Birdchick's Booty

Cinnamon says, "Oh, I know I disapprove of this gift! No siree bob, I don't like it."

She is referring to the oh so thoughtful gift Non Birding Bill got for me (and this is a great gift idea for anyone who is a birder) a massage unit for my car seat! It vibrates my shoulders, back and thighs. Just perfect for those long trips to a stake out bird or for when I go to Madison. It's really nifty!

Cinnamon is above gifts as are our other two pets, they seem content with an extra helping of vegetables or just the chance to play with ripped up wrapping paper. Cinnamon got some extra broccoli and some carrots with the tops still attached. Even though she had her fill, she took to carrying around the last chewed up piece of carrot, afraid that I might throw it away when she wasn't looking (below). She reminds me of a third rate gangster which a cigar hanging out of her mouth. I keep expecting her to say "Is this that party to whom I am speaking? I disapprove that you have not paid me back the money I am owed and will now have to have Mr. Bigwig break your knee caps." Maybe she's going to an audition for Guys and Dolls.

Once again I have been spoiled rotten for the holidays. Non Birding Bill knows me so well and has given me quite the book collection. In the past few years he has been giving me various Bent books, but now that the set is nearly complete he is focusing on giving me Johnsgard books. Considering he has authored forty to fifty books, that should be quite a project. He meanders through used book stores and a few websites like Buteo Books to find obscure titles. This year I got Ruddy Ducks and Other Stifftails, Those of the Gray Wind: The Sandhill Cranes, and Earth, Water, and Sky. NBB also picked up some other books I was not expecting like Birds of Prey of the World, Ravens in Winter and The Handbook of Bird Identification for Europe and the Western Paleoarctic! Oh, and I almost forgot a book called Cowbirds and Other Brood Parasites. I told my mother about my haul and she giggled and said, "Your sisters got diamonds for Christmas and you, you're happy with a book about parasites." Quite true--you can't read a bracelet.

On top of the books and vibrating car seat he also got me a jar of propolis! Mmm. I used to hate honey, as a matter of fact I frequently made fun of friends and asked how their bee vomit tasted. One day Mr. Neil made us a "proper cup of tea" that had little floaty bits on top. Little did I know that he had put honey in my tea, and not just any honey but Really Raw Honey, which apparently is completely unprocessed and probably the reason why I never liked honey. This stuff was very pleasant and didn't leave a nasty after taste in my mouth as honey had in the past. The jars are all capped with pieces of honeycomb, wax and propolis. When you put it in your tea you have little waxy bits floating at the top of the mug. I love it so much that our own jar of honey loses its capping before we finish the jar which in turn leads to me whining to NBB that all the floaty bits are gone and we still have half a jar to go before I can buy more honey. So what does my clever husband do? He gets me a jar of cappings (left)! It looks gross, but boy is it tasty in tea! It also makes tea more like a snack or some frightening family remedy.

Now NBB and I are going to settle in for a good read on a wonderful gift from my mother-in-law--500 thread count sheets. Good grief, I thought 300 thread count was a little too decadent for us, but now 500 thread count? One day I'm afraid my sheets are going to have more material than my actual bed!

I hope everyone had as wonderful a weekend as we had. The best gift of all was just time, time with Bill and the pets, time to do just anything I wanted.