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» Friday, May 09, 2014Sleepover Camp Newbie
It was difficult to tell who was more concerned about Snowy's first car ride (not counting the one he took home in the cardboard box)/vet visit/boarding (otherwise known as "bird camp"). Granted, when I kept telling him what was going to happen at the end of the week, I'm pretty sure all he understood was "Snowy."
So we'd tossed everything into a suitcase last night, including my pillow (we carried James', as the pillows were lacking last year). The goodies for sharing had already been placed in the car. We loaded the suitcase, the pillow, the C-PAP, jackets and hats just in case even though it was supposed to rain, and finally Snowy in his cage in the back, along with me sitting next to him. He never even panted at all; in fact, what he did was very clever! The perch he eats on is very close to the right side of the cage. When the car began moving, he inched down the perch, and turned his tail to the bars of the cage so that the feathers went between the bars. He used his tail to help keep him stable on the perch, as if he was a tripod. Clever boy.
Still, he flapped about when they took him in the back. It's tough to be new at camp.
We had breakfast at Panera, and bought lunch to take up to Helen with us. It was a cloudy day, but a nice ride, especially once we left the multi-lane and came to the curving two-lane between the trees, with horse farms, lush green or buttercup-dotted pastures of cows, needful country businesses and sprawling homes, and quaint tourist shops and attractions. Here pan for gold and minerals, there play miniature golf, or go through a corn maze.
We didn't need anything from Nora Mill, but passed directly on to check into the Country Inn & Suites, and then join everyone in the conference room. We were starved by then, so we sat and ate our lunch from Panera as the young ones set up the tables for different activities: one long table for chatting, two smaller tables for people who wanted to play card games, another set of tables near the electrical plugs for those who wanted to compute. After we ate we set up in our room, and then went out for a little while: down to the Mennonite bakery to add some fresh cookies to the stash we bought and then at the Book Depot where we were greeted by the store cats. But James was limping badly due to the weather and the deteriorating condition due to his back injury, so we came back to the hotel and did what all old people do when they finally relax on a weekend away: take a nap!
Finally we went back downstairs to chat until suppertime. James, sadly, isn't the only person leaning on "a stick." Both John and Oreta are limping as well, and Jake suffered a stroke last year and is in a wheelchair. The weather wasn't helping anyone, as it had gone from grey and cloudy and spitting rain to a steady pour.
About six o'clock I called up the vet to see how Snowy was getting on. I was told he was in good health except...well, a few weeks back I noticed white marks on his beak. I couldn't figure out what he was doing; pecking at the bars of the cage too hard or something? But since he already had a checkup coming up, I just kept an eye on him. Well, he has mites! I've never had a budgie with mites before and so had never seen the effects. They do not infest the cage or transmit to humans, but it could malform his beak. The vet gave him medicine and I have to take him back in ten days for a second, and hopefully last dose. This is something he caught in the nest box, probably because the people who raised him didn't keep their birds clean. (Well, we could have told you that.) Poor chickie, first vet visit and he gets meds.
Anyway, we didn't want to spend a lot of money at supper tonight because we wanted to go to Bodensee tomorrow night to celebrate Aaron's birthday, so we just headed down to the Western Sizzlin' on our own. They set a by-the-numbers, but good buffet, and we were soon back in the conference room playing this crazy game called "Cards Against Humanity." You can actually play it as a game, with someone scoring the funniest answers, or most outrageous, or too close to home, but we just played it for fun. Everyone is dealt ten cards, then the dealer reads a card in which you have to pick out one of the statements on your cards to fill in the blank of what was read. The answers can be occasionally inappropriate, or adult, or sick, but were always funny. I laughed so hard I gave myself a headache and had to go up to the room for ibuprofin.
It was a great evening.