Posts Tagged ‘fish’

My Fishy Destiny

March 12, 2011

Remember back a year or two ago (and the previous four years before that) when we kept having guppy population explosions in our family fish tank?  If not go here:

And here’s another:

Well, for the past 2 months we’ve only had the bottom feeder and the white fish who eats baby guppies.  I’ve been meaning to stop by Petsmart and pick up a handful of guppies or platies to brighten the tank.  However, it’s low on my priority list…. so it hasn’t happened yet.  Nora, our 7-year-old, loves watching the fish swim, but I must admit the dead-as-a-doornail bottom feeder is less than thrilling.  And the white fish is sort of in a coma after eating all his tank mates.

Today we went to pick up Austin, our 14-year-old, from a friend’s house who has a 50 gallon+ tank.  I took Nora inside to show her the underwater wonder of it all.  Well, lo and behold, they were experiencing a platy population explosion.  Yes, we walked out of there with four new, sunny-orange fish for our boring tank.  Nora was thrilled!  So was I!  If it’s free, it’s for me!

The end of our day did not go as planned, as is common in this household.  The original plan was for our family to go to church together in blissful harmony.  Well, the girls went to church and the boys went to a football game.  The boys will go to church tomorrow morning while the girls have their beauty rest ….. and homemade giant waffles.  :o)  Back to the fishy story.  Before we ran out the door to church, I set the large ziplock baggie holding our four newest family members into the fish tank to equalize the temperature of the water so the fish will not go into shock and die.  When we got home from church, the miracle of life had occurred and there are now at least 24 more fishies in our tank.  YES!  We got a pregnant platy and she gave birth to possibly 20 babies within two hours of being ours.  And the cycle continues.

P.S.  For those who have closely followed this story through the last years, you may be asking yourself if I put the baby platies in with the white baby-guppy-eating fish.  NO!  The white fish did the circle of life and swam in the tunnel that leads to the sea.  Happily ever after.

Another Fish Tank Analogy

October 7, 2010

Because the fish tank sits here on my desk next to the computer….. I often find myself staring into the oceanic scene and finding truths about my daily life.  Let me take you back for a moment: we used to have guppies.  LOTS of guppies.  We had the perfect conditions for guppy multiplication to the Nth degree.  Seriously, we would go from 7 or 8 to 150 every year.  We bought a plecostomus to clean up after all the guppies!  Then VBS (vacation Bible school) would roll around and I would give them away in little bowls to all the happy kids (with parental permission, of course) until we were down to 7 or 8 again.

Then we changed churches and no more VBS to solve the guppy overpopulation explosions.  Plan B was purchasing another type of fish that eats baby guppies soon after birth.  This kept the population under control… until we went on vacation and the “other” fish started eating the 7 or 8 grown up guppies… until there were none left.  Just the “other” fish and our plecostomus, the ugly bottom feeder that keeps the tank clean.

(photo from:

As the circle of life continued in our tank, the beloved plecostomus breathed its last watery, gill-filled breath and lay still for all eternity with its eyes open on the pretty blue and hot pink rocks.  He didn’t move a whole lot to start with, so we’re not sure when he actually died.  We’re not sure it was a male either, but frankly, it was too ugly to be a female. 

Anyway, now that the bottom feeder is gone, algae and debris are forming inside the tank.  It looks like mold growing on the glass walls.  It’s yucky.  THEN the truth of the analogy smacked me between the eyes:  I’M the plecostomus of the family!  I’m the one who cleans up after everyone else.  I’m the one who keep the house clean while everyone else dirties it up.  I’m the one that stealthily goes around when no one sees, picking up trash and cleaning the walls and windows.  Without me the house would be disgusting!  I’M THE BOTTOM FEEDER!

But I’m a valuable bottom feeder, I might add!  And so my day rolls on…. things to clean and pick up.

Damping… Camping in the Rain

April 25, 2010


I made that up myself.  The creativity must stem from four straight days of fresh air stimulation.  A friend called on Tuesday and asked if we wanted to go camping for the rest of the week at a lake that is only 22 miles from our house.   “YES!”  And thus brings you up to date on our week right until last night when we dumped loads and loads of campfire-smelling articles into piles in our garage.  They are still there.

Funny thing was, I checked the weather report for the week on Wednesday morning AFTER I had shopped and packed and hauled and directed.  It reported “Major thunderstorm warning!  Avoid outdoor activity!  Stay indoors!  Unplug electrical appliances!”  Does anyone really do that?

So off we went to the lake.  All seems pretty normal, well, for homeschoolers who spontaneously school at unpredictable locations.  Why not the lake?  I read somewhere that camping is nature’s way of promoting the hotel industry.  HA!  That’s true for my mother, my sister, my sister-in-law and many others, but not for me.  Camping promotes wonder and awe at God’s creation…… wonder in the dark inside a flimsy nylon tent that is your only protection from those strange noises…. and awe that Lewis and Clark did this for a living (minus the nylon tent)!  I truly feel at home in front of the Coleman stove with recently caught and be-headed fish in the cast iron frying pan.  My kids have never caught fish while camping.  So I didn’t leave openings in the meal plan for freshly drawn bass.  After my sons snagged seven scaly specimens the first day, I casually mentioned to my friend that I had never cleaned fish or lit a Coleman propane stove before.  Proudly, I can check those off my bucket list now.

The thunderstorms didn’t materialize… however it did rain three times for 27 seconds each time.  We had a daily wind gust that blew anything and everything not tied down toward the lake.  The clouds made me wish, more than once, that I had a folded copy of the Cloud Formations poster that my husband memorized in flight school.  Cumulonimbus…. uh….. stratus….. cirrus…..

Wildflowers bring joy to my heart.  God made them especially for nature lovers like me.  Pink, yellow, purple, orange… LOVE IT!

This was my first vacation ever where I actually read through every book and magazine I brought and still had a day and a half left over.  I didn’t stress about it…. I just stared at the lake.  The kids stayed busy kayaking, swimming, fishing, riding their bikes, gathering wood, building fires, playing games and laughing.  I never once heard, “Mom, there’s nothing to do!”  What an awesome week!