Monday, April 14, 2014

Isn't That The Way Things Usually Go?

Okay, so you know how it is when things are going along just fine and you have some extra money because your husband's new and improved job pays much much better than the old one, not to mention the months of being on unemployment, and you start to get caught up on things and maybe spend a few dollars on non-necessities and then BAM something happens that costs a lot of money?

I'm sure it's happened to just about everyone because that's just the way it is.

We've been able to get some money into savings and go out to dinner here and there, do some work on the yard involving new flowers and lots of bricks, gravel, and mulch, pay some extra on the credit card that got run up because we had no money for emergencies, get my crown and my expensive deep cleaning and laser treatment done on my teeth, and then Lucy gets sick.

On Thursday we treated her with the topical flea meds since it's getting hot outside and it's flea season, and then on Friday she was acting very lethargic and didn't want to eat, so I'm thinking she's just mad at us for putting flea meds on her or something. She didn't want to come into the garage in the evening where she's been spending her nights in peace and away from the stray cats that come around looking to eat her food. She was up in the tree and her face looked funny to me, like one side of it was bigger than the other. I really couldn't see because it was dark outside, so I got her some soft kitty treats and lured her out of the tree. She started eating the treats and then started growling and backing away and I realized that chewing the treats was causing her pain and something is definitely wrong with her face. She wouldn't let me pick her up and take a look, instead getting back up in the tree where I let her stay until morning.

Saturday morning comes and she is hungry and comes running up to me looking for food, but one bite of her food and more growling and backing up and the side of her face looks like she has a golf ball in her cheek.

I had taken Keith to work on Friday afternoon in case I wanted to run any errands on Saturday, but going to the emergency vet wasn't exactly what I had in mind. Plus, Lucy was up in the tree and how to get her down and into the cat carrier?

It wasn't easy, I kept rattling treat bags but she wasn't having any of that because hey, the treats hurt my mouth, and I couldn't reach her to grab her. After a few hours she jumped out of the tree onto the top of the gate where there is like a platform, so I went and got the ladder and was able to get her down, surprising the heck out of myself for being able to do it. Off to the vet, with an unhappy growling cat in the car, an unhappy swollen faced cat.

She got looked at and the diagnosis was most likely an abcessed tooth but the emergency vet couldn't do dental x-rays to be sure. He gave her some pain meds and antibiotics, got her re-hydrated, and said that it would clear up with the meds but if it's a bad tooth it would just come back and best to take her to the regular vet and get it all looked at.

In the meantime, Lucy had not eaten since Thursday, so I got some cat milk, having to go to two stores to find some, and some baby rice cereal to mix up and see if she would eat it. When she and the other two were being weaned from bottle feeding when they were tiny kittens, I used to give them the baby cereal and kitten formula and they lapped it right up. Even after so many years, Lucy must have remembered how good it tasted because she lapped it right up again. She won't eat canned cat food so this was all I could think of to feed her.

So, this morning I call our regular vet and of course they don't do dental x-rays, I called a few other places who also don't do dental x-rays, and then called a vet that we had taken Lucy and the others to when they were kittens, and yes they do x-rays and I could bring her in. Since she was already going to be put under for the x-rays, she would get her teeth cleaned and an extraction done if it was indeed a bad tooth.

It wasn't just one bad tooth but four, so this little adventure ended up costing almost $1000.00, which fortunately we have since Keith's job pays so much better, but it certainly wasn't a fun way to spend so much money.

I'm keeping her in the front bedroom for a few days and she does seem to feel better and the swelling had gone down a lot by this morning, so she should be good to go here in a few days after her extractions heal up.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Kitchen Towel Wars

It's the little things that really bug you in a marriage. I'm sure there are lots of annoying things I do, but at least I don't wipe my hands on the kitchen towel, wad it up, and then throw it on the counter nowhere near the sink where it belongs. Towels belong either hung on the oven door or hanging off of the sink where they are right next to you when you need to dry your hands.

So, in an effort to keep the kitchen towels where they belong, I've ordered some of those I made it myself towels with the crochet top that have a button to keep them closed and on the oven door or anywhere else you hang a kitchen towel. If there were any church bazaars going on this time of year I'm sure I could find a bunch of them there, but I don't know of any church bazaars and there is no senior citizens craft shop in this town that I know of. So, I ordered some from Etsy.

I could make these myself, I do sort of know how to crochet, but I really don't feel like making these myself and a couple of Etsy sellers will be glad to have a sale, so...

I just need to wait until they get here and see if it actually works to keep the towels in place. I can just see Keith trying to wad and throw one of these, probably breaking the oven door handle in the process.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Greek Yogurt

Or, If You Can't Beat Em Join Em.

I like yogurt. It's a good snack or breakfast or whatever, but I had given up eating yogurt because most of them are way too full of sugar and carbs. I was eating the fake 'dairy product' low carb yogurt made by Kroger that you can only get at Foods Co or Ralphs and our Ralphs store closed here a long time ago, but I got so very sick of the texture of it that I just can't eat it any more.

So, for a long time, no yogurt. However, my new nurse practitioner told me that Dannon Light and Fit yogurt was okay to eat. Not Yoplait light, even their light yogurt has too much sugar and carbs, but Dannon is okay. Yay!

So, I've been eating Dannon Light and Fit since my visit with her a few months ago, but it's hard to find very many flavors of it and it seems like the store's yogurt shelves have been completely taken over by the new food fad, greek yogurt. I know greek yogurt is better than regular yogurt but my VPE syndrome (very picky eater) keeps me from eating it because the texture is just too thick. Or something. I tried it a few times, Dannon does make a Light and Fit greek yogurt, and didn't really like it, but when I found a couple of new flavors in the Dannon brand, specifically cherry chocolate (chocolate!) and raspberry, I gave it another try and think I will get used to the thickness of it eventually. The cups are only 80 calories, so you can eat it for a snack and get lots of protein or whatever it's got in it that's good for you, it's kind of filling, and hey, you can get it in chocolate (CHOCOLATE!)

I also found a strawberry cheesecake flavor, the Dannon Light and Fit regular yogurt comes in that flavor and I really like it and buy it whenever I go to the one store in town that carries that flavor, and the greek version is just as yummy albeit thicker.

If I can just get past that thickness thing I think I'll be all right.

Oh, I also tried the other latest and greatest food fad, kale, in a salad, and no. Just no. It's kind of bitter and while crunchy, just not something I'll ever eat again. I don't care if it's the new super food. And don't even talk about cooking it, nothing is more upsetting to my VPE than cooked greens of any sort. Ugh.

Friday, April 4, 2014

24th Street Cafe Breakfast

A few days ago Keith was on his way home from Barstow and called me right before I was going to bed to let me know that they were stuck up on the hill in the train and since their shift ended in a few hours, would probably get picked up by the van and brought home. I figured he would get in very later or very early, depending on how you look at it, so left the living room light on for him so he wouldn't trip over any cats or anything coming in.

I woke up at my usual between 6 and 7 am the next day and the living room light was still on and no Keith, so I'm thinking maybe he stopped for breakfast somewhere or fell asleep in the car in the parking lot at work, or even in our driveway which has happened before. I waited a bit before I started to get worried and then went on the employee website to see what time he clocked out of work, and his end shift time showed 7:30 am so I stopped worrying, knowing he would be home soon.

They were stuck on the train for about 5 hours over shift since there were absolutely no crews that could come and relieve them, another train had broken down ahead of them and another train was having another sort of problem, so there were all kinds of crews stuck on the hill waiting for their relief, which made for a long boring night for most of them. Luckily they are allowed to take naps when this happens, but still.

Anyway, he finally got home and we were both hungry, so decided to go get some breakfast and were trying to think of someplace we hadn't tried yet that might have decent food. I kind of like IHOP for breakfast, it's close to the house, the food is consistent, you get a pot of coffee at your table, and everything comes with pancakes. It's all good as far as I'm concerned, but he wanted someplace else.

After some deliberation we headed downtown to the 24th Street Cafe, a little restaurant on, you guessed it, 24th Street, a restaurant that is only open for breakfast and lunch and one that we had never been to because every time we thought about it we would drive by and see a big long line outside waiting for a table. And I don't like to wait.

The food must be good, though, since so many people are content to wait outside for it, right?


It was not good.

The only reason I can come up with for people waiting outside is that they either have no taste buds or there are no other cafes downtown to have breakfast at. Really, it was not good. Well, the coffee was good. But the rest of it was not.

I had an english muffin sandwich, eggs, bacon, and cheese, with what were supposed to be pan fried potatoes. The potatoes were so dry I could hardly swallow them and really had no flavor, the muffin didn't seem to be toasted at all, the eggs on the muffin were brown like they had been cooked in bacon grease but were dry, the bacon was actually okay, but the cheese was not even melted. Keith's breakfast of chicken fried steak and eggs didn't look much better.

The service was good, it's a very small cafe which must be why there is always a line outside because it certainly isn't for the food, but the food was not.

It was very disappointing and a total waste of $25.00 and we should have just gone to IHOP like I wanted to.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Stinky Cats and a DUH Moment

Not a whole lot has been going on around here, hence the lack of posts recently. About all I have to talk about is annoying cats and how fast time flies by. It's April already. What?

A few days ago Keith let Pepper go out into the backyard, where instead of getting some exercise so maybe she would lose some weight (she is quite rotund) she went over into the grassy area, which isn't really a grassy area, more like a dirt area with some of that thick foxtail producing grass. She sat herself down and had apparently enjoyed just sitting there. Maybe she thought she was in secret agent mode and the grass was hiding her. Apparently she was also eating some of the grass, which our cats like to do and then come inside and vomit it up somewhere.

Instead of vomiting up the grass, it went through Pepper's digestive system and came out the other end. She was acting all funny the day after she ate the grass, kind of running around and scooting like dogs do when they have whatever it is they have when they scoot around on their bottoms (worms?) and I see marks on the rug and realize it's poo. So I go find Pepper and see something coming out of her bottom with poo stuck to it and (gag) get a wet cloth to wipe her bottom for her. It's grass coming out of her and she was frantically trying to get it OFF already. Keith was trying to help but made it worse by turning her over on her back, which she really really hates, I usually just grab her by the neck and hold her down to clean her bottom. She protested and tried to scratch but I got the grass and poo off of her (gag) and she went running off.

And that is the most fun we've had all week.

We took Harri to the vet a few weeks ago, her eye is always somewhat weepy because of her cat herpes, but it was getting worse. We got some cream for her eye and also a reminder to give her the lysine supplement that I used to give both her and Bear but then slacked off on it. I got a new tube of Viralys for her, which is a gel kind of like toothpaste in a tube and supposedly tastes good to cats. I know when I was giving it on a regular basis to both Harri and Bear they never seemed to mind too much.

The way I've always given them the Viralys is with an injector thing like a syringe, I would stick the end of the syringe into the hole in the tube and then attempt to suck some of the gel into the syringe. I did this for a long time. Then the other night as I was trying to go to sleep, the DUH moment came upon me. Why not fill up the syringe by taking the plunger out and putting the tube into the syringe from the big end, then plunging it down to the dispenser end?

DUH! And DUH again. Why did it take me years to think of this? It is SO much easier!


And here is a bonus picture of the best buds Bear and Mimi. I thought it was cute the way Bear is 'hugging' Mimi.