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      Friday, October 12, 2018

10:08 AM - 10/12/2018

The topic: And now, the craftstuff


Light hand? A light hand? I guess mine are made of cement.

So, I got those cards done last week when I wasn't tweaking plugins. Wait, I did the cards first, then the graphic plugins. That's right, that's how I did it. I think. Whew, my brain is on FIRE today....

I couldn't finish the cards because I didn't have enough ink to stamp them all. The ink got here last week, so the stamping was done after I figured out the best way to do it (the stamp itself is big and I kept getting a blank spot in the center of what I'd stamped).  On a wooden table, not my work table, with my Fiskars stamp press. I've had this for close to four years and it comes in mighty handy.

I screwed up a couple, but I came away with twenty decent cards. The top part has scor tape on it, setting it down just so on double sided adhesive foam is tricky and if the two meet at the wrong angle? Done. You don't pull them apart. I found a nice snowflake design in my digital paper files I got on Etsy a few years ago and ordered paper to print it on. I know most of my envelopes are made from cardstock, but I didn't care for the heavy stuff I had and I ordered some lighter weight stock from Amazon. I really should have checked what I had on hand before clicking on submit.

I found a really nice paper in my stash, coated on two sides for inkjet printing. It was letter sized, so I pulled out my We R Memory Keepers envelope punch board to check the size of paper needed and it was 8.25" x 8.25". Letter size will work! I printed out about thirty sheets and cut them down to the right size and these will work nicely with the cards I made.

Now we come to the light hand. I cut out enough pieces of cardstock to make thirty boxes. It took a day just for that. Then I came up with this brilliant plan of embossing them, then using a brayer to roll glitter glue over them. The problem is the folder I used isn't ideal for this. The pattern is too far apart, so not just the stars got glittered. There's glitter in between. The online instructions all call for a light hand. Not working. I've been messing with these a couple of hours each day and I finally decided no one is really going to care, probably won't even notice.

So, I'm going to finish rolling the brayer on this paper today, then everything will be ready for assembly. Then, this project will be done! All three parts. Yay!

I still have a Christmas tree from last year to put together. The one I'm giving to the vet's office for Christmas.

But I don't need to cut any more paper.

When I'm done with this stuff, I think I'll get back to playing with the etching.


09:45 AM - 10/12/2018

The topic: On to catstuff


Opie hasn't been doing well. Not much of an appetite, still sounds snotty and his ears are driving him nuts. A deep down itchy thing going on.

He doesn't have mites, he's been getting ear drops and nothing seems to help. Earlier this year, when he had the abscess in an anal sac (I think that's what it was, whatever it was, it was nasty), they also cleaned out his ears and sent me home with meds for those. Months later, he still has the problem.

And he's still congested. So, I called the vet yesterday and she prescribed a different ear med. While I was waiting for the call back, I got to thinking maybe it wasn't something that needed antibiotics, but maybe it was allergies. I called back and gave the receptionist my bright idea. I called a few hours later and she agreed that it may well be allergies since meds aren't working.

She prescribed this stuff called hydroxyzine. A very small dose, twice a day. One of the side effects is drowsiness. Nah, not. Not Opie.

I will say I like that he's eating a lot more. And his ears, while still itchy, aren't as bad as they were. I don't know if this is a gradual getting better or something that works right away. I guess I'll find out. I'm still going to give him the antibiotics, because he's still congested, even though his ears aren't as bad.

When Brian went to pick up the med yesterday, he found out that our old vet not only retired, he sold the clinic to one of the vets he'd hired about four years ago, the wonderful woman who helped us so much with Skipper and DaNiece.  The other vet, who just started earlier this year (or was it last year?) is leaving. His wife is a vet for Sea World and she's being transferred, so he'll be gone shortly.

I guess there's another vet there who we haven't met yet.

All these changes....


opie    catstuff   

09:02 AM - 10/12/2018

The topic: Bunches of stuff


Let's start with geekstuff.

Last week I let myself get bogged down in tweaking my graphics program. There was an awesome offer of an upgrade to Corel's Paint Shop Pro Ultimate for less than thirty dollars. It also included a lite version of Corel's PhotoMirage, which had piqued my interest when it first came out, but research told me that you could find better programs for less money that did the same thing that cost less than seventy bucks. So, I passed. I just checked the Corel website and the version of PSP I got at a special, limited upgrade price, is going for a hundred bucks. So, I figured it was a pretty good deal and I jumped on it.

Windows 10 runs programs that are 32 bit or 64 bit. I have no idea what that means. What I do know is that my plugins, those cute little programs that do really fun things to graphics, like make a photo look like an oil painting, run on 32 bit versions of software. They won't run on 64. Yeah, I know, a 64 bit processor runs faster than a 32 bit, but a 32 bit plugin will NOT work when input into a 64 bit version of the software. So, I installed both versions on the laptop. Then I had to install the plugins.

Now, dear reader,  I don't know how familiar you are with software like plugins. But plugins are like the drawers or closets you never clean out. You just keep squishing more and more stuff into them. Some of the stuff is no longer useable, but you wouldn't know that because you rarely used them in the past and don't give them a second thought. Old teeshirts, coffee mugs (I have SO many mugs right now, I have no more room in the cupboards, this is a serious problem at this point), screwdrivers, hammers, you know, just stuff. And I finally decided to clean out my plugins.

I have them all in their own little computer cabinet with a label on it "Plugins". And as I upgrade my graphics programs or upgrade computers, I just save that file and copy it over to the new system. Obviously, some need to be officially reinstalled, the ones I paid for, the ones that need a license code, and that all takes time. And then you get the ones you've moved so often, they can no longer be activated without contacting the mothership where those codes are reset.

There was another instance where plugin #2 didn't work if plugin #1 wasn't activated. But plugin #1 would not activate. It was very frustrating. What I ended up doing there is copying a file from the registry on the PC in the office (I run this stuff on two devices), exporting it, deleting that entry on the laptop registry and importing the one from the PC. Plugin #1 won't activate, but it no longer matters because plugin #2 is a bigger, badder version of plugin #1 and it works nicely. I had contacted the company where I got them originally, but I bought the first one in 1999. So, there ya go.

And then there are the demos I never bought, or I did buy and they came with a new install, so the demo was still showing up in the plugin menu.

I finally got them all cleaned up. It took me days, but I got it done. It took me most of the week.

Then yesterday, the laptop internet was running slow so I figured it would be a great time to reboot the cable modem and the router. This shouldn't be a big deal.

It was. The laptop could no longer connect to the LAN. It couldn't see the other computers, it couldn't see the external hard drives that run as my own personal cloud on the router.

I reset the range extender a couple of times, finally got that working. But then, when I tried to connect to the other computers, I got a message asking for my credentials.

My what? Credentials? I didn't need them an hour ago, why do I need them now? What kind of fresh hell is this?

I did the obligatory Google search and found out how to make that stop. A privacy setting on my laptop that I needed to disable. Yeah, okay, got it.

Why is it enabled in the first place? Who did that? It wasn't me. Oh, yeah, right. Windows update. That's the only thing I could figure out. But fixed that and now all is back to normal.


geekstuff    computer   

      Monday, October 01, 2018

08:30 AM - 10/01/2018

The topic: I love my vet’s office


Remember when I took Opie back in and he got the antibiotic for his respiratory problem? Well, the vet asked if I'd like it if they ordered a big bottle of it that we could keep on hand, for issues like this. Not life threatening, but something simple.

I guess they trust that if it's worse, we'll bring the cat in for a checkup. Sure. We'll take the big bottle.

I'm glad we did. It arrived with the shipment for Rocky's meds. (OMG, that cat....six days was all it took for him to decide these tasty "treats" weren't tasty enough; ordered some junk stuff from Chewy, sixty-eight dollars worth and those junk treats, he likes. I use the bacon flavored paste to coat the chewable fluconazole tablets and push broken pieces of Friskies Party Mix into the paste along with just broken pieces of the Party Mix, he'll eat that - and broken pieces of Party Mix with a broken up terbinafine chewable works. So far. He likes that Party Mix a lot, he's gotten a little too aggressive biting them off of the little cup I make out of my fingers. Ouch.)

Opie's breathing got bad again. So, he's back on the doxycycline. Then, last Thursday, Lorelei got sick. She looked absolutely horrific. These things hit her eyes first. They were red and drippy. Not clear drippy, but reddish drippy. And not runny drippy, but thick drippy. Her eyes actually looked like they were sunken into her skull.  I gave her some boiled chicken, she ate, but in the middle of the night, she threw it all up. I gave her a quarter of a plain Pepcid, and the next day started her on the meds.

Honestly, she looked so bad, I was hoping she'd make it to this week. But one of the things my vet told me a long time ago kept rolling through my mind. "It takes at least three days before you see any progress from the meds." She wasn't getting worse, but she still looked pretty bad.

Saturday she spent a lot of her time outside laying on the cool grass. Her ears were white hot (fever, I guess). She threw up the meds once, but not again. Yesterday, she seemed more active, but she didn't want me touching her. At one point I tried to pick her up and when I touched her she started to shiver. But I held her to me, her face on my shoulder and she relaxed and started to purr. As the day went on, she was more active, more alert. She started to follow me around a little, sitting by my feet, looking at me and meowing. I'd pick her up and give her hugs, then give her food (in that shipment from Chewy were six different types of Sheba food). Each time I fed her, she ate a little more than the last time. And she kept it down.

She was peeing and pooping okay, there wasn't a problem there, but she was pretty weak.

Last night, when I fed the cats, she was right there with them. She went to the litterbox in the laundry room and when she was finished, she came into the family room, laid on the tile floor and began to clean herself. Butt. Belly. Chest. Arms and legs.  I hadn't seen her do this in over a week.

She jumped on Brian, headbutting his face and arms. She purred.

Last night, I came out to get a drink of water and she wanted attention. I laid down on the sofa and she crawled up onto my arms and put her face into mine. We fell asleep.

She ate a full section of the Sheba food this morning, at one sitting.

So, another seven days of meds (the directions call for ten days) and I think she'll be over this.

I'm really glad we didn't have to go to the vet. The weekend was really stressful for me, but I think she'll be okay. If it hadn't been for the meds, I think today would be a not so good day for all of us.

uri    terbinafine    rocky    opie    lorelei    fluconazole    cat meds   

      Wednesday, September 26, 2018

07:21 AM - 09/26/2018

The topic: Whiskers


I've noticed since hitting menopause, I'm losing my body hair.

I still have fine hair on my arms, I can see it in the sun. But it's not where I can pinch it and pull it up, it's not obvious hair.

My legs have lost a lot of hair as well. The inner side of my calves have about twenty-thirty dark hairs on each one. The hair in my armpits has thinned out a lot. I don't shave anymore. No reason.

I don't get new eyebrow hair. I learned a while back to stop plucking them because it's not growing back. I understand why old women (I'm there now) draw theirs on (not me). They've plucked them into oblivion. No, I don't pluck my eyebrows, I trim them. If I didn't, I'd look like Larry Hagman or Andy Rooney.

My private area has also gotten pretty thin. Just weird stuff that you don't really pay much attention to until one day, you do. And it's "Hey! Where's my hair?"

But. The chin. The upper lip. For some reason, they've gotten hairier. Or maybe not hairier, but the hair has changed consistency. On my upper lip, at the corners of my mouth, are many, many little fine black hairs. And sometimes they get long and I can play with them with my tongue. Which is a "whoa" moment when you realize what you're doing. Fast trip to the bathroom, where the tweezers are in easy reach, I'm sorry, but using my tongue to play with this hair is just nasty.  Pluck!

And my chin actually has whiskers of guy consistency. Not the soft, sweet fur of a lady, but of a rough, tough he man. I have about five or six of those. And they grow fast. And, I'll find myself watching television, pulling on my whiskers. And once again, we hit that "WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?" point. And another run into the bathroom to remove said whiskers. I have a magnifying mirror with lights. But I usually end up getting the lamp down, turning it on and placing it under my chin and my reading glasses and pull those things out one by one.

There has to be a better way. I'm not shaving. I will not shave my mustache or my beard. I won't do it.

I've been looking for one of those little things that you turn on and it rips the hair out by the root. I've been looking for a couple of years now. And the ones I found were out of my price range. Tweezing is free.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I got this notice in my email from Morningsave.com. I ordered one.  I was so excited when it got here. I charged it up for about an hour, put on the epilator head and let that puppy roll. No lotion or anything, just let her rip.

The pain!  The pain! It wasn't so bad on my chin, but my upper lip, holy spit, it hurt. But the results....oh, like a baby's bottom. Days later, I'm still running my hand softly over my chin...no stubble...

Yes, I needed this. I really needed this.

      Monday, September 24, 2018

01:06 PM - 09/24/2018

The topic: Back from the vet’s


Bobby and Sagwa both are in the beginning stages of renal failure (kidneys). Not to a point where they need fluids, though.

Sagwa also has thyroid problems. He had lost three pounds since his last visit. That thing on his butt? Not anal sac, vet said it was in the wrong place. They took Sagwa into the back and shaved the area and cleaned it off. The vet called me back to look at the wound. It's frikking huge. Easily an inch and a half in diameter. So, Sagwa got a covenia shot (heavy duty antibiotic) and we're supposed to clean it off every day with a warm saline bath.

He's also on methimazole for the thyroid problems. He'll need a recheck next month. Since his kidneys aren't shot, he also got pain meds for the butt problem.

Bobby was a little anemic and has some sort of infection going on, so he's on antibiotics for a week and he'll get a recheck. If his values are better, we'll schedule him for a dental.

We were there for over an hour. All of those tests they ran took time.

The only scary thing is the Sagwa wound. If what we do now doesn't help, the vet advised a biopsy to make sure it's not cancer.

So, Opie is still on his liver med for a few more days, Pancho gets prednisolone every other day (in the weaning stages), Rocky gets his meds (five days now! he's taken them for five days without a fight!), Bobby and Sagwa.

Who said you can't have a full life without children?

vet    sagwa    catstuff    bobby    abscess   

08:11 AM - 09/24/2018

The topic: Fun morning in store


Bobby has been hacking and grabbing at his face, so it would appear this little guy needs a checkup. Most likely a dental as well. I called last Friday and made an appointment for this morning. 10:30.

Since one of the meds we got along with the stuff for Rocky was a big bottle of doxycycline, I started Bobby on that Friday morning. It seems to have helped, if there's an infection going on, I know the drug of choice for mouth problems is clindamycin, but the doxy is a broad spectrum antibiotic and I figured why not get a jump on it. As the weekend wore on, he seemed to do better eating, so that's a good thing.

Then yesterday morning, I came back to the office where Sagwa was on my desk. He got up and there was a blood spot where he had been laying. I checked him out, thought maybe he'd had an abscess under his tail by his butt.

But as the hours went by, it was more than just a popped abscess, I think something happened with one of his anal glads. It was pretty gross all day. Not straight blood, but diluted. Like it had pus in it. So, I started him on doxy and I just called the vet, he's going in this morning as well. Cross your fingers we start getting some sales, okay?

Here's a little video of Sagwa I took on the sixteenth. He was pretty happy there.


sagwa    catstuff    bobby    bad teeth    abscess   

      Friday, September 21, 2018

12:50 PM - 09/21/2018

The topic: Rocky’s meds


Last Friday, I posted about the possibility of no longer giving Rocky meds for his crypto since it was so stressful for all involved. And that I contacted the vet and was told that a different method of delivery was available.

Money exchanged hands and orders were placed and the medications finally got here yesterday.

And two days in a row, Rocky has gobbled his medications right down. Two days without a fight. Two, stressless days. I do put the fluconazole in a pill pocket, he really likes those. And even though it's only been two days, it looks like he'll take them better spaced apart, not at the same time. He even came out from under the tractor this morning when he thought there were more treats available.

Nice. Really nice. Hopefully he'll keep liking them.

(Would someone please come over here and smash this stupid mosquito into oblivion? I'm not having any luck.)

12:09 PM - 09/21/2018

The topic: Rolling right along


Okay, I have projects. One, phase one is done, now for phase two. I have the cut patterns ready to go, I just need to decide on the paper. Do I want to print both sides, since they'll both be visible?

And if I print them, what do I want to print on them? Something simple? Something seasonal? Do I want to match colors? 

So many things to decide.

And while the possibilities are percolating in my brain, I've been working on something I found on the internet. Everything is cut and now I have to do the necessary stamping. I have stamps, I thought they'd work out, but I changed my mind. Yesterday I made my own stamp with the Imagepac Stampmaker and I was surprised at how much easier it was to do than I remember. I used the new inkjet printer (well, new earlier this year) and I didn't think the black on the negative would be dark enough, but it was. A pleasant surprise.

Since I made the stamp, I've been playing with embossing. I'm using a teal colored paper and I want the sentiment to be white. Oh, my gosh, what a headache to get it just right. I have so much stuff to work with and until about an hour ago, I wasn't happy with how any of them were working. I want glittery white. Should be easy, right? I have white pigment ink and it doesn't lay down consistently. The outside edges of the lettering put down more ink than the insides. And when you put embossing powder on that, it doesn't melt equally. It just looks sloppy.  I gave up on trying to emboss with glitter white powder. Coverage wasn't thick enough. Very frustrating. So, this morning I tried again.

First off I needed my cornstarch sock. Couldn't find it anywhere (I rub the cornstarch sock over my paper I want to emboss; this helps when I knock off most of the excess embossing powder; it helps prevent odd bits of embossing powder from melting onto the paper when I use the heat tool). I had to make another one. Then I tried to emboss with the white ink again, being very careful putting ink on the stamp and stamping the paper. And then covering the inked area with embossing powder. Finished, it still looked sloppy.

Then I cleaned the stamp and got out the Versa embossing pad, which lays down a clear fluid. I put the white embossing powder on that, hit it with the heat tool and it looked a lot cleaner.

Then I squeezed a small amount of Stickles Crystal onto a piece of paper and used a small paint brush and painted over the embossed area.

It looks so good! I'm very happy with it.

What I'm not happy with is the big stamp. No matter what I do, there are blank spaces in it. I think I've finally narrowed it down to the ink pad. I ordered more from Amazon. The pad I've been using is old and it seems like there's a fair amount of ink on it, but I tried a different ink and it seemed to work better than this one. I'll figure this out next week.

Sorry to be so vague, but when I plan on sending this stuff out, I don't want to ruin the surprise.


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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