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      Friday, October 03, 2003

02:38 PM - 10/03/2003

The topic: Just checking in

Friday, October 3, 2003  I’ve been pretty busy, but I figured I’d just check in to let you all know everything is okay.

This morning on our walk, Brian and I talked about OC and I remembered how thin OC has gotten this past year.  It’s quite possible, like Brian said, that he just curled up somewhere, went to sleep and never woke up.  I think I like to think of that more than the other possibilities.  I remember how docile Blackie had gotten when we brought him in.  He died at the vet’s having fluid drawn from his lungs.  He was only here about forty-five days.  The vet diagnosed possible cancer.  And I look at our population, with the kidney disease and the urinary blockages that we’ve had.  It’s not so farfetched to believe that OC had a terminal disease.  He was at least ten years old.

I do miss him, though.  I look for him almost everytime I go out front.  I don’t know what I expect, but I know in my heart I won’t ever see him again, not as OC.

I’m in the final push to get the house cleaned before our Disneyland trip.  I’m working on the kitchen, unarguably the worst room in the house.  I started it last week by scrubbing the tile counters and cleaning the stove.  Yesterday, I got the majority of the cabinets cleaned (Murphy’s Oil Soap, then a rub with a clean cloth, then rubbed a furniture wax into them) and the oven cleaned.  I’m finishing up the cabinets today.  Then I want to do the bedroom today, too. 

That will leave my bathroom, shampooing the furniture and washing the floors.  Oh, yeah, and washing the windows and screens, which shouldn’t really be that big of a deal since I’ve been keeping on top of it.

Well, the raffle is up and running.  Go enter!

I’ve still got lots to do, I’d like to have my end of the cleaning done by the 11th, so I can rest and maybe lay in the sun, if the weather permits, until it’s time for our trip.

      Tuesday, October 07, 2003

10:56 AM - 10/07/2003

The topic: I’m worn out

Tuesday, October 7, 2003  I’ve been so busy cleaning house, I’m worn out right now.  I can’t be, I’ve still got stuff left to do.  Not a lot, though.  I should be finished by tomorrow evening.  If I can keep going. 

Last week, I got the kitchen done (except for the floors) and washed all of the china.  Some of that stuff hadn’t been washed since I put it up there, eighteen years ago!  It took forever.  Brian finally got all of the painting done in the dining room this weekend and got the new chandelier up.  Yesterday, I washed the furniture in the family room (the back of his recliner was nasty with cat pee; I washed it thoroughly then sprayed a ton of Scotchguard on it last night). Then I scrubbed the tile floors in both the family room and dining rooms.  When Brian got home, we put the cedar chest back where it was and he put the china closet back in the corner.  He had to go get a plug that was flush against the wall so the cabinet didn’t stick out so far.  All I have left to do now is shampoo the sofa and loveseat in the living room, wash the covers, put the covers back on, scrub the cement and rinse it.

Saturday, I cleaned my bathroom and the bedroom.  I used some of the Kaboom stuff in my tub and there were yellow streaks on the tub.  It did an okay job on the faux marble, but the tub was a disaster.  Since the tub has been refinished, I can’t use harsh stuff like Comet, so I used Soft Scrub.  I used so much and scrubbed so hard, that I wore out the skin on the back of a couple of my fingers.  I’ve got little tiny scabs there now. I tried a number of things, even straight bleach without result.  I finally put a liberal amount of SoftScrub on the tub, scrubbing it in and let it sit for a couple of hours.  I rinsed it and the streaks were gone. The tub sure looks nice.  I think I’d might take a bath in it when I’m done with all of the cleaning.

Then the only floors left will be the bedroom, hallways, kitchen and laundry room.  And I’ll do some dusting, then it will be all done.  I should have at least a week to rest before the trip. 

It’s funny, this is my big yearly push for cleaning.  Some people spring clean, I fall clean.  I guess it’s because the house is going to be closed up much of the time as the weather cools and it’s much nice if it’s not so nasty.

Of course, the cats don’t care for the cleaning machines, but they sure seem to like the freshness of everything. 

I think about OC a lot.  I told Brian, the next kitten we rescue will be named OC. I don’t care if it’s an orange cat or not.  The strangest thing happened Sunday when I was scrubbing screens.  I heard a kitten.  A very young kitten.  I haven’t heard it since.  Later that day, Little Bit watched me intently when I was looking up on the bank to see if there was a young cat up there.  I wonder why?

It’s looking like my big bash at Disneyland won’t be so big after all.  Five people I thought would be there most likely won’t.  They can’t afford it.  Damned economy.  But if its a choice of spending a couple of hundred dollars at Disneyland or making the mortgage payment or paying the utility bill, I can’t say that Disneyland should come first.  Well, the people I do know are going have been there the past four years or so.  And if we decide to take a break, we won’t feel so bad.

Well, it’s time to get back to work.

      Tuesday, October 14, 2003

12:17 PM - 10/14/2003

The topic: Forty-eight hours

Tuesday, October 14, 2003 Only forty-eight hours until we leave for Disneyland. Brian finished the dining room Sunday.  The house is ready for the petsitter.  I still have a small amount of laundry to do and I’ll change the bedding Thursday morning before we leave.

The dining room looks really good, much better than it did.  Brian also framed in his bathroom window, so now, all the windows in the completed rooms are framed in like he had originally planned.  Sunday, he took the ‘kitty entertainment centers’ outback and pressure washed them.  I washed all of the bedding in the cat beds and baskets we keep in the ‘entertainment center’ and the cats are pleased with their clean stuff.

I’ve got some touch up stuff to do, like dusting and vacuuming, but that shouldn’t take too long.  And I want to run the Floormate one more time before we go.

Becky, our sitter, quit her job at the vet’s office a week ago.  Damn, we’ve got bad luck with our sitters doing that.  Remember our first pet sitter from the vet’s office?  She was fired when the vet found out she had applied for a job at animal control (which she got). This time, the vet’s ex-wife gave our sitter a bunch of crap on the phone, was cussing her out and Becky figured she’d had enough of that abuse and told the vet she was out of there and his reaction was “whatever”.  Nice, huh? 

Anyway, I figure she’ll be able to spend more time here with the animules.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find all the games we used to have in the dining room when the bookcases were in there, so I figured I’d thrown them out.  Saturday, I went to Wal-Mart and got new ones.  We’re really close to broke right now, but I easily justified the purchase. Figure the sitter will be here about four days this time and over a week in November.  I want her kids to not be bored.  I got Scrabble, Clue, Mousetrap, Life, Yahtzee and a Disney Monopoly game.  The Monopoly game was more than I wanted to spend, but it was way cool.  (Deliver me from way cool, it costs too much!)  Anyway, when I tried to open the board, it had apparantly been folded with the paper wet and the paper pulled off of the board.  Well, Sunday, Toys R Us had a coupon in the paper, a buy one get one free coupon and I took the Monopoly game back to Wal-Mart, got a refund and went over to Toys R Us.  I got an electronic Battleship game which was more than the Monopoly game, so the Monopoly game was free. 

I had straightened out the hallway closet and put the games on the top where they would be safe from cat pee.  Now, Brian and I will have something to keep our minds active as we get older.  We have been talking about doing something besides watching television every night.  Now, we’ve got something that we can do together.

I still have to do some grocery shopping.  We need dry cat food for our cats, insulin for Junior and we need stuff to take with us to the Disneyland Resort.  I’ll get catfood and do the CostCo run this afternoon and tomorrow morning, my mom and I will go to the local grocery store.  Neither of us wants to go alone right now because of the strike. The yelling picketers won’t bother us so much if there are two of us.  It would really bug me if I was by myself.

She’s going to come over here and bring me my birthday present then we’ll go to the store.  Heh heh heh….she doesn’t know that I got her something, too!  I’m making her a shirt with my birthday and a baby picture on the front and on the back it will say “If my kid is an old fart, what does that make me?”  I printed up the transfer last night, I’ll make the shirt later today.

And the weather has been absolutely gorgeous the past few days.  Nice enough for me to lay out by the pool.  I’ve even been going swimming.  The water is on the cool side (75? when I got in yesterday, 77? when I came in the house), but it was over 90? in the shade, hotter in the sun so the water felt pretty darned refreshing.  This will be the last time this year I lay out, so I’m taking advantage of it.  If it’s warm, I don’t want to look stupid wearing shorts up at Disneyland.

Brian has been a little concerned that we don’t have extra money.  I finally told him last weekend that I’ve been saving all year long.  I didn’t tell him how much I’ve saved, he didn’t want to know, but I’m sure he’ll be pleasantly surprised.  I told him that at times it was difficult to not say anything because he really could have used the money.  But that’s the point of saving, right?  So you’ll have it when you want it.  Our trip will pretty much be paid for with what I’ve saved.  He said I could tell him how much I’ve saved when I hand it over to him on Thursday morning (he’s the keeper of the cash).  I did tell him, I want whatever is leftover back. 

The raccoons are back. I know this because they leave a big mess in the entry way by the fountain.  They love getting in the water.  This morning, I was up early as usual and put out extra soft food for our dwindling feral colony, down to four now.  I looked out a while after I’d put out the food (the possoms eat much of the soft stuff at night) and what do I see, but a raccoon. There were actually two of them and they ran out through the gate.  Which was really amusing because they’re getting kind of big to fit through the openings.  One almost got stuck.  I grabbed the flashlight and watched them waddle down the street, curious where they live.  I saw them go about two houses down, then lost sight of them.  I came in and got more soft food (they’d finished what I’d put out) and shortly after, KittyMeeze, SpotTee, Little Bit and Repete showed up for breakfast.  With the weather being cooler, after their morning meal, it’s not uncommon to see a couple of these guys curled up in the entry way.  KittyMeeze and Little Bit like to sleep together on one of the blankets that’s up off the ground.  It’s heartwarming to see.  I sure miss OC.  I tell Lonee and Red that I wish we’d been able to get OC to live with us, but he just didn’t want to.  He’d rather have been free and on his own.

My mom finally was able to trap that kitten that had been hanging around her place.  One morning he went missing and turned up at the house where Mama has taken up residence (Mama is Lisa Violet’s and her half sister Miss E’s mother).  It took almost a week and mom ended up using one of our traps to catch the little guy.  Turns out it was a little boy and he’s been vetted and neutered.  And mom just loves the heck out of him.  He plays fetch and is very affectionate.  And her resident cat, Miss E has obviously resigned herself to the fact that she’s not an only cat any longer.  But mom says Baby (that’s what she was calling him when she thought he was a female and she’s just used to the name, as is he) is a wonderful addition to her life.  She sounded so tickled on the phone this morning when he kept bringing his ball back to her to throw.

Oh, we went to Henry’s Market the other day, a place where you can get herbal stuff.  Brian bought some green tea capsules and when he left, he handed me the receipt.  I looked at it and burst out laughing.  I handed it back to him.  “Look at it” I ordered.  He looked at it, couldn’t see the joke.  I told him to read it line by line.  He finally saw it. He got a 10% discount.  A SENIOR discount.  Our first SENIOR discount.  Ha hahahahahahaha!!!  Looking for pictures yesterday to print on my mom’s shirt, I found some from our first Christmas together and boy, does Brian look young. His hair is blonde, his beard is brown and his face is thin.  Wow.  Pictures can be scary things…..

Well, my lawnchair is no longer in the shade and there’s dog poop that needs to be cleaned up.  Gotta go!

      Wednesday, October 22, 2003

11:53 AM - 10/22/2003

The topic: Well, that’s done…

Wednesday, October 22, 2003  We’re home.  And we had a pretty good time.  Unfortunately, because so many of the attractions were closed for refurbishment, the crowds had less to crowd around.  Big Thunder is down (remember the death earlier this year), Space Mountain has been dismantled for the majority of the year, undergoing a major overhaul (I understand the weight of the speakers they’d added to the old cars put too much stress on the old tracks and they’re completely renovating the ride; it should be up sometime in 2004, I think, but I could be wrong).  Splash Mountain was down, too.  The subs haven’t been running for years, there’s still no replacement for the Rocket Rods which replaced the People Mover (bad move, I say, should have left People Mover in place).  The park was crowded, crowded, crowded.  And it was hot and very, very smoggy.

So smoggy that our first night there, when Brian opened our sliding door after Downtown Disney was closed for the night, that I had an almost immediate allergic reaction.  Our room (great room, by the way) was on the ninth floor and both sides of my nose closed up, I could only breathe through my mouth.  I started sneezing and my throat tightened up.  This went on for about an hour until Brian figured it must be the air coming in from the door.  He shut the door and my symptoms started clearing up.  It was no fun at all.

I thought with my weight loss I’d be better able to handle the physicality of all the walking and such, but by the end of day three, my feet were aching and I was so damned tired.  The idea of “home” was held close and lovingly.  Brian said he’s to a point now where three days is too much for us.  I have to agree with him.

The cats seemed happy to have us home, but they were more happy to be outside.  And we did have visitors while we were gone.  Ants!  The sitter used up almost an entire can of spray and threw out cereal and sugar.  But the ants still came.  I even found them in an unopened bag of cereal (which got thrown out).  There were little piles of dead ants at the bottom of the freezer door.  Ish.  I even found them in my water.  I don’t know if they got there via the ice in the freezer, but right now, I’m only drinking straight water from the cooler, no ice.  I hate ants.  Really, really hate them.

I also did something to my back that makes it hard to sit for any length of time.  And I can’t lift my left leg very high.  So, I’m trying to just take it easy and rest up.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  I’m going to go take some aspirin and relax.  Hopefully relax that muscle more.

      Monday, October 27, 2003

01:35 PM - 10/27/2003

The topic: FIRE!

Monday, October 27, 2003  We’re okay.  I’ve got much to write and many pictures.  But not right now.  I’m too busy watching television.

As long as the cameras are running, you can rest assured, we are safe.  More later.  I don’t know how much later, but more later.

      Wednesday, October 29, 2003

08:12 AM - 10/29/2003

The topic: The latest

Wednesday, October 29, 2003  We’re okay.  It looks like the sky is clearing up.  As I said, I’ve got lots of pictures to put up and lots of words.  But, alas, I can’t get started on that right now.

See, as I’ve mentioned, Brian’s work has been really slow and some of the jobs he’s done, he couldn’t get billed out because he wasn’t far enough along (part of it was his product supplier’s fault—he had to keep rejecting product because it was flawed or made incorrectly). Well, we got a nice sized check last week, but the bank told us not to write on it until yesterday.  They wanted to make sure it cleared. 

Today, I’ll be catching up on paperwork and paying as much of the past two months’ bills that I can.  After the money is gone, I’ll get the images ready and start putting them up.

Here is one I took Monday morning of a hawk in a tree behind us (the sky really was that color):



More later.

      Friday, October 31, 2003

01:12 PM - 10/31/2003

The topic: Life gets back to normal….

Friday, October 31, 2003  What an odd, horrible couple of weeks we’ve had.  I’m just now starting to feel human again.  I’ve got much to enter, much has happened and I have a few rants on some of what I’ve seen.  Hunting being one of them.  When we got back from Disneyland, I’d pulled a muscle in the back of my left leg, one that goes up through my butt.  I’m thinking sciatica again.  We didn’t walk all last week.  Then, this week, the fires started and we were warned to stay inside.  We did a short walk yesterday, a longer one this morning. 

It was nice to be out and about again.  We didn’t see too many folks yesterday, but this morning, I asked Brian “why were all of these people waving at us?”  Does he know these people?  I most certainly don’t.  Heck, I’m lost in my own little Land of LaLa here.  When we were over halfway through our walk, the reason became apparant.  A man was backing out of his driveway and he stopped and rolled down his window.  He was glad to see us walking because it meant life was getting back to normal.  To see someone walking when earlier this week we were all frightened to death of the air quality was a mighty fine sight, I guess.  For me, I need these morning walks.  I’ve missed these morning walks.  I had put on a pound and a half according to my weigh in last Friday since my previous weigh in (the week before the Disney trip).  I’m sure I’d put on more this week.  I’ve not been good.  I’ve been stress/boredom eating.  Of course, there’s very little junk in the house to eat.

But I found stuff to eat.  Like a ten pound bag of Ghiradelli chocolate chips that I’ve had in the freezer for almost a year.  Well, maybe it’s not a ten pound bag, but it was there and those chips tasted mighty good, frozen or not.  I’ve eaten over half the bag since the beginning of the month.  I did seal it back up, but this week I opened it again.  Yesterday, on our way out to the street for our walk, I took it out of the freezer and put it in the dumpster.  The temptation is just too strong.  Hopefully, being back on some sort of schedule, I can get back into the good groove.

Other stuff (I’ll post the pictures I’ve taken the past week after I get all of this other stuff out of the way, the normal stuff, the stuff my life is made of) now.

I don’t recall if I’d mentioned Junior being off of his food.  The case of Canidae we got before the most recent one didn’t look right.  It was too pink.  But Junior didn’t seem to mind it and it didn’t smell bad or anything.  He didn’t get the runs and there was no apparent adverse effect to his health, so we kept feeding it to him.  But he wasn’t really thrilled with it.  The last case we got was a lot better.  But he still wasn’t eating.  He went nuts for his treats and biscuits, but didn’t seem to like the food.  We figured it must be the dry food, also Canidae brand.  He would eat if I put shredded chicken in the bowl, but that doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t like what we’re feeding him.  And his not eating at regularly scheduled times throws off his blood sugar and the timing of his insulin shot.

So, yesterday, I went to Petco (which is fairly close to us) and bought a bag of NutroMax, which we used to feed the dogs before we went to a human grade food.  I opened it up and gave him a few pieces of kibble.  Nah, he wasn’t going to eat that.  “Huh uh, I don’t like kibble anymore” he seemed to be telling me.  I took a piece and put it in his mouth.  He chewed on it. Hmmmm…not so bad….  He finished the other pieces I’d put out for him.  Last night, he had most of his dinner eaten within ten minutes.  Within a half hour, it was all gone.  And this morning, his breakfast was all eaten within five minutes.  We’ll be throwing out the rest of the Canidae that’s in the container and he’ll be getting NutroMax now.

Tuesday, I made out some checks that had to go out (house payment, IRS payment).  I called our local post office and was told that there would be no mail pickup/delivery that day, just like there was none Monday (part of Lakeside burned and the air quality was really bad).  Brian offered to take the mortgage payment to the bank (I already had it in the envelope, stamped and ready to go) and take the IRS payment to the post office.  About a half hour after he left, the phone rang.  It seems the battery died in the Ranger and he needed me to come get him.  So, I get my shoes on, grab the keys and get in my little Bronco and off I go.  It started rough, which concerned me a little, not having any idea if all of the soot was maybe somehow adversely affecting the operation of the engine.  But it worked it’s way out whatever it was.  I got down to the bank and didn’t see the Ranger anywhere.  I plugged the cell phone in and called the Ranger and Brian answered.  He was at the post office (I really should pay more attention).  I went down there, got a spot next to the Ranger and he used the jumper cables and got the Ranger going.  We went home and he left in his truck to do the other running around that needed to be done.  He brought home an extra battery he had, but it was too big.  We needed a new one.

So, Wednesday night we made a trip down to CostCo, where we got Halloween candy, the battery and some other stuff.  On the way home, there was something in the road and a man in the road was motioning for people to stop.  It was dark, not long after dusk and this week just got worse. There was a dog in the road.  Beyond help, beyond life.  We think this guy was just driving along and the dog ran in front of him and there was nothing he could do to stop in time.  The dog had apparantly been drug a few yards (from the marks on the street).  The cars in both lanes waited until the man had pulled the dog off of the street over to the sidewalk.  What a horrible thing to have happen.  My heart went out to the dog (I prayed him Godspeed) and to the man taking him from the street.  I’m sure he probably is having nightmares even though it was obvious there was nothing he could have done.

Anyway, we got home, got all the groceries and stuff put away, fed the animals and settled in.  This was our first night without the evacuees, Becky having picked them up earlier in the day.  Tonight, I could sleep in my own bed and not on the sofa (I had been sleeping there so if a fight broke out between the visiting cats and the resident cats, I could nip it in the bud; plus, I wanted to make sure Bubba wasn’t hurt by an adult cat).  We watched minimal fire coverage (it really wears one out) and watched some network television.  We were both very tired and were fast asleep by nine.

I was supposed to have gone to the chiropractor yesterday, Lord knows I need to, but I just didn’t have the energy.  I really needed to recharge.  I never had gotten caught up from Disneyland and then the fires.  I called and postponed my appointment.  It’s on Monday now.

So, that’s the other stuff.  Now, I’ll get started on the fire stuff.  With pictures.  Although, most of the pictures are of the visiting cats.  It may take a while because my computer has been futzing off for some reason. It’s gotten to the point that I can’t run more than two applications at the same time.  It started last weekend when I tried burning a CD.  *sigh*  One of these days, I should probably just reformat my hard drive and reinstall everything. 

Well, it’s about 5:30 and I can’t get my graphics program to work.  I’ve been thinking about reformatting my hard drive and starting all over for a while now, looks like it’s going to happen.  I’ve got so much crap on this computer that it’s just not running right.  Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t break it.  At least, I still have the other computer if I have to download anything.

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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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