Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thoughts of Pawpaw



I've been thinking of Pawpaw a lot lately. It's all the woodworking we've been doing lately, I guess. Pawpaw was a woodworker, in fact, it's his table saw that we have, along with more of his tools. He wasn't just a woodworker, he was a homebuilder who oversaw every part of the job, often building the cabinets and doing all the trim and fine details himself so that every joint was even, every corner square, and every pair of cabinet doors were bookmatched, something that made him one of the more sought after builders in town.

I've been wondering lately what Pawpaw would think of the job we are doing here, how he would handle the uneven ceiling joists, and if he would keep working on the areas that we have decided are "good enough". Hubby recently put a new fence on the table saw, and I wonder if Pawpaw would like it, or if, like me, he would think it was fine the way it was.

In the year before he went into the nursing home, Pawpaw lost interest in our projects; actually, he lost interest in everything. Alzheimer's had robbed him of the ability to even follow the plot of a thirty minute tv show, and Parkinson's robbed him of the ability and energy to get around. So he spent a lot of time sleeping. He slept all night, he took nap after breakfast, waking up in time for lunch, and then another nap in the afternoon. I think the napping was the part that was hardest on Deedee. Well, that and not being able to go anywhere alone.

But in the year he was living in the nursing home, Alzheimer's gave him back his love of building. Ironic, isn't it? The disease that made him forget everything it took to get through a day made him remember everything he used to do everyday. When we visited there, he always had a job going. One time he was building an addition to the nursing home right outside the door at the end of his wing, and one time he was remodeling his "apartment" there, where he was convinced he had more rooms. He once had Deedee push his wheelchair all over the nursing home looking for his hammer and got really agitated when she didn't take him to it, even though she pushed him everywhere he pointed.

In his last months, Pawpaw thought he was working at the ranch where he had worked for the last fifteen years of his career. Pawpaw's first job there was building a pool house, and after that, the ranch owner thought so much of Pawpaw that he dreamed up job after job for him until he ran out of things for Pawpaw to build and just hired him as builder maintenance. Sometimes that meant real building projects and sometimes it meant overseeing a crew who dredged out the fishing pond. Sometimes it just meant trying out the fishing boat. Anything to keep Pawpaw on his payroll. Pawpaw loved the job, the ranch, and the rancher as much as the rancher loved Pawpaw. It was the perfect job to transition into retirement, and it continued as a part time job until Pawpaw was well into his seventies.

When he wasn't building projects at the nursing home, or working at the ranch, Pawpaw was being visited by his sister who had died years ago. As his ability to distinguish between dreams and reality diminished, he stayed more and more in his dream world. It was especially evident when he woke from a nap and he would tell us about seeing his sister, or a cousin, or some wild adventure he was living. I don't know why it was only his sister who visited him, and not his brother who died a couple of years ago. Probably because he had been missing her longer.

The stretches between his being lucid were getting further and further apart, and even when he was really there with us, he talked so quietly that it was hard to understand. Sometimes, especially after his last stroke, he used words or phrases that didn't make any sense to us, and it frustrated him because he knew what he was saying and didn't know why we couldn't understand. It was at those times that it was hardest for me to be with him, because he knew something was wrong and he couldn't do anything about it. He had always been able to fix everything, and this thing he couldn't fix.

From the beginning, he wasn't one of the easy residents at the nursing home. He spent the first few months trying to run away when the opportunity presented itself, the middle months trying the patience of the night shift with his sleeplessness and getting up without help, and the last months being totally dependent on them for everything.

We may never know exactly what happened at the end. We have Pawpaw's roommate's story and the nurse's story, and they don't mesh.

Pawpaw's roommate has no memory or mental problems. He is there because of paralysis, although he is on a lot of medication and dozes on and off through the day. He told Deedee that the aid got Pawpaw out of bed and took him into the bathroom, where she left him while she went into the hall. He heard a crashing noise and when the aid came back, she immediately called for help because Pawpaw had fallen. When Deedee talked to the RN, she agreed that that is what happened. However, after talking to the administrator and aid, the RN changed her story.

After talking to the administrator, the nurse said that Pawpaw got up by himself and went into the bathroom where he fell, and the aid found him there when she went in to do a routine check. After telling the nurse and administrator what the roommate had seen, they talked to him too and determined that he had been dozing and didn't know what really happened, so they backed up the aid's story.

His roommate was sure he knew what he saw, and of course that is swaying our opinion, but we also know that Pawpaw had a history of getting out of bed himself, disconnecting the alarm, and walking about, even though he was a fall risk and very wobbly. Like I said, we'll never know for sure. The fall fractured his hip, and he never recovered from that. It is hard for the elderly to recover from a fractured hip. White blood cells rush to the fracture to repair the damage and fight infection, and leave the rest of the body open to infection from pneumonia and other illnesses.

I don't harbor ill will toward the nursing home for letting him fall, but I do fault them for trying to shift the blame or cover it up to prevent a lawsuit. Pawpaw had fallen before, and he probably would have fallen again because he kept forgetting he couldn't walk on his own. A broken hip and the resulting passing was inevitable, we were just hoping it wouldn't happen for quite a while.

I will say that the entire staff (sans the one aid who we never saw again) went out of their way to accommodate us. They put Pawpaw in a private room, partly for us and partly to save his roommate from having to witness his passing. One of us stayed with Pawpaw around the clock as his breathing became more labored and he lapsed into a coma, and then he was gone.

It has taken several months, but finally the memories of those last days, and even the last year are being replaced by the memories of his easy laugh, the sly grin when we've figured out he played a joke on us, and his joy and contentment with his life. A life well lived.

p.s. The quilt shelf above is the only thing we have made by Pawpaw.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On to the Kitchen Ceiling

In case I haven't mentioned like a million times, I have been painting wood for the kitchen ceiling.  Fill the holes.  Sand.  Prime the back.  Flip.  Prime the front.  Sand.  Paint a coat.  Wait.  Paint another coat.  Carry a sixteen foot plank into the house, making two turns and hitting at least one thing in the process.  Did you know big chunks of drywall texture can be glued back onto the wall?

The good news is that we finally started putting it up. We were going to start Saturday morning, but it drizzled nearly all day Saturday, not a good thing for the air compressor or having the chop saw outside the door. So we began Sunday afternoon. Yay!

Wouldn't it be nice to stand flat-footed on the floor and be able to touch the ceiling? I have to be on the top step of a step stool to hold the other end of the planks.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Windows 8 Hates Me - And the Feeling is Mutual

Windows 8 is out to get me.  Or maybe it's my computer.  No.  It's definitely Windows 8.  After a month I can say once and for all that I hate Windows 8.

I've gotten used to the tiles as they call the main screen.

I've gotten used to the charms (that's what they call the icons on the left) popping up every time I move the cursor to the left, and I do not find them the least bit charming.  Even worse is when the charms pop up and then zap me over to the tiles screen.

I've gotten used to it not remembering any passwords, EVER, though I don't like that at all, especially when commenting on other blogs and having to type my email and blog url in over and over.  Makes me wish I had an easier blog name and email.  Or my old computer.  I wish that a lot actually.

I've gotten used to the screen suddenly expanding (yes, that's filling the whole screen)

or suddenly shrinking for no reason. Though I have learned I can change it back by placing two fingers on the mouse pad and moving them as if pulling or pushing on the page.  I've also learned that if I used an external mouse, I wouldn't have problems with the charms or the page sizing, but I sit in the recliner and have no where to put a mouse.

But this latest thing it is doing is just crazy. And aggravating. In the past, it has given me the blue window of death, with a message next to my name saying it was locked and would restart in two days. I was able to work around that by shutting the computer down and then turning it back on again.  And one time it gave me the blue page of death with a message that it was reconfiguring, and it did that for an hour before I closed the computer and took it to Best Buy.  But when I got there and opened the computer, it opened to the tiles screen.  So I took it back and griped at it the whole way home.

 But this latest thing, this has no work around that I can find.  Windows 8 took over my computer, and if I had had my sound on, I'm sure I would have heard the evil laughter of the Wicked Witch of the West.  This happened right after I tried to do a Norton scan, the last Norton scan before my 30 free days were over.  Norton wouldn't scan, it wanted me to download updates, and since I wouldn't be using it after that day, I didn't see the need in downloading anything.  So I pressed cancel.  It did, but that's when this screen came up, the purple screen of death I suppose.
The whole screen was purple, the camera just made it look like the top is mirrored. If you can't read it, it says "Windows Update.  Sign in and install important updates", and if you can also see it, there is nothing to click on to install updates or anything else. I tried right clicking on the screen, Control/Alt/Delete, and turning off the power button. Nothing worked.
Closing the computer top seemed to shut it down, but when I opened it again, I saw this screen. Any movement of the mouse took it back to the purple screen of death though. I couldn't remove the battery, and really was afraid to do that since that was the final nail in the coffin of my last computer's hard drive. So I just unplugged it and thought I'd just leave it on and the battery would die in an hour or so. But no, it kept going to sleep and saving the battery. So I gave up and decided I'd have to take it back to Best Buy this morning.

But when I opened the computer this morning to make sure the purple screen was still there, the computer battery was finally dead. I plugged it in, and the tiles screen came up as usual, and everything seems to be back to normal.

But I'm sure the evil Windows 8 dictator is still lurking within, waiting for me to be in the middle of something important before he deploys the final lockdown.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is It Possible to Make Money with a Blog?

Hubby wants me to go back to work. And I'd like to, especially if it were something building or craft related. But I have two strikes against me - my age, and my health. I can't do anything about my age, except I think I'm more stronger and more active than a lot of people my age. But there are also a lot of people who are more active and look a lot younger. Then, there's my health. I go days, sometimes even weeks feeling great, and then out of the blue that evil Candida takes me down for a day or two. Some of it is of my own doing; I'll eat a cookie and nothing bad happens, so I'll eat another, and then another, and the next thing I know, I am sick as a dog. But sometimes I have eaten nothing but safe foods and then something like worry will trigger it.

So I was having one of those bad days Saturday and spent the day watching tv and surfing the net. I don't remember what I was searching for, but I came across some web sites telling how to make money with a blog. Blogger to be exact. Now some of the things were directed at blogs with a large following and had to do with advertising. That's not mine for sure, although there is something in the dashboard that anyone with a blog can turn on to allow advertising. I'm not crazy about indiscriminate advertising, so that doesn't interest me.

What did interest me was selling stuff on a blog though. I have noticed that some people have links to their etsy store, and some have individual posts to sell things. Most of the articles I read had to do with putting a checkout on a blog. There's google checkout, shoplocket, and yahoo paypal checkout. That's for items that will be shipped. I haven't investigated google checkout or shoplocket, but I know I'm not crazy about paypal.

What would I sell? For me, that would evolve over time I'm sure. I think it might be a good way to sell some of the bigger items I want to declutter from the house, like furniture and unwanted Christmas gifts. And maybe even items I have made.

Checking blogs that sell things, I can see that it wouldn't be a good idea to do it on this blog. I have too much personal information here, protected only by not revealing my real name or location. Selling would reveal that. The solution might be using a completely separate blog or website. Or open an etsy account. Or both.

I'm looking into all of this, and welcome your comments, especially if you have some experience with it.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just Another Saturday Morning at Walmart

We spotted this car in the parking lot early one Saturday morning and Hubby managed to snap a few photos as the guy was driving away. He backed up for us so Hubby could get a photo of the back lights in action.
 
The machine guns in front
 
The bat wings and turbo
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Ooooh, Look at My Legs!

No, not these.

(And no, they aren't mine.)

Now stop looking at them,
















and look at these legs.

Saturday night it was a 2"x6"x8' but by Sunday night it was twelve legs.

I've been playing with the router and made these table legs and then routered the edges.

I'm not sure the edge has a deep enough cut though.  I'm trying to decide if I should leave well enough alone, or go over them again.










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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Taxes, Ick!

Not as bad as the federal income tax return but I still dread doing the paperwork to get my state sales taxes done. I usually get it done a few weeks early, but this time I am at the deadline. Subconsciously, I must have known there was going to be a problem, and sure enough there was - an outstanding invoice from September. Ugh, now it's going to be fun to collect.

But it's all done now, and I have a new year's resolution after all I guess. I need a better accounting system. In the past, I just kept copies of outstanding invoices on my desk, but with all the moving around and shuffling of paperwork this year, neither Hubby or I realized that this invoice hadn't been paid.

If you have a system that works well, I'm all ears.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Flu Epidemic Brings Out the Paranoid, and It's Not Me!

I only thought I was a germaphobe until I went to Walmart today. Yes, I know, I said I would never darken the doors of Walmart again. But I needed fabric glue and there is no where else in podunkville to buy it.

I knew it was going to be an interesting trip when the lady walking in in front of me paused to pull a surgical mask out of her purse before entering the store. And then rubber gloves. And then goggles. Yes, goggles. The kind they sell at Home Depot for use with machinery. And then she proceeded through the doors as if it was perfectly normal to walk into Walmart dressed for biological warfare.

I needed to get my glue and get on my way, but I just couldn't resist hanging back to see what happened next. She went to the pharmacy and stood in line. That was it. Gee, I thought she was going to dig through a pile of trash or something. People around her looked at her for a minute, inched away, and then went back to their conversations. Since that rated a 1 on my interest meter, I moved on in search of the glue.

That found, I thought I would cruise through the housekeeping and food aisles to pick up a couple of items I need. I was delighted to see Mrs. Flu Prevention in the baking aisle. I wasn't delighted to see her blocking the spices section since I needed some Cream of Tartar, but I was rewarded by the wait. She pulled a huge zippy lock bag out of her purse and a package of what looked like diaper wipes. She picked up a box of Splenda, scrubbed it with the diaper wipe, and put it in the zippy lock bag. I was torn between curiosity and wariness. I mean I thought she was dressed for flu prevention, but maybe she was a dangerous nutcase.

In any case, someone else asked her the question I was dying to ask: "What are you doing?" Several heads turned to hear the answer. She was scrubbing off the germs so it would enter her home clean. I wondered how she was going to get through the checkout without the cashier taking it out of her sterile bag. I glanced in her shopping cart and everything in there was in a zippy bag.

And me without a camera.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Doors Are Here!

The cabinet doors and vent hood front were delivered this morning. Yippee! Too bad we are in the middle of the ceiling wood so these will have to wait.


Spotted in my meadow just a few minutes was a Western Meadowlark, first one I've seen since we've lived here.

Simple pleasures.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First Snow of 2013

Don't get excited, it's not the snow of Colorado or even as close as sixty miles north of us. For the past two winters we have had real snow, the kind that floats down in fluffy flakes that land gently one atop another until they have covered the countryside, transforming it into a winter wonderland (wonderful unless it breaks trees). Those two years are an anomaly here. This is our normal snow, the kind that streaks down in hard little ice crystals that pelt bare skin and buries itself in the grass. Its presence is only shown on flat surfaces above ground, like cars, decks, roofs, and bridges.

In a far corner of the backyard, I let the grass grow tall, just mowing a few trails through it to the apple trees. I love watching the tall grass wave in the wind, and the wildlife enjoys the seed and the cover from predators. Today I was thrilled to see a hawk land in the grass. I waited for it to take off again, but it stayed there, out of my sight.

Now a true blogger and photographer would have grabbed her camera and waited for it to emerge, but my first thought was to call Hubby so he could see it too. I kept watching and saw two crows circling and diving at a spot in the grass. Soon the hawk took flight with the crows close behind. I have no idea what the hawk was doing there.
Even though we aren't finished with the kitchen, this icy snow reminded me of another urgent project we need to do, a roof over the back door. That deck is slippery when wet and downright treacherous when icy.

Meanwhile, work on the kitchen project continues. We really need to get the beadboard up and out of the garage. A big pile of sixteen foot wood takes up a lot of space. Last weekend Hubby primed more beadboard and today I put a coat of paint on it. No more painting that stuff overhead for me.


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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Surprising Dishwasher Tips That Will Save Time and Money

I dreaded cleaning the filter, or rather, taking the dishwasher apart to get to the filter. Yuck! I have been putting this off for awhile, but when I had to rewash more dishes than I put away, I knew it was time to get it done. Hubby always did this with the last dishwasher, and I've tried to scrape the dishes really well before putting them in this one, but the little crud that was left did what crud does best, it accumulated. Then it redistributed every time I turned on the dishwasher.

I would have consulted my manual before starting, but I have no idea what box it is packed in. So I did the next best thing, I consulted the internet. While I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, I did find a lot of interesting information about cleaning dishwashers. I thought I'd share that with you before you get bored and quit reading, although I'm sure cleaning my filter will be stimulating reading.

How to Make Your Dishwasher Work Best, Saving YOU Time and Money

1. Don't use gel dishwasher detergent.

I know! Why wasn't I ever told about this? I always used gel before this dishwasher. More about why I don't with this one later.

Most gels don't rinse off completely, coating both the inside of the dishwasher and dishes. Most gels contain bleach which can ruin rubber seals, and being a gel, they can stop up your plumbing. They also don't work as well in hot water.

2. Make sure your hot water heater is set to at least 130F or use the heat setting on your dishwasher.

If the water isn't hot enough, it can result in a greasy film and/or soap residue on dishes and dishwasher. If your water heater is a distance from your dishwasher, turn on the sink faucet until the water is hot so the dishwasher will start with hot water instead of cold.

3. Make sure the water level is over the heating element.

Makes sense, doesn't it? If the water doesn't cover the element, the element isn't heating water, just wasting electricity. The pump also needs it to be at that level to work right. A double waste of money if the level isn't right.

To check, let the dishwasher fill and then open the door just wide enough to check.

4. Use more detergent with hard water, less with soft water.
Most dishwashers have two dispensers. I always wondered why. If you have hard water (I do) and your dishes aren't clean, add some extra powder to the second dispenser. If you have soft water and you have a white film on your clear dishes, try using less powder. I use tablets, so I'm not sure how to adjust that.

You can do an easy test if your clear dishes are cloudy. Soak one in vinegar for five minutes. If it comes out clear, the cause is hard water. If it is still cloudy, the cause is etching, and I'm sorry to say that is permanent. But you can use a rinse aid to keep it from happening to your other dishes.

5. Don't prewash dishes.

That's right, don't presoak in the sink or dishwasher, and don't wipe your dishes completely clean. It's just a waste of time and water. Rake all the loose stuff into the trash, or disposer if you have one, and peel off stuff that will clog your filter. That's stuff like the layer of scrambled eggs that is left behind in the frying pan, the burned bits of food after frying. What? You don't burn things? Um hm.

Detergent needs a little food left on dishes to work on, otherwise they just work on the dishes and cause etching.

6. Don't use a rinse aid if you have soft water.

Use a solid rinse aid if you have hard water. The solid works throughout the cycle and the liquid type only dispenses a little at the end of the cycle. That is for most dishwashers at least, and that is the reason I use Finish tablets instead of gels or powders. I think the liquid rinse aid dispenser on mine was broken when I got it. But by the time I figured out that it was using a full bottle in a week's time, it was installed and Hubby wouldn't take it out. I tried the solid rinse aid but found that the Finish tablet with built in rinse aid was easier to deal with.

7. Run a cup of vinegar through a normal cycle on the hot water setting.

Either pour a cup of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher, or place it in a glass container in the top rack. Run without any dishes. It rinses the grease deposits off the sides of the dishwasher, especially those with plastic tubs; it keeps the drain clean; dissolves hard water build-up; and it eliminates musty smells. Some people do this monthly, and others quarterly. Or like me, whenever I remember. I think I've done it twice in the last three years.

Some people swear by running a few teaspoons of citric acid through a cycle, the kind used in canning tomatoes. Like a rinse aid, it loosens and suspends debris and keeps it from sticking to the dishes, or the side of the dishwasher. Since phosphates have been phased out of home use detergents, some people use citric acid every time along with their detergent, .

There is an excellent article by Jill Cataldo on her website. She noticed a difference in her dishes after phosphates were removed, and researched phosphate additives and then did a comparison of commercial dishwashing detergents to see what worked best. You might be interested in her results. I was.

8. Don't stock up on powdered dishwasher detergent.

That's right, it could be a waste of money. They have expiration dates for a couple of reasons. Enzymes and other ingredients break down over time, so detergents are less effective as they age.

Once opened, a box of powdered detergent begins to absorb moisture, especially if it is kept near the dishwasher or washing machine. And don't most of us keep it nearby for convenience? After a few weeks, moisture will cause it to become clumpy, and you will find a sodden lump in the dispenser when the cycle is done.

Since I use the tabs which are individually wrapped, I think they might last longer after the main package has been opened. You can extend the life of an opened package of powdered detergent by placing it in a plastic container with a tight seal.

9. Run the dishwasher regularly.

This was a tip given to us years ago by a repairman and it is still true today. I thought I was being so frugal by only running my dishwasher once a week but the repairman told us that rubber seals will dry out and crack if it isn't run more often. He recommended daily or at least every other day.

10. Clean the traps, filter, and seals.

Some people need to do this every quarter, others once a year, and others can get by with every two or three years. It all depends on your water hardness, how much you scrape, and even what detergent you use.

If you don't do this cleaning on a regular basis, your dishwasher will remind you just like mine did me, with little clumps of grit in every cup and glass, and streaks of grit across the plates.

How I Cleaned My Filter, Traps, and Seals

My dishwasher is a Whirlpool Model # GU2475XTVY1. I found a manual online, but it didn't have instructions on cleaning the filter or even how to get to the filter. There were plenty of questions on fix it forums regarding this model, but no information on cleaning the filter.

There were several links to eHow articles on cleaning the filter. I don't know why I even bother to click on eHow links. The instructions there are usually too simplified to do any good or impossible to understand without pictures.

Then I searched youtube. People make videos to repair just about every piece of equipment ever made and post them to youtube. Every piece of equipment that is, except my dishwasher model. But I found two other videos of other Whirlpool models, and one of them had almost everything I needed to know.

I'm posting the link to the video here, both to help others who are searching for the same model but mainly so I can find it the next time I have to do this because I'm sure I will forget.



The only differences in his dishwasher and mine are the clips holding the top rack on (mine are easier), and mine has a big blue thing on the supply tube to the upper arm, which made it much harder to remove the tube. In fact, it was so cemented together with hard water deposits that I needed three hands to do it. And since I don't have three hands, I had to wait until Hubby got home. When putting it back together, I had to take it apart again, and it was much easier after cleaning.

Mine looks like this.
The little plastic nut on the top of my lower arm did not twist easily, probably because it's never been taken out before and it was also cemented together with hard water deposits. I had to use a pair of pliers to turn it. After that, I did everything like the video. I did place a towel over the bottom of the dishwasher when I removed all the screws. Even with a magnetic screwdriver, I didn't want to risk dropping a screw down the drain.

The other thing I did differently was to remove the screen from the filter unit. There was junk trapped between the two pieces that couldn't be removed without separating them. The screen pried off easily and then snapped back once cleaned.
There was really very little gunk in the traps or filter in my dishwasher. Much less than the one in the video which was kind of surprising considering I've never cleaned it. However, there was a lot in the crevices along the seals, especially at the door bottom. I scrubbed all the seals, and after putting everything back together, I ran a normal cycle with plenty of cups and glasses. That was my acid test. All clean! Yay!

p.s. My next dishwasher is going to have a filter that can be easily checked and cleaned. Photobucket

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What the Cat Didn't Tell You

After the puppy left, Buddy Boy took off spoiling for a fight, and he found one. Hubby thinks poor Buddy was the victim of the neighborhood bully cat who saw Buddy's collar with the two bells and called him a sissy cat. And then of course Buddy had to defend himself. Could be. Buddy came home without the collar. He wasn't too pleased when I pulled another collar out of the drawer and snapped it on him.

One of these days I'd like to build an enclosed cat run so he can have his outside freedom and be safe at the same time.

I bought a round pet bed a bit larger than Tali's bed, and Buddy wouldn't have anything to do with it. I put him in it and he jumped right out every time and went back to the towels folded on the floor. Then one day, I tried to shoo him out the back door and he made a bee-line for the pet bed, jumped in, and looked at me as if to say he would stay in the bed if I would let him stay in. I did, of course. Since then, he has decided that that bed is pretty comfy.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cats Rule, Dogs Drool - as Told by The Cat

I thought all of you two legs might want to hear about that little punk who tried to take over my territory.

First of all, my two leg mama crooned to it like it was something special. At first I thought it couldn't walk because they never put it down, and I was ok with that. But then they brought it outside, put it down, and let it mark my territory! I was livid, but I played it cool until I could get closer to it. Finally, I had my chance when they were all on the deck and I casually sauntered over to it. The little fool looked excited to see me, so I pretended to want to touch noses with it. All of the two legs relaxed and I seized the moment to teach it a lesson it would never forget. I slashed twice before the yelling started. Confused, I jumped off the deck and tried to figure out what went wrong. Surely my two legs understood that no one else is allowed to mark my territory! My favorite two leg, who feeds me, pets me, and lets me sit in her lap even made that loud, annoying sound that means she didn't like what I did. Worst of all, I missed the little varmit. She didn't have a scratch on her. In fact, she thought I was playing with her and ran to me every time we were both outside. Well! I wasn't going to be yelled at again for protecting my territory so I ran from her every time she got near me. Somehow she got the idea from that that she was better than me. Not for long, I vowed.

After that, the two legs never let us down together. They were either holding her, or me. They all talked to that little white fur ball in a funny voice and called her Tali. I concluded by that that Tali was brain damaged, and decided to use that to my advantage.

First, I rubbed on all her toys until they reeked of me. Then I took her bed. It was a little small, but I managed to get most of me in it.

And she was helpless to do anything but watch.
Bwahahahaha! Later, the little brat got on my blankies. I didn't like that but if I struggled to get down, I was put outside, so I just gritted my teeth and plotted my revenge.
The next time I was put down, I ate her food and drank her water. Blech! It tasted like cardboard. But I choked it down and made her watch. Then I looked at her and smirked because she wasn't allowed to eat my delicious shrimp and salmon, or the same food the two legs ate. They all hand fed me that food, and it was good! I hunched over that food and ate it as slowly and noisily as I could so she would know that I was special and she was not. The next day, Tali was left alone with my two legs and they built a tunnel out of boxes in the big empty room that I'm not allowed to go into.

I thought the tunnel was for me, but then they put that puppy in it. She didn't know what to do, being brain damaged and all. She kept trying to climb out in the middle, and they had to put more boxes around it so she couldn't get out. So when my two legs finally gave up and held her, I ran into the tunnel.

It was great fun, dark and quiet, with turns and steps up and down. Best of all, it went all the way through the room I'm not allowed into. It was like a shortcut into the room with the comfy chairs. But my two legs kept grabbing me when I came out of the tunnel and headed for the chairs. I don't understand that. Wasn't that what the the tunnel was for? After I demonstrated the tunnel a few times, Tali finally caught on. But she didn't enjoy the tunnel as much as I did. She raced through it as fast as she could and wondered why she kept being brought back to the kitchen. She never did figure out she could have as much private time as she wanted in there. Stupid dog.
After a few days of this, Tali couldn't take it anymore and her two legs packed her and all her stuff into a little carrier. I know that carriers mean going to the vet and that is a bad, bad thing. At first I celebrated because I made her go to the vet, but then she never came back, and I felt a little guilty. But just for a few minutes. I had my yard, my kitchen, and my two legs all to myself again. And that was good.

After Tali and her two legs left, the tunnel changed. Every time I ran into a box, I immediately ran into a dead end. Someone had closed the ends of all the boxes and then yelled at me again for being in that room. I don't understand that, but I'm sure the dog is to blame. I'm glad she's gone. I won!

Signed,
Buddy, The Cat

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Usually at this time of year, I try to make a few resolutions, or update my goals' list. But I'm not going to do that this year. I obviously stink at that as I don't even remember any of my goals from last year.

I could resolve to post every day, but I know that wouldn't last a week. I could make just one goal for the year, write it on the wall in pretty calligraphy letters, but I know after a week I wouldn't even notice it anymore.

But what I could do, and will try to do, is write down my thoughts as I get them, and post pictures as I take them, like I used to do. I stopped a few months ago due to a chain of events I'm going to call old age. No, not me! Well, maybe me too, but mainly the computer.

I thought I had a bug in it. It was taking longer and longer to boot in the morning, longer to get online, and longer to move from one website to another, and sooooo much longer to load photos. With the construction going on here, I just didn't have time to wait on it, and virus scans and malware scans kept coming up empty-handed. Also, my favorite photo imaging software crashed and I was stuck with Picassa. It works, but it's a pain. So I just took photos and uploaded them onto the computer to crop and resize later.

Then, right before Christmas, my computer crashed. I took it to the repair shop and they said it was the hard drive. They couldn't save any photos or files, and I had very few backups. That's where it's age comes in. It was seven years old, which in computer years is like 86. I. Lost. Everything.

So now I have a new laptop, which seems to be lightning fast compared to the other. But it has Windows 8. So far I am not a fan of Windows 8. That's where my age comes in. It doesn't have the usual desktop. It has apps instead, and I'm struggling to adjust. Also, just the slightest touch on the mouse pad makes something appear or disappear. I'm usually right in the middle of something when that happens.

When the guy at the computer repair shop told me he couldn't recover a single file, I decided right than that I would never save anything else to the computer hard drive. If it had been a solid state hard drive, they could have saved the files, but it wasn't. So I'm on the hunt for a solid state external hard drive.

This computer probably has a way to backup files, but I haven't learned it yet. My last computer didn't have an easy way. Just copy and paste each one. Hubby's computer has a backup button and it backs up everything.

If I had posted my photos when I took them, I'd have them now. Luckily, both Hubby and my mom have copies of Lil's wedding photos. Thanks heavens!

So while that's not a resolution as much as the ability to post load photos in a few minutes as opposed to an hour, it's all I've got. I haven't tried loading a photo yet. Wish me luck.
Photobucket