Sunday, November 30, 2008

so good

the dude has been battling financially, and I've been trying to help out. Part of that really burns, because it just facilitates his parasite (sorry...wife) sitting at home and doing nothing. At the same time though, I care about him. And even if she would rather he go get killed in a foreign warzone than get herself a job, I can't do the same - he is too special to me. So it's been getting to the end of the year, his project (which I truly believe is going to succeed beyond all expectations) is only likely to launch in a few months time, and the dude has been getting desperate. He can't get finance because he is a freelancer, and thanks to the cow mostly, has a fairly bad credit record. I thought hard about it, and eventually applied for a personal loan from my bank for myself. Not a huge amount, but enough to make a significant difference to him.

We met for coffee and shopping earlier, and I asked where the nearest branch of my bank was so that we could go there first. As we were heading that way, I said that I had lots of news, and did he want the bad, the good or the really good first. He kind of tensed a bit, because there has just been too much bad news lately, and said that he'd start with the really good. Told him that the loan was through already, and the reason for going to my bank was to transfer the money to his account. The way his face relaxed, and then the huge grin and the relief.... wonderful.

It reminded me again that very often the help that we can offer to others can be just enough to really make a difference to them. There are all sorts of stories that go around about things like that, not least of which is the 'pay it forward' story.
And often, what is needed is something fairly small, but it can be just what was needed most.

The bird half of life continues to expand rapidly. I did well today - took 4 birds to the centre and only gained another four at home. Net growth - zero! Well, negative, if I count the one pigeon that didn't make it. The little pink thing from 3 weeks ago is turning into a gorgeous hunk of barbet, and the mynahs (although covered in food from the head-shaking habit) are all being strong and clever and funny. oh, and noisy....

And I saw tdoc for the first time in weeks - haven't wanted to share the flu with her while she is pregnant. It was good to see her though, especially seeing as I'm still not crying except when I try end it with the dude. Tomorrow I see pdoc, which will be the first visit in 7 weeks. Mostly, because I need to see him before he closes for the year, and I want to ask him about dropping meds a bit so that I'm less lethargic all morning. And I guess I'll hand over the meds collection too. That should make him happy - and it makes me happy that I feel secure enough to do it. Of course, if there's a dude-fight, all that changes and I plummet again, but that is a recognisable and acceptable trigger. Besides....I still have alternative methods anyway! Not that I am planning on using them for a while....

full house

so apart from the four cats, three dogs, numerous pigeons and mynahs, the weekend guests have included the teeny barbet (cos I don't want to give him to the centre yet), a baby sparrow who was supposed to be a mynah (only in their dreams!), a peacock in transit to a new home and a rooster. He was spotted standing at the side of a main road by a friend of mine who called me and guarded him till I got there. When I picked him up, I found that part of why he was just standing there was that his wings were tied together at the shoulders with a plastic bag - obviously someone's idea of a handy carry-pack. Also he was starved and dehydrated, but once he was untied and fed, he perked up a bit. Thankfully he was also rehomed quickly, as the hadedas are more than enough of a sunrise serenade for the neighbourhood!

And I've had regular dude-contact, not as much as I'd like, but enough to keep me sane. He is still as sweet and funny and interesting as always. I'm not looking forward to December though - there are all sorts of reasons that are going to limit my time with him - like holidays, and his sister visiting, and me having to work at the rehab centre to fill in shifts while people are away. The worst, of course, is going to be the whole Christmas and New Year period. Don't know how I'm going to get through those pretty much on my own - family will all be travelling overseas, and he'll be stuck at home for most of it. Not going to be fun....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the mynah has landed....

...and another one. and one more. oh wait, here's a set of triplets. and another teeny one.....

Not quite sure what happened this past week, but I've gone from 3 fledgling-plus mynahs to those 3 and then another 14 nestlings of various ages. Not counting the three small ones that haven't made it. I'm running out of space and containers!

And something that surprised me a bit today. I haven't seen pdoc for about 7 weeks now, and the last visit was mostly because I had to get a new script. I'll see him next week just to touch base and ask if I can lower the Tofranil a bit. The difference is almost all because of the dude, and I know pdoc will enjoy ribbing me about it again, but hey - he's earned that pleasure. WTF, I might even give him the stash wrapped up with a nice festive ribbon....

Monday, November 24, 2008

coudn't resist....

bedroom toys
Powered By Discount Adult Toys

- blame a new blog discovery that I am currently reading from start to finish! Plus, with the exchange rate the way it is, that would be about enough for a downpayment on a small car. Or 3 months rent for a 2 bed house. Or....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

all together now: ahhhh sweet!

- one of our ex-education spotted eagle owl's fledgling babies. Pic credit to Jo-B

And a new favourite site that ranks up there with the Kitlers for funniness:
Disapproving Rabbits

- thanks to CrankyProf for the tip

Friday, November 21, 2008

the tao of shopping

so the dude was on his way here this morning when his car decided to cook a bit of wire to crispy status, and then melt the corresponding fuse. First that he knew of it all was when smoke started drifting out of the cubbyhole. After that, neither of us were too keen on him driving all the way here and then back home until said wire bits have been checked out properly.

I ended up meeting him at his preferred mall, and we went grocery shopping again. He needed a couple of small things for the weekend, I needed copious amounts of cat food, dog food and bird food. People food I'm not doing this week. And once again, it struck me that everything with him is good, even the blah bits that are normally just get them done over and done with things.

It's just the way he is, the way he sees things, the comments he makes. He is interested in so many things, and he notices so much about everything. And he sparks the same kind of observations from me.

Just over 9 months (OK, not subtracting the days where I am convinced it is all over for ever) of involvement with him and 2 of knowing him before that, and it still seems that everything in the universe is better when it's with him....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

but wait! that's not all....

- my flu-befuddled brain forgot the sweet bit from early tuesday, when I fetched a sub-adult Common Mynah from a woman who said it seemed very unafraid of her, was weak when she found it but perked up after 3 slices of pawpaw, and was neither willing to release it near her garden nor dispose of it unethically. Which, ahem, leaves me basically, plus a few covert sympathisers.

So with the last impetus I had left, fetched the youngster and put him in with the other two I have at the moment. Of course they demanded feeding, so I obliged. When newboy saw the syringe and the baby goop, he leapt of the perch and rushed me with his mouth open - and hasn't stopped since! Guess someone is missing a hand-reared baby....

feeble excuses

for the lack of posting, but it's been a crap kind of week. One of my favourite guys at work died suddenly over the weekend. And then another close colleague had a house robbery New-SA style - the kind where they are as happy if they can kill as not. His wife was murdered in front of him. It hasn't even made the papers - just another middle-class white killed for a few household items. They have three young sons...

It seems kind of insignificant after that, that I had a dude-fight on sun/mon, which is basically over the only thing we have ever fought about. No fights probably due to him being amazingly calm, and due to me not having anything at all about him that I don't love just the way he is. Other than the attached bit, that is. I can't disagree about anything important in person, because I just fold and start crying. So when it hurts too much knowing that this is all there will ever be, I send mail asking him to please leave me alone, and then I spend the next while crying until it hurts.

This one hurt more than most, because I was as horrible to him as I can be towards someone I love so absolutely, and I know it hurt him. I know from before that the emotional pain can transmute into physical hurt. But as tuesday progressed slowly and with increasing levels of soreness, blocked sinuses, coughing and fever, I eventually admitted that this was more like flu than love gone bad, and retreated to bed. Think I've slept for more hours since Tues afternoon than most people do in a week, and have moved from the bed only as far as the bathroom, and odd visits to the birds (farmed out the babiest, and domestic worker is feeding the rest) before shuffling back to bed for another nap.

But one of yesterday's waking patches was when the dude phoned, and even as I told myself how foolish and feeble I am, I was answering. We chatted about his current project and a few other things for ages, way longer than he normally will talk on the phone for, before he asked if he could come round today. He did, and although the flu prevented much, seeing him walk in and then just wrapping myself up against his body...

I think the only way out of this is if I'm dead - it really doesn't seem like the sensible bit of me counts for much anymore.

Aqua has posted on love and marriage - a beautiful and though-provoking post. I identify with the last paragraph most. I'm also the girl that nobody has ever wanted enough to marry. I guess that hasn't changed....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

how cool...and how sad... it that last weekend was my first local rehabber contact via the blog (and 2/3 of her babes are doing well!!), and then on Weds, came the second one! Also a baby hadeda, a really weeny one, and from a completely different part of the country than both me and sunbird-mommy. What was nice for this babe was that a)mommy sounds like a nice lady that I'd also like to keep contact with, and b)fortuitously, she lives not far from the loosely affiliated rehab centre that was envisioned by one of my centre's senior members. Tragically, Adel was killed in a single-vehicle accident on the final trip she made from JHB to move the last of her stuff down to the new centre. To this day, no-one knows whether she swerved to avoid something, or had a blowout, or lost control on the gravel road. I guess, if one is going to die early, having it happen when you have sorted out all the loose ends, packed your bags and said goodbyes, and are on your way to a new life, it maybe makes it a cleaner departure. What was heart-breaking though, is that a lot of the impetus for the move came from being involved with a wonderful man, and having a vision for a new rehab centre in an area that wasn't served by any others. She had found a way to make both dreams a reality, and she deserved some time to revel in that.

I believe that there is some life after this one, and if she is into remembering people from here, I guess that maybe she would like knowing that 3 years on there are still a lot of people thinking fondly of her. Hey Adel, keep your thumbs away from territorial meerkats :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

bad day, sad day

- the dude is stressing about financial problems. It's temporary, because when his current project starts, he will be earning hugely. But meantime he is kind of in the shit. Being the dude though, he doesn't like talking about problems, and takes them entirely on his own shoulders, rather than either passing them on to the responsible party, or sharing them. I will do what I can, but I can't fix everything. I wish I could.

We met today - he asked if we could see a movie for a bit of escapism. He chose 'Body of Lies', which although very graphic, is a really good film. Kind of a different perspective on the whole West/Islam conflict - only downside for me is that I really don't like Di Caprio, never have. But although the dude was there, and let me cuddle up to him in the dark, he might as well have been in Iraq himself already for the distance he imposed. He's talking again about going to Iraq or Afghanistan as a way to sort things out. I cannot handle the thought of him getting killed over this. Seems though like I am the only one who feels that way.

I came home crying, kept crying through bird feeds etc, and then the rehab volunteer who does all the parrotty-things came over with his G/F to fetch Alex. That is the first domestic bird I've been tempted to keep, but at the same time, I know that I don't really have the passion or the time for one. There are too many wild birds that need care, and the dogs and cats as well - it just wouldn't be a good idea. All the same, it was heartbreaking to see him go, because I'd gotten very fond of him in the last week. What helped was seeing how Alex responded to K. He has whistled and made odd noises for me - within two minutes, he was talking to K, doing all sorts of cute things, showing things that he didn't show me in a full week. Good decision, but it feels strange that he isn't hanging off the side of the pigeon cages begging for a bit of baby food......

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

and wednesdays get wilder....

....early morning race from the house after feeding the bird-brats, and taking the babiest mynah with me. The calls started from 07h15 - pigeons all over town needing help or advice. Saw tdoc, and fetched a pigeon with a broken leg from a restaurant, where he'd strayed into the kitchen. Silly bird. Last time I did a restaurant kitchen catch, it was for a weaver, and entailed the manageress leaping along the kitchen counters between piles of crockery, while I stood on top of the fridge and giggled. That took half an hour, so I was glad this one had already been boxed!

Home to the dude. Out to meet the dude for coffee. And then the tour of JHB after that, picking up birds. Total intake for the afternoon, a pinky Black-collared barbet, nestling unknown, feral pigeon juvenile, sparrow fledgling, weaver fledgling, speckled mousebird juvenile, dove be added to the 15 pigeons, two mynahs and a parakeet still in residence in my spare room. Phoned the centre manager to gloat about the baby barbet, and the first thing she said was 'damn - if I'd known you were going to that area I would have made you fetch and release three birds from around there'. Spring, and spring rains....

Pics are of the evil parakeet, the barbet, the unknown and my favourite view of the babiest mynah!

Monday, November 10, 2008

manic monday....

...not! Well, not until after 15h00 anyway, when I started doing the birdie pickups. Which were actually more beastly today, so I now have a terrapin who was bleeding from the nose and a giant bullfrog who had intestines hanging out a hole in his side.
He just gave me a huge fright when I snuck in to feed the little mynah and almost stood on him in the semi-dark. He wasn't letting on how he got out of his basket, so it has now been reinforced. God knows how I'd explain to the vets who spent hours putting his innards in and stitching everything up that I'd accidentally flattened the frog.

The morning followed the standard pattern - stagger out of bed and feed kitties and babies, then collapse in the bath. Fall asleep before I even drink my coffee, and then wake up in panic mode cos I'm now late for most things. Last weeks delicious pattern was continued with the dude appearing early, working most of the day and being sweet and loving and funny. With a good example like that, I settled down and did some more of my IT certification studying, seeing as I did kinda push my blonde buddy into agreeing that we write by the end of November. As of today, I've now finished 42% of the course, with an 80.76% mark on the sample test questions so far. More exciting is that I'm now done with the two chapters of doom, and the next 47% is easy for me. Dude was laughing at me a bit with my muttering about the last hours work, and my hatred of vendors who don't leave a good product alone, but add all sorts of kak in to make it look like it was written for toy computers running client-servers and Unix and other silly things. And then make mainframe bigots like me learn all about it before I can do the more important m/f-specific course.

Beginning to wonder though, about how much of the nap-attacking might be related to the meds. It's not as bad as with some of the others, but it's getting annoying. The mood began to improve on 125mg Tofranil, then dipped and stabilised again at 175mg and at 200mg. It's now been about 8 months of ok-ness, other than the bad dude bits, and I don't think there's a med on earth that could get me through those unscarred. I crash about once every two weeks, mostly for a day or so, and mostly it goes away when I see him for a bit. The tiredness though, seems to be a lot more dependable - it's always here. And if I can reduce the meds a bit, maybe get some energy back and achieve more without losing the general good mood, it could only improve life. Will have to talk to pdoc about that when I next see him

Sunday, November 9, 2008

good things

...for a weekend that started badly, it has ended up being a pretty good one.

The nicest thing was my first local contact through the blog with another bird rehabilitator. I've "met" others through various forums, but this was a blog first, and something I've wanted for a long time. When I started posting, I tried to limit the things that I said online about my jobs, in order to limit my identifiability. After a while, when I started looking at the search terms that got to the blog, there were a lot about mynahs and other baby birds, and I felt guilty that maybe there was info that I could pass on - either from myself, or by asking other more knowledgeable people at the centre - and that I owed it to the babies to try to help if possible. Yeah, there are some permit concerns wherever indigenous wildlife is involved, but at the end of the day, it's the wildlife that wins if more people know what to do. This particular lady is very knowledgeable herself, so making contact is going to be of benefit to all of us. And she is on the other side of the country, in an area where there is a lot of wildlife (and where we've had a couple of requests for help in the past and no-one to refer them to), so it's nice to know that there is someone who is skilled and caring in the area. Nice to "meet" you, sunbird-mommy!

And the dude managed a visit this morning, which I was hoping for but not really expecting. Not for long, but it was just so good to lean up against him. He is so warm, and so right, and it feels so much like safety when he wraps his arms around me. One of the things that always startles me briefly is that he doesn't appear tall because he is so perfectly proportioned, but that he is just the right bit taller than me so that when we hold each other, my face just naturally fits into the side of his neck, my head rests perfectly against his shoulder, and our arms just slide into place. Everytime that I ever hold him close it surprises me again that he is just so completely perfect in every way, and then I breathe in his own special smell - clean, warm, sweet....unique. For me, he is home.

The other good bit is unexpected too. The Alexandrine parakeet that has been visiting since Weds night is busy charming me completely. On Friday night he let himself out of his cage, which is safe, since he is in the bird room, and everyone else is in their cages. He made it very clear that the only way he was going back would be with force and nets, and I wasn't in the mood for that, so I left him out. He also made it very plain that after he stepped up beautifully on Weds when I fetched him, he feels betrayed by having been boxed and then caged, and has no intention of doing that again for a while. If I offer him my hand he squawks, and glares, and then leans forward and very gently bites my hand three or four times. He has a huge beak, and could very easily bite really hard, and we both know that he isn't biting, as such. He is just telling me that he doesn't trust me that much yet, but that he isn't being totally antisocial. He takes food from my hand, and doesn't run too far away, so that's a good start. What is really sweet is that he must have been a hand-reared baby, because the one thing that he can't resist is when I syringe feed the mynahs - within seconds he climbs across the cages and leans over with his mouth open. I give him a few drops, which is all he seems to want, and then offer him a bit of parrot mix or fresh food, after which he scuttles off to the other side of the pigeons. I've never wanted a parrotty bird, especially with all the wild birds that come here for a while, but Alex is beginning to tempt me greatly. Wouldn't be fair to him though, so I guess I'll send him to his new home soon - just surprises me that a bird as well socialised and loved hasn't been reported missing to any of the local vets or avian specialists. I'd like to be able to take him home to the people he knows and trusts.

The not good side is that I had better get to bed soon, as I have a team meeting with my inexplicably grumpy boss tomorrow. Not looking forward to that, so I'd better sleep soon enough that I'm wide awake, cheerful and on time for that....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

oh no, not another baby...please!

- fat little feral pigeons (in pic), big-mouthed baby mynahs, and in between an assortment of others. The past week has included lots of baby thrushes, doves, mousebirds, bulbuls - and just for variety, there is currently a gorgeous Alexandrian (Alexandrine?) parakeet in residence. He was frightened away from home by a thunderstorm, someone spotted him in the garden and enticed him inside with an apple, and he's now staying with me for a few days in the hopes that his owner will be searching. If not, he'll be fostered to a new home. Meantime, he hates me passionately for putting him in a cage.

The pigeons and mynahs, on the other hand, greet me ecstatically, generally with mouths open and ready for feeding. There's a sweet little mynah fledgling with us at the moment who is a bit older than would be ideal for taming, but not too old yet. He's doing the dance of the deadly syringe with me at the moment, the one where he wants the baby food that the others get, but feels it might be undignified to just take it. So he opens his mouth, but as I get the syringe close enough and squirt, he leaps to the side. Food gets in just often enough to make it worthwhile, but a lot ends up around or on him, and the wall behind where he normally stands is gaining some interesting hand-rearing spray patterns. Patience...he'll either become a cuddly bird, or get wilder and be released. It's his choice.

Birds and beasts are occupying most of my time because they just keep flooding in, but enough is diverted to other things. Work is going really crap - doesn't matter what I do or say it is the wrong thing. So just trying to be inoffensive and do what I can, until things calm down somehow. The dude is working himself to a standstill on what looks as if it will be a hugely profitable idea. His concept, but he has taken a partner for finance, who is also contributing great ideas. If it works as it should, he will soon be earning megabucks - meantime, he is still broke and battling. But after another rocky weekend, he has been here for large portions of every day - mostly working, but that is still great for me. He works, I do my own work or other things, he talks about what he is doing and we cuddle a lot. So a big chunk of my day is pretty close to perfection....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

so tired

- i am feeling so worn down and exhausted at the moment. I am sleeping badly, even with sedatives. Mostly because I end up crying over the dude every second day or so. He is stressing about stuff, and although it is mostly good when I see him, there just hasn't been enough of it. And in between trying to have time with him, there are million birds to fetch all over the place, and there have been some really crap calls this week too. Birds that have been shot, birds hanging upside down in trees where we can't get to them.

I wake up in the morning and cry because I have to get out of bed.