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Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Today's Chrysalis
There's not been a lot of change over the past week, although it is possible now to see more of the internal details. I believe I can make out some of the black markings on the developing butterfly's wings!

On the negative side, the stand of milkweed is not holding up to the predations of the caterpillars. There are lots of stripped stems, and ever fewer leaves for them to munch. Aphids took care of the very new growth at the top of the stalks and have effectively stopped any more leaves from forming.

I'm worried that some of the caterpillars will starve when all of the leaves are gone. It's been so terribly dry here over the past month - the drought just broke this week. We've had over five inches of rain since Saturday, but that isn't enough to bolster the growth enough to feed the developing caterpillars. I take comfort in the fact that most of the caterpillars now are huge, almost ready to pupate. This would be a good thing, removing them from the competition for the remaining leaves. In a few weeks, I'll harvest the seeds from the drying pods and sow them on the side of the house, where there's a garden that's not very visible from the rest of the property. There's plenty of room there for a bigger stand of milkweed, and I won't get hassled about it looked ratty! Next year that will be a supplemental food source, although it will take about three years for the plants to be large enough to support a large population.

Thank you for your interest in this! I know there are a lot more of you who visit than I thought. That's nice, and I had no idea my blog was attracting more than the few who comment.

posted by Liddy Midnight @ 12:57 PM   3 comments
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Monarch Update!
Here's the chrysalis, on Day 2. It's already a bit darker than it was yesterday morning. As the butterfly-to-be inside develops the exterior becomes transparent, until just before it emerges, the orange and black of the butterfly can be clearly seen.

Today I counted 18 caterpillars, and I found one ten feet away from the milkweed garden, working its way up the front of our porch. I returned it to the stand of milkweed, because I'm an interfering busybody. LOL

In the photo to the right, there are six, count 'em, six caterpillars visible. The most difficult one to see is under the leaf in the upper right, and that's because you're looking at it head-on.

The smaller ones are sometimes hard to find, both because they're not as big but also because they're solid green. The stripes develop as they grow. (There aren't any of those in this shot, as far as I know.)

I'll keep updating this, in case anyone's interested!

posted by Liddy Midnight @ 2:55 PM   12 comments
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Yard pictures
Hey, everyone!

I was nerking around outside this morning with the cats, and our tattered tux, Bibster, hopped up into the catnip planter and wormed his wayinto the middle of the plant. Last fall, he killed a lovely mum out back by rolling in the center of it every day and sleeping there in the sun, sheltered from the cool autumn breeze by its leaves. I hope the catnip is hardier!

I've just posted about the monarch caterpillars I noticed this morning, too, over on the MEA blog. Tuesday is my day over there, so please, come check it out and join me! We're a fun bunch.

Oh, and you can win lots of lovely prizes! August is our first month on the web, and we're giving away a download a day. Good luck!

I'm going to update this throughout the afternoon. I just discovered one of the monarch caterpillars is getting ready to form its chrysalis. This is something that takes only about two hours, so I've set a timer to get pictures over that time frame. Here's the first one!

Here's the second one.

At first I was racing outside every 15 minutes, to catch the action. Then it was every half hour. Four hours later, there's been no change whatsoever. I suppose it might take two hours for the critter to make a cocoon, but dang it, it's going to take a long time for the clock to start ticking!


posted by Liddy Midnight @ 7:51 AM   6 comments
Friday, August 18, 2006

I just learned that DREAMS OF THE OASIS 1, in which there is one of my stories, has been given an eCataromance Reviewers' Choice Award! This is soooo cool. My favorite awards are those given by reviewers, since they read all of the books and know everything that's on the market. If they like it, I know it's not just good but great!

You can see the details and read the other winners at the
eCataRomance site. I love that collection of stories, although the cover's a bit weird looking (the pose makes it look like the model's head was pasted onto his body - either that or he's straining to fart LMAO).

This is shaping up to be a wonderful month! Today this happens, and on Wednesday (the new moon, not a bad time to begin new endeavors!) ROGUES will be set loose.

Life is good.

posted by Liddy Midnight @ 7:40 PM   17 comments
Tip for Living
It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies!

FACT: The Japanese eat relatively little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or the Americans.

FACT: The French eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or the Americans.

FACT: The Japanese drink relatively little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or the Americans.

FACT: The Italians drink generous amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or the Americans.

FACT: The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and other fatty foods and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or the Americans.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.
posted by Liddy Midnight @ 3:46 AM   8 comments
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Chuckle for the week...
I have no idea where these come from. Someone has to make them up! I suppose I'm better off not knowing just who does. It might be a neighbor, and that would make me just a tad uncomfortable.

The other night we saw a new show by Jeff Foxworthy. He is a very funny man. He's got a new twist on his "You May be a Redneck if..." routine. This one takes on Redneck Fashion Tips. Among them: "If your toenails are three different colors and none of them are nail polish, say no to flipflops."

Here's a funny joke, and of course it's at a man's expense! LOL Seems like it's either men or blonde jokes that are the funniest lately. Apologies to both, but you have to admit, there are enough of you who fit the stereotype to perpetuate it.

Three hillbillies are sitting on a porch, shootin' the breeze.
1st Hillbilly: "My wife sure is stupid!She bought an air conditioner."
2nd Hillbilly: "Why is that stupid?"

1st Hillbilly: "We ain't got no 'lectricity!"
2nd Hillbilly: "That's nothin'! My wife is so stupid, she bought one-a them new fangled warshin' machines!"
1st Hillbilly: "Why's that so stupid?"
2nd Hillbilly: "Cause we ain't got no plummin'!"
3rd Hillbilly: "That ain't nuthin'! My wife is dumber than both yer wives put together! I was going through her purse the other day lookin' fer some change, and I found 6 condoms in thar."
1st and 2nd Hillbillies look at each other and chorus: "What's so dumb about that?"
3rd Hillbilly: "You idjits! She ain't got no pecker!"

posted by Liddy Midnight @ 7:51 AM   8 comments
Friday, August 11, 2006
New Release Cover Art!
Oh, baby, Syneca has done it again! Here's the cover for ROGUES, which comes out on the 23rd from Ellora's Cave. We just found out that it will be released then, and because of that, my webmistress is working on getting it up on my website. Since she's one busy lady with many projects going on right now, I thought I'd put it up here before the site is updated. You should get to see it as soon as possible, since you're my favorite people!

Is this hawt or what?

I can't wait until it's available, so I can see if you enjoy reading it as much as Cricket and I enjoyed writing it! This was in production for a while - I'm not a fast writer - and I'm tickled it will see daylight so soon after the edits were completed.
posted by Liddy Midnight @ 7:12 AM   20 comments
Pet Peeve of the Week - Deeply Disturbing Ads
You know, there aren't that many shows that I watch on TV. I enjoy CSI (what can I say, I'm a ghoul!), Cold Case Files, Clean Sweep, Project Runway, Stargate SG-1, and I really enjoy both Eureka! and Dead Like Me. Oh, wow, maybe I watch more TV than I thought!

At any rate, I think some of the commercials are really quite entertaining. Among the ones that leap to mind are the Vonage ads, with people doing stupid things. Do-do, do-do-do. Who can avoid having that jingle run through their head? And the Geico gecko. Forget the other Geico ads, that cute little gecko is da bomb. Remember the Budweiser frogs? And the Taster's Choice soap opera series? Those are classics!

Then there are those I classify as DEEPLY DISTURBING. The most dreadful of those is the DirectTV ad with the huge fat guy and Mini-Me. What made anyone at an ad agency think that script would motivate anyone to pick up the phone and subscribe? Not me! I've put DirectTV on my Never Patronize That Service list, just because of that commercial. It's deeply disturbing on so many levels.

So, what ads are on your Pet Peeve list? Which ones do you find Deeply Disturbing? And which ones are your favorites?
posted by Liddy Midnight @ 6:32 AM   11 comments
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Chuckle for the day
Did you know who in 1923 was:
1. President of the largest steel company?
2. President of the largest gas company?
3. President of the New York Stock Exchange?
4. Greatest wheat speculator?
5. Great Bear of Wall Street?
These men should have been considered some of the world's most successful men. At least they found the secret of making money. Now more than 55 years later, do you know what has become of these men?

1. The President of the largest steel company, Charles Schwab, died with over $1.7 million in debt.
2. The President of the largest gas company, Edward Hopson, in 1941 was sentenced to prison for mail fraud and income tax evasion. He lived the rest of his life in "obscurity and ill health," dying in Brooklea Sanitarium at age 67 in in 1949.
3. The President of the N.Y.S.E., Richard Whitney, proved to be a very poor manager of his own financial affairs. After serving time for embezzlement, he was released from prison to die at home.
4. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cooger, is suspected of vast insider trading that led to the Great Crash of 1929 and was charged with tax exasion but died before his trial.
5. The Great Bear of Wall Street, Cosabee Rivermore, killed himself.

The same year, 1923, the first winner of all four of golf's Grand Slam titles, Gene Sarazan, won the PGA Tournament. He played golf until 1994, and died in 1999 at the age of 97, still solvent.

posted by Liddy Midnight @ 11:43 AM   12 comments
Friday, August 04, 2006
What a month!
August is shaping up to be a wonderful month! After all of my griping about not having time to do anything, events are accelerating, too...hang on for the wild ride!

I learned today that ROGUES, the futuristic menage a trois with a vampire, a psychic and a werewolf that I wrote with Cricket Starr, should be released on the 23rd of THIS MONTH! Woo-hoo! I'm doing the happy dance!

Here's a blurb for the book:

A vampire, a psychic and a werewolf walk into a bar on Alpha Prime... (from 1,001 Stellar Jokes)

Thomas and Rick have a great partnership, exploring the stars and skirting the law. Vampire and companion for decades, they fill their down time aboard the Sleepwalker with sex and banter. Lately they've felt that something, or someone, is missing in their relationship. Rick is psychic not prescient, but he believes it's a woman. One destined to complete them, to be their perfect third.

Harriet is content with her life as a bank repo officer. She'd really like a desk job in accounting, but there are limits to what a werewolf with unusual talents can manage. Getting down and dirty with her marks, whatever sexual fantasies they promise to fulfill, isn't her practice. She has no such plans for the latest deadbeats she's sent to collar, and no idea they’re expecting her. Harriet never dreamed they might have a permanent arrangement in mind.

From the moment they meet, the three are ensnared in a web of desire, heat, and danger. As they untangle a conspiracy, racing to head off unthinkable disaster, they explore their sexual attraction and similar natures; after all, the three of them are ROGUES.

This book was a real hoot to write. We passed it back and forth, adding and tweaking as we went. I've never written anything this amusing. I love the ROGUES and their adventures, and hope you do, too. Oh, and we're going to start on a sequel. That's going to be a blast, too.

Have a great weekend!

posted by Liddy Midnight @ 8:36 PM   7 comments
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Pet Peeve of the Week - Schedules!
I wasn't going to blog about a pet peeve this week, because I'm still steaming over those small-minded morons who write malware (I can't be coherent with that rant yet), but I have another pet peeve.


I'm going to have to put myself on one. I don't like that prospect. I think of it as rigid structure, and I'm a hang-loose kinda gal. Maybe I watch the cats too much. Come to think of it, they do have a schedule: sleep, eat, wash, sleep some more, run around like a maniac, take a nap, eat too fast, puke, groom, stretch out and doze in the sun, beg for attention, sleep again. I could get into that schedule. LOL)

I haven't had a set schedule since graduate school. Even then, it was pretty loose. Yet I'm finding that I don't seem to get anything done without one.

Why is that? I don't have ADD, I'm reasonably intelligent, and I just don't understand where the days go. I'm a list-maker, but this summer that no longer does the trick. I find I can't keep up. The To-Do lists keep getting longer.

Does this happen to you, too? How do you handle getting all of your to-do lists accomplished?

posted by Liddy Midnight @ 8:19 AM   7 comments

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Name: Liddy Midnight
Home: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States
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