Tag Archives: crickets

Our Loss of Wonder

Random Thoughts

Apparently Saver has the flu.  Any good thoughts or well wishes  you could send her way will be greatly appreciated.

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I’m happy to report my back is almost better.  I’m starting to get some sleep at night.  More would be better, but I’m at least semi-conscious during the day now.  I wound up spending too much time considering life and getting into a funk.  These two sayings popped for me:

“The tragedy of life is not in the fact of death, but in what dies inside of you while you live.”  — Norman Cousins

From ‘Romancing the Ordinary’ by Sarah Ban Breathnach:  Toward  the end of her life, the great environmentalist Rachel Carson confessed that if she could bestow a birth gift on every child, it would be “a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years” and the inevitable “alienation from the sources of our strength.”

Do you remember when you were a child and anything was possible?  The world was yours for the taking.  You could be anything you wanted, go anywhere in the world, discover hidden treasures, live happily ever after.  And then you begin to grow up and ‘Real Life’ happens and the exuberance and wonder you had as a child is slowly eroded away.  How many of us manage to hang on to that rush?  To the feeling that every new day is an adventure waiting to happen?  Not anyone I know, me included.

So this is where I acknowledge I’ve written myself into a corner.  ‘Cause I really have not reached a conclusion and have had no flash of insight.  I still need to find a way back, a path to follow.  Maybe I should just start with ‘mornings’.

This is funny – “Start each day with a smile and get it over with.” — W.C. Fields

And I love many of this woman’s sayings – “What happiness there is when I awake to find near me the gift of a Morning!” — Abbie Graham

And we really should be grateful every time we do get another one of those.  (I’m done throwing quotes around now.)

Life At Our House

Not much to report.  The Christmas Tree’s bone structure was removed from the house and its remains were literally raked up off the floor and thrown into the burn pile with the carcass.  Finally.

We also have been having -more- snow.  And now the weather is warming up and I was greeted with this view from my kitchen window.

I think there is a lot of snow melting off my roof.

I think there is a lot of snow melting off my roof.

So where did the drip, drip come from that formed this random icicle hanging off the tree branch?

So where did the drip, drip come from that formed this random icicle hanging off the tree branch?

Fur Babies and Other Friends

So now that I have been on regular spider patrol, I have baby crickets.

Dinner time!

Dinner time!

Which is a good thing because Cooper just keeps on growing.  Check it out.

When Cooper came here he was thiiiis big...

When Cooper came here he was thiiiis big…

And now he's THIS big!

And now he’s THIS big!

Out In The Yard (or Plants n stuff)

I went a little crazy right after Christmas.  I HAVE to get back to the stuff that makes me happy.  The things that I do well.  And plants are in that catagory.  It’s a long story, but I’m mostly plantless these days.  And the house used to have plants all over.  I really, really miss and need greenery in my life.

Because I needed to buy Cooper a bigger house (he grew waaaay faster than anticipated) and I’m greedy and want as much as I can get for the least amount of money;  I hit sales and clearance racks for greenery.  On sale for $2-$3 a bulb were Amaryllis.  I love growing them and bringing them into bloom.  Somewhere I have a picture of Saver when she was little in her Christmas outfit sitting next to one of my Amaryllis in bloom.  *sigh*

I bought 3 and planted them in my Christmas planter.  I will get blooms off 2 of them this year.  In fact, one of them is open and a surprise.  The box said I was getting a single white.  But this is what I really got.  Surprise!

Does that look like pure white to you?

Does that look like pure white to you?

And that's definitely a second row of petals, so not a single either.

And that’s definitely a second row of petals, so not a single either.

This was a special treat of a surprise.

Mug of the Day

Saver is on her way back to bed with her flu bug and it’s 12:30 a.m. so I leave you here.  Night all!

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New Tarot Deck And A Surprised Lizard

Random Thoughts

My husband actually got a bit of a bonus.  I was surprised and relieved.  It was not a ‘good’ year for the company my husband works for, but they are not sentimental.  If there is no money, there are no bonuses.  So we decided to take a little for each of us (mad money) and throw the rest at Christmas.

I decided to go after another Tarot Deck.   I’m still just a dabbler, still just learning, and there are so many wonderful decks it’s hard to choose just one.  I eventually narrowed it down to two;  Shadowscapes Tarot by Barbara Moore and Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell.

Shadowscapes Tarot has the most beautiful Faerie art imaginable.  It’s stunning.  Go  to  www.shadowscapes.com/Tarot/ to see the cards.   In truth, this was my first choice.  But as I was cruising around looking for the best deal, I was also reading comments.  Two things bothered me personally.  One was the repeated complaints about how small the art work was on the cards.  For those of us whose arms are no longer long enough to read without glasses, this is a problem.  Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s art work is detailed and delicate.  Gorgeous.  Being unable to see all the details would mean losing some of the meaning of the card.  The second problem I had was that the meanings of the cards that I saw seemed to be either all ‘good’ or all ‘bad’.  Granted I didn’t see all of the meanings; but those I did see seemed to be too constricting for me personally.  But if you can see the art work on the cards, it would be a wonderful deck to have for the beauty alone.   She does have two art books out, one for the Major Arcana and one for the Minor Arcana that has the paintings inside with information about each card.

After checking out the comments on the Steampunk Tarot, I decided to go with it.  It’s modeled after the Rider-Waite Tarot with a Steampunk twist.  For those of you who aren’t into the art of Steampunk,  you will find the artwork too dark in a lot of the pictures.  There are also no Reverse card meanings.  Apparently Barbara Moore doesn’t do Reverse cards, feeling she can get what she needs from the upright images alone.  An interesting concept to be explored further. I haven’t read all of the card meanings, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far.  The book also begins with Tarot basics and I found some new ways to read cards.  My only complaint is the blatant sales pitches for her other books.  And, OH!, I also join the rest of the crowd in complaining yet again about the fact that Llewellyn Publishing really needs to get better card stock for their cards.  I will, however, be keeping this deck.  I’ll just have to be careful with it.  Here are some pics:  (Please remember my shaky hands and cheapo camera.)

The Box.  This is the Queen of Cups.

The Box. This is the Queen of Cups.

The back of the cards.

The back of the cards.

This guy didn't want his picture taken.  It took me four tries to get a decent one.

The Magician. This guy didn’t want his picture taken. It took me four tries to get a decent one.

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The High Priestess

I love this version of The Devil.

I love this version of The Devil.

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Knight of Wands

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Knight of Cups

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Knight of Swords

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Knight of Pentacles

Life at Our House

Spider Bait had to work at the Greenhouse today.  Tomorrow he will once again be out working on his Eagle Project.

Except for a couple of items the stores didn’t have (like dry cat food in our brand), I finished the monthly shopping.  I also bought some meat on sale so the husband will get to Foodsaver pack them and put them in our clean, defrosted freezer (which took me 2 days to do).

And here is our ancient washing machine lying on its side awaiting parts:

What have you done to me?

What have you done to me?

Also, earlier today as I stepped out onto the porch I nearly stepped on this beautiful feather.  I wonder what message is coming my way?

Most likely a dove left this as a gift.

Most likely a dove left this as a gift.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Baby Cricket Report:  Death all around.  I have been trying to raise crickets to feed my lizard.  (see this post https://crittersandchaos.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/le-tour-de-france-just-past-half-way/ ) I have done this before.  But for some reason I just could not get these guys to live very long.

One day while tipping the toilet paper tubes on end to dump poop out, a whole bunch of dead babies fell out of one particular tube (I have them stapled together).  What the ???  What is this, the tube of death?  I held the tubes up so I could look into them and inside that tube was a spider.  A fat spider.  I began checking all the baby cricket tubs.  In every single one there was a spider hiding between the paper tubes and in the adult breeding tub there were three!  So I am now starting over again and part of cricket maintenance is spider removal!

*****

Lizard Report:  Name change again!  (Poor lizard.  I can’t remember ever having this much trouble finding a name for an animal.)  I moved over to Cooper.  I tried to think how I came up with this one and realized the dog in What Lies Beneath was named Cooper.  A character in Jayne Castle’s (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) book Ghost Hunter was named Cooper.  And, of course, Karl Urban’s character in Red (one of the best movies ever) was named Cooper.  And so far, so good.

I’m going to end this post with my surprised lizard (it’s after midnight, again).  I had the Christmas music turned up loud and went striding into the room and just poofed into lizard view.  He jumped straight up and landed on a piece of wood.  He wasn’t so upset that he showed teeth and hissed.  But he was upset enough to puff up like a puffer fish and also puff up his neck and turn it black.  Poor baby.

Don't DO that!

Don’t DO that!

I am NOT amused!

I am NOT amused!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Tour of Utah Over and an Unexpected Fabric Stash

Random Thoughts

So the Tour of Utah is over and disappointment reigns.  Levi Leipheimer was to defend his title and go for a third win.  Unfortunately,  Omega Pharma – Quick Step didn’t see fit to send him an ‘A’ list team to back him up.  Only 6 six riders, not 8, and one of the riders was a stagiaire! (Which is an amateur brought up to ride a few races with a pro team to see if he likes being a pro and also for the team to see if he works out.)  They did give Levi the Velits brothers, but with a stagiaire who couldn’t time trial with the pros, Levi lost 2 minutes in the team time trial.  He wound up riding most of the week on his own basically using other teams to help keep him from losing more time.  He got some time back on the first big mountain stage, but it wasn’t enough to bag the GC (lead).  So on the last day, on the last climb up Empire Pass, he managed to pull away and win the stage on his own.  Again he got some time back, but only enough to pull himself up to 6th place overall.  A stage win on Empire Pass isn’t anything to sneeze at, so at least he managed to get that as a small compensation for a bad week.

There was a lot of discussion about why Omega Pharma – Quick Step only sent a 6 rider team.  No one has a firm answer and Omega Pharma had no comment.  The really sad thing is Omega Pharma – Quick Step is sending the same team to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on August 20th.  Levi won that one as well (the first edition, no less) and you would think Omega Pharma – Quick Step would want to back him for the win to get the exposure for their sponsors.  Instead, they are going to get a lot more negative exposure here in the USA for sending a less than adequate team to help a former winner defend his title.

On the upside of the race, 6 of the top 10 placings at Utah were USA.  Matthew Busche, RadioShack-Nissan in 2nd, Joseph Dombrowski, Bontrager Livestrong in 4th, Ian Boswell, Bontrager Livestrong in 5th, Levi Leipheimer, Omega Pharma – Quick Step in 6th, Chris Horner, RadioShack – Nissan in 7th, and Lucas Euser, Team Spidertech p/b C10 in 8th.

Many of the same teams will be lining up in Colorado in 3 days.  One can only imagine the level of frustration Levi is dealing with knowing ahead of time he is riding with a ‘B’ team and only 6 riders to try to defend his title.

*****

After talking below about my email, I felt the need to say that I am working slowly on cleaning out my email.  So much is going on this year and everything is going to be coming in via email that I will be basically screwed if I don’t get this done fairly soon.  So far I’ve deleted 5,911 pcs of email (yes, I’m keeping track so I know I’ve gotten something done).  Please send good vibes my way to help me get this back under control.

Life At Our House

A few days back Spider Bait sent me a picture from work and asked if I wanted the fabric in the picture.  Huh?  So I called him to find out what was going on.  Turns out his boss sent him down the hill to torch a local dump site as it was getting too big.  (Saver, it’s the bend in the road before the bridge over the creek.)  When he got there he saw a number of boxes full of fabric samples and just couldn’t believe that someone had thrown them in the burn pile.  “Mom, I dug around in them.  There is nothing wrong with them!  It’s good fabric! And they are just going to burn them up!”  So I said I would take them.  Oh Em Gee, I had no idea there was so much!  Three boxes and an arm load.   And he was only able to rescue half!  Three boxes went up in flames because it was too dangerous/unstable for him to climb the pile and rescue them.  He carried the rescued boxes back up the hill one at a time for me.  I have no idea what all I will do with this bounty.  But I couldn’t stand the thought of them burning either.  Here’s a picture.  They are in the back of my van.

*****

There is so much total shit going on with my son’s school’s Marching Band that I still can’t write about it with any rationality.  His senior year in Marching Band has been trashed all due to politics and personal vendettas on the School Board.  Fuck the kids.  I don’t think I could even pretend to be polite to any of those people right now.  All the parades and festivals were cancelled as part of what’s going on.  However, when it came time for the bus painting at the County Fair, people were asking where our school was and that helped get them the opportunity to play at the Fair this week even though they didn’t get to paint a bus for the demolition derby.  Someone involved with the Fair went out and put our name on the unpainted bus and put it in the derby anyway.  I thought that was awfully nice of them.  BUT, the kids were not allowed to stay after the performance to watch the derby like every other year.  Many of us signed the release forms to get our kids off the bus back to school (I took responsibility for some of Spider Bait’s friends), but there were some kids whose parents didn’t come and didn’t sign them over to another parent and they had to go back with the bus.  Which sucked.  I’m still steaming.

To top it off, I forgot my camera.   GRRRRRRR.  I had to use my crappy, cheapo, phone camera which limited me to whatever had lights up (This takes place at night).  No, you don’t get to see the pictures yet.  I have to figure out how to get them from my phone to email cause my phone won’t hook up to a PC!  Then I have to dig them out of my email and figure out how to get them to my blog folder.  I will have computer people home this weekend to help me with this.

However, as part of Boy Scouts, Spider Bait and my husband went to help out at the ticket booths at the County Fair.  They brought more food home.

There were 2 awesome Gyros (there is only 1 in the picture) and a Calzone.

An elephant ear for mom.

Cotton candy, partially eaten.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

On the cricket front, the eggs have begun hatching and I now have a berjillion baby crickets.  Sooo many, hundreds, that I am now concerned about what in the heck I am going to do with that many.  Why can’t I do anything half way?  I would give you a picture but they are still so small they look like dirt on a paper towel.  Maybe next week.

I need a new name for my lizard.  We chose Galen originally, but it is so close to the name of a relative, that I keep popping out with his name instead (which would not go over well).  So I’m shopping for another one.  Sam, Jack, and Hawk are possibilities.  But Spider Bait and the woman who does my hair want a dragon type name.  But I can’t find any good ones so far that aren’t like 10 syllables long.  So he’s a no name again.  And he just keeps growing…

One month ago

10 days ago

Pretty boy!

Out In The Yard

Our header today is zinnias.  I want to show you  what a cheapo camera I’ve got.  I know, I shouldn’t complain.  At least I have a camera.  But check out the first shot compared to the ‘real’ picture.

‘Natural’ this isn’t

Much better

And for our viewing pleasure…

Mugs

This mug belonged to my maternal Grandmother.

(If I proof read and fix my header fast enough, I just might be done before Midnight!  Woo Hoo!)

Le Tour de France (Just Past Half Way)

Random Thoughts

Le Tour de France.  The toughest bike race in the world.  Twenty-one days of racing, 22 teams, 198 riders risking their lives every day, 4-6 hours every day, averaging 23 – 54 kph (14.3-33.6 mph) depending on terrain, 2,173 miles (3,496.9 Km) total,  and just 2 rest days.

I said it before, I’ll say it again.  Bike racing is the toughest, most grueling sport around.  I love it.

The race first started in 1903.  A couple of nasty wars got in the way so this is only the 99th edition.  It runs from June 30 to July 22 this year.  I could write a novella on what’s happened so far this year, but I’ll leave it to you if you’re interested to read about it here http://www.cyclingnews.com/ .  Go down to Races and Results and under Tour de France you can click on whatever stage you’re interested in.  Want short video Stage Wrap-ups?  Go here: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/42363489/ns/sports-cycling/  Just scroll down to the videos.  And if for some reason you missed signing up to watch the stages live online or at your leisure, there is still time to fork out your $29.95 here:  http://tourdefrance.nbcsports.com/stages/   Just click on ‘Get Access’ in the video square.  You can watch every stage anytime for the next year.

Fun Fact:  There is a Caravan of advertisers that precedes the race start by 2 hours.  Think Macy’s Parade. It costs 150,000 Euros for 3 vehicles.  There can be up to 250 vehicles in groups of five roughly covering 20-24 km (12.4 to 14.9 miles) along with 600 caravaners, 12 gendarmes, 4 traffic motos, and 3 medical vehicles.  They estimate that the advertisers put out about 11 – 16 million pieces of merchandise a year, roughly 3,000 to 5,000 a day, each.  Investment by advertisers can cost 200,ooo to 500,000 Euros.   One total kept by a 1994 advertiser:  170,000 caps, 80,000 badges, 60,000 plastic bags, and 535,ooo copies of their race newspaper.

But what’s really fun?  These vehicles have to be stripped down to street legal every day for the road trip to the next day’s start and then reassembled.  So, too, all the media booths, awards stages, advertising booths, and staging areas for the race.  Every single day.  It’s a small army moving around the country of France for 3 weeks every year.

Life At Our House

Not much to tell here.  Did some shopping and found out that they have all the school supplies out already.  This year I will shop early, I swear!  And I took Spider Bait’s clarinet in to be repaired and cleaned and about passed out when I heard the cost.   Credit card/savings account time!  Yeesh…

Fur Babies and Other Critters

In an effort to keep my lizard from bankrupting me (this is what I get for assuming things…), I am raising crickets.  I’ve had the tub set up for a week or so, but no one was obviously laying eggs in the egg tub.  So I decided to put a ‘ladder’ (toilet paper tube) on the egg tub.  Now the females are fighting each other for good ‘spots’.  I watched one female watch another female dig her hole and when she was done the first female knocked the digger out of the hole and took it herself.  A few more days of egg laying and I’ll move that Cool Whip container into a tub by itself so when the babies hatch the parents won’t eat them.  And, of course, put a new container in for more eggs.

No cats allowed! (They think crickets are yummy, too!)

 Out In The Yard

Our header today is a rose that was here when we moved into this house.  (Ignore the blasted date.  It is my camera’s default setting.  Argh.)

I spotted a Preying Mantis hunting on my window screen over the sink at night but the pictures sucked.  Then, presto!, there it was (or maybe another smart one) on the window at lunchtime.

Movement 

One of the fun things that happened to me while the boys were away at Boy Scout camp was I fell down the basement steps.  No, I don’t know from how far up.  See, I was carrying boxes of cereal and snacks and stuff down to the pantry, using my chin to balance the load, and my mind was fussing and chewing over other things.  (I really need to stay out of my own head sometimes.)  The next thing I knew, lumpity bumpity,  the world was spinning and there’s pain and, bam!, I’m on the floor looking up at the light.  I think I overshot a step and slipped on the edge, ’cause the last three toes on my left foot felt like I curled them up and jumped up and down on them.  The balls of both feet were unhappy and the joint below my pinky toe on my right foot was really unhappy.  And I must have been an idiot and tried to hold on to the boxes ’cause I had edge bruises on my arms and a deep bruise under my jaw up into my mouth, like maybe a box corner got me, so talking and certain tones of voice were interesting.  But the good news?  I landed on my hip and nothing broke!  So all these years of iffy health haven’t trashed my bones into a bad zone.

Anyway, no walking for awhile.  I was going to try going out today, but was told ‘no’.  Somebody threw up in my shoes.  My one and only pair for walking/running.  *sigh*  I hope the sun is out tomorrow so I can wash them.  It’s too humid to let them dry without help.

Mug of the Day

Another by Marjolein Bastin.  And it’s midnight, so I’m off!

Half A Post, Wonky Internet, Very Late Night (Silly Me), Cute Critters

Random Thoughts

I have been wanting to get something up for several days but the weather has not been cooperating.  High winds, torrential rains, Tornado Warnings!  Our internet does not react well to inclement weather.  It blinks off and on or gets slower than mud, or just goes out all together.  I’ve had enough internet to keep up with my bike races and other people’s blogs, thankfully.  (Hey, some people read the newspaper with breakfast.  I like the internet.)    But I wasn’t willing to fight trying to put up a blog.  This morning I said, “I’m going to get a blog up early today.”  Uh huh, right.  It’s currently 10:40 pm.  Sigh.  And not only is it late, I’m also tired.   I was a bad, bad, girl last night.  Look what I bought really cheap with my birthday money; they came in the mail yesterday:

Guess what I did last night into the wee hours of the morning?  (One down, one to go.)

I’m also apparently trying to get a urinary tract infection.  This is Bad.  I tend to morph very quickly into bladder infections but I have to wait till Monday to get ahold of the doctor.  So I started the Echinacea and went to the store to get the dreaded Cranberry Juice.  I hate this stuff.  I love dried cranberries in muffins and such, but juice?  Poison in a bottle.  I hold my breath and chug it and then need something to take the taste out.  In this case, I said the heck with the cost and bought Krispy Kreme donuts in a box.   Yeah, not the same as fresh, but the nearest Krispy Kreme closed a couple of years ago.  So I nuke them and pretend.  I’m on donut number two.  The juice left a really bad taste.  🙂

Life At Our House

Spider Bait is on his last Band Trip.  I feel kinda sad for him.  There will be a lot of ‘lasts’ this next year.  Hopefully, he will be excited about moving forward to college.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

I usually feed meal worms to my lizards.  I raise my own.  Occasionally I go buy crickets because I don’t raise them anymore.  Here they are drinking and stuffing themselves with good food.

I wanted to show you my lizard hunting his food, but I haven’t handled him in a couple of days, so he is skittish again and wouldn’t eat with me standing there.  So I left him alone in his feeding tub and later I got this picture of him basking with a full tummy.

*****

The baby squirrels are out and about  now.  Here are three babies, sans mother, trying to ‘share’ the feeder.

There are still 3 in there

Out In The Yard 

Our header today is Yarrow.  Catching the bee in the picture was a bonus.

***** 

Here is another of my birthday plant purchases.  Look up in the left hand corner about an inch in.  Can you see what looks like a wee grasshopper leg?  (Okay, you’ll have to click on the picture to make it bigger.)

 Here is a close up of our little friend.  He is about as long as a penny is wide.

 

Isn’t he just adorable?  I love Preying Mantis’s.  We get lots of them around here and I love to watch them moving through the plants.

Mugs

Please feel free to substitute your belief systems here.

Tomorrow I’m doing this early, right!?