Thursday, August 30, 2007
In the large (116 gallon) aquarium, I have some Bronze Corydoras that are very regular about spawning. The first time they spawned, I was able to save the eggs in the hope that they would hatch. Sadly, that first batch of eggs wasn't fertile. Subsequent batches of eggs were eaten by the other fish in the aquarium before I could save them.
photo of the first batch of fish eggs
Last week the fish spawned again. I was home and alert to the spawning and was able to save about a dozen eggs. I was able to move the eggs to the recently vacated fish tank in the kitchen. I watched as the eggs got darker. The night before they hatched, I could see the little guys wiggling around in their egg cases. The next day, the eggs had hatched but wouldn't you know it, it was also the day that the filter pump selected to die. I thought that that was it for the little guys. I squirted some food for freshly hatched fish in there anyway and went off to buy a new pump.
Today, there were more eggs laid on the glass in the big aquarium and I was able to collect about 30 eggs. They were being placed in the kitchen aquarium when I saw them, the babies from the previous batch. I have seen about three teeny tiny little fish wiggling around.
I can't get a photo of the newly hatched fry for two reasons; 1. They're too wiggly and won't stay still. 2. I am still not good at getting the macro function to work on our camera.
I am thrilled that I have been home to save more fish eggs and to discover that saving these eggs actually works! I get baby fish!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
You see that over to the side of the blog there is the coveted Golden Spork award given annually by Tink over at her blog Pickled Beef. This award is not one of those awards that when one receives it, you then go on to nominate more people for the award. This one is finite. For that reason, I pasted it to the side of my blog. Well, now that award is not going to sit all by itself like a lone trophy in a over sized trophy case. Over the past few months, a few of my fellow bloggers have forwarded even more glory my way.
Over the past few months more awards have been given to me. Each and every time I am given one of these awards, I feel flattered. I have been quite slow in passing some of these awards on. I'd like to fix the situation now.
Before I go on, I'd like to say that I hope that those I nominate haven't already got one of these.
On April 27th, 2007 Susan at Slice of Life has awarded me the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award. Susan has a great blog with a host of regular readers/friends who are also very good bloggers. She's got two beautiful daughters and she shares the funny bits of what goes on in her Seattle home through the blog. I was so flattered to be singled out amongst the crowd for this award. Not only was I was chosen but the award itself makes me happy because I like to think that I can still Rock!
In turn I pass this award on to:
Xtreme English - She's taking a break at the moment but go and read her blog anyway. Find out all about her cochlear implant and how she was able to start hearing again this year.
Doctor Pistachio - A dear Iowa Gal who now lives in Seattle. She's just about the sweetest person with a Phd that you'd ever want to meet.
A few short days later on April 30th, 2007 Betty over at Old Dog New Trick passed on the Thinking Blogger Award. I hope that my delay in thanking you doesn't diminish the message of gratitude. Betty is a true Southern Belle. Though I've never spoken to this Arkansas resident, I just know that listening to her will be like drinking sweet tea on a hot day. Her blog is a blog that I check every single day. In addition to stories of her life, Betty will write the occasional book review. I'd like to pass this award on to two of my oldest friends:
Tom - Nicest banjo player I know and father of Dr Pistachio.
Joe - Iowa's Premier Tax Blogger. If you even THINK about adding a penny to the taxes in Des Moines, you'll have to deal with my mate Joe.
Last but certainly not least Tink has given me an additional chunk of love with the Nice Matters Award. I really like reading Ms Erbelle's work. She is very very funny and just vulnerable enough for me to forgive her for being so young, beautiful and creative.
This one is passed along to:
Chameleon - Who writes beautifully and takes very excellent photos (aside from the photo of me).
Blogging in Paris - I had the pleasure of meeting dear Claude in December. We started talking the moment we met and there wasn't a gap in the conversation until we had to say goodbye. When I get to Paris again, I will be planning my stay around another visit with her!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Here is a quotation from A W Wainwright's pages on Haystacks about these very rocks.
It is a test of iron discipline to pass without halting several large comfortable boulders athwart the path.
Mom, I wore the new jacket you gave me. It was perfect for the sort of day we get here.
For the fans of heather, here are two more photos.
I thought I would share the bit of video I shot of the marvelous view from early on in walk.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The heather is in bloom just now. It made our walk all the more delightful. It's a shame that it doesn't have a better perfume. Does heather have a perfume? I've never sniffed it.
Henry and Kevin
The first part of the walk is very uphill. I found myself having to stop quite often to let my heart rate come back down and allow my breathing to calm. The path up to the summit was pretty steep, but the footing was easy. Then got to a portion of the walk where we had to do a bit of scrambling over some daunting rocks.
See? The rocks are full of daunts!
It was very cloudy once we got past a certain height. The clouds rolled past us. Some were heavier than others. One cloud had a bit of sleet in it! That wasn't pleasant, but at least that cloud didn't stay for long. George, whose nickname for the day was Goat Boy was always above us, waiting for the old creaky adults to catch up. I don't think gravity works on him in the same way. When the clouds parted we were all awestruck with the glorious views.
During the ascent, it was George who had Polly's lead (leash) for the bulk of the time. Polly was wonderful and perfectly behaved the entire time. She hopped up and down those rocks like she has always lived on hills. Coming back down out of the clouds, the views were spectacular. It made all the red faced gasping of the ascent completely worth the effort. Look at that!
During hill walking and mountain climbing, more injuries occur during the descent. I completely understand why. The descent SUCKED! The path was covered in loose stone. Where the stone was not loose but fixed, it was greasy with the day's rain. I took a photo of the path going down so you could see just why I had to have a hot bath and take two paracetamol with codeine. I feel pretty stiff and leaden.
Would I do it again? You bet! It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The changing light from the cloud moving across made the vistas all the more dramatic. I bet if I did walks like this more often, it would get a lot easier.
In fact, this walk up Haystacks was much easier (knee stiffness aside) than the first time I went up. I have no blisters on my feet this time AND I wasn't pissed off with my family for not waiting for me.
There is something very demoralising about being the slowest person on a walk. Just when you reach the pack, they who have had a jolly nice rest are ready to go just as you make it to them. This time, everybody was really good about walking with me, the slowest person. If they walked ahead, they stopped after a bit and were merciful about waiting for me even more time for me to catch my breath.
On the way home, we had lovely fish and chips with loads of salt and vinegar for dinner. We ate them on our laps in the car. It was DEE-lish!
You can down load the walk details here.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
We know that when we're not at home, she sneaks up there. I find stray dog hairs and sometimes there is a tell-tale warm spot. Lately she's been getting bolder as she'll wait until we're almost in the room before she jumps down. Today, she didn't even bother to get off the furniture when our house guest, Kyle (one of George's friends from the village) was in the room. I think she realized that Kyle wasn't a family member and therefore wouldn't tell her to get off the sofa (no authority in this house).
Kyle came and asked me if the dog was allowed on the furniture. I said that she most certainly wasn't allowed. He then said that Polly was sleeping on the sofa with one of the cats. Aww!
I knew that if I went into the room, Polly would jump off the sofa before I got in there to take a picture, so I set up the camera and had Kyle take the photo of the two pets.
This is what he got:
She was totally busted! I must admit, they do look cute sleeping together.
It is so nice to have pets that get along. It makes life SO much easier. Our other cats HATED dogs and didn't approve of their existence. These cats don't mind at all. Polly, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier isn't supposed to like cats, but she actually likes these cats. When they first arrived, she could be found washing them and trying to carry them around.
I had to do it though. I went into the front room and ordered Polly OFF the furniture and sent her to her crate. Man! She can do a very good pathetic look when she wants to. The look she gave me made me feel like the biggest dog hater in the world.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Now, I love my friend dearly, but she never took care of her houseplants. She'd spend a fortune on gorgeous plants and then ignore them. The plants would slowly loose condition until, when visiting her house, you'd just not see them. The plants that were in her house when she left were given to me instead of going the way of all the past houseplants.
When she left, Fran gave me a ficus benjamina or weeping fig, two umbrella plants and a tri-coloured begonia that was near death. The begonia had two leaves and those two didn't look very clever.
Look at the begonia now! You can see its original leaf in the centre near the bottom. All the other leaves are new.
These are the two umbrella plants. When I lived in Florida, back in the mid 80's, I actually had an umbrella TREE in the front of my apartment building, so I know what potential lives inside these smaller specimens.
You can see the new growth that has sprouted from the bases of these plants.
The chicken wire has had to be placed around the bases of my larger plants because the kittens decided that they'd just as soon use the handy soil as a toilet instead of having to go all the way outside. The chicken wire has been a success. The cats go outside now.
"Hmmpf! As if I would do a thing like that!"
The biggest success is this little tree. It has 50% new leaves on it. It's just exploding with vigor.
All of these plants needed to be re-potted, fed and watered. Really that's all I've done. They now get regular watering and are on a schedule of regular doses of plant food.
I'm grateful to Fran for giving me these plants. They are really adding life and beauty to this new section of our house.
In closing, I've got to say that if you have a pet dog. One really can't leave a plate with a big piece of pie on the floor and then leave the room.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
A few years ago, the dishwasher gave up the ghost during the first few days back from somewhere.
This year has been no exception. Our TV died. We've had a pretty good run with this television. The Man of the Place and I bought it together during my first trip to the UK at Easter in 1992. We were buying things for our first home together. We needed things like bunk beds for the boys, a television, chest of drawers and a dining room table and chairs. To cut corners, we bought some of these things second hand. The television was one of the second hand items we purchased.
This TV hasn't fizzled, or behaved badly in all that time but the day after we returned from Greece, it made a crackling noise and went black. It was terminal and not worth fixing. We did the decent thing and took it out into the garden to shoot it.
Sadly the only thing we have in the house is an air gun that wasn't forceful enough to crack the glass on the front of the TV. George and Henry got to pretty close range with the pellet gun and the pellets just ricocheted off into the tall grass. They ended up throwing bricks at the screen. Effective but not nearly as fun as shooting the TV Elvis style.
We moved the "spare" television from George's room into the front room and have wired all the DVD players and things up to it. We only really need one TV anyway.
Today, The Man of the Place installed his souvenir from Skiathos in the garden. He claims it is the best souvenir he has ever purchased.
Please note that the price says 32 Euros but we got it for 30! Good price!! I'm afraid we won't be able to use the hammock too often because of rain but we're planning ahead for global warming.
If one is relaxing in the hammock, you just can't be seen until you're right up on the hammock.
This is the view from the path on the side of the house. See? Henry is completely obscured.
One or both of those pine trees were marked for destruction. They're not very good looking and block a lot of sunshine. When Henry saw the hammock for sale in one of the shops in Skiathos Town, he knew that this item was going to be the thing that saves the trees! The trees, as ugly as they can be, are perfect hammock distance apart.
View from the window.
The Man of the Place is having a well deserved snooze!
Monday, August 06, 2007
Shasta Daisy - I've got a HUGE clump of these right in the front of the house. They're so sunny and positive, even in the rain.Echinops or Globe Thistle - The bees love this spikey flower. I've got loads of this too.Water Lily - Don't know what variety but it blooms away every year no matter what the water levels are in the pond.Rose, variety Princess Elizabeth. This rose was here when we bought the place and makes the loveliest flowers for the house. I always spray the roses for black spot (even this year), but this particular rose doesn't really suffer as badly as other roses do.
Isn't nature great! The garden will continue to produce beautiful things even when I've been inattentive.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I've never been afraid of driving on top of bridges, it is actually driving UNDER them that gets my pulse rate up a bit. I hate being stuck in traffic and being under an overpass. I always try to maneuver it so that I am just out of the way if the span above gives away.The DeLaSalle High School buildings can be seen behind this Minneapolis landmark sign. I love this sign.