Thursday, August 6, 2015

Well, He Must Be A He Because He Is Beginning To Chirp And Life Goes On in General.

So Lex has wanted a buddy companion pet for quite a while now.  Tried to get a kitten that would snuggle her and honestly Ryleigh is overall NOT a snuggle kitty (unless it's 2 a.m. and he plops all twenty pounds of himself on your belly and demands love).

Then it was "I want a snake (Grandma would shit bricks!), I want a Gecko or cold blooded something or other.  Finally She said, "Okay, I want a friend!  Someone who will pay attention to me.  I want a bird!"  So we started off with the idea of Doves.  Then she did some more research and found out that Cockatiels in particular, when only one is owned, really bond to their human.  So a hunt for the perfect Cockatiel commenced.

We like to support local businesses whenever possible and found a wonderful Bird store owned by a family.  They only carried birds and when I called twice I was given very helpful information with a cheerful tone.  We made our way to the store after confirming they had a few baby Cockatiels in stock. This store is known for hand training the birds well which is something not usually found at the big box retailers.  Also the big boxes usually have older Tiels.

Right away in the door it occurred to us that the birds seemed very happy and vocal!  There was a big Parrot that was chatting away and he got my Mom's attention!  The entire store was spotless, including all of the cages.  I was really impressed.

The two kids working there must have been the owners kids.  They were very helpful!  They showed Lex the birds available and told us they were about 9 weeks old.  Perfect time for adoption!  They had been hand trained and would already "Step Up," onto your hand.  I asked which of the three was the gentlest and nicest and they said the Cinnamon. Luckily that is the one that Lex was drawn immediately to!  (He was also the least expensive and WHEN does THAT ever happen!)

The guys explained to us that they really didn't have a way to tell if Lex's bird were male or female (Males are generally more able to bond deeply and they sing whereas the females are very quiet and are harder to work with)  Well, given the fact that we were taking a chance on sex we brought the new guy home and left him alone in his new cage with water, food and a new toy.  And waited for him to chill.  They said to wait a day or two until the bird looks like it wants to interact.

This bird took less than a day!  He was ready to be with his new friend!  We had some issues getting him to figure out how to work his cage (They have long tail feathers and at first we had the perch too close so an adjustment back gave him enough room to slide down the cage to the door.)  Then if you open the big door and tell him to come down he just does it.  Then he Steps Up to her hand.  Then he just goes around with her and climbs all over her.  He loves getting "treats" which consist of Fruits and Veggies.  He's had Kale (really obnoxious green poop!), Orange sections (sticky) and I think today will be Grapes.

The good news?  We think we have a boy!  The Pet Shop Boys (ha!) said it would probably be a few months but he'd start chirping and then singing if he was a boy.  He started yesterday morning all ready.  One little chirp.  Today he's done several.  Some right after each other.  He wakes up in the morning and if Lex doesn't pay attention to him then he lets them know that he is going to DEMAND attention!

It's really a great thing for both of them.  Lex learns how to be responsible for a living thing (Yes, we have had some "New Mama Moments" like I did when she was first born:  Will I keep her alive?  Will she flourish?  Am I doing this right?)  But overall it's been an awesome first bit of their journey!  I love it!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What this Holiday means to me....4th of July.

It's a bittersweet memory.  Growing up the 4th of July was this amazing day that we spent at my Aunt Helen and Uncle Ron's!  They lived on a lake in central Michigan and the entire family (my dad was one of eight kids) and their friends would stop by throughout the day.

There was a lot of love at the lake!  First thing you smelled was the Pine Sol and cigarettes and then you smelled the coffee in the pot!  There was shouting and card playing, kids running around in semi-wet swim suits and laughter.  Tons of laughter.

Aunt Helen had oddball games planned and they were sure to make you laugh some more!  Egg toss or balloons passed between never knew what you were in for.  Except good times!  There was food everywhere but her golden rule was that you couldn't swim until at least a half hour after eating.  We tried to tell her that wasn't real science when we were older (and full of ourselves) but you weren't changing Helen!

Then as the years passed and life changed my parents and I opened our store in a tourist area along the coast of Lake Michigan.  It was a seasonal store and all the money had to be made between May and September with Holiday time usually being the most lucrative.  So my 4th of July celebration became waiting on customers and trying to find the time to eat a quick burger or pizza (before ceilac diagnosis!)

And more fitting when Aunt Helen passed on her favorite Holiday.  We were going to close the shop but some amazing friends stepped in and we stayed open.  

I made some terrific friends during that almost fifteen years.......and then moved to Arizona where the 4th was not really the same Holiday at all!  It was too damn hot here to celebrate!  Halloween and Thanksgiving were amazing but the summer Holiday time was just not the same.

Flash forward to 2012.  I booked a vacation for me and my kid to go to Michigan during late June into July.  We trekked cross country with my parents in their truck to Minnesota where Lex met her online friend.  Then we went to Michigan where my parents dropped us at our rental car place and they continued on to their friends and we went to see mine.

That 4th of July radically changed my life.  While I was away my world at "home" changed.  Everything I thought I knew about my relationship with my husband tilted and twisted off into an unknown Universe.  It became that point between "before" and "after".....only I wouldn't know the full ramifications of that weekend of that 4th of July for about six months.

Flash forward to tonight.  The eve of another 4th of July weekend.  Still reeling in uncertainty in many areas of my life. Still learning that life is not always fair or that sometimes no matter how "good" you've been or how much you have always played by the rules, you cannot make others abide by them.

I am reminded of this Holiday and the great Joy and Pain that it can cause.  I will try to focus on the good memories;  of people that helped shape the person I am today.  Those with integrity and hope.  I will let go of the bad memories and be at peace with all the things to come.  I cannot control everything, especially people, and I understand that now.  I only hope the future will contain a return to happy Holiday 4th of July memories for me...and maybe some in a cooler climate!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Josh Duggar: Why Are We Surprised?

Why is it that every single time there is a MAN spouting rhetoric regarding how to live without sin.............he's found to be a scumbag of the lowest order in regards to his own "morality."

It's not like this hypocrisy hasn't existed for years! (My own abuser was a backbone in our church not to mention my own grandfather!)  But after a while with ALL these scandals it's a surprise that women everywhere don't just rise up and annihilate all men.


Not that I want to get rid of all men.  I don't.  My own father is an amazing man and  I had uncles and a Godfather who met that standard of good men as well.  I know good men and I know more exist. 

Maybe the issue is with religion.  There are some religions that seem to embrace sexuality in the correct manner but it seems the more rigid and conservative the religion, the worse the sexual issues in regards to "scandals" tend to be.  


 For those who are homosexual and unable to live their authentic lives and cover that up with marriage to a woman always tamping down their true selves for what they consider to be living a "Godly life" I just feel sad.  To not be able to be yourself due to an archaic religious desire for "perfection" is really sad.


 But then there is this whole pack of sexual predators who prey on those who are weaker by age, gender or mental acuity.  These are the men who get all twisted up by the morality versus desire scenario.  Or those who are just sociopaths hiding in plain site.  Bob Moorehead,  Douglas Goodman, Earl Paulk, Tony Alamo, Joe Barron, Frank Houston, Eddie Long......and the list goes on.  All church leaders accused or convicted of abusing children or women in their churches.


I feel for Josh Duggar on one level.  I know enough about abusers to know that in most instances the victim was abused.  I get that.  And it makes me wonder who his abuser is or was.  However as I have always stated:  Every single abuser makes a choice to abuse.  There is a choice made to ruin another person's life. 


I also know that it isn't easy being a reality star and that kids rarely are given any choice in appearing on a family show.  I can appreciate that.  I don't get why anyone would subject their children to that type of life.  


And I will admit that the subjugation of the women on 19 Kids and counting makes me rather biased in my reactions to these accusations.  I am tired of women being "less than."  In whatever form it takes a religion who treats women in such a manner is not my idea of a great way of life.  For the women!


I wonder if anything will be done to help the female children in this family.  How many were abused by Josh?  Was he the only abuser?  Why did his parents cover it up?  HOW CAN A MOTHER ALLOW THIS?


HOW CAN A MOTHER ALLOW THIS?  I will never understand this stuff.