Talks with Women #6

Hey guys! I’m really excited about this new series of Talks with Women. I recently talked with a long time friend of mine. Cora, a CVT living and working in Utah. Discussing her career, and her passion, animals.

E: So it’s been a while since we talked last. 
What have you been up to?

C: It has been a while! Sorry for being a crappy long distance friend. Well, we moved last August to Utah from Minnesota. So it’s been almost a year but I still feel really unsettled here. Alex proposed in December, so I’ve been (kinda half-assing) planning a wedding for when we move back. 
And then of course, work. I’m a veterinary technician at a GP Clinic in my town. Utah doesn’t regulate techs here, so I’m maintaining my certification in Minnesota. I work full time, and then some. I’m on call a lot for emergencies since there isn’t a local ER.

E: What made you go into this field?

C: Well, I was pretty lost for a minute there. Remember my waitressing days? I had no idea what I wanted for so long. Looking back, it seems like it should have been so obvious

E: I remember those days !

C: I’ve always been passionate about animals. If you asked my mom, she might say obsessive. I spent hours agonizing over my hamsters cages and husbandry, wanting to give them the best care I ever could when I was a kid. I loved animals. I empathized with all of them. I stopped eating meat/started dealing with that moral struggle in the 6th grade.

Anyways, I was working a shift at my restaurant one night. Alex was gone on a trip to do some field study for school. We were long distance most of the year at that time, but this trip was hard on me because he had no cell service so we couldn’t talk. I decided I would work extra shifts while he was gone since I was bored anyways, but by the end of the first week I was exhausted. I distinctly remember looking down the salad bar line at one of the other women working- a “lifer” is what we called her. Has worked there for years, and will until retirement.

I got terrified. Is that going to be me? I hate this job. That can’t be me. 

I had a minor breakdown and a co-worker took pity on me. She knew me somewhat well, she knew I was passionate about animals. She was in school, studying vet med. She was going to be a veterinary technician. She asked me if I would come tour her school. I went the next day. 

I was in awe. It was as if every puzzle piece fell into place. THIS would be my career. I registered that day. When I called Alex to tell him, he was nervous about money and that I was making a rushed decision. He asked if I was sure, I said yes, and never looked back. 

I learn more every day. The field is changing now, too. It’s very exciting.

A lot of my experience after I graduated was in wildlife rehab which I would say is a true passion, but I’m also enjoying small animal medicine.

E: Is it difficult to see how disconnected people can be from wildlife? Even pets?

Why is spay neuter important. Why is back yard breeding bad?

My county last year alone killed 2000 dogs and is going to double it this year. The shelter is over full with 400 animals and only 40 kennels

C: Yeah, it’s very difficult. Even for the pets. I’ve seen so many animals suffer because of their owners.

I could go blue in the face talking about all of the reasons to spay and neuter pets. First off, health reasons. Females who are unaltered run the risk of getting an infection in the uterus called a pyometra. Without a uterus, this doesn’t happen! There is also the risk of mammary tumors. Certain breeds are more prone to getting them, but no matter the breed, the risk is GREATLY reduced in a spayed female. And then of course there is the chance of testicular cancer in un-altered males. It’s very common. There are countless other medical risks, but those are the most common. And then there is the risk of accidental litters, as well. And as with any pregnancy, medical complications can occur. Pets who have been spayed and neutered have also been proven to live longer, especially males.

And that’s not even touching on back yard breeding, which is a subject I can go on and on and on about…The thing is, breeding should be for the betterment of a breed. Not for fun, not for showing your children “the miracle of life” (if I had a nickle…), not because you want to make more “Fluffys”. No. If I could express to you the frustration of seeing people breed their pets for fun, and the medical and behavioral problems that are passed down to the next generation…It truly breaks my heart, Ethan.

Not every pet is a good candidate for breeding, either.

There are so many test that *should* be run first. Brucellosis testing, OFA hip/elbow certification, bloodwork, genetic testing…and then being set up to make sure that the puppies are adequately cared for medically and behaviorally. Puppies need to be well socialized to a lot at a young age. Most backyard breeders have very little understanding of all of this, and are ill prepared. Money should be available for emergency C-sections, mastitis in the breast, and other complications. All of this information is true for both canines and felines.

And on top of it all, backyard breeders add to the crisis you mentioned. Thousands and thousands of animals across the nation need homes. Why add to that number?

E: They look to us to take care of them and we’re not even responsible

C: I have rescued both of my pets. Harvey is the most amazing dog, not without his problems due to being dumped at the shelter multiple times, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He is such a love. He required an ophthalmic surgery he never would have gotten at the shelter if I hadn’t rescued him. And my cat Dale came from a less than ideal situation as well.

I am lucky to know so many people who care for animals, both pets and wildlife, but the constant education to others can be really exhausting. I wish people listened.

E: Rescue pets are the best. They love you more than your own spouse. (Laughs)

C: Haha, it’s funny you say that

E: It’s true!

C: It is! Alex frequently walks in on me and Harvey cuddling and giving kisses and says I love him more

E: Simon is a rescue and he’s great. He waits in the window for me every day. 

C: I am the “ultimate resource” to my dog, just like you are to Simon. Not only do they love us, they need us. He’s such a cute dog. I love seeing his pictures, and Beagle in the City

E: He’s my best friend for life.

C: Yeah, they steal our hearts. I was making my bed yesterday and had my comforter tossed on the floor, and for a second I almost expected my childhood dog who passed away years ago to jump on it, because she used to love doing that.

E: I can’t even think about losing Simon. I don’t know how you handled that. 

C: it was tough. Oscar was the hardest I think. I miss him all the time! 

Simon is totally your companion!

E: Thank you so much for talking with me,Cora. 

C: Thank you! Maybe I wasn’t too long winded! 

Cora is a CVT. Working with shelters and clinics in Minnesota and Utah. 

Learn more about spaying and neutering 

The Humane Society 
And as always 

You can adopt or donate or learn more about your local rescues and  shelters Here

Talks with Women #5

In nursing school, they tried to sell all of us on the joys and self-fulfillment of becoming a nurse. Instructors tried to make nursing out to be this grandiose profession that is all rewarding. I guess from day one I realized the difference between me and a lot of my classmates…I was no Florence Nightingale.

I have been a night shift nurse since I graduated. I enjoy the night shift. It seems the family bond happens faster with night crews. There aren’t as many of us to depend on so when “the shit hits the fan” as we say, all of us are in it together. I wouldn’t trade my night family for anything.

I guess I’m luckier than most when it comes to having a spouse who is understanding about working nights. My better half is also a night shift nurse in the ICU. We were able to work things out to be on the same schedule and that just makes life easier. It’s also nice to have someone really understand what I face daily. A lot of my night family aren’t as lucky.

Night shift has its pros and cons. I can say I have seen a lot more intense situations on nights than I ever did when I worked ER on days. On the flip side, I have missed a lot of family and friends events. I’ve missed several of my son’s school functions and I will miss another this month…senior prom. We sacrifice a lot for what seems to be the good as a whole, but doesn’t mean we don’t feel the void of what we miss. Maybe that is a big part of what bonds us night shifters. We understand that we are all missing something important to come together to save others.

It’s stressful. Going from one room where you tried your hardest to save a patient to another where the patient is mad you forgot their water. This new found mentality of entitlement everyone has nowadays makes Susie Q think her sore throat is more important than the man next door that lost his battle to stay with his wife a little longer. It makes me mad that healthcare has come down to giving patient’s a spa like stay versus saving lives. That’s the downside of nursing for me…politics.

I am an ER nurse. It’s the only place that makes sense for me. No, I’m not the nurse that will blow smoke up your ass or cater to your complaints. I’m not the nurse that will baby you and let you speak to me, or my work family, any way you please. I will most likely be identified as the “mean one” out of the group, but that’s ok because at the end of the day I know I did my job and I did it right. I am the straight forward, no nonsense nurse that may give certain patients nightmares.

Working in the ER changes you, it hardens you, but those of us that work the ER know how fragile life really is and to live it to the fullest. I’m not in it for the compliments or patient satisfaction scores. I’m in it to save lives.

Cyndi, ER Nurse, Alabama  
 Photo origin unknown 

Talks with Women #4

A conversation of ramblings with my friend, Ciara.

How long have we been writing each other? 

It’s been like what? A few years now?

Yea, that’s right! Must be over a couple of years, at least

So, are you going to Spain this summer again? 

I hope to. I was planning to live out in Spain once I passed my driving test, but it’s quite hard to make that commitment when I’ve  got so much going on here. Not much job wise, friends sort of, but more so opportunities for me. Spain is quite deserted unless I can get a car. 

I am seeing a comedian or two this year. Katherine Ryan if you’ve heard of her! Very funny!!

How about you? Any plans?

Oh yeah, we are going to the beach at some point.. I envy that you don’t have to drive everywhere. Everything is so far here. 

And I’m a huge comedian fan. I’ve been listening to a lot of David Sedaris lately… You have to laugh at something. Adult life is so weird anyway.

The other day I found a new sponge and got so excited, it was shameful.

Oh no, everything is far. Closest thing to us is about a half hour away, but it’s a matter of walking. Can’t manage it! I need a car! I feel bad that I have to rely on friends to pick me up to get places on time and without looking sweaty haha.

hahahahah yes see! Thats amazing! I find myself doing the same thing. I got to mop my floor with a new mop and it was phenomenally exciting.

Did you see Deadpool?

Oh yes I did. Loved it! What did you think of Deadpool?

Haven’t seen it yet…I’m falling behind on my list of things to watch. But it looked fantastic.

I actually downloaded an honest weather app and it just tells you the weather like it is.

Like “It’s fucking cold…”

And later 

“now it’s fucking raining…congratulations.”

It’s the small things.

hahahaha oh shit! I want this app! What is it called? I love swearing! It is the emphasis of any strong argument, you know

Do you still write screen plays or anything? 

If you went to Spain do you think that you would have more opportunities ?

I did attempt to write one but I have felt no inspiration for it -.- my brother is attempting one at the moment, but damn, it’s not great. haha. It’s not terrible but it’s trying to be funny when you really can’t force funny.

Well, there is an English radio station owner who my dad knows and he could get me a job there. Which would be awesome!

Radio stations are great. I worked with my dad in one when I was VERY young. They had all of these old eight tracks everywhere…it was actually really scary now that I think of it.

I know! There are a lot more things to remember than you think. People assume DJ’s are just presenters that sit there and twiddle their thumbs. Granted, some are, but not all. haha.

I hope you get the job. Are you reading anything interesting??

I’m  really not. I need to start reading again. Last thing I read was a Simon Pegg Biography. I Really enjoy his stuff.

Oh I bet that was good

It was so good! I think I need to begin reading again though. I feel nothing has beaten Catcher in the Rye just yet. I wasn’t forced to read that in school so I actually enjoyed it. haha.

Haha yeah, it’s better if it’s not forced.

Definitely. I hated Romeo and Juliet. But I discovered really, it is about one teen having a hissy fit because she can’t see someone she loves, so she kills herself because she didn’t get her way lol. Thats Shakespeare for you.

And a bunch of other people died as well.

Maybe that’s where Sparks gets it from ? 

hahahah oh yea, those people.

Yeah its just not my cup of tea. Shakespeare itself is beautiful, and hilarious at times.

I liked The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing


The film with Denzel was good too…so good…”you amaze me!!”

Thank you for doing this Ciara. 

No worries. Thank you too!

 Ciara Lynch is a writer, comedian. Living in the UK. She studied Film and Television and Media Production. 

 “I like pizza. I like bagels. I like hotdogs with mustard and beer.”

“On the 8th day, God created a magic-talking leapord and forgot all about us.”

Talks with Women #3

Half-truths are the best lies, I remember learning from Anais Nin when I was very young and had barely started doing that by instinct.

We live both inner and outer lives made up of half-truths – we use them in our writing, in our Instagram pictures, in our thoughts, in our confessions and at one point or another the bubble bursts in some and they feel the urge to warn everyone about the evilness of concealment, the fact that social media ‘is not real’, it’s ‘a lie’.

But, darling, humanity was never able to produce anything besides half-truths – because it’s impossible to paint the whole truth even on a psychoanalyst’s couch, because the progress of science means never really discovering the whole truth, but merely journeying towards it.

Liars, we may be – yet our lives are not by default a lie if we acknowledge the necessity of half-truths in it and understand their role. When you look at it that way and you begin developing organs of perception that sense lies and are able to decode them, well, you’re in for a great game – you can recognize the half-truths of others, point more or less accurately to the reason behind them, and learn that a lie unmasked reveals more about a human being than bare truth.

The only victims of half-truths are shallow people who refuse to acknowledge them. 
 Patricia Beykrat. Writer. Artist. Bucharest,Romania. To read more of her go Here

Talks with Women #2

First and foremost I am a mom, well that was until night shift lol.

I have 5 children (2 biological girls and 3 chosen boys) and don’t forget my 4 legged son Jasper.

Through nursing school I was a single mom, working full time, and helping my ill parents.

I met the love of my life Adam, New Year’s Eve 2013.We recently married December 17th. Just ran to the courthouse then I came to work that night.It was spontaneous and we are responsible adults knowing I had to work that night, so I did.

Recently I have felt depressed. Up until becoming a nurse I never missed anything with the children (ballgames, choir concerts, field trips etc).

I feel like I miss a lot!

Not to mention the wonderful man I married probably thinks of me more as a ghost.

However, I love what I do. Every part of it ,except getting spit at…. that part is gross. Oh and our team saving someones life only to have them curse us the minute they can.

The pride I feel knowing I worked my butt off to get here is wonderful. Being able to look at someone and decide what they need to live is a great feeling.

However,I don’t think I will ever get enough rest or time with my family.

Sometimes I honestly feel like an outsider now. I sleep while my husband is at work, kids at school. They come home I get up and go to work.

My 15 year old daughter does not come to me with any problems anymore. I am so thankful my husband accepts her as his own (she has never had a dad) and I love the relationship they have.

However, I need to feel needed like before. I have the need to help people but now feel as though I can’t help my own family besides with money.

I feel like all I just did was vent to you…

Amanda-Emergency Nurse- Alabama 

Talks with Women #1

(I’m really thankful for this series. 
What started out as an idea, is now, these stories and all of this art and these women. It’s voices and it’s life…it’s being seen and being heard. 

And I thank every single person that has helped me put this together.


Talks with Women#1

I’ve been broken 
Intentionally and unintentionally deconstructed reduced 

With flying words and accusations 

humiliated and devalued 

Raped and then left alone

And I stood up… and I stayed

Storing all these horrible things inside my vessel

Cracks appear from the weight held inside

And all at once I begin to spill

Eking through the weak thin places

Desperately I try to gather myself

Clawing at my skull

Prostrated on the floor 

Am I nothing? 

The answer is NO

How easily we can choose to build one another up

A kind word spoken into darkness 

Echoes and begins to resonate

I am here

Someone sees me

Someone hears me

Someone feels my pain

The vibration it sends out awakens a lost sense of self

A spark of light in the dark becomes a raging fire 


It burns away the old and rejuvenates the seeds left there by the ones who did love us


I dance in the flames of my rebirth

Watch me playfully flicker and dance


The world opens up and exposes its once hidden resources 

Openly sharing it’s wealth and warmth


When love is present there is no fear

I am new. I am loved. I am love.

– Andrea


Andrea is an Artist based in Tennessee. Her work has been sighted in places such as Slow Hand Coffee in Nashville and more. To see just an example of her amazing talent wander This way.