Friday, April 25, 2014

In which something's fishy.....

Meet Cyan....

And Zephyr.

We now have two new bettas - aka Siamese Fighting Fish or "rumble fish," at least according to the book. This photo isn't really doing Zephyr justice in the color department.

Ah, here we go. A little better.

Turns out Maddy has probably put in as much time around fish as John Ashton, albeit in a different way.

"My version of catching them typically involves inadvertently tearing up the entire tank with a net while going "Here fishfishfishfishfishfishfishfishfish......" she explained. "Back when I was about seven or so, my father decided he wanted an aquarium. So he did what he always did - bought one, bought a bunch of fish, got obsessed, decided he was going to make a ton of money breeding freshwater angelfish, got bored with it after a couple of years and that was that. Except this time we still had three tanks worth of tropical fish to deal with, plus bettas. So my mom and I took over and I was the one who stayed interested in them. So there's usually at least a fish or two finning around here somewhere."

By the way, she said that she'd always heard it pronounced "BET-tah" until fairly recently, but she doesn't think it really matters how you say it. She said she's kept them in various setups, including one of those infamous vases, but prefers the little tanks because they're much easier to keep clean.

"Mind you, the vase in question was two gallons. It was huge. I cleaned it weekly and fed the fish just like you would any other and he did well. Lived his entire five and a half years in it. I had worse luck with the plants. The first two died. I finally rooted a spider plant baby in water and that one thrived. I had the vase on the speaker of the CD player I had at the time - not the best place, but a warm place where the plant could get some light without overheating the fish. I don't think I'd do that again, though. It was more or less a novelty-type setup. Although Razz liked it."

"So what was the big deal about those vases being bad?"

"Someone - I think Martha freaking Stewart - started the idea that they were self-sustaining. That you never had to do anything except occasionally add water. The fish would eat the roots of the plant, the plant would keep the water clean and it was A Good Thing. Except it doesn't work that way. Bettas are carnivores. They don't eat plants. You have to feed them actual fish food. And the plant helps a lot, but you still have to change the water and clean it weekly, at least. I can only think of one person who ever managed what was basically an unfiltered, self-cleaning setup, but it was four fish in a VERY heavily planted 100 gallon tank."

By the way, Marineland doesn't make those little three-gallon Eclipse tanks like she has anymore. They have a redesigned desktop tank that looks nice, but we've never seen one set up and running.

More fish stories to follow, I'm sure. I think Maddy just wants to find some pictures first.....

Sunday, April 20, 2014

In which - Happy Easter, or Passover, or Earth Day, or spring, or autumn, or Sunday....

Tim: Hey, look. Fossilized Easter eggs!

Moriko: They're Jordan Almonds.

Edward (trying to bite into one); They ARE fossilized, though. Ow.

"Caroline, are you ready for the photo shoot?"

Sigh. The things I do for this blog....

So would a fish photobomb be a fishobomb?

From all of us to all of you - whatever you're celebrating today, have a great one!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In which - ha ha, very funny.....


I don't know if April really is the cruelest month, but it does have a really sick sense of humor.

This is what we woke up to this morning. Apparently the rain really did turn to snow overnight.

At least it's all melting off, though. Maddy told me that there was a very similar storm back in 1997, only a couple of weeks earlier - March 31st into the morning of April 1st - that dumped close to 18" of very wet, VERY heavy snow after it had been unusually warm for several weeks. All the trees were budding out. It was a disaster. The snow was so wet and heavy that it ripped the trees to pieces and took the power out for five days. Several of the trees in the yard were so badly damaged they had to come down, including the one that Daisy's house used to be under. That's where that old stump came from.

This was just annoying to wake up to.

There's just something strange about seeing it all still stuck in the trees after it's melted off the grass, though.

And it's kind of weird - the air is chilly, but the sun is very warm.

Oh well. At least we're supposed to resume our regularly scheduled spring starting tomorrow....

Saturday, April 12, 2014

In which - random spring photos!

The last of the snow. Good riddance.....

Aura as a travel deva. We headed to the library to check out the books for sale and the bead store to check out beads today. Aura found a photo book of her native Scotland for two dollars.

Looks like new home construction is on the rebound - at least in the English Sparrow sector.

Daisy in a new outfit from Thailand.

Aura again.

Yours truly....

Fawn and some crocuses.

Coming soon - a LOT of bright yellow awesomeness.

Fawn again....

Yeah - THIS is more like it. Totally more like it.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

In which Daisy gets mail and we meet Boris....

Daisy got a package in the mail today, all the way from Thailand.

It turned out to be from the aforementioned Scaramouche. Aura had told her that we probably weren't going to be able to salvage much of anything from Daisy's little hobbit-hole home, so she sent a care package of new clothes. She included a note that said she expects to be back in a few weeks, but isn't sure when yet. I think Daisy said she's studying Whale Whispering, whatever that is.

And never mind that old thing about it being bad luck to give a pixie clothes. Daisy thought it very good luck, indeed.

Because right now we can't even find where the entrance to her place was.

She's taking it well, though. She's just glad she got out in time and found a place to stay.

"So why did you leave Findhorn?" I asked Aura while Maddy and Daisy went to look for a trowel.

"I became a muse for awhile," she said. "Scaramouche did the same thing. She was an urban deva for a very long time until she followed a band she'd fallen in with up to Bearsville when they recorded their first album. The band I fell in with was from Dunfermline. I think your friend Maddy might know the name if I said it. It didn't end well, though. I couldn't--"

That was when we were interrupted by a scream from the house.....

"Maddy, ohmigod, do something! It's huge!" Shel really, seriously does not like spiders. Especially big spiders.

"Maddy, don't!" Daisy yelled, running in, even though no one had done anything yet. "It's Boris! Please don't hurt him!"

"Boris? Is he yours?" Maddy said, reaching for Shel. "Shel, get down from there, please."

"No, he's Scaramouche's. But he's a really good spider," Daisy said. "He's not dangerous, really."

"Wouldn't hurt a fly?" I said.

"Uh no, he'll do that," Daisy admitted.

"If he'll eat flies, he's welcome to stay," Maddy said.

"She has a salamander named Charlotte, too, but I think she brought her with her," Daisy said.

Hmmm, I think I like this girl already. And I think I need to get Shel off the ceiling.....

Edit - I forgot to say that Daisy's adorable new outfits came from Nubanded/CrazyHandmade on Etsy (Link here.) The shop is in Thailand and she makes items as they're ordered, so there is a bit of a wait - but it's worth it. The clothes are well-made and super cute.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

In which....Happy first blog-iversary!

I just want to say a big THANK YOU!!!!! to everyone. Today is the one-year anniversary of my blog. Thank you everyone for going along with all the weirdness and musical obsession here - and stay tuned for more of the same in 2014!

Seriously though, thank you. All of you are a big part of why this is fun. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In which - are these signs of SPRING we see?!?

Look at that sky, would you?

Sixty beautiful degrees today! Now this is more like it.

Crocuses! Lots and lots of crocuses!

The pile over the entrance to what was Daisy's house, however, probably isn't going anywhere until June. She thinks she'll be able to salvage at least some of her stuff if we can ever get to it. She's not moving back in, though. If Maddy doesn't figure out a place for that dollhouse upstairs, I will. (In the meantime, she's staying with me.)

In a few short weeks, this will all be yellow flowers. I love how, after so many months of cold, gray, dreary suckiness, the first color to come back is the brightest one in the entire spectrum. It reminds me a little of that moment when The Wizard of Oz goes from sepia to Technicolor.

Aura was happy to see daffodils naturalizing instead of being forced into rows. She thinks that even with the late warmup, everything is going to do just fine.

Aura's adorable dress is from Xanadu's Etsy shop. (Go through the link in her blog; the link I put in the links section doesn't always work. She has a lot of really cute stuff for PukiFees like Aura. And no, she doesn't know I'm posting this.)

By the way, Aura is just about the same size as me and my Hitty sisters, so we can share outfits. I may be borrowing that dress sometime.

Welcoming back the sun. After this winter, I've come to understand why so many ancient cultures worshiped it.

Fawn didn't trust her crutches with the muddy ground, but that's why humans invented back decks. Well, sort of, I guess....

Happy Spring, everyone in the northern hemisphere. After this winter, we've earned it.