On Thursday, I got a nice surprise and the boss said I could have my Friday and Saturday off. Yippee!!! I went to Toys R Us and Target and got some Christmas shopping done on Friday, but otherwise sat at home in front of my computer, watching terrible daytime tv and dozing. It was so great to have a day off I could hardly believe it!
Today we went hiking at Forest Park Nature Center. For reasons I don't understand, Logan has been wanting a hiking stick and they sell kid's ones at their gift shop. I finally bought him one today. He uses it like a cane/crutch. I can't quite put it into words, but I'll just say that walking with the stick takes about three times as long and appears to require far more energy than walking without the stick. It's pretty hilarious.
We hiked a couple of the trails and saw more than 40 turkeys and two deer. It was good to get a little exercise and good to be outdoors. The nature center has a nice indoor viewing area of their many bird feeders so we watched a long time. Kaylin learned the difference between a chickadee and a nuthatch. Logan preferred looking at their small menagerie of snakes, turtles and bugs. It was a good time.
I feel somewhat rested for the first time since the new animals started to arrive. I'm definitely ready to get back to working with the rhinos. The calmer of the two rhinos is starting to warm up to the keepers. He's been allowing me to pet his face and horn and hand-feed him produce. I'm loving the rhinos but they stink like no other animal I've worked with. They like to poop out of their bars into the drains so I have to get on my hands and knees to pull 30+ pounds of feces out of the drains. I'm sure I never smell good after work, but I can't ever remember the kids complaining about how much I reek before!