Bird breeder's thoughts on whatever…

04-06-17: Ramblings — April 6, 2017

04-06-17: Ramblings

For the past week I’ve been meaning to write a blog entry.  I have good intentions and then after I get the birds done there are other things to do and next thing I know it’s time to start supper and still no blog.  This morning while I was doing the birds I thought “today is the day for a blog!”

Funny story just popped into my mind because of that first paragraph.  When my son, Alex, was in high school, he used to feed and water the chickens for us.  One day a friend called for him and he was outside tending the chickens.  I told his friend, ” he’s out doing the chickens.”    Alex talked to him later and after the phone call said, “Mum, when my friends call, don’t tell them I’m out “doing” the chickens.”    Ah yes, it had a whole different meaning!   However, I still think in terms of doing the birds every day.  🙂

So back to the subject at hand.  The blog.  The ever elusive blog.  The well-intentioned but rarely-materializing blog.  Usually when I do manage to write one, it’s because I had thought about something while doing the birds, so later it just kind of flowed.  I’m big on stream of thought, as if that is a surprise to you if you’ve read this far!   But I do like to have some idea of what I’m going to try to write about.  Not so today, because in the birdroom today my thoughts were occupied with babies.  Babies in the nest and soon to be pulled for handfeeding, as well as babies yet to hatch.

The drawback to this stream of thought writing is that many sentences end up being incomplete sentences.  Mrs. Tilton would not have stood for that, back in high school, and it bugs me enough even now that I often notice after I’ve done it.  But I’m a fast typist, and what I think ends up on the screen so there you go.

Babies.  Lots of babies.  Two clutches of five each for the parrotlets.  One clutch could have been pulled at the beginning of the week, but I’m putting them off for a few days to help preserve what sanity I have left.  The other clutch should be pulled next week.  Then there are the eggs in the budgie box of Cinnamon and Sprite.  SEVEN of them.  IF they are fertile and IF they all hatch, there will be seven crazy budgies to feed.

Budgies are insane.  Budgies are what the pet shops call parakeets, to those of you that are not really “bird people”.  Every budgie is a parakeet, but not every parakeet is a budgie.  A budgie is a budgerigar, shortened to budgie.  Which reminds me of an old Monty Python skit.  Forgive the paraphrasing, but it’s been more than 30 years since I’ve heard this.  Two women, one says to the other, “I had to put me budgie down.”   The other asks, “why, was he sick?”   The response, ” no, we just didn’t like him very much.”

Handfeeding budgies is like handfeeding very small sharks.  Crazy sharks.  Even when they are in a brooder, when you reach in to pick one up, it’s not uncommon to remove your hand with two or three of them attached to your flesh by their beaks.  It’s surprising how strong those tiny beaks can be, even at such an early age.  They don’t break the skin, but it’s a very strong pinch.  Even when I know it’s bound to come, it still freaks me out a bit.  Lovebirds are the only other birds I’ve handfed that are very similar.

There is a bird show coming up in about a month.  Bird “mart” is the more appropriate term, I guess.  Vendors have tables and sell bird-related items as well as birds.  Alex will dog-sit for us that day, since it’s not fair to leave Spotty alone all day.  Any of the current budgies and parrotlets that are almost weaned and remain unsold will be going with us to the mart.  I’ll also bring some of the toys I make and the wooden stuff we make, such as clocks and keyracks.  It will be a long day as I have to get up about 4 or 4:30 in order to have time to do the birds and then make the drive to Manchester.

Living in the “sticks” is probably the most peaceful thing you can do, but it also has the effect – at least on some of us – of making the excursions into public more stressful.  Too much traffic.  Too many people.  People are not as nice as they used to be.  I don’t think it’s just my perception; I think it’s really true.

I remember as a kid walking “up-street” with my mother and saying “hi” to everyone and being met with a smile and a hello in return.  That habit of smiling at strangers you meet and perhaps a nod or hello seems to be a lost art.  I was in a Hannaford market yesterday and the lady in the checkout line in front of me became rather upset with the eventual total, and called it into question.  The cashier read off each item on the screen as she glared at it.  At the end of the list, she wrote out a check, still with the glare, and kind of stomped out.  So I started watching people around me, and most of the shoppers had similar sour-pusses.  I’m sure I’m guilty of this at times, too, sometimes probably just because I am not thrilled to be there with all the people.  I’m going to try to make an effort to keep a smile on my face and see if I can’t get a few in return.  Life is too short.

I’m very long-winded when it comes to writing, aren’t I?  It’s getting a bit tougher since I’ve been having some real problems with a few fingers on my right hand.  Arthritis, I’m sure.  They used to just be sore and achy, but in the past few weeks a new wrinkle has been added, where I get a sudden sharp pain in the underside of my middle finger and it takes a while to subside. I don’t do doctors and I don’t like to do meds, either, but getting older apparently means I may have to suck it up and take an ibuprofen or something.  Of course now they say how dangerous they are, even if taken only rarely.  Sometimes you just can’t win.  Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

OK, I think that’s enough rambling, even for me.  I have a feeling anyone reading this may be finding their eyes glazing over and their heads nodding.  So, until next time, have a great day and smile at strangers, like in the old days.  🙂


Nita’s Nest

03-10-17: This and That — March 10, 2017

03-10-17: This and That

Can I ever think of “this and that” without my mind thinking “dese and dose”?  What is that from?  A movie?  A TV show?  This old mind can’t recall, but somewhere in my memory is someone with a heavy accent saying “these and those” and having it sound like “dese and dose”.

But I digress.  Which, actually, is pretty much all I do in these blogs.  The mind wanders, and the fingers follow.  It’s a good thing I’m a fast typist or I’d never keep up.

The pungent smell of sauerbraten is in the air.  Yum.  Many of my best childhood memories revolve around food.  My mother loved to cook, and being Hungarian/Austrian, along with time spent in Germany, a lot of the foods of my childhood were of the more exotic variety.  Not to us, of course.  Chicken hearts and gizzards… cabbage and noodles… sauerbraten with the delightful potato dumplings and a gravy to die for … goulash … paprikash … all good stuff but at least one of my childhood best friends thought we ate some weird stuff.

Food was a comfort and a reward when I was a kid.  I believe to my mother it was a way to show she loved us.  Of course there was the time she made me a walnut torte as a birthday cake, even though I have always hated walnuts and was 17 or 18 at the time.  Hmm.

Baby birds currently being handfed are parrotlets and budgies, with more to follow.  There are two parrotlet sisters, now fully feathered and just beginning to pick at millet.  They had a sibling hatch ten days later – very odd, that – and he is growing very slowly.  When I finally was able to pull the three oldest budgies and they joined him in the brooder, he was so happy to have some similarly-sized bodies to snuggle up to!  031017BudgieCompilationPic

The pic on the left shows the three older budgies along with the young parrotlet.  The latter is the one with the eyes wide open and whose head is just above my fingertips.  He is similarly-sized despite the fact that the budgies are 8 to 11 days old and he is 20 days old!  In the pic on the right is English budgie mom, Smokey, with the last two kids.  As soon as they are both banded I will remove those as well, and they will join the others.

The parrotlet parents of the current three kids are laying another clutch, and already have 3 eggs.  There is another pair that have 6 eggs and are sitting and due to hatch them before the month is over.

We are ten days into the month of March and yet it is snowing like crazy right now.  I’m sure the weatherman will say it’s a squall, but yesterday’s squall left a quick 2″ on the ground.  Last weekend was bitterly cold with a wind that wouldn’t quit, and we have the same in store for tomorrow.  A good weekend to stay inside.  I look forward to spring weather and mud season.  There should be at least a week of it before the bugs ruin it.  That is what screened porches are for!

Spring is also the time for Spot to go to the vet.  He’ll need a shot this year and testing for Heartworm, as usual, along with the preventative meds.  This kid does NOT travel well.  The minute he gets put into the car (in his crate) he begins to whine.  To hear him you’d think someone must be removing his nails one by one or perhaps slowly removing an ear.  I’ve tried singing to him, talking to him about everything under the sun, being stern with him (“Spot, you are FINE, now cut it out.”) – nothing works.  When we get there and I carry him in, he shakes like a leaf the entire time.  I give my usual warning about how he may bite out of fear and to please be aware and wary, and then it’s all quickly over and we head home.  At that point I have enough of his hair on me that I could easily build him a brother.  You know the old wives’ tale of porcupines shooting needles out?  That is how I envision a nervous Spot – with projectile hairs just shooting out in every direction.  It sure seems that way.  Once in the car on the ride home, he seems to know it’s over and there is usually no more carrying on.  I’m very glad that Spot has been so healthy and we only have to deal with this once a year.

Years ago we had cats.  At one time there were three of them.  Maxwell Pussyboots Golden was the first.  A birthday gift for my son, Alex.  I’m not a cat person, but he wanted one.  Growing up longing for pets, I wanted him to have any pet he wanted, so Max was found in time for Alex’s 7th birthday.  As he got older he developed a bit of an attitude.  Max, I mean, though the same could be said of Alex at times.  He also grew to hate going to the vet.  One time I was bringing him (crated, of course) and it was clear he had peed in the crate.  I just knew it meant he had also peed all over his long fur, and this was proven to be true when we got to the vet’s and he was brought out for his check-up.

Talk about stink!  Oh my word.  The vet gave him his shots and stuffed him back in the crate, and wished me good luck in cleaning him up.  When we got home, I got the biggest bucket I could find, filled it with nice warm water in the tub, and brought the crated Maxwell into the bathroom.  He knew something was up, and he knew he did not want to be a participant.  I grabbed him by the scruff, dragged him out of the crate, and dunked him in the bucket, right to the top of his head.  Just once.  There was no way on earth there could be a twice, because he became a whirling dervish and was out of that bathroom faster than you’d think possible.  A streak of soaking orange fur.  I’m not sure where he even went.  He made sure there was no finding him, until hours later when he cautiously sauntered out, hugging the walls.

I prefer dogs.  🙂

Don’t forget to move those clocks ahead this weekend!  Spring ahead and enjoy that extra daylight!


Nita’s Nest

02-06-17: Catch up — February 6, 2017

02-06-17: Catch up

I see it’s been a month since my last blog, so I guess I’m holding true to form in being slack with the postings.  Oh well.  What can I say?  I’ve been pretty busy with the Timneh Grey kids lately.  One might think I have all kinds of spare time, and yet it doesn’t feel that way at all.  Again I marvel at how anyone can say they are bored to be home, or would be bored without an outside job.

So we made it through January, and I must say this has been one of the easiest Januarys ever.  The whole winter so far has been pretty kind to us.  We have very little snow on the ground – probably less than a foot in the open areas – but we are due for 5 to 8 inches in the next couple days.  I hope we don’t see the mixed precip up here and that it stays mainly snow.  But regardless, February will fly by and we’ll be into March.  Once March is here, even if we have blizzards, the feel of things is different and you can tell spring is on the way.

Spring is the greatest time of the year, especially before the bugs come.  Those of us in the land of ice and snow should feel sorry for the Florida winter-dwellers, for they never get that cheap thrill of spring coming after a long, cold winter.  One of my best memories from childhood is riding my bike down the hill by our house and seeing the water running down the hill from the melting snowbanks.  How great was that feeling!   Here it’s more like winter and then mud season.  Not quite the same exhilaration from melting snowbanks, but a thrill nonetheless.  It’ll be here soon.

The timneh kids are still on two formula handfeedings per day, though the first one is now stretching out to early afternoon as they are able to eat more on their own.  This morning, for example, they got a big dish of warmed Beans/Rice/Veggie mix put into their cage at around 7:15.  It’s not easy doing that, because when the door opens they think it’s time to come out and play.  Mitzi is especially pushy in that respect, and gets rather irked with me when I shut the door practically in her face.  Within a few minutes she settles down and goes to eat, though.

Around 10 or 11 AM, the kids get to come out and have something else.  This morning it was warmed, soaked weaning pellets.  I put a dish of them on the counter and let the kids help themselves at first, then I feed more of them to the kids from my fingers.  They get to play for a bit then it’s time to go back into the cage to amuse themselves.  It’s after 1 PM now and time to give them the first formula feeding.  I will weigh them first, then feed them, then let them play some more.  Having their heads rubbed and scratched is high on their list of priorities right now, along with clip-clopping around on the counter seeing what they can chew or toss over the edge.  Sometimes they also turn their attention to climbing me.  It would seem the top of my head is their goal, while MY goal is to keep them OFF my head.

Later in the afternoon I will give them something else that they can feed themselves, and then in the evening they get to come out and have another formula handfeeding and a big playtime outing, with both Mom and Dad.  Then they have two of us to try to climb!

Stepping up is coming along really well now.  It’s as if they are totally clueless and uncooperative, then suddenly they get it.  It still may take a few more days for their motor skills to catch up, but they do.  Right now, even Frankie is doing a fair job, whereas a week ago he had no clue.  Mitzi has been stepping up like a pro for ages, wonky toe and all.

These are the sweetest kids I have raised.  Normally I see a bit of the biting, obnoxious behavior around 70 days old – or at least that used to be the norm – and that’s when we’d start showing them the “earthquake” move and get them back in line.  But the oldest, Gizmo (formerly known as Mr. Honks, Sir Honks-a-lot, Honky, etc.) is 85 days old today and still extremely sweet.  I have been holding them more than usual and spending much of that time rubbing their heads, and I started doing so at a very young age with this crew.  It seems to have made them much nicer birds.  So this is the new norm.  Mitzi is the most unruly of the three, but still much better than some have been in the past.

I believe they should be ready to go before the end of the month, but you never know.  I can’t rush them.  Some wean quickly and others more slowly.  This clutch seems slower than usual.  They will be worth the wait, though.

We have a pair of parrotlets nesting now.  The female is so feisty, too!  She will come charging out of the box when I tend their cage to give me what for!  LOL.  Also a pair of budgies is  going to nest.  This is an English hen with a nice-sized American male.  Should add a bit of size and be some nice kids, hopefully.  Right now she is busy attempting to remove every single piece of shavings from the box.

Last night was the Super Bowl.  Now, I’ve never liked football and never watched.  However, Luke Bryan was going to be singing the anthem, so I did turn it on to see that.  I thought he did a great job, too.  Then it was back to DVR heaven – Bigfoot and Mountain Monsters, my kind of entertainment!   Later in the night I was curious to see how the Patriots were doing.  I may not like football, but it would be hard to escape the Patriots fever in the northeast during football season.  From what I’d heard, I assumed they’d be winning.  So I found it online, and had to tune in to the Spanish broadcast because the English one was overloaded with viewers I guess, and never did load.  Numbers are numbers, so it didn’t matter.  I believe it was 12 to 28, with the Patriots losing.  I was surprised.  And it was early in the 4th quarter I think, so it seemed they might actually lose.  Despite not liking football, hubby and I actually got caught up in the game and watched.  I even tuned them in on the TV and left the Spanish internet broadcast behind.

I must say, it got exciting and eventually went into OT, which apparently was a first.  I’m sure everyone knows by now that the Patriots came from way behind to win.  Impressive.  I’m still not a football fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I was surprised at how much I knew about the game without knowing how I knew.  It seems like watching the Super Bowl is like watching the World Series, which I only do IF the Red Sox are in it.  However, baseball players are much more interesting to watch.  I like the cut of their jib, if you get my drift.  🙂

I’d like to say I’ll write again soon, but let’s face it – it will probably be another month.  Till then, check out the website and go check out the timnehs’ diary.  Maybe check out my etsy shop while you’re at it.  And remember, spring is just around the corner!



01-05-17 — January 5, 2017


Happy New Year!

My hopes for the new year are pretty simple and basic.  Winning the lottery would be nice, but I’ll be happy to just muddle on as usual.  A roof over our heads, food in the cupboards, no bill collectors at the door, and a maintenance of the current level of health will be sufficient.  World peace would be nice, but let’s not go nuts.  Our own country is divided in two and if we all can’t get along then I don’t see how we can possibly hope for the entire world to achieve peace.

I’d also love to see a bit more civility this year.  We all have thoughts that are less than pleasant or perhaps the polar opposite of civil, but can we at least return to days of yesteryear and keep them to ourselves?  I blame it on the internet and social media.  Far too easy for someone to just write the first nasty thought that enters their head.  When I was much younger I loved a good argument.  No more.  I bite my tongue a LOT now, because what good does it do to inform someone of their shortcomings?  We all know our own issues already and certainly don’t need to be told or reminded of them.  And if we don’t know, I can almost guarantee that most would prefer to remain in the dark.  So keep the nasty thoughts to yourself, folks, and make the world a little better.

Off my soapbox now and stepping into reality.  As Andy Rooney might have said, ” have you ever noticed how the things that should be simple, aren’t?”

We received a new dehumidifier yesterday to replace the defective unit that had been recalled.  One way the internet can be a very positive thing is that I learned of the ability of our old unit to burst into flames for no apparent reason by reading about it on facebook of all places.  Never mind that I had filled out the registration when we bought the unit and they certainly could have contacted me to let me know of this possible catastrophe waiting to happen had they wanted to.   Anyway, the new unit arrived yesterday and hubby checked it out and got it running and deposited the paperwork by my computer.  So as usual I checked out the registration information and found there was no “or register online” bit but instead there was the card to fill out and mail.  Maybe you trust the mail, but I don’t.  That’s a story that would fill several blogs.  So I find the company through a search and go to their site.  Click on support and find a page to register products. So far, so good.

I filled in the information, including the seven million digit serial number, and clicked submit.  ERROR.  FIRST NAME IS INCORRECT.      Huh????   Hmmm…. maybe the original unit was in hubby’s name (even though I am positive it was not) so I try that.  ERROR.  FIRST NAME IS INCORRECT.    Well, they are incorrect.  I do know my name and I’m pretty sure I spelled it right.

Aha, there is a link to the right where I can email customer service.  Great.  I click on that and find I need to fill out a bunch of crap there.  One of the lines asks for the item type.  Of course dehumidifier is not listed, so I go back to the original form to find out what they classify a dehumidifier as.  Air Conditioners.  OK.  Good to know, and of course it makes sense now that I see it.  Back to the email form.  Finish jumping through their hoops and get to the Message part.  “I’m unable to submit my registration form because it gives me an ‘ERROR: FIRST NAME IS INCORRECT.’  While I might have chosen another name if given the opportunity, I’m pretty sure I entered my correct first name and actually spelled it correctly.  Please advise.”

Chances are pretty good I’ll never be contacted by them.  Since the warranty is only for one year, it probably doesn’t really matter.  The point is, I wasted about twenty minutes on something that should have taken five.

I suspect I’m not alone in preferring to shop for as much as I can online.  Shopping in stores was never something I particularly enjoyed, and as I’ve gotten older it has become far less so.  If I could have the store to myself that might not be the case, but since I don’t see that happening, I like to shop online.  It also gives the ability to find the best deal and find things I probably could never find in a store.  Let’s face it, as much as I love crowds and shopping, if it isn’t at the Walmart fifteen minutes away, then I’m not finding it in real life.  Online shopping is usually pretty good, too.  You see what you want, find the best price, order it and wait for its arrival.  No muss, no fuss.  Shopping for anything you wear has its issues however.

Recently I was awake after midnight and flipping through the channels when I happened upon the Home Shopping Network and they were selling the Deal of the Day or Today’s Special Value – whatever they call it.  Boots.  Women’s winter boots.  Waterproof.  Fur-lined.  Looked good.  And they come in wide.  Hot damn!  No shipping and a special price!  What could be better?  However, being realistic and cheap, I thought, no, I won’t get out of bed and order this, I’ll wait till morning and think it over again.  So in the morning I go to their website and see they still have the blue ones I was eying, and in my size.  Double-check the style with a quick search and find that yes, the price elsewhere really is considerably more.  OK, I order them.

Boots arrived yesterday.  Look good.  I nod to nobody – yes, this was a good choice!   Try on the left boot.  Ahhh.  Nice, furry interior and comfy.  Try on the right boot.  What the hell?  Why is this one pinching my foot?  Why does it hurt to bend my foot – as in WALKING???  Now, I know I have a heck of a time finding comfortable shoes.  I have wide feet, need arch support, there is an ingrown toenail that acts up from time to time… but I know my right foot is not wider than my left!  Not unless it has suddenly ballooned up overnight!  I decide that maybe with wear the offending boot will stretch a bit and be ok.  I wore them inside for a few hours and reluctantly toyed with the idea of sending them back.

They had arrived with free shipping, however, to send them back is $7.95.  Kind of a rip-off, since if they had both been the same width I’d have happily kept them, but I don’t believe HSN really cares what the reason is – though you can be sure I wrote it on the return slip!  They do make it easy to return them, providing you don’t mind the cost.  They give you a return label sheet, with either UPS or USPS, whichever you prefer, and you simply box them back up and put the return label over the original label.  They will deduct the shipping cost from the refund amount.  It irks me to have lost $7.95 on the deal, but I’m trying to justify it as what it would have cost me in gas money had I gone all over searching for boots.  I did say TRY to justify it.

I guess these minor irritations are not going to change just because it’s a new year.

“When you look back over your shoulder
At everything you’ve done
Put the good times in your pocket
Let the bad ones make you strong
Keep chuggin’ along”

                                                 Luke Bryan


12-15-16: Baby, it’s cold outside — December 15, 2016

12-15-16: Baby, it’s cold outside

We’ve been pretty lucky so far this winter.  I know, technically winter hasn’t actually started yet according to the calendar but, let’s face it, it’s winter in NH.  We had about 7″ of snow a few days ago, so we are certainly looking like winter.  But we have been lucky thus far.  Temps had been in the high 20’s up here and to me, that’s nothing to complain about.  We are, however, in for a change.  It’s already started and only going to get worse tomorrow.  14 degrees right now and the wind is just howling!  The scanner is warning of white-out conditions and we are having our own out here every few minutes.

I went out to check on the chickens and the wind suddenly kicked up so I couldn’t even see the coop 20 feet ahead of me!  I also watched as the relentless wind blew over a pole that was stuck in the ground with a solar light on top.  When I finally made my way over to the chicken coop I found all of them inside except for the one “puffhead” that has been picked on lately.  She was out in their yard, in the area under the coop where we have plexiglass or wood over the fencing for a winter wind buffer.  I suspect it will not be too difficult to coax them all inside tonight.  Tomorrow is expected to be about 20 below zero with the wind-chill.  We don’t mind the snow and “normal” cold, but this bitter cold stuff is the pits.

I’m happy to say that my hubby is finally getting better!  He had the flu really bad in November and it knocked him out for about two weeks.  When we finally thought he was getting better it nailed him again about a week later.  A month of being incapacitated is too much, and scary as well, so although we don’t “do” doctors, he went this past Monday.  He was told that the flu will sometimes mutate to a different variant which will then hit you when the original bout is pretty much over.  Or the flu can lead to pneumonia or another bacterial infection.  He was given antibiotics and is now feeling much better, he just has to take it really easy to regain his strength.  Fingers are crossed, but I hope this is the end of it and he can enjoy life again.

The baby Timneh African Greys are doing really well.  I was so afraid I was going to lose that youngest one, in particular.  To think he was only 10 grams and cold and a bit stiff… and now he’s 27 days old and 138 grams!   I feel very fortunate.  Aren’t they adorable?121516compilation

I love having the Christmas tree up!   This one does a very subtle, gradual change, from a soft white to pastel colors and finally to bright colors.  I remember the old days of flashing lights and, while I loved those at the time, this gradual morphing is really nice.  My tree has mostly homemade decorations, but there are a few oldies from when I was a kid as well as a bunch of glitzy, glittery BIRDS.  Glitz and glitter are good at Christmas, and it makes for a nice mix on the tree.  The tree is usually up for about a month, and I remember when that seemed like a long time.  Now it seems as if that month flies by and I could easily leave it up for another month and not be sick of it.  However, I do love getting the space back as well.  I’ve always thought it would be really cool to win Megabucks and be so rich you could have a huge house with big rooms and have many trees at Christmas, all with different themes.  Maybe have a really stunning tree that had it’s own room where it could just stay up all year round and lift your spirits whenever you felt a bit down.  🙂

I’d like to wish a Merry Christmas to all who may be reading this.  Happy holidays, happy Quanza, Happy Hanukkah… whatever you may celebrate!  And you can wish me a happy “whatever” as well, because it’s the sentiment that counts, not the particular name.  Let’s all hope and pray for a wonderful new year as well.  If we could all try to be just a little bit nicer, think how much better the world could be.


11-29-16: Once in a Blue Moon — November 29, 2016

11-29-16: Once in a Blue Moon

Apparently that is how often I write a blog now.  Once in a blue moon.  What can I say?  I have good intentions but life seems to be way too busy most of the time.  The people that say “if I stayed home all day I’d be bored to death” are totally insane in my book.  I find myself wishing each day was twice as long.  However, I am here and determined to write.  I have given this no forethought, so we’ll just see where it takes us, shall we?

Last month we did the BOAF (Birds of a Feather) bird show in Manchester.  I had spent several weeks preparing our products  in terms of making new tags with a lot more info.  I also made more bird toys.  I have an etsy shop where all this stuff is offered, so making the tags and more toys was not strictly for the show.

The set-up for the show begins at 7:00 and the doors open at 9:00, so we plan to get there at 7:30.  I have everything else ready the night before, but some things have to be done in the morning.  It’s a good hour and a half drive, so I get up at 4:00 AM so I have time to feed and water the birds plus pull the birds we’ll be bringing to sell and put them in the small cages we include with each of them.  Scott gets to sleep an extra hour.  We have to be out of here by 6:00 AM.  It’s a long day.  Alex (our son) comes up to spend the day dog-sitting.

We did ok at the show.  I sold all the gouldians I brought, but not the 3 canaries, so those had to come back home and be quarantined.  I was also given an English budgie at the show, so that also had to be quarantined.  Quarantine is a necessary evil, but I really hate it.  It means odd cages in the house, wherever I can stick them, which means extra cleaning and more work as part of the daily bird maintenance.  I’ll be glad when it’s over!

The rest of October was uneventful.  November started out that way as well.  The weather has been nice – certainly nicer than years past when I recall Alex trick-or-treating in a winter coat and leaving footprints in the snow!  Whether it’s truly global warming or just the cyclical weather pattern, we’ve definitely had warmer – and longer – springs and falls than we used to, and I’m loving that.

So all was going along fine until November 11th, when Scott came home from work not feeling well.  He went to bed really early, and it soon became apparent that he had the flu. For years and years we had gotten flu shots and never gotten the flu, but in the past several years the paranoia from hearing all the tin hat conspiracy theories about the flu shots had convinced us not to get them anymore.  So of course, Scott gets the flu.  And boy did it hit him hard!  He spent almost the next two weeks in bed, miserable.  (Thanks to a friend that had told us his doctor said it was safe to take four when needed, since it was the only thing that finally gave Scott some relief from the pounding head that was keeping him from truly resting.) I went through almost two full cans of Lysol spray, constantly spraying down every surface where he’d been!  I have birds to take care of and just can’t afford to be sick like that.  For what it’s worth, the Lysol must have worked because I did NOT get sick!

I should mention here that while he was sick as a dog, my Timneh African Grey pair hatched out chicks on the 13th, 14th, and the 18th.  It’s unusual for them to hatch three, so this was great.  They appeared to be taking great care of the kids as well.  I planned to pull the kids around the end of the month, since I was hoping to get the youngest to about ten days old first.

By the beginning of the week of Thanksgiving, Scott finally started to come around.  He was able to spend some time upright, which was a nice change.  He’d lost twenty pounds over the course of this flu!   It was also during this recovery time that he had been sitting at the table, with a piece of toast in front of him and his four ibuprofen when disaster hit.  No need to gross you out, but let’s just say the ibuprofen didn’t go down well.  Or at all.  We’ll jump ahead to Scott in the shower, cleaning up, and a pile of clothes on the bathroom floor.  I gingerly picked those up to throw in the laundry, but first deposited them on the floor by the washer to check the pockets.  (I have washed many a paper towel in my life and frankly there are any number of things I’d rather do than pick off millions of pieces of paper towel from all the clean clothes.)   At this point, there was one shirt left on the floor.  Spotticus comes trotting in, grabs something from the shirt and CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH immediately eats it and leaves the room.  Oh no!  Spot no doubt has found the missing ibuprofen.

I run to boot up my PC to see if ibuprofen will hurt a dog, and of course find it is highly toxic.  This reminds me that I believe this happened on Sunday, because I knew the vet would not be open.  OK, so I now need to make Spot throw up to get this out of him before it destroys his kidneys.  More searching.  Hydrogen peroxide will make a dog throw up.  One teaspoon per ten pounds of dog weight.  Spot is 11 pounds.  I grab the hydrogen peroxide and grab Spot.  Easier said than done.  I’m panicking totally at this point and he senses something is up and is NOT cooperating at all.  But finally I grab him and dribble the stuff onto his lips and he is forced to ingest it.  Nothing happens, except for him giving me a look which killed me.  Like, Mama, why are you forcing something horrible into me?

Back to the PC.  The hydrogen peroxide may take 20 minutes to work. If it doesn’t you can dose them up to 3 times.  So 20 minutes go by and I grab him again.  This time the look he gave me was just horrible and made me feel so bad.  He’s my baby.  😦     But I do what has to be done and five minutes later I see the familiar signs of a dog ready to heave and let him outside where he promptly empties his stomach.

I spent the rest of the day and the next several days watching him like a hawk to make sure nothing was amiss.  Thankfully, I got him in time and he was OK.  I hate to think what could have happened if I hadn’t seen – or heard – him eating that pill.

By Tuesday Scott was able to eat a bit more.  He wanted cereal.  Rice Krispies.  Go figure.  But up till then he’d been eating mainly yogurt.  Again, go figure.  With me, anything with milk would be the last thing I’d want!  So I went to the store and got a variety of soups, more ginger ale, and cereal.  I had looked in at the timneh chicks and taken the daily picture and all was well.  Things were looking up!  Wednesday that changed.

When I check the babies, Ziggy (the mom) is generally covering them  and I can’t see anything.  If I talk softly to her and back up a bit, she will usually back up off of the kids and let me take a look (and a quick picture) and then go cover them again.  She moved off and I see the three kids have empty crops and are sitting on the bare wood floor of the box.  The shavings had been moved away in that area, probably by her or perhaps Paco, the dad.  Either way, the chicks now were in danger.  The little one, in particular, looked bad.   So I exited the birdroom but watched from outside the door.  Within minutes Ziggy exited the box.  I rushed in and grabbed the kids and left.

I hadn’t planned to pull them this soon, so the brooder was not warmed up.  I put the kids into a Cool Whip container with shavings and put them into the brooder and cranked up the temp.  The temperature was up to 86 degrees within a couple of hours, and once the kids were nice and toasty I took them out to weigh them and try to feed them.

A few numbers here…  oldest chick was 10 days old and weighed 46 grams; middle chick was 9 days old and 32 grams; and the little guy was only 5 days old and weighed a mere 10 grams.  I was really concerned about him.  His down was not fluffy at this point and he was kind of an ashen gray.  Also there was not a lot of movement from him.  The other two didn’t look that great either, but they had some size on their side.  I started out feeding every hour, and just trying to get a few drops into the bigger kids and even a single drop into the little guy.  Let’s just say it was really touch and go for several days and it would not have surprised me at any time to find the little one dead.

As I said, this was on Wednesday, so interspersed with these feedings every hour I was also making pie, homemade rolls, and parfaits for the holiday.  Scott was doing a lot better, though still sleeping most of the day.  At some point in the afternoon I had all the goodies made and had just fed the kids when I figured I had time to set up the Christmas tree.  I bought a really nice tree last year from QVC.  An Ellen DeGeneres tree that has LED lights that you can set to morph from  white to pastel to bright colors.  Love it!  Plus it’s in 3 sections that have a contact system inside the pole part so there is no plugging them together or any of that.  Once the next section is inserted it automatically lights.  It worked great last year.  It is also so full that we had said then that it would be gorgeous even without decorations.

So I get the bottom section in place and it’s beautiful.  Lights right up.  Can you see where this is going?  I put the middle section in and …. nothing.  OK, pry it back out, try it again.  Nope.  No lights.  Put the top section on and THAT lights.  Middles section, no lights on. I am not a happy camper.  Why can’t things just WORK like they are supposed to????

Of course I have the original paperwork, plus I go on my PC and find the original order info and print that out.  I find the number of the company that makes the tree and call them.  I am on hold for many, many minutes, listening to too-loud Christmas music while they periodically tell me how important I am.  Finally I get a human and explain the issue.  He had me try plugging the middle section into the plug at the base of the wall outlet plug, which showed us that the section DID work that way.  I must say, he was a nice guy.  He said he’d had one other customer with this same issue, but apparently it’s not that common.  He asked if I had the warranty card there.  I did.  I’m efficient that way.  🙂  I found it interesting that he had me read one of the lines from the card in order to verify I had the card and was entitled to the warranty.  Rather odd because I was able to register the tree online and not send in the card.  Good thing I’d kept it.  Anyway, a new middle section is on the way and in fact should be arriving today.  Better still, he was able to tell me that if I unscrewed the cap from the end of the light string at the top of the tree and could plug the middle section into that, it would all work till the new section came.  I had to unravel the lights on one branch in order to get the plug to reach, but as he pointed out, that section will be trashed anyway so who cares?   So it worked.  And we were right last year – the tree IS pretty enough even without any ornaments!  I didn’t want to decorate it because I want to be sure it works correctly with the new middle section when it arrives.  Then I can decorate it.

We had a nice Thanksgiving with Alex.  It was like the old days since Alex is single this year.   Had a great meal and then watched holiday movies, beginning with our classic favorite, Home for the Holidays.  If you haven’t seen this movie, find it and watch it.  We watch every single year and I swear I find some new little nuance every year.  That was followed by our other classic, Christmas Vacation.  It’s just not Thanksgiving without those two movies.  Of course every hour we had to pause while I fed the kids!

The kids finally began to improve to the point where I was cautiously optimistic, especially about the youngest one, on the 26th.  They began to gain weight and all three were fluffy and nice and pink.  Yesterday they were really doing well and I think we are out of the woods now.  The littlest one weighed 24 grams yesterday!  That was a total gain of 140% since I had pulled them five days earlier!   Today they are 16, 15, and 11 days old and weigh 72, 56, and 28 grams respectively.  They have a diary where you can watch their progress, too.

That pretty much brings us up to date here.  My my, I do love to talk, don’t I?  Amazing how carried away I can get.

Oh, one last thing.  Someone asked me last week if any of the angelfish I’d been trying to raise had actually made it or not.  We ended up with one survivor out of the first spawn, and when I say “first” I think it was actually the third spawn, but the first one where I kind of knew what I was supposed to be doing and where I finally was having some luck in raising the baby brine shrimp the fry needed to eat to survive.  From the next spawn we had eight survivors!  They got to be about nickel-sized before I moved them into the 29-gallon community tank and are doing great.  The angels spawned again (they are like rabbits!) at the beginning of November, and there are currently close to twenty fry still alive.  Bear in mind that I’m only using a five-gallon tank for the kids, when they would be doing so much better in a bigger tank.  I just don’t really have the space.  If there was a definite outlet for kids I might be inclined to try a bit harder, but I don’t really relish the idea of a half dozen aquariums crammed in here just for a return of maybe a dollar per fish!  However, the whole experience has been really cool and I’m so glad I kept at it till I got it right.

NOW I think we are caught up!  And a timer is telling me it’s again time to feed babies!




9-27-16: Long time, no blog — September 27, 2016

9-27-16: Long time, no blog

It’s been almost a month since my last blog, so today I’m just going to put my email on hold for a bit and get to it.

First on my mind is last night’s debate between Trump and Clinton, our two less-than-stellar choices for president.  I don’t normally comment on politics here because I don’t believe anyone ever really changes another person’s opinion and, since the country is divided pretty much in two politically, I am almost guaranteed to piss off half the people.  But, what the heck.

We watched the debate, or at least I watched it in its entirety while Scott I think watched the back of his eyelids for the last 10 minutes or so.  My take-away was pretty much that I still wish there was another viable alternative but since there is not then Trump gets my vote.  Sure, there are a couple other names out there, but no way are they going to win and I refuse to throw away my vote.  This election is too important.  The country is already so far removed from the America I grew up in that we just can’t afford four more years continuing down that path.

Was everything great when I grew up?  No, but there was always the truth that no matter who you were or how you grew up, if you worked hard and never gave up you COULD make something of yourself and get ahead.  That no longer seems to be the case.  Government is bigger than ever and promises to continue on that path unless something changes.  Individual long-held rights seem to be in jeopardy, even as rights are granted to the most far-fetched circumstances and situations.  It’s not ok for a kid to read a bible in school but it’s ok to teach Islam.  A kid mentions a “brownie” at snack time and is reprimanded for racist talk.  The world is crazy.  Common sense is in short supply.

At any rate, I doubt very much anyone had their opinion changed due to last night’s debate.  If you were for Hillary at the start, you likely ended that way.  Same for Trump.  I wish Trump had been less distracted by her attacks so that he might have gotten in more of his own points, but it was his first such debate and hopefully he will allow himself to be a bit more schooled for the next two.  It was plain that Hillary had done a LOT of practicing and she managed to get all her attack points out there.  This is not her first rodeo and it showed.

I was not surprised last night after the debate to hear most of the pundits give the victory to Hillary, though many conceded that Trump had not really done himself much damage, either.  I was surprised a short time ago to read online that many polls taken after the debate gave Trump the win.  Really?  Maybe that just goes along with my thoughts that the debates really don’t change any minds.  This morning, Good Morning America seemed to echo last night’s pundits in saying Hillary had won.  Then one of the women on GMA made a comment about Trump’s language, and how she had to look up “braggadocious” because she thought he’d made it up.  That caused me to shake my head a bit.  Really?  Of course that is a legit word!  But before I start thinking I’m clever, I thought his use of “bigly” – which he has said before – was an error.  Time for me to have a red face because I just checked and it IS a word!  Who knew?  It just doesn’t sound right to me but, he is no fool and despite what one may think of him, he is a smart man.

Speaking of all the politics of late, who is sick to death of the phone calls and polls?  I usually don’t mind most of them.  Especially when they are the recorded type where you can simply hit a button for your response.  The ones where you are stuck speaking to a live human who often cannot pronounce the candidates’ names (especially when it comes to the local elections – can you say Ayotte?) are getting annoying.  Sunday night we had a call after 8:00, asking for my son, who is currently staying with us.  He did not want to spend the time on a polling call so I passed that on and hung up.  He gets up early to go to work, so he’s in bed usually by 9:30.  Around 10:45 the same people called for him again.  I rushed to grab the phone since by then hubby was also in bed asleep.  They asked for Alex, and I said, “Don’t you think it’s a wee bit late to be calling?”   The man said, “I’m sorry, Ma’am, but we have to get a certain number of calls in before they let us leave.”   I said, “well it’s too late.  Goodnight.”  After I fed the kids at 11:00 I went to bed.  About 20 minutes later the phone woke me.  Same damn people.   I hissed into the phone, ” if you people call here again tonight I will SCREAM.  People are trying to sleep here!”    That’s crazy that they expect these folks to make calls into the late night hours.  Even crazier that they can imagine it will put anyone into the right frame of mind for answering their multitude of questions.

I’m also very tired of the polls that are so obviously slanted for one candidate.  You know the ones.  They ask if you’re voting for A or B.  I say B, the republican.  Then you get the qualifiers… “If I told you that candidate B was recently convicted of murdering baby seals and torturing puppies, would that make a slight difference, more of a difference, or no difference at all in your vote?”     OK, I took some liberties with the question, but that is the gist.  I guess that’s enough politics.  I know it’s about all I can stand.

We had our first good frost yesterday morning.  The furnace even kicked on!  We had brought all the houseplants onto the porch the night before and bug bombed.  That way anything that might have found a home on the plants during the summer doesn’t come into the house.  Yesterday I hung up the hanging plants.  I have a few bigger houseplants that will wait a few more days.  Have to do a bit of rearranging to fit them back in.

The garden was better than many years but not as great as it could have been.  I already have my plan for next year, which boils down to more tomatoes and pumpkins and less squash (except for Kuta).  I’m done trying for cukes.  They just don’t do well up here and they are so cheap locally it’s a waste of space and effort. The only pumpkins that grew for me this year were the small, cooking-types.  I got three of those. So they are out in the front entryway along with some mums.  A last bit of color before it turns much colder.

The trees are just beginning to turn up here as well.  The summer has been so much drier than normal I wonder how the foliage is going to be this year.  So far I’m seeing some maroons but no yellows or oranges.

I’m feeding the last clutch of parrotlets for the year.  Unless the greys do something this may be it for handfeeding for a bit.  I can’t say I’d mind a break.  I’ve been handfeeding continuously for quite a few months straight now.  There may be some news on the bird front soon, too.  A possible addition to the flock.  I’ll leave with that teaser hanging in the air.

Until next time, make sure you smell the roses.


Nita’s Nest

Nita’s Nest Creations (my Etsy shop featuring SAFE bird toys and bird-themed items)

08-29-16: Bird Update — August 29, 2016

08-29-16: Bird Update

I think it’s time for an update on what’s been going on with the birds.  A few things of note happened this weekend, concerning the budgies and the African greys.

Sprite is a pretty little green pied budgie that was given to me a while ago.  Although the color of his cere is not exactly crystal clear in terms of what sex he is, we are going under the assumption that he is a male.  Since I’m keeping one of my female kids for him, that will no doubt prove to be wrong!  But for now, we’re calling Sprite a male.  So he’s been in the dining room in a cage hanging in front of the window.  It’s taken him longer than I expected to become comfortable with us.  You can see it in his stance – he’s not been totally relaxed with us.  So  this past week I had my son help me clip his wings. We found that once clipped, he would step up pretty nicely and never once tried to bite.  However, you could still see in his posture that he would probably rather be doing something else!

Yesterday I brought Sprite into the living room where the baby budgies share a cage.  I have a ladder attached to the outside front of their cage, with a perching structure suspended from the end of the ladder.  The bottom of it is still about nine inches from the floor, allowing it to swing about and the birds seem to really enjoy this.  So I let Sprite step up onto the perching area.  I opened the cage door and the kids hopped to the door to take a peek at this new green guy.  Picture all the little heads angled down and their little eyes fixed on Sprite.  It was cute. They soon came out, and eventually someone got brave enough to share that perch area and check him out up close.  Sprite took it all very well.  Stood his ground and didn’t seem too concerned.  The kids were also pretty calm about it all.  082816BlueBudgieKidandSpriteThis is the perch unit suspended from the end of the ladder.  You can still see from his stance that Sprite is not totally at ease.  When the tail is down like that you can tell he’s not as comfortable as he could be.

So we let everyone hang out for a while and then later I took the cinnamon female kid and brought her out to Sprite’s cage, and let her check it out.  Shortly after I brought Sprite in and put him back in the cage with her.  They are not exactly thrilled, but there is no animosity that I can see either, so to me it was a win-win.082916CinnamonHenAndSprite.jpgThis is mostly how they have stayed so far.  Cinnamon girl is either on the high perch or on the swing, and Sprite sits on his favorite spot.  I think soon I will find them getting to know each other and becoming friends.

As for the greys, some of you know I had bought an older female in the hopes that my boy, Griff, would win her heart and they’d go to nest at some point.  Unfortunately nobody went over this plan with Winnie, and she was having none of it.  Griff has always been a gentleman, but her…!  Not a nice girl to my boy!  Not at all.  So they’ve been together and separated twice now.  Since the last time, she’s been in a cage right next to his cage, and I do mean RIGHT NEXT TO IT.  They have done some beaking (not in a mean way) through the bars, which was encouraging.  It’s been quite a while, and most of the time they hang out near each other, with the two cage walls between them.  I’ve been leery of biting the bullet and trying them together one more time because I kept thinking that if it still didn’t work I was really going to have to face the fact that they probably would never get along.  But it was time.

I had my son help me get the swing out of Griff’s cage because that has been a problem when they were together before.  It’s a big swing and a bird on the swing can be reached by a bird on the perch at the rear of the cage.  Not good.  So Alex had Griff step up on him, he handed him off to me, then while I held Griff, Alex worked on getting the swing out.  Once that was done, I handed Griff back and Alex put him inside.  Now it was time for the beast.  She will step up from the floor, but in the cage she is not cooperative.  So I got a perch and had her step up onto that – eventually, LOL.  Actually it went pretty well, and probably took less than five minutes.  Then I put the perch, with her on it, into the cage and let her step off onto a perch.  Shut the door, crossed my fingers, and went back into the living room where I called up the camera that is trained on their cage and watched to see what would happen.

It’s been a day now, and there has been no fighting yet.  A bit of posturing, on both parts, but nothing that has made me know I need to call a halt to the cohabitation.  I just hope it continues.  Life would be much better for both of them if they had a birdy friend.

The other greys were given access to their nest boxes at the end of last month.  Ruby, the congo, has 3 eggs so far, but I’m not excited.  I’d put money on them not being fertile.  Ziggy and Paco, the timnehs, have not started a clutch yet.  I’m really hoping they have a successful nesting this time with a couple of chicks.

I have 3 parrotlets that will be going home this week, starting tomorrow.  I took a final group shot of them a little while ago.082916Plets101.102.103_01WSzThese are lovely kids.  On the left is the oldest, a male turquoise; next is a blue hen – she is the one leaving tomorrow; and on the right is a male dilute turquoise.  Beautiful kids and a very nice clutch.  I’m still bummed that I lost the youngest one, a female dilute turquoise I was going to keep.  Looking back there is nothing I’d have done differently; sometimes bad things just happen.  😦

I’m now feeding 3 kids which are the second clutch (this year) from the blue parrotlets.  They were born the 1st, 2nd, and 4th of this month, so the oldest is just four weeks old today.  I already have deposits on the two oldest, and will be keeping the youngest – a hen – unless the parents of the 3 in the pic above have another female in the clutch they are currently hatching.  I think they hatched a third baby yesterday.  Mom is extremely protective so it’s hard to tell.  I’ll be pulling those babies in another week and a half or so, so once again will be handfeeding two clutches of different ages.  That is probably it for parrotlets this year, unless the other pair I have decide to go to nest.  They have not been interested, and since it’s been so long since I’ve had a break from handfeeding I’m not too upset with that, either.

The chickens were integrated into the big coop a couple weeks ago, just after dusk.  We took each of the four kids (about 16 weeks old at the time) and I banded them while Scott held them, then he put them onto a perch in the dark coop.  The theory is that in the dark they won’t fight and will just ignore each other and sleep, and then in the morning will not really notice the newcomers.  Amazingly, this works surprisingly well.  So the four have been added to the eight with very little squabbling at all.  The lone roo is crowing pretty well now, too.

I’m starting to see some trees changing color already, which happens every August, and I’m looking forward to fall and gorgeous foliage.  I’ve had enough of the heat.  Nothing makes me happier than breaking out the sweatshirts!


Nita’s Nest

My Etsy Shop


08-25-16: Talk to the TV — August 25, 2016

08-25-16: Talk to the TV

Am I the only one that talks to the TV?  I hope not.  I also hope it’s less because I’m sixty and more because I’m just plain intolerant.

This morning on GMA – that’s Good Morning America for those of you not fortunate enough to get their first real news as well as fluff news of the day so late in the morning – some woman said, “I had to LITERALLY pick my mouth up off the floor!”   To which I said – to the TV – “no, you didn’t, you @$$^*#%!”   and immediately wrote it down to share later with my son, who also finds the misuse of literally to be worth a shake of the head and a chuckle, though not to the point of warranting an emphatic correction of the TV.

Another one that causes me to talk to the TV is the pillow commercial where the woman says “I was more align.”    Again, me and the TV: “AlignED!!!   With an “ED”, you idiot.”  This is one of those things that drives me nuts.  I used to be a spelling Nazi, but spelling is no longer at the top of my list of pet peeves.  It’s this weird dropping of the “ED” which seems to be really prevalent.   I don’t get it.  It does not even sound right.   I see it in print and I hear it frequently.  “I am bias.”    Uh, no, you are not.  You may be “biased” but you are clearly not “bias” in any way, shape or form.

I keep telling myself I will start a list and write it down whenever someone drops the “ED” in such a way as to make me cringe.  I suspect I would need a lot of paper, especially if I also added the “literally” faux pas to that list.

So is it the age thing, or am I just really intolerant?  I would not ever correct anyone directly for this mistake, because though I may be intolerant and rude INSIDE, I am not that way outwardly – or at least I hope not.  I don’t see any way to correct someone for this transgression without appearing to be a self-righteous snob, so I will continue to make a mental note and move on.  Precisely the opposite of what most people seem to do online, I might add!  God forbid any mistake or error online should be left untouched and without comment!

So while I do wish I was more tolerant, at least I have the decency to limit my judgement to mental notes and barking at the TV.  Not literally, mind you.  Or perhaps I should rephrase that.  “I was literally barking at the TV!”    One for my list!


Nita’s Nest

Etsy Shop, for unique bird-themed items as well as SAFE bird toys

08-12-16: RANT — August 12, 2016

08-12-16: RANT

Yes, that is RANT with all caps.  Today started out fine, but it’s only mid-afternoon and I find myself irritated beyond measure.  Let’s start at the beginning.

Scott and I were out sky-watching last night from 10 till almost 2.  It was balmy out and the sky was pretty clear.  Lots of meteors, though not the biggie they said we might experience.  Not unless that happened after 2 AM.  I found myself falling asleep a lot, for short spurts.  So when it was nearly 2 AM that seemed a good point to call it a night.  Of course at 7 AM this morning, I still had to get up to feed the babies and then dole out eggfood in the birdroom to anyone with kids.  I did go back to bed after, and slept till 9 when Scott decided it was time to start his day.  A quick shower and I was ready to get going.  So far so good.

While I was tending the birds, my mind was wandering as it usually does.  Remember, my best blogs are written then – in my mind.  Unfortunately those brilliant blogs rarely make it to the screen.  Anyway, this morning was a cage-cleaning day, and at one point a seed found it’s way into my shoe, and this was what set off my mental blog which was all about the things that annoy us.  The seed in the shoe was the start of my wandering thoughts, because I cannot stand anything in my shoe.  A grain of sand or a tiny seed – either one will drive me insane until I remove it.  Scott says it’s the Princess and the Pea all over again, and I guess it’s true.  So that set my mind off on the tangent of things that annoy.

What else drives me nuts?  Someone bringing a dish or a cup to the sink and leaving it there.  If you’ve already brought it that far, take the extra minute and wash the damn thing and stick it in the strainer.  Perhaps if I had a dishwasher this one wouldn’t irritate.  The fact is, if you’ve already made the effort of bringing something to the sink, though, how tough is it to take that lousy minute to wash it?  Especially when you know it irritates someone else?

I had a friend years ago that once went on a rant about people not pushing the chairs in at her table.  Drove her insane!  You can bet that when I visited I made damn sure to push my chair back in after getting up from the table!  I always thought that was weird, but as I was thinking about that this morning I realized all my chairs were pushed in at the table.  If people started leaving them out maybe I’d be irked, too.

I had to make a quick trip out today, which in itself is an oxymoron.  There is no such thing as a quick trip from here, since it takes a bit to get anywhere.  But anyway, on my trip I again started thinking about things that irritate.  What brought that back up?  The traffic!  So many irritating things there, let’s just pick a couple.

How about the person that drives 40 mph in the 50 mph zone and will not pull over to let me by?  Impossible to pass this time of year, with all the flatlanders up, but you could certainly pull over.  You’re obviously not in a hurry, so PULL OVER.

And this same person often will continue going 40 mph even after the speed limit changes to 35 mph.  “Steady as she goes” must be their watchword in life.

Bicyclists!?!   Oh my word.  Do you WANT to die?  MOVE OVER.  If there is a breakdown lane, why are you in the travel lane?  If there is a breakdown lane, why are you ON THE LINE?  I have no interest in dying soon, so if I was on a bike I’d be over to the right as far as possible.  Even if you are a spandex monkey with a helmet, you will probably not win in a collision with a car.  Move. Over.

OK, so the traffic got me irritated.  No doubt.  The 90-plus degrees didn’t help.  Even with AC blasting and Jim Morrison blaring, it was still an irritating ride.  So it didn’t help when yesterday’s irritations, that I thought were behind me, resurfaced.

One,   Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE Amazon.  Usually.  But when they do screw up, holy moly.  What a disaster it can be.  Those of us of a certain age know the saying “too many cooks spoil the stew” – or maybe it’s broth? – either way, too many customer service reps and none seem to know what the others are doing, even when you explain the situation over and over.  So they had combined two of my orders a month or so ago, and shipped them together.  Except what I got in the package bore no resemblance to either item ordered.  I emailed, explained the situation.  They said one item was from a third party so that one they cancelled and refunded.  I reordered.  The other was from amazon directly so they resent the item.  I asked if they would send me a paid return address label to return the wrong items.  No need.  Keep them, or dispose of them, we don’t want to inconvenience you further.  OK, cool.   The items came and all was well.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I get an email from customer service that I have not sent them back the items and will be charged.  I email back and give them the whole spiel including copy and pastes of all pertinent info.  Today they apologize all over themselves.  I will not be charged, sorry, blah blah blah.  Great.  Until I then receive another email saying they have sent the item I am missing!    ARRGHH.  I am not missing a thing!  I write back, explain yet again that all is good.. or WAS good.  Oh well, item is on the way.  They tell me to keep it, then a paragraph later tell me to just not accept it or mail it back!   Now I’m pissed.  I don’t need more crap to do that shouldn’t be necessary.  One scathing email later and I’m still steaming.

And the final aggravation comes from the homeowner’s insurance company.  We have done an inspection (oh really?  news to me, who rarely leaves home) and find you are underinsured and should be insured for $325,500!  Really????  Why don’t you write us a check for $300k and you can move right in.  And as further aggravation, they want info on my dog, and have the nerve to say that no matter what, THREE DOGS is unacceptable risk no matter what.  I used to have four poms that would do no more than lick you to death, and they would not have insured us???   So that prompted another email that made the last one seem like a holiday greeting.

I’m done.  Usually I’m pretty happy.  Some things just set me off.  Now it’s time to feed some babies.  Time to take a few deep breaths, because birds feed off our emotions.  They don’t need to deal with Crazy Mama.  So, deep breaths, happy thoughts…


Nita’s Nest