Posts Tagged ‘life’

I am Unnecessarily Invested in These Butterflies

So, for the smaller, mobile one’s birthday about a month ago, we got her a butterfly kit. You know, one of the ones where you put caterpillars in and eventually you have butterflies.

(She asked specifically for either an ant farm or tadpoles, but I didn’t want ants in the house when she invariably somehow let them out, and what do you do with tadpoles once they’re frogs? We do not live in a frog climate.)

Butterflies, though, we could do butterflies. They don’t live that long in the great scheme of pets, so they seemed a safe bet.

Now, the butterfly kits do not come with caterpillars. What they come with is a coupon to get caterpillars from Uncle Milton, who, as far as I can tell, is the purveyor for all caterpillars for all butterfly kits ever.

(And also ants for ant farms.)

So we give her the kit, we order the caterpillars, and they come in about 2 weeks. We’re supposed to get 4-5 caterpillars, but we have 3, with possibly one more dead on arrival that is soon either consumed by the other caterpillars or buried in caterpillar poop/food.

Smaller, mobile one is ecstatic. I try to decide if it’s worth contacting customer service over not getting our 4-5 caterpillars. (No, was the conclusion.)

We put the caterpillars in the kit, or, rather, a small, removable section at the top of the kit, where they have lots of “caterpillar food” (which looks like sand and smells like death) and a place to make their chrysalises. Smaller, mobile one takes them everywhere, even though I tell her it’s probably not a good idea to shake them around so much.

This proves unfortunately true when she takes them outside and the neighbor kids knock them over.

And then there were two caterpillars.

(Again, not sure if the now-dead one got eaten or buried.)

Smaller, mobile one is very upset about the dead caterpillar (she’d named them all) but got over it pretty quickly. I, on the other hand, am also very upset about the dead caterpillar. They’re not my caterpillars. I’m not terribly fond of caterpillars in general. But they’ve like, imprinted, or something.

I am much more upset for much longer than the smaller, mobile one, which is ridiculous.

(Actually, we originally thought they’d all died in the knocked over incident, because none of them moved for several hours, so I guess it’s good that we ended up with two.)

The remaining two, Lacey and Turner, got humongous (seriously, much larger than I expected based on their size when we got them) and made cocoons, hoorah. Success. But also kind of gross, because they left parts of themselves outside, which eventually separated and just kind of…hung off the top of their little ceiling. I am learning all sorts of things, and most of them are things I didn’t need to know.

So, yesterday, we awoke to one of the butterflies (smaller, mobile one says it’s Turner) hatching out of its cocoon. Hooray! Except…it got about halfway out and then stopped moving. Seriously did not move for over twelve hours. I was convinced it had somehow died halfway out. Its wings stopped unrolling, it stopped moving its legs. Nothing.

And I was really upset. Again. It’s ridiculous.

This morning, said butterfly was all the way out, down in the pool of sugar water at the bottom of the habitat, and I assumed it had just fallen down, since its wings were still messed up and now it was hanging out in the water. Its head was out of the water, though, and when I moved the net (with the thought that I would pull it out if it were dead) it moved. So, still alive, I guess?

I don’t know what’s going on anymore. Maybe this is normal.

But I’m exhausted from the emotional roller coaster of what this poor butterfly is doing.

Maybe tomorrow its wings will have untwisted and it will be out of the water and everything will be great. Maybe tomorrow the other one (Lacey, according to the smaller, mobile one) will hatch and come out in a much more dignified manner, or maybe it too will get halfway out and then pretend to be dead for half a day.

I can’t quite fathom why I’m so invested. Maybe it’s because I am one with the animal kingdom and invested in the welfare of its inhabitants. Maybe it’s just more suffering on top of everything else going on ’round these parts.

Who knows?

Maybe I should have gotten her the ants.

butterfly habitat

Do you know anything about butterflies? Have you done one of these yourself, squider? Is this normal butterfly behavior? Should I put this poor butterfly out of his misery?

Augh!

October, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

I love October, squiders. You know that. It’s autumn! My birthday! The start of the holidays (which I have heard appropriately referred to as Halloween, Nanowrimo, and Christmas)! I love October. I can break out the hot chocolate and snuggle under blankets and watch ridiculous movies.

But this year, October does not love me. Everyone in the family has been sick, some in that vague, lingering way where you’re not really sick, just tired. I’m sick and tired. Nobody’s naps line up in a useful manner. I did nothing for my birthday, though I did get some nice cake.

Things keep breaking in weird, inexplicable and time-consuming manners. Normal routines and chores go horribly awry. I feel like I’m being more scatterbrained than usual. Oh, and my website is still down. Super annoyed about that. How am I supposed to market/network/etc. without my website?

What the heck, October? I adore you, and this is how you repay me? Fie on you, October. Fie on you!

I just want to get work done! My novel draft, and some short stories that just need a little bit of editing, and a new collection to come out in December. And my other novel that is ready to start querying. Can’t you just let me get somewhere with some of them? One of them? Any of them?

I’m sorely tempted to just sleep for the rest of the month.

(Ask me how my day has gone, squiders. I dare you.)

The only good thing really happening is that I’m finally getting some reading back in (the beginning of the month ate that too). I finished Jay Kristoff’s Stormdancer yesterday which, once I got past the truly awful beginning, was pretty good. And I started Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass which I’m really enjoying. Apparently I’m on a YA fantasy kick at the moment, but it may be all that’s keeping me sane.

What do you do, Squiders, when life just piles up on top of you?

When Life Gets in the Way

Life! It goes. Generally it goes at a fairly even keel and things have a routine to them. But every now and then, you find yourself anticipating a major life event and everything else kind of falls by the wayside.

And even if you do have time to get other things done (like, say, a blog) you might find that all you think about, all the time, is this new life event. You might open an internet window for a certain purpose, and fifteen minutes later discover you’ve added fifteen wedding venues to your list. A doodle in the margin along the side of your notes becomes a full out nursery design. And you spend your train ride to and from work reading books on the best places to eat while you’re in Shanghai.

On the brain, all the time.

Here’s the thing, though. If you focus on one thing for too long, do you know what happens? Your brain explodes, and then I have to get the Landsquid to clean it up. And he dislikes mopping brains.

But seriously. You focus on something so hard, and after awhile, things just go downhill. All your options start looking the same, and you bemoan the fact that you will never figure anything out, and all the cake starts to taste like cake. (Seriously. All wedding cake tastes the same after awhile. ALL OF IT.)

So, as hard as it is to drag your mind off your newest and most exciting event, do it. It’s good for your sanity. It’s good for your creative process. And it’s good so your friends don’t murder you because you won’t shut up about it.

This post was going to have a landsquid doodle to accompany it, but last week my husband set me up with a dual-monitor workstation (he calls it Starfleet Command; I knew I married him for a reason) and it turns out that the Wacom tablet is completely incompatible with a dual-screen set-up, so now I need him to fix it before anyone gets any more drawings, alas. (Or hoorah, depending on how terrible you think the drawings are.)