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      Friday, October 09, 2015

11:17 AM - 10/09/2015

The topic: October 2015 sucks

So far, anyway.

On the first, I had a followup appointment for Autumn. Brian had a doctor's appointment. We have on reliable vehicle, my car. The truck has had problems for a couple of years now. He just never had the time, energy or inclination to figure out exactly what the problems are. He'd get a new part, then just leave it in the truck until he felt like doing something with it. But the truck was NOT reliable. It ran rough and it stalled out. I didn't want to drive it at all.

So, the weekend Autumn showed signs of bad health, he finally changed out the most recent part he'd gotten. (He didn't know where it went, he searched the internet and came upon a thread on a Ford forum. He came in to tell me what they were talking about and I asked about where the part went. "I dunno, I haven't come across it yet."  So, I did a search, came across the very same forum, the very same thread and the answer was one of the first answers. Grrr....) I told him where it was located and he changed it within ten minutes.

Wednesday night, he started up the truck and it wouldn't. He figured it needed a new battery, so he went around town looking for the cheapest one. He found it at Home Depot, of all places. Installed it. At this point, he hadn't test driven it.He waited until Thursday morning. Yeah, you got it. It still didn't run right. Anytime he took his foot off of the gas, it stalled out. He had to take the car. He comes back inside "you'll have to change Autumn's appointment". I was able to do this, but with a different doctor. He left and I did some light housework, then took a shower. At 10:30 he got home. My original appointment was at 10:45. I could have made it.

I came unglued. I shouted. I swore. I told him I didn't care how he did it, but I wanted that effing truck fixed. I was tired of sitting here without transportation when he did his running around, when he drove up to the L.A. area to pick up cylinders, when he hauled his mother around for her doctor appointments or pharmacy runs. We have a houseful of aging cats and I was tired of worrying that something awful would happen while he was gone, something that couldn't be put off (thinking back to Captain who couldn't breathe - every breath was hard for him and I didn't want to watch a gasping cat die because I didn't have a way to get to the vet). I told him we'd put it on a credit card if we had to. But it needed to be done. He tried to defend himself, tried making excuses but I was having none of it. The lack of a second vehicle hasn't affected him in the least, I'm the one who's had to sit here, waiting, waiting, waiting.

Then I quit talking to him. Until Friday morning. And he had called a mechanic, one with a fenced yard for vehicles that had to be kept overnight. They were open Friday and Saturday. He took the truck down and called when everything was set up. I went to get him and then we waited.

The battery drain was most likely a short in the alternator. The stalling out was probably the pressure regulator. They both needed to be replaced. Friday night, the total was at just under a thousand dollars for repairs. That hurt (August and September were incredibly slow for orders, for two months now the house payment has been made from the overdraft, which is paid off as soon as money comes in), but it was cheaper than a new vehicle. Then, it needed to be smogged. Saturday morning, bad news. It didn't pass. The catalytic converters were shot. Most likely because of the bad pressure regulator (something he could have fixed by himself had he really looked into the problem instead of putting it off).  So, the total price to fix was $2100.00 - that hurt more. But we need the second vehicle and this was cheaper than buying one. When he was telling me the price, he started in about having the air conditioning fixed and I just gave him the most withering look I could come up with and told him "use the wing windows". Another two or three hundred dollars to fix something that wasn't necessary just screamed "I still don't understand"....Anyway, we picked up the truck Wednesday. It was ready Tuesday, but I wasn't.

I wasn't ready because Monday morning, around 4:30, I woke up with bad stomach cramps. I spent the next couple of days with some sort of nasty stomach bug. No fever at all. I did throw up Monday night. Premium chocolate ice cream is not nearly as good the second time. I wasn't drinking enough water, all I wanted to do was sleep. I've always heard the best thing do in this situation is not take anything and let the bug get flushed out naturally but late Wednesday morning, I'd had enough.  I took a couple of anti-diarrheal pills. They helped a lot. Yesterday, I felt the affects from not drinking enough and the back of my legs were cramping, badly. Brian went to the store and got some Gatorade or something similar for the electrolytes. Today, I'm feeling more human.

Except our temps are supposed to be over 100 today. I'm so over this heat.


11:52 AM - 10/09/2015

The topic: About Autumn

We lost her yesterday.

The appointment last Thursday was incredibly good. She'd lost some weight, the x-ray showed great progress in the reduction of the fluids. Her chest was much clearer. She had a good weekend. Tuesday, she even left her hidey spot to eat with the other cats. She didn't like taking her meds, but she didn't fight them too much.

She was doing so well that when she went outside Wednesday and hung out in the dog house on the bank, that was a good thing. I let her stay out and when she still hadn't come in early yesterday morning, I got the flashlight and she ran into the house. Later in the morning, she had some ham baby food and a little A/D. But she looked worse than she had been looking. I asked Brian to get out one of the big dog crates so that I could more easily watch her. I held her in a blanket while he set it up. We put a couple of towels down inside and I covered it over with blankets so it wasn't so bright (she never seemed to like bright). I tried different things for her to eat, but she just laid there. Then she stood up and peed on the towels. I called for Brian to come help changing them out. And we put down a pee pad. When I put her back inside, she lay on the pee pad and very loose poo just flowed out of her. I called him in to help again and took her into the bathroom to wash her off. He put in a new towel and pee pad. I put her back in the crate and that was pretty much it for the rest of the time. She'd move around a little, but lifting her up was like grabbing a handful of cooked noodles. Just limp. Her eye were open, but it definitely wasn't good. I called the vet's office and her appointment was at 3:45.

Brian drove (if it's a life ending situation, he's there) and the vet was really surprised at how badly she was doing, because she'd been so good the week before. He did the thing where he picks her up and dragged her paws, one by one, across the top of the examining table. She had almost no resistance, worse on her left side. He laid her back down on the blanket and she just laid there, with her head down and eyes open. He shook his head.

He said she most likely threw a blood clot, but it didn't go into her back or legs. All of her paws were warm so there was still blood flow to them. But there was definitely something going on and his best guess was a blood clot to the brain. The side of her heart that had the fluid build up was the left side and that's the side that pushes out. Blood and sometimes, blood clots. He went through the medical options, like aspirin therapy, but the amount of aspirin needed would kill the kidneys. Or there was Plavix, which was expensive and could be scary. He  said there were some clients who had their pets on Plavix and the pet would crash, bleeding out different places. He said the best thing for her, the most humane, was euthanasia.

As she was sedated, he told us that bringing her in last week was a good thing, otherwise she'd have drowned with that fluid in her lungs (back to Captain who couldn't breathe). She had a good last week. And now she's gone.

I can't say that I think we'll miss her very much. Because she wasn't there, you know? If there was one word to describe her, it was "scared". She'd been like that the entire time we'd had her. She came with Little Guy's (Mystie and Katie's sister) kits, Opie, Richie, Angel (who also had heart problems), Sammy and DaNiece. She was never affectionate, the only close kitty friend she had was Bart. After he passed, she stayed hidden.

When we had treats, she always got some, but when I'd put them by wherever she was hiding, she always cowered. If she was sleeping on a blanket in the garage, if we turned on the light or walked out there, she'd jump down and hide. I have no idea why she was like this, she'd never been abused. The only thing I can think of is that she had some brain damage from birth.

I checked on her a couple of times everyday, without fail. Just to be sure she was doing okay. She was special, in that I went beyond what I do with the other cats to get her to not be so afraid. She got more treats than the rest. I talked to her every time I checked on her (and I NEVER saw her sleeping). Sometimes I'd get on my knees and start petting her. First, she'd pee herself (like a nervous dog),then she'd relax and start purring for me. But it was never enough.

I know she's at peace now. And I hope to meet her again someday..

Godspeed, Autumn.

07:59 PM - 10/09/2015

The topic: Well, this is pretty cool

Remember last year I got a new router because our speeds weren't as advertised? Yeah, you probably don't. I didn't remember when I got it and used the search function at the bottom of this page. *lol*

Anyway, since it was so hot today, I figured I'd get caught up with my cut files. Printing out the PDFs and the graphics with all the kit pieces made up and pretty. The page that goes into the little binder I've got. Not wanting to fire up the big computer and printer, I tried my luck with the little Epson 900 I've had for over a decade. Even though the cartridges are fairly new and I did a couple of cleanings, within two printed pages lines started showing up. I figured it wanted new cartridges and screw that. I'd just use the one in the office.

A few months ago I actually paid attention to what was on that router. There are two USB ports. One for regular, the other for USB 3.0. I checked out what I'd need to do, downloading the software and testing it out on the big computer. It worked nicely. Then I downloaded the software to my adorable little netbook (which I'm typing on right now) and also downloaded the driver utility for the printer in the office. I ran them both, then tested it out. Woohoo! I can print onto the R1900 from this little netbook, wirelessly over the home network. The big computer doesn't need to be on, none of that does. All I need to do is turn on the printer and I can print from out here. What a great idea!

When I downloaded the software, there were other applications for the USB ports. There is one left, the USB 3.0. One of the applications is my own cloud. I have a small external hard drive that I got back in March (I'd planned on backing up the big computer, which I never got around to doing), 500 GB. There's my cloud! I'll be copying all of my photos and music over to it as soon as the cable gets here (I can't find the one it came with). I got two for eight bucks, so misplacing one won't be as frustrating. Then I'll be able to post photos and listen to my tunes on this netbook without having to add any files. Pretty cool, huh?

I love doing this stuff.


      Saturday, October 10, 2015

09:10 AM - 10/10/2015

The topic: Crossing my fingers

I'm upgrading the netbook to Windows 10 today. It's downloading right now.

      Monday, October 12, 2015

11:08 AM - 10/12/2015

The topic: Strangest thing happened Saturday

And it was more than a little frightening. Okay, I've been under a lot of stress the past couple of weeks. This heat has really gotten to me. I believe I'm a little depressed.

It was late afternoon, I was outside and watching Opie. He looked like he was having a little difficulty peeing. And I'm thinking "please, no more, I need a break, I just need an effing break"....when I stood up, the weirdest thing happened to my left eye.

At the outer corner of my vision, at the edge, it was like looking through clear gel, that was spiked on either side. Down the center of the gel, were rainbow colors, like a prism. Whoa....not a good thing. Not a good thing at all. I came inside the house. Then it got weirder.

I couldn't see out of the center of my right eye. I tried to read the temperature on the thermometer in the bedroom, the digital one with the huge numbers. I put on reading glasses. I got out a flashlight. I could see kind of around it, but not the numbers. Okay, anxiety level is about as high as you could imagine by this point. I'm really, really scared. I sat down on the sofa and picked up a magazine. The people on the cover had no faces. If I looked out via my peripheral vision, I could sorta see faces, but not looking straight on.


My mind was racing. Stroke? I grabbed the blood pressure monitor. Really? I'm going blind here and my blood pressure and heart rate are awesome. Okay, take a deep breath. Sit down, relax a minute. Breathe in, breathe out. Calm the hell down.

Feeling a tiny bit better, I walk into the kitchen, trying to reassure myself. I do the one pot from dinner. WTF? My left thumb starts to go numb. It goes up into my index finger. I finish washing the pot and lid, take a quarter of a xanax and go lay down on the sofa. I count to ten breathing  out. I count to ten breathing in. I drink a lot of water. I drink a Gatorade (pinching my skin, it stayed tented, which indicates dehydration).

Within an hour, everything was back to normal (the numb thumb lasted minutes).

I slept like a rock that night.

Sunday morning, I coughed when I woke up and there was a sharp piercing pain behind my right eye. From my cheek up to my forehead. I couldn't get any air from the right nostril. A sinus problem. Which explained a lot. Allergies. We were having Santa Ana winds which blow a lot of crap through the air. I took an allergy pill and by last night, all was back to normal.

No problems today at all.

I'm not posting this to alarm anyone, I'm okay, I just wanted it in writing for future reference. And I will bring all of this up to my doctor on my next appointment. I've come to the conclusion this was all a culmanation of what's been going on for the past couple of weeks. Autumn, the truck, low funds, allergies, the heat, the diarrhea, the dehydration, then Opie having problems (he doesn't)?

I think my body just hit the wall.


      Sunday, October 18, 2015

11:57 AM - 10/18/2015

The topic: Watching “Adventures in Babysitting” this morning

And was surprised to see a familiar name in the credits at the end. And I realized which character he played. Any guesses?

Vincent D'Onofrio! The blonde hair threw me, but it's him, alright.


      Monday, October 19, 2015

06:34 AM - 10/19/2015

The topic: So, that “new” monitor I won

In a fuku bag earlier this year died. Well, it hadn't bit the schnitzel yet, but I had to bang on the back and bottom to get it to come on. I'm pretty sure the thing that killed it was the urine spray one afternoon when I wasn't in the office and it wasn't covered. But it's okay, I never did get used to the dark band at the top, I couldn't read the top line on the screen and it was WAY too big for this office. Add to that with my current computer I couldn't use it to its full capability...it was in a box of stuff I got for five bucks so I'm not really broken hearted about it.

I did need to get a new monitor though. The timing had been perfect. When the big one got here, I gave Brian my old one because his had just gone dark. But now there was no backup monitor. I got one an inch bigger than his and has a twenty dollar rebate, so it was about a hundred and fifty dollars including tax. Not bad. And it works.

But the cable I had with the other one isn't working with the new one. The one it came with is too short. I did find a longer one in my drawer of cables, but it still isn't long enough. I ordered another longer one from Amazon on Saturday and it got here yesterday. I'll be working on this today.

I've decided to clean up my workspace here in the office. I took down my previous computer yesterday, will be disconnecting all of the cables etc today and will store it out in the garage.

I'm also going to take down some of the webcams. The technology is old, the computer they run on keeps needing to be rebooted and it's just more of a hassle than I want. I'll probably leave the backyard cam up as well as the catcam chair. I need to redo the webpages for the respective cameras. I check the stats on them occasionally and they don't even get twenty hits a day.

I was going to do some of this yesterday, but Brian was home and in and out of the office and since I'll be making a huge mess and spreading things out as I go along, I figured I'd do it this morning when he takes his mom to the bi-monthly chiropractor appointment.

Time to streamline.

      Monday, October 26, 2015

06:40 AM - 10/26/2015

The topic: A question for my crafting friends

I cut out the 651 Oracal vinyl for the decals for the car this weekend. Yesterday, I worked on getting the pieces in place for the Tinker Bell decal. I'm going to do more, not just the one and I've reconsidered some of the tips I've tried for placement. One was having registration marks on each piece at the top and to layer each piece using those registration marks. But that wasn't working well (maybe it was the vinyl, it was different than what I used yesterday). But there's a lot of waste. Take the yellow. Her hair and the pom poms on her slippers are the same color and there's all of the wasted space in between.

What I experimented with was taking a black and white print out of the decal, taping it to the non-sticky side of the transfer paper and cutting out each section of vinyl, placing it over a lightbox and positioning that way. And it worked nicely. Except that some of the pieces are pretty small and once that vinyl hits another piece of vinyl (and not the transfer tape), I'm screwed. My fingers aren't the long slender fingers of an artist, but the fat, pudgy fingers of a workman. I did find a tool from Silhouette that has a sticky end, which one unhappy reviewer sad was like Silly Putty and once it came off of the end, the tool was no longer effective. I ordered one anyway, but am thinking along the lines of trying something else. But what?

I do have some glue stuff that's removable and I'm thinking about trying that. The part that would have the glue is the back of the vinyl carrier (what the vinyl is on to start with) and it gets peeled off and tossed.

Do you have any tips for placement of small pieces of paper?

Brian really liked the finished test piece, he was wanting to know if it was ready to put on the car, but I'm not satisfied with it. Her hair is hanging over the face, the yellow vinyl on the tan vinyl at one point. No one else would notice but I know it's not right. Besides, the adhesive on the wings might not be great since I put those on first (I know better now) and kept touching it when I was adding the other pieces. I tried covering it, but I did that too late, I think. I wouldn't trust this to stick very well.

So, any suggestions?

      Tuesday, October 27, 2015

mrs. crankypants
06:46 AM - 10/27/2015

The topic: I don’t love the coyotes

I know I've said this before. But they've been incredibly awful this year. Probably because there are more of them (no natural predators) and they're hungry.

I've never liked the sound of their barking/calling. Because it makes me aware of their presence. They spend a lot of time in the yard across the street from ours. The people there have a kitty that they get in at night. There's another cat, the one I posted photos of a few years ago that we were willing to keep, but the owner put up a lost kitty sign, who just keeps "getting out". He lives directly behind the house across the street, but he doesn't climb the fence to get into their yard, he walks around the corner. And these people just don't keep him in. One day, I imagine they'll never see him again. And that won't be good news for the cat, but lovely for the coyotes.

Anyway, three o'clock last night, the coyotes were howling like crazy out in front of our house. Woke both of us up, Brian ran outside without getting dressed and I stood at the window and let out a loud scream, like something in a horror movie. By the time Brian got out to the street, they were running off.

They need to be culled.

Last week on one of our walks up the hill, we saw four. It was after seven in the morning, daylight. They're hungry. They've eaten most of the wild bunnies in the area, I don't think there are any ferals around anymore. So, the coyotes are getting bolder.

Something needs to be done.


09:02 AM - 10/27/2015

The topic: Clarification about the vinyl pieces

Reverse image of the graphic. For use as a guide for vinyl piece placement.

Paper guide taped to non-adhesive side of transfer paper.

Guide on the tracing light box. When I'm ready to use it, I'll flip it over and tape it down.


The vinyl pieces. White - eyes and teeth, yellow - hair and slipper pom poms, tan - body, green - dress and slippers, blue - eyes, pink - lip, silver - wings. These are what I am having trouble with, proper placement on the transfer paper. If I don't get them just right, the vinyl overlays and it's difficult to safely peel the pieces apart.


Placement on the adhesive side of transfer - you can see the Tinker Bell guide.


Finished decal - now it's ready to be applied to the car window. In this photo, the opaque paper is keeping the sticky side of the vinyl clean until it's applied.


Finished decal, how it will be on the car.


Finished decal on my Netbook. I have two styles of silver for the wings, we're trying to decide which we like better.


If you want to see bigger images, click here.

      Thursday, October 29, 2015

10:01 AM - 10/29/2015

The topic: Back from my yearly physical

My blood pressure wasn't good, which kind of surprised me. It's great here at home. He changed my meds and I have to call in a couple of weeks to let them know how it's doing. And he would like me to bring in our bp machine to calibrate with theirs.

Got a pap smear, he said something about only needing them every three years and not getting them at all after sixty-five (unless something is abnormal). So, I'll most likely never need another one of those.

He wants me to see a podiatrist for my bunion foot. I don't think our insurance will cover it. If I can hold out another three years, I'll have medicare, maybe I can do something about it then.

And I'll be on an anti-depressent. He said it will be a once a day pill, but I should feel better.

And I lost two pounds from last year.

Then I got my blood taken, so fingers crossed those values are okay.

Oh, I just remembered. I brought up the eyesight thing from earlier this month and he was a little concerned that there was no headache. I told him I had a pretty bad one the next day, and spread my hand open showing him where it had been (from my cheek to my forehead) and that I figured it was sinus and took an allergy pill. He said "that was probably a migraine, not allergies".  But he didn't seem to concerned about the auro once he knew there was some sort of pain involved, although it happened the next morning.

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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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