Saturday, October 23, 2010


A lot has happened since my last post.....  It seems that life is moving on.

Our foster bird, Lucy, has
returned to her mom after
three years
My long-term foster bird, Lucy, has returned to her mom.  I knew from the moment she came here (in November of 2007) that she would return to her mom at some point.  Lucy was with us for one month short of three years.  That's a long time....a long time to get attached to a sweet little green face and body and adorable chatter.  We miss you, Lucy!  We all came to love you.  I did my job and now she is where she should be.  That doesn't mean that it wasn't difficult to give her back.  I spent an entire half day crying when I was packing up her things.  Most people would think I'm nuts, I'm sure, but that's how I am.  I see, I love, I get attached, I cry.  Ask anyone who knows me - Connie, Robin, Jenny, Lorraine?  Just ask them!

 I had my (hopefully) final reconstructive surgery this past Monday.  The hospital experience was great, as usual.  The Abbotsford Regional Hospital is wonderful - at least all MY experiences have been (and I had a few TOO many experiences, in my opinion).  I'm so grateful that we live so close to such a great hospital where we get such great care.  My surgeon, Dr. Brown, is great - I highly recommend him and he is outstanding in his field.  Recovery is going well, but it seems that each time I have anaesthetic, it knocks me down for a bit longer.  I don't get sick or anything, just VERY tired.  I guess that's normal, in a way, but frustrating when you want to be up and doing everything.  It's difficult to just lay on the couch and rest as the body heals.  I still have the bandages on - will until Tuesday.  Can't shower until then, either - YUCK!  :-)  I saw the surgeon on Thursday and he said that things are looking good and healing nicely.  What more can I ask for?  This is the way I can move on from breast cancer.  My body will be somewhat complete again, even if things aren't as they were originally and I have some saline implants where my real breasts used to be - at least they won't try to kill me!  LOL!  And, for the record, they are a fair bit smaller than what I was expecting, but that's OK!!  Many thanks to DH for his love, support and help while I'm down and unable to fulfill all my duties as a wife/mom/whatever.  I want to thank my friend Lorraine for getting up at 4:30 a.m. so she could be here to drive me to the hospital for my surgery and for being there for me.  Thanks also to my sister, Karen, who was also there while I went "under the knife", and then drove me home.  Then, my dear friend, Connie, who was there while I was recovering, then brought dinner over later for our family.  Thank you to all of you.  I am so blessed.

And so, life goes on.  As I think about life going on, I am reminded, at this time of year of an anniversary coming up.  November 14 will mark one year since my friend, Wanda, died of her cancer.  Wanda was a wonderful lady, so full of life and optimism.  She loved her family, she loved her birds, she loved her friends, she loved life!  What a special lady she was, and what a lucky person I was, to have known her.  I miss you, Wanda.  I miss your contagious smile and positive attitude.  You were a blessing to me and I wish we'd have been able to spend more time together.

As life goes on, I encourage you to enjoy each and every day.  Each and every moment.  For every moment is a gift and that's why it's called the 'present'.  A cliche, for sure, but very true.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my
Canadian blog friends!
 My sister made me this beautiful image for my blog.  She is taking web design and made this one for me.  You can visit her blog here.  Thanks, Janet!

So, Happy Thanksgiving to all of us Canadians out there!  Hope you have lots of turkey and yummy food and family surrounding you this long weekend!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Catching Up!

A lot has happened since I posted last.  I had another birthday yesterday too.  Can't remember now how many times I've hit 29 AGAIN!!  LOL!  Since having had cancer, I figure that each and every birthday now is a bonus!  Sounds a bit grim, but unless you've been there, you won't understand.  Each day is a gift.

So, yesterday was my sister's birthday as well as mine.  She's five years older than me.  Yep, I was born ON her fifth birthday!!  Imagine being a five-year-old and having to share your birthday - not only that day, but all the birthdays for the rest of your life!  I must say that my sis, Karen, has been very gracious about it - she is never anything less than gracious and I thank her for that.  DH and I and the kids and my Dad met Karen and her DH last night at a restaurant in Langley and we had a yummy dinner at the best fish & chip joint around.  It was just nice to spend time with family - another thing some people don't appreciate until faced with a life-threatening illness.  Karen quilted me a gorgeous table runner and gave me a beautiful tin mini pie plate to keep the little dried miniature pumpkins in that she also gave me.  Thanks, sis!

My friend, Connie also gave me a wonderful gift yesterday of an autumn spray of pip berries, mini pumpkins and primitive stars - just beautiful.  She also gave me a lovely autumn dishtowel and a bowl of my favourite chocolate/butterscotch and marshmallow squares that she baked.  Mmmmmm!  I don't really have to share them with my family, do I????  She had me stop by on our way to dinner last night to pick up my birthday gift and between when I spoke to her in the morning and when I stopped by, she had picked up a gorgeous flower arrangement for my sister!  Talk about thoughtful!  Thank you, my dear!  My sister was thrilled  and the flowers were just gorgeous!

DH and the kids got me a beautiful pot of Chrysanthemums - my favourite flower - especially in the fall!  What a great birthday it was!!!

Smokey, our new kitty!
Oh, I almost forgot!  I gave myself a kitty for my birthday!  That's right!  A KITTY!!!  In March of 2009, we lost Thomas, our last remaining cat.  It was a horrible accident, and a horrible time because I was going through chemo and really not feeling well.  Losing him was very difficult.  He was an awesome cat, and we miss him so much.  He really was one in a million PLUS he didn't mind the birds.  It's not easy to find a cat that is OK with birds.  I mean, it's REALLY NOT EASY!  Our cats were here BEFORE our birds, so they just kind of grew to accept them.  Yesterday, Smokey the cat was brought here by her previous owner.  I posted an ad that I was looking for a bird-experienced cat.  I posted an ad three different times over the past six months.  I got some strange responses.  I ended up not responding to any of them until....last week.  A lady responded to my ad for a bird-savvy cat.  This lady has birds and said this cat was very good with all their animals.  They have several types of animals in their home and she said the kitty is great with all of them.  To make a long story short, we now have Smokey.  She is a sweetheart and even Lucas seems to like her.

So, Smokey is a little shy and will take a while to warm up to everyone.  She hides a bit, but has been out quite a few times to visit with us.  She just needs to get used to the sounds and smells of our house.  She's an indoor kitty and knows where the litter box is, so that's the biggest thing.  She seems like a lovely, clean, well-mannered little girl.  She certainly loves attention and head scratches!  She will give you a head butt in the hopes that you will give her a head scratch or two.  She even does it to Lucas, who just doesn't know what to do with that!  So funny to see the surprised looks in his eyes when she does it!!!  I'll have to try to capture it on video!

On a bit of a sad note, my foster bird, Lucy, will be leaving us probably next weekend.  The beginning of November marks THREE years that I will have had Lucy.  Her mom and dad moved to New Zealand for a work stint, but were unable to take their three birds with them because of New Zealand regulations regarding their native birds.  No outside birds are allowed in.  So, all of the birds were placed in foster care.  I took Lucy.  Lucy's mom is a fabulous lady and I love Quakers, so it seemed only natural.  Seems like we haven't had Lucy that long, but it IS almost three years.  It's gone really fast and Lucy has been such a joy to have here.  Yes, I've gotten my share of good bites from her, but really, when you have birds, you are going to be bitten.  No different with Lucy!  So, we shall all miss Lucy when she goes to live with her mom again.  I'm happy for her AND her mom, though, as they belong together and I know Lucy's mom has missed Lucy terribly! 
So, while we are thrilled to welcome Smokey the kitty, we will be sad to see Lucy leave us.  Such is life and especially life with critters.  Each one holds a special piece of our hearts that can never, ever be replaced by another one.

Speaking of kitties, have a look at my OTHER sister's blog to see their new kitty.  What a face!  Her name is Izzy - is she not THE cutest little one?????  And to think that she was DUMPED by somebody!!!!!

Fall has arrived here - on the calendar anyways.  We've had beautiful weather and very warm - almost like summer all over again!  It's been warm and humid.  I'm sure that fall and winter will be here soon enough, so we'll enjoy this nice weather while it's here!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

My 15 Seconds of Fame!

Last Tuesday saw me getting up very early in preparation for a photographer coming out from the Vancouver Sun newspaper to do a story on losing pet birds.  I had had a very quick telephone interview with the reporter the day before and, although the story didn't really go the direction I wanted it to, it did get some people's attention on keeping a closer eye on their birds in the summer.

The story was initiated by a wonderful man who, along with his lovely wife and daughter, have lost their beloved cockatiel "Charlie" in downtown Vancouver.  Charlie has been missing for almost two months.  It breaks my heart that we cannot find Charlie.  The Delain family have offered a large reward for Charlie.  It's not often that I get to meet face-to-face with people who I post lost birds for.  I did have the honour of meeting this couple and their daughter and what a blessing for me.  WONDERFUL people who truly care about their bird and about other people.  In the time that they have lost Charlie, they have taken in another cockatiel to foster that we are as yet, unable to find the owner of. 

Audrey and Maya (with her collar on) (Photo: Ward Perrin, PNG)

I must say that the photographer was wonderful.  He is an animal lover and spent time talking with my kids and paying attention to all the animals.  A genuine, caring man.  The reporter - well, you could tell she was in a hurry and the order had come from higher up.  The passion just wasn't there.  So it goes when one speaks with the Press.
Here are the URL's....

For the story look here.  Here are more photos.  And a short video is here. 

You will notice that Bella & Bobby have very long beaks.  They have now been trimmed again.  They have had health issues in the past that cause their beaks and nails to grow faster than normal and need trimming every 3-4 months.  Ths pics were taken several days before they were trimmed.  If left too long, it can affect birds so that they cannot eat properly.  It takes regularly-scheduled vet visits to keep them managed.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think of the story and photos and video!
Blessings to all! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Foster Birds, Friends, and Summer Gardens...

Amos & Andy (Pacific Parrotlets), current foster birds
They are SO cute!!!

Right now I am fostering two wee parrotlets.  Parrotlets are tiny little things - about half the size of a lovebird.  To look at them, they seem small, but generally Parrotlets think they are the size of a Macaw!  These two are just so cute and I'm so enjoying having them!!!

Had a busy day today.  Took DD to soccer camp for 9 a.m., had coffee with a friend whom I haven't seen in about 10 years, took my Dad to Tim's for his soup and coffee, then came home and made lunch for ds and I.  We had yummy black forest ham sandwiches with lettuce from OUR OWN GARDEN, tomato, cheese and mustard and mayo!  Yumm-o!!!  How nice it is to be able to pick fresh things from our garden.  Not a thing that I'm used to.  It's beyond description knowing that there are no sprays or nasty things on whatever comes from our place. After lunch we made smoothies with our new "Bullet" food processor.  Wow, what a little machine that is!!  It makes short work of any blending/mixing jobs.  Mmmmmm, those smoothies were yummy!  Picked dd up @ 3 p.m. with a yummy sandwich and a smoothie for her.  She was glad for the nice cold smoothie and the sandwich didn't last very long!

Speaking of the garden, I have several tomato plants that are in bloom.  They were set back by a REALLY cool June (we jokingly call it our JUNE-uary!), so hopefully they are just delayed and the tomatoes will be fine.  I have gathered a few strawberries from plants that I planted quite late.  That's OK, it's just nice to taste a few.  We also had a cucumber from my single plant last night with dinner.  It was very good.  There are a few more cukes coming, but the plant also got set back from the cooler weather we had when it was first planted.

Can't believe it's the 21st of July already!  The kids have been out of school for almost a month - it's just gone so fast!

Connie and I did a bit of shopping yesterday and then she bought me lunch in Fort Langley.  My windshield was being repaired and Connie picked me up from the place that was fixing it.  We had a lovely few hours together - makes me realize how much I miss her.  Our lives just seem busy and we don't get together as much as we'd like.  :-|
We are enjoying some absolutely gorgeous weather here on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada this week.  It's absolutely gorgeous.  Not so hot that you feel sick, but just nice.....  :-)  :-)

July 21, 2010 - a look out my back door
Here is a look out our back door today....
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!