Friday, December 30, 2022

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

I'm typing this fireside because, yes, I completely forgot about writing a blog post for this week.  So instead of post-Christmas knitting, you get my last firepit of the year.  

I had a lot of lasts today. (Well, yesterday as of when you're reading this)

The last of the Christmas turkey was eaten. 

Got my last paycheck for 2022.

Had my last day off this year.

My last load of laundry for 2022 has been done.

I changed my sheets for the last time this year.

I cleaned the fish tank out for the last time this year.

It was a very exciting day off! ๐Ÿ˜Š

And finally, today is my final blog post for 2022, such that it is.

And as I mentioned, the last firepit of the year.

Hopefully I'll be back to talking about knitting next week.  Meanwhile, I wish you a very

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sunday Supper - Corn Pudding

 


Today's Sunday Supper recipe for corn pudding is another holiday favorite from Southern Living.  This is the recipe my mother-in-law always used.  My own mom's was creamier and had a lot less sugar, and sadly, she never wrote it down.  It existed only in her head.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Almost ready for Santa

There has been a lot of Christmas progress around here over the last few days.  And thank goodness for it!  I was in quite a panic up until last night.  But you know how when you have WAY too much to do and you're all stressed out about it but then  you sit down and map out an actual plan, a plan with priorities, a plan with sensible priorities, and then you focus on that plan and start following the steps and it suddenly all comes together and you realize you are actually going to survive as long as you can remain focused...?  Yeah, that happened.  I just hope I haven't forgotten anything because one single missed task and my whole world is going to fall apart again.


Anyway, the tree is up and decorated and Leroy is hanging front and center where he can be seen from the 'good' chair.  I painted Leroy when I was a young kid - six or eight years old, I'd guess.  Dad named him Leroy and he always had to hang where Dad could see him from his seat on the couch.


The gifts are all wrapped.  Well, most of them are.  Okay, 90% of them are wrapped.  But the rest are things that will most likely go in gift bags so not a hugetime consuming issue.

I thought I still needed to go stocking stuffer shopping but I met with Santa yesterday and it turns out I already have more stuff than I need.

Nine batches of rum balls have been made.  I need to make four more batches but I ran out of ingredients and what with the traditional shot of rum between each batch, I wasn't in any condition to go to the grocery store.


This set of miniature stockings has been completed...


And the final knitted gift is on the needles.  I'm afraid to say it but I shouldn't have any trouble getting it finished in time.

There's still 8,000 batches of cookies to bake but thank goodness for awesome daughters who volunteer for that duty.  She even gets the first five or six thousand made without complaint.  Ususally.

So what's left to do?  

I still have to deliver the gifts.

And of course I need to finish wrapping the gifts.

We need to go ride around looking at other's lights.

I need to help Hayden make gifts for her parents.  I really want that to be a tradition.  Have a Christmas Craft Night (or day) with her each year so that (A) we can have craft time together, (B) she can hand-make something for her parents and later in life, her friends or whoever she wants to make for, and (C) it will give her parents an evening or afternoon to go do adulty things.  Growing up, I had that tradition with my God Mother and I have some wonderful crafty memories.  I want the same for Hayden.

I need to do the final Christmas dinner shopping and some last minute baking.

And of course, I need to finish that last knitted gift.

Oh, and I should probably at least vacuum before Santa arrives.

I have two days off from work between now and Christmas.  I should be able to get all that done, right?

Right??

I sure hope I haven't forgotten anything.

And since I can feel the panic starting to slowly seep back in, I'm going to go ahead and make the decision to take next week off from blogging.  I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, fun and happy holiday.


๐ŸŽ„MERRY CHRISTMAS๐ŸŽ„

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Sunday Supper - Sugared Nuts

Okay, so maybe today's recipe for sugared nuts isn't a 'dinner' food, but it is southern and they are almost always found at any fancy gathering.  They also make great gifts.


So, I present you with.... Sugared Nuts from Deep South Dish.  Yum!

Friday, December 9, 2022

It's begining to look a little like Christmas

We finally got a Christmas tree.


This is a record breaking year for tree shopping.  It was the first time since Mike and I have been together  (over 30 years) that we went together to pick out the tree!  Can you believe that?  I know, it's crazy, right?!?  

When we first met, we were living in apartments and real trees weren't allowed.  And then my fake tree was a really nice one and lasted for many, many years.  And then we were young, first time parents and broke and we made do with the old, now worn out fake tree. And then it became a tradition, (not a well loved tradition, but a tradition all the same) that Mike would pick one up on his way home from work. And the last few years, he and Sarah went together while I worked or stayed home to take care of his mom.

Anyway, we went together this year.  You'd think we were both drunk in the photo but it's because my arm wasn't long enough and we got laughing at my inability to take a decent photo.


Normally the tree hangs out in the bed of Mike's truck overnight but this year we brought it in immediately and set it up.


And Sarah instantly started putting the lights on it.  

Thank God for daughters who will willingly put the lights on!


On a different note, tomorrow is my last craft show/event/fair of the season.  I'm terribly unprepared after not being able to knit and replace the things sold at the last fair but.... if you're in the area, come by and see me and all the other vendors.  There should be some fantastic Christmas gift options to choose from.


And, there will even be a craft supply yardsale type table where the vendors can destash their no longer needed/wanted crafty items, kits, tools and scraps.  There will be something for everyone so stop by if you are in the area.  It should be a good time!



Sunday, December 4, 2022

Sometimes I'm an idiot!

Yes, sometimes I'm an idiot.  A complete and total idiot. Today's Sunday Supper post got retroactively posted to November 6th instead of being posted on December 4th.  I could lie and say I don't know how it happened but...

In any event, today's Sunday Supper is a recipe for beef tenderloin and can be found here.  I apologize for making you follow an extra link but Blogger won't allow me to repost the exact same post.  I do think this dish sounds delicious enough, and easy enough, to bother with that extra link though.

Christmas beef tenderloin, courtesy of southernliving.com

Enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Flying

 The needles have been flying!


The thumb splint was due to be removed on the day after Thanksgiving but I took it off a day early.  Sarah still did most of the cooking but I helped a little and did most of the dish washing.  The warm water felt really good on my thumb and I think it was a big help in getting some mobility back in it. 

Our Thanksgiving was pretty peaceful.  We only had three in attendance because everyone else had the flu.  

After dinner clean-up, I sat down and knit.  And knit and knit and knit. I'm making a Garter Squish blanket, a free Stephen West design.  Of course I'm not following the pattern exactly.  I added a few extra stitches for little bit of extra width and I'm changing colors much more frequently than suggested.  

It's only been a week of knitting and the blanket is already too big to fit into my sweater plus a hat or two sized knitting bag.  Being knit with two strands of worsted on large needles makes for a wonderfully thick and squishy fabric. (Thus the design's name.)  I'm not crazy about the way my color stripes look when it's bunched up in my lap or knitting bag but it's better when spread out over a bed.  I think - I hope - it's one of those magical projects, like a scrappy mitered square blanket, where the colors clash and look awful until you finish and suddenly, presto-magic, they all blend together perfectly.  That's what I'm hoping.  But even if it turns out ugly, it will be warm and snuggly.

I'm knitting the blanket with two strands of Brava held together.  One strand is Custard throughout and the second is a mish-mash of mini skeins from multiple sets.  It's a very relaxing knit and the fabric knits up super fast - obviously!  The pattern has a knit as you go i-cord border which is pretty cool.  I've never seen it before and while it's not visually noticable, it is super easy to do and does make the edge neater and somewhat sturdier.  

Squish has been a wonderful project to be working on this past week.  It's mindless and exactly what I've needed.  Remember how I said everyone had the flu for Thanksgiving?  Hayden was one of the 'everyone' and it hit her hard.  Really, really hard.  She ended up being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and gave us a all a pretty good scare.  This year's flu is no joke.  

She's home now, after multiple days in the hospital hooked up to all kinds of tubes and wires.  She's feeling better but still isn't her normal bouncy self.  Now, if we can just get her parents well.... I'm not sure who I felt more sorry for - Hayden hooked up to all the life saving gadgets or her parents, having to sit and worry about her while they dealt with their own flu symptoms.  Zack seems like he's making a little progress getting better.  His fever has finally broken at least.  But Hayden's mom, honestly, I'm not so sure she shouldn't be hanging out in her own hospital bed.  

Meanwhile, I have a giant snack basket with enough snacks to sustain me for several days and I'm hiding out in my room, doing everything I can to avoid their flu germs.  Thank goodness I have a closet full of yarn and my thumb is healed and I can knit once again. 


Oh, and just to make sure my thumb would allow me to use regular sized needles, I cast on a .... well, the first of a set of four somethings for a Christmas gift.   Also being knit with Brava.  I've never liked acrylic yarns but Brava is pretty nice.  I've knit almost exclusively with it since the start of summer and have had zero issues with it.  It's soft, seems to wash and wear well and comes in lots of pretty colors.


Oh, and I started to decorate for Christmas.  I didn't get very far before Hayden got sick.  And apparently I forgot to water the brand new pointsettias.  Hopefully they will bounce back.

I hope you all also had a peaceful Thanksgiving, although for different reasons.  (I've been too busy knitting and praying for Hayden to read many blog posts.)  I also  hope you can stay far, far away from the flu germs but if you do get sick, take care and take it seriously.  It's a nasty, nasty bug this year!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sunday Supper - Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole

 I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and don't have too many leftovers.  But if you do...


Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole from favfamilyrecipes.com.  

I promise, the recipe is there on that page, but you do have to scroll waaaay, way down to get to it.  Besides, you really don't need the recipe.  Just layer all your leftovers in a casserole dish and heat it up.  Yum!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

This week's post is coming to you a couple of days early.  I still don't have any knitting to show off but the splint comes off in a few days so there is a light at the end of this horrible three week yarnless tunnel.

Instead of knitting, today I'm Thanksgiving chocolate pie baking.  We've changed things up over the last couple of years.  Instead of going to my sisters, we celebrate at home now... and Sarah does the cooking.  As much as I don't like changes to tradition, I have to say, I am LOVING this change!  I still bake the Owen Chocolate Pie(s) but I rarely cry in  the kitchen anymore.  It's Sarah's turn for that holiday thrill.

So, if you are looking for a super simple and delicious fudgy chocolate pie recipe, check out this post from 2014.  Nothing has changed except the "pinch of salt" is actually table salt now instead of the salt from 1,000 tears.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sunday Supper - Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Yes, another cheesesteak recipe.  But pretty soon, we'll be eating some form of left over turkey at just about every meal so...


This super simple recipe for Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers comes from delish.com.  It sounds yummy as well as easy.

And hey!  These would probably be great with left over turkey instead of the steak.  So, if we like them the first time, we just may eat them two weeks in a row!

Wishing all my American friends a happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 18, 2022

Still Not Knitting

Well, I'm still not knitting and I'm including lots of weirdly placed spaces between letters because the thumb brace accidentally hits the space bar when I try to type.  Hopefully I will catch all the extra spaces  here in this post and remove them, but there are so many, my brain doesn't always see them anymore.

This whole not being able to knit thing is making me a little cranky.  And fat!  Unfortunately, I can still eat so I have replaced knitting with eating.  And I'm not eating salads.  I'm eating M&M's and chocolate covered pretzels and cookies and potato chips.  You know, pity party foods. Things that come in large bags, not single servings.  It's incredibly difficult to open packages one-handed so I'm going for 'multiple servings in one package' type items.  And yes, I know this is incredibly horrible for my health.  But after two weeks of not knitting, it's either my health or the health and safety of my family.  Ruining my health, weight and blood sugar for a few weeks seems like the better option. 

It really is pretty amazing how many simple things I can't do with only one thumb.  I can't open bag-type packages (well, actually, I'm getting pretty good at opening them with my teeth but I've also cut my lip on the packaging a few times so...,) I have trouble putting the toothpaste on my toothbrush and worst of all, I can't 'do' my hair.  I can't even put it in a ponytail.  I keep having to show up at work with wild hair and have to beg my coworkers to put it in a ponytail or bun for me.  It's comically pathetic.

The good side of being thumbless is that my thumb nail is starting to grow.  I've never in my life been able to get my thumb nails to grow long.  And, I read four and a half books last week.  All trash of course.  I do love a trashy romance novel.  ๐Ÿ˜Š

And, since it's the season, I've been singing about Alice and her restaurant.


One very good thing about this whole broken thumb situation - the brace isn't supposed to come off until the day AFTER Thanksgiving.  That means I may be able to get out of cooking AND cleaning, although I'm not sure the family is going to go for that.  But there's hope.  I do have that doctor's note. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I know it's a little early but, 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Sunday Supper = Grilled Chicken Taco Bowls

 


Grilled Chicken Taco Bowls!  Yum!

This recipe comes from Betty Crocker and couldn't be easier.  Actually, it could.  I plan to use grocery store grilled chicken and if I get really lazy, a jar of salsa rather than the can of diced tomatoes and sliced green onions.  And maybe even a scoop of store bought gaucamole rather than the chopped avacodo. I am known to be rather lazy in the kitchen.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2022

Tragedy

 Tragedy has struck.


This giant box of yarn arrived...


On the same day this happened.

Yes, I am such a klutz, I managed to fracture my thumb while laying in the bed.  I put my hand up over my head and drove my thumb straight-on into the wall and fractured it.  

I really need to come up with a more exciting and less embarrassing story.  But then, how many people can claim to have broken a bone while sleeping?


The tragedy is that I can't knit with my thumb like it is.  I'm happy that it doesn't hurt that much (as long as I don't bump it on something, which does seem to happen 1,000 times a day.  Have I mentioned what a klutz I am?)  But despite being mostly pain-free, I can't bend it or move it towards my pinky so I can't grip anything.  

I know opposable thumbs are important, but I never really realized just how important.  I can't even put my hair in a ponytail and it takes me an extra 15 minutes to unbutton/button my pants.  And worse, I have to take my shirt all the way off in order to remove my bra. 

No knitting and no easy bra removal.  It truely is a tragedy!

 Sadly but thankfully, I can still scan gallons of milk and cases of beer and my grocery store customers have been very understanding and helpful, so I'm still functioning fairly well at work.  I'd rather be able to knit but...  At least I'm not sitting at home, bored out of my mind and twiddling one thumb.

Meanwhile, the giant box of yarn I can't currently use was packed with a Rainbow Hue Shift pack of Brava.


And a mini pack of Rainbow Brava.

I'm sure you've all seen the Hue Shift afghan and that's what I intend my Hue Shift pack to turn into.  As for the mini's, I'm going to knit Stephen West's Garter Squish blanket.  I can't wait to get started.  I'm thinking that the next time I re-wrap my thumb, I'll tape a knitting needle in there between my thumb and the brace.  That ought to work, right?

I'm supposed to wear the brace for three weeks.  

As of typing this, three days of no knitting down, eighteen more to go.  Wish me luck!  Really, you should wish my family luck.  I can't imagine what my mood will be after 21 days of no knitting.  There could be some serious trouble ahead.





Sunday, November 6, 2022

Sunday Supper - Beef Tenderloin

Okay, my Sunday Supper posts tend to have some sort of Christmas related theme for the month of Decmember and this year is no different.  

I'm feeling extremely southern these days.  Actually, I've been feeling extra southern since I started working at the grocery store.  Never in my life have I been called Honey, Darling, Sugar or Sweetheart so often.  The store is the mainstay of a very rural farming community so maybe it's to be expected.  I don't know.  It bothered me a little at first, specially since I'm... well, I'm old and gray haired, and I would estimate that 90% of the men over 30 say some form of, "How you doing, Darling?" or "Thanks Sweetheart."  It was very weird and felt horribly sexist in the begining but I've gotten used to it now and have actually started to enjoy it.  

Goodness, next thing you know, I'll be in the kitchen barefooted and wearing my pearls! Ha!

I should probably also mention that the 10% of men who don't call me Sugar or whatever, do say yes mam or thank you mam.  Mam is included in there somewhere.  It's all very polite and southern and has got me thinking about southern Christmas's so....

This year's Sunday Supper theme will be traditional southern Christmas foods.

To start off the month, we have....


Beef tenderloin.  I know, you were expecting fried squirrel or something weren't you?  But nope!  We save the squirrel for weeknights.  

At Christmas, we eat beef tenderloin and this recipe from Southern Living couldn't be easier.

Does rubbing something with butter, salt and pepper then sticking it in the oven even count as a "recipe?"


Sunday Supper - Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

 Okay, so today's recipe may not be the healthiest one but it sure sounds easy and delicious.  


Welcome to Philly Cheesesteak Pasta from smalltownwoman.com.  Sounds to me like a delicious and easy comfort food meal.  

Friday, November 4, 2022

Happy November

Happy November!  We've actually had a real fall this year with cooler, but not freezing temperatures.  Virginia's idea of fall is normally alternating days between 90 and 45 degrees.  But this year, we've been having low to mid to upper 60's during the day and upper 30's to mid 40's at night.  It's been awesome!


I have been spending as much time as possible outside.  A lot of knitting has been getting done beside the fire pit.  Last night I worked on a plain garter stitch dish cloth knit with free, donated yarn.  It's the first thing I've knit for myself since early July.  I've been focusing on bazaar knitting instead of selfish knititng.  The bazaar is next weekend and I can not wait for it to be over so I can knit All the things just for me.  Actually, I have another show in December so I probably won't be doing much selfish knitting until after Christmas.  Or Christmas Eve.  I do love participating in #ChristmasEveCastOn.

Anyway...

Here are a few of the Christmas gnome ornaments I've made for the bazaar.


Sorry for the bad lighting.  The gnomes are hanging on the pegboard in my closet.


I can't imagine why the realtor thinks I need to clean/straighten/purge my closet.


She obviously doesn't knit/craft nor understand a bazaar vendor's lifestyle the week before a big show.

But yeah, even I can admit, my closet is screaming for help.  I can't even get to my shoes.



I hope you had a fun Halloween.  Hayden had a blast for the first few buckets full of candy but by the third or fourth, she was done!  Thankfully the rain held off until well after acceptable trick or treating time. 

Well, I'm off to go put more tags on more items for the bazaar.  Hopefully I'll have time to post next week but no promises.  My 'real' job takes up a surprising amount of my time and I still have an awful lot to do to prepare.  Thank goodness for the end of Daylight Savings and gaining an hour.   Wish me luck.  And focus!  ๐Ÿ˜€

Monday, October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween!

 Oops!  Looks like I failed to say it in any of my previous posts this week.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Sunday Supper - Halloween Trail Mix

 

photo courtesy of foodlion.com

I'm a little late with this Halloween trail mix recipe for actual Halloween but it will be a great way to use up any left over candy.  Like there's ever any left over candy. Ha!  Okay, so maybe we all need to carry ourselves to the store and buy out all the Halloween candy corn and Reece Pieces that are left so we can make this.  It sounds delicious!  And super easy!  And there's nothing that says you can't enjoy candy corn in November.

Friday, October 28, 2022

More Bazaar Knitting

 Knitting for the upcoming bazaars continues.


This week I'm focusing on creating Christmas gnomes.  I'm sure I'll share photos when I actually get a few finished.

The making is going slowly because the house selling ordeal continues.  No acceptable offers yet but interest in the house remains high and it feels like we have to leave the house almost daily for showings.  And yes, I am aware that I shouldn't be complaining.... but .... I'm starting to complain..., pretty loudly.  

Meanwhile...


Quack, quack, quack.

Hayden's duck feet worked well.  She went to a local trunk-or-treat event this past weekend and had a blast.  She remembers being a ladybug last year but she doesn't remember getting candy.  She is Quite excited about the Halloween candy this year!

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday Supper - Carrot Cake Smoothie

 

photo courtesy of foodlion.com

Okay, I'll admit, I'm not too sure about today's recipe.  Food Lion lists carrot cake smoothies as a healthy meal, and I'm sure they are.  My eye doctor would be thrilled with them since she wants me eating orange and yellow foods every day.  I have the feeling these smoothies are either delicious or disgusting.  I can't wait to try one and find out for myself.

Friday, October 21, 2022

A pretty exciting life

I'm leading a pretty exciting life these days.  

I got a new reusable Starbucks cup and it came with an awesome, striped straw.

I reordered business cards and they came in this cool, colorful box.


Because we put our house on the market, we replaced the random rolls of toilet paper that were sitting around the house with real tissues.  I feel fancy and grown up now.


I spent the majority of this past week weaving in ends in preparation for next month's Christmas bazaar.  There's only a little less than three weeks before the first one I signed up for and I'm starting to panic just a teeny tiny bit.


I started a new hemmed brim hat.  The yarn looks so much better in person. In person, it's a very pale, grayish olive green.

And while this was totally unplanned but I happened to realize the bag was in the background, if you want a little more excitement in your life, get yourself some Creative Snacks Co. Drizzled Granola Bites.  They are so good! And they come in several different flavors (my personal favorite is the lemon blueberry. Yum!!)  And slightly more healthy than snacking on candy corn.  Look for them in your local grocery store.  My store keeps them on the cereal aisle.

What's your exciting life been like this week?


Sunday, October 16, 2022

Sunday Supper - Ground Beef & Tortellini Skillet

 

photo courtesy of foodlion.com

My husband will call today's recipe for Ground Beef & Tortellini "homemade Hamburger Helper" but who cares.  It sounds tasty and it's cheap and super fast to make.  The recipe calls for ten minutes of prep time and another ten to cook.  But as far as I can tell, the only prepping needed is locating a pan and grabbing the ingredients from the fridge.  My kind of meal!

Friday, October 14, 2022

On the needles

First, we finally have a house full of pumpkins and candy corn.  I just Love autumn!


I am so happy to have cooler temperatures and pumpkins.  My jeans, sweaters and boots have been dug out of storage and we've even turned on the heat.  I love fall!

I'm still frantically knitting for this season's Christmas bazaars.  The first one is on November 12th so I have some time but unfortunately, work takes up a lot of my time.  And then there's the whole house selling thing.  Cleaning up all my crafty mess, putting it all away, leaving the house for an hour or so, then coming home and getting it all back out again takes up a surprising amount of time.  I shouldn't complain.  Having lots of interest in the house is much better than having no interest.  Amazingly, according to Zillow, the listing has had 2,268 views in 13 days.  Thankfully not all those people have come to see the house, although it does feel like I've dumped the trash cans and mopped the floors that many times.  ๐Ÿ˜„


At the moment, I'm focusing on knitting fur headbands.  They were extremely popular at Winterfest last year so I decided to make them again this year.  They don't look like much until you put them on  but they are super comfortable, soft and warm.


I wore one pretty much the entire time I was working Winterfest last year.

What have you been knitting?




Friday, October 7, 2022

The Birds!

 I've been doing a little more knitting this week but still not as much as I'd have liked. 


I'm almost ready to start decreasing on this hat.  Only a few more rows to go.



Wow, that's orange!  Hayden is going to be a duck for Halloween so I'm knitting her duck feet to go over her shoes.  I don't have a pattern and they didn't flare out and 'web' as much as I'd hoped they would, but they do fit over her shoes perfectly.  Now I only have the challenge of making the second one match the first. Hope my notes are better than I think they are.

I've also knit 40 billion chapstick holders for the upcoming fall/Christmas bazaars I'm doing.  

But the real reason I haven't gotten much knitting done...


My sister took her grandkids to the Richmond Metro Zoo and invited me to tag along.


I never pass up a chance to go to the zoo.  We saw the penguins,


And of course we fed the giraffes.


The wolves were awesome!  I had never seen live wolves before and was surprised how big they are.  I expected them to be large dog - labrador, german shepherd... size but they were much, much larger.


The black one is a "baby" and looks like a Hellhound.  The others seemed mostly indifferent to the visitors' presence but that black one looked like he'd like to eat us all alive.

 
The camels are always fun to see and thankfully they were in a good mood.  No spitting this time.

 

But my favorite was the birds.  I didn't think anything could surpass my love of feeding the giraffes but those birds....  I didn't want to go into their habitat. I had no idea I have a slight bird phobia.  I mean,  I'm fine with sitting on the deck watching the birds in the yard.  I'm cool with birds in pet stores.  But the idea of going into that giant cage with a zillion birds flying around... Yikes!  But I white knuckled it and went in.   And I'm SO glad I did.  After I got over my initial anxiety wig-out, I had a blast.  The birds landed all over me, and yes, they pecked me a little but the experience was worth the tiny bit of pain. At one point, I had three on my head, several on my back, one on my shoulder pecking at my cheek, three on my arm and another crawling up my jacket sleeve.  So much fun!


Oh, and let's not forget the pygmy hippo.  He was singing to us.

I can't wait to go back!