Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Buldging Dragon Eyes

A few days ago I took my bearded dragon, Brutus, to the vet. I had the appointment scheduled because he has been gaping a little when not over-heated, and made a weird gurgling-snorting wheeze the other day.
When we first got there, Brutus was a happy shade of brown. Bearded dragons show how they are feeling by their color. Happy dragons in the mood to run around tend to be (unless there is a color-morph present) light brown to medium brown with a light beard. Angry beardies are black or dark grey on their back, limbs, head, tail, and a blackish beard. Beardies sunning themselves are darkly colored and spread their ribs to absorb more light, and have light colored beards.
Brutus's lungs checked out clear, and blood tests came back healthy, besides being a little anemic. He is underweight, though, so I will be having a fecal test done for parasites sometime this week. The sample was collected today, but the vet is a bit of a commute from the well. The sample will be kept cool for two days until I can drop it off. Lizards don't usually poop everyday like most pets, because they have slower digestive systems than mammals and birds.
One thing that puzzled the vet, though, were his thick cornea. The cornea is the clear  "lens" that forms the outer layer over the eye. Brutus's cornea are thick enough that you can see through them from behind and in front. It projects from his eye like a thick lens made of tears. The vet thought it may be kidney disease, but the blood tests dispelled that idea. In the end, the veterinarian settled on that Brutus simply is "a funny looking lizard."
Brutus had his eyes poked and pressed during examination. The vet opened his mouth by pulling the skin on his chin, and held him belly-up for longer than Brutus liked when showing me his single set of male glands. After scaring Brutus more than he had ever been scared before, the vet sat him on a heat-pack wrapped in a washcloth on the examination table. Shamed and cold, Brutus crouched low and turned a stormy grey. The vet saw this, and said he seems depressed. But wouldn't it be easier to gauge an animal's overall happiness before violating the said animal's space?
Brutus was the runt of the litter, and a pet-store dragon. Small size at birth and unhealthy stock may be the reason for his thinness. Genetic mutation and poor breeding may explain his unique eyes. I will be adding more insects to his diet to help him put weight on, and some spinach for iron. Once I get the fecal test results and speak with the veterinarian, I will make an educated decision on continued course of action. 

~Evie Rooks

Sunday, April 21, 2013

When angry sports fans call your name

   Last night I went to the last home game of my local hockey team with my sister and parents. I had never been to game before, not being the team-sport type myself. Through a combination of giveaways and coupons, we aquired 3 free tickets and were seated eight rows up from behind the goal.
   Now my sister, having always shown more interest in sports, wants to learn hockey. I'm not sure how that's gonna go. Sometimes I wonder if she's fragile or a dramaqueen, or that I was a lot tougher at her age. She just seems to hurt easily.
   The game was more entertaining than I expected. There were some fights on the ice, the first of which looked staged. Little kids bopped for the big screan, about two or three per stand standing up and rocking out.
   The bruiser on the visiting team's last name was the same as my first. This rendered it quite humorous for me when the middle-aged sports moms' sitting behind us along with others across the stadium started chanting our name. I couldn't help but to laugh when they started shouting "I've got a pretty pink dress for you!" and "you suck!"
   But, like the dancing frog from the Looney-Toons cartoons (my mother's association), every time I had my smart phone out to get a recording of the chanting to use as a ring tone, they stopped! I don't think it was because they saw me trying to record. Entirely to do with the timing of things.
~Evie Rooks

Friday, April 19, 2013

A note on those who bring you down by pinning & pointing out flaws

   We all have (or had) that friend who so cordially points out our every flaw. We all have those classmates who you just seem to rub the wrong way. The important thing is not to let these people bring you down with their insistent pointing out of errors that do not pertain to them or anyone else. Minor flaws that are merely human. As long as they hurt no one, it shouldn't be of interest or of issue to others. Everyone has them, even the know-it-alls that content themselves criticizing  When encountering these people, remember those who would happily defend you. That friend who would stand up and say for you, "that was uncalled for." We all have flaws, and there will always be someone pointing them out like it is all they are meant to do. Just remember those who would raise their voice in your favor, because they probably know you better and are a better judge. Blocking out the downers and bringing in happy people is one of the keys to a happier existence.

   Now, don't get me wrong, constructive criticism is good in my book. We all have something to learn that can only be learnt if pointed out. But just strait up criticism is usually unnecessary.

~Evie Rooks

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Strange Happenings in the Woods

Scene 1 screen-shot depicting my leading and only actress.
Scene 1 screen-shot depicting the actress's make up.
   Today I started shooting my next abstract film. This one should be about an hour and fifty minutes in length, and will be edited in imovie since I have yet to update my editing system. I used three cameras and a microphone left rolling, and did it all in one continues shot. Unfortunately, I did not think to check the SD cards to see if they all worked. I only own two, and had to borrow couple from family. One of them turned out to be corrupted, bringing me down to the two cameras for this scene. Wish I had known that before shooting!
   Now I am trying to upload the twenty-minute long 10mp clip from my canon powershot sx10 IS. So far, it refuses to upload that one particular clip (everything else loaded fine though). This is my best camera, thus my main one. I will continue to try to upload this clip, and hope I can find a better way at uploading. The next two shots I will be doing are an half hour and an hour long, so if it's size that's the problem, I'd better fix it now.

~Evie Rooks

Side Panel Flair Jeans

   I made these jeans a couple of years ago with a pair of clearance rack skinny jeans and a quarter yard of faux tiger-print suede. I have always gotten complements on them, and now you can to by following these simple instructions!

What you will need:
Jeans (if using skinny jeans, you can get them 1-2 sizes bigger for more material in the legs, and wear a belt with them)
quarter yard of fabric for the panel
sewing machine or needle and thread

  1. Cut the outer seam of your pant leg. Go up as high as you like. I went about two inches above the knee. This is the space where the fabric panel will be added. Repeat on the other side.
  2. Cut a triangle/trapezoid of the fabric of your choice. You want it to extend from the top of the cut-out seem to the bottom hem (with an extra inch of the panel material) of your pant leg. Figure out how wide you want your flare to be by opening the cut seam to the width you desire. Cut your panel to the proper width, plus an extra half inch on either side. You should have a triangle/trapezoid. Repeat a second time for other pant-leg.
  3. Sew and hem the panels in place. Be sure to turn your jeans inside-out while sewing if you do not want exposed hems.
  4. Strut the streets in your newest & coolest pair of jeans!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Still my only follower...

   Greetings and salutations from the well,
   Let's try to get some viewer subscribers! I'll post a new how-to for every new subscriber. If you are not following visibly with a blogger account, post a comment in this post just to see how many readers there are!
~Evie Rooks

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring Coop-Cleaning

There are bird turds,
many many bird turds,
there are bird turds
all around.

There are bird turds,
numerous bird turds,
there are bird turds,
on the ground.

In the coop,
there is plenty of poop.
Excrement and feathers,
man, those birds crap together!
When you look in the hay,
you know it's cleaning day.
When you step in the coop
and get poop on your boot,
you know what I'm gonna say!


   Right when I thought spring was were, there was another flurry of snow two days ago. It's mid-April, for crying out loud!
   One of the first things I like to try and get done in spring is cleaning the bird barn. The chickens, geese, ducks, and guinea hen I keep live in what was once a horse stable on the property I live on. I'm gonna find a good place to dump the old hay today, and try and get it cleaned out completely by the end of the month.
   I let the birds free-range, and contrary to popular belief, I have never had a problem with them wandering off. But in the cold, harsh winter, when the wind-chill brings temperatures into the sub-zero, none of the birds want to leave the coop (and I sure as hell won't be out there cleaning it). By the end of winter it is time for a change in bedding. During the time I can't change the hay, though, I still keep things tidy by sprinkling saw dust over the filth.
   A clean coop makes for happy, parasite-reduced/free birds, and free-range birds are even happier.

~Evie Rooks

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

If I Were an Earthworm...

Earthworm, earthworm, watch it dig!
Stirring the earth beneath fallen twigs!
Earthworm, earthworm, watch it eat!
Creating nourished soil beneath my feet!
Earthworm, earthworm, watch it crawl
out of the flooded wormhole town!
Earthworm, earthworm, watch it wiggle!
Look at the child's face, watch her giggle!
Earthworm, earthworm, mud-eating-dirt-worm,
eats only compost and hurts no others!

Today I was asked again the classic question of "What animal would you be?" I love this question, because animals truly have amazing abilities (not suggesting humans or elves aren't animals) and have a totally different impact on the world around them.
I as a child I often wished to be a shape-shifter. Though I do have limited shape-shifting abilities, as you will see through out this blog as it is written, I could never change my form enough to be considered a different animal.
The animal I would be if I were not an elf (or zombie, or daemon, or fairy...) then I would be an earthworm.
Yes, earthworm. Rarely do people ask my reason, though. So I will post it here, for I think it is a good one.
Earthworms do not kill anything in order to survive. Instead, they consume decomposing organic matter that has already died, thus harming no creature to survive while giving nourishment to plants.
Yes, there would be perils; I could get eaten, I could drown in a rain storm, I could get stepped on by a clumsy-or-cruel human after escaping my flooded hole, I could die in the heat on the sidewalk after a rainstorm. But wouldn't it be great to live a life where you harmed nothing, but only helped to thrive? This may seem silly, but judging by the consumerism in the human species, particularly some populations (not gonna point fingers, America) it seems like it could be a real contrast to life as we know it.
And, let's face it, they are really cool. The way they move, they way they dig, right down to their weird soft-rubbery skin. Just... so cool.
I wonder what life looks like from an earthworm's perspective?

~Evie Rooks

What kind of animal would you be and why? Post your answers in the comments.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

De-Mold your Literary Gold: A Brief Book Binder's Guide to Fungi Removal

   About a year ago, I found four Victorian-era books, and two Edwardians while I was at my local thrift store. Of corse I bought them, even though two of them were romances (one my least favorite genres). There is something to just having old books around that makes a home feel more magical.
   To my dismay, I had overlooked the fact that three of my newest babies had-- *gasp* spotted covers! To paraphrase Cornelia Funke, mold can destroy a book collection as certainly as fire. It is a silent killer, feeding on your beloved volumes and spreading like the plague. And mold isn't just bad for books; it is also harmful to your health! That is why I am telling you how to de-mold your lovelies if you have caught them early enough. And please, proceed with cation! I, Evie Rooks am not to be held liable to any damage caused to your own health or that to your books by following the steps below.

1. Assess the damage
   Look your book(s) over for mold or mildew. Keep an eye out for water damage or unusual stains, these could be mildew! Mold looks like little grey, white, or black raised specks or strands when first starting to grow. Also be on the lookout for that musty "old book" smell. If the mold has taken over much of your book, you may be better off tossing it out. Not many book-binders do mold repare as far as I know. Black mold is the most dangerous to your health, so proceed with cation. If your book is indeed moldy, be sure to "quarantine" it as soon as possible in a sealed plastic bag, to avoid the spreading of spoors.

The beginning of a moldy corner on a 1882 edition of
Peabody's Webster's Dictionary,  pocket sized.

Foxing (a form of harmless mildew) on the tops of the pages of a 1895 edition of  Elizabethan Lyrics.
2. Vacuum
   YOU MUST USE A HEPIFILTER VACUUM OR ELSE MOLD-SPORES WILL BE BLOWN ALL OVER THE PLACE, WORSENING YOUR PROBLEM!!! Okay, don't say I didn't warn you! Using a HepiFilter vacuum hose, secure a dryer-sheet in place over the suction end with a rubber-band or hair elastic. Use this to remove all the mold you can from the book. BE CAREFUL!!! If your book is fragile, this could rip pages if you don't hold them right!

3. Wash away those stubborn spores!
   Using hydrogin peroxide, LIGHTLY dampen a soft paint-brush, squeezing out excess peroxide on a clean, dry rag. Use this brush to wipe down all those spots you vacuumed mold off of, and anywhere else that has water damage. The peroxide kills the spoors and any remaining mold. This is also good for removing some stains! Be careful not to get your book too wet, or else further damage may arise, or more mold will grow on the soggy pages.

Note how dry the brush is.
4. Let dry
   Ultra Violet (UV) light kills mold. Let your books dry out in the sun for further protection from mold. But, if you are like me, and the weather is too poor to allow you to do this at the moment, you can create a light box! This is easy! All you do, is take a sturdy cardboard box, line it with aluminum foil, place your books inside, and set a full-spectrum lamp over them while they dry. You have to be careful doing this, because it can bleach the color out of your books over time. You can find full-spectrum lighting at garden stores and pet stores, in the reptile and aquarium sections. If you know somebody who keeps reptiles or tropical fish, they may be willing to give you one of their retired bulbs. I know, as a reptile caregiver, that these things build up, because they are no longer strong enough after just nine months to a year of use. Don't let this sway you, though even though they are still good enough for your books.

The inside of a lightbox.

5. Check your book and quarentine it again.
   Check over your book for mold you may have missed. There will be some residual staining, but this doesn't have to mean anything. Even if it looks good, it is wise to quarantine your book again, for at least a couple weeks. You can do this by placing it in a dry, brightly lit place away from other books. If you like, you can put it in a plastic zip-lock bag. Even though this prevents the spread of mold, it can also create a stagnant environment if your book isn't completely dry. So choose wisely.

I hope this has helped you save some of your beloved volumes!
~Evie Rooks

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Well of Words

There is no such thing as a bad idea for a story, there are only poor ways of telling them.

You can achieve access to the well of words inside you, only if you are willing to take the plunge.

It may seem a task to decend the slimy bricks at first to reach the riches below.

The riches of words and water.

But when you get there, you'll be glad you took the effort, time, and patience to have found your wishing-well voice.

For it is a magical one, and will only grow stronger.

~Evie Rooks

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Creepy-Crawly: A Love Story

As a child, I found many things grand,
I loved all the creatures across the land,
But one did strike me especially, oh may!
They were so small, but always on their way
To a great harvest feast or to sing a dusk ballad,
They swarmed and dispersed, approximated numbers invalid.
They were the bugs, so small and divine!
To me, they will always be the sweetest of wines.


I am planning on telling a love story that ends in murder. Here is my cast so far.
   Note that no animals will be harmed in the making of this visual-art story. I believe daddy long-legs caught and ate most, if not all of the insects shown here. This is only what I collected from part of the well today. I presume that I won't find as many during the next week, because before now I have not been collecting them. In conclusion, there was a bit of an accumulation.

~Evie Rooks