need, and will be looking at my luggage soon to determine the best way to get it all packed and portable. I will also have to check on my inoculations to make sure everything is up-to-date (different doctor) and get a prescription for the malaria pills.

Research: that’s the fun part of planning an expedition! I am reading all the books I can find on the Amazon & Peru (I just finished “Lost in the Jungle” by Yoshi Ghinsberg and am in the middle of “Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice” by Mark J. Plotkin, Ph.D) and have even signed up for Spanish lessons (my third class is tomorrow). Heck, I even got myself two coloring books on the rainforest – along with a set of 45 color pencils! I plan to take them with me to while away the evenings on board the boat.

Talkeetna: Rob and I have spent quite a few weekends out at the property, getting it ready for winter. We got 8 nice big windows from one of Mother’s neighbors (he got new ones for his house and gave us the old ones) so had to haul them out there. Just this last weekend we worked on the driveway, chopped down a few trees that were in danger of falling, cut firewood and stacked it, picked up a whole plastic grocery bag full of spent nails out of the burn pile, painted the outhouse & tool chest, and got tarps secured over the windows for the winter.

My House: the craft room still is not entirely done, but I am using it anyway. There’s just one tiny piece of trim left to be installed, the window shades need to go up, and the chairs need to be fixed. If I can just get him up there, it would only take him an hour or so… but he’s been busy down in the garage building shelves and working on his boat. I also need a bit of work done out in the back yard – but that’s a “want” not really a “need” so I’m not stressing over that too much. Unfortunately for me (but YAY for him) he’s trying to buy a house – if he does that, I won’t be able to “borrow” him as much since he will have tons of stuff to do at his own place.

The Girls: Thing had her 10th birthday this month, with Djuna following behind her by one year. I love my girls very much, and am so grateful they live with me! June-Bug is feeling well enough that she is actually running away from me when I try to give her the fluids each week. She still needs them, though – so I try to make it as non-stressful as I can. She is a trouper and forgives me each time, thankfully. She may not for give me soon, however – I am actually thinking about taking in two boys for a couple months of babysitting. Their human has to leave, and is desperately trying to find a place for them. I don’t know for sure if and/or when it will happen – but it would mean earning some extra pocket money for my trip, so it might actually be worth it. We’ll see…