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Friday, October 22, 1999 I'm worried about Rusty. He's peeing all the time. I hope he's not going into kidney failure. His bloodwork was fine when he had his teeth cleaned earlier this year. I'll probably take him in to the vet next week for a check up. He's always had a problem with peeing. It seems to go in stages. It might very well be because it's been so hot and dry here, that they're drinking more water and voiding more. That's good. Rusty isn't the only one peeing more. But his is just more inappropriate, like he just can't hold it. More like he's incontinent. He makes it fine through the night, though, sleeping next to my head all night long, usually for eight hours. And it sure doesn't seem like he's drinking any more than usual. Another odd thing, that Brian has also mentioned, is the way the pee looks. I'm talking about where the cats are spraying. It's a little thicker than normal. It's obviously more than one cat, because we have more than one sprayer. I don't know if this is also attributable to the weather or the food the cats have been getting. I had been letting them have NutroMax with salmon meal, instead of just the lite formula. Looks like we're going to have to mix the two.

Jack and Pete play so well together, chasing and running through the house. I tried some Pounce treats yesterday for Pete and Ciara got ahold of a couple. This morning, she has the runs again. *sigh* Pete is visiting us more often. We can talk to him without him running and hiding behind the couch, on a dining room chair, under the kitty chair. He came into the office last night, checking stuff out. Brian said this morning "Peter hates me! He runs from me." I said "he runs from me, too." Brian said "yeah, but you've gotten to pick him up and cuddle him and he purrs for you." Well, honey, if you want to spend hours on your belly, hand outstretched with chicken in your fingers, you can most likely pet him, too. But you have to be patient.

I think Aunt Flo's gonna be here for a visit soon.

My mom still doesn't have the results back from her test Tuesday. She's called everyday. I think this sucks. The doctor made a big point of telling her the life expectation percentages, scared the spit out of her and here he wasn't even positive that what she has is cancer. And after Kaiser's screw up with her heart (she was told she had a bad heart, turned out to be bad heartburn, well, actually an esophogeal problem) she's started to believe that they are wrong about this. I don't want her going into a state of denial, though. To convince herself that she's okay. She will call me as soon as she knows.

I'm slowly catching up on my office filing. Yesterday, I got '97's A/P put into boxes and transferred '98's to that drawer. Then I made new folders and finally started filing '98's paid supplier invoices. Nothing like being lazy. Next, I have to work on the A/R. That's going to be no fun at all. What a mess I have going there.

The catnip loves this weather. I don't. It's been so dry that our noses are totally messed up and they hurt. I not only have alligator skin, I have an alligator nose. Hurts to breathe. Last night, I had a nightmare that I was leaning back in a big overstuffed cloth covered chair at the edge of a pool. The chair wasn't made to lean back like my office chair and it tipped over into the pool. The water was soaking into the chair and the chair was getting heavier and I couldn't get out of it. And I remember letting out air out of my lungs in the pool. It was a very scary situation and when I woke up, I knew where it was coming from. I couldn't breathe comfortably. I started putting nosedrops in my nose to help. As I lay there, trying to go back to sleep, I heard a cat clawing at one of the front window screens and I thought I heard the screen drop. I sat up suddenly, loudly said "Oh, spit" (well, I didn't say spit) and Brian sat up. I told him that I thought the cats were pulling out the screens and he got up and went into the other room. I got up and closed the windows and turned up the fan. Neither one of us knew why he went into the other room.

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Saturday, October 23, 1999 ARRGGHH!!! My mom. *sigh* She called me yesterday afternoon and told me that they had called her and wanted her to come back in Tuesday. She told me they still hadn't given her the test results. She said that they wanted her in to test the other lump. So, the lump they had tested probably wasn't cancerous. Would we take her in? Sure. Anyway, I was thinking this was good news. A little after five, the phone rings again. It was Minna from the doctor's office. She had tried calling my mom, but there was no answer. She talked to me about the appointment Tuesday. Could we come in at 5:15 and talk with a survivor, then with Minna, then the doctor? Would that be convenient for us? I asked her about mom's results. Yes, mom has cancer. The appointment for the doctor is to discuss the surgery with mom. She tells me that since my mom's cancer is post-menopausal that I'm at no greater risk for it. It doesn't count for heredity. That's good. Minna told my mom that the smoking would kill her before the breast cancer would. She's very optimistic about mom's chances. Since Minna had brought up the subject of mom's smoking (she has since she was 14 years old), I ask about what effect, if any, the smoking had on mom getting this cancer. I was under the impression that smoking wasn't involved in breast cancer. It is. I was very, very surprised to hear this. Another reason to quit smoking if you do. (Another little nag from lisaviolet.) We make the arrangements, I get the address. I call my mom. No answer. She's at a little birthday thing across the street. She heard the phone ring and called me back. I told her that Minna had called and had tried calling her. She right away got defensive. "I'm not going to sit by the phone all day," she said. "Mom," I explained, "she just didn't want you to think she hadn't called you back." I repeated what Minna had told me. I told her that she does have cancer. I asked mom why they had told her that they needed her for more tests. They never actually mentioned another test; they didn't actually mention anything that mom had "repeated" to me beyond the appointment Tuesday. She figured that out on her own, since they didn't give her the results. *sigh* I think she expected them to come out and say "You have cancer." They didn't do that and she didn't ask. So, her brain started working overtime and came up with a scenario that matched the facts as she sees them, without her having cancer. *another sigh* We talked about meeting a breast cancer survivor, talking with Minna, and the doctor; she didn't seem to understand it. She said "what do you think that means?" It means, mom, that they want you to talk with a woman who has had breast cancer and survived. It means that Minna wants to talk to you and then you get to talk with the doctor. That's all it means. No lines that need to be read between. *deeper sigh* I think mom is trying to figure out a way that means she doesn't have cancer. All of this stuff is going through my mind. Like what if she doesn't survive the surgery. What would I do? She's my mom and I love her and I don't want her to die. When it's her time, about a hundred or so years from now, I want her to go peacefully in her sleep. She's my only family, and next to Brian, she's my best friend. It took the death of my dad (in '87) for that to happen. It's a bucket of cold water to finally come to terms with the fact that my mom isn't going to be here forever. I've never minded getting older, but it means that those around me are getting older, too. It sucks. Minna told me when the surgery is scheduled, but my mom doesn't know yet. I think the doctor will tell her Tuesday. Minna asked me not to. I'll respect her request.

Well, we got news on the property in Ranchita yesterday. The real estate agent called and said that he had "taken the bull by the horns" and called the lawyer. I guess the partnership is scheduled to be dissolved on October 31. And for $135,000 the property is ours!!! That's $15,000 more than Brian offered. The real estate agent hoped I would be able to convince Brian to go for it. I did. Brian said he was gonna ask the real estate agent how much of a commission he was going to make. I asked Brian why? Didn't he want the property? And he got to thinking about it. When you figure they were originally asking over $400,000, what they were willing to accept wasn't bad at all. And Brian at one point told me that he would be willing to pay the commission. So, what's the big deal now? He's not going to say a word to the real estate agent. I'm glad. I had called mom to tell her and that's when she gave me her version of the next doctor's visit. I told her about the property. My news wasn't so exciting. When she called back later, she asked if we would need any help with paying for the property. I just laughed and said "no, remember our home equity loan? We're gonna hand them a check for the full amount. We might need your help later, a couple of years from now."

We've been tossing around a middle name for Peter. I tossed out a few, jokingly..."Pan", "Peter pumpkin eater", "Robert".... Brian asked on our way home from the store last night what I had suggested again. I really want to name the kitten Peter Robert, but I didn't want Brian feeling badly about it. So, I said "I don't remember." Later last night, he says "well, Peter Robert sounds good, but not Bobby." I had given him my reasons for choosing Robert earlier. About hearing a kitten crying and when I went outside and didn't see one, I looked up at the sky and saw the falling star. Which I interpreted as a sign from Bobby. "Hi, mom, I sent you a little one who needs love and a home." I didn't know that at the time, but it became clear as the day wore on. That kitten hadn't been around before that morning. The kitten is a black and white boy. So, we now have a Peter Robert. He's been playing more in the rooms where we are. It almost seems as if he's following me around during the day. "Watcha doin'?" he seems to be saying. I give him the slow blinks that tell him he's safe now and that I love him. He slow blinks back. I picked him up yesterday during play. He purrs and purrs and purrs. Then he runs off, the first chance he gets. I told Brian that he's probably purring thinking "I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die, this is it, my last few minutes on earth. I'm gonna die, maybe if I'm sweet, I'll live." When I'm holding him, he'll sniff my face. Getting use to my smell. He's so little and he's so cute. And Jackie is much more gentle. He hasn't tried to scratch or bite in days. He lays there while I pet him, rubbing his head on my hand, purring loudly.

Aunt Flo is here. She hadn't visited for almost three months. How I missed her. Not.

Last night, when we went to CostCo, I put a big jar of VapoRub into the cart. When we got home, I opened it up and rubbed it into my nose. I told Brian that he should do it. My nose was hurting so bad. Imagine chapped lips to the point of bleeding. Well, that's how our noses are. Brian said no. He wasn't gonna be putting that stuff in his nose. I read the directions, my nose already feeling better. Oh, no, it says to not put in the nostrils. Spit. Brian said now you're going to die. Huh-uh, I'm not gonna die from VapoRub. Sheesh.

They are trimming trees next door. Trees that are in the other neighbor's yard, hanging into their yard. Brian said this morning, she must really hate trees. I said "it must be menopausal." He laughed. "That's just what I was thinking," he said. I wondered if they are planning on cutting back the part of their avocado tree that hangs over our yard. I bet not.

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Monday, October 25, 1999 Groan....I don't enjoy being a girl. Aunt Flo decided to be mean. Ohh........ow......

My mom came over Saturday and brought the paperwork that needed to be filled out. I did the best I could. At one point, she walked outside and checked out the yard. This isn't something she usually does alone, so I let her go. I continued filling in the forms and listened to her talking to the dogs and the cats. At one point, I could no longer fill them out without her help and I looked out. She was sitting in the swing and Junior was doing his best to climb into her lap. She was just sitting there, laughing out loud at him. She loves dogs and it was good to hear her laugh. I let her put up with him for a while, because she was obviously enjoying the attention. I walked out and she said "he won't leave me alone" and I said "ya want him?" Just what she needs. I told her there were some things on the questionaire that I needed her help on and she came back inside. We discussed tomorrow's meeting and she said she didn't want to meet with a survivor, she had seen all of this stuff on Rosie O'Donnell's show. I told her I felt it was a good idea that we do meet the survivor. When she first came in and handed me the forms, she asked me to explain again what we were doing tomorrow. She hadn't retained any of the information I gave her Friday. I think her mind just isn't accepting what's happening. She laughed and joked about losing a breast and I told her that this was a serious matter. She might find it funny now, but when it's gone, it may hit her pretty badly. I just want her to be prepared mentally for what's happening. We talked about the pain she'll be in. She has to get her pain medications before the surgery. There's alot to be done before the surgery. She asked me if there was anything I knew that I hadn't mentioned. I said "no".

Later that day, she called me. The mail had been delivered and there was a letter from the hospital, saying basically what she had been told the prior week. I could hear the note of hope in her voice, the hope that the letter superceded what she has been told in person. I told her that the letter doesn't really matter now, she has cancer. They didn't get the wrong person. They didn't get any records mixed up. God, this is so hard. During our morning phone conversation today, she mentioned a friend of hers that is some sort of administrator in the local VFW, of which she and my dad (who died in 87) are lifetime members. They have a bloodbank for members and they will also pick up the charge of one prosthesis. So, when she gets her new breast, they will pay for it. The woman will also go with her to shop for this stuff, since she's helped others. That's good. I'd be clueless about what to do in this situation, although I would give it my best shot. I'm glad mom has others who are also offering her their support.

Brian went up to Ranchita yesterday, to give the downpayment to the real estate man. He did ask about the price and the people are selling the property for $120,000. Five thousand dollars were added for escrow or closing costs and ten thousand was the salesman's commission. Brian said that one thing he hadn't known was that each parcel (there are three of forty acres each) already has a well on it. The only stipulation Brian made to the sale is that we have mineral rights to the property. I guess there are a couple of places that the owners' don't have mineral rights, the government has them. I wouldn't like that. Anyway, we should be on our way by the end of November. I told Brian we really should get an accountant this year. Because of the property purchase and the new lisaviolet designs business. I don't mind doing the basic tax forms, but I'm clueless as to this other stuff and I don't want to take any chances. Brian wants to figure out a way to get this property as a write-off. How would I know that?

I'm searching Gateway's site to find out how to disable the sleep button on my keyboard. Ciara steps on it and shuts down the computer. Well, not all the way, but it disconnects my internet connection and that messes up the uploading of the webcam pictures. Grr..... So, then I have to shut down the webcam to get the streaming video code to be correct.

Petey is so cute. He follows me around sometimes, especially if I'm in the kitchen. He's learning that a human in the kitchen equals possible treats for a kitten. *grins* I gave him some chicken this morning and grabbed him and smurgled with him. He purred and purred and purred. Then I set him down, he ate his chicken and ran. He was back before long. I put more chicken down, this time petting him while he ate. He wanted to run off, but I kept my hand where he couldn't get around it. Brian said that he went into the kitchen this morning and Peter was on the floor. He got really confused, not knowing how to get out of the kitchen with Brian standing in the entryway. Well, Brian should have moved to where Peter couldn't see him, but knowing Brian, he probably just stood there with his thumb up his butt. He said Peter kept running around in circles. *sigh* I guess Brian finally went into the kitchen and Peter was able to get out "safely".

Last night after I had fed the cats, both inside and outfront, I started looking for Red. I remember he dashed outside about a half hour before "kitties in" and I hadn't seen him since. I called for him in the house and he never came out of hiding, which led me to believe he was still outside. Brian went out with the flashlight. Unfortunately, the catdoor was blocked. :-( Brian found Red in the tube in the back and Red ran to the catdoor. Couldn't get in and ran back to the tube. I unblocked the catdoor, shut the door to the garage so that Benny couldn't get in (and then get out) and went down to the tube with a flashlight. I asked Brian to go turn on the light by the door and he did. I asked him to let me know when he was away from the door. He called out that the light was on and I yelled back to get away from that side of the house. If Red saw him standing there, Red wouldn't go in. I saw Brian away from the side of the house and looked in the tube with the flashlight. I lifted the tube a little and let it drop. Red ran out, along side the fence and stopped. Brian said "he's by the doghouse". I told Brian to stay where he was and walked (barefoot) up by the doghouse. Red ran to the backdoor and in through the catdoor. Good deal. Then Brian went in and blocked the door and got some chicken which he tossed up to Red, who was now hiding in the rafters. What fun. Poor Red.

I came back to the office and I noticed my foot hurt. I looked at it and it was bleeding. I had stepped on one of the spiny pods from the tree. I ran my hand over the bleeding parts and, spit!! Some of the spines had broken off and were now residing in my foot. I tried to pull one out and realized I had to wash my foot first. So, I did. I got one of the spines out, but had no luck with the other one. I got a needle and sat on the toilet seat (good light in the bathroom) and dug the stupid thing out. Washed the foot again. The foot hurts this morning. Brian says "you should have been wearing shoes." Oh, shut up. This from a guy with foot rot from wearing boots all of the time.

I made chicken taco casserole yesterday. Brian likes it spicy and I picked some of the jalapenos from the garden, chopped them up and put them in. As well as other jalapenos. After I was done I put the casserole in the frig to let all of the spices and flavors combine until I was ready to cook it. My knuckles were burning from the jalapeno oils. Funny!! Anyway, Brian really liked it said maybe it was a little *too* spicy. Never happen. We were both sweating. I got up and turned the ceiling fan on high. Brian said "You're not turning that off, are you?" LOL!! It didn't really hit me until I was done eating. Then my lips started burning as did my tongue. Good dinner.

I have the postcards up for Halloween. If you get a chance, go vote for me each day. Last year I got three free months of service (a savings of $36.00) for coming in third. Get your friends to vote, too. You can only vote once per day, so I need alot of people to vote to do as well as I did last year. Plus, send a card. There are some spooky java cards up.

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Wednesday, October 27, 1999 Yay!! Mom!!! We saw the doctor last night. She has the option of a mastectomy or a lumpectomy with six weeks of radiation therapy, five days a week. The outcome will be the same. One isn't a better surgery than the other. One doesn't have a better prognosis than the other. They are equal. This made her feel much better. Me, too. And the doctor was really nice. He started rattling off percentages of diseases, like heart diseases, that are caused by tobacco. And he said tobacco like it was a four letter word.

The cats seem to be doing much better today. It has cooled off. Rusty hasn't walked around pissing all morning. I'm glad.

Jackie ate his Nemex yesterday in Fancy Feast. One more treatment, then I can make the appointment to get him neutered.

I was emailed about the felony and misdemeanor statutes and realized that the link I have for Rutger's is no longer available to the public. You need a password to get in. So, I'm doing a search on each state's laws. There have been a few people who offered to help. I'll keep plugging away til they get time. If you are interested in helping finding and posting the information, go to http://www.acmepet.com/club/bboard/cat/messages990927/11535.html for instructions.

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Friday, October 29, 1999 *Sigh* It looks like the severity of mom's cancer is finally sinking in for her. She's having a tough time getting to sleep. Every morning since Tuesday night, she's still been in bed when I call her. Usually, she's already up and has the cats fed. She said she just can't go to sleep. I know the weather, which has cooled of at night considerably sure makes for a better night's sleep, so that may be part of why she's sleeping in. There's still some paperwork to fill out and she has to get the power of attorney to me, in case something happens during the surgery so that I will be able to make medical decisions for her. This is something I've never had to think about and now it's all at once. It's frightening. One of the problems is that she doesn't have a surgery date. She said she would call them this morning to find out if it's been scheduled yet.

I couldn't figure out why I was so cold this morning until I looked at a thermometer. Sheesh, is isn't even fifty degrees outside and all of the doors and windows to the house are wide open. Brr...... I need to make some coffee.

The Cat Fights board was rolling last night. It was pretty funny. One of the newer poster's husband showed up and started doing a little nasty flirting. She had to fight him for the computer chair.

Tuesday, the heat press showed up. Wednesday, all of the new cat trees/scratching posts showed up. The heat press is inside and the posts are still in boxes in the entry way. Looks like there will be a little assembly required of those. I asked Brian when he's gonna get them put together. He was so anxious for them to be here and now, nothing. He'll probably get them up tomorrow.

And tomorrow we start decorating for Halloween. Brian will have to put the blacklights and the extention cords back up. He took them all down when he painted. He talked about getting hay for the graveyard. We went to CostCo the other night and bought a bunch of boxes of regular sized candy bars. One per kid. Brian said to test our willpower that we shouldn't have any to eat until eight Sunday night. Okay, honey, whatever you say, honey, would you pass me a Kit Kat bar, please? Of course, our regular Halloween fare is spaghetti. I have the meat in the frig defrosting right now.

Hey, remember when I said that none of the bell pepper plants grew? Well, the two that I transplanted *are* bell pepper plants. I'm getting quite a few peppers on them. And the one that I bought at Home Depot is finally blossoming. Go figure. It's been in the ground since early summer and now it's doing what it's supposed to do.


cayenne pepper


catnip is coming up


jalapeno pepper


bell pepper


bell pepper, how small it is

Remember how worried I was about Rusty? Well, he's doing fine. This morning, he even went into the garage and into the litterbox to pee. Brian was a little worried about Georgie yesterday morning, said he "seems depressed". He was fine last night. I think the change in weather will do these guys wonders. It's been hotter this fall than it was all summer long. It's about time for the cooling off.

Well, Brian found out that the daughter next door is going to be moving into a rental they have. Good. She'll be able to bring her cats inside. There might be a problem with the dog when she's not home if she puts her out, because that dog barks. I feel a lot better for the cats.

I'm going to try not pushing it with Peter. I know that he likes to be held and petted, it's the initial catching he doesn't like. So, I'm going to let him take it at his own pace, with little treats to help him along. The chicken pieces are working out well with all of the cats. It's a treat I can trust. Sure, it isn't as convenient, but it's a whole lot more wholesome than the storebought treats. The chicken doesn't give anyone the runs.

I started to finish the paperwork for the merchant account yesterday and found out that if the check I send doesn't have an imprint on it, I have to get a letter from the bank stating that this check is for the proper account. *sigh* The imprinted checks should be here next week, so I guess I'll wait until they show up. But I am going to get everything else done. Lots of work ahead in the next month.

We got all of the state laws looked up by noon yesterday. Boy, what a lot of work that was. Some were pretty easy and others, well, we had to search all over the internet for the information. Amazing how differently states have their sites set up. Some aren't user friendly at all. You can find them at http://www.lvdesigns.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=list&forum=lawstuff.

Got a call from the real estate agent Wednesday. The woman has accepted our offer and has to sign some papers. Then, we start work on taking possession of the property. More scary stuff.

Brian, who hasn't really been busy this summer, kind of making up for last fall and this spring, is getting busy again. Figures. He's planning on taking down the patio this weekend. I know he's planning on redoing the patio, but I don't know if he's going to put the roof on first. I don't know if he's going to pay somebody to put on the roof or do it himself. Life is so full of surprises around here.

Mom just called. Her surgery is scheduled for the 16th. And she might have the flu. Mina told her to just drink lots of orange juice and take zinc lozenges, that a shot won't do her any good. But now mom feels a little better because she knows when. I think she was kind of afraid that they wouldn't give her anytime to get ready, just call her in the morning and tell her that she had to be in that day. She has to go get some button up blouses because she won't be able to be pulling them over her head. She sounded much better this time.

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Sunday, October 31, 1999 Well, it's that time of the year. Halloween.....ooooooooo I have a lot of work to do today, I have to decorate. Brian has to get the decorations down first. He claims to not know where they are....grrrrrrrrrr

Brian put the new cattrees together yesterday and the cats seem to like them. He threw two of the old ones out and the others are out in the garage. The cats still like the old ones, too. Before Brian went to bed last night, he let Georgie out. When I went to bed (at one thirty, I had fallen asleep on the couch) I had to get him in. On my way to the door, I stopped to pet the cats on laying in the top of one of the new trees. It was Jackie and Peter. Peter wasn't quite sure what to do, he wanted to run, but he was so comfy that he didn't. I scratched Jackie and he stretched for me and started to purr and then so did Petey. This was the first time I've been able to scratch Pete like this. It was pretty nice. I took a bunch of pictures of him yesterday. He won't be little forever.

Yesterday morning, Brian noticed a little bloody urine in his sink. Maggie had been in there and she pees in the sinks, so it was most likely her. I called the vet to find out if amoxi would be okay for a bladder infection in females, because Lisa usually gets something stronger. I was assured it would be okay, so I started her on it. I also put Benny and Georgie on it, because they seem to be having problems. Benny is licking himself alot and Georgie is spraying inappropriately. The other cats, including Rusty, seem to be doing fine. Well, this morning I went outside to give Maggie her pill and Ciara was on the other side of the fence. Spit, spit, spit, spit, spit. I was able to get her back fairly easily (the dog behind us was whining and jumping up onto the fence) and I brought her into the house. I told Brian and when I went back outside to get the pill into Maggie, I looked at the fence and it looks like she jumped up, grabbed on and climbed over it in the very back. I guess she won't be able to go outside unattended again, unless the other dog scared her into staying over here. I sure hope it did.

Well, Brian is up and out of the shower, doing the clock changing thing. Guess I have to get on him to find my decorations so I can get busy...

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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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