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Sunday, April 02, 2000 My butt still hurts. It's hard to explain to people. Yes, I messed up my back, but it isn't my back that's sore. It's the nerve that goes from my butt all the way down to my foot. I guess some people even have this type of hurt into their toes. Ew. I'm slowly getting feeling back into my foot. And I've been feeling much better at the end of the day than at the beginning. I slept in bed last night for the first time in weeks. And I slept good. Real good. Until early this morning, about 4:30. Junior was barking up a storm. Brian ended up going outside and putting both Junior and Buddy up. Seems there was a possom on the fence......*sigh*

Since Brian wanted to check local stores for mattresses before I did anything online, I tossed out all of the stuff I had printed out for him. Friday night, he went to The Bedroom and tried out four different mattresses. He did not like the salesman. Because of that, he was reluctant to even go back there, even if they had a mattress he liked. But, they didn't. We discussed pricing and one of his problems with the mattresses online was that even though you have twelve weeks to try out the one system we were looking at, you had to pay for shipping and handling back to the manufacturer. The handling is what bothered Brian. So, I called them. The only return charge for the customer is what it costs to ship the system back. Nothing else. There is a full refund of all monies paid. I told Brian this and he said good. I ordered an air mattress from Nautilus Sleep systems. I told her that our bed frame is a California King waterbed frame and she said that their mattress would fit. So, I ordered the Premier unit. Brian can have his side as firm as he wants it and I can do the same with mine. Right now, looking at our current bed, even when it's made, you can tell which side we each sleep on. Because of the indents. Mine is short and deep. Brian's is longer and less indented. Brian's hated that mattress since the first week we had it. He should have returned it then, the damn thing cost $800.00. But, he didn't. That's why he wanted to make sure about the charges for returning this bed. There was no shipping charge and no sales tax. Anything we would have bought local would have had both those charges. The down side is it will take three to four weeks to get here, via UPS ground. But, it shouldn't be that long since it's shipping from Las Vegas.

It's so very beautiful here right now. It's still cool, but quickly warming up. The plum tree is starting to bud. New leaves are coming up on our other tree. It smells so clean outside. The doors and windows are all opened and the cats are chasing bugs through the yard. Brian mowed the lawns yesterday and watered them this morning, which may be why there aren't too many furry ones on the lawn itself. As the day progresses, I'm sure there will be one or two visible. Yesterday, I was able to get the outside camera to stream like the catcam does. So, if we have wind, you will see the leaves and their shadows moving. And you will also be able to see the cats and dogs run across the yard, playing. To get to the backyard camera, just click on the weather picture at the top right of this page, then click on "live video" once the page loads up. I'm pretty jazzed about it. I just love Southern California. Thinking of the areas that are still having cold and snow, I really appreciate what we have here.

The cats are loving this weather and now that I'm feeling better, I don't hesitate to let them out. The catnip is coming up nicely in the garden and Brian put my new bench together last night and set it up. So, you can find cats in the coolness of their very own garden, laying in the leaves or stretched out on the bench. There is a small windchime hanging from the shop eave, gently chiming out it's tune in the soft breeze that drifts by. The plastic sunflower pinwheel also turns as the air moves along the ground. The grass is starting to grow through the soil I moved when I planted the pepper and tomato seeds. Soon, it will need to be mowed. It's a very peaceful little place.

My mom took me to the chiropractor last week for my Wednesday and Friday appointments. She can't take me tomorrow because she has an appointment of her own, at the radiology clinic. She's finally on the last leg of her treatment. I noticed Wednesday, that her eyelashes are starting to come back in. There isn't much there, it looks like a five o'clock shadow, but you can see them coming back in. I told her this. So, Friday, after my appointment, she tells me that when she got home Wednesday, she put mascara on. And there was nothing to put it on. She said she had black clumps and globs on her face. It was waterproof mascara and she had a real mess going. I asked her to stop. She kept making me laugh. It hurt my butt cheek to laugh. I explained this to her as I begged her to please change the subject. She didn't care. She can be a cruel woman.

Brian is off working on his tractor today. I'm doing laundry. I would really like to vacuum, but I don't think it's a good idea, not yet. Tomorrow, I will begin the end of the taxes. Hopefully, I'll be done by the end of the week.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2000 The visit with the chiropractor was mixed. My back is doing better, but my blood pressure is not. If you've never been to a chiropractor, it's a brand new experience. He touchs certain points on your body and depending on the response he gets, he can tell what's wrong. Everything is good on me but my adrenals. And they are real bad. Usually, my bp drops between the time we start and the time we finish. Not yesterday. But I figured I had to drive myself (mom got tattooed for her radiation) and I was worried about having an accident because of my leg. Stepping on the gas wasn't a problem, but holding the brake pedal down was. Sure, I can use my left leg to step on the brake, but if something happened suddenly, I may not have time to react accordingly. *sigh* So, he told me to keep icing my back and to stay away from stress. Here I always thought I was so laid back. I guess I'm not. He advised putting off paperwork and taxes until we can get this thing down. Okee dokee.

Tomorrow, though, my mom is going to take me for the appointment. That's good because she is funny and I do like talking to her. I guess we've been seeing enough of each other that we're starting to relax more. And that's good when I go into the doc's office. Her radiation therapy starts Thursday. When she went yesterday, a family friend took her. She was scared spitless. First off, she doesn't like riding on the freeways. This guy did, almost caused two accidents, put the pedal to the metal and was going eighty miles per hour. She asked him to please take her home the back way and he did. The long way back. So, she's picking me up Thursday and she'll drive to her appointment, but I'll be with her to give her directions.

My mom lives in a mobile home and a trailer about four down from her burned to the ground early Monday morning. The woman who lived in it, died. She was a heavy, heavy smoker. I guess she was also careless. There are reports that she used wooden stick matches to light her cigarettes and she would just let them drop on the floor, even though they weren't put out. She had only been there about six months. She came down from Oregon to take care of her sister's effects after her sister died. She refused any type of help from anyone. At one point, the neighbors heard breaking glass and worried, they went to ask if everything was okay. The woman was smashing pictures on the floor because she didn't want to pack them. And she had many boxes filled, but hadn't done anything with them. As one resident put it "she was an accident waiting to happen". It sounded like she didn't have too many friends. Well, I guess it doesn't matter any longer. What bothered mom was people were calling her to see if she was okay. The first call was at 3am. She said "I'm answering the phone, aren't I?" LOL!!

All of the cats seem to be doing okay, knock on wood. A couple of days ago, I started letting Rusty have DeeJay's leftover catfood and he's been in the bathroom for about an hour now, crying for me to come in there and let him have what's leftover. I know that DeeJay likes this food and Rusty demolishes what is left. So, maybe I'll start letting him have it later. We've had a few cat spats around and last night, when Jackie let me pet him I found a couple of scabs on his neck. I have no idea who did that to him. He and Lisa have gotten into it a couple of times. She's so strange. She'll follow him around and when he looks at her, she stops and growls. Reminds me of kids in a schoolyard. I keep telling Brian I think she has a crush on Jackie. PetePeteParakeet, is as adorable as ever. He's not coming into the bedroom so much anymore and waking us up. Maybe since I've been sleeping on the couch, that's disrupted his schedule. Gracie has been super affectionate. She's taken to sleeping on the stools in front of the kitchen counter and whenever you walk into the kitchen, she does her little trilling "hello" and starts purring. Pepper's still playful and she's so cute. Just a little bitty thing. Ciara gets really wound up in the morning and jets all through the house. It's pretty amusing to watch. And if she's in this mood and you're walking down the hallway, she runs along with you. It's so cute.

Guess I'll go do another load of laundry. I've been trying to catch up with stuff, but I'm not having much luck.

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Sunday, April 09, 2000 Boy, time just drags when you're in pain. And pain is a drain, wears you right out. I was surprised to see how long it's been since I've written here.

Not much is happening, really. Luckily, everybody seems to be doing okay. We have the little spats. I still think Lisa has a crush on Jackie. Whenever there's a little growling and hissing going on, you can usually find Lisa, with Jackie nearby. Now, keep in mind, Lisa is doing the pursuing. Even if they go outside, she follows him. Before this started up, she spent most of the day in the bedroom.

I started sleeping in bed again a couple of nights ago. I've been sleeping fine until between three and four am, when I wake up with my leg just throbbing. This makes no sense at all to me. It's not like I'm taking pain killers which wear off. I think my sleeping on the couch also managed to change little Pete's schedule, because he doesn't come purring so early in the morning any longer. I get to sleep more. And since I've been taking these supplements, I've been sleeping well. I wake up rested. I love it.

My blood pressure wasn't being co-operative. It goes up at the doc's office, which is one of the reasons for the supplements. I'm taking calcium, B6 and on my own, I started with potassium (which helps the heart) and St John's Wort, a relaxer. Like I said, I'm feeling better, more relaxed. I notice that little things don't irritate me like they had. And the doctor told me on the Friday visit (which Brian also had some work done, he's pretty stiff) that I needed to do nothing and just relax. Sorry, but I'm not one to just relax. It's hard for me to sit still. Yesterday, I washed my bathroom floor, cabinet doors, walls, mirror and counter because it was so depressing in there. Figure everything is white and with cat pee on it....... I just couldn't stand it. I would really love to vacuum and dust. I also have to finish the taxes. And let's not forget the cats. The little spats they have, trying to get comfortable on the sofa and to have a cat take my place when I get up, then I have to move the cat. Trying not to step on a cat walking anywhere in the home. Keeping the litterboxes clean, something that Brian absolutely hates doing. And he wants me to relax? Brian's been alot of help, I'll admit. He's been doing the laundry (not putting mine away, though, because he doesn't know where it goes), dishes, even most of the cooking. Even did the litterboxes once, but they need to be done at least every other day.

Speaking of things that raise blood pressure, I don't recall if I mentioned my problems with Netlink back in February. Now, I do know I've talked about losing our networks because of the NAB. Well, we got those back. But back in April, 1999, I paid for a full year of east and west network programming. I didn't have it for that long, they shut it off. Well, I never got a credit or a refund. So, this year, for some reason the invoice they sent was for the incorrect amount. I got a discount for the networks (because we got them back, except there are no west coast feeds anymore). I guess that was wrong. But, I would think, in a case like this, that the invoice is the contract. And I paid it. Well, last night, I went on over to WPIX. It was blocked. I paid for it. I checked out KTLA. Same thing. So, I find my invoice, call Netlink. I was told they couldn't find the invoice number and that my account had a "do not renew" notation on both WPIX and KTLA. I was mad. I could feel my blood pressure rising. Now, I understand that the people I talk to are problem not well paid and really don't know what's going on. But I'm sitting here, with the invoice in my hand and I'm being told "there's no such invoice". It finally came down to if I wanted the stations, I would have to pay for them again, and to get a refund, send them a copy of the invoice. This really pissed me off because it was their error, not mine. Why should I be put on the hot seat? Why should I pay more? And I thought this had all be taken care of back in February anyway. At least, that's what I was told. So, I started talking about complaining to the Better Business Bureau. I told her I thought this was crap. She says "would you like to talk to somebody else?" Yes. Please. So, I'm put on hold and another woman comes on the line. Right off the bat, she tells me that there is no such invoice. I'm holding the damned thing in my hand, how can there be no such invoice? Fortunately, she was a little easier to work with and I was able to fax a copy of the invoice right away. I told her not to hang up on me, that I didn't want to have to call back. It took almost an hour from start to finish, but hopefully, it's straightened out. What happened is after I was sent my invoice, the "network discount" was no longer available. But that wasn't my problem. Or so I thought. They took the payment for WPIX and KTLA and put that toward the full price of the network programming. Wrong thing to do. And, I also made it a point that last year I paid for a full year's service of six network stations and actually only received one station. So, I should have had a big credit for that. If this happens next year, I'll cancel service with them and go with another provider. This is two years in a row now that I've had to fight with them. I won't do it again.

My mom's radiation treatment went well. She came by and picked me up and I rode with her to the clinic on Thursday. She had me rolling on the way home, tears of laughter running down my face as she explained what she had been doing to try to get the wig to stay on her head. See, she got the wig with a full head of hair (and she has really thick hair). Since her hair has fallen out, the wig doesn't fit as well. She did fine on her own Friday. She told me Friday morning, when she took me to my doctor (I was still worried about my leg cramping up when driving), she told me about the neighbor's son driving up. She hates having her driveway blocked and he does this all the time. She was waiting for him outside. As it turned out, he parked at his parents. Got out of his truck, asked her how she was doing. "Fine, but I was thinking I might have to get pissed off" referring to him parking on her side. He started laughing, told her "I thought you were born that way". It looks like mom and I are getting more relaxed around one another. Maybe it's because one of the stresser's in her life, her neighbor, is gone. And she's on the last leg of her treatment, too. That could lift one's spirits.

About my doctor's visit Friday. He went over my x-rays with me, the one's he took on my first appointment. Boy, my back has a lot of little things wrong with it. And my neck is the worst. He compared a more normal back x-ray against mine. The neck is supposed to be curved with equal spacing between the vertebrae. Mine is not. My neck is almost straight and there is almost no spacing at all between the vertebrae. It's most likely due to the car accident we were in when I was sixteen, thirty years ago. I got carsick, so I would lay down in the backseat and sleep. A drunk driver ran a stop sign (he died) and broadsided our car, right into the door where my head was. I lost an inch. The only thing I was treated for was a broken back and broken sternum. I was lucky. But there looks like there was also cartilage damage to my neck and all of these years I've been compensating when I walk, sit up, stand, whatever I do with my neck and it's throwing off the rest of my back. And the pressure on my neck could be one of the problems behind my high blood pressure. He said since there may not be a straight flow of blood to my brain, my heart has to pump harder, raising my pressure. There were a couple of other things he found that will be nice if what he does takes care of them. Like my sinus problems. There go the headaches. And he also said my pelvis was tilted (one of the compensations my back made for my neck). Somebody mentioned that maybe if he can get that back where it belongs, I may not get the giggle, sneeze and cough piddles anymore. Boy, wouldn't that be a bonus? Anyway, he said this will all take time and he gave me a schedule, a year's worth of therapy. I don't care, if he can make me feel better, I want to feel better. Heck, until I hurt my back, I thought I *did* feel good. What did I know? It would sure be nice to be able to get my blood pressure down naturally, without prescription medication. I'll be going three times a week for the first month, then two times a week, then once a week, then every other week and for the last six months, once a month. We paid for it in advance, saved almost $250.00. I kind of figured if we paid for it in advance, then I would be more likely to keep going. Don't want to waste any money.

We're having beautiful weather now. I asked Brian last week, when he next mowed the lawn if he would turn the swing around so I could sit in it. He did. Now, I can sit in the swing and not be self conscious about people on the internet seeing me in it (you know, the live video on the weather page). My tomatoes are coming up, but I haven't seen any of the pepper seeds sprouting as yet. The catnip is doing great, too. I think next to autumn, spring is my next favorite season. I look foward to the warmth.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2000 This feeling bad is getting old. It's been almost a month now. I want to be back to normal and I want it NOW. I want to be able to pull weeds, and vacuum, and dust without pain. I want to do laundry. I want to be able to sit comfortably. I want to do again.

Monday, we went to the chiropractor in the afternoon. Once again, my blood pressure was high. And he couldn't relax me down. For some reason, just the idea of having it taken raises it. So, he wants me to kind of hypnotise myself into having normal BP. I'm supposed to repeat it over and over in my head, to convince my body that my blood pressure is normal. And he also did some other testing, emotional testing. Now, I think this is farfetched, okay? I'm not really one for regular medicine, let alone alternative medicine. It seems that one of my problems is from something that happened when I was in utero, five months along. And it happened with my dad. Something to do with low self esteem. Well, I can believe that, totally. Mom did have a very sharp tongue and who knows what she said to him. I wouldn't doubt that she got angry and who knows, said something like I wasn't even his. I am a "seven month" baby. Well, seven months from marriage to birth. I doubt that it was seven months from conception to birth, cause I was a big baby, no low birth weight here. Even when I was older and dad was cheating on mom, I could understand it because she was so mean to him. But he treated her like a workhorse and I think he had girlfriends throughout their entire marriage. No wonder I'm screwed up. LOL!!

So, I think one of the reasons I'm a little down is because after the Monday treatment, we went shopping. First stop was Wal-Mart and Brian bought a ton of stuff for the trailer. New dishes, pots and pans, flatware, glasses, geez, the kitchen will have better stuff than our kitchen here at home. I told him that I wanted a DVD player. *grin* They didn't have any there, so we went to CostCo. I got a Pioneer model and two disks, The Sixth Sense and For the Love of the Game, with Kevin Costner. We're big Costner fans. (By clicking on the banner below, you can save ten dollars when you spend forty. It's only good through the 23rd, so if you're interest, do it soon.)

$10 off $40 at Reel.com

We also got a bunch of other stuff, more stuff for the trailer. Between the two stores, we spend almost $800.00. Cough. But we haven't done any shopping to speak of since my sciatica started. And the trailer does need to be stocked.

And yesterday, the bed showed up. I kind of helped Brian put it together. I couldn't do the bending or stretching thing because it hurt. And I also set up the DVD player, got rid of the oldes VCR, which hadn't been working right. I did quite a bit within the last two days and this morning, my body let me know it was too much, too soon. Add to that, the smell of the new bed, I woke up with a splitting headache.

Oh, that bed, it's wonderful. I really like having a firm bed. Brian's side isn't nearly as hard as mine. You can even tell by looking at it that my side is firmer than his. I like this bed. I'll like it even better when the new smell is gone. Brian doesn't know if he liked it or not last night. But it was the first night. One problem we're gonna have is making the bed. We placed it in the existing waterbed frame and there is very little room to tuck the bed clothes into. I complained about the other bed, well, this one is worse. But we both hate or furniture in there, it's dark. I like light wood and Brian's feeling the same way. He bought the bed for me before we were married, he picked it out. Back then he was used to what was at his mom's house and her furniture was dark wood. He said next month we'll probable be getting new bedroom furniture. Oh, boy!! The cats don't care for the noise that is made when inflating or deflating the mattress. Annie was off like a shot last night when I let a little out on my side. Poor kid. I hope they get used to it.

The dogs next door have been howling all morning. I hate that.

I think I miss Pete waking me up in the morning. He's getting so independent. At least he still lets me pick him up and give him smooches.

Well, guess I should work on the taxes.

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Friday, April 14, 2000 YAY!!! I finished the taxes yesterday!!! Well, last night, really. I had it down to where we only owed $15,000.00 to the fed yesterday morning. We needed to get IRAs and I had thought about doing it online. I called about it and the thing was, they needed a signature. Which meant snail mail. Which meant it wouldn't be done by Monday. So, I called the bank to see if they were doing IRAs on Saturday. She thought so, but she checked to make sure. Nope. So, I paged Brian and we had to go down to the bank. I feel like crap (still, it's amazing how worn out this sciatica makes me, it's better, lots better, but it still bothers me, kind of like when you're really, really cold, you know how fingers and toes just ache? Well, that's how my leg feels now) and wasn't looking forward to going, but it had to be done. That finished, we get back and I resume work on the taxes. I finally get them done, hurray!! I print them out and uninstall Turbo Tax, hand the stuff to Brian to sign. He's looking at it. The utilities are broken out. There's the phone, $2200.00. Great. I already had it listed separately. I guess this is one of the things the program imported. Spit. This is so frustrating, how could I have overlooked it? Ah...here we go, it ignored the trash payments. *sigh* I reinstalled the programs, then redid the taxes. We owed a little more now, but not much. I wrote out the checks and had the paperwork ready for Brian to sign this morning. And this year? Brian says we'll make the estimated payments on time. Good. I'm thinking that may be one of the reasons I kept putting these things off to begin with, knowing that we were gonna end up paying. Oh, and we had to pay almost twenty thousand, not the fifteen I had hoped for. Other little imports I hadn't noticed til the second draft. The state wasn't too bad, though. I never made any payments to them last year and we paid less than six thousand. Brian made less last year than the year before. He'll be making less this year. Remember last year, he did that big job in Phoenix. Oh, it's nice to have them finished.

Remember I got the movie channels for my mom last December? And I paid for six months worth? I had explained to her then that she may get some really low bills, but then she would be getting the regular bills. She was paying $33 at the time and with the movie channels, it went up to $50. I thought I had explained it to her clearly. Well, she got one bill for four dollars, one month didn't get a bill at all. And yesterday, she got a full bill. Boy, was she flipped out. She called and cancelled. You know, I thought I had explained it to her, but she just didn't get it. I told her you take the payments you've made, divide by the number of months you've had the service and the rate should work out to $33. Nope, she didn't want to be bothered. To be honest, I'm kind of irritated about the entire thing. I wanted to pay for the movie channels, not the cable bill, which is what I ended up doing. *sigh*

It's cloudy today. We're supposed to be having rain this weekend. We had some last night. It's kind of nice. My pepper seeds are starting to sprout. The bell and the jalapenos are up. Cool. The catnip is growing like a weed. It gets these little green worms on it and I just shake the plant and squish the worms. I saw a lizard in there the other afternoon. Hope it was eating worms.

I didn't cook the cats' chicken yesterday, so I did it this morning. They are working on the water pipes up the street and the water is supposed to be shut off today. I had let all the cats out this morning and Brian said that I should take a shower in his bathroom. My tub was filled with water so that I'll be able to use the toilet. I'll use the water in the tub to flush the toilet. Well, I finished with the shower and Brian left. I took the cooked chicken out of the pan to cool. Got dressed and started working on you, dear diary, went out into the kitchen and heard growling. Jackie had an entire chicken breast. I can't even believe it. I got another one and split it between the other cats. Jackie looks at me "can I have some more, please". No, you get out of here, you've had more than your share, you little spit.

It's getting chilly here. Think I'll bundle up on the couch and watch a movie. It will be nice to relax without the taxes hanging over my head.

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lisaviolet is fifty 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.








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