Snell Slimesletter 🐌 🗞️

A random happy cucumber-eating photo to precede the less-than-happy State of the Snells.

🐌 Wild Snails + Snailio Iglesias Tank 🐌

Doing well, knock on wood. Snailio Iglesias is growing.

🐌 Original Group Tank 🐌

Only one Aspersa and two Otala Lacteas left. As you might guess, one died over the weekend. The others continue to barely eat. I don’t expect them to survive. No more riccardoella is visible, but I continue to treat with hypoaspis.

🐌 Baby Aspersa Tank 🐌

Not babies anymore, and have in fact begun to mate. I hoped to have culled the ones that weren’t quite… right… for their own well-being. And some definitely aren’t, but two in particular are struggling with serious deep retraction syndrome. One seems unable to “right” himself within his shell, and can’t come out most of the time. He is not sick, just not “right”. I’m guessing poor genes. I believe he is suffering as a result and I am considering possibly euthanizing him.

🐌 Helix Pomatia Tank 🐌

After my horror of finding riccardoella there too, I began a very aggressive hypoaspis treatment. No news in that regard. I’m going to continue to treat aggressively for months going forward. I’m just sad about it.

That’s basically it, I just wanted to give an update on snells. It’s been pretty stressful, I won’t lie.

State Of The Squelf: Almost September Edition

Hello hello, welcome to your grumpy Monday morning post. 🌞 💀

It’s almost time for our End of Summer LAN, and I am so sad that it won’t happen this year. 😞But I did get to have my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year yesterday, so not all seasonal pleasures are lost… 🍁 🍂 🎃

I went to bed with a headache and I woke up with one as well, but overall, it was a good weekend.

On Saturday I went to Hobby Lobby crossing my fingers I’d find everything on my list, which doesn’t usually happen, but I did! I got a garland to decorate the library, some boxes to organize things there, pebbles to use with my snails’ water dishes so I can have more water in their tanks without risk of drowning and so improve the humidity, two necklace chains (one for a key my husband gave me on our wedding day, and another for a bunny key I got last year with my Charlie Bear Best Friends Club necklace from last year) and a cork board for the library also.

Here are some photos of the library remodel:

I decided to start using the top of the bookcases for my comics and graphic novels.
The vine on the window is my favorite new addition. I hope to wash the window next weekend.
A permanent fixture in my library is one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten, this Schleich castle from my friend Mwako.
I added new labels to all the shelves, and couldn’t resist this one…

That afternoon our friends Kris and Fern came over to help us make a hole in the wall for our new cat door. 🐈 🚪

We “jokingly” call it my “r*pe prevention kitty door” 🤦‍♀️ which isn’t something to joke about but the truth is my fear of that happening (or someone entering the house during the day and hurting me) is very real. I’ve been keeping the back door to the porch open for months during the day so the cats can come in and out at their leisure, and this is just not the kind of neighborhood to do this.

It’s not a bad neighborhood but crime does happen, as well as breaking and entering, and an open door while I am upstairs, sometimes showering or napping, is an invitation to a tragedy. I’ve been very worried for a long time, but a lot of the stressed and destructive behavior of the cats improved so much when I began to keep the porch door open, that it seemed worth the risk.

Installing the cat door was no joke; it took both of my friends and my husband hours, with all kinds of power tools, and between buying tools and renting them, and the cost of the door and the tunnel segments to go through the thick wall, it ended up being a painful close to $300. 💸💸💸

The guys worked really, really hard. They had to go through solid block. But they did an awesome job. Now I’m trying to get the cats used to it. The tunnel is a bit long, so I worry about our older cat, Kotoko. But so far all other cats have at least come out on the porch.

The next day Kris and I went out on a long drive to Ft. Myers. We never really went out just the two of us to talk and have fun before, and it was really enjoyable. 🌈 💕

My outfit for that day!

The drive was wonderful, we had lunch at a great little Tex-Mex place in Downtown Ft. Myers, I checked out a small toy store that had some Jelly Cats and evening a single Steiff bear, and then we went to Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. That park is supposed to have plenty of wild life, even bobcats, deer and black bears! But we didn’t see any. We could hear the otters in the distance but didn’t see any at the otter pond. We saw some turtles, and some colorful locusts and butterflies, and some apple snails. Oh, and a woodpecker, too.

Mostly, it was too hot for any animals to come out. The water was perfectly still. Even though we didn’t see many animals it was a wonderful time and I hope to go again. Kris told me many stories about fateful animal encounters in his youth as we walked.

Here are some photos I took during our walk:

One of the big butterflies we saw near the Otter Pond.
The Otter Pond itself.
It was the prettiest spot on the trail. The heat was so terrible though. It crushed you down to the ground.

Once we walked through the trail, we began to drive home. Kris tried to show off his truck’s four wheel drive but the truck got immediately stuck in sugar sand which was hilarious. We were incredibly lucky because we had not even been stuck five minutes when a Good Samaritan stopped by to help with a chain, and we were soon on our again.

We stopped on our way home to look for gators, and we found one!

You can barely see it in this photo:

That whole area was pretty in a way. Florida can be very pretty at times.

I also got to chase some vultures, but secretly I was afraid they would chase me back. 🙃

We stopped by Tijuana Flats on the way back and brought back dinner for us and Christopher. Kris left soon after we ate.

It was a really good day but by the time I got home I had a headache and was too exhausted to think. I went to bed early, and I am still tired. So with this post written, I’m going to try to rest a little more before I start my day. This cat has me trapped anyway (and she’s made typing this post really hard):

🐱 My Rosie Was Featured on The Crime Reel’s Petty Crime! 🐱

You may remember the keeper of my heart, my little Rosemary:

Well some weeks back I submitted her to my favorite YouTube crime channel, The Crime Reel, and today, she was featured! If you click below the video will start at the moment her feature begins.

If you enjoy true crime stories, I really recommend The Crime Reel. He posts interesting stories that I’ve often never heard of before, and what really sets the channel aside, is that he narrates them with so much empathy, truly humanizing the victims. I look forward to every new video.

It’s Another Day Of Some Sort 🗑

Time for an update.

My mood isn’t any better… if anything, it’s worse. Lol. 🙃 But I do appreciate the kind comments I got yesterday over on FA even if I haven’t replied to them all (I’ll try, I just have no energy.)

My original snails haven’t shown signs of mites in a week and a half now, but cannot be coaxed to eat. I am seeing them waste away before my very eyes, so slowly. It’s breaking my heart every morning I see all the food uneaten. 😞

My poms are now being treated for mites also. I’m so gutted about finding mites in them that I can hardly bear to look at them. The idea of them wasting away like my other snails makes me sick. I’m just devastated honestly.

Yesterday was date night and a bright spot in an otherwise terrible week. We watched the new Aggretsuko season, though we are not done, so NO SPOILERS, please. 🙅‍♀️ We also watched some really old Doctor Who episodes, and played Puyo Puyo Tetris. We got takeout from one of my favorite Argentinean places and that really helped to cheer me up a lot.

Other than the snail situation making me terribly sad, today is a day like any other —like the blur that has been this year, full of disappointments and stress. I’m trying to allow myself to express that here, since it’s not like I’m so grumpy 100% of the time, or so depressed. A lot of the time, this is a really happy blog. But right now I’m not happy at all.

I’m not really looking for anyone to cheer me up. So if you read this, please don’t feel bad for seeing me be sad or upset. It actually does mean something, that someone is reading this. And if you’re having a bad week too, hang in there. I may whine a lot, but deep inside I know I’m still trying. You should too as long as you’re alive and kicking. 💕🌈

I’ve started taking a morning nap, so as a result of getting up a half hour earlier, I basically lose and hour and a half later. But it makes me less grumpy. 😒

Ordering more bears would be great and it does keep me cheerful while I wait for one and then for a while after it gets here… and I have been eyeing Anniversary Graeme… 👉👈💧 but I’m trying not to owe any more art. So no more bears for now. 💔

I did finish another draft for a chapter of Meganeea so now I should have two more chapters to draft before normal updates can resume.

I guess that’s all I’ve got for you for now.

PSA: On Call-Outs

(I posted this to FA a week ago, and so I was going to postdate it. But, I’ve edited it slightly.)

If you ever see a call-out on me, my name on some sort of “tea” page, or by proxy with another person or entity, whether on Twitter, Tumblr, FA, Instagram or elsewhere: don’t tell me. I know they exist: if you gain the slightest modicum of notoriety, or befriend someone who has, people will invariably want to take you down a peg or take the person you’ve befriended down a peg by attacking them in some manner that they consider defensible or justified (it’s not: it’s just gross and toxic.)

Add to this the fact that I refuse to distance myself from people just because someone warns me that I am following or interacting with someone THEY consider “bad”, and I, as many others with even a bit of a spine, will be targeted. It’s just how it is, unless you want to a) roll over every time someone gets offended at something you say or do, or b) profusely apologize for DARING to befriend someone who did the latter, and immediately cutting ties. I refuse.

So, if you ever see this in relation to my name, I know maybe you want to be helpful by telling me about it, but you’re not. Notice how I am not on most of those platforms? It’s because I want no involvement with anything going on in them. I have no interest in defending my reputation on them, I could not care less. I know what kind of person I am. I care about the opinion my friends and my family have of me. I don’t care about what strangers on the Internet say or think.

I have been warned of the odd call-out in the past, and while this is certainly not the norm, sometimes the delight of the person being the one to to make my day by letting me know that I’m somehow involved in drama is only too palpable. 🙄

Online, I try to assume the best of everyone, including people who message me about these things, but I’ve been burned before, so it’s rough, and you’re generally going to get a terse response for me even if you meant well. And I AM sorry for that. But no good ever came to my life by someone warning me of something someone said about me, be they friend or stranger. I know a lot of the time the intention is kind: I appreciate that intention. But please, spare us both. 🙏

You have to think of it this way: when it comes to the toxicity of these communities, what I don’t know can’t hurt me –literally! It’s why I left so much social media. I am happy now. I’m not stressed. If you tell me about stuff like that you are destroying the peace I made for myself. At the end of the day I’m still going to ignore any drama people involve me in. But I’d rather just not know, so please, don’t tell me.

For what it’s worth, I would have the same reaction if you “warn” me about one of my friends. My hate for rumors, and their malicious or benevolent spread, is too vicious to be called a pet peeve. I see red (the content of the rumors does’t even matter.) So please do not engage in anything resembling rumor-spreading with me. Not about me. Not about friends. Not about strangers. Not online, and not in person (I ended a friendship partly over how much they talked badly about others.)

I’m sorry for how bitchy I am in this post, especially if you have tried to help me because you were upset to see someone speak ill of me… I am truly sorry to make someone else the brunt of that anger. I am grateful for people who care about me enough to defend my good name.

I simply do not have the time or emotional energy for something so unimportant, so there is no need to bring it to my attention. Thank you.

I Just Kinda Hate Everything 🙃

I do try to remain positive on here, and when I don’t, to not follow it by another negative post, especially when my life is so good overall, but I need to vent somewhere, even if I feel my problems are all first-world, and they are, so please bear with me as I scream into my privileged void.

We are going to bed a half hour earlier and getting up a half hour earlier, and for both my husband and me, it has created no end of misery. I do it because if I sleep, I lose my chance of 15 minutes with him in the morning as he gets ready, and right now every minute with him feels precious. But I am irritable and tired, and he is just tired. Then he leaves, and I don’t see him again til 9:00 pm when we have dinner the moment he walks through the door.

By then, I’ve been so hungry, snacked so much, that I continue to get heavier and more unhappy about it. I want to exercise to balance this out, but even as I wake up today, at 7:15 am the temp was 81°, or 91° with the current humidity, an utter misery and in the hundreds by the time I want to exercise.

It seems so petty to be irritated by waking up at 7:15 am, perfectly normal time that it is, and a half hour longer I am a different person. It’s also not like I don’t know what truly waking up early is: it is waking up at 4:30 am to take a bus, a train, and another bus, to make it to work before 8:00 am and with 45 minutes to spare until your workplace opens, because if you miss a single bus or train you’d be late so you need that buffer. I did that, for months, so I know what that feels like, and how ridiculous our current complaint is. But for some reason, it really, really is very hard to have a good morning as a result. Even though I sleep well enough, and certainly enough hours.

Compounding my bad mood, yesterday I noticed a single mite in my most precious snails, my poms. I wanted to cry. It’s possible however that they too came with mites, likely being wild snails. Only two weeks ago did I put them in soil without hypoaspis since their arrival, so it could be I had been treating them all along without realizing it and stopped too soon. I don’t know. But, more hypoaspis are arriving today and I’m going to be very aggressive treating these snails because if these die, I won’t want to have snails anymore or ever again.

Meanwhile, the four left of my original group haven’t shown mites in well over a week, but they are weak and will not eat. So the prognosis is bad.

In spite of all this I am still trying my hardest with everything. Work on the book continues, with another chapter completed; commission work continues with a comic for Snowthebear now in process of inking and Island’s commission being shaded. I keep up with my housework. I keep doing my best.

Above all, even though he mostly lays on the couch in the evenings (or used to) while I go about my business, I miss Christopher’s presence in the house very deeply. We spend, on average, two hours a day together. Due to his snoring, we currently don’t even sleep together. I’ve gotten used to the loneliness caused by the pandemic, to almost not seeing my mom at all this year, to not having our dinners or parties anymore. Mites aside, the snails help, as do the cats, as do my stuffed animals, and books. But for all I have, without my husband I am so unhappy. Not being able to sit in a coffee shop, people watching while I work, makes it much harder, as this helped my loneliness a lot.

All plans canceled and nothing to look forward to. I’m becoming bitter and jaded about it all. Everything just seems to matter less and less.

Please don’t think I’m not grateful for all I have: a beautiful home, a library, lots of toys, good things to eat, my pets, a loving husband. Honestly having so much just makes my being morose and depressed all the more a source of guilt.

I am not asking for advice or solutions. I just needed to vent.

The one upside in my life right now is how good of a decision it was to leave all the sites I left (primarily Twitter but also everywhere else.) The last step I took was a permanent Twitter block, so even without my account, I can’t ever visit Twitter or Tumblr on any of my devices, even when my main blocks are off, those are never available. It’s effectively as though those sites no longer exist for me and it’s so freeing.

Anyway I am going to try to nap my grumpiness away, before I start my day properly. Sorry for all the venting. It’s all been adding up.

I Don’t Know What’s Wrong

It’s like the worst PMS ever, only after my period. I am in such a bad mood. I am not enjoying my work. My spirits are as low as possible, though I’m more profoundly irritable than depressed. I don’t feel sick. I just feel awful and the only thing that seems to make it better is sleep (until I wake up.)

As of typing this I have a mild headache, but that’s it. I don’t have a fever or anything. I’m just so irritable and tired.

I’m sorry for being so quiet everywhere. I hate not being productive and this is not conductive to being productive. I know it won’t last forever but please be patient with me while it is going on.