Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th! Happy Cats!

Happy 4th of July from Deaf Miss Daisy!
My brother came up yesterday, to replace the broken window.  He replaced two windows with beautiful vinyl frames!  They look terrific.

I had to shut off the spare bedroom first, to the cats, so we could remove the old window in that room, broken when something hit it from outside.  It was probably either a rock thrown up from a car's tire or a kids ball.  Miss Daisy did NOT like to be excluded from the action.

My brother and I were working outside on the windows and we hear the loud howls begin.  I tried to ignore them.  He says, "Who is that?"   "That," I said, "is Deaf Miss Daisy and she's probably hunched over a fake mouse, howling her brains out.  It's how she gets attention."  Finally I gave in and went inside and congratulated her on "her kill".  Then I plopped her on my shoulder and took her into the spare bedroom so she could be a part of the window replacement action, from the bed or floor, however.  She liked that!

My brother brought two new windows and also replaced my bedroom window with the white vinyl framed one he brought up, so they'd match from the outside.  My neighbor came over to admire them later and says she wants to replace hers also and hates the ugly aluminum frame 70's original that faces the street from her house.

Beneath the siding when he took some of that off around the window, for a frame, we found a strange sort of press board, that easily crumbles or gives, to the touch.  I said "What is that?"  He said he didn't expect to see  that under there, but its typical cheap development materials used when houses are thrown up quickly to sell.  That's what's behind the siding on this house.  In some ways its good development houses are packed together like sardines so that each house is somewhat protected from direct wind and rain on the sides, since they are built of such materials.  Particle board sub floor is another example.

My brother was very impressed with my bike!  I proudly declared how I bought it off craigslist after much ado and many attempts to find a usable used bike.  I told him how one mechanic at the bike shop I took it to in Corvallis made fun of it, as poorly made but that had not phased me because I finally have a bike I can ride.  I told him all I learned about bikes in that effort to find a used one.  He and his wife want to get some bikes.  He told me a friend of his bought a $2000 bike with a construction flaw that caused a wheel to come off when he was riding down a mountain road.  He was badly injured and my brother pointed out how this bike does not have that flaw, on the rear wheel, that allowed for the rear wheel to come off like it did on his friends' bike.

I was worried about my brother working in the heat all day and nothing to eat.  He had said we'd go out to eat between windows but we got going on the second one, to get it done so he could go home.  But finally I suggested we better eat since it was late afternoon.  I had eaten nothing all day either.  But he is trying to eat healthy now and where to eat in Albany that's even close to eating healthy food?  We had a bad experience last time he was up a year and a half ago, when he brought the water heater.  He wanted to eat out and he likes Italian but is a vegetarian.  We went to an Italian restaurant that is sort of high end, for Albany that is.  They had nothing vegetarian however on their menu.  He asked about a pizza then, but they use ranch dressing instead of tomato sauce on their pizza and we both just went "YUK!"

I don't eat out so I am unfamiliar with anyplace that might have anything close to healthy food in Albany.  We finally went to Subway where he got a six inch vegetable sub.   He and his wife are admirable in their efforts to eat healthy and get into shape.  My other brother and his wife have always watched their weight and eaten fairly healthy I think.  I don't really know.  But now my other brother's wife is even running half marathons!  She's in her 40's and I think that is inspiring.  It's not so easy to find healthy food in small towns like where I live or even affordable vegetables.

I tried to do a trade, with a farmer advertising labor in exchange for organic vegetables, on craigslist.  But it was at the time my car was broken down and the farm was 40 miles away.  I tried to go the first day I was scheduled but the car wouldn't make it.  I finally made it after the first time the car was fixed and worked for a box of vegetables picking peas.  I was very worried I would not be fast enough as I picked, to be called back.  I knelt at first picking, but that became uncomfortable on my one bad knee, so after that I stood up and that was better.  I really loved that day, picking peas under the sun.

  But then my car broke again, with the tranny fluid leak, and I had to call and tell the farmer that, and he never called me back again, which I understand.  The time on my knees pinched some nerve too, giving me what I termed a trick knee, so that if I turned on that leg a certain direction, my leg would try to collapse on me. It was quirky and I bragged about having a trick knee then, for humor's sake and because I was under severe stress, having no car, and worried I would not have a car again, and wondering how I would even get groceries since everything is so far from where I live.  My trick knee went away over time.  I loved those vegees in the one box I got though.  They were delicious and fed me for many days.

I'm mostly a vegetarian.  I like fish however, halibut and salmon being my favorite fish.  But for all the effort to save Oregon salmon I wouldn't know where you might get some Oregon salmon for the table.  I don't know where it goes.  You can find super expensive salmon in fish delis at various stores, but most isn't from Oregon and all is extremely expensive.  You can buy prepackaged salmon from China at Walmart or the Grocery Outlet but I wouldn't buy food from China.  They have no standards.

I was bemoaning the expense at the Winco deli, that sells fish, most from out of country, and told the clerk maybe I'd get a salmon license and try to catch my own.  She said she did that, but the cost of the salmon ticket and fishing license and gear, plus transportation, was very high so she gave it up.

I've been thinking about getting a fishing license, because I have some friends who might have extra gear thye could loan me.  They've given me trout they caught at Foster before, which I baked just right and ate myself and the rest, the cats devoured.  I baked it so perfectly I shocked myself, because all the bones just peeled out.  If I could get a license and catch lots of fish, even fish I don't eat, I could save a lot of money on food for myself and for the cats.  I've also considered raising mice to feed the cats, if things get really bad, and prices go up even more.  It's my back up plan, along with the fishing license.  I've been studying up about fishing!

I grow strawberries out front and bush beans and peas and this year, peppers, but that's it. This year, due to heat early in the spring, the strawberries came out too early, then came cold and rain.  They got a fungus, in their roots, and although I got some for breakfast every day, for a few weeks, they were not big or healthy, like years past.  So I have to pull up the plants and turn the soil for the sun to kill the fungus and then start over.

I'm not growing much this year also because water costs too much anymore.   There's no growing much of anything out back due to the shade from the maple and the cherry tree.  The cherry tree produced almost no cherries this year.  There weren't the bees to pollinate it.  Too much spraying in the area.  Everybody's got their personal chemical spray pack arsenal.  But the bees suffer.  I'm going to plant more flowers to make the bees happy and to hopefully keep them here and alive and out of the spray happy neighbors yards.

I have a couple neighbors that don't like me at all.  Nobody has to like anybody and I understand that.  I had to put my foot down with both for traveling through my yard without even asking, when they were mowing the old man's place.  They took big time offense.  I said "Well, you'd call the police if you saw me in your back yard (which is totally true)."  But I'm expected to submit I guess.  However, I didn't.   Makes it sometimes difficult here, but fortunately, I've got some nice neighbors.  I like the new ones down at the end a lot.  They're very nice and we click.

I mow the old man's front now, to secure my privacy.  I go see him every day.  He told me last that he has no more enjoyment in life.  I didn't know what to say so I finally said, "Boy that just is really hard and not fair."   I heard him yelling last night at his caretaker.  I knew that would help him, to yell, because I noticed his breathing improves greatly when he's mad and yelling.  He's got long term asthma and work related breathing issues, from inhaling too much dust when drove tractor, he said his doctor told him, diesel fumes when he worked on trucks and drove them, then more chemicals and dust and debris when he did yard maintenance.  I think he has something wrong with his heart too.  Not sure what all.

  I was going to go see him after the guy left, but when I peeked in his window, even though the lights and his TV were on, he was dozing.  Old age has hit him finally and it's tough on a guy like that.  He is a tough guy, who rode a motorcycle up to a few years ago, and has been very independent.  He's in his mid 80's and misses his wife more and more, as his health declines.  His wife died 12 years ago.

Box of organic vegetables I got in trade for picking peas.

My brother, who is adopting Sam and Smolder later this summer, as business cats, was transfixed by Alexi and Sassy.  Those Albany business cats have huge eyes that are shaped so they always have a "concerned" look.  He took photos to show his wife.

Here's Alexi!

I thought he was going to say he'd take both of them home!  Maybe he still will!  He has a kitty he adopted from me several years ago, from that big BS colony, the 120 cats out off Gerig, shared by four houses.  Boy was that a tough situation on me to solve.  My veterinarian at the time had asked me to help solve that. Then he later apologized for getting me into such drama and horror.  Plus they never donated anything.

Shady, a buff and white girl kitty here, is my brother's cats' cousin from the BS colony.  He has two cats currently at his home.  I don't think that's enough!  I think Alexi and Sassy would be fine additions to his home cat family!  (He's taking Sam and Smolder to his business.  My brother has always wanted Sam and I think Sam, and Sam's friend Smolder, a massive cat, son of Sage, will thrive there).

Shaulin, from the Albany Bengal breeder man's place, and in the Returned Club, is middle aged now and very happy.

Stiletto, from the Albany business, Alexi's first cousin!
Haley, from the Albany business, and Stiletto's mother.
Juno, from the seed farm, with Teddy, from the Corvallis homeless camp.
I didn't know how Juno would behave with the extreme heat of late.  A year ago, she is the kitty who suffered heat stroke in Brownsville, where she was being fostered during harvest, with intent to return her after harvest to the seed farm.  I guess like with people who have suffered heat stroke, cats too are more prone to getting it again, if they've had it once before.  But she is doing fine!  She's so funny and so in love with life and has many friends here.
Old Electra, my baby.

Comet in June.  Comet is still Comet, sometimes loving as can be and other times a bad boy bully to a couple of the other kitties.  He's one of my original four kitties I moved to Albany with from Corvallis.  The other three, all elderly now, are Electra, 14; Vision, 19 years old and precious Deaf Miss Daisy, 11 years old.  Comet is 8 years old and came from a trailer park in Albany, Heatherdale.  I took out so many kittens and cats from that park.  My back failed that year.  Little kids would have to help me carry traps with cats to my car, to be taken to be fixed.  Comet was the only kitten I didn't find a home for before back surgery.  I lived in Corvallis but had been asked to help at that park by an Albany city councilman.

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