lovies (again) and those that have passed

I realized I left some information out about the two lovebirds.

Aja is 3 years old and is a peach-faced lovebird. She’s very shy with us, bonding more to Vince than me.

Jasper is 2 years old and is a cross between a peach-faced and a masked lovebird. Cross-breeding is very frowned upon in the parrot world. In other words, he probably shouldn’t be born but someone messed up and here he is. He has a nasty biting habit (hurts like hell when you’re caught). Though if Jasper tries to bite with Aja around, she stops him (kinda funny really). The only bond he’s formed is with Aja.

Both are incredibly smart ~ like figuring out how to get out of their cage. Something we’ve managed to discourage by adding very small locking (screw lock) carabiners to the doors, except there are days when we find the carabiners open, but they haven’t figured out how to get them off yet. I’m not kidding you. Whichever one is doing the deed, hangs on with one foot and uses the beak to turn the lock. We’ve caught them in the act!

Though this is the end of our introductions, I’d like to mention our babies who have died: Hermes ~ a peach-faced lovebird, Merlin ~ a peach-faced lovebird, and Juliet ~ a grey cockatiel. Hermes and Merlin came to us as adoptees, we didn’t know how old they were or much about them. We only had them 1 - 1 1/2 years before they were both gone.  And sweet Juliet, she was also an adoptee and was about 14 to 16 years old when she died.



I think I might have had an epiphany.

I am off work from December 20th to January 4th ~ returning to work just in time for my second-last herceptin treatment.

I don’t know that I’ve allowed myself to take or make time for myself these past 18 months ~ even when I was off after my surgery. Picture this, I was hunched over, could barely sit up let alone straight, and my arms required support and here I was sitting at my work computer (I have an office computer and link-up with the office network here at home), reading emails and RESPONDING.  How bloody warped is that??

While the enter conversation isn’t etched in my brain, I was talking with my boss yesterday before vamoosing and in the course of the conversation I asked him if he was aware that in the past 18 months I hadn’t taken any time for me? He said he wasn’t surprised. I looked at him and said, “You know, I needed the office more than it needed me in the past 18 months, but not anymore.”

And it’s true. Hence the “did I just have an epiphany?” thought.

I’m a LONG way from having any work-life balance, but I’m closer to taking care of me than I’ve been in a long time.



And lastly I bring you the most recent edition to our flock: Sabrina.

We adopted Sabrina from a lady who was moving at the end of May. Sabrina is 4 years old and is also a pied cockatiel.

We’re still getting to know her and vice versa. She’s shy and not the best around men. She is non-aggressive toward the other tiels, which is good as we have Kiki caged with her.


Kiki is Vince’s baby.

He’s 18 years old now, but the tumors he had in his feet have crippled him and he’s more the “old man” than Indy is. Though crippled, he’s not in pain and he can still move around.

He is also the most intelligent of the tiels. Kiki loves to talk on the phone, does the best dance when a phone is brought near him. Worse yet, we’ve taught him a reverse wolf whistle if he wants us to bring him the phone.

He recognizes the themes from Star Trek Next Generation, Star Trek Voyager and The X-Files.

You can’t help but love him.

Kiki is a pied cockatiel and would have made an excellent show bird, except for the feet. His crown is unrivaled in any bird I’ve seen out here.



Herceptin number 15 is DONE. Only two more to go.

I’m zonked because of the meds just so I can get the IV; I expect to be bed bound in about two hours.

Almost done. Hip hip hooray.



Today I bring you Indy.

We sometimes call Indy by the name of Indianapolis, though I hasten to add Indy was never shortened from that. He’s called Indianapolis because he can go on a whistling rant that can last up to 15 minutes. It’s not so bad in the middle of the day, but he usually does it when the sun comes up. [That’s also, often, when we threaten to roast him for dinner. He laughs at our threats because he knows they’re empty.]

I suppose the best description of him is that he’s the chatty one ~ if you pay attention to him, guaranteed he’ll chirp back at you. He’s also the alpha bird of the group.

He loves to fly to the top of your head ~ well, mostly if you’ve got his favourite fella with you (yes, he’s a fruitcake).

He’s a grey cockatiel and he is the oldest of the bunch ~ 19 years this year.

Tiels can live, so we read, up to 25 years, some even longer.


gayle’s “baby”

Today I bring you Perry, bonded to me. So, while I say he’s my baby, the truth is, I belong to him. He’s now 7 years old and he’s a pearl cockatiel.

You may remember him, he’s the fella that slept on me as I slept off some chemo effects last fall.

Sometimes he gets referred to as Periwinkle, but his true name is Perry.

I just love to watch Perry when I get home, he’s just so excited to see me….so excited, in fact, that he almost falls off the perch. That’s what makes Perry the perfect bird for me ~ he’s a clutz!!

He’s pretty mild tempered, pretty much a scarty cat around the lovies, and he can’t land worth a shit [“thunk” comes to mind as the way to describe his landings].


trouble makers

I think it’s about time you met the rest of my family out here in Victoria. Vince and I call our birds “our babies”, because they are.

Today you meet the lovebirds (picture below text) – and who’s who is obvious with this picture.

The one thing I can tell you about Aja and Jasper is that they get into trouble, with a capital “T”.

Yesterday was no exception.

We do let all our birds out to fly around, once we’ve covered windows and ensured that they are shut, every now and again. Yesterday was a day for all 6 to have the opportunity to fly around and socialize. It’s always a crap shoot letting the lovebirds out with the cockatiels as they devil the tiels.

When all fun and games were done, the tiels settled for naps and the lovebirds began exploring. At this point, Vince chose to have a nap. In 40 minutes, I nodded off too. At 1 hour, Vince woke up and woke me up – great 20 minute nap, Vince, thanks. But, uh-oh, where were Aja and Jasper?

We searched and searched. All the nooks. All the crannies. All the small places we knew they liked to hide. Nothing. Panic was slowly settling in.

After half an hour, we decided, as a last resort, to check a roll of paper (approximately 12 feet long, used as backdrop material for photo shoots). The centre/core is a diameter of about 1.5 inches across and the lovies have had the tendency to sit at the top of the roll – mostly shredding.

Sure enough, when we finally manoeuvred it to lift it, the lovies flew out the bottom. Holy crap!  Aja, the more adventurous one, obviously squeezed in and just slid free-fall to the bottom and was trapped – nothing to grap onto with the beak nor grasp with the feet. Then plunk! Jasper lands on top ~ this little guy follows her everywhere.

I truly hate to think how long they were there, the guilt is incredible. But both seem to be a-okay and none the worse for wear.



one year ago

Here’s a laugh for you. I’m finding the memory of one year ago a little warm and fuzzy – which is so weird when you consider where I was.

It was this time last year that Victoria was hit by a snowstorm that shut down the city (two inches shuts down the city) and I still had to get to the cancer clinic for chemo #6.

As I was coping with the side effects, an annual event was happening on the Saturday night – the Island Equipment Operators’ Assocation was having it’s Truck Light Parade. Vince and I were bundling me up and ensuring I was okay to get out to the street (’cause it goes by the end of my street) to watch them. Approximately 80 trucks (dump, rigs, etc.) decorated up.

Here it is a year later, I’ve had a herceptin treatment, the Truck Light Parade is tonight AND there’s a light dusting of snow falling as I type.

How’s that for waxing nostalgic??

I get so excited at the snow. Apparently you can take the girl out of Ontario, but not Ontario out of the girl. And don’t go thinking that’s a vote for winter. I’ll take a Victoria winter any day over Ontario’s.