Friday, April 22, 2011

My New Canaries - Jo and Jessie

Jessie and Jo
I got something I've wanted for many years - Canaries!  I have been gazing at websites, looking at canaries in bird stores, and pretty much lusting after a little yellow triller for quite a while.  Today was the big day.  I found a man that breeds show canaries and I asked him if he'd sell me one.  He told me to bring a cage with seed and water and he would sell me one.  Thank you momma and daddy, for the birthday money!

I hurried to Petsmart and bought a small white and blue travel cage, some bird seed and a mid-sized swing, then drove straight to the breeder's home.  He had a small cage with TWO canaries in it.  He told me his first intuition was to let me choose between two males (the males are the biggest singers), but then, because I was so nice on the phone, he decided that I should have a mated pair, with hopes that they''ll be prolific and I'd join the canary club (he is an officer).  He gave me some quick tips about nesting hens and eggs and feeding.  Oh my!  This was more than I bargained for!  I'm so glad I bought a swing that fits two.   Here's a video of my birds. The male is mottled with deep yellow and has a higher pitched chirp, the female is a very pale yellow/white and has a deeper chirp.

David and Mark were not as thrilled to come home and find my new pets.  They've only known the craziest, most bizarre and insane screaming parakeets (I'm a dud at choosing budgies).  Hopefully, since the breeder chose for me, my bad bird luck will be changed.

My dad's Aunt Jo was so incredibly sweet.  She quilted and I now quilt. She had a canary and I now have two!  It is only right that my birds should be named after Aunt Jo and her husband, so Jo and Jessie it is!  She's been gone since I was a young adult, and try as I might, I cannot recall any conversation with Aunt Jo that didn't include how much God, Jesus and she loved me, followed by sugar, sweet, angel, darling, sweetheart, baby angel, and any other sugary sweet adjective she could dream up.  Our conversations went pretty much like this, "Hi Aunt Jo, your roses sure are beautiful!" to which she would reply, "Oh sugarplum, honey, angel, God love you, my sweet sugar darling angel sweetheart.  Jesus loves you.  I love you. I love Jesus.  He loves you.  You're so sweet..."  Aunt Jo had the most beautiful pink roses growing on her fence and entry arch.  She also collected salt and pepper shakers.  I don't collect things, but I sure do treasure the little rose decorated kissing Dutch couple I was given after her death.
I wonder where Aunt Jo got these?
I look forward to some sugary sweet canary trilling from Jo and Jessie!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today's My Birthday

My husband turned 54 in October, and for six months I tortured him about his advanced age.  Then on April 20th...a miracle!  Mark is once again incredibly young!  But in six months, then the teasing resumes...

Many loved ones sent happy birthday wishes today, lots of cheery songs (and a similar rendition of the required birthday dirge) were left in my voice mail.  Sweet cards and gifts are on the coffee table.  A dear friend came by this morning with tulips and we shared a cup of coffee and a nice visit.  There is half a cake on the counter.

Mark made sure to make my birthday week special by taking me special places this past weekend.   On Saturday we went to the Starke, Florida Strawberry Festival, meeting up with my sister Patty and her husband Jon.  Then on to Jacksonville to visit my parents, followed by dinner with Patty and Jon at Players Grille in Miramar, near the neighborhood I grew up in.  We played the trivia game and it is official, Patty knows more music trivia than me.  The big rule breaker that I am, I smuggled our tiny dog in the hotel in my purse.  Sunday morning we dropped the dog off at my friend Kim's house, skipped church and instead, met up with my other sister Kathie and her husband Larry (in town from the Pensacola area), who we last saw in November.  K&L, their two adult daughters (my darling nieces) Robin and Kevin, their 2 sons and a baby girl, Karen and her two children, plus Mark and I went to Beach Diner in Mandarin, where I got an amazing shrimp and crab omelette with hollandaise sauce. meow.  And we all got to visit a while.  After lunch, Mark and I went back to Kim's, who, as a professional dog groomer, gave 2-year old Juliet her first real haircut, what I like to call a Yorkie Pixie.  Very cute!  A nice visit followed, then Mark and I went to niece Karen's house to see all her family and her husband Christian (who is suffering with a back problem), and another visit with K&L, plus momma popped by, how very nice!  Finally, we headed home, the back way down State Road 13 almost to St. Augustine, and I used my handy dandy restaurant "find it" on my iPhone and found the Outback Crab Shack. Holy cannolli!  My my my my my!  I took a picture of my meal, 6 blue crabs (they turn red when they hit the hot water) and all the fixings.  It took me nearly two hours to eat four of the crabs, but we were laughing and talking and the doggie was with us in her fancy-schmancy stroller, and we were loving life and I was in crab rapture, it was sooo good.  I can die now...MY LIFE IS COMPLETE!

I saw all my family and what a shame that I didn't take pictures.  When I am with family, I'm too busy visiting to consider photo taking.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jamaica, Mon!

The view from our balcony.
Four and a half glorious days in tropical beautiful Jamaica with my dear friend Bonnie at an exquisite all-inclusive resort, all the lobster you can eat, and a butler at our beck and call.  The skies were blue and clear, a soft breeze and warm sunshine. Tropical flowers bloomed in abundance and the foliage was lush and green.  There were plenty of cushioned lounge chairs and sun beds to relax on. The hotel staff was incredible and there was always someone asking if they can get a us cold bottle of water or a colorful frozen foo foo drink.  You could even swim up to a bar in the pool, sit on underwater cement bar stools and get a mixed drink.  I'm not much of a drinker, but the resort served an impressive array of top shelf liquor. We ate spicy jerk chicken cooked on an outdoor grill, freshly cut fruit, and sushi.  The pool water and ocean water were clear and cool, not warm, not cold, just right!  There was an indoor spa to enjoy  hot tubs in a variety of temperatures, wet and dry saunas, a thalassotherapy pool, Swedish showers, and a gym to exercise away the pounds we were trying to not gain (and we didn't).  There were massage tables both inside and outside for those willing to pay (we didn't).  We danced together in the night club to reggae and Lady GaGa, and all sorts of pounding music.  Our suite was beautiful with two queen beds, a living room/office area, an amazing balcony with a swinging nap chair and a soft outdoor sofa, a stocked fridge, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, you name it.  If that wasn't enough, we could call for room service whenever we got the notion.  If I was with my husband, I would have asked the butler to draw a bath, complete with bubbles, floating flowers and a cold bottle of champagne.  The bathtub was amazing - big enough for giants, complete with jacuzzi jets.  
What more could a person want?
Bonnie and I have been friends since we were in 10th grade, almost 40 years.  She owns the travel agency and I work for/with her and we went to Jamaica to make sure a large incentive group was well taken care of, so it was a working/fun trip.  Leaving paradise was difficult and we wished for just one more day.  Spending time with Bonnie was very enjoyable and relaxing.  Although I would have loved having my husband with me, I highly recommend going with a good friend to this resort!