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      Sunday, May 04, 2014

04:24 PM - 05/04/2014

The topic: Cool…

I recently received an email that my Roku® Streaming Player now has the YouTube channel. This means I can watch YouTube on my television in the other room. It will make it easier to follow the SVGCuts tutorial videos as well as watch my own videos.

I'll be adding videos to my YouTube channel. I already added one today, from a video I took in April 2013. 


      Monday, May 05, 2014

08:19 AM - 05/05/2014

The topic: I’ve been making breakfast for a couple of weeks now

Brian did it for years after his old company slowed way down and he moved everything home.  But FitRite business has really picked up the past few months and we've had to make a few changes because time is a precious commodity now. He doesn't visit the tractor forums in the daytime and I make breakfast while he's taking a shower.

Well, it's been dry here and there's usually a problem with insects.

It wasn't bad until this morning....

But wait! I'm not done yet!
I've got more to say!

10:03 AM - 05/05/2014

The topic: Helping out the cathouse

As I've mentioned, money is tight around here. We're making do, getting by. Instead of Black Angus Steakhouse (with coupons), we're having Wendy's. We request the senior discount whenever possible.

Obamacare has been a Godsend to us. It's dropped our almost $500.00 a month health insurance payment over 90% (and we get better coverage than we had).

We haven't gone to the dentist in over two years. Hopefully, brushing and flossing will keep our mouths in okay form until we can afford to start going back. Last December, I did something to one of my molars, hurt really bad, couldn't drink hot, couldn't drink cold, couldn't chew on that side, I had my fingers crossed that I'd just bit down or something that involved a nerve below the molar (I think I have a crown on that tooth). Naproxen (CostCo brand) and time helped, the pain was gone in a month, the tooth no longer feels weird when I bite down (guess I've gotten used to it). Last month, Brian had a problem with his front teeth, they hurt, but he did the same thing and they're better now. In the grasshopper days, we'd have been at the dentist to get the problems looked at. Obviously, if the pain had continued for either of us, we'd have had no option but to hit the dentist's.

And the cats no longer eat premium food. Wet or dry. Those companies just kept raising the prices of the food to where it was over two dollars a pound for dry and the cats decided they no longer liked the wet food. Now they get Kirkland dry (which is a good food, Kirkland is the CostCo brand, many breeders recommend it) and Friskies wet, which is .98 a can at WalMart. 

They also don't go to the vet's office nearly as often. We've got a couple of kitties who could do with dentals, but at $500.00, it takes a little time to get it. But I still get the meds for DaNiece (thyroid) and Georgie (Calcitriol). Georgie and Miss Elizabeth, both in their twenties now (so is Gracie Anne), get subQ fluids twice a week. My vet gives us a great deal on those. Then there are the needles, we get those by the box (a box has a hundred needles, we use four a week). It all adds up.

This is a bad time of year anyway, with property taxes due as well as the federal taxes. (Last year we made so little and had such high deductions from paying my medical for that gallbladder surgery, we didn't make enough to pay anything - this year we did owe, which is a good thing; it means we made money.)

It's not like we're in danger of losing the house or anything like that, but we have to think twice about doing things now. 

So, I take surveys and sign up for websites where I can get a commission. It isn't much, but it all helps. It helps pay for my websites (I got them a very long time ago and locked in my really cheap rate) and pay for cat food.

If you look at the bottom of the page, there are a couple of banners. There's a donate button for PayPal (goes to the cat fund) and I put up the Amazon banners this morning. Usually I do link my Amazon Associates account when I post a link to a product, but now the banners will be there all the time. If you don't go to Amazon from some other website, if you go through those banners and buy something, I'll make a little money. (A little...I noticed someone bought a book for their Kindle and I made twelve cents.)

Also, if you shop at Amazon, please check into the Amazon Smile option. This is to help charitable organizations. When you shop Amazon Smile, a portion of your purchase dollar is donated to a charity. My Amazon Smile charity is ForeverHomePetRescue in the Los Angeles area. 

Anyway, end of my money plea.

Thanks for sticking with it this long.

11:04 AM - 05/05/2014

The topic: The latest on Rocky

So, Rocky has found his niche. 

He sleeps in a big basket out in the garage, that's on top of the counter, next to the window. When it gets too warm, he jumps down to one of the shelves below that, next to the vent that brings in fresh air from outside. 

He does go outside, but for the most part, he just stays on the cement pad outside of the door. He prefers going out at night, which is not something I'm fond of. He can get the cat door open from the inside if it's set to in only and make his way outside. We've blocked the door a couple of nights with the baby gate, but if we don't put something in front of the baby gate, he pulls the gate away from the wall, and goes outside. 

What I have been doing is when I get up at four or so in the morning to open the door in the living room, when I've done that, I go unblock the door in the garage for Rocky. The other morning he was waiting for me, he was very impatient. This morning, he'd pulled the baby gate away and was already outside. I looked out onto the pad and he wasn't there, so he was most likely off exploring the yard. 

When we got up and started our day, he was back on the cement pad. I went over to him and gave him a couple of scritches and hugged him. He rolled over on the pad and purred. I left.

The next time I saw him he was back up in his basket.

He now has a routine.


04:47 PM - 05/05/2014

The topic: Great.

Brian was changing out a filter for the house water system (all of our drinking water is filtered here; we fill five gallon bottles (one for us, one for the cats) from the filtration system in the garage).

It's right next to the water heater. I went out to check on Brian's progress and there's a huge mess in the garage. It was the water heater. 

Brian headed down to Home Depot to get a new one. 

It's always something.

      Tuesday, May 06, 2014

10:33 AM - 05/06/2014

The topic: Kitty at the vet day

I said something to Brian this past weekend about Opie's mouth, that he really needed to have work done.  I needed to order supplies (fluids, needles, etc) and he said go ahead and make an appointment for Opie. I called and spoke with one of the techs (our petsitter!) and she made an appointment for this morning with the option to leave him there for dental surgery. 

It took some coercion on my part to get him into my arms and into the crate to go there, he wasn't keen on the ride over (the last time he was there was when he was neutered as a kitten) and definitely not keen on the examining room. He weighed in at a little over eleven pounds. I held him for a while, he was very anxious and I ended up putting him back in the carrier.

When the vet came in I opened the carrier and Opie jetted out made a beeline for the open door behind the vet. The vet quickly closed that door, I closed the one out into the waiting area and Opie tried climbing walls. The vet told us to all just stand back and let Opie settle down. I was able to get Opes and I held him on the table as the vet examined him. The poor tech just stood there. Opie did calm down a bit and the vet was able to finish the exam.

He thinks the scratched bloody area above Opie's ears is an allergy thing and it may have something to do with the immune system. Since Opie also has stomatitis (Opie's gonna be losing a lot of teeth today, if not all of them) which is an immune problem (all the kittens from this litter have had similar problems - Richie had all of his teeth pulled last year), the vet is hoping that a steroid shot will help the itching.

He asked if I minded putting Opie back into the carrier instead of them putting him in a kennel. This would be better for both Opie and the vet. If Opie isn't calm enough, they'll be able to cover the carrier and anesthesize him that way.

Poor little guy, I know he's terrified, but he'll feel so much better when he's fully recuperated from this. 

Keep him in your thoughts? Please?

05:02 PM - 05/06/2014

The topic: Opie’s home

The vet called shortly after three and told me I could come get him. I guess Opes was gassed in the carrier.

He has no teeth. There were some that had broken off above the gum and the vet had to go in and get all of the roots and remaining tooth below the gumline. I guess it wasn't a lot of fun.

Anyway, I went down and settled up the bill ($571.00 *koff*) and brought him home. (Although I do get a free revisit in ten days for a recheck.)

Around his mouth was all bloody and there's blood on the towel that was in the carrier. When I got home, I set the carrier on the floor and opened it. He ran out and I haven't seen him since.

I've looked in all of his hiding spots in the house, so I'm thinking he must be outside.

I'll go look for him outside shortly.

      Wednesday, May 07, 2014

06:42 AM - 05/07/2014

The topic: Problems here

The footer isn't updating on all pages, so if you want to make a donation, please go to the main page and scroll down to the bottom. 

I hope to have this fixed soon.


It should be working now. 

10:38 AM - 05/07/2014

The topic: Gee whiz

So, I'm sitting here snacking on some graham cracker bunnies and Pancho jumps up, he's very interested. 

I noticed some blood on him yesterday, went through the yard looking for clues to a cat fight, there were none. Then I just assumed he caught a gopher and ate it. Odd, though, that he hadn't cleaned the dried blood off.

I break off a piece of cracker. He can't pick it up.


I look in his mouth.



Vet appointment in twenty minutes.

11:36 AM - 05/07/2014

The topic: Updates on Pancho and Opie

The update on Opie is he's put on his cloaking device and gone invisible. Well, not really invisible and I sincerely doubt he has a cloaking device and even if he did, he doesn't have opposable thumbs so I don't think he could turn it off and on. I saw him this morning at four when I opened the doors so the cats could go out, he was on the sofa. Brian saw him on the bed when he got up, but Opie took off as soon as he realized he'd been spotted.

Mid-morning, I was able to flush him from one of his hiding spots and he proceeded to give me hell, telling me what he thought of me in no uncertain terms. He did his best to hurt my feelings. Sometimes it's a blessing to not understand cat speak. In the distance that he kept from me I was able to see that, although he was drooling profusely on his left side, it appeared to be clear drool and not blood tinged. I tried explaining to him that I have some stuff that will make him feel better for a while (buprenex) and that I had some other stuff he really needs to take (clindamycin) so that he doesn't get sicker, but he pretty much told me to eff off and then he left in a huff.  yunny

Then Pancho was very vocal all the way to the vet's office. The vet looked in his mouth (the clinic has two vets and this wasn't my regular vet, but I trust this woman with my cats; if she wasn't any good, she wouldn't still be there). She said it looked like the injury was a couple of days old and at this point, it would be best to just give him antibiotics and let it heal naturally. She said the mouth is a very vascular area and it heals quickly. To try to stitch the tongue at this point may worsen the situation by cutting off blood supply. If it had been done at the time of injury, it would have been more of an option.

So, Pancho got back in the carrier, I got the meds and paid the bill, made an appointment for his recheck next week, and we came home. Pancho quickly ran (ran?no, flew...he flew; his paws did NOT touch the ground) out of the carrier when I opened the door and I've not seen him since. Walking around the house with his antibiotic in hand, calling him over and over, was an exercise in futility.

Here I am. Two cats who need medicine. I cannot find either one of them.

I'm so glad I took a Xanax this morning.

      Thursday, May 08, 2014

07:55 AM - 05/08/2014

The topic: With everything that went on yesterday

I couldn't find Jackie. Anywhere. I beat the weeds around the pool, checked under the sofa and loveseat and futon. I looked behind furniture. I looked up on the bank, I looked in the old dog house on the bank.

No Jackie.

I knew he'd been around fairly recently because there was poop by the litterbox in the garage that was definitely Jackie poop. 

I looked for forty-five minutes. I asked Katie over and over where was her husband? She just looked at me and meowed.

He's never done this before, but anxiety hadn't kicked in (or maybe that Xanax I mentioned in one of yesterday's entries, had).

I take a deep breath and settle down. He has to be somewhere. This I know.

Well, after I'd calmed down and moved on, I looked outside and who's head pops out of the door of the cathouse under the lime tree?

Jackie. He's found a new spot. 

I'm cool with that. As long as I know where it is.

Now, if I only could find Opie's latest spot.

08:39 AM - 05/08/2014

The topic: Busy day ahead

I've been trying to work on my MIL's Mother's Day card since the latest kit was released from SVGCuts.  A set of box cards. These things are so cool! They fold flat so they're easily placed into an envelope (and Mary always includes a template for an envelope with her card sets).

I printed out the pdf that has pictures and instructions of each card and picked two that I liked for my MIL (I really like the hot air balloons and castle cards, but not for MIL). I showed the flowers and the strawberry patch pictures to Brian and he liked both of them, but said the strawberry patch would be more to her liking.

Last year I made the flower pot card and she still has it up on display.  

I've chosen the paper and yesterday I updated my Silhouette software and got the svg files loaded and ready to cut. Then it will be fun with glue!  Last year I kept putting it off until the last minute and Brian's ready to walk out the door and I'm still pulling extra glue off of paper. Not this year. Huh uh.

I also took a little video this morning of the cats, I'll get started on that right now and uploaded to YouTube. I should have that all done in an hour or so, as long as my AADD doesn't kick in (squirrel!).

10:02 AM - 05/08/2014

The topic: Today’s Rocky update

He's slowly getting used to the hours here. The past couple of nights he's come in by himself. I have started putting a container of cat litter in front of the baby gate because he can't move it. When a big trashcan is in front of it, unless it's loaded, he has no problem getting out. 

And when I open the sliding door in the living room at four, Rocky is quite ready for me to move the litter and gate and open the cat door so he can head on out. When I get up at six or six-thirty, he's back up in his basket. I think he's realized that he won't be inside forever, that he will get the opportunity again.

Brian told me that this morning when he was dishing up food for George and Miss Elizabeth, that Rocky wanted some petting.  Brian complied. He told me that Rocky rolled over on his back, but Brian was reluctant about rubbing the belly. Brian stopped petting Rocky and took the can of food over the the dishing up area and Rocky jumped down and followed him. He rubbed Brian's legs as he was working! This is a first. Brian picked him up and gave him some more smurgles, then set him down on a table in the garage and Rocky just sat there and watched him.

Yay! Considering he's not even been here for four weeks, he's making great progress.


11:52 AM - 05/08/2014

The topic: And an update on Mario

As you may remember, Mario came to live with us on July 5, 2012. He's never really fit in, having been an only, outdoor cat for much of his life. His companion was a small dog. Well, as much as some people would like to believe, small dogs are not cats.

It was a big transition for him. The cats weren't as receptive to swats on their tails or ambushes from above like his dog companion was.  They took it as a threat, some worse that others. And reacted accordingly. Sagwa was one of the worst offenders. I remember one vet trip due to a fight between the two of them.  Lots of growling and hissing.

It would appear that the introduction of Rocky has lessened the pressure on Mario. Which is a good thing. A very good thing. Relaxed cats are happy cats.

And here's a video I took this morning of a very happy Mario.


      Friday, May 09, 2014

09:21 AM - 05/09/2014

The topic: Time and money saving tip

If you've used the same blade on your cutting machine for lots and lots of cutting, and you start to have problems with the quality of the cuts on your cardstock, chances are the blade needs changing.

Don't waste your time with adjustments of the blade or the software settings, just realize that replacing an old blade with a new one is the way to fix the problem. 

Don't spend hours ruining cardstock with a dull blade, while the cats need to be fed and litterboxes need to be cleaned.

And don't ask how I know all of this.

You're welcome.

      Saturday, May 10, 2014

10:24 AM - 05/10/2014

The topic: “Super cute”

That's a phrase used quite often by Mary of SVGCuts.com. In this case? I agree, completely and totally.  And this box card was really fun to make. Here are a few photos I took along the way.


The first step, gluing the panels onto the base.


Working with the inserts, getting the different pieces set up to start putting them together.


Adding embellisments to the cut files.


My embellishment box.


One of the strawberries. I used paper from on of my DCWV paper stacks, embossed the "seed" areas with a Sizzix Big Shot, used a yellow Sakura gel pen to make the actual "seeds".


The completed card. Super cute!


There are a lot more pictures of the assemble in my photo gallery located at lisaviolet.net

This was really a lot of fun to put together and I can hardly wait to do some of the others



      Sunday, May 11, 2014

11:23 AM - 05/11/2014

The topic: A couple of short updates

I finally saw Pancho eat a piece of kibble. I did look at his tongue again and it looks like there's a chunk missing. I've been watching him try to eat kibble since last week and he's had a real hard time of it, pushing the kibble with his mouth, but unable to pick it up with his tongue. I was happy to see him eating this morning.

Opie isn't hiding as much and he doesn't run from me everytime he sees me. But he still runs. He's not crying when he eats now and this morning he actually jumped up onto the bathroom counter to eat some un-pureed canned cat food. He was okay until some got stuck at the back of his mouth. But he didn't cry out in pain, he just jumped down and walked off.

I do think the pureed canned food at night is a big help for him.

And that's all for now. I'm finally beginning to relax after all the stress of last week. And all it took was for two kitties to start eating again.


      Tuesday, May 13, 2014

07:40 AM - 05/13/2014

The topic: Advanced screening “Million Dollar Arm”

We went to see this last night, it was an okay movie, Disney, so pretty formulaic. You know it's going to turn out well, it's just the story that takes you there.

I wouldn't wait hours in line to see it, probably I'd just wait until it came out on DVD (said the Disney stockholder). 

It is a good story, it was entertaining, I just can't see the advantage of big screen over small screen. 

Save your money.


      Thursday, May 15, 2014

08:54 AM - 05/15/2014

The topic: Not spending much time in the office

It's miserable hot here, today is supposed to be 104°.  The office is the hottest room in the house, so we try to not be in here a lot during the heat because it affects the rest of the house. You know, monitors, lights (because the blinds are closed), etc.

We had passes to go see A Million Ways to Die in the West last night, I made steak and chicken fajitas for an early dinner and we headed out the door around 5:30 for a 7:30 showing and we noticed a huge plume of black smoke rising not that far from our house. I kept watch on it as we drove down Winter Gardens where we'd get on I-8 west which would take us to the theater.  We'd only gone a couple of miles when Brian got off the freeway going west and got back on it going east. We were going home. That smoke just looked a little too close for comfort.

There were two fires, one that's on the road we take to the local WalMart (we were just there last weekend, picking up food for the cats). That WalMart had lost power last night. The other was on the other side of one of the hills we walk. 

We were safe, but like Brian said, if we'd continued on to the movie, we wouldn't have enjoyed it because we'd have been worried about the fires.

I took some photos with my phone, but I have to get them downloaded. I'll post them here later.

For the time being, we're safe.

09:02 AM - 05/15/2014

The topic: Cats today

Pancho is doing much better, he's eating and I'm no longer worried about him. He has a 10:20 recheck appointment this morning. I'd love to blow it off (it's gonna be a hot one), but I may as well get it over with.

Opie still hates me, but he loves his tuna. I found that out earlier this week. He was behind the loveseat and I opened a can of tuna. I'm not a fan of fish for cats, it's really not the best thing to feed them, but as a bribe food, it's most excellent. I sat on the floor and had the can next to my legs. This way I could keep the vultures away and he could eat in peace. And eat he did. He was so happy, he did the purr/nom thing. He did have a little bit of a difficult time, mostly when the food was on the left side of his mouth, but I talked him through it, stroking him when he was in trouble. 

Once I saw that he could eat the tuna, I quit pureeing the dinner meal. I watched him eat last night and it's looking like he's adjusting well.

This morning he had absolutely no problem at all.

This is all good.

      Saturday, May 17, 2014

09:29 AM - 05/17/2014

The topic: Horrible, heebie jeebie morning..

There are ants EVERYwhere! In the office, in the kitchen!  In the kitchen TWICE!!!! 

I hate ants, I hate them hate them hate them.....

It's hot, they're dry, they want sweet (all over the syrup bottle, but not in it). Up the wall into the cupboard. I found them crawling up the wall early today and before I had a chance to follow their trail to find out their entry, Brian had started wiping them off the walls. It took a little detective work, but I found them making their way under the laundry room door. 

I sprayed some of that eco-friendly ant spray that smells like cloves (a smell I normally love, but I ain't lovin' it this ayem) and thought I'd stopped the progress.

Imagine my dismay to find even more on the counter and walls just a little bit ago.

I dropped more than one eff bomb. I dropped quite a few, as a matter of fact.

I hate ants. As long as they stay outside and they're not big fat red ants, I'll let them be. But if they're in my house, it's on.

I quickly dispatched the ants in the office, but in the kitchen, man, they're bad. They're very bad. I'm very skeeved out....

Ants. Shudder.

A little while later....

Brian walks into the kitchen and I hear "what the ....  F*CKING ANTS! They're all over!"  I go back into the kitchen...yep. They're back. He started wiping down the counters.  "I just wanted to take my pills. Rat bastards."

09:40 AM - 05/17/2014

The topic: My washing machine is on it’s way to biting the big schnitzel

Yep, its days are numbered.

The SUD problem of the year ought six (do a search here for "washing machine") is starting up again and it's becoming noisier and noisier as I use it. And the house shakes when it spins. Nice, huh?

We have to turn up the television and shout at one another to be heard over the sounds it puts out. Sadly, having it repaired is just not cost effective. As much as that would be, I can get a brand new machine. Not a front loader, though. We looked at Lowe's the other day and there were a couple that I really liked. We've got to figure out the financing, though and try to get the best deal we can.

(I'm trying to type and Rachel has decided she needs attention RIGHT NOW and she's licking me and shoving her head into me.)

I thought I fixed it the other day, when it was empty I shook the tub. The worst rattle wasn't happening any longer, I knew this because I didn't hear it running in the office. But I found out later that's because it wasn't spinning very quickly. 

I'll probably have a new one in a couple of weeks. 

I hate spending the money, but we need a washer. And a dryer. 

It will be nice to not shout when doing laundry.

12:43 PM - 05/17/2014

The topic: Reformatting the blog

Remember that problem I had at the end of last year, beginning of this year where I lost the majority of my entries, but was able to get them back, albeit unformatted?

I just got finished with 2012. Now I just have 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 left. 

      Monday, May 19, 2014

12:14 PM - 05/19/2014

The topic: Captain is at the vet’s

Saturday he was breathing hard. He's done this in the past and it goes away in a day or so. 

This morning, it hadn't gone away.

I took him in. Xrays were taken, there's someone wrong in one of his lungs. Cancer or infection? I left him there so they can do a draw of the fluid and find out what it is.

Prayers it's just an infection. 

01:46 PM - 05/19/2014

The topic: Back from the vet with Captain

Well, they were able to draw about 40cc of fluid from his lungs. It was a milky color. The vet said she was hoping that this is indicative of an infection, like pus. And thinking back on the cats who had fluid in the lungs in the past, all of them had blood in the fluid.

The results should be back in within two to three days.

For the time being, Cappy is on Doxycycline (damn, this stuff is spendy!).

He had two Xrays with a followup after the fluids were drawn. 

It was over five hundred dollars today (two xrays - the followup was free, complete blood panel - since he's never had one and she said it would be good to have one on hand, sending the fluid out to be tested at an offsite lab, the meds). But like I told Brian, we've gone for quite a while with no big vet bills (last one was Spotty and from the beginning of that summer until after his surgery, it was close to five thousand just for him - he kept blocking all summer long, spent days and days at the vet's office and when all avenues had been exhausted, he was finally cleared to have his penis removed and his genital area resectioned so that the crystals he kept getting would no longer put his life at risk). And I knocked on wood. Because we've been very fortunate that the cats have been relatively healthy these past few years. Yes, we've lost a few, but that's part of the aging process. 

But I think once this month is over, I won't miss it very much.

      Tuesday, May 20, 2014

06:48 AM - 05/20/2014

The topic: Fast way to get out of bed

You know when you wake up and you stretch? Just laying there, all nice and comfy, give out a huge yawn, stretch your arms out, stretch your legs out, feet all pointy?

Then one of the feet cramps, all the way up to mid-calf and you can't get out of bed fast enough to stand on that foot and loosen it up?

Yeah, that happened to me this morning. 

09:08 AM - 05/20/2014

The topic: Opie is doing way better

The past two nights he's been back in bed with us and climbing up to our faces along with his brother, Richie. 

And he's been spotted eating kibble. Yes, dry kibble. He's spending more time walking through the house, he's much more obvious than he was pre-surgery. I would guess that his pain level has greatly subsided from the past months/years. 

There's no more drooling and he's once again grooming himself.

It's all good.

01:35 PM - 05/20/2014

The topic: The news isn’t good for Captain.

It's cancer. There isn't any sign of heart disease and cancer is the other thing that would cause this type of fluid.

The vet wants him on a low fat diet; I'll be picking up his food at the vet's and they're also getting a med compounded.

Conservative estimate for his remaining time is six months.


05:15 PM - 05/20/2014

The topic: A short video I took this afternoon


      Thursday, May 22, 2014

07:20 AM - 05/22/2014

The topic: Just when you’re seeing a nice little cushion in the bank account

I'm talking company account here, a cushion so that he can get the materials he needs to make the products he's sold without scrambling to see if we've got the funds (he really doesn't make a lot of money on these, right now he's going for volume, but as his rep increases, he will increase his price accordingly - and we still have the house payment, insurance payments and his liability insurance is crazy, utility payments, food, cat food, vet bills, etc, so things get thin at times).

So, he needs to get more of the main part of his product and calls and finds out how much it's going to cost to get. $2500.00.  Not a problem, it's covered. Yay! A nice feeling to know that the money is there.

Yesterday afternoon his cell phone rings. I hear his side of ths conversation. He hangs up.

Seems one of his main suppliers had mistakenly put someone else's credit card number on our account (how does this happen? Maybe our account profile was open when she entered someone else's credit card number?  I dunno, I do know it wasn't done on our end). So what Brian ordered was being paid for with this other guy's credit card! They found this out when the card was declined. Brian's salesman told accounting that "his card is never declined" and they did the research. We use the company debit card to pay for this stuff so we don't rack up any more credit card debt. It's better that way than having an open account. If you can't afford it, you don't get it.

They sent copies of all invoices and we matched them up with the invoices he's gotten (I never see them). His invoices have the charge slips attached, but we never pay any attention to the numbers on them. They just get deducted from the bank account and filed. Close to $3,000.00.  They have to refund the other card, obviously. And Brian said something about sixty days old. At least that's what the salesman told him. Uh, no, I say, looking at the invoices. The oldest one here is from April 25. Not sixty days. Not thirty days. 

So, we've got the money to pay for it (what I thought was a cushion). Which is nice.

But what a letdown. Ya think "oh, yay! we're finally getting ahead" and you find out it was only because of someone's accounting error.


07:54 AM - 05/22/2014

The topic: The vet’s office gave me a nice sized sample

Of food for Captain. He likes the dry, is meh about the wet.

I also got a copy of his medical records in case we have to take him to emergency this weekend to have fluid drawn out of his chest.

The records are interesting. His bloodwork is excellent. The testing of the fluids found nothing malignant in the fluid. 

But since the underlying cause of the fluid isn't heart related, it's being attibuted to lymphoma. If we can just get his chest clear, he should be okay for a while longer.

The fluid consists of fats from the small intestine (at least, that's the take I get on it). There are lots of articles on this, here's one: https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/chylothorax

Captain should be on a low fat diet and the Rutin is supposed to be a big help. The vet told me yesterday we should know by the end of the first course of  treatment (three weeks) if it's being successful.

I hope it gets here soon. The vet said they'd have it sent to their office because it will get there more quickly. The pharmacy called me yesterday, took the payment information and then told me it would be shipped to my vet's office within three business days. Crap. We have a three day weekend! So, it won't get here until next Tuesday? When time is of the essence?

Not happy. I want to get on top of this right now! Not next week.


09:13 AM - 05/22/2014

The topic: I took some video of Captain

So you can see his breathing problem. Just in case you're curious. I know I'd probably start checking out my cats' breathing. But it's something that you'll know is wrong when you see it. And it doesn't get much better when he's asleep. 


      Saturday, May 24, 2014

08:59 AM - 05/24/2014

The topic: Roadrunner Pharmacy in Phoenix Arizona Sucks.

They really, really suck. And I'm looking into finding a different compounding pharmacy. I do NOT want to deal with these assholes ever again. 

The rutin for Captain was ordered by my vet on Tuesday. The pharmacy called here early  Wednesday morning for shipping and payment information. Since there was no sign of it yet, I called the vet's office yesterday. It hadn't even been shipped out yet! I called our local Sprouts store and they have it in stock, but not compounded, just in tablet form. No problem. 

I called Roadrunner and asked to cancel the order since it hadn't yet shipped. "I have to have my team captain call you back" was what I was told. And when she called back, I was told that UPS had already picked up the shipment and it should be here Tuesday. That it was too late to cancel. 

This is something that can quite possibly help Captain. I mean, really, really help him. The sooner he starts it, the better.

We went to Sprouts and I picked up a bottle of 100 pills for just over $14.00 (includes tax). That's a one hundred day supply for fourteen bucks. The stuff from Roadrunner was $45.00 for a twenty day supply.

When we got home, I split the tablets with a pill splitter, ground up a quarter tablet and added water. Too much water. I ruined another one, but realized that a quarter tablet wasn't really that big. I figured I'd try giving him a quarter pill at a time to see how he took it. And he took it without a problem.

If I'd have known this Tuesday, we'd have been that much farther along in his treatment. At least he'll be getting three and a half days more than he'd have gotten if I'd waited for the shipment from the RR assholes.

Oh, and I left a review on Yelp. Yesterday I read the reviews and they're really not good. Especially the ones that were deemed by the Yelp algorhythm as "unhelpful", the ones that didn't count. A lot of unhappy customers.

It's not often that I hang up on someone, but I did yesterday. I hung up on Summer. Same person mentioned in many of the bad reviews.

Roadrunner Pharmacy? YOU SUCK!

Here's a webpage with information on treating a cat with rutin. I hope we'll be as successful with Captain.

12:39 PM - 05/24/2014

The topic: Wow, that was quick!

I've been taking video of Captain breathing and trimming them to a minute with video editing software, then counting how many times he breathes.

I'm taking lots of little videos because he moves or smells something coming in from the window or is dreaming or some other cat walks in front of Captain and the camera.

Video I took last night had him breathing at thirty-eight breaths in that sixty second interval.  About an hour ago, I got him at thirty-two breaths per minute.

He's in the window in the family room. There's a "pillow" of sorts in the window, actually just old bedspreads folded and slipped inside of a cover (much easier to wash). At times, there are three or four cats on it. Usually, just two.

It seems that whenever I can see him, I start watching the breathing. Brian was in the hallway with me and I looked up and started watching the breathing. It looked almost normal. I stopped Brian and said "look!" and he did. 

Then I realized it was Ross. Captain was sitting on the coffee table. I had looked right past him.


      Sunday, May 25, 2014

10:07 AM - 05/25/2014

The topic: I’m back….little Anal Annie here….

Yeah, I know I can be like a dog with a bone on occasion. And Captain's breathing is just such an occasion. What can I say?

As I mentioned, I'm taking little videos and using my editing software to cut them down to a sixty seconds and counting the times his side rises and falls. The last one I took last night was at 6:30 and I got 39 breaths. 

I took video this morning at 8:30 and again at 9:00. I figured the 9:00 would be a better representative because we've been up and the household is to its normal activity level. Things are a little hectic when we first wake up with feedings and opening up the house and all that good stuff.

So, a cat's normal respiratory rate (from what I've read) is thirty breaths a minute. It should be less at a resting rate. On the video I took at 9:00, his rate was thirty-five breaths a minute. Not bad. I hope this means he's not getting worse. He's only had two days of the Rutin at this point and my vet's told me in the past that for antibiotics (which is not what Rutin is, I'm just using this as an example) will take up to three days before you see improvement. 

He still has the problem, I'm not saying he's still not a very, very sick kitty. But I'm looking for any silver lining I can. Grasping at straws, if you want to look at it that way. Trying to keep my optimism. Hoping against hope that we have him a lot longer than six more months. 

He's eating well, he loves his W/D. I got up at 2:30 this morning and checked on him, he was awake and walking around, so I sat with him while he ate out of the bowl I've got his food in. And he ate again first thing when we got up this morning. I have to sit with him, otherwise the vultures will appear. They're like zombies looking at fresh brains. He has finally gotten it that he doesn't have to run off, he can keep eating since I'll keep them away from him.

Other than the fast respiratory rate, you wouldn't know he has a problem. 

And Roadrunner Pharmacy still sucks.

mrs. crankypants
11:09 AM - 05/25/2014

The topic: Oh, yeah, and in case

Roadrunner Pharmacy checks their stat tracker to see where they're getting their online traffic from, this is for you, Summer.

You're a twat.

It's about my cat, not about your bottom line. And from the reviews I've read about your company, I'm not alone in how much I loathe you at this point.

12:26 PM - 05/25/2014

The topic: My new washer and dryer got here yesterday

Awesome price. Got them from Lowe's online. The brick and mortar store had them for $609.00 (washer) and  $709.00 (dryer). 

Online, they were on sale for the same price. $539.00. After using promotional codes found online, we paid $494 and change for each one. And shipping was free. And they took our old washer and dryer away.

This weekend is full of mudding and sanding and priming. Then I get to paint the laundry room, the same color as my bathroom, a really fun sky blue. 

I just measured the washer. The top, the part that I open and put the laundry in, is thirty-nine inches high. The tub is twenty-five inches deep. Fourteen inches from the floor.

My sternum is about thirty-nine inches from the floor. From the palm of my hand to my armpit is nineteen inches.

See the problem?

I won't be able to stand on the floor and get the laundry from the bottom of the tub. I'll have to use a stool.


      Monday, May 26, 2014

mrs. crankypants
09:35 AM - 05/26/2014

The topic: Phone just rang

It was a "courtesy call" from Roadrunner Pharmacy, who still sucks. My order should be here Wednesday.

As we used to say in high school "f*ck you very much". yunny

On Wednesday, Captain will have been on Rutin six days.

And I did get a response from the local compounder. I'd asked about vet compounding and let them know that I considered RR rat bastards.  yawn  According to the responding email "sadly,  this isn't the first time we've heard this".  I'll be calling them tomorrow. The nice thing about them is they're local and we won't have to wait for them to pull their thumbs out of their asses to get the stuff shipped, we can just go pick it up.

And Summer?   If you're reading this? You're still a twat and you can take these frigging cat toys and shove them were the sun don't shine. The same place you keep your head. Right next to your thumbs. That dark and warm stinky place.  

And if you think I'm making this personal? You're damned right I am. Once again, it's about my cat, good customer service (which is obviously a thing of the past for this company) and not your bottom line. 

09:48 AM - 05/26/2014

The topic: And on a happier note (laughing)

Last night I remembered I had a timer/stopwatch app on my tablet. 

I set it for a minute and counted Cappy's breaths. Works nicely and a whole lot easier than taking video, downloading the video, editing the video, then counting. 

Of course, the beep when the timer's done is pretty loud, but I think after we've heard it about a thousand times (I think that will be in about eighteen hours - remember, I've got this weird compulsion thing), it won't be such a shock.

This is his fourth day on Rutin and he's not getting any worse. 

His breathing rate is between 35 and 43 breaths per minute. The first recording I have of it, the first time I counted was last Friday morning. It was 39. So, he's holding steady.

And it seems to me that he's breathing more deeply, but that could just be wishful thinking on my part (another thing I'm good at).

I sure hope he can beat this thing.

10:38 AM - 05/26/2014

The topic: Help with housework

This morning Charlie helped me make the bed. Nice kitty cat.


      Tuesday, May 27, 2014

12:17 PM - 05/27/2014

The topic: Captain update - to the vet

I called this morning and was able to get an appointment for 11:20. 

Grabbed the bottle of Rutin I got at Sprout's last Friday to show the vet. We got in, Captain got weighed, he's lost two pounds since last Monday. The vet explained that his body burns a lot of calories when it tries to breathe (cardio exercise of the worst kind).  She took him in the back and took an x-ray and drained fluid off of his lungs.  There wasn't even half as much as she drew last week and the consistency was way better, this stuff was thin, more fluidy. She said that's a good sign.

We did have a nice discussion about the pharmacy and wondered why they seem to be having problems. I told her that their website said they serviced over 15,000 clinics last year and maybe that's the problem. They don't have enough employees to keep up with their clients and their customer service is poorly affected. All I know is I do NOT wantt to send them any more of my money.

Oh, and the prescription was there. The phone call yesterday that said it would be there tomorrow, was wrong.

But that's good news about Captain.  Good news is always welcomed. And I'm really glad that I was proactive and checked around on the Rutin, I think it's really going to help him. 

Like the doc said "one week at a time".

mrs. crankypants
12:57 PM - 05/27/2014

The topic: What a coincidence

Someone trying to click through to that pharmacy website told me my link wasn't working. I checked. It's not my link, it's their website.

Aw, too bad, so sad. Look at all that new business they're not getting.


02:22 PM - 05/27/2014

The topic: Here’s a short video

Of Rachel, a kitty I hardly ever write about, but one you can see on a daily basis on the catcam chair. She's really a sweet kitty.


05:41 PM - 05/27/2014

The topic: We all have those days

Where you're busy all day long, but get nothing done. Lots of little things that need doing, but don't count towards that "to do" list in your head. 

The paint finally dried in the laundry room last night and Brian wheeled the washer and dryer in. After much discussion about "what do they mean by that?" in the installation instructions, the washer was finally ready to be used.  I did my first load this morning. Underwear. I was so happy, it's been years since I've done any laundry. Well, not really, I washed the sofa and loveseat covers last week, but for someone who's doing at least one load every other day, four days seems like forever. 

Anyway, the machine was going and I was back here in the office. Brian was supposed to head up to Ontario today to pick up some hydraulics so he was in the shower. I went into the laundry room to check on the progress of the washer and had a surprise when I saw all of this water on the patio from under the kitchen window. That's not a good sign. I walked into the laundry room and found another not so good sign. All the water that drained into the outlet that runs into the house pipes and out to the street, didn't. The pipes are clogged somewhere and that water all shot back out of the water outlet. Swell. Just swell. The floor was covered in about a half inch of water. I went into the bathroom and told Brian there was a problem, got out my newest POS FloorMate (it sucks up water nicely, but puts nothing out for cleaning) and ran it and filled the used water tank four times. 

I told Brian what I thought it was, he ran his auger and got through a couple of clogged areas, but there's still more. He only got thirty feet in (the cable is fifty feet) and he couldn't get any farther. We'll need to call in professionals to unclog this mess. But for now, the cap is off of the drain outside, so we'll just let it drain onto the lawn for now. It's not like the lawn can't use it (and we just got our latest water bill today, $350 for two months, not happy at all...the lawn is very dry, Brian was watering every other day it seemed like and I was dreading the water bill).

Then there was the dryer. It needed a little more work. It still needs a little more work, but Brian got it to run while I was at the vet's office. The dryer is a four wire appliance and the outlet is a three prong outlet. Which is a pretty common thing now. Back in 1999, the gummint proclaimed that all future electric dryers shall be manufactured with an additional wire for grounding. Problem is that the majority of the homes and apartments that would be buying these new appliances, aren't wired for them. So, there are legal workarounds. Lowe's had done some of the work with the green wire to the grounding wire, but all illustrations I could find and all videos we watched, the wires on the cable weren't just stripped, they were in connectors. Brian had none on hand that were big enough to do this, so he went to the auto parts place down the street to get them.

Then there was the trip to the vet which really wasn't a waste of time, but it did take time out of the day. Out of the middle of the day, so I didn't get anything started before and I didn't do squat after. Because that's just how I roll.

Brian was washing the truck when I got home. And he never made it to Ontario, after all the piddly little things this morning, it just got too late to make the trip.

We did make it to Del Taco for dinner (taco Tuesday, three cheapo tacos for $1.09) and CostCo (eggs and graham crackers, out of there for less than thirteen dollars, that has to be some sort of record).  On the way home we stopped at Wendy's and got chocolate frosties for later on tonight.

At CostCo when Brian was getting the eggs, he opened up the cartons and checked for broken eggs. I saw him take a broken egg out of a carton, take an unbroken egg out of another carton, and put it in the first carton and putting the cracked egg into the other carton, replacing the unbroken egg. I asked him what he was doing and he said "that's what that guy did" referring to the fella that was in front of him. We usually get two things of eggs, three dozen in all. He was looking through other cartons for a full set and he said "this sucks" because he couldn't find one without at least one broken egg. And I said, in a very serious, I mean business voice  "you know what sucks? What really sucks? My vacuum cleaner, that's what sucks" and the guy next to us just bust out laughing. We both looked at him and he said "sorry" and Brian responded to him "don't egg her on.."

It was just one of those days.

      Wednesday, May 28, 2014

09:18 AM - 05/28/2014

The topic: Laundry

So, yesterday I got five loads done after everything was working.

Right now I'm on my fourth load. It's not even 9:30 am.

The dryer didn't completely dry the sofa covers (actually heavy bedspreads) on automatic, so I'm going to try using the manual timed dry option.

A little disappointed that I can't choose my rinse cycle water temperature, it's cold only, but I'm sure it will save money in the long run.

The washer did well with both the sofa cover (Cal king bedspread) and the blanket I have under that (for added sofa protection...and it's worked; the sofa looks great even though the cushions are mush). That was a lot of material and not lightweight material.

I think these appliances will be okay, they can stay here. 

06:36 PM - 05/28/2014

The topic: Do you ever not understand the hype?

I got American Hustle from Netflix last week. We watched it this past weekend.

Well, we watched about an hour and fifteen minutes of it. Just couldn't get in to it. Brian laughed once during that time. 

We kept waiting for it to get good. It never did.

And for some reason it bothers me when I don't see the same thing that so many others obviously saw. Seriously, nominated for an Oscar? 

*shaking head*

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty will be here tomorrow.

      Friday, May 30, 2014

08:50 AM - 05/30/2014

The topic: I think I’ve mentioned a time or two

Going to advanced screenings of movies. Since last September, we've seen Riddick (3D), Thor (3D), Philomena, Labor Day, Her, Pompeii (3D), Draft Day, The Other Woman, Million Dollar Arm, and A Million Ways to Die in the West. Those are the ones I can remember off of the top of my head.

Tomorrow, we're going to see How To Train Your Dragon II.


Next week, we're for sure going to see Words and Pictures.
We paid for none of these movies. We saw all of these movies before they officially opened in theaters. I'd like to share how we did this.
I signed up for advanced screenings. It started when we got the passes to Riddick last year. I was hooked. We got those from a local news station. I entered all of the contests for movies I could find. I signed up for local radio's newletters so I'd get updates. My entries were few. Last month, at another advanced screening, the guy next to us said his father gets invites all the time, at least once a week. 
I wanted that.
The next day, I started doing some research. And I'd like to share what I've found with you, places to sign up to be invited to free advanced screenings.
There are a couple of things we've learned.
They hand out more passes than there are seats. They want the theater full and not everyone shows up.
The passes say to get there at least an hour early. For some movies, an hour is not nearly early enough. We had gotten passes to Heaven is for Real and the line control wasn't there for this movie (they've gotten way better at this). Somehow, we ended up at the end of the line and were told if there were any seats available, they'd be in the front row. Brian just didn't want to do that and we came home. But we learned a lesson. An hour early is NOT enough for some movies. Now we try to get there at LEAST ninety minutes before the movie is supposed to start.
Don't bring recording devices. This could be cellphones, tablets, video cameras, even laptops. There have been a couple of times they actually searched people. They had bags that you'd put your cellphone in and you'd label it as yours and after the movie, you could pick it up. Or you could do what we did. Leave the cell in the car and strike up conversations with the people around you. (During Labor Day some woman's cell in the front kept going off - why she didn't turn it off was a question I think most everyone in the theater was asking.)
And that's pretty much it. We eat before we go and we bring our own water. We don't spend money on overpriced theater food that ends up making us sick. confused
Sign up here:
Have fun and see you at the movies!



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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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