Friday, June 3, 2011

Please, No Storms

Iris time!

Severe weather in the forecast.  Hope they are wrong!  The proverbial "strong storms" . . .  Ugh.  The forecast for rain has been off the mark for the past week, so our luck is due to run out.  The yard is looking so good right now with the Coral Bells and Iris all flowering and the young Hostas just lovely.   Several people brought Peonies to work, so it must be the time for bad weather.  My mind has stored so many images of once-gorgeous Peonies squashed flat by heavy rain or shredded by hail.  That's probably what keeps me from adding them to my yard!

The fish all bagged up and ready to travel
Wish I could figure out how to edit some of the html coding on these blog pages, as I can't aways place things exactly as I wish.  I can manipulate coding on my own web pages which are hand-coded, but can't always figure out how to change coding that is generated for these blog pages.  Maybe when I am laid off in July I will take the time to update my skills!  Interesting that most everyone at work has a list of projects they want to accomplish during the lay off.  Yes, everyone seems to be expecting that will happen.

At the fish club meeting last night we had a speaker on salt water aquariums and the potential for making money by breeding marine fish and propagating corals. With the the popularity of reef tanks, the coral business is particularly good. Rather than depleting the reefs, coral is commonly grown for resale.  Breeding marine fish is far more difficult than breeding freshwater fish.  Proper conditions, spawning triggers, and appropriate food for incredibly tiny fry are far more difficult to manage, but it is being accomplished with an increasing number of species.  Raising Clown Fish has always been on my To Do List, and Clowns are supposedly "easy".  Or comparitively easy!  We'll see!

Got my fish safely bagged and auctioned off.  The Synodontis petricola brought the best price of course, but were purchased for a fraction of their retail price.  Am pleased they went to Rodger.  The Limias sold quite well too, and Dale who got them will do a good job.  He often purchases the fish I BAP since we like similar types of fish.  I was able to purchase a bag of very unusual Corys, bred by Rich who is a fabulous fish breeder, and a bag of "pedigree" Green Terrors (they are considered pedigree when they come with location information - where they (or their immediate ancestors) were collected in the wild.  Fun to see my old friend Garrett now sporting some interesting tatoos, and made arrangements for friend Alex to come over and pick up the rest of my Limia melanogaster. 

Getting the Fish Keeping Bug back!  Need more fish!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Something's Fishy

Fish club meeting tonight!  It's been a long time since I've gone to a meeting - they always seem to conflict with something, generally getting ready for a dog show.  With Argus retired from active campaigning, I need to get back to all things fishy!  I have four empty tanks right now, still up and running and ready for new inhabitants.  A number of my fish are elderly too, so it's time to add some new young fish.  Yes, I let my fish live out their days in peace and do not normally hurry their exits.  Several of my Cherry Barbs are over 5 years of age, and Edd my Puffer as well.

Four species of young fish to take along to the meeting tonight for the BAP table.  Members get points for spawning and raising different species, the number of points dependent on the presumed difficulty doing that particular species.  The bags of fishes are auctioned off to club members, and the club uses the money to support it's various activities including excellent speakers.

Assuming I get them all caught and bagged, I will be taking along Synodontis petricola, Gambusia affinis, Limia tridens, and Black Mollies (they are a hybrid and have not official Latin name).  We have to take at least 4 fish, and because I have only the 5 Mollies I will take them all.  Love the little Mollies - hope the parents spawn again.

Really need to get back into serious fish keeping.  I miss my fish club friends, and am ready to try some new species.  I have 300+ BAP points and need 500 to get to the next breeder level.  I think these are all 10 point species except for the Petricola which will be worth more.

Good news on Josie!  The growth is a large wart with a long root.  It will require surgical removal (scheduled for next week) but she'll be fine.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where Do The Robins Go?

Baby Robin perched on the dog yard fence.

The baby Robins must have left the various nests over the past weekend.  Hopefully they survived the ordeal, as we encountered several of them in risky situations.  This one was perched on the back fence, while another landed on the deck near the patio door, probably caught up in a gust of strong wind.  Fortunately the dogs didn't see either of them. 

We always get several broods of Robins in May/June, before the adults all disappear during the heat of the summer.  No one has explained to me where the Robins disappear to, but they do, and although we see many of them in spring and early summer, we see very few later on.  Where do the Robins go?  Hopefully the prowling cats don't have anything to do with it!

Vet appointment for Josie tonight.  She has a horny, warty growth on her foot, coming out of the side of her pad.  I've been watching it for awhile and it had not changed and appeared to cause her no discomfort.  Suddenly it's started growing, and when I came down yesterday morning I noticed some tiny drops of blood on the family room floor.  A bleeding nail I assumed, since the dogs had all had their nails done the previous evening.  Then when Ron & Jose were playing catch in the family room, she banged her foot on the side of the chair and it started to bleed.  It was the warty area, so that must have been the source of the blood the night before.  We'll see what Dr. Ann has to say about it - was glad I could get an appointment with her.

Josie with her Grandma Coral
Of course I immediately think cancer, but hope the overgrowth of tissue is something less serious.  Concerns me that it's grown quickly this past week.  I've always said I would never put a dog through cancer treatment, but would just give supportive treatment, enjoy the dog as long as it was relatively pain free, and then let it go with dignity. Hopefully I will not be forced to make this kind of decision with Josie any time soon.  Having lost both Morris & Sid to old age in the past decade, and seeing that in 13 year old Coral's future, I am not prepared to give up charming Josie as well.

Please include Josie in your prayers.

Monday, May 30, 2011


. . . But let us never forget those brave Americans who gave their lives that we might live in freedom.

A Do-It-Yourself Dalmatian kit
So much accomplished already this weekend, but my To Do list is still way too long.  Yard is looking terrific, tomatoes & herbs are planted, lilies & rhubard transplanted, lattice fence covering the new chainlink (looks a lot less institutional), a wood strip added to the new privacy fence gate so it really IS a privacy fence, deck in cleaned, kitchen & family room swept (oh my, the hair!) & scrubbed (on hands & knees) but so much left to do.   With most of my weekends at home in the forseeable future, I have no excuse for not getting caught up!

Immediate project is what to do with the dog yard.  I made it larger, including what was previously part of a flower bed, but now I have to figure out how to keep Josie from digging holes.  Really don't want to bring in another load of rock, and not sure if the existing rock will cover all the mud-to-be.

Not a perfect weekend for a picnic, but we decided yesterday would be the most suitable and it was.  Wonderful chicken kabobs from Whole Foods - a one day sale at $3.99 a pound - that's $6.00 off the regular price.  They were excellent!  It was a good excuse to make my always-good 4-7 Bean Salad (depends on what I have on hand), and my mother made her excellent potato salad.  Why do we all prefer potato salad like our mothers made?

Have been fielding puppy inquiries this past week.  It's nice to have pups on the way!  Rosie quite sure that Reebok is pregnant - I was sure within a few days of breeding her.  She'll be back in two weeks and we're expecting pups in July.  Penny's hip x-rays were good, so she'll have her CHIC number soon, and the dog we want to use had a sperm count done (he is an older dog) and everything looked good.  So, Reebok & Penny will hopefully have pups about a month apart, Reebok here, Penny at my daughter Jess's.  All four parents breed ring champions with their CHIC (health testing) numbers and wonderful personalities.  Am guessing Reebok is not liver factored (she could be, but I bet she's not) so her pups will probably be all blacks.  Liver Penny is being bred to liver-factored Cruise, so she should have pups in both colors.

Hopefully things will fall into place for Lucy to be bred this winter or next spring - have two reservations on her litter, plus her family wants to keep a boy.  After so many years with so few pups, we're really rockin' now!