Monday, August 25, 2008

Home again. (once again from campus)

Whew! There is just no time to breathe!

I was just in Rhode Island two days ago. Now all my stuff is in my New place and I experiencing the first day of classes. I haven't even had time to think about how I feel about being home, about leaving, about classes or about getting back to work at Bob Evans.

I know one thing. I saw a jar full of cash in Kirsti's room and I thought to myself..."I miss all that money". I now realize that I will miss all that money for the rest of my life. I foresee being forever poor. Oh well.

I still wish that I could call everyone and talk about the last few weeks. I still really miss my phone. I also miss my iPod which has been dead since the beginning of the summer. Today as soon as I get home I will spend most of the day unpacking all my things and trying to get them arranged in my new room. Sigh. I wish I had a week to JUST RELAX!

So they moved the Memorial Union computing site once again. It's a yearly thing I suppose. It's now in the Scott Joplin room down the hall. And the computers are all nice and brand new updated models. So much better than the ancient piece of poo that I was on most of the time in Rhode Island.

I've been to my first two classes. I have high expectation for each of them. My only worry is that Ecosystem Management is Writing intensive. And he MEANS writing intensive. None of this light mumbo jumbo which was the case with my last WI corse. I know I can do it and thanks to good genes, an awesome high school teacher and a general love for writing I should pass okay. It's just going to be hard. But I like my professors so far and I can't wait to get in the full swing of learning.

I just feel like I've had no to relax. Friday was a good day with dad. His flight came in at 12:30 on Friday morning. Thursday night I met up with Sarah and Kristi from church and went to Providence. We went to Thaer street. It's the equivalent of Delmar in St. Louis though not as long. We at an Indian food restaurant. I can't remember what it was called. The food was great. Then we got gelato which was also great. We walked around. All that took me to about 10:30. I spent the rest of the evening waiting on Dad at the airport.

(oop. had to stop and go to class. Now its Wednesday. No time to log anymore it seems. I will have to designate a day for it as usual).

Back to what I was talking about. The Airport in Warwick is quite small. The smallest I've ever been to. 4 baggage claims, one large room with an upstairs and a downstairs. Two sets of escalators and one Starbucks. I managed to get in a half an hour snooze before dads flight got in. Then it was a convoluted drive back to the trailers. I missed my turn off in the dark in light of my sleepiness and we took back roads all the way home. It would have been a nice detour if it hadn't been dark.

The next day was full of activity. We began with a breakfast of blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs provided by me. Delicious. It was a beautiful morning. Then, we went right next door to Trustom Pond and walked one of the shorter trails so dad could get a taste of the beauty. That took us to about 10:30. We headed to Kettle Pond to drop off my keys and dad took a gander at the exhibits and things. We got a few things at the gift shop. Next it was my favorite drive to Newport. I love crossing two bridges over the ocean and seeing all the boats. I also love driving through downtown Newport. I only saw a little bit of providence but I think that I Like Newport a lot better. Anyway, we then went to Sacuest to walk the trails. About three miles of walking to be precise. I showed dad all the invasive plants in the area and all the beautiful views from the coast. We saw hordes of swallows. Wa watched the butterfiles. We skipped rocks in the waves. It was great fun. Then it was time to eat. I had never been to a restaurant in Newport but I had heard good things about The Red Parrot. We ate in the upstairs dining room at a table with a window. We both got different kinds of Mahi Mahi. Hawaiin for very mild fish that goes good with anything. At least thats what I think. I got coconut Mahi Mahi with mashed potatoes and asparagus. It was quite delightful. I loved every bite. Dad got sweet potato fries. The best things in the world. It was a great lunch. To work off lunch, we went along part of the Newport cliff walk. Nice views of the ocean. Then it was back into the car to drive along the ocean road that shows you some of the most spectacular mansions that you will ever see. Then home. We rested. Boy did I need it. I was exhausted! I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but the best place ever for pizza is Mews. And thats where we went for a late dinner. It was insanely busy being a Saturday night. We had to wait 40 minutes. We whiled away the time walking up and back down the street in Downtown Wakefield eyeing the shops that were all closed. We chatted and it was nice. The pizza was fantastic as usual. We got one with broccoli, artichoke hearts, onion, pepper, pepperoni, sausage...I think that was it. It was mouth watering. And, because I promised myself that I would get it before I left Rhode Island, I got the peanut butter pie. Heaven in a thin cheesecake sized slice of peanutbuttery and chocolately goodness. Dad helped me finish it. Mmmmm. The perfect close to a great day.

For the sake of time I will not go into great detail concerning the drive back. Not that much happened. We stopped at a bakery 5 minutes for my trailer and got yummy baked things for breakfast. Also two chocolate chip cookies the size of your face. Then we were on our way. Moments worth noting are really only one and it was not pleasant. we missed the I-70 exit on the toll road through Pennsylvania because their signage is non-existant. That meant that when we finally got to the toll booth (40 minutes out of our way still on the toll road) we owed an poutragous amount of $12.50. Cash or check only. Neither of which I had enough of. I was about $1.50 short. So we had to pull into the office next to the toll booths and fill out this form asying that we will send a check to them with a little extra tacked on. So now I have to worry about that. This contrasts greatly with the toll man at the bridge on the way to Newport. I had lost the only token I had left and had pulled over into the small parking area of the bridge office. This man in an ornage vest came over. I told him I was looking for my token when with a simple "here you go" he handed us a token. What a wonderful addition to the world, this kind charitable man. I wont go so far as to say that I hate PA as much as I hate NE. But I will try never to drive through there if I can help it.

Blah. So we got to Elises, slept, ate breakfast and then went straight home because we missed sacrament meeting at Julis ward (SORRY JULI!! We both feel horrible bor not stopping in Crawfordsville). Made it home with no other incidents.

I have to go to class again. I think that I will just have to do an installment 2 of my first days back home. Tune in next time for the adventures of the Kung Pow Buckaroo Cafe...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nearly There

Nearly where? Home of course. To the end of me internship in Rhode Island also. But where am I as a person here in the very last hours of my time here in a new place? Have I grown? Have I shrunk? Have I stayed the same?

I think the answer is no to those last two. I'd like to think that I've grown at least a little bit while being here.

I've definitely gained a lot of experince in the field I hope to go into in a year or two. I've had the chance to explore various different aspecte of conservation. I now knowwhich things I love most and which I like the least.

I love working with kids and with wildlife

I hate vegetation transects and getting rid of invasives.

And I just saw Courtney for the last time probably for the rest of my life! I'm here at Kettle Pond for the last Wildlife Wednesday. Courtney is leaving to go home for the rest of the week. She stoped by to say goodbye. We hugged and said that we would keep in touch. And that was it. She walked out of my life forever. No crying. It makes me laugh that at girls camp after seeing girls for a week I would cry at the end. The funniest part is that I would most likely see them again. Oh the emotional times of youth. I am sad. Don't get me wrong. Out of all the interns I will miss Courtney the most. I have never met anyone like that girl and I'm pretty sure that I never will. It's going to be weird being all alone tonight. No one else there. It's been like that one a couple weekends, but it's different this time. More empty because there isn't even a hint that the people are there.

So a few things about my last week. Perhaps I should have waited until I got home. But I feel like I will ahve no time for blogging for the nixt several days. TOmorrow is work, come home and clean, go to the Umbrella Factory and then I am meeting church friends in Providence. I feel like I should see that place before I leave. So I'll be there until I have to go pick up Dad from the airport in Warwick. Or is it Wickford? One of those 'W' names that make me think of 'Willow'. I hope that it's fun. I'm not sure what we will be doing. Though if they decide that they want to eat somewhere, I think I will have to split an appetizer. I'm so poor. I will try to direct their plans away from expensive food.

This week has been pretty hot and sweaty. The last thing I am helping with before I leave is getting things ready for the fall bird banding project. This entails determining where the ne lanes will be in the woods and thckets, then clearing the lanes of all vegetation so we can put the nets there. Lots of weed wacking and lopping branches. The bad part about all of this is that there is a lot and I mean A LOT of poison ivy and misquitos. The two worst things in the world. So I'm doused in bug spray the whole day which feels gross and I'm constantly paraniod that I am going to get a horrible case of poison ivy right before I leave. I bathe myself in technu every evening. But I fee like there is so much of it, it can get anywhere and I am constantly spreading it to places I forget about and it festers there,waiting to infect me.

All of this is tking place at Ninigret. Out of all the refuges, this one is my least favorite. If you ever go to rhde island feel no obligation to go to Ninigret.

Hopefully we will be finished with this tomorrow. The worst part of it is I wont be reaping the benefits of all this work. While Lisa, Rhonda and Courtney get to catch and band all the birds that come through, I'll be back in MO and in classes. Sigh.

I saw The Dark Knight again on Monday. Corey had a $7.50 off you ticket cupon that he couldn't use where he goes to school. So I used it. I paid $1.00 for my ticket. How awesome is that? It was even better the second time around. Not only because I noticed more but because this time the music wasn't too loud. It was fantactic. I am so glad that I got to see it again!

Tuesday I went to Happy Hour at Mews Tevern for the last time. SO sad. I will miss that delicious free pizza. The best pizza I have ever tasted.

Today was AMAZING...but only in terms of the weather. I had to use my big heavy quilt last night because it got so cold. Courtney yelled at me from her room insisting that it was too cold to get up and that we should take the morning off (only partly joking. It took her forever to get out of bed). I worked from 7:00-11:00. Went home and spent the afternon getting everything that I could paked. All I have left out are the clothes that I need, my bed things, my bathrom stuff and a few other random things like food I will be eathing and such.

I am getting ready to go. It's almost time. It's so weird saying goodbye. Tuesday I went with Tom Tetzners photography class for the last time. There is this little boy, Ben, who has come with his mom every week. Her is the cutest little boy. He and his mom made me a little card and got a very nice picture of the class and me developed. I also got some candy from them. It was a sweet little package. And as we prepared to part, the mom Jenn gave me a hug goodbye. I felt bad because I was sweaty. And it was a little weird because I had seen this woman 4 times, but every time we got to talking about life and such. I felt like I got to know her better than some of the people I've seen every day at work.

Along those lines there are those people that I see all the time and hardly know ad feel weird saying goodbye to becase I hardly even said hello. Specifically some people at work and people at church. I feel sad saying goodbye to the people I worked with the most. Rhonda, Erin, Courtney etc. I dont feel weird saying goodbye to Suzanne because I hardly saw her. Out of all my supervisors I will miss Janis the most. She has been so nice and supportive to me. And she's so sweet. I'm trying to get together with her before I leave. But that may not happen...and then I will never see her again unless i come back here sometime years in the future.

Anyway, the Wildlife Wednesday is ending and I have to close up. This will almost definitly be my last post from Rhode Island.

It's been quite a trip. I hope everyone is having a good week.

See you on the other side.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Last Days

Okay folks, were getting to the point where I can almost count my last days on two hands. Already it's my last weekend here!

I cannot begin to even fathom just how fast this summer has gone by. And yet, as I look back, events as recent as last weekend seem months away. It's blowing my mind!

It's been quite a busy week. It was Corey and Evans last. So Suzanne was working everyone extra hard to make sure as much as possible got done before we lost two more people. I spent the whole week working with Corey on all the projects that needed doing. Mostly this involved checking minnow traps every day in the morning. I have discovered muscles in my forearms that I didn't know existed. This also involved more phrag transects. Oh joy. This time I wore hip waders to keep my legs dry. The trick was not to fall over in the mid-thigh deep water. We also worked on measuring plants in the deer exclosures. This was both informative and tedious. Informative because I learned to identify many plants. Tedious because of the nature of this study bein done.

Dotted in the woods at Trustom Pond Wildlife Refuge are these circular wire exclosures. About 30 feet across and 10 feet high. Next to these are plots of a similar size marked by neon pink flags. The whole point is to compare the vegetation between the exclosure and the open plot next to it. The assumption is that deer may be frequenting the area and cannot get into the fenced area. So you see what kind of damage they are doing to the vegetation growth in the area. It is an interesting study. But gathering the data is not. You ahve to measure the three tallest plants of each species you find as well as estimate percent coverage of each species and rate their age. It's not too bad. Your in the shade the whole time and the woods are beautiful. But there is a lot of poison ivy. Plus, no matter how hard we looked Corey and I could not find one of the exclosures. They aren't that hard to see, as you can imagine. But there is one missing. Either it was moved, we were misinformed about it's location, they took it down without remembering they did so, or a group of mischevious gnomes came in the night and stole it. As of right now, the last possibility seem the most likely.

I went out with Tom Tetzners Photography class again on Tuesday. It was fun. I found out that Tom wants me to write a short little article about what were doing to either be put in the paper or a newsletter somewhere or something. I wasn't very clear on where it's being published or even if it will. As falttering as it is to get to write it, it's like having homework. I finally got a rough draft down and you can see it on my creative blog if you feel like popping on over there. Tom's wife is going to give it a rundown and I will fix it later. She's an english major. If any of my english major sisters feel like giving it a once over as well and giving me their thoughts feel free. I will not, however, discourage other comments from you non- english majors.

Wednesday I went on a kayak for the first time ever in my life! I think that I caught on pretty quick. We had to kayak over to some of the frag transects that weren't accesable by foot due to shrub coverage. It was fun and give you a good arm workout. I wish I knew someone with a canoe or kayak and that lived near a lake or pond that was close to me. More simply put, I sich I could canoe or kayak often.

I also went to the beach again on Tuesday with Courtney. We were in the water for a grand total of maybe 15 minuted before Courtney was scared out by jellyfish. I know that the last time I swam in the Atlantic ocean I too was scared of seaweed and jellyfish. But c'mon. You know the tiny ones aren't going to hurt you. And seaweed is just a plant. We're adults now. At least I know Courtneys sadult fear. We sat on the beach, tried to luer gulls over because courtney wanted to catch one. And I made a sand turtle. We left after an hour.

Thursday, us 4 interns tried to go minigolfing. But due to bad planning and some risky weather consisting rain, thunder and lightening, that plan was squashed flat. So we did what anyone else would do. We checked all the shops in the small shopping center nearby. Ths shopping center is much like the one in Columbia by the Conely super Wal-Mart. Theres a pet store, a neat toy shop, a salon, a pizza cheap pizza place, and even a dollar tree. Theres also a blockbuster and a game store. It's all located to the Stop N Shop that has been my grocery store for the last three months. So we went to the pet store, the toy store and dollar tree before we decided that we were too tired and hungry to continue. Oh, what an evening. Theres really nothing more to do in Rhode Island unless you want to drive 1/2 an hour to Westerly or 1 hour to Newport or Providence.

Anyway, moving on.

Friday was a day of goodbyes. This past week was Corey and Evans last week. Friday was really like ther other days of the week. We finished deer exclosures and still couldn't find the lost one. We almost got really stuck driving the Gator over a too narrow and wet bridge. We checked and pulled up all the minnow traps. Then we got a call from Suzanne. As a treat she was taking everyone out to Mews for lunch. YAY!!! It was lots of fun. And the best part was, on Wednesday as we were leaving happy hour, we passed this table area for big parties that was in this little alcove with those old fashoned saloon doors for privacy. I said, as we passed it, that before I left here I as going to eat at that table even if it meant reserving it for me and Dad when we eat there. Guess where they sat all of us on Friday? Yep. I was pretty excited. It was a nice lunch. I got a stromboli witha side salad. It was delicious and I got my favorite part out of it. LEFTOVERS!!! We shared a few fun memories and laughed. I got a few pictures. And then we all went back to the traliers to have the rest of the afternoon off so Corey and Evan could finish packing and get out of there.

Funny thing about their packing. Their tralier looked worse than mine and Cortneys does right now with the exception of a few bags that were actually packed. There was stuff all over the floor. All their food was still everywhere. It seemed they hadn't done dishes since they got there. They were both scrambling to get gone and their tralier was a mess. So, being the nice person that I am, I agreed to wash their dishes. This proved to be a gross idea. Many of their dishes had been there long enough to start growing things. One bowl contained what can only be described as something you'd find at the bottom of a smelly pond. It looked like some maphibian laid it's eggs in it. Pretty foul. I finished the dishes. The because I was on a roll and I was afraid that if I didn't do it, no one would, I cleaned the kitchen sink and the stove. By the time I was done, they were ready to leave.

Hugs were exchanged between all. Evan Hugs made sense. He's a nice kind of guy you want to hug. Corey hugs were a little more akward and more out of a feeling of obligation than anything else. Don't worry, there were no tears. It was weird the think that I couldn't really say "see you later" because I most likely wont. Oh well. There is always facebook. Corey is now in New York performing his R.A. duties and Evan is in Mass. helping with a migratory birding crew there. And me and Courtney are still here. The only ones left in the trailer park. FREE AT LAST!!!

Actually it's kind of weird. It hadn't really hit me that I'm actually leaving until today at church. I said goodbye to people that I barely got to know. The relief society president, the sunday school teacher who had finally remembered my name. The bishop who I had talked to maybe three times, John my beach friend. A gentleman, Bro. Smith, who had rescently been called to the bishopbric introduced himself to me for the first time. We had never oficially met as was the case with many members of the ward. I shoo his hand and let him know that it was my last Sunday. I felt bad that I didn't get to know more people. One of the sisters in the relief society overheard that I am majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife and she told me that she was originally from Alaska. I then told her that I was looking into an internship there maybe next summer. She gave me her e-mail because two of her kids work with fish and game in that state and she might be able to connect me. That would be amazing.

Anyway, me and the two girls I did get to know are going to Prividence Thursday night. I'll stay there and wait for dads flight to some in. Actually the airport is 15 minutes away from Providence but it's still close enough. So I'll get to see those girls one more time.

I'm not exactly what this coming week holds. I know I have to finish two phrag transects and one deer exclosure(the one we couldn't find). Thats if I can figure out how to use the GPS and find these things. Plus, now that Corey is gone I am sort of in charge of these things. I hope I can remember all the plants that I need to know.

So thats my week. I may or may not have the time to post once more before I leave. We'll see. I cant believe that I have less than a week here. I can't believe that I am actually leaving soon. I can't believe that I havn't started packing yet!!!!!!!

Love you all. I really miss talking to many of you over the phone. I can't wait to see many of you soon. Have a great week.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Working on the Weekend

It is 10:03 am on Saturday the 9th of August 2008 and I am working.

I'm at the visitor center taking the 10:00-1:00 shift for Amanda who needed the weekend off. I know I posted yesterday, but it had been so long that I am going to give you another one. Just what you wanted, eh?

There are a few things that I wanted to put in a post that I felt would make my last one too long. And I already have a request from Elise to go a little more in depth concerning the X-files movie. I will begin with that.

Many people want to know whether this movie is good to all viewers or if it is meant only for X-files fans. I would say a little bit of both, though it is hard to be objective being as big a fan as I am. There are a lot of things that only devoted X-files fans would appreciate. Little things and big things. The relationship between Mulder and Scully would be hard to appreciate unless you had been through it all with them every step of the way. Actually I am going to revise my first statement. I think that someone who know little about the X-files would not enjoy this film. Especially since they would be expecting a film involving aliens like the show. It is not as much of a "blockbuster" as the first film by any means. I think that Chris Carter's purpose was to make a film that his fans would love, appreciate and understand. It goes so much deeper that a simple search for the truth. It's about Mulder and Scullys inner search for an understanding of what they believe and how far they are willing to go to support that belief. It was a fantastic film with a great soundtrack and a beautiful story that finally gives the X-files fans the closure we have all been waiting for.

There you go Elise. I think you would love the movie and I hope my little review was helpful.

If you read my last entry, you know that my cell phone is out of commission. I can't say that I am amazed on the impact this has had on my life. But I am saddened by it. Worse is the fact that I just looked up phones on AT&T and realized that I can't just buy a new phone. Even the most simple ones are over $100 retail price! So how has it been the last 4 days without a phone? It's been horrible. It gets better each day, but I always feel this hole inside. I feel completely cut off from the world. It's amazing how we all depend on the illusion of connectedness that technology creates. Don't think that I use the word "illusion" in a bad way. I believe that it is immensely beneficial to have direct connectivity to others in the world. I love the time that I get to spend talking to my family. But I think that I have depended too much on my phone. I use it to listen to music, the radio, as a clock, a pedometer, my bejeweled fix, a camera, calculator, etc. And without those things, my life is frustrated. Especially the clock. I hate that I cannot get into contact with anyone easily. I can't receive calls. If there was an emergency it would be hard to reach me. I can't call if I have a random question for someone. I can't the other interns to see where they are and if they want to hang out. I wouldn't be able to call anyone if I had an accident or if I got stuck in my truck somewhere. More than anything contact wise, I hate not being able to contact family. While sitting in my trailer, bored I can usually cal someone and have a good long chat. Now I just sit there aimlessly. I can't tell anyone about all the fun I had doing different things. I have limited access to internet so I can't constantly blog and I think you all would get tired of reading it if I posted every day.

My phone will turn on, it will make normal sounds sometimes. The biggest problem is the screen which just looks like fuzzy distorted colors. I keep hoping each time I turn it on to try it out that it will be up and running like normal again. I wouldn't be so worried if a new phone weren't so expensive. I could just wait a few more weeks, make some money at Bobs and then get a new one. Now, unless some miracle occurs and my phone fixes itself, I my be phoneless until I save up the money which could be months since I will now be living in an apartment and have less money. Plus, for the first time in a long time I am in debt. Not horribly. All of it is to Mom and Dad. But still, it's not a fun thing. And I wanted to save up for a nice new camera. Oh well. I will get through this. I will survive the death of my iPod and cell phone. I probably should be less materialistic anyway.

A little bit about days I didn't talk about in my last entry. For the next week my afternoons will be spent helping Corey check minnow traps on Trustom Pond. They are little funnel cage traps that the fish can swim into but are too dumb to get out of. There are 6 sites with three traps each scattered around the large pond. They are relatively easy to get to. There is one really close to the shore in some shallows that are really easy to get stuck in. But once your past that it's a piece of cake. I get to spend the afternolons in a canoe. How exciting is that? Actually, Wednesday was not that fun. It was cloudy, drizzly and windy the whole time. It made it nearly impossible to stear, which I was doing. It took us forever. Plus it had been a while since I had exerted my arms that much. The evenings sleep was punctured with pain. Every time I moved my forearms it felt like they were being held over a flame, or getting steam burn. Or maybe more like an indian burn. Anyway, it's been great since then. My arms don't hurt anymore after the session.

Thats really just about it. I hope everyone is doing well. I don't know because I can't call anyone. I am getting excited to get home. I even called Bob Evans from a work phone and worked out my schedual. I am mostly pleased with it. But I have to work Mondays...blah! I have a class that goes till 5:10 on Thursdays and I cant miss it ever because the only way they grade is by attendance and thats why I failed it a few semesters ago. They said I missed too many classes. I think it's a lie, but it's my word against theirs. So I have to take this class again. I can't make it to the 5:00 shift so I cant work Thursdays. And I can't do 3 nights off a week. Now that I am paying for rent I need to make as much as I can. But I can make it through a semester without FHE. Though it will be sad. Also I have worked it out that I can get a half an hour or and hour walk in every day but Monday. And I think that I will take Trissie to the dog park once or twice a week and take her on my walks to make up for the fact that I dont get to see her all the time. Man I miss her.

Anyway, feel free to drop me a comment or an e-mail. I really miss getting to talk to you all and e-mail will help me get through this cell phone dry spell.

See most of you in two weeks!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Where do I begin? It's been two weeks and time has been running away from me.

Here is a list of things that have happened to me in no particular order. I tell the tales of some of them in a moment.

Saw the new X-files movie with Courtney.

Chips and salsa has become one of my new staples.

Took a group of young photographers and their mentor on the vernal pool hike and had the best time of my life in Rhode Island so far.

Destroyed only 1/3 of the knapweed that is choking Sachuest refuge.

Went to the beach with a YSA named John.

Had dinner with another YSA, Kristi at her house. Steak and salads.

Watched a dumb chuck Norris flick with the other interns.

Hated last Wednesday night.

My shoe is dying.

I fell waist deep into a mud hole.

Because of the previous event I think that my phone is dead.

Enjoyed some good storms.

Participated in minnow trap surveying…Kayaked around Trustom pond

Had lunch with people from the northeast regional office…our regional office.

Saw Mama Mia with Kristi

Etc, etc, etc.

So I wonder again where I shall begin. Never again can I let more than a week go by without posting. My last post seems ages ago. Months. I’m just going to go over a few things. If you feel the need to have me elaborate on any of the other bulleted items feel free to let me know.
Tuesday the 29th was a very good day. The previous Sunday one of the only young single adults of the opposite sex approached me and asked if I wanted to go to the beach with him and his family on Tuesday. I said yes and we set the time. I am not particularly impressed by John. He is nice, but I do not foresee soul mate status being reached in the amount of time I have left here (mom). Nevertheless, I agreed to accompany him. The beach is always fun. So with that to look forward to I began my Tuesday. It started with trying to rid Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge of its knapweed problem which is almost as bad as its swallowwort problem. Then I went to kettle pond to take a small group of children, their parents and a photographer on an amateur photography run to the vernal pool. Tom, the photographer has been taking this "class" to various places to capture nature. He approached Janis about having a "biologist" go out with them and she sent him to me. So for the rest of my time here I will be spending 2-4 on Tuesdays with this group. I have to say that it has been a long time since I have had that much fun working. The children were so active and interested and well behaved. They were all very smart and willing to get dirty to see cool things. I fell in love with one of the little girls named not because we share a name. She was maybe 5 years old, wearing a pink jumper and could charm the pants off anyone. She was shy at first, but I couldn't get her to stop telling me stories once she warmed up. She was so sweet and the whole time I was working with these kids I couldn't stop smiling. After they were gone I was left with a content heart, a desire to have my own children and a picture that Sara had colored for me. It was a wonderful experience. Then later that day, I went to the beach with John. It was beautiful, the water was perfect and I had a good conversation with John about life, family, school, etc. Like I said earlier, he's nice, it was fun, but the potential for me never leaving Rhode Island because of him is low.

Tuesday August 5th –I will only go briefly over the catastrophe that was this day. Me and Corey were out doing Phrag Transects. Frag stands for Phragamite or Phragamitus australis I believe. It’s a sort of grassyish plant. This task is basically a tedious method of taking samples of the vegetation around the coast of the ponds located on the refuges. I had no idea how wet this would be, so I was unprepared. I wore my usual shoes, not boots. Apparently my shoes are not suited for the activities required of a Fish and Wildlife intern. I have been told that sturdier shoes meant specifically for intense outdoor activated would be better. So should I go to a Cabellas? Or a Bass Pro? Anyway, the wet muddiness caused the glue holding the rubber bottom of my shoe to melt away even more than it already had. The result is that I have almost completely lost the rubber bottom of my shoe. I wish that this were the worst of my problems. We got through 2 of the three transects with nothing worse than a little sludginess. On the last transect there were problems. Here the ground looked solid, but hidden on it’s deceiving surface were a good number of holes. First, I went knee deep into one of these. No problem. I groaned and chuckled at my misfortune. If your not willing to get a little dirty in this job then you shouldn’t be doing it. I pulled myself out. The next step I took was right into another knee deep hole. Of all the rotten luck! Of course that would happen to me. I laughed more incredulously this time and pulled myself out again. I was more careful after that and suffered no further embarrassment through the rest of the transect. As we were leaving he area I got the best yet. Usually I would have followed Corey’s every step that way he fell into a hole and I could go around the known bad spot. For some reason I decided not to do this. This proved to be a terrible error in judgment on my part. I took a step and all of a sudden the ground had dropped out from underneath me and I was waist deep in a mud hole. Not the most fun thing to happen. Again I tried to laugh it off, but this was getting ridiculous. Corey didn’t even come over to help me out. So I braced myself on the already unstable ground and hauled my lower half out of the hole. I took a few more steps, soaked and trying to wipe my hands on somewhere clean and then BAM! I was waist deep again…in another hole!!! I let out an angry exclamation this time as Corey laughed. I hauled myself out AGAIN and just started walking. I didn’t fall in again. I think that 4 times was enough. I sat on a trash bag on the ride home. I told Corey and everyone else once they heard the story that I win the “this sucks” game.

I wish I could say that falling into a hole and getting muddy was the worst part of all this. That’s nothing. Just dirty cloths and embarrassment. I’ve gotten just as dirty and wet spelunking. No my friends. The worst part is that since I went waist deep and I decided it was safe to take my cell phone out while doing transects…my phone got wet. It emitted strange crackling noises and I’m pretty sure I heard and emergency self destruct alert amid the static. There was definitely a woman’s voice similar to the woman warning the hatch people of the hatches imminent destruction on lost. Anyway, I cleaned it as best I could, took it apart as far as it would go. Then I put it in rice to absorb the moisture I guess. This was the suggestion of a supposed “expert.” Now I am waiting for the end of the week to see if this has any effect on resurrecting my phone. I am praying hard that it does. Another entry will follow some point on my feelings concerning this.

This entry is already very long. So I will make this short. The X-files movie was awesome, Dinner with Kristi was great, Chuck Norris is dumb and nowhere near as cool and awesome as Jack Bauer even if he might have been awesome in his time. I love chips and salsa, cutting knapweed is sweaty work, Mama Mia was ridiculous and silly but cute. Um I think that’s it. Again if you feel that you want me to elaborate on any of the things I skimmed on let me know. I will be communicating with those of who wish is via e-mail since I don’t have a phone. I may not have one until some time after I get home which is TWO WEEKS AWAY!!!!! I’m excited and just a little sad.

Alright. I am going to stop now and let you all get on with your lives. Pray for my phone…haha, just kidding. It does seem that all the electronics that make me happy are dying on me. First my iPod and now my phone. Maybe God is trying to tell me something.

Hope everyone is still enjoying the summer. I will be somewhat glad when mine is over.

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