Stress

I’m exhausted.

Obviously stress is in the air today. Nala ate through her perch in her cage. She has two, but only one runs the whole length of the cage and she ate the end off it.

She played with a bunch of her toys, so I don’t know whether to chalk it up to boredom, anxiety or rambunctiousness. But she’s been here about 16 days and she ate her perch.

I guess I need to find her some more toys. Although she does have a bunch.

She seems to be talking more and dancing more. Her favorite song is Angelina by Harry Belafonte.

Today I went through some medical bills, tax paperwork, a school fundraiser and some band trip stuff with my soon-to-be ex-husband. We all had dinner together. He brought a pizza.

Then I finished my chores. Laundry. Bird cages. Some vacuuming. The roomba would not go to home base. After an hour and with the battery almost dead I discovered why… the roomba had unplugged its own base while vacuuming.

And to make my day a little more demoralizing, I tripped over my own two feet walking between buildings at work. The administration offices and the literacy center are a block apart. And I just fell. I was hungry, probably worn thin from too much stress.

Someone across the street saw me, and yelled to see if I was alright. She was walking a very large dog. I got up and said I was fine. Barely even scraped my hands.

“Darn ice,” she said.

There was no ice. Just me and my faulty legs.

Sometimes I feel so healthy and strong.

Some days I feel so broken.

That is what it feels like to have cerebral palsy. Sometimes your body works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Mini road trip

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and for the first time in more than a decade, the teenager and I both have “off.”

We had originally planned to go to DC, visit friends, renew the teenager’s passport and plot an African vacation.

But with a Goffin’s cockatoo still getting adjusted and a new kitten in the house, a three-day weekend away sounded disastrous.

My daughter complained that she was feeling the need to get away, so I suggested a day trip this weekend. I even offered to let her pick and plan it. She declined.

With the snow forecasted for Saturday and the pets already in a semi-routine, she suggested today, Monday, for an outing.

Of course, she didn’t wake until almost 11 (which gave me time to do dishes and a load of laundry). She did her chores and I offered her a choice: a childish little mini-road trip or a girls day out at the mall as we both need a few things.

We started the trip at the ATM and then Dunkin’ Donuts for egg wraps. Imagine the teens surprise when I accidentally ordered her TWO hot chocolates.

The surprise option was the Pocono Reptile and Animal Farm, which the web site said had special hours for the school holiday. When we got there, the door had a sign saying it was closed due to cold.

So I mapped a route to House of Candles in Henryville on Rte. 715, where my mom used to buy her candles.

The teenager is knee deep in my old witchcraft books. She’s reading a lot of Scott Cunningham books. She loved the shop and forgave me for making roads where there were none.

On the way home, we stopped at a different Dunkin’ to use the bathroom and ended up with sour cream doughnuts to finish the day.

Eating Polish Things

For Christmas, I got the teenager a subscription to Universal Yums, a snack box that send food from a different country to your door.

This month featured Poland.

We plan to do an unboxing and a tasting with every box.

This box featured a lot of chocolate. The three items that weren’t chocolate were pretzel sticks covered with poppy seeds, a milk caramel coconut candy and a potato chip called Monster Munch that was the same product as Frito Lay’s Munchos in a different shape.

For our review, visit my YouTube channel:

Universal Yums from Poland part 1

Universal Yums box from Poland, part 2

And for the initial box, the multicultural holiday box, see here:

Universal Yums holiday box

A Friday Comedy of Errors

A Random Thoughts Blog Post

Greetings and happy Friday everyone. I am feeling bleh today. Perhaps I put in too many hours. Maybe I didn’t eat right. Maybe it’s my forty-something hormones. Maybe it’s the frequent bouts of weird insomnia.

Or all of the above!

I came home sick today from work… less than two hours early but still… in the nine months there I haven’t used any sick time because it’s just not something I do.

The morning started with my getting to work early with no reason why other than I finished everything at home.

The bitter cold was a harsh reality to my system.

And then, no lie, I step into the bathroom at work and I realize I never combed my hair!

Then my new work colleague brought in doughnuts from Wegmans because someone else more or less playfully hazed her into doing it. So even though I packed this “matcha quark” for breakfast and these weird but oh-my-god delicious nuts/trail mix for lunch, I ate a giant cinnamon roll with icing.

That didn’t quite agree with me.

All day the computers at work were acting wonky, my noon appointment stood me up, and at 1:30 I was asked by our executive director to please reprogram the phones as our director of facilities (the one who led to the donut incident) was in a meeting in another building and the phones were down.

The telephone representative called me on my cell and walked me through reprogramming our telephone system, which I did successfully. But then I still couldn’t get any computer to work.

By 2 pm I gave up, exhausted, achy, still fluttery in my stomach and unable to focus I went home and crawled in bed. Watched some Kitchen Nightmares and cuddled a bird while I drifted in and out of consciousness.

And I saw Nala’s first temper tantrum.

Because she wasn’t the center of attention.

Silly bird!

State of the menagerie

Author’s note: this post was originally posted last week but somehow got unpublished and republished in the wrong order.

Let’s start with the kitten…

Mistofelees is still on our sun porch. The teenager has her room 100% clean and ready to accept the new member of the household though she and the teen have not worked out an agreement for when she will sign her lease.

The two have been playing, footage of which can be seen here: Playing Kitten

Some of our other neighbors are feeding her braver siblings and hope to catch them because they know of a potential home.

And then there is Naughty Nala. She was mad at me from the time I got home from work yesterday until I came home today. Refusing to step up, refusing to come out of her cage, biting me if I went near.

But today she seemed to forgive me for going to work. She stepped up beautifully and snuggled like a sweetheart chattering away.

She stood on the dishwasher while I made dinner and while we ate. To reward her, we fed her sweet potato fries which she loved. Video here: Nala is a Sweet Potato Girl (that’s a pun, referring to Tori Amos’ Cornflake Girl.)

If you don’t know the song, let me take you back to my college days: Cornflake Girl

Stream of consciousness: real talk

It’s almost 8:30 on a Saturday morning. This post will probably be babble, but I have a feeling it might resonate in a “real life” way. Like let’s not talk about Facebook perfect lives or fun on YouTube.

This is life with a teenager, a stressful job, three cats, three budgies and a Goffins cockatoo.

This is life. I have had the divorce papers in my possession for months but I just don’t want to sit down, fill them out, and file them. Not because I want to save my marriage but because it’s one more thing to do. It sometimes feels like my choices boil down to “file for divorce” or “do the dishes.” Neither situation will resolve without me taking the lead.

I can’t even articulate the chaos swirling around my head right now, let alone the chaos in it.

I have two parakeets flying around my head. One still timidly standing in his cage singing, not ready to come out. Wink, the blue budgie, has decided to eat the molding above my bedroom door (luckily not the visible side but the top) and fling chunks to the floor.

The big dumb cat raced into my room to sleep on my bed, and he looks just as perplexed as Nala does that critters are flying over head.

I did learn parrots can be potty trained. If you’re interested in that: Parront Tip: Potty Training. I also learned parrots need a lot of sleep. I should probably move my supper time to 6:30 or 7 so I can spend time with her and then put her to bed before I eat.

Today, I crawled out of bed at 6:30ish. In part, because Nala already knows when I get up for work and plucked a feather and screeched. The night before I had a bout of insomnia, not sure if it was hormones, work-stress or home stress but I only got five hours sleep. So getting seven hours last night felt magnificent.

Nala pooped on me right away, and all I had on was a t-shirt and underpants. We went to make coffee, feed the cats, and I made her tea. She pooped on me again. Time for a clean t-shirt.

I stepped on the scale and saw that I am almost back to my pre-holiday weight. I’m happy with that. I’m in a comfortable range. Now I just need to get back into routine with my weights.

I read one page of Zazi in the Metro (which I bought more than a month ago). The book club meeting is Friday. So much for that new social activity.

Booboo keeps investigating Nala. Speaking of Nala, between her and the kitten (whom the teenager now firmly believes is a boy) I think I have to cancel the trip to DC I was planning next weekend. I’m really disappointed. I know the teen can stay home and care for the pets. But it’s too soon for me to leave Nala. And I can’t take her to be boarded because that’s where I got her and she’ll think she’s been abandoned.

And I also noticed she’s not banded. Most birds are registered and have a band on their ankle. Nala does not.

Nala is plucking again

When I got home from work today, I changed my clothes and retrieved my bird. From the look of her chest, she’d be plucking.

I brought her downstairs, as is now my habit, keeping her on my shoulder as I do chores. Like laundry. Here we are in the basement. She thinks my hood is a kangaroo pouch.

I read somewhere that if your bird tries to steal your coffee, you can try to fool them with a cup of tea. Herbal tea. So I made Nala some blueberry tea and it kept her very occupied while I made dinner.

Watch Nala and her tea here: Nala and her tea

It really feels like the perfect plan. I come home, release her from her cage and reward her for her patience with a cup of tea.

And dinner. Oh, Dinner! The teenager and I had butternut squash apple bisque soup and boxed gourmet Velveeta style Mac-and-cheese. I gave Nala a couple of noodles and her own taste of soup.

After dinner she helped me do more chores. Then I sat down on my bed and started to cuddle her. She started plucking and made herself cry. Then she made herself bleed.

Is she overstimulated? Is she plucking to try and guarantee my attention? Does she know being back in my room means the night is winding down and she’ll have to go in her cage?

It makes me so sad. I know I have to be patient. I know she has been “left” and that she couldn’t prosper in a store. But it’s like the birdy version of being a cutter.

(The hydrogen peroxide wasn’t for her but for me. I fell down the stairs Monday.)

Maybe her skin is itchy. Or dry. Maybe it’s just habit. Hopefully it will improve.

So I bought her a bird sweatshirt.

Now I don’t know how on God’s green earth I’m going to get a cockatoo that bites into a sweater.

But I gotta try something.