Monthly Archives: March 2015

Daily Drama 37

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Daily Drama 37

The daily dramas have taken me beyond the Funny Farm this week. I usually find time to write between disasters, but they are coming fast and furious, so this is a mid-disaster story whose end cannot yet be told. At the moment, The Bartender (my “significant other”) is stable, and so is The Mathematician (my son) so here is what is happening at the Funny Farm.

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Dressing in the dark and racing to the Emergency Room doesn’t leave much time for details. For un-matched shoes, I think I did pretty well.

Dobby is enjoying our fabulous but uncharacteristically balmy weather. Swimming season has arrived! It’s actually pretty cold outside if your swimming pool water is 49f (9c) degrees.

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“I don’t snore!”

Dobby spends a lot of time inside, napping. I have tried to get a video of his snoring, but he is too wary and always wakes as I sneak up on him.

We still spend most afternoons in the garden. Dobby grazes in the front yard, the poultry plays in the back. Lula the hen is on Metacam for her mysterious ailment, and she has even made it out to the back yard a few times lately.

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Garden Party participants, left to right: Penguin, Prince Dobalob, Jello, and Madonna (Squirrel photobomb, background)

Carmen Miranda, our newest duck, has proved to be very self assured. She is trying to claim the rabbit litter-box as a nest. Whatever.

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Carmen, get out of there!

In spite of everything, we have managed to make some improvements to the Funny Farm. We now have five birds in the kitchen: two doves, one parakeet, and two cockatiels.

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BEFORE

Our first goal was to acquaint the two doves and move them from two smaller guinea pig cages into one large bird cage. The Pirate cannot walk, and Luna Dovegood cannot fly, so the cage was equipped with landing hammocks and ramps to allow them to use as much of the vertical space as possible.

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So far, so good. Doves are on the left in the new cage.

The next step was to move two elderly cockatiels and the bullying parakeet into the other cage. I put a horizontal divider in the cage. Spike the Budgie is far too aggressive to share space with the older gentlemen. Plus, he doesn’t need the encouragement of being “Top Bird” so little Spikey gets the first floor apartment.

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Vincent the cockatiel explores the new cage.

Every evening for a week, I rolled the new cage into the kitchen for playtime. I coaxed the birds into their new spaces with treats, and they began to enjoy the new play area.

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The Pirate thought she was very clever to perch on top.

Luna can’t fly, and now that she has been here a while, we know why. She has an inoperable tumor on her left wing. It has grown very large, and she is now on Metacam. Her appetite is good, she moves around her new cage by walking on the ramps, and since starting the medication, she has been cooing a little bit, again.

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The tumor is really quite serious. It is on the other side and you don’t want to see it.

The gray cockatiel, Jorge, is probably older than I first estimated, and has started to stumble and even falls off a perch once in a while. A former pet-sitter adopted him from her neighbor who had set his cage out in the carport while attempting to find a new home for him. Judy had him about four years before he came to me (she died of ovarian cancer) in 2006. He’s just “old.”

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Jorge finally checks out the new cage.

Like the dove cage, this one also has a mattress-like floor to accommodate unexpected plummeting. Instead of ramps, it has ladders so that Jorge can get back up to his perch. Vincent is about 14 years old, but still gets around just fine and has been very comforting to Jorge, who is one of those bird-birds, not a people-bird. Or maybe Jorge was traumatized at some point. I will never know.

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AFTER

Happily ever after, they are all in their new, improved cages. I still have to hang a curtain between Spike the budgie and the doves, though. He is such a pill.

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Shipping goose eggs

It is egg-laying season, so I am constantly raiding nests. The last thing I need is more poultry to care for. I shipped off the first goose eggs, but I have decided to keep the rest and blow them out. They are really very cool.

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Georgia Dee’s Diary

One of my biggest distractions right now is my Mom’s diary. She was 13 years old when she started writing in it in 1940. It goes through 1944, and her personal story is so well told that I would like to share it. I have transcribed it and I am adding photos, a World War Two timeline, and a few footnotes where clarification is helpful.

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A 1943 Eversharp pen and engraved bracelet

Seventy years later, I am discovering artifacts mentioned in the diary. Most of them were gifts from her boyfriend, Andy. She kept them for fifty years and I have had them twenty. It is my mother’s diary, but it is about Andy, and I am certain she would want his memory kept alive in this way.

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Andy

I have contacted his nephew Randy, who is also interested in the project. Depending upon the response I get from my group of previewers, I plan to publish it. Please let me know if you would like to participate in this early review and I will send you a link to the private website in April, when I hope to have it ready. (Comment on this post and mark it “private” if you don’t want it published. I’ll just add you to the list.)

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Dobby isn’t certain he approves of he new cages.

My drakes are fighting, my capybara is amorous, the turtles are out of hibernation and basking, and the wild birds are flying around with beaks full of twigs. It must be spring!

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Daily Drama 36

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Daily Drama 36

Can you hear my printer in the background? That’s the sound of my first Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) application, popping out, page by page, ready for signature. Incorporating as a Non-Profit Organization has been an adventure, and mostly a boring one. But I want to keep doing what I am doing, and this is the best way to do it. That’s enough of that. Let’s look at the fun stuff.

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“There’s a tiny snake eating my face off!”

Let’s be honest. Most of you are here to see silly pictures of Dobby. No doubt about it, he is a major force around here. Long before Dobby, though, I was taking in castoff pets. I have been the “Go-To Girl” for transitional pets for over 40 years. Fortunately, I know how to say “No, thank you!” and I re-home many little critters that come my way. I still seem to end up with a lot of drifters, though.

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“I disapprove of this morning’s offerings.”

Because Dobby is such a charming animal, and SO well behaved, he has brought a lot of attention to my little pet collection. Initially, I thought to exclude him from the “umbrella” of my non-profit organization. In fact, every single donation that has come in can be traced to him. I grit my teeth and repeat my mantra every time I clean up a masterpiece in the kitchen. “Thank you, oh Evil One.” Yes, here is Mr. Charm himself, sharing bird seed with Penguin the hen. He does love his hens.

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Lula is a couple years younger than Miss Penguin, but she has been having “spells” off and on since early last summer. She was in The Infirmary for a couple months, but a daily dose of Metacam has her out cavorting with the flock again. She’ll be on drugs for whatever her forever is.

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Lula, foreground; the ubiquitous Carmen Miranda, background.

Norman is in Full Honk again, spring being what it is. I’m seeing pairs of birds, birds with beaks full o’ straw, because we’re only a few days before St. Patrick’s Day. I know that isn’t officially the first day of spring, but around here, things start hopping coincidentally with the Wearing of the Green.

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Norman keeps his eye on that pair of mallards on the edge of the pool. “Back off! HONK!”

When I agreed to take in a flock of doves, I knew that population control would be important. I swear I just collected eggs two days ago. No wonder there were more than 20 doves at the time I received them!

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Six dove eggs and two pigeon.

Here’s little Carmen Miranda, again. She’s one of those sticky birds who is always underfoot. Seriously, I can’t take a step without checking where she is. She is convinced she is more special than the others: first one out of the aviary, last one to return in the evening.

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Jello, the busybody hen, and Carmen Miranda. Princess Carmen is enjoying the dregs of Dobby’s warm bath water.

The next photo is actually the before picture, with Prince Dobalob in his hot tub. Carmen is lurking in the background, waiting for Dobby to wander away.

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The Bartender has upgraded his orange peeling technique so they look nicer in the photos.

I know you want to see more Dobby photos, so he’s going to show you a couple of his toys.

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Dobby’s morrillo.

Dobby is quite territorial, so he marks everything, including me. He marks with urine wherever he walks. He poops strategically, surprisingly most ends up in his pen, the ultimate territory. But, of course, also the kitchen. But mostly he marks with his morillo, the hairless waxy area on the top of his snout nose.

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Dobby’s Big Apple, hanging on the apple tree, of course.

He especially likes this new one, a deflated punching bag. If you’ve never shopped at Goodwill Outlet, I highly recommend it. Put on some old clothes, grab a pair of vinyl disposable gloves, borrow somebody else’s car, and see how much (I’m talking VOLUME here, like cubic yards . . . ) crapola you can get for 20 bucks. It is sold by weight.

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My new punching bag is SWELL!

The grass is starting to grow, and every year I try to get my mudhole of a back yard to look like my front yard. Until then, Dobby and I spend a lot of time in the front. We’re expecting a major deluge this weekend, so I will be hiding out in that little greenhouse back there. And Dobby will be grazing, rain or shine.

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Dobby’s Front Yard