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      Sunday, April 03, 2016

10:39 AM - 04/03/2016

The topic: Since I was in my early twenties,

I've had something that is now called irritable bowel. There's not much can be done for it. It doesn't lead to more horrible things, it just ranges from uncomfortable to downright painful. It hasn't happened often, but when it does, I'm down.

I've been to urgent care for it (back in the 90s) and had x-rays, tests, the whole shot and they could see nothing. I asked my gynecologist about it back in the 80s and he said if it's not a constant thing, if it goes away, then it's not life threatening.

But, just damn. It hurts. My latest bout started last Monday. I'm going on a week now. It's slowly getting better and that's a good thing. But this is the longest it's lasted as far as I can remember. I'm drinking lots of water, eating gentle foods and smaller portions, trying not to overwhelm my poor colon. Because of the clean colonoscopy I had a couple of years ago, I'm not worried about that.

But, just damn.

I think what brought it on this time was pecans. Pecans are good for you. Pecans help your heart. Pecans are a healthy snack. But handfuls of pecans can make one's bowels, someone with a predisposition to problems, not only irritable, but very, very angry. Mine have not only been angry, they've been in a rage.

Brian admonishes me. "You can't eat nuts like that, your body can't deal." Yeah, okay, I guess it's a teachable moment. Maybe I'll learn. This time. I didn't last time.

The last time I had this problem the cause was nuts.

Love me some nuts. Moderation goes out the window with some nuts. Peanuts, cashews, pecans, macadamias, walnuts. And my mind tells me as I pop one after another into my mouth "they're so good for you!"

Yeah. Uh huh. Right.


The heart wants what the heart wants. I just don't know if this is worth giving the heart what it wants....


10:58 AM - 04/03/2016

The topic: This past week was actually a good one

Pain aside.

You know how hard it is for me to do my paperwork. I've been dragging my feet because that's just what I do when it comes to sitting here and making entries into the Quickbooks software. I'd rather eat handfuls of pecans. Yanno?

Anyway, the week before last I got 2014 accounts payable and account receivable files pulled and boxed up, set up new folders for 2016, moved 2015 files to the "past year" position, so I was ready to hit the pile of paperwork that was always in my peripheral vision. That took a couple of days, got that all input and filed, then started on six months of bank reconciliations last Sunday.

Sunday, I got two done. Monday, I got three and a half done. I finished February's Tuesday morning (I'll do the taxes this week, I guess), then shut the PC down, headed out to the sofa, grabbed a blanket and lay there all nice and cozy, moaning at my predicament (it's actually worse in the AM). I played some Candy Crush Saga on my eensy Kindle Fire (got that for fifteen bucks off regular price on Amazon last December) and kept up with my Facebook page and read my email, which isn't very busy.

And I always checked the new product at nine pm at meh.com. Now, meh.com had a fukObukuro last April 1. An UNlucky bag. Which is actually a box with fun stuff and broken stuff and a bag for five bucks. And they hadn't had their fuku since January this year (a Valentine's fuku). I hadn't gotten one since last year, but I was okay with that, I tried once, but I was on a tablet and those are just too slow. Besides, the stuff I've gotten the last couple of times is still in boxes in the extra room (something I'd planned on straightening up last week until I made my body started slapping me for being stupid) and I told myself that I really didn't need anymore junk.

But here I was, on the computer at 8:59, on the meh.com page, hitting F5 to refresh. And sure enough, they had a fuko for sale. I got right through (only 164 got right through to make the order, people after that got hit with a pageful of Captcha images, what a PITA!). I got my fuko. Then, on Friday, one of the mehmbers posted how to get a Bag of Crap over on Woot. I missed the first couple, but scored one later in the day.

Yay! A fuko and a BOC. A good day.


      Thursday, April 07, 2016

11:32 AM - 04/07/2016

The topic: Banging head on desk…..

Bobby isn't feeling good. We were in bed last night and I asked Brian if he'd seen Bobby (who's usually somewhere inside at night). He hadn't since the morning. I put a shirt on, went outside and called him. He came down to me, but he was moving slowly. Hmmm... Still outside this morning, up in one of the cathouses on the bank. I gave him a little tuna, he wasn't really interested in eating. He finally ate a tiny bit, then laid down.

An hour or so later, I saw him walking out of the cathouse and I walked out to observe him. He dug a small hole in the dirt, pooped a tiny bit, then puked the little bit of tuna he'd eaten. Swell, just swell. I ended up bringing him inside and for the past few hours, he's been on the top of the shelves next to my computer, sleeping. At first he wasn't shutting his eyes all the way, but he is now. I'm glad he's inside because we're supposed to be getting rain for the next six days. He's breathing okay and he looks comfortable, so I don't know what's going on with him. Maybe he ate a bad lizard or something. Brian said he'd smelled something bad in his shop, but was unable to trace the carcass down, maybe Bobby left it there.

And we were concerned what we'd do with Missy for the next six days since she's decided outside is where she wants to be. (Brian shared with me that he watched her cleaning her back legs the other day, something she rarely does, she's no longer big on grooming, so this was a good thing.) I let her walk out after her breakfast this morning. Brian moved her blanket to under the tractor, but she still got wet from the rain dripping off of the sides. She walked over to get under the other tractor where it was drier, but when she saw me standing there, she came to me as fast as she could. Her back and head were wet. I brought her inside and put her in the window in the family room, where she likes to sleep. I spent five or ten minutes with her, stroking her and kissing and headbutting her and she stayed there when I left. It's a much better place to be on a rainy day for an old lady kitty cat.

Last night, Charlie Ahole went after poor Mario, who was just minding his own business, in the bedroom window. Lots of growling and hissing and I don't know if they fell or jumped out of that window onto the bed, but Brian was yelling at me to stop Charlie, who was chasing after Mario. I stuck my leg out and Charlie ran into it, so it kind of slowed him down and Mario made it under the sofa. I tried talking to him and petting him, but he was having none of it, he just kept hissing at me. I was concerned there may have been some sort of injury when they left the window, but later Mario was back in the office, on his towel. When I found him, I softly talked to him and ran my hands down his sides and back. He stood up for headbutts, so nothing's broken. He's walking pretty slow, though. And Charlie calmed down right away, I was able to pet him and get him to relax instead of turning on me. And then I smacked one of his ears and told him he was an asshole.

And then the phone rang last night. It was Shannon from our vet's office. We were eating dinner and Brian answered it. Seems someone was evicted from an apartment near the vet's office and left their cat behind. Could we take it in? Brian said we would as a last resort, if they could find no other takers. A grey kitty. Russian Blue, she said. Yeah, right. I bet it's just a grey kitty. Poor thing.

So, no other call last night, more than halfway through this morning, no phone call. Whew, dodged that bullet (not that another kitty is a bullet, but we're really not looking to increase the population here). But then, it rang. Seems the guy who left, also left the cat in the apartment with a bowl of food. All there, by himself. I pass the phone to Brian. There was a little small talk and Brian asked if the kitty has a name. Because if he has a name, we don't want to change it.

We're getting a grey kitty by the name of Smokey this afternoon.


Smokey update.  He tested positive for both FeLV and FIV. FIV is not a problem here, but FeLV is very definitely something we can't bring into the house. They ran the test twice with the same result. They're sending out a third to a lab for more involved testing, if that comes back negative he can live here. But we can't chance the other cats' lives.

I has a sad.

      Friday, April 15, 2016

07:51 AM - 04/15/2016

The topic: Fired up my little adorable netbook the other day

I was thinking about moving cutting files over to it and it took so stinking long to load up. It's just doesn't have the power to run all the programs I've got on it.  Two gigabytes of RAM is nothing these days. I checked to see if I could add any, but not with this model. Boo!

So, stressing over doing the taxes, I cruise over to eBay to see what's available for cheap. I find an HP laptop/netbook for $119. Looks good, check out the specs on the original machine. I'm impressed. No battery, but it has a power cord, not planning on taking it anywhere, I just want something that doesn't freeze when I'm working on cutting.  Okay, what the hell, this will take my mind off of owing the federal government our first born child (good luck with that).  I click the "make an offer" button, I offer $111 (the shipping is $14, so $125 is a good round number). It was accepted. Shipped out last Saturday via Fedex, got here last night at 6:30.  I know what I'll be doing today.

The RAM is upgradeable to 8GB. I'll check to see what kind of RAM it has now. The machine has two memory slots.  If it currently has 2X2GB, I'm screwed, because I'd need to get 2x4GB memory sticks. And that would cost more than the computer did. But if it's got 1x4GB, that would be more doable in the future, since I'd only need to buy one new memory stick. But 4GB is twice what my current machine has, so that will definitely speed things up.

I have all of my cutting software to put on it.

  • Silhouette
  • Make the Cut
  • eCal 3
  • eCal 4

Then the graphic programs

  • Picasa
  • Irfanview

I need to download Firefox (it came with Chrome and Internet Explorer). And I need to get it attached to my own personal cloud drive (no big deal, it's just a hard drive attached to my router that's accessible from all the computers).

Today should be a good day. I love doing this stuff.

Fingers crossed the computer works like I hope it does.


08:10 AM - 04/15/2016

The topic: I called on Smokey Wednesday

He's still at the vet's. Still waiting for the test results. He's such a pretty cat and we were both so sad last week when we left the vet's office with the empty carrier.

Hopefully, if he does have FeLV, we'll be able to help find him a home. Right, BSC? 

We're working on it.

      Saturday, April 16, 2016

03:26 PM - 04/16/2016

The topic: Using the new laptop

To cut out the paper for my MIL's Mother's Day card. It's a beautiful day outside, I'm washing cat blankets from the garage since they haven't been done in a while.

Miss Elizabeth went outside late today, which surprised me. Brian's brought her in a few times, because she keeps going into his shop to visit him. A little while ago, I hear him yelling. I look outside and he's carrying her into the house. I ask him what happened and he said she keeps going into the shop. The problem there is he's welding (remember, that's what he was doing when she had that seizure last year). I asked him how she was getting around the block that he has up when he welds, to keep her out of the shop. He never put it up. Well, there you go. He said "well, she keeps trying to get in the shop".  Well, duh, if she can't get in, she can't get in. He said "I think she just wants attention". 

I take her from him and bring her inside. She goes into the bathroom and I dish up a fresh bowl of food for her. She eats a little, screams that she's done, please to open this door so I can leave the bathroom and I do. She walks down the hallway to the office. Screen door is shut. She walks down the hallway, into the living room. Screen door is shut. She walks into the garage, the door is blocked (it's a baby gate and the cats can go around it to get in and out, but she hasn't figured that out yet). She comes into the house, walks through the house and I see her outside. She went out through the laundry room door. I yell out at Brian that she's out and he said "that's okay, I'm done welding".

And we're all happy.

      Friday, April 22, 2016

11:51 AM - 04/22/2016

The topic: We renewed our Disney Annual Passports last October

And we've not gone once. We could have gone last year, but we just never did.

Next week is Brian's birthday and a friend and her family will be at the Disneyland Resort for a vacation and we'd love to meet up with them. We'd love to spend a day at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure.

But we can't. Why not?

Because of  this little lady.


She's over twenty-two years old, I figure she was born in October of 1993. This is Lisa Violet's older sister, she was probably six months old when Lisa was born. She was one of my mother's cats. Mom always called her a pain in the ass. But she's still plugging along. She's deaf (although sometimes it seems like she can hear a little bit) and pretty arthritic. She has a little feeding station in my bathroom, with dry food and fresh water. And that's where she gets her soft food, because we can close the door so she can eat in peace. When she's done, she lets us know by screaming at the top of her lungs. Because, maybe we can't hear her or something. This happens many times a day and a couple of times during the night.

Brian made two sets of foam stairs for her, one on his side of the bed that curves along his dresser and up to the chair next to the bed, and the other is in the family room, along the front of the loveseat so she can more easily access the furniture.

We don't like to be away from her for longer than three or four hours at a time, which is why we won't go to Disneyland.

      Wednesday, April 27, 2016

12:18 PM - 04/27/2016

The topic: Alrighty then, time to play catchup….

In the past two months I've made four cards and haven't posted about them. So, I'll do that now.

I'll start with the most recent first.

This year's Mother's Day card. Another box card from SVGCuts. This one is from the Spring Blossom kit.

(As usual, clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo so that you can see more detail.)

The finished card

I used a Fineline applicator to put the glue in the middle of the flowers, for the rhinestones I bought on eBay, as well as attaching them to the card.

This made me really happy. It was a first time for me. The embossing folder I used was Sizzix Textured Impressions Flower Power. I inked the side of the folder that had the outlines of the flowers raised and ran it through my Big Shot. Look at how cool it turned out! This will be great for embossing trees, stone or brick walls....the ideas are endless!

The completed panels on the card.


Panels on the other side of the card.


Putting the inserts together

The tree. I love how the pink on brown looks and the flowers look awesome


Close up - see that shimmer? Oh, yeah....



The card is put together, now for the finishing touches.

The back side

The back side with the sentiment. The sentiment is embossed, not stamped. Well, I guess it's kind of stamped since I used my Versamark pad along with a stamp, which I poured my embossing powder over.

And the fun part...attaching the elastic for the magical self-opening card. Little pieces of toothpicks, attached elastic cut to size (bought by the foot on Amazon) and a small hole punch (see the bottom left of the card? That dark spot? That's a hole for the elastic). Once I get the elastic tied onto the toothpick, I put a drop of glue on that, then put it on the hole and pull the little part of the loose elastic through the hole so that it's on the inside of the card. You can see what I mean in the photo below this one, upper left hand side of the inside of the card.

Elastic attached

Card closed (see the elastic?)

The back of the finished card

Oh, and check this out. An added bonus. ME! lol






      Friday, April 29, 2016

06:57 AM - 04/29/2016

The topic: The phone rang at 6:00 last night

It was the vet's office with news on Smokey. He won't be coming to live here. But that's not a bad thing. Here's why.

They finally got the results of the testing. Everything is negative! Yay! That's good.

And he's already in his new home! That's good!

It's in a home where he'll be the only pet, so he'll get all the love and attention, he won't have to share with dozens of other kitties. His new home is with an aunt of the clinic manager.

Of course, if it doesn't work out, he can always come here, but not having to share the human sounds like a great thing to me. And so far, he sounds like he's doing nicely.

I love it when things have a happy ending.



08:54 AM - 04/29/2016

The topic: I think this is one of my favorites!

But I say that about all of them, don't I?  *laughing*

And as usual, clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo. This will give you a better idea of the detail on the card. And there are more photos in the gallery than I have posted here, if you want to see more.

When I was a kid, over fifty years ago (a half of a century, when did this happen? gulp Holy moley!), at Easter, we did the go to church thing (raised Catholic, but on Easter, even my Methodist father, who didn't go to any church, went with us). And the Easter bunny ALWAYS visited, leaving really child friendly items in his wake. One of my favorites was always the huge sugared egg with the diorama inside. Remember those? I got one every year and it was the one piece of candy that I never ate. They eventually fell apart, but I loved looking inside of them. I found a page where you can make them, that's not gonna happen, but check out the examples.

Anyway, when I first saw this as a sneak peak of SVGcuts new kit last year, I jumped on it. The name of the kit is Springtime Box Cards SVG Kit. And for all of that time, I kept thinking about how I could make this really awesome. Because childhood.

So, this year I thought I'd make one and send it to my friends who have expressed a like for dioramas. Even sent me photos of their Christmas diorama that goes up every year and I thought maybe they'd enjoy this one. One of the problems with not having extended family and friends nearby is what do I do with all of the stuff I make? Cards are easily sent, but the bigger projects are spendy for shipping, because they are so fragile and need special packaging to protect them. But cards...everybody likes getting cards in the mail, right?

I picked out the paper, following the PDF that was included. As I usually do, I split some of the designs apart, using different paper than the PDF shows, like the flowered background in the egg and the eggs themselves. I got everything cut out, laid it out on my work table and started thinking about how I was going to do the sugaring. The sugaring was the most important part to me, that was what made this so realistic. At least, it did to me. Did I want to paint the sugar on with Ranger Stickles or emboss the paper? Since the Stickles take a while to dry and sometimes the paper warps from the moisture, I thought I'd try the embossing first.

I had a pile of extra cut outs from previous cards to do my testing. Since the area was pretty big that I wanted to emboss, I just used my Versamark pad to get the paper ready for the embossing powder. Then I used Judikins Iridescent Sparkle embossing powder. I checked out a couple of different colors and I liked this one the best for the sugaring process. (Sugaring process...that makes me laugh.)

The test piece

Happy with the test piece, I was ready to start the sugaring (snork...sugaring...). I liberally sprinkled the powder over the Versamarked paper. Then I tapped the loose powder off (the powder that isn't used goes back into the container).

Then I hit it with the heat tool. This is the result.

Looks good. Looks really good. I did this to all of the pieces for the first insert. I set those aside and started assembling the card.

The first part was the box itself. In this image, you can see where I've used my Big Shot to emboss the bottom panels with a flowery folder. I thought it would be more obvious in the final product, but it didn't really add to or subtract from the over all card. I don't know if I'd do this again on a patterned paper.


I've mentioned in the past that I like the Beacon 3-in-1 glue. This is why. I can use too much (something I do, not on purpose, mind you, but me and glue...well, we just have this weird relationship thing) and the paper doesn't warp. I hate it when the paper warps because of the glue. Here's a little tip and it's probably going to sound strange, but as the amount of the glue goes down, it gets harder to squeeze out. I found that shoving the glue bottle under my waistband helps to warm it up and it flows more freely (and don't store it upside down, I've lost a couple of bottles of this glue by doing this, somehow the glue leaks out and there's a big dried clump of glue to deal with - and no, I don't store it in my pants - I know that's what some of you were thinking). Yeah, it's strange, but it works for me and isn't that what it's all about?

Flap panels in place.

Back panel assembly - front and back

Front panel - the flowers are inked in the center and the edges. This project had brads keeping the flowers in place. I ended up gluing the petals together since they kept twisting out of shape.

The inserts and panels, one (front piece, the white will be glued on to the yellow piece next to it), two (eggs) and three (bunny). The piece at the far left is the back panel. I've already attached the front panel (the one with the flowers).

Back panel attached.

All inserts inserted, back view.

Because of all the sugaring, the cardstock was pretty heavy on the first insert and it kept flopping over, so I cut out an additional back piece and glued it on to reinforce the insert. You can't see it here. On my next egg card, I'll do that before putting it all together.

And the sentiment on the back. I used foam pieces to make it pop out instead of being flat on the card.

And that's it! That's my Egg card. I love it! And the ladies who received it liked it, too. It was passed on to Mom for her enjoyment.

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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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