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Saturday, March 03, 2001 What a busy day I had Tuesday. Bunches of running around to do. I couldn't do anything until I found out when the tv repairman was going to be here. He called shortly after eight to let me know he'd be here between three and five. So, I took my shower, got dressed, put on makeup and was out the door.

My first stop was the photo shop. I dropped off the camera we bought at California Adventure and a roll of film I finished up right before I left since there was only a couple of pictures left on it. Then I went to RiteAid to get a prescription filled for Brian. He had an appointment Monday afternoon with a dermatologist for some possible pre-cancers on his head. The doctor burned some off, but told Brian when Brian asked about the other red marks, that there were close to sixty of them. He prescribed an ointment to be used on them. The pharmacy had to order it and it was supposed to have been in Wednesday afternoon. We still haven't gone to pick it up.

From there, it was to the vet's to pick up the medications I ordered earlier. Brian had left me a hundred dollars for the prescription and other stuff. Since I hadn't used it yet, I used the money to pay for the medications. Holy moley, it was over eighty three dollars!! Whoa, mamma!! I remember when (geez, you know you're getting close to those senior discounts when you start playing "remember when") a hundred amoxicillan was $15.00. This time, they cost $53.00. *sigh* The other was for the ammonil for Kirby.

From the vet's office, I went to the post office. I had run out of stamps last week. Luckily my mom had some and she brought them over. So, I bought three hundred for us and twenty for her, to replace the ones I borrowed. I had to charge them.

Since it's been so long since I mentioned our trip to California Adventure, I don't remember if I mentioned my glasses. I took my inside glasses since it was not going to be sunny and bright. I usually wear my transitions, but for some reason, I didn't take them. When we caught the tram to get back to the parking lot, something kept sticking me in my nose. The little nose guard had broken off sometime during the day. I figured I'd just take them to the shop where I got them and have them fixed. That was my next stop. I went in and I told the guy what the problem was. He looked at my glasses and shook his head. They don't make that style of frame anymore, they're phasing it out. He looked at all the frames available and found only two that would work, both blue. I asked about just getting new glasses and he said that, according to California law, if the prescription is less than two years old, they can do it. Otherwise, I need a new eye exam and prescription. I went with the frames they had. It cost fifty six dollars. Cheaper than an eye exam and a new prescription, that's for sure. If I had the nose guard that broke off, he could have welded it back together.

Now, we've had quite a bit of rain during the past week. I was driving my truck and something had gone wrong with the cooling/heating system. Even turned off, a cloud of steam was coming in through the vents. It was cold and I had the windows up, so the windshield kept fogging up on the inside. Nothing I did stopped it. When I got home, I paged Brian and told him to plan on taking the truck in, soon, because I wouldn't drive it like that. Very, very unsafe. He took it in yesterday morning. When they were finished with my truck, he took the work truck in because it was doing the same thing.

We're due for more rain, starting this evening. Brian had planned on taking his broken worktruck to a friend to work on, but the friend isn't home this weekend. On yesterday morning's local news show, they mentioned a home show going on at the Del Mar fairgrounds. Brian might go to that this afternoon, because they have alternative energy methods on display. I'd go, but I'm getting a sore throat and I don't want to push it. Brian was sick all last week and I don't want to be sick like he was.

I'm going to put my new ShopVac together, it's a small one. I really like the electric sweeper we got early last month, but it does nothing for the litter in the hallway. Not good on smooth surfaces at all. So, last week, we got the small ShopVac. I hope it's easier than the other stuff. After I get that done, I'll vacuum the hallways and wash the floors. And if I'm still in a cleaning mood, I'll dust and vacuum the house. Brian cut up wood earlier this week for the fire and it would be nice to have a clean house, a nice yard (Brian is mowing right now), a crackling fireplace and a good movie on the television.

Oh, did I mention the repairman coming out? Well, he replaced a couple of parts and the television worked fine when he left. The next day, it was crackling again. Damn. I figured I'd videotape the problem. Got the video camera out and it's been so long since we've used it, the batteries aren't working. I charged them with no luck. I hope that's it anyway. And I can't find the cord that's needed to connect the camera to the AC source. Damn. It's so irritating. Brian said he's ready to take the television itself down to Circuit City and tell them to give us a new television. Yeah, right.

And, little Georgie? His urination problem? Came back. He was peeing blood again on Thursday. I was afraid just amoxicillan wouldn't work. It hadn't worked before on him, he needed something stronger. I called the vet's office and talked with Charlene. Asked if I could just get a prescription or did I need to bring George in? She said she'd talk with the vet and get back with me. She called a couple of hours later and said I could just pick up medication, since Georgie's had this problem before. He's on Orbax for two weeks. And he's also getting ammonil twice a day for a week. Today is his third day on the new meds and he's still pretty uncomfortable. You can tell because he does little pees everywhere. He's not blocking, that's not a concern right now. He just has a bladder infection. Poor little guy.

Hey, I put up a new poll about Easter candy. Go vote for robin's eggs. They're the best!! Candy poll.


Thursday, March 08, 2001 Well, the patio cam died. RIP. I spent (read that 'wasted') most of yesterday trying to get it to work. But it kept killing my other USB applications, like the scanner and the zip drive. I had to reinstall the scanner drivers twice. What a pain in the butt. I tried the new USB cable I bought last month (I had a hell of a time finding it; spent hours trying to locate it, finally found it in the second place I looked...*sigh*...just didn't look thoroughly enough) and that didn't work. I thought maybe there was a problem with the cable and tried a different piece of hardware with no problem. So, tomorrow, we'll most likely be getting a new camera from CostCo. The brand at our local store, by the way, is Intel.

And the television is worse than ever. Last night, with help from Brian, I unplugged it from the power strip where all the other video stuff is plugged in and plugged it in where it would be easier to get at. Figure when it craps out, the only way to totally turn it off is to unplug it. There's a power problem someplace. Last night, at one point, there were black rectangles on the screen and odd white characters, like a number sign. Very annoying. So, I call Circuit City. The moron I initially talked with said that we'd have to pay for the service call, because we didn't have service protection. WTF? I had the agreement right in front of me. For spit's sake, your service department was out here less than two weeks ago (February 27, to be exact) and we didn't have to pay for it. I ended up hanging up on the jerk. I guess I woke him up out of his nappy and he wasn't happy about it. I called the other number on the contract and spoke with a really nice lady who checked it out, said yes, that we were covered through December of this year. I told the woman that my husband was very upset, that he's ready to take the television back to Circuit City and put it up someone's backside (did I mention he wants a new television to replace this one since we've had so many problems with it?) She called the service department back and explained it all. Once it was clear that we were covered (somebody didn't put the information into the computer back in September, when I paid for coverage) we set up an appointment for the newest date, March 14. We aren't going to pull the television out. Brian will bring the table in, but we'll leave the television where it is, so the serviceman can see what a pain it is to pull out. And I'm hoping it will do the popping and cracking for him. In all the years it's done it, it's never done it with a repairman present. Yesterday wasn't a very good electronics day for me.

The day didn't start well. Tuesday night, the water company called wanting money. Brian answered the phone. He wanted to know why I hadn't paid the bill. I told him that I was waiting for more money to come in. I started to pay bills yesterday morning and there's no way I could pay them all. Geez, gas and electric was over six hundred dollars last month (way to go, deregulation, gouge those customers..). I paid the water bill, almost a hundred and fifty, and that was it. But Brian got paid for a job he did last month last night, so I can pay bills today. In the past, a two hundred and fifty dollar G & E bill was high. Geez.

I finally got the CDs I ordered from my new club, Columbia House. I didn't get them all. Two were out of stock, and one, I didn't get because I had ordered too many. Now, does this make sense? Why didn't they make one of the selections that was out of stock the one denied because I ordered too many? And that wasn't my fault. One of the selections I ordered was Three Dog Night's greatest hits and it's two CDs. But their form didn't pick it up as such (I did it online). I thought it was strange that their listing didn't say it counted as two. Maroons.

Monday, I washed the floors in the laundry room, kitchen, bathroom and hallways. That was the day of the shooting here in San Diego county, at Santana High. I used my new ShopVac to do the initial cleaning. Boy, I like that little guy. Then in the garage, I pulled the litterboxes away from the garage door and cleaned thoroughly. I've not done this in quite a while, years, as a matter of fact. There was so much litter back there, kicked out of the boxes. And it had been peed on, when the cats stand up and miss the box. I had to basically, chisel it out. Then I dumped a bunch of enzyme cleaner on it. That little vacuum is a wonder. It's light weight and powerful. When I clean the boxes at night, I just quickly run it over the garage floor, picking up the loose litter and food.

Tuesday, I changed the bedding, washing the blankets, and I also washed the couch covers in the tv room. I threw out the old throw rugs and put the new ones down in front of the sectional, after dusting and vacuuming the house. The entire house looks and feels much nicer now. The sun is out today and right now I have all of the doors and windows opened. How good it feels to walk through the house not thinking "Gee, I should vacuum/dust/wash floors", but to just enjoy the fact that it's already done.

The out front cats have been eating tons of dry food. They're emptying the feeder every two days. That's a lot of food. Good think it's pretty cheap at CostCo.

The orbax is working well on Georgie, I think. He hasn't been crying and doing little pees throughout the house for the past few days. He has another week of antibiotics, though.

Lola feels like she's putting on weight. She loves to go outside when it's nice. It's funny, at night, she goes to sleep on the sofa. Of course, she lays on my blanket. In the morning, she is still on the sofa. She sits up and waits for her chicken (that's when I knew she was sick last year, when she wouldn't eat any chicken in the morning). After she's finished, she goes over to the entertainment center and spends the morning curled up sleeping in a basket. Then, if the doors are opened, she'll go outside for a while.

Well, it looks like our cats are doing just fine with reduced rations. Usually by dinnertime, the dry food I've put out in the morning has all been eaten. And they're eating most of the dinner meal. The dry food is lasting much longer. And more cats are eating the chicken in the morning. I don't know if anybody (Lisa, Bart or Mickey) is losing weight. I hope they are, just losing it slowly. All three seem to be a little more active. But that could just be my imagination.

Well, it's almost noon. I need to get those checks made out and put in the mail. Then I need to get to the bank to get money in there to cover the checks.

I just ordered four cases of Wysong food from I'm getting a 10% discount (because I got four cases) and they'll also give me a break on shipping. Petco no longer has any Wysong product at all. Just this past weekend, Brian and I were talking about how much better the cats' ears look. Brian used to spend hours cleaning them, because so many of the cats had that black gunk in them. They're looking much better lately, much cleaner. When the cats were free fed, I didn't mind giving them just the canned meat, the stuff with nothing else, but since they don't get as much dry, I ordered some of the canned with additives, like omega 3 oils, healthy stuff, though. I ordered two cases of that and will take turns with the other flavors of meat only (they have duck, rabbit, venison, turkey, chicken and beef; I ordered beef and duck). We'll be driving down to Petco to get the dry food from now one. They'll still get Sensible Choice. The stores have a thing now when you buy ten bags, you get a certificate for a free bag of the same size and brand. That will help. It sure was convenient getting it online and delivered, but the shipping charges were really raising the cost of the food.

Oh, Monday, I was outside talking with the neighbor, she of the barking beagles. I asked her how Maddie was doing, the dog that was a match for Buddy in the barking department, the little dog I went over and calmed down when she had had a seizure. Sadly, Maddie had been put to sleep. It seems that she was seizing longer and more often. On Valentine's day, she was in seizures for over an hour and a half. The emergency clinic wanted to do extensive work on her, but the neighbor declined. I don't blame her at all. After Rusty had his seizure last November, in reading up on them, I learned that if the seizure goes on for an extended period, there's a very strong chance of brain damage. The neighbor said that Maddie had been acting stranger and stranger. It was most likely because of the seizures. Goodbye, Maddie, I really liked you. Say hi to Pepper, Maggie, Bobby and Sandy at the bridge for me. I'm sure they can show you around, to all the good places.


Monday, March 12, 2001 A word of warning for those of you trying to lose weight. If you want to try Metabolife, take your blood pressure before you do. Last year, I had bought some Metabolife and didn't use it. I bought a couple of bottles and they were in the cupboard. Well, Brian and I are both trying to curb our appetites. Brian heard an ad on the radio for Metabolife and decided we should start using it. We started a couple of weeks ago. Last week, I didn't feel real good, having the cold and all. Friday morning, I was really lightheaded. I took it easy all day. Brian asked when he got home had I taken my pill, meaning the Metabolife. I took them Saturday and again yesterday morning, when I fed the cats. Yesterday afternoon, I took my blood pressure. I can't even believe how high it was!! Alarmed, I told Brian. He was putting lights up on the patio and when he finished, he took his blood pressure. His was way up, too. So, he took the bottles of Metabolife, poared the pills down the garbage disposal, and turned it on. My bp is still high this morning, but not as bad as yesterday. I don't know how long it will take for the pills to completely leave my system. I hope it's not long. This is really scary.

Well, I no longer shop at Petco. I've already mentioned the much higher costs of shipping since Petco took over Petopia. Almost out of cat food, we went to Petco Friday night. Can't find any Sensible Choice on the shelves. I asked one of the employees and was told it had been discontinued, that the Sensible Choice dog food had been discontinued a month or so ago. I knew this to be misleading. I knew that Sensible Choice is still being manufactured. Petco had discontinued to stock it is what was happening. We left the superstore empty handed. We went to a little mom and pop pet store in a nearby strip mall. They had Sensible Choice. For $22.99 a bag. Less than I paid online. Petco charged over $27 a bag online. Add shipping and tax, we were being charged over $38.00 a bag. Pretty damned expensive. So, we will no longer be shopping at Petco. For anything.

Just broke up a little cat spat. Boney was after Bart, who was just laying in a basket. I'm sure glad I trimmed claws last night. Poor Bart.

In a trimming mood last night, I trimmed some of the mats off of Benny. Boy, were they bad. When I had finished the first big one, I noticed an awful lot of bare skin. Concerned that maybe I had somehow done this, I looked closer. I couldn't imagine how I could have trimmed so closely, because I work on the mat. I cut into it and pull it apart. Then I comb it out. Benny's mat went from one side of his neck to the other. I finally realized that he had the same problem that Blackie had. The mat was so bad, it was pulling the fur out around it. I worked some more on the remaining mat this morning and Benny is so happy. He can stretch his neck now without pulling his hair. What's really strange is I just had this mat combed out last month. He has a couple of more behind his front legs, but I'll take it slowly with those. But I'm sure what I trimmed around his neck will affect his lioncut. *sigh*

Well, it looks like we're going to have a beautiful day here in sunny San Diego. Not a cloud in the sky, not even those high thin ones that dim the sharpness of the day. It's wonderful after such a long period of rain and drizzle. It's ten am and the doors and windows are opened. Cats are out playing. This is what I love.

Saturday, I got the new camera up on the patio. Boy, it's so clear and sharp, I'm really surprised. I am having problems getting it to load when I start up. I have to unplug the camera when I shut down, the plug it back in once I've booted up in the morning. Very strange. The old camera doesn't work at all. Yesterday, Brian took the old camera down and put the new camera up. The patio is looking really good right now.

Saturday, we kicked back and watched movies. Brian had a fire going all day. The pissy smell was gone. We bought "Meet the Parents" at CostCo Friday night because I heard it was pretty funny. I heard wrong. Then we watched "Mission to Mars" on Starz. We liked that, we really liked it. We watched the east coast feed of that movie and after seven, I popped in the videotape of "The Abyss", which we had bought years ago, but never watched. This was in letterbox format and had an additional twenty eight minutes of footage. Some of the additional footage was worthwhile, but some of it dragged the movie out.

And that was it for our weekend. I have some paperwork to do today, not much, though. Guess I'll get busy working on that.


Wednesday, March 21, 2001 Last night, I checked to see when I'd made my last entry. Whoa, it doesn't seem like it's been this long. So, I'll see if I can catch up this morning.

Ever since the blood pressure scare, I've stupidly been taking my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. Well, I did until it just kept going up. So, I took Brian's advice, but the bp machine up on Monday. I took it yesterday and it was 129/88, the first time it's been that low on both the top and bottom at the same time. There's a thing called "white coat" hypertension and that means it goes up in doctor's offices. I was doing the same thing to myself. *sigh*

Last week, on one of the high days (spit, they were all high days) I went to a local natural food market, where they also sell herbs and vitamins. I asked about hypertension and they gave me a printout with quite a bit of information on it. So, I've started taking Coenzyme Q10, fish oil capsules, and garlic. I'm still taking calcium. I've cut back on my sugar intake (there are seven unopened boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in the freezer), caffeine and dairy fat (back to non fat milk). I've even started taking rice bran syrup, which helps clean out the arteries. Talking to somebody who knows about this stuff, I learned that my body will feel tired until it adjusts to the lower blood pressure. Okay, as long as it's normal.

Around three in the morning, something woke me up. I took advantage of this and got up to piddle. Boney followed me into the bathroom and started to meow. I petted him and he proceeded me to bed and snuggled up against my arm. Well, Lisa decided she wanted some attention, she came up and was against my neck, her face against mine. She was also laying on Boney and he didn't like it. He pulled himself from under her and was smacked by another cat, probably Mickey. This started a little fight and Lisa jumped up and took off on my face. I have a scratch that connects my eyebrows. It's not long, but it might be deep. I'm lucky she didn't get my eyes. Of course, I turned my head and squeezed my eyes shut, an involuntary action. Boy, this thing hurts. I put antibiotic ointment it. I hope it doesn't scar.

Brian went up to the Sticks last Saturday to finish up the water pipe to the trailer. I stayed home and did a preliminary on our taxes. We'll be okay, we'll have a refund, which we'll just let them keep and apply to this year's taxes. It looks like this will be a better year than last year.

I called the vet's office Monday. I'm going to start trapping ferals. I'm so nervous about it. I know once I do the first one, the next one will be easier, and it will get easier the more we do. There are so many coming by to eat now. Well, I'm glad I called before I started trapping. They're very busy this week with surgeries. So, I'll start next Sunday night. I get the shakes just thinking about it. I just don't like the cat being in the trap. But since the trap will be covered, it shouldn't be too scary for it, it will just huddle.

The weather has been very nice this week. It was pretty warm Monday and yesterday, today it's quite a bit cooler. But it's still nice. We haven't run the heater at all since Sunday morning.

Speaking of Sunday, when Brian got out of the shower, he said "I didn't turn off the gas for the water at the Clubhouse". He had to go back up and I went with him. It was a really nice day for a ride. I wish we would have gone in the Mustang, with the top down, but it was a little on the cool side for that.

The kittens have figured out the cat door. I had it blocked so that cats could only come in and I saw Katie coming in (the sliding doors were open). So, I tried to see if they could go out and there's no problem. Mystie isn't as good at coming in as Katie. The first couple of days they had the opportunity to go outside by themselves, they were out all of the time. Mystie would cry once they were in at night, wanting to go back outside. But the novelty has obviously worn off. Today, both kittens are inside and sleeping. They're so cute.

I guess that's it for now. It's just gotten really quiet around here. It's really nice.


Monday, March 26, 2001 Damn. Kirby's blocked again. I got up this morning, put out dry food, went into the kitchen to heat the chicken. Kirby wasn't in there crying. I went into the garage and split up the chicken. On my way in, Kirby was sitting by the entertainment center. Well, not sitting, actually, more like squatting. And he hissed and growled at the other cats. Now he's in the living room, behind the loveseat. At eight, I'll call the vet and see if I can just bring him in and leave him there. I know he's blocked, no reason for a consult with the doc. I rubbed his penis this morning and I can feel the little lump in it. I wish I could rub it loose, but I don't want to hurt him. The vet showed me how to do it, but I just don't feel comfortable. I don't want to cause Kirbs any pain.

I was going to start trapping cats last night and decided to wait until today and try to get Cleo. She's pregnant again. She usually comes over in the afternoon, so I'm hoping I can get her. I don't think with she will do well giving birth, because of the broken bones from last year (remember, we think she got hit by a car).

Well, Kirby is at the vet. They'll call me when they know his status. Luckily, he doesn't have a fever, so it hasn't progressed into an infection. He sure is uncomfortable, though. Becky tried to get him out of the carrier, but he wasn't having any of it. I had to pull the pillow out, turn him around so his head was towards the carrier door and drag him out. Of course, he spread eagles his back legs so I had to push them together to get him out. A very uncooperative kitty, but he'll be glad he's there when he can pee again.

I saw Mystie come in the cat door yesterday. This is good.

Lonee has been letting me pick her up for very short intervals in the morning when I feed the cats. The first time, she wanted down immediately. I let her down, then picked her back up. She wanted down again, but I kept her in my arms, scratching her back for a couple of seconds. This was last week. This morning, she didn't try to get down at all to begin with. After a few minutes of rubbing and petting her, she wanted down and I obliged.

Still no word from the vet's office and it's almost 1:30. He must be pretty busy today. I have the trap set up right now hoping to catch Cleo. She's pregnant again. I don't know how hard that will be on her body, since she was hit by the car last week. I figure we'll be able to do two cats a week. It would be nice to trap during the day, so I can get the cat over to the vet's right away. I hate the idea of them being in a trap for hours. But I do have it covered, so that will be a big help.

I have a headache and I took two Excedrin PM, because they don't have caffeine. But they must have something else in them because I'm very tired. Great. I don't need this.

We got mail from Disneyland last week and they're once again selling season passes to Disneyland and California Adventure. And they've got a special at the hotels (no the California Grand) for passholders. Monday through Thursday it's only $149.00 at the Paradise Pier and $179.00 on Friday and Saturday. Brian mentioned maybe going this Friday, but with Kirby sick, we won't be. I was talking to my mom about it this morning and she said she'd come over, but I honestly think strangers in the house would stress Kirby worse than being alone. It looks like we won't be making the trip this month. :(

Brian almost has his tractor running, so he'll be able to start working again in the Sticks. That's good. And he's not yet come home from a trip up there in a bad mood. It's a stress reliever for him, to get up there and work. It's what he loves to do.

I finally got all of the CDs back in order. It took two days. Geez, there's a lot of CDs. And I replaced the light bulb in the halogen lamp.

Our VCR died. I tried recharging batteries, but that didn't work. We kind of thought that maybe the batteries were just old, so we bought a new one. Still no luck. And I can't find the cord to plug into the video camera that plugs into the charger to run the camera off of house current. Spit. We went to RadioShack and they'll have to make us a cord. Once that's done, if the camera still doesn't work, we'll have to take it in. Me, I'd just as soon buy a new camera, but Brian says that's a thousand dollar camera, we'll get it fixed. I said "fine, then you take it in."

They've finally started working on the roof behind us, now that the weather has gotten nicer. Our dogs are driving me crazy barking, though. If they get too bad, I put them in the shop. Last week, I heard one of the roofers barking at them when they'd settle down and get them all riled up again. Very annoying. I didn't want to punish the dogs because that guy was a moron. It didn't seem fair.

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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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