This is my site where I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and happenings. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out...yeah!" Enjoy!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

December Travels to FL & NJ


I'm proud of this palm tree's frameworthy!

Gator territory:

Fountain in downtown Tallahassee:


Here we are with brother-in-law Chris by the huge tires of an Air Force refueling jet (Chris is a mechanic for the Air Force so he gave us a tour of the large jet):

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Nieces and Nephews

I have the most adorable nieces and nephews!!! Too bad they live so far away (Anna, Michael & Daniel live in Oregon and Gracie, Isaac, Ella & Noah live in Colorado). Here are a few recent pics of them....


Anna and Daniel:


Michael and Anna:

Janet and Anna:






Sunday, January 22, 2006

Fish Tank

Craig brought home some baby mangroves the last time he went to Florida so we bought a fish tank for them to grow in. Then, bit by bit Craig bought various fish, shrimp, crabs and crawfish to live in the tank and clean the mangrove roots. The contents of the tank are always changing as the fish die (or are traded back to the fish store for different ones) or as Craig gets new ideas for fish to help clean the tank.

Mangroves are one of Florida's true natives. They thrive in salty environments because they are able to obtain fresh water from saltwater. Some secrete excess salt through their leaves, others block absorption of salt at their roots. Mangroves create new land as the roots grow and tangle together with other mangroves and as fallen leaves, sand, muck, etc pile up on the roots.

Worldwide, more than 50 species of mangroves exist. Of the three species found in Florida, the red mangrove is probably the most well-known. It typically grows along the water's edge. The red mangrove is easily identified by its tangled, reddish roots called "prop roots." These roots have earned mangroves the title, "walking trees." The mangrove appears to be standing or walking on the surface of the water.

Craig made the tiny pots as maquettes for his Seaworthy Project and he realized how perfect they are for the fish tank so he put them in there. The crawfish loves hiding in the large one.

We started out with 1 female guppy and 2 male guppies. The female had about 20 babies in the first month and they were so cute and so tiny (about the size of my pinky fingernail)! The adult guppies tried to eat the babies and I think they succeeded in eating one of them but the rest were fast enough to escape death. Once the babies grew to a certain size they were no longer in danger of being eaten by their parents.

Female Guppy and a few of the baby guppies:

Male Guppy #1 (the males are more colorful):

Male Guppy #2:

Otocinclus (Sucker fish) - these guys clean the mangrove roots and walls of the tank:

Ghost shrimp - these guys clean the mangrove roots non-stop:

Flying Fox:

Figure Eight Blowfish - this fish is really cute and as its belly becomes full of food it bulges:


Our fish tank has been full of drama from the start. From the excitement of the birth of many guppy and crawfish babies to the sadness of the deaths of the blowfish, a crab, the ghost shrimp, the Blue Frontosa and all but one of the crawfish babies (the momma ate them!). The adult guppies attacked the blowfish one night which left her fins damaged and her nerves shot...a few days later she gave up and stopped breathing, even though we had given her medicine and isolated her in a safe tank away from the others. One crab committed suicide by jumping out of the tank one night...we found him dead on the carpet near the front door (we traded the other crab back to the pet store before he could do the same). The ghost shrimp and the Blue Frontosa were eaten by our newest arrivals, the Cichlids...and they left not a trace!

Various Cichlids (we have 4 types, 2 of each) and the crawfish:

It is very hard to take pictures of the fish because they are almost always in motion and I have to watch out for glare from the glass and lighting problems in general. I never got any good pictures of the crabs, the Blue Frontosa or the Bristlenose Pleco.

Both crabs and the crawfish succeeded in escaping the tank (one crab died before we discovered this)...we are not able to put a lid on it because of the mangroves. We think the crawfish has brain damage now because he's been acting very strange since we rescued him (he got out of the tank this morning and we found him on the floor under the computer desk) know, like how humans get brain damage from lack of oxygen.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Crepes a la Cart

I am in love with this Crepes Cart in Breckenridge! We go to Breckenridge at least once a year and this Thanksgiving is the first time I have ever seen it. The food is delicious and it is a great business idea (for one, it's unique...not as common or as unhealthy as a hotdog stand). You can get a dinner or dessert crepe loaded with stuff (chicken, cheese, veggies, chocolate, apples, cinnamon, caramel, etc) and made while you watch. My mom and I shared a caramel-apple-cinnamon one (they are large)--yummy! I need to start making various handheld crepes on my own for dinner or snacks...the possibilities are endless!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! May this year be the best one yet!