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madhen

...and the hits keep coming

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by , 08-31-2008 at 11:33 PM (1681 Views)
Okay, so for the past several weeks, I have been averaging fourteen hour days at work. There have been days when I have just given up and slept in a sleeping bag on the floor of my office, because I was too tired to make the trip home.

So last week, in the middle of everything, I am hand-feeding two baby Gouldian finches. This alone is very stressful and time-consuming. It seems you are just done washing and cleaning up after one feeding and then you have to start getting ready for the next one!

THEN, I find one of my finches on the bottom of her cage. She is egg-bound. Pop her into a brooder with a wet towel and let her sit in the sauna for a couple of days until yesterday morning, when she finally pops the egg out. But of course, that is the same day Daisy rips her splint off (see first blog), which means yet another trip to the vet, using up about 2.5 hours of the approx 2 hours of free time I have that day.

So yesterday, I'm running a budgie to the vet, trying to get all my chores done after putting in about a 70 hour week, and looking forward to just having a little time to relax on Sunday.

Day breaks...

At 6:15a, I wake up and feed the baby finches. I heat up breakfast for the parrots and head for the coffee maker, looking forward to sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee once everyone settles down.

6:30a - THE POWER GOES OUT.

Where I live, this means the electricity goes out, which means the phones (handheld) go dead and the water (pumped from a well) stops.

I have been complaining about the heat ALL week, and I am actually enjoying the fact that I have to put a sweatshirt on when I get up this morning. Now I am watching the brooder temperature drop at an alarming rate and listening to two uncomfortable chicks letting me know they aren't happy.

I grab the brooder and run downstairs to my truck. I start the truck up and turn the heater on, and set the brooder up in the cab. The chicks start to warm up and calm down. Crisis averted.

And then I realize it is almost time for their next feeding. No water, much less hot water. Happily, I have bottled water in stock, but how to heat it? I finally settle on a propane lantern, the top of which heats up nicely and perfectly holds a baby food jar full of water.

We start a dance of heating water, checking on the babies to make sure they aren't overheating, mixing up formula, checking the babies again, feeding the babies, washing out the utensils, checking the babies, setting up the water bath on the lantern...each step involving running up or down a flight of stairs either to check the chicks (downstairs) or access the kitchen (upstairs). This goes on for NINE hours, with me checking the chicks every 10-15 minutes, slowly going from using the heater to using the A/C in the truck to keep them at 95F.

MEANWHILE, I am trying to get my little foster parrot ready to go home to his new residence. He is being picked up at 4p, and my house looks like it was in the path of Gustav, because I've been working non-stop for about three weeks and haven't bothered to do ANY cleaning. My evenings typically consisted of coming in the door and just dropping things on my zombie-like shamble to the bed. My mornings were spent getting the animals ready for a full day of having to fend for themselves.

So, in the minute or so of dead time I have in between the chick-survival dance, I'm running to the water storage tank and getting bucketsful of water, so that I can clean up the the kitchen and mop the floors, so that this woman doesn't call the Health Department on me after leaving my house.

Finally, at about 3:30p, the power goes back on. I breathe a sigh of relief, drag the brooder back upstairs and reinstall it to its rightful place in the kitchen, and take a few deep, cleansing breaths.

Only to find my phones are still dead. And in a show of solidarity, my cell phone has also died.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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Updated 12-16-2008 at 09:53 AM by madhen

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Fluff and Feathers

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