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      Tuesday, May 01, 2018

09:14 AM - 05/01/2018

The topic: Rocky on the rebound?

Yesterday morning, I woke up to see a big cat laying on Brian. He was stroking the purring kitty. I asked him if that was Rocky. He said it was.

It had been over a month since Rocky came into the bedroom in the morning.

Last night, after the cats were fed and Rocky had gotten his meds, he wanted out. I let him. He went over to a dirt area and peed a bunch, then came running back inside.

Then he turned around and wanted back out. I let him go. He ran over to the swing and laid under it. I watched him, then went over and scootched him out. He went out of my reach, then over to one of the legs of the swing (it's an old cedar swing), stretched himself up and started scratching at it.

That's also been a while.

So, his foot is still hurting, it's only been four days, but it must be feeling a lot better for him to be this much more active. He's putting a little more weight on it each time I see him walking. It's going to be a while until it's as close to normal as it ever will be, but he's making progress.

He wasn't thrilled with his meds last night, but they're necessary if he's ever going to recover from the crypto.

But it makes me smile to see him being a little more active. It gives me hope.


rocky    cryptococcus    catstuff   

      Tuesday, May 08, 2018

07:03 AM - 05/08/2018

The topic: Plodding along

Nothing exciting, well, there was that helicopter that just hovered in the same spot for at least fifteen minutes. I got some video of it. Really exciting. Just a helicopter hovering. Oh, I did get the fog bank coming in as well. If you're here right now, maybe you can see it on the backyard cam (one of these days it will be on the roof with the ability to move it).

Rocky got his bandage changed last Wednesday, all looked good. I was a little worried when I  noticed him pulling at the tape and the next morning, more tape was gone and I couldn't find it. I was afraid he'd ingested a fair amount and gave him a bunch of tuna. He kept that down, so I wasn't so afraid. If the tape had blocked something, the tuna would have been vomited. A couple of days later, I found the big piece of tape, so that was good.

His bandage and stitches come out today! Yay!

I finished my latest batch of balloons last weekend. There are seven total, I need to get photos of them. I ordered some hook type hangers, shepherd's hooks and ornament hangers. They got here yesterday so, as long as it's not windy, I'll get some pictures of them today.

Brian is finally working on getting the pool stuff set back up. It's been almost a month since his last radiation treatment and he's getting back on track as far as his schedule goes. He has more time now and he's not so tired. He pulled the old deck down (where the pool pump and filter were).  Last month, he went to Lowe's and Home Depot to look at wood for the deck replacement and the stuff they had on the floor wasn't good and too expensive. The following day he went up to our property and loaded up the truck with wood that was stored up there. This past weekend, he started rebuilding the deck. That's done and he's getting pipes and stuff to set the pump and filter back up.

The pool is pretty nasty right now, stagnant water, lots of mosquitoes. Early the other evening, I was out looking at it and it looked like raindrops were hitting the water, but it was those mosquitoes. Shudder. He should have it up and running in the next couple of days.

Work has been pretty slow for me, not a lot of quote requests, and without quotes, no orders. No orders, no new accounts to set up.

Because so much of his time was doing quotes, I added a thing to the contact page that there is currently a twenty week lead time (he has that many orders to fill). I'm sure that's cut back on a lot of requests, because people don't want to wait that long. People give him grief about the lead time, but he's started to not feel guilty about it, no longer gets defensive, like he's doing something wrong. He's not, he's just got that good of a product.

And that's about it. Not a whole lot going on.

rocky    mosquitoes    craftstuff    balloon   

      Wednesday, May 09, 2018

03:24 PM - 05/09/2018

The topic: Latest on Sparkle Butt

So, the bandages and stitches came out yesterday. I'm sure it feels weird to him and most likely is still pretty sore. He spent some time cleaning off the leg and paw after we got home, but not so much today. He's not walking on it, kind of limping when he does (just thinking about having a cat declawed, which removes the first bone of the toe, makes my feet hurt). It will be a while for this to resolve.

Anyway, I snapped a few photos.

May 1, 2018

May 8, 2018 before we went to the vet

May 8, 2018, home. The bottom of his paw.

This morning, the top of his paw

April 20. 2018 - a reminder of the granuloma, caused by the fungus, which was removed on April 27.

Glad to have that bandage off.

rocky    photos    cryptococcus    catstuff   

04:43 PM - 05/09/2018

The topic: What a day

I mentioned yesterday that Brian has been working on getting the pool set back up. New pump (less horsepower and hopefully, not as big a drain on the electrical), new pipes, an inline chlorine feeder, and I guess you'd call the filter a rebuild. Or not.

We have a Hayward DE 720S pool filter. The DE is diatomacious earth, the 720 is the total square foot area of the filters. We've had this for as long as we've had the pool, at least twenty years. Once or twice a filter was replaced (there are eight pieces, seven long, one short) and once he replaced all of them. This time, a complete set of filters was ordered.

When Brian took it apart, he took it all apart. The old filters were thrown away and then he cleaned out the inside, which was really nasty, full of stuff that wasn't getting flushed out when he did the occasional flushing. A lot of gunky buildup.

So, the deck is done, he has everything in place, how he wants it set up. Twenty years is plenty of time to think about how you'd do things differently, you know?

This morning, he started working on getting the filter back together. What a nightmare. It shouldn't have been. The videos on YouTube made it seem like a snap. But, it wasn't. Watchng the videos together, at one point I warned him I was going to punch him hard in the arm if he didn't adjust his attitude. (He knows it's an empty threat, I would never hit him, but I had to get his attention.) I know he was frustrated, but if you want my help, don't yell at me. I'm not asking stupid questions, I don't know what you've already tried, I'm trying to get a grasp of what you've done.

So, I go back outside with him, back to the shop. It's probably around ten o'clock. These filter things have a top (manifold) and a bottom (bottom). There are two ways to put it together. By putting the individual filters on the bottom first, the putting the manifold on the top. Tubes run through the filters and at the top of the filter, there's an additional piece that gets smaller and has slots on the sides of the top. The manifold is supposed to slide onto the these. I was able to get the filter pieces located properly on the bottom, like putting a puzzle together. This is the type of thing I can do. (And it takes me longer to get frustrated when things don't go right.) Once that was done, we tried putting the manifold on and it wouldn't go on. So, we took it all apart (again) and started by putting the manifold on first (everything upside down), but getting the bottom of the filter pieces lined up just wasn't happening.

I told Brian I would get it to work, but I wanted to move the whole thing to the patio, out of his shop. I have a problem with one of my legs and it starts to hurt and sitting down really helps. And I wouldn't be in Brian's way and he wouldn't be checking on my progress, he could do the kind of work that pays the bills.

I watched more videos, hoping for some magical resolution. There wasn't one. I did see a couple of videos with some sort of guide for the top, but we didn't have a guide (holds the pieces in place so when the manifold is placed on top, the slots and guides are lined up). I looked for them online, but Brian wanted this done today. I did what any crafter would do. I cut my own out of cardstock. The paper wasn't big enough, but it was sure close. But, not close enough. The circles were open and the top of the filters slid out.

I came inside and did the post about Rocky, cooling down and sitting for a while. Brian came in to take a break as well. My mind was still searching for something that might work. And I came up with an idea of wrapping string around everything so it would kind of keep it in place. Tried that with some yarn and it was working a little better, but the manifold still wasn't going on easily. Brian came out and asked if I needed any help, to let him know if I did and just then, I wasn't ready. The plan this time was to wrap the entire thing with a lot of string (around the top to bottom), turning it upside down and putting it on the manifold that way.

He went back to the shop and I had another idea. The tubes are evenly spaced, but the filters were sloppy without the manifold being in place. Where they fit into the bottom wasn't even three quarters of an inch, so they slid out place without much movement. The yarn around helped, but what if I tied the tubes that were across from one another in place? It was worth a shot.


The manifold, so you know what I'm talking about. Those eight holes are supposed to fit snuggly over the top of the filters. The big thing at the left side is the outake tube. Water comes in the bottom, upwards through the filters and tubes and out to the pool.

I was working with the holes at the bottom of the picture, wrapping the yarn around the hole directly across, at the top. I did the left side hole first, the right side second. Tightened the yarn up and checked the manifold placement. It took about ten minutes and I was satisfied. I didn't have to wrap the other holes at all. I went back to the shop and told Brian I needed his help.

There was no play or rocking of the manifold. Finally! Brian gently pounded each one down with a mallet and we were almost done. The thing now was gettting it back to the shop without the bottom falling off. The wire stake that goes from the bottom to the top wasn't in place. So, what Brian did was pick the entire thing up high enough for me to get the stake up through the middle and through the hole in the middle of the manifold. He put the bolt and screw in place, tightened it down and took the whole thing back to his shop.

It was a little after five.

Last I looked, the filter housing was back together and on the deck.

pool work   

      Friday, May 11, 2018

09:18 AM - 05/11/2018

The topic: Rocky this morning

Watching him, he's feeling a lot better. He's moving more, from this spot to that. He's close to running up the cat trees.

He's putting more weight on that paw than he has in over a month. And not shaking it out so much as he moves along.

It's wonderful to watch. Just a little bit ago, he came into the family room to get a drink of water out of the big bowl (crock from a crockpot). He drank quite a bit, then went back into the living room where he's been hanging out for the past months.

I'm looking forward to him dashing out the door, over to the swing and scratching his paws on it, even running up it and sitting on the top. I'm sure it will come back to him soon and he'll be as right as rain.

Now, if we could just get him to not fight his medications. (He has this new thing for the past few days. At the time we usually give him his meds, he's been invisible. I found him last night, as far under the futon as he could go. Not wanting to stress him out, he didn't get his meds. We need to change the time he gets them, for sure. He needs those meds if we want to get rid of this fungus.)

But, GO ROCKY!!!


rocky    cryptococcus    catstuff   

      Tuesday, May 22, 2018

07:01 AM - 05/22/2018

The topic: A quick update

Back in January 2017, I was messing around, doing leg lifts on the sofa. Pretty stupid thing to be doing. I pulled a muscle in my right leg, near my groin. It has bothered me ever since. Sometimes bad, sometimes not so bad.

It's one of the reasons we haven't gone on a walk in over a year. I decided I would not baby it any longer and try to fix it through movement. Pushing to do things that hurt. Like crossing the leg over my left leg to tie my shoe. Killer pain. It worked, but it also maybe made it worse. Last night, I got a shooting pain down the front of the leg. Holy cow. The good thing about these pains is they quickly go away. I've had them in my right butt cheek ever since that sciatica incident last year, but never in the front of my leg. It was so bad, I finally said "enough" and made an appointment with my doctor. I was trying to hold off until October, when I would be on Medicare, but I'm just tired of not being able to do things without pain. I want to wash floors, wash windows and screens, climb on my step stool and dust the top of the tall furnitures.

I want to know how to make this go away so I can get back to life and we can start going on our morning walks again. I miss those.

Rocky is doing really well, he's actually back to spending a fair amount of time outside, as he did before the paw blowup.  He barely limps, so this is a very good thing.

I've been lax in paperwork, business is really slow, not many orders to speak of and I've not been keeping on top of the little I have to do. I'm hoping to start catching up today, before it gets to the point where reconciling the bank account is no fun at all.

The old company bank account is finally closed out. I can shred the blank checks and blank deposit books and the checks for the overdraft. He started that company long before i met him. He doesn't miss it at all. I listen to him on the phone every once in a while and he'll explain to people who wonder about his long lead time (he's really busy) and they suggest he hire someone. He explains he spent decades babysitting employees and he doesn't want to go through that again. He does things a certain way and he takes pride in what he does. You can't teach someone to have pride in their work and he's pretty sure the quality would drop. Besides having to train someone. So, he goes it alone and he's fine with that.

He loves his work and it brings him joy.

I think I'll start that paperwork....

rocky    doctor    catstuff   

11:39 AM - 05/22/2018

The topic: We had tostadas for dinner

I cooked up some refried beans, made Mexican rice, chopped tomatoes, sliced lettuce, mashed up a couple of avocados (from our trees) and added a little mayo and lemon juice for guacamole. Put sour cream in a small bowl and put some Mexican cheese in a bowl.

Brian fried the corn tortillas and this time, got it just right (tried it before and the oil wasn't hot enough and they were chewy). 

The only thing left over was the rice and I didn't save it.

They were really good. I had two and was stuffed. Brian had three and couldn't finish the third one.

Then I did the dishes.

tostadas    mexican food    foodstuff   

02:42 PM - 05/22/2018

The topic: Rosemary

Catching up on paperwork, the weather has gotten a little better, some clouds, but more blue sky and sun that there's been in a couple of days. Doors and windows open, nice cool breeze, the faint sound of well-tuned wind chimes, smooth jazz playing low on the Echo. As relaxing as one can be when generating invoices.

A few years ago, on one of my "gee, let's plant this" tears, I bought a little rosemary plant.

And I planted it. A year or so later, Brian moved it. Then it ended up being moved another time. And it's gotten pretty big.

When he was working on the pool, I was outside and I asked "do you smell that?" He sniffs. "Yeah." 

"It's that rosemary plant."  The fragrance fills the air and when the windows are open, blows into the house.

It's a nice smell. I'm smelling it now.

It has magical powers, too. Interesting to see if it works.


spring    love it   

      Thursday, May 24, 2018

10:47 AM - 05/24/2018

The topic: Back from the doctor

So, we're the first appointment. I had Brian go in with me to remind me of things about my leg that I wasn't bringing up. (Doctors make me nervous for me, not at all of the cats, or Brian, or even when I took my mom in; but me? Mind gone.)

Blood pressure was sucky, but it dropped considerably when I stood up.  Pass. Not with flying colors, but maybe a D, if we're grading on a scale of A to F. But I'm not being admitted to the hospital any time soon.

So, we go over the problem with the doctor. He has me move to the table and has me lay down and he starts with my left leg, moves it this way and that, bends it, no problem, no pain.Then my right. Yeah, okay, don't move it that way, it hurts. No, doesn't hurt there (he keeps moving it)...okay! okay! stawp! Done with the needful torture, he says "I want you to go down to the lab and get x-rays. Just to check your hips. When you come back, just knock on the door and we'll squeeze you in."

Take the elevator down, get the x-rays, go back upstairs, wait less than ten minutes.

It's official. I'm f*cking old. He pulls up the x-rays. My left hip has lots of cartiledge. My right hip, not so much. He called it a "rusty hip". Kind of like a door hinge. It's probably all connected. The hip, the front leg pain, the sciatica (remember last year?) I'll be talking to an orthopedist next week to go over my case and make plans from there. Cortisone shot?  Surgery? As for the pain now, I'll be taking 880mg of naproxin sodium for at least two weeks  (OTC pills are 220mg each, I'm to take two in the morning and two in the evening, with food; the prescription pills I had were 500mg, one am, one pm), but if I need to take it longer, he doesn't see a problem with me doing that.

So, hopefully, I'll be up and walking up hills again before too long.

Which leads us to my blood pressure. He wasn't happy with it, so he put me on another pill. And I just laughed. I said "that's what my previous doctor had me on and you wanted to change what I was getting; I ran out of the old prescription last Friday and started the new one on Saturday. I have more energy with it." He looked over my chart and said "well, take this for two weeks and come back and we'll recheck your BP".

You know what would help my BP? Being able to walk to the bathroom without pain. A good night's sleep because the pain didn't keep waking me up. To be able to stretch out both of my legs on the coffee table. To be able to cross my leg to tie my shoe....so I could move and walk and exercise and get my breath back and not feel so worn out. I'll tell you what, someone you know has chronic pain?

Go easy on them. From my standpoint, it's pretty damned demoralizing to not be able to do the things I used to do. It's not fun. It's not being lazy. And one minute I'm fine, the next minute I'm down. Like last Monday, I actually called Brian to help me get back to the sofa from the bathroom, that pain hit so swiftly, but by the time he got to me, he was just down the hall, it was gone and I could walk; that's here at home, it's not something I'd want happening if we were shopping, or I was driving or at a theater walking up the steps back to my seat. There's absolutely no notice it's going to happen, it isn't "well, if I move this way, it happens, so I'll try not to do that"...it's always a surprise.  The chronic pain, it's just kind of with me. I can do things to help alleviate that pain. Like not touch my toes or put on a sock and a shoe. Not try to do high kicks.

I haven't leapt over a baby stroller in years. (Ask Jolene, she knows.)

sciatica    doctor   

      Tuesday, May 29, 2018

04:41 PM - 05/29/2018

The topic: Well, that was fun

Opie's been a little off lately. He's old, the weather has been weird, he quit sleeping with us and we just shrugged it off.

He still ate, he still drank and as far as I could tell, he wasn't in too much distress.

Early this afternoon, I was watching television and he came over to me and jumped up in my lap. Okay, it's been a few weeks, but okay, maybe he's getting over whatever was going on with him. I grab the flea comb, find some flea dirt, then a couple of tiny fleas. Note to self: time to get the Revolution out.

Then I put my hand under his tale. Dampness. What? No, dampness isn't right. I look at my hand. There's something odd on my finger. I smell it (yeah, shut up, you'd smell it too), not poop. Dunno what it is. I pat his back end with a tissue. Pink dampness. Okay, yeah, we have a problem.

I turn him over. What on earth? His penis is surround by a big hole. If you've ever seen an abscess, that's exactly where my mind went. An abscess around his penis. Definitely not good.

I tell Brian, I call the vet. They were able to squeeze us in at 3:15. A half of an hour away. I put on a bra and change my shirt. I take down my old lady bun and brush my hair out. I clip it back. Brian comes in and changes his shirt, and gets the carrier. Gets Opie and off we go.

We waited about fifteen minutes and the office manager walked us back into a examining room. She has her tech hat on today. She gave us Charlie Ahole so long ago, we've known her for quite a while. She weighs Opie and we chitchat a little. I tell her his recent history, Brian adding to it. She lifts up Opie's tail and looks puzzled. She's never seen anything like this. She's trying to find a thermometer to take his temperature, but can't find one.

Then the doctor comes in. He turns away to walk out, thinking he's intruding or something and we laugh, no, no, come on in.  The tech leaves and gets a thermometer to take his temp. She takes it while we're talking to the vet. Temperature is normal. That's good.

So, Opie is just laying there. The vet listens to his heart.  Opie's breathing is labored and he's drooling a little. Don't forget, Opie has light COPD. And then the vet lifts up his tail. He's never seen anything like this either. He squeezes it a little with his fingers. Pus comes out. Abscess.

They take Opes into the back and shave a little area, clean out the abscess, then bring him back. Ear swabs were also taken and examined under the scope. Opie got a shot of an antibiotic, syringes with meloxicam for his pain, and clavomox. The doctor told me to gently wash the area twice a day with cotton balls and salt water.

Before we checked out, the tech asked if we wanted his ears cleaned. Sure. So, she took him into the back, while we settled up the bill. We were told he just lay there and let them clean them out.

So, we're home and he's not a real happy camper right now, but he'll start feeling better soon.

vet    opie    catstuff    abcess   

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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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