Good news

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Despite trouble with a story, today was just plain amazing!

First, I will be able to keep my job after July 31. My reporter position is funded through a two-year grant that will expire this August. I’m happy to say I’ll remain as a SDL reporter after the grant ends.

I’m thankful that my bosses like my work enough to keep me, and for a community that has been very vocal to my bosses that they want me to stay. Yay!

What could make my day even better? Well, my flight to Kona, Hawaii, is officially booked! I even got the roundtrip fare at $200 cheaper than I expected.

I will now be spending a full week in this paradise where I’ll have a private stretch of beach behind our townhouse. See the above picture!!

Have you been to Hawaii? If so, any suggestions of what to do?

A squeaky, clean birthday

Our project.

March 20 = the first day of spring and my 27th birthday!

To celebrate, my sister treated me to a soap-making workshop. Would you consider that a hint that I stink? If so, I’ll overlook that scary thought since my sister, mom and I absolutely had a blast at the event.

My sister Libby, mom and I.

So, how did we do it?

The state park-sponsored class had it’s 10 participants divided into pairs of two to make five different types of soap. My sister and I got to make charcoal soap (which is good for your skin and clearing up acne). The class also made clove and oatmeal,  Base 1, Base 2, and spearmint soaps (which mom made with her partner).

We used the cold-process method, which essentially means it’s easy to make but has a longer waiting period before the soap can be used. Anyways, our recipe called for us to:

1. First, prepare the mold. We took wax paper and covered the insides of our wooden mold box so we would be able to get the soap out after it harden.

 

Mom had to help us.
Mom had to help us.

Continue reading “A squeaky, clean birthday”

Do you see what I see?

Last night, I was sorting through pictures from the Arkansas Post and stumbled across this picture.

I love turtles, which probably stemmed from my sorority days (Delta Zeta = turtles). So when I took the above picture, I focused solely on the turtles sunbathing. Not once, did I not the little guy right beside them. Do you see him? Look a little closer…

It’s funny that I got this picture. Just 20 minutes earlier I was telling a park ranger how I really wanted to see an alligator. Well, I got my wish, sort of.

Why I love journalism

A Rafinesque's Big-eared bat that is in a state of torpor (similar to hibernation) at the top of the Arkansas Post National Memorial visitor center's entrance way.

One of the many reasons I love working at a rural newspaper is the various assignments you receive. Sure, there are several you might not want to do but there are more that you do want to cover. I absolutely love it when my job means heading out to a local park or refuge. For an ongoing project, I headed out to Arkansas Post where I was lucky enough to be the first visitor to spot the above bat. The bat’s called Arkansas Post’s visitor center home for more than a month now. I think it’s pretty cool.

However, it’s not the only wildlife I saw:

A couple of Red-bellied Woodpeckers
Blue Jays
OK, this was back at the office.
OK, this was back at the office.
Got nuts? This squirrel does.
American Coot (the water chicken)
Canada Geese
Great Egret

Bayou Meto WMA

American Coot, aka the water chicken, take off as Izzie and I approach.

The Bayou Meto Brett Morgan Halowell Reservoir Waterfowl Rest Area is only 25 minutes from my house, however, this week marked the first time I have really visited it outside of work.

Passed this Northern Mockingbird on my way there.
One of the largest hawks (Red-shouldered) that I have ever seen.
Red-winged Blackbird
daffodils!
A Wood Duck paddles by.
Mourning Dove
It was a pretty day.

 

RiverKings

The Mississippi RiverKings defeating the Huntsville Havoc on Feb. 14.
The Mississippi RiverKings defeating the Huntsville Havoc on Feb. 14.

On Valentine’s Day, I attended my very first professional hockey game with friends. It was awesome, although I was slightly disappointed that there was only one fight.

I can now see how the game can become addicting to watch. My only regret is that I attended my first game so late in the season. I’m working to remedy the situation. Tonight, I’m headed back to Southhaven, Miss., to watch another match-up between the two teams.

The Mississippi RiverKings and the Huntsville Havoc will face off once again tonight. Thankfully, it will be in my presence.

Christmas birds

Female and male Hooded Mergansers with a Great Blue Heron flying in the background. My cousin's husband was especially excited after I asked him to identify the ducks for me. I thought he was going to run out and grab his gun. Yep, I do believe I'm one of the few non-hunters in my family.

I’ve started organizing my photo archive, something I should have begun ages ago. I found many folders that I never posted so over the next few days I’ll post more pictures of past trips I’ve taken and birds I’ve seen during the past few months. Here are some birds I saw on Christmas Day while visiting my grandparents’ farm in Wynne.

Blue Jay
female Red-winged Blackbird
Not sure. Do you know?
Not sure. Do you know?