Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beasts of the earth and fowl of the air.

First of all I want to say I love my animals, and our home would not feel complete to me without pets; they keep me company and bring me a lot of joy and love. I needed to get that out before continuing. :)

We currently own 7 pets: 1 dog, 2 birds, 1 rabbit, 1 rat, 1 gecko, and 1 Tarantula. ( Yes, I said Tarantula). Now, 4 of these pets give me no trouble at all.

Oliver the rat


Scarlet the tarantula


and Bill the Gecko


belong to Nick and Les so I rarely even see them much less than have trouble from them.

Clover my little bunny


is the most precious bunny ever created and never gives me trouble. ( we had to pay for abscess surgeries last year, but other than that he is perfect).

We do however own three pets that continually keep me on my toes. Those of you who know me well already know who these three are. Introducing them from most rotten to least rotten would be:
Murphy, (our 2 year old boxer)


Doby (our 6 year old eclectus parrot)


and Dory (our 4 year old parrotlett)


Looking at these three you would never guess they are so ornery. Well, Murphy maybe... I think he even LOOKS ornery. They are sweet, however when left to their own, they are purely rotten.

We saw Murphy mere hours after he was born and visited him every week until he was 6 weeks old. He heard our voice before his eyes were open and we were among the first 5 people he saw once he opened his eyes. This is the Murphy we fell in love with over 2 years ago.

Who wouldn't fall in love with that face???? We were deceived by the puppy breath and sweet eyes. We brought him home and loved him like no dog has ever been loved. He quickly had a place in our home AND in our hearts. Now, in return for all this love and care we set only a few rules for Mr. Murphy.

1. Please stay off beds.


2. No people food, he was off to a bad start on this one.

3. Don't chew on the kids toys:


4. Stay off the couch.


The list continues: Stay out of the trash... he finds trash to get into EVERY day. Don't bark continuously at the neighbors.... does it everyday. Don't root around in the bedrooms to find stuff to destroy..... does it everyday. See.... I wasn't lying... he is ROTTEN!

Now on to my green guy. He too is rotten... however he is intelligent so he KNOWS better. He too was very young when we welcomed him into our hearts. He was bald and ugly and I don't even think his mother would have loved him.... but we did.

He grew to be a beautiful bird. He was funny, snugly and smart and we enjoyed having him around. He even had political views and opinions:


video

And then it happened..... 3 years ago we placed our wonderful, beautiful parrot whom we loved so much into his cage to go to bed. We said "Night Night Doby" and he gave us his usual "Night Night, I love you" response. The next morning we woke to find THIS bird in his place:

What the heck??? What happened to my beautiful green and red parrot??? Why would he do such a thing. I took him to a Vet in Cincinnati who ran a series of tests on him and said he was fine physically... must be something hormonal or mental. Great I thought.... I have a mentally ill bird??? Seriously??? We worked on hormonal injections, steam bathes, extra protein in his diet as well as a lot of sweet potato for vitamin A. Nothing helped.

After a while I didn't feel this Vet knew what he was talking about so I decided to take him to yet another vet in Kettering...( a little closer drive). This Vet also ran a series of tests, however they came back stating he had bacteria in his system and it was making him itchy which would explain why he plucked all his feathers. I was soooo relieved, we finally had an end to all of this. He was placed on antibiotics and after the round of antibiotics we ran another test to see if he was clear. NOPE, still had bacteria..... we did this over and over again for nearly 2 years. They felt I was doing something to reinfect him each time. I was sterilizing all his water bottles, using antibacterial gel on my hands before handling him or any of his things. It felt like I had a "bird in a bubble" instead of a boy in a bubble. They then gave us this contraption to put him in.

He couldn't break feathers that's for sure... but I felt terrible... he couldn't do anything a parrot loved to do such as climb or hold food in his feet.

I was tired of the worry and Greg was tired of the expense so I went BACK to the Vet in Cincinnati. I filled him in on the past 2 years of medical history on Doby and he ran a couple tests. He came back to tell me I have a perfectly healthy bird. The bacteria in his system is normal bacteria and he has inflammation in his upper GI and just needs to take some Celebrex. Are you kidding me??? Celebrex??? Isn't that a drug for people???? Yep, same drug. So, now I have a bird who is on Celebrex and is feeling much better but STILL breaks all his feathers every winter. We have decided it is seasonal/hormonal and I am not going to worry about it (yeah right). For 4 months out of the year I have a very ugly bird. Sweet, but ugly. I think he does it on purpose.... I think he knows I want to scream and pull all MY hair out when I see him start doing this. Drives me crazy.

A while ago, when his cage was in the dinning room, I walked past his cage and found him with our dinning room curtains being held in his foot. I looked at him and said "what do you think you are doing?" he looked up at me and said in this little baby voice "Who's the baby?". See how smart he is?? He KNOWS when he is driving me crazy. He loves it when the kids come home from school. Both kids are usually in the play room either on the Xbox or computer and he yells at a volume just loud enough to stay above whatever noise is going on in the room. He usually ends up in his travel cage in another room in the house.

My little fire ball Dory is rotten too. She is sassy and if we had taken the time to get to know her a little better before naming her she would probably be named Sassy. My dad calls her Sassafras. :) She is a tiny little bird but she is quite bossy. She likes to yell at you when you walk into her room and touch anything she might think is food, (whether it is hers or not). In fact.... she will yell at you before, during and even after you give her food. If she is really worked up she will sit and eat her food while she is still yelling at you. If you take her out of her cage she is fine... you can kiss her and love on her and she will snuggle up under your hair or in your pocket. But if she is in her cage look out. This is the only time she ever makes a peep. Any other time you would never know we even had a bird.
video

My dad has always been very kind to bird sit for us while on vacation. He has two birds of his own so they all hang out and have a good time. While sitting for Dory this past year he made the mistake of leaning over her cage to open the curtains behind her without a shirt on. She bit his bare stomach through the cage. We laughed and laughed because she is sooo little and cute but she packs a pretty good punch. :)

So those are my little demons in a nut shell. I love them all dearly but while being cooped up inside all winter I realize just how rotten they can be at times. I wouldn't trade any of them..... but some days I feel like selling them. :)

It amazes me how each of us are created differently. I have such a passion for animals and they are a big part of my life. We have three little squirrels who visit us each day for walnuts ( I will tell you that story another time) and these little guys bring so much joy to me each day. I love how God created us differently... with different passions, talents, interests and desires. I love how we all live life together and if we are willing, we can share and learn a lot from one other.

Just when I think I am crazy for the love I have for furry and feathered creatures I think of Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." Not only did God KNOW I would be crazy over little fuzzies...... He created me to be. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Understanding the male species

I have come to the conclusion men have selective detail orientation. Greg and Nick can watch a movie and not remember a certain dress the main character was wearing (through the WHOLE movie) but when playing the soundtrack can describe each scene where the particular song was played. They also notice make/model of every car including hub caps/ rims and look at you like you are nuts if you don't. Greg and Nick amaze me at times with their observations. A lot of times I write them off because I can change my hair color and Greg may not notice for a full day, or Les can have her braces removed and Nick will not notice for days. However, sometimes they are so detailed oriented that it is scary. Therefore I feel it is selective.

Greg, while driving to his best bud's house the other day, said something to his friend over the phone that explains my point.

Greg: We are off the highway at an earlier exit and need directions from here to your house.

Walt: OK, you will want to continue going straight and then you will turn right at the next major intersection... well, wait a minute.. how far down are you???

Me: Hold on a minute and I will tell you the name of the next street we are crossing.

Greg: No, tell him we are getting ready to pass the tower that is skinny at the bottom and fat in the middle and then skinny at the top again and it looks like it could blow over.

Me: Are you kidding me??? He won't know where THAT is..... that tower could be anywhere.

Greg: Just tell him... he will know.

Walt: (interrupts me while I am talking to Greg) Oh yeah, from the tower you will go through two more lights then make a left.

Me: You two have lost your minds.

Who pays attention to skinny, fat, skinny towers so much that they use them as a land mark??? Ok a huge water tower maybe but a cell phone tower?? How do they notice detail on trivial things such as cars and towers, but don't see spaghetti sauce all over a child's face while on the way to church? Or the fact that the dog is lying in the middle of the floor destroying a pair of socks??

While observing the male species , mostly the two I live with, I have also appreciated the reasoning behind it all. Man's detail orientation is specific to what THEY find important while a woman's detail orientation is specific to what THEY find important. DUH!

We think "how can you look at this child and think they look OK for church" and they think " how can you look at this car and not notice the sweet Creager rims" ? ( I actually had to ask Greg the name of a cool rim in order to write this) :) Or "how could you drive your car ALL day long and not notice your tire needs air"? Women are created to notice when something is out of sorts with our children, family and friends. Whether it be physical or emotional.... we see it and seek out to fix it. Men on the other hand are providers, they notice mechanical, electronic "tool" type fixtures. Male providers thousands of years ago wouldn't notice if a child was dirty or crying over a boo boo.. they would care whether or not their family had food to eat and if their "tool" was sharp enough to help them provide for their family.

So, with this revelation I have decide not to be so hard on Greg and Nick when they don't notice things that I CLEARLY find important because they are not wired to find it important. It is MY job to communicate to them it is something that is important to me. I know I will never notice the difference (without it being pointed out to me) between a specific hub cap/ rim, airplane, modem/router (the electronic list could go on and on) or that my tire needs air. Not that I won't try.... because I have.... but it doesn't come as easy to me as important stuff like wearing a black belt with black shoes instead of brown ones. :)

I will tell you this... I will notice skinny, fat, skinny towers from now on. :)

I received an email the other day that I thought was funny. I would like to say this is not true... however, it is spot on.

NINE WORDS WOMEN USE
(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6)That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying Screw YOU!

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Which definition do you prefer???

OK, this is what I found on "cute as a button" (from my last post) I don't think either of them make much sense but if I had to chose one I guess I would go for the second one... How on earth did we survive without Google?

1. CUTE AS A BUTTON - "cute, charming, attractive, almost always with the connotation of being small, 1868 (from the original 1731 English meaning of 'acute' or clever). Cute as a bug's ear, 1930; cute as a bug in a rug, 1942; cute as a button, 1946. Cute and keen were two of the most overused slang words of the late 1920s and 1930s.

2. Cute as a button isn't the original phrase. The word cute is derived from the 1731 English meaning of the word acute, bright or clever. So being as acute as a button makes more sense as it's referring to the shine of polished brass buttons that make them stand out from others... more commonly known as "as bright as a button"; but seeing as this phrase derived from "as acute as a button" (where acute meant clever in 1731) it's easy to see how people mistook it for cute and so the phrase was redirected at cute little things and the meaning of cute was changed over the years... so yes, it came from acute as a button, which mean bright as a button, which has the obvious origins in shiny brass buttons that stood out from the dark coats that the queens men used to wear.

I like this guy's answer.....

Apparently, nobody knows really where the phrase originated, but we can come to a sort of conclusion about its meaning. According to several online dictionaries, the phrase “Cute as a button” is used how it is because of the size of a button. When people are talking about a cute dog, they’re not usually referring to a Great Dane. They’re usually referring to something small, which is virtually part of the definition of ‘cute’. Since small things are cute, and buttons are small, I guess you could say that buttons are cute.

As far as whether or not it’s a compliment, it depends entirely on context. Generally if you’re a male, and someone tells you you’re Cute as a button, then you may wanna think about taking up weight training. No guy ever wants to be cute as a button. But to girls, I think it’s probably a compliment… most of the time. There’s those times when they’re in one of “those moods” and I’m sure some girls could turn that around and say “A BUTTON?!? Buttons are ROUND! Are you calling me FAT?!?!?”

So there you have it.... I still probably won't use the phrase even though I now kinda know where the phrase came from. Anyone have anything to add???


Tubing Thursday

OK, before I tell you about our adventure at Perfect North can I first talk about how weird the word tubing is??? I personally think it should be spelled toobing. Makes more sense then tubing... it sounds like we all packed up, drove to Indiana in the cold and took baths together.

Another saying that makes no sense at all is "cute as a button". After looking at this picture does the adjective "cute" come to mind???? Has anyone ever seen a cute button??



OK, maybe you have seen a couple cute buttons shaped as a crayon or something on a child's outfit but have you seen so many cute buttons that it would justify a saying being made from it??

I am done ranting now, these were a couple things I caught myself saying over Christmas break and I stopped and thought... "that is stupid". I probably won't use that phrase again until I make sense of it; I will do my research and get back to you.

OK, so we drove to Indiana to go toobing (my blog, I can spell it the way I want to). Nick is a member of the Centerville Ski Club through school and they organize an event called Toobing Thursday. It used to be called Toobing Tuesday, but this year we went on a Thursday hence the change in the name.

video

We all met at Watt's middle school, well, WE didn't meet them there... we were supposed to but Nick rode with us so we didn't have to follow the buses down. Anyway, we all met at Perfect North slopes. Once we arrived they had around 11 crock pots full of chili as well as at least 9 cheese cakes for everyone to eat. This is a tradition with the club for this particular night. Parents volunteer to make Chili and Cheese cake and the food is transported out to Perfect North for families to enjoy while toobing.

The food was delicious.

video

After eating we ventured outside to start toobing. I had never been toobing before so this was a new experience for me. Greg and Nick had gone last year with our church so they knew what to do.




We picked out our tubes and then headed toward what looked like a big people mover from Universal Studios. ( There is another one of those words.... mover... shouldn't it be moover?)

Our tubes had a leash so we could drag it behind us, it took me a few minutes to get used to stepping onto the people mover while dragging my tube.

This picture is rather blurry, but you can kinda see the people mover.


Our first time down the hill was fun... we separated and each took a different lane and went down at the same time. We figured out the heavier you are the faster you go. The rest of the night we locked tubes and rode down all four of us at the same time by hold on to each other. It was great fun. We took turns riding in the front but it was the most fun with Greg in the lead... we would scream down the hill at rapid speeds with more weight in the front. The perfect ride was Greg, then me, Les and Nick. We would get air with this combination.

In the blurry picture above you can see Nick sitting down on his tube while riding up the people mover. I mistakenly thought it was a good idea and tried it myself. It started out well and I was enjoying the relaxation of the ride when my tube decided to shift and half of it slipped off the mover. I was then half on the tube, half on the mover and the tube was half on the mover and half off. It ended up as me flipping around like a fish out of water half on and half off the mover while my family laughs hysterically at me. Greg actually filmed it but it was too dark to make out (thank goodness). So, as you can imagine I was thrilled to be such a great source of entertainment for my family. I finally got straightened out but the laughing did not cease for quite a while.

Here are some pictures at the top of the hill


It was a great evening. We laughed and laughed and found out it hurts to smile while going down a hill at rapid speeds. There were no glowing boxes (computers, cell phones, ipods, Xboxes or PSPs) it was family bliss on the hill. :) Gotta love it when you can take a 13 and 16 year old on a family outing and EVERYONE has a great time. Praise the Lord. :) We will definitely go again next year.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, here we are in the new year. Welcome 2009; I pray it is a great year for all.

It started out pretty good for the Jergens family. We thought a couple months ago we would do something different for New Years Eve. We have always brought the new year in at home with the kids. We buy junk food, movies and sparkling cider and party all night long.

This year we decided to get a hotel room; we purchased loads of food..... egg rolls, pizza rolls, chips and salsa, chips and cheese, shrimp cocktail, chicken salad and crackers, chocolate chip cookies, snicker doodle cookies, Oreo cookies, Doritos, potato chips, Chex Mix, pop and sparkling apple cider.

We had reservations at the Drury Inn in Cincinnati for a two room suite with queen beds and a pull out sofa. Reservations had been confirmed and all was good... until.... Greg called new years eve day and they said there had been a slight change due to a flooding problem at the hotel. I said "What?" they said they were going to give us two rooms joined together. I was NOT happy. We had these reservations made in plenty of time to ensure us a great evening with a kitchenette in a two room suite. I called back and asked to speak to the manager..... I was soooo sweet when talking to the manager.

Hi Crystal, my name is Rachael Jergens and we have reservations tonight at your hotel. We have been told our room is not available due to flooding issues?

Yes ma'am, we are sorry for your inconvenience but we have placed you in two rooms instead of the suite. You will have more room this way.

Thank you Crystal for considering us and for giving us extra room however what we are really concerned about is the lack of a kitchen. You see, we have our whole evening planned around our snacks to bring in the new year. Can you accommodate us in any way where we would have access to a kitchen like we had planned?

Mrs. Jergens I will check to see what we have available, again I apologize for any inconveniences.

(pause)

Mrs. Jergens we have a King Suite available for you and your family if you are interested. It has a kitchen, a king bed and a queen pull out in the front room. Plus, to make up for your trouble we will cover the charges and your room will be free.

Free??

Yes ma'am.

All of it???

Yes ma'am.

OK, WOW, thank you! :)

I guess it pays to be nice. :) We walked into the hotel and sure enough..... no charge. AND we get free snacks and pop all night long AND we get a free breakfast. Unbelievable. 2009 looks like it is going to be a great year.

We watched Indiana Jones and Horton Hears a Who, played games on and off our lap tops/PSP. Nick and I played Janga and Greg cheated at Boggle. We ate junk food until we were sick and then ate some more. The New Year started to approach and we realized we didn't have a bottle opener for our sparkling apple cider; we didn't realize this until 3 1/2 minutes till the ball started to drop. It was a race to open the bottle. We are NOT good at the New Year thing. We have missed the ball dropping in the past so you would think we would have our act together....but we didn't. Greg used his keys and bent the bottle cap open with a minute 30 seconds to spare. We brought the new year in toasting our cider with lots of hugs and phone calls to loved ones.

Here are some photos of our New Years Eve:

Front room


Front room with Nick in the mirror



Kitchen


Fridge


Snacks and 4 bottles of non-alcoholic apple juice :)

Bedroom


We had a great night and we look forward to getting up tomorrow morning to our FREE breakfast.

Happy New Year to all.