Adventures in Birdland

About a year and a half ago, I got Cowboy some parakeets for Father’s Day. He has had birds for most of his teenage years up through adulthood so they are always a good gift for him.
We have a blue/gray/black male named Ramsey Birdton and an albino we think is female names Bird Snow. They each have their own personalities They love being put to bed at night, Cowboy always talks to them and says goodnight before he covers them, they squawk and talk when they are ready for me to uncover them, I say good morning and refresh their food and water while talking to them.
Bird Snow is more skittish and does not like being handled and she hates being out of the cage. Ramsey is more inquisitive and he will eat millet out of Cowboy’s hand. Ramsey loves taking a bath and he actually occasionally can be found in their water dish taking a bath and swimming if their bath tub isn’t in the cage.
We have tried to give them fresh produce but, they have never eaten it. These two do not even like the honey treat we had in the cage for them when we first got them. They prefer their toys be made of wood and rope.
We recently introduced a nesting box to their cage but, after 3 weeks, they have not laid any eggs yet. I did some research into possible reasons why they did not attempt to breed and it turns out that albinos are not good breeders. So we are looking into getting another female to see if she might breed with Ramsey.
I will keep an update on things as we progress and the birds grow.

Painless Wonder

I don’t really speak about this much, but I feel pain differently from others. I have a chromosome deformity that manifests itself in a form of CIPA, Congenital Indifference to Pain with Analgesia (to see a worst case, watch the House episode called “Indifference”).
For me, it manifests in not being able to feel specific types of pain and, when I do feel pain, in someone without CIPA, it would probably be enough for them to require heavy narcotic pain relief. To me, that is a cramp. I also can not regulate my body temperature. My coworkers have nick named me The Painless Wonder.
But, it is a curse, despite what some might think.
When we are in bed and my husband wants to hold me in his arms, I can’t have any blankets on and I need a fan on me at all times.
I tend to take too-hot showers (so my water heater has a safety to I don’t burn myself).
This inability to feel pain is why my teeth have rotted out. I don’t feel a tooth ache that would signify a cavity and, even with brushing and flossing, I don’t know about a cavity until the tooth has crumbled. Still think its awesome?
When I was pregnant with my son, I was in full blown labor at 25 weeks and did not know! Thankfully, I had a doctor’s appointment and the doctor realized I was contracting in time to save him.
In the climate I live in, I constantly have a frozen bottle of water with me and I can tell you where the air flow for the air conditioner points in most public establishments.
In the winter, I rely on the actual weather app on my phone (not the WTForcast app, that is just for fun, lol) to tell me how cold it will be so I know what kind of jacket I will need because I really can’t tell myself.
I wait until others in my home are dressed before getting dressed myself to decide how many layers I need.
I have overheated at work a few times. My coworkers know what to look for to see if I need to step under the air conditioner’s vent for a moment or grab a frozen water, thankfully.
I have to keep a close eye on my blood pressure for reasons other than my heart because, if I am in serious “pain” and not feeling it, my blood pressure will skyrocket as a way of warning me.
I have broken my foot more times than I can count without knowing it, my knee cap floats, my toes have all been broken. All because I can’t feel the pain and continue to push past when a normal person would know to stop.
I have woken up after a 4 day stretch at work unable to move my back because I, again, pushed past when a normal person would have taken it easy because I didn’t feel when I strained my back.
If I drink, I don’t realize when I am drunk because I do not feel drunk. This is why I am very careful when I drink and only drink weak drinks or limit myself to one beer.
I usually do not speak publicly about this issue. It is very rare and not really something I want out there. But, a few comments from people lately have caused me to speak out. They have called me lucky and said they wish they had what I have. No, you really don’t. Trust me on this.

Marriage Part 2

Since my last post on what marriage is was such a hit, here is part 2….
Marriage is….
Going to his job after you get off work to wait for him so you can drive home together for a few extra minutes of together time.
Knowing she is uncomfortable with her long hair loose and down while out and about so you buy her cute hair clips and bandanas to wear.
Knowing he likes your hair down so you let it out of the braid or bun when at home, just to see his face light up as it cascades down your back, knowing that sight is just for him.
Going to bed hungry to make sure she has enough to eat.
Making his favorite dinner for him before he goes to work.
Its getting up early to drive her to work to spend a few extra minutes together.
Its planning to take PTO at the same time as him so you have an entire week to spend with each other.
Its turning to him with tears in your eyes after a hard day at work knowing he will let you cry it out.
Its rubbing her neck while driving home after she has had a hard day.
Its working together to make a good life for each other.
Its talking into the early hours of the morning and not running out of things to say.
Its playing the same video game together for 14 years because you both enjoy it.
Its building an archery range in the back yard because it is a shared hobby.
Its putting every spare penny, nickle, dime, quarter and dollar aside to take a dream trip on your 20th anniversary.
Its friendly teasing for the three months of the year he is older.
Its years of jokes and sleepless nights, worry and stress, love and joy.
Its everything all rolled into one package that makes your life complete.
Its not being able to picture your life without the other person.

The Trans in the Military Issue

For my own reasons, I am all for LGBTQ rights. The libertarian in me says, whatever you do in your personal life is none of my business, just don’t force it on me or continue to throw it in my face. You do you, Boo!
My issue right now is how people are reacting to the recent announcement that trans people will not be allowed to serve OPENLY in the military. Honestly, this is no change from the way it has been since the beginning of our great country.
A group of able bodied people is not being excluded from service. All able bodied people are, actually, welcome into the military.
So, why make the announcement? Well, the military is not a place for social experimentation. It is not the place to make a social stand or to make yourself stand out.
Why does the military wear uniforms? Why do they drill and march? Why do they have all those rules about conduct, dress, appearance?
Part of what the military does, how it functions so well, is that, from day one of basic training, they tear down the individual and begin building something new, something uniform. The military functions as ONE cohesive unit, everyone in lock step, everyone looking the same. You ever notice that, when a military formation is marching along, everyone is in the same uniform? If the uniform of the day is BDUs and you wear blues, you are not in the same formation. Everyone looks the same.
Being an individual is not a good thing in the military. THAT is why the announcement was made. It was not to exclude a group of people or to set things back. No, it was to ensure that we continue to be the greatest fighting force on the planet. That fighting force needs discipline, cohesion, unity and uniformity.
And guess what? When you CHOOSE to join the United States Military, you are CHOOSING to follow the policies. You CHOOSE to give up your individuality, you CHOOSE to agree to obey the orders of those appointed above you, INCLUDING the President. We do not force people to serve. Our military is 100% voluntary. Don’t like a policy? Don’t agree with what the military is doing? Then don’t join. Don’t force a social issue on the military.

Requiem For A Bra

No matter what you call it, finding a good, comfortable, sexy bra can be like finding the Holy Grail. It seems like lingerie designers seem to think that if you are larger than a D cup, your size is enough and you don’t need or want something that looks good. Function over fashion, right?
When you do find one that you like that does not look like it uses 3 yards of fabric, it is twice the price our smaller cup size sisters pay. Then, the retailer, usually Victoria Secret, will discontinue your new found bra. There are times when it is like the episode of Married… With Children when they discontinue Peggy’s bra and she is in a panic trying to find one she likes before the old one breaks.
Every time you wash your well fitting, sexy bra you feel like you should sacrifice something to the gods of elastic and underwires before putting it in the machine to ensure the garment survives the ordeal.
Because of the expense and difficulty finding one, most of us only have 2 good bras that fit well and also look good. You know the kind of bra I’m talking about. It just looks killer on you and provides the support you need when you have a larger chest. And if the bra breaks… Heartbreak.
While doing my laundry for work today, I found that, somehow, both underwires of my good bra were snapped!
I have one more good bra that fits well, but this loss hurts, not sure when I will be able to replace this bra. It is like losing a dear friend.

Glazes

These are the glazes and toppings I use for the donuts from my last post.

Krispy Kreme Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 TBLS boiling water
1 tsp vanilla

Combine in a shallow, wide bowl until smooth. Dip fried donuts and holes in the glaze while warm. To glaze holes, put all the holes in a large tupperware container with half the glaze. Firmly put the cover on the container and shake.

Cinnamon Sugar Topping
2 cups granulated sugar
2 TBLS cinnamon

Mix thoroughly. Dip warm donuts in the mixture. Coat holes in the same way as with the glaze

Toasted Coconut Topping
1 cup coconut flakes

Toast coconut flakes in a small skillet with no oil until just fragrant and they start to turn golden brown. Coat only 1 side of donuts with the toasted coconut flakes. Combines well with the Nutella glaze.

Nutella Glaze
1 Cup Nutella Spread
1 tsp coconut oil

Melt in microwave for 30 second intervals until smooth. Dip one side of donuts in the glaze. Can add rainbow sprinkles or coconut flakes while glaze is still wet.

Time to make the donuts!

I officially have a new obsession! For the last few months, I have been making my own donuts for my family and they are amazing! None of us will really eat store bought donuts anymore now! Lol. These are the two recipes I tend to stick with. I will post a separate entry for the glazes I use.

Quick Donuts:
2 Packets Fast Rising Yeast
1 Cup lukewarm water
3 TBLS sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 Cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
3-4 cups AP Flour
oil for cooking (I use veggie oil, about an inch in my big pot I use to cook pasta)

In the bowl of your mixer with the dough hook attached, add yeast, water and sugar. Allow mixture to sit until bubbles form on top of mixture (about 8 minutes depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen).
Add the rest of ingredients and mix with dough hook, knead dough for 1 minute. (Add flour about 1/8cup at a time until dough is no longer sticky, amount needed depends on the humidity of your kitchen, I usually use about 4 cups).
On a floured surface, kneed by hand for an additional minute. Roll out to about 1/4″ thick and cut out donuts. You can use almost anything to cut them out, use either a large biscuit cutter for the outer circle and a smaller one for the hole, or a large glass for outer circle and a shot glass for the hole, anything really. Rekneed the scraps together to cut out more donuts, but no more than three times or the dough becomes too tough and does not rise properly.  This recipe will yield about 20 donuts and 26 donut holes (the 6 additional ones will come from the last of the scrap dough).
Place donuts and holes on a lightly floured surface and cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel (with the space this many donuts takes up, you will be tempted to use a single bath towel, do not, it will be too heavy for the donuts to rise properly). Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes. (I usually wait the half hour then set up the oil pot and begin to make the glazes for the last 15 minutes).
Place the donuts in the oil, no more than three at a time. Fry for 1-2 minutes per side then flip. The donuts will be golden brown. Transfer to a large plate covered in paper towels or napkins to drain. Drop in glaze while still warm.
The holes will only take about 30 seconds each.
Any left overs can be frozen before they are glazed for another time. Freeze for up to 6 months, although they never last that long around here.

Bread Machine Donuts:
1/2 cup milk (80*F)
1/4 cup water (room temp)
1/4 cup veggie oil
1 egg, room temp, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups bread flour
1 packet active dry yeast

Add all ingredients to the bowl of your bread maker. Use the dough setting and turn it on. Check after about five minutes, if dough is too sticky, add flour 3 TBLS at a time until it is not sticky. Allow bread machine to do its thing. Rise should take about an hour to an hour and 20 minutes depending on your machine.
When dough cycle is over, turn risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/4″ thick. Cut donuts as before, this should yield 2 dozen depending on size.
Place cut dough on a floured surface and cover with a very slightly damp kitchen towel. Allow to rise until dough does not bounce back when pressed slightly, about 45 minutes.
Fry as before.