Yesterday was tank cleaning day. I thought I’d share with you some happy snail photos.
Having an upside-down snack:
Got a wee video of the above, isn’t he a cutie?
I love my snildren… happy times.
Yesterday was tank cleaning day. I thought I’d share with you some happy snail photos.
Having an upside-down snack:
Got a wee video of the above, isn’t he a cutie?
I love my snildren… happy times.
Hello everyone! 👋 My weekend is wrapping up so it’s finally time to write a proper post telling all that happened since Friday morning. It was a fateful and eventful day, with big highs and big lows but overall fantastic really, when all is said and done. Let’s do this!
We left the house at 6:30am. The ceremony was at 8:15am, so we went to Dunkin’ Donuts to get breakfast first, since Dunkin’ was the first thing my mom and I ate when we landed on the US almost 20 years ago at 4:00am. 🍩 So on such a special occasion, of course we had to start with that. We met my mom at USCIS in Hialeah.
The ceremony, I have to say, was really lackluster. 😞 I did expect that to a degree, with COVID and all, but the masks, the social distancing, the Judge having to be there over Zoom, none of that was the issue. Even not being able to have guests there was much of an issue to me.
More than anything, it felt like this particular USCIS location didn’t give the event the gravitas it deserved. The thing that sucked most was that the USCIS employees weren’t ready, so as the Judge was talking to us, and saying all of these important things, they were talking over her. 😠 Wtf?! They were trying to get everyone’s paperwork and such and we just couldn’t hear the Judge. All stuff that should have been done before we entered that room.
Another thing was that, for all they tell you to dress to mark the dignity of the occasion, there were people with tank tops, torn jeans, visible panties (?!) which did also kinda spoil the mood for me a tad. 😒
But even that wasn’t the worst. At one point the Judge asked that we all take out our paper with the Oath of Allegiance. No one had it because they failed to give it to us! So we all repeated after the Judge as best as we could but that was so upsetting, some of the words were hard to understand. This was also the Oath with which you renounce allegiance to your country of birth. It’s a big deal and was supposed to be so solemn. And EVEN AT THIS TIME, some employees are still talking over the Judge and walking around! Give me a break.
Another bummer was that the video of Biden welcoming us didn’t play. I was looking forward to that so much. And then the Judge asked us to take out the little flags we had been given but we had been given NO FLAGS! I was so upset by this too. We did get our flags by the end, with the Naturalization Certificate, after the ceremony was over. But not on that special moment. Worse yet, we could see on the livestream that people at other locations got them properly and in time.
As we left we did get some photos outside with me holding my little flag, though, so that was nice:
Here is my Naturalization package… 😁 the flag, certificate (I edited out all sensitive info) and my voter registration and passport papers to fill out! It’s official!
Later, during the party, I got a frame from our friend Fern to put my certificate. I’ll frame it and put it on the wall this week. I got a stand for my little flag too. Displaying everything properly this week.
We were supposed to go to lunch with my mom a couple hours after, so we went to our house to relax a while until it was time. I was so excited about this lunch! But alas, it was not to be, because…
Elliot got very sick, very suddenly. He must have been developing an UTI for a few days. But he was fine, eating and drinking well, playing and running like crazy. Suddenly, he began crying, dragging his front on the rug, panting heavily and desperately, trying to pee everywhere, without success. So right before we were about to leave for lunch, my mom had to go home and we ran to the vet as an emergency.
It was clear that Elliot was suffering terribly all the way. Between that, the lackluster ceremony, and the canceled long-awaited celebratory lunch, my spirits were so low. It felt like my day might be ruined. How can I be happy when my kitty is suffering.
Elliot had to have multiple medications to treat his infection, and manage his pain. We went home with a $330 bill… I didn’t even dare ask that we still have a meal out. We went home and I did my best to cheer up as I continued getting the house ready for the party, but at this point I wasn’t in the mood for partying anymore. 😔
As I cheered up and decorated I began to fool around. I may have gotten Kotoko and Rosemary involved:
No Elliot, because he was sick, and no Tomoyo, because I didn’t feel like being hospitalized.
I was barely ready when guests began to arrive. 😲 The first was my new friend Shelly and her boyfriend Ben. Shelly is a fellow Little whom I met online almost two years ago. We were supposed to attend Little Scouts together but that fell through because of… stuff happening in both our lives, and soon after I became so jaded on having Little friends and doing Little things, that I didn’t pursue further and you know, time just passed, and then COVID hit.
So, a month or so ago (I may have told this story in passing on my blog actually) a pest control truck was parked across the street from my house. I’d been looking for someone to do pest control inside our house and I saw a girl near the truck; I thought, great! I want to support a woman-led pest control business. I never see that. So I ran outside in my rainbow socks like a crazy person.
I approach the truck and ask, and this girl, who’s now in the truck with a gentleman, looks at me really intensely while explaining that they only do outdoor pest control. I go back inside and get a text from Shelly, the girl I didn’t get to meet long ago, and she’s all like, did you just ask me about pest control?? Of all the crazy coincidences, right?
Anyway, thankfully Shelly is better at remembering people from photos than I am. We began texting again but I couldn’t manage to make some spare time to meet, so I invited them to this party, and thankfully they both came and hopefully weren’t too put off by my obnoxiousness. 😅 They were both so nice.
A lot of people began to arrive soon after them. Some couldn’t make it, but people who I wasn’t expecting to see made it, and we had a great turnout. Christopher made great burgers as usual and a lot of the snacks I got were eaten.
Before I veer off from the topic above, it seems a Little-geared event may soon happen among a bunch of us, all girls, and more Middles than Littles really… I feel excited in that small, happy way about Littlespace for the first time in the longest time ever, so it’s a big plus to this party.
I wrote a lot, so I’m going to interject with some pictures here:
Something that I was NOT expecting was presents. Danny and Amanda gave me a card and fifty bucks that I had a lot of fun spending at Barnes & Noble the next day (more on that later.) My mom in law came dressed in patriotic colors and gave me a flag cookie, a $50 Amazon gift card, a beautiful bracelet with USA flag colors, and at some point I lose track of what was from her and what was from Grandma… I got a pole and a USA flag for the house, and I do mean a real proper full size all-weather flag, and I believe one was from my mom in law and the other from Grandma. There was also napkins and a tablecloth and a garden flag, and a dish towel, all USA themed, it was really all too much… I was floored.
Grandma also sent this pair of flags. I have a similar one already on the porch, so I will rotate them as they wear out:
There was a lovely note from Grandma too. My friend Jen got me some fancy liqueur and my very dear friend Kris and his lovely girlfriend Sivan got me a tic-tac-toe set. You may not think this sounds very special, and I was a bit puzzled, until I opened the actual pieces and screamed. Here it is in the library!
It’s handmade in Puerto Rico. Needless to say, they know me well…
We drank a fair bit. Christopher is such a delightful drunk.
I just get more obnoxious. For my drink, I asked Leo to pop the cork in my champagne, and he somehow broke the mouth of the bottle and cut his finger, so I gave him a Cinderella printed band-aid and filtered my champagne through a Keurig reusable pod. There were no crunchies. 😁
Here’s more drunk Christopher. This was near the end of the night. You can hear my mom in law telling him to just be quiet. Lol.
Christopher rarely drinks and for this reason I LOVE it when he does. He’s the best kind of drunk, just fun and happy. We had to carry him up the stairs though.
My mom in law took several photos, but most of this night’s photos were taken by my friend Andrea, who, by the way, came looking SUPER patriotic. She’s very good at just constantly taking random candid photos for which I am always grateful.
Here’s a selfie round-up:
Speaking of Andrea being great at capturing moments, some DDR actually happened since Christopher fixed the machine. Here he is playing with dad-to-be Leo:
Here’s both Christopher and I, happy and drunk. A wonderful night almost over.
I took this photo right before getting in bed. Getting Christopher to bed was a whole ordeal. Bert was a big help. Christopher was so happy and loopy, poorly coordinated and consequently difficult lol. As soon as he passed out after brushing his teeth, Kotoko protectively lay on him.
And that was the end of this wonderful night. One more thing I want to mention is that I got to hang out with my old friends for a long time, I mean my pre-Christopher friends, for the first time in years. Properly, I mean.
You see… a few years ago, I felt so fulfilled by Christopher and by the couple of friends that we were deeply close with at that time, that I unconsciously (or perhaps somewhat consciously) stepped away from my old friend group, I can even say I pushed my friends aside. The friendship we had with that couple truly and utterly filled my heart and the free time in my weekends. When it wasn’t that, I was so absorbed with my furry friends and my Little side/lifestyle that I felt it didn’t merge well with my old friend group. I didn’t lose touch completely, but I did by a big amount.
Now, other than seeing one of our old friends sometimes (since I had a terrible and very painful falling out with the other) that “couple” friendship is gone and it left a huge gaping hole. There’s no more hanging out every weekend, no more meeting up to cook a meal at our place or going to an art walk or a thrift sale. It took a long time to get used to that. But I didn’t feel like just trying to rekindle old friendships either. I was left quite jaded and afraid by that experience and a similar one that followed. No longer in pain, but tired by it, just jaded.
Now a lot of time has passed since the last truly painful, traumatizing stuff. Two plus years. Other bad stuff happened but it’s more easily brushed off. And I saw my old OLD friends again. Almost all of them came. They didn’t have to, you know. None of them forgot me. They all came to celebrate me and treated me as if I’d been part of the group in the same way the last five years (which I have not been.)
I felt more comfortable and more like myself among them than I ever did before. Like the old me and the new me came together and I’m comfortable again. And now I better see how precious friendships are. I was so careless with them.
Our MAD anime group had its share of drama but most of us have always gotten along and sorted out conflicts. I knew that before but didn’t realize its value. My friends are all very different but they are good people and I’m really lucky to be back among them after I kind of discarded them temporarily. Maybe I thought I didn’t need them but that is not true. No friendship should ever be taken for granted. We get less in a lifetime than we think, and I was and am lucky to have them.
We have the next MAD meetup planned, at our place! I haven’t hosted one in years, so I’m really excited. It’s on June 12th.
Sorry to get so verbose… let’s move on to Saturday!
Since I didn’t get a nice meal with my mom, my mom in law treated me to the same place I wanted to go to for Saturday’s lunch (The Tavern). I brought Beanie along for this one:
I had crab cakes, teriyaki brussel sprouts and cole slaw. I wanted to have crème brûlée for dessert but in the end I was just too full.
After this we went to the book store. I saw this cute book but I didn’t buy it, I got a picture though:
It KILLED me that we ran into Thomas stuff, and they had Harold, Edward AND Cranky!! I didn’t dare ask Christopher for any of it… 😖 He’s been spending way too much because of me. But seeing this stuff in person and not getting it was kinda killer, haha… at least I got a photo:
It was Cranky I wanted most of all. 😭 But now, for what I DID buy. I got this Sesame Street tote:
It’s big and very thick and fits my iPad:
I also got a couple of dinosaur books and a li’l t-rex friend:
These books may be for little kids, but I want them for character design tips and ideas. The illustrations are amazing, and the quick facts are super useful:
Later we went to Brandsmart. We didn’t buy anything, it was just to look. Brandsmart always feels larger than life to me:
After that we went to Phở 79 for dinner, and then home. Before bedtime we played Rummikub and Mille Bornes. I had patriotic cakes with my new dino friend:
I went to bed very tired and happy. It was a wonderful day.
Sunday was a quieter affair. I got up, had my coffee and got ready to head out on my walk. I wanted to check the Pride section at Target. Speaking of, my pansexual pride bandana did come in, at least, which you can see in the photo above.
It was a rainy day, everything gray and dull and wet. My outfit really stood out (and I’m not even holding my dinosaur umbrella here):
Before I went out though, my mom in law helped us install our brand new flag!
Honestly, they did all the hard work. But I made sure the flag didn’t touch the ground.
Placing the pole!
We had to get at least one photo of me next to it:
Here’s the way the flag looks from the door, and from the street:
Here it is waving in all its glory! A waving flag makes a beautiful sound. I never paid attention to it until now.
At dusk we brought the flag in. We won’t actually take it out again until Thursday, as that is when we will be installing a light so it’s not in the dark at night.
I think that’s everything. A very busy week looms ahead, with cleaning-up to do, overdue warm-ups, immigration paperwork for my mom, answering lots and LOTS of congratulatory messages, and scheduling doctor appointments.
I’m going to take care of my snails now, and then head to bed. Thank you so much to everyone who read this!
Normally I cut up red bell pepper into small pieces for my snails. It lasts a long time in the fridge and I give it a little at a time. Once exposed to the humidity of the tank it must be soon discarded. But as you can see below, I decided to do something different this time:
I’ve found snails sleeping inside multiple times already. Pretty cute.
I also gave a piece to the West Indian Bulimulus rout. Here they are with a bit of (non-direct, setting) mild sun in their tank:
They are all doing very well.
Recently, it’s been raining a lot. That means lots of snails on the sidewalk, and so, sometimes, after a rain, I go snail hunting.
These little guys, they’ll get to the middle of the sidewalk, and go to sleep when the rain stops and the clouds part. There, they’ll either be stepped on, or cook alive in the sun, or get eaten by birds (usually one, then the other). Often I’ll just pick them up and throw them on the grass to save them from this fate.
I rescued a ton this week, since I’d been looking to replenish my West Indian Bulimulus rout. They are sturdy little fellas and live a long time when properly cared for. One of my recent rescues has a bit of an enthralling story (for a snail.)
It’s this little guy, one of the smallest of his species that I have ever come across:
I only really spotted him because he was covered in black ants. 😱 I was sure he was dead/half eaten, but I got all the ants off somehow, including a persistent one that had made its way inside his shell. I took him home anyway. My guess is he was, maybe, 20 seconds away from being eaten.
An hour after I put him in the tank at home, he’d moved to the top of the lid, and hid. I didn’t get to see him move, but I knew he was alive!
I coaxed him out once he had some time to rest. He was in perfectly fine shape:
I’m sure he didn’t even know that he was seconds from being devoured quite literally alive. I hope he grows big and strong in his new digs. 😊 For now he’s in the quarantine tank with my other snails, being dewormed and making sure he has no other parasites.
Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. First of all I want to apologize for the inactivity –I am finally home again, and I am feeling better. Just very tired.
Though commissions are still a tad delayed, I was able to finish the warm-ups, and will be posting them shortly. I also got progress underway on three more pieces. I really appreciate everyone’s patience.
We had a nice time with family. My mom in law has a new fish. It is called a Plecostomus or simply Pleco. It’s the type of fish that suctions onto the glass with its mouth a lot of the time. He’s really cute and I love him. He’s big, too. I got a couple of photos of him just lounging.
One of the kids at my mom in law’s school made these play-doh snails when she told him I liked snails. Didn’t he do an amazing job? I love them!
I brought my new bear, Beanie, on this trip, and cuddled him to sleep…
In the morning, Beanie and I had breakfast together.
My mom in law’s fluffy cat Spaz came to me for cuddles. He’s such a softie!
After breakfast we left for Renningers Flea and Farmers Market. Beanie looked out the window all the way.
At Renningers I bought some books, a handbag, a huge snail magnet and a couple of mousepads –one for me and one for my sis in law. Here’s my haul:
Afterwards we had dinner at Makoto’s and then played cards in the evening. I tried to sneak in drawing whenever I could, so I didn’t play cards all the time, but it was nice spending time with family even when I was working.
Grandma didn’t spend much time with us while we were playing. She fell asleep on the couch. I think she fell asleep praying… it was really cute.
Before bed we played a few rounds of Trivia Murder Party and I won once.
Now I’m going to post some art, finish unpacking and then get more art done. I hope you enjoyed your Mother’s day weekend!
So, right now, I’m not sure how many snails I have. Certainly, the number has diminished, as they are all in the 20 gallon tank. Mortality among the young poms has been quite low, but a couple of my adult poms (age unknown) have died, one of them this morning, my biggest, after two days of lethargy. I definitely will keep his shell, as I treasured him a lot. At the same time, after weeks of “rest”, two poms started breeding again, so another clutch might be incoming. I adore poms with my whole heart and keep them all, so I do hope for this to be the case.
Meanwhile, mortality has been high in the only milk snail clutch I had. I knew this would be the case, it was a poor quality clutch that I would not normally have hatched. However, it was the only clutch my first three milk snails lay, after their weeks of suffering with mites prior to passing. I could not bring myself to destroy it. Some snails from this clutch, however, are thriving.
This is my last Helix Aspersa. He was from a poor quality clutch, but so far he’s survived over a year, and seems to be enjoying himself.
This video was taken after the last tank-cleaning. I found the way this milk snail was eating while being suspended from the leaf to be quite funny. With each bite he bounced a little bit:
I leave you with a little video of a grooming pom. I’m only 80% sure, but I believe this is the little guy that passed away today. I will miss him.
It’s bedtime! So, let me wrap up the day real quick… I’m heading to bed with a book but probably will be too tired to read.
Today I went grocery shopping. I dressed a bit crazier than usual –I’m accustomed to getting looks, but this getup generally gets me even surprised glances more than usual. 😅
I always get nice comments too, so honestly, if I made someone smile or amused them enough to distract them on a bad day, it’s a bonus. I had to laugh though, when an old Publix worker came up to me, excitedly asking if I was the lady who’d been giving out balloons on a different day. So basically I look like a clown. 🤡 I’d probably have done clown gigs if I had the charisma… I like clowns, I’m too shy for that though, and kids scare me. They’re all sticky and smelly. No thanks lol. 😑
But yeah I went and I also got a little trolley to push my groceries in, so I can save money on Ubers and don’t have to bother Christopher for rides –plus, more walking, more exercise! Happy about all those things. And it was kind of fun to push it around. 😁
Among many chores, I took care of my little snails, removed a couple that had passed, and fed and cleaned them all. The baby roman snails are thriving! Here’s a photo of one of my milk snails who was eating his lettuce with a lot of noise:
I think Kotoko missed me. She’s been spending lots of time in the studio with me. She seems to have recovered from her UTI, but it exhausted her. Here she is, snoring and dreaming…
For dinner, I made salmon, potatoes and salad. It was quite good and Christopher liked it too, which is the most important part:
I’m disappointed because I was unable to complete all my chores. I still have a lot to do. I guess I’ll have to finish tomorrow, it can’t be helped.
I mentioned this over on FA, but blog posts aside, PLEASE bear with me for the rest of April. I cannot talk on Telegram, I can’t respond quickly to anything that isn’t business related. If you have a commission inquiry, please don’t just say “hi”. Please send a message with what you want, all the info, etc. I don’t have time for long conversations this month because of a long queue and because I am studying for the citizenship test. If it’s commission related, I will respond, but otherwise you may not hear back from me for days, possible not until May. I do apologize. 🙇♀️
I’m going to try to get some rest. Goodnight, everyone! 🌙✨
Hello everyone! My determination to get back on the healthy (er) wagon is holding up. I’m doing better. Drinking water was easier today, and I went on two walks for a total of a little under four miles. I think I’m going to stick to this “early morning and sunset” daily walks for a while. They burn a decent amount of calories when they start to stack up, and they are relaxing and not too hard to do.
This was my outfit today when I went out in the morning:
It was a little hot but just lovely outside. There were many butterflies about:
I came home to find Kotoko as I left her –slightly less paranoid but only just, and still tripping balls. Her eyes wouldn’t go back to normal:
She began to act more normal around 3pm, and now at 10pm she’s pretty close to her regular self. I’m giving her the antibiotics and tomorrow I’ll give her more painkillers.
Because she pooped all over herself at the vet’s, we decided it was cat bath weekend. I trimmed everyone’s nails, managed to get my legs shredded by Tomoyo in the process, and then we got down to business. The cats were a lot angrier than usual, probably because of the nail trimming. Rosie was so upset…
Elliot came out trembling a little, but soon recovered.
In the afternoon I finished a commission for Nero (posted earlier) began work on a commission for Koneko, took care of the snails, did the laundry, dishes, and vacuumed the upstairs, among other odds-and-ends. Then I went out on my second walk. I was almost home when I met this very friendly cat:
Then I made dinner for Christopher and myself. Breaded chicken breast and salad. It was good. Had a little coffee for dessert.
Right as I was writing this post I took this photo of two of my snails. A little milk snail was quite horny (penis out and all) and fervently harassing a poor roman snail for sexytime.
Sometimes my roman snails will humor the milk snails in these endeavors (they can’t really copulate, not usually, anyway) but this time the poor pom looked so harassed. He kept trying to get away, but the milk snail was always partially on him, so it wasn’t happening. It’s hard to ever tell what snails are thinking, but it was so clear that this guy wanted nothing with this situation, that I separated them to different corners. ^_^;
And, well! Now it’s time to get ready for bed. This week promises to be busy and exciting. So I’m going to get a good night’s sleep.
Hi all. It’s been a hot minute since I posted an outfit of the day! I felt very colorful, but walking over a mile in this got hot fast…
Anyway, today I went on a long (ish?) walk. I went to Walmart, mostly hoping to get out of a deep funk. I’m very stressed about the citizenship test. Everyone is being very encouraging, and I appreciate it. I’m having trouble with just 15 out of 100 questions (meaning, I don’t remember those 15 well enough yet.) So every day, I study them.
The problem is that even those I remember easily, I worry I’ll forget during the interview. I tend to crack under pressure. They might ask me something stupid like, “Who is the president of the United States right now?” and my brain might just decide to do this:
So, I’m doing everything in an uncomfortable fog, a daze, wanting April 21st to be here, and also to not be here. It’s stressful.
To relax, I continue playing otome games. I just finished Café Enchanté as I mentioned in an earlier post, I loved it… I’m already missing the characters. Hope a fandisc is released! And now I’m playing Piofiore: Fated Memories. I also watch old, early episodes of Thomas The Tank Engine while working, to relax. But mostly, I watch citizenship test videos on repeat while working on commissions. I don’t sleep well at night, and I’m snacking too much. Basically, I’m a hot mess. Can this be over already? 😅
Moving on… a new dinosaur train set arrived. Like usual, I’m saving it as a date night treat. The box art for this one is delightful, though!
Oh yeah. At Walmart, I got new shoos!
And! And! They light up!
In another bit of news… Our long-dreamed (and paid off) Alaskan cruise got canceled/postponed for the second time. Ah well.
It’s definitely for the best. I heard that AC got canceled too… I wonder what will happen to Megaplex.
It really seems like we are just losing another year. But we will have our little Tampa trip in ten days, at least, and if only Ragtime doesn’t get canceled again, I’ll be so happy. It’s now been moved to June, I think. Fingers crossed.
Right now we have our friend Bert staying with us. He’s staying for three nights, so for the first time, I am making regular dinners for three people. Even though I cook every night, I was really nervous about it. I want Christopher to be proud of me. I think Bert is kind of easy to impress with my low-level skills… ^_^; I can never reach my own standards, really. But if Christopher looks satisfied, then I feel very pleased.
Tonight I screwed up the sauce. Christopher had to run out to get more. I was doing well until the last minute, and felt ready to tear up as they walked through the door. But Christopher saved the day. I wish I could be a little more dependable, at least more consistently. I’m trying my best, though.
I’ve been moving the snails around again. With some of the babies a little bigger, I’m back to two tanks. The usual, big tank, and the medium tank (which had sat unused). The medium tank is in a brand new place in the house:
Tomorrow I’ll Zoom with my mom as usual. Lately it just feels like I’m getting through the days. I have a lot of head pressure, too… I’m drinking way too much coffee. I hope I’ll be feeling better in about a month’s time!
Now I’m off to get ready for bed. Tomorrow I also hope to finish a couple of commissions, finally!
I finally finished catching up with old posts! Last few days have mostly been working on commissions, studying for the citizenship test, and getting stuff done around the house.
A week or so ago I went to Hobby Lobby and found a rare snail figure. I tend to snag them when I can. He now sits in the snail book shelf:
Isn’t he a cutie?
I’m terribly excited because my new Thomas roundhouse is coming today. Buying on OfferUp makes me nervous…I really hope it’s not damaged, and that the sound works. Hopefully all is good with it so we can play with it tomorrow.
I’m looking forward to date night. I’ll have my roundhouse, Christopher will have his new special locomotive that reacts to special cards, and I have a few little houses and such to decorate the town with.
I’m also so, so excited about our upcoming trip. I have a new bag to wake on this trip specifically:
It is neither too big nor too small, it just about fits my iPad and necessities. And it not as toddler-y as other Thomas bags out there.
Anyway it’s almost time to Zoom with my mom so I have to cut this short. Hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!