Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, September 21, 2002


I found at that the pretty orange flowers along the creek (that apparently attract hummingbirds) are called spotted touch-me-nots or jewelweed. Their flowers remind me of some orchids.

Yesterday we went to PetSmart and there was much joy to be had. I got several new fish for my aquarium (3 cory cats, 5 neon tetras, 2 red wag swordtails--females for my male marigold one, who's been alone--and two pairs of fancy guppies). I also got another filter (the type with a waterfall that hangs on the back). The fish seem to think this is great fun--they swim up the bubble stream. So now I have about 40 fish, including the molly babies. I took out some of the choking Java moss, bought some cobamba, and it's looking quite nice. I also cleaned the algae off the glass top so the light could reach everything better. The tank is now extremely varied (with a concentration of livebearers, my family specialty)--black, orange, red, purple, cyan, amd white. All of the fishes are pretty fast-swiming, and the more bashful ones (like my clown loach) have plenty of hiding places. Zabet and hubby brought home a kitten from the Humane Society that she'll no doubt blog about. Her name is Maxine; she's a calico with six toes on each foot and very, very sweet. I'm glad--I was bonding with her, ,and I simply can't have any more animals for now. We're hoping that the feral daemon cat, Agatha, can learn to come out and play with the kitten, and maybe realise that no one's going to hurt her. In the meantime, the kitten is eating up the attention, and Zabet is happy to have a cat who appreciates loving--which means hubby is also happy, and besides, the kitten has a great talent for a kneading six-toed massage.

I am itching. A lot. My house has mosquitoes and small black flies that are shaped like deer flies but smaller. I don't think they bite. I checked online for other hidden pests--someone suggested that the bites looked like those of chiggers--but it looks like the mosquitoes are the best bet--it's wherever my skin is exposed, and the darn things seem to be flying out at night. I'm reacting to the bites--they're an inch or two around, and while I'm trying not to scratch, the anti-itch cream I got isn't working well. I've been putting on citronella-based spray on at night. But I think I'm going to have to break down and get something with DEET. I'm also thinking a mosquito-specific "fly strip" might be the way. The spiders in my house are doing a good job of killing them, and the fish, of course, will eat any larvae that attempt to hatch out. But I'm annoyed that they're in the house. I think they come in when I do--there's usually a cloud around my front door, although I've been spraying and that seems to have helped.

On the continuing fauna front, late at night I can hear something scrabbling under my bathtub. As in, I can hear claws, meaning something is down in the crawlspace. I know there's a opossum that lives under the building, and that's fine with me. But it's a little unnerving, especially with those horror stories I've read with rats coming up pipes, etc. I put a bottle of shampoo on the drain just for peace of mind, even though I don't seriously think there's a problem. I am going to ask my neighbour, Bert--who's on the apartment maintenance crew--if I should report it. I'd hate to make a scene over the opossum--they don't tend to carry diseases or otherwise make themselves pests, and they get a seriously bum rap, with absolutely no respect for being our native marsupial, after all. Of course, maybe I'm just a little weird when it comes to animals. :)

Yawn. I think I'll go back to sleep for a bit. I got up very early, which is odd for me on a Saturday, so I've been playing on the computer, but I don't think I'm really rested--I'm practically nodding in my chair, even with breakfast and caffeine. If I can get up and going by noon, I may go downtown to the Farmer's Market. Talk to you later.

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