Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Paco let me handle him all weekend. I spent a lot of time with him... holding him, whispering to him, petting him, giving him medicine and feeding him. We bonded. He loved me and I loved him.

Then Double Shot came home. Paco got nippy toward me when Double Shot was in the room. Okay... he has been Double Shot's parrot for 8 years and they can be like that. When Double Shot wasn't around he was sweet to me like he was this weekend.

This morning he was in a snit and refused to come out of his little fuzzy tent. I thought he must be feeling better if he had the energy required to act that way. I wrangled him out and gave him his medicine and fed him. He was still grumpy. I left him alone for awhile.

When I went to check in on him early this afternoon he was obviously still in a snit. I cooed to him and put my finger out for him to step up on. He bit me! Twice! I was so upset because not only did he bite me... he hurt my feelings. I was crushed and almost started crying. Then he tried to attack me and I told him he was a rotten little rat bastard of a bird. I really thought he loved me now...

I didn't go in there the rest of the afternoon. Double Shot brought him down after he got home. He's been wheezing off an on but... it is much worse. I gave him his medicine and fed him... and cleaned up his cage. When I was holding him in my hand I could feel the rattling in his lungs. I don't think he's going to make it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Good Golly!!!

I've received some worried e-mails because I haven't blogged in a couple days (and was very much touched by them, thank you) so I thought I'd better throw a quick post out there before anyone else thinks something bad has happened!

Mr. Macchiato and Double Shot went to New Mexico to a Men's Retreat over the weekend so I was home alone. Can you believe I only checked my e-mail once? It's true. I was hardly on the computer at all.

Paco is hanging in there. He's been pretty grumpy today. He is still not squawking or talking. He almost sounds as if he has a cough. All we can do is what we are already doing. Sometimes I think everything is going to be okay and others... I worry.

I believe I shared on here once before somewhere that I had an epiphany about my parenting through watching the Dog Whisperer. Rather than control my dogs through proper training I have always controlled their environment. If I can't watch them or they are misbehaving I put them in their crates. When they are out and about I close off all the areas of the house I do not want them in and make sure everything is put up. I did the same with my kids (they were never locked in a room, closet or crate, I swear!) in that I expended much more energy in controlling their environment and telling them about the world and how it works rather than letting them experience it and learn from those experiences. Even with being aware of that tendency in myself, it has been very difficult for me to make the changes I've wanted to in regard to the dogs. My comfort zone is to control the environment.

We moved the dog crates up into the kitchen near the back door when we hit the snow, melt, snow cycle. The problem is that it is very easy to get lazy with the crates there and not clean their paws before letting them back into the house. I am the only one that does a thorough job of it anyway and by having the crates there it means that the dogs have less chance of tracking stuff onto the carpet when Mr. Macchiato or Double Shot let them in. However, with this set up I do not like them out and about in the house because they are dirty.

I decided to move the crates down into the basement. I am trying to get to where we only use them when we are not home and when traveling. We then had 4 days of rain. The backyard is mud city. I spent the weekend wrangling those dogs to the ground at the back door and scrubbing their feet every time I had to let them out. It was exhausting. Last night Double Shot let them out and did not lock the back door. We MUST lock the back door because they can open it. It was pouring down rain and I was on my way back upstairs with clean towels when they let themselves in and ran all crazy through the house. This sort of thing makes me very unhappy and quite unpleasant to be around. The smell of wet dog makes me want to claw my nose from my face and pull my hair out.

Lu Lu also puked on my carpet twice yesterday. We have had this carpet almost two years now and there has not been one accident by either dog in all that time. Benny was easy to potty train and had very few accidents in the house and none at all since he was 5 months old. Lu Lu has always been a secret pisser which is why I am so psycho about watching her. When she's been out and started gagging before I've quickly picked her up and ran off the carpet... yesterday I was sitting on the couch and she came right up to me and then just barfed a huge amount right onto the carpet. After I took care of her and went to get stuff to clean the carpet I stepped in some puke that I was unaware of.

The dogs have pretty much been in their crates since. They smell so bad that it is making me crazy. I cannot give them a bath because the weather is still yucky and I do that outside. I walked down into the basement this morning and was hit with their smell so hard that I stumbled. I have since put the gizmo (our air purifier) down there but it is not doing its job that well anymore. It is so frustrating. I really do like dogs. Benny has the same quality that our other golden, Eve, had in that there is something calming for me about him. Not when he's smelly or jumping around all crazy... but I think he's good for me. Lu Lu has almost always stressed me out though. Ugh. This is such a struggle for me!

Anyway, I moved some furniture around. This is the longest I have ever lived in one house and it is kind of getting to me. I'm used to a fresh start every three years or so. Moving is a great way to get everything re-organized. I am definitely not one of those people that is resistant to change. Mr. Macchiato hates it when I move things around, which is why I do it when he's not here.

I also stayed in my pajamas the whole time they were gone and didn't talk to anyone. Heck, I didn't even shower on Saturday. When I had my little surgery a couple weeks ago I watched a lot of stuff on TLC. I don't normally watch television by myself. In fact, I've been campaigning to put our Dish on hold for a couple months. Anyway, I watched a zillion babies being born and some reality shows about people with tons of kids... oh and there's even one about a little family that has four kids. Three of them are average sized and then one of them is little like his parents. Anyway, there's a show called, "Jon & Kate plus 8." This couple first had twins and then sextuplets. I had not heard of it before and then right after I did I noticed there was stuff about them on the covers of magazines at the check out line. This past weekend they had a Jon & Kate marathon from all the past seasons. I am ashamed to say I watched them. All of them. I recorded them to the DVR and then skipped through all the commercials, intro's and repeating of things after commercials. Then, to end the marathon, they had the new first episode of this upcoming season.

I am sick over this family. They are in trouble and it looks like divorce is likely. Watching the last four years of their lives straight through like that... and having it come to where it is now... is heartbreaking. It is an example of all that is wrong with "reality tv" and an indictment on our society that flocks to see these types of shows. I feel dirty now for having watched it all. I dreamt about them last night and they've been on my mind all day. It is just so very sad.

Well, so much for my quick little post. Oy. It seems I have chatty fingers.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Paco, the Invalid

I brought Paco home yesterday. All the people at the vet were telling me what an absolute sweetie he is. WHAT?!?!? Paco??? Paco, the TERRORIST?!?!? Wow.

He has more energy than he did but, not much. I have antibiotics and calcium to give him every day and we'll just wait and see what happens. He is still not squawking. He does make tiny mumbling noises once in a great while. I've been spending a lot of time with him. He shakes... almost like he has Parkinsons. I don't think he's eating enough so I went to the store and bought some baby food and have been hand feeding him that. Interestingly, he shakes much less after I feed him. I can't believe how he's letting me handle him. I hold him on his back in the palm of my hand with his head between my finger and thumb when I give him the medication. I've feed him that way too, with a medicine dropper. I can put a blob of baby food on my finger and he'll eat it that way too. I bought him this fuzzy tent thing that he has been hanging out in. I'll have to take a picture and post it.

This is very stressful for me. I feel absolutely terrible about all the times I've joked about killing Paco. I also feel bad because Double Shot is gone all day and I don't pay much attention to him. We just didn't give it that much thought when we let him get the birds when he was 9. Parrots live a long time... Quakers can live 30+ years. Double Shot won't be able to take Paco with him to college. We didn't consider what it would be like for Paco when Double Shot went to school. We didn't work at developing a relationship with him because we just thought of him as being Double Shot's pet. Never in my life did I ever think I wanted a bird... Parrots are very smart and need a lot of interaction. If he makes it through this I am going to have to be more mindful of his needs and think of him as our pet too.

Today is my brother Buck's birthday. The big ole 39! He He!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Update on Paco

I spent all morning on a Quaker parrot message board and learned a lot. I wish I had found the board years ago. The people on there have been so nice and supportive! He was not any worse than he was last night so I was trying to learn what I could and keeping my eye on him. Around noon we decided to go ahead and take him to the avian vet that was recommended last night at the animal hospital we took him to.

This vet was so good with Paco! She took a stool sample and ran blood tests. The results showed everything was within normal limits except for his muscle enzymes. The normal range of numbers is between 100-300. Paco's was over 2700. This means that he's under some muscle trauma and since he hasn't been injured it may be his heart. We left him overnight in an incubator of sorts. Even though his white count was in normal range, she was going to inject an antibiotic. She will call in the morning and I'll go get him.

We don't know what is going to happen. If it is his heart there is nothing they can do. So... we wait.


Paco didn't make any noise today. At all. Yesterday he had one of his worst squawk fests ever. I shut him up by giving him pineapple and banana. I noticed he was acting a little weird later that afternoon. I also couldn't get him to respond when I said his name. He always responds when people say his name either by saying something or squawking.

When Double Shot got home I had him check Paco out to see what he thought. Paco is 8 years old and he has never been this quiet. We noticed that Paco didn't poop the entire time Double Shot had him on his shoulder, which was about 30-40 minutes. He usually goes every 5 minutes or so. We wondered if he might be constipated.

Mr. Macchiato came home and kept his eye on him for awhile. Something definitely is not right. He called the animal hospital and we all loaded up and took Paco in. They were very busy with a number of critical animals, one of which had been bit by a rattlesnake. They took Paco back and put him on oxygen while we hung out in the waiting room. A bit later they moved us into a room with only one chair. We were in there over an hour before the vet came in. Not fun, especially with Double Shot who has to be making some kind of noise and moving at all times. That was hard enough to take when he was smaller. Now he's all arms and legs with ginormous clown feet.

The vet came in and apologized for the long wait. She had examined Paco and said that he was well hydrated, had good body mass, and his breathing sounded good. She did note that he seemed low energy, especially for a bird in what is usually a very stressful situation for them. She told us she doesn't treat birds regularly and that they did not have the proper equipment to run blood tests. She then went to look up some stuff online.

I couldn't take being in that room anymore so I left and went to sit in the car. It was so hot in that room! I told Mr. Macchiato to let me know when the vet came back... and I might have sent him a few taunting texts because the car was so much more comfortable than that room. He didn't send any back so I figured the vet was in there and was going to go in, but they came out with a number for a bird vet and a receipt for $90.

I'll watch Paco tomorrow and see how he does. He drank a lot of water when we came home. He's still not squawking but he is making some little noises. I can't believe we are freaking out about him not being noisy when we've all been wanting him to shut up for years.

I seriously thought he was going to die tonight. Paco had a brother named Taco. He died on New Year's Eve 6 years ago. He acted as he normally did up until that morning. The birds had gotten out of their cage (they were an awesome team that way) and Paco attacked Taco on the floor. A couple hours later he was sitting on the bottom of the cage and breathing funny. We immediately took him to the animal hospital. He died within 30 minutes of our being there. The vet showed us that he was completely emaciated. Parrots hide that they are sick until they can't anymore because other birds will attack them. They puff themselves up and pretend to eat.

I'm feeling bad because some days I just cannot take his squawking and I don't know how many times I've joked about killing him. Oy. Maybe he just lost his voice during that squawk fest yesterday. I'd never heard him squawk like that. Or maybe the pineapple gave him a sore throat. He ate a lot of it and I can't remember if he's had fresh pineapple before or not. I know he's had canned... I can eat some canned but fresh pineapple makes my tongue itch and get sores in my mouth. I love it so I eat some every so often anyway. If I eat too much I will break out in a rash around my mouth and chin. Who knows. Maybe he's got SD now.

I am stinkin tired.

OH! And today (20th) is Lu Lu's 10th birthday! She still uses the basket she was born in. Maggie Mae was yelping whenever she walked so I figured she was in labor. I put her and her basket in the bathroom. When I checked on her she was in the basket and Lu Lu had been born. There wasn't room in there for her to have more so I moved them to the tub where Maggie Mae had 3 more puppies. I'm glad Lu Lu made it to her 10th birthday. We don't know how much longer she'll be around though. She was doing much better but has been having some bad days lately.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There is a Bad Smell Rising...

You know, like a bad moon rising... And it isn't just the bad attitudes around here.

I am about to LOSE MY MIND.

It is in our family room and it wafts in and out. I thought it was Paco. Shoot, at one point I even wondered if it was me. I took of my pants and smelled the crotch right in the middle of the room. I'm happy to report it definitely was not me.

I've moved furniture and sniffed... and sniffed... and sniffed. It is making me very, VERY grumpy.

Stuff like this makes me cRaZy. And not in a good way. We are talking pit dwelling evil mean crazy... hair waving around like snakes, bulging eyes with lazers, and hissing crazy. It is a trip to the dark side of crazy town.

Have any of you read Jean Paul Sarte's play No Exit? If you haven't it is about some people trapped in a room that don't know each other who eventually come to the conclusion that they are in hell.

The smell in my family room and my inability to find its source brought that play to mind.

Please pray for me. I've got to figure this out and get rid of it!!! If I don't, within hours I will be headed to the looney bin in a straight jacket. Or to Jail.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let the Week Begin!!!

Actually, technically, Sunday is really the first day of the week... I always think of Monday as the beginning of the week because it is when you have to get back to work.

This Monday loving morning girl has her engine revving and is roaring to go!!! WOOO HOOOO!!!

There's much that sucks going on around here but... I don't care right now. I'm in a good mood and feeling silly.

Years and years ago, gosh, before I had Double Shot, a friend of mine found an old ladies magazine from the fifties that had an article in it that had us howling! It was an article on how the housewife could vent her pent up frustration through an exercise called "violent housecleaning." It was a HOOT!!! Well... I'm gonna give me a try at some violent housecleaning! I've even thought about adding in some ideas of my own... like a couple sets of aerobic cleaning and a few sets of restful cleaning in between.

Well, as they say on that BBC show with the old British biddies, "How Clean is Your House," LET THE CLEANING COMMENCE!!! Hmmmm... too bad I don't have a pair of their colorful rubber gloves with the boa type edging... LOL!

Have a MAAAHVELOUS Monday!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Desperately Seeking Pollyanna

Shall we play the "Glad Game" ??? Let's see... where to start, where to start??? Okay. I'm ready.

*I'm glad the nightmare I had before waking yesterday morning was just a bad dream.

*I'm glad I didn't really go to the mall because I hate going to the mall.

*I'm glad I didn't lose the expensive outfit I bought along with the credit card I used.

*I'm glad that if I had done so that my husband would not have treated me the way he did in my dream, at least I hope not.

*I'm glad that it only took 8 hours to shake the feelings from that dream. I guess it could have taken longer.

*I'm glad that we did not have to reschedule Double Shot's dentist appointment and pay a missed appointment fee after he sauntered out to the car 15 minutes later than he should have.

*I'm glad I didn't get a speeding ticket.

*I'm glad that I won't be yelling at Double Shot today because the couple sentences I yelled yesterday have made that impossible.

*I'm glad Mr. Macchiato and I got to go out with some friends for dinner and that we had a very nice time.

*I'm glad that when we got home and discovered Double Shot had done nothing we told him to while we were gone and that the new DVR we got last week wasn't working and that Mr. Macchiato's beloved Deadliest Catch, American Idol and the season finally of Fringe weren't recorded that my face did not turn purple and my head didn't spin around like Mr. Macchiato's did.

*I'm glad that Mr. Macchiato can yell so loud. It might come in handy someday if we get stranded on a hike in the mountains and we need people from 3 different states to come rescue us.

*I'm glad that Mr. Macchiato looked up Double Shot's schoolwork online and found that he had more missing assignments and that he was marked absent in study hall during the time he was supposed to be meeting with his Chemistry teacher for help... which he didn't do either... that he was the one jumping up and down and pulling out his hair instead of me.

*I'm glad that only one of the retainers he got less than two months ago is broken in half because he leaves them lying all over the place.

*I'm glad that I was able to sleep deeply for two hours before Mr. Macchiato woke me up at 12:30 am when he finally came to bed and that he wanted to talk and pray.

*I'm glad that he was able to fall asleep quickly and get busy snoring loudly because it meant he was really asleep.

*I'm glad that Frappy's bed is still here and that I could go crawl into it.

*I'm glad Mr. Macchiato was able to fall back asleep after he got up to go looking for me and that he didn't try to tell me he wouldn't snore if I came back to bed. I've heard that one too many times before.

*I'm glad that I had lots of time to think when I couldn't fall back asleep.

*I'm glad that the neighbors behind us are so cool that they let their teenage/young adult kids party on a Tuesday night... and hang out on their deck laughing and having a good time... until 4 AM. I'm sure they have an excellent relationship and that those kids are going to make mighty fine adults who are courteous and mindful of their surroundings and how what they do may affect others.

*I'm glad that I got four hours of sleep in the form of two 2 hour power naps.

*I'm glad that the Dish dude is here trying to fix whatever is wrong and that he must be doing a very thorough job because he's been here for two hours already.

*I'm glad that even though I think about killing Paco, I don't.

*I'm glad that I can sit here in my dumpy frumpy sweats I wear when I paint with greasy hair, smelly pits, no make up and my old glasses that are chipped, while a strange man is in my house... and blog about it.

*I'm glad you read this far.

OY! OY! OY! Can you believe I left out a bunch of stuff? I did. I wish this guy would hurry it on up. I. want. to. take. a. shower. I would like to tell the guy to just pack it all up and take it away. I'd like to go live in a cave by a river, actually.

I am going to have a positive attitude. I am going to count my many blessings. I am going to find contentment and joy in spite of my circumstances. I am. How long do you think this is gonna take? Cause, ya know, I'm a instant gratification junkie.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting...

Do you ever feel like you are spending your life waiting? I'm so tired of waiting...

... waiting for Double Shot to come to the car, do his homework, clean his room, and change his attitude

... waiting for things to change with my voice

... waiting for the inspiration to change my eating habits and exercise

... waiting for Paco to shut the heck up

... waiting for the inspiration to get organized

... waiting for Mr. Macchiato to get inspired to finish our home improvement projects we started two years ago

... waiting for me to be inspired to finish the projects I can do

... waiting for the kids to pull their heads out of their butts or for their heads to pop back up out their necks

... waiting to quit hating waiting

I don't think the inspiration to go take a shower is going to happen so I guess I'll just go take an uninspired shower and get to some uninspired cleaning of the kitchen along with some uninspired doing of the laundry. Maybe moving forward uninspired will inspire me. I'm still waiting.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Booper Says Good Morning!!!

I think everyone should have a Booper! Even when he's bad... and he is bad... he is good. He likes to snag socks or dish towels and run all willy nilly through the house while he growls. He bumps into walls, jumps on beds, and falls down the stairs. When you pet him he presses his forehead against your leg and stands very still. We call it a Benny hug.

Well... it is Monday morning! I am feeling really good and ready to tackle the day. I've got a lot to do since I really haven't done much of anything since Wednesday. I'm going to take care of some things before I get sucked into the computer. What have you got going today?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

All is Well...

Thanks so much for the well wishes and prayers! Things did not go as smoothly as I had hoped but they are getting better and I'm far from the worst case scenario! My biggest complaint at the moment is how the medication is making me feel. Thankfully, the pain is much more manageable. I'm sure I'll be back to a more normal next week.

Hope y'all have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Goodness...

My life is not exactly conducive to blogging at the moment... I've got stuff going on that makes it hard for me to think of what to blog about.

Considering all the stuff I've shared on this blog y'all might be surprised to know that I am actually very private in some ways. So... I am going to be intentionally vague.

I'm having a procedure done tomorrow that I, of course, have been reading horror stories about online. It is an effort to avoid a hysterectomy that may be futile. But... as Mr. Macchiato said to me last night, "You don't replace the carburettor without first changing the air filter." I'm pretty anxious about it and could use some prayers. I've already been in pain for many weeks and am worried about the pain I'm to expect after the procedure. And... I really want this to work.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Weekend

My weekend went like this:

*Skipped dinner Thursday night because I just didn't feel like eating (bizarre, I know)

*Made Frappy's birthday cake

*Had plans to go grocery/birthday shopping after dropping Double Shot off at school Friday morning

*Woke up naseous

*Did not let Double Shot drive to school because I had to tell him to get up too many times

*Stopped at Loaf-n-Jug to get cash and breakfast sandwiches... I thought maybe I felt the way I did because I didn't eat the night before

*Took two bites of the most disgusting breakfast sandwich ever... and guzzled some light gatorade

*Got out on the main road and felt like I was going to puke

*Told myself that by thinking I was going to puke that I was making it worse and that if I thought I'm not going to puke that I would feel better

*Immediately had to do a lane dive to shoulder, grab the Loaf-n-Jug bag and puke in it

*Double Shot squished himself up against the passenger door and watched in horror as I repeatedly wretched

*Bag leaked and cup holders filled with puke... not enough napkins

*Double Shot called his Dad and told him he was driving me home...

*Mr. Macchiato left important business meeting

*Double Shot and I switched sides and he pealed out before I even had my seatbelt latched

*Bag-o-puke was leaking on the floorboard...

*... in my new to me Explorer

*Double Shot did a lane dive over to a dirt turn about meant for cops and whipped through it and out in front of oncoming cars

*Double Shot, with a gleam in his eye, changed lanes many times so he could pass the other cars while I sputtered for him to slow down and prayed that I wouldn't have to puke in my purse... and that we would make it home alive

*Double shot passed a car on the right and then went back into the left turn lane INCHES in front of the car he passed. I may or may not have momentarily lost consciousness as my brain screamed everything I could not

*Double Shot jammed on the brakes and jumped out of the car when we hit our driveway and went running for a bucket and the pine-sol

*We cleaned up the puke

*I laid down on the couch

*Mr. Macchiato got home and then took Double Shot to school... late

*It was a long rotten day... Frappy's birthday...

*Mr. Macchiato transferred money to Frappy's account so she could take Cuppa Joe to a movie and told her to not come home until Saturday morning

*Frappy's cake fell apart when I went to frost and decorate it

*I glued it back together with frosting and decorated it anyway

*Cleaned like a crazy person Saturday morning

*Was still at the store getting Frappy's gift and some food when Frappy and Cuppa Joe arrived

*Mr. Macchiato, Frappy, and Cuppa Joe went for a hike

*Double Shot and I napped

*We all went to a restaurant for Frappy's birthday dinner

*We watched Marley and Me when we got home

*Forgot to buy birthday candles... put three 4 candles, a 5 candle and two 1 candles on the cake because if you added them all together it was "19"

*Kids played pool downstairs and Mr. Macchiato and I went to bed around midnight

*Dogs woke me up at 5 am

*While they were outside I noticed a strange noise and went to investigate

*The DVR was making a high pitched squealing noise even though it, the TV and all the other components were turned off

*I turned the TV on... then the DVR... and hoped it didn't blow up

*A message bubble popped up and said there was a problem with the DVR and to unplug it, which I did

*Told Mr. Macchiato when he got up, he called the Dish people... the hard drive went out... will be a week before we can get a new DVR. Mr. Macchiato was BUMMED... me, not so much

*We all went to church

*Person who was supposed to put the words to the songs up on the screens did not show so I did it... and messed up a couple times

*Went home and ate lunch

*Mr. Macchiato took Double Shot, Cuppa Joe and Frappy to a Sky Sox game

*Cuppa Joe and Frappy left from the stadium to go back up to school

*I stayed home... and napped

*Homework Hell began when the guys got home... actually, it wasn't that bad

*Friends came over for dessert and stayed until 10 pm

*Our friends are going to have to sell their house because they can't make the payments

*I laid awake staring into the darkness for a long time before I fell asleep