Thursday, July 07, 2016

Cats, No Summer and the Lake

That's right. We're not experiencing summer yet here in Oregon.

When its warm, we get the mid 70's.  And now we are bracing for a weekend of more rain.  Just what we need here.  More rain.  After a winter of deluge after deluge.

So, knowing more rain is coming and today may not reach 70, yesterday I took my raft up to the lake.  Late in the day, no less. Didn't even arrive til 4:00 p.m.

But I had fun, rowed it all over again, swam and enjoyed the two hours I was on the lake.

I name lake locations.  Like the photo below, is of Jumper Bridge.  I call it Jumper Bridge because people sometimes jump off it into the lake.  Including me.  Why not do it once?  I did.  But that was enough.

Rocks in Rock Haven Cove

This shoreline I call Stump Boulevard.  Large stumps protrude from the water, more seen when levels are lower.  Behind the stumps, the shore is strewn in drift rubble and behind that, dense berry vines.

Looking north and around a bit of a point, from Stump Blvd, is what I call Dirty Diaper Beach.  I've often pulled into that popular picnic and swimming beach to find loads of trash including often dirty diapers.  Hence the name.

Looking south along Stump Boulevard, one comes to Stump Point, although you can barely discern depth in photos taken on the camera I used.  Beyond Stump point is the area I call Trash Collection Cove.   That's where I look for lake debris.  I've found inflatables, paddles, diving masks, and even a boat ladder there.  I dove down about six feet to pluck the boat ladder off the bottom.  So I often check to see if I can find anything I might want.
I was barely home when I got a phone call from the apartment complex in Albany.  It's the one I crawled under to retrieve five two week old kittens and the one where I trapped 8 other cats to be fixed, including some massive males.  Also, its where I  trapped Majestic who badly needed medical care.  Majestic is now at Cat Alliance Team Sanctuary and he did get bad teeth pulled and all kinds of medical help including neuter.

They'd found more kittens.  They belonged to Faded, one of the girls I took to be fixed several weeks ago, and was lactating at time of spay.  They said she'd had four left, had seen her with them out under some bushes two days ago, but one died a day ago.  So worried about them, they'd grabbed the other three.  A neighbor was adopting one of the three, but they asked me to come for the other two.  I did.  They were so proud to have gotten them as they don't want more kittens born to live wild there.  I was happy to help, but the little girl was extremely ill with a cold, dehydrated and skinny.  I didn't think she'd survive the night.  I gave her fluids, got a heating pad out, gave her nutrical, flea treatment.  This morning she looks a bit better but its still not a sure thing she will make it.

The little girl is on the right.
I'd also loaned traps to a lady helping find somewhere for two cats whose owner had to go to assisted living.  She got one of them, Ernie, who is a delightful older male.  He's going to Heartland today.  Turns out a Heartland employee lives right next door to where the cats were, and even knows the cats so said for sure they would help the cats out.

This is Ernie.  He is so wonderful!!!

We haven't caught Alice, the girl yet.  I hope she's ok.

So I was up half the night with the kittens, hoping to save the girl.  A wee bit worn out today.

I've been busy trying to do what I can for my aging car too.   Youtube is my best friend, in that regard.  I can't tell you how many diagnostic and repair videos I've watched since returning from the coast trip.

I've replaced my spark plugs.  Well, 3 of the 4 anyhow.  The fourth was stuck, possibly cross threaded and I didn't want to go there!  So I just screwed it back in.  After the plug change, I watched videos on how to "read" spark plugs.  I had no clue you could do such a thing.  My plugs base ring was uniformly dark.  The porcelain was tan in some places but ashen white in others, from detonation, as was the strap.  But nothing too bad.  The gaps had grown, and I read that is normal with plugs and one reason to change them.  I must say changing even three of the plugs drastically improved the idle at least.

I then got gunk cleaner for the gas tank.  You add it in just before or just after you fill the tank.  I read about dirty gas, how common it is, or to have less than optimal octane in gas and often the station is at the mercy of the supplier who is at the mercy of the refiner.

The advice was if you got a bad tank that caused severe knocking to change stations, just like I no longer frequent the store who sold the cheese that made me ill.

The next thing I felt I needed to do was to check the radiator fan, to be sure it was working.  Via youtube, I discovered you just get alligator clips on small gauge wires and jump the connections from the fan electrical clip negative and positive to the battery of your car, to see if the fan is working.  If it is, you then check the fan switch, that plugs into the engine by jumping it in the circuit with the fan.  If everything works still, you also have to check the fan relay and fuse for the fan.  Everything worked fine.

I've had radiator coolant leaking from the plastic overflow tank at the seam for awhile now.  I don't know why.  Seems odd.  I bought a kit and was going to repair it but the kit was expensive, so I returned it, feeling guilty for reckless spending.  I'd gone into the store simply for a tube of liquid gasket, which works well, according to youtube, to repair plastic tank leaks, and got talked into that kit that includes a two part epoxy resin with fiberglass to cover leaking spots.

Next step is to flush the coolant system, which I'll do today, after taking Ernie over to Heartland.  I've watched two quite good youtube videos on the process, looks simple enough, but I tend to find simple projects can go south.  So I'd rather take Ernie first, then do it, just in case.

It's about all I can do for the car since I'm not a mechanic.  I keep studying up, and trying to keep the car running and happy as long as possible because I have no idea what I would do without transportation.  Life would certainly get quite difficult and complicated, to accomplish even simple things.

I'm so glad I spent a couple hours at the lake yesterday.  It's currently raining.


  1. I'm glad you made it to the lake! And well done on all your repair efforts. Now lets hope all goes well with the coolant change.

    My heart goes out to you and the precious lives you aid. Ernie is so handsome; I hope his "sister" is okay. The same goes for that poor little girl, for sure. Nutrical can be a true saving grace. I'm sure it added many months to my Luna's life before cancer took her from us. For what it's worth, I'll add a prayer for her (you are always on my prayer list, my dear).

    Bless you and yours. May you see some nice sunshine and warmth.

    1. Well, I'm pretty much an atheist but I never turn down prayers as I figure it can't hurt. Ernie is a dear and hopefully its going to all work out and maybe he can go home, crossing fingers. Because....the Heartland surgery tech person who lives right next door is wanting to buy the house, once part of the same property as her house. Then he and Alice could just stay in place and be themselves, no upsetting attempts to find homes they fit into. It's so stressful on cats, especially older cats, to be uprooted from their turf and all they know.

    2. I totally respect your opinion and am glad I didn't offend you. You never seemed the type to take a well meaning act the wrong way. ~hugs~ As for Ernie and Alice, I sure hope the surgical technician buys the house. That would be wonderful!

    3. I hope she can buy Ernie and Alice's place too!

    4. I too am an atheist, and while I don't mind people saying they're praying for me per se, if they say it with the knowledge that I'm an atheist, I question whether they’re acting in good faith (ha) because it seems to me a bit like offering running shoes to a quadriplegic. It’s not worth going war over, but it does put a distance between us.

  2. Hooray for a lake trip. And thank you, as always fro the caring work you do. I hope the little girl makes it, but even if she doesn't she will go out a great deal more comfortably than she would have.
    And I am super impressed at your car work.

    1. Still not sure if she'll make it.

  3. I don't know much about the area, but my perception is the NW coast is very rainy normally. Is that true? Is all of the rain you're having out of character? However, I may be mixed up. How far inland are you? I think I would find it hard to deal with rain all of the time. Glad you had a fun outing in the little bit of dry weather.

    1. In the valley, we usually get nice warm summers. Where I grew up, on the southern Oregon coast, it was constant drizzle, fog, wind, and if we got good weather, it was usually mid 70's, with wind. But the valley, here, we usually get nice hot summers, so we can prepare for a winter of constant gray and rain.

  4. Yeah, I should think Ernie is a cat straight from heaven. I want him just from looking at his photo. I’ll tell you, if it wasn’t for Peggy, we would have more than two cats, and Ernie looks like just the guy for me. In fact, I’ve never been so drawn to a cat from his photo. But I can’t get another cat, and maybe it’s for the best because our two guys are so close that I can’t see them accepting another cat even if Peggy were willing to get one. She's quite firm about the matter though as I've realized from many talks about having a third cat.

    What are you talking about when you say we’re not having summer here?! It’s been hotter than normal and the trees are already dropping their leaves from the lack of water. I would say we’re desperate for rain, and I’m darned glad for the relief from the heat too.

    Strayer, will you let me have your email address again? If you’ll put it on my blog, I won’t let it appear, of course. I didn’t save yours, and mine changed when Clearwire stopped providing email. I will, of course, promise you that I won’t forward anything whatsoever to you in the way of humor because that’s what created our problems, and I don’t want to be estranged from you again.

    What led me to ask for your address is that I put our van on Craigslist yesterday, and had wanted to offer it to you first, but I didn’t have your address to write to. Anyway, here’s the listing: I would sell it to you for $200 less than I’m asking (which would be $1,958), but I won’t be coming down that much for anyone else unless I absolutely have to because I believe that it’s well worth the price, plus it’s way cheap compared to what similar vans are selling for, although all of those vans look darned bad compared to mine. I would, of course, tell you frankly about every little thing that I know to be wrong with it, which is something I plan to do with everyone who’s interested anyway because I think it only fair, and I sure the heck don’t want anyone coming back and asking why I didn’t tell them that the heater didn’t work, etc. I’m committed to show it to one person, but if he doesn’t want it, and you do, it’s yours. I think that the worse thing I can tell you about it is that it only gets 15 miles per gallon. It used to do better, but then the ethanol content was raised, and the mpg dropped.

    It might not even anything that you remotely want because it’s so big, but I thought of you the whole time I was putting the seats back in it, and thinking that you would probably take them right back out again so you could haul cats and other things.

    1. Oh my, looked at the ad, love it, want it. But don't know if I can do 15 mpg. Going to give you my email to see you sold it

  5. This summer is just flying by... hot, cold, rainy, dry.... I'm just getting caught up with blogs.... glad you made it to the lake... 2 hours on the water sounds wonderful! Great way to relax and let the world float by....

    1. I haven't seen any blog posts by you lately. What's up? I miss them. Yes, floating on the lake, an awesome way to lose my cares and worries!