Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Moving Day

I moved my blog. I found a blog program that offers me a lot more flexibility and control.

Here it is:


See you over there!

Monday, April 18, 2005

New Addition to Our Family

He came from out of no where. Swooping down, nearly settling on my head, then making a beeline for the nearest tree. His shrieks and squawks echoing in the early evening air. He drew the attention of Jack, our American Eskimo dog and from that moment on, his outdoor ritual was broken. No longer did Jack dream about trees and fence posts, instead his mind was on the brightly colored noisy thing in the tree just above his head.

The parrot seemed friendly enough. He seemed about as interested in us as we were in it. I called out to my husband, who brought the camera. We managed to get quite a few shots, until the bird flew down and rested upon our back fence.

I wondered if it were hungry, then wondered what I had in the house that he could possibly eat. I flashed upon a bag of dry dogfood that Jack doesn't eat and an "ah ha" moment was born. I hurried inside and brought out a handful of dry dogfood and a little bowl of water. If the bird could have spoken, he'd have given me his heartfelt thanks. He ate as if he were starving and drank water like he hadn't seen it in days.

He was very friendly and even nibbled upon my husband's finger at one point. Howver, any attempt we made to catch it was neatly adverted. He sidestepped and hopped away just far enough to stay out of reach.

It grew late and the sky darkened. We could no longer see the parrot as it sat just on the other side of our fence in a neighbor's tree. We went inside, saddened by the fact that we would no longer see our little friend. My husband did some research on the web, with the pictures he took and discovered our visitor had been a Sun Conure.

In the morning, once again, outside to give Jack a reprieve, I heard a familiar screech. Looking around, there he was, sitting on the neighbor's clothesline. Excited, I hurried to call my husband on the phone to tell him that the parrot was still around. Hearing my voice, the parrot flew into our yard and followed me to the back patio. He sat on a plant stand while I hurried to get him some more dry dog food and a bowl of water.

Pondering what to do next, my husband suggested I go out and get a cage. So, I did. Hurrying to the pet store within a mile of our home, I purchased a cage and a bag of parrot/conure food. At home, I stepped outside to find the parrot sitting on our gutters above the back door. I put the dry dog food away and poured a small portion of the new food into my hand. It had him intrigued and he came to investigate. With a bit of coaxing and some quickness on my part, the Sun Conure was soon happily munching away on his new food in his new cage.

Determined to find his owner, we checked newspaper lost & found ads, the internet, vets and animal/bird hospitals, and even pet stores. No one reported a missing Sun Conure. We've taken a liking to the little fella and he's more than happy to make his home here with us. Already he's settled into our routine and seems to enjoy our company.

We've named him Bailey. And Bailey has a home.

Monday, April 04, 2005

What Freedom Means to Me

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. -- Mahatma Gandhi

"Freedom to make mistakes." What does that mean to you? Have we come so far in this imperfect world that people must not make mistakes for fear of punishment?

I don't claim to know everything that goes on in the world, and for the most part, my views are clouded by what I read in the newspaper or hear on the television. However, my world is words, my life is words, my work is words. I live to write and as a writer, I know that what I put down on paper may not always be what ends up as the final copy. I accept that. What would life be like if everything I wrote had to be perfect the first time? What if there was no freedom to make a first draft or edits? I, for one, would probably be very hesitant about each word I wrote, knowing that I didn't get a second chance to fix an error.

Isn't that what we can do every day when we speak? Do we get a chance at a draft before we say our final message? Can we make edits to our words later? No, we do not, no we cannot. Our words, once spoken, can never be edited. Oh, sure, we can say, "but, that's not what I meant," or, "you misunderstood me." Apologies can always be made for something we said, but once said; always heard, and always remembered.

In this modern world we have the technology to speak and write instantaneously. I've observed many Message Board discussions where a topic is introduced and without inflection or actual voice, great debates emerge over mere words. Important topics disappear over an exchange of "you said/I said" and viable questions go unanswered as conversations run tangets from the original subject.

Debates emerge with quotes taken from previous messages, until the entire subject disappears in the nether-regions of cyberspace. No longer do simple conversations occur, comfortably across a table, between friends or acquaintances. Nevertheless, great debates are waged every day, from desktop to desktop across the world, between complete strangers of varying backgrounds. Over what? Mere words.

Words, in my opinion, are the most powerful weapon in the world. With one swipe they can cut deeper than any sword. With one quote they can change an entire nation. With one statement they can be used against you for the rest of your life.

We've gone so far in this great nation to debate over the definition of a word and its meaning in context and out of context. And, for what? To prove a point, to be heard, to define ourselves - to have the chance to say what we mean or change what we said.

Words, once spoken, always heard, never forgotten.

"Freedom to make mistakes." So, what does that really mean to you? I believe, that as people, we are not perfect, and should give each other the chance to make amends for words chosen inappropriately, in either the heat of the moment or the passion of the discussion. And, as such, we should be more careful in what words we do choose to use.

No matter how important you are, or what position you hold in the long chain of life, there is always going to be another out there - listening, observing. Choose your words carefully, when speaking or writing. You are being heard. Make sure you are heard in the way you want, not just to make noise.

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything else. -- Edward John Phelps