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      Wednesday, May 05, 2021

08:37 AM - 05/05/2021

The topic: Gophers


The gopher problem has gotten pretty bad here at the old homestead. The backyard is so ridden with gopher tunnels, it's like walking on a wet sponge. Smooshy. And it's even worse when it's rained or the lawn has been watered.

The cats are pretty much, well, useless. They only have the time when we're not in bed to hunt, because we still close up the house at night because of the opossum problem last summer. We do not want a recurrence of that. Not ever. No possum babies in the garage or house. Not doing it again.

I've watched the cats watch the gopher holes. I've watched the cats pounce on the holes. I've watched the cats shove their legs into the holes as deep as they could, trying to catch that gopher.

I've watched many misses.

Every once in a while, I will see one of the cats, usually Ike, with a live gopher. Which results in some pretty excited humans, shouting at one another to "close the doors!" to the house, as Ike trots through the yard with the squirming rodent in his mouth.

Ike does not kill the gopher. Oh, no, not just yet. We have a functioning toy here. He's smart. He carries the gopher to a place in the yard where there are no holes for escape. And he drops the gopher, smacking it down, each time it rears up at him. Finally, the gopher dies. One of the other cats does cleanup, I haven't seen Ike eating them very often. But we have plenty left, if the daily, fresh mounds are any indication.

We also have them in the front yard. I've actually watched them poking their heads up and looking around. When I see this, I go outside and shove pinecones down the hole where I saw the head. The front yard isn't green or anything, just lots of dirt with mulch and a few weeds (the bunnies like to nom on the weeds). Sometimes we'll get ambitious and pull the larger ones, but we don't use poisons or traps. Heck, we have patches of clover in our back yard especially for the bees. Brian told me last weekend, he put bread down a gopher hole out front after he saw the head pop up. Bread. He's feeding the darned things! I said "no bread. Pine cones".

Anyway, last month we had a discussion about the huge amount of holes in the backyard. And Brian suggested leaving the cat door in the laundry room unlocked at night. So, the cats could hunt during the night. I guess maybe it helps a little bit, but we haven't seen much progress in the lessening of the holes.

This morning, I see this.

Blood. Huh.

One down, a gazillion to go. Guess the head isn't all that tasty. (If you want to see them full sized, click on the photo to go to the photo album.)

photos    gopher    catstuff   

      Monday, May 03, 2021

09:56 AM - 05/03/2021

The topic: A couple of items off of my to do list


Since I found dies and stamps, I've accumulated a few. Well, more than a few, I've accumulated a lot. Since I found Lawn Fawn, my collection has gotten pretty big.

The problem is organizing them. I'm still working on this. The ongoing, slow organization is using an ancient inkjet printer (I got it to use for our Disneyland trips, actually took it with us when we went) and an Epson scanner. The plan is to copy every stamp and die I have and add the pages to binders, so I can flip through those instead of digging through storage containers. There may be multiple pages for individual stamps or dies. Say, holidays, pets, transportation, birthdays, stuff like that. A page for each category the stamp or die can be used for. Each stamp/die will have a color button on it that corresponds with the color button on the storage container. The pages will also have the same color button so I know where to look for that particular stamp or die.

Lots of work and very time consuming. I hope I'm done by the end of the year because it's really super boring to do.

The most recent organization, the one I took off of my to do list, is with the Lawn Fawn products. I have colored index cards. Stamps, stencils and dies each get their own color card. Dies that work with stamps get their own color card. On the card I add the other items that this will work with. Here's an example (link to a Lawn Fawn product page). Each Lawn Fawn product is numbered and that's how I have them ordered. And I found out I have more duplicates that I'd like to admit. Hopefully, this will take care of that from happening in the future.

Remember this?

And that's one thing off of my list.

The other was reorganizing the storage container that has my fun supplies (glitter! embossing powder! ephemera! paint! markers! pens! pencils! adhesives! etc, etc, etc....) to work with. That took all weekend, just in the mornings because it was cooler, but even though I'll still need to look for stuff, I'll have a good idea WHERE to look.

Accomplishing things is a good feeling.

organization    craftstuff   

09:19 AM - 05/03/2021

The topic: Other stuff


Brian finally had the time to set up the new television on Saturday, April 17. More than a month since it had been delivered.

We thought it would be an easy install.

It wasn't.

The mount we have is from our first flat screen television that we got in June 2008. In the years since then, televisions have gotten much lighter. Televisions come and go, but we've kept that mount. It is a nice one, you can move the television, pull it out from the wall, which in our situation is the back side of the entertainment center. We bought it at CostCo for like a hundred bucks. It's heavy (heavier than the new television).

 Before it was set up, I did my due diligence to make sure we had the right screws for mounting the television. I was a little concerned about the old mount, but Brian pointed out that there were a lot of pre-drilled holes and that it would work.

Old television removed, Brian took the mounting plate that went on that television and put it on the new television. No problem. Yet. He attached it to the mount in the entertainment center. It was three inches too high. The mount wasn't in the center of the television, but on the lower half. This wasn't going to work.

He spent a couple of hours trying to get the mount to work without having to actually unscrew the entire mount and then drill more holes in the entertainment center. He took the mount apart and what ideally should have worked (in a perfect world), didn't.

The mount was re-assembled and he had to move the mount. But once that was done, it worked nicely.

It's a TCL Roku television. I spent the next two days figuring out how to set up the components, you know, the DVD players, the cable connection and the Amazon Fire Cube (that I bought on sale with money I made from taking surveys). Set the tv up so when it's turned on it goes directly to cable (this is for Brian). I really wanted him to learn how to use the remote to access the streaming services we get and having a television with the built in Roku makes it tons easier. ("See that little house outline on the remote? Just push that and you'll see the menu for the streaming services! Easy peasy.")

I'm really happy with this system now that it's set up. And I think I'll like not being the one that has to find Marvel movies on the Disney+ service. Now he can do it. The only immediate problem I could see was at night, you can't see the keys on the Roku. I found some little keychain flashlights that fit nicely in the Roku tag at the bottom of the remote. I put one on both of the remotes and they help a lot.

roku    new tv    geekstuff   

09:04 AM - 05/03/2021

The topic: About Rory


Back on Monday, April 19, we noticed that Rory was having some sort of litterbox issue. Since she's getting older and has been losing weight, I made an appointment for a check up. Including a complete blood panel and thyroid check.

The appointment was that Thursday (the 22nd). The bloodwork wouldn't be done until the following day, it had to be sent out and they were unable to get any urine for testing. I had to bring her back in on Friday morning.

So, they got the urine, the test were run. Not as bad as they could have been but they weren't all that good. She has mid-stage kidney disease and her thyroid isn't doing its job. The vet prescribed daily subQ fluids (100cc) for the kidney problem and methamazole for the thyroid. We're okay with the fluids, I replenished the stock on the 22nd, and I still had the methamazole left over from her mom (Lorelei).  When the vet called to tell me the results, she also said she wanted to see Rory in a week. Rory had her followup checkup last Friday.

Results were a little worse. So, Rory is also getting a phosphorus binder, Epatikin. The vet ordered it for me from their pharmacy, but it would be shipped more quickly from Amazon (it was here on Sunday, better than 4-8 days from the pharmacy) and there was also free shipping. All in all about twelve dollars less.

She hates the methamazole. She takes the fluids nicely, though. She lays there and just purrs. I was concerned about the Epatikin, but adding it to people tuna seemed to be something she liked.

Her fur has that spikey look that cats who aren't feeling well have. Her appetite has been off and she does seem to be eating a little more than she had been.

She's supposed to go back for another recheck next week. I hope her values have improved. She's a pretty nice little cat.

thyroid    rory    kidney disease    catstuff   

      Saturday, May 01, 2021

07:54 AM - 05/01/2021

The topic: Over a month!


Over a month since I've made an entry. Wow.

Time flies when you're having fun. Or just don't have the energy to sit at a computer and do something besides watch craft videos and paperwork.

Things have happened. Nothing major just little piddly stuff. Well, Rory is having some health issues, but I'll do another post about that this weekend.

I still need to do the taxes, but I don't want to. I'll put that off like everything else in my life.


      Sunday, March 28, 2021

06:56 AM - 03/28/2021

The topic: So, I’ve been fully vaccinated!


Got my second shot on Friday. I was a little worn out yesterday, achy, but overall, not too bad. Now, I wait two weeks and I'll be good to go. With a mask, of course. But now the virus shouldn't kill me,

It's still been cold here, but it's changing. It was in the 80s yesterday and we're supposed to get up to 87° today. Add five degrees to that and that's probably closer to what we'll get. I hope it warms up sooner in the day so I can get my day going. Not a fan of cold mornings.

We bought a tv on Amazon in July 2017. A Samsung. A smart tv. I like it. I got it all set up the way I want, can tell Alexa to turn it off or on from any room. It's nice. But last year, it started getting a streak across the top and bottom. And it's gotten worse. If there's a forehead at the top of the screen, there's a red streak across it. A smear of red. It's worse with some colors than others. If it's white? Can't see it. Dark? Can kinda see it. But like the ivory or whatever you want to call it of Caucasian skin, it looks like they were playing with watercolors and need to wash their faces.

It didn't bother Brian as much as it did me. You know when you have a problem in your mouth, like the roof is burned from something hot, or a problem with a tooth, how your tongue won't leave it alone? That's my eyes and those streaks.

I checked my warranty and I bought a four year warranty. I contacted the company on a Thursday, they quickly replied with a service date of the following Tuesday. There was a possibility the television would be taken to a shop. I shopped for a new tv.

I found a nice one on Best Buy and bought it. The next day,  I had a notice from the warranty company that the problem had been resolved. What? No! It hasn't! I contacted them and what happened was they wouldn't be able to fix the television so they put in a refund for the full amount I paid for the television. It was in my account on Tuesday. The new tv had gotten here the previous Friday.

It still hasn't been set up. Brian's been pretty busy.

I don't think Bobby is blind. If he is, he sure hides it well. He's plugging along. Mario has his good days and his bad. He's one of the first cats in the office in the morning because I hand out treats. He likes treats.

We had a definite flea problem going on. I had the meds from last year and split them up. I only had two tubes, but that was plenty for everyone, including stinky dog (he's stinky because he's in bad need of a bath and it's been cold, but he'll get one this coming week, for sure). Not nearly as much scratching as there had been.

I haven't been doing much crafting, just buying supplies. But I realized that I wasn't making anything, just spending money, so just backed off for the time being. What I need to do is to finish organizing what I've got so I don't get duplicates.

We have that television that Brian hung on over they fireplace we don't use in the family room. It's a Roku television (like our new one that's waiting to be set up) and we were using it as a digital photo frame. I had an external hard drive connected to the router and was pulling the photos using the Roku Media Player. But I wanted to add more photos. And the thing choked because there were so many. I tried using an external drive connected directly to the television and that worked. The problem was I had a gazillion duplicate photos. When I post a photo here, there are three copies of the same picture. The original, a photo resized to 2000 pixels wide for the photo gallery and a third resized to 540 for this weblog. For the photo frame, I just want the originals. I have a separate hard drive just for this. I won't be losing anything.

I have over 100,000 photos. With various software, I've gotten it down to under 60,000. I downloaded at least ten different trial versions and I bought the best one for my purpose. The problem? It doesn't work without a license key. And they haven't sent the key yet. I contacted the place who took my payment. No response. I contacted Paypal (I used PayPal because it would be easier to deal with in case of any problems...like not getting my license key) and now I just wait. There are one or two other programs that might work, but I don't want to buy anything else until this matter is resolved.

First world problems.

vaccination    geekstuff    catstuff   

      Friday, March 05, 2021

11:25 AM - 03/05/2021
We found a dime and a little stone that's shaped like a cat's head on our walk this morning

The topic: Looks at the date of the last entry


So, not much going on. I'm bored and I'm antsy.

I find I don't have much energy when it's cold. Because when I cover myself with a blanket, that means it's time to sleep. And I do. A total waste of time, for sure.

I'm driving more, but not a lot more. Down to the drug store to pick up Bobby or Mario's meds. To the UPS to return Amazon purchases that I don't want for whatever reason. Mostly something was damaged, doesn't work or I upgrade the widget.

Mario is still kicking around, but he's getting even slower. And it's getting more difficult to keep his stool from being dried out. It makes me sad. But he IS still going, he goes potty in Brian's shower (easy clean up), he responds to affection, and still has an appetite. All signs he's not ready to leave yet.

And then there's Bobby. Bobby was diagnosed last month with high blood pressure and his sight has taken a hit. The vet says he's blind, but from how he moves his head to follow us makes me think he still has some eyesight. He's on the same meds as Mario, just not as much.

Little Bitty Dawg has discovered shivering gets our attention. The house is plenty warm and he doesn't shiver if he doesn't think you're watching him. But he gets a blankie put over him and he likes that. He's also getting a sweater, it should be here today. He's completely recovered from the health problem he had last year.

I got my first COVID shot last Friday. Moderna. The only problems I had was a sore arm and I was tired. But I feel fine now, so, that's good. The next one is in three weeks, then I have two more weeks before it will be safe for me to go out. I'll still wear a mask and practice safe distancing, but I'll feel a lot safe. Cool thing about the Moderna vaccine - it helps prevent transmission of the virus.

The other day Brian had to bring a heavy crate into the yard, so he needed me to guard the gate. Which means standing there with a hose and if any critter looks to run towards the open gate, they get hosed. So, I'm standing there, hose in hand, Brian is almost done, he's got the crate, he's backing the tractor into the yard and something hit me, hard, on my sore arm. Well, not the arm, but the shoulder.

A pine cone! A pine cone fell from pretty high up and hit me square on the shoulder. It really surprised me and it hurt like hell. Still does. I was lucky, though. Three or four inches to the right and it would have hit me in the middle of my head, pretty sure it would have knocked me out. Try explaining that to law enforcement. It didn't hit pointy end, it had rolled over on the way down and hit with the compacted wide side, the side that connects to the tree.

I will have more respect from falling pine cones in the future.

We've hit the time of year with four hours of cheap electricity. From ten in the morning until three in the afternoon, it's the super cheap rate (usually from midnight to six, weekends until four and holidays). I'm doing a couple of loads of laundry. Nice to not have to wait until the weekend.

Not much else. Just living. One boring day after another. I'm not complaining. I am looking forward to being able to concentrate on books again. I am looking forward to warmer weather.

I am looking forward to spring cleaning!


ow    mario    jingles    bobby   

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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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