• Grizzly Adams

Life update

I've seen a few people (mainly women, to be honest) posting 'life updates' on facebook, gives you a good indication of their current mental state of mind so I thought I'd overshare as well - though on my own blog and not on facebook.  You'll have to forgive me if this post weaves all over the place, it's more of a brain dump than anything else and my thoughts never proceed in a straight line at the best of times :-)

I'm separated from my wife now, enough said.  We're still friends but if you want to know more then you'll have to talk to either of us face-to-face, it's a personal issue so not something to spout all over the internet.  For you muck rakers - yes that means you'll have to get your jollies elsewhere!  Having said that, just over 6 months ago I moved out and into a new property.

Amazingly I think the house is in pretty good shape! Though the ground could do with a good soaking and there's still issues with the waterfall/pond in the backyard - argh the blasted pond, the list of issues there was huge. I think I've got most of them sorted but I'm still at least $400 out of pocket before she's operational and then we'll see what else pops up. First there was the electrical wiring which was a home job and down right dangerous. That's fixed for the moment but still needs work to be fully up to par. Then she was full of gunk, so I ripped all that out and in prepping her to be fully operational again found some splits in the lining so I bought some patch kits and patched her up. However she still needed a new pump, filter, and pipes so I got all that sorted and plumbed in, set her going and found she was losing water. Checked that out to find that water wasn't flowing directly down the waterfall, there was some leakage to the sides so I got some special concrete sealant stuff to fix that up but before I could apply it all of a sudden she lost almost *all* her water. Looked down to find that the liner had split again, this time down the bottom. Judging by the amount of patches I've put in her the liner is just too old so now I need new liner and glue (as well as all the effort to reline her) - that's another $400 odd so it's on the back-burner for the moment as I'm, well not exactly drowning but certainly treading water with bills including credit cards to pay off. No more extraneous purchases until the credit cards are paid off which at this rate is going to take a small while.

I still haven't managed to extract all my animals from the old place, there's still 2 birds and 2 turtles there that need to come here. The 2 birds are medium sized parrots so I need some large aviaries to put them into which I haven't been able to build/afford yet. Unfortunately I can't put them together as one is a Rainbow Lorrie and they aren't particularly friendly to other species of birds believe it or not, they are somewhat territorial. There is a cage at the old place but me being me, I don't like asking people to help me move stuff as it feels like the only time I ask them for anything is when I want their help and that cage used to be a cat run so it's solid and very very heavy, would need to be torn down and rebuilt. I'd rather build the birds a new aviary up here and just move them up here.

The turtles.. well that's another matter entirely but same basic problem. They have small ponds at the old place but really they should be bigger, so I plan on building a nice big enclosure for each of them before moving them up here. Unfortunately getting settled with funds etc. is taking longer than hoped and I don't want to move them into a temporary enclosure and then a larger one further down the track as it's just unnecessary disturbance for the poor critters - not to mention if the pond isn't deep enough in winter it's not good for them and I could hurt them so as per me I want to do it once and do it right.

Speaking of aquatic animals I have had a surprise hatching of lots and lots of little baby Axolotls. I purchased some friends for my Axie about 6 weeks ago and then had a rapid learning curve on identifying male and female Axolotls, their breeding habits and how to look after their young. Suffice to say it's been hectic but I now have about 50 young Axolotl babies ranging in size from 1 - 2 inches and growing rapidly. Not sure they'll all make it to adulthood but I'm doing my best to keep them well fed and with plenty of space. I have a 4 foot tank that I needed to build a stand for which I did and then decided I wasn't happy with the stand. Oh the stand is fine but this tank is only 1.5" deep and I have another 4" tank that is 2" deep. After building the stand I decided I wanted to build a 'stand stack' so that the bottom had the 2" deep tank and the top had the 1.5" deep tank so now I've got to go back to the drawing board and work out the specifics of that design. I need to do it relatively soon too as the Axies will need it shortly.

Bella (the cat) has made herself comfortable at least.  She's now much friendlier than she used to be - with me at least.  She'll come sit beside me when I'm watching TV on the couch and when I go to bed I've been trained to lie on my back so she can jump on my chest, purring away and then kneed the blankets for 5 mins before either jumping off me to lie down somewhere on the bed (most often) or falling asleep on my chest (less often).  Originally I tried to stop and redirect her from kneading the sheets but eventually I gave up and she won that battle.  It's nice to feel some love though she is only a cat so sometimes she makes me feel like crud - like when she comes up and rubs against your leg so you reach down to pat her and she bolts away like she's just realised you've got leprosy.  I miss my puppy dogs.  The always excited to see you face, the cold nose in your face in the mornings, the occasional missing shoes and socks.  Yes I could get a rescue but there's only 1 breed I want and they don't come up for rescue very often - and when they do then are usually given to families or older couples, not single males.  Puppies would be lovely but I just don't have the funds and if anything makes me feel despair and loneliness, it's not having a puppy to come home to.  I get the boys the first weekend a month and I go walk them once a week but it'll never be enough and whilst it is great to spend time with them, they don't understand why I keep leaving and the look on their face when I go tears my heart out and I get teary every time I think about them.

As I mentioned earlier money is tight with the credit cards bleeding interest away whilst I'm trying to pay them off. Unfortunately I am getting smashed with bills at the moment so I'm not putting as much on to the credit cards as I like but I've trained myself not to purchase anything except with cash in the bank which is keeping the credit cards at bay and they are decreasing bit by bit. I still have to get out 4wd'ing again but I'm stuck in a rut at the moment. The Rangie is beautiful to drive but she still needs a little work before she can tow the Tvan ( a tiny bit of steel welded in a tricky spot so I can put the original tow sockets back ) but even a simple day trip is out at the moment as I don't have a spare! One of the tyres has been slowly leaking about 1psi every 2-3 days since I got her and it was supposed to be fixed around Easter but she kept leaking. So I took her back 2 weeks ago and they took the wheel away to investigate. I've heard nothing since so at the moment I'm driving around without a spare which I don't find particularly comfortable! Even once I've got the wheel sorted and the welding done, I still need a new set of rims and tyres in order to take the Rangie actually offroad as the 22" rims are just too big to take offroad, they'll get torn to shreds on the first piece of rough road - and new rims and tyres is not something I can just grab out of nowhere! At least she can take 20" rims, it's not ideal but gives me a bit of sidewall for 4wd'ing and then I don't have to worry about damaging the expensive on-road set of rims I currently have.

Speaking of the Rangie I've been taking her to work recently as I don't have enough cold weather gear for the motorbikes and I was freezing by the time I got to work - I'll start riding the bikes back to work once the mornings are up over 12 degrees. That has added extra costs for fuel as the Rangie takes a bit more to fill up than the motorbike :-) I looked at taking public transport to work and there is an express train at 5:15am that takes 32mins to get to work, unfortunately the buses don't start until 6:30am by which time I'm usually at work (I start at 6am) and I'm not a big fan of leaving my vehicles in the train station carpark all day. Once I took an Uber up there but that adds to costs again though thinking about it, it's probably cheaper still than the Rangie. Oh well, I'll consider it but then you have the joy of public transport lurgies - not that I mind to be honest I just thought I'd throw that in there so I could segway to my next topic, THE EKKA!

Yes the Ekka is here again, yay! I love the Ekka though I'm yet to find anyone who loves it like I do :-( I enjoy getting there as the gates open and leaving after the fireworks at night, I visit all the animal stalls, watch some of the shows, check out the agricultural, food and wine pavilions, watch the woodchop, wander through sideshow alley, buy some showbags and generally appreciate everything and all the effort that people have taken to get their animals and produce there. Most people seem to only want to go "for sideshow allow and the fireworks", or "I just want to see this". Why? It's once a year, people have been competing all year to get to that level - go appreciate their goods and their efforts! It's worth it and you won't see it again for another year. If you just want a showbag or to see sideshow alley, why don't you just go to Movie World or Dream World and have a day down there. Not to mention the nay-sayers who really [email protected]#[email protected]# me off saying "ooh it's Ekka time - look at all those silly people going to get sick!". Well I hate to break it to you idjits*, you'll get just as sick standing shoulder-to-shoulder on a bus or a train - or, for that matter, placing your hand on an escalator rail. If you don't want to go then don't go, don't rant at me about getting sick. I know there's the possibility but I'm not about to miss out on the fun and there's *lots* of places you can wash your hands, if you're really paranoid then take some water-free handwash with you or wear gloves and a facemask but I just absolutely had those [email protected]#[email protected] bitching about "you'll get sick if you go there" or even better, if I get sick in the weeks afterwards the smugness in their "see what happens when you go to the Ekka?" statements. I don't give a rats ass, I'll do it again next year and besides unless I get sick in the *days* after the Ekka then it's unlikely that being at the Ekka is where I got the cold. Sheesh, go get a life you morons and stop being negative because someone enjoys something.

Anyway, rant and update over for now though I'm sure I'll think of other stuff!  I'm also sure if you've got this far then you've probably got other stuff to do or - like me - you're procrastinating over something :-)

Ciao for now

*idjits purposely spelt incorrectly so that the idjits could understand it

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