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Tuesday, February 15, 2000 Well, I tried to get this going yesterday, but I seem to be running out of steam. I'm just getting sidetracked so easily. There's always something that needs to be done and by the time I sit down to tell what's happening, I put it off til the next day. And then it happens again.

We went to Ranchita Saturday. I think I'm going to like it. We walked our portion of the property (Brian's brother bought the lower forty acres), about a mile and a half. It was windy and had been storming. The air was clear, you could see forever. It smelled so good and so clean. It was absolutely breathtaking. Watching the clouds fly over the mountains, watching the game of hide and seek the sun played, peeking through the clouds, with the shadows on the ground. I'm going to love it.

It's been raining off and on here since last week. "Unstable conditions" is how the weatherman puts it. It's nice, it's clear and it's not too cool and it's not too warm. It's just right. The cats are loving being outside. I like to watch them chase and play with one another. Jackie is chasing flies over on top of the area where Brian dumps the dog poop (he rototils it into the ground every other week). Peter almost has Lonee playing with him. Lonee has been more playful lately. I actually caught her chasing the ball on a cat tracker last week. It's been quite a while since I've seen her do something like that. Red has started to watch for me to go into the kitchen. When he sees me there, he jumps up onto the counter and talks to me. I go over to where he is, lower my head in anticipation of Red head butts and body rubs. Which he gladly gives me, purring the entire time. Brian mentioned something about how Red was mellowing out the other day. Even Jackie is getting calmer. It's looking like both he and Peter will be going in at the same time for neutering. Jackie didn't seem to be feeling well last night, I even held him. But he wasn't feeling bad enough to put up with it for very long. Sometimes I think I worry needlessly about these guys. Last night, I walked into the kitchen, calling Jackie and he came out and gobbled down some chicken breast. And he ate cat food and drank water. He peed okay. And like I said, he's outside playing right now, so he can't be feeling too bad. I did have to chase him away from the flowers with the bees. *sigh*

Well, it's almost one and I've gotten all of the kittens in so that I can do stuff without having to continuously check on them. They were tiring out, anyway.

I think Georgie is running some sort of low grade infection. He isn't acting any differently, it's just that his eyes look weird. Like he's a little under the weather.

It's really been quiet around home. I like it. I can certainly get more done. We watched the Disney Hercules video Sunday morning and then Brian went over to his brother's house to work on his tractor. While he was gone, I started to make a CD. It went pretty well. I was cleaning house while working taping individual songs (that's why rewritable disks and a double CD recorder or two recorders, are the way to go) and I made a couple of mistakes. I had a couple of songs that didn't erase when I thought I had erased them and they were on the disk twice. I didn't catch it until the disk was finished and they were in the middle. So, I just used the skip selection function for the two songs, played the disk on the older recorder and recorded it onto a new disk, on the new recorder, that you can only record on once (but these you can play on regular equipment; the rerecordables you can't). Since there was some time left at the end, I recorded another tune. Then I finalized it yesterday and I'm pleased with how it turned out. Every time we've been shopping, I've tried to get another rewritable CD. I only have one and we bought it when we bought our original CD recorder. It was pricey, twenty bucks. Well, they don't carry the rewritables at Wal-Mart or Target or places like that. I looked online yesterday and found a site where they sell them for $12.99!! I double checked, though, to make sure I was ordering the right thing. Disks for computers are not compatible with audio equipment. I bought five of them. The website is American Digital. I told Brian about it last night when he got home. I told him I bought a lifetime supply. He said "how many? Ten?" I just laughed and said "no, five". Well, maybe it's not a lifetime supply, because they do wear out. You can buy regular TDK-74 or Philips Consumer CD-R74 for audio record once disks for $2.89 each, less if you buy in bulk (over 25). That's probably going to happen if I get hot on making my own CDs. Figure we bought CD players for the car and Brian's truck last year at CostCo and once he installs them, it would be nice to just have some CDs in each vehicle. As long as you record analog, you can record the same CD as many times as you like. But you can only record the same CD twice if you record digital. No big deal to me if it's analog. It's for personal use, anyway.

Brian came home and I still had to vacuum. The house looked and smelled much better. Another thing I figured out Sunday is why the laundry room smells so bad, even though I've been cleaning the litter on a daily basis. We have two laundry hampers in there, one for towels and one for bathroom throw rugs. For some reason, the cats like to pee on the throw rugs, so we have many of those. Brian changes his about every three to four days. Sunday, I realized that the reason it smells so bad in the laundry room is because the peed on throw rugs are just piled up in a hamper. So, that's another thing I'm going to have to watch, is to wash those in a more timely manner, not just let them sit there. Brian mentioned how much better the house smelled when he walked in. That was nice. :-)

Brian cooked dinner, while I finished up cleaning. He made omelettes. We wanted to watch the Homicide movie and time was a wasting (we were planning on watching the Denver feed, which was to start at seven). He took a shower and I finished up the vacuuming in the living room and put the cleaner away. The movie wasn't very impressive. I folded laundry while we watched, putting it away during the commercials.

I got up early yesterday to decorate the catcam chair for Valentine's day. It looked okay. And the cats co-operated. There was a cat in it almost every time I checked. I washed the throw rugs from the tv room and didn't really do a whole lot of anything else. My mom came over and I gave her most of the Valentine's that some of my online friends had sent her. She was really pleased. She called me last night to tell me about them, then mentioned them all again this morning. I guess one of them had a little catnip in it and her cat, Miss E, went nuts trying to get at it. She said she had a nice day. Brian and I didn't do anything. I made guacamole from the avocados that Joe dropped off last week and Brian cooked up some rolled tacos (we buy them premade). In celebration of Valentine's Day, I left the camera on until 11:30. I had planned on leaving it until midnight, but I was tired and there weren't many hits on it that late, so I figured it was no big deal to turn it off. Then I shooed all the cats out of the office and shut down the system. Brian had long been in bed and I went into the tv room to unwind. I laid down on the couch and fell asleep. Then I got up and went to bed. I slept like a rock.

Well, I've only got two more loads of laundry to do. The clouds are coming in from the ocean, more of those unstable conditions. It's still only partly cloudy, but there's a chance of rain tonight and tomorrow. I'm glad the critters got outside to play for awhile.

Rusty is doing better. If I see him walking around, sniffing things, I pick him up and gently put him outside or in a litter box. He's started crying at the door to go out if he has to pee. I make sure to praise him for doing what he's supposed to do. He likes the attention. And it pays off. It seems that working with him the way I have been is more successful than just yelling at him or squirting him with the bottle. I also put him outside when I know he's just woken from a nap. If I have to, I go out with him and walk around the yard, knowing he'll follow me. As we walk, he will stop and urinate. Then, I go into the house and sometimes he comes back in, sometimes he stays outside. But his inappropriate urination is getting better.


Thursday, February 17, 2000 It's still raining off and on. It's definitely sweater weather. I permed my hair yesterday and the instructions said not to shampoo OR condition for forty eight hours. Geez, that don't condition is a new instruction for me. I hate the smell of my hair, even though this perm smelled better than the other ones I've used. I want to wash and condition my hair. I spent at least fifteen minutes in the shower just rinsing my hair. I'll tell you what, my hair sure has a lot more body. I've noticed on some of the shows we watch, like "friends" that flat hair is coming back. Blech. I like my hair when it's fuller with more body.

Last weekend, someone left a message in my guestbook for the webcam. He also left a link to his website. I checked it out. The website said he was thirty miles outside of San Diego. I ask Brian "have you ever heard of Sherilton Valley?". His answer was no. So, he came back into the office and started looking in the Thomas Brothers map. We found the road, but he couldn't find the "area" in the front. It's actually in Descanso, an area we pass on our way to Ranchita. Well, this website has a weather page. I see this page, get a bad case of the "I wants". I want this for my site. So, what, big deal, who wants to see Lakeside, but hey, when we move to Ranchita, it would be so cool. I've got that second webcam, the one I bought last December. So, that's taken care of, as long as I can get it to work at the same time the catcam is working. The catcam is a parallel camera, the other is a USB, with different drivers. I don't know why it wouldn't work. Anyway, I still would need a weather station. So, I checked them out. Whoa, those things aren't cheap. Not if you want bells and whistles. One of the links on one of the software for these stations (to run via your website) said to check out EBay. Being an EBay virgin, I muddled through. Well, one person is selling five of the things. Each is a separate auction. I put in my bid, which is below the reserve, so even if I'm high bidder, he doesn't have to accept. But so far, I'm still high bid on one of them. It's really kind of fun. I can see how people would get carried away.

Yesterday morning, I found some pee in the garage in the cat tracker. A normal thing except there was blood in it. *sigh* So, I started medicating cats again. It's hard when you don't know who's having the problem. I'm doing Boney, Rusty, Gracie and Lucky. I might start doing Ciara. These guys all seem to have changed their pee behavior (well, not Rusty, he's always been a pisser).

I'm having problems with my email again. My incoming mail is bouncing back to the sender. I contacted iname yesterday, sending copies of the bounced mail along with the mention that my regular internet sign up email not having problems. I get back this semi-snotty letter "we aren't your IP, check with them". Excuse me? I was just telling them that the address that the email is supposed to be forwarded to is working fine, that it's an iname problem. I find out this morning that it's still a problem. I called my IP and ended up sending a copy of the bounced mail to them. "It's an iname problem." *sigh*

Hey, if anyone who reads this has ordered anything through my Petsmart link, please let me know. They aren't showing that anything has been ordered, but there have been lots of hits via my link. Thanks.

I saw Chipper this morning. Chipper is Georgie and Gracie's mom. She was one of the first cats we trapped and had fixed. George and Gracie were about eight weeks old at the time, firm members of our family. I took her to the vet and when I picked her up, he told me that she had been pregnant, which took me by surprise. He deals with alot of feral cats and he aborted and spayed her. He told me she was probably four weeks along. That's when I found out that queens can get pregnant within a week of giving birth. It's sure nice to see that she's still around. Being spayed has a lot to do with that. I haven't seen Angus or OC lately. Well, maybe in passing. They were sure a lot more at ease with me when Big Opie was around. The new gutters are great at keeping the entry way dry when it's pouring down rain. Rain can still get in under the skylight (it's just sitting on the roof) and the gutters do their job well. They are much better than the ones Brian had installed before the house was painted and the new roof put on. I'm sure the ferals like it in the rain, too. A dry place with fresh water and food.

It's now sunny outside with those huge fluffy white clouds (gee, if I had my weather station, you could see what I was talking about). I opened the doors up a little so that the kittens can go out. So, here we are, the doors open and Rusty follows me around the house. I went into the bedroom to put on a sweatshirt and he followed me in there. He walked into Brian's shower, back into the bedroom, stood there and started peeing. *sigh* I yelled at him, picked him up and held him in my arms and told him how naughty he was, then put him out back. I only closed one door, but he started crying to get back in. So, I went outside and walked to the back of the yard, knowing he would follow me. He did. He went into the catnip garden, he was still there when I walked back to the house. I'm seriously considering stud pants, the feline version of Attends or Depends, for him. This is getting old.

I just had to chase Jackie away from the bees again. Actually, I tossed a lime at the fence behind him. The noise scared him away. He ran back into the house.

The people behind us have one of the big dogs again, and she had whelped (had puppies). I can't believe how irresponsible those people are and it looks like their kids inherited it. Who knows how many of the strays and ferals around here are from their cats? I haven't fed the cats back there in a long time, because the little dog chased them away and ate the food. No way was I going to feed their dog. When that female starts to bark, Buddy and Junior run back there. Well, Buddy's so out of shape that he wore himself out and could hardly walk yesterday. His back legs were pretty weak. Poor guy. He's doing better this morning. He stayed in the doghouse all night, snug with Junior. He rested well and came out barking this morning.

I found out Tuesday that we have our networks back. Well, only one, we no longer need waivers. The company that provided the feeds of the west coast shows quit doing it. I don't blame them. And then, because so many people were cancelled because of the blockouts, the price went up for those of us who could still get them. That sucks, but it's still worth it, I guess. So, if you had networks and were cancelled, call your provider and see if you can get them reinstated.


Saturday, February 19, 2000 It's the calm before the storm today. According to the weather, the next week is going to be rainy and stormy, almost the entire time. Right now, it's beautiful outside. The nicest day we've had in a week or so. I'm glad it's so mild, because Brian can work on his tractor. Bless him, he did a couple of things around here this morning before he left. He finally fixed the antenna, which hasn't worked since he cut the wires before the new roof was installed. And we've missed the last two weeks of X-Files. He had tried to fix the wire before, but for some reason, the men who originally installed it had spliced the wire together and Brian just couldn't get it back in the correct order. So, this morning, he bought new wire and redid the whole thing. And it now rotates. Yay!! He also mowed the lawn. The house has been opened since about nine thirty this morning and all of the cats could come and go as they pleased. I guess Jackie, Peter and Ciara are worn out. Jackie and Pete are back in the house and Ciara is in the big cat tree. All resting and relaxing. Chasing bugs is a lot of work.

I was supposed to change the sheets yesterday, but didn't get around to it. I swear, I start working on something on my webpage and lose all track of time. Yesterday, it was the postcards. Not that I added any, but I had this wonderful idea that it would be nice if there was someway that people could see what the what the text colors would look like on the table background, and what the table backgrounds would look like on the wallpaper without having to design an entire card. I found lots of color pickers, but no background image pickers. I was searching until after eleven last night. I did find a script for pop up windows I liked, though. And after I shut down and went to bed, I thought of a way to do it. And I did it this morning. It's funny. I look at all the time I wasted looking for an "easier" way to do it. *grin* What it does is uses a popup window, where you can choose a background image. Then, you can open another smaller window which gives you the option of seeing the different table background colors. And all of the text colors are listed out, so you can see what the text colors look like on the table background. One of the reasons I did this is that I don't think people are aware that they can change this stuff. Another is that it takes so long to see what the options will look like. Hopefully, the windows will change that.

Oddly enough, Georgie wasn't a major pain in the butt last night. Maybe it was because Brian was watching tv and I was in here, but George was kind of quiet. I even wondered outloud to Brian if something was wrong with him. Here he is, being the way he should be, and I'm concerned. There's always something to worry about.

The breeze is picking up and the clouds are starting to move in.

I got the weather station, did I mention that? I'm happy. Well, it isn't here yet, and the guy finally sent email yesterday about payment. He uses this system online, it's like wiring money, you can send money to anyone with email, I guess. You have to sign up and register. I did. Then I find out that because the order was over $200.00, I have to wait for confirmation via snail mail and it will probably take between seven and ten days before I get the mail. What the heck is that all about? I emailed the guy and told him, asked him if he knew that was how long it would take. He emailed me back, said to call him Monday. Now, Monday is a holiday. I hope he's there.

And Brian has to work Monday. Well, maybe not if it's raining hard.

I'm so bored right now. I'm tired, too.


Monday, February 21, 2000 I had so much fun with the new popup windows for the postcards, that I added twenty eight more backgrounds yesterday. Enjoy.

Friday, when Brian came home, he handed me a piece of paper with a URL on it. He said you can make free long distance phone calls in the US with it. From your computer. Computer to phone, not computer to computer. Yeah, right. Well, since we have cable access, it most likely wouldn't work for us anyway. Yesterday, somebody mentions it on one of my forums. Her brother called her and she said it was great. What the hell, I figure, I'll try it. I go to their website and signup. It downloads a program to my system. Then, I get set up. I called Brian (who was watching tv) from my computer. He could hear me, but I couldn't hear him. And he said it sounded like I was talking from a box. So, I go to their website again, find the FAQ page. Okay, I have to disable my blocking program. I do. I call him again. I could hear him fine, but he said I still sounded bad. I found the headset that I ordered last year. I hooked it up. He said I sounded better. But I can't run my external speakers at the same time, for music. So, I look for the Y cable I bought when I bought my microphone last year. After hours of going through closets and through drawers and bags of stuff (did I ever tell you that after we got married and moved out of my little house, probably a 600 square foot home that Brian hauled twelve truckloads of stuff I had accumulated to the dump? I'm a packrat) I finally found it. I tried it and I really didn't like what happened. So, I gave up. Alright, so Friday, I got email about paying for the weather station I got from an EBay auction. I was supposed to call him. He's in Maryland. I'm in California. Now, let me tell you something about me that makes no sense at all when I think about it. I have no problem paying for something I buy on the internet or at stores, but utility bills make me crazy. I hate long distance phone charges. For some reason, they really irritate me. So, I figured, I'll try it again this morning, before I call this guy. I call my mom. I knew I should have warned her first. She couldn't hear me. And the call return feature isn't going to work with this type of service. *snicker* "Hello? Hello? [frustrated sigh]." She hangs up. I call her on the regular phone, laughing. That was me, I tell her. I'll probably keep calling you until I get it working. She says that's okay. Well, I think, maybe I should call our home number and just leave a message on the answering machine. So, I get busy. After much trial and error, it turns out that using the regular microphone and the headphone work the best. Using the external microphone and the external speakers gives a feedback echo to the person on the other end of the line. But if I used the headphones to listen and the external microphone, it sounds just fine. I found this out while talking to mom on the phone. She said there was a terrible echo. She held on while I unplugged the speakers and plugged in the headset. She was pleased with the way it sounded. Good. So, we get off the phone. I call the guy in Maryland via the dialpad. Yay!! It worked. If you're interested in using dialpad, there's a little graphic at the top of this page. Just click on it. I'll be adding that to other webpages on my site for convenience.

We had about a half of inch of rain from the storm Saturday/Sunday. I dumped out the rain gauge late yesterday afternoon. Between last night and this morning, we got another inch and a half. We finally get weather. I really wish I had the weather station now. Soon. During the breaks in the storms, I've let the cats out. They don't have cabin fever. Yet. This storm pattern is supposed to hold throughout the week.

Why do people bother sending me good (like there is such a thing) declaw stories? Don't they realize they are wasting their time? SCREAM!!!! And then I respond and then they send another snotty email back and then I respond, usually "remember, emails sent to me about declawing will be posted" but they've usually blocked my address and refused my mail. So, I posted the message from this morning on the EDA messageboard. She was really nasty about people who have had declaw problems. Well, there went most of the day. I set up a mailform for the stories and now there's a big thing at the top about don't send me pro-stories.

We're starting to get thunder and lightning, I should shut down. Brian just put Buddy and Junior in the shop.


Thursday, February 24, 2000 Well, yesterday was a l-o-o-o-o-o-ng day. I don't want many more days like yesterday.

Tuesday night, I noticed that Kirby was licking himself. Alot. Now, regular readers of my diary will know what this means. It means that Kirby is almost blocked. I called the vet around 7 and he said that he had a really bad headache and didn't really want to go back down to the clinic if it wasn't entirely necessary. He told me to keep a close eye on Kirby and if there were any problems, as long as it was before nine, to call him. After nine, we would have gone to emergency. Well, I gave Kirby an amoxicillan and we played a little while. He even fell asleep on my lap. So, maybe I was wrong this time, Kirby would be okay. Yesterday morning, Kirby came into the kitchen with the other cats for his morning chicken and once again, we played. Then, he went into the garage. I saw him, straining to pee in front of one of the litterboxes. *sigh* Does a mother know her children? I went out to him and he ran up into the rafters. Dammit. Meanwhile, Brian came out into the garage and moved all of the stuff around the water heater, because it has been leaking since Sunday night. Not a bad leak, but a drip. He was disgusted at all of the stuff that was there, said that he was surprised we didn't have very sick or dead cats. I guess the old owners of the house had put down bunches of rat poison behind the heater. Well, the cats are okay and the poison is now gone. I waited until eight, then called the vet. I was able to get a 9:45 appointment.

At 9:30, I started to get ready. I got out the carrier and figured I would open the truck. I couldn't find my keys. Anywhere. I looked all over. I checked all of the keys hanging from the hooks. I opened my purse and dumped it out. Nothing. I grabbed one of Brian's sets of keys and went out to open the truck. Wrong set. Back into the house, got the other set. We have a winner. I looked in the back of the truck when I remembered the last time I had them. It was on our last trip to Ranchita. (Been a while since I've driven anywhere.) And I had the camera and camera bag. I went into the exercise room and looked in the camera bag. I found my keys. Whew. Now, I had to get Kirby out of the rafters. I tried putting dried parsley in a ziplock back and shaking it, thinking I could fool him into thinking it was catnip. He knew it wasn't. I don't know how he knew, but he did. All the cats did. Then I remembered the dried catnip in the exercise room from the plant I pulled up from out front last year. I took the bag into the garage and dug in the bottom to get the smaller stuff. The other cats were following me, so I started sprinkling it on the floor of the garage. Kirby perked up a little. I was thinking "come on, Kirby, come on....." I put a little on one of the steps. Then I petted him with one of those cardboard tubes that wrapping paper is wrapped on. He slowly came down to the catnip. I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, carried him tight against me, still holding his scruff, but supporting his body with my other hand and arm, and put him into the carrier. He didn't protest.

We got to the vet a little late, but that was okay because they weren't ready for me. I chitchatted with Shari and held Mew. He was really lovable. Kirby just stayed in the back of the carrier, not making a sound, eyes wide open. Then the room became available and in we went. I opened the carrier and Elena pulled Kirby out while I held the carrier. He did the four paw stop against the sides of the carrier and I had to help her get him out. We did and he was weighed, over thirteen pounds. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Judy came in. He checked Kirby's bladder and said he doesn't have much in it, but he couldn't express what was there. He looked at Kirby's chart and remarked about Kirby having been in back in December. Thinking out loud, he also brought up the point that Kirby doesn't usually block from crystals but from plugs. As we were talking, I noticed that there was residue from a small plug on the examining table. I pointed it out. The doc tried expressing Kirby again, still with the same result as before. None. We talked about the surgery, perineal urethrostomy, where the penis is removed, which enlarges the opening so that the cat won't block so much. The vet expressed his reluctance at performing this surgery because sixty percent of cats who have it done start developing bladder stones. Because the opening is wider and shorter, there is a greater chance of bacteria getting into the bladder, causing the stones. He said if Kirby blocks again before June, that we'll consider it. I asked about diet or drugs, is there anything we can do to prevent this. He reminded me that we've tried everything. "To prevent this," he said, "Kirby's system would have to be so acid that his urine would burn a hole in the floor." Well, heck, that's not an option at all. I can just imagine little acid burn marks all over the house. On the walls, holes in the furniture and ratty carpet. Nah, not an option. We talked a little about Ranchita, I told him about our recent trip there and how beautiful it was, how far we could see in all directions. I told him that Brian was at his brother's, making arrangements to buy windmills. The doc asked about drilling for the wells and I said they're already there. That's good, he said. Done, I left Kirby and, if everything goes as it should, I can bring Kirby home this afternoon. I called this morning and he's doing fine. They are taking the catheter out of him at noon and if he starts peeing on his own, he can come home.

So, I walk out to the truck and there's a river of antifreeze running under my truck. This isn't good, this isn't good at all. Luckily, I only have to drive a half mile to get home. I watch the temperature gauge the entire way, crossing my fingers that it doesn't get too high. I have no idea how long it's been leaking. I get home and there is smoke, no, wait, it's most likely steam from the fluid hitting the hot engine parts, pouring from under the hood. *sigh* I get inside the house and page Brian. He calls, almost immediately. I tell him the truck has a problem and I won't be able to go anywhere until it's fixed. Luckily, he didn't have much scheduled for today. He was at his brother's, where they were ordering windmills for the new property. I went outside when I heard his truck pull in. I said it's the radiator and he said it was a pretty bad leak, the truck left a trail down the street. He went into the house and got the keys, came out and popped the hood. A hose fitting was broken. The hose wasn't one piece, but had a connector with a cap on it. He said that's what Ford uses when they flush out systems. Anyway, he had to go buy a piece to fix it. I figured he'd get home just about in time for the coming rain. I told him about Kirby and as we walked inside, he asked if I'd called the plumber yet. Geez, I just got home, give me a break!! Anyway, I got the phone book and called the local plumber.

They'll be out sometime during the day to install a new one. Now, to get the cats out of the garage. It's cold and yucky outside, most of the cats are in the house. The only cat I see in the garage is Pete and he's in the rafters. I get the stick and play with it, knowing he'll come down to join me. As soon as he's in the house, I shut the garage door. So, now, it's time to wait. A little after noon, the plumber shows up, so I didn't have too long of a wait. He asks if I can open the big garage door. Nope, it hasn't been opened in years. I open the side door and show him the water heater, which is right there. I guess this won't be too bad. He puts the door opener in the open position. He gets the hose and starts to drain the old heater. We chat a little and I let him work. It's getting darker outside. It comes time for him to move the old heater out and he said he sure wished he had a dolly. I guess I looked at him funny and he explained the kind you carry things on. I said we have one. I take him back to the shop and he said "oh, another garage?" and I said no, it's Brian's shop. "Well, he does have his sandcar in here, but he hasn't taken it out in years and wants to get rid of it" I say, making small talk. He takes the dolly out front and guess what? I forgot it had a flat tire. But he was able to use it anyway. When Brian got home a little after that, he told the kid that the valve stem was ripped. And this guy is a kid. Nineteen. I kept pointing out things we had that were older than him. And laughing. I just don't feel forty six. LOL!! I thought it was really funny. Gosh, Bobby would have been nineteen this year. Spit. Rusty and Boney are seventeen. Maybe I should send them out to work. *grin* This kid is married and has a two year old. Anyway, Brian started working on my truck and the kid had the new water heater almost finished when he asked me how much Brian was asking for the sandcar. Oh, boy!! You'll have to ask Brian. I go out front and Brian isn't by my truck. I go into the house. Brian!! Brian!!!!!!!!! Where are you?? I start looking all over for him. I went into the backyard. The sky is no longer spitting. The rain is coming down in earnest. I can't find Brian. I go back out front and hear them talking. The kid's wife wants a dune buggy. Brian took him back to look at the Bronco. It's all covered up right now and you can't see it very well. The kid liked what he saw. You could see his eyes lighting up. The Bronco, besides being a good sandcar, is flashy. Real flashy. When Brian used to show it, he always won for best paint. It looks good out there on the dunes. And, like I said, it runs really good. Brian was telling the kid that it went over the whoop-dee-doos at eighty miles an hour with no problem. The kid's excited. He asks Brian if he can give him so much money down and make payments, and once it's paid off, take it? Would Brian be willing to do that? I'm thinking, this is a good kid. Sure, says Brian. Well, the kid says, I have to talk to my dad about it, because I don't have any place to keep it and it would be at his house. Can we come out this weekend and check it out? Sure, says my husband. The kid had to go get a reducer so that he could connect the vent for the new heater to the ceiling vent. While he was gone, Brian got out his old album with pictures of the Bronco in it. I scanned the ones he picked out and printed them out on glossy photo paper at 1440 dpi. I put the finished product in a big ziplock freezer bag, because it's wet outside. He came back and finished the job. He rang the bell when he was finished and handed Brian the bill. $574.98. I wrote out a check and Brian handed him the pictures. He's stoked. "Is this for me?" he asked. Yes, said Brian. "Well, I'll call you this weekend. It will probably be Saturday." That's okay with me. After he left, I asked Brian how much he asked for it. He said "not enough". I guess he thought that because the kid was so excited. Oh, come on, you were willing to sell it to one of your buddy's for only five thousand. He had told the kid seventy five hundred. I thought that was fair. And the Brian said "well, he will have to get a trailer to haul it." I just like the idea of somebody owning the Bronco that loves it as much as Brian does. And taking as good care of it and showing it off like Brian did. Taking as much pride in it as Brian did. I think this kid will do that. We'll see.

After he was gone, Brian shut and locked the door to outside and opened up the door to the garage for the cats. Now, back to a normal life.


Monday, February 28, 2000 Well, here we are, five days later. I just can't believe how easily sidetracked I'm getting. All is well (knock on wood). Kirby is extremely angry with me, still. He doesn't like the vet and I think it's beginning to take its toll. On both Kirby and the people at the vet's. I heard from at least three people when I went to pick him up how much he hates it there. And he's being very hard for me to pill. Worse than ever. If I can even get him to come down from his spot. I started adding salt to their food again. To make them all drink more water (like Rusty needs this). The vet said that one of the things we could do to help Kirby was to give him fluids once a week and that isn't going to happen. The last time we did that, Brian got so nervous, he made me nervous and I missed. We really upset the cat and that really upset us. It would be different if Brian could handle it better, but he can't. I don't know what he's thinking when he says he wants to raise cattle.

Friday, I spent the day trying to reconcile the business account accounts receivable information. We're having a liability audit on Wednesday and they need our sales receipts and information. I started using QuickBooks last year and I really like it. But there is some sort of problem with invoicing. Some of them show up, but when a payment comes in, the program doesn't *see* that invoice, so it doesn't get applied. We had one contractor owing us $25,000 and having a credit balance of $25,000 in the aging file. I finally figured out that by deleting the invoice and re-invoicing using the same invoice number, I was finally able to get the money applied correctly. Add to that the fact that I haven't filed any invoices since 1997. Another thing I do is make copies of all checks we receive and attach them to the invoice they pay for. Well, guess what? I hadn't attached the checks since last August. What a mess I had. Oh, and there were a couple of sales that Brian made that I had input as "cash sales" and the aging list said they were unpaid. How the hell were they unpaid? So, I figured I would just make invoices for those payments, then apply the payments to those invoices. Didn't work that easily. I had to back out the deposit, delete the payment, void the cash sale, input the invoice, accept payment for the invoice, then make the deposit. On one of the sales, I couldn't get the initial deposit to void out. It was there, but the program couldn't find it to delete it. I had stacks of paperwork all over my desk and it got pretty frustrating at times. On top of that, the cats joined me and all demanded my undivided attention, which wasn't gonna happen. They sat on the paperwork and I had to move them. DeeJay decided he would lay on the towel in front of the monitor. But first, he had to stand there for about forty-five minutes. Well, that wasn't exactly an option. Boney came in here and stood and looked at me and kept crying. I gave him food. I turned on the water in the tub for him. He just came back in here, sat and looked at me and cried some more. Pete wanted to lay in my lap. Georgie wanted to eat. Have I ever mentioned that he will eat about four pieces of kibble at a time, leave, come back and want more? I tell you, I was getting so frustrated that I ended up putting every cat, except for Ciara sleeping in the box on the bookshelf and Pepper, who was sleeping in the catcam chair, out of the office and shutting the door. I must have chased five cats out of here. Getting work done became much easier then. I finally finished at about six pm. I still have to print out the final forms, but that will be it.

Saturday, I had every intention of adding the guest pictures to my site. It's been so darn long, that I have to compare the dates on the picture files to the dates in my email. And ever since getting the catcam up and running, there is some sort of problem with my Eudora. It quits working. I have to reboot the computer to get it to work. So, I ended up doing other stuff. I noticed that this really fun game by the name of "Cliffie" based on the Cliff Clavin character was now available for use on websites. I downloaded it. Got it set up. And the high score function doesn't work. I spent all day Saturday, trying to find out why. Well, I did. The java points at the original authors' homepage. And the original authors are nowhere to be found. Every email I sent to every address I could find for them bounced back to me. Grrr.... I left messages on every Java forum I could find. No answer. I'm not surprised. These forums generally aren't monitored and the only posts are people asking for help. I even went to one site and sent an email offering to pay for them to get the script working. No answer. Yet. This is really frustrating and I'm pretty tempted to learn Java myself. But when would I have the time? Obviously, I didn't get the guest cats up. But the game is playable, it's just that the high score doesn't work.

Sunday morning started like any other morning. I opened the door to let whatever cats out and then went into the kitchen to split up their chicken. I was surprised that Georgie wasn't in there, but figured he was still sleeping. By the time the chicken was all eaten, I decided to look for George. He wasn't in the house. It seems that he was left out again Saturday night. Luckily, it didn't rain. I had to go out and look for him. I found him by watching Maggie, who was sniffing at the tube in the backyard. He came out very slowly, very wary. I picked him up and brought him into the house, where he spent most of the day sleeping. But Sunday night, he wanted back out. He is just so pitiful when he cries. But I have noted one thing. If we turn out all of the lights in the house and just have the tv on, he isn't as intent on going back out. He usually just goes into the bedroom and falls asleep on the bed.

Our plans not formed with the exception of needing cat food. I guess our bottomless bowl ran out. I asked if we could go to breakfast since it was in the area of the petstore. Brian said no problem and after I showered and dressed, off we went. The IHOP we usually go to had people waiting outside. Forget that. There was a new Denny's in the area and we drove by it. Not opened yet, they were training people. I told Brian I'd cook breakfast when we got home. We went into Wal-Mart to get a new litterbox. Brian wanted to put a covered one in the office because they are so messy with kicking litter out. We also needed more enzyme cleaner. While we were there, we looked at comforters for the sofas in the living room. I didn't like any of them but did see some solid color blankets which would do just fine. Except they didn't have four of the same color. We would go to another Wal-Mart, one a couple of miles away. It seems that the Santee Wal-Mart had an awful lot of empty shelves. The El Cajon Wal-Mart always seems to have more stuff. We checked out of that store, then went to the petstore, where we got one bag of catfood (which reminds me, I have to go order some more) and a couple of toys on sale, and I got two Chinese algae eaters for the small tank in the living room. I have a Beta and a goldfish in it and I've tried plecostomas fish in there, but they get eaten. I was warned against the Chinese algae eaters because they are too aggressive, but hopefully, they won't get eaten. Then we drove to the El Cajon Wal-Mart. They did have four of the same color of blankets. While we were in that area, I had a brilliant idea. How about buying a couple of those plastic tablecloths to put under the blankets on the furniture? To keep the pee from soaking into the cushions? Brian figured it was worth a try. We found some really thick white ones with flannel backs and got three of them. The basket loaded, we left. Once home, I started breakfast and started the washing machine so that I could get the new icky smell off of the new blankets. Once the first two were washed and dried, I took the old blanket off of the chair. I had put down a piece of aluminum foil on the cushion, under the blanket to keep any new urine from getting into the cushion I had spent so long in washing recently. It worked. The blanket was wet and the cushion was dry. I threw the foil away and cut the tablecloth to size, then put the new blanket over it. It's going to work!! When I wash the blankets, I'll be able to just wipe down the tablecloths with enzyme cleaner. And, as I told Brian, when we have company, I can just take both off of the sofas and chair. He said "like we have a lot of company". It was a pretty nice day and the cats all got to go outside if they wanted. But as the day wore on, the sky got darker and by late afternoon, we were completely overcast with drizzle which turned into rain. Then it turned to intermittant showers. I fed the outfront cats and the dogs barking in the back were driving me nuts. I went to see what the problem is (Brian just sits in his chair) and there was a possom on the fence. The dogs were going nuts. The possom can't get into our yard, but it won't move while it sees the dogs. So, I grabbed them by their collars and they spent the night in the warmth of the shop. The barking stopped, the possom got away safely (which would have happened anyway), and the dogs got a good night's sleep, raring to go this morning when I let them out.

I just got into online trading. We have an account with TD Waterhouse, which we opened a thousand years ago when we first bought our five measly shares of Disney. We only bought five, because they were $120.00 each. Now we have 450. They've split and gotten affordable and we would buy more, then the price would go up, they'd split, etc, etc, etc. I haven't bought a Disney share in years. So, Brian brings this list home Friday from the job he was working on. Along with partial payment for the job. Guess what? We now own stock in three more companies. Money in, money out. Well, one of them is up almost a dollar a share since I bought it. I only bought ten shares, though. LOL!! I guess this is one of those things that Brian wants to get into. He was talking to one of the neighbors about one of the other neighbors (who says men don't gossip?) and found out that the neighbor who was being discussed makes $25,000 a month from stock stuff. So, the one neighbor who initiated the conversation says "So, why can't they afford a new roof?" LOL!!! I think all of this stock talk has Brian wanting to jump in. So, we did. One thing that was kind of irritating was setting up the online account. I had to call them to get set up and because trading was so busy this morning, I was on hold for over forty minutes. Then I was told that I would be able to login online in fifteen minutes. Not so. It took another forty. And I watched the stock rise. *sigh*

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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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