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      Friday, March 03, 2017

06:47 AM - 03/03/2017

The topic: The latest from Dreaming Tree

I am so getting this bundle.

Paper sculptures.  So, very, very pretty. So many options. And I can make my own shadowboxes, too.

This will be fun!

silhouette    dreaming tree    craftstuff   

      Saturday, March 11, 2017

mrs. crankypants
08:33 AM - 03/11/2017

The topic: No more mornings like this for a while, please

It was a bad, bad kitchen morning. I mean, Bad, with a capital B.

For some reason, the cats are under the impression that being underfoot when preparing a meal is an okay thing. It isn't. I make a point of not feeding them when I'm actually getting food ready. There was yelling on my part when I'd barely miss tripping over this cat or that. Once out of the kitchen, there was yowling from outside of the kitchen, since I'd hurt their feelings.

There were responding "SHUT UP!"s from the kitchen.

Saturday morning. Blueberry pancakes and eggs. I usually get two small fry pans, pour the batter into the pans, drop the blueberries into the batter and turn on the heat. I don't like mixing the blueberries in the batter beforehand, I use frozen berries and the batter turns a weird color. I don't like the weird color. This morning, I figured I'd try the electric fry pan.


The batter spread without the heat on. It was too thin. I turned on the heat and poured out a second pancake. Still thin and the blueberries stuck up too high for the thin batter. Into the trash. I started over with just plain pancakes. While they were cooking, I sliced some butter and put the slices in the microwave to melt. After this, I'd heat up some syrup. I was checking out the pancakes when the butter exploded.

Yeah, a mess in the micro. I'd just let it go. Then there was another popping sound. What? I turned around and looked at the microwave.

I set it for twenty minutes, not twenty seconds.

More yelling and expletives.

Meanwhile, Pete was just sitting on the floor, in my way. Everytime I moved from the counter to the stove, I had to go around him. I used the side of my foot to help him get his move on. Move on out of the kitchen.

Then I wiped down the inside of the micro, heated up the butter, broke eggs into the pan, heated up the syrup, flipped the pancakes and breakfast was ready.

I hate starting off the day with all the little problems. I hate it.


      Wednesday, March 15, 2017

07:28 AM - 03/15/2017

The topic: In tears this morning

We said goodbye to Peter yesterday afternoon.

He'd been doing so well, his stools firmed up, just Friday he ate two whole cans of Fancy Feast, not just picking at them, but he ate a full can at one sitting in the morning and another in the afternoon. He still had some breathing issues, but nothing like I remember him having when we first took him in.

Then on Saturday, his appetite dropped. He ate a little, but not much. Same on Sunday. And his breathing started to have a hitch in it. Watching him breathe, he'd take a breath, then there was a, how to describe it, like a 'thunk' in his side. Not audible, but visible. So, Monday morning I called the vet and made an appointment, the first one available was yesterday afternoon.

In the evenings he liked to lay on me and Monday night I paid extra attention to his breathing. It calmed down and when Brian got up to go to bed, I told him I'd stay with Pete until he got off of me.

A few hours later, he was off and I went to bed.  Yesterday morning was business as usual, he showed some hunger, but he just didn't have much of an appetite. Very little pooping as well.

When we got to the vet, he was gasping for breath. Open mouth breathing. Continuously. This was a new issue and I just wrote it off to stress.

It wasn't. The vet said when she listed to his heart, his wheezing was so bad, she could hardly hear it. She advised us that, although we could get x-rays, give him meds, it was just going to get worse. She said cats with COPD (first time she's used this term about him) just don't get better. And she said it was his time.

We said goodbye.

I knew he was sick, but I had no idea he was that bad. I thought it would be a routine exam and he'd come home with us.

He was one of the best cats ever.

Pete in better days, after playing in the catnip


pete    goodbye   

      Friday, March 24, 2017

09:15 AM - 03/24/2017

The topic: This and that

Missing Peter. If history repeats, his cremains should be back today.

I have two and a half months of paperwork to catch up on. Then the taxes. Fun,.

I loathe the time change. Too dark in the morning. Getting up at seven sucks because I'm still ready to go to sleep at nine at night. I haven't saved any daylight.

My lower back hurts. Well, actually, my thighs and my buttocks. I think it's the piraformis muscle. I took naproxin for a week, twice a day, like the doc had me do after the car accident. Worked like a charm, last Friday I was out of bed and bending and stooping with no pain. But it gradually came back. By Monday, the pain was returning. Naproxin is not good for high blood pressure. So, I planned on switching to ibuprofen. We had Advil tablets and Costco's version of gel caps. The gel caps were useless. I dunno why, same amount of ibuprofen, but they didn't work. We had one Advil left. I took it yesterday. Then the Advil I ordered from Amazon showed up yesterday afternoon. Feeling better this morning. I think the cats and the bed have something to do with it. I'll have Rory to the right of my legs and some other cat up against the right and I just can't move at all. I think I start to stiffen up and it takes a while to loosen the muscle. It's usually better in the afternoon and evening without help, but that's most of the day gone. I started kicking cats away, even shoving them off of the bed. And if I wake up and some heavy, muscular cat, like Ronnie is laying on me, they're pushed off.

It does seem to be getting better, I'm only taking two pills a day. Maybe in a couple of weeks I'll be doing cartwheels. (Yeah, that's sarcasm.) It will sure be nice to be able to sit at a computer for any length of time.

I made a really cute little building for the vet's office for St. Pat's day. I've got pictures, will shar them later.  I also made a cute little pop up St Pat's card.

Oh, yeah, I got a third Cameo, my second Cameo 3. I'm set. I spent last weekend getting them all to run at the same time. Lots of swearing. F bombs. Lots of those. And then my ass hurt. Yeah, getting old rocks! (Beats the alternative like Brian would say.)

Last weekend Brian was able to get the lights fixed in the garage. Where all of my storage is. There were four fixtures out there, but two of them didn't work. He changed those out and added a fifth which is over my Kobalt cabinet. What a difference! It's been a running joke all week about "honey, look! it's like daylight out there! It's just amazing!"  (It really is!)

I've been trying to figure out a better way to organize my cutting files. The book is nice, the index is nice, but I find myself going over to the websites where I bought the files to see pictures of what I have. So, I did a quick Google search for photo organization and it dawned on me that I have a copy of Paint Shop Pro X7 that I bought on eBay a while back that I don't use (I prefer version X, the last of the Jasc PSPs, before Corel bought them out). But the things that stop me from using Pro X7 are exactly what I need to organize, like tagging the photos, which should make it easier to pull up files for Spring, or birthdays, or box cards, or or or.... I'll be setting it up on the laptop today.

The Chevy commercials are stupid. Most car commercials are stupid. Subaru "the all new Impressa, longest lasting in its class".  If it's "all new", how do they know it's the "longest lasting"? Alternative facts?

I'm expecting some new card stock today. Looking forward to cutting out Spring/Easter cards this weekend, to assemble in the evenings next week when I'm not working on (gag) paperwork.

We sent out a bunch of the afghans I've made over the years on Monday. More room in my closet now. Sent them to friends in colder climates. I doubt we'll be using them.

The funds from Brian's mom's estate were finally released. No more credit card debt. It's nice. Really nice. (Yeah, and a third Cameo, that was nice, too.)

I was on a forum and we were talking about old games. When I mentioned one of my favorites, I was pointed in the direction of GOG.com. Yay! My games are there and not that spendy at all! I got them and will be retiring the Win98SE computer to the garage with the other retired computers. That room is my next big project.

Brian got the side of the yard ready for planting. This weekend I will be putting seeds in the ground. Tomatoes, peppers, some herbs, catnip. Looking forward to fresh veggies. The avocado trees are LOADED with flowers this year.

That's about it for now, I'm going to start the PSPX7 install so I can better organize my cutting files. Yay!

11:06 AM - 03/24/2017

The topic: Installed the Paint Shop Pro

Learning about the tag function, figured it out, closed out of the program and there was a popup.

$14.99 to upgrade to the most recent version. That same thing happened with my last version of Video Studio.

Yeah, I did it. I bought it. It's downloading right now.

And that tagging thing is going to take forever to do. Me and my big ideas. Well, it should make it easier in the long term. I guess.

      Sunday, March 26, 2017

11:03 AM - 03/26/2017

The topic: Sunday morning mystery

We don't have any flowers growing in our backyard. There are some sort of ground cover daisies in the front, on the bank, but nothing to speak about in the backyard.

Imagine my surprise this morning to find about eight or nine of these:

I can't tell if they've been cut, but it sure doesn't look like they've been broken off. It looks more like a cut than a tear.

Because of the fence modification that keeps the cats in, tossing things over the fence would be pretty hard to do.

Especially to where the flowers were. They were strewn from the area in front of the first avocado tree, up to about where the cat is. No way they were thrown there.

We have absolutely how they got to where they were. A mystery. I was thinking maybe birds, but I can't see one bird carrying that many flowers at once.

The cats weren't acting strangely, like they would if an intruder animal had been in the yard. And even if there had been an opossum or a raccoon, why would they be carrying a bouquet of flowers?

Just weird.


      Monday, March 27, 2017

mrs. crankypants
08:36 AM - 03/27/2017

The topic: What? What? What the hell?

Got the morning news on. I watch CW6 San Diego. I used to watch KUSI, but they were too politically biased towards not my side. So, I quit watching.

There are a couple of morning shows here, it seems like most stations have their own. Imagine my wonderment when a commercial ran on CW6 for Fox 5 morning news. Not a little promo, a full on morning news show promo.

I mean, who does this? Why would one station run a promo for another station? For the competing time slot?

Then, it happened again.

I'm just gobsmacked.


08:46 AM - 03/27/2017

The topic: How often are you happy a weekend is over?

I am this morning. It was a very unnerving time here at the cat house.

We were watching the movie "Hacksaw Ridge" Friday night. It had some pretty graphic parts, pretty noisy. I took off the headphones and walked to the other side of the house. DaNiece was just laying there. Odd.

Then she got up and stumbled when she tried to walk. NO!!! Not DaNiece!

My mind started racing. When her brother, Richie was diagnosed with thyroid, the vet said sometimes there are problems with the heart. And that's what killed him. Since then, I watch her often. Watch her breathing. Compare it to the other cats. So far, it's not been noticeable. I think sometime in the past year or so, she lost her hearing. So, like deaf cats do, she has a tendency to get loud.

I picked her up and felt her back paw pads. Warm. I massaged between the toes. She flexed. Okay, my first scare was that she'd thrown a blood clot. Because she still had movement in her legs and my playing with them didn't seem to bother her, I ruled that out.

I figured maybe she'd had a back spasm. For a while now, I'll see her walking and her back end just kind of drops. Then she readjusts and walks as usual. I thought maybe it was just really bothering her. Brian had heard the commotion and came running into the hallway. He carried her back into the tv room and laid back on the loveseat, cuddling her. She wanted down.

I told him to hold her so I could trim her claws. Maybe she was getting caught.

Well, it didn't help. I think she was having mini seizures.

My mind went back over the day's activities. I'd applied Advantage to the cats earlier. The same stuff I've been using for years. I got as much of that off of her as I could. Not that I considered it was the cause, but it's not going to hurt to remove it.

I stayed on the sofa most of the night. She was nervous, spending a lot of time walking from place to place. Laying on the floor. Because she was vocal during the seizures, I wanted to be able to check on her right away. I finally fell asleep around four in the morning. I'd checked for her location and she was in the garage on a runner. Not stretched out, but kind of meatloafed. I figured she'd be okay. I went to bed. Still dressed, I just put a blanket over me.

Saturday, she slept a lot. She ate as usual and things seemed to be back to normal. She slept outside on the big pillow under the kitchen window. Until Saturday evening. Then it started again. She didn't have violent seizures, they lasted less than a minute. I could hold her and comfort her until she relaxed.

She wanted down and I let her. I found her in the laundry room, trying to go out the door. I opened it. I let her out. She walked out, sat for a few minutes, then climbed up onto the big pillow. There was a cloud cover so I wasn't concerned with the temperature. If she was most comfy there, she could stay there. I closed the back door and opened the sliding  door into the living room, enough for her to come in if she wanted.

I checked on her through the night. At 3:30, when she was still asleep on the pillow, I went to bed. Fell asleep.

Yesterday morning, she wasn't on the pillow. She had come inside and was eating. She went into the bedroom and climbed onto the bed. I fed her a jar of baby food. She ate the entire thing, a spoonful at a time. She was a hungry girl. She slept. She ate. She pottied.

We kept checking on her.

Last night, the magic time came. Would she seize again tonight?  Time would tell.

I had left the sliding door open, in case she wanted out. She did. But it was cooler last night. She came back inside and went to bed.

Since I hadn't done much of the paperwork I'd planned on doing this weekend, I started working. It kept my mind busy. I had gotten far enough around nine to quit. She was on the bed. Her activity level had dropped from the previous two nights. She was resting. When we finally went to bed at ten, she was still there. She had a good night, no seizures.

So, I think she'll be okay.

When I saw my first kitty seizure, it was Rusty. I rushed him to the vet, but the vet said there really wasn't much he could do since he hadn't had another. Over the next few months, I did find the trigger for his seizures, it was a staccato sound. So, we proofed the house as much as possible to keep it from happening (a spoon in a plastic glass, the wind blowing the vertical, vinyl blinds, a slipped drill).

There was nothing like that Friday night. Maybe it was the Advantage. Which I will never put on her again, just in case. I just don't know.

I do know that I'll be watching her even more closely now.

DaNiece and her remaining siblings, yesterday morning in bed. Sammy behind the pillow and Opie above her. That's little DaNiece relaxed and stretched out. (Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.)

DaNiece on the pillow under the kitchen window yesterday.

I slept last night. Woke up more than I normally do, always looking for her on the bed. And she was there.


seizures    daniece    catstuff   

      Wednesday, March 29, 2017

09:42 AM - 03/29/2017

The topic: Well. the paperwork I was working on

Is done. Instead of being done at the end of Sunday, it was done mid-afternoon yesterday.

Because DaNiece.

Sunday, I set up a bazillion new accounts (most of our customers are one timers and once they pay, I set up the account). Since what Brian makes is customized per order, we get paid in full up front. If something happens between the day of the order and the day of production, which can be three months or more after the order, we'll refund the money and cancel the order at the customer request (the last one, the father-in-law totaled the tractor, he was okay, thank God, but the tractor was done).

I should be better at this. I should. But it's not that much of a priority, I guess.

Monday, I sent out the invoices. I do the invoicing once the product ships. I really should do this AT the time I do the shipping labels, but most of the time, I don't. I let it build up for a couple of invoices. Which turns into a week's worth. Then a month's worth. Then it reached "holy crap, I can't shove anymore stuff in that spot, I guess I should do the invoicing!" level. That was Monday. Monday night, around nine, I was filing invoices.

Then there were two months of bank account reconciliations. I can't reconcile until I've made the deposits into my software. Which I can't do with having customer accounts set up. Which brings us back to step number one. Receiving the payments. Letting quickbooks know the money is in the bank. And then there's the thing that I don't get a lot of purchase paperwork to input. Brian gets most of his supplies online and I never see the packing slips. He files them or stacks them up on his desk. So, when I reconcile, I have to input into my software via what's been paid out. I get this information from the bank statement. If it's not a familiar company to me, I ask him about it, and so far, there've been no problems.

I got those done yesterday, mid-afternoon. I started around eight in the morning. One of the reasons it can take so long is that we have three sources of payments. Checks. Which are rare. Credit cards. (My favorite.) And Paypal. I hate those. Customer pays X amount. Paypal takes Y amount in fees. X-Y = the amount that is deposited into our bank from Paypal. So, every Paypal transaction has mulitple steps for entry. One with the full amount for deposit, then an entry into the check register for the subtraction of the fees for that payment.

So, when I'm clearing payments during a reconciliation, if I show $3,500 as money deposited on one day it's easy if it was one payment. But if it was a mixture, like $1,875 from credit card payments and the rest from smaller Paypal amounts ($300 - $500) I have to check the fee entries as well as the deposits. It's not my favorite thing in the world to do. At the end of the second reconciliation, I was twenty cents off. I figured "screw it" and just let the software make a twenty cent adjustment. (The first reconciliation had me off by $531, but that was a check I hadn't marked as deposited, which was a pretty simple fix. I let the software know it had been deposited. Voila!)

Anyway, that was done by mid-afternoon. I kicked back for a little while, then figured I'd start dinner. Had a hankering for lasagne. The non-refrigerated ingredients were on the counter. Except the noodles. I started to get things put together and got the boxes of noodles down. They were open. Only about a quarter box left in each one.

No lasagne. Need noodles.

So, today, I'm going to craft. Tomorrow, I will craft. Same for Saturday and Sunday.

Monday I will start the 2016 taxes.


I hate paperwork.


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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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