Sunday, April 24, 2011

On the Subject of Eggs

My cockatiel laid 5 eggs. They are super cute little things, but still, I hope she stops soon. She is not a young bird, and she will have nothing to do with the new cuttle bone we bought for her, so I'm concerned for her health.

The kiddos are bummed that we will not actually be expecting five baby cockatiels. We had an official 'birds and the bees' talk about it. Well, the bird part anyway. That, and a nice, illustrated book from the library that showed how chicken babies get inside chicken eggs has given my kids a nice grasp of avian reproduction.

While hard boiling our Easter eggs, I tried to hard boil the cockatiel eggs at the same time to preserve them. Three of the five cracked open. The shells were much thinner than chicken eggs, and I may have chalked the problem up to the thin shells alone, except that several of the chicken eggs also cracked open.

Now I'm no whiz chef, but making hard boiled eggs is about as complicated as boiling water. Yet I messed up a bunch of eggs. Anyone have thoughts on what I may have done wrong?

Again, my camera is not behaving well enough to get a good shot of the little eggs, so instead, here is an amazing shot my husband took of our cockatiel, Daisy:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lost Cat


I know this is unlikely to be productive, but in an effort to leave no stone unturned, here I am.

Sheeba is a 13 year old Bengal from Concord, California. She is very small, and very loud, and very missing.

If you have taken in a cat that looks like this one thinking she must be neglected, she isn't. She has kidney disease, and we feed her as much as she'll eat, but she doesn't put on weight well. I have no idea what's up with the clumps of hair loss though. Her veterinarian doesn't know either. I asked. She needs her prescription food, and she needs to come home.

If you have seen her, but she ran away from you, that would still be helpful information because we would know what area to look in.

Heaven forbid, if you found her remains after some sort of tragic accident, but didn't want to be the bearer of bad news by calling the number on her collar, PLEASE call anyway. Not knowing anything about where she has disappeared to is more stressful than knowing, and being able to grieve properly.

Any information is appreciated.

Thanks.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Silkmoths - Year 2

We enjoyed raising our silkworms last year so much that we're doing it again this year. Even better, we are using the eggs that our very own moths laid last fall!

Or, at least I thought it was better. Now it looks like I may not have stored them in the ideal way. While our moths laid way more than the 250 eggs we ordered last year, it looks like, at best, only a couple dozen caterpillars have hatched. I guess that ain't nothing, but I'm still kinda disappointed. Looks like it's time for even more research, so I know how to handle our eggs even better for next time.

I've kept the rest of the eggs so far, but they look very dried and sunken, so I'm not hopeful that any more will hatch this year. Almost all of them were the good, black color of fertile silkmoth eggs, but just having fertile eggs appears not to be enough.

Unfortunately, my camera seems to be in it's twilight of life, and I can't get a focused picture of the new silkworms or the non-hatched eggs to share, but maybe I can sweet talk my husband into taking some photos for me with his snazzy camera later on to show off.

As a refresher, for anyone who cares, here are my posts from last years silkworm adventures (so far our silkworms look like the ones from the second link:

Silkworms, Day 1
Silkworms, Day 8
Silkworms, Day 15
Silkworms, Day36
Silkworms, Day38
And Then There Were Two - Silkworms, Day 51
Silkworms, Day56 - Silkmoths!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Moving Backwards

I was playing with the setting here on Blogger a little while ago and found out that I could make stand alone pages in addition to traditional blog posts.

"Cool!" thought I. "I can make a page that links to my published works for folks to go see."

So I set out to collect some links and set the page up. That was a depressing night, let me tell ya. One of my first publications seems to have removed me, and a bunch of older pieces from their archives all together. My one paid, print publishing credit is now out of print. Then there was that local dog newspaper, that doesn't have anything online to send anyone to. All I was left with was my book reviews from an independent arts and culture paper that I wrote over 4 years ago, and just learned has closed down too. Who knows how much longer that archive will be around.

So even though I'm still writing, I haven't published anything in so long, stuff is starting to disappear. They say to be careful because stuff on the internet lasts forever. But it turns out, it sometimes only lasts as long as they want to pay for hosting.

It was a wake up call. I need to get submitting again! So I did. So far, no sales, but some very nice and encouraging rejections. And, naturally, some not so encouraging rejections. That piece I mentioned awhile back that I was very hopeful for was rejected. I almost gave up on it. I felt like I'd sent it everywhere. Thank goodness for the Duotrope submission tracker. It gave me another reality check - I'd only sent it out four times. So out again it went. And I just sent out two other stories tonight. Hopefully, I'll get to make that 'Publishing Credits' page up later sometime this year after all.

Even better. I finished a new story. And - if you can believe this- it's more than 300 words long. I'm a big non-finisher, so I'm proud of this little achievement. So after a little polish, it'll be sent out into the big world of slush piles too. Wish me luck! (Is luck okay for writers? I'm pretty sure I don't need to break anything. Humm. . . )