Sunday, November 30, 2008


L and I went to see The Changeling last night -- the 9:50 showing. We spent some time considering if we could actually stay awake long enough to see a movie that late, but Clint Eastwood made a movie you can't snooze through. I got home around 12:20 and because I'd had so much iced tea and coke, I stayed up until around 4, cruising the internet and learning about the true story the movie is based on. I think I'm too old to do that kind of stuff much anymore.

Cold and rainy here. I've spent a lot of money this weekend but mostly I've stayed home and played with birds and watched TV and even took a bunch of birdie pictures, which I haven't moved from my camera to the computer in my study and then moved back to my laptop (it's complicated). I did manage to write an article I'd been dreading, and I'm "working" on another one (letting my brain write it for me first, i.e., procrastinating).

Nicholas is the same. No difference between being on the pain med and off. I decided it was my imagination because he flew across the room the other day and does the eagle wing stanch, wings out, with no hesitation or problems. But yesterday morning I watched him scratch his head by moving his leg under his wing. Cockatiels normally move their legs over their wings to scratch.

So back we go to the vet tomorrow after work.

Oh, and I found a couple more parrot blogs this weekend, too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How to Stuff Your Parrot on Thanksgiving!

This has been around for years -- I don't know the author, but they've sure given us a lot of laughs over the years.


Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Hot rolls and Butter
Relish tray
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream
Hot Coffee

Get up early in the morning & have a cup of coffee. It's going to be a long day, so place your Parrot on a perch nearby to keep you company while you prepare the meal.

Remove Parrot from kitchen counter and return him to perch.

Prepare stuffing, and remove Parrot from edge of stuffing bowl and return him to perch.

Stuff turkey & place it in the roasting pan, and remove Parrot from edge of pan and return him to perch. Have another cup of coffee to steady your nerves.

Remove Parrot's head from turkey cavity and return him to perch, and restuff the turkey.

Prepare relish tray, and remember to make twice as much so that you'll have a regular size serving after the Parrot has eaten his fill. Remove Parrot from kitchen counter and return him to perch.

Prepare cranberry sauce, discard berries accidentally flung to the floor by Parrot.

Peel potatoes, remove Parrot from edge of potato bowl and return him to perch.

Arrange sweet potatoes in a pan & cover with brown sugar & mini marshmallows. Remove Parrot from edge of pan and return him to perch. Replace missing marshmallows.

Brew another pot of coffee. While it is brewing, clean up the torn filter. Pry coffee bean from Parrot beak. Have another cup of coffee & remove Parrot from kitchen counter and return him to perch.

When time to serve the meal:

Place roasted turkey on a large platter, and cover beak marks with strategically placed sprigs of parsley.

Put mashed potatoes into serving bowl, rewhip at last minute to conceal beak marks and claw prints.

Place pan of sweet potatoes on sideboard, forget presentation as there's no way to hide the areas of missing marshmallows.

Put rolls in decorative basket, remove Parrot from side of basket and return him to perch.

Remove beaked rolls, serve what's left.

Set a stick of butter out on the counter to soften - think better and return it to the refrigerator.

Wipe down counter to remove mashed potato claw tracks. Remove Parrot from kitchen counter and return him to perch.

Cut the pie into serving slices. Wipe whipped cream off Parrot's beak and place large dollops of remaining whipped cream on pie slices.

Whole slices are then served to guests, beaked-out portions should be reserved for host & hostess.

Place Parrot inside cage & lock the door.

Sit down to a nice relaxing dinner with your family - accompanied by plaintive cries of "WANT DINNER!" from the other room.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nicholas Update

Dr. Z said all of Nicholas' lab work and gram stain results were all normal. I'm glad he's okay, but I also feel like an idiot. A poor idiot. His well-bird exam was due next month and would have cost me about the same, so I have nothing to complain about.

She reminded me that some problems are not related to blood chemistry and that we can do more diagnostics or, if I think he's in pain we can give him a drop of pain meds. I have some questions about that, and I'm waiting for her to get back to me.

But I think I'm going to try the pain meds. He's still flipping his wing, so it's obvious it's bothering him though we don't know why. I guess X-rays are next if he doesn't stop soon.

I really need to take more pictures of my birds. I'm so entranced with all the wonderful pictures and videos Parrot Musings posts, and it always reminds me I need more pictures.

Thanks for the kind wishes, everyone! Only you can appreciate how it is to worry about a little parrot.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


For several days now I've noticed that Nicholas' eyes are not quite as bright as usual. It's a subtle thing, so subtle I keep thinking I'm imagining it.

A few days ago he got himself between the couch and the wall and hurt his wing -- he cried for a minute and held out his left wing. Then was fine. Of course, I wasn't allowed to go near it, but he acted fine. Except every great once in awhile I'd see him flipping that wing once or twice.

His weight is normal, his behavior is normal, his interactions with Flash and with me are all normal, he's eating normal foods and treats and veggies, and his poops are normal.

I couldn't stand it any longer and took him in to Dr. Z this afternoon. She did a well-bird and drew blood. And did a gram stain. He has something with a long name on his left wing, a little bump, which she said was like an ingrown feather, and to just watch it to see if it gets larger. She didn't think that was why he was flipping that wing, but it's possible.

Dr. Z said that she saw what I saw in his eyes -- some of that brightness is gone. Of all my birds, Nicholas has always been the most "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed." Fearless and curious and nosey and has never met a stranger.

Dr. Z said she could give me some meds that are anti-inflammatory if I thought he might be in pain, but I can't tell -- you know how aggravating these parrots are about expressing their feelings. Then she said she'd rather wait till we see what the kidney values are like, which will be tomorrow.

$245.00. Nicholas can't die for a long time -- I haven't got my money's worth out of him yet.

Right now he's on his heated perch, preening, as pretty and normal as you please. He's quite aware that it's past his bedtime and that I'm not going to do a thing about it.

Little Nicholas is my miracle rescue bird. We don't know how old he is (between 16 and 23 years old) and his early history is unknown, but I'm certainly not ready for him to think about dying.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Craig's List

So I put an ad on Craig's List last night, in the Personals section. I used my account in case someone I know answers the ad. I was very frank in the ad -- just want to chat, should be intelligent and have a sense of humor, and not assume sexual favors will be bestowed just because we exchange enough e-mails, etc. I said if something happens between us we'll act like adults, but not to expect anything. After I read it I thought it was pretty hard ass and no one would respond.

So imagine my surprise to find two responses in my account. One evidently copy and pasted and barely looked at my ad, and the other one had read my post and thanked me for being frank.

Nothing ever comes of these ads, but I like to give them a try every year or so just to see. I know how cynical I sound but as I said in my ad, 99 percent of the men I've met and dated are liars, married, drunks, or druggies -- but I really enjoy the remaining one percent.


I found out today that Meijer's no longer sells birds, so I was so happy to go shopping there again. I got a weather station to replace the little one I've had for 10 years or so. I don't want to replace the old one, but it won't tell the temperature correctly anymore, no matter how I position to outside wire.

It rained most of yesterday and today, but this afternoon -- just as the news predicted -- the rain has turned cold, and the rain will probably turn to snow.

My birds have been wonderful, as usual. Charli eyes me warily whenever I have Sugar Franklin out, counting the minutes to be sure Sugar doesn't get more attention than Charli does. The Bobbsey Twins rarely come out of their cage, unless I deliberately take them out and put them on the play stand or play basket. Whereupon they immediately go into Sugar Franklin's cage to eat her food.

The Bobbsey Twins chew up these little toys as fast as I put them in the cage, so I bought 12 more. Then I realized that what they do is chew the balls off the plastic chain and watch the balls fall to the bottom of the cage. Where they stay.

So I put about 15 of the fallen balls into a bowl back in their cage, in hopes they'll chew them up.

I've got to write an article about cockatiels in the coming week -- and it's got to be around 1,000 words long. I think I know what I want to say, I just don't want to be preachy about it but it's not a subject you can treat lightly.

I'm not ready for snow. I need to buy a new winter coat, and I can't find one like the one I have, which I love. It has five pockets and a hood and is made of fabric and a warm lining and is car-coat length and has never failed me in the years I've had it. But I haven't been able to find one. I may have to break down and go to Sear's and see if they've got a Lands End one I can afford.

I know things change, all the time, but that doesn't mean I want to keep up with 'em.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Everywhere I Turn

Everyone I meet or talk to or communicate with online had the same reaction to Obama's election. Tears. Pride. Relief. Joy. Hope.

Hope where there has been none for nearly a decade. Hope that doesn't have to hide or be ashamed. Suddenly, it's okay to let it be known that we love our country and we want to build a better nation.

Obama brought us hope again, and now he is tapping into that. As was said on his web site -- after September 11, we were all dying to DO something. And what did Bush do with all that power and energy that was just raring to go? He told us to go shopping. Obama's site ( encourages everyone to let their story be known, to speak their vision of America, to see behind the scenes.

I imagine the servers for that site are straining from the traffic. And that gives me even more hope. Everyone has a story and everyone wants that story to be heard. Finally someone in Washington is listening.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After

I went to bed at 9:30 last night, unable to stare at the numbers on the television any longer.

When my clock radio clicked on this morning the first thing I heard was McCain saying they'd fought the good fight -- and I knew Obama had won.

I continued to listen and heard Obama say, "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

And I cried. Because I've nearly lost faith in this country many times, and I don't want to ever feel that way again.

This is a beginning that's finally on the right track, a new beginning for all of us -- not just the rich or powerful or connected. All of us.

"And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can."

Yes. We can.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night

I voted (Obama, of course) this morning around 8; waited about 10 minutes. A couple of other precincts were in the same auditorium, and they had very long lines. In some parts of the city the wait was up to three hours.

Our state is known as a solid Republican state, though we have more registered Democrats than Republicans. We have had a very serious senatorial race going on in this state, and it seems to be neck and neck. I dislike both of the candidates so I didn't vote for either one.

A woman I know is winning the vote for a seat on the city council; I'm pleased because I know her well enough to know she'll do a good job.

I hear that voter turnout has been overwhelming all over the United States. My mother is a poll worker in her small rural county, and she said they were busy all day long, which is rare for them.

It's 7 o'clock now. The polls closed at 6. Now we wait.