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Maintainers Weekly Chat August 19 - August 25

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Old 08-19-2013, 06:58 AM   #1
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Default Maintainers Weekly Chat August 19 - August 25

It's the time of year to revel in the heaps of tomatoes coming from our community garden. Enough for gazpacho and enough for tomato salads.

Today's challenge is to see if I have enough clothes for our vacation in about ten days in order to serve domestic harmony. DW has already gone shopping and stacked all the clothes that she's taking on a chair. I hate people who are that organized. She asked what I was bringing and I told her, "probably some shirts and pants" thinking, whatever's clean when I go to pack my suitcase.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:27 AM   #2
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Default Good morning!

Bill The tomato harvest sounds delicious! Your vacation packing is kinda like mine - enough clean clothes to cover every day plus a couple more items if something "accidental" happens. Where are you going for vacation - if that's not too intrusive?

I am starting the week squarely in the middle of my "skinny zone" - between 133-135 - at 134 lbs. I haven't seen that number since last year.

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Old 08-19-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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Bill, we are just starting to see peeks of pink on our tomatoes. The waiting is killing me! I am envious of your haul. Gazpacho is glorious! I spent so many years on the road for work that I can pack in about twenty minutes - but as you mentioned, that is completely dependent on the right things being clean.

Dagmar - congrats on being in the skinny zone!

Weekend was incredibly indulgent. I am NOT in my skinny zone. It is time for the inner child to have a "time out" - for about a month.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
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I'm envious of everyone's tomatoes.

When I pack, I also make sure I have an outfit for each day plus one or two for "just in case." Cruises are a bit more difficult as you need a day outfit and a night outfit. When shopping this year I suggested DH buy more underwear because we'd be gone 15 days plus a day or two between packing and leaving (packed Sunday, worked Monday, left Monday night for the hotel and flew on Tuesday). He bought some, but it only gave him 14 days worth. Why not just one more 5-pack? Nope. Instead he had the cruise ship do laundry for him. While it was nice as he got some clean shirts it was outrageously expensive (I think 4 shirts and several pairs of underwear were about $18).
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:09 AM   #5
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Our harvest is well underway here. We've got a bunch of tomatoes and zucchini, as well as loads of lemon cucumbers. DH has been cooking up a storm. (I am starting to feel like a traditional husband these days -- when I get home from work he's got dinner ready for me! )

I think I'm going to start a food log thread. I could use some accountability for getting myself to not eat junk food.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
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Hi Maintainers,

I have about 50 thousand pet questions!

We got 2 cats from the Humane Society yesterday. Mine is a wimpy small neutered male, 2 years old (same birthday as me!!!!!) and my roommate's is a headstrong spayed female who is nearly twice his size. She used to be an indoor-outdoor cat but managed to survive life at the shelter and the people there seemed to think she would adjust to indoor-only and get along with other cats. We are keeping them separate for now, mixing Tidy Cats with our Feline Pine litter, and letting each roam the apartment for half a day while one is in a contained room. They crossed paths once and hissed/growled a bit - I hope it will be possible to eventually get them to tolerate and even like each other. They have separate food/water and litter boxes and are using them just fine. Are people here more of the "slow and gentle" approach or do we just throw caution to the wind and give them both full access to the apartment?

I have named mine Dekopon, after the Japanese citrus fruit (sold as "Sumo" in the U.S.). Will post a photo soon - he is a very sad and forlorn-looking cat. I was late to work today because I couldn't find him, but had I found him I would be late to work because he's too darn cute to say goodbye to.

In other news, this weekend was an EPIC HIKE (13.3 miles, Mount Dix in the Adirondacks) with my BF and roommate - I probably ate 5,000 calories that day and apparently burned it all off, as I weighed in this AM at 119.2 after the gym. My muscles are certainly a little sore but I can function just fine and even run - I am pleased that the long hike didn't destroy me in terms of sciatica/piriformis syndrome/mystery pain.

Becky - good luck silencing the inner child!

Dagmar - hooray for the skinny zone!

Bill - I don't even double check that clothing I pack is clean! You're way ahead of me.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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I'm jealous of everyone's tomatoes! I have some lovely ones from Trader Joes but none in the garden!

Dagmar-- congrats on your skinny weight! Does that mean your bread/butter (or lack thereof) experiment is working?

I'm also not at my skinny weight but I am motivated to get there. Back to work today for me. I meet my assistant principal and principal at a staff retreat this morning (a little nervous!!) and then I go in to work.

Tomorrow is our registration day and I always work it (offering books to adopt for the school library). With 1100 students, it makes for a very long day for me. I tried to figure out some way to fit exercise in tomorrow and I think it may just have to be a rest day. Registration is officially 9-1 and 4-7 but I have to go in early and we never break at 1. I'll be luckly to break between 2-3 and just have time to run home to let out the dogs and grab a bite to eat.

Krampus-- do you know the history of the kitties? They *might* do okay with tough love (supervised of course) but it might be too much depending on their histories. What you are doing sounds smart. They will smell each other and hissing and growling is normal. I would suggest gradually increasing their exposure to each other. If they like to sit in your laps, you might each sit on opposite ends of a room where they can see each other but not feel threatened. What color are the cats? Believe it or not, their colors often give good insight into their personalities.

Packing.... I always tend to either overpack or underpack. I often end up surprised by cold weather or warm weather and am unprepared. Then the next trip I pack extra just in case and don't wear half of it.

I hope my doggies are ready to be lonely during the day again. I am worried about my older doggie-- my 9 year old Great Dane, Jozi. She has had 3 accidents in the house (urine) in the past month or so. She never has had accidents in her life but I think she's having trouble holding it now. She sleeps so soundly that I think she wakes up and goes to the door. If no one is home she can't hold it. I think I'll start her back on glucosamine as that might help her joints.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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I'm about to utter a heresy: I can take fresh tomatoes or leave them. I like them best roasted or otherwise cooked down to a sauce.

Has anyone ever dealt with a defective gift card before? After I was flooded out, my very kind friends in L.A. chipped in together and got me a Vanilla Visa debit card loaded with money. I put it away and did not use it during the renovation. The other day, I found it in my business travel wallet. When I tried to use it, it was declined. When I put the number into the Web site to activate it, it comes up as unrecognized. I called customer service, but they require you to enter the card number in there before you can proceed, and since it's unrecognized, I end up going in a circle with no resolution. Now online I see lots of people HATE the Vanilla Visa. I think I may actually write an old-fashioned letter that goes into an envelope to get help with this.

Oh, and as for packing, I have an unthinking business travel routine, but I tend to think out the clothing very carefully beforehand, down to picturing myself as a a kind of paper doll, and of course, that means that I overpack wildly. I've often thought that my lifting sessions in the gym are excellent preparation for hauling around my suitcase & lifting it into the overhead bin.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:48 PM   #9
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saef~that't not heresy. Heresy is my sister who will NOT eat a fresh tomato. But she eats hotdogs (which I will not eat).

Krampus~I've always thrown caution to the wind and let them meet (supervised). Yes, lots of hissing and growling and sniffing. They'll probably eventually learn to at least tolerate each other.

Sorry about Josie, Michele. My BFF in Arizona has three dogs including an aging female Lab who also can't hold it. Thankfully she has a doggy door for her. She keeps the other two in kennels and lets the old dog have free roam of the house. If she forgets to open the doggy door, then she comes home to wet rugs.

Speaking of doggy doors, we have two (one to the garage and one from the garage to the side yard). Chico has never had an issue with them, but Misty doesn't like to use the one to get outside. She's fine to go in and out of the garage, but the point is, she needs to go outside. Only once has she used it on her own (she had diarrhea and thankfully went outside for that, but "couldn't" find her way back in. So we're adding a third door directly off of our family room--in the door that she usually goes in and out of. I'm cautiously hopeful that she'll "figure" this one out.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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Krampus, can I just say how jealous I am of you and your weight?! I know it is totally my issue, but I can't help myself!!

Anyway, as far as the cats are concerned, this is not how "experts" recommend, but I have ALWAYS just thrown animals together and they have always worked it out! One will establish as the alpha - probably the female - and after a lot of hissing and pissing and moaning, they'll get along fine. It is exceedingly rare for cats - especially "fixed" and opposite sex - to fight to the point of one hurting the other!!

I haven't climbed Dix Mountain - that's one of the more challenging ones! How was it??

I never would eat tomatoes in any form before I lost weight and now I LOVE them in all forms. Out cherry tomatoes are ripening nicely and they are soooo sweet. The larger tomatoes are growing but still green. My garden has EXPLODED this year. We are up to our hips in zucchini, cucumber, yellow beans and green beans. Corn is almost ready. I have never eaten spaghetti squash before and we have LARGE ones growing, but they are still green - can't WAIT to try them!!

Jessica - what are "lemon" cumcumbers?

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Old 08-19-2013, 03:15 PM   #11
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Jen - Ah don't be jealous, I'm 26, it'll catch up to me - I'm a much slower runner with not-even-visible muscles! I will profess I envy your athletic achievements and dedication - you have a husband, pets, a garden, a house, AND you work out for hours every day!

alinnell - I know "helicopter cat parenting" is a waste of nervous energy but I'm already afraid I mucked it up by letting the shy one access the WHOLE APARTMENT all at once. Think I'll just leave them alone for the time being.

saef - no idea re: gift card, but I hope you can get it worked out and reap the benefits. I love when functional strength from lifting comes into play - and a fist-pound of solidarity for those of us who pack light enough to fit it all into a carry-on bag.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
It is exceedingly rare for cats - especially "fixed" and opposite sex - to fight to the point of one hurting the other!!
I forgot to mention this. My cats fight together all the time. I've never seen either of them get hurt, but there is often a lot of yowling when they do it. Tails lashing back and forth and ears laid back with loud growls and sometimes hissing. It's quite amusing when you realize it's just one telling the other to "knock it off" or something. My tuxedo cat will go up to my orange tabby whenever the tabby is moaning to be let out--the tuxedo will bop him and run off, but it's often enough to get the tabby to shut up!
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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Krampus - you are so gracious! Thanks for trying to make me feel better!

Allison - with 10 cats, that sound of yowling, spitting, hissing is all common place in our house! It sounds like they are tearing each other limb from limb but it's all show no substance.

Just last night I said to two of them "Why do you have to be such b!thches? Can't you be more like dogs that just sniff each others' a$$es and are friends for life?!?!"

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Old 08-19-2013, 05:17 PM   #14
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krampus The cat meeting all depends on the 2 cats you have. My two (small skinny female and big fat male) have been co-habiting for 15 years now and still don't really get along. They don't really fight either - just maintain their separate peace. The female used to definitely be the boss (the male has a nick in his nose from her reprimand long ago) but since she is dwindling away and getting blind he is now picking on her a bit. Not enough to hurt her.

I would worry more about them territorially urinating all over your apartment if left alone together unsupervised. Cat pee stinks and is almost impossible to totally remove from rugs and upholstered surfaces. And the cats will go back to the same place over and over again to mark - which is why Mudpie poops in DH's office whenever she can sneak in there.

I would let them have free run of the place while you are home and keep them in separrate rooms while you are gone until they seem really at ease with you and with each other. Then i would leave them together alone for a couple of hours and see how it goes. Then gradually increase the time alone etc.

Dagmar
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:38 PM   #15
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I've never heard of lemon cucumber either. Do they taste like lemon or just look like one? As for tomatoes, i love the little grape tomatoes, ok with cherry tomatoes but only like the regular-sized ones sliced up in salads or cooked in pasta dishes (or, yes, made into gazpacho - yum).

Krampus, when I got a pair of (neutered male) cats from a shelter (a long time ago), I got a baby gate so they could see and smell each other but not get at each other's territory. I kept them like that for about 10-12 days, then removed the gate. They stayed on their own side of the now-invisible fence for quite a while, then gradually started to mix it up on their own, keeping peace the whole time. They never fought because each always felt safe on "his" side of the apt.
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