Shopping for the people and the parrots in our home takes planning. I normally make a list and know 95% of the trip will be spent in the produce section. The other 5% is in the pasta isle. Fresh produce and pastas make up half the nutrition and calories I feed the flock. I rely on parrot specific mixes to deliver the nuts, seeds and pellets. Pellets make up about 20% of the total. I'm not a big fan of them and do not look to them to deliver the bulk of nutrition. As you can see I'm totally aware of the parrots needs. But again, I'm not giving self awareness a thought. I've got bigger fish to fry. Or broil. The parrots love mackeral.
I try to leave for shopping around 1-ish. I hate putting every birdy in their cages earlier than that, and I try to get back by 3. They shouldn't be locked up too long. When buying real estate with parrots in the family, try to make sure all your shopping needs are within a mile. It helps. Additionally, if you can, try not to worry about what you look like at any given time. I've gotten really good at that last part. Self awareness has melted away a little at a time with every new parrot taken in.
And so, with my trusty phone, list saved to it's memory, I head out to the store. Mental notes running through my head not to forget that I may need to pick up a few things for myself and husband to eat. But whatever, I'll deal with that later. I wonder if I changed completely out of pajamas into street clothes. Probably, if not, whatever. Did I brush my hair before putting it up? It feels like it. I suppose I should have looked in the mirror before going out in public, but whatever. I needed to look in the bird pantry and see the status of things. There's only so much time for awareness, and that self thing is overrated.
Thankfully, Kirby assisted in my list making and pantry inventorying this morning. Faithful as always, he sat on my head and buzzed and chattered and let me know he was a good boy, and needed more flax seed. Very helpful little guy.
Park in the back of all the parking lots when shopping as well. Taking a walk to the store doors gives you more time to ponder what you may be forgetting. Many a time that 100 meters gave me the moment I needed to realize I'd forgotten to swap slippers for street shoes and that Butters is almost out of her favorite dates. You can stop right there and put that on your list, or in your phone. Don't worry about the slippers, no one will notice.
I've found starting at the produce section gets my mind right on target. When looking through fresh items, don't be afraid to pick up a few and really look at their color, skins and flesh. Additionally, when shopping groupings of greenery, remember the latest additions are in the back of the groupings. You'll have to pull some out of the way, and there will be a few other shoppers gawking at you for the mining you are doing in the fresh lettuces, but whatever. This is a parrot mission. Check those expiration dates on boxed, pre-washed lettuces as well. Again, you'll have to dig back into the display to get the best expiration date. Don't mind the other shoppers staring at you. I don't.
The bright and more colorful the greens and fruits, the healthier they are, so really get in there and dig around those displays of apples and oranges, pears and kiwis, plums and prunes and pick the best and brightest. The employees will gawk too, probably annoyed with your messing up their complex geometric stacks of fruit. But whatever. Oranges weren't built to create pyramids with anyway.
Some days you garner more gawkers than others. I sure did this day. Obviously they were either impressed with my committed shopping behavior or possibly the quality of foods in my cart or they just couldn't understand how brilliant my strategy was, in either case I was not wearing slippers! I had that going for me.
Timing is everything they say, and just about the time I pulled up in the driveway, home again, my husband pulled up as well. Early day for him it seems, which means I have some help to bring the results of my genius into the house! We are both greeted at the door with "Hello!" "Hi!" "Snickers!" "WHAT?" "What are you doing" and Felix's ambulance noises. It's good to be home.
Cali and I take the first trip of bags into the house together, side by side. So romantic and domestic. With a smile and a chuckle my beloved husband gawks at me.
"Where'd you go today, honey?" he asks. So sweet, to be interested in my adventures in public.
"Oh, the usual, Target, Publix, PetSmart and the Dry Cleaners." I say, proud of the accomplishments.
He opens the door for me to walk in first. We put the first group of bags on the counter. He stops, I stop, we gaze into each other's eyes, thankful for each other and our life. Parrot songs and chatter of happiness, our soundtrack.
"Baby", he says, as he reaches out to push some hair away from my face.
"Ya?" I reply.
"You have Kirby Poop all over your head." He laughs and walks out to the truck to finish bringing in the genius that is my shopping.
"Ya, well whatever!" I shout over my shoulder, "I'm not wearing slippers!"