Stink Bug As Pet

I'm on the couch in the library with my laptop, checking e-mail, when I notice a beige something at the top of the fish tank. At first I think it is one of our two cory's, feeding. But no, the beige blob does not do the Cory trick of hitting the top of the tank then diving back down, then racing to the top then diving back down. 

The beige blob is stationary. 

Crap. I bet it's a Cory gone belly up. We just lost Big Blue to some sort of eye disease and it seems cruel to lose another fish so soon.

I go over to the tank and realize that not only is the beige blob not a Cory, it's also not stationary. It is a stink bug, legs paddling madly to keep its head above water.

Since a bug is involved, I call in the husband. (I'm more of a traditionalist than you think.) Blair pulls out the net but before he even scoops up the stink bug, the little guy climbs along the edge and, I think, collapses with relief. 

"Yea, you saved him," I cheer. 

"There you go, little fella," says Blair, turning the stink bug onto the floor. 

Uh, the floor?

And so I say, "Uh, the floor?" 

Blair looks at me. "The floor is bad?"

I hasten to assure him this is not so. "I mean, I was thinking more along the lines of releasing him outside but you know, whatever. We can keep him as a pet." 

Blair scoops the bug up but now I'm worried about his health. God knows how long he was treading water. "You don't have to take him out right this minute," I say, motherly concern kicking in. "He's all wet and I don't want him to freeze."

"Well, let's just see what we have," says Blair. He steps outside and finds a sunny spot in which to release Phil. (I named him as Blair carried him to the door.) "I think he'll be okay."

"Bye, Phil!" I call. "Good luck!"

And oddly enough, I mean it. 

Decorating Diaries: High Falutin' Art

"New Found Friend" I'm embarrassed to admit how little I know about art. I can't identify periods or painters, and I'm one of those people who in the past has looked at abstract art and sniffed, "I bet you could put a five-year-old's finger painting up against this and no one would know the difference." 

So I felt a little shy when my friend Melanie asked if I'd like to stop by her office to look at art for our newly painted hallway. Melanie is the owner of Molee Fine Art, soon to be known as Lucky Fish Gallery. We were flipping through framed art and I was commenting, "Oh, that's nice. That one's kind of pretty," when all of I sudden I froze and shrieked "KITTY!"

I had found the painting of my dreams. I don't care what you think of it. I adore it. I burst out laughing when I saw it and even though it's just sitting in my writing room at the moment, I grin every time I glance over at it. I can't wait to hang it in the hall. I lu-uh-uh-uve this painting. 

Even better, Blair feels the same. I wondered if this might be a little too much "cat" for him, but he had the same reaction I did. Our rule is never pass by something in life that makes you grin. It's pretty much why we got married.

So this is the start of our hallway art collection. The painting is called "New Found Friend." Don't feel intimidated by my high falutin' art. I'm still a regular person, just like you. 

I just have a totally cool cat painting in my hall.



Fish Pop-Eye

We're experiencing FISH 9-1-1 trauma. Yesterday morning Blair noticed that one of our Corey fish had a bulging eye and a bulbous blue growth around the mouth. A quick Google search gave us a diagnosis of pop-eye. Pop-eye is less of a disease and more a symptom that something else is wrong. Still, if not caught early enough, the fish can lose sight in the eye. 

We've set up an emergency trauma tank and isolated the Corey. Poor thing is in there all alone with just a cheap plastic plant for comfort. The frustrating part is that we can't add the medicinal treatment to the water for six days. Since we just set a new tank up, we have to allow the carbon filter to run for that long before adding anything to the water. I don't know if the little Corey will make it. He does not look like a happy fish.

My biggest concern is that he's in pain. None of the material we read mentioned anything about pain but common sense tells me that if my eye is bulging out of socket due to a build-up of fluid, I'm most likely in a fair amount of pain. 

Meanwhile, we're keeping a close watch on the other fish. After the horrific snail infestation we endured earlier this year, we're doing a better job of keeping on top of fish problems as they occur. 

We'll keep you posted. Get-well cards, flowers, and donations may be sent to our home address...

The Case of the Missing Cory

Odd. When we went to bed last night, our fishtank held 4 tetras, 3 corydoras, and 1 pl*co. This morning there are 4 tetras, TWO cordydoras, and 1 pl*co.

Where'd the extra fish go? We have scoured the tank with our eyes and there's no sign of the little guy. The tank has a lid which hasn't been moved so, for once, the cats are innocent. The pl*co is kind of a mean-looking territorial dude but there's no evidence of a tussle and I see no signs of the cory in or under the rock where the pl*co likes to hang out.

We're assuming the cory has

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