Tuesday, January 1, 2008

greatest accomplishment of 2008

We’re talking only one day so far. No big deal, you might say; but I’ve spent the weekend finishing up procrastinated projects, including clipping and bathing one of the dogs without setting up the grooming table, moving the last ten or twelve boxes of books from the garage to the downstairs, and today trimming Peaches’ beak which is the most disliked of many dreary tasks.

Most parrots keep their beaks trimmed by chewing on toys, scraping on perches provided for the purpose, and eating. In the past few years, none of that has worked for Peaches the Amazon. I wrap him in a towel and he swears, struggles, and bites at the towel while I try to maneuver various clipping instruments to take off just the tip. When he needs a major trim, I take him to a vet. Last summer I saw a vet use a cuticle clipper to trim and shape his beak perfectly, so that’s what I tried this time. Because the blade is small and curved, you can clip off bits on each side of the beak’s tip, keeping it pointed and symmetrical. A major load of guilt is now gone, with the trimming followed by major cleaning of cages.

But that is not the big accomplishment. Even the fancy new chicken house (stay tuned for that) is not the big accomplishment.

The big accomplishment is rearranging the garage and putting my car inside. Other than a few weeks in Portland when I put my car in the garage before using it for storage, I have never used a garage for storing a car. In some houses, this was because the birds lived in the garage and in some there was simply no room. In this house, however, the birds live in the mud/laundry room, much to the dogs’ delight because they can nose around for dropped food every time they go in and out of the house. With the books out of the garage and many of the packing boxes flattened and put away, I drove my car inside and pressed the button for the door to roll shut. So now there’s a dark red Saturn LW2 taking up what was this nice, big empty space.

I don’t know if I like having a car in the garage; it makes the garage smell like car. This does not seem healthy for the food, artwork, wrapping paper, portfolios, camping equipment, tools, gardening equipment, extra table linens, and many other items stored there. Will they all wind up smelling like car exhaust?

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