Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Hello All, It's been quite a while since I've been on here blogging. Ok, so it's been seven months. Haha Since I last blogged, Paul and I are still together. Yay!! We have been dating 10 months as of tomorrow! In fact, I moved to Bismarck, North Dakota to be with him. I was offered a position at the Dakota Zoo here as a zookeeper. My job in Sioux Falls ended at the end of October. It was hard to leave all of my coworkers and animals, who had all become my friends. I'm happy to be here with Paul, working with animals still and making new animal friends. Even so, I do miss my human and animal friends from Sioux Falls. I have several good friends who lived up here before I got here too. By now, I should be a pro at starting over in a new city I feel like. I have been at this zoo for two months now. The cold is an adjustment here with the frigid North Dakota can't-feel-my-fingers cold. lol Since getting special gloves and boots, I'm good to go for what's ahead. We've already had the twenty below days where I work outside all day long. You may wonder what animals I'm working with here... In Sioux Falls, I was working with reticulated giraffes, black rhinos, grevy zebras, eastern bongos, ostrich, African crowned cranes, meerkats and a hedgehog. Here, I go in with all sorts of canines: gray wolves, Mexican gray wolves, artic foxes, red foxes, swift foxes, and coyotes. I also work with cougars, bobcats, lynx, tigers, snow leopards as well as badgers, porcupines, raccoons and a ton of raptors. There's even a bald eagle that flies around the zoo that hangs out near the eagle exhibit chatting with them from a nearby fence. I also hand feed a Gold eagle who had been shot three times in the head and neck area. For her the hand feeding means to hold her dish for her. Today, as I fed her in the early morning hours, we listened to the church bells go off in the distance for Christmas day. It was beautiful. Even Goldie (the bird), tilted her head to listen. In addition to all of these animals, everyone gets to work with camels, horses, bison, elk, deer, reindeer, goats, cows, donkeys, and moose. Since beginning here, I have been privileged enough to start up an enrichment program for the animals. This is huge for me. All of my work up to this point has paid off. Enrichment is adding or taking away something from an animal's exhibit to make their day different. We also had a training consultant come to the zoo. I am now the primary trainer of the servals and secondary trainer of the tigers, snow leopards, mountain lions and bobcats. Primary means that I am the one training new behaviors. Secondary trainer means I am maintaining their behaviors that they already know. As of now, I am just working with the serval, Serena, on name recognition and target. My main goal is to have her be calm and voluntarily accept an injection. In other news, Marty is sure enjoying running all over the ranch near the house. He runs and plays with Paul's dog, Bull, constantly. He sleeps inside at night and comes inside frequently on the super cold days. I had to increase his food since he has lost weight from running so much. Paul has had a good year. He and his dad just got back from a conference in Springfield, Illinois for ACRES. The conference was centered around soil health. He just finished up his 4th year of teaching as a professor at Bismarck State College last week. And he is adjusting to having a Christmas tree up for the first time for him and rugs down in the bathroom and kitchen. Hahaha These are big adjustments. lol He's a good sport about it all :) What can I say? It's the best time of year! haha Today, Christmas, we celebrated with Paul's dad's side. They are all such nice people and so inviting. It is hard to be away from my family especially on Christmas but celebrating with his family makes it so much better. Yesterday, we celebrated with his mom's side. It was so much fun with playing bingo for presents! haha I cannot wait to go home in just over two weeks to celebrate with my family. Paul will come home with me. My brother will have Mia and Vinnie, so it'll be a special time! I'm so excited! Tomorrow night, we will celebrate Christmas with Paul's immediate family. It will be fun! I will have to update how it goes I suppose that's all for now, Miss you all, Talk often, Love, Nessa

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's Finally Spring!

Hello There, It has been too long. I honestly don't know where the last four months have gone! I've definitely had a rollercoaster of a year! In late January, I hurt my back again. Freshman year of college, I hurt my back, but the pain subsided after what felt like forever (2 months or so). That was painful then! I never wanted that pain again of course, but I surely found a way to bring it back. I was at the dance studio and did a move just right to accidentally bring the pain back with a vengance. It took 2 meetings and 12 appointments with the chiropractor to fix it! Turns out that when they took x-rays as a freshman at the hospital, they missed the fact my bottom 6 vertebrae weren't aligned with the rest of my vertebrae! So because of this, my pelvis has been sitting uneven for 6 years. This also could explain why when I was swimming that one leg lagged behind the other while kicking. But yay for having it fixed! Not dancing for those two months and not doing my whole work on my own was very tough! After being fixed up, I ended up getting the flu really bad. I always try to stay at work to work through it, but I couldn't do it. The smell of the barns were too much, and I went home to get better. I will say that living by myself with a pup and being sick is hard! Oh and after all of this my computer hard drive crashed. ha. Enough of the downs.. I have had some ups too! The biggest up is I began dating my best guy friend! :D His name is Paul, and he is amazing. It's awesome that he knows the good and the bad and still treats me like a princess. I'm in love! Another up is that I began working with black rhinos in addition to the giraffes and hoofstock. They are so cool! Their names are Jubba and Imara. We are hoping they breed this year since their last baby was transported to Des Moines last fall. It's time for him to be with his girlfriend, so they can make babies soon. Another up is that I got to see B.B. King and JOHNNY LANG!!!! with my parents this year. OMG AMAZING!!! I actually got to meet B.B.'s drummer, which was really cool. I convinced him to try Kinky and Lemonade at the bar after the show. haha My parents and I went to the bar, and he was there. Johnny Lang was incredible. I have been listening to him for most of my life. He is from Fargo and an amazing performer! I went home last "weekend," tues/wed, and was so lucky to see Amelia. I picked her up from school and surprised her. She yelled, "NESSA!!!" and ran and jumped into my arms. Not gonna lie, that was so cool to have her be so excited to see me :) I'm sure there are so many more things I could say that just aren't coming to mind right now. I am doing great, honestly. Miss you all!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Here I Come!

Happy New Year! Hope you had a great holiday season! My new years was a lot of fun with getting to see my friends from home. I'm so happy that we are all still close friends. The best part was that we all hung out playing games, drinking and just talking. Just being us! But what kind of a finish to the year would it be without a major change in my life? 2012 definitely had its downs while definitely had its ups. The ups included: moving out of Minot, ND, Meeting Nate, Moving to Sioux Falls, SD, and getting a job at the zoo here in Sioux Falls(!!)just to name a few. Like I mentioned, there were definitely some downs too... such as my first permanent zoo position being washed away in a flood. But without the downs, I guess we cannot appreciate the ups fully. 2013 is a new start and I hope it has many more ups than downs for once! But to update you on the ending of 2012... October was good with Nate's birthday and housewarming party. It was a blast! Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. I got to go home and enjoy being with my parents. Christmas was good. I got to see my parents, brother and Vinnie. I had to work the morning of Christmas, but right after, I headed home. My parents gave me a whole new look to my bedroom with a pillow and shams and a new quilt. Vinnie is getting so big! He is talking up a storm and full of personality!! 2012 was also full of personal changes. It took so much of my courage, but I began playing soccer and basketball. I have experienced myself getting better and better, so it's very rewarding! I have joined a dance center. I am hip hop dancing there and go to zumba there. Oh and as if that isn't enough, I began swimming weekly. I have a swimming instructor, Jill, who is helping me become a better swimmer! My goal is to be able to pass swim tests. I've learned a lot about my kicking and endurance. I also learned that even after a year, I can still dive.. boo ya! lol I can honestly say that I am proud of myself for becoming so active. I have lost about 23 pounds this year and hope to lose a few more! On another note... Unfortunately, Marty and I moved into an apartment. He is adjusting well, and this is definitely the nicest apartment I've lived in yet! Trying to look on the bright side. I'm hoping to make it to North Dakota this February. I'm so grateful to be so close to home and many of my friends! I am always so grateful for all of my friends! Where would I be without all of you? So all in all, I'm ready for 2013. Here's to an awesome new year. I'm afraid to make resolutions cause I have so many goals already!! haha Go figure right? Missing all of my friends and family, Nessa

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte Season 2012

Happy Pumpkin Spice Latte Season Everyone! Haha This should really be a season! :) I have definitely been excited about lattes. But really... Since June, quite a bit has happened. At the zoo, we have had quite the excting last 3 months! We had three red panda cubs born and a giraffe calf. One red panda cub didn't make it since it wasn't fully developed. The other two have been going strong! They are both beautiful and constantly growing. I wasn't able to tell anyone about them until after they were formally announced by the zoo. So sorry I couldn't say anything in my last post. Then the giraffe calf was a surprise. Libby, our oldest (13 yr old) giraffe, is the mother to a male calf. He was born on Sept. 2nd. We had all agreed that she was getting rounder and rounder. She even began to waddle. I didn't think that was possible for a 13 foot plus giraffe to do! They do fecal tests on giraffe fecals to see if they are prego. The test said that she wasn't pregnant... how wrong it was! She gave birth to a six foot, 147 lb baby boy! (no pics on my computer yet, but maybe next time!) Other than the zoo, things are pretty busy. I joined a basketball team, in which I learned that I know absolutely nothing about the game! haha so let's just say I'm the weakest link of the team, but I try! haha! Besides that we just finished up a kickball season, and I joined soccer again. I am on the same team as before. That game actually makes sense now! So hopefully I will get the hang of basketball too! Marty is getting so big! He is in the beginner obedience class with the American Kennel Club. He had a rough first two weeks after having a break from Puppy Kindegarten class. He is getting so handsome the older he gets! There are better pics on facebook. When I can upload pics off of my phone, I don't always put my pics on my computer right away. My niece, Amelia, turned 9 today. I can't believe it! I feel old. haha Miss all of my nieces and my nephew all the time. Thank goodness that Nate has an adorable nephew, Micah, who I get to help watch each week. He is precious and will be 2 in December. What else to tell? Nate and I went to the apple orchard! Thank goodness since that is a Fall tradition! It was a lot of fun and still have a billion apples to use up! haha If you ever need a new snack, try apples dipped in peanut butter/apple butter mixed. It is delicious! OH! I joined a hip hop class at a dance studio here. I am the oldest one, but I don't care. I keep up with all of the teens, and I keep getting asked what high school I go to... haha! And when I tell them, "Sure I'm 18 with a college degree..." They respond with "Oh so you're like 22?" BAHAHAHAHAHA yes! lmao Cracks me up! But it's fun, hip hop and keeps me active. I take the class after a full class of zumba, where my friend is the instructor. She definitely keeps our butts moving! I'm feeling so good now that I'm staying active. I have even lost weight! Not that you'd be able to tell, but I can definitely feel it! I'm watching my calories etc. People at work ask why. I just want to see if I can get down to where I want to. I'm at a weight that's even less than my high school weight! Go me haha. My birthday was good. I spent the day shopping, and a friend met me to get our nails done. Nate's family and I went out for Texas Roadhouse for supper! It was so yummy! My parents came up on Sunday, the 2nd (the day the calf was born ironically). And they spent the night since Monday was Labor Day. We went out for Johnny Carinos, and I didn't count my calories that day! LOL I got so many great gifts! I got a pillow that stays cool. It is amazing! It's an ISO-Cool pillow in case you too like cold pillows! I got a gold/silver/bronze dolphin necklace/earring set from my parents besides the pillow along with giraffe slippers and a Dream necklace. They spoil me! But seeing them was the best gift I could ask for. Nate gave me lotion and body spray as well as ironing on a giraffe patch to my kickball shirt since I was the "Giraffe Whisperer." I didn't make that up, but I sure like it! He also got me FLOWERS and a dolphin watch bracelet. IT's blingy, but I love it! His fam gave me a new purse, bill-fold, shirt, bracelet, and an awesome pic of Micah! My aunt even sent me a cookbook, candy, notepad, fancy new bic girlie pens, decoration and a cool little ceramic pot. I am spoiled. I went up to Fargo the following Monday and spent time with some friends there. I miss seeing them all the time. I miss college cause you got to keep learning and you saw your friends all the time. Ugh. Time goes by too quickly. If you're reading this, thank you. I'm awful at posting but when I do it's a long one! And I miss you. Call whenever. I sound busy, but I've always got time for you. Love, Nessa

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 2012

Hey Everybody, Sorry it's been so long. Last time I wrote I was about to meet all the staff here at the zoo... Well it has been 3 months. I think I will feel like the new person for a long, long time. I'm learning a lot all of the time. It's mostly about how things are ran here. I can definitely tell that the animals are getting used to me. The zebras usually were very stand-offish while I fed them, but now they approach their feeders before I'm out of their stall. I've had to get used to going in with the bongos. Now we are friends. The giraffes are a hoot. I get slapped in the head almost everyday by Chioke, the male giraffe. They're really fun, and I enjoy seeing them. The supervisor and I chatted on Monday. I am the main Cheetah person for sure. They are really fun, and I am hoping to get training them soon. There are 3 cheetahs: Kimbaya, Ellis, and Crybaby. We have had some babies at the zoo this season. There are 2 baby sheep ( whatever they're called lol), 2 baby goats, 2 red panda babies, and a mini horse (Tango). We did have a crane's nest of the African Crowned Cranes... but a giraffe stepped on it :/ maybe they will have another clutch again since it's early in the summer. Other than that, I am working on getting to know everyone. One of the keepers says I may be taking her place as the funny one in the group... haha!! I'm just more free-wheeling with my dorkiness. HAHA Sioux Falls is still treating me well. I got lost 3 times today, but those are 3 more adventures I got to have. :) It was 99 today, and my day off to stay in A/C. Until a friend from college came to visit, and she dragged me to the zoo. Haha Since I last blogged, I moved in with Nate. We moved into a house in a quiet neighborhood. It's 4 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath and has a deck and washer/dryer and dishwasher! It's coming together. It needs a lot of landscaping to be done, but it'll get there. My parents have already came to visit twice, and Vinnie got to come along once too. They surprised me at the zoo one day. It was an amazing surprise! Besides the house, we got a PUPPY!! His name is Marty. He is a lab mix. The mom was a lab, and the dad was a stray. He is almost 5 months old, so we have had him almost 3 months. As of last night, he graduated puppy kindegarten! We are so proud :D Well that's all I really have for today, But I promise I will ttys, Nessa

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Long Needed Update from Sioux Falls

Why Hello... Finally,
This post is long overdue. For a while there, I didn't have too much to update on I thought. Sioux Falls is a great city! My mom and I were even talking today about how much safer it is here than in Minot surprisingly enough. I really like how large of a city it is and the Falls Park is so pretty! The Falls Park is the park that Nate brought me to on our Christmas together :) I have been living with Nate and his family for the past two months that I've been here. Can you believe it's been 2 months already? I've enjoyed being here and his family has really taken me in and made me feel so very welcomed. I love being here with Nate. I look forward to seeing him everyday when he gets home. Believe me, I don't take that for granted. It's so much better than seeing him for a couple days here or there every now and then. When I first got here, it took only a couple days, and I got hired at Applebee's. It really wouldn't be a bad place to work if people had people skills. There are a few kind people there but wow how rude the rest of the people are. I finally gave up trying to get to know people. But happily, my last day at Applebee's is this sunday.
Have no fear, my first day at the Great Plains Zoo as the newest FULL TIME ZOOKEEPER! I am very excited to say that after two interviews and being contacted by the Director of Animal Care to apply for the position, that I have been chosen to be the Savannah keeper. I will be caring for Zebras, Giraffes, Cranes, Cheetahs etc. Tomorrow, well today I guess it is by this time of night, I am meeting with my supervisor and the rest of the staff! I'm so nervous! I'm excited for this next leg of my adventure through life :)
I will update soon!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2+0+1+2= A Year Not Yet Written

Hope all of you had a great new years holiday and Christmas! Hard to believe it is 2012, but that's also very exciting! Big changes are coming. Change is in the air! I was very lucky in having been able to head home for Thanksgiving and then Christmas, but not before making it to Nate's home to meet his family. Nate is my boyfriend and is from Sioux Falls, SD. I'm sure most of you saw on facebook that him and I are a couple. He is so sweet and amazing that I couldn't be luckier! :) He is 24 also and an engineer. His family is very kind and welcoming. What a relief after being so nervous! lol I spent Dec 22nd-the morn of Dec 24th at his home. Nate made me a tie-big enough for two people, a picture frame of us two, a jewelry box engraved, and a bracelet with both of your sets of initials engraved! He definately surprised me! Then he had a great, perfect date planned during my visit to SF! :)Then he was able to join my family for Christmas evening and the day after. The night after Christmas, both sets of our parents met even, and that went very very well. We were both really happy it went so well. In fact, I enjoyed Sioux Falls so much that after a lot of thought I decided that I will be moving there come the 20th of this month. Living there allows me to be there with my boyfriend, be 3 hours from home, 3 hours from Fargo, and I'm hoping to volunteer at the zoo there. So why not?! I'm very excited and ready to move!! :)
Even with moving, I am still applying and will remain applying. But I'm still waiting to hear from Fort Worth Zoo as to if I got the position or not. I interviewed with them on Dec 1st. So fingers crossed! The zoo here in minot promised that they'd call me when I was able to come back. I hope they keep that promise. But we will see how this year pans out.
While I was home, my grandma unfortunately had a stroke they think. I'm glad I was home, so I could go visit her in the hospital. She was supposed to be sent to the nursing home right after I left for physical therapy.
Besides all of that, not to much happened since last time... well I'll write soon, but it'll be from Sioux Falls, SD!!