Do you remember the movie "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory?" Yes? Good. Remember how very excited the world got when news went out that Mr. Wonka would be -- oh, my gosh -- opening his factory to a select few? Good. We'll come back to that in a bit.
The fish bug has bitten me again, but I didn't know it had gotten hold of Harry, too, until we started shopping. I wanted big. I've had a 60 gallon tank; I wanted as big as I could afford, and since that might be rather large indeed, I finally decided to do freshwater to keep costs down. A little.
Standing in the fish shop, the man behind the counter asked us "Fresh or salt?" and just like a comedy show, I said "Fresh" at the same instant Harry said "Salt." Well, who am I to argue? Saltwater fish are so beautiful.
Somehow over the course of three days the saltwater fish tank morphed into a saltwater reef tank. Oooo, but those are so much work. (Not to worry, we're having the aquarium place service it for awhile.)
Saturday we went shopping in earnest. We'd called some places, and visited three, but Harry thought he'd found the winner; an aquarium place in a town about two hours away. Seriously? Well, yes. They'll even do the maintenance for not much more than the local shops, and their place was so much better kept. They answered all our questions knowledgeably and even made a couple of recommendations that saved us a bit of money. Not to mention a 10% discount on some things because we were getting the whole setup there. And in case you're wondering about H-2-Uh-Oh, they even bring in the water, too.
The end result? A 125-gallon (no it's not a typo) reef-ready tank, with stand and canopy (the thing will look more like a dresser than an aquarium). Don't rush over to see it, though, because we had to order it. And then when it comes in, it'll only have bare rock in it for about two weeks. It won't really look like a reef for 5 to 6 months.
All excited, Harry and I drove home and sat in our living room, envisioning our new mega-aquarium.
Hmm, I thought.
"Handysome," I said (I call him that, you know). "We're going to replace the carpet when the Fox Room gets built, right? Well, if there's a ton of fish tank sitting on one corner, that's going to be pretty hard to do."
Measurements followed as we figured out exactly how big a square to cut for the aquarium in our old, nasty carpet. No matter how we looked at it, the cut-out would be partly over (under) one of our floor heater vents. That would never do.
"What kind of floor do you think is under the carpet?" I asked, hoping for an educated guess. Instead, Harry removed the grill from one of the vents and looked. (Why didn't I think of that?) It's hardwood, just like the back rooms.
The decision was made right then to rip up the old carpet. How much? All of it.
Then Harry looked at the wall where we're going to put the aquarium, and decided we needed to paint, too.
And that's how we ended up scheduling a Painting Party next Saturday.
So I guess the carpet really is linked to the walls is linked to the drapes is linked to the dishes. Before you know it, we'll have replaced everything and have a brand new home. Oh, you say, where does that tie in to Willy Wonka?
Well, I answer, aren't you super-excited that I'm -- oh, my gosh -- opening my house to a select few?
Copyright 2013 Michelle Hakala