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      Tuesday, May 30, 2023

06:21 AM - 05/30/2023

The topic: Crazy month, sad month


We said goodbye to Chloe on May 5th, a month after she came to live with us.

We kept hoping we could find some magic formula to help her recover somewhat from the damage that had been done to her body by the kidney failure, but we were unsuccessful.

We had let her have access to the outside during the day. During her last week, she'd started to lick the cement on the patio, PICA, which is a symptom of anemia. The anemia was because of kidney failure. She started sleeping on the bed and during her last week, she peed every night. The washer and dryer ran every day.

I bought a special blanket for her for the bed, a waterproof blanket. On her last night here, she peed on it at least three times. She would lay in the pee, then move. The "waterproof" was a layer of something between two pieces of fabric and the blanket was actually dripping when I took it off of the bed.

We made the decision to say goodbye. She did recover somewhat during the morning and I called to cancel the appointment.

But then, the same hour her appointment had been scheduled for, she lost control of her back legs. She couldn't stand up, she couldn't walk. And it became glaringly obvious to us that she wasn't making any progress at all. I called the vet's office and they were able to fit us in.

I'm really sad that we couldn't do more for her, but she had weeks of outdoor access, she had care, she had attention and she had all the love we could give her. She was the center of our attention.


chloe    catstuff   

      Tuesday, April 25, 2023

11:52 AM - 04/25/2023

The topic: Still kicking here


I've been tied up with a new addition.

Brian's uncle wasn't doing well, he's had many health problems in the past ten years. Heart surgery, COVID (almost killing him), more heart problems...

Tuesday night, the fourth of April, Brian's cell phone rang. It didn't look like Uncle Steve would be with us much longer and he has an elderly cat, could we take her? Steve had been taken to the hospital the previous Saturday and it didn't look like he'd be coming home this time.

We did.

Wednesday night, Brian headed over to Steve's with a carrier and brought her home (Brian's brother and sister-in-law live next door). Once here, out of the carrier, it was obvious she had some health problems. My first inclination was kidney disease.

We had set up the bathroom for her and she was upset. I watched her closely, setting up a webcam so I could monitor what she did. She wasn't eating, she drank a small amount of water. But she just wasn't doing well. I called the vet and made an appointment for the next week. She saw the vet on the thirteenth.

The vet checked her out and she got a full blood panel. The results were devastating. The little girl also has a grade 1-2 heart murmur. The vet asked if we wanted to make an appointment for the following week for euthanasia or just call when Chloe was ready. We looked at each other and Brian told the vet "We'll call".

Well, here we are, almost two weeks later. And she's getting stronger every day. She can navigate the pet door, she's getting more familiar and less hissy with the resident cats (who are more curious than territorial). For a week she slept in the litter box, but once she realized that outdoors is an option, she's not spending so much time in the bathroom. We even took the lattice door down yesterday and I've slowly been taking out the bed we had for her, the cubby we had for her, the different bowls of food - all that's in there now is a fountain, a litter box and a small bowl of kibble.

I was trying to get video of her this morning, but the camera wasn't cooperating. Something else to deal with.

She's between sixteen and eighteen years old and she's feisty as all get out. With Steve's health situation, the loss of his wife from breast cancer this year, his arranging to move in with his daughter, who didn't respond to his calls and messages one night (five weeks after the loss of his wife), because she'd died (Brian's brother drove with Steve to his daughter's to find out why she wasn't answering), the EMTs when they took him to the hospital, Chloe being by herself and, honestly? not having the best care anyway, well, she was pretty traumatized when she came here. It's a slow process, but she's recovering.

She's getting 100ml of lactated ringers (fluids) every morning. She's getting a quarter of a famotidine (pepcid) tablet for the discomfort caused by kidney problems. She also gets half a milliliter of a 10 in 1 pet multi-vitamin each morning. Lactulose for constipation. And this afternoon, I got the okay from the vet to start giving her Renal K for her low potassium.

So, that's what's been going on at the cathouse.

Uncle Steve passed away last week.

chloe    catstuff   

      Tuesday, March 28, 2023

07:33 AM - 03/28/2023

The topic: The past couple of weeks have sure tried my patience.


Major laptop problems. The Windows software for security (Windows Defender) uses up a ton of resources and slows down the computer. Not so bad on the PC, but the laptop?  At times it uses almost thirty percent of what's available.

And my router comes with built in security. Okay, great.

The thing with Defender is you. Can. Not. Disable. Or. Remove. It.

The only way to make it stop is by installing a third party software. I spent hours looking for one, finally settled on the one that used the least resources, next to Kaspersky, the one which has a very strong warning not to use because Russia. Kaspersky is supposed to be one of the best and this was pretty disheartening. So, I went with another that shall not be named. (TotalAV - there, I named it.)

It wouldn't install properly. I was beyond frustrated. Trying to get it to install, I ended up really screwing up the laptop. It got to the point where I was "to hell with it" and deleted it. Asked for a refund (only $29 for a year on three systems), but I was salty and have no further intention of using it. I was told "okay, we won't renew the account in a year". No, I want my money back now. I hadn't had it for even a week, I want the money back. It took more back and forths than it should have, I finally pointed out a website that said it was a great software, but wasn't right for them and they got all of their money back without a problem. Said "maybe I should ask these people how they did it".

Money refunded.

Anyway, I couldn't get my laptop to work properly, so I had to do a clean install of the operating system. And it's taken over a week to finally get it to where I'm ready to clone the damned thing in case this happens again. It really annoys how much time just waiting for things to move along wastes. A week and a half, gone.

Time to catch up. There's paperwork needs to be done.

The birdfeeder with the nest in it now has babies. Brian saw them the other day when we hadn't seen mom in it and he took it down to clean it up and put more birdseed in it. Three babies. No birdseed. Still only one feeder outside that's feeding these guys and it empties out quickly.

Cats have done well in the gopher field. Caught one of the Avenger boys chomping on remains last week and yesterday opened the bathroom door to find a small gopher head had been pushed under. Guess gopher heads are great hockey pucks.

More rain on the way. The trees are still thrilled. We got our water bill. We only used five units in a two month period. The bill is $86.24. $56.81 of that we have no choice, it's the baseline charge for having the meter. I like small water bills. Much nicer than the ones in the summer and fall that are over four hundred.

And that's about it. The laptop is doing a final refrag right now (Windows stores data in a random manner, like putting socks away; one in this drawer, the other in that drawer - defragging moves the data so that the socks are in the same drawer), then I'll clone do the clone to an external drive.

So, have a great day and if it's wet where you are? Stay dry.

geekstuff    catstuff   

      Friday, March 10, 2023

07:04 AM - 03/10/2023

The topic: There are a few movies we watch over and over again


One of them is "Logan Lucky".  We've watched it so many times we're getting really good at the dialog.

Like Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) telling the Logan brothers "you Logans must be as simpleminded as people say you are". Brian said that this is one of his favorite Daniel Craig characters.

Anyway, I saw an ad for a series "Daisy Jones and the Six" on Amazon Prime. And I was thinking "she looks familiar, she looks like Mellie Logan" and I did a little research.

It is! Riley Keough.

I look her up. She's the granddaughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Lisa Marie's daughter.

Also, Dennis Quaid's son plays "Fish Bang".

Just a couple of fun facts.

If you haven't seen it, it's a really fun movie.


06:10 AM - 03/10/2023

The topic: This and that


Shew, I miss having the house open with fresh air blowing in. All this rain! This afternoon, this evening, tomorrow, next week...

Although yesterday was pretty nice. I got Stinky Dawg shaved down a little (it takes days to finish because I don't push it with him) and he got a bath. Now, he's Little Bitty Dawg once again. I'm thoroughly entertained when he's drying off and running all over the place. He's happy.

This was a fairly eventless week.

On Friday, I scrubbed more of the kitchen counters. Saturday, even more.  I finished with them on Sunday and boy, they look nice! I did find out when soaking the stove parts that peroxide does not melt the burnt-on grease as well as bleach.

Last weekend I put my hair in a ponytail on top of my head and cut it off. It's short. It's layered. I have bedhead in the morning. It's super flat on the right side.  But, damn, it's great to not have it hanging in my face when I bend down. I've been threatening to do this for a while now and last weekend, after hearing me complain once again about this "f*cking hair" when I was putting the foam in the office doorway to keep the dog out, he said, "why don't you just cut it?" I thought on it a while and asked if he'd cry if I did, and he said no. Then I asked if I cried after I did it would he hold me? He said "yes". 

So, I cut it. It's a ton nicer.

I caught up on the paperwork. Reconciling the bank account, I realized I never did that last month. At the end of last year, we got a notice from the bank that they were going to start charging six dollars for mailed copies of the statements each month or I could opt out and just print them out. Not a problem.

Except I forgot that this was happening. No problem, since I've been pretty good at keeping on top of this now, I had both done in less than half an hour.

I went shopping with Brian on Wednesday! We went to CostCo. Spent over six hundred dollars when taking in the full tank of gas. Over a hundred of that was on meat. Frozen burger patties, ground beef, roast, and a thing of Jimmy Dean sausage.  The ground beef, roast and sausage will be split and I'll use the Foodsaver to repackage it for freezing. It will probably last at least four months. The split roasts are small and I weigh the ground beef out (twelve ounces each) for packaging. I cut back on the amount I serve years ago.

We also got the receiver I ordered returned with no problem. Money is back on the card.

It was pretty nice getting out of the house and in public without a mask. I felt almost human.

I finished reading King's Fairytale this week. I liked it. I never finished the Tower Series since I wanted to start over again. I was going to do that next, but decided to re-read Shadowland, then the Talisman (Straub and King and Jack Sawyer's first appearance) and hit the Tower books. I'm looking forward to it.

I cleaned out a drawer yesterday. A bathroom drawer that had scrunchies and clips and headbands and all sorts of hair stuff. I won't throw it out, I put it in a container that Brian will put up in the rafters in the garage. I kept some of the small clips and the headbands because I'm pretty sure I can use those. Yay, me! Now, to tackle my closet and drawers (I have clothes that I wore before I met Brian - in 1985). I think it's safe to say I won't be wearing those ever again.

I tried taking a video with my little Elura 100 for Brian last weekend and it's dead. I found another on eBay for less than sixty bucks, I bought it. The seller had a bad rating, 97%. I checked the feedback and there were only forty-eight for the past year. Forty-seven stellar reviews and one negative. This camera was half the price of other sellers, so I jumped on it. It got here Wednesday and there's nothing wrong with it.

I got the final pieces of the holiday cards cut out. Now all I have to do is assemble them. Heh.

And that's this week's wrap-up. Nothing major (except for maybe the hair thing). It was a pretty uneventful week, just like most of them anymore.

little bitty dawg    craftstuff   

      Saturday, March 04, 2023

07:44 AM - 03/04/2023

The topic: Taxes


The federal government has pushed the deadline for filing taxes in some areas of California back. To October 16th! The state had already done so.

Yay! This should give us enough time to figure out how we're gonna pay them this year. Last year was a super good year and you know the ant and the grasshopper story?

I'm a grasshopper. But I bought enough stuff that I didn't need then that I might need now, so I already have it! Yay me! I don't store money, I store stuff! (I kind of went a little nuts because things had been tight for a while, I should have known better, but too late now.)

The deadline has been moved due to the storms we've had. San Diego County is on the list.

money management   

06:30 AM - 03/04/2023

The topic: Yeowch, sore shoulders this morning


I've mentioned over the past few years how I haven't been so gung ho about cleaning. Anything. Fortunately, I keep up with the laundry. Thinking back to the mess the extra room was, with clean laundry piled high from years of not feeling like putting it away "just now". (I have kept that room neat since the big cleanup.)

For a while, I tried running two botvacs (one for one side of the house with the dining room, family room, and living room, and one for the bedroom, bathrooms, and office) for the floors, but due to our floor configuration, they weren't any more human efficient than just pulling out the vacuum. Cords, throw rugs, cat toys, chairs had to be moved because the vacuums would get stuck between the legs...may as well vacuum you know?  My old vacuum was an old-style upright, heavy and the brush area was pretty wide. Last year I got a Shark Rotator Pet Plus Upright from Meh (refurbished) for $99.00.  I used it once in the office, then just put it in the closet. But I started using it again and I love it (as far as I could love anything that involves cleaning, which is absolutely NOT my favorite thing in the world to do). It's amazingly lightweight and does a bang up job of cleaning. For some reason, we get a lot of dusty dirt and then there's the stuff the critters bring in on their fur. Because it's so light, it doesn't kill my lower back. I can get the entire house (well, not counting the office) in under an hour.

Thursday, I dusted and vacuumed. And cleaned one section of a kitchen counter.

Our counters are white tile with (*koff*) white grout.  Well, they're supposed to have white grout. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was brown grout. A few weeks ago I read of a really super easy way to clean them. Baking soda and peroxide. So, I ordered a gallon of peroxide, ask Brian to buy me a large sized baking soda container next time he shopped and some brushes to scrub with. And I did a small area Thursday afternoon.

Oh, my gosh! So clean!  I was so happy with the result, that I got to work yesterday morning on more counters. I got most of them done yesterday, and today I will finish. And I'm going to see how well soaking parts of the stove come clean soaking in peroxide. It will be nice to have a clean counter and stove. Which won't last long with Brian, for sure. I don't know how he does it, but he can sure get those counters sticky.

I like that I'm feeling more like cleaning. I think maybe with the bad hip for so long, I got depressed about not being able to walk and just kind of descended into not giving a shit. I hope that will all be behind me.

Really looking forward to a clean house.

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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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