Murphy’s law has kicked our tails!

We’ve been without the internet since we arrived in Colorado. Thank goodness for Starbucks or my bills wouldn’t have been paid. Definitely in culture shock! For those of you who did not see my last post, my husband and I moved to Colorado from Texas with a rented U-Haul and no place to move in to. We weren’t worried because we made lots of contacts over the past few years and have been doing a lot of research.

That being said, wouldn’t you think that we would not end up leasing a house in an area that has almost no telephone reception and slow internet. We have to use face time and texting and only people who have smart phones can reach us. We just got that ability today. My mother is beside herself because of course she doesn’t use a computer and has a basic phone. I will be the dutiful daughter and drive down the road to call her though.

So who knew that a four bedroom house with a three car garage wouldn’t fit into a 26′ U-Haul, certainly not us. We had to take advantage of our paid up storage unit and add another one in order to empty the house. The U-Haul was packed like a sardine can as was the Subaru I was driving and the Rover that we were towing with the U-Haul. The good thing was that the storage place was close to the house and use of a moving truck was free. Because we dismissed the moving guys we hired to load the U-Haul, we had to find some guys who needed work to help us empty the house and they hauled butt. We closed on the house at 11:00am and were supposed to be out at 2:30pm when funding was made. We didn’t get out until 6:00pm, the house was a mess and the new owners were more than pissed. Don’t get me wrong, I did not blame them and was so embarrassed that I was in tears. Since then we have reimbursed them for cleaning costs so at least that makes me feel better. I have heard of these stories but never experienced it – until now.

We were so stressed and exhausted that we spent the night in a motel. The manager of the storage place was so cooperative that we didn’t have to unload the truck until the next morning. We still didn’t leave town until 8:30pm due to having to sort out what we could do without and reorganizing the truck and storage units. We had to go by my parent’s house who normally are asleep by 8:00 and we didn’t get there until 9:30. My mom was so tired and my stepfather was asleep. Then we had to stop by our son’s house who lived an hour away and they were dead on their feet waiting up for us so they could go to bed. We stopped in a grocery store parking lot about 10 minutes from their house and slept until early the next morning because stress and exhaustion caught up with us again. We both felt that it would be safer to get some sleep.

All the plans we made for preparation of tropical fish and cat, out the window. We had to move the fish in their aquariums in the back floor of my Subaru, thank goodness they are small aquariums. We thought we could use the 110 outlet in the car to run the heaters but nope. Even though we took a disposable litter box, we didn’t recognize the meowing when Yodi had to pee so, yep, he peed in his carrier. We didn’t know why he was going crazy in his carrier or why he was sneezing until I caught a whiff. Duh! Yes, it was a soft side carrier. Thank you Walmart for being open all night and having the same pet carrier, dry cat shampoo and nature’s miracle. You bet we started to recognize the signs that he had to go after that. Apparently, I didn’t do a very good job of cleaning Yodi so when we got to our hotel, both carriers and Yodi had to be bathed. He was actually grateful.😺

I misplaced my debit card on the way so we had to find a bank to replace it (found the card  in the car) and ran the truck out of gas. The bank wouldn’t send the permanent card to General Delivery, insisting on sending it to our last known address. They would give me a temporary card though, go figure. We notified them before we left of our plans so there wouldn’t be any problem using our accounts so it wasn’t like they didn’t know we were moving. Now they won’t use our new address because the people who own the house used a post office box so the post office didn’t recognize the address. We had to install a mail box so we shall see what happens now. Anyway, we then ran out of gas but having two vehicles helped that situation since we had transportation to get some.

We finally made it to Durango, our destination. We showered, ate Domino’s pizza, washed and dried the cat carriers and slept. The next morning, we made phone calls and regrouped but we were in a time crunch since we only had a day left on the U-Haul, therefore, we had to head out to look at rental houses immediately the next morning. Before we even saw the one we leased in person, we had pretty much settled on it. It is a house in the mountains with lots of character and in our price range. So believe it or not, we signed the lease, hired some movers and were in the house in time to turn the truck in the same day on time. Whew!

This weekend we have to make a one day turnaround trip back to Texas to get the rest of our belongings, again working against the clock to get the truck back without paying extra. Oh well…no biggie. Leaving the cat behind to watch the fish this time.

On the trip here, I talked to my mother, again  in tears, about all that had gone wrong. She said, “I know it is stressful now but you will get through it and someday you will look back and laugh.” She was right I did get through it and would do it all again though I am not quite laughing yet.

Danny is a very positive person and he knew it was getting to me so he just kept reassuring me and worked and keeps working to resolve every challenge. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the support and encouragement I have received.

We feel very much at home here and I will write about how we have kicked Murphy’s tail soon.

Good to be back!



Care for Small Aquariums.

      I enjoy caring for my tropical fish, its the least I can do for all the pleasure they bring me. Please know that I do not see myself as a professional. I am offering tips only.

     I have three 3.5 gallon aquariums and a 1.5 gallon aquarium, all community tanks. I have had large aquariums in the past and found them to be a lot of work so I requested the 1.5 gallon as a Christmas gift. Needless to say, I have expanded from there and really like having the smaller aquariums. Yes, it can be tricky to keep the smaller ones especially if you want to add more than two or three fish but they are so much easier to clean. I do a 25% water change at least every other week and a complete cleaning once a month so as long as I don’t overfeed, my tank water stays clear. However, I do keep Cory Cats in each tank for bottom cleaning and sometimes mystery snails.

3.5 Gallon
3.5 Gallon
1.5 Gallon Glow Fish Tank
1.5 Gallon Glow Fish Tank
API Superclean 10
API Superclean 10
Top Fin Siphon Hose
Top Fin Siphon Hose
Fish Net
Fish Net
Algae Removal Pad
Algae Removal Pad
API Stress-Zyme
API Stress-Zyme


API Stress Coat
API Stress Coat

     A big plus is that I have API Superclean 10 power filters on all my tanks. These power filters are awesome and can be purchased inexpensively on Amazon. The filter inserts really do the job and can be rinsed to extend their life. Unfortunately, Petsmart doesn’t stock them in the #10 size but I order them on the internet and mostly get free shipping. It also helps that I have a filtered water system so I don’t have to treat my water though I do usually add some water conditioner for good measure. Using a siphon system purchased from any pet store or even Wal-Mart is best for cleaning the gravel because it removes most of the debris but will leave some of the bacteria which is beneficial to the fish.

     *Here is my procedure for cleaning my tanks:

  • Unplug the power filter and remove it for cleaning.
  • Remove all the decor including live plants making it easier to catch the fish for removal.
  • Place the fish into a bowl with water from the aquarium or water that has been treated for chlorine removal.
  • Scoop out enough water to make it easier and safer to carry and empty down a drain. Carry the aquarium to a sink (I use my kitchen sink but make sure I clean the sink well after I’m through).
  • My siphon system has a bulb making it easier to get the siphon action started. Be sure your hose is well placed in the sink or the force will cause it to flip up and spray out of the sink.
  • Once the siphon action is started, move the tube through the gravel to get the debris to float up and catch it with the tube and it will flow into the sink and down the drain.
  • Keep adding water to the tank to be siphoned out until the water runs reasonably clear.
  • Wipe out the tank with a wet paper towel (they sell special equipment at pet stores but I find this easy enough).
  • Rinse and wipe when necessary the decor and plants except for live plants and/or moss balls. I destroyed my moss ball by unthinkingly rinsing it in hot water.
  • Place the decor and plants into the aquarium in the preferred arrangement.
  • Clean the filter housing and rinse the filter.
  • Place the filter back into the tank but do not plug it in until water is in the tank to the proper level.
  • If treating the water is necessary (consider using distilled or spring water if you don’t have a water filter system), it can either be treated before pouring it into the tank or after.
  • When adding the water, I pour the water slowly onto the larger of the decor so that everything stays where I put it. It can be tedious and I do tend to get impatient but when I do, I have to re-position the decor which is not as easy in a water filled tank.
  • When the tank is filled, I plug in the filter and let it run for about 15 or more minutes.
  • Return the fish to the aquarium.

     They will be happy campers.

*I live in Texas so I do not have to use a heater. If you live in cold climates, the water temperature will have to be taken into consideration before returning the fish to the tank.