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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!