Monday, June 27, 2022

Bulls and Naked Birds

 Oh yeah .... nice cool morning sitting on the patio throwing the ball for Cooper while I sip my coffee.  I'm not sure how long my private stash of the phony stuff will last (they don't make it any more), so I'm appreciating it all I can now.  Cooper is better ... I think it was that dark meat chicken.  Just like me, things that never bothered him before have become a pain in the patuski in our old age.

I did my downward dog where-is-the-ball morning exercises before turning on the TV.  It's National Junior High Rodeo Finals, meaning kids from age 13-15 riding bulls, although most were steers.  How could I miss that?  I admit, I laughed a lot.  Not at the kids mind you, but at the cattle they used.

Bareback riding is done on a steer that kind of bucks while it's running across the arena.  Saddle bronc riding is done with the saddle cinched on tight, or at least it's supposed to be.  Saddles aren't built for cattle and several just rolled over underneath the steer with the kids hanging on for dear life.  This steer was a cutie and barely bucked until the kid fell off, then it went after him like a bull.  He was a cranky bugger.  

On the ranch you learned real quick which cows and which bulls were of the cranky-chase-you kind.  You haven't lived until a bull has crashed into you and your horse.  After that, I gave them a wide berth and just sent in the dogs to get them moving.  Our cattle dogs Champ and Blue were worth their weight in gold.

Some of the kids took pretty good tumbles, but what made me laugh most was at least four of the steers came out, took one jump and just laid down.  They were having none of this stuff strapped to their back.

This "bull" jumped twice, stopped to stare at the crowd and just fell over.  He was fine (as was the kid), this just wasn't his cup of tea.  I have to say the poor Rodeo Clowns / pick-up men ran their tails off, chasing after the steers trying to get the kids down since no horses were in the arena.  Some of these critters weren't too happy about the whole enchilada and the "clowns" got run over more than once.  In the end, everyone was just fine.  Yessirree ... these kids were 14 year olds!!

Having been revitalized by all the laughter, Cooper and I wandered around outside to see if any of my flowers were still alive.  This one is a happy camper.  I have five of them, but the other four are only half this size.  

Then I walked by this.  The coleus are doing extremely well and all three are still alive.  I can't say as much for the gazanias Cyndae brought down.  Even if they look dead, keep watering them she said.  I'm almost positive these died a terrible death a week ago, but I'm still watering them.  

Back inside, it was cleanup day for Jonathan.  More and more I'm finding feathers all over the floor.  It's that time of year, along with the heat, that causes his feathers to fall out.  He's really gorgeous when you see all his plumage, but it's only visible when he shows his muscles.  That is spreading his wings out over his head.  He's got these feathers along with some gorgeous blue and yellow, thus he's called a yellowhead parrot.

I don't think I've ever showed you his baby pictures.  Not the cutest kid on the block.  When I say I raised him from an egg, it is a correct statement.  I think he was maybe two weeks old here.  I kept him in a dark box, just like the hole-in-the-tree nest he would have in the wild.  Heating pads underneath kept them all warm and cozy.

They require warm food every two hours, so yes, I was up all night long feeding ten cockatiels and three parrots at one time, not to mention parakeets too numerous to count.  With the help of a veterinarian from San Diego and Davis Veterinary School, I developed a hand feeding formula for parrots that they later used in their facilities.  I'm proud to say I never lost a baby.

That dry mixture was mixed with warm water and fed with those tiny touristy collector spoons you buy as mementos.  They need to bite the spoon to help harden their beaks.  In six months, they turn into this!!

I went on vacation once ... and only once ... taking them all with me in plywood boxes with VENOMOUS SNAKES written all over the outside.  I didn't want anyone opening a box and messing with the babies.  It worked like a charm.  People gave me a wide berth, especially at the gas station where I had to go inside and ask for warm water.  The hotel I stayed at went into quite the tizzy when the cleaning lady found them in the closet.  Lucky for me, I was not kicked out, but the room didn't get cleaned again until after I left.

Forty six, going on forty seven years later, he's still kicking and screaming DISCO!!!  It truly amazes me he's still alive, although they do live to be in the 70-year range.

I'm taking your advice and turning the AC on early this morning, getting it really cool, then I'll see how long it runs to keep it there.  Any way you look at it, a week of 103+ days will be a boon for PG&E.


  1. Is your fake coffee this: Maxwell House International Orange Café-Style Instant Coffee Beverage Mix? If so, it is available again on Amazon. (Not uncommon for a coffee company to stop and then start a blend of their coffees)

    No wonder Johnathan is spoiled.... lol "Good Bird....Good Bird" So neat how you have taken care of him all his life.

    1. Yup that's my coffee. I'll look on Amazon again!!!

  2. So happy to have heard your Jonathan story. You have many talents Nancy.

    1. Thank you Loree ... it's all about the animals!