Death Wish

Both of my birds seem to have a death wish. They don't understand that the cats could (and in Shadow's case, would) kill them given the chance.

Delilah is fascinated by the birds. She likes to get close to them. She also likes to try to pat them. Lenore has, on more than one occasion, bit Delilah when she got too close.

I thought this was just Lenore's I'm-not-afraid-of-anything attitude, but it seems Digby isn't afraid of the cats either. The other day Digby was on my shoulder. I picked Shadow up to put her in another room and Digby attempted to walk down my arm to Shadow. I stopped her.

Today, TinTin was on the bed and Digby was on my shoulder. Digby hopped onto the bed and walked straight to TinTin. I put my hand on TinTin to stop him if necessary and I watched Digby. She walked straight to his face and bit his whiskers. She didn't stop there. She walked to his foot and bit that too. That was when I picked her up. I put my arm out to pet TinTin and Digby started to walk down it to TinTin, totally unafraid of the cat.

These birds are crazy!
Digby reached, in my mind, two big milestones this week.

The first one was one that I've seen coming for the past few weeks. Last night after I put her in her cage for bed, I left her cage door open while I gave her some new water. I left the room, got her water, and went back to the living room. Digby was no longer in her cage, she was standing on her cage door. This afternoon I decided to see just how willing she was to leave her cage. I opened her cage door and put her t-perch in front of the door. Within two minutes, she was out of her cage and on her perch. She went in when I got close to her, but as soon as backed off, she came back out. When I approached her again, she stayed on her perch and hopped onto my arm.

Tonight, when I put her in her cage for the night, I again left the door open while I got her water. She came out as I expected. It makes me very happy to see her so willing to come out.

The second milestone that she reached is a huge, huge one. She was on her perch and something startled her. She jumped down to the floor. I bent down to get her, but I had short sleeves on so she couldn't just step up onto my sleeve. Given the choice between the floor and my hand, Digby chose my hand! She hopped up onto my hand and stayed there. I also discovered she will let me pick her up using my hand even though she won't step up onto my hand. She's also been letting me pet her on her back and tail a little.

Digby has made huge improvements since I got her, and it seems like lately her behaviour and willingness to trust has been improving by leaps and bounds. One day she'll be totally opposed to something and the next day she'll be happy to try it.

New Foods

The birds tried lots of new foods today.

First, they tried dried hot peppers. Digby first tried the seeds and loved them. She played with the pepper a little, but didn't seem too interested in the pepper itself. I then gave Lenore one. He loved them. I gave him one while I had him out and he ate most of it. When I put him back in his cage, I decided to give him another pepper. He attacked it!

Then, while I was making some fruit salad for dinner, I had Digby out of her cage. I put her on her perch and gave her little pieces of all the fruit. Our salad had nectarines, mango, cherries, and starfruit. It was also supposed to have plums, but the plums didn't taste very good (to us humans). Lenore got some after dinner. Here's the verdicts:

Cherries: Both birds really liked the cherries. Digby liked them more than Lenore.
Mango: Digby was too interested in the other fruit to try them. Lenore tried it, but preferred the other fruits.
Nectarines: Both of them liked the nectarines, even though they didn't taste the best they could.
Starfruit: Lenore loved the starfruit. Digby ignored it.
Plums: Digby loved the plums even though us humans didn't think they were very good. Lenore didn't get any.

Lenore got to socialize with some other family members that were here. The little kids (two of my nephews and one of my nieces, all three under 5) really like the birds. I allow them pet Lenore on his back if they use one finger and are gentle. The three of them do good with Lenore and Lenore liked the extra attention. He showed off for my brother and sister-in-law that were over. He's such a cutie.

Craigslist Finding

I meant to put this in my last post, but forgot to.

I've been searching Craigslist for the past few weeks for a cage. This week, I came across this:

 (photo from the Drs. Foster and Smith website)

The seller wanted $50 for it which is how much it costs new from Drs. Foster and Smith. But, then they lowered it to $20. I didn't contact them because they were 45 minutes from me in a suburb on the other side of town. Then they lowered it to $10 and I decided I'd get it, but before I could email them, they lowered it to $5! I sent them an email and they were planning on coming into town the next day and they would bring it for me.

So I met with them yesterday and got it. It's a lot bigger than I thought it would be, and it's missing a dish. I bleached it yesterday, but I'm going to to clean it more before I let the birds on it. I can't believe I got it for so cheap. I hope the birds like it.

Bird Introductions, Part 1

I started the process of introducing Digby and Lenore today. They had seen each other before today, but not for more than a couple minutes at a time.

Yesterday, I put Lenore's cage in the living room. He and Digby can now see each other and talk to each other. I can't leave Lenore's cage in the living room though. Digby's cage is in the only place that Shadow can't get to, so Lenore is only in the living room if I'm in there or if Shadow is in another room with the door closed or outside.

Digby and Lenore chirped back and forth for quite a while. They were very cute "talking" with each other and getting excited at seeing each other.

New Vegetable

I introduced the birds to a new vegetable tonight. Broccoli!

Digby took a moment to try it, but then liked it.

Lenore dug in as soon as he saw it. He didn't wait for me to offer it, he just helped himself.

Hip Dysplasia

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but Bella has hip dysplasia.

For those not familiar with hip dysplasia, it is a disorder of the hips that causes the ball of the femur bone to not fit into the socket of the pelvic bone. It can cause lameness and arthritis. Big dogs, especially German Shepherds, are prone to it. It is caused by part genetics, part diet, part physical activity.

Bella started showing signs of hip dysplasia in Fall '09. Her sire, who we had until he died, also had hip displasia. Towards the end, his was pretty bad. Bella's isn't as bad as his was. She does have the characteristic "bunny hop" when she runs, moving both back legs together instead of separately. This winter, she also started whining when going up and down stairs.

She has been on glucosamine chondroitin since last spring, but I hadn't really seen any improvements. Part of the reason I hadn't seen improvements was because she wasn't getting it consistently. I was away at school during the week and only home on the weekends. During the week, my mom, dad, or an older brother would feed her and give her her medicine. In November, it started getting cold here and Dad started bringing her in at night and noticed how difficult the stairs were for her. When he realised this, he started being more consistent giving the medicine to her. We also moved her crate from my room in the basement to the main floor so that she wouldn't have to use stairs.

Since then, I've noticed a few improvements. She no longer whines when using the stairs, and will now go up them at nearly a run. Not as fast as she used to, but it's a big improvement over what she was doing. Yesterday while I had her outside, I got her running a bit and realised that her "bunny hop" wasn't as pronounced as usual.  Her back feet aren't moving completely separately, but she's not holding them together like she was.

In addition to her being on the glucosamine chondroitin, Bella has also lost some weight over the past month (a good thing--she had gotten a little fat). I think that has helped quite a bit. I plan on making her get more exercise which should also help.

It has been really upsetting seeing her in so much pain, and seeing her being more active really lifts my spirits.

Wish I had $1000 to Spare

There is a bird on petfinder.com that I really want. She's extraordinarily cute.


She's a great billed parrot. I had never even heard of them before seeing this girl on the Petfinder website a couple weeks ago. If only I had $500 for the bird and another $500 for a cage and accessories...

Digby Has Come a Long Way

I know I've posted about her improvements before, but she really impressed me last night and today and I want to share how she's doing now. It's been exactly a month since that post (found here), and she has improved more since then.

When I got her in October, I was lucky to just be able to get Digby out of her cage. She would not step up and if you got too close, she would threaten to bite. She wanted very little to do with people. She would eat nothing but seed. And the moment you got within a couple feet of her cage if you had her out, she'd try to fly back to her cage.

Now, she will happily come out of her cage and will even let you know when she wants out. She'll sit by her cage door until you get her out. Last night, she was doing that and I decided to let her out. I opened the door and put her ladder in and asked her to step up. She did so without any hesitation and without being asked twice. Then, rather than just hold on for the ride while I took the ladder out of the cage like usual, she started to walk down the ladder to the outside of the cage.

Today, I got her out before she was acted like she wanted out. She hesitated a bit getting on the ladder, and I had to tell her to step up more than once, but once she was out, she didn't want to go back in. All I usually have to do to put her back in her cage is to have her next to the door and tell her to step up onto it. Today when I did that, she refused. Once in a while she does this and all I have to do is put her on her T-perch and lift that to the door and tell her to step up. So I did that. She refused and backed away from her cage. I asked her again. She turned around on the perch and flew back to my shoulder.

Normally, I don't let my pets get away with not doing what they're told to do, but that was just too cute and she obviously wanted to spend some time with me so I just let her be. After a little while, I tried to put her in her cage again. I had to use the T-perch, but she went, albeit reluctantly.

There are other improvements too. She still refuses to step up onto bare skin, but she no longer growls or tries to bite if you offer her your arm or hand. She will even sometimes sit on my neck (on bare skin) if she's been on my shoulder.

She's also now eating pellets on a regular basis and she'll at least taste anything I offer her. Her personality is starting to come out. I have finally figured out which toys she will play with and which she won't; she prefers shreddable toys.

She's currently singing very loudly in her cage, driving my little brother and nephew crazy.

Sick

I've been sick the past couple days and it's driving me mad. I hate laying around and doing nothing. I've also been trying to avoid contact with the birds and Lenore is not happy about it. He's used to me getting him out at least twice a day and he doesn't like being left in his cage.

Digby isn't as unhappy. She wants out of her cage everyday, but I've still been able to get her out because I can get her out of her cage and onto her perch without handling her at all. She'll step up onto a ladder to get out of her cage, and she'll go from the ladder to her perch. Once there, she is content to just sit, watch me, and sing.

Lenore, on the other hand, will not stay on the perch, nor will he stay on the table top playgym he has. He wants to held and petted and he wants scritches. He wants to be loved on.

I'm sick of being sick.

What Digby Will and Won't Eat

If you've been following along, you will know that I'm trying to get Digby to eat something other than just seed. I've had her for almost three months and have tried several foods. The following is a list of what I've tried:

Pellets
Zupreem Natural: Refuses. She will taste them but will not eat them and throws them on the floor.
Harrison's: Ate half of one. She ignored the rest.
Roudybush: Eats them and likes them! (See the post from 13 January)

Fruits and Veggies
Lettuce: Likes. She prefers the purple or red lettuces, and the must be cut into little pieces.
Collard greens: Will eat. She will eat collards, but not with the same gusto as she eats the lettuce.
Apples: Likes. She requires them to be cut into tiny pieces though.
Green peppers: Eh. She nibbled on it until she discovered the better red peppers.
Red peppers: Likes. She really liked the red peppers.
Cucumber: Also eh. She started nibbling on it when I offered it while I was holding it, but she decided my finger looked yummier and bit me.
Pomegranate: Loves. She surprised me liking these so much.

Other Things
Nutri-berries: Likes. If they are left in her food dish, she will pick out all the seeds. If I give them to her out of her cage, she'll eat the entire thing.
Avi-cakes: Likes. Prefers Nutri-berries.
Sprouts: Will eat. She will eat them, but only if I am also eating and she's out of her cage.
Rice: Will eat. Not her favourite, but she will certainly eat it.
Pizza: Likes. I feel bad for putting this on the list, but this was the first food she ate for me other than seed. She likes pizza, especially the crunchy edge of the crust.
Millet: Loves. She will even take this from my hand.
Seeds: LOVES. This is the reason I'm trying all the other foods. She will happily eat nothing but seeds. Doesn't matter the brand. She'll switch between brands easily.

My Garden Plans for this Year

Last year, I decided to try my hand at gardening. I only planted in containers, but I was quite happy with the results. I enjoyed being able to get greens for the guinea pigs and Maxwell by simply going out to the backyard, and I loved knowing they were treated with zero pesticides and very, very few fertilizers. I also liked having fresh cut flowers in the house throughout the summer and into fall and having pretty flowers on the deck.

This year, I'm going to plan a bit more. Here's my list so far:
Collards (to be started from seed indoors; seeds will be planted next month)
Kale
Swiss Chard (note to self: do not plant under Topsy Turvy Tomato to avoid repeat of last year's tragedy)
Tomatoes (plant earlier in the season than last year)
Various lettuce varieties
Strawberries
Azaleas in the front to replace the bushes
African daisies (more than last year, try to get several different colours)
Violas

I'm also going to see about getting an automatic watering system for the potted plants. Last summer, my older brothers forgot to water the plants while we were on vacation and several of my flowers died.

I might also plant some bell peppers. I really hate bell peppers, but the rest of my family likes them and so do the guinea pigs. They also look pretty, so they'll probably be on my list.

Another thing I might do is a raised bed. It'd be nice to have a bigger yield than I did last year, especially with the greens. Last summer I still had to buy a lot of greens in addition to what I grew. It wasn't as many as I do when I don't have stuff growing, but it was still more than I would have liked to have bought. If I do a raised bed, it won't be very big and it will only be for vegetables and maybe fruits.

Today's Breakfast

Today for breakfast I had one of my favourite cereals, Kashi Strawberry Fields. Nothing unusual.

But Digby had...drum roll, please...pellets!

She ate Roudybush pellets. And not just a couple, but a bunch. I was so excited when I saw her doing it, I took a video (with my iPhone because that's what was closest, so the quality isn't great). And then she started acting happy and being cute. <3



And, to make me even happier, she's in her cage eating some right now. :)

Noey

For the past week or so, I've been really missing Noey. If you read the first post about Digby I wrote (which is here if you didn't), you will have already read a bit about her. I think I've been missing her so much because of how much Lenore reminds me of her and because of the cockatiel that I made friends with last time I was at the pet store (that post is here). (I apologise in advance for making a sad post. I just need to get this out.)





Noey was my baby. I don't usually refer to my pets as babies, and I don't think of them as kids like some people, but if any of my pets have ever been that dear to me, Noey would be on that list, along with Bella and Delilah.

Noey was a very good bird. She would greet me the second I walked through my bedroom door. If I was in the hall outside of my bedroom but wasn't coming in, she would call out for me. She loved to snuggle and she loved scritches. If her cage door was opened, she'd happily come out for anybody. She would ride on my shoulder all day if I were to let her, she wasn't afraid of hardly anything, and she was ornery as could be, often stealing food off my plate or trying to pull decorative pieces off my shirt.

Shortly after I got her, I went on a trip to Kansas to visit relatives and took her with me. I had only had her for a couple weeks. She did fabulous. She charmed every one of my relatives that she met. The car ride didn't seem to bother her at all. 


Last Christmas/New Year (2009), we went out to Kansas between Christmas and New Years. I left Noey at home. One of my older brother was to take care of the animals while we were gone.

I have a bit of a sixth sense and I can tell often tell when something bad is about to happen. The moment we crossed the Ohio River and into Louisville on our way home, I started feeling queasy and uneasy and had a general sense of anxiety. (This, by the way, has happened to me more than once. The other most notable occasion was on 9/11, but I'm not going into that.) I tried really hard to push the feeling away and tried to convince myself everything would be fine when we got home. My dad was there, after all, so he would have called us if something bad was happening. Though as hard as I tried, I could not shake the feeling.

When we got home on New Years Eve, I immediately went to my room in the basement and was not greeted by Noey. This would happen on rare occasions, especially if it was late. And it was late, so, again, I tried to tell myself it was nothing. I walked straight to her cage, and she was huddled in one corner, fluffed up. I reached in and offered her my hand, telling her to step up. She didn't respond. I carefully picked her up and rushed upstairs to my parents. I handed her to my mom, while I called the emergency vet and got some Cheerios, one of Noey's favourite treats, out. Noey refused the Cheerios. While I was on the phone with the vet, Noey passed away.

Fly free, Noey. Gone, but never forgotten.

The Birds Tonight

I got a sample of Harrison's bird pellets in the mail today. I offered some to both Lenore and Digby. Both ate one pellet each when I gave it to them. Digby mostly just threw the pellets on the floor. Lenore was too distracted by other things to be interested.

I also cooked some rice for the birds today. Digby was just kind of indifferent. I've given her rice once before, and she wasn't too interested then either. Lenore liked it though, and dove into the food before I even got it in his cage.

When I was cooking the rice, I had Digby out. I had her sitting on her T-perch in the kitchen, and she was just watching me. When I got within a foot of her perch, she started bobbing up and down, so I put my arm out and she jumped right up and gave me a little chirp. She's really getting to be pretty friendly (in comparison to when I got her).

I should also say that when I had him out tonight, Lenore did not bite me!
Delilah hasn't gotten on Lenore's cage since yesterday morning, and I put away the squirt bottle.

How did I do it?

First, I blocked her ability to go up beside the cage by putting some bird toys and various other things there. I thought that would be enough since that was the way she was getting up there. After I did that, though, she decided that she could jump straight from the floor onto the top of Lenore's cage.

To keep her from doing that was quite easy. I took a big, but not thick, hardcover book. I put it on top of Lenore's cage and left about 2 inches hanging over the front. Delilah has tried once to jump up there with the book there. The only time she did, she fell to the ground, knocked the book off the cage, and ran and hid. She's yet to try it again.

School

The spring semester of school starts tomorrow. I'm no longer going to the school I was going to last semester. I'll be living at home, which I'm really happy about, but there will be many things about the other school I will miss.

My classes this semester are pretty varied, and I have only one biology class. And I'm not in the lab at all, which really disappoints me. I love working in the lab. *Sigh.* Anyway, my classes this semester are Spanish I, an art history class, and astrobiology. I'm also going to add a computer class, intro to computers. I'm most excited about the astrobiology class. The course description says, "Examines topics related to the origins of planets, the requirements for life, the search for life away from Earth, the societal implications of discovering other forms of life, and the future of life on Earth and in space from a multidisciplinary perspective." It will be a very interesting class. This semester should be pretty easy, especially compared to last semester when I had general zoology, microbiology, chemistry, and physics, all of which had labs (for a total of 18 credit hours!).

Today Digby Ate...

Today Digby ate pellets! She only ate a few, but she ate them. I've been getting her out whenever I eat lunch so I can try to get her to eat some new foods. Today I gave her three Roudybush pellets, which she ate. Then, I gave her about four more, which she picked up, tasted, and tossed down.

I think she just doesn't like pellets for some reason.

I also noticed that Lenore isn't eating his pellets. I'm still giving him the mix the breeder gave us, which has seed, Roudybush pellets in the smallest size, and Higgins egg food. Lenore is picking out all the yummy stuff, but leaving the pellets. I gave him just pellets last night and he refused to eat them.

Oh, and I discovered that Digby eats really good when she's out, but not as good when she's in her cage. If I give her lettuce while I have her out, she'll eat quite a bit. If I give her Nutri-berries while she's out, she will eat all of it. But if I give her lettuce in her cage, she ignores it. If I give her Nutri-berries in her cage, she picks out the seeds and grinds up the rest, leaving behind crumbs and some chunks of other stuff.

These birds are making me crazy!
Delilah is getting to be very bad about wanting to get on to or next to Lenore's cage. Lenore's cage is currently in my room, which is where Delilah spends most of her time. At first, Delilah was mildly interested and watched Lenore from below. Now, though, she is constantly trying to get beside or on top of the cage. It's driving me mad!

I've been keeping a squirt bottle at my side while I'm in my room, but Delilah is very resistant to the squirt bottle. It's more of a mild irritation. I have to squirt her sometimes five times before she gets down. When she does get down, she licks herself for a minute and then hops right back up. She knows what I mean when I say, "Get down." She argues with me about it, meowing her I-don't-want-to meow.

This isn't the first time she's tried something like this. She absolutely loves the guinea pigs. Their cage used to not be covered. That lasted until I got Delilah and she grew enough to jump up there. She likes to get in the guinea pig cage. She doesn't chase them. She just sits and watches them, sometimes patting them. So, I covered the cage so she can't get in, but she still sits on top of the cage and sometimes sleeps there. The guinea pigs don't mind, so long as she isn't
in the cage.

Delilah is different than Shadow. The second Shadow catches sight or smell of the birds or the guinea pigs, she goes into her mighty hunter mode and starts stalking her (would be) prey. Delilah, on the other hand, doesn't want to hunt the guinea pigs. I think she thinks they are her friends. She also isn't as interested in the birds as Shadow is, and she can be easily distracted.

Delilah on the guinea pig cage.
The cage had to be changed again after this picture because she figure out how to get in.


Bad Cat!

Digby and I were sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch. Digby was on the playgym, stealing a few bites of my rice and eating the lettuce I gave her. Before I got Digby out, I looked around for Shadow because she is always too interested in the birds. She was upstairs.

But, in the blink of an eye (and I really mean that's how fast it happened), Shadow jumped onto the kitchen table, Digby flew to the floor, and Shadow got on the chair, ready to get Digby. I grabbed Shadow by the scruff of the neck--the only part of her I could grab quickly. I looked down at Digby just long enough to register that she was alive, and I threw Shadow outside.

I picked Digby up and gave her a quick check. She looked okay, just shook up, so I put her on my shoulder to calm down. She's fine now, and being her usual self.

Shadow is at the back door, meowing and begging to be let in.

My heart is still racing. I'm really thankful Digby is okay. I'll have to be more careful and watch for Shadow to come in when I have the birds out.

Healthy Eating

I'm not afraid to admit something: My pets eat better than I do.

I am pretty picky about what my animals eat. Not crazily picky, but picky enough. I make sure they get the proper nutrition, and research any new food I give them.

The big dogs, Bella and Jax, eat Taste of the Wild. I know this isn't the best food, but I've been pretty happy with it. When we first started feeding it, I very quickly saw a huge improvement in Bella. Her coat was shinier and she had more energy. Taste of the Wild is a grain free diet with plenty of meat. It has no corn or soy. If I had things my way completely, I'd have Bella on a raw diet.

The little dogs, Maggie, Ellie, and Ricky, eat a brand called Country Naturals. This food is not grain free, but it has a higher meat content than most brands. Ellie has a very sensitive stomach and gets sick (mostly diarrhea) if she eats most dog foods. Anything with corn, wheat, or most other gains, makes her sick. We tried her on Taste of the Wild, and for a while, she was better, but she started getting sick again. When we got Ricky, he was already eating this food. We decided to try it for Ellie too, and she has done very good on it, so we keep the little dogs on this food.

Shadow and Delilah are on completely grain free diets. They get Taste of the Wild dry food, and Delilah gets Wellness canned and Taste of the Wild canned. Shadow gets canned food if she asks for it, and she eats whatever she catches. Tin Tin would be on a grain free diet if he quit going to the neighbors and eating their food. Like Bella, if it was totally up to me, the cats would be on a raw diet.

The birds, if they would just cooperate, would be getting a good diet too. I'm working on this (see other posts). My last bird got pellets, vegetables, and a small amount of seed. She had a decent diet, but I've learned more about bird nutrition since her, so the lovebirds will have an even better diet (if they would eat it).

Even the smaller animals get a high quality food. The guinea pigs get fed Oxbow pellets and timothy hay. They also get dark, leafy greens everyday, and usually another vegetable and a bit of fruit. Maxwell gets whatever greens and veggies the pigs are having and gut-loaded crickets.

Meanwhile, us humans don't eat as healthy. We eat things like McDonalds and other restaurants. I've read the book Fast Food Nation, and I've also read the book Food Pets Die For. The pet food book bothered me way more than the one about fast food. If only I made myself eat as well as I make my pets eat...

It's a...

I got DNA sexing results back for Lenore and Digby, and haven't quit laughing since I got them.

Lenore is a male and Digby is a female.

The breeder was fairly certain that Lenore was a female based on how she he acted. If I had made a guess on Digby, I would have said male.

I thought about switching their names around, but decided not to. Digby knows his her name, and Lenore just fits her him.

I just have to get used to the fact that Digby is a she, not a he, and Lenore is a he, not a she. The really funny thing is that when we were sending off the stuff, my mom made a comment, "Wouldn't it be funny if Digby was a girl and Lenore was a male?" Well, Mom, you're right.
Warning: The guard dog on duty may appear friendly, but be aware that he is equipped with lasers!
Jax, with laser eyes

Just Call Me the Bird Charmer

This evening before dinner we stopped at a local pet store to get some guinea pig food. I walked back to the bird section because I was looking for a tabletop gym-thing for Lenore (they didn't have one). I got distracted by the cockatiels. This store has their 'tiels and their budgies in big, open cages. It's set up in such a way that you can, bird willing, pick up the birds without opening a cage. The birds have their wings clipped so they can't fly away.

So, I was looking at the cockatiels, and was resting my hands on the side of the enclosure. A couple of the birds caught sight of my ring and came over to me. They climbed on top of their perches to get close. I moved my hand closer and they started playing with my ring. Then all but one came over. One acted more interested in my sweater than my ring. He was also staying further down than the other birds, so I lowered my arm so he could reach better. He stopped playing with my sweater and hopped up onto my arm. I then offered him my hand, and he sat on my hand. He jumped down, but got back up a few minutes later. He did this about three times. It was so cute. :)

My City and My Farm

I know this has absolutely nothing to do with my pets or animals in anyway, but I must share my obsession with this new game. Feel free to skip this post if you wish.

Everybody who regularly uses Facebook knows about Farmville, even if they don't play it. The company that makes Farmville, Zynga, has several other games, most of of which I've played.

I've been playing Farmville for a while, but never consistently. I'll play for a week or two and then spend a month away from it. I do the same with most of Zynga's other games. All except their newest one.

Cityville has become my latest online obsession. Unlike Farmville, I can play Cityville for hours (no joke). It's also challenging enough to be fun, but not too challenging that it's very difficult to play. At first, I didn't get really into it. But by my third night playing, I couldn't put it away. It's an addiction!

My city, Greenville, is flourishing. At level 39, it is a "swell city" and in the running for the new capital city. It has a population of 2,250, and the city has funds of 262,248 coins. The cities major industries are shipping (by ship) and agriculture (the main crops being carrots, strawberries, and eggplants). It also has a fair number of bakeries, fast food restaurants, and toy stores. It's the home to two museums and big enough to warrant two emergency clinics.

Meanwhile, my farm is sad and lonely. The crops in the field have withered and died. The feed trough is empty, and the animals are more than ready to give me eggs, fur, and milk. The trees are filled with fruit. I've left the rural life behind and moved into the city.

I Want Spring!

The past couple days, we've had temperatures in the 60s (yesterday it was 68 degrees!) here in Kentucky. The weather was so nice yesterday (until it rained, that is) that I really, really want spring to hurry up and get here. I've been saying I was sick of winter since 21 December, the first official day of winter, and before that, I was saying I was sick of the cold.

I want spring to get here so that I can plants some pretty flowers again and so that I can open the windows. I want to be able to put my car's convertible top down (I almost did that yesterday, but the car needed to be washed more than I needed to drive with the top down) and I want to be able to take the guinea pigs and my bearded dragon outside. I want sunshine and fresh air, green grass and blue skies.

Of course, once spring ends, we get Kentucky's brutal summer. If we could just skip summer and winter, I'd be so happy. Spring and fall are my favourite seasons.

White Shirts and Nutri-berries

I offered Digby some Nutri-berries and some pellets today. I've been trying to get him to eat these for months, but he has always refused to even touch them. So today, I made Digby think I ate both of them. He picked up a pellet in his mouth and then dropped it. He tried this with several pellets, but didn't eat any of them. I'm happy he tasted them though, so I won't try to make him eat anymore pellets until the Roudybush I ordered for Lenore gets here.

But, when I did the same with the Nutri-berries, Digby ate an entire piece. I'm beginning to think he'll taste whatever I offer him now, and I'm anxious to try all sorts of things.

I discovered something new about Digby today--he doesn't like white shirts. I wore a white, long sleeved shirt. He refused and refused to step up. Finally, I figured it might be the colour of the shirt, so I changed into a purple shirt and he stepped up very quickly. I'm not letting him get away with this. I'll be starting a collection of long sleeved grey shirts, ranging from dark to lighter to almost white. He also has to get over his fear of step up on my skin. He has until the weather warms up and I start wearing short sleeves again to do that.