Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I must be nuts!

Counting the OC and I, we'll have 13, yup, a full baker's dozen people here the end of the week. That includes 5 teens, three of their mothers, and one father, in addition to an elderly mother-in-law who can no longer live independently. We've been busily working on decluttering and reorganizing to make room for so many extra people.

We've been getting extra beds set up in the attic and they'll all be full with some on the floor!

With two bathrooms for 13 people, mornings should be interesting, LOL. The biggest challenge is likely going to be convincing dear Grammie to lie low until all the music clinic participants are showered, dressed, fed and out the door.

Most of our guests blow in late Thursday evening, but, in about an hour, B is due to arrive with Grammie (and her kitty, which our cranky old cat hates). Guess which one is to be banished to the basement...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Poor kitty

Our nearly 16 year old cat seemed to be getting skinnier and skinnier and sleeping more and more. So, I finally took her to the vet who checked her over very carefully and found nothing wrong...until he looked in her mouth and found a couple of broken teeth and a very swollen gum area with only tooth fragments remaining. But she still had teeth enough to draw blood from his examining finger, though!

They ran some (very expensive!) blood tests and proclaimed her in good enough health to undergo anesthesia so we took her in the next day and the vet removed the offending teeth.

Poor thing came home sooooo wobbley that she could barely stand, yet she made it down to the litter box before collapsing to sleep off the anesthesia.

Unfortunately, the antibiotic they put her on upset her stomach too much for her to eat and left her vomiting the occasional glob of bloody mucous. After three days of that, we said "enough is enough" and stopped forcing it down her poor protesting throat.

It's been a week now and I'm happy to report that our poor kitty is starting to feel more like her normal (elderly, creaky, and lazy) self. At least she's finally eating again! With so many teeth missing, she'll be happy to continue to eat only soft canned food and let us turn that nearly-full bag of dry food over to our "grandkitties" who live across town.

Friday, March 17, 2006

You have GOT to see/hear this!

If, that is, you like the sound of cellos -- particularly cool things done with cellos.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What Pattern is YOUR Brain?

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a creative hotbed of artistic talent.
You're always making pictures in your mind, especially when you're bored.
You are easily inspired to think colorful, interesting thoughts.
And although it may be hard to express these thoughts, it won't always be.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Oh, Happy Day!

It's Spring Break. Our college girl is safely home for Nine Whole Days and this empty nest mama is
Adding to the "happy factor" is that, in a few more days, B is coming back as well--for nearly a week. Whether or not she's bringing Gram with her this time has not yet been determined. (They just left the day before D arrived.)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's Official

It's official--I'm definitely an old fogey!

Exhibit A: I just had to take a screening eye exam before I could renew my driver's license.

Exhibit B: On the way home, I stopped at a department store to begin my search for a new dress. The frilly skirt of one style caught my eye so I went over to check it out. As soon as I saw the skimpy, strappy top, I realized I'd bumbled into the "junior" section and backed away. Immediately, a teen came over, pulled the dress off the rack and said to her friend, "Oh, I like this dress." I struggled to get almost 20 feet away before cracking up; I just knew she was going to love that dress after the "old lady" had scorned it!

Ah, the joys of fogey-hood...

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Your Miami travelogue will resume shortly.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Tuesday in Miami ... or ... A Visit to Parrot Jungle Island

Tuesday morning, we woke to a beautiful sunrise gleaming over the water so, of course, I had to whip out the camera and try shooting a photo through the hotel window.

The promise of a beautiful (though chilly to locals) day for my visit to Miami's Parrot Jungle Island gave an energizing start to this refugee from the cold dark northland. I got the car out of (pricey!) valet parking and headed out over the causeway toward the bridge to South Beach.

According to the map, there should be a turnoff to Parrot Jungle Island. A sign. Whew! Off and out of the heavy traffic I went, but...where was it? I meandered down a little side road, past a children's museum and some parked busses and tractor-trailer trucks.

"Where am I going, already, headed on a dusty little road under the end of the bridge? I don't see any signs. This just doesn't look right--better turn around. Hmmm, maybe I was supposed to go under there after all. What's the worst thing that can happen--I end up going back to the city and trying again. Okay, I'll do that funny under-the-bridge U-turn and see where I end up."

And I'm there...just as they open the doors! I park in the nearly empty garage, pay my entrance fee (with a discount coupon--hurrah!) just ahead of a crowd of adorable little Head Start munchkins.

I picked up a map with a schedule of programs, asked a passing employee to recommend what to see when and then set off to see the feeding of the flock of delightfully noisy flamingos.

They put on a fun show with trained parrots,

talking myna birds, a six-foot-tall Australian Cassowary, and more.

Once through a set of doubled cagelike doors and inside the Manu Encounter aviary, I was fascinated by the very inquisitive little squirrel monkeys

and the parrots, macaws and other birds who live there.

I attended two more shows, one with wild animals and one with reptiles. Along almost all the walkways were parrots on perches--many of them squawking for food. They'd even eat right out of your hand.

One of them, however, seemed a little too hungry--it tried to take a bite out of my signature red hat and pulled it right off my head!

This was such a lovely day that, even though the birds and animals and the special programs were fun to watch, I just kept walking around, reveling in all the green, green foliage and just soaking up the sunshine--particularly in their Everglades Habitat area.