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Jean McDermott is a freelance writer and professional muscian.
The clock really made me happy, but suddenly it's creator started sending Google ads through it. How RUDE! If I want ads on my site I'll put them there myself. So it's goodbye to the googly-eyed, tail-waggin' clock!
Her Royal Highness Sofia won't let me cut more than one or two toenails at a time. And she was due for a blood panel and a checkup, so she got herself knocked out for the vet yesterday. It took her a while to get back to normal, with her ears at half-mast and a very bewildered look on her face. She was pretty funny, and very sweet.
Oh, and she was wobbly, but able to jump int the truck and out again, so not to worry, the vet didn't send her home too soon.
Remember when I was complaining about rain? I do hate rain. I also detest fog, because no one will slow down in it, which makes it horrendously frightening and dangerous to drive in. Luckily, we rarely get fog in Fairbanks.
However we did get beaucoup rain, in fact I measured 4 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. But when the rain left, the temperatures skyrocketed.
We have been having gloriously yellow-sun-blue-sky summer weather, complete with temperatures of at least 80 and today over 90. After the first couple days of Real Summer, forest fire smoke took over and there has been intermittent End of The World skies. I think the worst was when the sky was thick with smoke and many of us, myself included, were wheezing around, coughing and getting headaches, and then the humidity climbed up to 60% and up. That might not seem like high humidity to you, but as a person who a) lived in the desert for twenty years and b) is used to a dry climate here in Alaska too, 60% (and I am sure it was much higher) was just awful. Sweating from room to room, drip drip drip. You couldn't move a muscle, blink an eyelash, that it didn't create a stream of sweat.
I love hot weather, but it has to be hot and dry. That old saw about "but it's a DRY heat" is actually quite true!
My studio has been 100° for the last two days. Or higher, because the thermostat only goes up to 100°. For the previous days it was 90°-95°. Yes, that's correct: it was hotter in the studio than outside. Eighty degrees outside equals at least ninety degrees inside. And with the way the building is constructed, there is no way to create any air flow. I have made desperate pleas for the loan of an air conditioner, but to no avail! I'm sure every a/c unit in Fairbanks is in use, and rightfully so. Lessons had to be given in the jet stream of the fan. There was no other way to even be in that place.
So today I went to Sam's Club to see what an air conditioner cost. I decided I could not survive another day in the studio, and neither should the dogs have to! I don't have the money, buying an air conditioner in Fairbanks is really silly, because we usually don't have weather that requires one for more than a couple weeks. But I'll forgo paying the full payment on something, some utility or something, I don't know which yet, so that I can continue to work and do business in a normal fashion.
But wait. I thought to myself.....I don't have to give any lessons until next Monday. Today is Wednesday. Who KNOWS what the weather will be like then? It could change within the hour!
So I went home and the dogs and I were hanging out on the balcony, cooling off, Buddy Bird was chattering away, and then I saw the sky getting darker, and darker (remember, it doesn't GET DARK in the summer in Fairbanks)...then smoke started pouring into the sky...the sky was still much darker than smoke makes it and then I saw the thunderheads. And so we had a grand cooling off and a little sprinkle of rain, imagine that!
As far as I'm concerned, my deferring the purchase of the air conditioner that I can't afford was a good thing. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Hey, I love hot weather, hot DRY weather, that is! One thing is for sure, life isn't boring!
This is Buddy, a Red Lored Amazon parrot. He needed a new home and I was happy to give him one. His original name is Baby, so we are transitioning to something similar, but not so silly. He doesn't seem to mind.
Until I can take him to the vet to be sexed, we don't know if he's a male or a female, either. I'll try not to freak him out with too many changes for now, though!
As Amazon parrots go, he's the 3/4 size, as opposed to the full-sized Double Yellow-heads or Yellow-Naped Amazons. That makes him a perfect size for a little house like mine!
His former owner got him from her aunt, who, at 84, began to have troubles caring for him. Someone else gave Buddy to the aunt, so poor Buddy has has four owners in four years. Well, the bird stops here, so to speak. He'll be staying with me for a long, long time. If all goes well, I'll have to put him in my will, as he'll outlive me. With all the changes in situation, Buddy, so I've been told, will bite. He wouldn't bite his former owner, but he bit the heck out of the kids and anyone else who tried to handle him. However I think a lot of it had to do with ignorance of bird nature, and proper bird handling. I am taking things slowly, but he seems to like me a lot. He comes right over to the edge of the cage, he takes treats from me and hasn't tried to bite at all. I was told by the former owner that I had better put a glove on if I put my hand in the cage because he'd "bite the heck out of you" but I'm not seeing that kind of behaviour. We'll see. I'll use caution but I suspect he's a lot more relaxed here than he was in his previous home.
He's so quiet for a parrot! I love the way he chitter chatters quietly to himself. He gets very excited about music, vacuum cleaners, and other noises, and of course he loves to be talked to, but he doesn't just scream for the fun of it. Not at all!
He does a great chicken cluck: buck buck buck BUck KAW!! He wolf whistles, has asked me "How are ya?" He's called me "Mommy," and I'm working on teaching him Hi and Hello. He has quite a few indistinct words and sounds. We may never know what some of them are.
I spent a hilarious fifteen minutes meowing at him, only to have him chicken cluck every single time I meowed. "Meow?" "Buck buck buck BuckKAW!" "Meow?" "buck buck buck....." "Meow?" "Buck buck....buck.....buck kaw?" Yes, he can cluck like a chicken asking a question.
At first I wondered if I would be able to sleep once he got here, because right now we have no night. It's light 24 hours a day. But he's a good little bird: he goes to sleep with the rest of us just fine, and he doesn't get up until we do, either. In fact, he's very quiet unless I'm doing something to get him going. It's pretty wonderful!
Of course Sofia wanted to eat him right away. She went into full coyote-slink mode, with that zoned look, all body parts slunk down. She hid under the table the cage is on, as if I wouldn't notice!
Ole thinks the bird is fascinating, especially because Buddy drops FOOD out of the cage! I won't need to do any clean-up in that regard because I have my own Elkhound Cleaning System. He thinks the bird is interesting, but the bird dropping food is AMAZING. Buddy is by the edge of the railing, and he dropped a peanut down to the first floor and Ole thought "OMG Peanuts falling from the sky!"
Sofia has chilled out and is listening really well. She's over her Intruder Alert and knows that Buddy is off-limits. It's only the third Bird Day, so we are doing very well here!
I feel sorry for Buddy, that he's only four and yet has had four homes. He has a band on his leg, but his former owner didn't know what was on it. I suspect he was a hand-fed baby guy, and has just gotten jaded over the years. I'm really happy to have him and want to thank the Alaska Bird Club for letting me adopt him, and thank his former owner, as well, for knowing it was time to find him a safer place. I know it must have been hard to let go of him, but she did the right thing, and I thank her!