I didn’t realize how much. In March, Chewy.com said they were discontinuing the Influencer program. It was a positive force for me to stay connected and keeping up with content, but then things got all weird.

In May I broke my car. Since February 2006, I have always owned a silver Jetta. Twice, even. I got my first guinea pig in December of that year, and I believe I got my first vanity license plate in 2007: WHEEK. These things happen. Once I parked at Petco and found another sedan right next to mine with the license plate WHEEEK. I located the owners and they said they tried to get WHEEK, but it was unavailable. I was so dizzy with laughter. How often would this situation ever occur to another person with a personalized plate, especially when 97% of people ask me what WHEEK means?! I tried to make it easier, I surely did. My plate was also a specialty plate to support Spay and Neuter for AZ that was their pet plate.

It was time to replace the car, but my parrot needed emergency surgery, and I tossed considering another silver Jetta out with the bathwater. I also went to the MVA and gave them back my WHEEK Maryland plate. I didn’t even get a silver car this time around, which was also a huge habit of mine. Blue Anthracite Pearl. A hatchback. A crappy hatchback. But now I mostly love the car, and if I find something to nitpick from time to time, I attempt to remain humbled and know that I had the money to pay cash for my bird, so there was no hesitation to get the treatment she needed when her leg was mysteriously torn open.

I did keep my license plate frame : I’d Rather Be Playing with my Guinea Pigs
As well as contacting the artist who made my guinea pig decal in the UK. She had pulled the listings because ripoff artists, but still had the item in storage and created a new listing for me.

The car smelled bad. It’s like when you know your friend smokes weed in high school, but they keep spraying that god awful cologne over it. I bought the car fairly cheap, and I had to find out what this car was smoking. I used a Chlorine Dioxide bomb on the interior to neutralize that yucky detailer smell. I found a half a pound of leaves in the cabin air intake. I cleaned the A.C. evaporator. I am not even playing when I say – I – did the things. My partner accompanied me to the parts yard and cannibalized other mk4 Volkswagens. The arms on the hatch were failing, the floor was missing in the hatch, there was no lug wrench or jack, I didn’t like the vents on my car, and I needed to customize a set of floor mats.

I also bought lock actuators because the right passenger door was dead. My partner installed it and the door locks and unlocks.
I found a plugged sunroof drain, modified the grommets, and upgraded the hoses to the rear. My partner broke down most of the interior and put it back together, because I have a bit of a Hulk Smash issue with delicate items. Even he broke a small piece, and then recast it with industrial materials he keeps in the house. When I asked how much it ran financially, he said it was about a third the cost of ordering the replacement part. Okay, okay. I serviced the sunroof, and we assessed the condition of the gasket. It may need replacing in the future, but wasn’t brittle enough or creating leaks.

And my primary radiator fan went out 2 days before the first ugly heat wave. I took it to the shop because I’m not going to risk a migraine working in that under the given conditions. PS – my part went out 1 week after we got the exact same thing fixed on our other vehicle. I highly recommend European cars. *wink wink wink wink wink no wait that’s just my eye twitching from stress*
The other repair it needed to pass inspection was an front inner right CV boot.

Now we’re having another heat wave, and I can’t do anything to the car. It’s giving me too much time to think. Right after I started work on this car, Murphy had to be put down. I spent time working on the car, then more time working on the car. I stopped hearing random guinea pigs that would make me break down for a few minutes in a panic. I also have an Idris problem. My youngest bird is still frisky and needs a home. I’m trying to work on that. The next things to focus on for the car were making sure it was safe, ie my own head unit with bluetooth and a proper phone mount.

Somewhere in the middle of that last part, a friend I made almost 20 years ago passed away in a freak accident. I’ve been friends with his lady just as long, I met them together, and I made easy friends with their son as soon as I found a chance. We’re all working on picking each other back up and keep going forward. My partner installed the mount for my phone in my car this morning, two days after I turned 37.

Now, I’m trying to look forward by 6 weeks. The weather should drop off, and we can see if the other lock actuator fixes my driver door, as it only responds to manual locking. We also get to take apart the hatch door and figure out why the mechanism moves when you unlock it, but releases when you pull the handle unless the key is inserted to that lock and turned. Passenger seat underside needs examined to find out why it rocks about just a bit. We might even decide to reupholster the headliner.

What do you do? It’s gotten so bloody hot that everything is on pause. I liked that I had this project moving along. It helps me try not to go off about giving up guinea pig caretaking. It helps with not upsetting myself over trying to rehome Idris. It helps with chiseling away at the Writer’s Block. I do keep up with Stop and Eat the Flowers’ Facebook.

We got our Batpig

My cat wants to star in a horror movie

Jak turned 9

I got mom an art for her grandpig leaving us

And most recently we were notified from BasePaws that Stewart is a generic cat. He’s most similar to American Shorthair, and we got his CatKit by contributing to their research because he’s got asthma. You can apply here