Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Our Angelfish -- Lip Fibroma

If you read this blog with any regularity you will know the subject matter is fairly random.  Life tends to be fairly random.  This post is fairly random.  But I find the topic very peculiar and extremely fascinating.  Maybe you will too. 

 We’ve had this angelfish since she was a baby the size of a quarter.  Now from fin tip to fin tip she measures almost six inches.  Recently we noticed her lips had gotten really large – it happened very gradually, so we didn’t think too much about it until I started looking at them, considering that it was odd, and wondering if she could even eat.  When we actually started watching her she didn’t even attempt to nab any food.   She just looked at it longingly as it drifted past her in the tank.  Ok, I made the longing look up, but I’m sure if a fish could look longingly, she did.  And I call her “she” because I can’t think of her as a “he”.  Angelfish and ladybugs are alike in this way.  You know half of them are hims but you still call them all hers.

 I went to google, tapped in “angelfish lip growth”, and started reading about “lip fibroma” which must be at least somewhat common.  One person commenting mentioned surgery to cut off the growth, and I thought he must’ve been crazy.  Then I started reading more stuff where people said it was the only option if you don’t want your fish to starve to death.  Reading all this was a mistake.  Actually, it was the reading this right before bed that was a mistake.  I couldn’t sleep after that and could only think about how it would really work to do surgery on our fish.  Fascinating and nerve wracking at the same time!

 The next morning I set out all the “instruments”.  I’d read that the growth was hard, and you would need a very sharp scissors.  The fish should be in a shallow pan of water.  I’d also read that covering the fish with a wet cloth was a good idea so it wouldn’t flop around and couldn’t see the scissors coming.  I thought that sounded logical.  

 Nathan caught the fish and I proceeded to snip.  The growth was like a lightly boiled cauliflower and I was able to cut most of it off quickly.  We put her back in the tank and she seemed fine.  In a few days she was eating again and looking very happy.  (Again, the happy look is mostly my own imagining.)

  The trimmings.

I fear there may be another surgery in our future though, since it looks like what was left of the growth is coming back again.  Maybe this time my hands won’t be shaking quite as much!

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, 
to receive glory and honor and power,
 for you created all things, 
and by your will they existed and were created.”
Revelation 4:11

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Family Photography -- The Chupps

Last fall I had the privilege of taking family photos for the Chupp family.  
(I waited till now to post because I didn’t want to get 
ahead of the Christmas card photos!)  
I thoroughly enjoyed this photo session with the parents, married children, 
kids still at home, and grandchildren!  
My friend, Shelly, says she treasures her family relationships 
more since her aunt passed away, 
and especially wanted this chance to take photos with 
the whole family together.  
She wanted to preserve these times and relationships in pictures.    

I knew these photos would be a challenge with twins,
 Tyson and Jocelyn, and their little cousin Mikaya!

It’s been almost two years since I took 
and now they are full steam ahead and full of life, 
not holding still for much of anything. J

Here is Tyson, growing into such a handsome little man.
A very sweet little guy I must say.

 This is Jocelyn, with her startlingly blue eyes and blond hair,
full of spunk and personality.
Mikaya was amazing.  Really I’ve never seen a child smile
at a camera like she did!  From the first picture she was hamming it up!
She was a photographer’s dream with big brown eyes and wispy curls.
And a side benefit – she couldn’t walk, er… run yet. J

The whole family with the Blue Ridge Mountains 
in the background.

Three lovely sisters.

 "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it."
Psalm 127:1

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bring Out the Skates!

So last week’s “Polar Vortex” was brought some good things…  I’m not a huge fan of winter, but there are certain things you can’t experience without it!  We don’t often get the chance to dig the skates out, but the pond was good and solid for a little bit last week.  And so one morning the school work got pushed back and the farm work got put on hold for a morning while the ice was still hard.  

 The old skate box had a few small pairs of skates that stayed on the girl’s feet with several pairs of socks (after we dumped the chewed up mouse trash out of them).  You can make most anything work when it’s your first ever chance to skate!  The girls were excited!

 Chloe belongs to our brother and sister-in-law.  She’s a sweetie!  
It was her first time ice skating too. J

 The pond with the diving board, high dive, waterslide and docks all frozen in.

 When it’s boring you find something to make it fun!  This man is a good daddy!

Matthew and Chloe. (Nice gloves Matt, next time you might want to borrow something more masculine?)

 Bald Cypress knees frozen solid in ice at the pond edge.

My man is a pretty good skater if I may say so.  Hockey may have been his thing if he’d ever lived somewhere a little colder!
Even big girls like to have fun!

Grammy gets in on the action giving the granddaughter a ride.
Grandpa showed up for a little bit too.

 There was no hockey puck to be found, but hey, use what you got.  
(Props to the toughness of EOS lip care containers.  
Not a crack in it after being beat around!)

"He gives snow like wool: he scatters the frost like ashes.
He casts forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them: he causes his wind to blow, and the waters flow."
Psalm 147:16-18

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