Wow! Its been such a long time since we have posted an update here on this blog. Interest appeared to be declining in the blog, so I spent less time here, but there are some things I would like to discuss openly, and Facebook just isn't the venue for that anymore. The world is changing rapidly, and it has always been my desire to spend more time on this blog rather than Facebook. And nowadays, it seems that there is a scam waiting around every corner and the vicious bottom feeders will use our information and our pictures to impersonate us and we prefer not to allow that to happen if we can help it.
We spent 2021 in an up and down financial rollercoaster. working hard to regain some lost income from the previous years. I was able ( with much frustration and jumping through hoops of illogical nature) to apply for and receive some unemployment as well as PPP.
We did however successfully raise over $8,000 to cover our food bill this year as well as some funds to provide new housing for assisting the local wildlife rehabilitation centers with raptors that need assessment and flight conditioning.
We were also successful after a long frustrating battle with the Veterans' Administration in getting Ray declared as a 100% total and permanently disabled veteran. His cancer, related to his time spent at Camp LeJeune, left him with mobility issues as well as neurological conditions related to his treatment for his central nervous system lymphoma or lymphoma of the brain. It became increasingly apparent that life would not ever be the same and at times during 2021, Ray struggled to make it through a day without lots of down time and rest as well as the chronic pain that plagued him every single day. We are pleased that he is at this time doing better, but the episodes remain unpredictable and it is very difficult to make any substantial plans for the future, including appearances at public venues.
In the meantime, I have reached out to our local community forging new relationships which have led me to schools, senior citizen centers, halloween parties at our local church, and more recently, to the local hospice. It is my hope for the future that these will turn into opportunities to raise revenue to feed the birds so that the fundraisers become unnecessary.
At the present time, we believe it is more important to continue bringing the birds out into the public so that they remain engaged in being educational ambassadors. It's what they do, and ultimately, the reason why we have the numbers that we do. I have truly enjoyed meeting people in the community and find it immensely fulfilling to bring the magic of these creatures to brand new fans. It truly means a lot to me and has touched me in ways that I forgot and some ways in which I wasn't even aware.
In the meantime, we count our blessings for having an amazing home, in the country where we can fly the birds if we choose. It is a peaceful existence and we are fortunate to have friends stop by occasionally. If you are ever in Florida, please feel free to reach out. We love to host visitors.
As a matter of fact, we are hoping to have our falconry experience up and running in 2022. We had hoped to launch it this year, but we are still waiting for the license to come through. The wildlife authorites are backed up, much in the same way that the rest of the government is. So we will just have to wait, but look for an awesome opportunity to interact with the birds on their home turf, as well as falconry retreats right here in our little slice of paradise.
In the meantime, thank you, thank you, thank you, for being here with us on this wild ride.Your continued support, well wishes, and love keep us going and make us feel really appreciated for all the memories and fun we made with all of you throughout the years. We will be announcing our future plans for Flight of the Raptor, the birds, and the humans, and hopefully you will subscribe for blog updates so we can keep it coming, generate some interest, buzz, and you can always come by and show the birds some love by donating here in our store which offers ongoing sponsorships.
Wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays no matter how you celebrate Thank you for continuing to be a part of our journey, and for your friendship!