Posts Tagged ‘guppies’

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.

Current Affairs

June 14, 2008

Here’s the latest:

The guppy explosion is currently being effectively managed.  This past week was VBS, so I gave away over 50 fish to wide-eyed little kids who have no idea what will happen in their new fish tanks…  heh heh heh.  One family inadvertently took a small bowl with two pregnant mama fish, but they have 5 kids, so they’ll understand.  AND I finally purchased a baby-guppy-eating fish to handle and new circle of life that tries to rear its ugly prolific head in our fish tank.  Huh uh, baby.  It’s over.

I’m done being glamorous and now I’m cool for the summer.  Yes, I chopped my hair.  I thought of donating to Locks of Love, but they don’t accept anything under 12 inches.. .and I only had 2 inches.  BUT, it’s dramatically changed my appearance and my neck is ready for 120 degrees summer heat.  Bring it on, baby.

Today is fingerprint day.  Rick and I both get our federal adoption fingerprints re-done this afternoon BEFORE they expire.  I’m very relieved to have this done in time.  I’ve read on adoption loops about several families who let their fingerprints expire… what a nightmare of bureaucracy and paper work.  AND I have to be “state” fingerprinted to be a camp counselor for kids camp.  This is my 6th year attending… and my first year fingerprinted.  Think of all the mayhem a smarmy fugitive could have wreaked on innocent campers for the past 5 years????  Luckily for them, I’m a law-abiding, God-fearing mom.

Thanks to faithful blog readers like yourself, Bags for ZAZA is a smashing success.  I’ve joined the sewing team and will have my first four bags on this weekend… hopefully.  Thank you to all who have linked to your sites.  With the special requests complete, I think we are near the fundraising goal.  But alas, do not fear, new goals are being considered at large wooden conference tables behind closed doors this minute, and more bags will be available.

Peace out.

My 100th Post at My Sister’s Jar

June 6, 2008

Lake Tahoe

Being the blogster that I am now, following blog etiquette, here are my 100 Things You Never Needed to Know About Me. (I tried to come up with information that would even be new to those nearest and dearest to me.)

1.  I have no Mexican dental work in my mouth. (Yeah!  We made it home safely and Rick is thrilled with his Mexican crown.)

2.  Even though I took two years of Spanish, my Spanish is extremely limited.

3.  I can count to 10 in five languages. (completely useless)

4.  I currently own 3 Spanish language learning systems… and use one regularly.

5.  I read Only When I Laugh in the past two days and was aghast when I discovered my grandfather’s name and story about him included.

6.  I consider reading therapeutic.

7.  I can sing the theme songs for the Brady Bunch, Beverly Hillbillies, and Gilligan’s Island.

8.  I don’t watch TV at home at all.  (We don’t even have it hooked up.)

9.  I loathe dusting.

10.  I abhor cleaning horizontal blinds…. which cover every window in the house.

11.  Watercolor painting is of high interest and relaxation to me.

12.  I’ve never had a manicure.

13.  I consider pedicures an Arizona necessity to avoid cracked heals.

14.  I have traveled to England.

15.  I have traveled to India…. curry lamb or curry chicken.

16.  I spent a summer in Kathmandu, Nepal… cooking for a missions team of 36.

17.  My dream vacation is to cruise the Mediterranean with extended stays in Greece.

18.  I have a list of 100 things I would like to do in my life.

19.  On my list of 100 things I would like to do in my life, only 68 are filled in.

20.  My eye color is green with gold polk-a-dots… but that doesn’t fit in the little space on my driver’s license.

21.  I have a birth mark on my left upper arm that looks like upside down bunny foo foo.

22.  Miss Potter is my favorite movie of all time. 

23.  I have watched Miss Potter at least 15 times.

24  I bought Miss Potter at Walmart the day it came out on DVD, having never seen it before.

25.  I have only owned Miss Potter for only 11 months.

26.  I have a pair of little white rhinestone-studded leather sandals on my computer desk for Zaza.

27.  I have four children, but Zaza is not home yet.  She’s waiting for us in Colombia, so she can be adopted.

28.  I met my husband on the first day of Orientation Week at Trinity Western University in BC.

29.  I was not real impressed when I met my future husband on the first day of O Week at TWU.

30.  I attended Rick’s High School Graduation with him.  (In Alberta they don’t have the ceremony until the results are back from their provincial exams…. in Sept.)

31.  I have over 100 guppies… but not for long.  VBS is next week when I give almost all of them away.

32.  I have two chickens named Olivia and either TJ or Sidney.

33.  I used to have three chickens, but we had two Rhode Island Reds and we don’t know which one died.

34.  I am not really a dog person.

35.  I have a Rat Terrier named Trixie.

36.  I am definitely NOT a cat person.

37.  I am drawn to royal blue.

38.  The colors of the sea are my favorites.

39.  When not loving blues and greens, I love hot pink.

40.  I have an Elvis bathroom in my home.

41.  I no longer have Elvis pictures that keep showing up on the walls in my bedroom.

42.  I love my husband.

43.  My husband loves me and Elvis.

44.  I painted the walls and ceiling in the Elvis bathroom red.

45.  I have a bathroom that looks like it belongs in either Graceland or a brothel.

46.  I have never been to Graceland, but I have been to Mississippi. 

47.  I lived in the lower mainland of BC for four years and never went to Vancouver Island.  (We were starving college students.)

48.  I have five male cousins.  That’s it.

49.  I grew up in West Coast suburbia in an Anglo Saxon, conservative Christian, Regan-loving-Republican, wooden spoon-spanking, fun loving home with a dad, mom, sister and brother.

50.  My teenage life of crime and mayhem consists of TPing and cruising the El Camino Real.

51.  I got a ticket for parking in a handicap spot.  $50 in 1984!

52.  I used to model for White Stag in Jantzen Beach, Oregon…. when I was five.

53.  I bought my very own purple Schwinn bicycle with a glittery purple banana seat with my paychecks from modeling.

54.  I take any opportunity to go fishing.

55.  I was flown into a fishing lodge at Margaret Lake, Alberta and fished with the chiefs of the surrounding Native reserves.

56.  I caught 6 or 7 large pike at Margaret Lake.

57.  I was the only one who caught any fish when I fished with the Indian Chiefs.

58.  My husband gave away all but one of my fish that I caught at Margaret Lake.

59.  I was left sitting on a gas drum at a dirt airstrip on a remote Native Reserve, Fox Lake, one summer evening.

60.  My husband tells me that he will never again leave me sitting alone on a gas drum on any remote Indian reserve.

61.  I have been to a tree stand designed to attract bear.

62.  I don’t appreciate tree stands.

63.  I have been a Christian for 37 years.

64.  I accepted Jesus as my savior by my bedside with my mom.

65.  I believe all US teenagers would benefit from going on a missions trip to a third world country.

66. I can usually sing a song about any word that my kids come up with.

67.  I have straight hair that is the envy of the 14 year old girls at our church who use straighteners daily.

68.  I teach my kids at home… we plan to homeschool through college.  (heh heh heh).

69.  I LOVE summer break.

70.  I had plastic surgery on my upper lip to repair a scar.

71.  I never had braces.

72.  My mouth is full of porcelain crowns… made in the USA.

73.  I have eaten chocolate covered ants… crunchy and chocolatey all in one.

74.  I have eaten ox tail soup… it was good if I kept my eyes closed.

75.  I could never be on survivor. 

76.  I’m wimpy.  Strange things make me gag… like stinky shoes, or a hair in the sink while I’m brushing my teeth.

77.  Believe it or not, I ran faster than my kids in a timed race at a rest stop three years ago (and won $5) I feel a rematch coming on.

78.  I don’t bet.

79.  I will never have a tattoo, or dreadlocks or piercings other than ONE hole in each ear.

80. I will never go bungy jumping, or sky diving, or cliff diving.  Remember, I’m wimpy.

81.  I’m not a thrill seeker, unless you include finding a sweet antique on sale from an un-educated garage sale giver.

82.  I collect Precious Moments nativity pieces.

83.  I am addicted to Diet Pepsi.  A half filled chilled can sits in front of me.

84.  I’m eyeing the corner of the backyard for a raised bed vegetable garden.

85.  I’m completely overwhelmed by the thought of digging and running the plumbing to the corner of the backyard for the raised bed vegetable garden.

86.  Sunflowers make me happy.

87.  I use my dictionary and thesaurus regularly.

88.  I am a card-carrying Coupon $ense gal who cut her grocery bill by 50% in 4 months.  Wooo Hooo.

89.  I taught Special Education, which prepared me for marriage and mothering in many ways.

90.  I’m the mother of the fastest 10 year old hockey skater in the nation.  And proud of it.

91.  I’m sad that my daughter doesn’t wear ruffles and lace anymore.

92.  I’m excited to bring Zaza home and introduce her to ruffles and lace.

93.  I’m still looking for the perfect bedding for Zaza’s yellow room and purple bed.

94.  I absolutely LOVE going to Lake Tahoe every summer.  It’s the BEST!  47 days until we go to Tahoe.

95.  I think God did a great job with the creation deal… lakes, trees, birds, flowers, pinecones, especially flowers, rivers…

96.  Scrapbooking is my game.  Tonight is scrap night at Darla’s house.  I’m there.

97.  I have my original wedding band from 21 years ago.

98.  I have my original husband from 21 years ago.  While in Mexico this week, a street vendor asked me what I was looking for.  I said, “My husband.”  He said, “Jus’ get a new one.”  No way.  21 years of training!  Hello!!!!

99.  I wish I lived somewhere that was always between 70 and 85 degrees, with a stream close by, a large English garden, a green house, vegetable garden and towering trees surrounding my Victorian home in the country.

100.  Roadtrips make my travel-loving heart pound in glory.

Overpopulation: A Worldwide Issue

April 1, 2008


April 2007:  Three mature guppies.  37 immature baby guppies. 

3 + 37 = 250

Have you ever wondered how Walmart started?  I can tell you all about it.  Sam Walton obviously had guppies of mixed sexes in one tank early in his life.  Soon Sam had two tanks to deal with the overpopulation crisis.  Then ten tanks.  Then he had to start Walmart to sell all the guppies.  Wisely, his stores now house their guppies in two tanks and separate the fish by gender. 

You’d think we would have caught on to this.  But no.  We bought three cute little guppies…. two years ago.  The crowd control problem was worse than the thirteen colonies before westward expansion….  manifest destiny… all that good stuff.  I emailed friends offering free pets for their children…. twenty per bag.  I was saving them $2.49 PER FISH!  That’s $49.80, for those who don’t have a calculator handy (like I do.)  What a nice friend I am!  Only two takers.

Solution #2 came in the disguise of Vacation Bible School at our church.  They unknowingly aided in my guppy distribution by asking me to teach crafts.  I was given a “decorating” budget for the arts and crafts room… heh heh heh.  AND the theme was Under the Sea!!!  Perfect.  I decorated with 6″ glass bowls complete with rocks, water and 5-7 guppies.  Then I gave them away every day as long as the kid had parental approval.  I got rid of more than 75 fish that week…. but that was over 8 months ago.  We are back up to over 100 guppies in our 10 gallon tank. 

I tell you all of this because I can’t sell them on eBay or Craig’s List.  Please help!  Free guppies!  Leave your contact info in the comment box below and I’ll have them delivered to your front door.