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      Friday, November 03, 2017

06:35 AM - 11/03/2017

The topic: Kind of a weird week for me

Monday, Brian had his second colonoscopy because that little home stick in the poop test he took last month showed some blood in it.  I had to go with him because he would be in no condition to drive home.

His prep on the weekend really wasn't that bad. I got a little excited because Saturday he had some sort of bug hit him. This was his last day of solid food until after the procedure. He had no appetite at all. And he had a fever of 100°. I'd baked chicken for dinner, with sides of broccoli and noodles. He ate the sides, not the chicken (I'll admit, the chicken turned out tough, I don't know why. The cats liked it.


My concern was the prep solution. Would he be able to take it? Should he take it and we get down to the clinic only to be turned away because he was sick? I searched online, it looked like the magic number was 100°. I called the Kaiser nurse number, but was on hold forever. I finally gave up. We just decided to wait and see how he felt on Sunday. And he was okay.

I got up early and filled the prep solution bottle with water and put it in the fridge. The directions said to start drinking it at five that afternoon, eight ounces every ten minutes. Drink until you've had three liters. Drink the final liter four hours before the procedure. One of the smaller plastic cups we got so long ago at Disneyland, with a root beer float in it, would work perfectly. The design on it had long worn off and it is translucent. I measured out eight ounces of water and used a Sharpie to mark the cup.

I found a larger beverage container that had both quarts and liters marked on it. It would hold two liters. We were set.

I made orange Jello for him to snack on.

And it actually worked out nicely.

He got up early Monday, finished the solution, then went back to bed. I took a shower, then he got up and took a shower and knowing we'd hit traffic, we left the house with an hour and twenty minutes to make the twenty mile drive. We got there at nine, with ten minutes to spare. Well, we were supposed to have been there a half hour before, but traffic was traffic. Not much you can do about it.

They actually took him in later than he was scheduled. I did not know this. I read a book on my Kindle and watched the time go by. It took twice as long as it should have and I started to get pretty damned nervous.

But he did okay, he had a couple of polyps that were removed, he has a mild case of diverticulitis and was told to take a fiber supplement.

I drove home without incident. Which made me pretty happy. Traffic was pretty light heading east that time of the day.

His results came back yesterday. The polyps were benign and the diverticulitis should clear up on its own.

So, yay, for that being done.

06:56 AM - 11/03/2017

The topic: Tuesday, we took DaNiece to the vet

She's been off her food for a week or so, eating is way down. She has the sniffles. And she was doing that drinking lots of water thing.

I have photos and video and I'll be making a more detailed post later.

After tests came back, she is having some kidney failure, she's lost 18% use of her kidney function. That's manageable. I figured she'd had some loss because of the drinking.


daniece    catstuff   

      Tuesday, November 07, 2017

10:58 AM - 11/07/2017

The topic: DaNiece

DaNiece is doing great. She's finished with her antibiotics and her sniffles are gone. She's eating a lot more (she wasn't even eating half of her morning egg, even though she wanted it), she's sleeping better, and she's obviously feeling a lot better now.

And she's purring again. Not a lot, but she's getting there.

She's so easy to medicate.

After her visit, she was prescribed doxycycline 2x a day for a week (ended this morning), prednisolone for her asthma (2x a day for three days, 1x a day for three days and every other day until gone). She was prescribed lactulose for her hard stools.

The vet also gave the okay for twice a day fluid administration, because of her kidney values (she's lost 18% of their function).

This on top of her twice a day thyroid meds and her once a day phenobarbital. She's being really good about everything we're doing for her. She had gotten weaker and had a hard time jumping on the coffee table and sofa. Brian brought the stairs in that he'd made for Miss Elizabeth. But now she's just hopping up onto the table with no problem at all.  I'm looking forward to have those stairs out of here. They make it easier for the cats, but harder for us.

So, good news!

video    daniece    catstuff   

      Monday, November 13, 2017

09:27 AM - 11/13/2017
We found a dime on our walk this morning

The topic: This weather….

What happened to those nice days of having the windows open with a nice cool breeze blowing through? It went from miserable hot to miserable cloudy and damp.

I wanna see the blue sky! I wanna get fresh air through the windows. The problem with the cloudy humid stuff is I get cold, sit on the sofa and cover myself with a light blanket.

Blankets and me? Once that puppy is covering this body, it's say goodnight. I'm asleep in minutes. Been that way all of my life. Just so nice and warm and cozy and.....

So, I've picked out the holiday cards I want to make. I pulled all of the paper that I had on hand this weekend. I'm waiting for delivery of some white glitter cardstock. I need at least ten sheets of that. I found some that was ten bucks less at an online store, officesupply.com.  It should be here this week.

I'm also going to make a couple of the latest from SVGCuts. It's a really pretty tree, that is reminiscent of the ceramic trees from years ago. If it turns out, I'll be giving one to my vet's office.

I had a hard time sleeping the past couple of nights thinking about the paper I wanted to use. Then, after I'd watched tutorials and decided on paper, my pre-sleep thoughts turned to the order I wanted to cut them. Foil and glitter paper last, it's thicker and wears on the blades more quickly than regular cardstock.

Decisions, decisions....

svgcuts    craftstuff   

      Saturday, November 18, 2017

06:40 AM - 11/18/2017

The topic: We said goodbye to DaNiece yesterday

You may vaguely recall me mentioning during the years how her back legs would go out. I'm sure you've probably had this happen to you sometime during your years, how you're standing there and a knee just gives out. For no reason. Then it's okay.

Well, DaNiece's knees had done that for years. I'd see her walking down the hall and her back end would just drop. Then she'd just get up and go on her way. I broached this with the vet back in June.

The past couple of weeks, she'd eat kibble, puke it up almost immediately. Then eat it. I gave the cats chicken earlier this week and she did the same thing to that. There was something going on in her throat. The thyroid problem had her with a huge growth that covered almost all of her neck. Was that why she had a hard time eating? It had slowly been getting worse, even though she was getting her thyroid meds.

So, after her visit at the end of October, she was given some new meds that seemed to work wonders for her. Her appetite was great, she was actually jumping onto the coffee table, instead of walking up the stairs that Brian had brought in. She couldn't get enough to eat. I was loving it.

But the prednisolone was only a short time prescription (2x a day for three days, then 1x a day for three days, then every other day until gone) and once it started to wear off, she got worse. And she lost her appetite. Even though she wanted that egg every morning and we made her that egg every morning, she ate less and less. So, yesterday morning, I called the vet about an appetite stimulant and the stool softener. I thought that maybe her stools had gotten hard again and that might be one of the reasons she was walking so weird. Maybe she pulled a muscle or something trying to push the feces out. Because she was having a most definite problem walking. Both of her back legs were weak.

And this really concerned me. When I picked up the meds, I mentioned this and was given another script for pred. When I got home, I gave her the appetite stimulant and she was eating within a half hour. Yay! Then I gave her the pred.

And her walking got worse. She was having a really hard time keeping balanced. It wasn't the drugs, although that did enter my mind. Both of her back  feet were warm, so there was blood flow. No clotting. But she'd walk a little ways, then stop and just cry. My mind started racing. This reminded me so much of Potter's last night. When I picked her up, and held her, with her legs over my arm and her feet hanging there, I could just flop them like a piece of material. There was no response or give. No resistance at all. In either of them.

It's Friday afternoon. It's after three o'clock. My vet's office is closed on the weekends. What if something really bad happened, or this didn't resolve? Did we really want to take her to the emergency clinic, in case this was something that could be resolved? Have them keep her for testing? Have her gone for the weekend, only to be told there's nothing that can be done?

I called our vet's office to see if we could get her in. We could. At 4:15. About an hour away.  For the next forty-five minutes Brian and I sat with her on the sofa. She was scared. She was confused. She didn't understand why she couldn't move from her to there. Why she had such a hard time standing up and turning around to get comfortable, like cats like to do. She finally settled down about five minutes before we were due to leave.

I honestly thought we'd be bringing her home. I didn't take my phone.

In the examining room, we set the carrier on the floor and let her roam. I sat on the floor with her. She had a hard time of it. She went back into the carrier and just lay there. When the vet came in, she coaxed her out of the carrier and watched her. We talked about how she'd been doing, what she'd been doing and answered the vet's questions.

The vet put her on the table. Listened to her, felt her, squeezed parts of her back. She felt the paws, she squeezed between the paws. There was a little movement, but not much. She wasn't sure what the problem was, but she was pretty sure there was nothing they could give her to make it better.  Her guess was the spine was deteriorating and the message just wasn't getting through from the brain to the legs. She brought up the seizures that DaNiece had had. It's was possible that the brain was somehow involved. She really didn't hold up much hope for recovery. She mentioned quality of life.

We made the decision to give her relief from what has been going on since the beginning of the summer. We said goodbye.

I woke up this morning and the sun was up. First time in months. It was after six. I slept in. I went into the kitchen and there was no DaNiece waiting for the egg she wouldn't eat.

Last night I told Brian "we have one cat getting one med a day now". DaNiece had been getting the thyroid meds twice a day for years.

Her med schedule as of yesterday morning:

  • Subcutaneous fluids twice a day
  • Methimazole twice a day
  • Lactalose twice a day
  • Calcitriol once a day
  • Phenobarbitol once a day
  • Prednisolone every other day

And now, just Rocky.

When we got home, I took the stairs outside. I moved the coffee table back away from the sofa. I took the blanket off of it. Last night, I had the sofa to myself. It was weird to just stretch out. DaNiece used to sleep in the middle

We have five girls left. Lorelei and her daughter, Rory. Little Bit's daughters, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe. Two of DaNiece's siblings are still with us. From a litter of six, we have Sammy and Opie.

It's been a rough year. I hope this is it for a while. My heart is worn out.

goodbye    daniece   

11:35 AM - 11/18/2017

The topic: We knew this would happen some day

I first came online on August 1, 1996. The reason? We had trapped a feral cat by tricking him into our garage. And he ran into the rafters. And decided he would live there.

I climbed a ladder to feed him. I climbed a ladder to clean the litter box. Eventually, he made his way down and into the house. But he lived up there for months. I was younger then.

He was cat number nineteen. We had nineteen cats when I came online. Today, we have seventeen. The youngest is Pancho, close to ten years old now. The oldest are Opie and Sammy, born in 2001. So, sixteen?

This is the least amount of cats we've had since 1996. The most we had at the same time was thirty-eight. We knew this would happen.

At the vet's yesterday morning, there were two of the cutest kittens. Each missing an eye. Some rat bastard popped the eyes out. Animal control brought them in. Last night, I had fleeting thoughts of adopting them. But I don't want to have our cats outlive us. Yes, I understand we could be killed in a car accident or any number of things. But how good will I be at cleaning litter boxes or medicating when I'm eighty?  So, kittens are out of the question. Adopt seniors? Nope. We have seniors already. The only way we'd take in more cats is if the friends we've already told we would help out, need our help. And there aren't very many young cats in that group.

Brian said it doesn't feel like we have that many cats. And it doesn't (until we're in bed and Sammy, Opie and Ross are between us and Rory and Mario are on the other side of me).

One day, we won't have any cats. I'm not looking forward to it. Like Brian said, when that day comes, we'll be able to do stuff. Go places. Not that we will, but we can if we want.

I wonder what that would be like.


      Sunday, November 19, 2017

11:44 AM - 11/19/2017

The topic: Looks like we’re in for nasty weather….

Yeah, you folks with clouds and rain and snow probably don't agree, but this coming week, the weather casters are calling for mid-nineties. Which, being inland, we add five degrees to that. So, we're taking in the three digits.

I have work to do. At least it cools down a lot at night now.  And maybe I can get my work done in the morning.  Just not looking forward to it.

It's only been two days since we said goodbye to Neecy and I have all of this free time now. I didn't just give her meds, but anyone of you with a sick pet knows how much time you spend watching them. Making sure they're okay and not in distress and "here, baby, would you like some baby food? Let me warm it up for you, you might like it better. No? How about a nice belly rub? Or I'll just sit here and you can lay on me because you want to."  Yeah, time.

So, we're getting new computers. Both of us. The ones we have are five years old and they're actually fine. I could just do a complete system restore on both of them and start over, but the software programs I use gets upgraded regularly and the old system just isn't keeping up. And Brian's just flat out frustrated with his system (which is the same as mine). Most of his problems can be contributed to operator error, but you can only ask "what did you do this time?" so often. It's a two terrabyte systems and even with his photos, he's only used 90GB. His new system, an all in one, only has one terrabyte, but that should be more than enough. He does photos for his customers and surfing the internet. That's it. He doesn't even do email on his computer, it's all internet based.

So, in anticipation of this move, I bought a 3TB external drive to back up both systems. Since the computers are supposed to be here tomorrow (!!!) I figured I'd start to do the backups. The new hard drive wouldn't be recognized. By his computer or by my computer. Hmmm....to top it all off, when I pulled the connector out of the front i/o port on his computer, the damned blue thingy came out with it! (USB 3.0) What the hell? Now, neither of those ports work! You can't plug in a USB thingy on the front of his system. Then I tried a different cord and the hard drive worked on both computers. I used Windows backup to save Brian's hard drive, now I'm backing mine up. I won't clean the hard drives of either until I know everything is saved properly.

Yeah, the thing is we're sending these computers to a friend who will put them to good use. I can't send a broken computer. Doing some research, someone said when they'd try to use a similar broken USB port, they got a warning of a power surge. This is NOT good. So, I spent the better part of two hours looking for a replacement. Some places had them for more than $85.00!  That's just nuts! Good thing I'm determined. I found one for $21.00, that has two day priority shipping. I hope they DO have these in stock and it's not a tease. I'll be bummed if it is.

I've done a load of laundry. I had to clean out the fabric softener dispenser, it was nasty and full of water. Don't know what happened there. I did all of the pots and pans and started the dishwasher.

I could start cutting paper, but I really want to wait until it's all here.

So, I'll just putter around, keeping myself busy. This next week will be a busy week. And a hot one. Blech.

geekstuff    computer   

      Monday, November 20, 2017

07:15 AM - 11/20/2017

The topic: Conversations

(Not in the happiest of moods this morning, my damned wireless keyboard decided it was going on strike. But intermittently.)

We're on our walk this morning. The discussion turns to some of the requests he's been getting for work. Then I ask him "what about the guy and the check valves?"  Check valves keep things from moving or something, Brian sells these hydraulic links that automatically adjust instead of manually. These links run from valves. (Bear with me, I'm not an expert in this and this is just what I think happens...) They lift equipment. There is sometimes "leakage". This doesn't mean they actually leak anything, they just kind of drop down. Honestly, no matter how many times he's tried explaining it to me, I'm lost. Every. Time. Brian does not like check valves. They are not something he sells. His products are made to float, not be static. The check valves keep them from floating. So....I think that maybe kinda explains this.

So, he starts explaining that this guy isn't sure about using check valves. And then he starts droning on about industry standards for acceptable leakage, how one tractor maker measures the leakage in "teaspoons" and another manufacturer measures in "drops".  And he goes on.

Me: ~starts to laugh

Him: ~keeps talking about technical specs

Me: ~punches him in the arm

Him: ~looks at me, sees I'm  laughing

Him: What?

Me: I kinda feel like Penny and Leonard right now

Him: ~laughs

Him: ~continues on about technical specs



07:56 AM - 11/20/2017

The topic: More conversations

So, we know from my previous entry that my wireless keyboard is being a jerk. I am also in the process of backing up my computer. Brian's went swimmingly yesterday, took less than an hour. Mine started at noon yesterday and was finally done this morning a little before six. (Old habits die hard, I'm still on the time thing of getting up at 5:30 to make Neecy her egg.) Well, it said it couldn't complete, but I think that was the making the disk image thing. It looks like all of my other files are there.

And just in case, I'm manually saving all of my little movies. Video snippets from through the years. Yes, they were backed up last night, but better safe than sorry. Once they're gone, they're gone.

So, I'm getting ready for two computers to be delivered today, a new water dispenser (hot and cold!) and hopefully, the rest of my cardstock (next day delivery in most areas, my ass.)

And Brian is going up to the L.A. area today to pick up supplies. He needs a check.  Company X usually sends him an invoice via email, he prints it out and hands it to me so that I can print out a check. And that's the way it should work, right?

This Company X also occasionally sends price lists. They send them in Excel form. His computer can't read them. Mine can.

He forwarded an email. It was blank. I show it to him. I tell him I'll get it from his email. I go to his email. Keep in mind, I'm looking for an invoice, so I can generate a check. In his email, there are two messages from Company X. Only one has an attachment.

Him: It's in that email. My computer can't read it.

Me: That's weird, it usually doesn't have a problem with the invoices, it's the spreadsheets.

I open the email. I download it. It's a zipped excel file. This is not the invoice I want. I extract the contents. It's the price list.

Me: Wow, they have eighty-two things they sell you? No, wait! This is a double list, they have over a hundred things they sell you? I had no idea!

Him: Huh? Who?

Me: What?

Him: Who are you talking about?

I looked at him. I turned my back to him, my elbows on the desk, my head in my hands and I just gently shook it back and forth.

Him: Are you talking about Company X?

Me: Yeah. What company have we been talking about for the past fifteen minutes?

Him: Well, I had no idea what you were talking about. Now you know how I feel....

Me: ~extremely puzzled at this point

Him: Wait. ~laughs~ Now I know how YOU feel when you don't know what I'M talking about.

(He has this habit of carrying on an internal conversation, then starts talking to me like I was there.)

It's gonna be a long day.


      Sunday, November 26, 2017

11:53 AM - 11/26/2017

The topic: Well, that was an unproductive week

Well, it was kind of productive.

The computers got here on Monday. The new water dispenser got here on Monday. That was good.

I started cutting paper for the cards on Tuesday.  I started embellishing and assembling pieces of the cards on Wednesday. (Just the first set, there will be four different ones. I'd planned on cutting everything out at once, but I didn't have all of the cardstock, so I'm just doing one set at a time.) 

Thursday morning I put the cards together. Had a hissy fit when things didn't go right and pretty much ruined one of the cards. I fixed it enough to live here with us, but not get sent out.

Early Thursday afternoon, we went to see Thor Ragnarok in 3D (loved it!) When we got home, I started working on the cards again. Had them mostly done that night, envelopes and all.

Somewhere along the line, I pulled something in my back. Friday was bad, yesterday was worse, but getting better today. I want to do something, but since my back is feeling better, I don't want to push it. So annoying.

The weather is perfect right now. Not hot like last week (record temperatures, we're talking high nineties and over a hundred). Very pleasant today, would love to be working on the new computers or cutting more cardstock or figuring out how to run my cables for the Silhouettes. I spent hours Tuesday morning, the laptop would only recognize one Cameo at a time. I have three. Turned out to be the USB cables were bad. I ordered three new ones and want to get them fixed to my  worktable so they won't be in the way; I bought some of those things that hold cables in place, but I have to glue them in place since they'll be on the bottom of the table and the adhesive things that they come with doesn't work for very long.

Too much bending and stretching for either of those. And it's perfect weather for window washing, but, again, I want my back to get better, not worse.

I'm frustrated right now.

silhouette    sciatica    not happy    hot   

      Tuesday, November 28, 2017

05:09 PM - 11/28/2017

The topic: More boring adventuires from the home of lisaviolet

Last weekend, I got some movies from Amazon. DVDs. I got all of the Harry Potter movies (only seen one, read part of the first book, still have the rest of that book and seven more to go) and the Riddick complete set. Unrated.  All three of them. In Blu-ray. The Blu-ray comes with codes for digital copies.

The movies get here yesterday, fairly early in the day. Delivered via Amazon delivery. I rip the covering off, find the codes and go to the website mentioned on the paper. Login? What's my login? I can't remember. So, I login with my Google account. Put in the codes for each movie and voila! I have three new movies to watch on Vudu or Google movies or Amazon! Or so I thought.

They didn't show up in those accounts on the Roku. Huh. Interesting. So, I try to connect the moviesanywhere account to each of those services. They're already connected. To something. What did I do? What on earth did I do?

I start a chat with support. Coming to find out I have three accounts!  141031022

One with Google. One with Facebook. And one with my regular email address. My Riddick movies are in the Google account. All the other ones are in my Facebook account. Which is the account that is connected to Google, Facebook and Amazon. There's nothing in my regular email address account. Swell.

So, she walks me through what I need to do on my end, it's fixed and a different department has to take care of moving the Riddick movies. That should take a couple of days. I can handle that.

I think that was my excitement for yesterday.

Today, I cut paper. I had gotten most of the paper for my next batch of cards on mats Sunday and yesterday. Not all, but most of it. It really helped out.  I had all three machines going. A couple of things I've learned. Not to use the Cameo 2 for heavy foil cardstock. And when I'm working with heavy foil cardstock, to wash my hands first. Especially if I've been eating barbecue potato chips.

I mentioned going to the movie on Sunday. Well, my movie watch wasn't working. The battery died. I took it apart Sunday and found it has two batteries. One runs the light in it (which is why I call it my movie watch...), The other runs the clock. There were four tiny black screws and four tiny silver screws. I found the numbers for both batteries and ordered from Amazon. Then I put it back together and lost one of the tiny black screws!  It flew off when I was trying to put it back into that teeny, tiny hole. I did find another screw in a piece of jewelry that worked. But, geez...

The I decided to see if I could find my indiglo watches and I found one of them, took the back off and got the battery number off of that, ordered some of those.

They got here this afternoon and my Indiglo watch is running (it also has a light) and my Armitron watch (the "movie" watch) is running! I changed out the battery in my other indiglo, the light works, but the watch doesn't. So, I opened up my Winnie the Pooh mood watch and the battery was the same as the little battery in the Armitron and I changed that out. My Winnie the Pooh mood watch runs now! Yay!

I'm not getting payment notifications from our credit card processor. I called them this afternoon and it's not on their end. I put in a support ticket with my webhost. I was asked for headers of an email. I sent headers along with a message that they were from the last email I received (the 20th). The response? "We show you got that email on the 20th". 

What? No kidding! I can't send headers from email I haven't received! So, I sent back a message that I should have gotten two other emails, one on the 24th and one today. Didn't get either. Waiting on an answer to that.

And there you have it. My exciting life.




      Wednesday, November 29, 2017

08:52 AM - 11/29/2017

The topic: Conversations

So, we're back in the office, I'm finishing up here on the computer for now and Brian is checking his email.

Sometimes he reads snippets out loud. Sometimes I respond.

He was moving some paper around, while he read from the latest email.

Him: "I wonder if you have a solution..."

Me: The solution that works best for me is one part vinegar, two parts water.

Him: keeps moving paper. Then he starts laughing. He just realized what I said.

Him: "It's really not worth the price of shipping, you can just go down to the grocery store and get what you need...."

Man, we could have so much fun with his emails.


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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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