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Sunday, November 28, 2010

christmas comes early

If you enjoy what you find here, be sure to subscribe or become a follower, so you can keep up with all my bloggy goodness.

Sit down, everyone. I have an announcement to make. As of about 2 PM yesterday afternoon, we have two new additions to our family. They are the cutest little things ever. Their faces pucker up when you look at them, but they mostly just go on their way, always searching for food. They're settling in nicely, too. The kids are thrilled.

What are they, you ask? Two little goldfish, swimming in a tank. One named Lucky and the other named Frank Dottie. The other doesn't yet have a name. Katie just calls it "Elmo's fish."

This is an early Christmas present for my kids.  Alex has wanted a fish forever, and Katie is enthralled by the fish at Alex's school.  New tanks are a bit pricey to set up, especially if you want anything larger than a 10 gallon.  So, I hopped on Craig's List last week and started looking for an aquarium.   I was actually looking for someone selling an empty tank with a hood (lid) and maybe some other accessories.  That way, I could easily hide the stuff until Christmas.  Instead, I found the whole shebang. 

I came across an ad for a 20 gallon tank with everything, even fish, included.  The seller lived about 45 minutes away from me.  Given the name in the email, I thought I was going to the home of a Hispanic man named Juan.  However, upon knocking on the door, a little Asian lady invited us into her home.  She was a hoot!  Due to an impending move to Texas, she was forced to sell her kids' tank.  Two goldfish were included, as well as a filter, hood, thermometer, and some decorations.  We gave her $40 for the set-up.  

We had gone in prepared to take the tank home, with buckets for the fish and accessories, and a general game plan on how to move with fish.  However, Juan couldn't find the fish net.  Now, how are you supposed to catch fish without the net?  "Drive home with fish in tank?" she asked.  Um, no.  That's not happening in my fairly new car.  So, she started going crazy.  "Where's that net?  I can't find net?  Pardon  mess, we moving.  Where is the net?"  Finally, she shouted to her son, "Hunterrrrrr! Where you put the net?"  He didn't know, either.

I suggested that we use a cup to scoop out the water and catch the fish, which worked pretty well.  Except, Juan kept getting exasperated with her preteen son.  "Outta the way!  I'll do it!"  And, he kept nosing in, like kids typically do.  She filled a bucket with water before she caught the first fish.  But, I explained, I only wanted to carry half a bucket home.  So, she dumped the entire bucket.  When she returned, she actually nabbed a fish.  Upon plopping it in the bucket at hand, she realized she had no water for the fish.  So, she and her son started to frantically scoop water into the bucket.  Then, the other fish was caught.    The entire time, little Juan was chattering away about the fish, their care, and her move. 

Finally, we left with an aquarium, several decorations, a taped-together filter that we wound up replacing, two fish in  a bucket, and a mostly-full container of fish flakes.  Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

One the way back to our house, we stopped at the good ol' Walmart for some basic supplies: dechlorinator, a net, and a water syphon mainly.  We also purchased some additional plastic plants and a new filter.  Wouldn't you know, though, that when we got home we realized that we hadn't actually purchased the net?  There I was, ready to gently lower the fish into their home, and I started hollering, "Where's the net?  What happened to the net?  Alexxxxxx!  Find the net!"  I don't know if it fell out of my husband's already-full hands, if the cashier neglected to get it off of the belt, or if we left it in the cart.  But, we had to go through the craziness of catching two feisty goldfish with a cup all over again.  At least, this time, they were staying put in their new-old tank in our chaotic home.

So, they're settled.  All in all, we got more aquarium for our money, though we still spent what we had budgeted for a new tank (maybe slightly more when you account for gas).  Even my husband is enamored with the fish.  The tank is a very pretty addition to our family area and the noise of the filter's waterfall is incredibly relaxing.  It was a good day, and the tank is a great present.  Especially considering that it isn't a cheap piece of plastic crap that will wind up in the dump in a year's time.  Merry Christmas, ya'll.

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