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october 22, 1998 Yesterday, I called and made arrangements for Sandy's cremation. The place that does it will pick her up at the vet's and bring her back when she's been cremated. She should be back home soon, for good.

With tears flowing freely, I went out in the morning and squatted down and talked with both Junior and Buddy, telling them that Sandy wouldn't be back. They are so full of life and so loving, sniffing me and cleaning the tears off of my face. I know they can sense my sorrow. When I stood up, Buddy did something completely out of character for him. He started clowning around with Junior, looking up at me through the corner of his eyes, to see if I was watching. "Look ma," it seems as if he were saying, "doncha think I'm really funny?" and he would try to knock Junior over. He did his playful "arr arr arr" sounds and would look at me and give a little bark. I just had to smile at him. What a great guy.

I played fetch with Junior yesterday, and for once, he kept bringing the ball back to me. We played until he was tired out. When Sandy was alive, he would chase it and bring it back to me a couple of times, then start bringing it back to Sandy. Little monkey. Did he think she was going to throw it for him? And Sandy had a way of dealing with toys. She buried them. She had since we got her. Back when the dogs were able to have the rawhide chews, she would bury those. I often wondered what happened to them, how she and Beau could have eaten them so quickly. Then one day I was looking for worms for the big aquarium, around our orange trees (long since gone), and what did I find? These gross slimy rawhide bones. Oh, they were just awful. I also found her first collar and tags and many, many of Beau's toys. She was our digger dog. I wonder how much I'll miss tripping in the little holes she's dug. *sigh* Junior seems to be looking for her often. He comes to the door and looks in. And yesterday, he and Buddy barked at the gate where we took her out of the yard Tuesday night.

I've gotten so much wonderful email. It really does make it easier. It's as if I'm not carrying this pain on my shoulders alone, but spreading it among my friends. I'm going to eventually make a tribute page for Sandy, and include the many beautiful poems that were sent.

Friday night, I had mentioned to Brian, while at Disneyland, how much things seemed to be getting timed just right. Was I ever right. Thinking about Sandy getting bad while we were gone, having her labored breathing start while my mom or the neighbor or Gail was taking care of them, is a terrible thought. That she would have been in deep discomfort for even that short amount of time is hard to even imagine. I'm so glad it waited for us to be home with her, so that we could do the right thing for her. And something else that I've thought about. If this pain that I'm feeling is payment for having her in my life, I give it gladly. She was such a good dog and so worthy of what I'm feeling now. I liken my heartbreak and sorrow to an earthquake. You never know when it's going to hit. You don't know if it will hit lightly, or if it will hit hard. And there are always the aftershocks. Strong sometimes, light at others. The feelings will always be there. I miss my Sandy girl. And I do think it will help with the grief, to have her ashes in her yard, to know she's here.

Monday night, Angus was a no show. Very little of the food had been eaten. Both he and OC showed up on Tuesday night, Angus moving slowly, limping. They ate the leftovers from Monday (which I should have thrown out) and they also ate the new food I put out for them. I bet Angus was a hungry boy.

We absolutely must go food shopping tonight. We are out of cat food for the outback and in front cats, I have no bowls to put the food in, I have very few diet Pepsi's left, I've actually had to resort to preparing meals so that we can eat. I have many things in the freezer, that have been there for a long time. Something else we are out of, is money. *sigh* Hopefully, we'll start getting some money in today and tomorrow. I gave Brian the last of my birthday money on Monday, because he only had four dollars. He said as much as he knows I hate this, that we will have to and I broke in and said you mean I'm gonna have to stand on street corners and beg? he just ignored me and said take money out of the home equity. No, no, not that. I'll have us turning in crushed aluminum before we dig into that again. Oh, yeah, and we also have to get Halloween candy. I wonder how that will be this year. Last year, it was on a Friday and a huge disappointment for us, because we got so few children. But this year it's on a Saturday. This is so hard. Do we cut down on how much candy we get? Or do we get just as much? We threw out so much of it last year, but one year we ran out and I had to go to the store and get more. I wish there was some sort of formula. I think maybe we would have more this year, just because it's a Saturday. But, I could be wrong.

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october 23, 1998 Well, yesterday was a little better. I didn't have so many aftershocks. We went to CostCo last night, to restock up on things that we needed and one of them was carrots. Brian bought carrots for the dogs at the grocery store last Friday, before we went to Disneyland. They didn't care for them at all. So, we bought a bag last night. At the check out counter, I looked at the bag and saw Sandy eating one, laying down, the carrot sticking straight up, held between her paws. *sigh* My eyes started to tear up, but I was able to stop the tears before they started falling. Junior really does like to play fetch. And Buddy, oh, my, Buddy is like a different dog. He even seemed interested in chasing the toy yesterday. I talked to my neighbor at the fence and Buddy started his barking. But then he laid down and was quiet. And last night the cats were really acting weird. Georgie kept going from room to room and just cried. Gracie did the same thing in the middle of the night last night. I wonder if Sandy's spirit has returned.

And Lonee Gail is being much, much more affectionate. I found her in the bedroom window yesterday and later, she was laying on the opening part of the wall that looks into the living room. This morning, she came up to me for loves and was headbutting me and snuggling against my arms. Red let me pet him, with me standing up. He still wanted a headbutt, so I lowered my head. Then, I picked him up. He resisted, but not too strongly. And when I laid my head against him, he started to purr. I put him down and he ran off into the other room.

I put some Advantage on Bobby and Mickey the other day. It seems to have helped his twitching immensely. I had him up on the sofa with me yesterday and he just laid on my legs and slept. Usually, he's up in my face, smacking me on the nose or mouth with his paw, or in a sitting position. And Lola is being extra affectionate. If I lay down, there she is, right with me, purring very loudly. Oh, I caught her covering her poop in the litter box last night. The best looking poop I've seen out of her in months. Large, well formed, nothing runny or weird looking. This was good news.

We got a ton of candy at CostCo last night. I think we can take the leftover to hospitals. I'll have to check, because I really hate throwing it out, there's nothing wrong with it (only if you eat it all, like we have a tendency to do). I still need stuff from the grocery store. Stuff like flour for breadmaking. I did get a box of Krusteaz mixes last night at CostCo. They're usually pretty good.

Hopefully, we'll get some money in the mail today. And I'll go to the bank. And I'll go to the store and I'll go to the vet's office and pay for last Tuesday.

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october 25, 1998 Well, yippee kie yay, we finally got a big check yesterday. Looks like I'll be busy paying bills tomorrow. What a nice feeling that's gonna be.

I got an email from a friend of mine, in reply to my email to hers. She and her hubby finally got their own computer set up and now she can't send email, it sits in her outbox, but she can send replies. I think she has Internet Explorer. I have Netscape. So, being the wonderful friend that I am, even though she didn't ask, I downloaded IE for my system, yesterday morning. Oh, my, what a mistake. It took up so much room. It looked cool, but not so much cooler that I would get rid of my Netscape. And since I already have Eudora set up, the email was a snap. Nothing for me to figure out. I removed IE from my system. Uh, oh. Now, my Netscape wasn't working. It was doing the same thing as the night before we went to Disneyland. It took until after nine o'clock last night before I had everything reloaded and working correctly. What a waste of a day.

I set my news information back up and once again, Randori was down. I was supposed to change the settings to a different server, which means when the get the first one fixed, I have to redownload all of the groups again. What a pain in the butt. So, I went to a different service, (even though I've paid for Randori through next spring) and signed on with them. It's only $19 for a year, the cost of two fast food meals for hubby and me. I'll keep the Randori news as my backup and see how I like the new one. http://www.newsguy.com is the name of it.

Got up this morning, because Mickey wouldn't leave me alone. He kept crying and walking around on me and giving my side hard headbutts. He can't tell time, so he didn't know he was early. I got up.

The weather is cloudy and drizzly right now. Hubby asked what was the plan? And I said there is no plan. He said don't we have to go shopping? Well, yeah, we need a couple of things, but it isn't imperative that we do it today. He said "do you want to go for a drive?" No, I don't want to go for a drive. The two past weekends I've gone for a drive, I want a weekend off from going for a drive. Sheesh. I want to read a book and drink coffee and listen to mellow jazz or watch the Chargers lose a football game. I certainly do not want to go for a drive. I've gone for enough drives during the last four months to last me for four years.

The only clock that's been changed in the house is the one on my computer and Windows did that for me. And we have over 40 clocks. Guess I should get busy.

I miss Sandy's bark. She had the best bark.

OC was over last night, really hungry. Then Blackie showed up and Angus wouldn't come in to eat. I tried to shoo Blackie (who has a home) away so that Angus could come in. It took a couple of tries, but Blackie just walked off like he owns the place. OC was here this morning, too. And I also saw Blackie out there. Maybe our entry is a safe place.

Lonee and Red were both in the bedroom bay window last night. Since Lonee just discovered it a couple of days ago and she seems to really like it. Wow, she seems to be saying, I can look up at the trees from in here. Look at how much I can see!!!! She's also been spending much more time inside than in the garage. She was actually chasing Gracie in the backyard the other day. Good for her. It's about time Gracie got a taste of her own medicine.

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october 26, 1998 Well, the ride we went for yesterday (*sigh*) turned out to be really nice. We went and had breakfast (after I convinced Brian that it was 9 am, not 10 am), then out to the sticks. On the way to the sticks was the turnoff for the Palomar Observatory. I asked if we could go there, too, and he said "why do you want to go there?" I told him that I would like to go for a ride someplace besides the sticks if I have to go for a ride so many times. I wanted to see something different. I took the camera (as usual) with me and the few extra rolls of film that I had. I took a bunch of pictures from the truck while we were moving and when we got to the sticks, and to the top of the dirt road, Brian stopped the truck and we got out. He put me into the bed of the truck (it's lifted and it's a tall truck) and I stood in one place and took a picture, turned a little, took a picture, doing this til I had made a complete circle. Looking off into the distance, we could see the Palomar Observatory. Brian was now standing in the back of the truck and I had him position his fingers so that they were pointing at the Observatory, so many miles in the distance. I took the picture. I hope it turns out. I really liked the spot we were parked at, because it was truly a view site. Every way you looked, was a beautiful view. On one side, we could see mountains and Brian said he figured they were about 75 miles away. If we get the property, that's where I would like the house.

After we left the sticks, Brian asked if I still wanted to go to Palomar. Yes!!! Yes, oh, yes!!! So, we did. The ride up the mountain was spectacular. Here, the trees were farther along in changing their colors and losing their leaves. We even passed through a cloud on our way up. Of course, I took many, many pictures. The walk to the observatory from the parking lot is a gradual slope. I can't believe how out of breath I was. I guess I really do have to start working on my weight problem. I know that the thin air didn't help, but still. Scary. I didn't see too many people smoking either. We climbed the steps and viewed the telescope. That sucker is big. Very impressive. I kept thinking to myself, I don't think anybody who works here and has to climb those stairs is out of shape for very long.

On the way home, I took more pictures and used up all of the film. I hope I get some that are usable. It's about time I put up more pictures at the postcard site. Once in town, we stopped at the grocery store, bought some things that we needed. I like to keep frozen peppers and onions on hand because I can use them in so many things. Like spaghetti sauce and meatloaf and fried potatoes. Heck, I just realized, I forgot the oatmeal. Oh, well. We also bought another roll of film, because I was now completely out. It was a good thing, too. There were a few clouds behind my sunset hill and the sun was on its way down. It wasn't very colorful, but the sun's rays, filling the sky from behind and below the clouds was a sight to behold. I immediately thought of the Sandy tribute page and what a beautiful picture this would be for it. I loaded up the camera and took a shot every couple of minutes, catching the rays at different angles. I'm tempted to just take a few more pictures and turn this roll in today with the others. I have eight completed rolls to take in.

Thinking about what I have to do today, Brian said to one of the cats that mommy's going to be really busy today, that she has a lot to do. I'm laying in bed, cringing. I told him if he hadn't dragged me kicking and screaming out to the truck yesterday and made me go for the ride, I could have done it yesterday. Which we both know I wouldn't have. I don't love paperwork. Anyway, I have to do laundry, pay bills, go to the bank, turn the film in, get spider webbing for the entry way. I really do need to vacuum, too.

Lisa has been really energetic. I love it. We played rock for a while yesterday. That's where I pick up a little rock in the backyard, throw it, she runs after it and I go to where she is standing and throw the rock the other way. And she chase it. And guards it til I get there. The night before, I had her playing with the feather. She gets out of breath quickly, but, like me, we're working on it.

Junior still seems lost without Sandy, but not so much. And he's minding me better. Buddy's still a barker. I saw a black dog on our ride yesterday and thought of Sandy, hoping she's not missing us too much.

The cats are paying no attention to the time change. Brats.

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october 28, 1998 The vet's office called yesterday, twice, to let us know that Sandy's remains were back. I guess the second call was a mistake, the note that we had been informed already fell off. *sigh* I'm going in today to get her. Monday, while looking through my purse, I found an IAMS biscuit that I took from the vet's jar to give her and she wasn't interested. It's sitting by me now. I miss putting my arms around her and nuzzling her. She had such great thick black fur. Junior is doing a little better. Something happened to one of his eyes. I thought maybe he scratched it when he was jumping at my hands. Maybe my only long fingernail got him. I put some terramycin in the eye, the same thing I do for the cats. And Buddy hasn't been barking as much as he used to.

Monday, late morning, I went on my rounds of finding the kitties. Well, I could hear Benny, but I couldn't see him. Because he finally got over to the other side of the fence. I wasn't very happy about this. He climbed back up the fence and I bent the fence modification to grab his little butt. He doesn't seem to have much interest in the other yard since his short adventure. I haven't any idea of how he got over there, but however he did it, it wasn't easy. And I think he got upset when he couldn't get back into our yard. Yesterday, whenever I went looking for him, he was on the bank.

The cats are having a hard time grasping the concept of daylight savings time vs standard time. Especially in the morning. When I'm trying to sleep. I know I shouldn't give in to them, but it's not that easy when you have as many cats as we do. All bugging you at the same time. Mom, get up, mom, let us out, mom, feed us, mom, get up, mom, let us out, mom, feed us...the same refrains over and over again. Okay, okay!!! I'm up, I'm up. The door's open, I give you your morning junk food, happy now?

Yawn.

Well, Brian made went to the bank Monday, I didn't have to. Monday, I paid all personal bills and yesterday I paid all of the company bills. I thought. I thought it was strange that I couldn't find one of the smaller invoices, less that $16, so I paid it from an old statement from the company. Then, when I was filing the stuff I had paid, I found the bills I was missing. Great. I added them up and they were about $1000 and I didn't have enough left to pay them all. Brian had left to go get something to fix the leaking kitchen faucet and when he came home, he had a check for almost $5000. Yay!! Now I can finish paying the bills. That's such a good feeling, not owing anybody.

Brian also brought me home a better light bulb for the catcam chair lamp. It looks more like natural light now and it isn't concentrated in one area of the chair. I like it.

ARRRGGHHH!!!! Brian left for work at 6:30. It's now 6:56. A little while ago, I did another Benny check. He....was....in....the....tree.....!!!!!! I immediately paged Brian, ran outside, climbed over the fence that keeps the dogs off of the bank, portable phone in hand, and started talking to Benny, trying to get him to come down. I saw how he had gotten up, the barrier was folded over. I talked him down part way and I paged hubby again. He called me and I told him that Benny was in the tree. What tree? he wanted to know. I can't see where that would matter, I just wanted him down. And I didn't feel like explaining the whole thing on the phone, when he was less than five minutes away. And I wanted to keep talking to Benny, so that he wouldn't climb back up the tree. Brian came home and Benny is down. I have some tree trimming to do today. There are many little branches just hanging down, giving the illusion that it's an easy way up and an easy way down. This wasn't in today's plan. Benny was just laying on one of the branches, playing with a stick I broke off of the tree. His little paws were going and he was purring. BENNY GET DOWN!!!! Once down, he ran and laid down in front of the rosebushes, then into the house for a nibble of food. I had planned on doing my running around this morning, but it's gonna depend on how long it takes me up on the bank. Darn that Benny.

Usually, on Halloween, I make spaghetti. I make the sauce from scratch, letting it simmer all day in the crockpot. I have to go get the peppers, onions and tomatoes (well, those are in a can) as well as parmesan and romano cheese to grate. I should pick up some stuff for garlic bread, too. And I need to get more stretchy spider webbing, for the entry decorations. I can get that at the drug store when I take the film in. Which reminds me, I need more film. I should take pictures of the Halloween decorations this year. Maybe they'll work for Halloween postcards next year. Speaking of Halloween postcards, have you sent any yet? And are you voting for me each day? If so, thanks. If not, HEY!!! Get over there and do it!! Send a card! Place a vote!!! You can vote once each day. Please? LOL!!!

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october 29, 1998 Well, I picked up Sandy's ashes yesterday. Sandy's home for good. No more trips to TED. I picked them up first on my rounds yesterday, then I went to the drugstore and dropped off all eight rolls of film, then I went to the bank, then I went to the grocery store to get stuff for Saturday's dinner. When I came home, I piled everything on the counters and the dining room table, then put everything up. Except the ashes. They were still on the counter when Brian came home. He looked at the box and started to open it up. I said "those are Sandy's ashes". He said "Well, we had better move them, because we don't want the cats getting into them." He moved them to the top of one of the bookcases. We will spread them this weekend. I thought about getting flowers, but Junior would just eat them. But I think that would be entirely appropriate, because that's what he did when she was alive. Brian and I laid in bed this morning and talked about the signs she had given. I asked if he thought her digging to lay in cool spots might have been a clue. And he said that he thought so. He said it's real easy to look back and see the signs. But we didn't know that she had a problem and I had her into the vet a couple of times this year, once to have that thing removed from her eye. And the last I talked about how hard it seemed for her to walk. That wasn't that long ago and the vet didn't seem to think it was anything to worry about. And, you know, all of the what ifs and what could have beens and we should have noticeds and all of the beating ourselves up over her loss won't bring her back. She's alive with us in spirit and now we have what's left of her in a small heavy box. *tears* I miss her so damn much.

I think I'll be tying Benny's next advenchur in with Sandy's trip to the Rainbow Bridge. I hope it turns out good.

Speaking of the Benny brat, he didn't try to climb anything yesterday, although he did play in the branches on the ground. Junior even played in them.

I'm going to clean the house today, I think. Tomorrow, I should start the Halloween decorating and I'll be picking up all of that film late this afternoon. So, there will be more pictures to scan for the family album, hopefully more for the sunset pages and of course for the postcard site.

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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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