Saturday, April 30, 2011

With All Due Diligence

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This is Charli, with her Most Favorite Toy in the Entire World -- a roll of adding machine tape.  She will chew and gnaw and rip at a roll of paper for hours and hours until she's filled up the entire corner of the cage.

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It's a beautiful Saturday, bright sunlight.  After over a week of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and incessant rain, the sun is like a miracle.  I'm having my deck rebuilt, and the workers barely got the concrete poured for the posts when it began raining (again) last week.  Then, because it rained every day this past week there's been nothing but mud outside my door.   The sun came out yesterday long enough for them to return and get the foundation part done.  They assure the job will go quickly now.

My mom had surgery this week.  The tiny bones of her inner ear had calcified, which is supposed to be somewhat common, and has affected her hearing.  The surgery (which has 27 syllables and is unpronounceable) involves lifting the ear drum, removing the bones, and replacing the bones with plastic/metal "bones."  The surgery went well (all outpatient, two hours, with the magic of lasers), and we'll know next week how much it's helped.

I don't know about you, but I actually got up at four yesterday morning to watch the royal wedding -- what a difference from Diana and Charles' wedding.  Kate's dress was just perfect; I've always said that true elegance is simple, and that dress proved it.

Of course, my favorite of the entire group has always been Harry.  Watching him walk with William in the church I could easily imagine Harry being the one to "save" the kingdom in battle and in politics.  It makes me wonder again about the rumors of Harry being Diana's lover's son rather than Charles.

Well, I slept late this morning and made french toast for breakfast.  Which I naturally shared with my birds.  They're all taking naps now, after stuffing their little beaks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grooming Day -- the horror, the horror

I finally got myself organized enough to get the birdies to the vet for wing and nail trims.  The office wasn't busy, which was a relief since Nicholas tends to screech and call in a voice of about 200 decibels.  You can't imagine such noise coming from such a tiny creature, but you can hear him a block away.

Nicholas has a touch of separation anxiety, so if he cannot see Flash he will begin his ear-splitting calls.  This morning I held him while the vets groomed Flash, and Nicholas shrieked when the towel covered up Flash's little face.

Meanwhile, little Charli sat in her cage and watched the torturous events in silence.

I'm lucky that the vet techs are used to parrots.  In fact, it was this vet clinic that rescued little Nicholas and then gave him to me several years ago.  I must have been deaf at the time not to have noticed how loud he can be.

Soon enough the gruesome deeds were done and all the little birds were put back in their respective cages to eat Nutriberries and pout.  I put everyone in the car and headed home, but first I had to make another stop.

All winter I've been feeding the wild birds.  As you know, it's been a hard winter, and Wild Birds Unlimited actually ran out of safflower seed more than once.  But I made an effort to keep feeding them.

The last week or so I've noticed that the wild birds (I'm assuming doves) have been pooping all over my new car.  Not just a spot -- no, multiple long tracks of it on both front doors and mirrors.  Repeatedly.  As in people in traffic stop and point at my car.  There is a branch or two of a tree that hangs over the passenger side of the car, but by no means is it large enough or close enough to hold that many birds and there's no place for a bird to sit/stand on the driver's side of the driveway.

I've made two trips to the car wash already and since the wild birds had yet again decorated my car yesterday I decided to run it through the car wash again.  I bought some gas then selected the Express Carwash, then drove up to the little building and punched in the numbers.  I explained to the birds what we were going to do, but they were still pouting about the grooming.

The machines whirled to life and the big brushes began their descent, and the birds grew silent.  The water rushed over the windshield and car and then the foam and more brushes and more water.  They kept looking at me to be sure everything was all right then turned their attention back to the brushes and suds and water cascading everywhere.  I told them every step of what was happening and pretended they were actually listening.  I guess this is what living with parrots will eventually do to you.

When the car wash was done, I put the car in drive and homeward we went.  When I parked the car, I got out and made an announcement to the sky.  "Look," I said.  "I went to a lot of trouble to keep you guys fed this winter so please stop pooping all over my car, okay?"  No birds answered me, so I hauled out my parrots in their little travel cages and we all went inside -- where there are no evil vet techs with scissors and no big strange machines with gushing water.

I have to go out again this afternoon -- I'm kinda concerned about what I'll see . . . .

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Overcoming Inertia

Forgive me, readers.  It's been several months since I updated my blog.  In that time I've had the living/dining/kitchen area and bedroom repainted, done major decluttering of closets, had a harmless growth removed from my leg, and am currently recovering from the annual round of springtime allergies that end up being sinus infections requiring lots of antibiotics and extra naps.

This picture is Nicholas, looking out from behind a sort of woven net of bagel bites and some kind of coarse fibers.  I took it a few days ago; I forgot to reset the date on the camera when I changed the battery.

The birds are wonderful.  They like me being home, except that I don't let them out as frequently and for as long as they think they should be out.  It's not really a problem with the Bobbsey Twins since they rarely stray from the open cage door, but Charli's another matter.

There are books in dire need of chewing, she has decided.  And it's so convenient to climb from my shoulder to the book case when I'm sitting on the couch.  We then go through several rounds of her climbing to the bookcase and me bringing her back to my shoulder.  Then she gets mad; her little eyes narrow and she becomes even more determined to get to the bookcase.  I bring her back to the coffee table and show her that her favorite sudoku book is available for chewing, but no . . . . it's the cookbooks in the bookcase she wants.

It's taken me several months, but I think I've finally gotten a healthy routine set out, which means I can get back to some serious writing.  I bought myself a Kindle and I've been reading a lot of books rather than listening to them from audible.com.  Writing an update is my way of starting to kick some inertia butt!