Archive for the 'animals' Category

woke up this morning

in a cold sweat. I dreamt that my birds…all of them…were escaping through the slots of their cage, led (inexplicably), by Stella. I couldn’t catch them. It sucked.

I know why I dreamt this. I brought Clinca the parakeet, and some of my finches (not Stella, that’s for sure), to the kiddo’s class today. I’ll come over later in the afternoon  to talk birds and help out with art class. I’m not quite sure what this dream means, other than I’m really, really neurotic about my babies. Except that I’m not. I like them because they make me relax, almost instantly, just watching them. Gonna be watching that Stella, though.

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great story

Yes, it is. I’m not sure I could do this. I’m no Scarlett O’Hara. Don’t know nuthin ’bout birthin’ no babies. Nu-uh. Technically, I didn’t even birth the kiddo. Unassisted, anyway. Not that I’m complaining.

I can’t yet bring myself to touch the worm the kiddo offers me when she goes “fishing” with the homemade fishing pole she made, the one with the six inch stick and hot pink line. She’s on her own. I probably could deliver a baby  if it came to that. But I’d make a lousy farmer. I was just remarking upon that yesterday as I took a stroll around the pond with my friend Bonnie on Mother’s day. My animals would largely be pets. I’m an excellent pet owner.

So much life abounds in the pond. It always makes my day when I spot the beaver. I like watching it swim. My eyes are too bad to spot the turtle heads, but Bonnie finds them for me. Another pair of sharp little eyes found tiny snails along the edge. Soon the dragonflies will come along. It’s time to get the microscope out to find the other tiny things living in the water.

I love living near a pond.

wild pitches

So I listened to the Yank’s opening day game the other afternoon on the radio. Listened as C.C. Sabathia got knocked around in his big debut. I have this feeling I’m going to psycho -analyze the big guy all season. I’m kind of cool to him, after hedging for so long on signing with the Yankees. I like his stuff, no doubt. I chose him as a rookie on my fantasy baseball teams and won  a few leagues that year with him (that was pre-kiddo. Not time for such things now). It was only one game, but I have this sinking feeling that he might be one of those stars who can’t play in New York. You know, like ARod. Except I can’t hate C.C. like I do ARod. Arod just makes it too easy. C.C.’s a pitcher, besides. I like most pitchers, unless their names are Roger Clemens or John Rocker. Pitchers are known to be quirky. Wierd. Superstitious. Like Mark Fydrich back in the day. David Cone. David Wells. Jim Bouton.  Rick Ankiel. So many others. Actually, Manny Ramirez has a pitcher’s personality. They’d think nothing of his wierdness if he were a pitcher. Anyway, maybe C.C. knew something that he wasn’t when he was hedging all that time. Or not. Let’s hope.

We gave a pair of finches to the kiddo’s  best friend Charlie. Kindred spirits, they are. Artistic. Sweet. Sensitive. Can’t believe a nine year old will play with a six year old and not grow bored, but he’s the closest thing to a big brother that she has. Always wished I’d had one myself. Or a big sister. Ah well. Anyway, Charlie’s pair has laid fifteen eggs in their tissue box nest! Obviously, they won’t all hatch. Wow. We had a trio of three new baby birds a couple of months ago…two twin female fawns named Fern and Beatrice, and a pied male we named Homer. Beautiful. We also have a white female named Eva  I’d adopted from the pet shop (she was being pecked and plucked by the canary she was sharing a cage with…she had to be saved!). I don’t think we’ll be getting anymore birdies…or any other pets…anytime soon. Think what we have is good. Really, really good. For now. Really!

Picked up the kiddo early for a dental appointment last week. She had Art class. I like watching her when she doesn’t know I’m there. So she’s painting a flower and her art teacher comes up to me and says, “Oh, she is such an artist. I think it’s her first language. But you already knew that, didn’t you?”. Well, yeah. But the second sentance…brought on some tears. Because that’s exactly it. I don’t care to pressure her to become some famous artist. Or anything like that. But I’m thrilled that she just happens to be able to access art as a language. Her language. Unique. I’m very happy for her.

Happy Spring/Easter!

“You have to help me!”

“Nope.”

“But you have to! I can’t take it! I just can’t take it!.”

“I said no.”

“But I’m dying!”

“Well, at least pick up your crayons, then.”

And she does. Fini. The worst thing in the whole world that I can do to her, apparently, is to ask her to  pick up her own damned stuff. Cuts her deep, it does. But the entire living room looks like the bins have violently vomited up cars, trains, markers, crayons, little people, blocks, lincoln logs….ugh. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t. Doesn’t she know I have cleaning issues? Or maybe she does. Maybe she’s seeing something I do…or don’t do….and is just copying what she’s seeing. Well, that’s not giving her a free pass. No way. I’m not picking up her shit. N-uh.

I’m stubborn. She is, too. Her friends have begun to notice. She has ideas about how everything should be….the Christmas tree, the obstacle course they set up in the backyard, and which movie to watch, of course.  I’m really looking forward to the holiday weekend together, but I think of the future of us, and I see us fighting like cats and dogs; a collision of wills drumbeating against each other. As long as she knows I always love her, anyway.

The baby birds are doing very, very well. They are twice their original size now, and their previously naked wings are sporting tiny feathers. I don’t think their eyes have opened yet, and they still kind of resemble aliens. Their beaks are black, and will remain so until the first molt, when they’ll become either orange if they’re female, or red if they are males.  The parents have been doing a great job. I can tell every time I look at them, by observing the crops along their necks, which are little sacks stuffed with seeds and greens. The first time I saw this yellow bulge on my birds, I thought it was a tumor. But it’s actually a very, very good sign. They are developing right on que and moving around more and more.

It’s all particularly exhausting for the parents, who need all the extra protein they can get, in the form of mashed eggs. I recognize that weary blinking of the eye I catch in Miles.

How far we’ve both come.

no cigars

Millet sprays, anyone? I have chicks! Like clockwork, two weeks after eggs first appeared, both sets of finch eggs hatched this weekend. The chicks are tiny, pink, and translucent, sporting huge purple eyelids; resembling embryos with tufts of white down here and there. They are honestly among the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I’ve been floating around on air all weekend. Amazing.

thoughts and notes

–The hosts of the local radio show this morning invited callers to describe, using one word, how they were feeling this morning with regard to the election results. Depressed. (cautiously) Optimistic. Relieved. Hopeful. Deflated. I feel….inspired.

–The kiddo spotted turkeys on the morning ride today. Her reaction: “We have to catch them and eat them!” Gas is my second biggest expense with this commute to school, but the quality time we have together on our commutes is priceless.

–Not to be outdone by my finch Prudence, little Stella is expecting. Her eggs are different, not ivory white like Prudence’s, but more of a faint grey-greeny color. I suspect its all the spinach she scarfs down. She’s kookoo for spinach. I’m thrilled for Miles, and for Stella. I should have just named her Queenie. Every time I look at her, I see an imaginary crown atop her little head.

–Yesterday, when I arrived to pick up the kiddo, she was deeply engrossed by some magnetic building toy. She apparently didn’t want to leave and told the teacher’s aide that I wasn’t her mother (!). Crafty.

digressing…

on my other post because I’m a bit overloaded with the holiday festivities. I’m loving them more and more as the kiddo gets older. She’s a tiger this year. She IS a tiger. Or a lion. She takes on those qualities whenever she’s challenged. She’ll growl when she’s scared or in a new situation…the kids at Headstart were a little confused when she came along. I have a warrior.

Yesterday I ran into my rockstar former therapist. I was delighted….I’ve missed her. Alot. She just returned to town from a tour of Africa. Africa. Sheesh! I’m ready to start planning for travel myself now that the kiddo is older. Africa. Wow.

One of my sweetest, semi-guilty pleasures is watching Grey’s Anatomy in bed. It’s the only show I watch. Ok, it’s also the only channel I get, too. Christina Yang is my favorite character—brilliant, flawed, a little capricious (best line ever: Oh, it’s like candy, but with blood. Which is so much better. (on surgery). But it’s Meredith’s issues that have me coming back for more. I get her. I loved last night’s episode when she was carrying childhood doll Anatomy Jane around and playing with her during a meeting to solve a surgery. Quirky and creative. And now she’s found her mother’s diaries! I love diaries. Er, journals. I call mine a journal. I have my high school art teacher, whom I’ve always regarded as a painter/football coach in soul, to thank for a habit I’ve kept up for decades. It all started with those little black and white bound notebooks he’d issued us freshman year. I still use those from time to time, but my favorite are the tall, bound accountant notebooks. There’s something elegant about their size. My art teacher believed anyone and everyone should do art. And he has a point. But I would add that everyone should journal. Even badly. Just journal. One could say that in the age of blogging, it’s not neccessary, but I don’t count blogs as journaling because of their public nature. Journals are private and a good place to put thoughts of such a nature. I’m not sure I want the kiddo perusing my journals someday, but I do wish my parents were the journaling sort. I’d be all over them like white on rice for sure.

O.k., lastly, my little finch Prudence  is expecting. Really. Three eggs and counting. In the feed dish. The fact that my first expectant bird is named Prudence kind of amuses me.  Dear Mom loves her name. Go figure. Anyway, I’m going with this, even though I have zebra finches coming out of my ears– I had already scooped up two eggs a week ago, but I haven’t the heart to take these new ones  away. Which means I’m building an aviary this spring. Doesn’t this one look sweet?