Saturday, February 20, 2010

Love Is a Splendid Thing

A new love has entered my life. An unexpected, heartfelt, uncontrollable love that takes over and manipulates my life, my direction and my thoughts.
I'm too old for such foolishness, I think. I am not some addle brained teenager nor a midlife crisis waiting to happen. Yet I have fallen hopelessly and completely under the spell of this new presence.
I know that fate has brought us together and I am merely holding on for the ride. It feels like this path was chosen long ago and the universe was merely waiting for the proper time to seal the deal and thus my fate.
It began innocently enough. We were helping a friend move after he was given short notice. A cranky furnace in his new home and cold winter weather brought him and his 3 cockatiels to visit.
It was love at first sight. No, not our friend, though he is lovable enough. It was his feathered companions that slew my heart. With a whistle and a flutter I lost my will to live without cockatiels. Then the search was on, though I felt as if I really didn't need to look too hard if it was meant to be.
A trip to the local pet center resulted in a distracted clerk saying they had 2 male cockatiels for $120 each. Ouch! That's without a cage or bowl or toy.
I grabbed an Uncle Henry's magazine (local sale and trade book that has it all) and there they were: 3 birds, large cage, carry cage and all accessories for $75. It MUST be too good to be true.
In fact - it was better than true! A mated pair - yellow and white Joey and gorgeous dapple gray and white Olivia (a pearl cinnamon) without cheek patches and Lucy, a typical cockatiel. The cage is perfect - 5' long, 6' high and 30" deep complete with toys and food, a great door and fits in our rec room as if made for the space.
It seemed the poor woman that owned them already had 2 kids - boys, 5 and 3 years old, 5 dogs, an unfinished house and a new baby boy due in a month. The feathers also made her sneeze. I actually did her a favor by taking them off her hands! She said the birds were given to her and her husband had made the large cage. Which also fit in the back of our truck. The birds rode the 2 hours home with polite composure and adjusted to the new setting with wonderful ease. The carry cage is brand new and worth more than the $75 just by itself!
With luck we shall have babies soon and then the fun will really begin. I'll post some pix as soon as I find my camera. We are redecorating and painting the bathroom and the house is in disarray.
Jeff would never let me get chickens and I think these are much better, though I still love fresh eggs. But hand raised baby cockatiels sell for much more than chicken eggs and I won't have to worry about building a chicken house, keeping them warm in winter or keeping foxes away!
Love is a splendid thing!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Imbolc or Groundhog Day?

The beginning of February has been breezy, bright and cold. The shrimp boats have been going every morning to quickly haul as many traps as they can. Then the race is on to get back to the dock to get unloaded before the buyers truck leaves at 11 am.
It's brutal, cold and heavy work. Tempers flair with the pressure to get in line for the extra 10 cents a lb. With a typical catch averaging over a 1,000 lbs., that place in line can make quite a differance!

This week was Groundhog Day and I think Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of Winter. Yea! Only six more weeks of Winter! I always wonder what Phil, the wonder groundhog, thinks of all this fuss once a year....
Candlemas also occurs on February 2 and is a celebration by the Church which is known as the feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the infant Christ in the temple. I believe there is a blessing of the candles during the Mass.
Imbolc is an even older Pagan day that was sacred to Brigid, goddess of smithcraft, poetry and healing. It is a time when things begin to stir beneath the ground, when new life arises and energies start to gather, in anticipation of the new cycle for the year.
Each of these celebrations of February 2 invoke the light, for the days grow longer and the sun shines a bit brighter. We have actually gained exactly an hour of daylight since 12/21. I could feel it on my face as I walked with Magick, our black lab, this morning.
So today I shall thank the sun and wash the windows then appreciate the woodstove for it's warmth. Tonight I'll light a candle and say a blessing, then dream of summer and order some seeds.
Whatever you celebrate, please include a skin cancer screening for you and your loved ones as well. Do it this time every year and live to love another year. There are 250,000 cases of squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed every year. Fortunately it is easily treatable, though not all skin cancers are. Some are quite deadly, though all should be dealt with promptly.
Be well and Happy Febrauary!