Friday, September 27, 2013

Winterizing Like Crazy

There has been no transition from summer.  Summer is gone in Oregon.  Fall is a no show.  Oregon went directly from summer to winter.

This weekend proves it.  We're set to get even more rain.  Maybe two or three inches.  Maybe more.

Accuweather says Sunday may be breezy.  Oregon weather people say gusts 40 to 50 mph.   Ok, that's breezy.

We're used to quite high winds here in Oregon and don't think much about it.  But the trees do.  They come crashing down like fallen warriors if the ground is saturated and when they fall, they often knock out our power here.

Every single winter the trees fall in Oregon storms like dominos.  Over roads.  Over power lines.  And, as long as they don't take out our house or our car, or kill us, we don't care.

I love bringing out the flashlight and the sterno stove when the power is out.  It's like camping, without the campground fees.

Weather reports say there could be localized flooding.  But the coast range is to get more rain than the Cascades.  The coast range lies between the valley and the coast while the Cascades run north and south on the east edge of the valley.  When the Cascades get heavy rain or sudden snow melts the valley to the east of the Willamette River is more likely to flood.  When the Coast Range gets high rainfall, the areas west of the Willamette are more likely to see flooding.  I am east of the Willamette River, but not by far, maybe by a mile, as the crow flies.

 I put the windows back up on the end of the window cat box that leads into the under eaves cat run to the cat yard.  Helps  keep out the cold here winters.  I got them cheap at the Habitat store.  I added insulation underneath the window cat box, too and sealed up around it with caulk.

I cut all the blackberries out from the back fence.  They'll grow back.  I love blackberries but I get evil comments about them and how they need to go from some neighbors.  So I make a half hearted show of ridding them along the back fence.  But I don't kill them and they grow back better than ever and I will eat blackberries from my backyard again, come next August.

I used three of the four fake shutters my brother removed when he replaced the front windows to cover two different cat houses.

An old hinge holds that shutter in place so I can lift it up.

Two old shutters, with 2x2 frames inside their backs, that I added, form one side of this hodge podge cat structure, that has seen a lot of years and rebuilds.  Underneath is a storage container cat house, with another off to the far right, on the end.

A few weeks ago, I got three old plastic spools at the Habitat Store.  I could not resist they were so cheap.  I could see them then as cat trees.  I bought three sizes and intend to stack them, with the smallest on top.  I removed one end of the top two spools.

I just got to this project finally.  First thing I needed to make was a wooden base, to go on the very bottom, so I cut one out from some of the junk OSB in my rafters.  I had no choice on color to paint and it doesn't matter, since the wooden parts will not be seen.  They are only to hold the three spools together.  The bottom is to give the thing some stability.  So far I just have the pieces all cut that will hold it all together.  I have some spray adhesive I also got at the Habitat store that I will use to attach carpet remnants eventually.

Here are two of the spools, the upper two levels of the future cat tree.  They are heavy plastic.  I already removed one end on each.  You could make cat scratching posts, removing one end, or stands leaving both ends on, out of them individually and create stability by filling the cylinder with sand or rock, so it would be more likely to stand upright.

This is the base I cut, that will be on the very bottom.  The smaller circle of wood I will use on the second level, to help attach it to the top of the bottom level spool.  I am running a 1"x1.5" board down the middle because I did not have a pole of any kind to run down the holes in the middle and I don't want to spend any money on it and just use what I have.  That center hole accommodates the 1x1.5.

I cut these to hold the top cylinder in place atop the second level spool top.  I cut two of them, and will glue them together.

Here they are with the centers cut out.
Eventually they will fit like this, holding the top cylinder in place.  I'm planning this thing as I go.  Nothing fancy.  Cat wheel will be next, but I am making myself finish first projects in the works, including getting the place ready for winter.

That's as far as I got because I had to paint the wood, to protect it, and paint does not dry as fast with the weather turned as it has.  So....I will end this with cat photos.  And why not.

Daisy gives Slurpy an ear clean.

Gretal, up in the cat run.  I was out in the driveway and she was watching me work.
Tugs atop the exclusion room.  She is very mischievous! An imp, actually.  I have two imps here.  Shady is the other.
Nemo on the left, Gidget, from the Albany apartment complex, on the right, in back.  Nemo today moved back inside from the cat yard, for the winter, as did Blueberry.  Gidget is getting a bit pudgy, but fit in quickly with the other cats.  She's been here since last January.  I took this photo through one of the cat yard "windows".  I had to add chicken wire to the chain link because a bird flew into the cat yard once and then panicked and could not find the chain link to exit.  And what bird wouldn't panic with all those cats in there.  I dropped the top of the cat yard to let the poor bird escape, which it did, but I did not want it to happen again.  My cats never spotted the bird, who made that navigation error  that ended inside bird hell.  The bird was redeemed, by me, and lived to tell the tale.  But now, with the chicken wire over the chain link, it can't happen again.
Slinko, also from the Albany complex, has many friends here now.
Slinko at the end of the cat run.  He loves the cat run.  I may make more outside cat runs.  Why not?
Good old insecure wonderful Peeman Sam! He's getting old. I just love my Samwise.

Happy rainy weekend, Oregon!

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