Frustrating Days 😭

It has taken me some time to write this post. I’ve just been too tired this week. But since I finally wrote a lot of it down in my email to my fellow snail keeper friend Emily, I guess I can post some of the same here.

So. Monday was tank-cleaning day, a couple days late, because I wanted to wait until the arrival of the hypoaspis miles I ordered, which was happening Tuesday.

I originally ordered my hypoaspis miles from GardeningCenter.com. I chose them over naturesgoodguys on eBay/Amazon because the latter had poor reviews on both sites. They came in via FedEx at 10:30am on Tuesday and I promptly brought them in, ice pack still nice and cold.

I ordered my hypoaspis miles (for the purpose of eradicating the β€œbad” mites that are plaguing my poor snails –likely riccardoella).

Upon inspecting the container I could see no signs of life. Now, I know mites are very small. But they are not invisible to the eye of someone who knows what they are looking for. And I could see nothing.

I waited a few hours, just in case, before contacting the seller. While awaiting a response, some exploring led me to a realization: the product I received had the same branding of the product sold by naturesgoodguys! This was a company called Tiptopbiocontrol.com.

This company, unlike GardeningCenter.com, had a phone number you could call. And this company was located in Camarillo, California, the same city my hypoaspis miles came from. So I called them and asked if it was the same company. A kind warehouse lady gave me an answer that amounted to β€œnot really, but sort of.” However, she said she could give my name and number to the same person that would be seeing the emails I sent. So that was a good sign that the companies were intertwined indeed.

A few hours later, still no call back. And still, I could see the bad mites on my poor snails, and I am so upset, as you can imagine. I want relief for my guys. So, I call again. This time a gentleman answers and I proceed to have the worst customer service experience ever (and please keep in mind I wasn’t being a Karen throughout this, I was mostly quiet, and had a conciliatory tone all along, because more than anything if I received dead hypoaspis miles I want a replacement, not to anger the guy into giving me a refund and not selling to me anymore. I don’t know where else to buy them!)

The conversation included gems such as:

🀑 “The mites should be crawling at the top, you just don’t know what to look for.”
🀑 “We sell millions of mites worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to major farmers all over the world including Saudi Arabia.” (???)
🀑 “We do not send people defective products!” (I never implied they did, and even asked, “Perhaps I did something wrong, could you guide me?” Only to be told something like “I do not have time for this.” Please bear in mind, with shipping, I paid close to $50 for my mites.)
🀑 “The mites are being sold at such large quantities right now that they haven’t had a chance to hatch.” (This after telling me I just wasn’t looking hard enough.)
🀑 “What do you want? A refund?” (Didn’t really give me time to answer)
🀑 “We do not have the time not the patience to deal with the end consumer.”

At this last remark, for the first time I said something less than conciliatory; I reminded him that I had not chosen to sell to the end consumer, he had. Not rudely, as politely as possible, and I even apologized for saying if. Still, bad choice! πŸ™ƒ He said he had chosen no such thing, that I ordered from GardeningCenter.com, NOT him (touchΓ©, I suppose) and he would direct my number to their customer service. Kinda desperately, again never raising my voice, I ask please, do you know when I can expect a call back? β€œNO”. Ok… 😭

I was pretty shaken up after the call, more than anything because I want my snails to be okay, and I had to stay so polite and calm being spoken to like this –and I was so mad! AND I was having cramps while talking to the guy, too, and just, UGH. He was the most mansplainy guy you can imagine, saying all of these rude things in a very condescending, fake-polite tone. It was so hard to stay quiet. 😠

Thankfully, less than half an hour later I got a call back from a GardeningCenter.com employee who was far more polite. He told me that Tiptopbiocontrol is just a drop shipper for them, so I guess they share a warehouse or something. I don’t know. They are clearly in the same place but they are not the same company. More like GardeningCenter.com is sort of a customer for them. This explains the other guy’s comment about not dealing with (implied unimportant) end consumers like myself.

This kinder gentleman also explained that what I was told about high volume sales due to the season was correct, and my mites would almost certainly emerge within a week and I would get a replacement or refund otherwise. So that was that and I felt better. Last night I finally spotted 2-4 hypoaspis miles in the baby tank. And you can certainly tell a difference. Longer legs for one. Had one not been staring up close at riccardoella on snails for weeks maybe it would be harder to tell though.

However this is all I have seen… 😟 I have yet to see them in the big snail tank. Or see anything close to the promised number of 12,500. Here’s hoping that they continue to appear.

My snails are still putting up that film, as in, sort of estivating. At least some of them are. I don’t like to see this. It’s the snails most upset by mites. But if I wake them up, they eat. So I have been waking them nightly. I need them to stay well fed if the mites are feeding in them, until the hypoaspis miles do their job. I’m still hoping it can all turn out okay.

I am better now, less tired, several onesie designs have been completed this week, for LittlesLab and for ODU, and I am currently working on one for Kiba. I’m expecting some exciting stuff in the mail: a present from my friend Emily, a package from LilComforts, my new Monchhichi, some stickers, a background for my new snail tank. Oh yes! I have a new snail tank, a 20 gallon one; this will get its own post. I’ve worked on some personal art. So the week is coming to a better end.

There’s going to be a whole bunch of posts soon, as I’ll be sharing art and also want some of these topics to have their own posts. So stay tuned!

And a big thanks to my Discord friends for keeping me cheerful this week. Love you guys!

New Outfit For Melon-Pan πŸŒˆπŸ’•

I dressed Melon-Pan up today! I don’t know why I neglected him for such a long time. Monchhichis are so underrated for how adorable they are, and versatile for posing. Melon-Pan can suck his thumb and hold his tail, wear Build-a-Bear and baby clothes, as well as both Build-a-Bear and real baby shoes. His big head is perfect even for adult hats, though he is wearing a baby hat here. Just a cutie.

My love for Monchhichis has kinda been rekindled so I might be looking into getting a dreamie I gave up on long ago.

Melon-Pan

This is Melon-Pan. I hadn’t taken them out of storage in a while. They’re one of my two Monchhichis and fairly large, can wear newborn clothes. I was talking about Monchhichis with a good friend today and it made me want to hold Melon-Pan again.

In other news, I recently had a package from Sirkus! It had a replacement for my busted mousepad, and an order of a couple wonderful new items!

That pin gives me life… still have to decide what I’m going to use it on.

Today’s β€œdrop everything and panic” moment come courtesy of my baby snails, about five of whom found a way out of their terrarium. After a moment of intensely freaking out, I managed to slip them back in through the holes. Thank goodness their shells had hardened enough to withstand this very minimal, extremely gingerly done handling.

You see, all the babies are near the top of the cheap, poorly made $5 plastic terrarium. It’s going to be hard to remove the lid without hurting them, so when I do it, it’s gonna be to move them to their new, fancier terrarium. I had to find a way to get the babies back in without opening the lid. Thank goodness I managed it. I used some putty to plug the holes for now.

I am very, very tired. Lots of as arting today and lots of housework. It’s not even 11pm and I’m falling asleep as I type this.

Here is hoping tomorrow can be productive too. Goodnight everyone. 🐌 πŸŒ™

Little One 🐌🍼

The most wee slime child on a tiny branch of moss. I think I perhaps have 50 babies?

I’m very happy because my friend Snow has gifted me the funds I needed for a baby snail tank as an early birthday present. It’s just like the main tank but smaller:

Anyway I do hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I’ll probably post a couple of times throughout.

On Love

I was reminiscing the other day about some life experiences, particularly when it comes to the topic of love. Romantic and otherwise.

I have come to a wonderful and terrible realization when it comes to love.

You don’t need to be a nice person to be loveable. You don’t need to do nice things to be worthy of someone’s love.

I used to feel very strongly that if someone was a “bad person” (whatever that means) or purposely mean, you shouldn’t love them, but I never had connected dots in my head that resulted in this realization prior to recently. I thought this without ever putting it into words. So, when I loved people, I tried to find good qualities in them that made them worthy of my love. When they showed bad qualities, I excused them or tried to fix them, or removed them from my life if those bad qualities seemed to overwhelm the good ones. I forced myself to grow unattached, and find people worthy of being loved, and who loved me back. And perhaps this is healthy, but that is actually besides the point I’m trying to make.

Some years ago, when a friend of mine was severely depressed, I tried to remind him over and over of all the reasons that made him worthy of love. You are a good person. You do this. You do that. Thus, you deserve to be loved.

In truth, I have come to learn that it’s closer to “You are a person, and you are lovable.” We are all worthy of love to someone. It doesn’t really matter what kind of person we are. Maybe it should, but it doesn’t.

This ramble probably sounds a bit nonsensical. But the time came when I fell in love with someone who most of the time was not nice. Who a lot of the time could in fact be quite mean. Someone who often didn’t try to be nice, or even want to. And I loved them anyway. Actually I think (no, I know) I loved them precisely because they were this way. I kept thinking the love would go away. But, now I know that someone’s lovability is completely independent of the sort of person they are.

I felt the need to write this, because once I realized it, it really hit me like a million bricks, in a wonderful way, in a terrible way. I wish I could better articulate my words. Everyone is lovable to someone! This probably isn’t news to most people, but it was to me. You exist. Therefore, you are lovable. It’s really just how it is.

To someone, it doesn’t matter how much of a jerk you are. Or how rude you can be. Or any of those things. You exist in the world, and that is enough for that person to love you. Your mere existence trumps out any other factors.

If you ever feel that you don’t deserve to be loved, be assured. It is not a matter of deserving anything. It is enough that you exist. It is enough just as you are.

Just a squelf, squelfin' around.

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