Yesterday Bruce had a work-related dinner out, so the kids and I used the time to run errands. We went to the library to drop off donated books and pick up some new ones to borrow, to Payless for shoes for Abigail (no luck), to Hallmark for the next couple of months' worth of cards, to Washington Mutual to pay the mortgage, to the post office to mail a care-package to a friend who is serving in the Army in Iraq, to Family Christian store to pick up the new Bible that Bruce bought me for my birthday, to Sally Beauty Supply for a new pair of haircutting scissors (the tips of my old pair got mysteriously bent...), to WalMart for a few groceries and a bunch of landscape and home repair project supplies, and then, since the kids did so incredibly well during all of that, I treated them to dinner and playtime at Chick-Fil-A.
When we got home, I unloaded half a dozen bags of new sand into the sandbox, stacked up bags of mulch and stone, set out and watered the new plants I bought, took everything else into the house, checked the garden, bathed the kids, put them to bed, tidied up the house, and then decided that I would clean the fish tank, a chore which has needed to be done for a couple of weeks but kept getting pushed off 'til the next day.
And here's where Murphy's Law comes in...at 9 o'clock at night, when I had finished cleaning and went to put a new, clean insert into the fish tank filter, there were none left. I am very picky about having an extra of anything when it is running low because I don't like to run out of things...so I have no idea how I managed to be out of these...but anyway, the fish water was a mess from getting stirred up, so there was no way I could in good conscience leave it overnight in that state. So as soon as Bruce got home, I ran over to Kroger (two minutes away)...but they don't carry fish tank filters. So off I went to WalMart (fifteen minutes away) -- again -- late at night, which is NOT my best time of day! I didn't realize when I started the project that it was going to be an ordeal!!!
But, against all odds, the tank is clean and is a pretty accent in the living room again, and the fish look much happier. After all of that rigmarole, I thought I'd share a picture of our fish and their clean tank... The fishes' names change every time you ask the kids what they are, and our algae-eater is (uncharacteristically) right up front looking at me (he spends most of his time hiding inside the ship). The two goldfish were ten-cent feeder goldfish...when we got them a year or so ago, the pet shop had been out of the fancy goldfish for a while, and after the second or third visit with the same results, the kids were terribly disappointed not to have fish to take home, so in desperation I bought these...and they have been the healthiest, hardiest, and most friendly fish we've ever had!!!