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      Tuesday, August 04, 2015

09:13 AM - 08/04/2015

The topic: I’m back

I hope the loss of Cecil helps in the long run. U.S. airlines are no longer handling the spoils of the murder of endangered species. Donations have greatly helped some of the organizations that are studying these species. Australia has banned all import of these spoils (I refuse to call them trophies, they are not). The world is finally taking note.


It's been hot and humid here. I finally got completely caught up with my paperwork last week and left the office. I did a bunch of laundry and actually got it put away. I made some new stamps. Had problems. Made more stamps. The stamps I made in the morning were so much better than the ones later in the day which had me wondering if the ambient heat was a factor. I'll have to contact support. I found out the hard way I don't want to waste the polymer, the price has really gone up since I got my first order back in May.

Cut some more cardstock, made a few new projects, I need to photograph them and will post them later.

We had passes for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. last night, but we didn't go. Neither of us anticipated standing in line in the heat for two hours, then getting home late. Brian's been so busy and he's worn out. It's great that he has the sales, but he works seven days a week and if something happens, it pushes the customers back. Right now, his lead time is about nine weeks.  People have asked if they paid more, could they get the links done sooner, but Brian won't do it. It's not fair to the customers that have been waiting. Others tell him to hire someone. Yeah, he used to have employees and most years, they made more than Brian did (he was a great boss). And then there's the problem of training someone to do the work as well as Brian does, who has his work ethic. Yeah...no employees. Well, raise the prices. Which Brian won't do. He refuses to gouge people, just because he could. It's just not right. (I love his moral values...) So, there's not a lot of extra time. He told me last night "we don't need to go to free movies now, we can afford the twenty bucks it would cost us".

I have a small amount of paperwork to do, dishes in the sink and I really do need to vacuum and dust. I'd best get to it before it gets too hot.




09:31 AM - 08/04/2015

The topic: Before I go

A word about Miss Elizabeth, the grande dame...she's not had a seizure since the one earlier this summer. She seems to be doing well, but her wrists really seem to bother her and for a while now, her back legs don't seem really steady. I don't doubt at her age (almost twenty-two) some of it is arthritis. Brian made steps for the family room that go up to the sofa in front of the bay window where she likes to sleep. But the asshole Charlie has taken to sleeping in that corner of the sofa and smacks her when she tries to get around him and she's taken a couple of tumbles. This past week, she spends her time in the bedroom (where she also has stairs to the bed).

I have some liquid I got a few years back at Amazon. I meant to order just one bottle, but I clicked wrong and ended up with three. It's glucosamine for cats. "Joint Max".

I checked the expiration date. There was none. So, I started her on this about a week and a half ago.

I am amazed. It takes at least three weeks for it to have full effect, but oh, my. There is a noticible difference.  Where she used to lay down to eat in my bathroom (she gets soft food as often as she wants), she's now standing up part of the time. To see her actually walk over to the bowl instead of me putting the bowl in front of her...her fur looks better and I think I saw where she'd been grooming herself yesterday (cat spitty fur stuck together on her side, it smelled like cat food). And I see her cleaning her paws and face more often.

She's not screaming as much as she had been (she's deaf, so she screams) and she's actually been eating more kibble (there is a bowl of kibble and a bowl of fresh water in the bathroom). Brian is usually the one who gets up in the middle of the night to feed her. She didn't want to be fed until 4:30 this morning, where it's usually every couple of hours (no wonder he's tired...I sleep right through it). He said it was nice.

I know she's not going to be outside running around and chasing bugs, but if this is making her more comfortable, it's a good thing.



      Wednesday, August 05, 2015

03:25 PM - 08/05/2015

The topic: It’s 92.5° in the office

I finally turned on the air conditioner. Hopefully, it won't be as miserable later on. The sun is just starting to hit the other side of the house, where we spend our evenings. I heard on this morning's weather there's a chance of thunderstorms tomorrow. No wonder it's so miserable today. Anyway...

I posted a couple of videos on youtube this morning. The first one is short, with a lizard. The second one is a little over five minutes long. It stars Charlie and Skipper, our FIV+ kitty. This video is a testament to how easy going FIV kitties are. I've heard this from others. If you're looking to adopt a kitty and an FIV kitty comes along, if you have cats already, don't be afraid of the scare people and vets will try to put into you. I know my vet did. After our first FIV+ kitty, Handsome, did so well here, when Skip came into the clowder and the vet started the warnings, I told him not to bother. Skip would be ours.




      Saturday, August 08, 2015

09:32 AM - 08/08/2015

The topic: Well, this was good news

We had a customer contact us yesterday, wanting to cancel the order he'd placed back in May. (I told you Brian was super busy and has a pretty long lead time at this point.)

When Brian told me, I said "I hope he didn't use PayPal". Because PayPal has that sixty day refund button. After sixty days, the button is gone. I did some Google searching and found out that when this happens, to refund the money using the "Send Money" option (I used "friend" so the customer wouldn't be charged fees) and contacted PayPal. The thing about this is the fees we pay. PayPal takes their fees immediately. This was over $25.00 in fees and I hate to just lose that.

PayPal got back to me in under and hour and said in the future, when this arises (and it will), to let them know how long to make the "Refund" option available and they'll change it for that transaction so that I can make the refund officially and not having to contact them again. And they promptly refunded the fees.

So, I learned something really helpful.

09:38 AM - 08/08/2015

The topic: So, my shoes were dirty.

Embarassingly dirty.

I washed them yesterday. I washed them in a container using Oxyclean powder, Dawn dishwashing detergent and a scrub brush. They were filthy. And after I washed them, I put them in the washing machine to get them rinsed better than I could by hand. Then I hung them by their laces to dry.

I took them from their drying spot this morning to wear them. (I get more done when I wear shoes, I can't figure that out. I hate wearing shoes.) I set them down to go get a clean pair of socks.

When I returned, less than a minute, SOME CAT HAD PEED ON MY NICE CLEAN SHOES!!!!!

I looked around. The only cat in sight was Charlie, in the same position he had been in when I left the room. It wasn't Charlie. There was no other cat around.

I cleaned the small urine spot from my clean shoes, grumbling the entire time.


Gotta love 'em.


10:05 AM - 08/08/2015

The topic: Yesterday morning, I’m sitting at my desk

And I happened to turn around and look out onto the patio. A couple of cats were pretty interested in something on the shade cloth over the patio. I go out and look, I see pigeon head bob up, the shadow, not the head, since it IS shade cloth.

We get the occasional bird on it (over on the YouTube channel, there's a little video of Pancho checking out the birds), the cloth catches a lot of the seed pods from the liquid Amber tree (which are really, really horrible to step on barefoot). I think nothing of it and go back to what I was doing.

Later, Brian had left to go pick up supplies and I walked outside. The bird was still there. That's odd. I check it out further. I got one of my step stools, climbed it and pulled a little bit of the shade cloth as far as I could away from the edge (which wasn't very much).

Not a bird.

A juvenile possom. On the shade cloth. In the hot sun. Panting. I panic. I don't want this possom to die.

I call Brian, he's checking out at Lowe's, has one more stop to make, then he'll be home. I got a cloth and soaked it in cool water. I put this against the bottom of the possom through the shade cloth, hoping to cool it down. I put water in a styrofoam bowl that I was able to get through the opening of the cloth. It ended up dripping onto the bottom of the possom. It wasn't interested in drinking, but I'm sure the coolness helped a little bit.

I start to worry about Brian, I know he likes talking to people. I checked my cell, it's been thirty-six minutes since I last called him. I called him again, planning to request that he not get involved in deep conversation with the people at his last stop. I have nothing to worry about, he's in the driveway. Whew.

He got the tall ladder out, climbed onto the roof from the front yard, grabbed the kid by the tail (that's what the wildlife person did when she came out years ago to rescue an injured possom that was in our front yard) and carried it over the roof. We'd filled the fountain up in the entry way and I'd wetted down the non-concrete areas with a fair amount of water. There is a place there that doesn't get any sun and has a large plant which would give the possom privacy. Brian set it down and it immediately ran to outside of the gate and laid down by a planter just in front.

I checked on it a few hours later and it had moved on. It would have died had we not rescued it. I think what happened is it got onto the roof during the night and couldn't get back down. As anyone who's had a cat climb a tree, up is easier than down.

I felt so much relief when I knew it had left. To make sure, I went outside and looked in all of the shady places. No possom. I hope it's back with its family and none the worse for wear. As traumatic as this was for me, it had to be a lot worse for the possom.


      Friday, August 14, 2015

06:12 AM - 08/14/2015

The topic: Last week NotPancho

Who we call Gem now (short for Gemini, thanks,  Melanee) was on the fence, went to the back, where the little dog behind us, Peter (we call him Scooter because it's an adorable name for a little dog) started barking his fool head off at Gem.

We hadn't seen Gem since.

I was worried about him. I checked often during the afternoon and evenings for him out front. No sign. It didn't help that the coyotes have been busy little canids. Woke us up out of a sound sleep howling in front of our house earlier this week, had Brian dressed and standing out front with a bat, looking for them. I was right behind him.

Yesterday morning, I was looking out the bedroom window and Brian asked what I was looking at. "There's something under the car." From my angle, I couldn't see much. He could see more and said "it's a cat!" And it was. It was Gem.

I went out to talk to him and he was rubbing all over my legs, letting me pet him and give him ear scratches. Brian came out with some kibble for him and in all the times Gem has been coming here, I've never seen him eat this much. He didn't look injured at all, he was clean, but he was really hungry.

I pulled the food in last night, we don't want to start feeding wildlife at the house. Possoms, raccoons (who have made a royal mess out of the fountain in the entryway, the like playing in it) are welcome to the water, but we don't want them getting used to being here because that will also draw in the coyotes.

And we all know how I feel about  coyotes.

Anyway, it was a good day, seeing Gem alive and well.

      Wednesday, August 26, 2015

01:28 PM - 08/26/2015

The topic: Feeling stabby

Really, really stabby. I'm so done with this heat and humidity. It has a way of magnifying every stupid little problem in my life. Which is why I feel so stabby.

It's been over a month since I've gotten a good night's sleep. Running the A/C is expensive, but running five hundred fans isn't cheap, either. And there's the constant motor noise, just digging into my brain. Stabby, stabby, stabby. The cats hate the heat.

The bedroom is too warm, I don't remember the last time I slept under the covers. I use a light fleece blanket. The family room is cooler, but the sofa isn't the most comfortable or good for the back place to spend the night.

Then there's the mosquitoes. Last week a 73 year old man was diagnosed with West Nile virus. More dead birds have been found with it in their systems than past years. So, sleeping without a cover makes me nervous. A couple of weeks ago, my legs were bitten on a regular basis.

Stabby, stabby, stabby.

Brian was having problems with his old welder and he'd come in bitching and being all growly. Understandable, but I was already stabby without any input from him. So, we were both stabby.

I remade everything I'd sent my friend for her birthday that was stolen, plus a few extra things (I will post video, but it's hot here, have I mentioned that?) Then an exchange I'd signed up for last spring was ready to happen. I wasn't prepared. I made greeting cards with envelopes and a box for them and personalized canvas bags. Unfortunately, on the last day I pulled something in my back, I think when I was carrying one of my storage containers with paper. Four days I was flat. Four wasted days. I did get all of them out the next week.


Because Brian's welder was not working properly (mostly because he was using it harder than it was designed for), something that should only take a half hour, was taking three hours. So, his lead time was lengthening. He was getting more and more stressed out. Then, like someone flipped a switch, there were no orders. We had a little cushion that would take care of the house payment and the insurance. Except he couldn't keep working with that welder. Ordered a new welder. Goodbye cushion. No orders coming in. Liability company asking "are you going to renew?"....stabby....

No sign of Gem since I last saw him out front.

I stepped onto the bathroom scale last weekend for the first time in years. No cause for celebration there.

Yesterday morning on our walk, it was after seven in the morning, we heard coyotes. And we saw them on our walk, two of them together. Stabby.

Yesterday, the USPS website would not let me use the credit card. I called the bank. After having to put Brian on the line to let support know that I was allowed to speak to them on his account (funny, they asked him information, I'd tell him the answer, then he'd repeat it to them and all three of us were on the line) there's no problem with the card, it must be USPS. I used Paypal. This morning I had to print a label from the USPS website. It wasn't working.. I can't print the USPS labels on my laser printer, I think the paper is wrong. I have to use the inkjet. The inkjet needed cleaning (I have a continous ink system). While it was running the cleaning cycle, I tried a label in the laser printer. The toner just wiped off the page when I swiped my hand over it. Stabby.

Bobby would NOT leave me alone during all of this. I had paper all over and I'd put him on the floor, he'd jump back up on my desk, I'd put him on the floor, I reached for my mouse and he was on that side of me. I ended up yelling at him and putting him outside. Stabby.

I've been having problems with one of my USB hubs. Got a new one. This one is a little odd, there are three sets of three connections and each set has it's own on/off switch. I had to reset them all every time I turned on the computer. I got a different one and was having the same problem. Then the cats peed on the front of my computer and one of the USB connectors in the front quit working. I couldn't find any reason for this, but it added to the stabby. I finally figured out the problem this afternoon. The original Magic Jack dongle quit working. I spent an hour trying to figure out the problem with no luck. Because it's broken. I had to order a replacement. Stabby.  No MagicJack connected, all of my USB ports are properly working again.

Stabby, stabby, STABBY!!!!

This has been a hell of a stabby month.

I'm glad it's almost over.


      Friday, August 28, 2015

08:59 AM - 08/28/2015

The topic: A little heat wave

The worst is supposed to be today. I don't mind the heat, but I hate the humidity. Yesterday, I turned the air conditioning on around three or four. Didn't turn it off until after midnight. And if the damned smoke alarm hadn't gone off, it most likely would have been on all night.

Yeah. The smoke alarm. We have two. One in the bedroom, one in the hallway, around the corner from the bedroom. We get out of bed and Brian checks the one in the bedroom. I can't get out of the bedroom, he's in the way. While he has the detector apart, the beeping starts again. It's the other detector. He puts the one in the bedroom back together (and it didn't go smoothly). I told him I wanted to leave the room, so he got off of the stool and I was able to walk past him. He finally got the one in the bedroom put back together, then did the one in the hallway. He had it apart and was going to leave it until this morning. He sat it on his dresser.

It was like this. It was really like this.



Both of us up again, I went into the garage to get another battery. He followed me in, started pulling stuff out of the drawer that I'd just opened. Excuse me. I found the new battery pack and handed it to him because I couldn't get it open (I hate that). While he changed out the battery, I checked outside and it was cooler than in.  I started opening up the house. I walked into the bedroom, he'd opened up the windows in there and I was going to lay back down, but the cats were in my spot. I ended up on the sofa.

We did go for our long walk this morning, I made a good breakfast, potatoes with onions and peppers, turkey sausage links and eggs. Probably will be too hot for lunch. This heat spell is supposed to get better tomorrow. I hope so.


09:26 AM - 08/28/2015

The topic: Last month when the package was stolen

I made this little video for my friend. I do intend on posting more detailed pictures of this and the replacements I made (and honestly, I think the replacements turned out better than the original).

The lighted bag and popup card were made using the Country Market Kit from SVGcuts.com. The box was from a Silhouette template.



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

      Saturday, August 29, 2015

10:45 AM - 08/29/2015

The topic: I have been taking pictures

I just haven't been doing much with them. Earlier this week when I walked into the backyard, I really liked how the moon was kind of behind the clouds. It was early evening, the sun was on its way down. When I took the picture, the sky didn't look this vibrant to me, so I was pleasantly surprised about the color. Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open an even larger photo.

01:21 PM - 08/29/2015

The topic: Advanced screenings: A Walk in the Woods

I know we said we weren't going to anymore advance movie screenings, but I got an invite from AARP. Since I don't think all of the line jumpers do AARP (after all, that costs money) I signed up for the screening.

I'm glad we went. It was at the same theater where we saw Focus, the theater with the reclining leather chairs. Nice.... It was at a mall that we weren't familiar with, but we found a place to eat, Schlotsky's. We weren't familiar with their menu, but our sandwiches weren't bad.

After we were seated and settled in, I got up to pee (it's been hot, I've been drinking lots of water). I said "hello" to one of the security guys. I don't think he recognized me at first, but he did ask  where I'd been at a movie the previous Monday. I just laughed and told him we quit doing the other advanced screenings because it was frustrating to wait in line for two hours and get crappy seats because of all the line jumpers. He kind of nodded and said "the ones who save places?"  Yep. Those guys. I don't think he recognized my face, I think he recognized my hair. Seriously. Anyway..

The movie was really good. Nick Nolte was hilarious. Robert Redford, well, he was Robert Redford. The scenery was awesome, the story was entertaining. Kind of a coming of age for old farts. Old men walking the Appalachian Trail.  I do want to read the book now.

So, here's the trailer. If you have the chance to see it, try the big screen. Like I said, the scenery is very, very nice.


      Sunday, August 30, 2015

08:09 AM - 08/30/2015

The topic: For your cutter

I've visited this site many times and am always impressed with her work. She has lots of freebies for cutting machines.  Check it out.

Birds Cards

08:12 AM - 08/30/2015

The topic: I never thought this would happen

I never quite understood how Brian could do it, but after all of these years, I've gotten pretty adept at it myself.

Not listening to him when he talks.

Early on, I'd tell him things, thinking he was listening, only to find out days later when I brought the subject back up, that he hadn't "heard" a word I'd said. Since I'm an only child, I never learned the skill of blocking out when people talked to me. I always gave them my full attention. Brian was raised in a full family. Two brothers, two sisters, a foster sister, always a full house. So, it's natural that he'd have acquired the skill of verbal blocking.

Since he's been working from home and spending a lot more time next to me in the office and my frustration level has been rising because every time he mumbles something, be it a rant about how someone is a moron to how messed up his computer is (which often turned out to be operator error - the problem wasn't replicated when I was watching what he'd done), my mind changes what it's concentrating on to give him its full attention. This morning as I was typing I realized he was talking and I hadn't been listening to a word he said.

Wow. I think I'll like this.

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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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