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      Friday, February 02, 2018

06:30 AM - 02/02/2018

The topic: Brian’s cancer

The plan is external beam radiation. He decided to go that way, even though it will be thirty-nine treatments over eight weeks. He gets weekends off.

I think he was afraid of pain with the brachytherapy. And the fact that it's invasive. And that those radioactive seeds would be in him for life. And the cats couldn't lay on him, which is something he has no control over when he's asleep. I was kind of surprised he went this way, but it's his cancer, his choice.

And where it will be done will be around an hour drivetime, total, each day. Part of the drive was on a tollway and we got hit for $2.50. On the way home, we didn't have correct change, the machine didn't give change, so I paid by plate when we got home. It was $4.50.  Yowza. He can take another route, which will add maybe five minutes onto to the drive. Fortunately, the practice (UCSD) offers a transponder for people who live in certain zip codes. We do. So, on his first treatment visit, he'll give them the filled out form and get a transponder. It will only be good for treatment days, which is fine with us, that's the only reason he'd be on that road to begin with.

He goes in for the measurement stuff next week (I'll go with him) and from then on, I won't need to go. The total time once he's there is a half hour. After that is when he sets up the appointments for treatment.

So, hopefully, he'll be finished with this treatment by the end of April.


      Thursday, February 08, 2018

06:59 AM - 02/08/2018

The topic: This past week has been dull

Tired of looking at the nasty ass floor, I decided it was time to do something about it. Monday, I did the family room, dining room, kitchen and laundry room. I was using the Floormate, the SpinScrubber model. And it sounded horrible. It didn't get better two days later when I did the bedroom and the hallways. Yeah, I could smell it getting hot and it wasn't picking up the dirty water.

So, I got out the other Floormate, the deluxe model. Awesome at putting the water down, really bad at sucking it up. I'm pretty sure part of that is the tile floors. The machine can't keep a solid connection to the floor because of the grout. At least that's what I tell myself. Maybe if I'd kept on top of keeping the floors clean, it wouldn't really be all that noticeable. It did suck up some of the dirty water, it was in the tank.

So, I did what I always do. I ordered a new machine from Amazon. And then I used microfiber towels and went over the hallways again. I'll most likely rewash the floors with the machine this weekend.

And I also added a three year warranty. Yeah, I beat these machines up.

Yesterday, we went to the radiation clinic where Brian had to go in for the simulation. Where they do a CATSCAN of the area where the cancer is and they'll know where to aim the beam. And he got tattooed! Three of them! So, they'll know where to aim, I guess. I haven't seen the tattoos. I guess they're just the size of a pin. lol!

It only took a half hour to get there, the simulation was supposed to be an hour, but I waited almost two hours for Brian to get done. Note to anyone who may have to deal with this in the future....bladder full, bowels empty. No one told Brian about that. Well, the doctor did mention the full bladder thing.....

And that's why it took longer than it was scheduled for. This will most likely be the last time I go with him. The next thirty-nine times it will just be him.

I'm really happy with myself, I'm keeping up with paperwork! No backlog of invoices or new customer setups. I get those done in the morning before I actually start the day, and it's easier to do that way. So far.

Oh, and I ordered a thing to wash windows from Amazon. It's a squeegee on one side and a washable cover on the other. I also ordered a five foot pole to go with it. The windows really need to be washed, I haven't done it in over a year. The inside isn't such a big deal, but the outside, well, I'm just not in the best shape to be climbing up and down on a stool. Looking forward to clean windows, for sure.

I have a bunch of cardstock to cut and I didn't start because I really wanted to do some cleaning. Well, I did some cleaning! Guess what I'm doing today?

floormate    cancer    brian   

      Friday, February 09, 2018

10:36 AM - 02/09/2018

The topic: About that stock market

We have an account with TDAmeritrade. Our dividends get reinvested or something, whatever they do, they build up in a money market account. This account is what I used when I bought fifteen shares of Costco stock a few years ago. It was $87.50 at the time. I knew there was a fair amount in the money market, last time I looked it was around $800.00. So, the market is falling. I check the cost of Costco. The money market account is close to a thousand. I figure I could buy five more shares for under $900.00.

Brian's on the phone. I wish he'd get off. I hear him ending the conversation. I walk back into the office, putting on my "I did something bad and you're not going to like it" face.

Him: what's wrong?

Me: I just spent close to nine hundred dollars.

Him: mouth drops open

Him: On what?

Me: Well, it's not like it's money we were going to use or anything...

Him: Oh what?

Me: I just bought five shares of CostCo.

Him: Thumbs up!

Him: Maybe you should have waited and it would have dropped more.

Me: Maybe it wouldn't.

Him: concedes.

An hour later, he's in his shop.

Me: The market is down almost four hundred points.

Me: Maybe I should have waited.

Him: laughs out loud


stock market    conversations    brian   

      Saturday, February 17, 2018

02:55 PM - 02/17/2018

The topic: This and that

Well, I got the first Heirloom Christmas tree finished. Just put the star on this morning. It was the only thing I didn't cut out earlier this week.

When I was doing the cutting for the tree, once again I was not happy with my workspace. I had two Cameos running and I figured there had to be a better way. Here on my work table, there was a lot of unused room behind the Cameo and I never did figure out how to make use of it. I'll probably use it to keep the paper I've chosen and the leftover paper I peel off of the mats until I'm ready to deal with that. You know, keep the pieces that are big enough to use for scrap, toss the rest.

I did figure out a way to stack the Cameos here on my desk. I got one of these. It's not quite tall enough to open the bottom Cameo all the way, but I found a piece of styrofoam that Brian uses when he packs cylinders in his trash and the size is perfect to use under the legs of the little table. I had to wrap the cut up foam pieces in press and seal stuff because little foam balls were falling off and it was pretty messy. They're not pretty, but they get the job done.

And now I'll be able to use the other table as a workspace for putting the paper on the mats and taking it off.

I took pictures and tomorrow I hope to take photos of the cards I've never shared and get all of those uploaded and posted here.

You know that CostCo stock I bought last week? It was up $14 as of yesterday.  Not bad. I wish the other stocks we've gotten over the years would do the same thing.

Brian was gone Monday night, Tuesday and until Wednesday afternoon. I stayed up late on Monday cutting paper, had a horrible night's sleep. I didn't do much the rest of the time. I did take naps, that was nice.

But I do that anyway.

And that's about it. Things have been pretty quiet around here, not a lot going on. If it was a little warmer, I'd be washing floors again (since my new Floormate got here) and I really need to wash the windows and sliding glass doors. But I want warmth earlier than it gets here.

We started this Time of Use thing with our energy company, it started on the 9th. The cheapest energy time is from nine at night until six in the morning on the weekdays and until two on the weekends. The middle tier is until four in the afternoon, then the highest rate for usage is between four in the afternoon and nine at night. I'm doing laundry on the weekends. I could do a load a night, put it on the timer thing and have it done by six. But this is only the second weekend and so far, it's working okay.

This is a good plan for us because the bulk of our usage comes during the day. That's when Brian's out running his machinery. I'm hoping this saves us some money.

And I've been doing a pretty good job of keeping on top of paperwork.

organization    craftstuff    card   

      Monday, February 26, 2018

12:29 PM - 02/26/2018

The topic: Making signs

We've signed up for automatic pickups from UPS. This service has a name. It's "Smart Pickup". We pay a weekly fee that's added to our invoice each week. The way it works is when I generated a label here at home using the UPS website and our account, the local UPS service is notified that we have a package to go out. As long as we let them know by 5:00 pm, they should be here to pickup.

It should be simple. But it isn't. Nothing that should be simple ever is.

There have been two times the labels and package were out with plenty of time to spare, but UPS never showed up. Both times was on a Monday pickup. This causes delays for customers who should be getting their orders on Friday. And they don't. The majority of our customers are people who do their tractoring on the weekends because they have jobs during the week. And it's frustrating that someone drops the ball on this.

So, Brian came up with an idea about putting a sign up on the front gate (our entryway has a wrought iron gate that leads to the front door, it was there when we moved in).

At first, it was just a piece of cardboard and I cut out the letters U P S in white vinyl that I put on the cardboard. It worked nicely. Brian would give me the paperwork, I'd make the labels, he'd place them on the packages and he'd put the sign up on the gate, letting the UPS driver know that the packages were ready to go out.

Then last week one of the UPS drivers told Brian that since they drive up or down the street before we have the sign up, doing other UPS deliveries, it would be nice if they knew then if we'd be having a shipment later in the day. So, they'd know to come back. Sometimes, even though there was no sign up, they'd stop and come to the front door to know if we would have a shipment going out later in the day.

Okay. Let's see what we (me) could come up with.

I had some old Avery inkjet magnetic sheets that I thought maybe would work. Regular letter sized.  (I got these long before I had my Cameos.) There were only three in the pack, so I had to get it right the first time. I printed them out. One "UPS". The other "LATER". I had them with yellow text on a brown background. They were perfect.

Except for one thing. The cold. They worked nicely when it was warmer outside, but fell off of the gate when it was cold. Damn.

Then I found a roll of magnetic tape I had and cut pieces of that off to stick to the back of the magnetic signs, hoping they would work. They didn't. And when I tried to pull them off, They pulled the magnetic backing off of the signs I had made up. Grrrrr....

The adhesive was stronger than the magnets.

Next stop, Amazon. I searched through what they had, looking for something with a strong magnet. I ended up looking at the  car decal magnets and checked the reviews. If it would stay on a car, it should surely stay up on the gate.

I ordered these on Friday. They got here yesterday. The first thing I did when I opened the package was took one outside to see if it would stay. It did. Yay!

Since they got here late in the afternoon, I decided to work on them this morning.

Twenty-one inches was as wide as I needed, because of the spacing of the bars on the gate. I got my signage all designed, go the printer set up and put one of the magnets in the printer. It wouldn't feed through. It was way too thick. I did a quick search and changed a setting in the printer software and put the sign in the manual feed at the back. Still wouldn't work.

Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. Now what?

Okay, I'll take the graphic, split it up and put it on removable adhesive paper that I got last year to help with making the silver labels Brian puts on the cylinders, then piece it together on the sign. Except I couldn't get it the pieces straight and lined up properly. Frustration builds.

Then I remembered some print on adhesive sheets I'd gotten a long time ago. I'd wanted to do cutouts of the cats and put them around the house. I never got around to it, but I still had the pack, had never tried it out.

It's not as big as I wanted, but it's bigger than the signs I made last week. This stuff is 11 x 17. So, I print one out. It looks great! I print out the other one. Success!

I printed out one sheet of just brown to cut and place at the sides of the worded sheets, so there's no white at the sides. And they're out on the gate right now.


      Tuesday, February 27, 2018

04:13 PM - 02/27/2018

The topic: I want to make another balloon

I've made two now. My first one pales by comparison to my second one.

You can see the larger balloon is more detailed than the first one. Well, I have a place in the living room that would be a perfect spot for one. One of the toughest things for me is to choose paper. Last year I bought paper from B & H Photo. Last year I cut a few pieces of the heavier paper and printed it out with some digital paper designs I bought on Etsy and I was very pleased with the result.

Having an idea of what I might want for my balloon, I headed over to Etsy and checked out their watercolor digital paper designs and got quite a few (they're really cheap).

Then this past weekend, I cut some more  paper. I cut over fifty pieces. That will give me enough to work with.

Cutting the paper was a process. First I had to cut it in lengths of twelve inches, then cut the paper in half.

It was time consuming, but I cut a lot of pieces and these should last me a while.

I checked my files, I do have the enlarged templates for the balloon, so all I have to do now is choose what I want to use, then print out the sheets.

I hope it looks as good as I imagine it can.

cuttting paper    craftstuff    balloon   

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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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