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march 28, 1999 The young men behind our next door neighbor had a party yesterday. It started early afternoon (loud music, loud voices, cussing, I don't know why they have to swear so much) and when I got up to piddle at 2:30 am, the music was still on. I bet the people next door are very, very angry. The ones that were up partying are the same ones who threatened to kill Maddie, Alex and Julie (the daughter who was taking care of the dogs) when Julie was dogsitting. Julie wasn't spending the night, but checking on the dogs during the day. That's why it's good that I sit, too. Because I can do something about it if they bark. I know that youth doesn't equal inconsiderate, just as being older doesn't necessarily mean someone is wiser. But I just wish they would use their heads.

Last Thursday, Brian said he didn't want to work Friday. If it was raining, he wouldn't. Well, it didn't rain and off he went. I started doing taxes, didn't really feel like cooking and around 4 pm, I paged him, to tell him to bring dinner home. I had to page him three times before he finally called back. I found out why. He didn't work Friday. When he left here, he went over to his brother's house and brother, sister-in-law and Brian all climbed into Brian's truck and went riding around. They went to the Sticks and checked out the home on ten acres. They went and looked at a tractor for sale. Of course, I had to make a big deal about him being gone, but not working, because Brian always gets ticked when I haven't done anything.
He said "do I give you a bad time when you don't do anything all day?"
And I said "yes, you do".
He said "I bet I only say something once out of every ten times".
I looked at him in astonishment. "That's not true!! Even if you don't say anything, you still have that look and that attitude."
"What look?"

Working on the taxes. Well, preliminary work shows we're gonna owe $9,600. I can get it lower, because I don't have everything assigned like it should be and home equity loan money that I put into the company shouldn't be counted as income. So, that's gonna be my project for tomorrow. Taxes.

Today, I'm going to start laying out my garden and planting seeds. Brian said that it's all mine now, if any rototilling needs to be done, I'll have to do it. I hope everything grows the way it should. I'm going to have the corn in the back, in a triangular pattern. The back of the package says the it's better to have a couple of rows with just a few plants, then to have one long row. The pollination is better and you get a bigger yield. Just as long as the damn ants stay out of it. But I have my sevin dust sprayer. That should help. And I have to figure out where to plant the squash and watermelon, because they need room to crawl. But the other plants don't need much room and I don't need too many of them. I mean, how many cayenne peppers can one husband eat? And tomato plants always produce tons.

Yesterday, Brian was talking to Chuck and I went over to listen. Blackie walked down the street and into Chuck's neighbor's yard. The guy started yelling at Blackie and chased him off. He didn't even check for cars. Of course, Blackie headed for our yard and I followed. The guy said "do you know who owns that cat?" and I said "nobody, someone just dumped him or his old owner's just moved and left him". Then he started bitching about the cat peeing on his car and my little head voice went nuts (yeah and how about your moron son, the one with the lead foot who wouldn't know what 25 miles an hour meant if it jumped up and bit him on the ass? The one that everybody complains about when he comes to visit. You know, the same son that keeps blowing up motors in his cars because he doesn't know how to drive? The one who modifies all of his vehicles so that they sound broken, they're so damn loud, let's talk about your son, okay, you big mouthed SOB? Quit picking on the damn cat, it isn't his fault, it's some jerk human's and for your information, hopefully Blackie won't be a problem to people on this street too much longer, so kwicherbichin, you dumb f***.), sorry, but I have no control over my little head voice, but thankfully, it rarely meets my mouth. Blackie had gone under Brian's truck and didn't want me by him, he got up when he saw me coming. Then he went over and laid on the rock. Brian had walked back across the street with me and I grumbled about the complaining neighbor. I said he won't have to worry about it. And Brian said "Whatever you want. You're the boss. But this is the last one." I really think that Blackie has touched Brian's heart. This morning, he's back on the mat in front of the gate, where he hasn't been for a couple of days, at least not first thing. While I was cleaning out litter boxes yesterday, I thought about how this is going to work. Since Ciara is getting fixed tomorrow (I hope, I'm going to tell them if there is any question at all about her breathing, to not do it), my next step will be Blackie. I'll have to make sure the vet can do all that needs doing in one day. I want Blackie tested before anything. And if he's sick with something contagious and incurable, to have him euthanised. This just makes me sick to think about, but I really don't think he has anything. He's been around so long without vet care, I can't imagine him having anything terminal that's contagious. If he passes that test, I want him neutered, his teeth checked out (I don't very often see him eating dry food, I don't know if it's a preference or a problem with his teeth), bathed and shaved. Then, he gets to come live with us. Since it's so close now, I'm starting to think about it. All these questions. Will he get along with the others? I have a feeling it will be okay, because he is *socializes* with the other cats out front and he's also marked our door and the other cats know his scent. They mark the screen door back and I'm sure he smells them. And I do wonder about his wandering. I know that neutering him will stop some of this, but will he do okay in a closed environment? I'm sure he will, geez, Bobby, Rusty and Boney had free range until they were twelve and ten years old and they're okay with our current situation. It will be nice to find out Blackie's approximate age. I'm sure he's not as old as he looks (he walks so stiff), but he's had a very hard life. When our old neighbor's lived across the street, she saw him laying in the street being attacked by dogs once. She chased off the dogs and he limped away. Mean, vicious, cat-hating dogs are something he will never have to worry about again. No mean dogs, no mean people shouting at him to beat it. Poor kitty. Poor, poor kitty.

I think Ciara knows something is up and she's doubling her yowing effort. Last night, Brian said he's never heard her purr. Well, maybe after tomorrow, she will be able to relax and just enjoy life. And I'm so nervous about tomorrow, nervous because of her breathing. I've been giving her the interferon about the same time every night and I'm sure she's doing better, because her little nose is always wet, where before it was so dry. Brian also has to fix the fence where she's getting out. He has a pretty good idea how to do it, but one corner will be a problem, because that's where the garage door opens. Hopefully, once she's spayed, she won't try to escape.

Last year, after the bleeding heart fish died, I was able to get a new fish for my ten gallon tank in the living room. I had a feeder goldfish already and put that in the tank and one of my friends had had a goldfish with a beta in the same tank. So, I got a beta. This was last September and they are doing fine, the beta never goes after my goldfish. But I have an awful algae problem, so at the petstore last month, I asked if there was anything I could do to keep the algae down, any kind of fish he would recommend. He said not a Chinese algae eater, but a plecostomus would be okay. He didn't have any small ones available though. Well, last Sunday, they did have small ones. I got two chocolate plecostomus. One for my tank and one for Brian's. Well, Brian had put so much water in his tank, I couldn't put the bag in to equalize the water temp. So, I put both fish in the ten gallon tank. Wow. The tank is clean. Those little guys did a great job of cleaning it. Amazing. I have the light turned on, once again.


march 29, 1999 Well, Ciara goes in this morning. She actually slept for about two hours in a row last night. I started to get worried about her wellbeing, because this wasn't normal. But I figured, let her sleep, she needs her rest. Brian fixed the fence (again) yesterday. All he had to do was to widen the bend at the top, so it was like the rest of the fence. He only had about a three inch gap between fencing. It's working fine, now.

I got my garden planted. Well, most of it anyway. The only thing I didn't get planted were the carrots and the radishes. It was work!!! Boy, was I surprised. I'm so out of shape and overweight. It felt good to do physical stuff like that. Brian said now I've gotten the easy part done. The hard part is keeping it up and weed free. Brian had bought me gloves for working out there and I put on the leather ones, because cloth gloves always get wet and uncomfortable. I had them on for about five minutes and took them off. Later, Brian wanted to know why I wasn't wearing gloves. "They make my hands sweat," I told him. He said "geez, you don't wear hats because they make your head sweat and now you won't wear gloves". What can I say? I don't like my hands and head sweaty, unless I'm gonna jump into the pool. And it's a little cool for that yet.

Well, I was right about the neighbors not being happy about the party Saturday night (mom and dad were obviously gone). Yesterday, I heard the *adult* next door yelling at the kids and he blew an airhorn at them. *sigh* This is gonna do a lot of good, I'm thinking. Then he told them "you think this is funny now, wait until I'm doing this at midnight". You know, just because you get older, doesn't mean you get any more emotionally mature. Oh, man, I'm thinking to myself, I sure hope he doesn't do that. He obviously hadn't stopped to think that he wasn't the only one bothered by the late night partying and his "payback" will be just as obnoxious to the rest of us as the party was. An example. A couple of years back the kids were messing around outside and had their music on a little loud. Sure, it was bothersome and irritating, but heck, they're just kids and it's the middle of the day. Then my neighbor goes out and turns on some AM news station, even louder and leaves. So, here we are, innocent bystanders and we're getting it from both sides. Is that fair? A couple of days later, I talked to the wife next door and she asked if those kids had bothered us. And I said, well, you know, what really bothered me was when they changed the station to AM and had it blaring for hours. I said that was really frustrating. Embarrassed, she said that was her husband that had done that. We're talking a man in his fifties. That was childish.

The thing about those boys, is that when mom and dad around, they're all polite, with ma'ams and sirs, pleases and thank yous. But when the parents aren't around, oh, man, what a difference. F this and F that, loud, rude. I've yelled at them before when they were taking shots at hawks in the sky. Got their rifles out and were aiming. "Hey!!" I screamed "Don't do that!! You leave those birds alone!!" Another time, when the dog that killed Hollywood was still alive, they were setting off firecrackers, which is illegal in our county. Too big of a chance of fires. Well, the dog was throwing himself at the backdoor, terrified. At least I was here to comfort Buddy, but there wasn't a thing I could do for Shamus. And even though he had killed our cat, I still couldn't stand to see him so scared. So, I called the police. They showed up and had a talk with the kid that had been setting the firecrackers and later made a followup call to the parents (I know this because they mistakenly called me first). And the adults had a fight with our neighbors (who have lived here forever) a few months after they had moved in. I think it was July 4th and the new neighbors were having a party. Drinking, drunking, they started setting off fireworks. Now, here in Southern California, you can no longer build a home with a wood shake roof. They are illegal, just because of how easily they burn. The homes in our tract were all built with shake roofs, which was legal back in '74. Most of the homes have had their roofs redone, because shake gets old and roofs start to leak. Well, we are fortunate in that ours hasn't. I think that the only houses that haven't gotten new roofs are us and our neighbors. We haven't had a fire in our fireplace in almost eight years, because we don't want to chance a fire on the roof. So, you can see why fireworks make us nervous. Anyway, there was a big shouting match between the neighbors. The old neighbors pointed out that fireworks are illegal and one of the others shouted back that she knew a firechief and the other neighbor yelled back "do you have a permit to set them off?", which we all know wasn't possible. Even though the partying neighbors didn't admit any wrongdoing, they did quit setting off fireworks. They just aren't good neighbors.

Hey, remember Friday, when Brian was gone all day with his brother? I told him that night that the rest of the weekend was mine. No family. So what does he do yesterday morning? He left here at about 8:20, told me he would be back by 9. "Where are you going?" "To take this stuff to my mom." (His brother, who lives in Alabama, and his girlfriend had faxed some stuff here last week, including a couple of recipes for Brian's mom.) We were supposed to go to Home Depot and get a lemon tree, to put next to the doghouse on the bank. Nine thirty comes and goes. I call his mom. "Is Brian there?" She puts him on.
I ask "Hey. Do you know what time it is?"
"She doesn't have a clock."
"Then get her one."
"Well, she has one, but it doesn't work. Are you ready?"
Now, I'm thoroughly POed at this moment. I'm not going anywhere. "No. I'm not going. You go, I'll start breakfast and stop and get some eggs on the way home."
So, at ten thirty five, I call his mom. Again. "Hi, when did Brian leave? I'm cooking breakfast and want to know where I should be. I don't want to burn anything." She said he left at least twenty minutes ago. I'll tell you, I wasn't happy. Here we were supposed to be doing stuff together and he's already wasted half the day. I let him know he was in deep doodoo when he got home, a little after eleven. He was thoroughly chastised, but I know it will happen again. It's just one of those things he does. I told him that I knew the only reason he thought about it and felt badly was because he knew I was gonna yell at him. If I didn't yell, he wouldn't care. He denied that, but, *sigh*, I know that's how it is. Anyway, they talked about the property and I told him that he was jinxing it by talking about it. We went through this a couple of years ago and he had his hopes so darn high, then we didn't get the property. He was really disappointed back then and I don't want him going through that again. Don't start building the house until you have someplace firm to build it.

Blackie was out front this morning, sleeping on the mat. I let him for a while, because he was all curled up. Brian went out front to wash the bedroom windows and yelled in that Blackie was hungry. I grabbed a can of Fancy Feast and went out to feed Blackie. Brian had picked up last night's bowls and brought them to me to put the Fancy Feast in. Blackie was headbutting my hand and I told Brian to pet him. He did and Blackie didn't mind. Brian ran his hand down Blackie's back and exclaimed "Oh, man, those mats are bad" and I said yeah, they are. In the past, we've thought he was an owned cat, because he would show up with big shaved spots. He wasn't shaved. He was pulling the mats out with his teeth. I told Brian "can you imagine the fur in his intestines?" I think Blackie's going to be well loved here.

Last night, I saw Georgie peeing on an empty bag. There was a lot of pee, but it was pink. Georgie has blood in his urine again. I started him on amoxicillan.


march 30, 1999 Ciara is home. She's resting comfortably. I guess she wasn't interested in vet food and she looks awful. She didn't clean herself like most cats do after surgery. Besides getting spayed, she also got her vaccinations, and I know those make kitties lethargic. I'm to keep her on her week on, week off of interferon. The vet said she had very active ovaries. Not any more. They didn't charge me for spaying while in heat, that saved $29.00. That was nice.

Well, I got the taxes finished last night. The damage is $7,500 to the federal government and $6,000 to the state. I tried to find where I had made payments last year with our returns and I couldn't find them listed in either checkbook. I went through all of the cancelled checks, nothing there. I looked at our home equity loan statements to see if I had written a check from there. Nothing. Now, I started to get a little worried. Did I not pay them? Oh, man, we're in deep doodoo if I didn't. I mention it to Brian. He wasn't very happy. He sarcastically said "great, not only do we owe on this year, we're gonna owe ten thousand for last year's taxes after they figure in all of the penalties." I think, jeez, I did send in the returns, didn't I? Wouldn't they have contacted us if we didn't send payment? What happens if you don't file your return and if I didn't file it, what did I do with it? I spent over an hour going through stuff and then I finally did what I should have done to begin with. I looked at last year's return. Well, spit, no wonder I couldn't find an entry in the checkbook. We got refunds. Duh.

Yesterday, when I dropped Ciara off, I made an appointment for Blackie. Ears, teeth, neuter, bathe and shave. They can take him a week from Friday. Now, he just has to show up here. And how hard will it be to get him into a carrier? Last night, when I was feeding our cats, there were cats running on the roof. Blackie and OC. When I took the dinner out front, Blackie was there. He didn't go to the food bowls until I had petted him first. I didn't see Blue at all last night. And I haven't seen Cleo. Blackie was late getting here this morning, wasn't here until 8. It will be perfect if that's when he shows up the day of his vet visit.

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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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