Category Archives: wildlife

All Things Vegan show notes: New Chimps, Inc. resident CJ and a report from YEA Camp


I finally got last Tuesday’s show notes up and the show into iTunes:

Chimps, Inc.,  a Chimpanzee sanctuary in Central Oregon, welcomes new resident CJ.
And a report from YEA Camp!

In this episode, we talk with Marla O’Donnell of Chimps, Inc., a sanctuary in Central Oregon that shelters abused or abandoned chimpanzees that were part of the entertainment industry or pet trade. Chimps, Inc. recently took in a new resident, CJ, and Marla tells us CJ’s story and gives us an update on how she’s fitting in with her new family.

We also talk with Bend resident Heather Kennedy, fresh from her first year as a camp counselor at YEA Camp, a fun and enriching vegan leadership summer camp for teens. And Paul Seymour sings about what will happen, “When the World is Vegan.”

And, of course, we highlight the latest News from the Vegan Frontier, let you know about vegan related happenings in and around Central Oregon, and more!

Helping out, Looking for shooting stars


Another long day. And a very very busy week ahead.

I helped a former work colleague out early this afternoon by letting him come over and demo some knives, which is his new gig. Even though I would never do this for a stranger and find in-home demos extremely cheesy, and I really didn’t have time today,  I decided to sit through the demo anyway, because I would hope somebody would be willing to do awkward things for me if I needed them to. Even people I don’t really know very well. It was kind of fun, even though both of us knew that there was no way I could afford to buy anything. I only wish it hadn’t taken over 1.5 hours. A lot of that was my fault though, for asking so many knife technique questions, and questions in general.

So I kind of got a late start on my other stuff. I didn’t get nearly enough done, but did get a few important pieces rolling for my grad program app – references requested, information gathered, essay outlined. And some other maintenance things out of the way that I now don’t need to do tomorrow.

This evening the kids came back. I went to grab vacuum bags at Sears, and then to walk Pilot Butte in the mostly-darkness, because nobody else felt like coming with me. It was beautiful up there, as always.

Unfortunately, a block from home, I saw a body lying in the road and a cluster of people standing around. My heart skipped a beat—it looked a lot like my greyhound Ruby. Same approximate color and shape, a little smaller. As I pulled closer, I could tell it was a fawn, still with spots. It had been hit by a car and the couple had stopped (so many people don’t) and the police had been called. Neighbors were milling about. The fawn had massive injuries, but was still alive and struggling—yet nobody was touching her—they were all paralyzed with inaction. I hurriedly parked, took everything out of my loose shorts pockets, and sat down with the baby, saying  at least we could comfort her in her last moments. I stroked her and talked to her as her life ebbed away. So sad. I also tried to comfort the young couple who had hit the deer—they obviously felt very badly and very helpless. I actually felt pretty helpless myself. It’s at these times that I wish I had medical training—I was a vet assistant for a short time a few years back—but it didn’t really help me learn to deal with massive trauma. Not that much could have been done in this case. We all looked around a bit for another baby or the mom, but if they were there, they stayed well hidden. I hope they know we’re sorry, and we tried.

After I got home and cleaned up, and composed myself a little, the kids and I took a ton of stuff into the backyard to set up for sleeping under the stars and watching the meteor shower. We get quite a bit of suburban light bleed here, but I’m hoping we see a few later tonight. This is something I’ve been wanting to do with the kids for years. I have great memories of frequent sleep-outs in the back yard with my family every summer. And yes, I don’t have time to do this either, but I’m doing it anyway.

A day of volunteering for the family; Alive on Pilot Butte


The 3rd busy day in a row, but so worth it.

Today, my older step-daughter did her 2nd volunteer stint at the community theater and officially made “crew” for the kids production coming up next week. Which will mean she needs to be at the theater for several hours Monday through Thursday evenings this week. She’s meeting some interesting people and is excited about it, which is great to see in a newly minted 16-year-old.

The rest of us went to Equine Outreach. It was my hubby and younger step-daughter’s first time. This time we made it through a very long orientation in 90 degree weather (what a difference a month makes in Central Oregon), much of it in the direct sun, and then stayed to do our first volunteer stint: “picking” pens, i.e., shoveling shit. It was fun. Really! Since none of us have much horse experience, we started off with the friendliest of the bunch, cleaning the miniature donkey pen and then the pen of their horse neighbors. We can’t wait to go back and get to know the horses (and the donkeys) better. I got to see my buddy, River, from last time. He came over to sniff me and seemed slightly peeved that I hadn’t brought snacks this time.

Pilot Butte Sunset July 7, 2012

Pilot Butte Sunset, July 7, 2012

Afterwards, we had a long, lazy afternoon of picking up a few groceries, waffle making (somebody was trying out their new birthday waffle maker), reading, playing (water balloons! —well, the twins anyway), and napping. I then left about 8:45 to go walk Pilot Butte. Evenings after a hot day are magnificent up there. The air feels alive, almost as if it has arms that are enveloping you in a soft, liquid embrace. A vibrant silence surrounds you as you float above the city with the jackrabbits and the lizards, the rabbit brush and the wildflowers.

And now I’m blessed with a quiet house—everyone else but the animals long gone to bed. It’s 80 degrees in here. In spite of this, I’m trying to make bread because we’re out and have been for days. The dough turned out strangely because of the heat, or maybe because it’s been awhile since I last made dough, but that’s OK.

Once it’s done, I’ll retire upstairs to read and enjoy these last few precious moments of a good day.

Evening gardening; bald eagle for company


I got some gardening in this afternoon and into the evening. The kids and I have pretty much caught up on the front herb garden and I was finally able to finish it up and spread some wildflower seeds in the large bare patches. I don’t know if they’ll get going this late, or if any of them will hold on the steep slope, but it’s worth a try.

The lavender is starting to flower. We have several large bushes: Maybe this year I’ll actually harvest some of it, leaving some for the bees, of course. Even if I don’t get to it, I love the large purple patches of gently waving flowers, and the delicately scented air.

It’s finally warmed up a bit and it was a perfectly pleasant afternoon and evening. At one point, something white caught my eye. I looked up, and a bald eagle was making her way east to west above me. She almost looked like she was flying with her mouth open and a little erratically—maybe she was carrying something I couldn’t see. We’re nowhere near the river, or I would guess a fish. I can’t imagine that there are fish in the small ponds and irrigation canals, but who knows.

I came in about 8:30 and made some fresh pesto with farmer’s market basil. Then a couple of small pizzas using our regular bread dough. They turned out OK, but I’ve got to figure out how to spread the dough thinner (crust is too thick and “doughy” for me). Since then, I’ve been hanging out with the animales and the hub (kids are at their mom’s for the weekend). Just watched episode 1 of The Newsroom on the HBO website. I don’t know why I bothered—I enjoyed it, but they probably won’t release any of the other episodes online and we don’t have cable, let alone HBO. But I had heard good things about it and I miss The West Wing, so…

Naps naps naps {and a TrapFree Oregon meeting}


I’ve been feeling a bit down these last few days. Tired tired tired. Naps naps naps.

I wasn’t really up to the TrapFree Oregon meeting tonight, because I thought it might make me sad. All those stories of people’s animals and wildlife  being maimed and killed. I mean, I’m immersed in bad animal news almost every day because of research for the show.

But I’m glad I went. So many impassioned people, working so hard. And I got through the stories. Learned a few new things, met a few new people. Spoke up, asked questions that were on many people’s minds—I’m not so shy about that anymore. Even when I don’t feel like being in the spotlight, I can’t help questioning. I don’t know where it comes from. Sometimes I hear myself and I’m like, “What did you just say? That sounded like you really knew what you were talking about. Faker.” But like it or not, people do listen. I had an attorney come up to me after and say I raised some very pertinent points about the language in the mission statement, and in turn, the language that might be used in the initiative. We all want it to be successful, to not leave any loopholes. But I’m not in the trenches actually having researched the language in the initiatives in other states like Washington that have actually passed. And others are. So we wait and see what they come up with and help review the initial language, and test hypothetical scenarios. So depressing that it’s such a long process: we have to start now to be able to vote on it in 2014.

So that was my evening. Was good to come home to the family a little bit before everyone went to bed.

Trapping sucks


Here’s a short description of the new All Things Vegan episode:

Can Oregon go trap free? Artist & wildlife lover Irene Hardwicke Olivieri & trap victim Jennifer Kirkpatrick think so.

In today’s show, we talk with Irene Hardwicke Olivieri of TrapFree Oregon. Irene tells us about an experience involving a coyote that prompted her to get passionately involved in efforts to ban trapping in Oregon.

And later in the show, you’ll hear Central Oregon resident Jennifer Kirkpatrick talk about the nine months of excruciating pain she endured after getting her arm caught in a wildlife trap, and how this ordeal prompted her to become an advocate for banning the use of traps in Oregon.

And, as always, we highlight and analyze News from the Vegan Frontier, let you know about vegan related happenings in and around Central Oregon, and more!

Please give it a listen and let me know what you think. Info at Or comment at our Facebook page.

Also, what do you think? Coyote: kahy-oh-tee OR kahy-oht? If you listen to the show, you’ll know which one I say.

Is it only Tuesday?


Very long day. And I’ve stayed up too late. Brief recap:

  • Kids to school.
  • Elliptical at gym.
  • Client work.
  • VegNet lunch get-together at Broken Top Bottle Shop. I had a huge tempeh vegan special plate. It’s actually relaxing to hang out a little with folks when it’s not a potluck and we’re not scrambling around with setup, meeting agendas, AV, and cleanup, etc.
  • Practice interview with Skype at the studio.
  • Found out my oldest step-daughter got a part in the play Harvey at her new high school. I’m ridiculously excited for her. Double-Woot!
  • Kids from school.
  • Client work.
  • Fun but tiring night at the studio. We had three people in: one to do a sweeper, and two to interview. The interviewees were involved in the trapping meeting last night and both had great stories, which we’ll be getting into one of the two shows in March.
  • Late night emergency run to Fred Meyer to replace a broken French Press.
  • Posting photos and comments about today’s lunch to Facebook, and general unwinding.