Saturday, June 25, 2011

Favorite Toy (of the moment)

This is one of the toys Charli loves -- for the moment.  She's still learning that each one has an almond or two, maybe even a peanut hidden inside. 

The lid is connected to the box by a small, safe chewable bit of wood that keeps the lid from opening completely.  It opens just enough for the parrot to see goodies inside.  The parrot must then chew the safe cardboard to release the treats.  There are no glues or fasteners to worry about. Sometimes this takes hours, with much tossing the box around to get a better chewing surface.  Sometimes she can get the nuts out within a half hour.

She's always very proud of herself when the toy is completely ruined and the treats eaten all up.

Most all parrot owners know how important foraging is for our birds.  I really like this particular toy because it already has an almond or two in it, each one with a tiny hole in it to facilitate breaking open the shell.  There are lots of strands of safe color papers to tear off, and two wooden circles attached with thin suede strips.

This toy is made by Super Bird Creations and is called the Almond Foot Forager.  It is probably available wherever Super Bird Creations toys are sold.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


No, I'm not a hoarder, but I frequently watch old reruns of the program on Netflix lest I become absent-minded and allow clutter to take over. 

I have true hoarders on both sides of my family -- my father's side seems to be the worst.  When he died I had to go through his old pick-up truck and an old trailer that was too cluttered to live in any longer.  Frequently he would buy huge lots of items at flea markets and bring them to me -- offerings, gifts.  Items I had no use for, couldn't sell, couldn't give away except to Goodwill.  Occasionally he would bring in some ancient rusted farm implement, despite the fact that I am a city girl, and insist it was useful and that "they" didn't make them any more.

I fight clutter in my life every day.  My dining room table is piled with books and bags of parrot treats, letters and pens.  My laptop is full of unorganized web bookmarks and unfiled e-mail, drafts of poems I'll never finish, drafts of articles and idea I mean to get to soon. My office right now is piled with items I'm putting in a big yard sale I'm having with three other friends later this month -- books, my old tiny refrigerator from my job, housewares I'll never use.

It isn't just physical either.  Emotional clutter is always happy to pop up from time to time -- old beliefs, old patterns of behavior, just waiting to bring havoc in my life.  But I have learned to practice good mental hygiene and can recognize when I need to slow down, get more rest, stand up to whatever belittling belief is threatening to overtake me.

I suppose everyone has a picture of their ideal life -- mine is a clean, clear, peaceful place to write, with everything in my life nice and organized.  For a variety of reasons it's taken me decades to finally have that place, so I don't worry too much if I have to move aside an errant notepad today or some coupons tomorrow. 

But I guess it will continue to be an everyday thing -- this eternal vigilance to keep all my spaces clear.  I'm glad I can do it.