Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holidays & Cats

With less than a week still remaining on her quarantine time, Carly is getting increasingly annoyed with being shut up alone all day. Cats are generally pretty low-key animals. They sleep, eat, poo, play. But being left alone in a room for a week would make anyone go nuts. She’s taken to lying in front of the door. The other cats sit on the other side of the door and they meow at each other. And scratch on the door. Not so happy about that second thing. She tries to escape when we open the door just as much as the other cats try to get in. For the past few nights we've let her run around the house for a little while when the other cats are eating. As long as they don’t use the same litter boxes or get all up in each others’ butts it should be ok. But then we have to put her back in her room and she's not happy. She seemed to be on somewhat of a hunger strike, although that might have been because we put a new kind of food in her bowl. Maybe she didn’t like it. We switched her back to the Iams and she started eating again. We're done with the pills and we'll be finished with the orange liquid on Tuesday. We’ll be so happy when we can let her back out and let everyone get reacquainted. We’re hoping for some kind of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing whereby everyone will magically get along. We’ll see.

I think I forgot to mention it in the slew of “catching up with life” posts, but we put our Christmas lights up a few weekends ago. Last year we never got around to getting lights or putting them up. This year we got them at low, low post-Christmas prices last December and decided to be pro-active. It was a little chilly but they went up pretty easily after we figured out which kind of clips we needed to use. We plugged them in on Friday. We’re still kicking around the location of the Christmas tree, and whether we’ll put it up any significant amount of time before the party. We have a new tree this year - this one’s pre-lit – and we also bought a ton of new (shatterproof) ornaments. But I suspect if we put the tree up, we’ll have cats climbing into it and knocking ornaments off in about five minutes. I did bring all the other Christmas stuff up so we've got some holiday cheer spread around already. Cat-proof holiday cheer.

The Thanksgiving holiday was low-key for us this year. The turkey I get from work was dropped at Adam's parent's house earlier this month. We went over there for an early dinner. It was a big crowd - Adam's parents, sisters, Chris & Terry, Mike, Donna, and Paula, both his grandmothers and Dave. Lots of good food, especially since I didn't have to make any of it! We picked names for Christmas and, while we got some new people, I ended up getting who Adam always got. *sigh* Oh well.

Friday we did go out, but not for any Black Friday sales. We did our normal grocery shopping etc. There were some good meat sales that we took advantage of as well. That was about it. We discovered that we're getting all the movie channels for some reason so we ended up staying home and watching some newer movies that we hadn't seen (for free!)

Yesterday we went to see Four Christmases in the theater. Not a terrible movie, but not great either. So many talented people in the cast, it could have been so much more than it was.

Our plans today are minimal. It started snowing around 9:30 and there are winter weather warnings out for tonight and tomorrow morning. Ugh. It just figures that on inventory day I'll probably have to fight through stupid people on the highway. Grr. Adam's watching the game right now and I've got a movie (Priceless) to watch. It's in French, so he was not interested of course. Other than that, some cleaning up and perhaps addressing of Christmas cards. It's amazing - my list includes 18. Add Adam's side and it balloons to 54. Crazy.

Hopefully I'll have a picture of the new glasses to post soon. It's been a challenge to get Adam to do it when I'm looking halfway decent.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Double Argh.

Days of cat medicine administered: 5. Days remaining: 8. Scratches received: many - most are easily covered up, thankfully.

But! I think we may have figured out a system that not only gets the medicine into the cat, but also minimizes the pain of kitty scratches and frustration of being spit up on. We were at Petco this weekend anyway (you get a free book with all kinds of coupons when you adopt a pet) so we picked up some pill pockets. We were initially unsure they’d work, but they seem to do the trick. Adam’s figured out just how far down Carly’s throat he has to stick his finger so she can’t spit out the pill but doesn’t barf. We then swap and give her a breather. I inject the orangesicle liquid in small squirts into the side of her mouth and she licks it off her face. We generally have to take another break halfway through the orange stuff because she starts struggling. It still takes some time, but nowhere near the 40-50 minutes it took the first few days. We try to get it done while the other cats are eating. I can only imagine that nothing’s worse than being forced to take gross medicine while JC gloats at you from the floor.

Friday night was pretty low-key. We ate dinner, watched some TV. Saturday morning we went out for some shopping. A lot of shopping. We stopped at Menards so Adam could check out a tool kit he was considering swapping his Christmas gift out for. We went to Petco, Walmart, Walgreens, Target, grocery shopping. We spent pretty much our entire weekly cash. Which is ok – we’ve been under for the past few weeks. We were out the whole morning. We grabbed some lunch at KFC while we were on the road. When we returned home Adam changed the oil in my car. He started a fire in the garage (on purpose) that he had to put out with the fire extinguisher (not on purpose.) We re-filled the indoor wood storage area by the fireplace. Adam made scallops and stuffed mushrooms for dinner. I had leftovers.

Sunday morning we went up to Menards when it opened so he could make sure he got one of the tool sets. It was on sale and had a $75 rebate. We also picked up a new fire extinguisher. We then stopped by his parents’ house. He bought a new laptop and was giving his old one to them. Unexpected wireless router issues turned a “quick stop” into a much longer visit. We then headed back home. I ate a quick breakfast before heading back up to church. The bells did play, albeit a truncated list of songs. We were not at our best. It went alright I guess. I snuck out early after the bells were put away and still only managed to get out at noon.

I stopped at Walmart and Pick ‘n Save on the way home (to return things and get a good deal on milk.) I returned home to a house full of baking smells. Adam made two pecan pies, two pumpkin pies, and a loaf of sourdough bread. And a sinkfull of dishes. I had a headache and was feeling generally awful so when I went to drop receipts off in the office I just laid down on the bed in there and took a nap with Carly for a little while. When the neighbor started chopping firewood I moved to our bedroom and took a nap with JC. Adam finished watching all his DVR programs so we put in Deception. Reminded me a lot of Derailed and The Last Time. Decent movie I suppose. I’ve also got The Darwin Awards waiting in the wings. We ate dinner and caught up on the most recent SNLs. Then it was clean-up time. Adam got pay-per-view wrestling so I retreated to the bedroom to watch Hannah Montana (I wish I were kidding, but I’m totally not.)

This morning we awoke to this:

Gah. I guess we should have watched the weather at some point. My reaction included a few four-letter words not suitable for reprinting. Adam shoveled the driveway out but had to go back over the end when he got home from work (thanks plows!) The drive this morning wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t being run over by irresponsible drivers and while things were a bit slow, it wasn’t unbearable.

This week is a short one with the holiday. The Paalman Thanksgiving is on Thursday afternoon. We plan to exchange names for Christmas again. The “secret” Santa deal works out pretty well although we seem to keep getting the same people each year. We both also have Friday off. No plans to do anything that I’m aware of. I’m going to throw some ribs in the crock pot and hope to start working on our Christmas cards.

On a sadder note, we lost Julie again for bells. She came back a month or so ago and we were so glad to be a full crew again. She was not doing so well yesterday but made it through. But she won't be coming back in the forseeable future. She is starting another round of chemo. I don't even know which round number this is. She's a fighter, but has been fighting for so long now... We're not sure what we'll do for Christmas yet. Make do, as that's all we can really do. So that's a bummer.

On a happier note, here are some Carly pictures:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We know how to pick 'em

So Adam called me on his way home from the vet yesterday. They do a fecal floatation test (hence the need for poo) as part of the wellness exam. They apparently found two difference parasites - giardia (Connor also had this when we got him) and something else. Turns out it's contagious. Excellent.

So this new cat we just rescued from being cooped up in a room full of cats now has to be quarantined for two weeks. And force fed a nasty tasting pill and some liquid that smells like an orangesicle every night. It's a ton of fun. I hold her while Adam administers the torture. A lot of it ends up in my hair or on my shirt. I've gotten three new scratches. And this is only day two. *sigh*

Needless to say, we're kind of pissed off at the Humane Association. They (allegedly) had their vet do the same exam before they gave her to us. How did this miss this? It's not the end of the world - if we can keep getting her to take the medication we should be ok. None of the other guys seem to be affected by it (yet) but we're supposed to keep an eye on them since they shared litterboxes for a couple days. I am just angry that the Humane Association knew we had three other cats but still neglected to tell us that this new addition had a CONTAGIOUS PARASITIC DISEASE. I mean, damn. That's low. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they didn't know. But that's hard to reconcile.

So, we have her in the office with her own litter box and food again. We play with her in the morning and evening. I stop and chat with her at lunch. JC howls outside the door. So much for bonding with the other cats.

This too shall pass.

Neglected Happenings

With all the posting I did this past weekend I forgot to mention some of the more important stuff. Firstly, we went to sign our paperwork at the lawyer’s office on Thursday afternoon. Once again, we waited months to stop in for five minutes. It seems pretty ridiculous to me, but hopefully we’re done with that for awhile.

Also on Thursday I had my haircut (beautifully displayed in a previous post) and an eye doctor appointment. We went back on Saturday and I picked out new frames. I really hate the ones I have now. They’re totally cheap and the lenses are chipped. So it was time for a new pair. I opted out of the Transitions this time, which really brought the total down to a more reasonable level given I didn’t expect to get new glasses so I didn’t set aside more flex dollars. I had to wear sunglasses in the car anyway, so I might as well just get a decent pair of those. I picked the new pair up tonight (7-10 days my butt) and I'll try and get a picture up soon.

On Friday I spent most of my day at home, watching TV and making sure the cats didn’t kill each other. Since Carly spent the majority of her day under the couch, that wasn’t too difficult. We had our photo appointment at church to have our picture taken for the directory. Why is it that photographers are always semi-obnoxious? We were in and out of there pretty quickly, not falling for any of their sales pitches. We’ll get a complimentary 8x10, but that’s it. Like we need more pictures of ourselves.

This week has been flying by so far. Monday was the first real snow of the season. It wasn’t really a lot, but it was cold enough that it froze on the roads. Once again, people completely forgot how to drive in the winter again. Tons of accidents on the highway caused by people being stupid. My drives home and to and from handbells weren’t bad at all. I guess I managed to avoid most of the idiots.

Tuesday was IMA. It was at the Darboy Club, which I like because it’s a family-style meal (ie – no meal choices for me to worry about) and they’re used to our group: Things are always set up the way they should be, the bill is easy to settle (the same bartender/manager has been there the past few times so he knows me), and my job is a whole lot easier because of that. The presentations were a bit dry – it was tax update time after all – but overall the night was good. Smaller attendance than we’d prefer, but we take what we can get. I’m still being pestered about moving to the president role. Ugh.

Yesterday Carly had her vet appointment for her free check up and rabies shot. We needed a stool sample so Adam shut her in the office Tuesday night when he got home. He was hoping she’d poo relatively quickly so he could let her back out. She ended up being in there all night long. Stupid cat wouldn’t poo! Luckily when we went in there yesterday morning there was a fresh one in the litter box. I suppose it wasn’t that big of a deal since we were leaving her at the vet all day. But it was still a relief to know she’d been eating. We worry a bit since she doesn’t appear to like wet food and we don’t see her eat an awful lot of dry food. She runs around and plays with the laser like a pro so we know she’s got to be eating something. Unfortunately it wasn't all good news when Adam picked her up. More on that later.

The rest of the week (what's left of it) should be back to normal (whatever that is.) I’ve got a lunch meeting tomorrow with the entire accounting department to figure out what we’re going to do when SAP steals so many of the key users next month. I’m a little afraid to hear what’s going to happen. On the bright side, because Thanksgiving lands in a bad way for month-end, we’ll be counting on 12/1 and there will be no 2nd day estimate requirement. This means not only will one day of invoicing adjustments be eliminated, but I won’t have to stay late on day 1 or come in at 6am on day 2 either. Woo! That said, my counting crew is pretty sparse. It’s becoming a monthly struggle to convince people to take an hour out of their morning to help. *sigh*

Bells are supposed to play this Sunday, but seeing as how two people weren’t at Monday’s practice it’s a real possibility that this one will get cancelled too. Eventually we’ll play. Even if it takes until Christmas Eve. Ha.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A 4 Letter Word

Starts with S.


I see it right now, looking out the window.

Stupid winter.

Stupid snow.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cat Craziness

I know, overload of stupid posts this weekend. What can I say? I have some free time.

Adam's still enjoying a cat that will cuddle:

(Pay no attention to her glare - she's glaring at me, not because she's in Adam's lap. She doesn't like me.)

We kept her alone in the office last night with her own food and litterbox. She seems confused by the rolling litter boxes we have and had taken to relieving herself on the bathmat in Adam's bathroom. She did ok overnight but still hisses at all the other cats when they get too close to her. Ted especially ticks her off. But at least she doesn't hide under the couch all day anymore. Progress...

In Hot Water

Oh house, how have we repaired you? Let me count the ways...

So yesterday morning we both took showers (as we're apt to do) and we both noticed they were a little colder than usual. Adam blamed me, I blamed JC. (That cat takes really long, hot showers. What a diva.) Adam investigated the hot water heater downstairs and determined it was kaput. I mean, of course it was. The warranty ran out in June. So he did some online pricing, called his dad, and went to get a new one. They spent their afternoon sweating pipes, tripping over things, and installing the new hot water heater.

I know, I know. Why did I take a picture of a water heater? They all look pretty much the same. I'm weird. That's why. I mean, I bought this cute guy on clearance at Fleet Farm and he's my only Thanksgiving time decoration.

(Not the Furby, the corn guy. Although now that I think of it, having a Furby is kind of weird too.)

Anyway. The new heater works (yay!) and the water comes out hotter than ever. I think the old one was kind of wimpy. We knew we'd have to swap it out eventually, but I didn't think it would quit so soon. At least it crapped out on a Saturday. (Always look on the bright side of life...)

Now we're just crossing our fingers that the furnace stays with us for the winter. Since we anticipate replacing it this coming spring, it will probably die on the coldest day of the year. (Nooooo! Knock on wood!!!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Patented Butt Wiggle

In which you get both lame 90's references and a picture of my bed head! Lucky you!

So last night wasn't so bad. The cats all seemed to get along better. JC and Carly had a few stand-off moments, but overall everyone kept calm. Ted and Carly don't seem to get along too well yet. I guess we'll have to try and still keep them separated. (Whoa, The Offspring flashback. Anyone? Bueller? *crickets chirping* Ok, I'll keep my lame 90s references to myself. Ok, so probably not...)

Anyways. Much like the other felines in the house, Carly enjoys napping in the sink.

Made that much better by a nice tummy rub from Adam, I'm sure.

She also enjoys relaxing on the kitchen counter

(where she's totally not supposed to be, but that's a cat thing - doing the exact opposite of what you tell them to do.)

And, unlike any of the other cats, she has also taken to laying on the top of the couch. By my head. Check out my awesome bed head (and my new, shorter hairdo.)

She also camped out on my pillow for a while last night. While I was laying on it. Kind of like Candy used to do - although Candy actually laid ON my head, not just next to it...

She looks eerily like Ted, doesn't she?

Aah, memories.

So, in conclusion, cats are weird.

Friday, November 14, 2008

And because I can never post too many cute cat pictures...

JC staring intensely

Ted sleeping in the new chair

Both Ted and JC conked out on the cat tree

And, by far the cutest picture ever, Conner napping over the heating grate. Smart cat...

An early Christmas present

The Benefits of Benefits

Ah, annual enrollment. Such a joyous time of year. When you once again discover that the increase in your health insurance premiums will completely negate any raise you might be getting. Plus more. Sweet.

We did some comparison shopping between Adam’s plans and my plans as per usual. This year (well, for 2009) Bemis added a +1 category so we had more options. It turned out we were still better off sticking as employee only on our separate plans with Adam tacked on to my dental. We’ll save $58 for the year by doing this rather than putting us both on my plan. Adam’s +1 plan was even more expensive. *sigh* Adam also enrolled in his company’s flex spending program. I’ve been in it from the start, but this is the first year he’s doing it. Contacts are expensive. So it will be interesting to see how our net pay shapes up next year. It might be scary.

Yeah, I know, What's with the no posting for two weeks thing?

So on Halloween instead of sitting at home, attending to trick-or-treaters and handing out all the candy we bought at Sam’s Club, we drove to Milwaukee. To go shopping. No, really. We had initially intended to do that on Saturday, but Adam called me at work in the afternoon and suggested we do it Friday night so we would have the rest of the weekend to “chill.” So we made the drive, did the shopping (rather successfully on both our parts) and came back home. To a house full of candy. Not good. Saturday we did our normal weekly shopping, some cleaning. In all honesty, I don’t really remember all the goings on. I do remember going to Petco and buying an obscene amount of cat food. It was all on sale and we also had a 10% your entire purchase coupon. So we stocked up. And were almost tempted into adopting another cat. I also remember having lunch at Beefeaters on Saturday afternoon. Adam had a caramel apple martini at 12:30 in the afternoon. We both also got dessert. Simply scandalous! I watched Arthur while Adam was occupied by football on Sunday afternoon.

This past weekend wasn’t too exciting. On Saturday we took my car in to get new tires (can you hear the money flying out of our account?) We then went up to Appleton to do a bit of shopping. In case you were not aware, this past weekend was national adoption weekend at the local pet stores. We figured there was no harm in stopping by Petco to see if Saving Paws or the Humane Society were there with additional cats. No such luck, but we did pick up an adoption application for the Fox Valley Humane Society. We went back home for a bit, looking at some cats online. We then went back up to the humane society to check them out. We originally went in to look at a calico cat named Callie. She was in a room with three other cats: one big orange tabby who hid in the corner, a large black cat who growled every time I got near him, and a gray tabby named Carly. We liked Callie, but were soon taken in by Carly. She happens to already be spayed and front paw declawed. And she adores Adam. He picked her up and she snuggled into his arm. So cute.

So we amended our application and turned it in. They called our references Monday morning. They made us jump through additional hoops that I think we probably could have avoided if we’d gone with another Saving Paws cat. We had to get Ted and Conner up to date on their rabies shots. Given that we’d made very little progress in our ability to get them into their carriers, we decided to go with a vet that does house calls. It wasn't more expensive than our regular vet and it was more their problem to get to the cats. Sweet deal. The vet was a nice guy and it was an interesting experience. JC was no problem since he likes pretty much everyone. Ted and Conner weren't having any of it though. They hid under the couch and wouldn't come out. Eventually Adam got them each in a corner and the vet poked them from wherever he could reach. Whatever works. We turned in that additional paperwork Wednesday evening and Adam went and picked her up last night.

She immediately hid under the couch. JC hissed. It was a night of interruptions. Every so often it seemed like JC remembered she was in the house and would find her and hiss. She hisses right back and growls. Hopefully they'll get along eventually. And hopefully this will quell Adam’s desire to increase our brood.

In other news, I did get called in for jury duty on Tuesday. I headed to the court house, watched a stupid video, and sat in the jury room for two and a half hours. And then the case settled. *sigh* Oh well. I’m done for another four years. That just added to my chopped up work week. I was out Tuesday morning, had vacation Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and I'm off all day today. Nice. Not too much planned for the weekend. That I'm aware of anyway. I'm trying to catch up after another busy month-end.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Conspiracy Theories (and a new number)

Out of curiosity I took a slight detour on my way home for lunch. I drove over to our polling place – the police station – to see how the crowds looked. As I approached I really didn’t see too many cars. I figured I may as well check out the line to see if I could get it done over my lunch break. I walked into the building and made a right (as I remembered doing last time.) I was greeted by a woman in a blue shirt and ABSOLUTELY NO LINE AT ALL. Not a single person in front of me. In fact the guy with the book looked a little bored and two of the other ladies were doing some stretching exercises across the room. I had been kind of worried that I had decided to vote today rather than via absentee early vote. I was hearing/seeing all these stories on the radio and in the paper about horrendous lines and how they had police officers to help with crowd control. Either these accounts are severely exaggerated or our ward sucks voter turnout-wise. Or I just have really good timing. Or maybe this is the (insert political party here)'s way of scaring off voters who may vote for (insert the other political party here.) Lines! Aaaah! Ahem. In any case, quick in, quick circle filling, quick out. And I remembered to grab my sticker this time. Civic duty done.

Oh, and John McCain called us this morning. OMG!!! (Ha. Ha. Ha. Cannot wait for the robo-calls to stop!)

On a related note, due to some confusion over our switching from Time Warner to AT&T, we lost our phone number. We're thinking it's TW's fault, but who knows. In any case, we have a new phone number (Yay! I could barely remember the last one!) If you need it, email us/me.