Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Cold Boredom

 Today, when the feed store man arrived with my six month supply of wood pellets, for cat litter, I told him this was my big event for the day.

Yup, a damn big deal to see him back up the drive with a pallet of pellets.

I'm still getting over that nasty cold I caught.   But I think I've almost kicked it.

I've done nothing really last few days except drink lots of water, clean litter boxes, and eat delicious food.  Like Blackberry milkshakes, made from berries in my yard.  And curry made over the sterno stove.

I didn't want to go anywhere there might be people in case I actually had caught Covid, which seemed more likely to me than catching a cold.  Sure, I'm vaccinated but covid doesn't care and the Delta variant seems really easy to catch and this county has low vaccination rates anyhow.  Yesterday I saw that Linn County, where I live, reported 100 new covid positive cases.  Cases are going up and up in Oregon. 

While many people who are fully vaccinated get and can spread the virus while sick, these cases account still for a small percentage of new cases.  But new research on the Lambda variant, out of South America, is not so good.  It seems to be resistant to our current vaccines.  A third RNA vaccine would produce more antibodies but not useful ones in combating the variants, research shows.  One's own antibodies, if one has had Covid, seem more resilient to changing, to combat newer variants.

I suppose we'll be fighting Covid forever, in various forms, as it mutates again and again, unless we get a vaccine capable of defeating all current variants and somehow get everyone vaccinated within a short time.  England had a terrible Delta variant wave but it crested and broke quickly.  I hope the same happens here.

But now I just think I had a bad cold.  I found an article describing how bad summer colds and a combo of the cold and the flu have been this year.

Anyhow, I was much better even yesterday, than the day before.

Last few days, I've laid around with the cats, sneezed and snorted and coughed and now feel better.

It's still very hot.  But even temperatures in the low 90's seem almost yawner news, as they have been common for so long.  I sit in my 100 plus degree garage and think to myself, the heat isn't so bad today.

Later this week, we will plunge into the 70's and maybe get rain.  Oh, it will feel like winter!!!!

Today I will venture forth......

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Dangers of Social Media

 Call me naive.

The advent of viciousness on social media isn't new.  But you'd think it was, if you were me.  I trust way too many people.

You can't have a messenger conversation now without the threat of someone with issues, who might be really quite predatory or a control freak, screenshoting every conversation and sending it off to others, either to steal your stories, because they are jealous, or want to be part of everything even though they're not part of it, or to backstab you with others.

The worst is when you've thought of that person as a friend.   Or how about telling someone you think is a friend why you are not friends with someone else, when they ask, and then they talk to that person, and then mention to you that they discussed that person and your relationship.  Only control freaks do that, someone who wants to control you and the information about you out there.

I've blocked a lot of people and I need to block more and be so much more careful online.  

Akesha's post about unfriending family got me to thinking about how mean people can be to other people.  People who do these things to me, online, are not people I want to call friends.   These are people who can't keep their mouths shut and are often narcissists.

I went to the coast Wednesday, with a friend I met originally in Waterloo.  No, not the no pants guy, lol.

We got there just before noon and were home before 5:00.  The drive was far faster than I'd thought it would be.  The road to the coast has been vastly improved since I drove it last.  This time I was a passenger which suited me fine.  This wasn't the north coast, where I go with cats, that is a three hour drive.  This was Newport, straight shot west from me, in the valley, through the coast range.  Our first stop was Nye Beach.  This beach stretches long and flat with access points that often involve a lot of stairs.  But the main access point does not require too much climbing up and down.  She had her knee replaced in June, so she couldn't do the long stair descents or climbs.  Not yet.  She's healing even faster than my brother I think.  He still is experiencing a lot of pain in his replaced knee.

Nye Beach access

I bet my friend will be stair climbing with the best stair climbers very soon.

She wanted to walk in the ocean water, but the weather, although sunny, was windy and under 70 degrees.  It got much cooler as the day progressed.  She waded ankle deep in the water and quickly exited.   After that we went down to the bay front, looking for Mo's clam chowder restaurant, but the line outside it was very long.

Newport store sign

We drove north looking for somewhere to eat and stopped to gawk near Devils Punch bowl.  The cliff eye view was beautiful, of the punch bowl, empty, as the tide was out, and the beach to the south, where a few wetsuit clad surfers waited on their boards, hoping for waves.  There were no waves coming.  To the north, we looked down on rocky exposed tidepools, dark blue green kelp fields in otherwise a light blue green colored ocean.  What beauty!

Devil's Punch Bowl, empty and full of tourists only because the tide is out.  When the tide is in and ocean raging, there are spectacular photos to be had of water shooting up and out of the bowl.

North of the Punch Bowl view point.

Beach to south of the Punch Bowl viewpoint

A few surfers but no waves

We finally found a place to eat in Depoe Bay.  It was a small diner style chowder house.  The other places had lines backed up but we got right in at the small place.  We both ordered chowder with garlic bread and enjoyed it.  

We headed back to Newport and stopped in for a bathroom break at a beach parking lot but didn't walk to the beach.  The wind by this time was buffeting and cold.  My friend was in shorts and had not brought a jacket.  It was to be 100 in the valley so she hadn't imagined it could be cold on the coast.  The fog rolled in, to blot out ocean views and moments later would vanish.  In and out, it came and went.  We hit the valley heat moments after cresting the coast range.  Like an oven.

My throat was scratchy by the time I got home.  I thought it was just from talking so much.  I rarely see people so I don't really talk out loud very often.  But I had caught a cold somewhere.  Yesterday and especially today have been rather not fun, with all the sneezing and drainage and face nerves on fire from open mouth breathing and sneezing.

Nevertheless yesterday in 90 some degree heat, I put up a barbecue gazebo in the cat yard.  Not to cover a barbecue, but I thought, when I saw it online, it would be perfect for the cat yard, and a cheap remedy to hold up the cat yard wire, that sags pathetically now, without a tree to hold it up.  As a bonus, it provides a space out of either sun or rain.   This was so much an easier solution that digging post holes and putting up a rail along their top.  I'm so pleased with it, but its assembly, in the heat, with all its tiny parts and vague instructions, wore me out yesterday.

I still have the shelves to install and leveling to do, but those can wait.  I had to get the huge box it came in out of the garage, so I'm very pleased to get that done and with the product.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Blackberries from the Lake

 Every year I pick blackberries from the banks of the lake.  

I took a container yesterday and drove up, late for me, near 1:00 p.m. when I arrived.

Shoot.  No parking spaces.  But.....

A fisher woman was headed up from the banks and I figured she'd be leaving from one of the single car spots.  Yes!  I was right.  By the time I unloaded my kayak, one spot was open.

My lucky day.

I fixed my heat wave melted sandals.  So far they're holding.  I used different glue.  My first attempt to glue them back together had failed.  I clamped them for two full days after using the new glue.  I'd bought another pair of plastic sandals in the meantime, but their hard edge wore a hole in the top of one toe.  The strap edges are just too hard on them.  I'll find a suitable liner.  Until then, back to the meltables.

There were so many  berries along the banks, overhanging the water.  I picked the container full with no problem and could have taken lots more.  I don't venture onto the banks, where its possible, because the poison oak has thrived this year.  I wonder if it can be caught from swimming in the water, where it overhangs, since its the oils that get you with it and oil would float on the water.

I think it was Saturday a Lane County deputy, off duty, paddle boarding with her sister and young son, at the lake, drowned.   It was awful to read about. It happened over by the Lewis Creek picnic area, same place an out of control jet ski killed a child last summer and badly injured another.

No new fires have erupted in Oregon and thunderstorms with drenching rain beyond the Cascades have helped reduce the ones burning.

We are back to triple digit forecasts next few days, I hear, although I no longer pay close attention.  All I know is its hot and has been hot for a very very long time.

I'm going to make a blackberry pie today.   I haven't yet replaced the range.   I use the toaster oven and when I need an element, I use the sterno stove.  It's no big deal.   I have a crock pot too and a tiny microwave.  I don't need a range, but my brother and I will get one in there as soon as that can be done.  The supply chain issues mean it could be months.  

The pie will  fit in the toaster oven.  Be interesting to see how it comes out.  You have to reduce the time immensely in the toaster oven because it heats so rapidly and is so small.  The toaster oven has a fan function with "bake" so the heating is more even.  I like it more and more.   The instructions with it said to unplug when not in use, so I do so faithfully.

My brother returns from his Alaska trip today or tomorrow.

A kitten was seen on the dike trail that forms a half oval, seperating the park from residential.  The park is between the dike and the river.  The dike originally was built to keep the river out of the town.  The place the kitten was spotted is a quarter mile from where I trapped the other two kittens and their mom but is likely from the same litter, as I knew the mom and kittens were not remaining in the area where I trapped them, but travelling back and forth.   It's a massive area and will be difficult to locate that kitten, to help.  Or it could be from yet another unfixed unknown female.  

 I talked to the woman who lives right behind the dog park.  The dog park is down inside the park.  There's access to the trail along the dike from the dog park, but also trails go right down to residential on the other side, from the dike trail.  People who walk that trail often have no clue they are under a hundred feet from houses.  Residential cats are always coming into the park via the human trails up from that side or their own.  I was telling her about a neutered tabby male cat lost from a car at the dog park, to be on the lookout.  The owner had told me she had contacted residential folk with flyers so I was surprised to find out the people closest to where she lost her cat knew nothiing about a lost cat.  Great job looking for your lost cat, lady.  Why a cat was in a car, at the dog park, and how it got loose, I didn't even bother to ask.  

Anyhow, that residential lady's neighbors are the ones who have the unfixed female I tried four times to get fixed and each time they failed to contain her, didn't even try.  Now they want me to get her fixed.  Really?   Like how many times do I fall for that.  And to boot, they got another kitten, who also needs fixed.  And, the neighbor lady said, there's a gray unfixed fluffy male hanging around there too with a badly mangled tail, who needs help.  Great.

Anyhow, yes I'll probably try to get that female fixed again.  Depends on if I can get any appointments anywhere.  She lives inside their place, how hard could it be?   Just takes a tad bit of effort on their part, not much.  Then, as an added bonus, unfixed males won't be showing up all the time too.

Here's what I made this morning with those blackberries from the lake.

Monday, July 26, 2021

 I was again at the park, checking for the alleged last kitten, whom I again did not encounter.   

So I went bird watching.  Birds were everywhere, particularly Scrub Jays, Northern Flickers, Rufous Sided Towhee's, Robins and today--California Quail, a little family of them.

Running Jay

The Quail family

They are using the same hole into the briars the dumped rabbit used, before he vanished, which seems a little ominous.

When I was at the park this morning, early, drinking coffee at the picnic table by the river, I saw a man across the river.  There are a few houses over there.  He came down near the river, headed back up, and suddenly---BOOM!  Shot off a gun of some kind (very loud kind) at something.   Made me hit the dirt, startled me so.  

Lots of people were at the park before I left, dog walking mostly, but also at the kid play structure and frisbee golfing.  

I like to see the trash people leave, for some reason.  This year, there have been lots of discarded river floaties.  They don't seem damaged.  It's more like people buy them for a one day excursion and then trash them.   I felt like taking the paddle, for a spare.

This double float tube was left for trash complete with a cooler space full of empties.

There were a couple of interesting hats laying around too.  I just leave them.

That's it for today.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Back to Mid 90's

 The weather turns from decent (mid 80's) to hot today.  Forecast calls for 95 degrees here.  Much the same most of the week I believe.   

It's difficult to accomplish much in the heat, at least outside.  

Gas prices are soaring.  Food prices are soaring.  Best, in my situation, to do pretty much nothing.  Cheaper that way.

The city did add on, without a resident vote, $9 per month to the water bill, for no good reason, outside the city wants more money, mainly to contend with all the new developments going in.  Instead of making the developers pay up, we have to.  Developments mean more of everything is needed, like police, fire, water, streets, schools, etc.   Developers are destroying this area.

Adding $9 a month to the expenses of someone living on SS is a lot of money.   Pretty arrogant behavior too.

I was in the park six full hours yesterday morning again, hoping to catch any kittens still there in the brush.  Not a bit of luck either.  My butt felt numb when I finally got home from sitting in my car. I walked a bit while there, not much though since my knee is sore.

Turkey vultures circled above the river, seven or eight of them.  500 feet down river, another group circled.  I don't know if they do this mornings, and it was quite early, like the mergansers, in a sort of grid search for food.

The river looked inviting.  I would have gone in for a swim had I not been otherwise occupied, keeping track of a trap.  The water is very very cold in the river.  On a day as hot as today will end up, the cold water would be very welcome.

I haven't gone anywhere this summer yet and I probably won't.  So many areas are closed or restricted due to current or past wildfires.  The squeeze has resulted in areas that are open being flooded in people.   Campsites are impossible to find and expensive.  Add in gas to get there and yikes.  Not so bad if you go with others and the cost gets split up and rides shared.    I don't have anyone to go with, and that's another thing. 

I planted a few flowers weeks ago.  Some are still alive, some are not.

I returned Jasper, the black male I trapped in the park, this morning early.  He was fixed yesterday.  KATA took him in on their spots, then I picked all five of the cats up at the clinic and met Lisa of KATA in a Lebanon parking lot to hand off their four.   

Jasper is a huge boy, weighing in at 12 lbs, but now he is a neutered big boy at least.  

He dashed up into the brush of the park upon release, without so much as a glance back.

Cookie looking beautiful

Lovely lovely Sam

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The River


The Santiam river is very low at the park right now.  I think I could walk halfway across it without going up to my waist.  

Foster Reservoir is still full, up above the park, but Green Peter, the reservoir that feeds Foster, is very low, so low at least one of the two boat ramps will close next week.  I figure they'll have to release more water from Foster to keep the river up a little but I also figure they'll wait til after the country music festival going on in Sweet Home next weekend is over, before they do that.

The two reservoirs in our part of Oregon get water from rainfall run off, that feeds creeks and rivers and runs into the reservoirs.  But the Corp of Engineers wait to fill the reservoirs for spring rains and we didn't have much rain this spring.

These mergansers were all in a group then fanned out and began to dive, like they were doing an organized grid search for food.

Fledgling does its best to survive

California Ground Squirrel--they live in large numbers at the park, along with Douglas Squirrels.

Shallow but clear waters of the Santiam

Scarred tree.  Many of the park trees look in bad shape, after last years wind then ice storms.

It will be interesting to see how our water situation plays out the rest of the summer.  No rain in the forecast as of yet and low 90's predicted for the next week or so starting tomorrow.  Forest fire crews are pleading with the public to stop starting fires by being stupid.   Like that will happen.  Careless smoking, driving vehicles over grass, illegal campfires, you name it, we, the public, do it, no matter the danger.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


 I was back at trying to catch the kitten again.  In the park.  No luck.  I saw the kitten on the baby cam but that was as far as it got.

I did however catch a surprise cat---a big black male.  I know he wanders residential.  The people whose female I tried to get them to get fixed, without luck after four attempts, pointed him out to me, walking down 5th street, crossing their street and heading straight into the park. 

Who's that, I asked, and is he fixed?   Neighborhood bully, they claimed, fights with our cats, they said.  Anyhow, now he's in a trap and thankfully KATA will get him fixed Friday and one less male impregnating and fighting there.

A Lebanon friend said she'd come up and spell me, while I went and got lunch somewhere.  I was waiting on her when a familiar car rolled around.  I waved and he waved.  I've seen him in the park for years and chatted with him often, although I don't know his name.  I gave him my card once because he complained about neighbors' unfixed cats across the river where he lives.   

This encounter was a bit different.   We chatted through his car window, but I was at least two feet from his car.   He asked for another of my cards.  I quickly got one from my car and handed it to him through his window and saw to my shock, he had his pants down to his knees and everything on up was in full view, if you get my drift.

My first thought was:  "Great.  Another pervert."

I backed off.  He kept on chatting like all was normal.  Ok, mister pervert, move along.

I told my friend what had just happened, when she arrived just moments later, and we had quite the laugh over it as she has encountered him repeatedly there in the park, too.   Although not like that. (not yet)

I told the park people what had just happened because his pants might have been down before our encounter which means he might be getting his jollies viewing others at the park.  Kids would be the main concern.  

I'm naming the black cat, for records, "Jollies", to remember the day, although how could one really forget, I caught him.