Saturday, February 27, 2016

Houston, we have our fish!

We have ten Neon Tetras, four catfish, one algae eater, three Gourami's, and four Angel Fish.

We've already lost one of the Angel Fish.  The pet store had just received the fish, so we weren't sure how they would do being transported another half an hour in the car.  Fortunately, the store does guarantee their fish for thirty days.

Our water in the tank was very clear, but when we added the water from the fish store, it clouded up.  We are hoping that our filter will remove the cloudiness.  If not, we will try a chemical treatment to clear it up.

We find that we are spending a lot of time sitting and watching the fish.  Who knew they could be so interesting.  Now we wish that the aquarium was near our dining room table where the hutch is.  We decided that if we were 26 years old, we would switch them, but.....we are not.  The tank stays where it is.

Neil tells us that having an aquarium will lower our blood pressure.  I can tell you that the first couple of days of owning one, raised my blood pressure several points, so I can understand how it would lower it later on.   Maybe I can get off my medication......?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Whose idea was this?

Since the February winter blahs are upon us, Retired Mountain Man and I had this wild idea.  Let's buy an aquarium and set it on the little buffet.

This is not a really new hobby for us as we have had lots of fish and tanks over the past forty years.  At one time we had a 50 gallon show tank that we inherited from Grandpa Jim and Grandma Lois.  The last aquarium that we had held three-spotted Blue Gourami's, which resulted in hundreds of baby fish, which we sold to the pet store in Sandpoint.  I think that was probably back in about 1990.  Not sure.

Ok then.  We are pros.  This should not be too hard to do.  There's lots of new technology now, better equipment, tanks, etc.  The whole nine yards.

Well, we were wrong.  So wrong.

We headed to Sandpoint to the local Petco and after two hours of looking at all of the various equipment, we had decided on the tank, the filter, the heater, the air pump, the gravel for the bottom of the tank, the startup chemicals and the water scene for the bank of the aquarium. $272.00 and we were on our way home.

Then the real trouble began.  The tank would not sit level on our little buffet.  The big question was, "Is this cabinet strong enough to hold over 300 pounds?"  After a lot of discussion, we decided that no, it was not and we needed to buy a stand. By this time it was 7:30 p.m. on Monday evening.  Enough for today.

The next morning I drove off to the pet store and decided that the only really stable stand was one of the ones made out of steel.  Unfortunately, that didn't make any difference.  The tank on the metal stand was still wobbly.  Retired Mountain man finally came up with two solutions:  1) we would set the stand on a piece of plywood, and 2) we would use two pieces of 1/2"x 4" boards nailed to the wall to keep the tank and stand rigid.  It was a brilliant idea and both of them worked.

We also needed to somehow create two shelves to set inside the steel frame to hold the equipment.  This is what he came up with.

This is the stand without the shelves.


This took us all day.  Tomorrow we will add the gravel and start adding the water to the tank.

As a side note, this is what your living room looks like when you decide to  take on a really simple project.

There's a level in my easy chair.

Boxes and parts and pieces everywhere.

Dinner tonight will be leftovers and we will not be dining at the table.

Everything has been displaced by one kind of small fish tank.

To be continued.......  Day Three......

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Some thoughts on becoming.....

Do you remember these?  The flowers were delivered on my birthday in October from the Missoula Burkharts, Dylan and Sarah.

The foliage in the bouquet turned out to be very interesting.  At the time, I decided to keep it in a vase and then Retired Mountain Man and I noticed that something was growing on the back of each leaf.  The foliage was not even in water.  He decided that it was trying to bloom.  Four months later, I have another bouquet of roses, this time from Retired Mountain Man.  I decided to add the foliage to this bouquet.

Here's a close-up.  So cool.

My Valentine's Day roses.  They are so pretty.

And finally, a quote from Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit----

“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'

'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'

'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”

Happy Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 7, 2016

There will be blossoms soon.

Geraniums and tomatoes

There will be flowers and ripe tomatoes in the spring.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A couple more Mardi Gras photos.

King Jeff reads the proclamation.

Our Queen, Deborah, and King, Jeff.  They looked very regal!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Mardi Gras 2016

As usual, our friends, Ann and Neil, hosted the most awesome Mardi Gras party last night.  The weather was perfect!  It was warm and the wind and the rain held off until the party was over.

The band warming up for the parade.

Our King and Queen this year, Deborah and Jeff.  Unfortunately, I did not get a good photo of them while Jeff was reading the proclamation.  If anyone has one and you are willing to share, I would love to post it on my blog.

No one wants to miss this event.  Lyndsie came all the way from Moscow and Britt and the boys drove up too.

The pirates are ready to toss all of the beads and moon pies.

Here we go with Travis and Bill carrying the flambeaus and Lora as our Grand Marshal.

The Second Line was in full swing.

The spectators cheering for the Second Line.

The Mardi Gras season has opened and will end for us on Friday, Feb. 12th when the Cougar Creek Band plays for a fundraiser at the Community Center in Hope.    See you there!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

It might be a little warmer these days.....

....but it's still very snowy here.  

My snow broom on watch over the driveway.

Our latest curtain.

The good news is that our neighbors Mardi Gras celebration is this coming Friday!  Yesterday afternoon I made the Chicken Gumbo.

I haven't forgotten my garden and I have started my geraniums, tomatoes and pansies.  The tomatoes and geraniums are already showing their true leaves and I have transplanted them into my newspaper pots.  The pansies are next.  They are almost there.

It's snowing again this morning so it looks like I will be using my new toy soon.