Tomorrow is March already?! How is that even possible? Spring is nearly here and I haven’t even started my January diet yet. Oh boy. I know I have been grumping about our lack of winter here, but it’s hard to complain today. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it’s already 80 degrees despite the fact that it’s only 9am. Speaking of singing birds…
#144, Visit a Bird Sanctuary
Today we made a quick trip down to San Diego County to have a birthday brunch with my dad. We sang to him while he wore a large sombrero, and we raised our glasses in honor of his 74th year on the planet.
On our way home, we made a detour to Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Del Mar. It’s a small place, but I had read that they work hard to re-socialize and rehome companion parrots that, for one reason or another, end up homeless and in need of care.
The most striking part of the visit was that we were allowed, encouraged even, to handle the birds. Some of the birds are biters, but the staff isn’t in your face about telling you to be careful. They allow an organic trust to develop (or not) between the birds and the visitors.
I once thought about buying a cockatoo for a pet, but when I read more about them I decided that they would need far more attention than my lifestyle permitted at the time. When I visited with a beautiful bird named Caspar today, he immediately leapt into my arms and buried his head in my hair. He was such a cuddler! I was so surprised. I held him for awhile and talked to him, while he nibbled on my hair, and earrings, and spoke real words into my ear. When I tried to put him back on his branch, he didn’t want to go. He put his head on my shoulder and made a cooing sound. So CUTE.
#364, Do a Weekly Photo Shoot, 9/52
My photo shoot of the week took place here at the sanctuary. Here are a few of those shots.
#211, Listen to a Weekly Podcast, 9/52
Okay, add my name to the list of people who inhaled the Serial Season One podcast in a single day. I put on headphones, did all the laundry, cleaned the house, ran errands, and cooked dinner– all while hanging on Sarah Koenig’s every word.
Brought to you by the creators of This American Life, this is a compelling podcast and I encourage you to plug in, especially if you are behind in the housework.
#127, Perform a Weekly Random Act of Kindness, 9/52
I went to the Firehouse Restaurant in Reseda this week to pick up some gyros plates for the kids and me. When I arrived in the parking lot, a thin young woman approached me.
“I’d like a chicken sandwich”, she said.
“Hmmm?” I said, locking my car door.
“Not too big,” she said. “Just bread and chicken.”
“Oh, okay.” I said.
But when I went into the restaurant, my food was ready to be picked up and I didn’t want to wait around for a chicken sandwich. I asked the guy at the take-out window how much a chicken sandwich would be. He said it would be $9.81.
As I walked out with all my bags, the young woman said, “Where’s my sandwich?” I said, “I don’t have time to wait. Here’s ten dollars.”
She seemed happy and disappeared into the restaurant. My mobile phone rang and I chatted for a minute before leaving the parking lot. As I circled around, I saw the woman exiting the restaurant with a small plastic container (not a sandwich). She waived gaily at me.
Interesting. She didn’t look like a drug addict. She looked like an immigrant. A hungry immigrant. She looked at me like… hey- there’s a mom, she’ll feed me.
It was a very matter-of-fact transaction.
Somehow I thought if I ended up in her country of origin and I was hungry, her mom would give me something to eat without a second thought.
I hope I never have to find out.
#14, Watch one Annenberg Iris Series Lecture each week, 9/52
Thanks to my cousin JC for hanging out with me tonight. It’s always fun to be with you.
#119, Attempt a new recipe each week
I didn’t make anything new this week. Time to get back in the kitchen!
Michael Pollan thinks so too.
#21, Try a new restaurant each week, 9/52
On Thursday, I visited the Santa Monica Seafood Cafe with my friend Nancy. You can read about it here.
#294, Try 12 new teas, 2/12
This month I tried Kusmi’s rose green tea. It was a delight. When you open the canister, it smells like flowers and freshly cut grass. It was the perfect accompaniment to catch up on my Downton Abbey. I think even the Dowager would approve.
#274, Watch the Academy Awards
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners at the 88th Academy Awards. I was pleased to hear Leonardo DiCaprio’s acceptance speech promoting conservation and I hope it can help to expand efforts and awareness across the globe.
306 days to go!