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Archive for March, 2010

Rainy, misty, damp days make me grumpy. And it’s been raining all day, with a repeat of the same tomorrow.

People who go postal on me over nothing make me grumpy, especially when they’re sweet as pie one second and nasty the next. And they do seem to come in bunches lately.

Not enough money, quite, to ever achieve all of our goals makes me grumpy. How hard and how long do we have to work to have “enough” instead of “not quite enough”?

Rudeness makes me grumpy. Fanatics of any stripe make me grumpy. Bullies make me grumpy. Too many commercials in my favorite TV shows make me grumpy. Dropping a stitch in my knitting makes me grumpy. Burning my toast…well…I guess you could say, “that really burns my toast.” Another way to say, it makes me grumpy.

And–you knew it was coming–grumpy people make me grumpy.

So that means I make myself grumpy! Sheesh.

I think it’s time to go to bed and just let tomorrow be a new day…

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Big news of the day: I have chosen and reserved my parakeet. He won’t be old enough to come home with me for a couple of weeks yet, but I can go see him as often as I want. He has a bluish-green colored chest, blue and black tail feathers, yellow face…I need to take a picture the next time I’m in. I told them his name was “Koko,” so they can call him by name and help get him used to it.

He won’t be ready to come home for a couple of weeks yet. He’s still growing into his feathers! But I was able to hold him, and it went well. He was comfortable checking out my hands and my jacket, while I held him cupped safely against me. Didn’t seem to be afraid, which is a good sign.

So that definitely made my Friday happy! And I wanted to share it with you.

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My intended Friday Happies turned into my Monday Gripes. After much research both on the net and in person, Friday was the day I was going to go to the local bird store to get a parakeet–and then, of course, post about my “happy” on my blog.

I had researched which breed was best for me in my situation; looked into the feeding, housing, and entertainment requirements of the bird. I had visited the bird shop personally as well and interacted with/handled several birds of different breeds.

Finally, my mind made up, I went to the store…and found the bird I had settled on had been sold the day before.

Oy.

That put a crimp in my style. They had another parakeet there, but I didn’t care for the colors. And more importantly, it was less friendly. I felt the one I had handled previously was a little more fearless and willing to explore. Having had a parakeet once in my life, many years ago, who was definitely NOT friendly, I wanted to be sure that this time, I got it right. So imagine my disappointment, when I was all psyched up for bird ownership to begin.

But. There are new baby birds there, about four weeks old right now and they should be “ready to adopt” in another three weeks or so. I will go in and visit them in a couple of weeks (“when they look more bird-like,” the shop owner said), interact with them, choose one…and most importantly…put down a deposit. That way I know my bird will be waiting for me as soon as he’s old enough to come home.

Of course, that requires me to have patience. Something I’m not blessed with in abundance! Hence the griping.

In the meantime, I’m amusing myself with coming up with potential names for the bird. I read that parakeets, when they do learn to talk, can pronounce hard consonants best. So, for example, a name like “Giselle” might not be good if I want little birdie to ever be able to say his name!

If you have any suggestions for names, I’d love to hear them. The parakeet will be some combination of blue and white in color, and hopefully will be a male. (I hear they are more likely to learn to talk than females. No accounting for nature.)

So let me hear those bird names! Looking forward to it.

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Apparently, there’s more to this griping thing than just unburdening myself about things that bug me. Sometimes the gripes have power…and in a negative fashion.

Take today, for example. All day long, and indeed all yesterday and the day before, too, it’s been raining here. Roads are washed out, basements filling, and still it keeps raining and raining and raining.

This isn’t just a warm spring rain. It’s a true nor-easter and rivers and ponds everywhere are overflowing their banks.

And the temperature is low…37 degrees here right now…and the winds are wicked. So not only is it wet, it’s also cold and miserable.

“Oh, well,” I’ve tried to comfort myself. “At least it’s not snow.”

You can imagine the rest.

Yup…now it’s snowing. (sigh)

Maybe I should complain about how heavy a million dollars is, or gripe about the rudeness of Robert Redford knocking on my door and wanting to meet me. Heck, you never know!

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Ah, it’s Monday again. So that must mean it’s time to gripe about something! I’m sure I can come up with an issue, griping is never difficult…

Oh yeah, I remember. This gripe is easy. My DH and I were out for a ride on Sunday. We like to travel the back roads, and take our time to enjoy the sights. If someone closes up behind us, we usually pull over and let them pass. Hey, we’re polite, and we know what it’s like to be stuck behind someone going slower than we want to go.

So, on Sunday, this car was tailgating us. As soon as we could find a good spot to do so, we pulled over to let him by. He passed us, and we resumed our drive.

And then, the guy in front of us slowed down. And slowed. And slowed. Eventually, we’re inadvertently tailgating HIM because he’s slowed down so much. Clearly, it’s a deliberate action on his part as he’s going way slower than the road requires.

Now, I confess at this point my DH might have made a rude gesture. 🙂 But really, it was deserved.

At any rate, this continues for many miles–him slowing down, us fuming behind him. At last we approached a spot where we could pass, and we pulled out to do so…only to have Mister Roadhog pull into the left lane, clearly with the intent to block us from passing, and nearly causing a collision.

As you can imagine, the testosterone was flowing at this point. It was almost palpable. I tried to calm DH down, reminding him that I was too young to die, the guy was an a**hole, and we should just let him go be an a**hole by himself.

Eventually, we came to a stop sign. The guy sat there and sat and sat, combing his hair, looking at us in the mirror, waving. What a twenty-four carat jerk!

He pulled out at last. My DH pulled out right behind him…and made a U-turn to go back the way we had come. So at last, the horrifying event was over, and DH felt that he “won” by refusing to continue to participate. Which is good, as I was sure I was going to die…

So tell me, what the heck is up with this? Why would someone decide to go to war with us, for no better reason than we were nice enough to pull over and let him by?

Sheesh. Sometimes I have no hope for the continued existence of the human race.

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I’m still getting over the loss of Burt. So I’m not entirely happy for my Friday Happies. But I do know Burt would WANT me to be happy, and I’m trying.

One thing that delighted me today was seeing the sun come out, and the temperature rise into the upper 40s. It really felt like spring was just around the corner, and I’m SO ready for spring! I think spring will help me move on, give me something cheerful and warm to focus on.

And I hate to say it, but…TGIF. This weekend will be part distraction–we’re celebrating my granddaughter’s birthday–and part relaxation and de-stressing. I really need a break. And there’s nothing like little arms flinging around me and little voices shouting “Nana!” to cheer me up.

There’s also nothing like settling down with a cup of tea, some knitting, and a favorite old movie. When I’m depressed, I like to watch musicals or romantic comedies. They both pull me right out of a funk.

My favorite musicals are “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “The King and I,” and “West Side Story.” Of course, the last two have teary endings…but that can be cathartic, crying over someone else’s troubles instead of your own.

And for romantic comedies, give me “French Kiss,” or anything with Julia Roberts in it!

What are your favorite ways to indulge yourself and get out of a blue mood? I’m always open to new suggestions!

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My gripes today are more like sorrows, and that’s why I didn’t post on Friday. We had to have our cat, Burt, put to sleep on Friday, and for the life of me, I couldn’t come up with something to be happy about.

Burt was about 12 years old. He was a stray, so we’re not sure of his exact age. He started living under our deck the summer of 2000. When we were out on the deck, he’d climb the stairs and jump into our laps and purr, purr, purr. He was such a friendly and sweet little soul. But we already had a dog, so we figured he’d just be a neighbor but not a family member.

Then, the fall began to turn cold. Poor little Burt (yes, we’d already named him, so our fate was already sealed, even though we didn’t know it) was shivering and getting skinny. Being the sneaky person I am, I spent time introducing Burt to our dog, Max, out on the deck to see if they were compatible. Max was totally confused about why we’d want to have anything to do with a cat, but he was fine with it if it was what we wanted.

So in November, when the first snowflakes fell, we took Burt in. He was so happy and grateful to be inside. He was the perfect cat…loved to sit on laps and be patted, and also loved to eat! I think that was because he spent time (who knows how much?) living outside on just what he could catch. It took him a long time to realize that now, he would always have plenty of food, a warm house, a lap and many hands to pat him.

Over the past year or so, Burt has begun to have “spells” where he would vomit and not eat. We took him to the vet several times, and they couldn’t find anything in particular wrong with him. But since he always got over the spells, we didn’t worry too much.

As it turns out, we should have worried, because Burt was developing stomach cancer. In cats it’s known as a silent killer, because by the time unmistakable symptoms show up, it’s usually too late.

Burt stopped eating last Tuesday night, and wouldn’t drink, either. We tried everything, every treat we could find, but nothing worked. He got weaker and weaker, didn’t seem to be in much pain, thank goodness, but just fading away. So on Friday, we took him in to be put to sleep. We all went and held him and told him what a wonderful kitty he was, and how much we would miss him. It was quick and went smoothly, but there’s a Burt-sized empty spot in my heart now. And my heart was already damaged by the loss of Max in September.

(sigh)

The house sure seems empty, sterile and devoid of life and purpose now…

Picture of Burt

We miss you, Burt.

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