Tag Archives: Snails

State Of The Squelf: Almost Thanksgiving Edition ๐Ÿฆƒ

Hello! I’m back with a “normal” post. It’s been a while and all I have been doing is posting insufferable rants about the election and about online stuff, while accumulating less annoying, more pleasant topics on the side. Now there’s a lot of that, so I might as well make a couple big posts of it to chase away the less fun ones. Or maybe more like four. Anyway here’s the first.

๐ŸŒˆ Health Stuff ๐ŸŒˆ

Disclaimer: Please do not comment with any sort of medical advice. I’m going to ask my doctor about this is if it continues. Please bear in mind I’ve had an incredibly exhaustive amount of blood work and a spine MRI last month, so anything very serious would have popped up. I have been suffering from paresthesia in other ways, and my doctor is aware.

Today I woke up to my left leg being completely numb down to my foot.

It was the second or third time of this happening in a week, and just as frightening as the other times. I jumped out of bed this time, desperate to feel my limb again, quite literally punching my foot because not feeling it is so scary. I don’t even feel pins and needles for a while. Any feeling takes 20-30 seconds to come back, and when it does the pins and needles aren’t as intense as they would normally be upon losing feeling on an entire body part. It’s really disconcerting.

What makes it particularly odd is that I wake up just as I fell asleep: on my back, without any apparent constriction to any area of my body.

It’s just puzzling and scary, and today I woke up feeling garbage-y in general due to my period and everything I did yesterday, so I have cramps and my legs hurt.

As far as COVID-19 goes, Christopher appears to be over it. When we stopped isolating from each other, we celebrated by ordering sushi:

The CDC (along with the contact tracer who called us both) says he and I are free to resume our normal lives as of last Monday, and we have done so.

Now, the CDC doesn’t recommend that you judge whether or not you can go back to work by a test result. You can have remnants of the virus for 14+ weeks after you first get symptoms, which will cause tests to still say positive though you aren’t contagious (and in fact one of my husband’s coworkers tested positive for THREE. MONTHS.) Christopher continues to test positive (twice now) so while he no longer has to isolate, he can’t go back to work because his job won’t follow CDC advice and instead requires two negative tests to allow employees to return.

In addition to this, it would seem Christopher didn’t develop antibodies. As for me, I never had symptoms.

At the end of the day I very much hope that this whole mess somehow keeps us from attending Thanksgiving. Of course I love and want to see my family, especially given Grandpa’s passing in July. But I am deeply concerned about the holidays and about Grandma, and I think everyone is being completely careless. Someone in the newspaper described this year as being at war, and how their grandmother during WW2 couldn’t be with her husband due to deployment. It was war, everyone understood and had happier holidays in later years.

This is war too, only after a different enemy, which requires us to make a conscious decision not to gather. I really hope a big family gathering won’t happen, for everyone’s safety… a vaccine is in the horizon… I want us all to be able to enjoy the holidays next year and many years more.

๐ŸŒˆ Studio ๐ŸŒˆ

Earlier, I mentioned the stuff I did yesterday, which left me tired and sore. So, you all have heard much from me at this point regarding my workspace being uncomfortable, and all the commissions I took to raise money to fix it, buying things such as a foot rest, an arm for my Cintiq, a new chair, and several other things I had to return because they didn’t work. I’ve spent hours arranging things in different ways to find a new, more comfortable position.

Really, it’s not only that, though. Normally I also get to draw at my mom’s twice a month (if in a very ergonomically unfriendly situation) or I go to the park, or to Starbucks, to draw and write. But this year I haven’t done that. It’s getting to me. It’s really getting to me. I miss people watching really badly. My environment never changes. I’m not bored, but I’m restless and lonesome for people, rather than any one individual person.

So yesterday I did something more drastic, and moved my entire setup by a couple of feet, freeing the window area which improves my mood. I can see the street, and more light comes in. I also put a little plant there:

It took a ton of work to make this fairly small shift, as well as unplugging everything and plugging it back in, but now it’s done, and as I use it this afternoon, it seems… okay, I guess. After trying so many things, I’m hesitant to get too excited about anything, but I’m trying to be optimistic.

For an added change of pace, I began working on traditional art in the library:

I’ve been taking sketch commissions for the first time in years, and while I am rusty, it’s fun so far:

I eventually bought a slanted drawing board by Falling In Art, which made work more comfortable there, and I can easily move to other places:

Here it is in use:

Sometimes, Kotoko keeps me company. I try to keep a little bed for her wherever I work:

I’ve also had a new bear for company, Jelly Donut. I’ll talk more about him in his own post, but here’s a photo of him, taken before his outfit was put together:

๐ŸŒˆ Snails ๐ŸŒˆ

One of my Roman snails (they are all doing well.)

I stopped writing about this every time it happened, but the truth is, snails from my first clutch are dying. These seem to be sudden deaths of otherwise quite healthy snails and my other snails are doing well enough. I can only guess that the parents really had bad genes, and were probably siblings, which would not be surprising.

Most of the milk snail clutch consists of runts, as it is now apparent. I’m giving it a little more time, but though I am loath to do it, a cull to prevent suffering will probably have to happen soon.

Only four of the roman snail eggs have hatched.

๐ŸŒˆ Cats ๐ŸŒˆ

Rosie hasn’t done anything noteworthy but she’s cute, so here’s a photo of her.

You might remember that Tomoyo had a serious bladder infection of some sort. It was a bad time. She’s all better now. Kotoko is also responding well to the Gabapentin for her joint pain.

๐ŸŒˆ New Game ๐ŸŒˆ

Christopher got me a new game, Code: Realize / Guardian of Rebirth (visual novel game names are so freaking cryptic, I swear.) I haven’t started playing it yet (maybe later today) but I am really excited about it because it’ll be the first visual novel I play all on my own, and it’s an otome, so that’s doubly exciting.

That would be all for this post. I still have to share a little about books I have been reading, and about Jelly Donut, and Ever17, which we just finished playing. but I’ll save that for separate posts. Thank you for reading this one!

Health Update And Other Things

Hey everyone. I know that lately Iโ€™ve been pretty quiet here other than art posts. Iโ€™ve really been suffering of a lack of motivation and inability to concentrate on basically anything.

I donโ€™t often mention my ADHD, because it seems everyone and their mother has either self-diagnosed with it or been diagnosed with it. Even though I was diagnosed many years ago, before it was so seemingly commonplace, I tend to hide this fact as much as possible. Iโ€™m not personally into shouting my disorders or disabilities from the rooftops, or listing them on my profiles, I get no comfort or feeling of solidarity with other people from doing so (if you do, though, more power to you, I’m not judging that.) I personally consider it a condition that makes my life a lot harder, only unlike, say, my epilepsy, Iโ€™m unable to take medication for it (meds that help with ADHD/ADD are known to cause seizures.)

To get to the point: sometimes, like now, it seems to get even harder to manage. Like my (mild) manic episodes, this comes in waves, every few months or couple of years. It seemed that in childhood I used to at least be able to hyper focus on what interested me, but lately, I cannot even do that, and my life feels often empty as a result. It’s always been obvious to me that it really got a lot worse after the internet came into my life, even though I block so much of it out, and keep tweaking those blocks.

I think Iโ€™ve spent a good amount of this year deeply sunk into one of those periods where concentrating is almost painfully exhausting, as well as switching gears. Showering, brushing my teeth, getting dressed, all of these things become especially difficult for me to do during these periods (though of course I still do them every single day.)

Lately itโ€™s been especially bad. Hence why no blog/journal posts. Writing this is taking me a lot of mental effort. Maybe Iโ€™m just under too much stress. Drawing and writing isn’t bringing me anywhere near as much enjoyment either, which undoubtedly is behind my delays —and to those of you who are waiting so patiently, I appreciate it more than you could ever know. I don’t stop, I do still work daily, but it is more difficult, and slower as a result.

Truly, I think there’s also a relation with the fact that all of my art is done digitally now. I used to be able to turn my brain off to other things more easily when I worked traditionally.

To unwind, I’ve been playing a little WoW here and there, after being away for a couple of years, though I can’t seem to concentrate even on that for longer than an hour. However, it’s a respite of sorts. I’ve race-changed back to a dwarf. I really missed playing Sidra.

Anyway. A lot has been going on so let’s move on with the news.

The Current State Of Things, Health-Wise

The most important thing right now: Christopher is sick, and it may be COVID. He has a fever, cough, headache, body aches. He is getting tested as we speak.

Of course for a couple of weeks this changes everything at home. He is spending all the time in the guest room, away from me and the cats. So Iโ€™m all alone. We donโ€™t get to cuddle or watch TV or eat, or game together. Silly things to be bummed out about, but you have to realize, this is all we have. And now we donโ€™t.

Still, as long as he recovers easily, we can handle it. Iโ€™m taking all the precautions I can and looking after him as best as I can. Making sure to take his temperature, cook him nutritious foods, keep him hydrated. Disinfecting everything, wearing masks. And waiting.

Another thing is that I saw the neurologist again. The current state of things is:

๐ŸŒˆ I donโ€™t have anything seriously wrong with my brain (MRI, with and without contrast, came out okay. You may remember the cyst, but the cyst is not a problem.)

๐ŸŒˆ Per the latest MRI, I donโ€™t have anything wrong with my spine that can be causing my headaches (a couple of bulging vertebrae that isnโ€™t pressing on anything.)

๐ŸŒˆ Most of my blood tests came out okay, but my vitamin D is like, really low, seriously low, like “I need prescription strength supplements” low. I donโ€™t know why. But Iโ€™ve been given vitamins to take. I didnโ€™t know vitamins were sold by prescription but it seems that is the case when you need a very strong dose.

๐ŸŒˆ I am also taking magnesium oxide for the headaches and the doctor may put me on propranolol.

Pet Health News

Our oldest cat, Kotoko, has been limping considerably as of late, so she had to get an x-ray. Between the appointment, medicines and the x-rays we were put nearly $500 in the hole.

It’s been determined that she has bad bones and lots of arthritis, including in her legs and spine. Kotoko is a very unique cat, and there is going to be a marked difference in life with and without her. So seeing the evidence of her years, and with that any reminder that she will one day be gone, is difficult for us. She is now taking a joint supplement and Gabapentin for the pain, and we hope she can have a few more years of comfort.

Also, Tomoyo’s cough came back after months, so she, too, is on medication. Steroids.

In better pet-related news, I AM FINALLY FREE OF RICCARDOELLA! These are the mites that were killing my snails. So that’s been good news. Also, of my first roman snail clutch, exactly ONE baby snail hatched. Out of maybe 40 eggs. I am so baffled, and wondering if they will hatch any day or if all the others are non-viable.

Here he is, with finger for scale:

Other than that, the baby milk snails are growing well. I’m relieved to not be stressed out about the snails because so many other things are stressing me out right now.

Commission Status

Over the next two weeks I will be finishing overdue commissions for Crazy_Nero (two) Wishskunk and Sonar. Maybe more, but this is what I know for sure I can finish over the next two weeks. I really appreciate your patience with me so, so much.

CW: Talk Of Politics & Mention of Upsetting Topics

If you cannot handle it, if it will stress you out, if you don’t want to know my opinions, if you cannot follow my request not to engage me in discussion of the topic if you support the current administration, STOP HERE. โœ‹

I count down the days to the election, full of trepidation. There isn’t a result that doesn’t fill me with dread:

๐Ÿ’ฉ Option 1: Trump wins decisively, and I have to face the fact that the country of my dreams, in which I just filed for citizenship, is okay being represented to the world by this man and all he stands for. It’s so hard for me to type that without my eyes filling with tears.

(I will add that if you are a Trump supporter please don’t comment, don’t tell me… please respect this wish. I don’t hate you, I just don’t want to know which of my friends or watchers support him. I could never look at you the same way if I know. So please, I beg you to respect this request, and just don’t tell me.)

๐Ÿ”ฅ Option 2: Biden wins, but not decisively, and chaos breaks out, Trump stages a coup/refuses to give up the White House, violence happens, etc. Won’t be pretty.

๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ Option 3: Biden wins decisively, takes office more or less peacefully, and we all try to just… move forward… but I can never forget things I’ve seen or heard. I can never forget the Trump supporters who, with a straight face, say stuff like Hillary drank the blood of babies (literally.) Or the ones that said slavery should return, gay people should be executed, reporters should be silenced/executed. I’ve seen a lot… a LOT of Trump supporters be okay saying or cheering at these statements. And you know what? This isn’t a small or insignificant segment of the country. I really think it’s almost half. That breaks my heart. In reality, this country has always been this way, I suppose… But now I see it more clearly.

But I love this country. I love it so much, you have no idea. This is my home. It is a part of my soul. I still think it’s the best country in the world but right now, it is so hurt, and divided, and its values have been spat on, and crapped on, all while what seems like half of its inhabitants cheer on, waving little American flags and wearing red hats, all as the rest of the world looks at us in complete BAFFLEMENT and I just have so much anger.

This is my country you are defiling. How is it that I, not having been born here, feel more anguish over this defilement, than some of you who are citizens yet would contribute to this horror? This is a political party that not many years ago, would have decried this behavior. Would have called it immoral, un-Christian, un-American. IT STILL IS!

So basically if Biden wins I’ll breathe a little easier because we have a chance to begin healing, and of not being embarrassed daily on a public world stage. But it doesn’t change what happened these last four years, and Trump didn’t do that to us, he just gave an opening, we did the rest by ourselves. And we have to go forward knowing that. We can never undo those years, or having seen each other for what we really are.

The rest of the year is so full of uncertainty, too. I am not looking forward to the holidays, because I anticipate a back and forth about the family getting together, which I think shouldn’t happen. I’m going to have to choose to make a difficult decision… Possibly it will mean I spend Christmas Day with just my mom. I don’t know. Thanksgiving I think will be even harder to get out of. But I feel it’s my responsibility. I just don’t know.

So anyway that’s the gist of things right now. I’ll keep everyone posted regarding Christopher’s results and convalescence, and I thank you for your good wishes in advance.

I will leave you with one request:

Regardless of whether you are a Republican or Democrat, or Libertarian, liberal or conservative, or whatever you are, because I don’t think this election is about any of those things. I’m not against any political party. I’m not against your religion. I’m not dismissing your fears of your world changing, of being jobless, of feeling no one listens to you. But please don’t choose hate this time. Please don’t be fooled. He doesn’t care about you. Please go out and vote for someone who can get us out of this dangerous place, even if he isn’t great or that charismatic. This is no longer about party lines, it’s about decency, responsibility, loving your neighbor, it’s about being a basic good human being.

PLEASE VOTE.

State of The Snells: October Edition ๐ŸŽƒ ๐ŸŒ

If I had to say one thing that makes me a bit sad about having snails is… theyโ€™ll never know how much I love them. I donโ€™t think snails are capable of affection and the love I feel for some of them is just so deep. Itโ€™s all I could think about when taking these photos:

Itโ€™s not that I find them interesting or fascinating (at least itโ€™s certainly not just that.) Itโ€™s love like I felt for my rats or feel for my cats. Maybe thereโ€™s a slight level of detachment due to being so aware of their fragility, as a way of protecting my heart. But I adore them. I literally love them. They canโ€™t hear me, they canโ€™t blink. If they feel the vibration of my voice, they tend to hide. They donโ€™t even have a brain, at least not in the normal sense that youโ€™d think of a brain. They are so different from me. But I love them.

I think rats and cats can understand affection. They know, on some level, that I feel love for them. At least I think they do. But even I canโ€™t fool myself into thinking that my snails love me or even that they care for each other. Theyโ€™re snails. So it does bum me out that they can never process me as a being that cares about them not even in the most basic of senses. But I guess thatโ€™s alright.

In other news, knock HARD on wood, but I havenโ€™t seen mites in my Roman snails in some time (maybe two weeks?) and the baby milk snails are growing really well. Their parents seem to continue on the road to recovery, moving a little bit every day, and you know, not dying. So thatโ€™s promising.

In addition to this Iโ€™m carefully looking after the clutch of Roman snail eggs. Iโ€™m so excited for them to hatch.

Here is a video of one of my Roman snails being dumb the other day:

His mouth is open, if you can zoom in. A real winner of a gastropod. ๐Ÿ˜…

Last video, from a month ago. I forgot to upload it:

Join The Snail Club of FurAffinity! ๐ŸŒ

Hey guys! Iโ€™ve created a new group on FA. Most of my โ€œgroupsโ€ are just an icon, not updated or monitored, just something to show on oneโ€™s profile page. For this one, I intend to have it be a little more active as opposed to simply an icon to slap on a page.

Itโ€™s for people who love snails and slugs, whether you have them as pets, like to draw them, have a snail sona, or anything like that: https://www.furaffinity.net/user/snailclub

Feel free to join and spread the word!

A Bundle Of Slime ๐ŸŒ

It is with great joy and bafflement that I announce… I am a snail mother again!

To be 100% accurate, whether this is an accident or on purpose remains to be seen. If they are Cornu Aspersum, I goofed and missed a clutch. If they are Otala Lactea, I also goofed and missed a clutch but in the sense that it was a clutch I absolutely wanted to save and raise. Iโ€™ve been trying hard to breed my milkies, just one clutch, with no luck. And I guess they managed it. Iโ€™m 99% sure these are milks.

They suddenly hatched in a tank that had had no snails for like three weeks. I freaked. This tank had soil and a million tiny corners for babies to hide in. It was so hard to get as many as I could. Immediately I fed and watered them. And now Iโ€™m crossing my fingers.

If they are Cornu Aspersum then they are the last children of my very ailing last snail from my original group, who is still alive but barely. Like the two remaining milk snails, he is finally mite free, but terribly weak. I think they are most likely the children of the two milkies who had been mating right before switching tanks. I checked the soil, but still, clearly I missed them.

So itโ€™s good news? Maybe? They managed to hatch so Iโ€™m gonna give them their best shot. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Snell Slimesletter ๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ

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

๐ŸŒ Wild Snails + Snailio Iglesias Tank ๐ŸŒ

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

๐ŸŒ Original Group Tank ๐ŸŒ

Only one Aspersa and two Otala Lacteas left. As you might guess, one died over the weekend. The others continue to barely eat. I donโ€™t expect them to survive. No more riccardoella is visible, but I continue to treat with hypoaspis.

๐ŸŒ Baby Aspersa Tank ๐ŸŒ

Not babies anymore, and have in fact begun to mate. I hoped to have culled the ones that werenโ€™t quiteโ€ฆ rightโ€ฆ for their own well-being. And some definitely arenโ€™t, but two in particular are struggling with serious deep retraction syndrome. One seems unable to โ€œrightโ€ himself within his shell, and canโ€™t come out most of the time. He is not sick, just not โ€œrightโ€. Iโ€™m guessing poor genes. I believe he is suffering as a result and I am considering possibly euthanizing him.

๐ŸŒ Helix Pomatia Tank ๐ŸŒ

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

Thatโ€™s basically it, I just wanted to give an update on snells. Itโ€™s been pretty stressful, I wonโ€™t lie.