Wheeled to a Partial Solar Eclipse: Talus Recovery (Week Seven)

So I know that social media has been over-saturated about this certain celestial event..but guess what, I wanted to experience it anyways. I convinced hubby to take a half day of work (I mean its a Monday, really, I was doing him a kindness) so he could drag my wheel chair butt to the lake in our neighborhood. He agreed :0)

We drove out to the lake starting around 1:25 pm and stayed until 3:10 pm, with max occurring around 2:41 pm. Husband was worried about the clouds that kept covering the event, so he wanted to get me out there to at least see partial.

It was nice to get out and sit outside. Thankfully I didn’t burn because I’d forgotten to think about bringing sunscreen.

 

I was surprised that we didn’t see many neighbors out. One was on his way to get picked up for work and so we gave him one of our extra glasses. Another was driving around, “chasing the sun” as he called it. He had created a pin hole viewer.

It was exciting to watch the moon inch across the sun. I enjoyed stalking it with my DSLR and the lens filter I’d purchased (along with our glasses) from B&H photo. We never really had a moment of “totality” with only having about 88% coverage around here. I kept watching the wildlife around me, the bugs continued to flit around, the birds chirped, and one duck continued to splash around like nothing was happening.

The light dimmed a little, but more so like there were clouds, or that the sun was starting to set. I’m jealous of my friends who were in higher levels of coverage. However, I have learned that the next U.S. total solar eclipse will occur April 8, 2024….and we have family who live in the 100% totality path. I now have 7 years to wear my husband down into agreeing to go! Game on ;0)!

Here’s some of the fun pictures of the moon trekking across the sun from my DSLR:

 

Wonder Woman’d My Air Cast : Talus Recovery (Week Four)

4 weeks post injury, 2 weeks after surgery.

It’s crazy to think that I’ve been living on couch/bedrest for an entire month!

This week was a busy week with several outings!

After church on Sunday I tried to catch an Articuno on pokemon go, we failed after multiple attempts due to lack of players, but it was still fun to try for it.

Tuesday was a double date with a very sweet friend of mine to see Valerian. We’d planned to see it together since hubby has been highly anticipating it, before I even broke my ankle.

We sat in the middle due to my wheelchair status. It was neat to have such a guaranteed good view. Also an excellent movie, I know understand why hubby does not consider Star Wars true sci fi. Incidentally, it also seems as if Star Wars copied Valerian (a French comic book series). I became obsessively interested for the night and ordered a physical book of the first volume of the comics. I think it would make a great tv series.

I decided to try to look cute and wore my new purple polka dotted minnie Lularoe leggings.

However, when I got home my poor feet were swollen again.

Wednesday was my next post op appointment. More xrays were taken and they actually showed them to me! Look at all that hardware. I also made the Physician Assistant’s eyes almost pop out of his head when stressing the importance of strict non weight bearing activities. (So what if I was asking about exercises like pool and stationary bikes….)

Then my stitches were removed. This means no wrapping and I can finally go back to taking showers again!

Weds night I got out of the house again for midweek church. (A friend recently stated when I phrase it like that I sound like a caged hamster…well…I mean…we both have wheels..)

With all of that getting out of the house I was pretty exhausted and felt less guilty about binge watching Big Bang Theory. But, I had envisioned a fun project, ordered supplies, and actually completed the project that evening!

I figured if I’m going to be wearing my air cast for the next at least 6 weeks (let alone whenever I transition to partial weight bearing) it might as well look cool. What looks cooler than the super woman of the summer: Wonder Woman. I just covered it with red masking tape and glitter washi type. #winning. I thought too seeing the “wonder woman ” boot might be more encouraging through physical therapy.

So overall, I’m taking things day by day. The pain usually isn’t too bad as long as my foot remains elevated and iced. Off and on I struggle with sleeping through the night just because it is hard to stay comfortable. Please keep praying for the bones to heal through union and there to be no damage to the blood supply (which could result in the death of the bone). I’ll find out more at my next scans in 4 weeks.

Nature Wheeled: Talus Recovery (Week Three)

It has been three weeks since my initial Talus fracture injury, and one week since surgery.

In an attempt to “stay ahead of the pain” I was faithful about taking my strong pain meds, to the point of setting an alarm to wake up in the middle of the morning (meaning I wasn’t sleeping very well either). After my body adjusted more and I relied on lowed level pain meds and ice therapy to dull pain I began to feel better.

During those first few days I had my sweet mother in law to take care of me. I was also able to be patient with myself, prescribing more tv binge watching: Downtown Abbey. By the time my MIL left we had watched 3 seasons!

My tune changed after a post op check in on the state of my stitches. Huge praise, the incision was healthy and infection free. In not so pleasant news, I’d not been wearing my boot due to discomfort so my foot struggled to lie flat. The brisk nurse forced me to get it flat to get it back in the boot correctly before we left. I bit back tears during this process.

While in town we stopped by the grocery store. The rest of the tears flooded out as my fears came back about painful physical therapy and the need to return to the stronger pain meds and forever feel sick. I blubbered by my MIL stayed sweet and asked if there was anything special she could get me from the store. I asked her for my comfort snack, gummy bears!

Waiting in the parking lot, and continuing to cry, I decided to log into my pokemon go account. Well I was surprised when a special like week only available pikachu with Ash hat was hanging out. I didn’t even need to move before it popped up! I was thankful for the silly blessing to help redirect my thoughts towards God’s companionship and positivity versus the unknown scary future.

Then, my MIL returned with several gummy bear packages (they were on sale) she said she figured it was enough to get me through the next few months!

This past week has been about “nesting” really settling into life on the couch. We purchased this pretty cart from Michaels to help me have more things near me (and to keep them organized).

Before MIL left we were able to arrange an outing. Camp Reset‘s movement challenge for the week included a nature photo scavenger hunt. I was dying to show MIL our favorite walk/park downtown.

Since the park was already downtown, I talked hubby into stopping by my very favorite giant pizza slice location. MIL was in shock at how big the slices are! I was thankful to actually eat sitting up, at a table!

Then we trekked to the river walk. I was thankful that hubby approved this one as more “wheel chair” friendly.

We took the “must have” picture at the love sign.

I tested out my arm muscles determined to wheel myself some, and quickly tired out, how do people wheel chair through entire 5ks?!

During this time period a new perspective has been revealed to me regarding those who need mobility devices like wheel chairs. I hadn’t expected to be able to get on the overlook platform and was elated to discover it actually had a wheel chair ramp. (I’d never noticed it before). I locked the wheel chair, and braced myself on the ledge, standing on one leg. I lost myself in the moment: hearing the music from an event, watching the flow of the river, and feeling the breeze on my skin.

After the appointment with the nurse I’d resigned myself to not have a nature trip outing, due to her insistence on elevating higher, more, in order to finally get the swelling of my foot back down. But, I was thankful that hubby had advocated for this knowing how much I’d emotionally need it.

We couldn’t scout down on the actually island, but we rolled the trail at little longer. I snapped a few more pictures, but didn’t stress myself out over finding everything on the scavenger list. I knew the importance was focusing on being present and that the list was to help us to “focus” on the things around us.

Afterward I was able to talk hubby into stopping at an ice cream place I’ve been oogling for like a year! It was nice to finish off my MIL’s time here with a memorable outing.

This isn’t a journey I would have chosen, but I’m determined to learn everything I can from it!

Had Surgery: Talus Recovery (Week Two)

Prepping for surgery:

I broke my left Talus June 30th, it was determined I needed surgery for it on 7th. Before we even left the specialist’ s office hubby called his parents’ and my Italian MamaBama agrees to come down to help.

Pre surgery involved a few outings like church and icecream:

And heading to the library for stacks and stacks of books:

I was very nervous pre surgery, not so much worried about dying, but worried about the hard climb after. The unknown of pain, level of functioning, extent of recovery time. But I was encouraged by several Bible passages: Psalm 18:33, Isaiah 28:16, and Psalm 46. In reading those verses I realized that no matter what, God would be with me through this journey.

That night neither hubby or I slept well. I was anxious about not feeling emotionally connected and I made sure he didn’t sleep either. This led to bickering that wasn’t good for either one of us. Unfortunately, it was just one of those times that I forgot we are on the same team.

The surgery

That morning came way too early. It was also a neat showcase of how hubby and I handle things differently. He was stressed wanting to do his plan which led to some more frustrations. I was very thankful for my mother in law’s (mil) peaceful presence.

After dropping dog off at a friend’s we arrived at the center. They sent me ahead in the wheelchair. I brought the stuffed monkey hubby bought me before we were dating. Ironically, I wore it around my neck into the building. The nurse asked me my age, unsure if I could be left alone. Haha. 

After check in I was weighed then got changed into the gown. I answered several medical questions from a nurse who reminded hubby and I of a bubbly curly haired friend of ours. 

She ran through the checklist then said “angelreon” Hubby and I asked her to repeat herself, still didn’t understand. Mil and her say it slower ” any jewelry on?” To which hubby and I laugh and hifive, both being confused. Then we joke about what kind of disease angelreon could even be.

We met with the Dr who answers a few more questions and I’m wheeled away again. I was nervous as I entered the operation room and they introduced me to everyone. They put the mask on me and told me to breathe deeply. I prayed and coughed as I felt the anesthesia in my body.

When I woke up I was in a different recovery area. I felt odd and I was very aware how slowly I was talking. I was aware of feeling weepy relief and being extra chatty processing what was happening around me. There was music playing and I pointed out the irony of the lyrics of American Pie “and this’ll be the day that I die”

Quickly I was reunited with my family and I felt teary again. Hubby said the surgery took the planned 45 minutes, but Dr said it went well. I was disappointed they made me sit up, I was all to ready to sleep.

The nurse focused on having me eat some crackers and drink sprite. I still felt sick so they gave me something else and these cool throw up bags. I felt fine after that. The nurses teased my hubby about how finicky he held the throw up bag. 

All I could do was wait to get home to sleep it all off. Once in bed I couldn’t sleep. It hurt (a low level ache) and I couldn’t get the pillows comfortable. 

The Dr called that night to check on me and said I should be icing my ankle as much as possible and should even make sure to move my ankle/legs often. It meant so much to hear is concern ūüôā Hubby had told me later that day the Dr said I should get all movement back up and down but he wasn’t sure about left to right due to all of the fragments. I don’t know what that will mean about my beginner ballet class.

Post Surgery

The biggest goal has been following a pain medicine routine and trying to sleep. It hasn’t hurt too much, but I’m sure the meds are to thank for that.

Sleep has been difficult to get, waking up every few hours to take pain meds. My sleep has been improving  since I claimed the couch.

Most days I’ve felt pretty nauseated or woozy thanks to the hydrocodone. I’m trying to reduce it so I feel better.

Some hours I’m back to my bubbly self excited about whatever I’m doing. Other moments I’m tired, cranky, frustrated, sick. In those moments I’m very thankful for the companionship of my mother in law who reminds me “slow and steady” and binge watches Downton abbey with me.

Visited an Ankle Specialist: Talus Recovery (Week One)

To learn about how I hurt myself check the previous post (currently down).

Today I visited the ankle specialist. I’ve been anxious about this appointment because it would finally interpret my scans, and tell me what the rest of my recovery would be like.

Easily I was the youngest adult in the waiting room, but everyone was kind, often wishing each other quick healing. We met the Dr. and he calmly, gently explains that I’ll need surgery as the scans show that my fracture is slightly displaced. I was disappointed, but if my bones aren’t together, they aren’t together and it won’t heal with a cast.

He continues to tell me that they’ll use 2 titanium screws in my ankle, at which I start singing “I can say, ‘I am titanium!'” To which the Dr. looks at me like I am super crazy. I explain that my head works in song lyrics and he laughs it off. I’m very aware of the assistant taking notes wondering if this will affect how they document my mental awareness.

He says to schedule the surgery for Thursday, it’ll be out patient, and shouldn’t take very long. He wrote me a prescription for a wheel chair, a knee scooter, a year long handicap pass and a permission excuse for 2 months of no work after the surgery.

I’m still struggling to process it all, it’s scary to see how one action has other unexpected actions.

I was worrying, but managed to talk husband into getting my very favorite giant pizza from downtown, after the poor guy was exhausted from obtaining medical records and mailing them to worker’s comp insurance.

Not only did I get to eat the best pizza on the planet, but friends of ours were eating there as well. They walked back to the car to visit me. My friend, Kelsey used to work with hubby. I find out not only did she fracture her talus in a cheerleading accident, she broke several bones having to have her ankle reconstructed. Her surgery was performed for the very same Dr and she returned to cheerleading after, not loosing any functioning!

So hubby was reluctant to let me eat unhealthy pizza, but it was just another way for God to show His divine providence; He is in control.

How I’ve been spending my time:

camp reset an online creativity challenge

-yummy meals from friends

-reading

-crafting

-trying to take in sunlight where I can

– even folding laundry, wanted to do something normal in my life

Please pray for the surgery. My mother in law is coming down to help take care of me before surgery while James is at work. Please pray for the rest of worker’s comp paperwork to be finalized as that could delay the surgery.

Thank you for all your encouragement!

Safari’d

This past Sunday I learned through social media that the Virginia Safari Park now has penguins! Cue freaking out and begging husband to go. I’d already been wanting to go, but the penguins were a nice additional bonus!

 

SO I talked hubby into going after church “C’mon it’ll be less busy on a Sunday, and its been raining, it’ll scare people off, but its really not supposed to rain very much anymore…” Against his better judgment he concede.

Then, there was this hour long windey drive through the mountains, eh. Then, there was this just about hour long wait in line in the car just to pay the fee to enter…eh..

We started with the drive thru portion. I’d always heard and read from others to take the wagon ride as the animals and animal feed will make a mess of cars. I wanted to do the wagon ride too because I figured it’d be better for pictures…but we entered the park after the last ride was over.

We drove into the drive thru portion and there were hordes of llamas everywhere. They were hustling around the cars. We scored 2 buckets of feed for free for signing up for yearly memberships, and I was conscious of the need to spread out the feed. All too soon I met my first guests. The white llama was so soft. I gave him/her a little feed and then we drove past other cars.

One car was feeding this giant beast. He turned and looked at me and I thought “no sir”. I know what those big animals could do! (eat all the food).

We drove on further feeding various types of deer and some more llamas. It seemed that the tinier deer were more skittish of the cars and wouldn’t come over. There were antelopes but they were more interested in fighting each other.

We turned the corner and the soft drizzle became a heavy down pour. At this point many of the herds of animals were escaping the rain under the trees. We shook our buckets at various animals, hoping something different would come by. James would just stick his hand out the window to hide from the rain, I completely would roll down the window.

Then I met this one giant deer. Let’s call him Ancient Bob. He is a Pere David’s Deer. He was under the trees and he took several minutes to waddle over. I was thinking “yay! He’s coming over!” and guys, he literally waddled, like he had bad hips or something. So I’m feeding him from the bucket and he pushes his head hard down, with antlers scraping down too near my arm, and there goes my bucket. At least there was only half left at that point. Looking back later in the picture I realized there’s another bucket on the ground, this guy knows what he is doing!

So we continued to drive around. We met a few determined llamas, they didn’t care it was pouring down raining, they stood in the road regardless, with their ears back, looking pathetic. I was just “sorry bud, that last guy stole my bucket”

When we finished the drive thru we headed for the gift shop area to have our seasons passes made. I wandered the store to discover this awesome shirt. We were pushing it a little bit financially by signing up for passes…but I’m getting this long sleeve shirt next time!

Next we walked around the village as the rain was mostly a light drizzle at this point. We wandered through to the penguins! At the entrance the guest services worker told me that the penguins had been here longer than she had, but that they had a new area in their exhibit, a slide. So I don’t know if it was just a Re-grand opening. However, the penguins are also not listed on the website which makes me think they are still pretty new? There was supposed to be a keeper talk, but none ever showed. Maybe next time I’ll be able to find out able this waddle.

The penguins huddled about doing what the others were doing. They seemed very curious in exploring their area, each other, the humans, and their pool. The pool seemed small, but it was awesome to see them dive in and swim around fast almost running into each other!

Across from the penguins were the tigers. The Orange Bengal tiger kept acting like my cat at home, stalking his roommate the White Bengal tiger for no reason. It was fun to see this in action as they growled at each other for a few moments.

We ambled through the Kangaroo area, but they were pretty much all escaping the rain in their barn. I can’t say I blame them. There was one mama hanging out with her joey in her pouch!

James seems to understand farm animals pretty well, we always enjoy ourselves at petting zoos. He says the secret is the scratch the animal where they are scratching so you win their love and affection. I don’t recommend this, but he then cuddles with the goats, in this instance putting his face near their antlers.

I loved the antics of the baby goats. There were various sizes, and several rambunctious ones jumping around, jumping on each other. Towards the end of our visit one baby came over. It had the softest ears! I petted it for a bit and it ended up poking its head through to chew on my jeans. Guys, can I please have a baby pygmy goat????!

I’m so excited that we purchased a seasons pass, even if I’ll never look forward to the windey drive to get there. Sometimes James and I struggle to come up with “couple hobbies” but I’d say that interact with and feeding animals is high on our list.

Celebrated One Year at Tortuga Terrace

Today marks a special day! One year that hubby and I have lived at our first house! I think over the past year I officially forgot to introduce Tortuga Terrace.

The name “Tortuga Terrace” is chosen to reflect the pirate theme that hubby and I have embraced from time to time, i.e. our recessional down the aisle after my new last name was announced was to the theme song from Pirates of the Caribbean. Last year my word for the year was “Peace” and I really wanted to dedicate/name our home for this idea that it would be a haven, a place filled with grace for ourselves, each other, and all of our guests. Thus hubby thought of Tortuga, the pirate haven.

In honor of our one year (and the beautiful Spring weather we’ve been having in February) hubby and I decided to grill out and celebrate Port Tortuga style (music, grilling, hanging out in our camping chairs in the car port). I want this warm weather to STAY.

In the meantime, enjoy some of my favorite pictures from the past year! Even if there are a 101 projects we never finished (painting, organizing, buying patio furniture) and we’ve yet to throw a house party, its been an awesome year!

*Amazing friends helping us move last minute:

*Discovering all of the fauna and critters living in our neighborhood (and basement!)

*Weeding flowers and getting poison ivy on my face

*Finally having my own crafting space (though I don’t spend as much time in it as I would like)

*Celebrating our first holidays:

Easter at the nearby restaurant

Halloween

Thanksgiving

Christmas with the Inlaws

*Our first snow days living in the house (and plows come on time!)

*All of our guests, in laws, and international guests

*New furniture, appliances, and crazy home improvement projects

 

*New ways of cooking

I’m pretty lucky! Here’s to the next 29 years of our mortgage!

Met Vermin Supreme

Well tonight there was an adventure to beat the Monday blues!

After a long day of work, finally going to the gym, eating at our favorite Sushi hubby and I were beat. He headed down to his man cave in the basement. Suddenly, he calls out “Honey! GET DRESSED!” (I was in work out clothes). ¬†Me: “What?!” Husband: “Vermin Supreme is ON Campus!” Me: “AHHHHH Grab my socks! Grab the camera!” as we booked it down the highway (20 minutes) to get back our alma mater. A good friend of us sent James a picture of the two of them.

Apparently, Vermin Supreme was invited by a Libertarian minded student group (I’m unsure of the specific group). We rushed to get there, figure out some place to park without getting towed, and navigating the new student restaurant areas (SERIOUSLY, we’ve haven’t been OFF CAMPUS THAT LONG?!) We literally booked it from the bookstore parking lot (12,000 steps I’m looking at you). BUT WE MADE IT! WE CHEERED WHEN WE SAW THE BOOT OF TYRANNY.

For those of you who do not know who this awesome political troll is, let me educate. Every presidential election cycle he runs in New Hampshire because New Hampshire has to allow everyone who is a candidate to participate in debates. He has been doing this satirical performance since 1987. ¬†Each year he runs on a platform of being the “Friendly Fascist” and “Tyrant you can trust” and making up a whole bunch of campaign promises like “everyone gets a free pony” (obviously that is my personal favorite).

 

We very much enjoyed meeting him in person. (Even being out of breath). The silly James even asked to peer into the boot of tyranny! (I’m not even going to think about how many heads that has been on…as someone else asked to wear it as well that night). James has now checked an item of the bucketlist!

Mondays can have adventures to! Share the Monday love!

 

Cuddled and Adopted a Penguin

The weekend before last, I celebrated my birthday up north at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. According to my research its the closest zoo that offers penguin experiences/encounters.¬†(And just $45 for a cheek to beak experience).¬†I’d already lost my heart at one experience with Busch/Seaworld, but I wanted to see the penguins at one of the newest/most advance penguin facilities. ¬†They can host up to 100 penguins, and have one of the most successful breeding colonies in North America. They’ve been able to raise over 900 penguins since 1967! (Plus hubby has family in Maryland)

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***Disclaimer*** Not all penguin experiences are the same. Some seem to be more conservative in which the trainer holds the penguin and you are allowed to pet it with two fingers on its back. Other experiences allow the animals to walk around and you to interact more freely with them. Whichever experience you get, remember that the safety of the animals is #1 and you are lucky enough to interact with an endangered exotic (amazing) animal.

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We got to the zoo upon opening, lingering in the warm gift shop as it was windy. I may have been canoodling with a penguin who threatened to fly away in the breeze. The zoo opened at 10am, but our experience wasn’t until 11am.

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We explored around the Penguin Coast, watching the penguin feeding, and saw the Polar Bear eating snacks.

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Finally, the time came. Another couple was waiting and we chatted about the upcoming experience. In my normal over thinking thing I’d mused to hubby “what if I see them and I don’t like them any more?” (as I have a tendency to be zealous about things and then abruptly not) Hubby stared at me and rolled his eyes.

We were led into the area by the keeper, Steven. He showed us the small kitchen, where he explained the food prep process and that penguins can eat up to a 1 lb of fish a day. I was jittering with excitement and I’m sure I squealed when he said that we’d be meeting 7! (In my last encounter I just saw 1 walking around!)

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Then, we entered a small room. At this point we were told not to touch them, but that they’d wander up to us. We were given a plastic pool tie type device to play with them (picture a sort of cat toy). They waddled around all seven of them: Winnie, Peach, Hope, Lilly, Eddie, Dawn, and Tetra. I was in heaven. Fiddling around with the plastic toy I discovered that some of them would respond like cats playing, and once I even spun one in a complete circle chasing it! Steven also answered various questions about his waddle of penguins. Of course, I always think of a bazillion questions later.

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After a few moments we were ushered to an outside area, now we were allowed to pet the penguins if they came up to us. Cue the most magical time of my life! Most of the time the penguins would stay in a group, leaving 5 of them huddled around you (Two were excluded as they are continuing to train on being nice to people). I was consumed with petting them, sometimes a penguin for each hand. I continued to play with the plastic tie with them.

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Husband was just as enthralled, practicing talking to them, finding Peach to be the most vocal. Meanwhile, my favorite was the sweet Lilly, who just stood next to my side for several moments wanting to be petted. She also had the softest feathers.

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Once outside the guy of the other couple took his girl aside, while asking Steven to video for him. He got down on one knee, and proposed. She said yes, complete with many penguins in their video. Just adding the magic on.

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Towards the end I was surprised when a penguin named Hope, jumped in my lap. She’d looked at my lap earlier, and Steven confirmed that if anybody would do it, she would. I tried to convince her at that time, but she didn’t do it. It made it that much more surprising when she did. I had a few moments of cuddles, before the queen bee, Winnie, Matriarch of the waddle, pecked her and she hopped out. I was so happy, I didn’t even think to chastise the bully Winnie!

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For the rest of the day I was in shock that a penguin had actually jumped in my lap. Even now I keep staring at the pictures/video incredulous!

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So, like I blogged a few weeks ago, I want to save penguins. One of my birthday gifts was a check, so I decided to use it for a penguin adoption through Sanccob. Right now, through the end of December, a local agency will double any penguin chick adoptions. Basically, due to abandonment of chicks due to the parents’ molting process (and inability to catch fish for the young) 500 chicks have been rescued from the South African coast to be hand reared by volunteers. This is an expensive, tedious, and sharp beak infested process, hence the need for donations. If you make a R600 or R700 adoption ($50) you also are allowed to “name” “your” penguin and will learn about the brief history while being rehabilitated.

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Once I obtain the info of “my penguin” I’ll share it with yall!

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Well, in honor of my sweet penguin cuddles with Hope, the penguin I “adopted” is also named Hope. These penguins were listed as endangered in 2009, but there is so much work being done to save them, there is so much hope for their loud kind. :0)

 

 

 

Rescued Penguins For My Birthday

I daydream about being a Disney princess…but it isn’t for the princes, the fancy castle, clothes, or even the books (I know *gasp*!) its because I secretly wish that I could whistle (ok, I can’t even whistle in the first place…) and animals would come walk over to me. Sure there are some animals that are more interesting than others, but I’m fascinated by most of the animal kingdom and the fact that some zoos offer close up encounters is my new favorite.

Penguin Feed GoPro

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to participate in such an encounter at the Gulfarium in Florida. I was able to interact with the amazing winged creatures known as penguins, and basically became imprinted with them. I tried to deny it for awhile, that I wasn’t really in love with them, but no one bought it.

Later, I found out that there were specific awareness days for Penguins, days set aside to bring awareness to the species. I was in a school in January so I wore all of my penguin gear: tacky sweater, jewelry, etc cetera and shared that I was bringing attention to them. Then, the teacher asked, “why are you bringing attention to them? Are they endangered?” cue me stammering like an idiot. “umm..I think so?” (I think in my mind I was just bringing attention to the fact that they are cute, and NOT mostly native to cold climates)

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Thus began research. Many penguins are endangered. The penguins I feel in love with, South African penguins, are in danger every year as they live around the coast of South Africa. During the summers many ships carrying large amounts of oil crash endangering the lives of marine life. The oil poisons the birds, as well as coats their feathers, destroying their water proofing abilities, thus making them unable to enter the water to feed themselves or their families. This pictures are pretty heart breaking, and there’s a cool documentation of the worst oil spill in recent history (2000) in: The Great Penguin Rescue

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Right now is chick breeding season, and sometimes chicks are abandoned by their parents, so SANCCOB comes in to hand rear them (a very tedious and pricey process). It is important that they help to support the species in this way because there are only 25,000 breeding pairs of South African penguins, and those are always in danger of oil spills reducing their populations and disrupting their mating/breeding cycles.

So, since December is related to penguins, I thought it would be fun to forgo gifts for my birthday this year and ask for penguin adoptions instead! There are many organizations and I’ll include the links below. There are organizations that are working in the countries, but there are also plenty of zoos with breeding programs that are also working to increase the populations. Some of the penguin adoptions are pricey, so feel free to make a smaller donation if that is better for you. Let’s save the penguins!

Adopt a Penguin

SANCCOB Saves Sea Birds ¬†– Adopt an egg, a chick, or a “home pen penguin” If you adopt a chick you can name it, and they’ll release it. There will be no further information after they release it. Amounts are in South African currency. R700 is about $50 for reference. Right now, through the end of December, donations are doubled through a local donor.

Richmond Zoo -the amazon wishlist of the Richmond Zoo. Not sure if they listed items for penguins, but I know they have a South African penguin breeding program.

Maryland Zoo Giving Tuesday Maryland Zoo has the largest colony of breeding pairs of South African Penguins in North America. On Giving Tuesday all donations will be doubled. They also offer symbolic animal adoptions.