Thursday, December 27, 2007

Good Game

I do. Our family grew up playing games and I still love them. I remember as a youth asking my mom to play a game with me because none of my four siblings would, and she would agree as long as it was Scrabble. I would always sigh, wishing she would go for Monopoly or Life, but would then agree to Scrabble. I was so desperate for "the game." Now I am thankful to my mom's more narrow interest in the game arena, because playing Scrabble has helped me learn my words. Though these skills come in handy for really no other reason than to take people on in Scrabble, I'm learning words just the same.

We were always impressed when Wendy's friend, Robyn B., would come over and kill us all in Scrabble. They were REALLY good in that family.

Ray has been my latest victim. When I met him, I learned that his family was big into Scrabble. That's when I knew I was in--I would even play with them without Ray! They are all really good too. They play "open dictionary" style in order to learn words, which is nice, though it does make for a long game. Nonetheless, Ray and I have adopted the "open dictionary" style ourselves.

Ray is better at the game than I would like him to be, and beats me more than half the time. That's OK--it doesn't make me want to quit playing. I've found that staying home and caring for these foster babies has increased my interest for more mind-taxing activities in the evenings. Besides that, its cold and dark outside. Thankfully Ray has been willing to humor me.

Here is the start of our game board tonight. It made for a tougher game later on because we had nowhere to build on!

And later...note our "2-letter words" cheat sheet at the bottom of the photo.

The finished board. Ray won, of course.

Go to this link if you need word lists for your Scrabble playing. Lists like: words with J, X and Z, 3-letter words, words containing 66% or more vowels, Q words without U, etc. They're very helpful!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Killing Elephant

November 2006: I found myself needing something small and helpless to care for. Enter Milo. She stood out among the other birds in the cage at the D&B, and I had to have her. I thought she was a male, but turns out I was wrong. Isn't she a beaut?

In the wild, parakeets flock together by the thousands, so Milo got lonely. She would just sit there on the perch all day long, barely moving. Even two parakeets together are lonely, but at least they're not completely alone. So in March I couldn't stand seeing such a lonely thing, so got her a she-friend, whose name is "Ele" (short for "Elephant", named by nephew Ethan.) Milo was beside herself with joy. Here they are together.

Last week I almost killed Ele. I thought I'd wait to write about it just in case she actually did die, but she's still alive.

Long story short: I clipped their wings (you have to do it every few months or so if you don't want them flying around the house). I thought while I had them there I would go ahead and clip their toenails. If they get too long they get their feet caught on things. Don't clip their toenails too short, or you might hit a vein and they will bleed. I hit Ele's vein but she only bled a little and it appeared to stop--so I didn't think much of it. Until I came home a few hours later and found bird blood all over the perches in their cage. Aaaaah!!!!

I ran and googled for help. They said use corn starch or flour. They also said that a bird can die after losing just a few drops of blood. Ele had lost much more than that. That's when I started to panic. She wouldn't stay still to let the cornstarch work--she just kept bleeding.

I took her to the vet (first time in my life--taking a pet there!) who said she wasn't sure, but it looked like not just her nail but part of her toe had been cut off too!!! Aaaaaah!!! That's right around when I started to cry. She had me come in the back while she worked on Ele, because "birds often die when they are in trauma like this, and I need you to be here to witness it. For vet liability issues." Aaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!! "I killed my parakeet."--that's all I could think, and the tears ran down. But I knew I had not clipped that much off--I'm very careful when doing that.
About 5 traumatic minutes later Tana, the vet, got the toe cleaned she said that actually it did look like just the nail had been cut after all. She applied "bloodstop" and the bleeding immediately stopped. She sent some bloodstop along with me and wished me luck. I'll admit I was grateful that she didn't charge me anything. The whole way home I wondered if Ele would die because of all she'd been through. So far so good. She's still chirping as annoyingly and loudly when "Amelia" is attempting to nap.

Here they are after a bird bath, looking like wet dogs!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

McCall, Idaho

Have you heard of it? It is beautiful. McCall is located two hours north of Boise by Payette Lake. We try to get up there several times a year. Ray had some work he needed to do there so I tagged along with him and stayed two nights. We got to bring "Amelia" (the same foster baby we have had for 10 weeks) along with us and it was so fun! It snowed about 18-20" while we were there. Here are some pics from our hotel room.

Ray had to work early in the morning moving equipment in a bank so they could re-carpet, and then move it all back late that evening. So we had all day to find ways to spend the time. I iceskated at the rink overlooking the lake while Ray held Amelia. I didn't fall once, though I only made it around the rink about 8 times before my legs started to wobble from pure fatigue!! How sad that I am such a wimp. Notice the lake in the background.
All of our cutest pictures taken that day were of Amelia. I wish I could post them--she was so happy and smiling! Maybe someday...

For today, here she is pictured wearing her snowsuit by the lake and touching snow for the first time.

And here she is wearing her beret in the ice rink. She has some cute hats!