Friday, June 13, 2008

Wagons West!

Well, it's over. We've driven 3090 miles from Arkansas to Washington State. Yeah, we took the long way here, but we got here none the less. The drive was spectacular and fun for both Hubby and I as well as our 5 tiels: Cleo Chaquita Pattee [who celebrated her 12th birthday on the road], AsaMina Sura [who gave me grey hair by laying 3 eggs during the journey--all sterile], Tyson Parker [who sat like a Garfield suction cup car stuffy to the side of his travel cage for the whole car ride while he snoozed], Edgar Allan Chirp [who kept a close eye on all that 'flew' past], and Worthington Israel Wentworth [who kept us entertained with chittery noises while he tried to keep his tail out of AsaMina's face so she wouldn't pull it].

I've never been one to keep a journal. I just can't seem to do it. Nope, can't figure it out either. But, in order to document the trip I did feel one was necessary. Below is the first half of that journal [page wise]. It's all told from the perspective of my 2 1/2 year old, Edgar Allan. I do hope all those who read enjoy his point of view.

In craft related news, I'm hoping to get pictures taken tomorrow and ready to upload so I can reopen my store sometime next week. The rest of this journal will be posted in a couple of days.

“The Exodus”
From Edgar Allan Chirp Stilwell’s Point Of View

May 11 2008 to
May 28 2008

My name is Edgar Allan Chirp and this is my story. My Mom is home number three for me. My first Mom adopted me and kept me for just a few months before she decided I just wasn’t what she wanted. She knew this lady who did her hair. The hair lady had just lost a tiel that looked like me named Bobby. So my first Mom passed me off onto Mom number two. Mom number two didn’t like me either. She kept me in a small cage in a dark corner. If I made any noise at all she’d throw a cover over me to keep me quiet. I lived with her for about a year. Then, when she got tired of throwing the covers over me she had one of her friends find me Mom three. Mom three has a whole house full of tiels. Mom three bought me a huge, gynormous cage with toys I’m still discovering there are so many of them. She makes me this stuff called Birdie Mush that has to be the best stuff I’ve ever tasted on the planet. I’ve got siblings, too, four of them. Cleo’s my best friend. She teaches me all I need to know and shows me how to be social. I’m quite shy and really don’t like humans near me. All the humans I’ve known before either have hurt me or scared me. My forever Mom understands and is just really nice to me, even when I’m scared. If Cleo is next to me, I feel safe. There is also AsaMina Sura. She runs the whole house, Mom and Dad, too. Cleo tells me she keeps all of us safe and protects us from harm. Then there is Worthington Israel Wentworth. He’s a year younger than I am. I’m 2 ½ years old and he just turned 1year old. He’s AsaMina’s shadow and second in command. If she’s busy and you have a question, just ask Worthington Israel Wentworth. The last of my siblings is Tyson Parker. He’s really weird. He tries to date fabric and paper towels and he’s even propositioned me a few times! Cleo told me he’s a rescue, too. Mom takes in strays until she runs out of room and since she’s out of room, us 5 are all there is. Cleo told me there used to be eight in the flock, but that was before my time.
Mom picked me up from the hair lady on June 17, 2007 and on the way home she talked sweeter to me than any one ever had before. She asked me if I liked my name Bobby. I didn’t. I knew I was given that name cause the hair lady didn’t know what else to name me and that was the name of her dead tiel. I’m not dead, I’m very much alive, you know. Mom asked me if I liked the name Edgar Allan. I did, very much and I told her by saying ‘chirp’ in response. Mom told me she picked that name cause it was a dark and stormy day when she picked me up from the hair lady and she likes the author Edgar Allan Poe. I was honored to have a name picked just for me and I puffed up as big as I could to tell that to Mom. It was my Auntie Darlene’s tiel, Mr. Tee who gave me my third name, Chirp. Mr. Tee is 22 years old, if you can believe that! Cleo is 12 years old and lives in the cage next to me and I can’t believe she’s that old, so it’s even harder to believe Tee is 22! Cousin Tee kept telling Mom and Auntie Darlene that my name should be ‘chirp’ and after saying it about a zillion times they figured it out and my name became officially Edgar Allan Chirp. I was very honored! My very own special name, picked special just for me and not given to me just because I wasn’t good enough or special enough or loved enough for a name of my own.
Mom always understands how scared I am. She always just talks to me and only holds me when she has to weigh me or trim my wings. She always talks sweetly to me when she does. It really doesn’t make it less scary, but it does help a little. Mom took me to this place called a ‘vet’ and, although it wasn’t fun, she told me it meant I was hers forever. I got this thing called a microchip put in between my shoulder blades. Mom says it’s my registration so anyone who wants to know where my forever home is, they just have to scan me and my microchip will tell them. Not all humans can understand cockatiel, you know. Mom does a pretty good job most of the time. Mom even lets me make my car alarm noise and tells me I’m a good boy when I do! None of my other two Mom’s liked my car alarm noise. They said I was bad. Mom says I have talent. I can also say ‘hello’. Mom says that’s special, too. I think she wants me to learn how to say ‘Edgar’. I’m working on it, just for her.
This pretty much brings me to this “Exodus” thing. November 2007, just after my second birthday (October 17, 2007, which is as close as Mom could figure I hatched cause of the markings I had when she brought me home), Mom told us we were moving to this place called Washington State. Cleo had heard of it. That’s where our Grandma lives, she told me. But, Cleo had never seen this Washington either. It made me pretty nervous and very scared. I was positive that Mom would get rid of me and find me Mom number four, but strangely enough, she didn’t! Instead Mom told me I was forever part of the flock. She told me she loved me and I was coming, too. I still found it hard to believe until Mom put me in my very own custom travel cage with my favorite toys and a brand new toy I love very much. It’s a bell with dangly bell pull chains on it. It’s a lot of fun to play with! Mom even got me a pinecone to munch on and play with during our Exodus to Washington.
On Mothers Day, May 11, 2008, Mom moved us from our big cages to our travel cages. She explained to me that this is where I’d live till we got to the place she’s calling Washington. My travel cage is bigger than the cage the hair lady made me live in and it’s got a zillion more toys, too. Mom filled dishes with the pellets and the nutriberries I like so I’d have plenty to eat. She only puts her hands in my travel cage to fill my dishes or change my papers. Mom changes my papers once a day, always in the morning. If I stay calm, don’t panic at her hands and only hiss or grumble at her, she praises me for being a good boy! I’m not so afraid of Mom anymore as I am still fearful I’ll be hurt. My first two Mom’s hurt me and scared me and I’m still getting used to the idea my forever Mom really does love me and won’t do those things to me. Cleo reminds me and Mom does, too and I am learning to trust. Mom told me that I could take as long as I want to learn trust cause it has to be earned. I’m not sure what she means exactly, but I know it doesn’t hurt and it’s not too scary either.
Me and my siblings lived in our travel cages for a week and a half before our Exodus began. On May 22, 2008 we moved to my Auntie Pugs house. Auntie Pug is nice to me, too. She talks to me nicely and doesn’t mind me being shy. She tells me I’m very handsome like Mom does. Auntie loves me, too. Auntie’s kids have fur, not feathers. They are weenie dogs named Lucy, Rambo and Maddie Mae. We were greeted with enthusiasm to spare when we got to Auntie’s house. Dad put us into his truck. Mom made sure I had the seat next to Cleo in the truck so I wouldn’t be scared. Dad made sure our travel cages were safe and secure for the two block ride to Auntie and Uncles house. We were put on Mom’s bed at first to get our bearings. Then Dad came in with a table that Cleo told me once belonged to Ralphie, one of her two mates. She’s so old she’s out lived two boyfriends! She’s got a forever mate now named Huey. Huey is pretty handsome and he’s nice, too. Well, his picture is nice. I haven’t seen him in birdson yet, but Mom says that’s our next stop after Auntie’s.
We got placed on the table and then Auntie and Uncle let the Flying Weenie Puppies in. Cleo told me we needed to make sure Lucy got fed. Lucy is the biggest of the Weenie Cousins, but I guess she’s under fed or something cause Cleo told me we had to feed her pellets, so I did. All of us but AsaMina, who’s flock leader and watches to make sure we’re doing things right and Worthington who’s watching AsaMina to learn how to make sure we’re doing things right. Cleo, Tyson Parker and I fed Lucy most of the pellets we had in each of our travel cages! Lucy was very thankful and barked lots of thank yous at us. Maddie Mae is very hairy for a Weenie Cousin, but Mom told me she’s a ‘mutant’. Half Weenie dog and half something called a Yorkie. I think she’s a cool cousin, hairy or not. Maddie Mae also ate the pellets we threw on the floor for Lucy. The third Weenie Cousin is Rambo. He’s pretty cool, too. He doesn’t eat the pellets, but he does think he can fly. He bounced and barked at us and he showed us his teeth, too. His teeth are really cool cause they’re purple and fuzzy. Mom says they need a bath in the washing machine, but I don’t think Rambo would like that much. Rambo never lets his teeth out of his sight cause he likes them so much.
We had lots of fun and really didn’t want to go to bed Thursday night. Mom, Dad, and Auntie were really tired, but we kept them up all night. We also got quite the lecture Friday morning about manners and how we needed to let the old humans get their sleep and all. Well, Dad slept. My Dad can sleep through my very realistic car alarm noise AND Cleo’s siren noise AND Tyson Parker yelling ‘Come-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer!!!!’ at the top of his lungs. Nope, Mom doesn’t yell at us for being that loud. She says if she can talk and express her feelings, so can we. I’m still getting used to Mom. I still expect the towel to be tossed over me. But Mom never has and she promised me she never will. The rest of Friday was pretty quiet since all the humans were so tired. We, me and my siblings and the Weenie Cousins, were all good Friday night and slept like angels and Mom was so proud of us we got cheerios for breakfast Saturday morning!! Mom and Dad told me there is something today called a ‘going away party’ for all of us. Mom said there would be lots of humans for us to meet and she promised me they’d be nice, too. I’m just waiting for them to show up and trying to decide if I’m going to be shy or brave when they come in to talk to us. Mom’s sitting in front of the table our travel cages are on in her wheelchair so people have to pass her to get to us. She keeps us safe that way. I’m still getting used to Mom, but I do love her.
A little after 5:30pm the guests began to arrive and they came in here after giving bags of human goodies to Auntie Pug and Uncle Johnnie. The first to come in was our cousin Torie. She’s pretty cool. It was the first time she’s really ever seen me. I’m very shy around humans. Before my forever Mom they all hurt me or scared me and I’m still learning that the humans in my life now are very different from the ones I knew before. Cousin Torie talked to me and told me I was handsome, too. I was just a little nervous, but Mom kept telling me I was ok, so I did relax a little.
Next to visit us was Auntie Eileen. She’s the love of Tyson Parkers life and he has the funniest flirt fit you’ve ever seen when he sees her! Auntie Eileen whistled at him and talked to him and he just went ‘happy nuts’, as Mom calls it. I just think Tyson Parker is really weird. We got to meet Helen and my Cousin Derrick and a couple of new people, too. I actually had fun until the Texas Chainsaw Massacre happened. That’s what Mom called it, anyway. She isn’t sure how it happened and neither is Auntie Eileen, but it happened. Tyson Parker, who was attempting to grow two tail feathers, pulled one of them and got blood everywhere! Mostly on Auntie Eileen, who was just happy Tyson Parker was ok. Mom yanked Tyson Parkers two tail feathers out to stop the bleeding and he was fine. Mom also dumped him in the bathroom sink to clean him up. Auntie had to find a clean shirt and they did their best to clean up Auntie Pugs blanket, too. It was a mess! But, Tyson Parker was fine and Mom said that’s what was important. AsaMina, Mom said, is giving her grey hair. I honestly can’t see a single one, but Mom’s never lied to me before, so I assume they’re there somewhere. AsaMina was supposed to lay egg four today and hasn’t. I guess she’s the next to get poked, but Mom will do that tomorrow.
After Tyson Parker was cleaned up and stuffed back into his travel cage, Mom asked me to show Auntie Eileen my anti-gravity boots. That means Mom wants me to show someone how I can walk upside down on the roof of my travel cage and do summersaults and back flips. Mom says I’ve got tons of talent and she loves my anti gravity boots, so I showed off a bit for Auntie Eileen who was just as proud of me as Mom was and told me so tons of times! It amazes me how some humans are so nice and some are so mean, you know? Well, it’s my bed time and tomorrow is another adventure and another day of our Exodus, so I guess I better get some sleep.
May 25, 2008: Tyson Parker is none the worse for wear from his tail feather incident. He’s fine and back to his normal self. Today has been rather quiet with not much going on. The excitement of the day was that we discovered how well trained Cousin Rambo is! This evening Tyson Parker yelled to Rambo, “COME-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!!” and Rambo did! At top speed, too! He bounced and barked at Tyson Parker and Tyson Parker sat at the bottom of his travel cage and whistled and called back. I find my Weenie Cousins rather entertaining and I just love to watch them. I didn’t join in in calling Cousin Rambo, just Tyson Parker and Cleo did. It was fun to watch. Cousin Rambo and Tyson Parker had a good hours worth of conversation. I didn’t understand most of it, but it seemed to be a good thing. I also entertained Mom several times with my anti-gravity boots. She fed me tortilla chips from her lunch as a reward. I do love those tortilla chips!
AsaMina didn’t ever drop egg number four. Her body seems to have stopped at three, which is making Mom even happier than Tyson Parker discovering he can call Weenie Cousins in their language into our room. Mom did a really weird exam on AsaMina’s bottom this morning to see if she was hiding any eggs. Apparently she wasn’t and AsaMina wasn’t happy about the exam either. I think I’m really happy I’m a boy. Cleo told me that only girls lay eggs and Mom only pokes the girls in rude places like that. I take that back, I’m ‘definitely’ happy I’m not a girl! We were so exhausted last night from playing with our Weenie Cousins that all eight of us fell right to sleep.
May 26, 2008. It’s a rainy morning today. I think Dad was going to go mow something called a barn lawn, but he’s still here. I guess you can’t do such things in the rain. AsaMina still hasn’t dropped egg four and Mom took out her little dish of three eggs this morning. AsaMina isn’t missing them or asking for them and according to what Mom said that means she’s not nesting and doesn’t want them. Mom also told me that is a good thing so her body stays healthy for this long trip. It’s Memorial Day today and Mom said it should be another quiet day. She let us each take turns looking at her computer screen so we could see and hear her read the messages our bird friends left for us on Bird Channel. We also got to dictate to her what we wanted to say to them. Mom does a pretty good job understanding us. I’m glad she’s keeping me forever. I do like it here with her and my siblings. Yeah, even weird Tyson Parker. He tried to make a date with me this morning. I told him what Mom told me to tell him, “Go sit on an ice cube!” I said it in tiel, but Mom understood and more importantly so did Tyson Parker. The Weenie Cousins just got up. Tyson Parker is calling to Cousin Rambo already—but is being ignored so far. There is human food in the other room.
Dad and Auntie and Uncle all went out to do outside human things today. Auntie and Uncle came home just a bit ago and the Weenie Cousins got very excited to see their Mom and Dad. Cousin Rambo came flying in our room to tell Tyson Parker that Auntie and Uncle were home and Auntie Pug yelled at Rambo for being so loud. It really wasn’t Rambo’s fault, Tyson Parker is just as loud as Rambo is and Tyson Parker didn’t get reprimanded at all! But, Rambo stopped barking and sat down below Worthington and AsaMina’s travel cage to see if my Auntie Pug had any further instructions for him. While Rambo waited, Worthington looked down on our cousin and said to him, “Good boy, Pretty Bird!!” Mom about died laughing and I was really surprised, too. Worthington has never said ‘good boy’ before. Mom sure rewarded him for saying ‘good boy’ and telling Rambo he was good for listening to my Auntie Pug! I think I need to learn to speak human, too. But then, on the other hand, I do get lots of praise and treats for turning summersaults for Mom and Mom tells me that of her 14 tiels, it’s only me, lucky number 13, that can do summersaults and back flips. She says that makes me extra special. I guess Mom really is going to keep me and take me with her and my siblings on this Exodus to Washington. I’m glad.
May 27, 2008 and it’s Vet Day, according to Mom. At 2 in the afternoon Dad put us in his truck to go to the vet. I’ve been before and it wasn’t fun. The vet poked and prodded me in rude places and I didn’t like it at all. But Mom did say that this was important for me so I could come with her and my siblings, so I did my best to behave. Dad puts me and Cleo in first cause our travel cages go in the middle of the seat. Then he puts Tyson Parker behind his seat and AsaMina and Worthington behind Mom’s seat. We prefer to be in this order and Mom’s really strict with Dad about that so we’re as comfortable as can be. Mom told me that I was the smartest of the flock cause I was sitting on the bottom of my travel cage so that Dad wouldn’t knock me off my perch when he stopped too fast or took a corner too fast. Mom talked to us and skritched Worthington on the way to the vet. We had to wait in the waiting room for a bit, but it’s always quite entertaining. There was a not too happy dog in one of the vets rooms. I don’t know what they were doing to him, but I was sure hoping they wouldn’t try it on me! Mom skritched Worthington and AsaMina to keep them calm and she talked to me and Cleo who got to sit on the bench with Dad while we waited. Mom took pictures of us, too. She figures if I miss anything in my journal, her pictures will cover it. I’m glad she’s not using a flash on her camera. They make me see spots.
When we went into the exam room a bit later Dad put me and Cleo on the bench, Tyson Parker on the vet table and Worthington and AsaMina were on top of Cleo and my travel cages just long enough for Mom to take more pictures. Mom takes lots of pictures. Then the vet came in. It was a new vet. Mom said our Dr. Nancy did something called ‘retire’, so we had Dr. Hayden. He was nice until he picked me up. But, I didn’t go first, Tyson Parker did. Then Mom grabbed AsaMina and Worthington and then Cleo. I got to be last cause I don’t like being held and Mom never pushes the issue, so I do bite. I don’t mean to, I just don’t know how else to say ‘put me down, please’ in human. Mom told Dr. Hayden how to catch me and pick me up. I was much politer than Worthington. I can’t tell you what he said cause it wasn’t nice. He said it all in tiel, so I understood and Mom understood. I think the vet understood, but you don’t need to hear such words. Definitely not nice! My tummy got poked, Dr. Hayden peeked and poked my bottom, examined my feathers, examined my nose, and then handed me to Mom who preened a few sheaths off my head feathers since I was already restrained and not very happy, and then I got put back in my travel cage. That was it, not too bad, just not nice either. All this means I definitely get to go with Mom and the flock tomorrow! We’re headed to a place called Amarillo first. We’ll camp there over night, I’m told. I also heard we get to visit family in Oklahoma, too. I guess I ought to end here for the night and prepare myself for tomorrow, I heard it’s going to be a LONG day! May 28, 2008: Well, Mom had us up at 6:27am. She and Dad kinda flew from here to there. I didn’t see my Weenie Cousins, but I did hear them. Mom said that was so Rambo wouldn’t bounce us and startle Worthington. He’s jumpier than I am! Once Dad had his truck stuffed with all our stuff and his and Mom’s, too; he stuffed us in in the proper order- Worthington and AsaMina behind Mom, Cleo next to them, Me next to Cleo and Tyson Parker behind Dad. Auntie Pug and Uncle Johnnie said good bye to all of us and held up our Weenie Cousins so we could squeak bye to them, too. I thought we’d be right back like yesterday after the vet visit, but Mom said we were going to Amarillo today and wouldn’t see our Weenie Cousins again—at least not for a long long time. I did squeak to my Cousins cause I do like them an awful lot. They’re kinda funny looking for tiels, but that’s ok in my book.
We drove to a place called Oklahoma City first. I rode at the bottom of my cage so Dad’s sharp corners and fast stops wouldn’t knock me off my perch. But Dad did good and I got up and watched from my comfy corner in my travel cage. Mom had told me that when she went to this place called Washington when she was a kid she counted skunks she smelled. I’m not sure what a skunk is or what one smells like, so I opted to count birds. Every time I saw one up in the sky I’d squeak twice quickly and Mom or Dad would see the bird and tell me I’m a good boy. I guess you do need to count something on the way to Washington.
We went to see my Grandpa Daddy Bill first, but he wasn’t home. Dad was disappointed, but we went on to Auntie’s Jan and Sherie next. They weren’t home either, but we sat in the driveway for a bit so Mom could make her lunch. After Mom had made her lunch we headed for Amarillo. The roads were bumpy and a bit spooky at times, but Mom kept telling us it was ok, so I wasn’t scared. I counted birds. Mom and Dad were very impressed with me when I began to squeak that there was a bird and they couldn’t see one. I kept squeaking and squeaking and Dad saw the bird first. It was a car with the license plate ‘D Byrd’. Dad laughed.
Mom told Dad that watching us watch the road was the best thing cause she was seeing things she wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Mom said it was like seeing the world with new eyes—well, at least seeing Oklahoma and Texas with new eyes. She said that’s what ‘Birds Eye View’ must mean.
Mom took pictures, of course, of us watching the world go by at 70 mph down I-40. Cleo watched a lot of the scenery through her yellow CD case guard. Mom asked her what it looked like. Cleo told her all about it, but in tiel. I’m not sure if Mom understood or not, but when Cleo got done telling Mom I wished I had a yellow CD case, too. Mine’s purple and pink and not pointing in the right direction to look through. But, it was ok. I don’t think I’d have seen so many birds if I was looking through the CD case like Cleo.
Mom got pictures of the leaning water tower of Brittan, Texas and the largest Cross in the world also in Brittan, Texas. They’re human tourist things and weren’t of much interest to me at all. Mom said we had to have a couple of human tourist pictures since she couldn’t photograph the birds I was counting. They were too fast for her.
We were staying in a place called Motel 6 in Amarillo off of something called Exit 73—I got to help Mom and Dad count exits! Mom asked me to help look for her. I didn’t know what a ‘Exit 73’ was, but I looked anyway. We get to have Camp Cockatiel on a bed tonight cause there is no room on the desk for us. It’s not long enough. I’m pretty comfortable and basically ok. All that bouncing around made me tired aside from just getting up too early in the morning today. Mom said we sleep here tonight and head to a place called Flagstaff tomorrow. We’ll have Camp Cockatiel there tomorrow night.

No comments: