Wherein I have plastic surgery in Ecuador and the cycle of life comes full circle

Busy, busy. And then I discovered I was even busier than I thought. I had been racing around entertaining guests, teaching workshops, caring for raptors and I was driving home from the aviary thinking, “phew! Night off, getting in my jammies and reading.” As I walked in the door Rich announced that he wanted to go to some live radio theater recording of his baseball buddy’s new one-act play and it started in half an hour, so hurry. (It’s complicated but remind me to tell you about Rich reliving his second childhood, playing fast pitch with the famous Half-Century league. I keep tripping over bats, mitts, sports cups, #27 shirts…) Almost as an afterthought, he commented, “Remind me to give you a check to put in the joint account. We must be overdrawn.”

“Huh? That can’t be.”  I had just checked it yesterday and there was enough for another week in there, plus there’s overdraft protection linked to the account that has ALL of the Asheville remodel funds in it.

“Nope. I was in Panera’s and they looked at me funny and said my card was no good. Must be overdrawn. But hurry or we’ll be late for the play.” (This very comment gives you some idea of how casually out of touch a certain person is to our personal financial affairs. He’s a top notch bread winner but not the person to mind our store. I, on the other hand, have my pulse on every penny around here and notice if even one is moved. We make a team, of sorts.)

I had to walk past the laptop on my way out of the shower and to the closet- it was on the bed-so standing there in the altogether I clicked on the online bank link and AYYYYYEEEEEE!  Okay- don’t think about the visual. Just imagine the sound of me shrieking, panting, hissing and barking all in one breath. Because that was when I discovered that, in a madcap dash through South America, I had leased a Mercedes, bought two computers and a very high-end sound system, bought a whole new designer boutique wardrobe and- wait for it- had multiple plastic surgeries at the Clinica Estetica in Guayaquil, Ecuador. And then, a short half hour later, I stopped for McDonalds right there in Guayaquil.Now, you might think that after the abdominplastia, the blefaroplastia and the mamoplastia de aumento I would be in too much pain to start pounding my head and race around the bedroom in little frantic circles, but no.

Calls and hours later we discovered that our credit card had been “skimmed” at a seedy 7-Eleven in Tampa when Rich made an emergency stop for gas on an airport run. I guess this is a device they put right in the pump and it reads all of your info and then sends it off wirelessly to credit card fraud artists and before you can say “big titties” someone is having fun at your expense. So that was exciting. I will say, as much as banks get bad press, J.P. Morgan Chase gets beaucoup points from us for taking care of this in relatively painless fashion. So far, they have removed all the charges except the double cheeseburger with fries. Good bank.

Some of you already know about all this from my facebook page and you’ve even seen my new look.You like? I mean, it’s one thing to say, “make me look like Jean Harlow” but only in South America can you get the owl implant.


Eagles go and Eagles come

Down at Boyd Hill we’re all still feeling really crummy about the absence of Spirit and in fact, we’re having a little ceremony celebrating her passing tomorrow evening, complete with some Native American representatives. But then yesterday there was a little bit of “goes around, comes around” when we got the call that a new baby eagle was in need of a foster nest and our nest had been chosen. Well, it’s not really OUR nest, but the one that Boyd Hill aviary folk monitor. It was chosen because it’s already home to a youngster the same age- which we know because we monitor it. Anyway, this new juvenile came from a toppled nest near Okeechobee and was one of a pair. His sister was also relocated a few miles away in another nest but I guess you can only sneak in one youngster before the foster parents, who never signed up in the first place, go WTF? Because really? These are not small babies.Here is the Audubon person from the Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland getting ready to stuff the six-week old in a zippered duffel bag so he can be sent up to the nest. He was quite testy: bit her on the cheek. I’m telling you, eagle wrestling, as noted in previous posts, is not for sissies.Here he is, being dumped into the nest with the current occupant saying, “Hey! Get him the hell outta here!”Bird in a bag

Just to give you perspective. The nest is WAY HIGH up. It took the tree climbing bird guy a long time and a lot of negotiating to get all the way up there. Once he was in position, newly banded baby was unceremoniously scrunched into a gym bag and sent up a rope pulley. This was all done right around dusk and you know how birds quiet and calm down in the dark? Well, in this case, not so much. This was clearly not a case of slipping him in unnoticed and hoping that mom and dad would wake up this morning and think, “huh! Look what the eagle fairy brought!” They were very cranky while all this was going on and circled, swooped, darted and called the whole time.

Over the next few days we will keep constant watch to make sure the new addition to the nest is well cared for and fed and not pushed aside or injured. But eagles, by and large, make good foster parents. Spirit the eagle is gone, but we still have lots of eagle spirit about the place.Dad, watching over the human shenanigans in his nest. (Photo credits: Barb Walker)


If you had a pig and posted pictures of your pig on your blog and someone left comments like “Some pig” and “Humble pig” and signed them ‘Charlotte’ wouldn’t you catch on? Apparently not.


15 responses to “Wherein I have plastic surgery in Ecuador and the cycle of life comes full circle

  1. Sorry about the virtual breasts and other enhancements – the least they could do was make them yours! Hurray for Chase (but why don’t they delete the burger and fries too? I should think that’s the very least of their worries!

    It’s wonderful that they have a new eaglet already, and I do hope that the fostor parents get with the program.

  2. . . . as for the owlhead graft, it just might catch on. You never know!

  3. Woah! I’ve heard about those skimmer thingies. The bad ‘uns are so clever.

    I had no idea a bald eagle chick was so damned big. That baby could make mincemeat of Pushkin. I hope he (she?) does well in the nest. Thank goodness for eagle rescuers.

    I would TOTALLY catch on. Some people are just SLOW.

  4. I am laughing hysterically. You are such a good writer. You really need your own NPR column. Glad you straightened out your accounts, figured out your new headgear and got a new eagle to love on even from long distance. I can understand those foster parents. When I get my babies out of my nest, I don’t think I will want more coming back. Well…maybe someday grandbabies, but their parents can just stay home. We need a whole post on Rick’s baseball phase.

  5. The details on that skimming job are quite interesting. The things people do on someone else’s credit blow my mind. It’s not like these things are absolutely vital. The absurdity of modern life.

    How incredibly fantastic that you have a new baby eagle to keep watch over. What a magnificent creature to monitor and send good wishes to. The splendors of modern life.

  6. Wilbur,
    I knew it was a Charlotte’s Web reference … but duh! I didn’t follow the link back!!!

    LOL!! And to think I almost just recommented to Wilbur, “WELCOME TO PURE FLORIDA!” like I usually do when I notice a newbie commenting.

    Mrs. FC was just talking about card skimmers last week. They had a presentation at work and afterwards, she was staring at every card swipe as if it was out to get her.

    Your story really brings it home … I’ll share this with her … and Emma!

  7. I understand tummy tuck and boob job, but what’s the other one?

  8. What a bummer! There seems no end to the devious ways people find to steal from us. Great photographs of the eagle.

  9. Yes, and the eagles at the botanical garden here had a real Peyton Place going on two years ago… lover’s triangle… abandonment….. cat fight between the women and the guy comes back with his tail feathers all in a droop. Last year it was back to the dull old married couple. Who knows what will happen this year.

    Will never buy gas at 7-11 again.

  10. I have been to Guayaquil, though not to that particular clinic. It was very muggy, and we got out as quickly as we could.

  11. At least your skimmer did something somewhat glamourous and exciting. A couple of years ago while I was in the hospital, a skimmer was in Las Vegas with my card info.where did this thief go? I was expecting somewhere snazzy when the banker told me. A fancy boutique? Bacarat table in a high end casino? No. My thief hit up two Las Vegas WalMarts!

  12. It’s really a pity you don’t get the opportunity to meet your card-user and offer her a personalized tummy-tuck.

    “They try to make me go to rehab, I say squawk, squawk, squawk…”

  13. Update: The botanical garden eagles produced three eggs this year… all have hatched.

  14. vanity leads to more plastic surgery procedures. people are becoming more conscious about their appearance *`*

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