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      Monday, December 05, 2016

04:34 PM - 12/05/2016

The topic: Bernadette

A couple of weeks ago, Sagwa came down with something. Lethargic, loss of appetite, loose stool.  I gave him fluids and made sure he was comfortable and in two or three days, he was back to normal, but I was worried about him. Usually, I wait three days before heading to the vet because a lot of these little things are like us having a cold or the flu.

Then it was Lorelei's turn. She didn't show the exact same symptoms as Saggers, but she was definitely under the weather. She spent most of her time outside, where it was cooler than in the house. And she slept a lot.

Then last Sunday (November 27), it hit Bernie. And it hit her hard. The first indication was she didn't finish her breakfast. Monday, she ate even less and she had explosive, watery, poop. Hardly any color to it at all. Very scary.  Tuesday, she didn't eat hardly anything. She wandered from water bowl to water bowl, not drinking. Tuesday, she learned the cat door. After all these months, she learned the cat door. She went outside and would try to drink from the fountain and a tub that Brian uses when he cools off welds. We'd had an inch and a half of rain over the weekend and I'm sure that water wasn't decent. I had to start blocking the cat doors. She couldn't wander around at will, for one thing, the pool was a concern because she was so very weak. After dealing with an overnight of blocked cat doors and cats who wanted in or out, I asked Brian to get the dog crates down and I'd set up the kitty pokey. (He asked me today why I called it "the pokey" and I said because it was kind of like a jail.)

My first thoughts went to kidney failure. Dehydration. I gave her 30cc of lactated ringers (subcutaneous fluids). Usually, an adult cat can take 120cc, but she's so tiny. I syringed A/D into her mouth.  I called the vet's office on Wednesday to see if there was anything I could give her. Loperamide (like imodium) was given to me and I bought metronidazole and a case of A/D. I had to use a credit card because sales have just sucked the past three months (they've since picked up). And I was told I could give her 60cc of fluids (based on a weight of three pounds...she's tiny). 

The first night in the pokey went well, until I didn't completely close the bottom door Thursday morning when I checked on her at five. I found her outside on a blanket. The temperature was in the mid forties. She's skin and bones. Luckily, it wasn't for more than a half hour or so. But I vowed to not make that mistake again.

While her stools got better over the next three days, what I would consider normal stools, she became more lethargic. She wouldn't purr.  She walked drunk (typical of kidney failure).

I googled metronidazole side effects in cats on Friday morning after the final dose of loperamide was given and with four days worth of metronidazole to go.

Side Effects of Metronidazole

  • Neurological disorders
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Dry mouth (licking or pawing at the mouth)
  • Drop in white blood cell count (neutropenia)
  • Liver failure (hepatoxicity)
  • Bloody urine (hematuria)
  • Toxicity in Metronidazole

That was her last dose of metronidazole. She obviously wasn't a candidate for this med.

Over the weekend, we watched for signs of improvement, but if there were any, they were so slight we didn't notice them. Yesterday, she wouldn't even purr.  We discussed our options. Or her options. I would keep doing what I was doing as long as I thought she'd get better. But it was taking a toll on both of us. Friday and Saturday night, I took a sleep aid so I would finally get some sleep. They worked. Even after I got up to pee a couple of times (and checked on her), I fell right back to sleep. And when I'd go back to bed, Brian was always awake. "How is she doing?" he'd ask.

So, last night we made the decision. If there wasn't marked improvement this morning, we wouldn't drag it out. And she wasn't better. She had eaten some of the food in the pokey during the night. And she peed and pooped, but didn't make it to the litterbox level. She went on the blanket where she slept. I let her out to walk around, even followed her into the garage and let her go outside. She pooped (a nicely formed one) and walked around the side of house. I brought her back inside when she couldn't hold steady to drink out of the fountain.

He sat with her for a while on the sofa, actually getting her to purr. Then I held her while he took his shower. She purred for me. It was a really sad time. I held her against me and she was just too thin.

So, he gets dressed, I'm dressed, he gets the cat carrier, puts in a clean towel, puts her in, then we go out to the car. Our regular vet's office was closed today, so we headed the another one that we use for emergencies. There was roadwork and he turned right to avoid the roadwork. He realized he wasn't on the right road, but we stayed on it.

Then she cried. And she cried again. We looked at each other. I said "we don't have to do this". He said "are you okay with doing what you've been doing?"  Yeah. Yeah, I am. I'm tired, but if it's not her time, it's not her time.

We get to the next intersection and he makes a left turn.

We're going home. With Bernadette.

Amazingly, not long after we were home and I'd given her fluids, I looked at her face. Her eyes were clearer than they'd been in days. She ended up on the loveseat next to Rory and she stayed there for hours, sleeping more deeply than she had in over a week. A couple of times when she got up and was restless, I'd put her in the pokey, where she had food and water. She drank. She ate.

This evening, she was on the bottom floor. I let her out. She went into the garage, then came back in. And jumped up onto the loveseat. And she's asleep again.

And we're hoping for continued improvement. She's not out of the woods yet, we know that. But if she can keep eating and drinking, I think she'll be okay.

And life can get back to normal.

      Tuesday, December 06, 2016

07:00 AM - 12/06/2016

The topic: Saying goodbye to Bernie this morning

She was doing so well yesterday, then last night, she wouldn't eat anything. In the pokey, she peed on the pee pad that was under her.

I let her out this morning, blocking all of the cat doors, other cats would get over it. At one point, she got on the bed.

Then at four, I got up and she was no longer on the bed. I couldn't find her. I even checked the off chance she'd gone outside (she hadn't). But when I turned around, there she was on the loveseat, fast asleep (but she had not been there shortly before, there was a teeshirt I'd thrown on there when I was putting on a long sleeved shirt to look for her outside and she wasn't there when I did that).

I gave her 30cc of heated up A/D and 30cc of fluids. And I laid with her. She decided she didn't like that and moved to the sofa, where she was when we got up this morning.

She's tired. She's done. We had a good day with her, but she's telling us that was it. No mas.

The vet opens at eight this morning. I don't know what time a vet will be there. I hope early enough that we can take her in and I can make my doctor's appointment at 9:30 (routine mammogram).

I'm so freaking tired right now. Worn out. Weary.

Please let this year from hell be over soon.

      Wednesday, December 14, 2016

12:19 PM - 12/14/2016

The topic: So, I saw this this morning

Big moon. Huge. Clicking on a picture will take you to larger photos in my family album.














Say "good night", moon....

      Saturday, December 17, 2016

06:25 AM - 12/17/2016

The topic: I’m having a hard time focusing

On tasks at hand. I made the twenty-nine cards, got all that I was sending out, sent out ($2.62 in postage for each one! I used large bubble envelopes to preserve the card so the postage machines didn't ruin them).

I've got things to share, the holiday cards as well as some birthday cards I made way earlier this year. But for some reason, I'm having a hard time sitting down and doing it (for the holiday cards, I have one hundred and thirty-nine photos to go through!).  And that takes time and I just can't sit still long enough to do it. I choose the photo, save a copy of the photo to a different directory (never, ever work with the original). Crop the photo if it needs recropping, resize the photo, watermark the photo, make a copy of the photo, resizing and renaming for thumbnail photos on the weblog (although I have an automated script that does that).

Then there's uploading the thumbnails to lisaviolet.com and uploading the full sized photo to lisaviolet.net (for those who are interested in seeing more detail). Sometimes the uploaded doesn't upload all of the photos because they are too large (not height/width, but how much data they take up). For some reason, graphics over 400kb will not upload to my website. So, I have to go back into my graphics program, change the compression and then re-upload them.

After that, I can start the process of writing about them. When I post the thumbnail, I usually make that thumbnail a link to "the bigger picture".  Many steps to get these all up on the weblog.

And I'm getting so easily distracted lately....(looks out the window thinking that I really need to wash the windows...oh, look at that cloud formation, it's really neat, I need a picture!) Like I said, trouble focusing.

This afternoon I have an appointment to have my eyes examined. I really need new glasses/contacts. My eyes have gotten considerably worse since my last appointment and what sucks is I got all of my glasses to compensate for the multi-focal contact lenses. Those lenses had me reading with my right eye and using my left eye for distance (it was weird). The glasses compensated for that, so that driving, movies, things like that I could watch with both eyes. I'm not doing that again. Huh uh.

Regular contacts and progressive glasses. One pair sunglasses, one pair progressive Transition glasses. (Sunglasses for driving. I noticed in the past that the Transition lenses don't get as dark as they should in the car.)  The contacts because housework. When I wear my readers washing dishes, they fog up. When I wear my readers in the cold, they fog up. This greatly annoys me. So, contacts. And I hope this helps me get more focused. Once I can see what I'm doing, maybe I'll feel more like doing it. 141031071

I need to go through my presents stuff for the vet's office. I've bought stuff through the year for this, but I don't think I have enough for everyone. I do have little things I'd planned on selling in my online store, so I can fill it out with those.

I need to make my little candies that I hand out. I was asked when we took Bernadette in for her last vet trip if I'm making cookies this year. Nope. My back just can't handle it anymore. Since my car rolled down that hill, my back gives me grief. Probably the arthritis that was there due to that accident back when I was sixteen (drunk driver ran a stop sign and broadsided our car; my back was broken). The last time I did the cookies, it was sore for well over a week. So, no cookies. But the little candies are pretty simple and light weight, very little "working" the ingredients. And I'll use one of those pads on the floor to help prevent any problems.

And I came back to the office this morning to see that Brian left some stuff on my desk to tell me that I need to print more of these and make more labels for his hydraulic links. Bleh.

Anyway, my mind just went blank (it does that a lot). What to do first...


09:36 AM - 12/17/2016

The topic: Earlier this year

I bought a refurbed laptop. Not caring much for laptop keyboards, I bought a Logitech light up keyboard. And as with a lot of keyboards, there is an addtional software you can use that allows you to set keys to perform certain functions.

With this keyboard, I have some of the F keys set to start QuckBooks or Paint Shop Pro or the Silhouette.

Except, it didn't. After of months of putting up with this, I spent hours Thursday deleting and reinstalling software. Thinking that was the problem. It wasn't. The problem was that the software that allows the modified keyboard settings wasn't loading at startup. And doing some reasearch on this, I learned that I'd forgotten about adding programs to the Windows startup folder. You know, you place a shortcut for the program you want to start when you turn on your computer to the startup folder.

And now, it works! Now when I hit the calculator button Silhouette Design Studio loads up, not the calculator. I have fingers and paper and a pen, who needs a calculator? If I want a calculator, I'll use a real one. With paper that feeds through so I can check my work.


      Sunday, December 18, 2016

09:05 AM - 12/18/2016

The topic: So, I finally saw the eye doctor

Yesterday afternoon. Went to Costco because they're a lot less expensive. Heh. We walk out of there in the hole almost $500.  And we're not done yet. Besides glasses, I'm also getting contacts. And one of the lenses, the lense for my left eye, has to be a special lens.

You know how years ago I used to post when I was bored that my eyes were different sizes?  How I'd sit here with them closed and touch my eyelids and feel the size of my eyes and they never seemed to be equal?


Heh. I found out yesterday I have astigmatism in my left eye. In my case, that means instead of being round like a baseball, my eye is more oval. Along the lines of a football. It's no big deal, not life threatening or anything and can be corrected with lenses. I really don't think I've had this all along, honestly, I don't. I think it came about over the past few years as the sight in my left eye has gotten considerably worse over the past few years. I think my right eye hasn't changed at all.

The doctor didn't have the right contact lens for my left eye, but she gave me a regular lens to use until the others come in. And she also gave me a lens for my right eye. I was happy. I put them in and she tested my vision and it was pretty good. I'll still need reading glasses, but it's not like we don't have a bunch of different strengths here at home. 

She asked me if I wanted daily, weekly or monthly lenses. Okay, okay, I know it's been a while and I wasn't sure. She said "okay, we'll get you monthly".  Yeah, my mind went there and I asked.

"I can sleep in them?" 

Oh. My. Gawd.  Her eyes got big. She kind of smiled. I could tell she wasn't sure if I was serious or not. (I kinda was.) "Uh, no, these lenses LAST for a month of daily wear; you have to take them out before you sleep."

Brian was shopping while I got the vision test and after all was done and it was time to pay the piper, I saw him getting in line to pay for our groceries. I ran out of the optometrist's office and started talking to him and we went back into the store. (I wanted to get some of the nail polish I've seen before for presents for the vet's office, but they no longer carried it....that's Costco.) And I was carrying my prescription and the bill I needed to pay. I told Brian "I have to go settle this, I don't want them to think I ran out on them."

He got in line (again) and I went back into the optometrist's office and they took my plastic money. Then it was time to choose some frames.

It's really hard to do when money is an object. I tried to stay away from the $99.99 lenses.  Brian looked, too (but I don't think he was as concerned with the money issue as I was). It was really helpful to have him there because he had a better idea of what looked good on my face. Sure, there were frames I liked, but they weren't as flattering as others. I did find a frame I really liked and brought them to the counter. She put them on me and shook her head. "No, you don't want these, they're too wide for your face." And she went on to explain that the vision would be warped at the sides and that's not what we wanted. I needed to find a size that was under this number (she points out a number on the face of the lens). So, back to looking. Brian finally found a nice one, they looked good on me and they had a nice fit. $49.99. The only drawback was the part that goes back over the ear. I really wanted ones that had just one piece instead of two, because in the past, I've had problems with my hair getting caught, but it's not that big of a deal.

I got two pair. Sunglasses and Transitions, both progressive lenses. And all this other stuff, like anti-scratch, anti-reflective, HD and more. And from my online research, we got an awesome deal on them. They should be in before year's end. I should hear about the contacts this week. I'll be called when they get more in and the doctor can check to make sure they'll work for me.

So, I'm happy. I wear the contacts out of the store. I'm looking around at the stuff that is no longer fuzzy. It's nice. I wonder how long it will take for my eyes to get accommodated to contacts. We go home, put the groceries away, and then out for Mexican food (we used to do this all of the time, but somewhere along the line I became reluctant to leave the house, no idea why). When we got home I figured the lenses had been in long enough. I went into the bathroom to take them out.

I see that some kitty has peed in my sink. I turn on the water to flush the pipes, both hot and cold, both full blast. I wash my hands, then proceed to remove my right lens. I then opened the case to store the lens. The lens was not on my finger.


I look around for it. It's not on the counter. It's not on the shelf that previously used to be my bosom. It's not on the floor. There's only one place it can be. Still in my eye. I spent almost a half hour digging for that damned lens in my eye. I never had any luck finding it. I even got a flashlight and reading glasses and searched for it in my eye in the mirror. It was not there. That didn't stop me from still trying to grab it out.

Today, my eye is red and itchy. I'm of a mind now that when the lens was on my finger, it dropped off during the trip from my finger to the case. It dropped into the sink that had the water going full blast. I do believe my lens is on it's way to some sort of water cleaning system. I KNOW that lens is NOT in my eye. But you know how the mind works. You know those little head voices that you try to keep quiet. "Maybe it's still in there. Maybe it moved to the back of your eye. Maybe it's in your brain."

Yeah, I know and the big head voices are out screaming that little head voice. "That's not possible! It can't roll back into your brain! You'd feel it if it was still there! Don't listen to that other voice, just don't listen!"

So, here I sit. Left lens in. Right lens gone forever (or maybe not... bigsurprise) Reading glasses on. And ready to start a new day.

      Monday, December 19, 2016

07:00 AM - 12/19/2016
The current weather is freaking freezing! 30° down by the pool!

The topic: Okay, I’m pretty sure

The missing contact lens is indeed missing and hasn't taken up residence in my brain.

The little head voice has been quieted for the time being.

This is a fine feeling.

07:11 AM - 12/19/2016

The topic: I mentioned the weather in the previous entry

Brian slept in a little this morning. I figured he must need it, so I just let him.

When he finally got up and dressed, he came into the office and tells me how cold it is down by the pool. Yeah, I know. And I'm dreading walking this morning.

"Why, because it's so cold?"


So, he's checking out his email, then grabs a tape measure and walks out the door. He comes back in.

"I think maybe I don't want to go, either."

Yeah, we're both in delicate flower mode...

07:30 AM - 12/19/2016

The topic: There’s something about sliding into a made bed at night

You know? That feeling of pulling back the spread and sliding between the sheets? Not something we've had much of lately. Why?

We don't make the bed. Why not?

Well, two reasons. Sammy and DaNiece. They've taken up residence by the pillows. And it would appear they prefer sleeping on a sheet to the bedspread. And, God forbid, we wake them or move them or annoy them in any way.

It's not uncommon for one of us hear the other one shout out "BED!" during the day. That's the call to go running into the bedroom and quickly make the bed. Before Sammy or DaNiece return.

Since this cold snap, it's not something we've been hearing much of, though.


07:36 AM - 12/19/2016

The topic: Today will be a package wrapping day

Yesterday, I made these little candy things, used four big bags of white chocolate chips, a sleeve of Rice Krispies and two cans of Spanish peanuts (melt the chocolate, add the other ingredients, drop onto some sort of sheet, you know, wax paper, parchment paper, foil) and let cool.

I need to find boxes for them and I'll hand these out to the mailman, the trashman and take some to the vet's office (these were requested by the vet's office). Since my back can't handle the hundreds of cookies I've made in the past, I quit making them. These things are easy enough, no heavy lifting.

I also have presents to wrap for the folks at the vet's office, things I've bought throughout the year. But I don't think I have enough for everyone. (I wish Costco still was carrying the nail polish sets.) So, I think this year I'll check out the stuff I bought to sell at lvdesigns.com (yeah, like that's a big thing any longer, I'm just not good at marketing, I guess, the only thing that people ever bought there was Benny's catnip) and the jewelry I made to sell and wrap that up. There are enough non-gender specific items already that the jewelry should be okay.

I think today should be it for holiday stuff.

The past couple of years on Christmas day, we've gone to a movie or two. I checked schedules for next Sunday and the only thing that shows playing is the Star Wars movie. We don't do Star Wars. Hopefully, they'll have something else that would interest us. Brian did mention going for a ride, we haven't done that in a long time. That might be kind of nice. And we can listen to music on the new speakers!


      Tuesday, December 20, 2016

10:11 AM - 12/20/2016

The topic: And this year’s holiday season

Is pretty close to being viewed in the rear view mirror. Thank God.

Presents for the vet's office are all wrapped and ready to be taken over there, the candies I made are split up and packaged for the trashman (he got his stuff today), the mailman and the vet's office. All candy will be gone from this house.

And that's a good thing.

I sent a package out USPS yesterday, two day priority. I got pretty upset last night when I realized that two day priority didn't mean delivery tomorrow, but Thursday. Not sure if the recipient will be around Thursday.  I was greatly relieved to see that it's already out for delivery. Yay!

I wish I had hope for the future. I wish I did. But, at this point, I don't. And there's not a damned thing I can do about it. I wish I could drink. I'd spend the next four years in some sort of stupor. It wouldn't change things, but I wouldn't give a rat's ass.

Will Social Security still be there when I'm ready for it? How about Medicare?  We've paid into both for our working lives (Brian still pays into them, SS and Med are the bulk of what he pays in taxes each year). There's talk about privatizing Medicare. That is a huge mistake. Privatizing never works out well for the consumer. Never. The rich get richer and the rest of us end up paying more for less.

I'm happy we never had children. Something less to worry about in the upcoming shitshow.  Like school vouchers. They'll only help folks who actually make good money.  Deductions for income tax? Let me tell you something. If you don't make enough money to have a decent tax bill, there's nothing to deduct from. We found that out in the past with medical deductions and such. "Well, you didn't make enough money for this to count as a deduction, so suck it, snowflake".

Obviously, we didn't vote for the next president of the United (that should be changed to Divided) States of America. But we're stuck on this sinking ship with those who did.

And I don't have hope.

      Wednesday, December 21, 2016

05:59 PM - 12/21/2016

The topic: This year’s cards

Here are the cards I made and sent out this year. I was pretty happy with how they turned out. The tree card was a little bland, it didn't quite pop and wow the way the rest of them did. I'll have to do some thinking on what I'd do in the future to make it more impressive.

Full sized copies of each photo are in my gallery. Just click on the photo to see it.

I used the shimmer alcohol inks I made. I poured half of a bottle of an ink into another container, added Elmer's white glue and a bunch of L.A. Colors bulk shimmer eyeshadow powder ($.99 at Dollar Tree stores).

You can see the shimmer on the background of the paper (above). The holly graphic took five minutes to make. I stamped the holly, then used a watercolor pencil to color in the berries, and a Wink of Stella green brush marker for the leaves. Then I outlined the leaves with a green gel pen.

The sentiment was stamped and embossed. The sentiment came from Rubbernecker Stamps.  

The box cards I made came from SVGCuts.com. This set is  More Christmas Box Cards.   The popup tree card  is from Dreaming Tree.


I think this one was my favorite to make. It went together quickly, no problems. The circle in the front is actually a hole that frames an area on the first insert of the card. I decided to use a tree stamp that I've had for decades (I never get rid of anything). And since I'm so fond of embossing stamps, that's just what I did.

I used the same sentiment on all cards. That was the first thing I made. I cut out all sentiment sheets, used my alcohol shimmer sprays accordingly. You can see this in the photos below.  The "lisaviolet December 2016" stamp was made with my Silhouette Mint.

Oh, my gosh, this Joy card had me losing sleep. The PDF files show you the basic cutouts for each part. On this piece of cardstock you'll cut out this and this and this piece. Well, I'm never happy with just these choices, so I start splitting the pieces apart and cuttng them separately using different colors of cardstock. See the hearts in the white section? I tried the plain white, red glitter, red foil, and settled on silver foil. The panels I cut out with a green glitter paper and ended up with a bright blue. I laid in bed trying to decide on what would look best. I also changed the lettering and snowflakes to silver glitter stock. The white snowflakes I cut did come in handy for the back. I brushed them with a Wink of Stella clear glitter brush and glued them to the back of the card.

The next time I do this sled card, I will use a metallic card stock for the base of the sled. Like the blades on the skates are silver foil.

You can see the different colors of the alcohol shimmer spray I used on the back of this card. I used the white, the green and the red.

This card took me the longest to make. Not satisfied with plain cardstock, I found paper online that was flocked. There were twelve sheets per pack. Unfortunately, there were also twelve different colors. wink But I thought the flocking added to the cable knit pattern on the stocking.  I made two red, two white and one turquoise stocking. What took so much time was the outside panels. I used a grey colored, textured cardstock. I embossed that and not pleased with how plain it looked, I used my Wink of Stella silver brush to paint the raised area.


This tree needs more. I don't know what, maybe the panels could be embossed or even cut out. I think it has potential, for sure.

And here we have all twenty-nine cards, folded flat.

And here they are all standing as they were made to.

And that's it for this year's cards. Feel free to ask any questions.

      Saturday, December 24, 2016

10:29 AM - 12/24/2016

The topic: Man. Rain.

How about it?

We had rain Wednesday and Thursday. It was supposed just be cloudy yesterday.  Uh....it started out foggy and we had showers throughout the day.

A winter storm rolled in late last night. It rained thoughout the late night and early morning. This morning, there was sun. It was supposed to be nasty today.

So, I'm in the office, trying to get the color printer to be recognized by the laptop in the family room. Not going network, but via my office PC. (More on that later.)

Things aren't going well (more on that later, but because cats) and I've got stuff pulled out from the wall, checking connections. And it's sunny outside. Cold, but sunny. I start  grouching that I should have done a load of laundry. Brian left the office to go back the shop and says "just because it's sunny, doesn't mean it's not raining".  Huh.

Printer finally recognized, I came back out to the family room and the rain started pouring! Windy and cold (in the mid forties, that's just crazy) and the sound of the rain on the windows changes, it's now hail!  Woohoo! So far, .71 inches since midnight.

Great day to be inside and not outside hanging laundry.


10:49 AM - 12/24/2016

The topic: A little bit of crafting geekery

Way earlier this year, I was able to score the Silhouette Mint and the Silhouette Curio for a great price.

The Mint is a stampmaker. I wasn't really thrilled with it, but I used it when I was making the holiday cards and it's better than I thought. Quick and easy.  There are limitations, the ink is proprietary (which means it doesn't use other - cheaper - ink). It's a self-inking stamp, so there are no stamp pads involved. Although I've done a little Googling and found out that it can be done with other inks. The only thing I don't like is that the consumables are so spendy.

The Curio is an embosser. It is an etcher. It is a cutter. It cuts deeper than the Cameo. But the size of what you're working with is limited to 6" x 8.5". The Cameo does 12" x 12" (unless you're using something like a roll of vinyl, then the length is a lot longer, ten feet!). You can buy a larger base which is 8.5" x 12" (same as the Silhouette Portrait).

I was checking out some of the things it can do yesterday and some of them caught my interest. The debossing looks kind of neat. I think I'd like to try the Print & Cut option (the Curio uses the same software as the Cameo), then deboss. I can think of all sorts of projects for this.

So, to Print & Cut I need access to a printer. Now for the geekery.

This laptop is connected to the B&W laser printer. Not to the color inkjet printer. At one time it was, when I was using the old router, but the connection kept dropping and the pages I printed would only partially print and I'd have to start over. When you're using specialty paper (card stock, photo paper, etc.) the loss cost starts adding up. And let's not even talk about the frustration level. Which was set at high. banghead

My answer was to uninstall the printer. Every last bit of it. And just go use the PC when I wanted to print something in color.

Well, I figured maybe since we'd gotten the new router, things might go a little more smoothly. Instead of setting it up as a network printer, like the laser printer (which can run from any computer without having to share), I decided to set this up as a shared printer. Which means the host computer will need to be turned on. Not a problem, since I can't see doing massive amounts of color printing from the laptop.

I turned on the printer (the computer was already on) and downloaded the software to the laptop. I start it up. The laptop cannot see the printer. Why not? Why can't it see it? I check the network looking for it. Trying to access the PC, I get a message box that it wants my credentials. My login and password. Say what?


Back to Google to find out what this latest bump means. I go back ot the office and check out the printer properties. Clicking on the sharing. Ah, I have to change something. I click again and I change the permission that no login or password is needed to access this printer. Save it. Walk back to the family room. And the laptop still doesn't see the printer. It sees it on the PC, but it can't access the printer. Back to the office I go.

I click devices and printers, check out that printer. Try to print a test page. The printer utility box pops up, the one that lets me know the available ink and the progress of the current print job.

The computer cannot see the printer. ARRGHHH!! I get the message to check connections. I start checking.

Now, the printer isn't right next to the computer and there is a live USB extension cable that connects to the cable from the printer. I check it out.

There was swearing. There was yelling, there was more swearing, there were threats. Some cat peed where the two cables connected. The cables were ruined (and I'm glad there was no fire). This was a recent turn of events. I disconnected both cables and pulled the tangle of extras from a drawer and found another extender cable and another cable for the printer. The connected area was thoroughly wrapped in electrician's tape and put in this container that's for outdoors and keeps the connections dry. Tested the printer and test pages printed out from both the PC and the laptop.

So, now, I'm good to go!


01:17 PM - 12/24/2016

The topic: Catching up on printing svg files

And watching the cats out of the window.

It's windy. Very windy. Bob is acting strangely.

I watch.

He runs. He jumps. He's chasing leaves!

How cool is that?

04:00 PM - 12/24/2016

The topic: That’s just how I roll…

Checking the disk burners and external hard drives to the power strips to find out why some are working and some are not. This is taking time and patience. And I have to stand on a stool and follow the power cords from the peripherals to where they're plugged in. Seems like the top power strip is live and the bottom one is not. 

No idea why. I follow the big, thick cords down to the power switch boxes, which I've pulled out as far as I can. It's a tight fit.


Ah. There it is. The "on" switch for the lower power strip, which has a couple of external hard drives and a disk burner plugged into it is labeled "speakers". I have it turned off since I don't want to listen to the speakers.

Flip it on. One by one, devices are added. Now the computer sees them all.


04:20 PM - 12/24/2016

The topic: Back to the weather


      Monday, December 26, 2016

09:15 AM - 12/26/2016

The topic: First thing this morning was laundry

I didn't get anything done since early last week. The rain and cloudy, cool weather prevented that. We're supposed to have three sunny days this week and then rain on Thursday, Friday and  Saturday. I need to get the laundry baskets emptied, they're almost overflowing (we wear more clothes in the cooler weather).

So, first load done and on the line. Second load is washing right now. I made breakfast and barely had enough room for the plates in the dishwasher, so that's running as well.

I set up the Epson printer to run via wireless network. Tripped over my feet a couple of times making it more difficult than I needed to, but it's working nicely now. I just hope the new router fixes the problem that I'd previously had.

I have paperwork to do, I'd like to get it all done by the end of the week. Since the past three months have been incredibly slow as far as sales are concerned, there's really not that much to do. It shouldn't take all that long to set up the few accounts we've got and input the payments made and generate invoices for orders filled. Then there's the bank account reconciliations. I think I have two that needed to be done at this point.

I used the Amazon card I got for Christmas from one of my besties and redeemed some of my MyPoints reward points to get that RAM upgrade for this laptop.  The price had dropped forty dollars! This laptop cost $125.00, the memory upgrade (the cheapest I could find) was $135.00. I had added it to my wishlist back then, no way could I justify paying more for double the RAM than the laptop cost. But it's all good now! I'm looking forward to being able to run more applications without lag time.

I played with the Curio a little yesterday, I think I pretty much figured out how it works. There was a little yelling and name calling at the software. The manual really isn't all that helpful. There are platforms that need to be stacked to have the depth for the process you're using, and it says "it will tell you what you need", but no, it in fact, certainly does NOT tell you what you need. After doing some Googling, I find that the platforms need to equal 5. (The platforms come in two depths, 1 and 2. You need to choose the platforms accordingly - for cutting, etching, embossing...)  My test sheet wasn't the most exciting thing I've ever done, but the Curio does print and cut, so I can send it back to the color printer (which is why I wanted to be able to access the printer wirelessly, I really don't like keeping the PC running if I'm not using it; but if this wireless thing doesn't go smoothly, I'll probably not have a choice), have the graphic print out in beeyooteeful color and emboss or deboss that graphic and maybe play with my color toys (pencils, pens, plain markers, glitter markers, watercolors...) on the paper. Looking forward to it.

Thinking of print and cut, I found out a couple of weeks ago  when cutting more labels for Brian's hydraulics, that the new Cameo doesn't love the silver foil paper anymore than the old Cameo does. With the "print and cut" option, when you send your project to the printer, registration marks are printed as well as your project. These registration marks are what the Cameo looks for when it cuts. If it doesn't see the registration marks, it won't cut. And most of the speedbumps that come up with things like this, someone out there has a fix and has shared the fix.

For shiny paper (foils and glossy paper) a fix is taking a piece of adhesive matte paper, cutting it and applying that to the top of the paper that you want cut before printing it out. When you print it out, the top registration marks print on the matte paper and the Cameo reads them like a charm. I did a template on my Cameo for cutting strips one inch by eight and a half. I get eleven strips out of one sheet. And it's all good.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to doing things with my Curio that will embellish my projects, make them super special lisaviolet projects.

Yesterday was a dull day. Christmas usually is around here. Brian made a big breakfast and I don't think we had lunch. He spent most of the day on his computer sorting photographs, while I played with the Curio. After some miscommunications and misunderstandings about how he needed to do this, he finally got it down so that I didn't need to do the big sigh thing out here when I heard him back there calling his computer names and get up and go back there and try to figure out what was going wrong this time.

After hours of quiet, he decided he was done and came out to the family room, and we had to figure out what to have for dinner. Since the avocados we got at Costco hit peak wonderfulness, we decided on frozen taquitos. He cooked those and I mashed the avocado. Quck and simple.

Then just watched some Amazon Prime movies. Quiet day.


      Tuesday, December 27, 2016

mrs. crankypants
11:47 AM - 12/27/2016

The topic: The laundry I did yesterday

And hung up....was mostly still damp when I took the stuff off of the line right at sunset.  The towels and blankets were tossed into the dryer (aarrrgh!) and the socks and underwear where put into a basket for folding. Except the socks were still damp. Okay, so, hanging up laundry on a day where the temperature barely breaks 60° and there's no breeze is a waste of time.

Not having tried the delay option on the washer and knowing that today will be in the seventies, I put my cleaning towels in last night so that their first launder would be done by 7:30 this morning, then I could do the second launder (where I add just vinegar to the water to get rid of all the detergent residue). That went well. Now, there's a load of jeans and sweatpants. I have shirts that need to be done, but I don't know if I'll get that far today. Depends on the heat.


11:52 AM - 12/27/2016

The topic: When I opened the house up

I opened the front door. Occasionally, we get a hummingbird in the entry, they try to fly up to get out, but there is a skylight, so they can't. This morning, there were three hummingbirds!

I told Brian and he pulled out the ladder and got them one at a time. The last one just sat on his hand, the poor thing was so tired. But, it did fly away, hopefully to never go into our entry again.

      Wednesday, December 28, 2016

10:44 AM - 12/28/2016

The topic: Did I mention my new glasses?

I got a pair of regular and premium sunglasses. The regular are Transitions. They are both progressive.

These are not like the last progressives I got And will definitely take some getting used to. I got the sunglasses last week, then we had rain, so I didn't wear them. The clear glasses were in yesterday. And I feel like I'm on drugs or something, everything is just warped. I mean, warped.

Making breakfast, the pan with the eggs looked like it was a couple of inches higher than it was. When I dished up the food, the plates looked oval, not round. I'm serious, they are warping my perspective.

I tried walking outside with the sunglassed on and when I looked down, it was as if I was walking a little path with the ground raised on either side of my feet. Without these glasses, it's flat.

They're fine when I'm watching television because I can clearly see the screen and look down to read. But this other stuff, it's gonna take some getting used to.



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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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