Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Update - status quo

First, let me thank you all for your concern and well wishes.  I am so lucky to have a wonderful support system in real life and online, as well as an amazing family.  Everyone has reacted in ways I never expected.  They say you don't know who your true friends are until you face adversity.  I think usually that means that people fail to live up to your expectations, but in my case, I've been overwhelmed with how helpful and supportive everyone has been.  I have far more friends than I realized, and it's been very helpful while dealing with this situation I found myself in.

Things are going OK -- life must go on.  I am trying to get things figured out.  We've had discussions about splitting up our property, which has been heart-wrenching.  He's, at least temporarily, out of the house, which makes things easier for me to try to heal.  I'm going to take some boxes of stuff to my parents' this weekend for storage.

I've tried to be proactive.  Yesterday I had a counseling appointment and the psychologist said I was strong and doing amazingly well.  Maybe they tell that to everyone, but it was good to hear.  I meet her again in about five weeks to discuss how I've been doing.  She gave me a list of things to think about, which has been helpful.  I've spoken with a divorce attorney, which definitely made things seem real.  I see the doctor in January for STD testing.  I have an appointment with a recruiter set up for next month so I can find a job since mine ends in March.  Making tangible progress has been helpful and makes me feel more in control of the situation.

The parrots know things aren't right.  They miss Thomas terribly.  It's been particularly hard on Rocky.  He spends most of his time screaming, which adds to my stress level.  I think I may board him at the rescue while I try to find him a home as he's so unhappy it's affecting me and the rest of the parrots.  Stella and Basil are set to go to their new homes in early January, after the holidays.

Physically, I've lost 8 pounds so far -- pounds I didn't have to lose.  I am trying to eat enough, but the stress is still working its magic.  I only have one pair of pants that fit me; I'd accidentally bought a size too small online and never got around to returning them.  Everything else falls right off.  I guess this means I get to eat extra Christmas cookies this weekend.  And maybe an extra glass of wine :)  But then I don't know what size suit to buy for interviewing.  A small concern in the grand scheme of things, but troubling nevertheless. 

My psychologist said to continue to exercise, so I've been doing that.  It feels great, so I've been doing a little extra -- 10 miles this morning.  I need to keep tabs on that to make sure it doesn't get out of control.  I've checked out a bunch of self-help books from the library and will be reading them to try to make sense of things and to become a stronger person.

I am just very sad.  I know this isn't the man that I married; there's no way he could have fooled me as to his true personality for 13 years.  He got swept up in something, made some incredibly bad decisions, and now we're all paying the price.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


The reason I haven't been posting much is because on December 4, Thomas shocked me with the news that he'd been having an affair with a coworker for two weeks and wanted to divorce so that he could be with her.

I was obviously shocked, as I thought things were wonderful.  We had tons of hobbies in common and spent lots of time together: running, hiking, birdwatching, volunteering, etc.  I was still very much in love, and until the end of October, he'd been acting the same way.  I thought he was joking at first.

The next day, he said he wanted to try to work things out, but ultimately decided that he was done with the marriage.  I've been working on accepting this, though I've only known for two weeks this was even a possibility.

Right now, he and his girlfriend are out looking for apartments to rent, and he's hoping to move out by the end of the week.  Merry Christmas to me.

Unfortunately, this will have an impact on the parrots.  I can't afford to keep the house, and there's no way I can afford an apartment that will allow me to keep all of the parrots.  It just makes me sick, because there's no way I ever would have gotten so many animals had I thought there was even the possibility that something like this could happen.  Most of the parrot acquisitions were spear-headed by him, and now he's walking out and abandoning us all.  We made promises to the parrots that they were in their forever home, and because of his actions, that's no longer the case.

I will be able to keep Max and Calypso.  My parents have a small home, and they can temporarily take them while I find a new place to live, should it be necessary.  Basil will go back to his previous home, and I found an amazing home for Stella.  That leaves Rocky and Beeps.  I can't take Beeps because he and Calypso don't get along, and my smaller place won't allow for adequate separation.  I can't take Rocky because he doesn't like me, and would certainly be too loud in an apartment.  My boss will take the fish, and I have a couple of leads of placing Andreas.

I just don't know what to do.  I feel very overwhelmed and sad.  Reality still hasn't hit.  This has been the worst 8 week period of my life.  First, I find out that I'm losing my job at the end of March.  Then, Brian dies.  Finally, my marriage ends.  What else could happen?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Yesterday morning, I was making a lasagna in the slow cooker for dinner. I had the greys in the kitchen with me, and they were mostly behaving. I got involved in chopping carrots and got a little complacent when things got quiet.

I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking, but probably that Stella was nicely sitting on her stand, certainly not what was really happening:
Luckily, she did not take a bite out of all of the apples, but restrained herself to just one.
When she'd had enough of the apple, she started in on my ingredients that I had on the island.  For example, trying to get into the walnuts:
And then slamming a can of tomatoes around.  I think her goal here was more to express frustration at not getting walnuts and not that she wanted tomatoes:
I did worry she might have a stomachache from eating so much apple, but that didn't appear to happen.  She was normal when I got home from work yesterday, and had even eaten her pellets.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Danger shower

Thomas was taking a shower last week, so I asked him if he'd be interested in having Beeps as a companion instead of Rocky. We joked that it would be a danger shower since Beeps is so unpredictable.

He did make many threatening moves throughout the course of the shower, but he was all bluff.  Nothing like a little adventure in the morning to keep Thomas on his toes!

Hot food

Last week, Max tried to help herself to some of our dinner (this recipe if anyone else has a butternut squash around that needs to be eaten -- it was delicious!)  It's hard to see in this picture, but the steam was preventing her from trying it (she ultimately did get some squash.)

This reminded us of a story from her chick-hood, almost 10 years ago.  We were very new to parrots and had only had her a couple of weeks.  We had made spaghetti noodles, so we gave her one.  But we weren't careful enough with the temperature to make sure it was cool enough first.

She gulped down the noodle without chewing; belatedly, she realized it was too hot, so she grabbed the end of the noodle with her foot and pulled the entire noodle out of her body.  It was so strange to see, and gave us a important lesson (that you think we would have known based on common sense) about making sure food is cool enough for them.

Now, every time she investigates food that's too hot, we ask her if she remembers the noodle incident from when she was a little chick.  I don't know if she does, but she is very careful to wait to eat something until it won't burn her.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Goofy Greys

Last night, Stella kept trying to bully all of the parrots away from their food so she could eat the choice morsels from everyone's dishes.  Of course this was not allowed, but as soon as I removed her from Max's cage, she'd fly over to Basil's cage.  Finally, I removed her to the kitchen, where she perched with an innocent look on her face:
Until, seeing Calypso go inside his cage so he could dunk his food in his water, she decided to steal his food:
I removed her right after taking the picture.

Shortly after, she started going on adventures with Max, like hanging out by the apples:
As I didn't want any of my apples to have beak-sized pieces removed, the greys were removed and put on proper perches.  Something must have been in the air as they were up to no good last night.  I'm hoping they will be a bit calmer today!