I know this isn't a spectacular photo, I took it from across the room, then zoomed/cropped with software, and lost a lot of detail. But I like it because it shows these two together.

Klinger the cockatiel was rehomed with me in about 2001/2002 along with his cagemate Trapper. Trapper has since passed away, and Klinger has become buddies, sort of, with Punkin. Klinger and Trapper came to me from a gentleman who could no longer keep them due to health reasons, but he didn't want them to go anywhere they'd be deflighted; having never had their wing feathers cut, he knew how they'd be negatively affected if that ever happened to them. So they came to me.

Punkin came with his sibling Precious, and their "daddy" Papa, along with African Grey parrot Bey (who has since gone to live elsewhere, in a more ideal situation where he is the center of attention - something that could never happen here). I think they were rehomed with me in about 2002/2003. Papa and Precious have since passed on, they were older when they came to me (as were Klinger and Trapper - both were close to 10 I believe). Punkin isn't hand-tame, and so he resides in a larger flight cage. I leave the door open when Klinger is out because the 2 of them "talk" back and forth to each other all day, and Klinger spends most of his own out-of-cage time on Punkin's cage - but Punkin refuses to come out. I don't know why, but I don't force the issue, he is certainly free to do so. Punkin is an old man now and has earned the right to make his own choices - as has Klinger :).

Last but not least is Girlfriend. She came with Maxwell to live with us, from Maine. At the time her name was Miracle, but she soon attached herself to Pete and spent so much time with him that I started referring to her as his girlfriend...and the name stuck when Bey started calling her that too!
She is a precious little green bird, and lately has also been spending time with me as well as Pete. She's definitely opinionated, and the older she gets (she was 9 when she came to live with us) the more she likes things JUST SO! But she's also gentle and sweet and though the 2nd-smallest bird physically, her presence is huge! She gives kisses one minute, and scolds us for something-or-other (usually the birds outside) the next...but soon all is forgiven and she's cuddling up into my neck, or under Pete's beard. We totally love this little girl!

So now you've met all of our birds! This is just a final shot of me with Klinger, Phoebe, and Girlfriend.

If not for our pet birds life would be quieter, our house would be more spacious and probably cleaner, and I'd have time for a lot of things I don't have time for now. But my life would also be emptier and a LOT less fun! There's no question that I get a whole lot of joy from my birds and that they enrich my life. I can't imagine life without them!

This is based on a traditional English melody; the lyrics come from an 18th century Latin text. I love the flow of the bass line!
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All ye who seek a comfort sure
In trouble and distress,
Whatever sorrow vex the mind,
Or guilt the soul oppress.

Jesus who gave Himself for you Upon the Cross to die;
Opens to you His sacred Heart; O to that Heart draw nigh!

Ye hear how kindly He invites;
Ye hear His words so blest
"All ye that labour come to Me,
And I will give you rest."

O Jesus joy of Saints on high, Thou hope of sinners here,
Attracted by those loving words To Thee I lift my prayer.

Jesus who gave Himself for you Upon the Cross to die;
Opens to you His sacred Heart; O to that Heart draw nigh!
This is Chloe. She is a white-capped pionus parrot. I bought her I think in 2000, the only one of my parrots I purchased from a breeder as a baby; she came to me weaned and extremely well socialized. And she was a VERY funny baby!

She attached herself to my husband from day 1. When we'd only had her a couple of months my husband had to go out of town for his job for a week. Thinking she would pine terribly and be inconsolable, I prepared for the worst. Instead, she simply shifted her affections to me, and that is where they have stayed ever since, although recently she has started stepping up for Pete and even spending a little time on the back of his chair!

Chloe is my most predictable and stable parrot. She is incredibly gentle with me, I can wrap my hands around her to bring her out of her cage even when she doesn't want to come out, and she will only gently beak my hands to express her displeasure. She isn't cuddly (most pionus parrots aren't) but learned young that a minute or so of physical affection was to be expected each day, and she tolerates it well. She is the girl who I can always count on to do exactly what I expect, and hasn't let me down in a decade or more. This means that I can always anticipate her needs and wants, so she lives the life of a queen - and she IS the queen of the flock!

Chloe is also the most analytical of my parrots. When a new food or toy is offered, she studies and considers it for quite a while, thinking it through, devising a plan of escape if necessary, and trying to understand the intentions of it before she will approach. However, once she does, she never forgets. (In this way she is a lot like the donkey I had for 15 years when I was younger!)

Chloe is the bird that is easiest for me. She is easy to take care of, easy to feed, easy to be around, easy to understand...I can relax around Chloe, and don't have to worry that she's going to get into mischief. She'd just as soon settle down for a nap on my chest as look for anything new or exciting to do. She's my matronly little queen.

This is my Phoebe girl. She and her mate Joey came to me on a breeder loan within a year or 2 after I got Chloe, and from the same breeder. It wasn't long, however, until Phoebe made it clear that she wanted nothing to do with Joey, but would scramble up my arm whenever I opened the door to their cage. After a couple of clear clutches, Joey and Phoebe divorced and he went on to live with another beautiful bronze-winged pionus hen who would actually welcome his advances.

Meanwhile, sweet Phoebe firmly attached herself to me, letting me know in no uncertain terms that she was my pet, and not a breeding hen. Once Joey left and I felt I could handle her without ruining her as a breeder, she quickly assumed the role of loving companion and friend. While not as steady as Chloe, she definitely likes being on or near me over anywhere else.

Back in 2008 I had a stroke. After my release from the hospital I was different. Not only that, but I was unable to handle and play with my birds for several months. And Phoebe started to pluck; in fact over the next few years she plucked herself bald, having feathers only on her head, face, and neck. No physical reason could be found for this, and nothing else had changed. Thankfully in the summer of 2012 she stopped just as quickly as she had started, but as you can see in the photograph, she does have some malformed feathers as the result of follicle damage. Throughout this time, though, she always remained devoted to me, content to spend hours just sitting on my shoulder or the back of my chair.

One especially unfortunate result of her malformed feathers is that she is no longer able to fly. My birds get great pleasure from flying around the house, and she used to be one of the best! These days it breaks my heart when she drops like a rock after attempting flight. And, whereas the poi boys and Phoebe always got along previously, they totally ignored her once she started plucking...and worse yet, Elliot attacked her one day last week when she attempted flight and crashed to the floor; he was on her instantly. I was able to retrieve her within seconds and he didn't do any more harm than to leave a dozen or so of her feathers left on the floor.

You will never see my Chloe girl and Phoebe in the same photo, unless their cages are in close enough proximity to take one. They HATE each other. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that, were they both out of their cages at the same time, one of them would end up mortally wounded. When Phoebe could fly, she would constantly land on Chloe's cage and they'd start fighting through the bars until I intervened. Chloe rarely flew to Phoebe's cage for the purpose of a fight, but if she was near enough to climb, she'd take advantage of it and go after Phoebe through her bars. Both girls will tolerate the other birds landing or climbing on their cages - but not each other. I live in fear that somehow, someday, both of their doors will be open simultaneously and I will end up with only one of my precious pi girls. I totally adore them both!

I haven't talked about my precious parrots in quite a while (and never since I moved to Weebly), so it's about time!
These are my "poi boys" - poicephalus parrots Maxwell (red-bellied) and Elliot (Meyer's). I bought Elliot in 1999, he was a year old at the time. I was looking at Meyer's and brown headed parrots at the time, and learned about Elliot via the internet. We drove to where he was, with Sherri in a small town here in Michigan who was rehoming him, and he came home with us that day. He is extremely bonded to me, and will attack my husband - who has never been anything but nice to him! - any chance he gets. But with me he is gentle and sweet and very cuddly and lovable. He also lets my daughter handle him. I am so crazy about Elliot, I'm a fool in love with him! There's nothing I wouldn't do for my special boy  Elliot!

Elliot also won us a prize from radio station WBGL, the station I always listen to! See if you can spot him in this video (hint: he's at the 32-second mark):

Once I had Elliot I really REALLY wanted a red-bellied parrot. In fact it became an obsession almost. Everything I'd heard about them from their owners, everything I read, led me to believe the right one would be a great addition to our family. Then I met Mary up in Maine in a poicephalus group on the internet and fell in love with Max from afar - just from all she wrote about him - further strengthening my resolve to have one some day. That one day came when Mary had to give up her beloved Max, and entrusted him to me. I will never forget her for that! He is everything I expected from a RBP and more! He's silly, talkative, cuddly, funny, playful, incredibly intelligent, and highly interactive.

I love my poi boys to pieces!
So about a week ago I found/assumed that there was a problem with my beloved Yamaha PSR-9000Pro, and I could no longer record directly from the computer into my desktop computer that I use only for that purpose.

Since then, I have spent quite a few hours troubleshooting, changing dozens of settings, swapping different cables with different ports and changing settings again, etc...and finally came to the conclusion that it had to be my sound card in that desktop.

Now I had bought this sound card, the best on the market at the time, in 1998 to go with a brand-new computer system that I ordered especially for music. And I've moved that same sound card from computer to computer since then. That 1998 computer (I paid $3600 for it at that time - wow, what kind of computer that amount would buy now!) is long gone but the card keeps going into every desktop I've owned since.

Like I told my husband, "I paid a lot of money for that sound card, shouldn't it last more than 15 years?!?" LOL!

So yesterday morning, my dear husband, as I slept, took parts from my eMachine (that I have been using with great success for several years after buying it 2nd hand) and parts from an older (2004) desktop of his, and put together one mean machine with all the RAM from both machines, and both hard drives, for me to use for my recordings :). Bless his heart!

Now my kind of recording is nothing special, technically. I just need a machine to run my Audacity program, and to plug my 9000Pro into, and that I can do a little minor editing of my work. That's it. I don't record layers of sound (whatever that's called) until I sound like a whole orchestra, although it's something that interests me and I want to learn to do in the future...

For now, I am once again happy that I can record a few pieces as the mood strikes, thanks to my wonderful hubby!

Just one thing, though? Why does this new-to-me computer keep turning itself on at odd times? When we're not in the room, busy doing something, we hear it suddenly turn on, we hear the Windows startup chords, and it just stays on and runs. All by itself. Isn't that strange???

It just started itself up again a few minutes ago, so I guess I'll go in and spend an hour or so recording...and then, before I go to bed, I'll unplug it!
I'd had a busy day, and also a miserable couple of weeks. Between more-than-usual spine and joint pain (osteoarthritis), miserable nausea on and off for no apparent reason, and then a nasty respiratory bug that altered some plans I'd really been looking forward to, I needed to de-stress this evening.

So I was thrilled to find hysterical funnyman Ken Davis on Netflix! His 2011 show Fully Alive is on there in its entirety, and after my hubby left for work at midnight I settled in to watch. It was great, and just what I needed! I laughed and I cried - literally! Being a huge Ken Davis fan, I'd heard some of the material before, but this was definitely almost 2 hours that weren't wasted in any way!

What an amazing talent! And what a blessing :).
OK, slept until almost noon today, about 10-1/2 hours last night. I think it's because I've been having issues/pain for almost 3 weeks now, it's making me feel logy all the time, sleeping at the drop of a hat, nauseated on and off, affecting my appetite, etc. Usually I manage it (damage from severe food poisoning 2006 that damaged my innards) pretty well, not sure what's up now...anyway, got up and used alcohol, cotton balls, and Qtips to clean this computer.

When my Big Nell crashed last summer I bought a new laptop because I had to have one for my job. It was the best deal I could find but it ended up being way too much computer for me - too big, too heavy, too many keys, etc. and my Petey hasn't had a new computer since spring of 2006 (yeah 2006 was a busy year!) so I figured I'd ask him if he wanted the new one. He took it, and I got his old one, which is actually parts from 2 computers...

Let me explain: In 2006 Pete and I bought identical Toshiba laptops. In 2011 I got a netbook (Nellie), so my Toshiba wasn't being used anymore. Meanwhile, some parts wore out on Pete's, so he used mine for parts - at one point he ran over his with the car and damaged the case, so ended up moving everything into my old case, then bought something new - don't recall if it was a keyboard or a screen or what - etc... So this computer is actually a combination of those Toshibas plus something new.

But it works a treat, it may be almost 7 years old but since I run Linux it's faster than a new Windows machine, and totally fine for what I need it for. (I also have an old model desktop, which I use for recording with my Yamana PSR-9000Pro keyboard; yes, that it's outdated too but I love it!)

So while this Toshiba works great, it also needed a cleaning - badly! Since I'm not really up for doing much else today, it got its bath :). And now it looks all shiny and new!

No plans for another laptop this year. I have my Droid but the contract is expensive. Thinking I will just keep it around to use with wifi and let the contract expire...then just get a Straight Talk feature phone and cheaper plan...and sometime this spring get a PengPod. Since they're just out new this month, there should be a lot of feedback on them by then, bug fixes, etc. Not looking for anything fancy anyway, I'm not a fancy kinda person - I'm all about utile. Practical. Cost-effective.

OK, those are my thoughts and plans. As of today. Subject to change without notice. Do not fold spindle or mutilate.
My mom had a good day today.

I was going to bring her over for New Year's Day yesterday but was still feeling a tad punky from the stomach junk (virus? don't know) I'd had for a few days. So today I picked her up for lunch at Burger King. She likes to go there and people-watch, and watch the traffic go by. Plus it is next to a lot that used to have a business where she worked, back in the day. She doesn't remember why it seems familiar to her, but it does.

She got a bacon burger from the dollar menu, a small coffee, and an order of fries. She ate the burger but not the fries - those all went into the trash. ($1.79 into the trash - about killed me! But they're all carbs, so they're better off there than in my body!) I ate 2 bacon burgers without buns and a side salad.

After she ate, my mom was anxious to go. So we stopped at Sav-a-Lot for a few things, I got her a 12-pack of diet Bubba cola that she loves, and then came back here for a coffee. She downed her decaf and promptly fell asleep on the couch with Pharaoh (my minpin). I took her back to the nursing home when she woke up about 90 minutes later.

It was a good day, she was in a good mood, not too confused, and happy. The Lewy Body rollercoaster highs and lows - days with better memory and cognition - days with much confusion and no understanding - I'm just glad today she was doing well enough to enjoy herself.
That's how I think of it. Oh, maybe Christ won't return this year, but as last year seemed to be The Year of the World (as in worldly vs. spiritual, not as in global necessarily) here in the U.S. It was all about politics, doomsday predictions, lies and rumors of lies, the imminent demise of the government in one way or another...

And I was so caught up in it! Maybe I was meant to be, maybe that was my ordained place in the grand scheme of things, taking a Biblical stand amid the moral chaos and destruction of our values.

But not now. These last 2 months the Lord has been working on getting me to another place, spiritually. He's been getting me to look up rather than out. Instead of looking at the Bible in the world, I'm looking at the Bible in the kingdom. Whereas I had put the world, worldly events, worldly concerns and the Bible together as a big puzzle (for lack of a better analogy), now as I read the Word the pieces are fitting together to reveal His Kingdom!

After the elections last November, He started revealing to me via the Word, with confirmations of various kinds, that this world will continue on toward the revealed end, and as things all come into place for this to happen, nothing will get in the way. It is all happening the way God decreed it from the beginning, and nothing anyone does will stop it.

There is a new urgency to proclaim the Kingdom now. We are seeing events as things move into place for the end, and so many need to hear the Good News that what we see here is NOT all there is, that there is a hope and a certainty of eternity where "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4) The Child has been born - the Government now will be on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6) This doesn't refer to the U.S. Government of course, but of the world government, in reference to His reign over the earth! (further information)

The time is over for trying to change the world. The time has come for doing God's work for the Kingdom. For shining His love on this broken world. For loving our neighbors as ourselves, for showing them His plan and His promises, and reflecting His goodness in everything we do. For fervent prayer for those who don't know Him, and who are bound within the chains of this failing world. And for looking at sinners rather than sin and loving them as Christ has loved us, and introducing them to Him that they may also share our joy.

This is where God is putting me now. And this is His call to me: to not serve a dying world, but to serve the risen King, for the sake of His Kingdom.
I'm not a big fan of New Year's celebrations, it just seems like a non-holiday to me. I have an innate sense that life is new and fresh and full of possibilities with every breath that I take. I don't need to wait until midnight on Dec. 31st for that. But it is an important day for many (especially companies selling weight loss aids it would seem!) and I certainly respect that. 

I will be doing a new post later today about how the Lord has been dealing with me in my priorities about life. As a result, I see 2013 as The Year of the Kingdom. And I will explain that. For those to whom today is important, though, Happy New Year :).