Mighty Fine Apple


We don’t grow a lot of apples in our yard in Southern California, so I have to show off this big beautiful Granny Smith.

I enlisted Dodger’s help to give it some scale, and then the California topo map because…boosterism, I guess.  This apple was grown between the L.A. Basin an the Mojave Desert, due west of Dodger’s right toenail.

Ulitmately, I think this photo says more about Dodger’s patience with his humans than it does about fruit or California.

Everything Comes Apart


Destructo—erm, Dodger–playing with an actual toy we bought him.  Parrot philosophy includes the concept that everything comes apart. He’s good at dismantling all sorts of things we’d rather him not dismantle.


Lately his interest in how things sound when they hit the floor has escalated to how things sound when they shatter on the tiles.  He broke this lovely tiny bowl made my our friend Glenn Scrivner a few weeks ago.

It’s really hard not to get angry with him when he does things like this, especially when it’s one of a kind. Making a big fuss only encourages more of the same behavior, though. Because the point is not only the sound, but the reaction he gets from us. “Ooh!  A ruckus!  Isn’t this so much more fun than ‘Modern Family’ reruns?”


The other night he pushed the salt mate to this vintage pepper shaker at least six inches across the counter to its demise.  We had to go right out and clean it up, which we tried to do without much comment. But this was not a fun loss. Hydra had a set like this in his childhood kitchen.  We spent a lot of time a couple of years ago  hunting down first the pepper shaker and then the salt in different shops because as a set they are ridiculously overpriced.

It was a fun pursuit–which we will undertake again–but I don’t like that we removed a vintage thing from the world.  Also, these wide mouthed shakers are wonderful for cooks.  Lots of supply right there on the counter and easy to unscrew and dip a measuring spoon into.

We try to let him hang out in the kitchen by himself because he’s good 92% of the time. He plays in the wooden submarine playbox Hydra made for him, or looks out the window, or yeah, tries to get into the drawers and throw stuff out. So our drawers are tied up with bungee cords right now. Sigh.


And yes, he also broke a ROCK the other day!  This is a slice of caliche I picked up in central Texas when we were there a couple of years ago. I like rocks, fossils, and inexpensive reminders of places I’ve been.

Then he does stuff like wake me up in the morning with  “Hello?  Hello?” Pause. “Sally?  Wanna cuddle?”   The joys of parrothood.



Because Parrot!


Because some times the Artful Dodger needs to try the way people do stuff to see why they do it so much. Chair sitting: highly overrated.


Because Sriracha sauce is inexplicably the most compelling thing in the house right now.  Hydra received this bottle when he saw the Short Documentary presentations at Dance With Films festival last week in Hollywood. Our friend Jane Rosemont’s short doc, The Pie Lady of Pie Town, was rated the best short doc and will have a screening in Santa Monica later this year to qualify it for Oscar consideration!  Very excited for her, and happy that we helped an itty bitty bit through her Indiegogo campaign.


dodger stranded

Because sometimes he gets himself stuck at the top of something he has climbed. In this case, the TV tray by my chair in the living room.


5 x 5 : Day Four : I Spy With My Little Eye


People often ask if Dodger knows what he’s saying when he speaks English. Though he doesn’t always use language exactly as we would, we believe that he does sometimes mean what he says. Like today.

He made it clear by saying, “Want some water?” and bobbing in the direction of the tub that he bathes in that he wanted a bath. He likes to dip into a beer mug full of water. Can’t say why he won’t bathe in the whole big tub!

When the water got down a few inches, as in the photo, he said, “Water?” or “Want some water?”  I refilled it for him.

After repeating this for maybe fifteen minutes, he was done. No, he didn’t say, “You done?” which he does say when he is finished with his breakfast. He said, “Wanna cuddle?” Because usually he’s chilled and he wants to sit on a finger till his feet warm up.

I’m just sayin’.


Figured out my summer coffee fix today. Buy a tall blonde with a splash of soy milk and ask the barrista to fill my reusable cup up with ice. Pour the hot coffee over the ice, and viola! Iced coffee that’s not too strong. I can’t take the cold-brew they serve (and charge more for.)


The guest bathroom is starting to come together. I took a paint chip with me shopping and found this cool Indian print shower curtain, and some pumpkin colored towels. It’s starting to come together as warm and spicy. (Interesting since the wall color was a color match to the Bayeux Tapestry segment reproduction that hangs over the fire place.)


I love this bag. I get a lot of compliments on it. People think it’s some designer bag–“Is that an XXX?”–when in fact the image is from a series of tween books called Emily the Strange.

The only problem with it is that every once in a while the shoulder strap clip comes loose while it’s on my shoulder and the bag falls. Yesterday it did it again, and freakishly, the clip flipped up and hit me in my right eye.

The body is an amazing thing. I saw the silver clip right before it hit, but my lid closed in time. It feels bruised, but there’s not even a lot of bloodshot-ness.


Thank you, eyelid. I am so grateful that I can still spy with my little eye!

p.s. On Hydra’s recommendation, I wrapped tiny strips of silver duct tape around the clips so they won’t attack again. Yay, Hydra!



I try not to post a lot of pet bird photos on my blog, but I thought these were kind of photographically interesting.  The Artful Dodgers is a real sweetheart most of the time, and in this shot I had him on his back on a chair with the light coming in from the library window.


He was pretty patient with me for a few shots.  Then he was ready to be picked up again.

Coffee Love and Lens Play


Dodger looking longingly toward the coffee pot,which he adores.  First thing he says most mornings? “Coffee coffee coffee.”

p.s. He is sitting on the mounting board we try to use as a barrier.

Still playing around with the lens Richard loaned me.  Devil!  I have ordered my own through Amazon.  I will probably have my own by the time I see him to return his Nikon DX 1.8.


The problem with Dodger’s relatively recent coffeemaker lust isn’t only that it’s a glass container full of scalding liquid, but also that he has to  walk across the stove to get to it.  The possibilities are cringe-worthy.


Though I try not to post a lot of bird pix here, this is more about the amount of light and detail this lens grabs.


Shot in not a lot of light.


Again, fairly low light.  I did a little filler light adjusting here, but still.


Looking up into the budgie house.  Ricky and Tex.