Everyone seems to be doing top 10 lists, so I decided to join since it is always good to think of all the notable things from the year passing. I am sure I missed some great stuff but my memory only goes so far and my phone died so I can no longer access my calendar.
10.) Vegan Prom/Try Vegan PDX – Every year, Try Vegan PDX hosts a week of education and fun times encouraging a vegan diet. The classes were well done and the party at the end, the vegan prom, was a blast! Try Vegan PDX is hosting a Vegan in the New Year event this Sunday, January 3rd at 2pm at Peoples Co-Op. Please join!
9.) Juice Cleanse – In February my naturopath suggested I do a juice cleans which I hesitated to do. I was surprised how easy 4 days of just juice was to sustain and was thankful to my friends Deanna for joining me on the fast and Liz for lending me her juicer. I plan to do another one soon.
8.) Mentorship – The girl I have been mentoring for over 6 years graduated from high school and turned 18, all within a few days of each other in June. It is great to see her become a responsible adult and work hard to do something with her life. She has always amazed me with her strength and spirit! As a graduation gift I took her to San Juan Island and we got to kayak, camp, whale watch, pet alpaca and so much more. I love that place!
7.) Everyday Cuteness – My cats Roy and Loki mean the world to me. They are constantly available to be cute or give love or be a pain. Regardless, I am so happy to have them in my life and appreciate them tremendously.
6.) California – I took a trip to California with my friends Deanna and Mark and visited Yosemite, Mono Lake and San Francisco. This was such an amazing trip with the beauty of nature all around us. Mono Lake was a dream it was so astonishing. San Francisco we stayed with my friend Kate and enjoyed the California Science Academy where butterflies can land on you in a three-story simulated rain forest. Truly an experience!
5.) Photo Blog – I finally started a new blog, AnimalKind, focusing on my wildlife photography. I have been enjoying taking photos for a couple years now and even got a new camera this year to help improve my photo quality. It is fun to share my wildlife adventures with others!
4.) Cake – This was the year of cake. My sister does not like cake so I must have taken that trait all to myself since it is my favorite dessert. I made Coconut Cloud Cupcakes for my friend Jenn’s wedding and again for a friend’s house-warming party by request. I appreciate when someone tells me exactly what they want and my friend Liz insisted I make her an Orange Spice Cupcakes for her birthday. My friend Jax requested Carrot Cake and this was my favorite of the year! I also made bundt cake for a neighborhood block party and peppermint cupcakes with chocolate frosting for my family at Christmas; recipe to be posted soon.
3.) The Cove/Sea Lions/Marine Mammals – Marine mammals have been in the news a lot this year. The Cove is a must-see documentary about the Japanese killing dolphins for their meat and it is heart-breaking but important to see. Seals are still killed for their fur in Canada and elsewhere, sea lions are subject to death in the Columbia River for eating fish and a record number of marine mammals have been affected by various human-caused ailments. When in California I visited the Marine Mammal Center who is doing wonders for the animals they can help. The Sea Shepherd Society also has a television series and documentary focusing on stopping the whale hunts every year in the Antarctic.
2.) Going back to school – I decided to change my career and am going to school part time and plan to be a full-time student next fall. Animals have always been my first love, which is why I am vegan. I believe I’m a great cook and plan to still do it a lot, but for a career I am looking at either wildlife sciences (preferably with marine mammals) or an animal rehabilitator. I got an A in my biology class, my first class in over 10 years. I am on my way to new and better things!
1.) Audubon – In the spring, I started to volunteer with the Portland Audubon Wildlife Care Center. The experience has been life changing! I have been able to give fluids to owls, feed red tails, handle northern screech owls, care for swifts, witness necropsies and so much more! This experience has strengthened my resolve to work with wildlife as a career.