Friday, August 22, 2014

Art and Air Festival

I got up early this morning to go watch the balloons take off at the Art and Air Festival.  It's always fun.  I love the colors.  Yes, I'd like to take a ride someday in a balloon.  The weather was great until after the balloons had launched, then in rolled the clouds.  Most of the balloons ended up south for landings today, looks like.  Not the in town landings of some years.

The used camera I bought came yesterday and I love it.  Plus, I got the little one working again.  I just blew out the card slot with canned air, because apparently something got down in there and that's why the card could not be detected properly by the camera.   I'm happy to have that little one working again, as it is very very easy to carry around. 

Wildish Balloons!

A Tale of Two Balloons

Balloon Dawn
Flagship Balloon

Saluting the Flagship

Flagship Redefined

Stoic Bee Balloons Hold Hands Before Taking Flight

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vision and Miss Daisy Improve

Vision is back to jaunting around the house, tail held like a plume, although I trimmed her hair mid July so there is not much to the plume.  Miss Daisy is eating again, but there's something wrong with her, really wrong, and I don't know how much longer she will be with me.

Her blood work never shows anything wrong, but there is something wrong.

If I had zillions of dollars maybe, with lots of tests, whatever is wrong could be found out, but I don't have zillions and Miss Daisy is old.

Vision this morning. (Orangish ear is my camera's fault and attempts to "fix" a drastically underexposed photo with photo altering programs)

Camera issues plague me.  I knew I would get in trouble taking the flash card in and out of that little donated Kodak camera to upload.   But I could not find a usb upload cord with the proper camera end fitting.   Now it will not read a flash card.  For awhile, if I took it out and put it back in, when the camera refused to recognize it was there, it would work, but no longer.  I don't know what happened.

The flash card is good because I put it then back into the old Canon, that works only on sports setting now, not even on flash, unless I use fill and lighten buttons on Picasa to brighten the photos to be viewable.  I put Miss Daisy under bright lights and used flash too, but no luck with the Vision photo as she won't hold still for that.  I broke down and ordered a used camera online.  I hope it works.  I get nervous buying used online from strangers.  It's not arrived yet.

I am in awe of my sunflowers.  They now are growing above the height of my gutters!  All from one tiny seed.  Some have two inch diameter trunks!  A forest.

Tomatoes this year.  I didn't plant them.  They're volunteers.  But I eat them!

The squash is a volunteer also, growing into the driveway.  I drive around it because I also want to eat the squash.
Yesterday I tore up an old kids mattress from a platform bed I got for free years ago.  The mattress was yucky by now, having been out in the garage cat room, before I moved the whole thing to the second bedroom.   I saved the springs from the mattress in case I want to cover them to make a new used mattress, which is not hard to do. I could also use them as part of a fence.

There's been no real movement on the dead neighbor's house outside of someone came and took photos inside.  However, another neighbor claims its already listed on some sites, as soon to be listed for sale.  She is skeptical as no work has been done on it to prepare it for sale, like the four layers of roofing atop one another issue, or the inside mold issue.  Anyhow, I am hoping to get good neighbors but that is not often the case and I know in the end I may have to find a way to build a fence down that side of the property.  A mattress spring fence is an option.  The crappy stained yucky mattresses offered free for the hauling away on craigslist I could easily strip down to springs, if push came to shove, for an affordable fence.

I painted the platform the old mattress had been on, to seal it, then added vinyl squares I had leftover from something.  Then pillows. Now it's my living room lounger, for me and the cats and quite stylish.  When the camera arrives, I will take a photo!

Friday, August 15, 2014

So Long Robin

The suicide of Robin Williams seems like a tragic end to a remarkable man's life.

If he had died of cancer, would the shock have been less?  Or in a vehicle accident?  Or of a drug overdose?

Taking his own life by hanging seems like a violent act of self-hate.  He could have just not done it and all would be fine, people might think, if he got help.

But is his hanging death any less self-destructive than those who spend their lives drinking, smoking, eating or drugging themselves to their ends?

Was he not in his right mind?  What if he was, and didn't want to suffer anymore, from whatever it was that caused his brand of suffering?  Would it be ok then, if it was his decision, not one of madness, to end his own life?

Hunter Thompson shot himself.  It was planned.  He had many health afflictions.  A colleague of his wrote this concerning his friends' suicide:

"... He told me 25 years ago that he would feel real trapped if he didn't know that he could commit suicide at any moment. I don't know if that is brave or stupid or what, but it was inevitable. I think that the truth of what rings through all his writing is that he meant what he said. If that is entertainment to you, well, that's OK. If you think that it enlightened you, well, that's even better. If you wonder if he's gone to Heaven or Hell, rest assured he will check out them both, find out which one Richard Milhous Nixon went to — and go there. He could never stand being bored. But there must be Football too — and Peacocks ..."

Thompson hated Nixon, if you wonder what is meant by the Nixon reference.

I live in fear of incapacitation, by age or stroke, or you name it.  And being forced to lay in some bed in a nursing home, for the rest of my days, pooping and peeing myself, and maybe not even knowing anything at all.  This is not being alive.  I wish I could sign something so I would never have to fear that fate, and could be euthanized, if unable to off myself, to spare myself such a horror and spare society the expense, too.

In Belgium, a pair of terminally ill twins opted for euthanasia.  They were deaf and about to go blind and could not stand the thought of not even being able to see one another.  So they were euthanized in adjoining rooms.  It was legal.

Click here to read one story about the twins.

The above story makes the point we call euthanization of suffering animals "humane" but for us humans, it's called a felony, murder, or suicide.  Churches declare suicide immoral, claim only god can take a life, and yet condone, by silence or outright endorsement, all sorts of other atrocities against life like war. Even their war on birth control in third world nations kills and enslaves people.

I like to read books about war but am amazed how cheap life becomes during wars and how quickly and easily people slip into barbaric natures, if the chains of consequence are removed.

So if someone is suffering and they don't want to live, why force them to live?

Because they'll change their minds, some say, things will get better for them.   Because they can be treated for depression.  Really?

I was in the mental system for years.  The treatment I got was being put into a low income hotel room, to live there, in complete poverty, meaninglessness and isolation for the next twenty some years while being forcibly drugged on up to ten psyche drugs daily, held down and injected with them, should I resist, and being brutalized and marginalized.   That's your treatment?  LOL, yes, ridiculous, in capitals!

We are the masters of our fates.  We are the captains of our souls.

It is a terrible tragedy when young people take their lives because of bullying at school or losing a girlfriend or boyfriend.  These are transient situations and impulses and these deaths are horrible and nobody knows how to stop them. I wish someone did know.  Having a support system to hold you up when you're down and out is one thing that helps, people you can talk to that won't judge you or hurt you sure helps too.

We all struggle and suffer.  We all die.   Most deaths are tragic and unexpected.  We all contribute to the light or dark of this world.  Most of us hope to end up at least neutral in contributions on that scale.  Robin Williams contribution to this world during his time in this world was not neutral.  Not  neutral!

Robin Williams' life contributed immeasurably to the light of existence.  I will always remember him as light.

I don't care how his trek ended.  I love the trail his trek through this world left for everybody else.  I see his eyes twinkling now and feel a joke coming on and know I'm going to laugh before he even says something.

Goodbye Robin Williams.  And Thank You.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Piper's Chance

Piper, after a bath, and other treatments, at Heartland.  Piper's a boy!

Piper is the lone survivor.  So I'm told.  Or so the catman was told by an employee of the business nearby where this little life and death drama played out.

Her mother was dumped with kittens, a horror too large to contemplate for long, if you are one cursed with a capacity for empathy.  She died not long after she was dumped.   She was hit by a car, according to the employee of a nearby business.  Her kittens began to vanish one by one.  Nobody knows what happened to them.

Along came a kind soul.  Not a soul who watches tragedies happen and does nothing.  This was the action hero kind soul type.

Catman Roger.

I've known Roger for a long time.  I've known him since I spent months catching every unfixed cat roaming his seed warehouses.   Roger is the one who found Deaf Miss Daisy, along the road, in the ditch, after she was thrown from a car. 

Catman Roger is true blue all the way through.

He's a Viet Nam vet and former farmer.  And a really nice guy.

Roger brought the sick starving kitten home.  And then he called me.  I hadn't heard from him in years, but he got my cell number from another farmer I helped with cats and for whom I have a fondness also.

He wanted me to take the kitten and I didn't want to take the kitten and he knows the seesaw and that I will in the end.  But I didn't until I got word that Heartland would indeed take on the kitten and that Roger would provide a donation I could give Heartland, all of which I felt was fair.

This morning I picked up the kitten Roger left in a big carrier in the back of a pickup since he'd had to go to work.  He left me 12 large cans of cat food too and a bag of dry and that's Roger for you.

Heartland has Piper now.  She's very ill and very skinny and I hope she's negative for feline leukemia and goes on to a beautiful life.  Because happy endings are awesome and Miss Daisy got her start on one of those, also thanks to Roger, many many many years ago.
Sick little Piper, bless her soul.

UPDATE ON VISION:   Her eye is healing, although prognosis for ability to see with that eye in the future is unknown.  There is a lot of essential gear in an eye that can break loose or be damaged with blunt trauma.

The swelling is greatly reduced but nonetheless, I took up Heartland's offer to have a vet there take a look this morning.   She peered into the eye, now with conjunctiva unfortunately red from irritation from the antibiotic ointment, which the vet advised I stop.   I'll use just plain ointment to keep her eye moist instead.  She thought Vision to be in good shape for her age.  She said that ancient kitties hang from a thin thread and so can seem fine and suddenly its the end for them.  She had a cat who lived to be 19.

Vision is angry with me for taking her to a vet again, doing low growls in outrage when I enter the bathroom.  I am letting her out of there tonight because there's no reason to keep her there, outside of how easy it is for me to be able to cuddle and brush her, when she's in the bathroom.  No longer is there a half golf ball size swelling above her eye, nor is there the smaller one below it.

Vision likes chicken, so I'll get her some.  I told her if she survived, I'd give her chicken thrice weekly until she died or I died.  Now I made a promise I have to keep.  So off to the store to get her more chicken because she goes through it, I tell you.

My mattress is outside leaned up against the white siding of dead Jack's house.  I hosed it down good yesterday afternoon.  I do that twice a year, if there's to be a spell of hot, so it can completely dry.   Was supposed to be 90 today but it's not.  But it's hot enough the thing will dry.  Last night, minus the mattress, I slept on a sleeping bag on the plywood of my homemade bed.  I moaned and groaned half the night and the hard surface crushed nerves against bone, so that I woke numb in six places at least.

That mattress better be dry by nightfall.  Better be.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Updating. Vision Recovering

Corvallis river cat Vision at twenty years of age, taken in May 2014
Vision is still in my bathroom trying to recover from a badly injured eye.   Whether that eye was injured in the two falls she took, a couple weeks apart, off the cat runs, or some other way, like getting swiped at by another cat, is really not important. I just want her to get better.

 I took her to the vet Saturday, after discovering her with that eye problem, and really got no answers and not even pain relief for the injury and am out $200.   The trip disturbed me so much I could barely function the rest of the day.  I knew I'd not be able to afford another visit to really find out what the prognosis is for recovery.  So I'm giving her awhile, in sick bay, and if she shows no improvement over some time, Heartland will end it all for her.  I won't let her suffer.

I've created an ongoing fundraiser, for Vet visits.  Click here to go there!
If you would share the link, I will love you!

Vet care has become so expensive in the last few years, one visit can be very difficult, financially.  It is rare to walk out from one visit without spending hundreds of dollars.  My older brother says his vet wants to clean his dogs' teeth but the cost, for just teeth cleaning---$700.  This is why I've made the grueling three hour one way drive to the affordable clinic twice now.

Vision is feeling no pain, don't worry.  Heartland has been helping me.  I am grateful to them.

I took this photo of her injured eye on Sunday.  Since then, she's had great improvement.

In the meantime, I have been working to build padded catch shelves, below the cat runs, since she refuses to stay at ground level and padding every corner too on every cat run and shelf with carpet remnants I happened into at Home Depot, in their remnants bin.

The same day I took Vision in, Miss Daisy stopped eating.  Happily, this lasted only a day and a half and was related to hairballs.  But I will not deny I was very worried over Vision and Miss D.   Miss D is prone to severe digestive issues for which I've never been able to get a definitive diagnosis.  At one point, one vet told me to prepare myself, she may have lymphoma.    I got catlax, which she loves, and grated carrots fine from my garden to add to wet food.

As I age, and I'm very close to 60 now, I know some miseries come with age or become worse with age and one of those miseries that can worsen is keeping things moving on through.  Miss Daisy is about 15 years old.    Vision is 20 years old, ancient as the river along whose banks she was born.

So I plug along, with my heart on my sleeve, and do the best I can, alone here as I am, and it is not easy to be alone and have no human family.   But I love having this place to live.  I planted sunflowers this year out front and they've grown and bloomed so that when I lay on my bed and look up out my window there are the flowers, blossoms full of bees, right there.  This makes me happy.

Slinko and Sunflowers

I look out my other window into the night sky, stars shining, moon flickering through a neighbors tree onto my bed and at these times, with Miss Daisy on the pillow beside me,  I am very very content.   All I can do is to enjoy what I have and what I love at this moment.

Yard Stray Number 51, a.k.a. Funny Face, continues to elude me, me intent on his neuter.  He comes through only now and then.  He comes through when he needs help and yowls coarsely at the garage door, staying back, and hissing, but accepting wet food or water, whatever he's come for, noisily.

But the other day, I saw the other cats staring out the front window, and went to look.  There he was, rolling without restraint, in my garden raised bed, on the catnip bush.  His eyes were half closed and he was high as a kite.  I cracked up, but quickly cupped my hand over my mouth, and rushed for my camera.  By the time I found it and returned, he was wobbly, but off the bush on the lawn, raking at it like an unfixed male dog might do.  Then he spray marked the side of the raised bed and was off, without a glance back.  I laughed and laughed.
Funny Face, after he'd trashed my catnip bush

I'm trying to fix my old Canon camera still.  I miss that camera so much.  I love the little Kodak the Texas woman sent me, after the Canon broke, but have yet to purchase a micro usb so I can upload easily to the PC and I have great trouble seeing what I'm shooting due to reflection in the large LCD screen.  I've had trouble finding the micro end in town, that fits this camera.  I'm going to break that battery compartment door if I keep opening it to remove the flashcard for photo upload.  I broke the battery door years ago in this manner on the Canon, then had to rig an unsightly awkward fix. Anyhow, this donated camera's tiny size makes it possible to take easily to places I could not take the larger Canon.  It fits into a Ziploc sandwich bag!

Besides, trying to fix broken things is a hobby of mine and wishful thinking too, because with electronics, I've never had much luck in the fixing department.  Does not stop me from trying!

It's August already.   Summer is almost over.  I went on the one camping trip and was lucky I could go on that one.  We split expenses.  I paid for the campsite two nights ($36) and she drove her car and paid the gas.  We took food we already had, mostly from their frig but also some I had, so that wasn't an expense.  We split the cost for four chunks of ice and a few other things.  I won't be able to afford another trip.  But that was a fun one.

In two months, or is it three, my 12 month deal with comcast expires.  It's a big deal to me, the thought of losing internet access.  So it's on my mind.   I am hoping I can find another affordable deal.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

$40 Down the Drain or $40 Well Spent?

Guess who just paid out $40 cold cash for two kittens?

Guess who has the kittens' mother and aunt in her bathroom (recuperating after spays paid for by KATA)?

Guess who already took four kittens from these same people a month ago to PAWS, up in West Linn, after they were left out in a box with FREE written on it, in the dark in the rain?

Why pay $40 for two kittens?  To save them, that's why.  They live outside, in a dangerous area, and the people would not otherwise relinquish them, even though everything they need, from flea treatment and worming to spay/neuter, is being paid for by others.

I offered them $50 for all four, but they claim they're keeping two, for reasons not understood by me.  I do not think the chances of the other two reaching adulthood are high.

I'm happy and think it's $40 well spent, even though I do think they should take that $40 and give it to KATA to pay some on the spay help they've received.  But I don't think that's going to happen, most likely.

I'd like to be wrong.

Well check out this video and tell me I did the wrong thing, shelling out shamelessly like that....

It's the muted calico and the buff and white kittens they relinquished. Tomorrow, Heartland will take them on. I think apt names would be Cash and Kari.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Oh Poppy Oh


Oh my Poppy.  Today she had her last three teeth removed, exactly one year after she had all but three removed.  A year ago, before she had them removed, she had withdrawn, isolated in her pain and lost weight.  She has the allergy, that horrid autoimmune thing, where she is allergic to the lining of her own teeth.  Unless every tooth is removed, the misery keeps on giving.

Poppy was fine with only three canines left for many months.  Until March of this year in fact.  Then she began snorfling and gurgling in her sinuses and I knew.

So today, the last three are out and gone for good.

I brought her home just now, home past three Corvallis Fire and Rescue trucks along the road my vet is on.  I mentioned them to my vet, as I'd passed them coming and they said they had two cats and two dogs there, from the house that caught fire, boarding for now.  "Whew", I thought, "lucky for them."

I drove backroads home, because I don't like making left turns onto highway 20 with no light during rush hour.  Took a few barn photos along the way.


This one is on Metge.

This one is on Oak Grove.

They're laying pipe along Independence road, to carry Natural Gas I think.

Last night, I went up to my Lebanon friends who were hosting a night out potluck.  A few neighbors stopped by, but mostly some of my friends relatives and friends came over.   Some guy down the street sold his big bus RV for a mere $5000 to a couple who drove down from Spokane to buy it.  Then they hit something driving it up off his property and knocked off the oil filter, leaving a trail of oil.  That took them awhile to get that filter off and changed.  Then they couldn't start it, battery dead, but somebody got jumper cables and had to jump it for them, at least twice, cause the young man didn't know to keep it running, once it started the first time.

I was not endeared to them after the young woman, when invited, joined the potluck but kicked one of my friends cats.  After that, I didn't care much if they ever got their new toy running or not or if they broke down on their way to the coast, which is where they were headed with it before going home, they said. 
If you look close you can see the black line of oil coming up from the grass and down the road to the back of the RV bus.

Yard art at my friends' place.

The party was nice and some neighborhood guys were just joining my friends husband in drinks of the hard stuff, adult liquids, he calls it, as I was leaving for home, to put Poppy in the bathroom, so she wouldn't eat during the night, then vomit during surgery.  She cried, being unaccustomed to confinement, so I went into the bathroom to console and hold her and soon she was asleep and so was I.

I'm doing a cat fixing transport tomorrow, just to Heartland, for KATA, but they are Albany cats.  I don't know if they'll have all four, two boys, two moms, one with kittens, whom I will care for tomorrow, while mom is fixed, but I hope so.  One of the mothers, is the mom of those kittens I took up to PAWS a month ago, out in a free box in the rain and the dark.  So it is very important those two girls get fixed and I thank KATA on my knees for making it happen.