Thursday, October 26, 2017

2 down, halfway through

Took my second final this week. Passed. I was so happy. I wasn't super worried, but there is always a level of fretfulness when taking a final.

I was thrilled to have passed. I have two more to go. One on the Principles of Accounting and one on Change Management. I'm honestly less worried about the accounting than the Change Management. Accounting is all numbers and columns. Once I know which columns the numbers go in, it's all math from there and I'm good at math.

Change management needs memorization of various processes and policies and this, that, or the other.

And the book is written for crap.

I'll tell you, these books are the WORST thing about going to school through WGU. The course books are very hit or miss, and tend more towards miss in my experience. They are generally written very poorly, and even more poorly edited. So they have sentences that make no sense. They have sentences that stop, literally in the middle of the sentence. If you are spectacularly lucky, the rest of the sentence will be the next paragraph or bullet point. They are full of incorrect information, and yet, I'm supposed to somehow "learn" from these.

They aren't my only gripe, but they are the biggest gripe I have.

And they are one of the first things that I mention when people ask me about going to school through WGU.

That said, I'm nearly done and then I will have the "I'm so SMRT" piece of paper, which I need.

I am taking a few days off from studying this week since I haven't really done much house work in the last 2 weeks. I have had to run the vacuum, since Sorun likes to throw food EVERYWHERE.

But I only got dishes done today, and it's been about 3 days (not many dishes, since it's just me and I haven't had to cook a whole lot this week. But it was still a few.)

I've also got a large pile of recycling that needs to go out and I still have stuff to go out to the garage. I took a few cat things to the car with me this morning, but then didn't have the ability to get them to the garage before or after work due to one thing or another.

I'm going to take a few more things tomorrow and hope that I can get them to the garage. I also really want to get the big rubbermaid tub cleared off (before it also goes to the garage) so that I can lay out some butcher paper and carve my pumpkin!

I figure Sorun has never seen a pumpkin before, we missed out on the Halloween themed Squawk Box, and I rather enjoy carving pumpkins. So I will carve this one, let her chew on it for a while, and then I will roast the seeds for a treat that we can both share.

I might pick up a sugar pie pumpkin later to make pie with, but we'll see on that one.

After a week of working from home, I'm so happy to be back in the office. I know a lot of people think it is a dream to be able to work from home, but it really isn't a dream for me. Since I don't have a dedicated office area (with a door), it means that I see my entire house and Sorun, the little feathered terror, can see me. And being both a bird and a baby, she doesn't understand the concept of "work from home". She sees mom, sitting in a chair, and not letting her out to play. So we end up with days of tantrums. Add to that the fact that it's getting cold fast here in the Pacific NorthWest, and it makes it hard to keep the house warm enough for her to stay healthy. So I bought her a couple of warming options. But ultimately, when the weather gets really cold, she's going to have to be in the bedroom during the day. I can keep that room much warmer, more efficiently, and for less cost. She'll just be furious and will have to deal.

But on that note, I'll leave a few pictures of featherhead for anyone interested:

This is our new routine for breakfast most days. I prepare her breakfast and then spread a towel on the TV tray and put her food dish roughly in the middle. It doesn't prevent most of the food ending up outside the bowl, but it does make it a lot easier to clean up after breakfast:

One of the days that I was working from home, she was out playing for a while, and decided that she needed a break to sit on my shoulder. But then she had to avidly watch the clouds going over our skylight:

As the day wears on, she wants more cuddle time, and will often demand my hand, and then shove her head into my fingers to try to get me to pet her:

One of the funniest (and most interesting) discoveries is learning what movies she likes. I like movies, and I like having them on as background noise, if nothing else (helps drown out the people who live around me.)

I'm learning that featherhead likes singing and dancing, but in specific styles. She likes things from about the 30s, think Annie (the 1980's version) and Little Shop of Horrors (although she thinks the dentist is scary.) She doesn't care one way or the other about Nightmare before Christmas or The Lord of the Rings 1. Lord of the Rings 2 and 3 were deemed "scary". She loves Moana and The Little Mermaid. She liked Lilo and Stitch after Lilo started teaching Stitch how to be Elvis. Apparently the feathered terror likes Elvis.

The funniest bit was when I turned on The Little Mermaid for the first time, and as soon as Sorun heard the Disney logo music this is her pose:

She stopped EVERYTHING to watch the TV so she could find out what movie it was.

She wasn't so enamoured with Disney's Tarzan or Hercules. But I think a trip to the library will need to be scheduled so that I can check out some musicals that I don't have in my personal movie library.

I want to let her watch Wall-E and Aladdin soon too.

Monday, October 16, 2017

One down, three to go

First final is taken and passed. I have 3 more to go.

I had intended to spend some time tonight studying and reviewing for my next final.

But work was so difficult today that instead, I'm throwing in the towel and I'm going to bed early (for me). I'm behind on most of my chores (and by most, I mean all) and right now, I want to go to bed and read my book. I'm cross about the things that were making work difficult and I just want to deal with nothing else today.

So studying will hopefully happen tomorrow. If I can do review for a few days, I can retake the pre-test and if I score well enough to make myself comfortable, I can schedule the final for early next week.

I'd really like to have 2 down before the end of the month. It should be doable. Out of the 4 finals, I passed 3 of the pre-tests already.

Featherhead is still growing and still learning.

Breakfast is now held outside the cage every day (unless I'm ill or miss my alarm.)

We watch some cartoon either on Netflix or Amazon Prime (Hulu has been having difficulties recently, so it's falling to the bottom of my play lists.) She gets about 45 minutes to eat her breakfast. Breakfast usually consists of a variety of vegetables including an assortment of sweet peppers, broccoli, sugar snap peas, corn, carrots, oatmeal, sprouts, spinach, kale, cabbage, and sometimes some small pieces of fruit. It's not all of those, but it is some number of them. She has finally started really liking her veggies in the morning and is very eager to come out and get the veggies out of the bowl (and often fling at least half of them to the floor. Just like most babies.) Harder veggies, like the broccoli and carrots are blanched for a minute in the microwave, then cooled under running water so they don't burn her mouth. Broccoli and Peas are her current favorites, but the sweet peppers are right up there on some days as are carrots.

After breakfast, she may get the leftovers in her cage for about an hour or so while I get ready for work. Before I leave for work, breakfast gets removed and a dish of dry "fresh" foods goes in. This is generally a very small amount of things like shredded wheat cereal, raw pumpkin seeds, yogurt dipped sunflower seeds, a couple of small pieces of cinnamon BelVita breakfast cookie, and maybe a small amount of homemade bread of one flavor or another. (Bread is a rarity, but she needs things that won't attract fruit flies and won't spoil. Stale bread isn't a problem. She can throw it on the floor if she doesn't like it. Oh, and she gets some Cheerios.)

She has already moved into the attitude of "NO!". She doesn't talk at this time, female cockatiels don't tend to talk as much, but she's fully capable of it. She whistles a lot, which is very common in cockatiels. But she doesn't need to speak, she is fully capable of communicating a NO! in other ways. Like picking up whatever veggie is on the NO list today, and flinging it across the room (she can get a couple of feet of fling if she tries.) Or turning around so she can't see me and then she pretends she can't hear me either so she can continue doing whatever it is that she wants to do.

Me sneezing is absolutely on the NO list. It scares the little featherbrain and she scrambles to get away from the head explosion.

The last few nights, going to bed has also been on the NO list. There have been terrible tantrums at bedtime. But generally it's because she is SO tired. She does the same "I'm not tired!" act that human children do, and then tantrums. But once put down, it's about 2 minutes before she's out like a light.

She's been down for about an hour tonight and nary a peep. She was so tired today that she was falling asleep on my shoulder during our evening movie.

She has some interesting taste in movies. Annie (the '80s version with Carol Burnett and Tim Curry) is her favorite movie so far. She loves it and will turn around in the cage to watch it as it plays. So that's the movie I put on when I go to take my tests in the bedroom. She can watch Annie, and it will keep her quiet while I work on my test.

Tonight we watched Little Shop of Horrors, also from the 80s, with Rick Moranis and Steve Martin. She thought the dentist was scary, but she enjoyed the rest of the film and chirped along with some of the songs.

Interestingly, she didn't care one way or the other for Nightmare before Christmas. But likes Moana. Doesn't mind the Fellowship of the Ring, but does NOT like Two Towers (she thinks it's scary.)

Tomorrow will probably be Lilo & Stitch. And I have the feeling we'll be watching more musicals in the future. :)

She definitely has a preference for the 1930s.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Very brief update

I have 8 weeks left in my semester and 4 finals that need to be crammed for and taken (and passed.)

So it's going to be even quieter than usual in here.

I'm exhausted.

There are no kittens in my house. They were here for a week, and there were issues which ended up with them having to go back to their momma.

I still have the bird, who is clever and still very much a baby.

And I have piles of homework to work on.

It's now 12:15am and I need desperately to go to bed. Night!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Vacations need to be done in stages

Just a quick post today.

Back from vacation. I absolutely LOVED Alaska. LOVE.

There were some small issues with the trip. I'm still unpacking. I'm missing one of the things that I bought. Don't know where it ended up. It was supposed to be in the bag with sparkly things, but I didn't see it in there when I unpacked it. I have to check the rest of the bags.

Laundry is started, a weeks worth of dirty clothes are stinky.

No food in my fridge, so I ordered pizza. Not what I wanted, but it was available.

I will have groceries tomorrow, and Sorun the bird comes home tomorrow.

I'll be working on sorting through all my pictures tomorrow as well, so I should post again in a couple of days with some pictures. Not all of them, since I probably took about 1500-2000 pictures. But a select few. :)

Oh, and I found out the kittens I will be getting. The snuggly older kitten was finally picked up the day after I met him. So he won't be coming home with me.

Instead, I will be getting my original first choices, the gorgeous grey tiger and the black panther.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Finally cooler, autumn is on the way

I've finally gotten a garage at my apartment complex.

It's not huge, it is a single car garage. But it's bigger than my storage unity, and costs about the same. I'm going to hire movers to bring over all my stuff from my storage unit and move it into my garage.

I have shelves and a workbench on one side of the garage. This makes me really happy since I can actually work on things out there. Like sorting fleeces, or carding wool. Some of which I cannot do in the house.

I've also moved some items from the house to the garage. One of which will likely come back to the house if it gets warm again, since it's an umbrella to go with my patio table and chairs.

Right now, though, I'm far more interested in getting stuff OUT of the house. I want to clear up enough space that I can put together the shelves that I got from IKEA a few weeks ago. I need to get those put together soon, since part of why I got them was to keep things away from small kitten paws.

I met the kittens last week. I swear, I was supposed to get 2 siblings. 4 weeks old when I met them, and they are so sweet, so small, and still slightly wobbly. Blue eyes still for all of them and because they are all tiny babies with tiny feet and tiny noses, I just wanted to cuddle them all and take them all home. However, I'm limited to 2 cats. Even if it wasn't the rule of the complex, it would be my rule. 2 is plenty.

There are 5 kittens in the litter, 3 tabbies and 2 black. One of the tabbies is a little grey tiger stripe and I really thought he or she should come home with me (provided we meshed when we met.) I've never owned a tabby, so this would be new. I wasn't particular, I told my friend to just pick me out a couple of good ones.

Then I met them. And more than just the 5 kittens. I met momma cat (sweet cat, not a good fit for me. She wants to be an indoor/outdoor cat, which doesn't mesh with my lifestyle or beliefs. She's super sweet though.) I met all 5 kittens, and wrestled with them (my hand vs the kittens.)

And I met the 3(ish) month old, unrelated kitten from a previous litter of another momma. The 3 month old was abandoned before even being picked up by his (her?) new owners. They just never showed up. This is one of the sweetest cats I've met in ages. I sat on a stool, cat-teen hopped up next to me and offered to give me something to do with my hands (petting, of course.) I watched cat-teen be super gentle with the kittens and back down before momma cat who hates his/her guts. When I moved to the low chair to better see kittens and be seen by kittens, cat-teen came leaping from my friend's lap over to my lap, ran up my chest to head butt me as hard as possible. And then insisted that I needed to make a cradle of my arms to cuddle and pet cat-teen who also decided it was bath time, kill my necklace time, and then nap time.

Cat-teen is a plan changer. The personality is absolutely one that I love. It's very similar to Shu's wholehearted look at how he loved the people that he loved. There was no real levels of love, it was pretty much all or nothing. Cat-Teen is similar, but much smarter. Picture of naptime snuggles:

I think I found the other kitten to come home with me once the babies are all weaned. This little panther kitten climbed up my leg (my shoes are bigger than he/she is.) Once at the top, the panther kitten curled up against my leg and also fell asleep:

Kittens won't come home until baby is weaned. I still don't actually know if both of these two are available. I should know that in a couple weeks or so.

That should give me time to work on getting more stuff unpacked, unboxed, or gotten rid of.

And it helps that autumn is approaching fast, bringing cooler weather and pleasant evenings.

And no, I haven't forgotten Baby Sorun. He gets to come home in just over a week. I'm counting down. I have 9 days to go. His cage is all clean. I need to run to the hardware store so that I can see if I can replace a few screws that are either rusted or were missing when I bought the cage. Unfortunately, the cage maker went out of business, so replacement parts are pretty much impossible to find.

Sorun and I went toy shopping last weekend at Customer Appreciation day. He was very excitable because there were SO MANY PEOPLE! There were birds everywhere, people everywhere, and food everywhere. He finally got too excited and couldn't stand still, but couldn't work out his own body. So at that point, he had to go take some quiet time. I paid for his toys. They are waiting here for him. I plan to set up the cage next weekend and bring him home early next week. It will be nice to have him home.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

3 weeks or so

Just over 3 weeks before the baby bird gets to come home.

It's hot and sticky, and also smoky here in Washington. The Canadian Wildfires are still burning and the smoking is flowing down to us.

I mean, we're good with sharing, but it would be nice to share something else other than smoke.

Unfortunately between the heat and the smoke, I don't want to take baby bird outside. So we hung out inside and got underfoot. We can't do that again, but it was nice to see him again. He appears to recognize me, which is nice. He spent some time grooming my hair and ear, because apparently he thinks I don't wash well enough. :D

No pictures today, it was too hard to try to wrangle him and the towel and make sure we stayed as close to out of the way as possible. I couldn't add a camera on top of that. Maybe next week.

I brought home ice and dry ice today from the grocery store. Some of the ice went into my freezer, but about half the bag went into the big bucket and the dry ice went on top of the ice. The bucket is now behind my box fan and is the super version of a swamp cooler.

I need to get back to work on my paper for school. It's just so dull and I've got so many things to do. School is not what I want to do.

I know that I need to, and I know that it's a good thing and will give me something that is worth the effort, but still so dull.


The heat doesn't help. It makes me slow and cranky. And ill.

Tonight hasn't been super productive. Tomorrow will be a bit more productive between chores and paper. But I'll still be grumpy. :D

Monday, July 31, 2017

6 months in the blink of an eye... almost

I hadn't really realized that it was 6 months since I last updated my blog. The whole time is a blur. There was mourning for the loss of Shu. There was the scramble to get classes finished for school (finished, passed, but it was right up to the line.)

My grandmother died in February, and it's been a blur there too. She was the last of my living grandparents and was 101 years old.

Some of her things were sent to me and I found that one of my counted cross stitch designs that I had made for her years and years and years ago (about 1994, apparently) was one of the things she kept until the day she died. That makes me feel good, but at the same time confused. This was the woman who was so horrid to me so often, and then would tell people how much she loved the calendars I made every year for christmas gifts and would keep this cross stitch I did for 23 years.

I can only shake my head and try to accept it as it was and move on.

At the beginning of July I took another step and stopped back at the bird shop where my monster bird had been boarded so often, and where I bought so many of his things. They had mentioned that they had baby cockatiels in and I had never really gotten to see young cockatiels. I've known that I wanted another bird for ages. For years in fact. I knew that while I still adore Quakers, I can't get another one right now. It would be unfair. I would never look at another Quaker (at least not right now or for the foreseeable future) and not see monsterbird. The Quaker would forever be being compared to Monsterbird and would never come out ahead. I wouldn't do that to a baby bird. I have the same reaction to Green Cheek and Black Cap conures. They are very similar in size and personality to Quakers. It wouldn't be fair.

So I was thinking of looking into a Cockatiel. I've worked with them before, I've fostered 3 in the past years. (I would have kept the first one I fostered, except Monsterbird had an absolute meltdown and would have never let it live. I found an adopter for that one and they lived very happily ever after.) But now I was thinking I might talk to Joan or Mike about how to take care of a cockatiel as opposed to a Quaker.

I walked out the owner of a Baby Cockatiel. A baby so young I wasn't allowed to touch it. He is a lovely yellow with brilliant orange cheeks (I'm guessing it is a boy, but I haven't heard back on the dna test to be sure.) He has a lovely fawn/grey pattern over his wings and back. He is a Cinnamon Pearl Lutino, apparently, and is really cute and sweet.

I've been back to visit several times over the last few weeks and he has gotten to know me and recognizes me when I come in. He also remembers that me visiting means he gets to go outside which is extremely exciting to him. He's also a complete butt and a strong flyer already. At 5.5 weeks old he nearly managed to clear a 5.5 foot fence. At 6.5 weeks he flew over 50 feet across the backyard of the shop and hit the other fence. After that, he has to wear his baby harness and a leash. These were both with fully clipped wings. Joan says that this whole brood are some of the strongest flyers she's ever seen and all of them are trouble incarnate with regards to flying and getting out. (Okay, maybe she just said that they are extremely strong flyers, some of the strongest she's ever seen, and are all trouble, but still... :)

Since it's late and I still need to go put laundry away before I go to bed, I'll just leave some pictures: