Also, I am a little sunburned.
From my father-in-law, regarding Bella Swan, as soon as the credits rolled on New Moon: “That girl’s got a really weird life.”
Once upon a time there was a puppy named Smalls. Smalls had gone camping, fishing, and swimming, but she had never been on a hike.
One morning Smalls saw her parents put on their walking shoes and get out the leashes. She and her brother Ben were very excited because they knew that shoes and leashes meant they would get to go for a walk. Smalls and Ben liked walks very much.
But Smalls’s parents also got out these back pack things that they poured a bunch of water into. And then, instead of going for a walk, they had Smalls and Ben get in the car and told them they were going for something called a “hike.” Smalls didn’t know what a “hike” was, but that was okay. She figured anything involving walking shoes and leashes was sure to be fun.
They drove for what seemed like a very long time. When they finally got out of the car, Smalls was somewhere she’d never been before. The place looked a lot like the type of place where she had gone camping in the past, but she knew it was different because she didn’t recognize all the smells around her.
Her parents put on those weird water-filled back pack things and then all four of them started walking up a hill. “Oh,” Smalls though, “A ‘hike’ is just a walk that we go on after riding in the car. This seems fun!”
And it was fun. But it was also very hard. It was a hot day, and Smalls and Ben were both wishing they didn’t have to wear their thick fur coats all the time. Luckily, before too long they discovered a small pool of water. Smalls immediately got in the water to cool off and have a refreshing drink.
After that short break, they kept walking up that hill. Pretty soon, the terrain got really challenging. There were lots of big rocks to jump up and over, and some of the jumps were hard for a little puppy like Smalls. But there was a lot of shade on the trail, which helped with the heat, and occasionally Smalls’s parents would get tired and stop for a much-needed water break.
They kept on walking up that hill, and Smalls was getting tired! The next time they stopped for a break, Smalls decided her legs needed a break from standing up.
After that, it wasn’t long before they finally reached the top of that hill. Then they got to walk down into a beautiful valley with lots of tall grasses to romp in. The best part of the valley, in Smalls’s opinion, was that there was a stream for her and Ben to wade in and drink out of. That cold water sure did feel good on such a hot day!
They went up one more small hill at the other side of the valley and then came across a great big lake. It was wonderful! Smalls forgot all about her previous fears of water and sat right down in that lake.
Boy, that water sure did feel good! So good, in fact, that Smalls decided to go ahead and lay all the way down. This hiking thing was fun, but it wore a puppy out!
The hiking group spent a little time at the lake, cooling off and enjoying the view. And then they turned around and walked right back down into that valley and then down that steep, rocky hill again. This time they didn’t stop for as many breaks, but that was okay. The sun had gone behind some dark clouds, so it wasn’t so hot anymore, and there was also some scary thunder behind them. Smalls and Ben were both okay with getting away from the thunder and into the safety of the car as quickly as possible.
When they all got home again, Smalls was happy for the opportunity to take a nice, long nap on the comfort of the couch.
As Smalls napped, she dreamed about all the fun and exciting sights and smells she’d just experienced. That hiking thing sure had been a fun way to spend the day.
Smalls sure hoped she would get to go on another hike someday soon. She didn’t know what adventures the next day would bring, but she was pretty sure of one thing: she and her brother Ben and their parents were going to live happily ever after.
Alternate Title: The Post with Too Many Tangents
Last time Tim put a hole in a wall, Kat and I were emailing about the amazing ideas our handyman husbands come up with. I mentioned to her that right after we moved into our house, Tim’s first project was to put a fish tank in a wall, to which she replied “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of that.”
“Really?” I thought to myself. “Surely that’s something I would have blogged about when it happened. Kat has been reading my blog from the day I started it — she is, after all, the one who inspired me to start a blog in the first place. How could she have not seen our fish tank?” And that’s when I realized a very strange thing. I didn’t blog about the fish tank going into the wall because the fish tank went into the wall during a time I’d nearly forgotten existed: a time called Life Before Blogging. I’ve only been blogging three years, and yet I can barely remember what it was like not to have a blog. Funny how that happens, right?
So, anyway, the fish tank. In the wall. We moved into our house right before Christmas 2004, and the fish tank went into the wall in January 2005. I know this because while he was installing the fish tank, I caught Tim sitting on the basement floor and sawing a piece of trim that was resting on his leg. He didn’t seem to think there was anything dangerous about this activity at all. He thought it was silly that I worried he was going to accidentally saw into his leg. You know, the leg that the wood was resting on. The wood that he was sawing into. Maybe I was being silly, but for Valentine’s Day the next month my romantic gift to Tim was a work bench.
But back to the topic at hand. (Shut up. I warned you there would be tangents.) For Kat and anyone else who has never seen our fish tank, here it is:
(Why, yes, that is wood paneling on our basement walls. What do you think is more embarrassing, the fact that we have never taken it down or the fact that I kind of like it? Between the paneling and the wood stove, our basement has a nice, cozy, cabin-in-the-woods feel. I just don’t think it’d be the same without the fake wood walls.)
And here are some of our fish. (No transition back to the topic needed here, since that last tangent was a parenthetical. Like how I did that?)
This guy is the biggest fish, and also the plainest. And see those cool stick things? Tim brought those back from our honeymoon in the Bahamas. Just gathered them right off the beach and stuck them in our suitcase. How awesome is that?
That little purple fish was one of my welcome-home presents from Tim when I came back from Spain. The purple fish and our little blue fish with a yellow tail (not pictured, but also residing in this fish tank) were our first two saltwater fish. We’ve had them almost 4 years now. I have no idea how long fish live, but I do know that these two fish have far out-lived all the other fish we’ve brought home.
I don’t have much to say about the black-and-white fish except that I think he’s awfully cute.
So, there you have it — our fish tank, with a few other stories thrown in for good measure. The tank is in the wall between the main basement room and the laundry room, so all the ugly parts — the lights, the homemade filter that Tim put together, etc. — are tucked away nicely behind a curtain in the laundry room. And all the pretty parts — the fish and the Bahamian sticks — are framed beautifully in our tacky-but-still-loved wood paneling. That husband of mine sure is talented.