Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve 2011...

Signing in for the first time in just over 4 months. I had almost forgotten how to redress and rearrange everything.

The last few weeks have been slow and quiet as Jase and I have taken turns catching several cold and stomach bugs that have been making the rounds. We missed being able to make a trip to my family's Christmas celebration and missed opening gifts with Jase's side. I have 2 big bowls, a 9x13 casserole dish and 2 square ice cream tubs of dipped pretzel, cookies and truffles sitting on my table and buffet, results of my normal overdone holiday baking spree and not being able to deliver goodie tins to my immediate and extended family. I must find something to do with it all. I am determined to avoid sugar starting tomorrow and there's no way the two of us can eat it all ourselves before it goes bad. I suppose I'll try freezing the cookies and truffles.


I picked my Swagbucks account back up last weekend. I found $15 in amazon ecards sitting in my account and promptly spent them on a pair of brown boots. I've been wanting brown boots for years. They are scheduled to arrive today and I cannot wait to get them on my feet. In the last week I have done enough trials and deals that I'm just over the 3000 mark. My goal is an average of 700 a week, but i'm beginning to think I can do more than that. As long as I don't lose interest. For those not familiar with the value of swagbucks, 700 a week will give me enough over the course of a year to redeem over $400 in amazon ecards. And that's if they don't go on sale, in which case my swagbucks go even further. Yay! I'll probly branch out to more than amazon cards soon though...I have my eye on some paypal cash and fandango cards...and maybe a few cards...we'll see...


One of the deals that I took advantage of to earn some credits was a free customized calendar from VistaPrint. I only paid shipping which made it quite a bargain as calendars are stupidly expensive even for just a no frills wall calendar from Walmart. I spent three days finding pictures of us, one for each month of each year that we've been together, uploading them to picnic, editing, saving, organizing by month, then reuploading to picnic again to make collages and then finally adding collages to the calendar and adding personalized captions for Jase. It was a lot of work, but I'm really excited about how it turned out and I can't wait for it to get here.

In the process of the calendar project, I discovered something. Over the last couple of years I have gradually taken less and less pictures of us. Over the last year I've gradually taken less pictures in general and when I have they've been of random projects or events and not of us. Part of that is laziness. Part of it is that I find it difficult to be motivated to take pictures when life is stressful. Part of it is because I hate the way I end up looking in pictures, especially when I'm carrying extra weight. And I'm definitely carrying extra weight.

And that brought me to 2 main goals for 2012. Be healthier, exercise more, shed a few lbs (not the first year that this has been a goal), and take. more. pictures. Regardless of how I look or feel, find SOMETHING to take pictures of and purposefully take more pictures of US.

I want to get to the end of next year and be able to spend WAY more time browsing through a year's worth of pictures and finding many more pictures of us to bring back even completely forgotten memories than I did this year. Then I will also be able to take advantage of more free (or discounted) photo prints deals and put together physical scrapbooks as well.

I even signed up at thinking that maybe participating in that would motivate me and give me a goal...that's broken down into small, reachable daily goals. Then I realized, that if I'm not motivated to keep the blog I already have, it's pointless to start a new one. So I redirected back to my sad, forsaken blog and spruced it up for the new year. And I'll be trying my own project365 right here.


I'm drinking a fizz tab and uploading some pictures to so that I can take advantage of their current 40 free prints deal. :)

I'm about to plug my new earbuds into my comp and turn on some Bocelli, Acoustic Eidolon and Adele while I download this weekends files and play my newly downloaded Plants vs. Zombies... free music downloads and $2 game from yet more awesome swagbucks deals. :)


Poor Hubby is finally getting some much needed sleep after about 5 consecutive sleepless nights this week. This happens every time he gets a cold that settles into a cough. He's so exhausted. :(


I'm looking forward to another cozy, lazy day and bringing in the New Year with my Love...

Happy New Year to all! I'll be back in 2012. :)


Sunday, August 28, 2011

I have grout in my tile!...

Picking up from where I left off last with the pics...

I'll post more later...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Finding a Home

Guest post from: Constance Rodgers

Looking at apartments when I was still single was fun but it was even more fun looking for houses to buy! I was really sick of living in a tiny place so I started my search for a single-family home late last year and it took me several months to find this great place. It’s amazing what people put on the market and what they try to price stuff at but I got lucky and found this place that was bank owned that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. I’ve been working on things like home improvements and security and all that stuff that goes along with being a homeowner and I’m actually having a really good time with it…I love decorating and I can’t believe I get to do my own place now! I feel like this is the most adult thing I’ve ever done and I can’t wait for the next phase in my life whether that be marriage or kids or just getting a dog!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So we haven't moved yet...

...and I'm living out of boxes for the next month. A week ago today we got up for a few hours of work before Jase's sisters, Rachel and Jonnah, and his brother, Micah, showed up around 7:30 to help pack and clean. Sarah Baker showed up a few hours later and we spent the morning and early afternoon packing, organizing, cleaning. About 30 min before we were scheduled to pick up the moving truck, I sent Jase down to get a checklist from the office and let them know we were planning to be out the next day. A few months back, we had tried to extend our lease by another month, and although we had been told at first that it was fine, we received a notice a few days later that there had been a mix up and the apartment had been leased to new tenants before we tried to extend, because the office thought that we had already turned in our notice to vacate at the end of june. As I sent JAse out the door I remember thinking " Watch Jase come back and tell me that the notice to vacate had been a mix up and the office doesn't actually have us scheduled to move out until the end of july". Well, sure enough. We were scheduled to be here for another month. And everything I owned was packed and sealed into boxes stacked in my living room. Ugh.

We weren't obligated to stay since we hadn't signed the lease extension yet, but since the barn isn't ready to move in to yet, and we were planning on camping between the Burks and the barn, we opted to take on the extra month of high rent and stay put. Having our own place, with air conditioning and highspeed for another few weeks will be way worth it. And hopefully this way the barn will be either ready or much closer to being ready to move into when we have to be out of here.

So we're still waiting on some paperwork to get the permit to start digging the septic. And the guys are still working on running some electrical things. The grand and several other heavy objects that are still sitting in the living room have to be cleared out. The doors need to have those little rubber seals attached to the bottoms to keep bugs from the shed out, some holes need to be patched and the bathroom needs to be painted. But now we have the rest of the month to complete it. It's a big relief to have everything worked out the way it did.

Here are a few more pics of the place...

Yup, it's a barn...

Looking up the driveway from the barn...

The driveway extends past the barn and a circle drive and runs down into some lower fields behind the barn...

My kitchen view...

We're surrounded by fields and's so super pretty out there...

Friday, June 24, 2011

I hate packing...

Not because it's necessarily difficult. It's just time consuming and a pain in the butt. And I hate the process of clearing out an apartment that's been home for the last year and that has so many memories attached to it. I so look forward to the day when I can move into my own house and stay for a LONG time...maybe even forever. It's a nice thought.

Another reason I hate packing is because I can't stand to just throw things in boxes randomly. It has to be organized. Especially this time, since I'm faced with the task of figuring out what I'm going to need to access immediately, what can be lived without for a little longer and what can be put into storage for relatively long term. This is proving especially tricky with my kitchen. At the moment, we're not sure if we're actually going to be able to move straight into the barn by the time we have to be out of here. So we may be looking at spending several days or a week (hopefully no more than that...fingers crossed) with Jase's family until the barn is liveable and has passed inspections. While we're with them I likely won't need any of my kitchen stuff. But once we're actually in the barn, I'll need a few pots and pans and utensils for making simple meals on the stove that mom and dad are bringing....whenever that happens. Most of my baking stuff is going into storage at least for a while... :( That makes me sad. I suppose I'll live. :)

My growing stack of boxes in the back room. It may not seem like much, but in my opinion it's a bit ridiculous considering that we are only two people and that's maybe HALF of our stuff. I'm still trying to figure out how in the world two people need that much...and I've weeded out a lot over the last few months in prep for moving. *shakes head*

Packing station...

And this is why it's taking so freaking long to get things into boxes...My list so that I know what is where...I'm a little OCD...But I NEED to know where things are or I'll go crazy. Each box is numbered and has a simple label...then the list contains a more comprehensive list of what each box contains.


The girls came over to help the other night. My original plan was to have them help me pack. But by the time they got here my control issues had set in and I couldn't cope with the idea of not sorting, wrapping, packing and labelling things into boxes with my own two hands. So instead they helped wipe down bathrooms, sweep floors and help me clean out my fridge and freezer which were long over due...the help was wonderful. :)

Most of my cupboards are emptied...I hate living in the clutter, but I put it off long enough. We're down to 4-5 days before we have to be out of here. The month ends next thursday but I garauntee they will be wanting us out by the 28th, which is next tuesday. They're gonna have to live with that not happening. :) I'm expecting to likely be out by next wednesday or at least be finishing up moving the last few things, finishing up the cleaning and turning in keys by thursday morning...we'll see...

This is what my pretty living room used to look like....I miss it already...

Better get back to work...

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Barn...

As of about 1 week ago, we made the decision to take up an offer of a 'house' on a farm on the north side of Springfield. The landlord attends our church and gave us a generous deal that will allow us the opportunity to save up a lot faster for land and a house of our own than we were accomplishing living in apartments.

It's not technically a house. More of an apartment and it's built inside of a shed/barn. When it was first offered to us, we immediately dismissed the idea because of all of the work that was still needed to make it liveable. I hadn't even seen the place (Jason had helped put the flooring down years ago and was familiar with it), so in order to not just blow Dan (the landlord) off, we decided to go take a look at it (just to be polite) and keep adding to our already established list of reasons why it wouldn't work out, so that we could sit down with Dan and thank him but explain to him that it wasn't for us.

By the time we had finished our first walk through we were still pretty convinced we didn't want the place, but we were seeing ways that we could make it work if we chose to take it. It wasn't until a night or two later that it dawned on us...if we were willing to make some sacrifices and put in some work to make the place liveable, it was an opportunity to do two things that we had been wanting to do for some time: pay off some debt that we acquired last year and start saving towards our own land. Of course, those were two things that could be done anyway, but this was an opportunity that was going to allow that to happen MUCH easier and faster than any of our other options at the time. So we went to look through it again and started a list of questions for Dan.

A few days later we had the opportunity to meet Dan at a nearby McDonalds and sit down with him to discuss our questions and options. By the time we walked out of the restaurant we had decided to take it. And then life started to get hectic...

We were about 2.5 weeks away from having to be out of our apartment and I didn't even have boxes yet. We had to call and cancel our reservation for the apartment we had planned to move into (and which we had already put down a nonrefundable prelease on :( ). And the list of things that had to be done at 'The Barn' was growing. It had to be cleared out and cleaned. The electrical needed work and additions such as smoke detectors and a few other things to pass inspection. We had to figure out how to get internet out there so that we could continue working online. A septic system needed to be put in, which required a soil sample to be done and a permit before we could start installing the system. And so on...

Within the first two days after our talk with Dan, we had it cleared out and had accomplished the first round of wiping down walls, setting of bug bombs, sweeping out dirt and bugs, scrubbing floor and windows, had internet figured out, etc. Yesterday the soil sample was completed and we are now waiting for everything to come back from that so that we can apply for a permit to start installing the system. We still have to install smoke detectors, figure out water heater details and stove hookup details.

Today is a little frustrating because it's my light work day and Jase's off day and we could be spending the entire day out there working on things, but everything is on hold while we wait for permits and such. I finally have boxes and we're picking up packing paper from a friend today so I'm in the process of packing. And we're about a week away from needing to move. I'm learning patience.

At first I was super excited about the prospect of moving out to the farm. I still am. But I've had a day or two already where I couldn't help but ask myself 'what have we done?'. Ha. Even with everything that we're hoping to have accomplished by the time we move it so that it's liveable, there is still alot of work that will be needed before it's really a house. There will be two bathrooms, but only one is finished. There is no kitchen, only hookups for a sink and a water heater. Dan has the wood to make cabinets but they will have to wait until we're in and we figure out how to make them. So they will be a work in progress after we move. As soon as a stove hookup is installed we should have a stove, because mom and dad are bringing their old one afew days after we move in. I'm super grateful for it, because I was planning on only being able to use things that could be plugged into the wall for making my crockpot, foreman grill, griddle, etc. We still need a fridge but we'll have to make do with borrowed space in a deep freeze and a cooler filled with frozen water bottles and cold packs. It's gonna be interesting for sure..

But when it's done it will be nice. The only thing that will not happen, ever, is washer and dryer hookups. I'm still trying to adjust mentally to the idea of not having my own washer and dryer for several years. Fortunately Jase's parents are just five min down the road and we should be able to do laundry at their place once or twice a week. It's going to take some getting used to.

As far as the 'house' itself, it's gorgeous. Red walls, white trim, beautiful hardwood floors and stone tile in the bathroom. For now we're moving into the downstairs and eventually the upstairs will be made liveable too, with the second bathroom up there. The levels are not connected so we have to walk out into the shed to access the stairs to the second floor. Not super convenient or comfy but definitely doable. For now the upstairs is storage.

It's definitley small, but the location is gorgeous. I've been missing my fields and trees and country air really badly, especially over the last year. Now I'll have a nice long driveway for walks and jogs, plenty of fields and creeks to walk and explore. I may even learn to ride the horses that we will be sharing the 'yard' with.

The wall where the kitchen cabinets will go. The sink hookup is under the window and you can see the water heater hookups to the left. The bathroom door is on the right.

The bathroom and the 'back' door to the right. These pics are all before we cleared it out and did the first round of cleaning.

The living room view from the kitchen with what will likely be used as the 'front' door once we're moved in.

The closet area that will be used as a pantry. I want to line the walls with shelves to give me plenty of storage until I get cabinets.

Part of the downstairs bathroom. Once the water is turned on that hole will be patched, the walls will need to be painted and the trim finished out.

I'll upload more pics later. My internet keeps dying on me...better post what I have before I lose it. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Office

Guest post of the week by Robby Sykes

Ever since the snow started I have been thanking my lucky stars that we got satellite TV. It has been so cold that we have barely left the house and instead have been watching back to back seasons on the office on our new I have been hearing all about how great the office is for years now and just never found the time to add a new show to my TV watching schedule so I figured snow days were the perfect time to see what the fuss was all about. I am so glad I did because that show is hilarious! It is now my favorite sitcom and I cannot wait until I get all caught ! up to the current season. My favorite characters are Pam and Jim because of course I am a hopeless romantic and I love a good chemistry. Plus they are just so together and the dialogue that is written for them is just perfect. I also love how this show is filmed in a documentary style. The glances at the camera when Michael does something dumb are always perfectly timed. I know I am late to jump on the bandwagon but I cannot get enough. I have watched 3 seasons back to back and if it snows again tomorrow I may just start in on my 4th season.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wait. It's Friday? Again?

Well, we survived the week. Barely. Jase wasn't able work a single day. That paycheck is gonna hurt. Fortunately, I've been able to take on several extra hours of work a couple of days this week. I'm very grateful because it will make my first paycheck very nice and will help make up for Jase's missed days. I'm exhausted. Jase's cough was so bad by sunday night that I couldn't sleep and it hasn't gotten better despite the many cold meds and antibiotics I've been pumping into him all week. I've been running on 5 ish hours of sleep every night at best and he's had even less. Way less. Poor guy. He's exhausted and miserable.

This week's regimen of meds.

We're on bag #3 of the Halls economy pack 80-drop bags of cough drops and now I'm developing a sore and scratchy throat so we've added Ricolas. Jase started on antibiotics on tuesday, steroids on wednesday and has been on mucinex and cold relief all week. Today he's starting Delsym in the hopes that it will help more than the mucinex has. I'm pretty sure the only reason I haven't been affected more than I have is thanks to that lovely green bottle with the yellow lid: vitamin C. Usually when I'm sleep deprived the first thing to go is my immune system and I catch anything and everything that's floating around. I've upped our dosage this week and it's going up again next week.

In other news, someone somewhere accessed our bank account info and started making random purchases. Not. Cool. We caught it yesterday. Fortunately before it sent our account into the red. Our cards are frozen and today we had to trek halfway across town to the nearest bank to fill out fraud forms (one for EACH unauthorized purchase...ugh...ridiculous) and pull cash to live on until we can get new cards. And of course this all had to happen right before a holiday weekends which means nothing is going to get processed until next Tuesday. I've had to deal with too many incompetant people this week; pharmacy workers who can't find and process prescription orders, bank people who don't know how to deal with fraud....our patience has definitely been tested. Makes me extremely grateful to be able to work from home.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mama said there'd be days like this...

So yesterday night I went to bed early(ish) with plans to get a good night's rest and get a lot accomplished today. I don't work on mondays so I was planning on sleeping in and spending the rest of my day prepping for the rest of the week. My list included:

~ catching up on laundry
~ cleaning out the fridge
~ making homemade bread
~ making egg salad and potato chips
~ planning/making breakfasts for the rest of the week so that I could put in as many hours of work during the mornings as possible.
~ catching up on the rest of the house.

Unfortunatley, Jase has one of the worst cough/congestion/allergy colds that he's had in a long time. His cough has been getting progressively worse over the last few days and last night was the first night that it even kept me awake for a good portion of the night. (Usually I get to sleep fine and will sleep through almost anything).

So, today has gone nothing like what I had hoped. Instead, my last almost 24 hours has gone something like this.

After a rather exhausting night of waking up every time Jase coughed, I finally got up at around 9. I spent the morning making breakfast, prepping Jase's lunch and trying to be quiet while letting Jase sleep in to the absolute last minute possible. At 11:30, Jase called the leaveline at work because even the effort required to talk was making him break into a coughing fit and his throat was so raw he was coughing up blood.

The rest of my day has consisted of running to the Kearney walmart to pick up antibiotics and groceries only to find once we got there that the meds were not there, coming back home (because I had forgotten my cell), realizing the meds had been called into the Kansas walmart, making another trip to that walmart, waiting around for 30 min for the (incompetant) pharmacy workers to find and process the order, getting groceries (which included clearance bread since homemade bread is getting put off once again) finally getting home around 2:15, crashing in bed for a 2 hour long nap,waking up around 4:15, and now I'm waiting on dinner to finish so that we can finally eat our first meal of the day (besides breakfast).

And not one of my goals is accomplished. A load of laundry is rerinsing because it had sat in the washer too long and was starting to smell sour. My kitchen is a mess, there is no bread made, no breakfasts are not made in advance, much less planned, the fridge still needs to be cleaned, etc...and all I want to do is sleep some more. *sigh*

I'd better go finish dinner...maybe I can still get a few things done (if I can muster up the energy) before the day is over....I think I'm gonna need some caffiene..

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I have a new favorite snack...

On monday Jase brought home snacks for me from Wally. Reese's Klondike bars, Almond Joys, Diet MD and a new discovery...Vanilla Dusted Roasted Almonds.

Yes, the bag is empty. I couldn't quit munching on them. I think they were my favorite out of everything Jase brought home.

Whole roasted honey almonds lightly dusted with artificially flavored vanilla-powdered sugar. SO. YUM.

I'm watching Ina Garten on the food channel. She's making a fruit crumble that can be made with different types of fruits for different times of the year. For summer she's doing a peach blueberry crumble with lemon juice and lemon zest mixed in. I need to pay attention to this...

May Update...

I started a new job last week. I'm working for a company called Global Medical Transcription, matching audio dictations to typed out documents. It's a pretty easy job, to be honest. The hardest part about it is that I've had to revamp my daily schedule. With Jase working a later schedule, we had both gotten used to staying up 'til around midnight or later and then sleeping in until 9:00 or 9:30 and having several hours for morning routine before he has to leave at 11:30.

This new job requires that all of my work be turned in by 1:00pm. So in order to get the number of hours in every morning that I want, I've been starting work by 7, working until about 10 or 10:30, taking an hour to an hour and a half (depending on my work load each morning) to do breakfast and psalms with my hubby, spend a few min with him and then get him packed up and out the door to work, before putting in another hour or so before deadline. As thankful as I am to help supplement our income...I'm exhausted.

For the last two weeks I've been running on about 7 or less hours of sleep everynight in order to get up early for work. Getting to bed by 11 and taking afternoon naps helps, but it's gonna take awhile to get my body used to this new schedule. It would be fairly simple enough to adjust if I could get to bed before 11 but Jase doesn't get home until 9 ish every night and that only leaves us a couple of hours to spend time together before I'm needing to go to sleep. Plus, it's becoming fairly typical for me to wake up around 5 or 5:30 and then not be able to get back to sleep because I know my alarm is going to go off soon and I'll have to get up and get going. This morning I was awake at about 5:40...and then I tossed and turned and barely dozed on and off (which tends to be more exhausting than just getting up) until I finally got up at 6:50. I'm hoping I'll adjust soon and get to where I can sleep straight through to my alarm.

In other news, Jase is still at Teletech. It's not a great job, but it does pay bills...even if just barely. My new job happened just in time as over the last few weeks Jase has been battling some sickness and has missed several days of work because of it. If he misses more than a day or two he doesn't make enough to cover all of our bills. On top of missing work because of being sick, he's also had about a day's worth of Mandatory Time Off. The company has been forcing people to take time off recently due to the fact that they don't have enough call volume. And yet they keep hiring. It's stupid.

He has applied for two other jobs that look very promising and we've extended our lease here for another month in the hopes of finding out if he's going to get one of those jobs before we have to move. What job he has will affect where we move to. One of them is just down the street, and if he gets it, we'll be staying in this location and getting a smaller apartment. If he gets the other or stays at teletech we'll be needing to move to the other side of town. It's hard to be patient sometimes, especially since I like to be able to make plans a month or more in advance.

We've started yoga. I started on monday and then yesterday Jase decided to give it a try with me. Besides the fact that he has a damaged shoulder and pretty much any exercise makes it hurt, he's really enjoying it. We even put in ten minutes of basics this morning before he left for work...his idea. I was very surprised...and thrilled. It's so much more fun to work out with someone rather than by myself.

I just posted my last folder and I'm going to go take a nap. The garbage disposal in my kitchen sink is clogged and backed up (happens almost every time I try to put potato peels down it) so the much needed cleaning in my kitchen is going to have to wait because I am NOT calling maintenance until after I've napped and showered and am ready to have someone knocking on my door. I will not be able to rest if I know maintenance could show up at any minute. :P

More later...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm growing a garden...

...on my hutch counter...

Aster, Sweet Pea, Phlox, Cherry Tomatos, and Parsley.

Asters sprouting.

More Asters several days later.

The sweet peas have sprung up the fastest. Day one above dirt level.

Day Two.

Day Three.

Day Five.

I haven't taken a pic today but the sweat pea is about another inch taller. It will be graduating to a recycled sour cream tub today before it outgrows it's little starter cup. And as soon as the weather gets a little better and I gather larger containers and pots they'll all get repotted and relocated to the porch.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Car Insurance...

Looking for car insurance? I'm directed to, a company that provides affordable car insurance. Their site allows you to instantly compare online quotes from various major insurers, and provides information and quotes for students and at fault drivers including new driver insurance, family policies, high risk auto, student coverage and discount rates.

Check out their providers page for information and quotes on vehicle insurers, policy comparison, auto coverage and competitive rates and find out what they have to offer you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Computer Bags

I'm directed to a website for Rick Shaw Bags , a small new company based in San Francisco that provides a variety of computer bags.

Among their various different bags are the 11" sleeve for MacBook Air , the 13" sleeve for MacBook Air and a variety of shapes and sizes including their messenger bags, commuter bags, ipad bags and skinny backpacks. Each bag provides a different variety of features ranging from waterbottle pockets to removable laptop sleeve and stowable straps as well as waterproof fabrics and organizational pockets.

For more information about this newly established company check out their story here and browse their blog for news and updates.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Yet another topic I don't know much about is mortgages. Since one of our goals in life is to avoid unnecessary debt, such as a house, a mortgage is something we never intend on having to deal with even if that means that we cannot own a home for many more years. is a site that provides information and tips on mortgages as well as average mortgage rate info, a mortgage calculator and quotes for anyone looking into a mortgage. Check out their site to find what you need concerning mortgages and fixed rates.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Puffer Video

We made a trip to wally this evening as soon as Jase got home to get soda, and while we were there we picked up four ghost shrimp to be puffer food. I stuck them the tank and about 20 min later I came back to find the puffer's tummy QUITE full. He had tackled the biggest shrimp. It was almost his size! Now he's hovering arund rather slowly and his tummy is finally starting to smooth out and get smaller as he digests his meal. He so funny looking with a full tummy.

We Have Fish!!...

So last Tuesday I was browsing Craigslist. I didn't really have a good reason to be looking. I didn't have spending money worked into our budget, but I've been wanting to replace our computer desk with something nicer and prettier, so I was checking to get an idea of what I could hope to get out of my desk and see if there was anything I liked listed. There was nothing under furniture, or general so I headed over to household. And I Someone had their 15 gallon set up complete with stand, filter, bubbler, decor and 12 fish listed for $50! I pulled up my bank account and started running numbers to see if I could pull it off. I had an extra $30 stuck in savings and a $20 in my purse that I had not been figuring into our account budget. So I texted the lady. She wrote back saying that I was the 3rd person to contact her and that if I was willing to give her $60 for it I could have it. I told her I couldn't do more than $50 and that I was hoping to surprise my hubby with it. A few seconds later she called me and told me I could have it. Yay!

So I made plans and arranged for it to be picked up. I had no vehicle and no way to get it so my sister-in-law was sweet enough to pick it up for me that evening and then run it across town to me Wednesday morning while Jase at work. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the tank, treating the water, setting up the decor and adding the fish. I never really wanted fish. I mean, they're cool, but I've always been more of a lizard or dog person. But Jase has been wanting fish FOREVER. 3 of the fish didn't make the trip. I don't know what they were but here's what I had left: Two swordtails, one female (that is prego) and one male, two rosy striped tetras, 3 black tetras, 1 neon tetra, and one tiger barb. The next day, while I was out shopping with Mom Burks, I stopped by Petsmart and bought two tiger barbs and a pleco. That evening we went to Wally and came home with 2 more neon tetras and a spotted green puffer. He's mine. I hand picked him and he's my favorite. I never thought a fish could be cute, but he IS. I researched puffers and read that they are quite interactive and expressive. He's taking a bit to warm up but he's getting better. Supposedly he can eventually be adjusted enough that he'll eat from my hand. For the moment he still runs to the other side of the tank whenever I kneel down to look at him, but he's getting friendlier. I'm gonna have to get him some aquarium salt as he's a brackish water fish and he needs some fiddler crabs and small snails on occasion to keep his beak worn down and to keep him happy. Puffers are carnivorous by nature but he'll eat flakes and shrimp pellets. I bought freeze dried bloodworms and I noticed today for the first time that he had eaten. He was starting to worry me because he wouldn't eat with the rest of the fish, but today his tummy was lumpy and swollen and he looked much happier. Saturday night one of the new tiger barbs started listing pretty badly. We weren't sur what was wrong with him so he seperated him into a bowl and he was dead by the next morning. Fortunately Petsmart has a two week return policy on defective fish. Lol. So on Sunday the poor little guy got replace. So far everyone else seems to be doing ok. Mr. Puffer will NOT stay still long enough to get a nice clear pic. I'll try to get a video of him up soon.