Grace's bird, Nigella (a.k.a. El Diablo) went back to the breeder yesterday. This guy was the nicest nicest man. Over spring break Grace and I drove to Orange (by way of San Diego) and picked up her bird, that she had been longing for and saving up for. We brought her home and she began what turned out to be the rather arduous process of socializing her to our family. It never went well. This was a mean, mean, bird. She hissed like a little velociraptor, and bit everyone who came near her. A couple weeks ago I reached out to Octavio to see if he had any advice and he said he had babies and we could trade her in. We kept in touched and followed Luis' growth until yesterday when we could go get him. This is not a quick trip. It was about 2.5 hours each way.
We traded birds, and learned how to feed him (as he is still being hand fed) and Octavio even gave us food and a syringe. He lives in a low income area of town, in a tiny two bedroom apartment with his wife, 3 daughters, and abuelita. His home is very humble but he is warm and kind and generous. He wouldn't take money for the food or the trade and just wants to do fair work. He showed us his birds, he has several breeding pairs, and his plants that he grows in his "backyard" ( a 9 x3 cement slab), and took a long time teaching us and visiting with us. We appreciated his instructions and his sharing with us. Rob left him a pass along card. A wonderful family like that would be so blessed by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
It was late when we left Octavio's, but not late enough for the traffic to be settled down, so we decided to stop and eat dinner before getting on the road. This is where we met our second character of the night. The place we went was Miguel's taco shop. When we were walking up I saw two guys and a parrot sitting at one of the tables outside. I said "that's a beautiful dinner companion you have" to which they replied "he's not ours. He just flew down here, stole a taco and has been siting with us ever since." It was some what unbelievable but they insisted it was true and told us about all the wild parrots in Orange county. They said we should go down to the jail where they (not the men but the birds) congregate at sundown and enjoy a squawky bird fest. Rob and Grace and I listened to them for awhile (as we were not in a hurry and the bird was lovely) and at one point I asked if he was pulling our leg, but they insisted no.
Then Grace decided she wanted to feed the bird some spray millet that she had in the car. It was at that point that Brad (the bird guy) asked us what we were doing there and we told him we had just come from Palmdale for a baby bird. He was impressed and then told us that he was pulling our leg, Maverick was his. He has 32 birds in total and is a Jesus lover and a story teller. We had an interesting conversation with him that was a combination of bird advice, testimony bearing, and tall tales. Eventually we had to go in and eat so we took some pictures, gave him and his friend a pass along card each, and went on with our evening.
So I guess this pushes us clearly on the side of a little crazy ourselves. Grace took this picture this morning. Rob and I always sleep with Steve and Ziva.
So far Luis has spent every second in contact with Grace. He's quite happy to do so. I hope he won't be too distressed come Monday morning when she goes to school.
In other news we had a family weeding day this morning. Way overdue. One thing I learned from my dad was working with your kids gives you great opportunities to talk to them. The kids are trapped, and also more likely to open up because there you are. It's easier to talk when there is a task at hand. Dad always helped in the kitchen after dinner and I think some of our best talks were while washing dishes, or while taking walks together. Anyway I had some things on my mind that we (Rob and I ) wanted to talk to the kids about so it turned out to be a good time for it. We had a good morning. The front yard is now squared away and our talk was a good one. Parenting win!!