Puff, the Disappearing Greeting Card


© Jeanne E Webster.  All Rights Reserved

Cloudy, chilly with a hint of spring yet an aftertaste of winter still lingered. Echoes of a family situation to a tiny degree…perhaps?

We managed to partake of Italian sweet sausage and eggs for breakfast, with a side of homemade bread, butter and plum preserves. Jake and Molly, our resident cockatiels, placed their order for buttered toast and egg yolks and thoroughly enjoyed their gobbling.

Our trainers, Lacey and Misty, the jaunty Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in our midst, allowed us to walk them for their morning toilet rituals, and upon returning to the mud room, announced their desires for three milk bones with a beggin’ strip on the side, please. After their habitual “You can pet me now” and performing their civic duty of disposing of any and all crumbs that perchance landed on the tile floor under our dining table, they retired to their snuggle beds for a mid-morning nap.

We took their absence to be a good time for an outing away from the “kids,” which amounted to grocery shopping at the local “Wal*M” store. I must add here that we have convinced our “kids” that we are mighty hunters, as they stand in awe every time we return from town with all those goodies. We get respect wherever we can!

Anyway, the shopping spree was truly an outing, as one must walk the entire length of the store (I call it a warehouse) probably four times to gather all the items on the list. My husband usually arranges the necessary items in a list according to how they are on display in the store. This works well until the next time the store performs a redo.

Pharmaceuticals are on the right as you enter the north door, next you’ll find the hardware assortments, with clothes and kitchen and bath supplies stacked on the right, continue left past the toys, photo lab and shoe department, and you end up in the grocery aisles to the right. Up and down the food aisles a number of times, trying to find the items that are there no more, you stop an employee and ask for assistance and are usually referred to the mystery aisle of the day. Upon arrival, you see the longed for item staring at you from the aisle you have passed six times already.

You’ve finally made it to the checkout area and scan for the quickest exit lane, when it dawns on you there is no quick exit today. You would think Saturdays would call for a few, I say, a few more checkout personnel to speed up the process. Naw! Why spoil your fun?

Grumbling, you shuffle to the nearest checkout lane, slap down one of those black separator sticks, and begin loading your paraphernalia on the ever-rolling belt. Your items are hastily bagged and plunged into an empty carriage as you slide your plastic card across the magic black box, quickly review the total cost, and are handed your long, too long white receipt. Whew!

One problem awaits though…you drive the 10 miles home, carry the items into the house, put them away and a little tiny, wee light bulb comes on!

“Honey, did you see the birthday card we bought for Henry?”

“No, Sweetheart, I’ll check out the empty bags.”

Silence blankets the kitchen area while the hunt is on for a birthday card.

“I don’t see it, Dear.”

“Well, check the receipt; maybe it is still in the store and didn’t get checked out.”

“It’s on the receipt, Honey, we paid for it.”

“Well, I guess the checker didn’t get it put into our bags!”

By now our brains have been processing our next choices: drive all the way back to the store and check for the card…or, since it only cost $2.95, we’ll just forget it and next time watch closer when our stuff is packed. Hmmm. I’ll let you figure that one out!

Have a nice weekend and stay warm. Oh, yeah, if you happen to be at that store, would you take my receipt with you …?



Jake’s Lament


© Jake (ghost written by Jeanne E Webster)


I was a young pied cockatiel

Alone in my roomy cage

Was lonesome as could be

And I cried constantly.


One day while I was whining

I met a pretty bright yellow hen

Molly was her given name

She changed me into a man.


We had such a lovely time

Just good ol’ Molly and me

And baby made three x three

We were a happy family.


Buttered toast every morning

Warm vegetables for lunch

Pasta and wheat bread, a bite

Lots of seeds day and night.


She like her neck scratched

So her feathers he’d scruff up

They cooed together and supped

Made more eggs and schlupped.


She was the best egg maker

Couldn’t turn it off at all

It turned out to be her downfall

One got stuck and that was all.


She strained and groaned about

Was massaged, oiled up tight

In the end she died last night

And took her final flight.


Oh, oh oh, I miss my Molly O

O Molly, I miss you

You were my bestest friend

And loved me to the end.


I’m a’missin’ you so much

Soft feathers I’d love to touch

Your neck I’d love to clutch

O Molly, Molly, my schmutch.


(Jake is missing Molly this morning, as his Molly died during the night.  He’s making a long soul-screeching moan, looking towards where his Molly died.  Hanging onto the bars, peeking from the side, he sees no Molly.  He calls for her and no answer.  They were always talking back and forth.  Their little “chirrs”— give them a cereal box, they had a three day project.  They were such great parents and took such care in raising their young.  Molly was a typical hen and Jake was typically hen-pecked.  But together they were a beautiful team.  We have been blessed and overjoyed to observe the interactions between this pair of birds.  They were just birds, you may say.   No…….they were Jake……and Molly.  They lived and did what God created them to do.  With intent and great joy. 

Now is a day to mourn, as our Jake is alone and no more hears a reply to his call.  “Chrrrr chrrrr………..________”  and he doesn’t understand why. 


“Chrrr” Molly. 

We miss you!)

The Day After…


Image via Wikipedia


The birthday is over; I’m old now.  My twin sister and my older brother visited us and shared in the celebration.  You know, all these years it’s been nice having a twin sister to share birthdays.  Also you can look at each other and compare yourself to see if you’re holding up the family tradition.  This year was the big 69…and I must say…WE STILL LOOK GOOD!  So there, who’s afraid of the big seven O? 

Our cockatiels continue to amaze us.  Jake is back in the fold again, promising to behave himself and Lumpy is no longer keeping the corners warm.  Jake Junior and Molly have done well.  The kids are almost grown, weaning away before our very eyes, and things are beginning to look normal again, or close to it.  A few weeks we’ll be advertising in the paper that we have two of the nicest prettiest cockatiels in this side of the Mississippi. 

Friday has arrived already and I don’t know if I’m quite ready for a weekend or not.  Somehow I feel like I’ve already done that.  Anyway, we’ll endure and look forward to another fine week of curiosity, pondering, and such.  Have a nice 48 hours and stay safe and sound.



Happy Birthday to Me!

A mother plays the guitar while her two daught...

Image via Wikipedia

 Tomorrow will be my birthday, my 60+ birthday, getting pretty close to the big 70!  Who would have thought?  I thank God for all these special days down here; they have gone by so fast.  The more special days I have, the quicker they come and go.  Why are they in such a hurry now?  Why didn’t they rush by when I needed them, like when I was almost sixteen, or almost twenty-one?  Much younger, I always thought Christmas was a once in a lifetime event…almost.  They were so far apart.  I laid it onto Santa being overweight and slow.  Ha ha!  Now who’s overweight and slow…?  Not telling!

My husband got me a beautiful bouquet of freshly cut flowers.  Oh my, are they pretty!  Pink, reds, yellows, purples…looks so spring-like.  Have had a busy day.  Taxes are finally done; what a mess that always is.  Why can’t they come up with a standard form for everyone to use, sit down and fill it out in an hour, and e-file it or send it out?  No…the IRS wouldn’t have any fun doing that.  Grrrr!

Our baby cockatiels are growing and growing.  The bigger baby, we call him Jake Jr., flies already, eats some seed, climbs all over the cage after his moma, Molly.  The smaller one, Lumpy, is a grey-yellow lump!  That’s how I came to name it Lumpy.  It sits there in the corner like a lump.  It’ll venture out once in a while, if it sees you coming it will run backwards to its little corner.  Maybe it was put together backwards?  Is the off-on button set wrong?  Gee!  They are cute though and I read that they take about 3-4 months to wean.  Whew!  Sorry, Molly.  I had to put Jake in another cage, as he began to get too rough with his feeding the babies.  He began to pull out feathers and didn’t like Lumpy sitting around all day.  So I moved him and he is quite beside himself.  He’ll survive. 

The good state of Illinois has blessed us with more rain!  Now we truly do live in a swamp!  The girls, our cavalier King Charles spaniels, DO NOT like to get their feet wet when we go outside to potty.  So this is a trying time for us all.  I have needed much patience, which normally comes hard for me.  I guess I need to practice it more, huh?  Yep.  This weather has not helped the arthritis or dizziness.  Not good.

Gotta go and get supper going.   A grey day all around and we are on daylight savings time.  Whoopie!


PS:  Please continue to pray for Japan and her people.  Everyone involved over there.  Oh, God, please help them!

Bath, Birds AND Blue Bloods

Studio Photograph of a Black and Tan Cavalier ...


Friday, March 04, 2011

Hope you are looking forward to your weekend.  Southern Illinois is reaping more rain and storms and flash floods.  It wasn’t that long ago when anyone burning trash started grass fires.  We’re supposed to be drenched with two inches of rain, which will make the back yard a swamp again.  You see, we live in coal country, and underneath the topsoil you’ll find coal and clay, hard-pan.  It doesn’t make for good drainage.  Gardening is really cute in early spring!  I’ll post a story about our strawberry patch someday.  Funny!

Today was haircut day for two girls here, Lacey and Misty.  Then we always hit the bath tub after the trim job.  So two cavaliers here are unhappy but boy, do they smell good!  Since they sleep in bed with me, that’s the only way.  Smell good or you’re out of here!  They got a puppy cut, which makes they look so young now.  Yep, they’re getting up there.  Lace will be 9 and Misty will be 7.  They both have heart problems and are on medication for that.  If you’re interested in getting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, make sure the parents have a clear heart history for at least five years.

The baby cockatiels continue to grow and growl!  The bigger chick can run now; I discovered that when I cleaned them out this morning.  I took them out of the box and set them aside, then picked up the box to clean it out.  All of a sudden, the chick made a bee-line for it and can move pretty fast for a little guy.  Jake wasn’t too pleased with me at all for disturbing his kids.  However, like everything else around here, it you want to stay, you gotta be clean.  House rules!

Tonight looks good for a decent show time.  The Defender is pretty good, then CSI-NY is on, and last but not least, Blue Bloods.  Go for Tom Selleck, yes!  He is beginning to look a bit old though.  Yeah, so am I!

What a mess this world is, huh?  So many people are undergoing wars, rebellions, tragedies, horrible devastations, earthquakes, to say nothing of the everyday struggles.  Pray for everyone, sometimes that is all we can do.  So do it, with gusto.  People are people, just like we are.  They hurt, they bleed, and they die.  “But by the grace of God, go I.”  “Ask not for whom the bell tolls, for it tolls for thee.”

Have a nice, quiet weekend and stay safe and be kind to one another.


Sweets for the Sweet!

A chick Cockatiel.

Is he sweet, or what?!

Wed., Mar. 2nd

What a disaster!  TAX DAY!  That dreaded day arrived at our house today, started the day with the “yucks.”  Yep, time to get out every receipt we received throughout the year, every pay stub, every dividend and interest garnered, paperwork…paperwork. I hate it!  I think I’d rather go to the dentist! 

Well, we began our diligent endeavor after breakfast, got into a few snags early on, then coasted to a slow roll around noon, hit the rollercoaster ride and argued a bit, then leveled off and quit the job before we drew blood.  All is well and we’ll let the papers dry out for a few days, then we’ll get back to the finale.  The hard work is over, and the end is in sight.  Whew!

Our baby cockatiels are growing at an astounding rate, getting more colors all the time, eating the parents out of house and home, and guess what?  The nesting box I ordered for them way back when and was told it was on back order, it arrived today.  About 2 weeks too late.  They are too far along to need a nesting box.  So we’ll park it for perhaps another adventure of the cockatiels. 

Had a wonderful surprise from a client who I proofread for…they are going overseas and have promised me sweet treats when they return.  How about that!  I’m waiting!  Me and sweets go together like…me and sweets.

Have a restful night and awake with joy in your heart and peace in your soul.  And lots of love for all God’s creation.


Dog Flu–Baby Birds–And Such

Army Sgt. William A. Peyton, Jr. a JDOG dog ha...

Image via Wikipedia


We are having a teaser day, where the middle of February psyches the body into thinking it is spring already. It’s 70°, the sun is shining and the wind is blowing moderately. We’ve swept the bird seed leavings off the patio from the winter feeders dropouts, picked up the neighbor’s paper products that have flown so willingly into our back yard and nested in each crevice available, disposed of the four-month long dumping of recycled dog food, finally put the Halloween scarecrow back up in the barn loft and are making our list and checking it twice from the seed catalogs. A day like this is hard to part with, and I’m sure that we will have to do in another day or two. Rain is on the way also which will dampen the fields and ease up the “no burn” orders emanating from the city offices. This winter has been very kind, gifting us with enough snow to pamper us into humming “I’ll be home for Christmas.” Santa was able to make it down most chimneys and not too many houses burned down due to dried out trees.

The flu season has arrived and downed me with a moderate dose of its infectious dribbling, coughing and sneezing. I do not receive flu shots anymore due to an allergic reaction a few years ago so I wait it out and make sure my husband gets his shot. The vaccines developed these days are supposed to do the trick, whatever the trick is. Some folks still end up getting a flu of some kind, due to the fact there are hundreds of viruses out there and only a few vaccines to prevent some of them from harming us.

Any dog owners out there? I hope your veterinarian has informed you that there is a dog flu out there waiting to pounce on your dog. If you’ve heard that then you were probably advised to get your pooch a flu shot. My first reaction to the advice was that it was a scam to boost up the tab. No! It’s the real thing and is spreading to most of the lower 48 States. This dog flu is rather nasty and can severely harm or kill older dogs and puppies. My two girls got their shots and will do so every winter, as they have heart conditions and getting older. So far the cats get off scot-free. I think. Since I’m a dog lover, I think that’s profiling. But then again, who asked me?!

An update on our baby cockatiels: we’re up to two hatched babies. Jake and Molly are feeding them and have turned out to be quite proficient parents. There is one more egg to hatch, which should be tomorrow. I think I hear cheeping inside, so I’ll say there will be another egg hatching tomorrow. The first one hatched Saturday and is much bigger than the #2 baby. He or she is huge! Remember that little cotton ball image I mentioned? It is up to a golf ball size! Number 2 is in the cotton ball stage. I hope the latter guys can catch up with the monster. He has a big head start. More news as it comes.

I’m planning on shrimp for supper so had better go get it readied. A nice tossed salad with it and some spicy rice will top it off nicely. A good evening to you and we’ll see you tomorrow. ~shalom