Pictures for Pam, Day 43: Pumpkin

(+2 insets) My fluffy little alarm clock let me sleep in this morning! I woke up at 7am for once and the extra sleep was so wonderful! I sprang out of bed so happy because it's WINTER SOLSTICE!! HOORAY!!! Now the days will finally start to get longer...THANK GOODNESS!! I was buzzing merrily around in the kitchen this morning until I got to the part where I opened the 'fridge to get Pumpkin's bowl of fruits and veggies...ACK! Sound the general alarm! There weren't any! I'd forgotten to cut up a new batch the night before. BOO!! "Ah well," I thought to myself, "no worries! Let's get this party started, shall we?" Reaching down to the veggie compartment, I pulled it open and grabbed the bags of celery, bell peppers, carrots and apples, turned around and plopped them onto the counter as the refrigerator door closed behind me. From her perch at the kitchen window I distinctly heard Pumpkin chuckling at me as she watched the latest episode of the Mama Bird Show... I stepped over to the other counter and grabbed one of our pretty bamboo cutting boards and pulled out my favorite knife. It's a 6" J.A. Henkels from Spain that Steve's had for many years. I just love it because the blade stays so sharp. Perfect for cutting up Chicken's fruits and veggies! (Pumpkin has a million nicknames but our favorite is Chicken . Others include Fluffball, Fuzzball, Fat Pants, Fluffy Butt, Chick-pea, Fruit Bat, the names go on and on!) Pumpkin whistled back and forth with me while I rinsed, sliced and diced two spears of celery, half an apple, a dozen baby carrots and half of a red bell pepper. Before I chopped up the celery, I cut off the ends and tossed them to Molly. She was ready and waiting with perked ears and bright eyes. Enthusiastic crunching soon filled the room, a sound which made me smile and elicited a bemused cackle from Pumpkin. I pulled out a sliver of carrot and handed it to her, who gronked joyfully and munched with gusto. Sweeping the pile of fruits and veggies into a metal bowl, I mixed them up, grabbed one of her blue food dishes and loaded it up as usual. Yay! Now Pumpkin had a brand new batch of fresh food. I covered the metal bowl, put it in the 'fridge and continued with my routine, finally bringing Pumpkin upstairs with her food. As I closed the door to the bedroom, Pumpkin was diving into her bowl and gronking with joy, "YUMMY BREAKFAST!!!" Oh, how I love that little girl! :) Initially I thought that it would be nice to share a snowy picture today to honor Winter Solstice, but instead I've decided to honor Pumpkin instead! I got Steve to hold her on her back, a position she loves--it's also so adorable that I thought you would all enjoy it too! I also included an inset to show the food I cut up for her and a holiday greeting to all of you. :) Pam, it was so wonderful to get such a lovely note from you yesterday on my latest picture! I am overjoyed that things are a little better for you these days. Let's hope for continued improvements in the following days my dear! *BIG HUGGGGGGGGS*!!!!!!

C is for Cute & Colorful Caique

You can also find me on Facebook ! Our little parrot, Pumpkin, is the silliest, cutest, most playful companion I've ever had! She loves to run after little balls like this green one, grab them, and throw them onto the floor! As they fall, she turns her head at an angle to watch, and is always extremely delighted when Steve or I pick the ball up and toss it for her to chase again! Her favorite toys have bells inside of them. She loves to shake them furiously before flinging them through the air and hopefully...on the floor! Much cackling and happiness ensues! :D Pumpkin has a wonderful sense of humor and finds hilarity in so many things, but especially loves to watch the dogs as they are being washed. This activity combines a favorite sound, water splashing, and what looks like a wonderful punishment for those horrible creatures, and she spends the entire time laughing her head off and throwing pieces of bread at their heads! :D She's just too cute! I couldn't resist putting up a second picture of Pumpkin with her ball! It shows more of her goofy, playful personality and I thought you might enjoy it too! Explored on March 11, 2014. Highest placement, #2.

C is for Clown of the Parrot World: Caique

I got a lot of really cute pictures of Pumpkin playing with one of her toys today. Caiques are known as the "Clowns of the Parrot World", and it's true. I've shared my life with 3 Caiques now, and have known several others...they are all extremely playful, silly, goofy, and funny birds, all of whom have great senses of humor and are always up for something hilarious! :) Explored on March 12, 2014. Highest placement, page 5.

233/365: "The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart." ~ Helen Keller

4 more pictures in notes above! (the picture of coins has two other versions to see if visit) I love it when Thursday rolls around because I get to participate in the Bokeh Thursday Challenge! :D This week's theme is "Coins", which had me bouncing up and down because I've been wanting to take some pictures of our leftover foreign coins for a while! We keep our odd coins in a box in the bedroom and of course I took my parrot, Pumpkin, out of her cage to help supervise! I let her romp around on the bed while I looked over the loot, and she was having such a good time that I decided to bring the camera and flash upstairs and let her play on the bed while I took pictures. We went downstairs together, she on a finger, laughing as we walked down the stairs, and then she made silly wine-cork noises at the strange stuff I was carrying back upstairs with me! While I took pictures, she proceeded to walk around on our comforter, making "chicken tracks" all over the soft plush blanket. This is so funny to see, but I couldn't get any pictures that showed how cute the footprints look, boo! Even though I was taking pictures of coins, I kept an eye on Pumpkin at all times while she played. She didn't want to have anything to do with the camera equipment, but instead busied herself by hanging off the side of the bed and chortling happily at me. She also crawled through a tunnel I made for her under the comforter and I snickered as I heard her making funny croaking sounds as she investigated her private clubhouse. I peeked over the edge of the bed at one point and found her making "creaking" sounds as she stared intently at a place where two pieces of wood came together, forming a crack. She loves cracks. They make her laugh! :D I finally finished taking pictures and gathered up my darling girl, covering her with kisses and telling her how much I love her. And as I plopped a treat into her food cup and swung her in a wide arc into her cage, she squealed happily, "WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!" That's my girl. Best little friend in the whole, wide world!!!! Texture used in this image: Netherworld TOTD # 128 by Jerry Jones (SkeletalMess on Flickr) Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, her 100th birthday. Wikipedia: Helen Keller Explored on August 22, 2013. Highest placement, page 2 (#40).

Pumpkin Loves to Hang Around!

1 clickable picture in a note above! :) Here's Pumpkin hanging off the side of the bed, totally delighted with herself and happy as a little clam! :D Known as the "Clown of the Parrot World," these high-energy birds are small with huge personalities. Native to the Amazon Basin in South America, they are very bold and feisty, extremely affectionate and sweet, and they are one of the only types of parrots that will bond to more than one person. (Pumpkin loves both of us very much, and has a special and unique relationship with us) There are two main types: the White Bellied, like Pumpkin, and the Black-Headed...both have white bellies so it's confusing. They have a great sense of humor and are very funny, silly birds who love to play all day long! Caiques are not good talkers, though some learn a few words. Pumpkin can say exactly one: when I hold her over the sink to do her business, she says, "Oop!!" :D She thinks that's pretty funny! Pumpkin is 10 years old and we got her when she was just 6 months old! :) We love her like our own daughter, she means the world to us!

45/365: "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." ~ Lao Tzu

The other day when Steve and I were in Celebrity Pets, I saw a cute Valentine's balloon, which I thought would make the perfect Valentine's card and also my pick of the day if I added a border. However, when I got up this morning, I saw the image in my mind of our darling parrot, Pumpkin, cuddled up in one of our red blankets and knew that was what I'd do! With the help of Steve doing the cuddling, I got three pictures and they were all wonderful, but this was my favorite! If you're wondering about the hearts, this is how I did it! I have lots of little paper punches in different shapes, including a heart. I found some cardboard in our recycling with glossy red paper on it and punched out about a dozen hearts. This morning I lined them up on white cardstock and used a book to make sure they were straight. Then I took a picture overhead. I opened the file in Photoshop, selected the hearts and pasted them onto their own layer in my image of Pumpkin. I duplicated them until they lined the entire length of the image. I then used some of the "FX special effects filters to create the embossed appearance. Finally, I created a black layer underneath, duplicated the layers to make a top and bottom border, added the off-white rule, and presto! Pretty hearts for my holiday picture! Laozi or Lao Tzu; also romanized as Lao Tse, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Laocius, and other variations) (fl. 6th century BCE) was a philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching (often simply referred to as Laozi). His association with the Tào Té Chīng has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of philosophical Taoism (pronounced as "Daoism"). He is also revered as a deity in most religious forms of Taoist philosophy, which often refers to Laozi as Taishang Laojun, or "One of the Three Pure Ones". Wkipedia: Lao Tzu

Soft: Fluffy Pumpkin in a Fluffy Blanket

This was the picture I used for a Valentine's card and is one of my favorite pictures of her! Pumpkin is my amazing White Bellied Caique parrot, who my husband and I have been honored to share the past 11 years with. She is our feathered child and we love her dearly!

43/365: "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul — and sings the tunes without the words — and never stops at all." ~ Emily Dickinson

Today Steve borrowed my camera so he could take a few more pictures at Celebrity Pets, and though I could have used the Canon 5D, I decided to wait since I had other work to do during the day anyway. Time flew and I didn't get to my picture taking until about 8:00pm! Thankfully I have a macro lens, which means there are about 10 zillion cool subjects to photograph in every room! Steve and I collect feathers from our beautiful Caique parrot, Pumpkin, and store them in a baggie on the refrigerator, so I got some, put them on a mirror, and took some pictures! This was the second picture I looked at! The only thing I've done to it is adjust the levels, I cropped it, and added a frame. I found another version a few images later that I liked too, which is my alternate. One thing I found out tonight is that I'm going to have a lot of fun with her feathers...they are all totally amazing, and you're only seeing one of them!! Hooray for beautiful Pumpkin girl! :) Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she studied at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she spent a short time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's house in Amherst. Thought of as an eccentric by the locals, she became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even leave her room. Most of her friendships were therefore carried out by correspondence. Wikipedia: Emily Dickinson

Barbs of a Tiny Feather

This is an alternate image for today that I thought turned out nicely too! :) Only a levels adjustment and cropping was done to this, along with a frame.
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