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Tuesday, 07/29/2003 - 10:54 AM PDT
The topic: There are ants all over my desk

Tuesday, July 29, 2003 Gah, there are ants all over my desk. I hate ants. I think they're up here for the remnants of Annie food. Ironic, since I quit feeding Annie on the desk last week. See, she's getting fat. It happened so gradually, that it hit me all at once. She can barely even run, she waddles. I had started feeding her on the desk because the boys (Richie and Opie) would chase her when she ate on the floor. I didn't realize that was the only exercise she was getting. So, now, her Sensible Choice food is on the floor and she has to climb down to get to it. She cleaned up the crumbs on the desk, I think, though, that there must have been some little dried pieces of chicken that I never cleaned up. And this morning, the ants found them.

I see this morning I haven't made an entry in well over a week. Boy, time flies when it's hot and muggy. And it also helps that my chair is broken and very uncomfortable. I ordered a new one this morning from OfficeDepot, using my IGive affliliation. I'll get a little money back on that. I've spent some time in the sun, other times just trying to keep cool. Although the past week wasn't action packed, some things did happen that I'd rather not have happened.

The weekend before this past one, the weekend of my last entry, I was checking Junior over for lumps and bumps, giving him belly scratches. I noticed two lumps on his left side that were similar to the limpoma that Buddy had. And I knew I wasn't going to let them progress to the point that Buddy's had, where Buddy could no longer walk without effort. Then on his other side, close to his right front legpit and on the front of his back knee, there were some different looking lumps, more like big fat moles. Monday morning, I called the vet to make an appointment for Junior to have the lumps checked as well as have his fructosamine level checked, to make sure we had his diabetes under control. The appointment was made for late Tuesday afternoon.

And that same Monday, Brian called to me to come get our bathroom scales and put them in the trash. Some cat who shall remain nameless (but here's a hint, his name rhymes with Loliver), peed on the scales, and the digital part of them was flooded with urine. It was pretty gross and I felt honored to be the one to toss them. Ick, the urine was dripping out of them, it was nasty. We checked on scales at CostCo, but they only had one, a big ugly one, one that just begged to be peed on. We didn't get it. I picked one up yesterday at Wal-Mart, a small one, lightweight, which we can just put in the cabinet below Brian's bathroom sink.

I guess you could say it was a busy Monday. We also went by Sears where I got a new sewing machine. My old one wouldn't work. Sure, we could have paid to get it repaired, but that most likely would have been almost as much as a new one. I'm sure I mentioned earlier that I hadn't used the old one in quite a while and when I did try a couple of years ago, I got a big shock when I stepped on the power pedal. It was full of urine and urine and electrical current get along quite nicely, thank you. I ordered a new power pedal and just got around to trying it out. The machine had power, but the material didn't feed. I tried all sorts of things to get it working again, but nothing worked. And I also noticed that the needle was broken, which indicated that I'd given up at an earlier time. If the machine had been functioning properly, there sure wouldn't have been a broken needle. And I also needed a new cabinet. The old one made me very nervous. It was particle board and the years of (do I need to say this again?) cat urine had thrashed the bottom of it, where the casters were. I did an online search, found a nice model for $159, a Kenmore. And I found a cabinet very similar to the one I already had, just a little nicer. It was $189. *sigh* A lot of money, but I'm thinking to myself 'I've got this chest full of material, I've got many patterns and I do need new clothes. I like to sew, might as well take advantage of it.' Brian was off that Monday, so we went to Sears after he'd finished washing the Ranger. We had to wait for the saleswoman, who was helping someone else with a FloorMate.

Now, we all know I love my FloorMate. I watched the saleswoman work the FloorMate and amused, I went over to help her out. I told the people looking at it, that I absolutely love mine. The saleslady said that she'd like to show the people how to use it, but it wouldn't turn on. I laughed and told her that she wasn't turning it on, she was setting the machine to wet/dry pickup. I showed her where the on/off switch was and talked some more with the people looking at the machine. The woman was concerned about the filter, the machine comes with only one and I told her you can get them online. She gave me her email address and when I got home, I couldn't find who I'd gotten mine from, did a search and found a place where you can get a pack of six for $49.00. A good price when you know that normally they sell for $11.95 each. I sent her the URL, but never heard back. If she did reply, she most likely got caught in one of my filters. Oh, well.

Anyway, the ended up buying the machine and I laughingly told the saleslady "I should get a commission for that". Then I pointed out the sewing machine I wanted and also asked about the cabinets. Well, the cabinets aren't in stock any longer, they have to be ordered. I found the one I wanted, gave her my ten dollar off coupon. She had to ring up the machine separately from the cabinet for some reason. I paid for the machine and she was having a really difficult time ringing up the cabinet. She called her manager and was told they no longer make that model. Then we tried a different model with the same results. She said she'd call me when the problems they were having got resolved. Oh, and she was giving me a 10% customer satisfaction discount for my help with the FloorMate sale! Wasn't that cool? Now, I see them all over on the internet, which I called her up that afternoon to tell her. She said they'd just got it figured out and that she was just getting ready to call me and let me know that the cabinet I originally wanted was ordered.

I was really excited about the new machine. When we got home, I tried putting it in my old cabinet with no luck. The holes didn't match up. I'd have to wait for the new one. I did get out a work table that I use for my shirts and set that up in the family room. I put the machine on top of that and got it threaded and did the towels for Brian (he takes full size bath towels, cuts them up to use for car washing; I sew the edges so that they don't unravel). I found that I couldn't hear the television, so I got the wireless earphones, the second Leapfrog receiver I'd ordered (for the stereo in the shop, so that I could listen to what was playing in the house, out by the pool, but there was too much interference and it never did work correctly, although it works nicely here in the office) and set it up. Victory! I could hear the television, see the screen and sew all at the same time! I'm ready!

Then it was Tuesday, time to take Junior in. The vet checked Junior over, said he looks good. He had lost five pounds since his last visit. At first, it looked like he's lost close to ten pounds, but one of his legs wasn't on the scale. Brian put him back on while we were waiting and got the new, better reading of fifty seven pounds. The doc looked in Junior's eyes, said it was good, no diabetic cataracs. He said that as bad as this sounds, the best thing that ever happened to Junior was the diabetes. Because he's in such good health now. Then he looked at the lumps. The ones on the left side, the ones like Buddy had, were lipomas and the vet showed me the range of motion of Junior's leg, that they would never interfer with his walking. He did a needle aspirate, though, just to make sure it wasn't anything else. Then he looked at the two on Junior's right side. He did a needle aspirate of those. Then he took blood for the fructosamine test. We put Junior back on the floor and I noticed a couple of blood spots on my shirt. We found they were coming from one of the right side lumps. This didn't bode well. None of Buddy's ever bled. Bleeding lumps are scary. The vet came back in and said that the left side lumps were lipomas and they were nothing to worry about. But the right side lumps, well, they weren't good. They were mast cell tumors. He said that the fact they were both on the same side was purely coincidental. He took us through the various stages of mast cell cancer, and the various treatments. He told us that 90% of the dogs he's seen with this are still alive four years later. And of the 10% who were no longer around, most of them died from other things, not the mast cell. His initial treatment was to surgically remove the tumors, with a considerable amount of surrounding tissue. He'd send the tumors out for a more detailed test, and we'd take it from there. At this point, though, it seems as if he feels the surgery will be enough. He explained the special precautions he'd take due to Junior's diabetes. We were to only give Junior a half dose of insulin the morning of surgery, let him drink as much as he liked, just don't feed him. We could feed him normally when we brought him home. During the surgery, Junior would be on an IV drip to regulate his blood sugar so that there wouldn't be any problems while our Chew Diddly dog was under. When I paid the bill, I was told the first opening was Thursday, July 31st. But when she looked at the book more closely, she found an opening for Monday, July 28th. Yesterday.

We took him in a little after eight, I signed all of the paperwork and we left. I knew he was in good hands. Brian did tell me that I really needed to get Junior a new collar, since the old one is too big for him. To keep myself from being too nervous, I kept myself busy yesterday.

When I got home from the vet, I called my mom to see if she was dressed, had eaten, taken her pills. She had, why? Because I thought this would be a good time to take her to Wal-Mart to get her the new lawnmower she'd wanted. That was okay with her. I dashed out of the house and over to pick her up, where we headed on over to the El Cajon Wal-Mart. We only got one cart, but ended up needing two. I parked by the garden center exit and we went in the front entrance. I got some different flavors of Fancy Feast, and ironing board, a new bathroom scale and some other stuff. When we were in the cat aisle, I pointed out the squeaky mice, told mom she should get one for her cats, since ours like them so much. She put one in her cart, along with cat food for her cats. We made our way to the garden center and looked at the plants. I picked up a couple more for my flowering area (I found out this past weekend I've got bugs eating my flowers. :angry (I searched our shop for insecticide, but found very little, not enough to do the entire bed. I sprayed what I could, it does look like it helped somewhat, but I really needed more.) I got some spray on Sevin, the kind you attach to the hose. I figured I'd read the label when I got home. Some of the plants I got are small, ones which don't spread, but do get kind of bushy. I figured I could plant those by the alyssum, which is doing so well, but there's all this white, it really needs some more color. Then we went inside and picked out the lawn mower, one of the nice old men put it in mom's cart (she was flirting outrageously, it was so cute).

We checked out (the checkout woman was so sloooooow) and loaded up the Bronco. We got to her house and unloaded her stuff, then began to put her mower together. It probably took about forty-five minutes, it was so danged hot, sweat was pouring off of me. Miraculously, it cooled off once we'd finished. Go figure. She was quite pleased with her new little machine and I was happy for her. I drove home, then parked and started doing the unloading of my purchases. I took the flowers out back, put them by the pool. I took the Sevin into the shop, got the scale working (it's so cute, it's really small, lightweight and it's digital; of course, I had to weigh myself, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it might be, hopefully I'll see another loss Friday), stacked the catfood and just relaxed.

Shortly after, UPS showed up with my new cabinet. It was heavy and it needed to be put together. I took everything out of the box, looked at the instructions, then figured I'd wait for Brian. I took everything into the exercise room. About forty five minutes later, not knowing what I wanted to do, but knowing I wanted to be busy, I decided to put it together. I probably took me about an hour and a half to get it all together and I was quite pleased with my efforts. Except the machine wouldn't drop in like it should. It took me another two hours to figure out I'd put the back brace board in upside down. Fortunately, Brian was home and I didn't have to completely take it apart as he held up the pieces as I turned the back board over. The machine dropped in perfectly.

I had called the vet around 4:30 to see if Junior was ready to come home. Yes, he was. Really ready. Brian and I got in the Bronco, Brian spying the new collar I'd gotten Junior. "Why'd you get that one?" he said, obviously not pleased with my choice. Well, it was the only one the size we needed that wasn't nylon. Brian said he thought we'd discussed getting a nylon collar, that snapped together. Uh, no, maybe you thought about it, but you never said anything to me. He's skeptical of that, but I swear, it's never been in any conversation we've had.

We get down the vet's office, Kelsey brings Junior out, I settle the bill. It was $501, but we get a 10%discount, which really helps. Junior was happy to be going home. When we got home, Junior jumped out of the back of the Bronco, about gave Brian and me heart attacks. I took the lead and walked him back to the side gate and we went into the yard. I took the leash off and Junior was back home. His stitches look awful. On his back leg, the stitched area is a good four inches long. I haven't had a chance to look at the front, I don't want to bother Junior.

Concerned about him being out last night, we fixed up the kitchen/laundry room area for him. I moved the litterbox out and vacuumed up all the loose litter. Brian brought in Junior's big pillow that he likes to sleep on. I put the gate up so that he would have to stay in that area (we certainly didn't need him wandering around and antagonizing Oliver). We gave him a biscuit and a big bowl of water.

Junior hated it. He whimpered most of the night. I thought maybe it was because he was hurting. I'd go out to calm him down. Finally, at around three, I let him back outside. The kitchen and laundry room floors were both very wet. The dog food lid was off. How he managed that, I have no idea. I grabbed some towels from the basket of needed to be cleaned towels and put them on the wet places on the floor. I'd clean it up today. Unable to sleep, I got up and watched him through the screen door. He was panting, but not whimpering or crying. He looked okay. I finally was able to sleep.

The wet floor wasn't just water from the bowl, but he'd obviously also urinated. I'd be putting the FloorMate to use today, that was for certain. He ate well this morning and also took his shot without any sign of discomfort. I am glad our weather is mild right now. I can't imagine if this had happened when it was cold and rainy out, not with the way he didn't like being inside. After Brian left for work, I started my first load of laundry, pulled all of the laundry containers onto the patio and cleaned the kitchen and laundry room floors. They finally dried (we're having muggy weather, things don't dry quickly) and I hauled all the stuff back in and put the litterbox back in it's spot. Back to normal.

Last week I spent hours online looking up attachments for my new sewing machine. I called Sears to find out if I could use other manufacturer's products in my machine. I was told yes, but they had to meet certain specifications. Did I know that they had an attachment kit there at Sears? No? Well, she went through the various presser feet with me and I thought it was an excellent buy. Sixteen different things in one box, for under thirty dollars. So, Saturday morning, off I went to buy one of the kits. I didn't really look through it, I felt I'd have plenty of time to do that when I got the new cabinet and everything in it's place. Well, last night, I started reading the little book that came with it and found I'm missing one piece. I called Sears this morning and I can go down and exchange it for a complete kit. Good deal. Maybe I'll do that after I finish this entry. And take a shower. I smell pretty bad. If I go soon, then I can lay in the sun, providing the monsoonal flow stays away. If it doesn't, then I can finish the sewing projects I started years ago.

Well, that seems that about covers what's been going on the past week. Just another day in the life of lisaviolet.

Stay cool.

Replies: 2 comments

You make me tired just by reading of your adventures! Hope Junior is feeling better!

Posted by Lisa Mc @ 07/29/2003 08:13 PM PDT

Lv, I'm so glad you gave the Floor Mate a good rating. We're going to get one to replace Tim's huge mop and bucket, which he doesn't use often enough because it's too much trouble. :D

Hope Junior's surgery was completely successful.

Posted by Doris @ 07/30/2003 08:38 AM PDT

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.

July 2003

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