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Little Green Aspergian Spaceship

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Blah, but at least I got a cute picture.
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Christmas budgie me
I've been having a good Christmas so far. I got socks, bath stuff, a new mattress pad that has a heater in it, a new computer mouse, a chronological KJV Bible, a book, some food items, a hair removal tool, a cute T-shirt with an owl on it a plush owl that can be used as a hot compress, and two cute budgie plushes. The budgie plush from Des was Sweet Pea from the secret life of pets. I think Mom and Des must have collaborated some because Mom was going to get me that one, but I got a different one from Mom. I had seen the Sweet Pea plush when I was volunteering at Operation Christmas Child. It was in a box I was inspecting, and I thought it was cute. And now I have one. We had biscuits and gravy and casserole for brunch, and then will have snacks and desserts later. Colby was over with Nick this morning, and he liked the homemade dog biscuits that I gave him for Christmas. He got to rip the tissue paper off the box. He was very interested in Sweet Pea, and he also sniffed out my chocolate covered cherries. I did let him have a couple little pieces of my bacon jerky from my stocking. Nick left around noon and forgot Colby's dog biscuits. They weren't with Nick's stuff because Colby had gotten the box open and got crumbs everywhere. So we had to put them out of Colby's reach.

Yesterday we had Christmas Eve service at church, and Dad fixed ham, roasted, potatoes, roasted brussells sprouts and asparagus and pineapple for Christmas Eve dinner. Nick was over for that too, but he was tired and cranky from jet lag last night. Then Mom and I went out and looked at lights in a nearby neighborhood. We also watched some of the Raleigh Ringers last night before bed.

Most of the goodies I have made are gone. I still have a few caramels and gingerbread cookies left, but I ate the last two truffles today. The divinity I made last Tuesday is completely gone. I think there may be one bite of cashew fudge left, and a few squares of chocolate fudge. There is a lot of peanut brittle left, but I can't eat it. There are still cranberry jellies left too, but I think it's because they got forgotten about since the party we threw for the Caterpillar staff on Dec. 13. I'm going to put them on the plate with the Turkish delight I bought a while ago and held back for today.

I plan on hitting half price Christmas stuff tomorrow. I hope to find some pretty wrapping paper because I ran out of my favorite shiny blue paper. I had bought a roll of shiny green, and we have another roll of shiny green, but if I can find more shiny blue, I'm getting it. Or, I'll get shiny candy cane striped paper if I find it.

Mom and I plan to make a few more sweets for this weekend. We are going to meet Dad's family at Pipestem State Park in West Virginia. It is halfway for us and them, and it is cheaper than Gatlinburg, which is where they wanted to meet us.

been busy and Colby is here
sleepy budgie me
Colby got here on Thursday night to stay with us while Nick is in Thailand. He's such a handful. Yesterday morning he destroyed three pinecone elves that Mom had made, turned over the trash can in the downstairs bathroom, got into Dad's candy stash on the coffee table, and chased the cat all before Mom and Dad were totally up. Mom had also gotten up in the middle of the night and taken him out. If that wasn't enough he also pooped on the carpet right outside the laundry room. To blow off some of Colby's energy I took him on a walk to the greenway which was probably at least four miles. I don't know where he stores it all, but he pooped three times on that walk, and that was after he had done it on the carpet too. He doesn't notice things on walks like Dixie used to. We saw two cats and a squirrel, and he ignored them except for the black cat. It looked just like our cat who Colby likes to harass. He didn't even get tired out on that walk either because I took him on another one just around the neighborhood yesterday afternoon too.

Mom and I got out and did some grocery shopping for Christmas baking yesterday afternoon too. We also cut caramels and dipped truffles.

This morning I made a batch of peanut butter fudge, but right before I was about to turn the burner on, Colby wanted out so I walked him around one of the other streets in the neighborhood. I had taken him around the other one earlier. After I made my fudge, Mom got up and got ready, and we made poppers and she made peanut brittle. All this baking is to send to friends in Indiana. I've had a stomach ache today, and I don't know if I could take Colby on another long walk. I think I may have a virus. I've been draggy for six weeks and had swollen glands. I couldn't get into the doctor yesterday, and I'm waiting on the weather to see about making an appointment on Monday. Mom thinks I might have mono. I've already had it, but she had heard that it can recur because the virus stays in people's systems after they have mono. I can't do anything about it but rest. I feel like I did when I had it last time, but no fever and it isn't quite as bad.

I hope the kitchen is put back together now. Mom wanted to mop today.

I tried to watch Elf with Mom last night. It's a stupid movie, and I didn't watch all of it. I'm just not a fan of comedies.

I feel like the sleepy icon. I don't know if the edit showed up in LJ.

I had a nice quiet Thanksgiving at my house. Our Christmas tree was already up. We had put it up a couple days before Thanksgiving in case we would have traveled somewhere. I'm glad we didn't travel though. We did a lot of preparations for dinner the day before. Mom made the pecan pie the day before and also the cranberry salad. Dad took an extra turkey out of our freezer and cut it up to make stock out of for the dressing, noodles, and gravy. He also mixed up the dressing balls the day before. I made cranberry jelly candy too, but I had made it the weekend before and just cut it a couple days before. While the main dishes were baking and cooking on Thanksgiving morning, I watched the Macy's parade. There were a lot of things I liked in the parade, but they didn't have to include a musical number where two girls kissed. (ew. yuck.) My brother got here at the tail end of the parade, and he and I and mom watched the first part of the dog show. Colby was too busy watching Dad in the kitchen to see his lookalike, a Havanese in the toy group. We also saw a cute whippet in the hound group. I looked up the results online after dinner and found out the whippet was best in show. We had a great dinner of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, noodles, sweet potato casserole, cranberry salad, roasted brussels sprouts, and pecan pie. I ate too much.

On Friday, I stirred up gingerbread dough. We had run out of ginger so Mom and I went to Publix to get more, and since she wanted to go to Belk, we went to the mall too. It wasn't crowded at all. They had cute but expensive Christmas decorations at Belk, and they had pretty colored hand mixers at Dillard's. There was a pink one and a light turquoise one. We already have the same model in silver though. Belk has a pink stand mixer too. I also went in Macy's, but I was so tired I sat right down on one of the display sofas. Then, we went up to exit 28 so Mom could go to Stein Mart. I went to Fresh Market while she was at Stein Mart.

I made some good sandwiches for my lunch on Friday and Saturday. I put a smear of mayo on the bottom of a hamburger bun. Then I stacked turkey slices and a dressing ball on it and a big slop of gravy. I put cranberry salad on the top bun and put it all together for a good sandwich.

I've been super tired for weeks now. I barely made it through church on Sunday, and I dragged at the raptor center yesterday. I've been going to bed super early and taking big naps and I'm still tired. I didn't even stay up to play dominoes after dinner last night. We had a late dinner, and I ate very little and tried not to doze off at the table. I could have slept in the dentist's chair today even, if I hadn't needed to hold my mouth open for them.

I had a great visit with Des and Chris last week. They arrived on Halloween afternoon, and they had brought Bullet with them. After they got settled in, we went out to Starbucks and Walgreens. The dragonfruit drink was delicious (Thanks!), and also pretty. I'm glad I didn't spill any of it, because knowing me I would manage to get a unremovable purple stain on my shirt. I didn't though. Then we went to Walgreens where they bought supplies, and I picked up some candy corn. We went to the pond too, and there was a man feeding the geese. Since it was nice weather, there were also turtles out.

We introduced Bullet to Izzy and Rocky on the first day. Izzy and Rocky were very happy to have budgie company, especially Izzy. Bullet flew to their cage too, and all three budgies got to spend some time on top of it after I chased Rocky all over the house. Bullet is so tame compared to him, and she's more tame than Izzy too. She let me pet her, which I loved.

We hiked at Crowder's Mountain the next day. The trail was steep and hard with a lot of rocks. I don't regret not going all the way up. It was cloudy that day, and we were there to see pretty trees. We also saw some little streams that were very nice. There were also nice taxidermies in the visitor center including a cute Great Horned Owl on the mantel of their fireplace.

After we got back, we rested and then did some plant work. Des gave me a ventrata and also showed me how to repot my plants. She also got a cutting off the red leopard she had given me. I hope it roots because it's cute. She also gave me a cute long pink pumpkin, which Mom promptly claimed. I don't mind though. I just want to get seeds out of it. Then I will give some to my aunt, and I hope she can grow one because she has a garden.

I played with Bullet some more that evening, and I let Izzy get on top of her cage. He tried to feed her though the bars.

After Des and Chris went home, I've been laying low because I'm worn out. I stayed in on Saturday, and ran a game of Bible Bingo in my Sunday school class. Mom added two more pumpkins to our porch yesterday. They are squatty pink ones. She's gone to Indiana this week.

Now for a test to see if Google Photos can be linked here.

It actually works! A Mountain Bluebird from Yellowstone for your viewing pleasure.

September happenings
There have been a few interesting things that have happened this month. Bible Study has started back up, and so has Caterpillar Ministries. I've started volunteering at their resource center, and I process books. I only managed to do it once in the past month, but either I or the lady in charge have had trouble connecting with each other.

Mom's birthday was also this month, and I made her an apple spice cake with cream cheese filling and caramel glaze. We went to an awesome pizza place in Huntersville for dinner. The Sicilian pizza was okay. It had too much crust, but the other pizza was amazing, and we had no leftovers of that one.

The big fun event for the month was a day trip that Mom and I took to Black Mountain. I bought four glass bottles of pop on that trip so I could collect the caps. There were so many I don't have. I don't know what I'm going to do with them. They are fun to sort and fidget with. We went in lots of fun little stores, and then we had lunch at an Italian restaurant. I had spinach ravioli, and Mom had a stromboli. On the way home, we got lost, but then found out that the road we were going to drive home on was closed due to rock slides. We just went back to the interstate then, but we drove on another road that runs parallel to it for a while. We discovered a nice little candy store, and across the street from it was an ice cream place that sold 24 flavors of soft serve. I got red velvet, and Mom got key lime. We tried each other's ice cream and decided the red velvet was better.

I've probably gained weight from all the good food I've had this month. Mom, Dad, and I went to the Greek festival a couple weeks ago, and had amazing food there. Then, this past weekend, we went to a fish fry at a nearby church. The $10 plate was huge, but piggy me ate it all. Mom and I have also been eating out after Bible Study. I get Arby's coupons in my email, so we ate there this week. I tried to exercise, but after two hard workouts last week and a hard ride to and from CRC on Monday, the pain has been unbearable. It's worse than just post workout muscle pain. If I go to the fitness center today, I'm just going to ride the recumbent bike and work puzzles.

Birthday and other things
I had a pretty good birthday on Saturday. Mom and I went to Reed Gold Mine which is an old gold mine that has been turned into a museum. The museum had the history of that mine and of gold mining in North Carolina. There were also old tunnels from the mine that we walked through. It was not hot outside that morning, but it felt great in the tunnels even though it was dark and a little creepy in there. The self guided tour also crossed the river were the original rocks that had gold in them were found. There was also an old stamping mill where they crushed rocks to get gold out. That old building was built in the early 1800's. Then we panned for gold after the tour. Mom bought us each a pan, and I actually found a little piece of gold in mine. It was about the size of a sand grain. We went out to lunch at Wendy's after that. Then we rested and went to the pool. Dinner was at a nearby Mexican restaurant that was new and got good reviews. They were loud and overpriced, but the fried plantains were really good. I've had better tacos for cheaper at other restaurants. Then we had presents and cake. I got mostly candy and other consumables, but Mom did get me a funny T-shirt with an owl on it. I also called my Sunday School teacher and invited her over for cake, and I took some cake to some neighbors. The cake was a winner. It was chocolate with chocolate frosting, and there was actual melted chocolate in the frosting not just cocoa.

I've had lots of stuff to do this week. I had to have bloodwork done yesterday, and I need to finish my laundry and pack for Thursday. I have a cousin in Michigan who is getting married, so we are leaving Thursday early and coming back Saturday late. That means three days worth of food and millet for the budgies on Thursday morning. I also need to find my pretty hair clip. Mom is going to paint my toenails.

yesterday's day trip
Yesterday, Dad and I took a day trip up to Pigeon Forge, and I went to Parrot Mountain. So many cute birds. They had a Red Tailed Black Cockatoo in the petting/feeding area. She was so pretty, and I didn't think I would ever get to see one in real life since black cockatoos are rare even in Australia. I also gave scritches to a Citron crested Cockatoo who may or may not have been the same one I played with last time I was there. I also held a sweet Umbrella Cockatoo named Snowy. She loved cuddles and did not want to go back on her perch either time I held her. She made cute noises when I was holding her too. I had a Hyacinth Macaw jump on my head. Luckily that macaw's favorite staffer was there to cuddle him, because that's what he wanted. He was a very friendly bird, but that beak is too big for me, and his toenails were sharp too. I also had a Scarlet Macaw climb on me and play with my ponytail. He didn't want to get off of me either. Then there was another macaw who let me scratch pinfeathers off of his head. So many birds there had pinfeathers. They also have renovated the nursery, and I went in there and played with baby birds. One baby was a beautiful albino Indian Ringneck Parakeet who was sweet and friendly. They had Golden Conures in there too.

After Parrot Mountain, Dad and I had lunch at Arby's and I went to the Christmas Place for an hour. I didn't see Simon the African Gray this time. He retired from being a store bird after 22 years. In the main big Christmas store, I explored every room, but I think they were changing around displays so there wasn't as much stuff in some rooms. The upstairs room was closed off too. That's where they usually have sale and clearance items, and there must not be any right now. I did find the musical instrument ornaments which I always look for those. I also found a blue crystal hummingbird that is just like one I took out of Grandma T.'s house. I'm guessing the one I have came from that store. I was a little disappointed in the Christmas tree room. The ones that are out now, aren't as pretty as ones they have had in there in past years. I remember when the foil trees were popular and they had them in several colors in there with matching lights. That was a long time ago, but I still remember it. I don't think I saw an area with garlands this year either. I did see one ornament I would have bought for Mom if it had been cheaper than $15. It was a glass ornament that was a black cat batting a Christmas ball.

After the Christmas store, Dad and I stopped at the Russell Stover Outlet, and then we stopped at Hickory, NC for dinner. Google routed us off of 40 for a while because of bad construction, and we drove along this road that ran along a pretty river. We thought we would have delays, but we got to the restaurant we were trying at the time Google said we would get there. It was an Asian fusion place. I had a good burger with pho spices in it that was topped with bean sprouts, cilantro, hoisin sauce, and mayo. Dad had bibimbap. We also tried the kimchi fries, which were fries topped with gochujang sauce, white sauce, and kimchi. Dad didn't like them. I thought they were interesting, but I probably wouldn't get them again. I'd go back to that restaurant if I was ever in Hickory for another reason because there are other things on the menu I want to try.

Today I did chores. I swept the front porch, and cleaned the screen porch from top to bottom. I dusted all the surfaces, all the chairs, and vacuumed it. The hardest was beating the dust off the chair cushions. I also vacuumed upstairs, dusted downstairs, cleaned the cat box and bird cage, and dusted the stair rails. I also helped Dad move furniture so he could mop the kitchen, and then we moved the rowing machine back out to the garage, but it's still set up so I could use it if I wanted. I went out on my bike after lunch and got caught in the rain on the way home. That was almost two hours ago, and I'm still wet. Dad was gone when I got home because he took a bunch of junk to the recycling center and stuff to Goodwill. We are going to get milkshakes tonight because we both worked really hard today.

When I was sweeping the front porch, I heard the neighbors' dogs howling. I don't know why either because they usually don't. They hare having a pool party today. Our street is full of cars. I feel really tired, and my hands are disgustingly dry.

technology rant
I'm ticked about technology right now. Even though I like that Google Photos has unlimited storage of pics in a certain format, I hate a lot of other things about them. As of March, they took the option to directly upload pics there using Picasa 3. There are some annoying things about Picasa too, but it does make photo management a lot easier than creating a folder and then dragging and dropping from the chip to the folder. It also has an editor which is better than Google Photos online editor. Now that Google disabled direct upload, I'm not looking forward to teaching Mom how to upload to Google Photos manually. Their upload function works just like Shutterfly, Flickr, or any of the others, but they are all different to mom, so I have to teach her individually. This won't be fun when she has 1500+ pics from her latest trip. I also will need to reteach her how to delete photos off the external that she doesn't want. She wanted me to go through her pics and cull them, and I did some, but she should manage her own pics. I also found out that Picasa keeps a hidden copy of every original photo that has been edited and saved. I don't like that. Those pics were edited for a reason. No wonder her Spain trip was 9 gigs of pics. I'm not looking forward to teaching someone when I know the information I'm trying to impart will just bounce off. Her computer is still broken too, but I think Dad is planning to replace the broken part in it next week.

My biggest problem with Google photos is that it is optimized for use by smart phones. I don't like how they want you to manage your pics on the cloud now. Smart phones ruined any chances of good photo management software sticking around. Google had a good thing with Picasa. They should have kept it.

Whole 30
I'm on Day 9. I still feel crappy though. I'm super tired, but that is to be expected. I think I'm going to go to my old entries on DW and tag the ones with video with a video tag. That is so I can find them if I reimport and it screws up the video. I have to go do some chores after I get off the computer. I don't want to do them, but the birds need their cage cleaned and the cat needs her litter box cleaned.

Please comment on DW. Also, if I make a video post it will be here and not LJ, although they cross post.