Saturday, July 21, 2007

Schmoozing, Pillars, and Eggs... oh my!

I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world. ~Thomas A. Edison

Anno thinks I have the Power of Schmooze, and has awarded me the coveted "Schmooze Award".

Isn't it lovely?

Here's everything there is to know about this award:

Schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.

To say I'm flattered would be an understatement. And the truth is, I really love all my blogging buddies! How did I ever get through the day without you? (And, Anno, how are the maple babies?).

And now, in the spirit of schmoozing and blogging awards everywhere I must pass along this wonderful award. Here are my choices (narrowed down because so many have already been chosen):

Judy - who may be the schmoozingest blogger I know! She's deeply involved in the blogging community, participates in dozens of blog giveaways, and does them herself and is just generally A Really Nice Person.

Tori - Whose daily posts, very cool smilies and book & TV recommendations entertain me every day! Thanks to Tori, I watch some of the coolest shows, including "Eureka" (Note to Tori: I finally watched them both... but my TiVo cut off the last three minutes of last weeks -- it stopped just as Fargo came to... did I miss anything important??).

Groovy - Who never misses a chance to amuse me. Groovy can find humor in everything she sees and always makes me smile. Plus she has the cutest kids and hates Japanese beetles as much as I do.

You guys are the bestest... :-)


In Pillar news: Eenie and Lily are both full pupas. Phil the pill is in position and should change some time today. I missed Lily's transformation by minutes, dang it. When I checked on her before bed, her skin was dangling from the tip of her pupa and she was glistening. I've never seen them go through this phase... and since it can take twenty-four hours or more, I can't just sit and watch.

We had a Moe sighting as well -- a black swallowtail hanging out in our yard, sipping nectar from the coneflower and milkweed. This made DD feel much better.

I did try to starve my last caterpillar to death. In the morning, I knew Jill was low on food -- but she had four decent sized parsley leaves, so I figured she'd have enough for a few hours and I'd stop by SIL's house on the way home.

When I got home, all that was left in the cup were stumps... and no Jill! Yikes! We found her on the side of the box, probably having walked all over trying to find more food. I swear, she looked depressed, probably having resigned herself to starving to death.

I, quick-like-a-bunny, fixed up her cup with new (albeit wilted -- I usually let them sit in water for a couple of hours to perk up, but NO TIME) parsley and tried to pry her off the wall with a leftover stump. She was not a happy pillar. I got her front (non-suction cup) legs onto the stump (she flashed her horns at me, and I didn't want to get her too worked up) and then goosed her little behind until she finally climbed aboard.

Once she saw what waited for her, though, she was happy enough. Poor Jill


Because I've seen a Monarch butterfly near the milkweed a lot lately, I went to check for eggs. Keep in mind, typically a momma-fly will only lay one egg on the back of a milkweed leaf, and these eggs are about the size of the head of a pin. And white.

Still, thanks to Bird Chick, I know what to look for... and I found them! We have at least nine monarch butterfly eggs on the milkweed. Unfortunately, we also have milkweed aphids... which means we also have ants. And the ants will kill the itty-bitty little butter-babies as soon as they hatch. My only option for healthy, happy butter-babies? You guessed it: Bring them inside.

I found this post on the Wildscaping blog all about raising butter-babies inside from egg. In fact, if you want to see how small the eggs are, click through and scroll down a bit to the first picture -- you'll see an egg beside a pin head (one of those pins with the colored ball at the end that I used to stick into my Barbies head as earrings... am I the only one who did that?).

So, today, I need to go get some floral foam and maybe a tall, clear, plastic container... Milkweed is really big. I don't know how well it will fit in my box. I will NOT be bringing any more swallowtails inside because they overwinter as pupas and, any future swallowtails would need to be kept in my basement all winter. Yes, I've done this before. No, I don't want to do it again.


In writing news, it seems it's either feast or famine for me. I was despairing lately that all of my TWRP stories were either published or in final production... yes, I had a bunch of submissions out, but nothing was contracted. I still have a bunch out, BUT I received two contracts in my email inbox yesterday! One for my 1953 story, "Don't Fence Me In" and one for my Contemporary Christmas story, "A Christmas Curse". Yay me!

Now, with my luck, I'll also contract on the others (one is a full length novel, the other a novella), and be in editing hell... NOT that I'm complaining (just in case those editors are here reading -- contract away, please!), but I did submit them one or two a month in order to avoid that. Ah... the best laid plans and all that.


You are Barefoot!

You're a total free spirit, go with the flow girl
You can't be restricted by shoes for very long
And unsurprisingly, the same goes for men
Your match is out there - and he's as carefree as you are

Um. No.

Actually, I'll go with the barefoot thing, and I am SO not a shoe snob (I love Payless Shoe Source, what can I say?)... but free spirit? Ha! Go with the flow? Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.


Jen said...

Congrats on the award, and especially on the contracts! Wonderful news, Marianne!

And I'm glad Jill got her food in time. Your description of her sounds like my piggies when the food is right near them and they run away from me when I try to show them where it is. ;-)

Tori Lennox said...

Hey, congrats on the award! And thanks for awarding me! :)

Glad the pillars are still hanging in there.

We're twins again in Quizland. *g*

Dru said...

Congrats on the award and the two contracts.

Judy Thomas said...

Thanks for the award :-) You're the best! And congratulations on the contracts. You are doing a wonderful job!

Brandy said...

Congratulations on the Schmooze award and the 2 contracts! WOW! Pillar place is 'aflutter *g*. I'd rather be barefoot most of the time, too!
Have a restful sunday!

groovyoldlady said...

Ooooo! Ooooo! I'm such a schmoozer that I've won TWO scmoozing awards. This, even though I haven't really schmoozed online for almost a month!

Thank you (sniffle). I am SO honored!

I am also impressed at your caterpillar finesse. We collect 'pillars all the time and...we kill them. All the experts say, "Feed the caterpillar leaves from the plant you find him on." We always find them in the driveway or on the road. Hmmmmm.

This send sme scurrying to my absolute favoritist bug website:

I usually spend a good 2 hours looking up pics and trying to identify our findling. Then we feed it the recommended foodstuffs ...and it dies anyway.

Stupid caterpillars!

Today, IN SPITE of the evil JBs, we picked 5 BEAUTIFUL CUPS of blueberries. Oh YES!!!!!!

I've got a Squidoo writing contract now (whoo-hoo!) and several ideas for mag articles to outline and send queries on. I'm tempted to query Discipleship Journal, but scared stiff too because they're a "biggie" and I'm a nobody - Schmoozing award notwithstanding!

I can see my author bio now: "Sherry has acted out several amazing Bible skits for children AND she is a two time recipient of the prestigious blogging Schmooze award."