Busy Critters

Me? I’m no more busy than usual (which isn’t trivial, but…). My pets, on the other hand, have been doing all sorts of things this week.

My turtle Sand Dollar has been laying eggs. Sand Dollar is fifteen years old, and has been with us for over ten years. She’s a Red-eared Slider, which typically start laying eggs once they’re about five inches long (shell). She was that big around eight years ago and has been nine inches long for years, but I’ve never seen eggs until this week.

She has exhibited egg-laying behavior plenty of times–basking a lot, digging with her hind legs, and acting like she’s trying to get out of the basking enclosure on top of her tank. I’ve put her in a nest box and taken her outside. I took my laptop and worked on our front porch a couple weeks ago, and Sand Dollar acted like she was laying, but four hours later, no eggs. I guess they could’ve fallen down the snake hole she was sitting over, who knows!

So the other day I was sitting at my desk doing day job work, and glanced over to see Sand Dollar nibbling at something that looked like a small, white hot dog in the bottom of her tank. An egg! Or more like two or three fused together, for it was three inches long! She had dropped four more this morning, this time normal size (slightly larger than robins’ eggs). Oh, and if anyone’s curious, I discarded them, as they wouldn’t be viable even if she hadn’t laid them in water, because Sand Dollar is a single girl. 🙂

Sand Dollar sleeping (and probably dreaming of food)

My gerbils have also been busy. I’ve had gerbils for years, but just recently joined a Facebook group about them. Typically they do best in pairs, but one of my sweet little guys died in November (he was old and had cancer), leaving his brother alone. My other gerbil, a little rescue gir,l has always been by herself. I don’t put them together because I don’t want to wind up with twenty in three or four months (yes, that has happened before). 😀 After lurking in the Facebook group, I realized that my babies sleep a lot because they don’t have enough to do, especially being alone. So I bought tank toppers, and upgraded them from studio apartments to townhouses! This will enable them to collect more bedding below and dig and burrow, which is what gerbils do. Upstairs is for the wheel, eating, and of course, getting treats (which my boy Digger has already figured out). I also got some wooden toys and houses for them, but those haven’t come yet. So, more on the gerbils next week.

As for me and my husband, we did get out yesterday for a nice motorcycle ride. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is still closed… except for Foothills Parkway. Seeing it has been on my bucket list since we started looking at land here almost four years ago, and we finally drove it in the truck a couple weeks ago, just to get out. It was even more fun on a motorcycle, and the views did not disappoint! Yesterday, we talked to a family (from six feet away, of course) who had lived in the area all their lives, and this was the first time they’d seen it. Definitely worthwhile, and something else to share with guests once they can come visit!

One of many fantastic views from a scenic overlook on the Foothills Parkway

What I’ve Been Reading

Finding the Perfect Mate by Stacy McKitrick is the latest in her Bitten by Love vampire romance series. I love this series because her heroes aren’t super dark and broody, but more like regular guys who have some special abilities (and limitations) to contend with–guys you’d like to spend time with. This book is about Perry, who appears in most of the other books as the snarky, irreverent sidekick, and one of the more entertaining characters. Glad he finally got his own story! And now I’m wondering who will be in the next, which I’m definitely looking forward to. Highly recommended!

What I’ve Been Writing

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My goal last week was to spend at least 1/2 hour, five days, working back through the book to work in the changes needed after my outlining and notes. I only hit four days, and only added about 500 words, though that’s partly because I also cut a lot. But the good news is I figured out what the story needs, which just outlining and taking notes didn’t tell me: there are not enough scenes in the main heroine’s point of view. Rewriting one scene should fix that (I hope). So my goal is to do that, and then continue with cycling back to do the changes, spending at least 1/2 hour on it for at least five days.

I did meet my learning goal of completing week 5 of my online workshop. I also did some reading about copyright, but this is getting long, so I’ll summarize what I learned next week.

What about you–do you have any pets? If so, do they make you feel like a slacker, or are they like my dogs, and you’re super productive in comparison? 😀 Have you read any good books lately? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing-related or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

7 Responses to \

  1. I love Sand Dollar’s name! I was expecting her to be a cat, but she’s a beautiful turtle and congratulations to her on her (maybe?) first egg.

    That view is gorgeous. I’m not much for motorcycle rides, but I bet they feel great after being cooped up inside.

    Hope the gerbils enjoy their new digs and you have a safe and happy week

  2. Glad to hear that one of your pets is coming out of her shell. Literally. I bet she was so proud of those eggs! Silly Sand Dollar. Also, I had hamsters when I was a kid – a brother and sister who gave me several litters, which became a nightmare, until we finally realized that they had to be separated.

    Right now, we just have our senior dog, Dino, whose younger cousins came over today, and he so valiantly tried to keep up. He will be paying for that all week, the poor arthritic baby. And then there’s the cat. He was quite busy yesterday morning, but that is way too long (and gruesome) a tale to share here.

    Have a great week and best wishes with all your goals and with all the pets.

  3. Interesting to hear about Sand Dollar laying eggs, and about your gerbils new expanded homes! Sounds like a fun time on the furry (and not furry!) side of the family!

  4. So glad you got a chance to get out. I love the Smokeys (if you couldn’t tell from my books.)

    Really enjoyed learning about your turtle and gerbils.

    My dogs are various ages (all Yorkies) My 15-year-old sleeps all day. My 10-year-old doesn’t want to be separated from me–he’ll sleep near my feet much of the day. And then there’s the 3-year-old. Boy, howdy–he has energy to burn. Much more than the other two dogs and I do all put together. LOL

  5. Chris, younger dogs sure keep the older ones active, don’t they? We usually have two dogs of different ages for this reason, but the ones we have now are only a couple years apart. And it’s the older one who’s more energetic! Thanks for sharing about yours. 🙂

    Shannon, it has been fun!

    Lynette, I love the scenes in the mountains in your books! Isn’t that something about dogs? If only they could give us some of that energy, huh?

  6. Well springtime is the season of love! Looks like all the animals are happy anyway.

    And, the Smoky Mountains are absolutely gorgeous! I’m so glad you got to get out and see them. Go back in the Fall. Fall is the best time to visit.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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