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      Monday, July 07, 2003


01:43 PM - 07/07/2003

The topic: I’ve had better weeks

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Monday, July 7, 2003  I’ve had better weeks.  Last week didn’t go so well.  I spent a lot of time trying to get stuff running properly.  Finally, Thursday, I figured out how to get the new guestbook and forums running. Well, the forums, I broke down and purchased another license for the ones I run at Cat Fights.  It took longer than I’d expected to get the first messageboard set up.  Now, all I have to do is to make new ones for all the guestbooks and forums I can’t use from my old host.  And then I have to archive the messages from my old host’s website.  Not really difficult to do, just very time consuming.

We went for a ride through the local back country Friday.  I took a bunch of pictures.  Which I lost many of yesterday.  *sigh*  Not only did I lose those, I lost more from June and a few from May.  And there are more that I’ve taken in the past that got corrupted. See, I found this really great panorama program.  Really nice.  There’s a warning, though, that it makes big files.  I just didn’t realize how big.  And instead of deleting them when they were made, I put it off.  I ran out of room on a hard drive.  I moved pictures to a different drive and not realizing that there hadn’t been room on the other drive for all of the images, I hit “delete” for the files I thought were moved. And because there were so many of them, I emptied my recycle bin.  Bad.  Really, really bad.  I found some software that can recover data, so I downloaded it and used it.  Unfortunately, I was unclear on the concept and ended up spending all day trying to delete duplicated files.  And there were many.  It wasn’t a good day.  To top it off, I couldn’t connect to the internet with my Dell last night.  I called Cox and was on the phone with them after ten last night.  But I’m back this morning.  When I first started up, I couldn’t connect, but I fooled around with settings and was back online before too long.

And I’m burning the files to CD.  I’ve been pretty good about copying images to the months I’ve taken them for the past few years, so it should be fairly easy to copy them in a month by month basis.  And I’ll eventually print out thumbnails of what is in each month and keep them in a folder.  A winter project.

It was really hot last week, we had a few days where the temp reached 100? or higher.  Wonderfully, the house stayed between fifteen and twenty degrees cooler.  I would shut the house up early and turn on all of the fans, ceiling and attic.  I didn’t once turn on the air conditioner.  The cats were happy, too.  I don’t think they like the noise of the A/C, but they sure liked the coolness of the house. 

DeeJay barfed all over Brian’s side of the bed Friday night.  Poor Brian.  He wiped most of the kibble onto the floor, then got a huge towel and put it down over the wet spot. Then he got into bed and closer to the middle.  Saturday, I did laundry.  And I gave DeeJay some water with probiotics in it and he lapped it up.  He hasn’t done that in a while.  I guess he knows what his body needs.

Lucky is so skinny.  She’s just skin and bones. She has an okay appetite, doesn’t turn her nose up when I feed her.  And she has good sized poops.  She’s just really skinny.  There are some foods she could eat as much as I give her, I think.  Like barbequed steak or baked fish.  She really likes that stuff.  I think it would be much easier if there weren’t so many other cats.  But there are.

Oh, I understand the HB misses talking with Brian.  But he “feels uncomfortable” coming over here (he’s only done it once since the big blowout with me over the ferals).  Oh, well.  This from a guy who says he knows he’s outspoken, but he’s going to say what he feels and people probably don’t like it, but he doesn’t care.  According to him, that’s just the way he is.  Well, I don’t have to put up with it and I think he knows he’s not welcome on our property.  At least, not by me.  Brian doesn’t seem to care one way or the other.  I have noticed that not too many people in the neighborhood speak to him much any onger.  Maybe they’re busy with their own lives or something.  Or maybe he’s pushed them away with his outspoken ways like he’s pushed me away.  Maybe he’ll finally realize that it’s okay for him to be outspoken, but he’s just now figuring out that there are some downsides to it.  Like nobody wants to play with him anymore.

On the fourth, the people behind our neighbors who don’t like the trees were setting of firecrackers.  The cats weren’t really bad about it and Junior has gotten much better at letting the noise not bother him from the big fireworks.  But these little ones set him off.  Where Buddy used to come in the house for protection, Junior’s out there barking.  We’d get him settled down, then they’d set some more off.  Finally, at about a quarter to eleven, I went outside and yelled “you’re not being very considerate!”  The firecrackers stopped.  Then when I went to bed, someone drove up the street (not the people I yelled at) and lobbed a cracker out of a car window.  I fell asleep muttering that I hoped they’d lose a fingertip, just to teach them a lesson.

I’ve got such a headache.

The catcam went down about two in the afternoon, on Sunday, June 29th.  My original camera, a Connectix Color QuickCam.  I had another 3Com Homeconnect (if we ever get money ahead, I’ll get some more just to have on hand) and I set that up, but the quality just wasn’t what I wanted.  I ordered a Creative Digital camera, a dual purpose camera that had webcam capability.  At least, that’s what the description.  Huh uh.  Did not.  I got it because I figured it would have a sharp picture.  But it wouldn’t work with my Webcam32 software.  I called to get an RMA number, got a message back saying that they couldn’t accept this camera back without manufacturer’s okay, if the camera wasn’t defective.  What?  *whine*  Why me!!!  It could take up to ten days to get the okay.  Ten days was ten days too long.  I did some research and came up with a Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000.  These are the guys who took over the Connectix cameras.  Now, I had ordered one of their cameras in the past and wasn’t really thrilled with it, so I did some research of reviews and this camera had some pretty good ones.  I ordered it.  From Page Computer.  It was a little before three when I ordered it, figured I should have it Thursday (I ordered the Creative Sunday afternoon, it shipped Monday, got here Tuesday around 11:30; by 2:30 I knew it wasn’t what I wanted).  It got here Wednesday!  It took me hours to set up.  I kept having problems seeing it.  Turns out, it runs with the same driver the patiocam runs on.  Cant’ have one driver for two cars (well, you can with the 3Com Homeconnect, which is now the Digi WATCHPORT/V).  I moved the patiocam to the Dell that night to see if that would work and it did. After thinking about it, I figured the catcam would be better on the Dell, because I run the Dell later than the Gateway.  So, Thursday morning, I moved the catcam to the Dell and the patiocam back to the Gateway.  And since the catcam uploads so much more quickly on my new website host, it’s now updated every ninety seconds, down from three minutes.  And the picture is great. There’s also a function where the camera can follow the face.  That would be okay for streaming, but silly for still shots. It is fun to watch live, though.  I have to admit, it’s better than the original catcam was.

And Angel progresses.  She sleeps on the sofa now, when the mood strikes her. She’s much more lovable, winding in and around one’s legs as they try to walk.  I’m waiting until she’s more comfortable inside and then I’ll start taking pictures of her again. She’s still as sweet looking as she was as a kitten.  It’s been two years now since they came to live with us. Amazing.

I lost another pound last week.  I’m down 28 total now.  I’m hoping to hit thirty down this Friday.  At thirty and a half, I’ve lost half of what I want to lose.  I’ve been wearing the size 14 shorts I bought and they feel good, they aren’t tight at all. 

(Ah, the Excedrin is kicking in, buh bye headache.)

All five of my little feral colony are sticking close by.  Little Bit pretty much lives over here now, along with KittyMeeze.  I know they’re trying to get OC to stay, but they’re not having much luck.  Repete stays in the yard next to us, where Munchkin used to live.  SpotTee sometimes hangs here in the day, but he’s a wanderer.  I never have seen the tortie we got spayed since we released her.  I hope she’s okay.  I know she was okay when she was released, because she spent ten days at the vet’s office recuperating.  I worry about these guys.  This weekend, I wondered about Angus.  I miss seeing him and his so wise eyes at night, eating.  For an old battle scarred tomcat, he was beautiful.  Almost no ears to speak of, scars all over, but such beautiful, knowing eyes.  I hope he belonged to someone who moved away and they took him with them.

I took this of Little Bit this morning:
 

 


It does nothing to show how tiny she is.



And here is the difference where Brian made the rock wall by the pool.

 

 

 


before

 


after


And here are the panoramas, the pictures that started all of my problems this weekend.  These are thumbnails of the actual image.  To see them full size, click on the picture.  WebTV viewers won’t be able to see them in their entirety, since they’re pretty wide and WebTV can’t scroll left and right.

 



45KB, 1087 x 250, photos I took last November from the top of Icky hill.

 



63KB, 1792 x 275, photos I took last Friday; ones that are lost forever now. :cry



Well, that’s it.  I’ve almost caught up with the laundry and I have some cleaning I’d like to get done by the end of the week.  Brian’s nephew is coming back from the Iraq and there’s a welcome home party for him on Saturday.  Not that I need to do much in the house, but I would like to get the sofa covers in the living room washed. And while that’s happening, I’d like to shampoo the furniture.  The cats started peeing in the corners of the sofas.  So, I’ll shampoo that really good and use some of the pee pads I ordered (I ordered two cases, a hundred each, at a closeout price) to put over the spots where they’ve been going before I put the cleaned slipcovers back on.  Much work.

And I’d really like to take a shower, then a nap.  I’m really tired from this weekend.  Computer stress is not a good thing.

      Wednesday, July 09, 2003


11:35 AM - 07/09/2003

The topic: Lucky is on the catcam

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Wednesday, July 9, 2003 Lucky is on the catcam.  She’s gotten so very small.  She was never a big cat, but time and ill health is taking a toll on her.  I don’t think she’ll be with us much longer.  *tears*  I know the kidneys are a problem, and she’s getting fluids three times a week.  The fluids have helped DeeJay immensely, but other than his lack of a colon, he has no other health problems.  But Lucky has those damned ear polyps and I know those are affecting her adversely.  This morning, she didn’t want anything to eat and when I moved her, there was a little poop stuck to her.  I watched her later in a litterbox and she was having a hard time squeezing.  I started her on Nutri-Cal this morning, and I hope it helps her a little, maybe until she’s over this hump.  And I do realize, that maybe what’s a hump to me is an insurmountable object to her.  I’ll do right by her, whatever she decides.

I got my peepads yesterday and I’ve replaced the one in front of the hallway litterbox four times now.  Lucky has taken to using that box.  Yesterday, I picked a whole bunch of dried litter clumps from between her toes.  I hope that made her a little more comfortable.  With the peepads, there shouldn’t be the problem.  She is still purring, which is a good sign.  Brian bought her some deli beef yesterday and she really enjoyed that.  She wasn’t interested in it this morning, though.  I hate this.  Yesterday, she went outside and slept in the sun, on pillows.  She ate last night.  Someone on another board had written first there were more good weeks than bad.  Then there were more good days than bad.  Then it was down to a matter of good hours.  That was when it was time.  This is so hard to think about.  I think we have a tortie curse, I really do.  Lola getting cancer, Pepper dying of cancer, then Lola dying of cancer, now Lucky.  I can’t see her being around more than a couple of weeks, unless she’s the recipient of a miracle. 

Since the pads got here, I’m going to wash the bad parts of the sofas in the living room.  The parts I know where the cats have been peeing.  Then, when they’ve dried out, I’ll put pads down and put the clean slipcover over those.  I hope it helps keep these things cleaner.  Right now, I need to do something active.  I’m feeling very sad.

      Thursday, July 10, 2003


11:50 AM - 07/10/2003

The topic: She’s gone

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 She’s gone.  Lucky’s gone.  She’s in heaven right now, with Pepper and Lola and Boney and Rusty and Maggie and all of the other guys we’ve lost.  I’m sad.

Yesterday, I force fed her A/D.  I gave her fluids.  I put ointment in her ears.  I brushed her.  I loved her.  I tried to get her to eat pieces of filet mignon last night.  I knew, though.  I knew.  I knew she was tired of fighting.  I knew she was ready to die.  Barring a miracle, I knew I’d be taking her in this morning.  Last night, she cuddled with me for a little bit on the sofa, but she got up and made her way back to the hallway litterbox, then she was back in the catcam chair, where I found her sleeping this morning.  I gave her a little turkey Fancy Feast on a plate, which she ate, but she didn’t eat much.  It was obvious there had been no miracle during the night.  I called the vet’s office at 8:05 and spoke with Charlene (I can’t hardly call it speaking, I was crying heavily) and she said to come in at 9:00 because that’s when the vet is supposed to be there.  Brian didn’t go because he had a meeting at nine and I wanted to get Lucky in as early as I could, to help her feel better one way or the other.  I just couldn’t stand seeing her so uncomfortable yesterday.  When he grabbed his keys, I told him to say goodbye to her.  He came back to the office to get his paperwork and didn’t want to bother her because she was sleeping.  He leaned over the blanket around the camera chair and whispered “goodbye, Lucky”.  When he looked away, he was crying.  We both were. 

I let her stay in the chair until it was time to go to the vet’s office.  Her last picture is on the webcam page, below Pepper’s last picture.  She cried a little in the carrier, but she wasn’t upset.  I think she knew.  In a teary voice, I let her know that she was going to be okay.  That she would feel better, soon.  I’d cut a stalk of catnip for Choo, the vet’s office cat and I gave it to him when I got there.  It made me smile to see him eating it.  Lucky cried for me when I sat her carrier down on the bench and I sat next to it, putting it on my lap.  She just looked at me.  Charlene put us in an office and I opened the carrier door.  The vet wasn’t in yet, so we had to wait, but it wasn’t long.  While we were waiting, I got down on the floor and put my head in the carrier.  I left Lucky in there because that’s where she was most comfortable.  I told her that one day, we’d meet again and we would all be one big happy and healthy family.  And with any luck, we’d have a much bigger family than we do now.  I scratched behind her ears, which she really seemed to like.  But she didn’t purr.  Sometime within the past few days, she had lost her purr.  Like Lola, she was ready to go.  She’d said her goodbyes and was just waiting now.

We weighed her and she’d lost two pounds since April, a really bad sign.  The vet felt that her kidneys had shut down.  He told me sixteen was a good age for a cat, a long age.  He looked her over and there was no discussion about any kind of treatment for her.  He knew this was the right decision.  Charlene had put down a soft towel for Lucky and I set her on it, the vet put the sedation needle in one of her back legs.  Lucky was standing at the time and she got really sleepy and I laid her on her side.  When she was deeply sedated, the vet found a vein in one of her front legs and administered the euthanasia fluid.  She was gone within seconds.  I petted her once more and he covered her with the towel.  And she was gone.

*sigh*

*tears*

I hate this part of loving. The saying goodbye part.  It’s so hard.  It hurts so much. 

You know, Lucky wasn’t a real affectionate cat.  She wasn’t a real social cat.  She pretty much kept to herself, for the most part.  With the other cats, there are certain situations where I think of them.  Lola, when I whistle.  Pepper, when I vacuum.  Maggie, at night when I get the cats in.  Rusty, on my pillow.  Bobby, on the sofa.  No, Lucky didn’t really have a spot (well, she did like to lay on the stove, I’m sure I’ll miss moving her off of it when I cook).  And she rarely came up to sit on a lap to get loved.  I don’t know of any “I miss you, Lucky” triggers.  All I know is that there is a huge hole in my heart right now.  I know she’s not here any longer.  Maybe I’ll miss her in the bathroom, looking for food.  Maybe I’ll miss hearing her play with the cat track in the middle of the night.  I don’t know.  I can’t think right now.

I’m aching for her.  I’m aching for them all.

I just realized what I’ll miss.  I’ll miss her voice.  I’ll miss her talking to me.  I’ll miss her calling me to the bathroom.  I’ll miss her saying “hey” from the stovetop.  I’ll miss her welcoming me into a room.  I’ll miss her little “row wow?”.  I miss her already. I keep hearing her in my head.  I miss my little Lucky Boots.  I miss her so damned much.  I’ll miss her running over the keyboard and locking up the computer.  I’ll miss seeing her on one of the pillows by my desk.  I don’t want her to be dead.  I want her to be alive and healthy.  I want her back.

      Thursday, July 17, 2003


03:23 PM - 07/17/2003

The topic: Well, it’s been a week

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Thursday, July 17, 2003  It’s been a week today, since Lucky was sent to the bridge.  Things got back to normal pretty quickly.  It helped that Lucky wasn’t an in your face cat.  That she spent most of her time by herself in a quiet place.  The past few years have been on the stove.  We had to make modifications to how we stored stuff on it, wanting to keep her safe.  We had the pilot lights covered so that she couldn’t accidentally get burned.  On one we had a heat safe ceramic spoon, on the other we had a tea kettle balanced on the two burners, the pilot light in the middle.  There was always water in the kettle and being over the pilot light kept it warm.  We’d often find her snuggled up against that for warmth, sleeping soundly.  We rarely woke her up, we’d let her sleep.  The only times we woke her was when we wanted to cook something.  After, we’d replace all of the safety devices and she’d be able to resume her sleeping.  Habits die hard.  Brian made himself eggs earlier this week and I saw that he’d put the tea kettle back on the pilot light.  *sigh*  There’s no longer any need to do that. 

Becky called yesterday from the vet’s office, Lucky’s ashes are back.  I’ll probably pick them up tomorrow.  I’m just not ready to go over there and get them.  Just another box for the pile in the shop.  *big sigh*

Mickey has been yowling incessantly since Lucky died.  Yow, yow, yow, yow all day long, except when he’s sleeping.  When I yell at him to stop, or to ask what’s wrong, he quiets.  For about fifteen minutes, then starts up again.  I go in there to see him and he’s as sweet as can be.  Purring and loving up a storm.  He’s even started helping me to make the bed again, something I’d rather he didn’t.  Because his favorite part is helping my push the spread under the pillows.  And he does it with his claws out, right behind my hands. Ye-ouch!  As if that’s not enough, he also follows (chases) me as I walk around the bed.  At least, he’s on top of the bed when he does that.  Not so, Oliver, who ambushes me from below.  And he’s not nearly as careful with claws and teeth as Mickey is.  (There he goes again, yowwing.)  Mickey seems to be healthy, he’s not acting sick.  Just yappy.  I wonder if Lucky is speaking through him from the beyond.  *lol*

Speaking of signs from the beyond, I’m sure many of us have done this.  “If you’re okay, if you’re well and happy, if you know how much we miss you, please, please, leave us a sign,” we’ll speak up to the heavens.  Well, I’ve been doing a lot of that the past week.  And this past weekend, I found a white whisker on the stove!  Where Lucky used to lay!  A sign!  Isn’t that kewl?  Well, it was until the next morning I found someone had been up there and peed.  I know that wasn’t Lucky leaving a sign.  It was obviously some other kitty.  So, I wondered about the whisker.  Maybe it wasn’t a sign after all.

Gee, thanks, cats.

Brian told me this morning that Pete doesn’t like SpotTee anymore than Repete does.  We’re always going outside to tell Repete to back off, leave SpotTee alone.  Okay, I guess not all brain cells were firing on all cylinders at this time.  Huh?  Pete doesn’t like SpotTee?  How do you know?  Well, Pete is hanging on the fence, growling at SpotTee through the wire and on the other side of SpotTee, Repete is making his dislike of SpotTee, who is laying on top of the fence, known.  That’s kind of funny, ya know?  We always thought Repete was Pete’s brother, they look so much alike.  Poor SpotTee.

Last Saturday, I checked on my first tomato of the season (there are plenty more on the vine now), to see if it was ready to pick.  Yep, it was finally ripe enough.  I figured I’d pick it later in the day, after we got home from Brian’s mom’s house (his nephew is home safe and sound from the Gulf war).  Now, the area where the tomato plants are is enclosed, but the bottom of the gate is pushed out enough so that the cats can go in there and play in the nip.  No biggie, right? 

Now, the last time I grew tomatoes, only one plant grew and it got only one tomato for the entire season.  And it was planted close to where the ones I’ve got now are planted.  And a couple of the branches were outside of the little fenced in area, one of those branches having the only tomato. Well, the day I was going to pick my lone tomato, it was gone.  Disappeared.  And it came to me that one of the dogs got it.  I hope whoever it was enjoyed my lovely vine ripened tomato.  I’m sure I would have.  Anyway, we get home from the gathering, I go to look at my tomato.  My eyes aren’t as sharp as they were when I was younger.  My ripe tomato didn’t look right.  Not at all.  Had it burst?  I looked closer, between the leaves.  My mouth dropped open.  I uttered an expletive.  I looked around my little garden.  I saw dog fur in the garden.  I cursed the dog.  I picked the tomato.  My luscious vine ripened tomato was half eaten.  Grrr…..  I’ve fixed the gate so that the dog can’t get in to the garden.  Neither can the cats, but I really would like to try one of my tomatoes this year.  Can you blame me?

And Junior just looked so sweet and innocent.  “I didn’t do anything!”  *sigh*  Eh, what’s a tomato, anyway?  I just hope Junior appreciated it.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’m gonna take some bubble stuff outside and let the cats chase.

      Sunday, July 20, 2003


07:52 PM - 07/20/2003

The topic: It was hot today

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Sunday, July 20, 2003 Boy, it was sure hot today.  I worked on some new stuff for the website (a new interactive stories and added over twenty new code generators for webmasters to the website help portion of the website) yesterday and today.  Then I went and laid out by the pool.  Brian went to the property this morning.  I warned him not to get heatstroke.

I haven’t felt good since Thursday, that darned intestinal/bowel thing I get every once in a while.  I’m not sick, but I’m really sore.  The first time I got it, I thought I was seriously dying and ended up going to Urgent Care, where they could find nothing wrong with me.  They took x-rays and ran some tests, but nothing showed up.  They put me on pain killers, but oddly enough, the only thing that helped was taking laxatives and drinking lots of water.  I wasn’t constipated, that wasn’t it.  Brian got it a couple of months ago, though, and he was pretty uncomfortable.  It’s kind of nice to know that he knows what I’m going through.  Anyway, the pain is almost gone tonight, although I still feel a little bloated. 

But I was able to get the bed stripped and all the bed clothes changed today.  DeeJay puked big time on the bed early this morning.  I wasn’t in bed, I was sleeping on the sofa because it was warm and the cats were driving me crazy in bed.  When I went in this morning, Brian had piled all of the dirtied linen on my side of the bed and gotten a blanket for himself.  Needless to say, I went back into the living room.  Anyway, I got that all washed.  And I started DeeJay back on ferrum phos.  Another thing I’m doing for him is pureeing his food with some water.  He seems to eat more when he doesn’t have to work so hard for the food.  He’s slept a lot today, but then, it was pretty hot.

When I gave him his fluids last night, I thought, “now, I have to get Lucky done”.  *sigh*

Well, Brian’s home, I guess that’s all for tonight.

      Tuesday, July 29, 2003


11:54 AM - 07/29/2003

The topic: There are ants all over my desk

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Tuesday, July 29, 2003  Gah, there are ants all over my desk.  I hate ants.  I think they’re up here for the remnants of Annie food.  Ironic, since I quit feeding Annie on the desk last week.  See, she’s getting fat.  It happened so gradually, that it hit me all at once.  She can barely even run, she waddles.  I had started feeding her on the desk because the boys (Richie and Opie) would chase her when she ate on the floor.  I didn’t realize that was the only exercise she was getting.  So, now, her Sensible Choice food is on the floor and she has to climb down to get to it.  She cleaned up the crumbs on the desk, I think, though, that there must have been some little dried pieces of chicken that I never cleaned up.  And this morning, the ants found them.

I see this morning I haven’t made an entry in well over a week.  Boy, time flies when it’s hot and muggy.  And it also helps that my chair is broken and very uncomfortable.  I ordered a new one this morning from OfficeDepot, using my IGive affliliation.  I’ll get a little money back on that. I’ve spent some time in the sun, other times just trying to keep cool.  Although the past week wasn’t action packed, some things did happen that I’d rather not have happened.

The weekend before this past one, the weekend of my last entry, I was checking Junior over for lumps and bumps, giving him belly scratches.  I noticed two lumps on his left side that were similar to the limpoma that Buddy had.  And I knew I wasn’t going to let them progress to the point that Buddy’s had, where Buddy could no longer walk without effort.  Then on his other side, close to his right front legpit and on the front of his back knee, there were some different looking lumps, more like big fat moles.  Monday morning, I called the vet to make an appointment for Junior to have the lumps checked as well as have his fructosamine level checked, to make sure we had his diabetes under control.  The appointment was made for late Tuesday afternoon.

And that same Monday, Brian called to me to come get our bathroom scales and put them in the trash.  Some cat who shall remain nameless (but here’s a hint, his name rhymes with Loliver), peed on the scales, and the digital part of them was flooded with urine.  It was pretty gross and I felt honored to be the one to toss them.  Ick, the urine was dripping out of them, it was nasty.  We checked on scales at CostCo, but they only had one, a big ugly one, one that just begged to be peed on.  We didn’t get it.  I picked one up yesterday at Wal-Mart, a small one, lightweight, which we can just put in the cabinet below Brian’s bathroom sink.

I guess you could say it was a busy Monday.  We also went by Sears where I got a new sewing machine.  My old one wouldn’t work.  Sure, we could have paid to get it repaired, but that most likely would have been almost as much as a new one.  I’m sure I mentioned earlier that I hadn’t used the old one in quite a while and when I did try a couple of years ago, I got a big shock when I stepped on the power pedal.  It was full of urine and urine and electrical current get along quite nicely, thank you.  I ordered a new power pedal and just got around to trying it out.  The machine had power, but the material didn’t feed.  I tried all sorts of things to get it working again, but nothing worked.  And I also noticed that the needle was broken, which indicated that I’d given up at an earlier time.  If the machine had been functioning properly, there sure wouldn’t have been a broken needle.  And I also needed a new cabinet.  The old one made me very nervous.  It was particle board and the years of (do I need to say this again?) cat urine had thrashed the bottom of it, where the casters were.  I did an online search, found a nice model for $159, a Kenmore.  And I found a cabinet very similar to the one I already had, just a little nicer.  It was $189.  *sigh*  A lot of money, but I’m thinking to myself ‘I’ve got this chest full of material, I’ve got many patterns and I do need new clothes.  I like to sew, might as well take advantage of it.’  Brian was off that Monday, so we went to Sears after he’d finished washing the Ranger.  We had to wait for the saleswoman, who was helping someone else with a FloorMate.

Now, we all know I love my FloorMate.  I watched the saleswoman work the FloorMate and amused, I went over to help her out.  I told the people looking at it, that I absolutely love mine.  The saleslady said that she’d like to show the people how to use it, but it wouldn’t turn on.  I laughed and told her that she wasn’t turning it on, she was setting the machine to wet/dry pickup.  I showed her where the on/off switch was and talked some more with the people looking at the machine.  The woman was concerned about the filter, the machine comes with only one and I told her you can get them online.  She gave me her email address and when I got home, I couldn’t find who I’d gotten mine from, did a search and found a place where you can get a pack of six for $49.00.  A good price when you know that normally they sell for $11.95 each.  I sent her the URL, but never heard back.  If she did reply, she most likely got caught in one of my filters.  Oh, well.

Anyway, the ended up buying the machine and I laughingly told the saleslady “I should get a commission for that”.  Then I pointed out the sewing machine I wanted and also asked about the cabinets.  Well, the cabinets aren’t in stock any longer, they have to be ordered.  I found the one I wanted, gave her my ten dollar off coupon.  She had to ring up the machine separately from the cabinet for some reason.  I paid for the machine and she was having a really difficult time ringing up the cabinet.  She called her manager and was told they no longer make that model.  Then we tried a different model with the same results.  She said she’d call me when the problems they were having got resolved.  Oh, and she was giving me a 10% customer satisfaction discount for my help with the FloorMate sale!  Wasn’t that cool?  Now, I see them all over on the internet, which I called her up that afternoon to tell her.  She said they’d just got it figured out and that she was just getting ready to call me and let me know that the cabinet I originally wanted was ordered. 

I was really excited about the new machine.  When we got home, I tried putting it in my old cabinet with no luck.  The holes didn’t match up.  I’d have to wait for the new one.  I did get out a work table that I use for my shirts and set that up in the family room.  I put the machine on top of that and got it threaded and did the towels for Brian (he takes full size bath towels, cuts them up to use for car washing; I sew the edges so that they don’t unravel).  I found that I couldn’t hear the television, so I got the wireless earphones, the second Leapfrog receiver I’d ordered (for the stereo in the shop, so that I could listen to what was playing in the house, out by the pool, but there was too much interference and it never did work correctly, although it works nicely here in the office) and set it up.  Victory!  I could hear the television, see the screen and sew all at the same time!  I’m ready!

Then it was Tuesday, time to take Junior in.  The vet checked Junior over, said he looks good.  He had lost five pounds since his last visit.  At first, it looked like he’s lost close to ten pounds, but one of his legs wasn’t on the scale.  Brian put him back on while we were waiting and got the new, better reading of fifty seven pounds.  The doc looked in Junior’s eyes, said it was good, no diabetic cataracs.  He said that as bad as this sounds, the best thing that ever happened to Junior was the diabetes.  Because he’s in such good health now.  Then he looked at the lumps.  The ones on the left side, the ones like Buddy had, were lipomas and the vet showed me the range of motion of Junior’s leg, that they would never interfer with his walking.  He did a needle aspirate, though, just to make sure it wasn’t anything else.  Then he looked at the two on Junior’s right side.  He did a needle aspirate of those.  Then he took blood for the fructosamine test.  We put Junior back on the floor and I noticed a couple of blood spots on my shirt.  We found they were coming from one of the right side lumps.  This didn’t bode well.  None of Buddy’s ever bled.  Bleeding lumps are scary.  The vet came back in and said that the left side lumps were lipomas and they were nothing to worry about.  But the right side lumps, well, they weren’t good.  They were mast cell tumors.  He said that the fact they were both on the same side was purely coincidental.  He took us through the various stages of mast cell cancer, and the various treatments.  He told us that 90% of the dogs he’s seen with this are still alive four years later.  And of the 10% who were no longer around, most of them died from other things, not the mast cell.  His initial treatment was to surgically remove the tumors, with a considerable amount of surrounding tissue.  He’d send the tumors out for a more detailed test, and we’d take it from there.  At this point, though, it seems as if he feels the surgery will be enough.  He explained the special precautions he’d take due to Junior’s diabetes.  We were to only give Junior a half dose of insulin the morning of surgery, let him drink as much as he liked, just don’t feed him.  We could feed him normally when we brought him home.  During the surgery, Junior would be on an IV drip to regulate his blood sugar so that there wouldn’t be any problems while our Chew Diddly dog was under.  When I paid the bill, I was told the first opening was Thursday, July 31st.  But when she looked at the book more closely, she found an opening for Monday, July 28th.  Yesterday.

We took him in a little after eight, I signed all of the paperwork and we left.  I knew he was in good hands.  Brian did tell me that I really needed to get Junior a new collar, since the old one is too big for him.  To keep myself from being too nervous, I kept myself busy yesterday.

When I got home from the vet, I called my mom to see if she was dressed, had eaten, taken her pills.  She had, why?  Because I thought this would be a good time to take her to Wal-Mart to get her the new lawnmower she’d wanted.  That was okay with her.  I dashed out of the house and over to pick her up, where we headed on over to the El Cajon Wal-Mart.  We only got one cart, but ended up needing two.  I parked by the garden center exit and we went in the front entrance.  I got some different flavors of Fancy Feast, and ironing board, a new bathroom scale and some other stuff.  When we were in the cat aisle, I pointed out the squeaky mice, told mom she should get one for her cats, since ours like them so much.  She put one in her cart, along with cat food for her cats.  We made our way to the garden center and looked at the plants.  I picked up a couple more for my flowering area (I found out this past weekend I’ve got bugs eating my flowers.  :angry   (I searched our shop for insecticide, but found very little, not enough to do the entire bed.  I sprayed what I could, it does look like it helped somewhat, but I really needed more.) I got some spray on Sevin, the kind you attach to the hose.  I figured I’d read the label when I got home.  Some of the plants I got are small, ones which don’t spread, but do get kind of bushy.  I figured I could plant those by the alyssum, which is doing so well, but there’s all this white, it really needs some more color.  Then we went inside and picked out the lawn mower, one of the nice old men put it in mom’s cart (she was flirting outrageously, it was so cute).

We checked out (the checkout woman was so sloooooow) and loaded up the Bronco. We got to her house and unloaded her stuff, then began to put her mower together.  It probably took about forty-five minutes, it was so danged hot, sweat was pouring off of me.  Miraculously, it cooled off once we’d finished.  Go figure.  She was quite pleased with her new little machine and I was happy for her.  I drove home, then parked and started doing the unloading of my purchases.  I took the flowers out back, put them by the pool.  I took the Sevin into the shop, got the scale working (it’s so cute, it’s really small, lightweight and it’s digital; of course, I had to weigh myself, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be, hopefully I’ll see another loss Friday), stacked the catfood and just relaxed. 

Shortly after, UPS showed up with my new cabinet.  It was heavy and it needed to be put together.  I took everything out of the box, looked at the instructions, then figured I’d wait for Brian.  I took everything into the exercise room.  About forty five minutes later, not knowing what I wanted to do, but knowing I wanted to be busy, I decided to put it together.  I probably took me about an hour and a half to get it all together and I was quite pleased with my efforts.  Except the machine wouldn’t drop in like it should.  It took me another two hours to figure out I’d put the back brace board in upside down.  Fortunately, Brian was home and I didn’t have to completely take it apart as he held up the pieces as I turned the back board over.  The machine dropped in perfectly.

I had called the vet around 4:30 to see if Junior was ready to come home.  Yes, he was.  Really ready.  Brian and I got in the Bronco, Brian spying the new collar I’d gotten Junior.  “Why’d you get that one?” he said, obviously not pleased with my choice.  Well, it was the only one the size we needed that wasn’t nylon.  Brian said he thought we’d discussed getting a nylon collar, that snapped together.  Uh, no, maybe you thought about it, but you never said anything to me.  He’s skeptical of that, but I swear, it’s never been in any conversation we’ve had. 

We get down the vet’s office, Kelsey brings Junior out, I settle the bill.  It was $501, but we get a 10%discount, which really helps.  Junior was happy to be going home.  When we got home, Junior jumped out of the back of the Bronco, about gave Brian and me heart attacks.  I took the lead and walked him back to the side gate and we went into the yard.  I took the leash off and Junior was back home.  His stitches look awful.  On his back leg, the stitched area is a good four inches long.  I haven’t had a chance to look at the front, I don’t want to bother Junior. 

Concerned about him being out last night, we fixed up the kitchen/laundry room area for him.  I moved the litterbox out and vacuumed up all the loose litter.  Brian brought in Junior’s big pillow that he likes to sleep on.  I put the gate up so that he would have to stay in that area (we certainly didn’t need him wandering around and antagonizing Oliver).  We gave him a biscuit and a big bowl of water. 

Junior hated it.  He whimpered most of the night.  I thought maybe it was because he was hurting.  I’d go out to calm him down.  Finally, at around three, I let him back outside.  The kitchen and laundry room floors were both very wet.  The dog food lid was off.  How he managed that, I have no idea.  I grabbed some towels from the basket of needed to be cleaned towels and put them on the wet places on the floor.  I’d clean it up today.  Unable to sleep, I got up and watched him through the screen door.  He was panting, but not whimpering or crying.  He looked okay.  I finally was able to sleep.

The wet floor wasn’t just water from the bowl, but he’d obviously also urinated.  I’d be putting the FloorMate to use today, that was for certain.  He ate well this morning and also took his shot without any sign of discomfort.  I am glad our weather is mild right now.  I can’t imagine if this had happened when it was cold and rainy out, not with the way he didn’t like being inside.  After Brian left for work, I started my first load of laundry, pulled all of the laundry containers onto the patio and cleaned the kitchen and laundry room floors.  They finally dried (we’re having muggy weather, things don’t dry quickly) and I hauled all the stuff back in and put the litterbox back in it’s spot.  Back to normal.

Last week I spent hours online looking up attachments for my new sewing machine.  I called Sears to find out if I could use other manufacturer’s products in my machine.  I was told yes, but they had to meet certain specifications.  Did I know that they had an attachment kit there at Sears?  No?  Well, she went through the various presser feet with me and I thought it was an excellent buy.  Sixteen different things in one box, for under thirty dollars.  So, Saturday morning, off I went to buy one of the kits.  I didn’t really look through it, I felt I’d have plenty of time to do that when I got the new cabinet and everything in it’s place.  Well, last night, I started reading the little book that came with it and found I’m missing one piece. I called Sears this morning and I can go down and exchange it for a complete kit.  Good deal.  Maybe I’ll do that after I finish this entry.  And take a shower.  I smell pretty bad.  If I go soon, then I can lay in the sun, providing the monsoonal flow stays away.  If it doesn’t, then I can finish the sewing projects I started years ago.

Well, that seems that about covers what’s been going on the past week.  Just another day in the life of lisaviolet. 

Stay cool.

      Wednesday, July 30, 2003


11:44 AM - 07/30/2003

The topic: Need mass quantities of coffee…quickly….

----------------------------------------------

Wednesday, July 30, 2003  I really think I’m becoming addicted to my morning three cups of coffee. Its 9:41 am according to my little system clock in the corner right of my monitor and I’m bone tired.  I just put on the coffee, should be ready soon.  Good, because I need it.

You may be wondering why I’m making another entry so soon after the last one I made, which was only yesterday.  Well, because I had a little adventure yesterday.  Nothing to do with the cats or Junior, they’re all fine.  As a matter of fact, Junior is doing fabulously.  His licking of his incision is still minimal and he was almost doing his “foodfoodfood” dance this morning when he was fed.

Okay, so here’s what happened.  After I finished my entry here, I searched online for the missing presser foot from that kit.  I mean, how much could it possibly be?  Not over five bucks, at the most.  Ha, was I wrong.  At Sears.com, the one for a horizontal machine (did I mention that I didn’t know the difference between a horizontal and a vertical machine?  well, just in case you don’t know and you want to know, it’s how the bobbin goes in; some machines they drop in, those are horizontal, others you put them in so that they’re vertical; I found this out last week when I made one of my many calls to Sears about my machine) costs $9.99.  Whoa!  I don’t think I want to pay a third of what I paid for my kit for one foot.  So, I call Sears.  No problem to switch them out.  *lol*  I’m on a first name basis with the saleslady.  I figured I’d take the shower, get dressed, and go down to Sears and trade the incomplete kit with a complete kit.  And I would also buy the quilt I saw in Sunday’s ad, one that Brian also liked.  I’d need my Sears card for that.  Bedding in our house is cat related, ya know.  Because they get so furry.  And different quilts or comforters really can change the look of the room.  A cheap makeover.  This quilt was on sale for $39.99.  It will match any of the spreads I got earlier this year.
 

 



I dressed for the weather.  Shorts, a sleeveless cotton top and I put my still wet hair in a clip on my head.  I got my driver’s license, my Sears card, the kit to be replaced and the keys to the Bronco.  I’ve found it’s much more convenient to just put the stuff I need in my pockets and not bother with a purse.  I hate purses anyway, I only carry one when I don’t have any pockets.  I thought about bringing a couple of bucks, but what did I need money for?  I’d be right home.  Right?

Heh. 

So, I get to Sears, didn’t take longer than ten minutes, even with the traffic light gods still displeased with me for whatever I did.  I grab the kit, think about leaving my sunglasses in the car, nah, it’s bright outside (although muggy), I’ll just wear them on my head.  I get downstairs, see Dawn, say “Hi!”, she says “Hi, Dianne, your new kit is by the register, ready to go” and I walk over to the register, the other saleswoman helps me, we trade stuff out (I had to exchange the instruction booklet because I’d marked in mine).  That taken care of, I go over to the bedding department and quickly find my quilt, take it over to the register and purchase that.  Then, I’m ready to go home.  I walked up the stairs (I always take the stairs, never the elevator) and on the way to the exit door, I pat my front pocket.  I feel a little lightheaded.  I don’t feel my keys.  And I knew where they were.  In the ignition.  Of the Bronco.  There wasn’t a doubt in my mind I’d not taken them out.

I laugh.  Great.  Just what I needed.  Fortunately, I was parked by the automotive building.  I walk over to the Bronco and peer in the driver’s side.  Can’t see the ignition.  Walk over to the passenger’s side, look in.  Yep.  There they are.  All shiny in the sun.  Hanging from the ignition.  *sigh*  I walk over to the automotive department and wait for until a clerk gets unbusy.  “Can I help you?”  Yeah, I locked my keys in my car.  *weak laugh*  He had to get the number for mall security, told me to wait for them by my vehicle.  They’d be in a little white cart or on a bicycle.  Just yell out to get their attention.  I walk outside, and it’s starting to sprinkle (the weather here has been really strange this year;  it was raining when I woke up and we didn’t get our walk in this morning).  I look up, it’s just an isolated cloud.  I’m glad I kept my sunglasses with me.  I walk over to the Bronco and sit.  And wait.  I wish I’d worn a watch.  I’ll know better next time.

It was probably close to ten minutes when I see the little cart.  I yell and they come over.  There was a woman and young man in security uniforms.  They talk to me, look in the Bronco.  The guy has to go get the tool to unlock the doors.  A slimjim.  While he’s gone I make small talk with the woman. She’s been there for three years, likes her job.  Said there haven’t been any vehicle thefts that she knows of, just the occasional shoplifter.  I tell her about Junior, said I’m concerned that he might be licking his incisions.  She said she likes dogs.  (I find most people do, more than like cats; odd, I never get the “I hate dogs” response where I’ve gotten plenty of “I hate cats” replies.)  We talk about the weather, she shares her ideas about “earthquake weather” and her reasoning behind it.  I nod my head, although I don’t believe there’s such a thing.  Finally, the guy gets back and starts working his magic on the door locks.  I had to show my license and sign a form that they had my permission to do this. Five minutes later, the doors were still locked.  This wasn’t going to work. 



Groovy.  Brian was working in Alpine yesterday and he wouldn’t be able to come to my rescue.  I would have to call my mom.  Groovy.  This was going to be fun.  When we went to Wal-Mart Monday, she had told me that she’d locked her keys in her car the previous week.  Luckily for her, her locks aren’t electronic and she hadn’t locked the hatchback door, so she was able to crawl in that way.  I can just imagine her reaction when I tell her what I’ve done.  Once I got home, I’d worry about getting back to get the Bronco.  I didn’t know if Brian’s Bronco keys were at home, or with him.  I was leaning towards them being at home. 

I got to ride in the back of the security cart and we went into security.  The woman handed me the phone and I call mom.  She finally answers.  I started singing “good afternoon to you, good afternoon to you” like I do the “good morning to you” every morning.  She says “Dianne?”  Yeah, mom, it’s me.  I’m at Parkway Plaza, in security.  “What are you doing there?”  Uh, I got picked up for shoplifting.  “NO!  YOU DIDN’T!”  (At this point security was watching me with amusement.)  No, mom, I wasn’t picked up for anything like that, but can you believe I locked the keys in the Bronco?  “You DIDN’T!”  She started laughing.  Well, yeah, I did and mom?  I need you to come get me.  “Me?”  Yeah, mom, you.  Brian’s working in Alpine today. 

So, we talk about how to get here and she mentions she comes up by the LazyBoy Store.  That’s fine, I tell her, that’s Johnson, the street I was using giving you directions.  I’ll be waiting on the corner for you.  I hang up the phone, thank security and off I go. 

Now, I’m getting a little hungry, but I have absolutely no money. I have to pee, but that’s cool, I know where the restrooms are at Sears.  I walk into the mall by the front entrance and food stores abound.  Quizno’s, Rubios, Orange Julius, an ice cream store….I fleetingly wonder if any would accept my Sears card for payment.  I make my way back to Sears, go downstairs to the restroom, then back up and out to the Bronco.  I keep walking, making my way to the main road, then up to the light.  I wait my turn, then go across the street and stake out my spot to wait for my mom.  I keep watching for her little silver car.  And it doesn’t show.  And it doesn’t show.  And it doesn’t show.  I was there for at least an hour, I just know it’s been a really long time.  And no mom.  At one point, an ambulance went towards the way she’d be driving.  Then, a while later, it came back and turned to go to one of the local hospitals.  Could my mom have been in an accident?  Standing on a corner, in the muggy heat of a monsoonal weather pattern, all sorts of wierd things go through one’s mind.  I finally started thinking that my best bet would just to be to start walking home.  It’s probably about five miles, I can do it.  I just wish I didn’t have this quilt, it’s sure to get heavier the farther I walk.  I wonder how blistered my feet will be.  I wonder how long it will take. I turned to go to the light, taking one last look at the Sears parking lot, one last look at my little Bronco. And I see a woman in the parking lot, wearing the type of clothing my mom wears.  I wave my hands.  She waves back.  IT’S MY MOM! 

I made my way back over to the lot and find out that she had asked a neighbor to bring her down.  I say hi to him and we laugh about the miscommunication.  I’m just glad to be going home.  I get in the back of his car and he turned up the air conditioning.  I notice a roll of papertowels on the seat next to me, grab one and wipe off my face.  On the way home,  I find out they’ve been looking for me for quite a while.  He couldn’t understand why I wasn’t waiting by the Bronco.  Well, the parking lot is a big place, I wasn’t quite sure mom would know to look where I’d parked and besides, I told her I’d be waiting on the corner for her.  They had gone inside and had me paged.  Of course, I didn’t hear it on the other side of the street.  He dropped us off at her house and she took me home.  I looked at the keys on the rack, saw a set of Ford keys on the chain with the Mustang keys, but I wasn’t sure they were for the Bronco.  I paged Brian with our special code for call right away.  Five minutes later, I paged again, because sometimes the pages don’t go through.  He called back shortly.  Yes, the keys with the Mustang were for the Bronco.  Great! 

So, my mom took me back to Sears, I got in the Bronco and came home!  Wasn’t that a fun adventure?  The entire ordeal took about two and a half hours.  But I did learn one thing.  Always have some money on me, no matter what.  And wear a watch.

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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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