Bird breeder's thoughts on whatever…

1-29-16: Ramblings — January 29, 2016

1-29-16: Ramblings

I wish there was a way to have my thoughts transcribed at the moment they pop into my head, especially the ones that take place while I am tending the birds in the mornings.  For that hour or so while I am in the birdroom, my mind goes a million miles an hour and I often catch myself and think, “I hope I remember this later so I can put it in a blog.”  Alas, most of it tends to evaporate by the time I can actually sit down to write something.

This morning there was a lot to dwell upon while cleaning cages.  Most of it not good.  Well, all of it not good, except I can now remind myself that life IS good, despite the bad that happens.

Yesterday we spent the entire day at a car dealership.  The truck is down to its last few payments, and as it’s got over 75000 miles it’s time to debate whether it’s smarter to keep it and run it into the ground, or trade it in for something a bit better and new, and just keep making payments.  There are pluses on both sides of the issue.  If you keep it, you eliminate a payment for a while.  Logically, you think, well I could save the money I normally pay and in a few years have a down-payment.  Realistically, that never happens.  Money you have is generally absorbed and spent.  So what could really happen is that you end up with a vehicle not worth much and needing constant repairs.  Of course, you could get lucky and it runs for another 75000 miles with minimal costs.  It could happen; it’s been a great truck so far.  Also, pigs could fly.

The alternative is to upgrade a bit, get something with a few more bells and whistles which would make having another payment seem less of a bummer.  The current truck is a 2011 Ford F-150 XLT.  Gorgeous red.  Spacious and roomy (crew cab), comfy even on long trips, and gets surprisingly good gas mileage, especially when compared to the Jeep Liberty that hubby drove just prior to this truck, which got about 14 mpg if you had the wind at your back.  The truck gets about 19 overall.  So we thought we should check out what the current world of trucks had to offer.

Scott checked out a Ram Laramie, with lots of bells and whistles, and kind of fell in love with it.  It was at the big dealership in Tilton.  You know the one.  They carry damn near every make made.  They used to have a smaller branch in Plymouth, 15 minutes from us.  I bought my PT Cruiser from them and Scott ordered his new PT Cruiser from them a few years later.  We never liked their attitude, both in the sales department and in the repair area, but one can put up with a lot for the convenience of being 15 minutes away.  They closed the Plymouth branch a couple years back, and now you’re left with the ginormous dealership they have in Tilton.

Since Scott had driven the Laramie and loved it, so we went back the next day to see what kind of deal we could work out.  Am I the only one – other than Scott – that can’t get over the shock of having a truck cost more than my first house AND this house put together????   Granted, neither place was a mansion, in fact far, far from it,  but still.   Let me tell you what the experience was like at Auto-Serv.  Scott had told the salesman via email that we would be in between 9:30 and 10.   No problem.   So, being the punctual people we are, we got there about 9:25.  Someone asked if they could help us and Scott told them he had an appointment with Some Dub between 9:30 and 10.  We were told Some Dub does not come in till 10.  Some Dub’s Buddy, who was also in on the deal, was also not in.  They apparently reached Some Dub’s Buddy and said he would be there in about 9 minutes.  Ten minutes later, someone else came and told us he would be there in about 10 minutes.  Good way to start the appointment, no?  They care so little that they don’t even bother to show up for an appointment.

While we are waiting we wander about a bit.  Some older salesman wanders over to talk.  To Scott.  I was invisible.  NO eye contact with me.  NONE.  I noticed this immediately, and to make sure I wasn’t being paranoid I actually made a comment to him, to which he vaguely responded while addressing Scott!   A five minute conversation, minimum, with no eye contact to me whatsoever.

So after cooling our heels for 20 minutes, Some Dub’s Buddy arrived.  He shall now be referred to as SUB guy, which stands for Stick Up Butt which was all I could think of once I saw him.  Lest you think that cruel, I assure you you’d think the same if you saw him.  So he shakes Scott’s hand.  I stick mine out and since he has not made eye contact with me AT ALL he ignores it and turns to lead us to his cubicle.  We talk, or should I say he and Scott talk, until he has to leave for something or other.  I tell Scott about the lack of eye contact or acknowledgement and he hadn’t noticed.  I tell him to watch.

I will jump now to the part where he presents us the initial “deal” on paper.  We felt we were being low-balled on the trade in and asked if he thought they could do better.  SUB goes away and comes back with Mr. Big.   He told us what a great deal we were getting.  Scott told him that we had done our homework and checked 3 different sites to get a value on our truck, and that they were low.  Mr. Big tells Scott at least three times that he must have clicked the wrong button, in Scott’s eyes implying that he was a doddering old idiot and couldn’t handle “that there new-fangled computer” stuff!   I had little input, since this guy was mostly addressing Scott though he did toss an occasional glance my way.

You know, in my book, a salesman (or woman) should be making eye contact and treating you like you matter and your wants and opinions matter.  We got the complete opposite. Scott saw the lack of acknowledging me after I clued him in to it, and neither of us felt they treated us with any respect at all.   We left, and I should add that we never got the follow-up “sorry we couldn’t do business and if we can help you in the future please give us the opportunity to try again.”
Nothing.  It was basically a “well, you lost out so good riddance” dismissal on their end.  It reaffirmed our opinion that we will NEVER deal with them again.

That was Wednesday.  That night I checked the Irwin Ford dealership online, and found that they had some nice fancy trucks in the Ford line.  When I grew up, you were either a Ford or Chevy person.  We had Chevys in our house, after the long line of Ramblers that never started if there was any moisture in the air, so Fords were always something other people had.  When we bought the F-150 in 2011, we had originally made a deal via the ‘net with a Chevy garage up north. This was a dealer in Littleton, and the salesman was great.  All we had to do was go try the truck out and sign on the dotted line.  Unfortunately, Scott did not like the truck once he tried it out.  The salesman was still great, and in fact told us about a Ford dealer not far away in Vermont.  We went there and they also turned out to be fantastic folks and we drove home with the new F-150.  Since then, my opinion of Ford completely changed, at least as far as their trucks went.  So the idea of settling on wanting the Ram without checking out the comparable Fords didn’t seem prudent to me anyway.

Turns out the Ford still makes a really nice F-150  package they dub the Lariat.  It looked very comparable to the Ram that Scott had liked so much.  Leather interior, heated seats, 8″ screen for the backup camera, etc.  Just lots of niceties you don’t get in the basic F-150 unless you add them.  The Irwin Ford place had one that seemed ideal, so I set up an appointment online for the next day, Thursday.

To start with, it felt completely different in that place.  Everybody smiles and makes eye contact.  Granted, that is how it should be everywhere, but unfortunately is not.  The salesman we dealt with, Ryan, was really nice.  We tried out the Lariat and Scott and I both LOVED IT.  While I never rode in the Ram, Scott was immediately won over to this Lariat and the Ram was no longer a loss in his mind.  I mean, I can’t say 100% that he felt that way, but I could see his eyes light up looking around the inside of that Lariat at everything it had and did.  Part of me would much rather just keep what we have and end up with one less payment, but I must say that the Lariat would have been worth another payment.  So nice!  The test drive also was great.  So now to the wheeling and dealing.  There was very little of it, since they would give us even less than Auto-Serv for a trade-in and could come down even less on the Lariat.  In the end, we just did not want to up our payments to that degree.  We even flirted with a lease, which we had always been against, but in the end we had to agree it was just too pricey.

To his credit, Ryan found us several other vehicles to try out, and we did, and we were close on one of them, A GMC Sierra, but it did not have a big enough back seat.  We carry cages to bird shows, and we need the expanse of the crew cab.  Even just carrying a third adult in the back of that truck would have been very cramped compared to a crew cab, so in the end we had to turn that one down.

This turned into an all day affair.  It was a LOOOOOOONG day. As it got into mid-afternoon, I reminded Scott that Spot was home, crated, and while he would probably be sleeping all day (which is what he does even when I’m home!) we also had the birds to think about.  I have the baby grey still with the parents, which means he should have been fine since they have tons of food in their cage with the 3 extra dishes of various pellets, but they are used to me giving them soft foods at least 3 times a day and I worried about them.  So while we tried to wrap things up at that point, we still ended up not getting home till after 5 PM.

First thing I did was let Spot out.  He was more happy to see me than he was desperate to go out.  That dog has a bladder made of steel, I swear!  Then I warmed up the beans/rice/veggies and brought some in for the grey pair with the baby, as well as giving some to the finch flight where there are baby gouldians.  The baby timneh was on his back and I could see he had very little food in his crop.  I had a very slight tingling at that – a bit of a Spidey sense if you will – but dismissed it.  They would feed him once they got the soft food.  I got a quick pic for the diary and left them alone.

This morning I went in to check on the baby first thing, and he was still in the same exact position, with Mom standing near him, about 3″ away, as if standing guard.  My stomach dropped as I grabbed a flashlight to look closer.  Not breathing.  Crap.  My next thought was that the guy who has been waiting for this baby for so long now was going to be absolutely crushed by this.  Ziggy was not moving away, so I grabbed a perch to try to get her to exit the box.  She attacked the perch, because that’s what they do, and I grabbed a food dish in my other hand to get her to back away enough so I could finally grab the chick.

He was ice cold and not breathing.  You might think I’m nuts at this, but at that point there is nothing to lose, so I started doing quick compressions on his little chest with my finger, and every 5th or 6th one I’d pause and breath into his beak.  After a few minutes  I saw him take a very shallow breath.  I kept up the compressions and breathing and when I stopped again I saw him again take a breath!  I really thought maybe he was going to be ok.  I had Scott plug in the brooder and I was focused on keeping him as warm as possible till I could get him into the brooder.  Almost an hour went by, and suddenly it was as if a light went out and he stopped breathing again.  I tried more compressions and breathing into him for another few minutes, but he was truly gone this time.  A few minutes past 8.

The guilt I feel when something goes wrong with the birds is horrible.  Even when it’s clearly something I have no control over, I always feel like I should have been able to see it coming or somehow been able to stop it or fix it.   So the guilt over this death is right there.  If I had been home yesterday, would this have happened?  Should I have just pulled the kid last night?  Logically I know that the chick should have still been ok even though I wasn’t here yesterday, and I had good reason to just leave them be last night, but still I am second-guessing myself and feeling guilty.  It’s done and I can’t change it.  Its the flip side of the joy that I feel when an egg has hatched – which truly never gets old for me – and I know that anyone that deals with raising animals of any kind knows the feeling.

So it’s been kind of a rough week.  The truck thing has been stressful.  Nothing, though, compared to losing this little life.  He was to be pulled for handfeeding this weekend.  I thought of letting Ziggy and Paco go again if they wanted to, but even though it’s only been two kids she’s hatched in the last two clutches, she needs to take a break till fall.

And so it goes…

The good, the bad.  The life, and death.  Always be thankful for what you have.


1-19-16: Brrrr. — January 19, 2016

1-19-16: Brrrr.

Usually when I run out to get the mail in the winter, I either go out without a coat or maybe I grab a hoodie.  The mailbox is about 75′ from the door, but the road where it is located is like a freeway where the wind races up the hill.  Today, I dug out a parka, hat, and gloves.  It has actually warmed up to a blistering 16 degrees right now, after being in single digits all morning, and still my toes are frozen after that brief excursion outside.

This is the part of winter I do not like.  The snow can be an inconvenience, but generally it’s cleaned up in a day and the roads will clear off – often in time for the next storm – but the spells of nasty cold with a relentless wind get old really fast.  Christmas is over.  We no longer need snow or cold.  I say bring on spring and mud!

With this kind of cold we didn’t even open the chickens’ hatch today.  I should say hatches, plural, because we are currently housing the evil Roo and one of the puffheads in the small coop.  Why is he there?  Last week I was checking on the chickens and while changing out the water I saw HIM pecking the black hen’s head – right on the bald spot he has managed to pluck there.  She squawked and I saw red, and not just the blood that appeared on her head.  I looked around for something with which to whack him, but nothing was handy, so I settled for reading him the riot act and threatening his life.  Then he did it again!!!   That did it.  I went inside and returned shortly, this time dressed for the cold instead of coatless, and armed with a long net.  I coaxed him inside and shut the hatch so he was trapped, along with a few hens.  I netted him in short order – and he is a BIG BOY, indeed!  He was really too big for the net, but I grabbed him on both sides and with the handle of the net dragging behind in the snow I made my way to the little coop and tossed him in.  I told him off, too, believe you me (as the nuns used to say) and locked him in.  Since it’s winter and my goal is not to freeze him or make him miserable – though it seems he kind of deserves that approach – I also netted one of the two puffheads  (white headed black Polish bantys) and tossed her in to keep him company.  We are hoping to get some fertile eggs from these two before Evil Roo moves on to a new home.  Or the stew pot.

Evil Roo is HUGE, for a banty.  I guess we should have kept the Mille Fleur that was such a lousy crower.  At least he was small and only obnoxious to this now-named Evil Roo.  E.R. had a great crow, and was particularly pretty, so he won the competition.  Hindsight, as they say…

Anyway, the coops remain closed on a day like today, and I must go and check for eggs every couple of hours.  Scott goes out first thing, and I’ve been out twice so far.  I got one good egg so far, and found one frozen one buried in the shavings and straw in the small coop.  Hopefully the puffhead will start laying in the nestbox there, so it doesn’t become an Easter egg hunt every day.

On the bird front, Tracker the Timneh grey went home on Sunday, and it was quite a surprise to find that Ziggy had hatched another lone chick on the same day.  I didn’t expect it for another week, but apparently it must have been the first-laid egg rather than the last.  He will stay with Mom and Dad for 10 to 14 days, providing all goes well, and then the handfeeding begins.  In the meantime, though, I have more time than I’ve had in a few months.  Monday, of course, it took half the day to clean, clean, clean.  I cleaned the kitchen to within an inch of its life.  The wall, behind where Tracker’s cage was, needed a major cleaning from the bits of food that had gotten flung upon it!  As did the nearby cabinets.  I also cleaned every inch of counter-top, moving everything and then putting it all back.  Of course his cage also got a total cleaning so it’s ready for the next, future occupant.  It was nice to get everything spotless and know it will stay that way for a bit.

So for a few weeks I have a bit of a lull in the action, at least when it comes to the birds.  I am relocating my craftroom, though, because our son has moved back in and I want to clear the space for him.  My craft area is now going to be where part of Scott’s office space used to be, so that required him to move his stuff.  In a relatively small area, and especially to people that are packrats, moving one thing generally affects several areas!  Much as I resist change by nature, it is often good and means some clutter will get the attention it needs.

So there is plenty to do, but I’m just not feeling it today.  I see the temperature outside is back down to 12, so the heatwave we had earlier is over.  I will keep the woodstove humping, as Scott would say, and read for a bit.  A nice way to spend the day, at least until I have to go outside again.  Stay warm, everyone!  Spring is coming!


01-14-16: The Lottery Not Won — January 14, 2016

01-14-16: The Lottery Not Won

One and a half billion dollars.  Billion with a B.  Wow.  Who didn’t dare dream about what they could do with a piece of that pot?  I know I did.  Sure, the odds were 292 million to one, but so what?  It turns out that there were three winning tickets, so the odds meant nothing  – three times.  You can’t win if you don’t play, so why not?  As it turns out, we had about 10 chances, and got ONE number on ONE ticket!   LOL.  That’s okay, though, I’m very happy for whoever did win, and I hope each of those tickets represents a group of people that pooled their money so that more people will benefit.  With all the million dollar winners and other lower tiered winners, I think there are plenty of people feeling a bit luckier today.

I did have fun imagining what I’d do with that kind of money, though.  I’d love to open a bowling alley in the next town.  It is something that is lacking in this area and would be a great addition.  It would put some people to work and give people a place to go enjoy themselves and even get some exercise.

We’d also build a new house, right here in the same spot.  We love it here, but how cool would it be to be able to build a house exactly the way you want it?  A big square house with a finished cellar and a big woodstove right in the center of it, so all of that lovely heat would help heat the rest of the place.  And the cellar would be a big playroom with a ping pong table and pool table.  Maybe a skee ball setup!  Main floor would have a huge kitchen with tons of counter space.  An open porch off the second floor so you’d have a view even closer to heaven.  A screened porch wrapped around 3/4 of the first floor. A generator that would kick in automatically when we lost power.  A four car garage so we could actually keep our vehicles out of the elements plus have room for lawn mowers and other stuff.  A big workshop, heated.  Maybe a screw machine shop right here on the property, or a training facility.  Ooh, how about a separate heated building as a birdroom?  And a big fence around the whole yard so I would be able to have peace of mind with a loose dog, and not have to worry about a bear coming too close.  The possibilities are endless.  And it’s fun to dream.

Think how great it would be to donate to really worthwhile causes, too.  I’d want to donate to our little town, first of all.  And to Mike Rowe Works. I think what he does makes such good sense.  And how cool would it be the first time I ran into that veteran collecting in front of Walmart?  I always give to him now, but it would be so cool if instead of giving him a five I could give him something substantial.  Not to mention the Salvation Army…

It’s good to dream.  🙂



01-11-16: Bored? Ha! — January 11, 2016

01-11-16: Bored? Ha!

“If I stayed home I’d be bored stiff.”  Have you ever had someone tell you that?  I stay home, and believe me, I am far from bored.  I honestly cannot imagine how anyone could be bored being home.

Take today, for instance.  It’s Monday, so it’s a cage cleaning day  followed by a vacuuming day, which all  run concurrently with a laundry day.  When those are done I go check the chickens, changing out their water  and topping off their food as needed, along with checking for eggs and just a general eye-balling of the flock in general.  Tending the woodstove is also on my list of things to do, and I usually toss in 3 more pieces of firewood every two hours.  Right now I have Tracker, the timneh grey, so I’m also interacting with him pretty frequently.  I’m really trying to get him to be self-sufficient in the eating department, so giving him something new and often handing him a few bites of something to get him going are things I do every couple of hours.

It’s now 11:00 and I just finished up the first round of chores and booted up my PC.  Almost noon!  Haven’t had a chance to be bored yet!

Having the birds usually involves something extra to do as well.  When I’m handfeeding, it obviously ties me to the house and to an additional schedule, but there are other things as well.  Today, for instance, I had the unfortunate experience of finding my pied female parrotlet in tough shape.  I believe she is probably egg-bound.  As soon as I saw her looking pathetic on the floor, I immediately gave her a few drops of liquid calcium and placed her into the nestbox where it will be warmer.  I set my timer for an hour and checked on her when it went off.  One more drop of calcium was put directly into her beak, but I noted she actually had a spark of life this time.  The timer is set again, and if she isn’t looking better still, I will have to set up a brooder for the extra heat for her.  In the meantime, I bypassed the thermostat and upped the degrees by one just to have the furnace kick on.  That will make the birdroom fairly toasty for a bit.  Fingers are crossed that she is ok.

There is another pair of parrotlets nesting as well, so I give them a quick peek to make sure she looks ok. Not an easy task, because she is the parrotlet from hell, Opal.  I do believe she is part demon.

I’m also keeping an eye on the dining room flight, because I found a dead chick on the floor yesterday.  It had a full crop so it may have simply gotten dragged out of the nest by accident.  It happens.  It looked no more than a day or two old and I think it was a gouldian – which would be the second clutch for the pair in the flight.  Their four kids from the first clutch are doing really well and seem quite healthy.  They have been weaned for some time and are still in the flight.  Often the older babies will end up helping to feed the next clutch, which to me is a wonderful thing!  Gouldians have a bit of a reputation as not being the best parents, but I find it usually just takes them a few times to figure things out.  For older kids to help feed babies is a great introduction to them on how to be good parents in the future.  Anyway, I’ve been keeping a close eye to see if anybody else ends up on the floor, but so far there have not been any others.  I keep listening to try to hear other kids, but I can never hear the gouldian chicks till they are about five days old, so I think even if there are more I simply wouldn’t be able to hear them yet.

I’m also trying to get a look at Ziggy’s eggs.  She has four, but only one looked to be fertile when I finally got a look over a week ago.  I’d love to know if that is still the status of the clutch, but she will not budge!  Yes, that makes her a great mom, but it’s a bit frustrating for me.  If I could just catch her out of the box…

The chickens have their own drama going on.  It was last Friday, I think, that I noticed the black hen (one of the first girls we hatched, not one of the most recent chicks) had a bloodied face and comb, and I immediately suspected the Roo of being a bully.  That is not the word I used, but I try to keep this rated G. 🙂  Later she was actually hiding in the corner, next to the water – the same little nook where anyone goes that is being picked on since it offers them a small amount of protection.  I told Scott about it and we decided to move Roo to the small coop for a few days to let the hen  recuperate as much as possible.  So Scott netted him and tossed him into the small coop, after giving him a stern talking to.  I don’t know that the reprimand had any effect, but I do think they realize being alone in the small coop is some sort of prison as a result of their transgressions.  This was no biggie over the weekend because we had this crazy warm weather –  warm enough to rain, at least –  so we had no worries about Roo’s water freezing.  Today we are back to 22 degrees and this means I go out every 3 hours or so to dump the ice and give Roo some water.

Bored?  Yeah, right!

It seems to me that it would be fantastic to have twice as many hours in each day.  You notice I have not written a blog since New Year’s?   It’s not because I was bored and had nothing to write about; I simply did not find the time.  Today I decided I would make the time, period.

Let me add one more complaint before I wrap this up.  How can anyone spend an entire week watching what they eat and having NOTHING to eat after supper, and manage to GAIN four tenths of a pound?????   I expected to be pleased with a  couple of pounds gone, and instead find I gained nearly a half pound.  I am not giving up, however, but I still find it revolting.

The laundry just buzzed, so it’s my cue to end this.




Happy New Year! — January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Another year gone; another new year on which to focus those hopes and dreams that seem fairly attainable when the new year is so fresh.  Losing weight is usually one of those goals, whether you’ve lost and regained that same ten pounds countless times or whether it’s that same ten plus twenty or thirty more.  The funny thing is that if we remember back to when we first thought we needed to lose weight, if we could only get back to THAT weight we’d probably be ecstatic now!  It’s like when you are unhappy with a photograph of yourself, and then three years later you see it again and wish you looked like that NOW.  Maybe it’s just human nature to never be satisfied.  Or maybe it’s that we constantly want to better ourselves, no matter what the present situation.  The latter sounds much better.  🙂

So the tree is taken down and the living room is back to “normal” and seems so much bigger, as it does every year once the tree is gone.  We also went through our stockpile of Christmas decorations yesterday and surprisingly  came up with a ton of stuff to get rid of.  A couple trees, over twenty sets of lights, bunches of satin balls, and boxes of unopened tinsel.  If you understood what packrats we are you’d be amazed that we came up with all this stuff we can actually bear to let go.  The truly amazing thing is that no matter how much we do part with, there is still never enough room.  It seems that space is like money: whatever you have you utilize fully.

On the bird front, we still have Tracker – the handfed Timneh African Grey.  He will be twelve weeks old tomorrow.  If he’d had a sibling he’d probably be fully weaned now, but being a lone chick he is taking longer.  The competition factor among siblings really encourages weaning.  One will pick at a piece of food and the other will immediately go to check it out.  Then he picks, which makes the first one pick again, and on and on.  With a lone chick, he will sometimes sit there, moping, and call to me pathetically.  “Mama, I’m hungry.”  There can be four dishes of various foods right beside him, but with nobody spurring him on he may not eat.  Usually I will heat something up for him and offer him a few bites and then leave the dish in front of him, and most of the time that gets him going.  I have actually added back a morning formula handfeeding over the last couple days, too.  I want to add back a bit of the weight he’s recently lost.  I’d rather he take a week or two longer to wean and be healthier for the delay.

I also gave a nestbox to two pairs of parrotlets this morning.  There is a bird mart on April 3rd in Manchester, NH, put on by BOAF (Birds of a Feather bird club), and we will again have a vendor’s table there.  My parrotlet pairs are all dropping eggs like crazy, and I really haven’t wanted more kids, but giving two pairs a nestbox now should mean a few kids are ready for the mart.  One of the pairs consists of a very pretty – but ornery – female, named Opal.  It took quite a while to get her to accept a male, but she finally did.  With her, shall we say, attitude, he may be too leery of her to actually mate with her, though!  So that pair could very possibly not give me any kids.  The other pair I’ve given a box to is the pied pair.  They’ve had two clutches so far, but very few kids.  So they are not exactly over-worked by any stretch of the imagination.  We’ll see how they do this time.

I’m also hoping to raise some canaries this spring, but at best they would be unsexed if ready for the mart, so I’d rather plan on bringing any to the fall bird show instead.

I have four gouldian kids that fledged just before Christmas.  If they color up in time they may be brought to the bird mart as well.

Ziggy, the Timneh Mom, is on another clutch of eggs, but it looks as if only one is fertile.  Not liking to count my chickens before they hatch, who knows if this will result in a chick or not.  However, I dare say there is some more handfeeding in my near future, one way or the other.

We finally have snow on the ground here, thanks to the storm we had three days ago.  We got about six inches, followed by sleet for most of the day.  I believe that even if we get some more unseasonably warm weather, this will probably stay till spring.  One nice thing about setting up the parrotlets is that kids will be ready at the end of March, which makes spring seem really close.

One of the worst parts about getting older is how quickly time passes.  One of the best parts about getting older is that because time does pass so quickly, even bad things tend to be here and gone quickly.  And on that note, I wish you all a very Happy New Year.  May the good things go by slowly, and may the bad things whiz by before they can beat you down.