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      Thursday, December 03, 2009

11:41 AM - 12/03/2009

The topic: I watch too many true crime shows

I must.  I mean, how else can I explain my reaction to my husband telling me about one of the neighbors up at our property?

This guy’s wife, who was eighteen years older than him, left him. She went back east. Left everything behind.  He even offered to buy her a new car and she declined.  That’s what he told Brian, anyway.

I have my doubts…....

Like I said, I must watch too many of these true crime stories. AAMOF, I’m watching Forensic Files as I type this. 


      Sunday, December 06, 2009

07:02 AM - 12/06/2009

The topic: Cat stuff

So, I found out yesterday who’s crapping on the futon.  And elsewhere. 

It’s Jackie. I know it’s him because I caught him crapping on the bed on my pillow yesterday evening.  I stopped him before he had a chance to finish and whipped the covers off of the bed and put the spread in the washer last night.  It’s in an additional rinse cycle right now.  A couple of days ago I found he’d gone on the printer cover in the office (I’ve got plastic covers on the printers themselves, a folded over blanket on top of that, a folded towel on top of the Epson and a light fleece blanket over it all.  I’ve got so much up there because the cats like to sleep on it and I’m always afraid of pee. The printers are safe.

I took that blanket outside and hosed the solids off of it, then washed it in the hot cycle.  I did that with the bedspread last night (I was able to wipe up most with papertowels, then covered the area in Shout, then put it in the washer).  This morning, I see more on the futon, so those need to be washed. At least they weren’t fresh spots, but had dried.  We don’t know why he’s been so bad lately, but there’s really not a lot we can do.  Sure I could trap him and take him to a vet and have meds prescribed. Then what? I can’t medicate him, I’m not going to put him in a big carrier. The meds he needs most likely taste horrible and he wouldn’t take them even if I was amenable to crating him. So, I’ll just cross my fingers and pray that he gets over this soon. He does go through phases, but this is the worst. I do think, though, that if I quit shutting the door during the daytime (hey, it’s cold!) he’d take it outside more often.  I’m going to stay on top of the litterboxes, too.

And that all got me to thinking about when he’s gone.  Sad to say, I most likely won’t miss him much.  That might sound awful, but for people like us, with a lot of cats, most of them from the streets and many of them avoiding humans, there’s not a lot of interaction with him.  My interaction with Jackie consists of cleaning up after him. Every once in a while, we can get in a little neck scratch on him, but it doesn’t last long. But we take comfort knowing that his life here was better than a life on the streets.

Then the sound of a cat puking got me out of bed, since I didn’t see Bart in bed with us. Yep, it was him.  *sigh* I found dried puke, from an unknown cat, on the little throw rug in front of the fireplace.  And after giving out kibble, I watched Mickey puke (small hairball in the solids, so that doesn’t worry me), then I watched Potter puke.  You see so many cats puking and you wonder what’s going on. One of the possibilities is the fountain on the patio, it might have some rain water in it from last week’s rain. Brian’s going to clean that out today.  And the “pond” part of the pool has a lot of nasty brackish water from last week’s rain, he’ll flush that out today, too.  Get rid of anything the cats might be drinking from that’s making them sick.  Although I don’t think Potter or Bart drink from that, the other cats might.

And I mentioned last week in passing that Notwally hasn’t been around. It’s been two weeks since we’ve gotten a glimpse of him.  Trapped and euthanised?  Hit by a car? Coyote catch?  I don’t know, probably never will. I don’t have any idea where he spent his days and nights, he only came here to eat.  But on the upside, I saw a red cat across the street yesterday afternoon. And I saw him again this morning, sitting outside the gate with KittyMeezer laying next to him.

Gilligan’s back!  Kitty just loves him and he’s looking fine.  I guess he stayed away because of Notwally (which is another reason I think we may have seen the last of him).  I just hope that Kitty doesn’t follow Gilly and stays right here.  Kitty has gone blind in one eye, I don’t think his hearing is all that great and he’s just better here where he’s familiar with everything.  But it was very, very nice to see Gilly back.

      Wednesday, December 09, 2009

09:01 AM - 12/09/2009

The topic: Sometimes I wonder

Why I don’t blog as often as I used to. 

I think one of the things is we’ve got more cats (up to thirty-seven from around ten when I started blogging (before it was called blogging) back in 1997).  They take more of my time.  And because we’ve got more cats, there’s more cleaning.  And somewhere along the line, I became more sensitive to the smell of cat urine.  Like when I walk in to the house from being outside and take a deep breath and about get knocked over, well, it’s time.  I’ve been trying to keep up with the cleaning so that doesn’t happen anymore.  I like walking in the house from shopping and not being overwhelmed by the smell in the house. Even when the doors and windows have been closed up because of the weather.  I buy Nature’s Miracle by the gallon now.  I’ve tried other stuff, but I come back to NM because I really like the scent.  I’ve got a bucket and lots of shop towels that I use on a daily basis.

I was mildly surprised earlier this year when I pulled the cleaning towels out of the laundry (there are four baskets in the laundry room, one for towels used for cleaning of cars and floors and counters, one for linens and towels we use for us, one for jeans and sweatpants and one for the other laundry) and realized that I was washing more towels that I used to clean up cat pee than Brian used to wash vehicles.  The house is better for it. 

I don’t think Brian realized how much laundry I do until I started writing the daily loads on a calendar in the laundry room. He never said anything about it. One of the reasons I started doing that was he’d say he was out of something and I’d think “I just washed those four days ago!”  When in reality, I hadn’t, it had been a week.  It’s a reminder for me more than anything, but when you see how much laundry I’m doing on a daily basis…. 

Anyway, he said this past weekend that when we get new machines, we’re going to get stackables and I’ll have two washers and two dryers.  And he was serious.  How funny is that?

I use my little Electrolux sweeper about every other day to clean up cat hair and litter and bits of kibble.  And I haul out the big vacuum at least once every two weeks to do a more thorough job of vacuuming, including the cat trees.

And, of course, there are the litter boxes.  I get good with those, then I start backsliding into old habits of not doing them every day. And then I get the horrible reminder that they need to be cleaned or else some cat will crap on the futon a couple of times a day, resulting in more laundry.  More cost and time effective to just clean the damned boxes out every morning.  I just wish I could stay in the habit. We’d all be happier for it in the long run.

And then there are the special needs kitties. Not really as special needs as we’ve had in the past, but we’ve got Miss Elizabeth, one of the cats we inherited from my mom, who had problems with the food I was putting out (it went right through her) and I found that Fancy Feast grilled Tuna Feast was the only thing she was keeping down and excreting properly. But the thing is, I have to feed her seperately. She gets to eat in the bathroom with the door shut.  Same with Kirby.  He gets 9Lives canned in there, but once again, the other cats don’t.  That takes more time out of my day. A lot of little time eaters and that adds up.

So, more of my time is taken up with cat and cleaning chores. 

Then, there’s the fact that Brian’s work still hasn’t picked up to the point that he’s gone on a regular basis.  It shouldn’t matter, but for some reason, I fell out of the blogging habit with him around. I thought it was because my mom died, that’s about when my posting went to hell, but that’s also when Brian’s work slowed waaaaay down.  That might be a double whammy.

It’s not that there’s nothing to talk about, hell, there was a hit television show that lasted for years about nothing.  Remember “Seinfeld”?   [yes]

And then there’s that Fish Wrangler game on FaceBook that I started back in April. Didn’t really start fishing until May but right now, my point rank is 1583.  My trip rank is 1947.  I don’t know exactly how many play Fish Wrangler, but one ezine article says over 385,000. And my rank is 1583?  I don’t know whether I should be proud or ashamed of that little tidbit.  [rotfl]  

Right now, I’ve got the litter bucket behind me. I’ve done the garage boxes, have more in the house to do, some cat has loose stools in the box in the laundry room and that cat’s butt was hanging outside of the box, this will be fun.

Anyway, cleaning calls and, of course, there’s always the fishing that needs to be done.

11:07 AM - 12/09/2009

The topic: Online ripoff

As anybody familiar with Fish Wrangler knows, the best chum is Red Love Chum.  Except you’ve gotta pay for it, one way or another.  With a credit card or debit card or PayPal.  Or, you can take a survey or sign up for a service.

I signed up with Seattle Coffee Direct. For my “trial” package, I was to get mugs and coffee.  Twenty-five dollars.  I figured I’d just cancel after the trial.  But they started charging me for coffee delivery before I even got the trial package. So, I called and canceled.  I was told to refuse shipments and they’d credit my account.  And when my trial package arrived, I refused it. And when the first regular shipment arrived, I refused it. 

They had so many returns, I guess, that it took a while for them to find that both of mine had been returned. And that I’d be getting a credit.  Guess what?  No credit.  So, in October, I called my Disney Chase VISA company and told them the story.  I got a credit for both charges.  I thought that was the end of it.

Last Friday, when I was looking at my statement online, I saw two charges in the amount of $79.00 each.  One from Seattle Direct, the other from a company “shopcoffeedirect.com”.  Ruh row, George. This can’t be good. 

I called the credit card company and put in a dispute.  The woman I spoke with called the number they had and got the same message I got when I called.  “We’re all busy, leave a message, we’ll get back to you….”  She left a message and told me that if they hadn’t called me in a few days, to call the credit card company. 

Now, I get really irritated with our current UPS guy.  If he delivers late (which is common), he doesn’t let us know there’s a package.  He just leaves it and moves on.  He did this last night. This was from Cafe Saparito.  Another new name.   I called the credit card company and told them.  I wrote “refused” “return to sender” all over the box.  Brian took it to a UPS store, but since the return address was a post office box, they couldn’t accept it.  Brian was told “that was a smart move on their part”.  But I called UPS and explained the situation and they’re making up a return shipping label and that sucker will be out of here by tomorrow night at seven.  I know damned well there’s another box on its way.  If I don’t have the opportunity to refuse that one, I’ll have to do the call UPS thing again. 

I did call and leave a couple of messages to the coffee company.  Even dropped the F bomb on one of them.  I was pretty pissed off. 

The thing is there are hundreds and hundreds of people getting ripped off by this company.  The woman at VISA said they changed their names to confuse the credit card companies. She did send in a request to the main VISA that charges from this company be refused.  We’ll see.

And I did file a report with the Illinois Attorney General. It’s in the mail right now.

I did a little more Googling and got more information, like an email address and a street location.  Just in case, you know?

Seattle Coffee Direct
990 Grove Street, Evanston, IL
(888) 217-2233‎

Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

      Saturday, December 12, 2009

08:15 AM - 12/12/2009

The topic: A double edged sword?

Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic way of looking at it, but…..

Bart is getting around a whole lot better than before. He’s not going to be entered in any kitty races, but he’s more active, that’s for sure.  I’ve seen him up in the dining room window drinking from the water crock up there.  I’ve seen him walk into the yard to pee. 

A couple of days ago, I saw him jump down by the four story cathouse and eat some grass.  All good.

The bad?

Well, I’ve mentioned how I get up at four in the morning to open the sliding door to let the cats out.  This morning, I slept late and it was a quarter to six when I got up.  I noticed Bart was not in bed with us earlier, for my two am trip to the bathroom (my dad spanked me for wetting the bed when I was little and I don’t believe I’ve slept the night through since).  I found him on the futon.

Well, when I went back to bed after opening the door, I got to wondering where he was.  I grabbed a flashlight and started looking for him.  I guess he went outside. And I shined the flashlight around the patio.  No Bart.  Then I walked out onto the grass and over by the lime tree. I shined the light where he eats grass.  Not there. Then I shined it down to the pool area. 

He was on the other side of the pool.  It was drizzling outside and seeing him down there made my heart leap.  I went down to get him and brought him back into the house. I put him on the bed.  Then I got back into bed.  He decided he didn’t want to be in the bedroom and he left.  And as I lay there, my mind was racing.  Where did he go?  Did he go back outside?  Is he down by the pool?  If he were to fall in, that would be the end.  I don’t think he has the strength to get out.  I never want to be in a position to find out.

I got out of bed.  I put on my robe. I got the flashlight. I went back outside. And he was, again, down by the pool.  I retrieved him, brought him in, shut the door, went into the garage to unlock the cat door (not all of the cats can do the cat door, but it’s looking like it’s time to learn).  And before this next week is out, Brian should have the fencing up around the pool again and the gate at the bottom. The same things we had when Buddog was older and had a hard time walking (remember the time I pulled him out of the pool?). 

Brian’s sorry that it will inconvenience the other cats.  But he’d be even sorrier if we found Bart floating in the pool.  So, fencing it is.

On the one hand, I’m thrilled that Bart is feeling well enough to go down there. But on the other hand, I know it’s just not safe for him.

The surface of the pool is rough, it’s a pebbletech type of finish, so the cats can climb out if they go in. I don’t worry about the others. But Bart, I just don’t think Bart would have the strength in his back legs to push himself out.


08:32 AM - 12/12/2009

The topic: Something pretty neat…

When Bart used to stay on the futon, Autumn would cuddle next to him at night.  She’d stay hidden during the day, but at night time, she was right there with him.

Well, he’s been staying on the bed in the bedroom. I think he moved in there when some cat kept crapping on the futon (which hasn’t happened for about four days, knock on wood).  We went to breakfast this morning because Brian didn’t feel like making it. 

When we got back, Autumn was in the bedroom, curled up next to Bart!  She ran when Brian walked into the room, but I’ve never seen her in there.  She misses her Bart buddy.

      Saturday, December 19, 2009

05:04 PM - 12/19/2009

The topic: I posted some pictures

I took last weekend on our trip to Disneyland over in my photo album. Click on the "Disneyland" folder, then scroll down to December 2009. Enjoy!

      Monday, December 21, 2009

07:16 AM - 12/21/2009

The topic: Stuff people say

you know, those old sayings?  You heard them when you were younger, I’m sure you have.  And now that you’ve gotten older, sometimes they come back to you?

We were in WalMart a couple of weeks ago and I heard Christmas tunes being whistled.  I didn’t think anything of it until I turned the aisle and saw the whistler.  I had to check myself from saying what was on my mind outloud, something a co-worker said a good thirty years ago.

“Whistling girls and cackling hens,
always come to some bad ends.”

You know, it didn’t make sense to me the first time I ever heard it and it made no sense to me that night at WalMart. But, still, there it was.

Thanks, Mary.

11:12 AM - 12/21/2009

The topic: You know

how every once in a while someone says something that’s hilarious? And then you stop to think about it and it’s really sad?  In a way?

On one of the forums where I post, there’s this old woman (she’s older than me, anyway, and I passed spring chicken about thirty-five years ago) and she was talking about applying makeup.  Eye shadow in particular.  And she compared it to putting eye shadow on a scrotum.

Funny, right?  I laughed.

Then, the next time I put on eye shadow I understood exactly what she meant.



      Tuesday, December 22, 2009

04:02 PM - 12/22/2009

The topic: Cookies

OMG.  I made so many cookies.  Started last Thursday and finished up Sunday.  Lots of cookies.  I took many, many cookies over to my vet’s office this morning. I put cookies in tins for the mailman and postman.  There are cookies left, which I’ll have Brian take over to his mom’s. ASAP.

Because, as many of these things that I’ve eaten over the past five days, I still want to eat them. 

I need them gone.

I’m cooking dinner, have chicken breasts in the crockpot, with butter, lemon juice and rosemary.  The house is fragrant with the scent of lemon chicken.  I’m going to have rice (rice a roni) and mixed veggies with butter for dinner. And milk.  A glass of cold milk. Real food.

I need real food.  I need lots and lots of water to flush the sugar from my system. 

I think I’ll go start the rice…..

      Wednesday, December 23, 2009

07:00 AM - 12/23/2009

The topic: Hubby on cookies

There’s a container in the kitchen.  It’s 17” x 11” x 2.5”.  It’s full of cookies.  I mean, full.

Last night he says “is this all the cookies that are left?  I didn’t get any!”


      Sunday, December 27, 2009

06:44 PM - 12/27/2009

The topic: Looking at post holiday ads

And I was looking through the Best Buy booklet.  And towards the front were the touch screen computers.

And I’m looking at the picture, a little confused. What’s the point?  I mean, it’s a pretty neat concept, really.  But why would I want to put my fingers all over my monitor screen?  Why would I want to be that close to it?  Right now, my monitor is about five feet away from my face.  I’m leaning back in my chair, my feet are up on my desk. I couldn’t do that if I had a touch screen monitor.  And if I didn’t have to do it, then what’s the point of having one?

I can see it more in a laptop than a desktop, sure. 

Seriously, what’s the point?

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lisaviolet is seventy 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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