Magnolia Bird Farm

My friend Tiffany had a crush on the same boy for the entirety of our senior year in high school. We’ll call him John. She carried the torch for John throughout college and beyond until they finally got together and she was all, “Eh.” That’s not the point of this post.

One night, towards the end of high school, she called me after talking to a friend of hers with whom I didn’t get along. This was fine with me because this friend was very popular and knew all the great gossip. To her credit, this girl did have some great gossip that night. I just didn’t get to hear any of it.

“I have the best gossip for you about John.” This is how Tiffany started the conversation. I was always up for boy-talk, especially if there was potential for Tiffany to finally get her crush, so I settled myself against the headboard of my bed and encouraged her to divulge.

“Except I can’t tell you. I was sworn to secrecy.”


“But it’s really good. You’d be shocked.”

“And you’re not going to tell me?! Can you at least give me a hint?”

“No, because if this got around everyone would know where it came from.”

I could not convince her, but she convinced me. She convinced me that she was a devil. A cruel devil in-the-know. But that’s not the point of this post.

As the years went on, I would see John in town or at parties. After college, we briefly hung out in the same circle of friends and visited the same bar on Friday nights. I would always look at him and think, “This guy has a secret. Tiffany knows something about him, and it’s big.” I cornered Tiffany one night and demanded information.

“Is it safe for you to tell me the gossip you have on John?”

“What gossip?”

“The gossip you refused to tell me in high school.” I was determined.

“You remember that?! Never mind. Of course you remember that.” I’m known in my circle for my freakishly good memory.

“I remember you were rude and told me you had a huge secret and ‘Oh! Too bad I can’t tell you. But it’s good! tee-hee'”

“OK. Well, you’re going to be disappointed, but here it is. His dad was really strict in high school. He made him get up early and do chores around the house. Like, he had to vacuum the living room and stuff before he left for school.”



“You have got to be kidding me. That’s it?! THAT is the breaking gossip you couldn’t share? This has been driving me crazy for years–YEARS!–and all you have is that some teenager had to do chores before going to school?!”

“He had to get up super early to finish all his chores to get to school on time.”

“You suck.”

I mean, what a totally anticlimactic confession. Surely this is how 8th graders across the nation felt when they read Allegiant. Just…what?!

To this day, I still tease Tiffany about her flagrant disregard for the Girlfriend Code of Honor, but that’s not the point of this post.

I vowed I would never, ever do that to another person. Never. So when I see bloggers say stuff like, “Ooooh! I have such HUGE BIG AMAZING NEWS that I wish I could share! tee-hee!” I always roll my eyes and make a note on the running list I have going called The 2,934,765 Ways High School Never, Ever Ends.

That’s why I didn’t blog on Thursday and why my post was so brief on Friday. I didn’t want to let it out of the bag that on Saturday we were…tee-hee…bringing home a cockatiel!! Internet, meet Buttercup:

1st picture

We received a call earlier in the week about a cockatiel that was a good fit for us, so we rushed down to meet her. We received calls before to see other birds, but the visits were not successful. I could tell when I spoke with the woman who helping us that this bird would be different. Sure enough, we walked in and fell in love with a yellow-face, cinnamon cockatiel who thinks she’s a puppy. I decided that (1) she’s a girl and (2) her name would be Buttercup. I read a book about pet rabbits when I was around Nico’s age. The girl in the book had a bunny named Buttercup, which I thought was the best name for a pet I had ever heard in my life. Also, The Princess Bride. COME ON.

There was no way she belonged with any family other than our own. She needed to stay in the nursery for a few more days to make sure everything was okay, so we had to wait until Saturday to pick her up. The boys grabbed their piggy-bank money and we arrived shortly after the bird farm opened. The boys paid for Buttercup. We paid for the cage and her supplies.

Buttercup Forever Family

Buttercup-Cinnamon Yellow Face Cockatiel

Buttercup is the sweetest, most social little bird I have ever met–not that I have a huge social network of birds to help me make this determination. Sometimes you just know these things.

Nico is beside himself, as you can imagine. He walks into the room and says, “I can’t believe she’s ours! I just can’t stop looking at her!” He also can’t stop wanting to play with her constantly, but for now she’s on limited play time (15 minutes, 3x per day) until she’s adapted to her new home.

Some facts on Buttercup: She loves peas and cereal. She’s indifferent to spinach and carrots but does not like mangoes. She’s okay with back petting but will stretch and ask for neck rubs (see above picture). If you rub just the right spot, she’ll fall asleep (adorable video proof). Buddy makes her slightly nervous, but she’s getting used to him. Buddy finds her charming and wags his tail whenever she’s out of the cage. It’s the brightest his eyes have been since Buster. She chirps when I leave the room and grinds her beak when she’s content. She’s in her cage right now, all puffy and sleepy, eyes slowly drifting shut as she stares at me.

Buttercup Orchids

We just love her to pieces and are so happy we are her forever home. That’s the point of this post.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Lan says

    Seriously, your writing skills were wasted on dry legal briefs. 😉 Thank goodness for blogs so that we readers have been able to find and enjoy your thoroughly delightful, honest musings on life and story-telling skills.

    And yes, after reading so many bloggers write “I have a secret, can’t wait to share it, not now, but soon”, I do a silent scream and quickly bypass those posts. At first, it was cute as a way to build excitement, but now I’m so over it.

    Buttercup – a fitting name indeed for such a beautiful bird. On a slightly related note, please tell me you’ve watched The Princess Bride.

    • says

      Um, only one of my favorite movies ever! If we ever got another bird, his name would have to be Wesley. I edited the post to include The Princess Bride. :)

      • Connie says

        On that note, you have to teach her how to say, “Anybody want a peanut?” – my kids’ (and, well, who am I kidding – *my*) favorite “Princess Bride” line ever…(-:

        We can’t get enough of the video of Buttercup falling asleep, by the way. She is just the sweetest!

  2. says

    I’ve wanted a bird forever but my husband doesn’t go for the idea. We had a canary growing up. Maybe one day…

    John and I could really bond over chores. I just wrote a post about how my dad made me come home on a Friday night to bring the trashcans up from the bottom of the driveway. Can’t imagine that ever being noteworthy gossip, though. C’mon, Tiffany. Up your game:)

  3. Sarah says

    What a pretty bird. Buttercup is the perfect name. All I can think of is the song “My Little Buttercup” from the movie, The Three Amigos.

  4. Jeannej says

    She is beautiful! I love her color palette. The picture with the pink flowers is ethereal. What a great post. Lucky Buttercup and lucky all of you!

  5. Kate says

    I’m really not a fan of those blog teases either but yesterday I read a blog post that was just the opposite. Ooo – look at the recipe for these cheesecake bars, aren’t they the most mouth watering thing you’ve ever seen? Oh, right, I forgot to tell you all – I got married last winter. Here’s a picture. He’s great and my kids love him. Ok, now back to the recipe.

    Whaaaat????? Who does that?

  6. Phaedra says

    ohhh, what a cute bird! So excited for you guys right now! (more of a glad it’s you and not me excitement. I’ve lived with birds…eh.. yeah.. sigh) I bet the boys are off their rockers! Awesome!

  7. says

    What a charming bird and post! We are in the middle of a huge princess bride phase right now- book (good parts only), movie (all, since it is perfect), bedtime stories, dressing up….
    Love it!

  8. says

    And what a wonderful way to get to the point. I laughed about 20 times during the course of this post. :) Also, she’s beautiful.

  9. t says

    Adorable! Happy for your family (especially Nico), Buttercup, and Buddy! Buttercup is the perfect name for her. This post made my day.

  10. Darcy says

    I have no idea why, but last week, on Thursday, I was in the shower and though to myself, “Jules hasn’t posted again about that sweet bird that Nico was dying for — I hope they get a bird!”

    It was very weird, and random — although the shower is where I do my best thinking!! So, my point is: YEAH!! You got a BIRD!! She is just beautiful — I love her coloring/markings! I have never been a bird person, per se — but I would have wanted to take her home had I met her!! She looks very sweet! Congrats on the new addition!!! Oh –and I love that she makes Buddy’s eyes light up!

  11. Bethany says

    “Surely this is how 8th graders across the nation felt when they read Allegiant. Just…what?!”

    A newly minted 7th grader and I (a 27th grader) bonded over our disgust over the Allegiant ending just yesterday.

  12. Susan g says

    So happy for all of you. I was sure being happy for Nico would top the list, iUntil you talked about Buddy. That brought tears to my eyes. I

  13. kates says

    1. After you mentioned the “I totally have a secret that I can’t tell you” style blog I saw not one but multiple blogs go and do that…totally annoying.

    2. Just finished Allegient and I also agree!!

    3. Buttercup is so adorable!

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