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Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:05 pm

It has been an interesting week.

We got the job we needed done out on time yesterday. Finish welding after fit-up shown below. We encountered technical difficulties with specs on cuts made to the big tubes causing warpage and the parts that had to fit in the tubes to a dead-on tolerance were oversize.

I put in plenty of quality time hand-cranking the old Index milling machine, we put in a lot of hours, and it was still HOT when it left but it was done by 4:30pm as promised. Brain didn't even turn it for comfort, he welded it all in place overhead, vertical, and flats... We're feeling it today, lot of really long hard days in a row.

I love the old Index mill but it would sure be nice to have power feed on it sometimes! We need to get CNC controls on it, the torchmate table software will run three axis. Lot cheaper than buying power feed from the manufacturer, probably easier and more useful too?

That's me. I wear the pink hat. Brian wears a black hat or a welding beanine to work. My welding beanie is pink. Makes it easy to tell us apart.

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Finish welding here, fit up is all done. Brian got ALL the welding done on this in four hours yesterday. I did stop him and poke a BBQ sandwich in him at one point.

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Brian was in Louisville again this morning for a dog and pony show, the french gentleman this job is for wanted to see the progress and toured Stamler Machine where the assembly work is being done. I always hated those and Brian left as soon as the customer cleared the facility. He's asleep on the couch now. I plan to leave him right there and feed him when he wakes up.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:08 pm

Driving in to the shop the past few mornings mornings I've noticed folks passing multiple vehicles at once to get around farm equipment (including mine) in no passing zones on 135. I prefer to have accident prone drivers in front of me so I can see it coming but honestly I resent them taking chances with ME to get there!

Then I was tailed so close I worried about needing to stop suddenly around the ball fields just off 56 by a middle aged blond gal when I came through the business detour for the construction on 56. She was actually in the middle of the road on my bumper like she thought she was going to pass me on the stretch of road between the nursing home and the ball field!

I finally got off the road and let her rush up to be first in line to stop at the construction. Someone beat here there so she only got to be second.

I stopped at the Goodwill in town and when I left a young red-haired kid came up on me waving his arms when I was leaving the parking lot. I slowed and he opened the door of my vehicle and started begging me for a ride to Huckster's Hall. I'd been everyplace in town trying to catch up on everything we have not had time to get lately and I was packed tight with groceries, pet food, etc.

No room for a passenger at all, much less two. I said so and the kid turned to the other guy and said "She's fine if we ride with stuff in our lap!" I said "Oh NO! Not that far, you're young. They both had the shakes pretty bad and I dislike pushy people very intensely.

I had a little trouble communicating I meant it but the kid's friend was backpedaling a bit and drug him off. I will be putting a can of long-range wasp and hornet spray by the console so I can help someone move away if I should run into serious problems. Be locking my doors when I get in a vehicle in in Salem too.

I hear they have closed 135 headed for Seymour now too. Just can't get anyplace from here. Maybe folks are too frustrated to engage their brains?
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:10 pm

The wrecker service that our customer sends to pick stuff up when we are done with it sent a driver out a day early for the latest pickup. They never even found the place, got lost before they made it to the shop and were recalled when reminded they were a day early.

Last we heard their services would not be used any longer and so they arrived nearly two hours early for pickup yesterday. I promptly called the engineer to verify we were supposed to send the job with this service since we had discussed using someone local in Salem yesterday. Lot of time waiting for a phone call and turns out the answer was yes.

I went back in the shop looking for the driver and found him standing inside the work area watching Brian weld without any protection whatsoever. I invited him politely to leave the area, citing safety. He ignored me. I hollered at Brian and Brian invited him politely to leave the area, citing safety.

He gave me a dirty look but left that time, went out and sat in his truck and cranked the radio up. We decided that it was polite to let the driver know that we would be making our delivery time of 4:30pm as agreed.

When I told the driver we would make our delivery time of 4:30 as agreed he verbally abused me and tried to argue with me about his "right" to be in the shop and my "ignorance" about safety because he had "been around welding for over 30 years!" I told him to stay out of the shop and went back in to work scraping.

It's a cute dance, when I scrape while Brian welds. I stay at least 8 feet away from him, turn my back and close my eyes. Yes, I can scrape blind just fine. I do not need to see to do this and often it's not possible to see it anyhow, it has to be felt to do a good job. If I'm at all close to him I can wear a helmet, my call and I'm cautious.

So Brian finished the welding about 4:05 and we got serious about cleanup. We scrap, wipe and polish with a wire wheel after welding. It's worth the bucks we get paid for it, believe me. We're fast. Driver comes back in while we're scraping. . Stands behind Brian and glares at me.

I failed to communicate effectively to Brain that what I needed was (Censored word. I'm a potty mouth) eviction and didn't really want to engage with a (Censored word. I'm a Potty mouth) anyhow. I started getting upset when the jerk began reaching around and doing stuff to my precious part - "helping" - while it was still on OUR forklift and not yet given to him to strap down. All I need is some fool getting hurt because he wants to get pissy with me...

I've always gotten that a lot. I am getting real comfortable with boundaries and limits nowadays since I have realized that's what these problems are really about.


I have successfully communicated that we must have an (Censored word. I'm a potty mouth) policy and party line. There will be an official "KEEP THE HECK OUT OF HERE" sign and I don't know if we'll provide a bell for delivery and pickup drivers to ring or if we'll just give them a "please sound horn and wait" sign. Then if some jerk comes in, won't leave when asked, and does things that could get me hurt or leave me liable for their own self-inflicted injury I can just call the cops and ask them to haul off the trash.

I will file any appropriate charges if this is ever necessary. I think I may move one of our trail cams to the shop to improve my position if it ever comes to that.

So finding signs to post at the shop is up pretty high on the "to do" list. If you love me, bring nice manners and never grab something to "help" me when I'm working, you're still welcome in the shop, disregard the sign and come on in as usual.

The party line is "We're consulting on a project." should anyone take offense about being kept OUT of the building because "so and so is in there so I should be able to come in too..." which would be what will happen next. Just so you know.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:11 pm

Yesterday the dogs had this. I couldn't even guess if anyone ate the antibiotic ointment, or who it would have been if they did. We've been watching but no one is suffering as might be expected if they ate an entire tube of antibiotic ointment.

Maybe we'll give all the dogs some yogurt? That stuff would have to kill off a bunch of gut bacteria. Sigh.

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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:14 pm

Tinker started with diarrhea two nights ago. Gave her a dose of kitty kao pectate from the vet (remember the regular kao pectate is poison to cats since they "improved" it by adding aspirin!) Long night in and out of the litter box and I do try to cover for her since she really can't do it with that front leg missing. Bless her she tries.

So we got home late yesterday and figured out she has likely got a bladder infection. She was burning up hot too, in the litter box every time she turned around, straining and passing a dime-sized puddle of urine. I saw a couple flecks of blood in the damp spot and we put a hot cloth on her poor butt. She said it really helped.

No improvement this morning so we went to the vet. Benny said she isn't running a fever today, gave her an antibiotic shot and I reminded him Tinker vomits if we give her oral antibiotics. I declined his offer of bringing shots home to give her myself. I'll take her to him in two days and HE can give her the shot. Happy to pay for that service.

Brought her home, fed her a half a can of catfood, loaded up a pile of fresh catnip for her, gave her a hot water bottle, she greatly appreciates this and presses the afflicted area against it, and left her to sleep. Sure hope she's not trying to pass stones, I'll give her a shot of marshmallow tea when she wakes up and at least it won't hurt anything. I use those mini hollyhocks for this, coarsely chop 3 tablespoons of it and pour a cup of boiling water over it, cover and let cool, then strain off the liquid.

I dose our pets by weight, I can have a cup of the tea (250 mL) at 100 pounds of body weight. I'm proud to say I'm up to 127 and may be holding finally, but the math is what matters. Tinker goes 10 pounds easy, so she can have one tenth of 250 mL. That's a lot to pour in a cat. Cats are sensitive too, in practice I might shoot for 10cc's over several hours as a dose for diarrhea, constipation, I add cloves for vomiting. If dehydration is a problem I squirt several tablespoons of it in the cat with a syringe every hour or so for as long as we both can stand it or it starts coming out the other end.

A tablespoon of crushed rolled oats (mash them in your fingers or between two spoons) may be substituted for the marshmallow but pour a cup of COLD water over them and leave them an hour or overnight if you can.

Plantain is great too if you have that, the green plant, not the banana. 3 tablespoons of the fresh leaves, washed roots and stems can be chopped right up together with plantain. Slippery elm bark works great, I have lots of it and Tinker HATES it so we won't go there.

Any "demulcent" herb works to soothe inflamed smooth tissue like sinuses, mouth, gut, intestine and urinary tracts. Okra is a good example, the demulcents are slimy. I would NEVER give okra to the cat. The oats, marshmallow, slippery elm and plantain are safe for critters but many herbs are not!

Recall one tablespoon of dry herb or three tablespoons of fresh herb to one cup of boiling water is the rule of thumb. If it's woody like cloves, it needs to be boiled and smashed. I found a potato masher that's flat with holes and it does a great job, I boil cloves for 20 minutes or so and smash them around every few minutes. I add one part clove tea to ten parts marshmallow for cats. Works good. Our other kitties will just drink this for us. I would add catnip to Tinkers marshmallow tea to try to get her to drink it - but it's a diuretic ( would make her pee) and she needs to STOP peeing now.

This is not intended as medical advice. Just talking about my Tinker cat here.




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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:26 pm

This is what happens next. I had really hoped the leaves wouldn't fall until after this weekend...

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We are going to have to cancel the gathering we had planned for this weekend, October 17-18th. You can see the problem. Our new paved road that runs as narrow as 11-12 feet wide, has some deep drop offs and very steep edges. Now we can't even see where the edges of the road are.

As much as we love to have a big gathering at our place we would hate it a lot more if anyone damaged their vehicle or was injured on their way to or from our place. We had received no replies from our county commissioner our county Highway Department Superintendent at all.

We will be trying to speak with them in person, asking to be put on the agenda for the county commissioners meeting (giving two months notice and hoping to be approved of course) and following the proper channels to address this. With a little luck and if we have enough registered voters we might get this resolved by next year.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:32 pm

The yard deer are out in the yard. I could probably get a better shot if I went out to holler at them and try to make them leave. When I do that they turn their rear ends toward me and flip their tails up and down and it's not their most photogenic side.

We've got a real buffet for supper, chopped cabbage salad, leftover lasagna, beans and roast! Got a brownie from the Cheddar Depot for dessert, mmmmm.....

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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:35 pm

I am batting a negative thousand on communications lately. Mom has no objection to shop traffic...
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:40 pm

Communication is a challenge in the best of circumstances... Today Brian and I learned that we thought we had decided on final placement of a couple permanent structures, a wood shed and an equipment shed. Separate buildings here, a small shed for wood near the milk truck box that was our home last summer, and an enclosed section of our existing carport. We are both positive that the opposite arrangement was agreed upon.

I feel sure that we agreed to put the wood in the shed that is away from the house (and driveway) and the equipment near the house (in the carport) where it would be easy to move around. Brian assures me we agreed to the opposite arrangement, with the wood stored near the house in the enclosed section of the carport, and the equipment stored further away. I don't need to be "right" here and it's impossible to "prove" anything now isn't it?

Important thing is not to get sidetracked and squabble over who remembers what.

I sure am sorry I misunderstood Mom and it's remarkably awkward to make amends in the digital world without making things worse instead... I've deleted a couple of recent posts that some folks may have read one or both of and I prefer not to leave either of them up in light of the obvious fact that I was the person who didn't get an attempted communication straight;) Nor would I distress my Mother for anything in the world. Try to live and learn here, not just live...?
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:07 pm

Picked up some pretty gourds and edible squash today. We had pizza for breakfast (at noon) at the Snappy Tomato in Brownstown and went to the Brownstown Hardware store after for a little R&R.

The solid orange and green squash in the back left are buttercup squash. There's a "carnival acorn squash" to the right of them, it's the orange and cream one that looks like a pumpkin. Gourds are in front of the squash, the cream and orange one in front of the gourds that is shaped like a pumpkin IS a pumpkin. Hope to dry and preserve the pumpkin too, we're eating the squash. I'll save seeds if we like them.

I want to make little containers out of the gourds. I do NOT want to gnaw through a hard, brittle gourd skin when they dry. So I found a can of bamboo shoots that is exactly the right height to set my box knife on, spun the gourd around and cut the top off. Worked as well as might be expected with a gourd that is not flat on the bottom, not perfect but I'm good with it.

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Scooped out the seeds and pulp. Tossed the pulp over the hill and saved the seeds.

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Lid fits fairly well.

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Found info about drying decorative gourds and tips for using them in arrangements here:

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state ... ewsID=7924


Didn't quite answer my question about whether the lid will fit when it dries and how the gourd will dry nicely once it's opened up. We'll see how it works out. If it gets ugly and stinks within a week I won't do the rest of them until they dry.

Maybe I can use my jewelers saw to cut the dry ones? Think I'd prefer to mark them and use the dremmel with a cutoff wheel if I have to do it that way - full safety gear is needed for that, dust mask, face shield and ear plugs. Hoping it works out cleaning and cutting them green!

Found a recipe for a buttercup squash coffeecake:
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/butt ... offee-cake

Buttercup squash soup:
http://southernfood.about.com/od/winter ... 91102b.htm

Buttercup squash baked with apples, butter, brown sugar and nutmeg. I'd add nuts to this one!
http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/but ... e4fd7b296e
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:13 pm

Pulled the second beef roast I'd seared and cooked out of the freezer and cubed it for soup. Working up a tomato-beef based soup on a minestrone theme. Frozen mixed veggies, barley, wild rice, some of the sliced baby okra with plenty of extra big okra seeds, (burgundy okra turns green when frozen!), red kidney beans, got some pasta to toss in shortly.

Threw in fresh mushrooms, minced up some garlic and onion, gave it a generous dash of kitchen bouquet and ground peppercorns. Added half a can of the "beef jerky" that is sold in little cans to look like snuff. (The packaging ought to be illegal in my view but I love the product.) Sure smells good! Love my tomato powder from Mother Earth Products! I add it to soups and stews when a whole can of tomato paste would be too much. Used perhaps a half a cup of that. Taste tests good!

We'll have plenty to share with our Moms as planned. I love to cook that way when we can manage it. Make a LOT of something so we can use part of it to make something else we love too and freeze it if necessary until we get around to the next stage.

I always try to make plenty so I can tuck at least a couple quarts in the freezer for lunches at the shop and if you keep sending people yummy food, they often send some back;) Works out great for everyone, especially folks who are trying to cook for one, if we can all make bigger batches and share sometimes.

Hoping to work up to canning pints and quarts of our own soup!

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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:23 pm

Sure will Patrice, it's looking promising as the gourd is starting to dry. Got several ideas about how to help the lid want to sit on the base. Gluing a disc of cork or wood might be the easiest?

We've had a whole day OFF!!! Wow. Had breakfast for lunch, got lost looking for an Amish store, then we decided to hit a local festival early. When we got there I spent a couple of minutes trying to decide if I had lost it completely.

There was this boat... It was so perfect! I REALLY wanted it. I decided that I was ok with losing it if that was the case and bought the boat. It was only $150.00. I didn't even try offering them less, bout hurt myself getting the checkbook out so fast!

It's about 8 feet long and standard width for a jon boat. I can pick it up all by myself! It isn't new, but there's no visible damage to the bottom. Not a problem if it leaks of course, Brian will tell me to weld it myself but he'll do it for me because he really likes our new little boat too;)

So it is officially one of the two happiest days of my life - the day I bought the boat. Remains to be seen if the other happiest day will be when I sell it.

I think we are going to love it. We can haul it on any vehicle we've got and won't need a trailer (bonus!). I got life-jackets with it so that's covered. Need oars and a souped up trolling motor.

Brian is already thinking about a little gas motor for it but I doubt we'll need it. I especially enjoy rowing and have rented boats at a local lake pretty often over the years just to zip it around the lake.

We live within ten miles of four really nice lakes to fish from a boat. I plan to get whatever paperwork it needs done so I can take it anyplace next year. I do believe we'll use it fairly often because it will be so easy. I'll offer it to the neighbors any time they want to let their grand kids paddle around in the pond too.

If I had known such boats existed I would have paid a lot more for it to have one of my own 30 years ago. I'll get pics tomorrow. They're holding it for us to pick up in the morning. We were in the kia today and didn't have a good way to tie it on. We paid for it already of course, left a check and told them we'd bring cash tomorrow, everyone is happy.

Like to weld a couple eyes on it to strap it to the luggage racks on the kia. We'll take the s-10 to pick it up.

I was all set to run it down the river but Brian said he would really prefer I don't. I said "yes, dear" and meant that although I would dearly LOVE to take the little boat all through the muscatatuck bottoms. If he is worried about my safety I respect that. I did ask that he remember this should I ever express concern about his safety.

I've never caught many fish on rivers so I won't feel terribly deprived. Brian did say he might try it in Blue River with me. I like that it's little and light so portage won't be a problem in small rivers.

I might be losing it but I am so EXCITED!!! I never even wanted to own a boat before... Now I'm all set to do it up as only we could for ourselves! Pictures tomorrow:)
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:40 pm

Other scores today include a pair of C-clamps (one needs a new swivel end but we'll order that from McMaster Carr), one is an Armstrong, can't recall what the other one is but it's a good old brand too. $15 for the pair:

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A corner vise. $5, doesn't even look like it's been used.

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Four COMPLETE and pristine sets of encyclopedias!!!!!

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We also got The Do It Yourself Encyclopedias by Popular Mechanics, The Illustrated Science and Invention Encyclopedias, and the New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening. $5 per set. Unbelievable.

We'll take them to the shop library once we get done reading them here. Already found a couple things we'll need to build for ourselves, something like the aquarium coffee table looks like exactly what we need to keep the fish tank we want with the space we actually have.

I remember when the encyclopedia salesman came to our home. I was in maybe 3rd or 4th grade. My sister and I had never seen anything so magical in all our lives! We begged. Folks bought them, World Book set. I read them from cover to cover, all of them, as fast as I could get through them.

I read them again and again over the years, used them to look things up for book reports and felt so wealthy to have such marvelous stores of knowledge. I never understood the kids who treasured toys. Learning to MAKE the toys - seeing how the WORKED - now THAT was treasure!

Brian and I don't know many other people who read encyclopedias, industrial supply catalogs, dictionaries and technical manuals for entertainment but we've always loved being able to talk to each other about wonders discovered in these magical volumes.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:08 pm

It's got three seats. Only damage is the visible knot above the handle on the right and someone put a piece of plywood on the middle seat. We'll take the plywood off and see what's underneath, got aluminum if the seat needs work.

Little hammer and dolly work on the knot, might need a little Tig weld when we get done pounding on it? Probably take it out and see how it does in a pond before we do much to it. If it floats both of us we've got lovely weather coming up next week!

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I can hardly wait!

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We've heard that a boat is a hole in the water that you pour money in;) I want oars. Brian wants a trolling motor (he REALLY wants a gas motor).

Brian wants to make a light axle to set under it so we can pull it to places you probably cannot imagine any fool would try to take a boat. I've carried full size jon boats filled with camping and fishing gear to some of those places over the years and wheels are sounding good to me!

I'd like a couple eyes on it to strap it to the luggage racks on the kia, and hooks to set the oar tips in. Some pole holders and a rack for them would be sweet.

We both want cushions to sit on. Brian suggested the bleacher seats that fold up and have backs. We're thinking about how to put a telescoping shade cover on it. Something we can drop down and use to cover the stuff so we can leave everything IN the boat to haul it. Most of what we'd want to do with it is small stuff and it's largely work, not money we'd pour in it.

Since I'm the person who takes a child's tackle box and a telescoping fishing pole for a fishing trip, I enjoy traveling light. Brian totes a suitcase size tackle box and full length poles. He is the only person I've ever fished with who is known to catch more fish than I do on occasion, but others have toted that suitcase for a tackle box without improving their fortunes.

I do have the BIG poles for cat-fishing and I like running lines too. We have got all the tackle any dozen people would need, materials for improvements we'd like to make and a little budget to shop for accessories.

I'll be surprised if we spend much on it. We've already got good batteries and that's one of the bigger expenses. Already had an offer of a good deal on a trolling motor. Might go see about that tomorrow.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:55 am

Gabby has not been able to stand up without falling down since last night, she's listing to the left and can't hold her head up straight either, she's been projectile vomiting and isn't eating.

She does have an ear infection in her left ear (this is chronic with her, just another round of it) and may have infection in her middle ear. We took her to the vet this morning first thing. He told us these problems are often caused a tumor in the middle ear in elderly dogs and sent us home to try antibiotics to see if it helps.

We looked the symptoms up online and learned it is not uncommon for older dogs to develop these symptoms with no apparent cause - and it often shows improvement within 72 hours and is all better in a week or two.

The dogs often carry their heads tilted to the side from then on but not always. No one knows why. Short-term it can be challenging but we're mopping up the puddles and trying to keep her comfy.

We're treating the ear infection, gave her benadryl (Diphenhydramine) for the nausea and vomiting (this works for dogs only, we did lots of research before we decided to try it and she's had it before so it shouldn't cause problems) and hope she won't get dehydrated before Monday since the vet is closed Sundays. If we have to take her in for IV fluids we'll do that.

If it is a tumor the prognosis is terminal and time will give us a better idea. Sigh. We've got our hands full just trying to figure out how to help her potty, drink and eat.

She does seem to be doing better this evening. Had to carry her out to potty this morning, and also to the vehicle and in and out at the vets office. She just laid down so she wouldn't fall.

This evening she got up and wobbled around some, improving as she went. She didn't actually fall and that's major progress. She hasn't vomited since this afternoon and had a nibble of food about an hour ago.

The benadryl has helped her. She's exhausted, drowsy from the benadryl and sleeping in her favorite spot in the kitchen. She has been up a couple times without vomiting since the benadryl and moving around made her vomit before we gave it to her.

Tinker got another antibiotic shot yesterday. She has only been in the cat box to pee a couple times today instead of every 10 minutes around the clock, in the box straining and leaving a dime sized spot. She hasn't passed blood in her urine since yesterday.

She had been hugging her poor butt against a hot water bottle and finally felt well enough yesterday to give that up. She is exhausted and staggering around some herself, having some trouble hitting the cat box but she is MUCH better now.

We started dragging her out and putting her between us on the couch and in bed as soon as she could hold her head up. Good for morale. We got the mongo-pack of pee-pads so we can just put one under her but she lets us know if she needs to go. It's been a huge morale boost, she had been sleeping with us and is the only cat we have that actually likes to cuddle with us.

She was actually out and about this morning, chatting me up and hopping around while I was doing the morning routine. Good to see her feeling well enough to participate again!

I'm not sure if I need to take her in for another shot Monday or not. A relapse might wipe us all out so I might do it even if she seems completely well. She is feeling quite well enough to be a right pain to get into the crate for the ride to the vet now;)
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