Here’s some slimy goodness for your Saturday. Starting with fuit:
Here’s some slimy goodness for your Saturday. Starting with fuit:
I woke up to a puddle of $h!t in my bathroom because Kotoko had the runs. Then the news about Milo and intense work corroborating it took hours off of my day. My spirit was very low. Plus the semi-confirmation of a different suspicion that is giving me a lot of stress. I just have this weird, shaky and sad feeling. If I hadn’t made such a serious promise to myself, today would absolutely be a “buy a new bear” day.
I won’t, of course. Every penny and every spare moment to work on art that brings those pennies, to cover my debt, are of the utmost importance right now. But oh, how good do new bears feel. I don’t feel any danger of wavering in my resolve, it’s being tested today but that’s alright.
Next week is that doctor’s appointment with the potentially painful test. I don’t want to say what it is because I don’t want to read comments about how awful it is. I’ll go into details when it has been done, but I am dreading it.
Anyway, another long bike ride and talking to my friend Nate this morning helped a lot. It’s really wonderful to have such a friend to lean on, and who understands my very specific troubles, even if he lives an ocean’s distance away.
The bike ride was really nice:
Also, my new espresso machine that Christopher bought me came today!
And the last Walmart package for the kitchen, with the utensil jar and paper towel holder:
I’ll have a photo of the pretty paper towel holder soon. Oh, and my two skirtalls are coming tomorrow. That’s so exciting, too!
For dinner, I made chicken drumsticks in the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is so pretty…
Dinner turned out alright:
Also, my baby pomatias are big enough to cling to the glass! They are still definitely developing though. The eggs were laid maybe three weeks ago, tops. The last clutch didn’t emerge until the shells were dark and twice this size.
CW: The rest of this post has to do with weight loss, body image, and feelings on the topic. PLEASE, if this upsets you, simply close the tab. Don’t read beyond the line below, don’t do that to yourself, please. Ok?Continue reading Well, Today Was A Day 🤡
My snails have been doing reasonably well. I now have a total of 40 or so Pomatia babes, which I am raising with as much care as you can imagine. I’ve decided to keep them all, including a new clutch that was just laid, and is about 30% bigger than the last (not the amount of eggs but the size of them, which is… eggsciting 🥁). I really adore them. I think my stress levels would be higher without these little animals.
When I clean their tanks, I really take my time, sometimes up to two hours, and do it very calmly and carefully. Afterwards I feel so satisfied and relaxed.
Here are some photos taken after recent cleanings.
With the exception of the newborn Poms, I keep all my snails together, from the Helix Pomatias to the Cornu Aspersum to the Otala Lactea and Bulimulus Guadalupensis. They seem quite happy and have finally begun to thrive.
Hello everyone! 👋 It’s been a really nice few productive days! ☺️ First of all the other day I heard back from an old friend after reaching out. It was just so wonderful to know that he was okay, and that he’s happy and doing well overall (aside from the occasional poor mental health that the current state of the country plus the pandemic has caused to so many of us.)
I ended up joining his server and it’s quite fun to be in a place that is adjacent to my interests while also not being my usual group. It feels kinda fresh. 😊
That day I also wore one of the newest ODU releases of my designs. 🌈 I’m quite fond of it:
I’ve gotten a ton of artwork done during the week. 🙌 Got some cooking done. Grocery shopping done. Several baby snails have been born and overall my little clan is doing fine right now. 🐌
Kotoko continually kept me company during the workweek. She napped near my feet and got petted a lot:
Today (well, technically yesterday —Saturday) I couldn’t take the stir-craziness anymore and went to Hobby Lobby. A couple of things caught my eye. There was a kit for LINE Friends bag charms. I LOVE Brown and Cony so much, but these are fairly obscure characters in the sense that you rarely see them in mainstream places outside of the internet. The kit itself was crappy but I was excited to have come across it.
I also saw a Spirit stepping stone. I took a photo for Nate to see whenever he looks at this post. ^_^
For dinner I wasn’t very healthy but it was worth it. I made a big batch of homemade fries and had it with a little coke:
After dinner I finished shading all the shinies sketches so I might just finish all four tomorrow. 🤔
I’m too sleepy to be able to write any more… guess I’ll proofread this tomorrow. Goodnight everyone. 😴
As I mentioned in a previous post, given that my number of snails has diminished, all of the adults and older juveniles of a decent size are now together in the giant tank. Several new Helix Pomatia have been born, though still a tiny amount of the clutch. I’m caring for those in a separate container for now.
Here are a few photos of Pom babies with Pom adults (maybe parents? who knows):
And just some more random cute photos:
My smaller snails are still being tested with the new soil. Other than that I have no more updates to share at this time!
Today I found that another of my big snails (the Helix Pomatia) had passed away. The new soil also finally came in, so I put a small sample of Otala Lactea with the new soil. I also reached out to a horticulturist for soil advice, but for now, I needed to at least test a change.
Meanwhile, all my other snails have been put in a single giant tank. Which is kinda cool to see, but also sad, since it goes to show how much my number of snails has diminished. I’ll update in a week with developments regarding the test of new soil.
Meanwhile, here are some cute snail photos and nonsense.
I heard a loud rasping noise from my desk, and it took me a while to find its source. Was he trying to make a break for it??
More slimy cuteness:
In spite of the sad times, I really love snails. But for this reason, I won’t ever seek to have Helix Pomatia again. I cannot provide the proper care for this species, I think, and it breaks my heart. They are the best snails ever. But any snails make me happy, so going forward I’ll concentrate on the snails I can best keep.
Welp, Christopher’s gone back to work, and it’s time for me to put the house back to normal and get ready for all of the “beginning of the year” stuff. So I may be a little quiet for a few weeks outside of the blog.
Today my first custom keycap is here. It’s Grogu! I love him, he’s really perfect!
Random snail photo… snacrobatics?
Not much else to say. I’m busy, drawing a ton, output is excellent currently. It’s getting cold again which makes me happy. Organizing paperwork from last year, preparing to do taxes, and un-decorating. Just doing my best, but I’ve been quite bad at keeping in touch with people, I apologize for that –it’ll likely last into the month. Always does for me I’m afraid, but before the end of January I should be back to normal and less busy.
After some serious thought, I’m going to make a drastic change regarding my snails. It all boils down to this: the recommendations for proper snail care from pet snail owners and from heliculturists contradicts itself in serious ways.
Normally, this would make sense: if you’re raising cows, for example, what you do will be very different if they are pets versus cattle for meat. However, when it comes to snails, their needs are (mostly) the same. You want them to thrive, be healthy, parasite free, and fat (since stuff like laying eggs makes them lose lots of weight, and healthy, happy snails will lay eggs.)
But some of the contradictions have serious implications. Take, for example, everyone in pet snail forums suggesting coconut coir as bedding, a piece of advice I’ve followed religiously. This makes no sense if you look at the soil needs of snails according to the vast majority of heliculturists.
Coconut coir is inert, it has no nutrients, it’s not real soil. Real soil is made up of mineral particles, organic materials, air, water and and yes, living organisms, all things snails need (and this varies depending on where a snail is from, and what species it is.) Of course, the living organisms part is also the risk, but without real soil, snails die.
Moreover, snails need to eat soil, this is a hugely important part of their life. Both scientists who study snails and people who make a living out of heliculture place great importance on cleanliness. The soil must be clean. You cannot have poopy soil, the snails eat this, and at the end of the day while they may seek to do this naturally at times, soil high in feces is scientifically confirmed to contribute to higher snail mortality! Why no one points this out, I cannot understand.
So clearly coconut coir, while unlikely to have pests, is not a good snail substrate. But a soil that is just right for them is not easy to find. You can look for organic potting soil but still you must look carefully at the ingredients and composition, you may need to amend it with something else, and pests are a likely problem.
My snails are dying. Slowly, but they all are, it’s that simple, and they shouldn’t be. I feed all the right things. I use the so-called “proper” substrate and try to only replace part of the soil when I clean to avoid making it “too sterile”. I watch humidity levels like a hawk. It’s not working. And if I can’t figure out a way for my snails to thrive I will not get more snails after they die. It’s terribly unfair to them.
After a ton of soil research I decided on a particular organic potting soil that is very rich in natural nutrients. To this I plan to add some amount of lab-grade natural chalk. Perhaps, I’ll mix it with a bit of coconut coir too. I’m terrified about bringing in mites again, but I’m not sure I have an alternative when my snails are so obviously unhappy. If they still die, at least I need to feel like I tried.
Worst case, if I get mites now I know that the solution is to absolutely inundate the tanks with hypoaspis, and it’ll be fine… hopefully… anyway, they’re dying, so I have to try a drastic change. I’ll do it with just one of my tanks and see what happens.
Lately, as in the past few months (or maybe it’s been during the duration of the pandemic?) my motivation for really basic things like doing my chores, showering, going out for a walk, has been really low. It’s almost painful. I still do these things every day just as I should. But it’s hard.
Today I had to go grocery shopping, it couldn’t be put off anymore. So I made myself get up and shower early, and did all the chores I could in the morning, and off I went, and got it done, and now I already have everything put away so that’s a relief.
Tomorrow we will make burgers and hot dogs and greet the New Year with people from “our bubble” that we have either been hanging out with already, or Christopher has been seeing due to work. I got chips and dips and drinks. I’m excited to end the year on a high note.
Last night I was really at a loss as to what to make for dinner. We were out of most things. But I defrosted some beef, substituted onions for shallots and butter for margarine, and with Mojito’s help somehow managed to scrounge up meatballs with mac ‘n cheese for Christopher.
Yesterday I got a huge number of posts moved from Instagram to the blog. It’s still such a small amount… from almost 2,000 posts I am down to 1,778. You may think it’s a pointless thing to do, but Instagram was my diary. I want to get away from that toxic atmosphere without losing all those memories.
Today, though, I have a Zoom call with my mom and commissions to work on. I leave you with some slimy bois:
Having a drink:
Yesterday I went for a long, LONG walk to the mall and to Petsmart, to use my gift cards. Walked several miles total, listening to music and enjoying the cool weather. It was lovely.
The sky was the bluest I’ve seen in many months, possibly years:
Behind me there were some clouds. Otherwise it was a perfect span of blue.
I ended up buying a Sesshoumaru t-shirt at Hot Topic. I wanted to wear it today but it’s just too cold… I love it, though:
I also bought some new decorations for my snail tanks:
After I got home, I finally installed my new keyboard. It’s an absolute dream come true:
It has so many different effect options. I settled on one that shows the colors all the time but isn’t too distracting. In case you’re interested though, here are some videos of the different effects ( this is by no means all of them):
Ultimately, I settled on a less-bright version of this:
Despite the color and flashiness, this is a real, proper, “big girl” keyboard (lol) that should last me many years and is a noisy, raucous delight to type on. 😁 I’m sure I’ll always be swapping out 2-4 keys to change its look from time to time.
I’ve begun by ordering three custom keys. I was going to wait until I realized that two of the keys, quite expensive on Etsy, were much cheaper on AliExpress (which I checked after noticing the Etsy sellers themselves shipped from Hong Kong 🙄) I got an Alliance keycap, a cute spacebar with little chicks, and the best part of all, a Grogu/Baby Yoda keycap that will likely replace my escape key. I don’t want to lose most of the effect of the keyboard so I don’t expect to customize it beyond this.
After that I opened Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ (the game I was most excited about, though, I’ll be completing Giraffe and Annika first). This is the fan disc for Code: Realize ~Guardian Of Rebirth~.
It came with a music CD, a keychain, and several cards. The Sholmés and Finis card had some slight damage to the back (you actually can’t see the Sholmés one in the photo above because I think I had accidentally left it behind another card) but it’s minor damage and I don’t care so much about those two characters anyway. I put the ones for Van Helsing, Impey and Saint-Germain in badge holders and I’ll be hanging them somewhere in my work area. 😊
Here is the cover for the CD, it’s quite pretty:
In addition to this I received a package from ODU with two onesies featuring new designs of mine. One is Royal Ribbits which you may have seen, the other is an upcoming design so I’ll share the photo of both once it is formally announced next month.
I guess it’s time to get on with my day. I have lots of chores to do and art I want to work on. I hope everyone reading this has a great day!