Years and years and years ago -- before we even moved to this desert land -- we lived in a lovely little townhouse with a tiny Offspring the First and an even tinier Offspring the Second. I loved that little townhouse, and sometimes dream about it, still.
In the living area downstairs, we had a cabinet with the television and the stereo. The stereo had, somewhat inexplicably, come with a microphone, presumably for karaoke. The wee Offspring found the microphone fascinating; we, however, kept it relatively hidden, lest we be subjected to hours of toddler karaoke.
One afternoon, though, we had opened the glass door behind which the stereo sat, and they spotted the microphone. "Look, the saxophone!" one of them exclaimed. "It's not a saxophone, it's a microwave," the other one corrected.
Hee. We still laugh about it, even now.
I thought of the microphone this past weekend, when I discovered that the microwave had suddenly expired: without warning, it stopped heating things. It was a mere 7 years old. Alas, and egads -- how could I warm dinner for the (spoiled) chihuahuas?
Since Beloved Husband was out of town, I took it upon myself to handle this appliance matter. I removed the face plate behind which the defunct machine was ensconced, wrestled it out (it weighed approximately 8,000 pounds) and measured it carefully; went to the home improvement store and identified an appropriate new microwave; wrestled it out of the store, into the car, out of the car, and into the house; installed it (with much sweating and a wee bit of cursing, since it too weighed approximately 8,000 pounds); and reinstalled the face plate.
It is shinier than the old machine, which is distracting. (I thought that perhaps stainless steel would look nice -- meh. Yet, there it is.) Nevertheless, it works. HUZZAH.
In another 7 years when it must be replaced again, I will enlist some help to wrestle it, though. Doing it by myself this once was enough.
A phenomenon I shall never understand: mums and garters. They appear to be a Texas Thing, and more specifically a high school football-related Thing, for homecoming. (I still do not quite understand the HUGENESS of high school football here. 'Tis a mystery.) Girls have mums, boys have garters -- typically given to them by their date for the homecoming dance. Garters and mums can be ginormous and even include small stuffed teddy bears or other items, in addition to the streamers and ribbons and bells on strings and whatnot. They are carefully prepared and intricately arranged, and are as much for show for the person who provides the mum or garter as for the person who wears it -- rather like offering a multi-carat engagement ring.
They're a bit... much. Still, they are pretty. And if I had attended high school in this state, heck yes, I would have worn one. (If someone had given me one.)
Behold, Offspring the Third's garter, carefully prepared by his friend who attended the dance with him ("as friends," they were careful to point out). She selected the ribbons and bits to contain themes that are important to Offspring the Third. It was a very thoughtful composition, this garter. I am glad that he has such a good friend.
It is no surprise, really -- although his exact age was uncertain, what was known was that Peacock was older than Offspring the Second (who can legally purchase alcohol at this point). Adding to that Peacock's history prior to when we obtained him, put him at a minimum of about 23-24 years of age. Lifespan in the wild is 10 to 14 years; and in captivity is about 16 to 25 years (thank you, Wikipedia), and so, Peacock had reached a very ripe old age -- and passed, quickly and quietly, late yesterday.
And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life. - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Peacock has been such a fixture in the household: he has, it seems, always been here. I will always remember how he would chirp delightedly when the door between the house and the garage opened and shut, signifying Beloved Husband's arrival home; and the short song he used to sing, the same few notes: tweet TWEET tweet TWEET tweet TWEET; tweet TWEET tweet TWEET tweet TWEET TWEET TWEET. TWEET!
Last night I had a dream about him; though he was dead, I could still see his shimmering spirit -- much like a Hogwarts ghost -- there in his cage, and could still hear his song. I opened the door of the cage for him, and encouraged him to fly out, and then held the screen of the back door open as well so that he could go. He flew out into the back yard; hovered; and then was gone.
Godspeed, Peacock. Thank you for your time with us.
NinjaHead resides with a muffin-baking woman known herein as Herself. Herself has a Beloved Husband, with whom she shares three nearly-grown Offspring. When she is not writing Things, Herself nurtures a visceral fondness for small furry creatures. The household menagerie, which has varied in size and composition over the years, presently contains a minuscule middle aged chihuahua, a most mild-mannered senior chihuahua, and a very small hamster who, due to the prominence of his gonads, seems to need trousers for decency.