24 January 2013

Semi-annual Update

The 2012 review is up at Big Bend Nature.com and that means we're off the hook for more bird/bug updates for this post... right? Guess that leaves the pithy, lifey stuff...

Jan - hey, rare birds ARE life to us; Nutting's Flycatcher was some Herculean feat of masochism in spite of being a life bird for both of us. The bird called twice in something like two hours of our first observation and the call is what we HAD to record for confirmation. No pressure. Awesome bird. Great folks who chased it, as well. Kind of a who's who of birders, or an awkward family reunion.

Feb-May were somewhat nondescript, except when May rolled around we were both laid off from our part time jobs (same place - so there went our 20 hr/week gig, roughly 1/2 of our income, on 5 minutes notice... at the same time I lost my tutoring position due to graduation), but I guess at least we don't have to work at the checkpoint anymore! That was at the beginning of the week of finals and graduation. Not cool. I could have been studying!

Layoffs aside, May was wonderful; Matt's folks came out for my graduation and in the time-honored tradition of shirking rituals, I ate at CowDog instead of walking for graduation. Not quite a trip to the RGV (high school graduation), but CowDog with the best in-laws ever? Remarkably wonderful. We even introduced them to a black-tailed rattlesnake in the Chisos Basin! They stayed at Eve's Garden... not that we blogged their breakfast or anything. Ok, we did.

June saw a bit of travel; Matt held down the fort while I went to California for a wedding - not just any wedding, but that of a former solar car competitor turned bff/dear friend. While out there, I also managed to meet that 'new' nephew of mine who was already a year old! Whoops. I'm a bad aunt. Other than seeing a few birds during the wedding ceremony, no birding was done - but plenty of friends seen/met/stayed with in the process. Also, June was crafty... because I made a skirt into a dress for the wedding.

July was an exhausting/exhilarating mix of anticipation and phone-tag during the crunch time of pre-festival madness; Matt scouted and I wrangled field trip leaders and the most awesome celebrities ever, but between the two of us and some seriously awesome trip leaders, I'd say ~22 people at a first year birding festival with Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman is pretty much a success.

Following the festival, we took a week of down time and took the small dog to Santa Fe to meet her cousin. It was great to see the long-lost relatives (we see them maybe every 2-3 years or so). The fall turned into a busy mix of shipping Matt off to the AZ/CA border for some field work and I settled into my new job at Pitaya Verde.

The shift to winter was a mix of job shuffling again; Matt focused on guiding and contract work, I put my name in the hat for a librarian position. After Thanksgiving - early December for anyone keeping track - a neighbor told us about a house with a "for sale by owner" sign out front... and we've been throwing ourselves into it, full force, since then. We do enjoy the little house of termites, but the Double Bacon, as much as we love it, is sometimes just a bit too much. There's no closing date yet, but we're up to our ears in surveys, inspections, roof quotes and generic madness. Add the new job to the existing job and the move across town seems like quite a challenge. It's a pretty hefty move: all the way from the NE side to the SW side. A whopping 17 blocks... that's clear across town, as the maximum would have been 22 blocks if we'd lived any further on the NE side!

So please bear with us through blog silence as we tackle the latest batch of challenges: we're still here and our PO box won't change (434), but we're swamped with "productive" things!

Anakin, Matt, Nauga and Heidi - Jan 2013, photo by Tom Lehr

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