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Two Lessons, Artwork & Yogi-Smurf

I learned a couple of lessons last week, and semi-ruined the two days I had off in the process. So naturally, I’m going to share those lessons with you, in hopes you don’t repeat my mistakes:

1. Don’t pet wasps. They don’t care if it was an accident, and they will take great offense, much like a tiny rattlesnake. Only meaner.

2. Remember to change the water filter in your refrigerator at least every 6 months (if you have an ice-maker/water dispenser). Don’t put it off if you know it needs to be done. Get off your lazy butt and just do it.

It’s a long and ridiculous story involving wasp venom, weird toxin allergies and making stupid decisions at wrong times, but just trust me on this.

Also, Benadryl doesn’t put me to sleep like a normal person, a fact my husband is in awe of. Apparently, it’s my super-power. There are worse powers to have, I suppose. If anyone ever drugs the whole world with diphenhydramine, I’ll be one of the few people who doesn’t get knocked out, so there’s that.

In other news, I bought a couple of pictures at our county fair last week. One is a lovely painting that I find very calming, though it’s actually a ship in a storm. I think it’s acrylic, though I’m not one-hundred percent sure. The hubby and I both loved it, and now we have the task of finding a place to hang it. Understand, we have zero nautical items in our home, and the painting matches nothing we have. But that’s kind of our MO when it comes to artwork, so in a way, it does match everything just because nothing actually matches, if that makes sense.

I think I know where it will end up, but that means I have to relocate another picture (my framed Rodin postcards from the Rodin Museum in Paris). We’ll see. I’ll give it the week before I decide.

The other picture we bought is a photograph of wasps (yes, they’ve been very focal in my life for the past little bit) on a heart (a real, anatomical heart) in the dark. It’s…intense, to borrow from a friend. Only one other person I know reacted as I did, basically finding it so disturbing and yet so compelling that it just will not get out of my head, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for two days after seeing it. And even after I’d talked myself out of buying it, I ended up buying it anyways because…I had to have it. I triggered so many different emotions in me when few things do. Which makes the title of “Process vs. Emotion” even more fitting.

More than all that, the night I saw it, it spawned a story idea that I wrote down immediately, and I’ll definitely be writing that book in a year or so. And I’m really looking forward to it.

That photo will hang in my office as soon as we get the bookshelves trimmed out and finished. There’s just enough room between them for this in a recessed area, which will give it the drama it deserves.

In the midst of all this physical and emotional chaos, I got a new tattoo last Thursday (the whole reason I took Thurs/Fri off). I’ve had a lovely lotus on my left thigh for a good 20 years now, and it was showing it’s age. I had that retouched, and then right above it, I got a yogi smurf figure tattooed. It’ll look great once it heals, but it’s a little ironic that everything that happened last week did so around this supposedly calm tattoo of a smurf meditating.

Be calm, and let it flow. Right?

Also, don’t pet wasps.

Resolution Check-In
Sleep 6 hrs: Missed two days, I think. Not bad!
1 push-up per day: Pinched the normal nerve in my shoulder blade, dang it. Need to find a different goal.
Goals check-up: Missed this week, with no good reason. But I am focusing on finances for the week.

Writer’s notes for this week


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Fauna, Flora, & Priorities

I made a decision last week that feels much bigger than it really is. I decided to turn my now-empty goldfish tank into a terrarium rather than restocking with more fish. For many people, this sort of decision is like picking out which photo to hang on a wall – something to put some thought into, but nothing to agonize over. Alas…I am not one of those people.

I love fancy goldfish…and I’ve been keeping them since shortly after I bought my first house (so…15 yrs now?). At one time I had a 45 gallon tank stocked with four beautiful (and huge) goldies. Then I lost one in the move when I got married, and over the years the large tanks gave way to smaller as fish died, and this last one was 29 gallons with just two fancies (still slightly overstocked, so over-filtered to compensate). They’re beautiful fish – I love their tails and coloring and the way they beg for breakfast every morning like little wet dogs.

They’re also part of my little ultra-local eco-system…the water from the aquarium goes to the upkeep of my house and garden plants, for a completely natural fertilizer you can’t get anywhere else. I love houseplants, and I love roses in the garden (no cut flowers, please). Fish-water fertilizer is something all plants love, and it’s been my “secret” to beautiful plants for a long time.

In any case, I felt horrible when I lost these last two, and for awhile I thought I’d turn that tank into a community freshwater tank (because it really isn’t big enough for goldies, and any space I had for larger tanks before has long since been re-purposed). But I don’t really *want* a community tank. And being perfectly honest with myself, I have other things I’d rather prioritize on the weekends than aquarium maintenance at this point in my life.

So yesterday, I drained the tank, left the gravel in the bottom for drainage, bought some potting soil and ordered some charcoal. I also bought myself a new Rex begonia for following through with the “no more goldies” decision – I don’t think my husband thought I would (he reminded me that last time I said I was done with fish, we had two within the next month or so). I have a China Doll plant and a curly-leaf arelea that both want more humidity than my house currently has, so those three will be the main plants in the tank, and I’ll create a park for some of my Smurfs with the rest of the space.

29GalStart

The difficult thing will be keeping myself from adding something “living” later on (as if the plants weren’t alive enough…). I love little critters – toads, frogs, lizards, etc…and it’s hard for me to have a terrarium without wanting to turn it into a vivarium. A little slice of the world right in my own home…but that would defeat the purpose of scaling back and turning my priorities elsewhere.

I do still have a 10 gallon tank with four cory catfish in it, and I’ll keep them until they die. Then that aquarium too is probably destined for terrarium-container-ship. It’s just…time, even though it’s kind of depressing, and I’m not really sure I want that part of my life to end. I feel like it needs to, though – a small, but significant difference.

In any case, I won’t wallow for long – I never do. The charcoal for the terrarium (between the drainage & soil layers as a filter) should be here by Wednesday, and when my husband is off playing pool that night, I’ll start working on the landscaping and planting. By next weekend, it should be a lovely little park for some Smurfs to play in, and where my humidity-loving plants can thrive.

And I’ll have an excellent excuse to visit the miniatures store again…