Mitchell-Lama Mama’s Blog

an ordinary life in an extraordinary city

Not Quite Day January 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mitchelllamamama @ 4:57 pm
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Today is what I think of as a not quite day.  Not quite cold enough to snow, just enough to have a frigid rain.  Not quite sick enough to stay home kid, just enough to make sure Mama’s pockets are loaded with tissues for the walk to school.  Tank not quite ready for a water change, just dirty enough for me to be kicking myself for not asking Mitchell Lama Papa to pick up fresh salt water on his way home from work.  You get the idea.  I suppose if I were a different person, I would think of this as a just enough day.  


My daughter was sick enough to stay home from school yesterday, and needed a trip to the ped.  I love the ped’s office in mid-winter; sniffling, snotty, coughing children, and moms clutching newborns to their chests while they glare at the sick kids who are daring to have appts at the same time.  There is a separate waiting area for newborns, but for some reason it’s rarely used.  Why?  And why do these infants need an entourage with them for their well-checks?  Mom, dad, nanny, grandma, all with coats, sweaters, blankets spread out over the two benches in the the waiting room.  It seems so rude.  



I’ve got a fairly new obsession, keeping a reef tank.  I bought a used system, held together by zip ties and prayer.  I never imagined anything could be such a perfectly balanced mix of tranquility and anxiety.  I love staring into the tank, watching the critters and corals, seeing what’s new.  A little while ago a hitchhiking stomatella snail started smoking.  I’m assuming that was snail sperm.  It’s all very cool to watch, but I never stop listening to the tank.  Any unfamiliar water related sound and I’m freaking out, inspecting return pumps and feeling for leaks.  Not so great for my sanity in an old building with noisy pipes.  


I’ve got several types of snails in the tank, a clean up crew to make my maintenance minimal.  At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.  Actually, it does.  They’re great for cleaning algae and detritus, but there is one type of snail in there that I’ve grown to hate.  They are so dedicated to cleaning that they want to travel up the u-tube that carries water from the display tank to the sump, and eat the algae inside.  They’re also the perfect size to completely block said tube, causing the system to overflow.  Then they climb over the rocks, knocking corals down to the sand, pissing off the corals so they close their polyps during my prime reef watching time. Sometimes they climb up and over the rim of the tank, hanging out on top of the return pump.  I’m ready to leave them there, go with a little natural selection, but one of the kids inevitably notices and insists that I return them to the safety of the water.  


I wish I could live on a warm beach somewhere but I can’t, so this is it, my dream beach in a glass box.


7 Responses to “Not Quite Day”

  1. shoesan Says:

    I am fascinated with the reef tank!! I am also dream of LIVING ON A BEACH!!! I look forward to reading more of your vivid posts about what is happening (or maybe I should say what is NOT happening?) in your reef tank!! 😀

  2. cmscribbles Says:

    Beautiful writing 🙂 I am really enjoying reading your blog. The hated snail tale gave me some giggles over here…I could easily visualize the antics of the hated snail type and I was thinking to myself “hmmm…I wonder why she doesn’t just dump those ones or return them back to the store tank.” THEN, I got to the part about the kids insistence on you saving the snails…ROFLOL.

    Respect for life–it’s beautiful isn’t it?! I thought about it some more and realized if the store wouldn’t take them back and I couldn’t find a new home for them I would probably be putting them back in the tank too. I’m the one who carries spiders back to the outdoors when I find them in my house 🙂

    thanks for writing and sharing your stories with us!

  3. papa Says:

    What a shame. Papa had time to walk the nine miles to the pet shop and would not have missed a single customer today. Wish I had a whittling tool, some wood and knew how to whittle.
    P.S. How do you spell Whittle?


  4. mitchelllamamama Says:

    Thanks cmscribbles : ) Honestly, I was ready to ditch the dreaded nerite snails with the first overflow, and in the moment, the kids would have gone with it. The threat of 60 gallons of ocean on the living room kinda squashes the oh-don’t-kill-it mood. ML Papa said keep ’em, so I just keep inspecting.

    Shoesan, something is happening in there with at least one breed of snails. There are snail eggs all across the back panel of the tank. :0 The clownfish think they’re tasty treats. : )

  5. mitchelllamamama Says:

    Oooh, sorry Papa. But just think how studly you’d look walking 9 miles with a 5 gallon Home Depot jug in each hand. ; )

    Whittle is the way to spell it, I’ll find you a carving knife–but skip the wood, you can use nerite shells. :0

  6. cmscribbles Says:

    “I’ll find you a carving knife–but skip the wood, you can use nerite shells.”


  7. mitchelllamamama Says:

    I aim to please 😉 And thanks for the smilie alert 🙂

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