Another new fish in the pond

 or actually the tank.  Last Wednesday, I went back to Walmart with receipt in hand and dead goldfish in plastic container.  They actually have you return the dead fish as part of their 90 day guarantee.  I’m sure that it keeps people from claiming a fish is dead to get more fish and not have to pay the (small laugh here) exorbitant price of  38 cents.  Not having to deal with another burial was okay with all of us at the time, but wow, what a way to have to deal with a pet’s death.

So, now we have Flick, yeah just like the scrappy little ant in A Bug’s Life.  He’s all orange and if he lives more than a week, I’ll post his picture.  I’m getting leery of posting pics only to have the fish die in the next day or two.  So far, things have been going well.  Except, of course, for the money that is now invested in these “free” fish.  We’re up to about $56 now since I bought water test strips to see if there was something wrong with the water in the tank.  The test strips did show that some levels were off and it seems that the best combination of water for our goldfish is 1 gallon distilled water and 1/2 gallon of tap water.  Which means that more money will be literally pouring into these fish, although at 83 cents a gallon one could argue that it will be pouring slowly.

Yes, I agree with you that this goldfish thing is getting a bit out of hand.  Unfortunately, I’m the mom who has to keep these little buggers alive even if doing so has become a bit ponderous.  I’m seriously  thinking about letting DH build that pond he wanted in the backyard just so I can give up the care of these fish to God and the elements.  Molly, the other fish, was quite happy with her new little tank mate however and stuck by Flick’s side the entire first day.  Well, let’s get on to other things shall we.

We bought a new tent on Sunday.  Our old tent is starting to decay, for lack of a better word.  The zipper on the mesh section of the door is beginning to pull away and leave holes that bugs can get into and the zipper on the door has an annoying habit of splitting open when we try to close it from the inside.  The replacement pole that we purchased due to one of the poles breaking is not quite the right size and that throws off how tight and square we can get the tent when we put it up.  The tighter the tent walls, the better they repel rain and the more usable space you have inside the tent.  In its defense, this tent has provided us with shelter on our camping trips for at least ten years, maybe twelve. 

So its time had come and its replacement will see a lot of use as well.  The new tent is 13×9, about 4 feet longer than the old one and if we pack them in like sardines (or small children) will hold eight.  This should give the four of us, or even 5 if we take ClaireBear along, room to actually walk to our sleeping bags or the door without having to crawl over anyone’s legs.  The new tent has a taller center height as well (80 inches) so walking isn’t just a dream.  No more hunching over to get out of the tent.   My legs (and back) will certainly appreciate this feature.  I’m usually the one nearest the door.  Since this tent is also longer, we should be able to actually use the room divider to split the tent into two sleeping areas.  This will be especially nice as it could be used to teach the kids to keep their clothes folded and out of the way (or just to hide the mess if needed).  The old 9×9 came with a room divider but unless there were only two people using the tent, it was a space waster and cramped the sleeping arrangements considerably.  The door(s) on the new tent are my only area of concern.  These new doors are hinged and swing open.  It’s supposed to be more convenient to access the tent, but I’m wondering how well it will keep out the bugs, particularly the mosquitoes and other biting insects.  Guess we’ll find out. 

I don’t mind new innovations in tents, provided that the people who design them actually use tents when they camp.  For example, there were tents on the market a few years ago that had attached screen tents.  Some of these even went so far as to put a floor on the screened part.  Since screens do not keep rain out, having a floor in the screened area would not allow the water that gets in to drain away into the ground.  The door zippers for the tent part were just above ground level so when you unzip the door, the weight of the water would cause it to rush into the tent.  Now what have you got . . . wet gear.  The people who designed those could not have been tent campers  or else they never really thought through all the flaws in their design.  Even the ones without a floor wouldn’t be a walk in the park.  When we camp, we tend to keep our table in our very separate screen tent along with the plastic bin containing the dishes and another plastic bin containing our dry food.  If we don’t have good shade, we’ll also put the cooler in there to keep it out of the sun.  Yes, we have had raccoons in the screen tent and they do eventually go away.  But what if the screen tent was attached to the regular tent . . . boy, that would be one way to get the kids up and running in the morning.  Not very nice though.  And I prefer a leisurely morning myself. 🙂

We will get to test out the new tent up at Al’s in a few weeks.  Since it gets cold up north sooner than here, we may even find out how warm we stay.  At least there’s room to put all the extra blankets and such.  Might be time to replace DH’s and my sleeping bags soon too as they are older than the old tent.  But that can wait until Christmas.  I need some good ideas for presents anyway.

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