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Thursday, November 16, 2000 It was a year ago today that my mom had surgery for breast cancer. She told me this morning, that she honestly thought she wouldn't live to see this Christmas. I'm glad she was wrong. I don't think she's nearly so nervous about it now.

Yesterday, she mentioned that she needed to get gas in her new car. She hadn't yet filled it up. I told her about a story a woman I worked with told me about her dad and some of his co-workers. I thought it was a hilarious story.

Now, keep in mind, this happened a long, long time ago, when Volkswagon Beetles first came out. What, the sixties? One of the co-workers had bought one and was bragging about the great mileage he was getting. Well, keep in mind, back in the sixties, gas was cheap and gas tanks didn't have locking caps. Do you see where I'm going with this? The man's co-workers started topping off the tank on a daily basis. They did this for a month. He was so amazed at the great mileage he was getting, bragging about it every day. Then they stopped and his mileage was drastically reduced. I don't think they ever told him what they did. I still think it's hilarious.

Anyway, mom was really laughing as I told the story. This morning, she brought it up again. Saying that it was a pretty good prank, but the one I pulled on her was even better. See, mom had this friend, he's moved away now, he and his wife, and he used to go with mom when she'd go grocery shopping. He would do his best to embarrass the heck out of her. One day, he yelled out "What size Depends to you need? Don't forget you need them." She was mortified. I thought it was kind of funny, myself. Well, within a couple of weeks of her relating that incident to me, there was an add in the Sunday paper's Parade magazine, with a number you could call for a free sample. Of Depends. Stifling my giggles, I called and ordered a sample for my mom. Of course, I didn't say anything to her about it. It was so hard when she called, outraged that Bud (her friend) had done such a thing to her. How dare he order her a box of Depends. Not only that, but they were huge!! She said they were big enough to cover her bed!! How dare he!! And now the mailman thought she wore them!! Every couple of days, she would mention the Depends. And how it was just terrible that Bud did this and he had the nerve to pretend he didn't know anything about it. I guess she'd walk her dog past his house and he'd say "Hi" and she'd just keep walking. Now, keep in mind, these guys were beer buddies. He asked her why she was so mad at him, what had he done to offend her and she, always cryptic when she's angry would say "you know what you did". Finally, I just couldn't let her be so mad at him and I told her it was me that had the sample sent to her. She was speechless. Needless to say, she was pretty angry. I was totally lost in laughter. I think, though, that she learned something about "assuming". Now, she laughs about the entire thing. She had me giggling so hard this morning, I wet my pants. Poor Bud.

Speaking of Bud, Bud, the dog, is doing so good. When I picked up Lola's Leukerin earlier this week, a woman came in with an older dog, a mid sized dog, like Buddy. She was bringing the dog in to be put to sleep. Becky says "that dog is old". I asked how old? She replied "about fourteen". Well, heck Buddy is at least that old. I told Becky that and she was astounded. She found it hard to believe that he's doing so well for being so old. And I tell ya, he's gotten much better since we've changed his food to Sensible Choice. It's made a big difference in his energy level and his attitude.

Did I mention I lost Lola's Leukerin? The stuff I got when we had Pepper put to sleep? Damn, I tore this place apart looking for it. She was supposed to start Monday. I called the vet to find out if there would be a problem with having her start the course on Tuesday. They said no problem. Som Tuesday, I had to go get more pills. It was $15.50 for four. Expletive. I had eight in the bottle I couldn't find. And Brian has been obsessing about "where did all of our money go, I've made so much this year". He starts in on "we have to change the way we do things, we just can't spend money like we've been spending it" blah blah blah and on and on.... (Yeah, yeah, yeah, two windmills, one clubhouse, new tires for the clubhouse, storage trailers, a dumptruck, a tractor, furnishings for the clubhouse, solar batteries to keep the clubhouse battery charged......need I go on? Now, I know that I got some stuff this year, too, like a new receiver, a CD burner, a ton of blank CDs that were on sale for less than $1.50 each, a new stereo system for the car, but hey!! I really needed this stuff!!) I went through the bank stuff in the computer and it's all there, all accountable. We got a new refrigerator, a new water heater, I spent a bunch on health stuff (teeth, chiropractor). Let's not forget the five thousand bucks we just had to spend on stock that was recommended to him by one of his customers. The stuff that's in the toilet now. That's something I would have never done, but he was just so exited about it. And like I pointed out to Brian, hopefully, we won't be buying the same stuff next year and the year after and the year after. We discussed pet care and I did say to Brian, when he asked me how much the Wysong canned is, that we could always go back to Nutro and he said "no, not if this other stuff is better for the cats". One of the things I found looking at the utility bills was over eleven hundred dollars for water. Brian got defensive "if you don't water everything will turn brown". I told him that wasn't the point. It was what are you willing to settle for? If you want the lawn to be green, you'll have to live with the cost of watering it. And don't bitch about it. I will do my best to quit buying stuff for my website. You know, stuff like the games (this is supposed to make you feel guilty) that very few people play anyway *sigh* in Ben's Den. I'd like to find some affordable script to run the postcards (I spend twelve dollars a month now), but I've not found anything that is comparable to the one I'm using. I do so much for you guys. I give and I give and I give and what do I get in return? *grin* (You can find my mailing address at lvdesigns...heh heh heh) But I digress, this was about Lola's pills. I finally found them yesterday, in the office behind the paper clips. Don't ask.

There was a discussion the other day on one of the forums I frequent, where someone was using the liberal California government as an example of what's wrong with liberals. The dirty, unbreathable air, the upward spiraling cost of living, all the new people moving in, trying to compare it to Texas....well, this person obviously was clueless about California and I had to set the record straight. First off, our air is cleaner than it's been in years. Second, the two governors before our current governor were Republican. And with the previous governor, Pete Wilson, there was a definite problem with enforcing air pollution controls. He was very lax on it, but because of what Jerry Brown had put into place so long ago, the air still got better. And then I made an observation that really makes sense. Who is getting all of that money from the upward spiral of the cost of living? Certainly not the little guy. Big business is getting it. People like the man who owns the property where my mom lives, he owns several mobile home parks. The energy companies, like SDG&E, Sempra, the energy brokers. The fuel companies. Big business. And you know, big business is usually conservative. So, who to blame for the upward spiral of the cost of living? Greedy conservatives. Certainly, not the "liberal" government. That person had no response. I'm pretty middle of the road when it comes to politics, but I had to set the record straight on this one.

I started mixing the A/D with Nutro kitten for Lola. I'm hoping to wean her from the A/D and get her started eating the same thing the other cats are eating. It looks like her tummy fur is finally starting to come back. Maybe the chemo didn't make her lose her hair, but maybe it prevented it from growing back.

More cats are sleeping in the catcam chair. I'm glad.


Tuesday, November 21, 2000 This was as far as I got.


Thursday, November 23, 2000 Let's try this again. It's been really quiet around here and I've been busy surfing the internet, looking for new stuff for my website and seeing where I can make improvements. Found some new stuff, but not too many improvements. I like it the way it is. Did find a script to trick email harvest bots. But you, gentle reader, will never even know it's there. Paid for some upgrades of games I already have. I got a new Battleship game, I'll be replacing the old one. And I registered the FindIt game (I like this one, you have to find the differences between the pictures in a set amount of time) as well as registering the newer release, in which I can use my own images. That ought to be fun. Brian is going to the Sticks this weekend with his brother. Maybe I'll work on the website, adding pictures to the family album, getting the new games up, as well as the trivia games from last summer, but I have an idea for the presentation of them and I have to find a script that will do the job.

Last weekend, Brian finally got the backyard camera up on the roof. I can move it so that you can see more, except I don't like when it's moved to the east. Brian said it would be cool to look at the trees and because of him, I settled. I'm not happy with it at all. When it looks in the direction of the trees, that's all it sees. It's like having a closeup of bushes, no other scenery. But it's going to be really hard for him to change it because he siliconed the globe tight to the base. In the meantime, I've seen other pages with outdoor cameras and have become very unhappy with the way mine looks. If I get sky, the foreground is way too dark and has no definition. If I get the yard, the sky is all washed out and you can't see the clouds or blue sky, it's just all white. I'm sure this camera wasn't meant for this job. If my mom gives me money for Christmas, I'll most likely get a new USB hub for the computer and a new camera for outside. The total of the two will be under $200.00. And I'll be able to run three cameras then. I'll have the one that's on the roof right now point to some other area, maybe the patio where you can usually see the dogs. All I would need is a box for it so that the cats don't pee on it and I can put it on the floor here in the office, looking out through the sliding glass door. I also found some other weather webpages that offer different weather stuff for your website and I added some new stuff to my weather page.

I'm so bad. I just spent the last couple of hours checking out cameras. I finally went to the website where I purchased the remote arm and filled in their questionnaire about what you wanted to do with your camera and the resulting page gave me a couple of camera suggestions. I just ordered one. *grin* I'll test it before I have Brian put it up, of course. If I don't like it, I'll send it back. But I noted it would be for outdoor use. My mom always gives us money for Christmas, so I figure I can use mine to pay for the camera and USB hub I ordered. I may even have a little left over.

I added the cathouse to igive as a cause. It's kind of like ordering products via my website. You sign up with them and choose a cause, then when you buy stuff via that website, the cause you've chose will automatically get a percentage. But they have many more companies signed up and the percentage looks like it's bigger than the one I get through my website. Plus, so many of the affiliations I've had are no longer around. Like and no longer sells videos (I have to work on my affiliation page, that's for sure, more website work). I figure any money I get from them will go towards feeding/spaying/neutering the outfront cats. And vet care for our guys. If I can get more money coming in, we can get more of these cats off of the street. Brian still wants to get those kittens and I've gotta get them in soon. They are coming over earlier and I'm hoping I can do the tricking into the garage. But I'll get them to the vet as soon as I can, to get them fixed. We still haven't gotten Jack in and we have to do that soon. Maybe I'll try to borrow the vet's net.

We took the dogs in to the vet Tuesday for their rabies shots. They did really good. Buddy hurt his leg somehow and even though I hadn't made the appointment to see the vet (he was supposed to already have left when we got there), he came in and checked Buddy out. Couldn't find any reason why Buddy was favoring that leg. Buddy has had problems with it since he fell into the pool a couple of months ago. Junior was scared spitless of the scales, but when Buddy was on the table, he put his paws on the examining table and made himself as tall as he could to make sure Buddy was okay. And to see if Buddy was getting treats that Junior wasn't. LOL!! I'm only going to license Bud for two years, not the three I can. We don't know if he'll be around that long. The last time we licensed, Sandy died the next month. *sigh* She was such a good dog. I miss her.

Speaking of missing the animals, for some reason I'm really missing Maggie and Pepper. I miss Pepper when I'm laying on the couch at night. She was such a snugglepuss and I miss her close to my face. Rusty gets close, but he tries to smother me. It's just not the same. *sigh* I miss Maggie's talking. I miss Maggie wanting in the door at night, how she would leap over the barrier onto the trashcan lid so easily.

Well, the kittens' stools are finally starting to firm up. I've been doing my best to keep them eating just kitten food and keep them out of Georgie's food or the Geriatrix food for the older cats.

Lola is doing great. She's not spending all day in the bedroom now, she'll move out to the living room and lay in the sun that streams through the sliding doors. She still takes forever to eat and I have to isolate her when she does. I sure wish she had that appetite back. She used to be such a good eater.

One of the things we were asked about at the vet's the other night was Rusty. Had he had another seizure? Well, not that we know of. I do my best to keep the blinds from hitting together. Like this morning, I have all of the doors open and I heard the blinds. I didn't have the ones in the living room pulled back far enough. I fixed that right away.

Can you believe they're running primetime tv tonight on NBC? Spit. On Thanksgiving, they should have specials so you don't feel as if you missed anything when you nod off during the program. Arrgh. We're going to a place called Pine Valley for dinner. We're taking two vehicles and dinner will be in a restaurant. I'm glad. When dinner is over, we can come home, not sit around and gab. You all know how much I hate being away from home, regardless of how fun and entertaining the company is. We're going to get the cats in before we leave, though, because it will be dark when we get home.

Everybody, have a great Thanksgiving and don't forget to give thanks. Remember, no matter how bad it is, it could always be worse.


Sunday, November 26, 2000 Well, Brian left this morning for Ranchita. I guess they're going to try to get one of the wells up and running. They've been working on it this past week in their spare time. So, here I am, alone at home. What should I do, what should I do? Heh heh heh....

Not that there's is much to do. Not at all. House is pretty much clean. There is only a small amount of laundry. No dishes. It looks like it's going to be a nice day. I guess I could go sit in the backyard and read. I would work on my website, but not much to do there. I finally got the additional games up and running and on the shelf. I found out this morning that I messed up the image tags when I added another shelf to the gameroom, so I had to redo quite a few of those. I also found that not all the games images had image tags, so there was no link to the pages. And as much time and effort as I put into that Scrabble for four game the past few months, I found I had never added it to the gameroom. *sigh* So, it's up now. I got that all done before Brian left this morning. I also figured out how to get rid of the margins in ben's den, so now the floor goes all the way to the sides and bottom of the screen. Much better appearance. Hey, I know what I can do!! Watch the Chargers on TV!! They have a PERFECT record. Haven't won a game all season.....LOL!!! Last week, they had a seventeen point lead and choked. What a bunch of losers. That's when I could take a nap!!

Yesterday, I redid the "about the cathouse" page and now there's a link to it from the first index page. Just so people will know more about navigating the site and what it's about, what I'm about. Kind of.

I'm trying to type right now with Mystie on my shoulder. She's just the cutest thing. Something odd, their outside siblings look larger (chubbier) than the kids we have. We were wondering if maybe it's because our kids are more active, don't have to conserve energy. I kind of wonder if the outside kitties have heavier coats, too. Mystie is getting really aggressive. She doesn't hesitate to chase a cat who will run. Poor Gracie. And Katie is such a pudding. She's into everything and she's so full of energy and life. The other night, Lisa was actually playing back. They are so much fun to watch.

We've started to attempt to keep the cats off of the kitchen counters. I'm not giving them chicken up there any longer and the catsip bowls are on the floor. When we find a kitty up there, we just put them down on the floor and tell them cats aren't allowed on the counter any longer. We're hoping this helps cut down on the spraying and peeing on the counter. It has so far. I'm also doing a fair job of keeping the walls sprayed with Feliway.

Thanksgiving dinner was okay. I've had better. Brian's mom always put on a much nicer spread and the food was a lot tastier. But the nice thing was no dishes. We went up in mom's car, Brian drove. When we got home, we watched some television and I fell asleep on the sofa. Then I went to bed. At about two in the morning, Ciara peed on the comforter. Luckily, it was at the edge of the bed and it hung over. I got a small towel and put it between the top and bottom sheet. Since it wasn't touching me or getting me wet at all, I tried to go back to sleep. No luck. Lola was purring and she purred for a solid hour. I ended up going back onto the couch. I think I'm still tired. Maybe I'll take a nap today, a nice long nap.

I downloaded new drivers for the outside cam last week. You know how disgusted I had been with the picture quality. That's why I ordered a new camera (when my mom asked what we wanted for Christmas, I told her I had already ordered mine...LOL!!). Well, yesterday, I hit the "set default" and wouldn't you know, after I adjusted the exposure and brightness, the picture was the best I've seen in months? *sigh* Blue sky and a defined foreground. I can't even believe it. Oh, well. C'est la vie.

Guess I'll start wandering around the house aimlessly.


Thursday, November 30, 2000 The day started with sad news. Brian found one of the ferals had been hit by a car sometime last night. He said death was instantaneous, that the poor guy didn't feel any pain. *sigh* It was one of the Siamese mixes. Not one that showed his face much, he always hung back outside of the gate, or came after we came back inside of the house. Say a little prayer for this homeless, unwanted, unloved cat who deserved a better life than he had. I stopped by the pet store this morning and was asked if I wanted to make a donation to the "Meals on Wheels" for animals. I did and was given a little card to write on and I said "the kitty who was hit by a car last night, unwanted, unloved". I started to cry and it was pretty hard to get out of there without breaking down. I did in my truck. Man, how I hate it when they die. At least, it was quick.

Remember I told you about the new games at Benny's? One is a big hit. "The Same Game". One problem is when it's played over and over and over, it looks like it freezes the system. I've gotten almost 5600 points and I was pretty pleased with myself. Last night, while I was getting my dinner ready, the phone rings. It was one of my pals from Disneyland, a SameGame addict. She wanted to know if she had reached SameGame Anonymous. It seems the game froze on her and she wanted to know what I could do about it, but while we were on the phone, she rebooted and the game came back up and she was off the phone. LOL!! One of the things she mentioned was she had gone over a million points. Well, I see where somebody else just got over eighteen million. And I was so happy with my 5600. *grin*

This morning, after I had taken my shower, I was combing out my hair. I was in my robe. I heard a heavy truck engine idling outside, I figured somebody was probably getting new furniture. I went into the bedroom to get something out to wear when I looked out the front window. This is what I saw.

That's my driveway!! What's more, that's my truck!! Of course, it took a minute to sink in what was happening. I thought "why would Brian have my truck towed without telling me? Why would it be towed when the only thing wrong with it is the electrical which keeps the passenger window from opening? It can't be repossessed because we paid for it in full when we got it". All this stuff flew through my brain. I cranked opened the window and started yelling. "HEY!! HEY!! HEY!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THAT TRUCK!! HEY!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!?? HEY, HEY!!" The truck driver came over to the window. "What are you doing to my truck??" I asked him. He gave me an address, asking if this was it. "No, this isn't that address." He had the right number, wrong street. I described to him where he had gone wrong. He kept apologizing, saying how sorry he was. I said "not as sorry as you would be if I had taken my shower ten minutes later". He said "well, the name of our company is on the side of the truck." (Yeah, bozo brain, and what good would that have done had I been in the shower when you took my truck, huh? I'd come out, my truck would be gone. I'd most likely think it had been stolen. I'd page my husband, he'd come home, I'd call the police. Because you took my truck.) When I got home from the chiropractor, I did call the company. There should be some sort of check to make sure they're taking the right vehicle. The guy's supervisor was supposed to call me back, but he never did. Probably scared that I'll yell at him. I'll call again tomorrow. Brian said if the truck had been taken, it most likely would have ended up in impound and the police never check there. At least, they didn't when he had a truck stolen before we were married. The first thing I would have done had the truck been gone, was to call Brian to see if he had taken it without saying something. Then, he would have come home and we'd call the police. Then we would probably have called our insurance company. It's a real good thing that guy didn't take my truck. When I called Brian right after it happened this morning, I told him what the guy said. On his way home, he went to the address the man gave me. There's no such thing. Great. More ammo for my conversation tomorrow with the towing company.

I took in the roll of film that had the pictures I took on Pepper's last day. Pretty sad. There are two, I couldn't take anymore. After I took the pictures, I picked her up and held her tightly. I miss her. I miss her so much. I miss seeing her out of the corner of my eye during the day. I miss her jumping up in the catcam chair. Ah, it's hard. I think this has to be the saddest picture I've ever taken.

On the lighter side, here are a couple of little cutie pies. Such sweet faces they have.

Something really strange. Their siblings out front look like big kittens. Katie and Mystie look like little cats. I thought it would be the other way around.

I've got another shirt ready to put up. It's a weird one, though. I know it disturbs some people, but I think it's funny. I'll have it up tomorrow. I'm also going to sell the pinwheel shirts. Included in the price of each shirt will be a pinwheel headband. For an additional charge, I'll also add text to the back of the shirt. They were such a hit at Disneyland, that I've decided to offer them to the public. Aren't I so nice?

Well, that's about all that's happened. It's been pretty quiet. Lola is eating food besides A/D now. I still have to make sure she does eat. Mystie seems to be a little aggressive. She chases the other cats, doesn't really care if they like it or not. Poor Gracie. Rusty is as big a pest as ever. I mentioned his seizing to the chiropractor today and even though chiros aren't supposed to work on cats, he said he would look at Rusty if I brought him in. He'd be able to tell me where the problem was. Maybe adjust Rusty, too. I don't think it would hurt. When I got to the chiro's office this morning and he took my blood pressure, it was up 135/98. Of course, I had the run in with the tow truck driver. But after he adjusted me (it's my neck that gets stiff, probably residual problems from the car accident when I was sixteen, you know, when my back was broken), it dropped to 132/89. He said that regardless of the two numbers, you don't want them much more than 40 apart. So, mine was pretty close. I do have this occasional problem where it seems like my right ear needs to pop. I've figured out that's when my blood pressure is up. I could feel it this morning on the way to his office, when I left it was fine.

I'm in the process of moving all of my image files to the same directory, so if you get broken images, don't worry. I'm working on it. My error log file gives me a breakdown of the "files not found" when people view my pages. And by comparing those with my stat counter, I'm able to pinpoint the problem page and fix it. Lots of work. I also found out how to get robots not to view certain parts of my website. Not that I have anything to hide, but I don't want the bots finding images to put up on the internet for anyone to use.

Guess I'll go see how Lola is doing with her dinner.

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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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