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      Monday, September 18, 2017

06:55 PM - 09/18/2017

The topic: Last October


I got a new cellphone. Well, we got new cellphones. We had been using AT&T and for $85 a month, we got unlimited talk and text for two basic phones, service for my iPad and a whopping 300MB of usage.

Brian had been using my old phone. It was the same as his old phone, one of those sliders. His phone died, and since I had gotten an upgrade, he started using my old one. Then that died. He needed a new phone. He didn't want a smartphone, he wanted a basic phone. I wanted a smartphone, but all of the ones available for AT&T were more money than I wanted to spend.

Doing some research, I found that Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T, so we'll get the same coverage area. And there's a little Cricket store not too far from here. We checked it out. Brian got his basic phone ($29.95, a little flip phone) and I got a free smartphone. Unlimited talk and text. Having a smartphone, I didn't need coverage for the iPad. I never used it anyway. And I got 2GB of data. For $65.00 a month. And using autopay, we save an additional five bucks. Since we've gotten our phones, I doubt I've used a whole gigabyte. And twice, they've upgraded my data an additional GB so now I get 4GB. For sixty bucks a month.

Since I'm always home, I've never sat down and learned how my phone works. I can text. I can surf the internet. I can make calls. I can take pictures. I can send pictures.

But can I answer the damned thing?

As I found out on the day we left Potter at the vet's to find out what was wrong, no. I do not know how to answer my cellphone.

So, a couple of hours ago, my cellphone rings. It was the vet's office with an update on DaNiece's phenobarbital value (perfect, by the way, so the meds she's on are the meds she'll stay on). I had told them to call Brian's cell, but they called mine since it's the number on record. The vet left a message and I also called back from our home line and spoke directly to her. (They can't call the home line because it's a MagicJack and for some reason, their calls do not ring through.)

And I sat down with my cellphone in one hand, the home phone on the other and started calling the cell. And through trial and error, I finally, eleven and a half months after getting it, figured out how to answer a phone call on my cellphone.


daniece    cell phone   

02:23 PM - 09/18/2017

The topic: Back from the vet


We took both Skip and DaNiece down. Saves time and a trip. Brian got the job of getting Skippy from under the pool pump this time.

Skip went first, the doc checked him over and he got an allergy shot.

DaNiece went next and they took blood for her pheno baseline.

This morning after taking Opie in, I told Brian I'd pay for everything. When we left the house with two carriers, I asked if he had his wallet. "Why? You said you're paying."

So, I did. Paid for Opie, DaNiece and Skip. Then DaNiece was brought out and we were told the vet wasn't going to charge for Skippy's shot. Yay! $54.00!!! And Opie's blood work was normal.

The receptionist said "darn, now I have to give you a credit" and I told her not to worry about it, we'll be back in next Monday with Rocky (recheck for him).

Got home, opened the carriers and the first thing Skip did was head for the kibble in the office. DaNiece wanted something special, I think, but also ended up eating kibble, but in the dining room.

vet    skipper    opie    daniece    catstuff   

12:14 PM - 09/18/2017

The topic: Another day in paradise


So, get up this morning, feed DaNiece, I see Skippy in the office waiting for food. By the time I make her egg, he's gone.

I went in search of him and gave him food. And the right side of his face is swollen. Crap. Crapcrapcrap.

Opie had a vet's appointment at 10:00. Geriatric checkup and he's been doing this thing where he kind of hitches his breath when he exhales. I call the office to see what to do about Skip.

"Take some pictures and show them to the doctor when you come in."

Good thing I hadn't taken a shower yet. Skip didn't get fluids yesterday because he was doing so well. But this morning he wasn't. I got his fluids ready, got his meds ready and had to get him from under the pool pump. He wasn't falling for the Greenie trick this morning. I had to move a gate that Brian had resting against the fence and because Skip was too far back for me to reach, I had to go get something to push him out with. An old leaf rake, with the light weight tines would probably work. I got down in front of where he was, positioned the rake behind him and kind of pushed him out. I was able to get to the other side where he came out and grabbed him.

Took him into the bathroom, checked his nose, it was covered in goop and I put warm water on a folded up paper towel, squeezed most of the water out and started wiping off his nose and around it. Got a nice lump of snot. Figured I should save it and take it with us when we took Opie in. I then gave him the meds and the fluids and took a few pictures with the Kindle Fire. I let him out and he went into the office and drank some water from the fountain and I took video of him.

I was very hot and sweaty.  I took a shower. Then it was time to go. Opie didn't go crazy this time, I think Brian was a calming influence on him. The vet said his heart sounded good. They took him into the back for blood work and the results were really good. They're supposed to call with the RBC and WBC since that machine wasn't running properly. She said he may have a slight case of COPD, but at this juncture, there's nothing to be done. If it gets worse, then there will be options.

She looked at the pictures of Skip and took the snot back and tested it. No white blood cells. The line of thought at this point is something bit him. I'm supposed to take him in and they'll give him a shot, diphenhydramine and steroid, to help with the swelling.

I almost forgot to ask about DaNiece who has run her first month of phenobarbital. The vet wanted to recheck her values. So, I'm supposed to take her in for blood work, just a drop off. I'll be taking both Skip and DaNiece in between noon and two this afternoon, since they don't have appointments then.

I'll be glad when I'm home for the day.

vet    skipper    opie    daniece    catstuff   

      Sunday, September 17, 2017

mrs. crankypants
02:59 PM - 09/17/2017

The topic: I need to get a Sharpie


And start marking these damned mosquito bites. Right now, there are only a couple that itch, but I'm not sure they're old ones.

If I start marking the bites on my arms, legs and feet with a Sharpie, I'll know for sure if those little bastards are still feasting on my blood.

Since the weather cooled, I've been wearing socks and sweatpants, not just shorts and a shirt. The bites on my legs don't itch, but the ones on my arms sure do and there's one on the top of one of my feet that has a big crater from me scratching it, most likely with a toenail while I'm sleeping.

That pet spray I mentioned works, but it wears off. Or it's just another bite.

Wonder what color Sharpie I should use?


what's cookin'?
02:39 PM - 09/17/2017
I'm watching Ant-man
The current weather is absolutely gorgeous

The topic: The house smells


The house smells like roast!

Friday evening, Brian made bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, with tomatoes picked from our garden. While he was making them, I lamented the absence of a decent deli. I don't consider "Subway" the same as a deli from the old days. Used to get some really good roast beef sandwiches. On thick sourdough or wheat bread, not a roll, but actual bread.

There is a deli section at the grocery store, but somehow the meat you get there just isn't the same. So, he said I should cook a roast and we'd have roast beef sandwiches. And I said "we need roast". 

As we were eating our BLTs, I mentioned how tasty the tomato was. An Indigo tomato. And as I sat there and chewed on it, I said "maybe I should make macaroni and cheese and use a tomato as the topper" and he said that would be great.

After an early dinner, he went to Costco to get some stuff we really needed, like toilet paper. And he got some nice roasts.

Yesterday afternoon, I cooked macaroni, grated cheese, mixed those up with some other ingredients and popped it into the oven. When it was all nice and hot, I pulled it out and put thinly sliced tomatoes on top, covered those in more cheese and back into the oven until the cheese was all nice and bubbly.

Brian came in from working and asked "what's for dinner?" 

It's cooking.

I watch him look around the kitchen. He looks at the pressure cooker. He looked at the microwave. He looks at the stove. No food.

I can see the confusion in his eyes. "In the oven. It's in the oven. We're having mac and cheese." His reaction was one of disappointment, which kind of surprised me.

"I thought we were having roast beef. Isn't that why I got it?" Yeah, I don't recall mentioning when we were having roast and it kind of bothered me. I remember the mac and cheese discussion. Anyway, dinner was great last night. The tomatoes really made it great.

And right now, I have a three pound roast in the pressure cooker. I've not done one this big, I just did a little one that was frozen. I browned the outside first, then put chicken stock in the pressure cooker and set the meat on a wire rack that fits nicely in the cooker. I'm doing it early because I want to give it time to cool down (hopefully it will be fully cooked) before slicing it for sandwiches.

The house sure smells good.

instant pot    food   

      Saturday, September 16, 2017

05:47 PM - 09/16/2017

The topic: A couple of years ago


I shared my ideas for keeping things organized.

One of them was to keep a way to view the cutting files I've purchased over time. And it turns out, it's not working the way I'd planned.

Because I have to flip through pages of names of files. And that really isn't a lot of help. If there's a file listed that can work for different occasions, just with a change of paper, well, that's not addressed. Then I end up going through pages of pictures of the files I have, which is time consuming.

I installed a graphics organization program that I can tag pictures, but I never got really far with that. In concept, it's great, but I haven't pushed myself to do it.

Today, it hit me. Duh. Instead of adding the files to one list as I get them, I could make a list for Autumn/Halloween, Spring/Easter, anniversary/birthday....I think you get the idea. And one file could be listed on multiple pages.

Now, I just have to push myself to do it. That five inch binder is about ready to burst, there are a lot of flies in it.

organization    craftstuff   

08:53 AM - 09/16/2017

The topic: It’s cooled off some!


I am so ready for summer to be over and done.

I've killed two mosquitoes in the past two days with my bare hands. They were flying in front of me and I clapped my hands on the little motherf*ckers. One fell to my desk pad, legs twitching and I smooshed it. There was blood. My blood most likely. Rat bastards. I gotta say that pet spray has made me a little less of a miserable bitch since I started using it.

Skippy seems to be doing better. He hasn't spent the night in the home hospital since last weekend. I do take him in there to give him fluids, which he still needs. But he's running in for eats now and more affectionate. During the night, he ends up in the bedroom on the bed. Sometimes on one of us. He's back outside by the morning.

His nose is still runny and still gets that mixture of snot and dirt, kind of reminds me of the crust on a well marinated roast. You're welcome for that visual.

I was a little concerned with Sagwa yesterday as he didn't want to eat anything. After what we went through with him earlier this summer, I really don't want it to come back, whatever it was. He got lots of love and attention yesterday, lots of flea combing as well. Last night his appetite had picked up and this morning he was in the kitchen begging when I made DaNiece's egg. When I came back to the office to check my morning stuff, Skippy came in looking for food, I got the soft food out of the fridge, he ate his fill, the Sagwa ate a whole lot. He's asleep on my desk right now. Next to the bloody remains of that mosquito.

We have an appointment for Opie on Monday, a geriatric check up. Rocky and DaNiece both need to go in next week for rechecks. Rocky is a horror to medicate. You'd think I was trying to kill him.

I think DaNiece's prescription for the pheno might be a little strong, she sleeps so much anymore. And whatever was going on with her right leg doesn't look good to me. You know how sometimes when you're standing or walking and a knee just noodles for no reason? And you kind of lose your balance? It looks like that. But then she rights herself and it's okay. She favors that side, but can still jump and climb onto the sofa. It's weird. I'll bring that up at her recheck.

skipper    sagwa    rocky    mosquitoes    daniece    catstuff   

      Thursday, September 14, 2017

07:40 PM - 09/14/2017

The topic: So, still itching


It wasn't so bad this morning, but this afternoon, I must have gotten a couple of new bites. One on my wrist and a couple on my feet. Which were bare.

And the scratching started and that got the older bites on the backs of my legs going.

Then, I had a thought. What about the stuff I got for the dogs back when we had dogs for their hot spots (this was before Frontline and Advantage). I didn't use much and have kept the bottle. Last month I used it on Sammy, who was pulling out his fur because of the itching. I sprayed some on a cotton pad and liberally applied it to the red areas. He quit scratching within the half hour.

So, I'm thinking, if it worked for Sammy, maybe it would work for me. I found the bottle and sprayed the bite on my wrist. Within five minutes, no itch. I put some on my calves, my feet and it took a little longer, but the itch is no more. Oh, yeah. I was getting tired of taking Benedryl. And Vicks, which was also greasy. This stuff is nice.  Soothing.

I wondered if they still have it and they do! I found it over on Amazon. Eqyss Micro-Tek Spray. If I can use it on my kitty cats, I can use it on me.

You're welcome.


      Wednesday, September 13, 2017

mrs. crankypants
05:07 PM - 09/13/2017

The topic: Insects


One of the things with Skippy this past week is it was difficult to get him to run over to me. Sometimes coaxing worked, other times it was Greenie city. Sunday, I sat in the cedar swing and he came over to me. I was in shorts and the sun was setting.

We sat there for quite a while, my Sklppy and me. He laid next to me, got up, turned around, scratched at the wood, and purred. And purred.

And the mosquitoes feasted on me. I never know that I've been bitten until hours later. Monday, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover at least ten bites on my legs, more on my arms. And I itch so much.

Last night at nine, I took a Benedryl. Then again at 2:30, after walking the yard with a flashlight, in search of Sklp (he was in one of the tractor seats), I took another one when I came back inside. I'm going nuts with the itch.

I've tried Aveeno anti-itch cream. I've tried Gold Bond anti-itch. I tried ice packs (that do a fairly good job, but it's not practical where some of the bites are and I've just got so many). I've tried rubbing alcohol. I've tried hydrogen peroxide. I tried washing the area with pretty hot water. One of the suggestions was something like Vicks Vaporub.

Looking for some miracle, in Brian's bathroom, I found some Vicks. I put it on two of the bites. A half hour later, no itch. So, I put some on three bites on my legs. Amazingly, they don't seem to be bothering me anymore. Then I remembered that I took two (TWO!!), Benedryls not that long ago. Maybe that's why no itch. And I'm getting really sleepy....

Damned bugs. We were doing so well this year with so few in the house. Then I go outside and invite them for dinner. Bastards.


skipper    mosquitoes   

04:43 PM - 09/13/2017

The topic: It’s so dark in the morning


I'd rather have my light in the morning than at night. I'm an early riser. I don't do much in the evening and it most always cools off at night after the sun goes down. Yeah, I'm okay with cooler.

Last week, I was outside after six in the morning, but before six thirty. And the moon looked pretty cool going down behind the hill. I ran in, grabbed the camera and went back out to snap some pictures. I set it on top of the swing so I didn't move it and the moon would be sharp. Imagine my irritation when the flash went off. So, I took another one. Yay, me!  I didn't disable the flash!

Third time is a charm, no flash on the last photo.

Imagine my surprise at how cool the photo WITH flash turned out. The first is with the flash, the second is without, just natural light. These were taken less than ten seconds apart. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot to mention, clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.

A happy, accidental happenstance. The moon actually was that reddish color. The photo with flash was more true than the one without.



photos    moon   

12:11 PM - 09/13/2017

The topic: Man, am I tired


What a stressful few weeks this has been.

So, let's see, where did I leave off? Oh, yeah, my most recent adventure. I'm okay. There's some bruising, my big toe really hurts, the skin on my head is sore, but other than that, I'm pretty sure that the garage door incident will not be the death of me.

I set up a couple of wi-fi cameras, with infrared capablitiy, in the bathroom so I could keep an eye on Skip during the night. One on the counter, one on the floor. Saturday night, Sunday morning, he finished all of the food on the plate. Sleep for me sucked, because my head and I kept wanting to watch the cameras to see how he was doing. His favorite place to sleep was between the toilet and the counter and the camera was right in his face. I watched him blowing snot bubbles. I watched him sleeping with his mouth open because his nose was packed with snot.

During the day Sunday and into Monday morning, he ate three more. Then he quit. All he would eat was Greenies. The treat for teeth. Unlike DaNiece and her love of scrambled eggs, Greenies a nutritious diet do not make. He needed more than Greenies.

I would let him out during the day and it was hot outside. The bathroom with the humidifier wasn't really any more pleasant, just more humid. Cool mist humidifier? I think not. When he was outside, he'd be under one of the tractors, which I didn't mind, I could watch him. And I could easily get him to wipe the snot off of his nose, snot that had picked up grass, dirt and whatever else was out there. I even saw some of those little bees flying around his face. When he took up residence under the pool pump, it wasn't as easy. I'd have to coax him out. With Greenies. gulp

I checked with Doctor Google and found there were a few different possible causes of his repiratory problem. Viral or bacterial, bad teeth, cancer....there were more. I started treating the viral first. That's why the l-Lysine paste, it helps the immune system. I found four amoxi tabs from a million years ago and gave him those over the course of a few days, for the bacterial. Four wasn't going to be nearly enough, I knew that, but I wanted to do something. I wasn't worried about his teeth because he had no problem eating those Greenies.

He was getting the l-Lysine at least twice a day and I gave him 60cc of fluids every day since he wasn't eating or drinking much. Is he getting better?  Sometimes it seems like he is, but I'm never sure enough.. At this point I've convinced myself he needs more help than I can provide. Yesterday morning, I called the vet. Did I want to drop him off (never again, not after the Potter thing) or make an appointment?  We took him in this morning at 9:30.

And the prognosis is great! He has lost a fair amount of weight since his last checkup, but she said that it didn't worry her because it's a seasonal weight loss. And also his FIV status. His blood values were pretty good, some were low, some were high, easily explained by stress or FIV. She'd like to see him put on at least another pound. But she was very pleased that his bloodwork looked so good.

I asked her if it was viral or bacterial. She said how it usually goes is it starts off as viral and turns bacterial.

They gave him fluids so I don't have to today. He's on doxycycline, twice a day for two weeks, I'm to keep up the fluids until he's back to normal and he should be good to go.

I've pulled all of the stuff out of my bathroom and it's no longer a hospital room. The premium food I ordered from Chewy got here a little bit ago.

I need to re-apply Advantage II to the cats (hey, something else I learned this past week; you can apply Advantage once a week, it's that safe - I mentioned that to the vet and she said it's very mild, it won't hurt the kitties).

skipper    photos    catstuff   

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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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