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Whirlwind of big events and programs this week, and tomorrow I head off to Texas for a weeklong conference - whoosh! *flops* I...think I'm mostly ready? Today I set up groundhog and two baby opossums at work, need to write down care instructions for staff in the morning. I set up everything for mom so she can take care of the two raccoons, two opossums in the basement, three cats, bunny rabbit, and fish still at home, and she came over Thursday so I could show her everything. Packed my three non-stained, no holes in the knees outfits, looked up the weather (rainjacket possibly will come in handy, 70's and 80's, which, since it's been in the upper 60's all week in Indiana, isn't too big of a switch, actually. I did pack shorts, sandals, a hat, and sunscreen).

I haven't flown on a commercial flight for at least ten years (hard to get away with the wildlife!), any tips? I'm not planning on carrying on any liquids or my Swiss Army knife, or anything like that ^_~
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Flu shot turned out to be good timing - one staff down with what she calls "sickness of the decade"; hopefully whatever bug it is it's included in this year's vaccine, seems to be going around. Which also meant I got to wrangle a group of 60 first graders all by myself this morning - usually we split them into classes of 30ish and rotate them through program topics in smaller groups. The kids were really well-behaved, and the parents jumped right in and helped with the hands on stuff, so it all worked out, but it made for a hectic day trying to get everything set up for two programs instead of one - ready to flop!

Mailed in my absentee ballot today - w00t! Ok, everyone can go home now, show's over, you may cease and desist with the political ads *waves hand airily* Currently watching "Addams Family Values" to avoid the constant barrage - I wonder how many other folks have bailed from mainstream TV. I was hoping to do at least a little NaNo-ing this year, but it looks like the work conference is a go (hence the absentee ballot),'s a cool conference, and I'm excited about it, but it also makes for a non-stop marathon of busy times until mid-November. "Slow season" seems to get more and more mythical every year, alas!

Other things this week: raccoon babies moved to outdoor pen, need to commence with the cleaning of their old crate and carrier, groundhog is holding steady as far as I can tell, acquired a new opossum - young adult, hit by a car, didn't look good the first several days but she's now doing much better - will pretty definitely survive, now just waiting to see if she'll be releasable. Niecelet's newest thing is "juggling", which consists of holding two balls, waving them up and down, and then throwing them. Much fun :D
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Got my flu shot at the grocery after work yesterday, no co-pay (thanks, Obamacare!). Going to a conference for work in early November, so figured it would be a good idea to reduce the chances of picking up at least one type of crud. I scheduled it for when I had two days off in a row, because I usually get a mild immune reaction, knew I'd be feeling pretty blah for a day or so, but this time it hit within a few hours, achy and tired (I was baby sitting niecelet and she kept insisting that I was supposed to lie down on the living room floor and brought me a pillow, lol - I must have looked pretty wiped out! Although the 125 kids I had in programs earlier that day might have also had something to do with it...). I was actually shivering with chills when I went to bed, but by morning was fine, not even a sore arm! Which was good, because I had to go in to work anyway to let our bees out of the observation hive (I'd blocked them in while the building was being repainted, so they wouldn't sting the painters) and ended up getting stuck at work for four hours with various sorts of craziness. Hopefully tomorrow's day off will be an actual day off! :D

Other things accomplished today: two youngest opossums moved to larger housing, deep cleaned big baby raccoon crate, chased two baby raccoons around house when they escaped as I was trying to put them back in, took out groundhog for some fresh air, returned spiders and spider props to work from program Thursday, caught four Pokemon, ate a salad.
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I'm doing an Intro to Geology program for 60 third graders tomorrow. Interesting thing is, I never actually took geology - just absorbed a fair bit over the years, but as far as actual organized study...not so much! Our naturalist who usually taught all of the (rarely requested - we mostly focus on plants and wildlife) geology classes took a new job, so I've spent the weekend brushing up. Doesn't exactly help that a lot of the rock samples and props for the program are not labeled - is it a shale or a slate? Granite or gneiss? *stares a big pile of rocks* *pokes doubtfully* We've got a lot of cool fossils, though, so if all else fails I'll pull out the coprolites, lol. Have been re-reading mmouse's awesome and delightful Beachcomber/Perceptor geology pun fics I Bless the Rains and Igneous is Bliss in preparation - wish me luck! :D


Sep. 7th, 2016 08:42 pm
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Happy Birthday to me! :D I'm hoping 45 is easier to remember - I had a heck of a time remembering that I was 44 all year, and 43 was even worse.

Busy day today, with three programs at work and then a sick groundhog got dropped off, but boss and co-workers still managed to squeeze in cake - they're so awesome ^_^ Mom made me a cake on Labor Day, when I had the day off. She was watching niecelet, so we hung out and played and then went to Goodwill, where I got five pairs of pants for work (three of which, by some miracle, are the right length and don't need to have the cuffs rolled up, score!) Niecelet got a duck pillow and some small buckets and a cute little watering can, and I got a hairy Halloween spider for me, but it may end up being a present for niecelet in a few weeks for her 2nd birthday, because she kept trying to run off with it, lol.

Spent most of the rest of this evening getting sick groundhog set up - she walks in circles and loses her balance and falls over, pretty skinny, a bit of the runs, not sure what's up with her. She's eating great, which is a good sign. Has some ticks, so I just spent a bunch of $ to get the fancy topical stuff to treat those, since she's not cooperative enough/I'm not brave enough to pick them off by hand - groundhogs can be tough customers! She's all zonked out now in her crate, looking very cute.

Two raccoon babies are getting bigger and doing better - they may or may not have ringworm (lesions and losing hair on feet and ears, vet didn't mention ringworm as a possibility and gave antibiotics to treat, but another rehabber raised the possibility on our Facebook group. Not sure if ringworm's that...symmetrical though?) I've been trying to get another rehabber to take them, but...crickets. No one wants the chance of ringworm, the cowards! XD

Oh yes, and my other birthday present from mom - a new garage door opener, since my original one gave out and wasn't worthwhile to repair since it was 13 years old. A very substantial present - garage door openers aren't cheap! But garage is now all neat and organized, nice new bright lighting, and nice to have an opener that works without pressing the button six times - have been nursing the old one along for nearly a year.
playswithworms: (First Aid)
The local turtle rehabber is on vacation, so in the last few weeks I've suddenly acquired several turtle rescues!  Check 'em out:
Two box turtles that were left in an outdoor pen behind by a homeowner who moved away.  The new owner didn't discover them until she cleared some bushes and found them in a chicken wire cage, no water, who knows how long they had been there.  She'd been taking care of them for a few weeks and doing a good job of it, too - they were both in pretty good shape when she got them to me.  It's illegal to keep box turtles or collect them from the wild in Indiana, but I have some on educational permits and these gals (and all the other turtles) are on my rehab permit right now.  Will have to check and see if they can go back into the wild (since they have a homing instinct, it's tricky to release them if you don't know where they originally came from) or if they'll have to stay in captivity.

Another box and some snappies )
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Whew, some long days this week - just coming up for air here! One of the higher up managers is watching the nature center today so I can have a day off; she was super nervous about handling weird nature center stuff - this week we've had people show up with every thing from a baby coyote to a snapping turtle hit by a car to a gentleman recovering from brain trauma and injuries determined to do a 2 mile hike around the lake against the advice of his wife who...just left him and went hiking on her own? And then reported him missing right at closing time, so we called for back up and I hiked one way and the other naturalist hiked the other way around the trail and ended up finding him before the police arrived - still hiking, he'd made it all the way around the lake on his own. So anyway! Stuff like that, just a normal day at the park. I'm sure she'll be just fine...>_>

Today's plan:
Shower - it's been a few days, nice that I'm not as oily as I was even five years ago, wouldn't have been able to get away with this then, but still. There are limits.
Mow grass - if you don't hear from me for a few days it's because I'm lost in my lawn-jungle
Feed and clean all the babies - four raccoons now. They're traps! Adorable adorable traps!
Figure out how hit-by-car snapping turtle is doing and get her set up. Luckily she's a smallish one still, shell is cracked slightly but doesn't seem too badly damaged, and she's scritching around in the tub trying to get out so that's a good sign. Snappers are tough!
Transplant milkweed seedlings into pots for the garden tour at the park next week
Set up baby red squirrel in outdoor enclosure - finally caught him; he's been at large in my bedroom for a week (stuck him in a nice big crate. A little too big - he must have squeezed out through the holes in the wire door somehow!)
Figure out what's going on with my credit card - got a fraud alert text from the bank at 6am this morning. No, I haven't purchased anything from Spotify this morning, and there were two more charges also from early this morning I didn't recognize, one for $92 for some sort of "electronic services." They put a hold on my card UPDATE: just got off the phone with the card company, and yep, 15 more transactions attempted, all this morning. They've cancelled that card and are sending me a new one, and I'm not liable for the charges today. Good catch credit card company! Sheesh.

Here, have a meme from tumblr:

WIP Game Rules: Go to page 7 of your WIP, count down 7 lines, share 7 sentences

Cheating a little bit here because I don’t even have seven complete pages of WIP, just a bunch of scattered, fragmented bits, but here’s a fairly coherent section:

First Aid straightened long before Ratchet judged him recovered and began making his way down the corridor, staggering somewhat. He was wavering between tranquilizers or throwing Aid over his shoulder and just hauling him to wherever he was so determined to go, when a shining yellow figure appeared suddenly at the adjoining corridor, not even breaking stride as he scooped First Aid up with ease. First Aid slumped gratefully over the broad yellow shoulder as Ratchet gave the red twin who’d been following close behind an incredulous glance.

“Someone’s outside and we have to save them?” Sideswipe asked Ratchet cheerfully.

Ratchet’s expression went from incredulous to jaw-drop. “Not you too?” Dear Primus, it was an epidemic.
playswithworms: (First Aid)
Amazing windy day today! Gusts of 60 mph, steady gales of 30 mph or so. I think an F1 tornado starts at 75mph or something like that. I was at work, and a big tree came down and blocked the driveway to my nature center, so I had about 20 people trapped in the parking lot for half an hour, until maintenance got there with a chainsaw. Luckily no one at the park got hurt or got their car squashed! It's kind of scary to see 80-year-old oak tree trunks swaying around - those big trees generally don't move.

Staff baby #1 arrived two weeks early (healthy and adorable, mom and baby doing great :D), which is why I was working today. And staff took a new job, which means he won't be coming back from paternity leave when staff baby #2 arrives in mid-May, which is how we were originally planning things. Hopefully we'll get his position filled by then, but going by past experience in how long these things take, I'm not counting on it. Also, staff at our partner nature center who was going to help out took a new job too that starts next week (trail guide in Wyoming, can't pass that up!), so now they're rather desperately short-staffed as well going into the busiest season of the year. Might be an interesting spring! Somehow it always works out. What's the worst that could happen? Everything's gonna be fiiiiiine *is totally not hyperventilating*

In sadder news, Redfish finally died a couple weeks ago, and was incorporated into my spring wildflower garden. I cleaned out the tank and let it percolate a few days, and got a new betta - another red boy. They didn't have simple veil tails, so he's got a little more floof to his fins, so much so that I think he has trouble swimming, although part of it might be he just didn't know how, after living in a bitty bowl for so long. Spent the first week hanging out in the floating log 90% of the time, but in the last few days he's been venturing out and exploring a little more, seems to be getting better at navigating. I think Legolas-fish took awhile to get the hang of things too.
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This is the first public program i've done in about three or four years - no staff the last two years, and I was just to overwhelmed to even plan it, and then I think the weather failed to cooperate the year or two before that. Near perfect weather tonight, though - clear skies and unseasonably cool summer temps - 60's and 70's F. This is also the first year I've utilized social media for advertising, and my post got shared 57 times (so far). Since it's drop in, I could end up with a pretty big crowd. Hope I made enough handouts, eep! Wish me luck...
playswithworms: (First Aid)
Whew, marathon week last week - not only our daycamp, but a second daycamp we do jointly with a museum, plus the bumper crop of wildlife this year.  My schedule was thus:
5:30am - feed formula to 7 baby bunnies (which takes about 40 minutes), feed 1 mama opossum with head trauma (doing better but still needs hand feeding), feed 1 raccoon baby still not weaned, go out and gather dandelions and clover for baby bunnies to nibble, feed three baby opossums (drinking from a dish), feed me, pack lunch, fail to shower
7am - leave for work
7:40am - open nature center for before care staff from museum, kids start getting dropped off at 8am, run around and do nature center stuff, get ready for camp activities for the day
9am - 3pm daycamp daycamp daycamp daycamp, and also three more baby opossums dropped off.  Maybe lunch if lucky.
3pm-5:30pm run around cleaning up, answer emails & phone calls, prepare for next day of camp.
6:30pm-7:30pm eat supper and SIT.  Sitting is awesome.
7:30pm-11pm  - feed 7 baby bunnies, feed Bunnicula the rescued bunny and let her out for hoparound time, feed mama opossum and check her babies, feed and clean all 5 baby raccoons, give the little guy his bottle, feed and clean all 10 outside opossums, feed four inside baby opossums, give kitties some love and attention and foods, collect dandelions and clover for all the bunnies, corral Bunnicula back in her pen and clean up any deposits on the carpet, check to make sure no one's been forgotten, BED.  Bed is awesome.

And then, straight into working Saturday instead of my usual Sunday, so that was a looong day, not much accomplished although I did get the July calendar updated and up on the park website, and managed to nod and smile at visitors and tell them pleasantly to please not tap on the beehive and the garter snake tank and to not open up the Pepsi machine out in front which had gotten broken into the night before and was sitting there with the door hanging half open and looking rather sad.  My patience with the foibles of humanity, I could tell it was running a little low, lol, but luckily it was not tested too severely.

So, survived that!  And now two, count 'em, TWO days off in a row!  \o/ I have showered AND eaten breakfast!  Moved all baby raccoons outside this morning, cleaning and de-raccooning of the living room shall commence momentarily (they were in a big crate, but somehow the bits, they get everywhere.  Raccoons are champions of messy!). Bunny babies are now weaned, as of this morning, so that saves me a bunch of time, too.  (Check out this bunny nibble action! Only three days ago they really had no idea what to do with the green stuff: )

And check out this awesome news:  Philae woke up!
Cute yawning Philae:
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Ended up with two more raccoon babies - these were in the backyard of a friend of my sis-in-law, dogs had killed a third baby, and when I checked them out the other two were clearly in bad shape hadn't been with mom for awhile. Tough customers though! Very growly and bitey - have to use gloves when I handle them, although they've learned very quickly good stuff comes out of the bottle. Not that I have time/energy/money for two more raccoons, but in one way it was a good thing: tried putting little runt boy with the two bigger babies last week, and he was getting pretty overwhelmed and freaked out so I pulled him back out, but the two new kids are right around his size and they buddied right up!

Raccoons learning to do raccoon things )

Crazy busy couple of weeks coming up, as usual, with summer daycamps starting and year round schools still going and calling for field trips, and wildlife and visitors and gardening and lawn mowing, but heading into this year only doing two jobs instead of four (we have a daycamp director and all our counselors present and accounted for, yay!), so it's a stressful time of year, but not to the crushing stress levels of last year thank goodness.

I kinda want to see Mad Max now, having seen all the bits about it on tumblr, but then...a two hour action car chase explosion movie @_@ Apparently the reviews of this silver food spray on Amazon are all inspired by Mad Max - I don't have a frame of reference, but they still cracked me up anyway. I love it when Amazon reviews get hijacked in the cause of Geeky Silliness and/or Great Purpose.

Wilton Silver Color Mist
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First baby opossums of the year have arrived - they'd been away from their mom for two days, and so weren't in the best shape (there were six originally and now I'm down to four), but the survivors are doing great now, nice and squirmy. Fur and eyes starting to open, so now that they're stable their chances are pretty good.

Still have bunny rabbit - no luck getting anyone to adopt, and all the rescues are full due to recent hoarding cases and pet store confiscations. She probably needs to be spayed (unspayed rabbits are prone to uterine cancer), which normally runs $200-$300, but hopefully the exotic vet will be willing to give me the rescue rate of $50, and I'd also like to get her checked over and just double check I'm doing everything right - I read up on bunny care, but this is the first domestic rabbit I've had more than a few days. Gandalf remains mostly offended by this rabbit shoving him around (the other two cats remain horrified and run away), but the other day I had them both snuggled against my legs with Gan licking the bunny's ears - hee! She stays in a puppy pen in the kitchen during the day, but gets hoparound time in the evening - I've walled off a corridor through the living room and into the spare bedroom where there are no electrical cords to nibble. Leaves some poops here and there, occasional small spot of pee, so not perfect on the potty training (spaying is supposed to help with that, too, by making them less territorial, although since she's already gotten in the habit and gone outside her box it might not work). At least it's pretty easy to clean up.

Navigating a difficult situation at work - one of my staff had a tragic personal loss, and my sense was that she really wanted to keep her work life separate from it, but other staff were pulling at the bit wanting to Make Sure She Was OK (she hadn't given details, just that she'd be off work for awhile, but thanks to Facebook tags we now know the details. Thanks, Facebook >_>) and OFFER CONDOLENCES and they really were concerned and worried and we're a close, small staff, but I was inwardly cringing because my instincts were all going "ack, no, she's giving off massive 'give me space and privacy' vibes right now." So, I've been using my words and communicating with her via email and passing on to staff how best to respect her wishes and for our help to hopefully be more helpful than burdensome (I can already feel myself trending towards Inappropriately Cheerful, but trying to accept that there's really no perfect way to handle things, and all we can do is our best to be honest and kind).

On a different note, had an awesome dream last night that I was touring the REAL Hogwarts, not the one they used in the movie. All I remember now is that the staircases were smaller than they were in the movies and that I was trying to take selfies so I could post it on LJ, and I woke up ridiculously happy that I'd actually gotten to see it! XD Alas, I have no selfies of me in dream-REAL!Hogwarts to show you - I will try to put up some critter and flower pics later though.
playswithworms: (First Aid)
Things sure are definitely not!boring at work - not sure if I'm going to end up being commended, reprimanded, or both! As my most excellent immediate supervisor says, if you're not in trouble, you're not doing your job, lol. Between long work days and critter care when I get home, I haven't had much chance for niece-cuddling - hoping to remedy that this weekend a bit :)

Squirrel and opossum babies are getting big, Jazz-the-skunk is hanging in there. She's still not using her back leg but at least she's eating again. Vet is finally convinced that her difficulties are not a slipped disc or mechanical injury, but more neurological - possibly a long-standing protozoal infection like toxoplasmosis, which can cause encephalitis-type symptoms (and would explain why she was initially blind and deaf as a baby but got her hearing back). She's on two antibiotics - amoxicillin, which she loves, and clindamycin which she drools and shakes her head and refuses to swallow, apparently it's gruesome stuff. I've been spending a lot of time mixing it with various substances to try to get her to take it the last few days - the winner might be peanut butter/maple syrup/puppy milk/moistened catfood slurry, delish!

Birthday hike pics )
playswithworms: (Default)
So last week I suddenly realized, hey, I can't remember the last time I had a cold. Rock on, immune system! Immune system apparently high fived itself and then took that as permission to go on vacation, because now I've got the lurgy, alas. And we're still in full blown crazy season as daycamps overlap with the "balanced calendar" school year, so field trips on top of wildlife calls on top of visitors on top of...unusual levels of disheartening and demoralizing things from the upper administration. I'm maintaining some level of cope by thinking of them like tornadoes - don't try to reason with them, just hunker down as best you can, then pick up the pieces and rebuild.

In happier news... )
playswithworms: (Default)
*Stella skunk managed to break out of the kitchen and gorge herself on catfood, and then came down with a case of the runs. I'll spare you description of the mess, let's just say t'aint been pretty. Today we've got solid poo, though - w00t!

No more poo stories, I promise )


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