Saturday, June 28, 2008

Awkward Moments

Living with parakeets is a joy. Presently, we have four of them. Tori, Pumpkin, Miss Pixel and Texter. My husband, Joe, worries that I will come home with another at any time. Not that he doesn't like them. He does. But he worries. Or so he says.

The babies, as we call them, are all pretty easy going, happy birds. Each has its own distinct personality. Tori was my first, and we have a pretty strong bond. He was talking quite a bit, with his best phrase being "How was your day?". But once Pumpkin came along, Tori decided that, aside from the occasional "pretty bird" or "I love you", he would just talk parakeet talk.
He and Pumpkin got along well from the start. Although Pumpkin can be a bit of a stinker, and likes to follow Tori around, wants to eat what he's eating, play with what he's playing with. Pretty much the same as a younger sibling will shadow an older one. But, at times, when they sit close together, chatting, or one chatting away and the other listening closely, with his eyes closed, they seem like they've been friends forever.

Tori is what I call my intellectual. He likes to sit quietly and listen to music. Sometimes he will sing along beautifully, joyfully. He loves to sit on my shoulder, and, since he was very young, really enjoys sitting atop my nose. Early on he would sit on my glasses for the longest time while I read a magazine, or watched television. He waits eagerly for me to get out the hair dryer in the morning when I'm getting ready for work. For some reason, he loves to sit on my hand, or my shoulder while I dry my hair (I use a diffuser, and never point the dryer in his direction).

Pumpkin came along second. He was one of a pair of brothers. The brother was adopted, and I thought it was just too sad that he was all alone without his brother, so he came home to live with us, and Tori.

Pumpkin is always moving. Rarely still. Always checking out what's going on, and very eager for all the others to come out and play. He was very shy with me for a while, so I didn't push it. Once he was ready, he was flying over to sit on my head, or hand, or to help Tori clean my teeth. (check out the youtube video here)

Miss Pixel was chosen by the boys. I had taken them to visit Kay, (the pet shop owner/breeder where we've found them) for nail trimmings. When we go to the shop we visit the other birds. On that particular day Miss Pixel decided that we were of interest to her. Both Tori and Pumpkin perked up, and chatted at her. She came right to the front of her cage and answered back. I talked with her a bit, and she answered back sweetly. I figured she might be the next one, and discussed it with Kay. Tori and Pumpkin were boys. Miss Pixel could add a whole new dynamic to the scene. Kay suggested I talk it over with Joe first. We had decided the next bird would be named Pixel. But since it turned out to be a girl, we decided to call her Miss Pixel. A fitting name, actually. She's a bit of a diva. But, very, very sweet. She was sitting on my finger and chatting with me the first night we had her home. It took a while for her to really trust me, but she and the boys got along very well. There have been a few romantic triangles and awkward moments since she came along. Check it out:

Texter was chosen in much the same way. I took the babies in for pedicures, and we visited the birdies at the store. Tori showed a keen interest in Texter, and Texter seemed very interested as well. Both were hanging from the fronts of their cages and just quietly observing each other. Again, I went home and discussed it with Joe. The next day I went back for Texter. By the end of the evening, he was hanging out with the gang.

Not that there haven't been surly moments between them all. A few scuffles here and there, but no injuries, no malice. Just, hey, that's my toy, my swing, my perch.

We have no plans to add another right now. But that could change...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Still at 2.2%...bummer

Well, it seems my numbers may be increasing (although they don't give you any actual numbers to go by), but the lead cards (Lincoln and The Baby) are gaining percentages, so my stats just seem to linger and linger at 2.2%.

I discovered that Lincoln's creator got a big plug from the TV station he produces for in Detroit, so I'm guessing that's helping push his numbers up. And The Baby? How do you compete with a baby?

The sales stats for the cards are interesting - the "facelift" card is in the lead. I'm guessing women across America are finding that card very amusing. I'd like to think The Squirrel is in the Top 10, but they only list the Top 5. At least I can fantasize he's in the Top 10.

I have posters put up on the windows of my car. I saw a woman reading it today when I was on my way to my car, but then she looked away. I smiled at her, and she smiled back, but I resisted the urge to chase her down and make her commit to voting.

I met a woman in our store today who works at a local Hallmark store. I shared info with her on the contest, since she was unaware of it. She is going to bring up the subject at her store meeting. I told her she should suggest putting up a big display that promotes The Squirrel. Ha-ha...

I haven't let Mr. Squirrel know that he isn't winning. I'd hate for him to get depressed.
It's bad enough he can't seem to find his nuts...

If anyone is actually reading this blog, will you leave a comment. Just a quick "Hello"?

Thank you. Thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Marilynn Mee votes for the Squirrel!

So, I sent an email to Marilynn Mee, at radio station WKLH, here in Milwaukee. Explained to her about the contest and asked for her vote. Not only did she respond, and vote, but she gave a shout-out on air about the contest. I'm hoping that helps the vote tally increase.

I shall endeavor to achieve enough votes to at least crack the Top Ten.

Some days really are just nuts, you know?


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Please, please, please can I have your vote?

Hello Folks,

For those that haven't been badgered with emails about it already,
I am a finalist in a Hallmark Shoebox card contest. The winner is the person
to receive the most amount of votes by the end of August. Voting is online.
Each person can vote once per day up until the end of the contest.

Out of 18 finalists, I am still in 13th place. Since there is a very cute baby card up at first/second place, I doubt I will win. However, I'd like to crack the Top 10.

Local "M" magazine was supposed to publish a small bit about the contest in their July issue, but it got knocked out by some other story. And they already have the August issue staked out. So, I won't be getting any extra publicity in that manner. They did show interest in doing a story if I win...

I'm asking for your votes, folks. I promise not to raise taxes. I promise no mud-slinging. Just honest-to-goodness votes for the cutest darn squirrel photo with amusing caption. Send a link to a friend or family member. To someone who likes squirrels. To someone who sometimes feels like the underdog. After all, how do you compete with a cute baby card anyway?

If you feel like purchasing the actual card, it should be available at your local Hallmark Gold Crown store. But purchases do not count towards the contest, so it's unnecessary. But it makes a good every day funny card.

Thanks for your vote!
I'm Kimberly Mackowski and I approve this message.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

How do you do?

How do you do? My name is Kimberly. I'm married. Live in the Milwaukee area. I have a very sweet, quiet-natured husband, and four very lively parakeets (budgies). I have a passion for photographing the parakeets, and have videos posted featuring them on Youtube.

Lots of viewers have asked questions about raising parakeets, and I have so many photos to share, that I thought I'd start this blog. Although, it will probably contain all kinds of photos, raves, rantings, musings, wanderings, etc., on a variety of subjects.

I'm a novice gardener, into arts and crafts, photography, music. I sing. I crack jokes. I crack wise (and sometimes not-so-wise), and torture my husband (lovingly, of course).

The most exciting thing to happen to me lately is that I've been a finalist in a Hallmark card contest. I created a "Shoebox" card using one of my original photos, entered it in the contest, and am now one of 18 finalists. All of the finalists cards are being sold in Hallmark stores across the country. And voting is ongoing online until the end of August. You can vote once per day, per person at the contest website:

If you wish to purchase any of the cards you can purchase them online, or visit your local Hallmark store. Purchases do not count towards contest votes, however. Voting is free.

Well, that's it. My first post. I'll be back soon.