Sunday, April 1, 2012

News from Nicole (No foolin')

Well folks, the time has finally arrived. I am writing my first blog post. "Why now...", you might wonder, "surely there has been news worth sharing before now?" Of course, there have been many occasions over the past year when I have mentally composed notes to you, the readers, but the reality of putting them down just never materialized. Or, what happened more often, I shared and discussed my thoughts with Greg, and we worked together to bring you the best of both viewpoints, albeit in Greg's voice. Readers, I hope you will "bear" with me as I try to find my voice.

In an earlier post about his job, Greg suggested that should I ever find work, I would be the one to post the news. Well, I thought I should follow up on his promise. I have indeed found work. I am now an Animal Caretaker and Naturalist/Interpreter for a non-profit organization called Fortress of the Bear. This organization takes in orphaned brown bear cubs and rehabilitates them. The operation is located on the site of an old pulp mill; the old clarifier tanks serve as primary enclosures for the bears. In addition to the bears, they keep an assortment of farm animals on site, to include a miniature horse, goats, sheep, geese, ducks, chickens and turkeys. They are open year-round for visitors, and the mission is to provide public education in addition to bear rehabilitation. I just completed my first week with them, so I still have a lot to learn about the organization. Though the facility opened in 2002, the organizers are still working hard to realize the full potential of this venture, and I hope to make some small contributions to the overall success of the project. You can visit the website

Greg thinks it's a little interesting that I should choose to accept work now when I have a good excuse to just lay back and relax. But, so far, pregnancy has treated me very well, and this opportunity is one of the only ones in town for me to continue work in my field (animal science). It is hard for me to imagine working at a job that doesn't involve animals. Combine that with the fact that the organizers are open to letting me set my own hours and schedule, and upon hearing news of my pregnancy, made it clear that they were willing to make any accommodations I thought necessary to help me help them, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

The job is physically demanding, and while my first week was tiring, I think that as long as I "bear" in mind my physical limitations and work smarter, not harder, I should be able to stay on until the baby comes. When the summer tourist season arrives (very soon now) and the large groups from the cruise ships come on a regular basis, I imagine the emphasis of my work will shift from primarily care-taking (as now) to primarily interacting with guests and providing interpretive service. That should make working a little easier to do when my belly gets big.

If you stuck with me this far, you deserve a pat on the back. Some of you might be holding out for a baby update, so here it is. I am feeling fine. I have been having a little trouble with mild insomnia, and I was having trouble with nightly bouts of indigestion. However, I mentioned this to my doctor, and he issued a prescription, which seems to be helping, though I resent being on medication. Greg and I have been able to hear the baby's heartbeat at the last two prenatal visits, but I have yet to feel any definitive movement from the baby. I have developed a baby bulge below my belly button, but to the casual observer, I am not showing yet. We will go for an ultrasound in a couple of weeks, at which time we may find out the sex of the baby. In the meantime, I am trying to eat healthy, stay very well hydrated and get plenty of rest. If my first trimester taught me anything, its to listen to my body. It served me well then, and I bet that many pregnancy ailments might be staved off simply by following body cues. We'll see how that theory pans out.

So thanks readers, for "bearing" with me through this initial post. The truth is, I don't know why it has taken me this long, but I hope to help Greg from here on keep you informed and entertained.


  1. Glad to "hear" from you Nicole! Congratulations on your new job! They are lucky to have you! Are any more exclamation points possible in this post?

  2. Yeahhh!! Can't wait to get there and see the bears (and chickens and goats!). I was seriously squeeling when I read about the animals. :)

  3. How exciting! It sounds like the perfect job for you. I'm so excited to hear you are back working with the critters both big and small.

  4. OMG I am so jealous of your new job! I'm sure they feel like they hit the jackpot in getting someone out there with an animal sciences degree! And I bet you think you hit the jackpot. Just like Christy I squeeled too.