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      Monday, November 07, 2011

07:12 AM - 11/07/2011

The topic: It’s been an interesting couple of weeks

We had a really nice time at the Disney meet. The first night we ate kind of late for us, The Rainforest Cafe, then proceeded to drink at Tortilla Jo's. At Tj's it looked like they had a complete staff change. None of the bartenders were familiar at all. The old timers were gone. After TJ's, we went over to the Grand for drinks with the Baygirls.

We got back to our hotel around 2:30, in bed at 3:00. I was in the shower by 6:30 since we were supposed to start the day at 8:00 at Disneyland.

I honestly overdid. Pushed myself too hard. I was pretty tired when we headed home on Sunday. We drove through Carl's Jr's on the way home and made great time. Got unpacked and I got the bedding changed.

Between five and six that night, I had a really nasty chest pain. Gallbladder? I threw up, which was a first for me if this was my gallbladder. But I felt immediately better.

The problem was, it went on all week. No matter how little or what I ate, the pain kept coming back. Finally, on Sunday, the 23rd, Brian took me to a walk in clinic. They did some testing and it wasn't heart, it was gallbladder. They said "you need to go to the emergency room".

I was admitted to the hospital the morning of the 23rd, had an ultrasound, was put on NPO status (no food or water), IV fluids and antibiotics. I was scheduled for surgery to remove my gallbladder on Monday. I was taken to a building and given an MRI (OMG, I NEVER want to do that again) and then back to surgery. The surgeon came in and explained that I was scheduled for ten minutes later, but the MRI showed stones in the duct and they'd have to come out first.

Monday I got an ERCP, which emptied the ducts. Monday night, I puked. A lot. I'd not eaten anything since Sunday morning, which I lost before I was checked in to ER (I made it to the bathroom, I puked so hard I wet my pants; when I checked in I told the check in woman, hoping they had some disposable underwear or something and she told me "don't sit down anywhere", so I just stood there until they took me back). All that was in my stomach was the fluids and anesthesia stuff. My stomach rebelled. *lol*

Tuesday, I had gallbladder surgery. The worst part of that was the blowing up of my belly. The only way to get rid of the air is naturally. The gassy way. But you have to walk to get the gas to descend. It's hard to walk when you're so achy.

Wednesday, I came home. I had a prescription for percocet and when we got home, I called Costco to see if they had it in stock. They did and Brian went down to pick it up. There were thirty pills, take one or two every four hours as needed for pain. I've got twelve left, I only took them for a couple of days. I was counting the hours so I could take some Excedrin for the headache I brought home from the hospital.

I took it easy for the rest of the week, spent the first night on the sofa since it was so painful to move my torso. Thursday I slept in bed, using a pillow on my belly (Brian's suggestion) so when the cats jumped down from the window, it wouldn't hurt so bad. By Sunday, I didn't need the pillow anymore. It did hurt a little to lay on my side, but that's gone away.

My throat had problems. I had a tickle that I expect was from them shoving stuff down my throat for the procedures. But it turned out I'd also caught a cold. I was living on cough drops, which my tummy didn't like and every night when I laid down, I could feel the acid coming back up. But the coughing finally went away and no more cough drops and the last two nights have been great.

I'm going in for my followup this afternoon (unless they call and say "don't come, doc's out on emergency").

And now I get to watch the bills come in. I'm glad we have insurance. We're still going to be on the hook for thousands of dollars in bills, but it could have been a lot worse.

07:49 AM - 11/07/2011

The topic: Skippy is better!
That's been a blessing. He's back to normal, slowly gaining weight. Yay!

      Thursday, November 10, 2011

11:17 AM - 11/10/2011

The topic: Heading into TMI territory…

My digestive system has always been on the sluggish side. And anything type of med or food that says "may constipate"...well, they do. The only time my system worked nicely was when I was young and stupid and snorted crystal meth. No way would I do that now. I'd probably blow my heart up or have a stroke or something. Besides, I didn't really like the way I felt, although I had a sparkling clean house. *lol*

Anyway, one of the so called side effects of the GB surgery in some people is cramping and and diarrhea. Honestly? I was kinda looking forward to it. Take how it was and mix it how it might be and voila! Regularity!

Did it happen? Nope.


11:20 AM - 11/10/2011

The topic: The occasional cam is up today

One of the cat trees, the floor to ceiling trees, finally died yesterday. I heard a noise in the other part of the house and went in to check it out. The sisal has been scratched off for a while now (kept thinking I'd get around to replacing it...yeah, right) and they'd scratched through the cardboard. And that part broke. Poor thing was laying there, all dead.

It's in the trash now.

I moved the remaining trees around and it's more roomy, not so dark in that one area now and I got the camera running again.


01:49 PM - 11/10/2011

The topic: I’ve got a MagicJack

I use it for lisaviolet designs. My poor little store that nobody ever goes to (yeah, like I do such a great job of marketing...*laughing*). I get a notice of when I get calls and they're usually from a company that pushes sublimation products. I don't do sublimation, I do inkjet/laserjet heat transfers (my heat press is 20" x 16", I can do fair sized images). And I make jewelry. And I sell catnip.

Anyway, another company that calls is some sort of telephone marketing company. Even though that number is listed on the Do Not Call registry. They never leave any messages, but they still keep calling. So, today, I searched a way to block them. And I found an answer, one that works, right here .

I set up a Google Voice account, forwarded the MagicJack number to the Google Voice number and put the settings on "do not disturb" for always (which means all calls go directly to voicemail).

Now bring on the telemarketers! I'm ready to block 'em.

02:06 PM - 11/10/2011

The topic: With Brian’s work being slow

I've made some minor changes to what I spend. Like I cancelled all but one of the movie channels since we get Netflix. I let magazine subscriptions lapse. I joined Amazon's Prime, which gives me free two day shipping on lots of stuff (I order many things from Amazon for use around the home) and now they have free streaming movies and television shows.

Earlier this year, Woot.com had a refurb Roku up for sale. Curious, I checked out what it was. And I was intrigued, so much so that I bought one. There's no ongoing subscription and I'd have access to lots of free streaming stuff as well as Netflix streaming (which I was doing on the Wii console, but the quality was ever so much better with the Roku) and Amazon streaming (the free stuff as well as the for rent stuff). I even subscribed to HuluPlus, but never used it. When I'd cancelled all but one (Showtime, gotta have me my Dexter), instead of $11 a month per movie channel, the price went up to $14 for just one. So, I cancelled the HuluPlus ($7.99) and resubscribed to HBO. Which was pretty much a wash. ($14+8=$22, $11+11=$22.)

When the Roku 2 came out a couple of months ago, I upgraded and one of my besties bought my old one.

Then Roku said "guess what? We're gonna carry HBO Go! If your cable provider says it's okay, you can view HBO Go using the Roku!" Whoa, how cool is that? I don't have to watch previous episodes of "Boardwalk Empire" on the computer, I can watch it on the television!


But there was one problem. The wireless signal wasn't all that great and the streaming kept stopping to reload the stream. Argh!

So, with all of my spare time (we're getting audited on Monday, I'm supposed to be doing D&D paper work, but here I am, doing everything but), I searched for signal amplifiers/repeaters and found one over on Amazon that got great reviews. I ordered Tuesday. It got here yesterday (some two day shipping, eh?).

It's from http://www.ampedwireless.com/. I got the SR300 ($89.99 at Amazon, I had some gift card money, great way to use it). So last night I set it up.

Oh. Em. Gee.

Even though this is a fairly small house, the signal from the router in the office has to go through two walls and a double faux rock fireplace. I set the repeater up using my adorable laptop in the living room, changed the router name, changed the password, put it on a speaker in the living room, connected it to a power source, then headed into the family room and fired up the Roku. The Roku found the signal quickly. I changed the wireless connection on the Entourage Edge and the signal from the router was "good", the signal from the repeater was "excellent". I can handle excellent.

I checked some of the streaming shows on the Roku and the picture was clear, not a lot of artifacts, and smooth. No problems with HBO Go, we watched the original Star Trek movie last night, the one with Veeger.

I'm happy.I think it was a good purchase, one we'll benefit from for years to come.

      Friday, November 11, 2011

09:36 AM - 11/11/2011

The topic: Too many shows on the DVR

Not enough time to watch them.

Last year we quit watching NCIS Los Angeles because every storyline was about terrorism. Boring.

This year, we've quit watching Two and a Half Men. Alan is just getting too creepy. They keep having him do/say weird sexual stuff and it's just creepy.

I didn't watch Blue Bloods, but Brian did. I found the show humorless and dark and plodding and I really didn't care for most of the actors. A couple of weeks ago, he told me to quit recording it. He didn't like it anymore.

I wonder how many more shows we'll quit watching by the end of the 2011/2012 season.

      Saturday, November 12, 2011

11:34 AM - 11/12/2011

The topic: Yay!

I'm finally starting to feel human again! I've been so tired for so long and right now, I'm thinking of all of the stuff I need to do. And I'm working on it, bit by bit.

I've been so inactive for so long, it's going to take a while to get back up to speed, but at least I'm feeling like doing something beside playing Angry Birds.

Yesterday, I even got the dinnercam going again!

We're having a insurance audit for Brian's glass company on Monday, so I've been working on getting all of that information gathered. There might be a problem because we didn't open a bank account or set up a fictitious name statement for his online company until October and I have to split out all the payments made to the glass company so it doesn't go against our liability for that company.

And we were pleasantly surprised to see how well it's doing.


      Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10:56 AM - 11/15/2011

The topic: Enough feeling human…

I’m so tired.  I start to think about the past month or so.

I love our Disney meets, but the month or so before are very busy for me.  I put the headbands together, I make our buttons, I make our shirts.  Making the buttons and shirts is time consuming, but it’s not the hardest part, the hardest part is actually coming up with designs. Although the buttons should be pretty easy from here on out, I’ll probably just use the same design, just change the year. Now that I’ve found a way that keeps the pinwheels on them better than just packing tape.

This year I got a late start on the video for the previous year’s meet. So, I was pretty pressed for time from August.

Since we have a petsitter who stays here, I do some major housecleaning the weeks before we leave. Then there’s the packing. Then, there’s the actual meet.  Lots of early mornings (normal for me) and late nights (abnormal for me). And the drinking (not used to it like I was when I was younger).

We come home, I’m in pain for a week. Then in the hospital for four days (and I’m sure anyone can tell you, a hospital is NOT a relaxing place to be).  Come home, I’m in “I can hardly move” pain for at least three days.  Then I contracted a frikking cold that had me coughing for over a week.

My throat is still messed up, seems like my vocal cords more than anything (damn, I can’t yell, you know how frustrating that is? I have to get off my butt and get to the place where I can be heard…be it Brian back in his shop or Charlie taking out after one of the other cats).  And I can’t sing worth a crap either. That annoys me, I love to sing.

We had an insurance audit yesterday.  I had to gather paperwork together, print out forms and…clean house.

I want a couple of days where I don’t have to do anything! (Sleeping on the sofa getting over pain doesn’t count.)

I want my energy back! I know I had more energy than I do right now a month ago.  A month ago I was at Disneyland with my besties, wearing pinwheel headbands and matching shirts! I want a do over of the last month, please. Now that the gallbladder is gone, it should be much nicer.

Thank you very much.

      Saturday, November 19, 2011

06:39 AM - 11/19/2011

The topic: I hate when I can’t sleep because

I can’t get something off of my mind.

And it would have been so easy to take care of.

We have annual Disneyland passes.  They’re not cheap, Brian doesn’t want the ones with blockout dates.  They used to run under $300.00, but for some reason, during this recession, the cost has gone up to $499.00!  We do get a $20.00 credit on each for renewing before the renewal date.

So, what I’ve been doing is saving up my rebate cards and checks.  When I deposit them, I turn around and get a Disney Gift Card.

Well, I got a $50.00 check from some rewards program back in July.  I noticed earlier this month, it says “not valid after 120 days”.  I haven’t deposited it yet.

I’m laying in bed “was the date on that check July 20th?  If it was July 20th, I’m screwed.  Thirty days hath September, April, June and November, so that would make the other months have thirty-one days.  Let’s see, that’s July, August, October…damn, I’ll be past the one hundred and twenty days… Wait, was it the 22nd of July? If so, I can get it in today and still be safe…”

So, instead of getting out of bed and check it out, I obsess over it.

First thing I did this morning was grab that check.  The 22nd!  I’m golden!  To the bank I’ll go today!

      Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11:57 AM - 11/22/2011

The topic: This weekend

I'm going to straighten out all of my peripherals, which will mean having the computers off. What a mess and tangle of cords and cables.

It's making me crazy right now.

      Saturday, November 26, 2011

08:23 AM - 11/26/2011

The topic: WTF?

Brian’s up at the property this weekend, so I’m here alone. He used to go all the time, then because of the ferals and how worried I got, he kind of quit going so often.  There are no ferals any more and since he’s been so busy with his glass company and his hydraulic business, he figured he could use the time away and go work up there. It’s good for him, he enjoys it very much and it helps to decompress him.

Last night went smoothly, I’d planned on watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on Encore, but watched the Dresden Files on the Roku instead. I had a baked potato for dinner, got all of the cats in and Brian called around 6:30 and said he’d eaten and was beat.  There’s not much up there after dark, he has to run the generator to watch television and he hadn’t brought anything to read. He said he’d probably just go to bed.

When the cats pushed me off of the loveseat (where Brian usually lays down, there were six cats on the sofa) I went to bed and watched TV in there.  There was nothing on.  As usual.  I got up a couple of times during the night, that potato came back with a vengence around 2:30.  I hate this, I want my body to hurry up and be adjusted to the loss of the gallbladder.

I got up around five and let the cats out, I was surprised to see Monica already out.  Hadn’t I seen her in the window last night?  Oh, well, no harm, no foul.  I went back to bed, got up around seven this morning, late for me.  I opened up the house then went into the garage to get the morning kibble for the cats and was puzzled to see the cat door flap to outside laying on the floor.  The hard plastic part.  Well, that would explain how Monica got out, but how did it get pulled off?  It’s in there tight.  I went over to get the kibble and the fountain was filthy!  It had been pulled apart and the water was nasty, brown, just gross.  The cats were all curious and sniffing around that area and it dawned on me.

We had an overnight visitor.  Most likely a raccoon. I’m glad it made its way out the door before I had a chance to see it, I’d have been very, very excited. And not in a good way.  *lol*

I got the door fixed, the fountain is ready to be cleaned in the kitchen.

And I’m gonna go to Jack in the Box for a breakfast Jack combo.

Then redo all these cords in the office.  Fun.

      Sunday, November 27, 2011

06:14 AM - 11/27/2011

The topic: Today

I’m going to try to do the stuff I had planned to do yesterday.

Yesterday was pretty much a wasted day since I spent the majority of the morning and half the afternoon looking for Little Bit. I admit I was worried about her since the night visitor in the garage. I was 99.99% sure she was somewhere on the property, I just wanted to see her.

I finally spotted her around 2:30, on the deck of the cathouse by the pool.  The same cathouse I’d checked with a flashlight at least once and by shaking it at least twice. She saw me coming, ducked down into it and I shook it and out came a tiny, shiny black kitty.  She didn’t run far, once I left the vicinity, she was back in it.

I think she was going behind me, hitting the places I’d just looked.

So, this morning, a little after four, when I usually let the cats out, I went outside first with a flashlight, looking for any yard visitors, finding none came back inside and opened the door for the cats to go out.  And go out they did.  I went back to bed.

And I got up a little before six, turned on the computers, opened the blinds, moved all the stuff I had in front of the garage door (just in case something decided to pay us another visit, yanno?), unlocked the cat door and fed the kitties.

I’ve got my sweats on, going to put on some shoes, climb in the car and go to Jack in the Box and get me another breakfast Jack combo, make that coffee a large.

And let’s see how far I can get today.  I really need to fix the cord problem at my computer (I’ve got lots of peripherals). And I got smart last night, I recorded the Lord of the Rings trilogy (hard to sit and watch when you’re busy looking for an invisible cat).


      Monday, November 28, 2011

03:03 PM - 11/28/2011

The topic: CostCo pharmacy lies!

Today wasn’t the first time, but it might be the last.

Last month, Brian needed his BP med refilled. The prescription had run out.  I called the doctor’s office and was told “oh, you don’t need to call us, go ahead and call the pharmacy to get pills and they’ll contact us for renewal okay.  There’s no need to call us in the future”.  Okay, fine.

Now, the first lie they told us was when we first started getting the pills.  They’d only give us a month at a time.  Thirty. But if we got four months worth (the entire prescription) all at once, it was only a few bucks more. We’re talking ten bucks for thirty or twelve bucks for a hundred and twenty. Which is the better deal, right?  No brainer.  When I expressed displeasure with this I was told “that’s all your doctor will let you have at a time”.  Huh?

So, next visit to the doctor, I ask.  “Huh? Why would we do that, we don’t care how many you get at a time.”  Grrr….

Next refill, I get the same runaround from the pharmacy. I tell them I expressly asked the doctor about this and his reply.  Oh, wait, it’s not the doctor, it’s the insurance company.  Well, the cost is so low on these that the insurance company doesn’t contribute squat to the payment process, we don’t get a break on the cost because of the insurance company, so let’s just not involve the insurance company, okay? Give me the one hundred and twenty pills and STFU about it.

Well, when Brian went in to pick up the prescription from last month, there were only thirty pills. Instead of a hundred and twenty. They told him “okay, it’s in the system now, you won’t have to go through this again”, to which he replied “that’s what you told me last time”.  He was given a pager and had to hang around until the rest of his pills were ready.

Okay, it’s my turn. Last Tuesday, I called the number on the bottle, placed the order (getting a message that the prescription had run out, but no biggie, they’d contact the doctor and get it taken care of). We went in this morning to pick it up along with the omeprazole I’m getting for this gawdawful bile reflux I’ve got because of the surgery last month.  My body is still adjusting.

I wait in line, it’s my turn, I hand her my CostCo card. She goes into the back, she’s there for a while, comes back out “the lisinopril was denied, we can’t refill it, we’re working on the omeprazole, here’s a pager”.  WTF? What do you mean “denied”?  She said “well, we can put another call into your doctor” I said “please do”.

So, a half hour to forty-five minutes later, the pager goes off.  I have to wait in line again.  Brian took the milk and yogurt back to the refrigerated section and came back up to wait with me. It’s finally my turn. “Oh, we haven’t heard back from your doctor”.  I said “if I had their number, I’d call them”. She gave me his number. I call.  “We got a message from them at 11:30, the doctor is with a patient now, he’ll probably take care of this on his lunch break”.  I told her thanks, settled up the omeprazole and we checked out and left.

They lied. They NEVER called the doctor last week. They NEVER checked up on getting the prescription refilled. My doctor’s office NEVER denied the refill.  You know how I know?

Because my doctor is a HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. He CARES about my health. If there had been a denial for ANY reason, I’d have gotten a phone call from them, telling me why.  Need bloodwork, you need a checkup, whatever, they’d have called me. I know they would have.

Two and a half hours after being at home, I call the pharmacy.  I ask if my prescription is ready.  “Let me check. Yes, we’ve got the prescription, let me see if I’ve got the medication here” (they send some of their stuff out to be filled), “yes, it’s here, give me an hour to fill it”.

If they only give me thirty pills and we have to argue to get the additional ninety, you can bet this will be the last time we go there.

Oh, and about fifteen minutes after I called the CostCo pharmacy? The phone rang. It was my doctor’s office, wanting to make sure that it was all taken care of.

And after a little discussion I find out we’re not the only ones who have problems with this pharmacy.  I wasn’t surprised.

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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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