Sunday, August 28, 2011

Memories from my Vacation

The open road...

I was so excited when my boyfriend and I set off, the desert in our rear view. The stress of my last class behind me, just the open road with him. I was squeeing and bouncing and excited. It had been a long time since I'd been on a road trip, and never on my own like this.
My boyfriend was excited to show me the town he'd grown up in as a child. Small town, quaint, but still it reminded me of where I had grown up, just a few states away.
Once we had taken care of the original reason for the trip, a hospital visit for my boyfriend, we were free for the rest of the trip, it seemed.
On the way up to meet my friend, Blogadog, for camping, there was a massive downpour, my windshield wipers barely kept up. Nature. There simply wasn't nature quite like that where I live. 
Then we met Blogadog. :) I hadn't seen her in ages! We also got to meet her adorable pup, Balfour.
Boyfriend meets friend's dog, Balfour.
 Camping was magnificent. The forest was gorgeous. The mosquitoes were annoying, but I remember the beauty of the landscape more than the bugs.

There was a lightning storm the last night. Terrifying, constant flashing and loud booming thunder. Obviously I couldn't see outside the tent, but I didn't have too. The thin walls of the tent lit up brightly, it was like it was vibrating with light. I felt like I was inside a flickering bulb. I was scared, I was in awe, I knew I wouldn't forget that storm. I had to pee. That was problematic, as the lightning sounded close. After that mess was sorted out, we fell asleep to rain and the occasional rumble. Perfection. (Though our tent and a lot of what was inside it did get soaked.)
This was taken earlier that night before the storm, at the lake.

It wasn't all woods and hiking though, we also drove into town to get supplies, and listened to James Herriot in my friends car. We got ice cream, and burgers, and fries. We tried our hand at cooking in the woods. Good times.
Next campsite, uneventful [unless you count watching a TV show on my laptop in a crowded campsite and feeling utterly embarrassed about a random awkward scene that played loudly with tons of people milling around us.] Then on to nostalgiaville. We visited the town where my friend currently lives, the town I used to live in (or near). Met some family, met new people. Hiked some more. Ate Chinese food. Yum. Showed the boyfriend my old house.
Then, we left for home. Exhausted. But, the trip was fantastic. I won't forget it. It was good to get out of this desert for awhile. A change of scenery is good for the soul.
Admittedly, I cried when the dusty city lights of home came to view on our return. I don't know why, it didn't make sense to me then nor does it make sense to me now. I was tired, but it was something else to. Fear that I would get stuck in the desert? Perhaps.
But the trip was good for the soul. Good for the creativity of the mind.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My leetle sick fish, & other stories of healing

I haven't written about myself yet, but I love animals. Now that that intro is out of the way, I can move on to tell some stories. I've had goldfish for a couple of years now, and of course, as is true with all living things, sometimes they get sick, and sometimes you can save them and sometimes they're gone before you know what happened. I have two goldfish currently, a nameless one and one named after my boyfriend. Boyfriend shall be referred to as Doom. Doom picked him out when we got him. Well my other (nameless) fish seems to be immune to fungal infections but this fish has been infected twice! Once a few months ago, and the second time happened when I came home from school today. It's rather alarming to peek into your fish tank to see a fishy covered in fuzzy white stuff.
Well, the first time it happened I ran to a pet store and searched for fish medicine, and though the cost of the medicine was about 10 times the worth of the fish, I decided to do it anyways. How can I flush a fish that has a good chance of healing with good conscience?
 [My small fish tank with boyfriend's fish and the other fishy. It's green because of the antifungal medication.]
Eventually fishy healed and my tank rode a healthy equilibrium for a few months.
Now I've put more medicine in the tank and I'm sure fishy will heal again, but I mention this story just because its always a little adventure for me to try and save animals. I hope in the future I will make a career out of that, so for now, I do what I can.
This isn't the only time I've helped my animals, there was another gold fish I bought a long time ago, and a week after bringing it home I found a weird growth/parasite on its side! (needless to say I won't get fish from that place again!) I was pretty creeped out, but after doing my research I discovered it was an anchor worm. I read up on how to take care of that too, and after removing it, that fishy healed just fine. 
Perhaps fish medicine is boring to all of you, so I'll mention what I've seen working as a bather and how I got to see some horrific cases of sick dogs. There have been ticks(rare where I live), horrific ear infections, open sores, dogs with nails that had grown so long that the dogs bones had broken from walking on them, dogs covered in warts(mostly hard to look at), sores on puppies from shock collars, a dog with a UTI that pissed on herself constantly, really bad allergies and dogs with teeth rotted to the gums whose breath could knock out a parade. Many of the owners knew about their dogs health issues and were treating them, but sometimes we had to give them stern advisement to take them in to see a veterinarian. There was nothing I could do working as a mere bather in a grooming salon to help these dogs, other than to give the dogs a good bath and answer their owners questions. But I did try to make the dogs as comfortable as possible.
I know I'm very silly, since I'm just a college kid studying biology, but I do find joy from these simple little gestures towards animals. 

[Random, healthy, adorable bulldog puppy from when I used to bathe dogs.]