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      Friday, November 09, 2018

08:55 AM - 11/09/2018

The topic: Being realistic

This morning at 4:00, I heard him in the hallway. His breathing is getting worse. Have you ever heard a Pug breathe? That's what he sounds like. A Pug.

It's fine when he's sleeping, but it's getting more labored when he's awake. The drugs aren't helping. I've been syringe feeding him for two weeks now, he will eat a little on his own (and this makes me really happy), but he doesn't eat enough to stay alive. I'm feeding him with the hope that his body will fight off what's going on.

But it's starting to become obvious that the doxycycline isn't working, the allergy med isn't working and the l-lysine isn't working.

Brian told me this morning that he's feeling this hard breathing in Opie's chest when he holds him.

We're thinking that something is growing where it shouldn't be. A polyp? He's had problems with his ears for over a year. It's possible. If it is something growing, he's not well enough for surgery.

The optimist in me thinks if I just try hard enough, he'll pull through. The realist is starting to be louder than the optimist.

I'll be surprised if he's still with us by the end of the month. I sat with him in the sun this morning, holding him in my lap and arms. He purred. But he's having a really hard time.

opie    catstuff   

      Saturday, November 10, 2018

09:10 AM - 11/10/2018

The topic: Sigh

Okay, I'm sure most of us who have had cats or have cats with a disease that will eventually kill them, can relate to the good days and the bad days. Yesterday started off as a bad day and ended up as a good day.

Opie hasn't gotten the doxy in a few days. It's not helping at this point and may well be part of the problem (if you look at the side effects). In his meals, I add a probiotic (Proviable D) and L-Lysine (Duralactin). Well, in his morning and evening meals. Yesterday, I also started feeding him mid-day. And because of the dryness of the air (California, Santa Ana winds) he also got subQ fluids.

I fed him around six last night. He ate all of his meal, then a few hours later, acted like he was hungry, so I cooked a chicken breast in the Instant Pot and took some of it to him on the bed and he ate a few pieces, but wasn't really interested.

When Brian went to bed, I put another one of the allergy pills in a piece of pill pocket (the pills are very small) and gave that to Opie, who was laying on the bed. Brian closed both windows, because we have a concern that maybe the cold night air also affects his breathing.

And, for the first time in weeks, Opie's breathing wasn't noisy. At all. No raspy, rattly sound. It was so quiet, I had to sleep on the sofa, because I found myself listening for Opie instead of slipping into slumber. Later I went back to the bedroom and Opie had crawled under the covers and was next to Brian. I felt okay enough to get back on the bed. Early this morning, Opie came over to me and got under my blankets, his head resting on my arm.

I got up before Brian, Opie was still on the bed. When Brian got up, Opie was under the covers. When he finally came back into the office, I got his breakfast ready and fed  him in my bathroom. After 40cc of A/D, he decided he was done, but I decided he was not. He got the last 10cc and I let him out and cleaned up after him (I blend the A/D to pudding consistency and he'll shake his head with food in  his mouth - it ends up on the walls and floor).

Around eight, I tried to give him his allergy medicine. He's feeling better. He fought it. Three times he spit it out. I took him to the sofa, sat him down and pushed that pill as far back as I could. I watched him and thought I saw him swallow. He left the house, went into the backyard to lay in the sun.

Forty-five minutes later, I found the pill. On the sofa. In the Pill Pocket. I marched outside, squatted down beside him, held his head with one hand, put the pill in his mouth with the other and raised his head up for swallowing. When I let go, I waited to see the pill come flying out of his mouth. It did not. He finally got it down.

I take this resistance as a good sign.

opie    catstuff   

tales from the parkside
03:35 PM - 11/10/2018

The topic: A tale from long ago

I hadn't written in the category since the year after my mom's death. But something hit me today and this would be the perfect place to share

A very good friend of mine's husband had brain surgery this past week (okay, okay, I'm using poetic license here, it wasn't his brain, it was the blood supply to the brain, so close enough!) and he's at home (two days after the surgery the released him; crazy). And she's mentioned some of the things that they're dealing with at this point.

And it got me to thinking about men and pain.

Back in 1971, my dad retired from the USAF. We lived at Edwards Air Force Base (go Scorpions! Desert High School! Purple and white!) and they looked for places to retire to and they picked San Diego county. They found a nice mobile home park and put their money down on a space and special ordered a mobile home. Unfortunately, there were some shenanigans with the mobile home and they didn't get what they'd ordered, some sort of runaround (oh, it was in an accident and was totaled or some sort of garbage like that).

Well, we'd lived in a little Winnebago, just the three of us for months. Mom and I, who had never had a particularly good relationship, were left alone, in a strange town, while dad went to work. It wasn't one of the most pleasant experiences I went through. Mom was so depresssed, at one point she took a bunch of the sleep aid called "Compoze".  Don't know if it's still available, but it didn't kill her. It didn't even make her a little bit sleepy. But living in such close quarters was getting to us all.

So, they were able to work out a deal where their down payment was either paid back or they used it towards another model that was available for a decent price. And they'd decided they wanted to move to the top of the hill, getting one of the best possible views of the little town of Lakeside.

The mobile home got delivered (omg, it has red velvet walls in the living room! RED VELVET WALLS! Who originally ordered this? A pimp?). Walls aside, it was a nice place. Three bedrooms, bath and a half, good sized living room, a kitchen with a fair sized pantry. It even had a little room with a pocket door for the washer and dryer.

Fast forward a year or so. All settled in, nice little lawn going, flowers growing along the side walkway, great view, just very peaceful. One afternoon, mom asks me if I've seen dad.

Nope. No idea where he is.

So, I joined my mom in looking for my father. She calling out "David", me calling out "dad". I went next store and asked the neighbors if they'd seen him. No, sorry, they hadn't.

It was really weird. The cars were both in the driveway, he hadn't said anything about going anywhere. We must have looked for him for the better part of an hour with no luck.

Then, I opened the pocket door to the laundry room. And who was standing there, holding his bare foot, with tears in his eyes? Yep. My dad.

It seems he had walked into the leg of one of the wrought iron chairs between the kitchen and dining room. I mean, he really rammed it home.

The thing is we weren't a particularly sympathetic family. There was no sympathy for this man. This little wrought iron table and its little chairs had gotten us all at one time or another and if you get hurt, it's your fault. And dad knew. He knew what would happen if we were aware of what happened.

He wasn't wrong. Mom and I both laughed so hard we almost peed our pants.

Yeah, good times.



tales from the parkside   

      Tuesday, November 20, 2018

01:51 PM - 11/20/2018

The topic: So, finally decided to share the paper tree

Back in February, I assembled the Heirloom Christmas Tree from SVGCuts. I took some photos, but not as many as I usually do and I'm kicking myself in the butt for that. I wanted to get this up before the holiday season, in case anyone wanted to make one for themselves or as a gift.

Anyway, here's what I have. (I'll be making another one in the coming weeks, the paper is cut and this one is a green tree which I hope to give to my vet's office).

Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my photo gallery; clicking on that picture will open an even larger photo.

In the process of folding the tree pieces

The slow process of gluing the pieces together

Down to the the final assembly step. Having already glued them in sections makes this part easier.

Looking inside of the tree.

The outside of the finished tree.

The tree in the background with the "bulbs" added and the tree base with the lamp in front.
The tree base assembly was pretty basic. Not a whole lof of things that can go wrong if you follow Mary's tutorial.

And the final product.

How it looks in the dark with the light on.

I have multi colored bulbs for the green tree and have an idea for inking the edges in white (Mary did this with one of her trees), but I'd like to have it be a little thicker, like real snow. I need to do some testing to see what I can come up with.

Anyway, it was fun, albeit challenging, to put together. I'm looking forward to the next one.

svgcuts    holiday    heirloom tree    craftstuff    christmas   

02:21 PM - 11/20/2018

The topic: Opie update

I've been syringe feeding him A/D for more than three weeks with the hope  that whatever is wrong with him can be overcome by his immune system.

Yesterday, I realized, it can't. Reality hit home. It hit hard. He's not eating much on his own, but I found he will eat Tender Liver and Chicken Feast  (Fancy Feast) from the can. It has to be in the can. He has a hard time otherwise. I'm sure he prefers eating by himself to having food squirted into his mouth. I fed him more than he's eating by himself, but it was getting to the point where he flinched anytime either of us touched him. That's no way to live out what's left of a life. So, I'll take his can of food to him every few hours, stand guard so that cats such as Ronnie don't reach out a paw and pull the food away.

Today, I watched him in a chair on the patio. His head hanging over the edge. Just like Richie had been doing.

It won't be long.

opie    catstuff   

      Wednesday, November 21, 2018

12:09 PM - 11/21/2018

The topic: Back from the vet’s

Last night, Opie took a turn for the worse. He couldn't get comfortable. He wouldn't eat. I fed him because I knew he was hungry.  But he wouldn't even try to eat by himself.

Later on, he was in the bedroom and he wanted up. I held him and petted him for a long time, he purred. When he started getting restless, I set him down on the bed. He jumped down and got a drink of water. When he got back on the bed, I noticed the entire lower portion of his face was soaking wet. Whatever was interfering with his eating, had now hit his lapping ability. He had to be breathing in water when he drank.

Monday, when he ate the Fancy Feast, he would sniff all around the can, as if he couldn't see or smell it. I would smoosh the food up the side so there was a tiny food wall around the edge of the can, and he would eat that. Last night, he showed absolutely no interest in eating by himself. But he was hungry. I liquified the food with a hand processor and syringe fed him.

After things had settled down, I would check on him on the bed. He was sitting up. Every time I checked, he was sitting up. Never laying down. During the night, he did lay down, but never rested his head. It was up. This morning I watched him outside. Same thing. He sat upright. He'd raise his head when he breathed. Watching his sides, his breathing was labored.

It was time.

I called the vet's office at eight this morning and they were able to squeeze us in after 11:30.

He meowed all the way to the vet's office. He was quiet once inside. When we went back to the examining room, he was more relaxed. Even with my syringe feeding him, he'd lost over a pound since his last visit. There was no second guessing at this point, it was time to say goodbye.

He went peacefully.

I has a big sad.

opie    goodbye    catstuff   

      Thursday, November 22, 2018

06:29 AM - 11/22/2018

The topic: It’s turkey day

The turkey is in the fridge, hopefully thawed (long story, enough for its own entry). I'm going to stuff it, so I have to make the stuffing first. Its only 6:30 am right now, I need to chop onions and celery.

The bird will be going into the oven around eleven this morning, so it should be done by four this afternoon.

I'm also going to make a two ingredient pumpkin spice cake. Brian couldn't find any spice cake mix, so carrot cake mix it is. And I'll be adding ingredients, like applesauce and eggs. And I'm making it as a bundt cake this morning before the turkey takes up all the room in the oven. With a cream cheese drizzle. Just yummy!

I wish Opie hadn't gotten sick, he loved turkey. Even if he was still with us, with as bad as he was doing, he wouldn't have eaten any. But I'm sure the other cats will love it.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a busy day.


      Saturday, November 24, 2018

06:55 AM - 11/24/2018

The topic: Sitting at my desk printing out SVG files

I headed over to Dreaming Tree earlier this week and got four bundles I didn't have (last time I bought svg files was in August), the latest free bundle (free with purchase) and I also downloaded all of the free files they offer (and they offer a lot!).

And now I'm printing out the PDF files (these tell you the paper stock you'll need, the files included and other little tips) and the project photo.

I use an old version of PIcasa to print the project photo, since it gives me the option to have the file name printed either on or below the picture. I use Adobe's Acrobat to print out the PDF files. I punch holes in the project photos and (ideally) write what they are in an index file, with a short description and how they can be used (birthday, anniversary, etc). I say ideally because I've fallen behind because there are things that are WAY more fun to do.

I was reflecting on how much I love the movie "The Milagro Beanfield War". I've read the book about five times and it always makes me laugh. It's actually a trilogy. I have all three, but had a hard time getting into the second book. Never cracked the third book open. It's been a while, maybe I should give it another try.

We have the DVD and I checked the Vudu availability of disk to digital yesterday. There's a huge list of movies if you have the DVD, you can scan the code using the Vudu app on your smartphone and buy a digital version of the movie. SDX is $2.00, HDX is $5.00. If your disk is Blu-ray, it's only $2.00 to convert. I checked the list yesterday to see if Milagro was on it. It's a sweet movie, a quiet movie, a magical movie. And yes, it was available. I got the digitial version.

So, Brian was in charge of the television viewing last night and he chose the original version of Overboard. It was on commercial television (we have it in streaming, too, but he hasn't mastered the Roku). When it was over, he scrolled through the guide and said there's nothing on. Now, on to the Roku.  Guess what we watched?

Yep. The Milagro Beanfield War. And it was just as wonderful this time as the first ten times I saw it.

Love that movie.

dreaming tree    craftstuff   

09:04 AM - 11/24/2018

The topic: Making it official

I finally got the store back up last weekend.

I've got a lot of catnip and figured I should start selling it. I got busy and now it's up.

I was kind of waiting to hear back from my previous credit card processor. They cancelled my account for inactivity, so I set up a new one. Unfortunately, they turned me down because I'm selling catnip. It's a prohibited item. A "pseudo pharmacutical" they call it. Because it's an herb or something, I dunno. But I do have a working PayPal account, so that's how I'll take payments.

I'll eventually start adding my other items back in, I have a lot of jewelry that I made. I need to take inventory and I'll add as I go along. The product codes are still there from the old store I just have to update the volume, which shouldn't be all that difficult.

Anyway, if you want to buy some really good catnip, check out the store. You don't need to set up an account or anything.

lisaviolet designs



      Sunday, November 25, 2018

10:36 AM - 11/25/2018

The topic: What’s that word?

So, last night we're watching the latest DVD we got from Netflix.

Death Wish 2018, with Bruce Willis. I was making dinner at the same time, the one and only leftover meal from Thanksgiving, so I wasn't following closely. Brian tried to fill me in.

Watching the guys who've broken into the house and have guns pointed at his wife and daughter.

Him: Yeah, those are the guys from earlier, that guy is the car parker guy.

Me: The car parker guy?

Him: Yeah, the guy who moves the cars and parks them.

Me: The valet?

Hiim: YEAH! That's the word.

These just out of reach words get annoying. For example, when I was typing this, I forgot the name of the guy that stars in the movie. I almost googled it. I could see his face. I knew he was in the Die Hard movies. Then it came to me.

I'm thinking maybe this little migraine that started last night isn't helping. Last night before we ate, I got that little jagged rainbow at the periphery of my left eye. Within an hour, the pain hit in my right temple. It's not as bad now, it only hurts when I have that little nasal drip cough, allergies. Benedryl takes care of it. And I sleep.

As long as I don't lose my words, I'll be okay. I hope I never lose "google"....

migraine    conversations   

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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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