1. I'm working with Oliver the parrot with a focus on real verbal communication-he's never rewarded for "speaking". Sometimes he just babbles because he likes the sound, sometimes he clearly intends to communicate. Since I can't get into his head, I count intent to be when I receive the "message". It's quasi science at best, but it amuses the heck out of me.
2. Oliver, through this blog and me, has also "communicated" with you guys. I bet you look at a grape and think "craps" sometimes. Communication is powerful and strange and fascinating.
3. Molly, the red border collie, is having the worst teenage spell of any dog I've had in ages-she rivals Prissy and Dottie in terms of being a stubborn, vexing diva. This only fuels my curiosity-the great ones are always difficult.
4. Moon, my blue merle BC, has to be kept mentally engaged or he will start in with OCD behaviors-licking a chrome water bowl and whining for one. It's common with the breed and also common with smarter animals in general.
5. Godfather, my pinstripe ball python is ready to breed! Unfortunately, my females are not and he's a little frustrated. Most breeders breed their females when they hit a certain weight, but I believe it best to wait until they hit the AGE they would have hit the weight in the wild. Godfather believes I am full of shit.
6. Lucy and Ethel, Godfather's brides to be, are two fairly rare (but less so now) color morphs called "clowns".
7. There are probably less than a 100 of Diego's type of snake-a half dwarf color morph burmese python....man made between a naturally occurring dwarf species and selective bred color morph "full size" burmese. His sister carries the gene, but does not display the color trait. Interesting (to me) -ly enough-she is the smaller snake (and as a female "should" be larger). I freely admit I don't have a real plan as to what I intend to do with them, but I'd like to make a snake that hasn't been done before. (No babies created will be rehomed to any but the best and most honorable homes-I would rather give an animal to a good home than sell one to a bad home).
8. I've had the parakeets since last fall sometime, and I just noticed that one of the green ones has a different back pattern from the other one. Since Waylon and Willie passed away, I think of the parakeets as "the boys", and can approach them if I look at the entire group. Focusing on one bird only freaks them out, but looking at them as a group-they will allow me to put my hand in the cage to clean, etc. without a fuss.
9. My father actually pulled me aside, sat me down and told me he was proud of me. It was such a huge event, and it was a big deal, but trying to write a post about it made it seem to be in some ways bigger than it was. I always KNEW he loved me, I just wanted to hear it. It was actually terribly awkward for both of us, but I think he was proud of himself for doing it too. Those are the moments I moved back here for-growth for all of us, not just me.
10. I took my parents to the Senior Day at the Casino and Mom and I won about 250$ on the penny machine. I gave Daddy 20 (I didn't think he'd take more) because I am superstitious and when I win I always share it with someone who hasn't won. As a result (I believe) I win quite frequently-but I never tested it by betting more. I always gamble with the mindset "I'll play 20 dollars and then quit". I did gamble 500 dollars away once in Vegas-my biggest scandal!
11. I got new glasses. I was so glad to get rid of the old ones-last year I tried stepping out and getting some "fabulous" and glittery Diore or something that just wasn't me. One pair I promptly lost. The other pair I hated and wore dutifully. This year instead of getting bifocals I got readers only because I figured out I could lose 4 pair for the cost of one bifocal pair. Because I have to remove my glasses to see at a distance, I focus much better. I bought a glittery leash for the ones I really like and I wear them around my neck. At first I was horrified by it all, and now, for some weird reason I like it-I feel as if I am "owning" my age.
12. I used to be blind as a bat distance wise, but Lasik fixed that. It truly was never for vanity (or I don't think it was since I still wore bifocals most of the time). Three of the things I like best-snorkeling, biking, horseback riding-are difficult with glasses. It also freaks the snakes and birds out sometimes-that shiny thing on the face. But I liked the glasses because I feel "hidden" behind them. I used to pull them off in meetings and give a level Scorpio stare when I needed to make a point-to great effect. If I sat my glasses down on the table and looked you in the eye, you'd better listen!
13. Twelve reminded me of another strange but logical habit. Unlike most women, the madder I get, the lower my voice goes. If I am shrieking-everyone, the birds, the dogs, people-know they are safe. If I drop it down and began to speak slow-it's time to listen up! It's a habit I've cultivated with the dogs and training-because in group situations most people are using the high pitch, I drop lower and the dogs can hear me through the crowd. They don't always listen.