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      Sunday, April 03, 2011

11:18 AM - 04/03/2011

The topic: The saving grace of dreams

is that part of my mind that knows some of the things happening, really couldn’t happen.  Like our big garage door is blocked by big plastic storage closets.  You can’t even GET to the garage door…that said…

So, I walk past the garage door that opens into the garage from the family room. The big garage door is wide open. I see cats in the front yard, under the vehicles, out by the street.  I start to freak.  What did he do? What was he thinking?  I yell out “BRIAN! Get out here and help me!  You’ve let the cats loose!”  He says “in a minute, I’ll be right there.”  Calmly. 

I run outside, start shooing the cats back inside, shut the big door and start to gather up the cats still outside.  Brian’s still not helping.  “BRIAN!  GET OUT HERE!”  “I’m on my way…”  Nothing, he never made it out to help before the dream morphs into another segment.

I’m by a pool with a friend of mine.  Not in a bathing suit and the friend isn’t immediately recognizable upon wakening.  But we’re by this pool and I see two cats in it. One of them reminds me of Charlie.  There are a couple of people in the pool (I believe it’s cool outside) and they pay no attention to the cats. I watch with amazement as the cats walk on the bottom of the pool.  No problems breathing, they don’t seem in the least bit bothered by the fact that they’re under water. But I am.  I walk into the pool, fully dressed, pick each cat up and set it outside of the pool. They both just sit down and look at me.  Later on, I see their owners packing up and leaving, with the cats following them.

From there, I walk into a building, a large building and I see Teddi Berra, who used to be in the Country Bear Jamboree and would come down from the ceiling on a swing singing “Singing In the Rain”, sitting on a ceiling fan singing “Singing in the Rain”.

Then some cat on top of me slapped a cat to the side of me, some cat jumped over me and woke me up.

      Friday, April 08, 2011

06:07 PM - 04/08/2011

The topic: Blood panel readings

I had blood taken last year, in July.  The only one I remember was my LDL.  It was 194.  High. 

I had blood taken last week, on Tuesday.  The results were back on Wednesday. My cholesterol is high.  235.

I figured she was telling me about the same thing she told me about last year.  I was upset.

We’ve cut way back on crap food.  Use a lot less cheese, a lot less butter.  Eat fish more often and beef less often.  More chicken.  No more fried foods here at home.  Well, for breakfast eggs. But for breakfast potatoes, he uses olive oil.  I use olive oil in place of butter in a lot of what I cook.  I even use it for the packaged rice.  Can’t tell the difference. 

So, you can figure why I’d be upset.  All this work and it’s higher?  Why bother?  Well, because I really don’t want to die, you know?  I told my mom I want to live until I’m in my 90s.  Won’t happen if I blow a gasket in my heart or brain.  I’ve spent the past week feeling sorry for myself, laying on the sofa and reading.  Trying not to stress over high readings.

In today’s mail was an envelope from my doctor’s office. Inside was a complete listing of all the values they tested for.

That 235?  That was total cholesterol. “Borderline high”.  My LDL was down 36 points to 158.  Everything else was within normal range.

Can you spell relief?  I’m feeling a lot better right now than I have been for the past week. Diet DOES work! yippee

And now that I’m on a cholesterol blocker or whatever you want to call it, it should be MUCH better in six months.

      Saturday, April 09, 2011

09:29 AM - 04/09/2011

The topic: I think we’re losing Oliver

He crashed yesterday. We usually wait at least twenty-four hours to see if problems resolve themselves, but I just don’t have a good feeling about this.

I gave him 120cc of lactated ringers this morning, the ones with potassium in them.  I gave him 60cc last night around six.

He’s not eating, he’s not drinking. He’s twitching a lot (and that’s the scary part, that’s part of renal failure). 

We might be having to make a sad decision soon.

      Tuesday, April 12, 2011

07:56 AM - 04/12/2011

The topic: A short update

I’ll post more when I get more time (doing taxes).

We lost Ollie.  We said goodbye to him Saturday evening.  I held him in my lap as he got his final injection.

Charlie was on the way to blocking again, he’s back home, had x-rays taken and a urine sample sent out to a lab for bacteria culture.  $120.00.  Ka-ching. No bladder stones and if they urine culture is clear, Charlie will be put on mellow pills. Vet thinks part of his problem may be his aggressiveness. 

Our vet bills in the last thirty days are over $800.00. Sucks.

      Saturday, April 16, 2011

02:38 PM - 04/16/2011

The topic: I’m missing Oliver, but…

It’s not as painful as it could be.  Maybe because we’ve seen this coming for a while. 

He’s always had problems with his lower back (remember how he came to live here; he’d been hit by a car, nothing broken, but his owner wasn’t going to keep him indoors, his daughter-in-law took Oliver in and when Ollie didn’t get along with her husband or son, she called us) and it had gotten worse.

Then there was the kidney problem.  We’ve lost enough to renal failure that we know it’s just a matter of time, that it can’t be cured.

That said, I don’t believe it was kidneys that caused what happened last week.  I think he had a tumor in his tummy.  There are a number of reasons why I think this.

First off, of all the cats we’ve had with kidney failure, not one quit peeing.  They peed more than ever.  But nothing was leaving Ollie’s system.  Right there was red flag #1.  Not being able to keep anything down was #2.  For the past few years, when he was separated from the others to eat his soft food, he’d stop midway through and let out this gawdawful caterwaul.  Then he’d resume eating.  The past few months, he was louder.  I wrote it off to old age.

Even if I’d been concerned enough to have tests run, there’s nothing different we would have done.  Surgery?  No. Not at his age. Spend thousands of dollars, put him through surgery (which most likely the vet would not have done, I remember how the vet was reluctant to do Miss Elizabeth’s teeth and I’m sure her values were better than Ollie’s) and who knows how long for recovery, to have him die within weeks or months?  No, that wouldn’t have been for him, it would have been for us. 

As the vet told us when we said goodbye, this was the greatest gift we could give him. A peaceful and painless end.

I am surprised at just how much he’d been peeing.  With as many cats as we have, I just attributed it to a group thing. But it wasn’t.  I’m cleaning up less in my bathroom that I had been. Brian still has a problem, because Marco goes in his bathroom, Oliver always went in his shower.  But there are fewer Lake Urines in the house now.

I do miss him. I miss him most at night, because he was my pillow cat. And I miss his smell. He smelled like baking bread.  There were times I saw him sleeping on the bed during the day and I’d go in just to breathe in his scent.  It was like heaven.

I’ll see him again someday.  I hope he remembers me. I’ll always remember him. As with all who’ve passed away, they’ll always have a place in our memories and our hearts.

      Sunday, April 17, 2011

10:14 AM - 04/17/2011

The topic: The vet just called about Charlie

His urine test is in.  Charlie has a bacterial infection in his bladder, the third most common.  The clavamox is not the antibiotic of choice, though, so we need to change that out.

The vet told me that he’d leave a bag out front with Charlie’s meds (baytril, chewable, yummy!).  He said he’ll need to be on them for at least three weeks.  Nice. And that he advises a followup urine culture, but he knows that $$$ is a factor.  He said I could also just watch Charlie to see if it happens again.  So, he doesn’t know how much of Charlie’s bladder problem is caused by this infection and how much is because “Charlie is a dickwad”.  *lol*  He really said that. I reminded him that this is the reason we have Charlie in the first place, because he kept going after Charlene’s (the office manager) cats.

I can’t believe he called today.  Ten ayem on a Sunday?

      Monday, April 18, 2011

06:18 PM - 04/18/2011

The topic: Saving money

So, we have a bunch of phone lines. Brian’s business, the FAX, the home line and the number for lvdesigns.  And our cell phones.

The lvdesigns’ line gets maybe two calls a month.  Mostly wrong numbers.  I’ve thought about getting rid of it, but there are all of those cards I had printed up….  So, I got a magicJack and figured I’d just have the number switched (ported) over there.  Did some checking and their porting is still in BETA testing.  Well, I figured I wanted to be ready when it started so I went ahead and got the magicJack. Got it all set up.  And as long as the computer is on, it works like a charm.

But I’m still paying $22 a month for a phone line that gets maybe two calls a month.  I did a little research and today, found a website for phone service that is really cheap. callcentric.com. I set up an account, was assigned a phone number, and put money into an account (just ten bucks) to pay for the per-minute charge.  It’s .015 per minute. A penny and a half.  If you have the call forwarded, it’s an additional .015 cents per minute.  Three cents a minute.  Plus the $1.95 monthly fee.

I tried it. I tried forwarding a call to that number and it rang through to the magicJack number.  Yay!  It works! 

So, then I went to the area about porting numbers to them and filled out all of the paperwork.  There will be a one time set-up fee of $25.00, then I’ll just be charged the monthly $1.95 and per call charge. And if the computer isn’t on, it will go to voice mail and I can return calls via the magicJack. Which doesn’t cost anything above the yearly twenty bucks (less because I paid for five years in advance). And if magicJack ever does get their act together and have porting capability, I’ll move it over there and cancel the callcentric account. 

This will save over $200.00 a year!

      Friday, April 22, 2011

11:04 AM - 04/22/2011
We found a penny on our walk this morning

The topic: Ponderance

This morning on our walk, Brian found a penny.  Which got me to pondering about a couple of things and I came to the conclusion that even in sayings, a person values their own opinion/advice more highly than the person on the receiving end.

The receiver “A penny for your thoughts”.

The giver “Here’s my two cents”.

Just sayin’.

03:57 PM - 04/22/2011

The topic: I always thought this kid was a little creepy….

      Saturday, April 23, 2011

12:58 PM - 04/23/2011

The topic: Got a Cox brochure

that offered HBO and Cinemax for $15.00 a month for six months. I called to sign up for it.  I can’t because I’ve already got Showtime. WTF?

So I said “okay, then, forget I called”.  I’m not giving up Nurse Jackie, U.S. of Tara or Dexter, you know? Not gonna happen. 

There’s always Netflix.

01:09 PM - 04/23/2011

The topic: Review: Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure

Last weekend I had the opportunity to view Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure.

It was cute, it was entertaining. It had a lesson to be learned (it’s a Disney picture, need I say more?  I still don’t like the idea of sport hunting after watching Bambi as a small child). 

Don’t give up your dream. 

Sharpay’s dream is to make it big on Broadway.  She’s given the opportunity after one of her home town performances. She’s thrilled.  She talks her father into letting her go (who gives her one month to realize her dream) and she rents an awesome penthouse and everything is going perfectly.  Until the management informs her that Boi, the most adorable little dog ever, isn’t welcome.  Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) loves her Boi and the next thing you know, she’s sitting on the street, with all of her baggage surrounding her. 

Rescued by a budding videographer (Austin Butler), she finds a run down apartment and dresses it up in pink and everything seems to be going well. She goes to the try outs, only to find out they don’t want her, they want a dog.  And I’d tell you more, but that’s something you’ll have to find out for yourself.  Suffice it to say that everything works out well for both Sharpay and Boi.  She lives her dream.

I enjoyed the bonus material. Not being familiar with the High School Musical franchise (well, yeah, I’ve seen the parade at Disney’s California Adventure, but that’s the extent of my HSM knowledge) it was interesting to see how Sharpay has evolved and the answer to everybody’s question “Why is everything Sharpay wears covered in rhinestones?” (To tell the truth, when I first got the offer to review the movie, I thought “not another dog movie, why do I always get the dog movies?” - I thought Sharpay was of the, um, canine persuasion….) Now I’m leaning towards adding the HSM movies to my Netflix queue.

The bloopers were cute, the dogs are NOT perfect at all.  Still adorable, though.   Butler’s behind the videocam footage was fun to watch, it’s nice to see what goes into making a movie and camera on camera on camera scenes (some of what you see in the movie was taken by him as the videographer). 

Anyway, this is a family movie, no expletives, no sex, no drugs or alcohol in sight, just light entertainment.  Refreshing.  Tweens might like it better than older teens, but it’s not a movie than will give anyone nightmares (well, I had a few unpleasant dreams starring Ashley’s wig—-j/k!)

But wait! I'm not done yet!
I've got more to say!

      Sunday, April 24, 2011

10:55 AM - 04/24/2011

The topic: Ponderance

Could someone explain why people I just met who are in my age group (mid-fifties) look old to me and people I’ve known forever that are in my age group don’t?

11:17 AM - 04/24/2011

The topic: Charlie and his pills

What a PITA.  He figured out that he could kind of bite down on the Pill Pocket, the crunchy thing would fall out and he didn’t have to bother with it. Tried splitting the pill and putting it in two Pill Pockets, same deal. Then put the pieces in some soft food. Lapped all around the pill pieces, left those, finished off the soft food. This morning, tried crushing the pill and mixing it with soft food. Nah, didn’t want that. Then I added tuna juice to the soft food, mixed it up well.  He lapped up about a quarter of that.  I’d say he maybe got a quarter of a half of a baytril tab.  So, I got another pill and tried just shoving it down his throat.  Thought I had it until he ran off and the pill was just sitting there.  I took that pill, got a small gelcap, put the pill in the gelcap (things slide down much more easily in a gelcap), waited until he came up to me at my desk, I put my left arm around him, opened his mouth with my left hand and shoved the gelcapped pill in with my right, the pushed his mouth closed. I saw him swallow, I let him go.  He walked off shaking his head.

Mission accomplished. Too bad he’s a fast learner.

      Monday, April 25, 2011

09:30 AM - 04/25/2011
We found two pennies on our walk this morning

The topic: Well, that was a weekend

Saturday, I got six loads of laundry done and put away.  I got the litterboxes done. I got product labels for Brian’s new company printed and cut out.  We had a nice breakfast. French toast.  Hot dogs for lunch.  I wasn’t feeling much like cooking, but he had to go work on something at his brother’s house (he’s got a welding machine over there, he’s been having his brother do the welding since he’s better at it, but he’s going to practice and get better at it and bring the machine home). While he was gone, I cut up a couple of chicken breast, rolled them in olive oil, coated them with crushed cornflakes and spice Mrs Dash and put them in the oven. Then I did the same with potato wedges.

They were yummy, I put some barbeque sauce in one condiment bowl, ranch dressing in the other.  I also made up a pitcher of hillbilly punch. And thinking of the following week, I also washed a few potatoes, rubbed them with butter, covered them in foil and put them in the oven.  Nice to have potatoes at breakfast.

We watched EasyA on the Roku, streaming from Netflix. Then we watched a couple of episodes of The Unusuals (a series that was canceled too soon, with Amber Tamblyn and Jeremy Renner), streaming from Crackle on the Roku.

Sunday was an easy day.  We had eggs, taters and bacon for breakfast.  Brian worked on his hydraulics, I worked on nothing, just kept looking at the same websites, over and over again. Then I shut down and started watching some television.  Brian had to wait to do some more painting and I made lunch.  Tuna and avocado sandwiches. 

I had the television to a program about the Vatican, which was followed by a show about someone who inspects infrastructure of various places in the U.S.  I had a light fleece blanket over me and Mickey wanted under.  He laid on my arm and we both fell asleep. When I woke up, he was still on my arm, his little face against the pillow.  He was so relaxed. 

Then we did a little more websurfing, shut down, and went to the grocery store where we bought a small cherry pie, vanilla bean ice cream (on sale), some bananas and two solid chocolate bunnies (on sale). Came home, heated up a Kirkland cheese pizza, had cherry pie ala mode and chocolate bunny for dessert.  I just ate the ears, didn’t want to get sick (happens when you get a late start on a chocolate bunny). 

Watched a show about Walt Disney on CNN, then watched The Switch with Jennifer Aniston.

Then, to bed!  Where I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight….too much sugar, I guess…...yawn…

      Wednesday, April 27, 2011

07:29 PM - 04/27/2011

The topic: I don’t often get

Donations to help out with the cats or the websites or anything and that’s okay.  Money would help, but I understand it’s tight for just about everyone.  The vet bills of the past month have hit us pretty hard (Oliver and Charlie).

Well, this afternoon the phone rang and it was our petsitter, who also works at the vet’s office.  She said she had a donation for us. Someone brought in six unopened boxes of Advantage Multi for cats over nine pounds.  That’s thirty-six treatments for bigger cats.  More than half of our cats weigh less than nine pounds.  How cool is this?  They can’t sell stuff like this, so they donate it. 

When I bought Advantage earlier this year, it was over eighty bucks.  I get the large dog size and split it up.

When Brian came home I was amazed.  I’m very happy!

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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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