Thursday, April 17, 2014

Birdbrains

I'm not using that phrase in a derogatory way. I actually mean the brains of our resident birds. I haven't posted about Elwood, Stanley, Calder and Norris lately. Sounds like a law firm, doesn't it? The feathered four have been getting into trouble recently and I'll share it with you.
First, if you've never lived with birds, they are messy, and noisy and a lot of fun. They like to scream and yell most when you're on the telephone or watching the news. They throw feathers and seeds all over the place and if they see the dogs responding, they throw even more at them. But when I uncover their cage in the morning, Stanley always says "tweet tweet", which I take to mean "good morning". It's the only time of the day that he makes that particular sound so it seems to be a greeting. My cockatiels could all say "hello" so I enjoy this little greeting.

Now for the trouble part. Remember this toy that Santa brought to the birds? For days they stayed as far from it as they could get, staring suspiciously at it.
Well, they got over that and have been industriously working on taking it apart. As they tear off a bit, they push it out of the cage for me to find.
OK, taking a toy apart isn't so bad, but there is a much worse event. One evening a couple weeks ago, I was putting the cover on their cage. In case you're wondering why I cover them, I want to discourage Elwood from laying more eggs. She laid 23 of them and I want to trick her into thinking that the days are getting shorter, not longer, so she won't think it's time to start laying again.
Anyway, as I put the cover on, I noticed something was wrong. It took me a minute to figure out what it was. Then I saw this. If you look closely, you'll see that Elwood has a black eye. I was surprised and upset. I do not condone domestic violence anytime anywhere by anyone and that includes the birds. One of the male birds had beaten up Elwood and given her a black eye. Rob and I both examined her and the eye wasn't injured but the area around it was badly bruised. We decided to watch her closely and get the spare cage ready in case it was needed. I also gave the boy birds a lecture on unacceptable behavior and the consequences.

Elwood is all healed up. The side of her face is no longer bruised and her eye is fully open. There has been no rough behavior or any sort of disagreement among the flock. Everyone seems to be cheerful and busy so I'm hoping this was a one time unfortunate accident.
But I'm watching!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Can you guess?

Today, April 15th is a special day. Do you know why?
Mom guessed something about taxis again. That woman has taxis on the brain.

Dad guessed something about the moon turning red. What? We were all asleep, what happened to the moon? Did it get hurt?
No silly peeps, it's the day we get to open our Chewy box. Mr Andrew sent us another surprise package to taste. Let's get to it.
This time he sent a bag of Belly Bites. We've never had them before.
Oh boy, we can hardly wait. 
Hurry up Mom.  (Check out the smile on Sebastian's face)

Stop reading the bag and hand them out.
These are great but one isn't enough. How about a second round for your favorite dogs?
Don't forget Sydney.
Morgan wants one, too.
Hey look, Mom set the bag down on the planting table. Maybe Tess can reach it.
Mr Andrew did a good job this month. These treats were a huge hit with the pack. They were made with duck, peas and garbanzo beans, a flavor that was new to my dogs. They're a nice size but I was able to easily split them in half for a smaller training treat and they're a soft, chewy texture. They get forty paws up from our house.
Thank you Mr Andrew and Chewy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

We're Looking For Spring

Saturday it was sunny and hot. Yes, actually hot. It was 81 degrees. Some of us went looking for signs that spring is really here. Lola is going to help look for signs.
Morgan says you can't just stand there, you have to move around. Morgan has seen more springs than the others and knows where to look.
The crabapple trees are budding.

How about the rose bush?
The maple tree has lots of little helicopter seed pods waiting to fly off.
The vinca under the deck is starting to push up some new leaves.
Best of all is the sight just outside  our front door. The plum tree is in full bloom.
I love these little pink flowers and they represent the best of spring to me.
Sebastian has found a great sunspot, a sure sign of spring.
Oh oh, Sunday brought storms and cold temperatures back. Lets hope the new little buds just waking up can hang in there until warm days come back again.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Morning Visit

Bright and early this morning we packed Sebastian and Noah into the car and drove off to visit Dr B. It's been two weeks since Sebastian was diagnosed with a nasty yeast infection in his left ear. Since then we've cleaned his ears daily and put ointment in his ears twice a day. He has hated every minute of the treatment. He hides when he sees me reach for the meds and I have to leash him to force his cooperation. When I'm done he spends a lot of time rubbing his greasy ears on anything he can reach and rolling on the ground.
Today was the follow up check to see if the infection is gone. As usual he was happy to see everyone at the clinic and gave them all hugs and kisses. He was even happy to see the doctor until he realized that his ears were going to be examined. Then he squirmed and tried to hide his head between his legs. Two of us had to hold his head so the doctor could see into the ears. Good news! Dr B could see the ear drum, it's intact and the canal is clean. No sign of infection. Now Sebastian just has to have his ears cleaned weekly.

Noah went along today to have a weigh in. As of last week, he'd lost another pound and I was getting really worried. We've started giving him a third meal in the evening and he gets a tablespoon of olive oil on each meal. I didn't know what to expect when I put him on the scales this morning, but I had almost decided that if he'd lost more weight I'd stuff him with puppy food to bulk him up. That won't be necessary, at least for now. Noah has gained three pounds back. He's still underweight and Dr B suggested adding more oils, both olive and fish oil to his diet. We need to do it slowly so we don't undo all the progress we've made so far.
It was a good start to the week.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pass It On

I've been dealing with insomnia lately and while I've been lying there trying to get to sleep, I've been thinking about some heavy stuff. Now I get to share it with you.

What's your passion? We all have something we really enjoy. Have you shared it? Here's mine.

When I was about five years old my Mom taught me to knit. I'd been sitting beside her for a couple years watching every move as she knit and I memorized the rhythmic moves until I felt confident I could do it. She got me some big fat needles and some big fat yarn and I started knitting. Like most beginning knitters I made lots of scarves and dish clothes because they required no shaping. My first real project was a baby sweater for a friend's newborn daughter. Mom let me pick the pattern and of course I picked one so difficult that even now I'd hesitate to tackle it, but I finished it with a little guidance and after that I wasn't afraid to try any pattern.
Around the time I met Rob I noticed that knitting wasn't very popular and it was difficult to find supplies That concerned me because I've gotten so much enjoyment from it and find it relaxing. Today, thanks in large part to the internet and to Ravelry, knittng is very popular again. I've taught a number of people to knit and that makes me happy.

Another  passion of mine is embroidery and cross stitch in particular.  I learned it on my own after seeing an exhibit at the New York State Fair. While examining the pieces on display, I thought "I cando that" and so I did. I've taught a few people to cross stitch and have enjoyed the experience.

 

My Grandmother used to sew for me when I was a little girl.I would stand next to her and watch closely. I've always liked using machines of various kinds and I really wanted to try out that sewing machine. Finally when I was about seven I got to use the sewing machine with much supervision. I loved sewing and then designing my own clothes. When I got my first job I started making almost all my clothes and even took on a few custom orders from friends. I did teach a couple others to sew though I don't know if they really ever got into it.

See where I'm going with this? It's about sharing the things you love to do with others. Teaching someone else to enjoy those things that give you pleasure will add to their lives and yours.

OK, you say that reading is your hobby. Mine too. There are lots of ways to share. If you'd like to read to children there are schools, libraries and community centers that have story time. You can read to adults at a hospital or nursing home. I think the very best is to teach someone else to read. There are lots of literacy programs where you are teamed up with an adult who wants to learn to read. It's a sometimes frustrating but very rewarding experience.

My experience was when I worked for a hospital for a short time. When I got to work in the morning I'd run into the woman who cleaned the offices on my floor, just finishing her shift. She usually had a cup of coffee from the cafeteria and a newspaper in hand. I invited her into my office to relax before heading home and we chatted. I learned that she and her husband were adopting a baby girl and she was taking lessons every afternoon to learn to read. She wanted to be able to read to her daughter. I started getting in a little earlier each morning and I'd have the coffee made so that she could sit down and read the paper. I'd sometimes help her with a word or explain a word. I was so impressed with her for taking such a big step.

So, maybe your only not work related activity is playing with the dog. OK, did you know that most shelters welcome volunteers to walk and work with the dogs waiting to be adopted? It's proven that a dog that walks well on leash and knows a couple basic commands is easier to place.
Cooking? Teach a kid to  cook. Baking cookies with a little kid is a hoot. Messy, but a hoot.

So share your passion. Pass it on to someone else who can enjoy it and then they can pass it on to someone they know. There's too much bad stuff going on in the world these days. We can make our little corner of the world a better and happier place and enjoy doing it.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reporter Fudge

Hi everybody,

Do you all remember us? It's been a very long time since we've posted because Mom says she's busy with the taxis. We've looked everywhere but we can't find those taxis she keeps talking about. They're not in the garage or in the driveway. They aren't in the yard or on the street. 



Maybe she's taking about these kinds of taxis. She sticks notes on the board in the kitchen with these sharp things, but that doesn't take much time at all. 
Do your peeps ever talk about invisible taxis?

Anyway, here's what's been going on while Mom pretends to play with taxis. She still makes Noah's special food every few days. We told her it wasn't fair that he gets special food every day and the rest of us don't, so she made a big pot of turkey vegetable stew for us. It tastes yummy.
Last week Sebastian was scratching his ears and shaking his head a lot. Mom cleaned his ears but he kept scratching and he started walking around with his head tilted so Mom took him to visit Dr B. Poor Sebastian has a yeast infection in his left ear and Mom puts lots of medicines in there to make it better. Sebastian doesn't like it and tries to hide when he sees the medicine bottle, but we know that he's feeling better because he's not shaking his ears and scratching anymore. The medicine is greasy and he looks pretty funny with his wet greasy ears. He likes to rub his greasy head on Mom's pants and it makes her yell.
Mom finally finished this winter cross stitch picture. She says it took almost as long as winter did. She started it the day after Christmas and didn't finish till the beginning of March, but she did do two other pieces for friends during that same time. Now she's working on something for Spring but I can't tell yet what it is.
A lot of you are posting pictures of flowers but we don't have any yet. Our trees are just starting to leaf out so pretty soon the flowers will be here. So for now that's about all I have to report. Mom promises that she'll be done with her taxis this weekend and we can get back to having fun soon.
Your pal, Fudge

Friday, March 21, 2014

Stop That Noise!

Yesterday was a perfect first day of spring. It was warm and sunny with not too much mud. The dogs played outside most of the day and slept in this morning. It doesn't get much better than that. Now, however, I have a rant. I just can't hold it in any longer. So go drag out your soapboxes because today we're taking on TV commercials, yet again.
What is it with advertising agencies and the companies who hire them? What is their obsession with doorbells????

Every day there seems to be another commercial with a doorbell. I try to get to the mute button before the bell rings, but I can't keep track of them all and I can't always drop what I'm doing to  hit mute.
Don't any of these people live with a dog? 1-800-Petmeds, especially should be ashamed of themselves. They should know how dogs react to doorbells. There are ads for pizza and car repairs and I could go on and on listing them. There are too many to even boycott, but I should send them a tape of the barking and the shouted HBO words pouring forth from my lips.
I often write to companies who annoy me but I'm sure they wouldn't pay any attention. I just have to try to be faster with the mute button. I can hear you saying why not train the dogs better. Remember I have ten of these noisy creatures and part of their job is protecting me and our home from intruders. I try to explain that a burglar isn't going to ring the bell before entering, but they can't grasp the concept.
Ok, rant done. I feel better already.