Fake Cats, A Haiku Farewell To Summer, and Vehicles

Greetings from the Cat Central. Today was chosen as the annual cat migration from the display case to the dining room table. Unlike last year, they were not transported individually, but with the aid of Avon box lids. They are pretty handy to have around. We have lots of them because Diane buys Avon products just for the fun of it and she sells it, too. If you’re inclined, you can buy from Diane’s Avon account online and have it delivered directly to your door, or post office, if you don’t have a door. If all of you did that, on a regular basis, I could retire again. That was a shameless plug for my lovely bride and I’m not a bit ashamed for doing it.

Before going to church this morning, I went out, with some urging, to see about patching the roof to the ’79 Winnebago. You may recall that it leaked a bit during our trip to Fort Stevens in Hammond, Oregon. It didn’t leak much, or long, but it leaked and it seemed to be prudent to fix it. All the turmoil of getting home, however, lowered that priority, however, and I kinda lost it in the white noise that makes up the bottom range of my memory. Diane, however, made it very clear that I needed to do something about it before it rained or she would get cranky. So, I found my really old can of Henry roof ‘stuff’.

Once I pried the lid off, I discovered there was about an inch of solidified matter on the top of about half an inch of useable coating. Figuring it would be enough to seal the seam that I suspected of leaking, I rushed right out of the house and climbed up on the RV roof. The leaky part is toward the front, so I cautiously made my way past both ceiling fans, and the air conditioner, and kneeled down to do the job.

I couldn’t find a putty knife, which would have been the perfect tool for applying it because it’s really thick. Instead, I found a really dull inch-wide chisel with a handle long enough to allow me to get to the sticky stuff without getting it all over me – just the fingers I used to hold the chisel.

The coating went on nicely, as I remembered it did when I first used it about 2-3 years ago, so the job went quickly. That was a good thing, too, because about the time I grabbed the first rung of the ladder to the roof, mist was falling from the sky. It wasn’t actually falling because mist just kind of blows around with the wind, like a cloud. There wasn’t any wind, though, so it kinda let gravity have more of a roll in its direction. So, it started getting a bit wet. Thankfully, the sticky stuff sticks to anything, no matter what, so it worked just fine.

After church we brought Diane’s Mom, Jean, home with us to entertain the dogs while Diane cooked another one of her gourmet meals made with dead chicken. I watched football. I also sat on the couch with Mom to show her recent pictures of what’s been going on with us. You’ve seen some of them, so I won’t bore you with them, again.

I will, however, show you the before …

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… and after of the Cat Migration …

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Next their home will be cleaned thoroughly, and all of the cats will be dusted and returned to a new place in the cabinet. Since the cats are not Lutherans, they don’t care where they wind up … there’s no need to ensure they go back to the space they’ve occupied for the past year or so. That makes the return far easier.

During the migration, an event in which I was not allowed to participate, I watched more football on the Man Room TV. I think I watched Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos beat Eli Manning’s New York Giants. As I recall, it wasn’t really too difficult for Peyton to beat up his little brother. While watching this, I was interrupted once in a while with the soothing sound of distant thunder, then it rained for a little while quite nicely. I didn’t go out to check my patch job because I don’t really care if it gets wet. Well, I do care, but not enough to go out in the rain to find out. I’m pretty sure it’s OK. I’ll look tomorrow. If it’s not raining.

With the rain, we say farewell to summer. The temperatures are dropping and, according to some old guys Diane listens to, we’re supposed to have a really bad winter. I don’t know what tha means because I don’t know what a really good winter is so there is no point of reference. I think a really good winter is the last one we spent in Hawaii, in 1989, just before I was discharged from the Navy. As I recall, it was 80+ degrees on the January day we flew home, and it was 2 degrees when we arrived in Portland. Kinda nuts, huh? Some folks wonder how we could do something like that. I mean, we had been living in Hawaii for the past 3 years, and we flew to Oregon in the middle of winter? The main reason is that we had already sent Jeff to Scappoose and figured we needed to check up on him. In truth, we’ve never regretted that move, except for the first few days when we froze our little nuts off. Well, at least one of us did that. Then we just got used to it.

In honor of summer’s demise, I submit the following 2-verse 5-7-5 haiku poem for you to criticize, if you wish …

Friday was sunny,

Today it started raining.

Summer is over

Bum, bum, bum, bummer.

It makes me want to sob, but

I’ll get over it.

That pretty much sums up this Sunday. I know, it’s probably not what you expected, but I’m not a poet. Perhaps you noticed if you actually this far.
Oh, yes! I surprised and pleased to get a call from our friend, Tom. Remember him? The one who was at death’s door not too long ago? We talked for almost 53 minutes. It was awesome!

Now for a couple of pictures I took in Ocean Park when we visited the Rod Run To The End Of The World

This is the new color scheme for my old truck that looks suspiciously like this one …

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I think I’ll keep the shocks on my truck, and it will have chrome bumpers. I like chrome bumpers.

… and this is Cindy & Gary in the 1962 VW bus they displayed at the show. It’s pretty cool.

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Jedi James, Tile, and a D22

Jedi James is a tiny little kitten that now lives with Daniel, Jennifer, Cedric, Lydia, and Jeran down on Matzen Street. He’s either six or seven weeks old and full of energy, like a little kid. He probably weighs less than a can of soda and he’s just fun to watch. I still don’t get the name, so call him JJ because it’s one less syllable.

Here he is investigating the 4″ tiles I layed out so I wouldn’t screw it up when I put them on the wall.

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Yes, I did some work on The Bathroom. The tiling is now about 2/3’s complete. It was a hot, sweaty day. For all my hard work, Diane bought me tacos and a burrito for lunch from Taco Bell.

Now the bad news – even Diane doesn’t know about this so I’m cherishing my remaining few moments of a relatively pain-free day. That may change once I publish this. But, ya know? I’ve gotta own up to my defaults. Most of them, anyway. This one just created more work for me, but it’s upsetting.

As you may have surmised, from previous posts, we have two Winnegabos. Both are old. We use the ’79 brave and have the ’73 Indian D22 on a restoration path that just got more complicated this afternoon. Here’s what happened.

In an effort to clean up our parking lot, across the street from the house, where all the blackberries live, I decided to move the ’73 and park it next to the ’79, which is in the driveway. It effectively blocks all access to the side of the garage Diane doesn’t use so it’s OK that that side is full of ‘stuff’. I’ve been wondering for a while, now, if the D22 would fit between the trees and the ’79. The trees are a barrier between us and our neighbors.

So, feeling frisky, I moved the Subaru, which is normally parked in that spot, and fired up the D22. The brakes worked pretty good when I started maneuvering into position, but faded more quickly than I had anticipated. I also misjudged how long 22′ really is.

Now, I know you’re thinking that I ran smack into the ’79, with its newly connected DirecTV DVR, but that isn’t the case at all. Instead, I backed into the corner of the garage. Damage to the house is minimal, regrettable, and easily repairable. The D22? It now has a ladder to the roof that is caved in, and there is a new tear in the aluminum rear that looks distinctly like the end of the gutter on that edge of the roof. It’s really nice. I may highlite it with some festive paint.

Since it’s been raining off and on for the past three days, I got the big tarp out and covered it up so it wouldn’t leak. Diane will think I covered it up to hide the damage, which may be partially true, but I don’t think she even realizes I moved it from across the street. She hasn’t said a word about it, which I find unusual. It’s like I do things, and no one notices. Except when I do things like back into the house.

On the positive side of this – yes, there is a positive side – the damage caused to the D22 is forcing me to address the already water damaged roof at the rear of the rig. I’ve just been putting it off, doing other things. Now, I’ll have to do it.

Fortunately, I know a guy … he lives in Keizer and he once replace the entire roof of his old Winnebago. So, there is a precedent and I know the expert. That’s handy. The way it is right now, all I’ll have to do is remove about 1700 screws and peal the metal from the back toward the front and see what kind of project I’m looking at. The roof seems pretty solid on the inside, but spongy on the outside in that area, so It’s going to be interesting.

Now I’m going to quit and go to bed before Diane reads this. She’s watching ‘Dancing With The Stars’, so, hopefully I’ll be asleep before she gets there and maybe she won’t remember all of this in the morning.

I’ll let you know.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll take a picture of my mishap and share it.

Dirt, Animals, & Health

Yesterday, or maybe the day before, one of the news stories was about a family with 9 kids who live on a farm. The significance of the story is that these kids don’t get sick. Apparently a study was done to determine how our association with animals affect our ability to avoid various ailments. The results revealed that children who have kittens are 31% less likely to catch certain “things” (I can’t remember if it was a generalization, or specific illnesses), and those who grow up with puppies are better off at 60%+ avoidance.

That’s pretty significant and I’m sure a lot of money was spent to get those results.

Back to the farm kids … they all grew up with a wide variety of animals and during the course of attending to their chores they had to interact with all of them … cows, chickens, pigs, dogs, cats, horses … and they never got sick. Isn’t that amazing?

From this you may conclude that to remain healthy we must be near, and interact with, as many variety of animals as possible. That’s possible for people with the right vocation, but not realistic for the general public. So, we get our kids puppies, kittens, fish, lizards, snakes, rats, and hamsters. A far more simple solution. Pets are fun, and we learn a lot from them.

After seeing this ‘riveting’ news story I looked at Diane, and she looked at me, and we both wondered why a story like this was on the national news. Interesting. All it did for us, mainly me, was reaffirm a long held belief that it’s OK to eat something you’ve dropped on the floor. I’ve done that my entire life and have been blessed with a fairly disease free existence. It’s not the animals, you see, it’s the germs they carry. Kids with pets share their food with Fido and Mittens. They aren’t afraid to eat off the floor.

Our current society is becoming sterile to the point where kids just aren’t allowed to experience a little dirt which, I believe, helps bolster the immune system. Pets help by being friends to their children. Additionally, they carry around a lot of things that help develop their kids immune systems.

When our son, Jeff, was little he was dirty all the time. We always had pets, but he just liked playing in the yard. One of his favorite sayings when he was urged to wash before supper was, “God made dirt, and dirt don’t hurt.”

Kinda makes you go hmmmmmmmm, doesn’t it?

Emergency Rooms, Coyotes, and Roofers

Where have I been? Does anyone know? Since my reality isn’t the same as everyone else’s I could use some help to ferret out the “pretend” areas of my life and reconnect with a common reality that’s apparently shared by everyone else. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy flying around in my reality, most of the time, but sometimes it gets lonely because the only others I see there are captured in their own “moments” and do not communicate well.

Yesterday I was ejected into the ‘real’ world when Diane’s Mom was transported to Good Sam from urgent care in St. Helens for cardiac “issues” related to a “possible” heart attack. We followed the ambulance, and Jennie, Dan, and kids arrived shortly after we did. After monitoring her in the emergency room, for the requisite 3-4 hours, she was admitted for the night and scheduled for a stress test this morning at 0800. After Jean was settled in her room, we all headed back to the ranch, knowing she was in good hands.

Once we got home, being the optimists we normally are, we packed our bags for our trip south which was to begin today. First stop Medford, Oregon. Diane and Jennie are on their way to the hospital as I type so they can be there during the stress test and get first hand knowledge on what’s going on. Me? I had to stay home so I can go to church this morning and answer the questions everyone will have about Jean. Lydia is going with me to play body guard. And visit with her friend, Briana.

Now, about last night …

We packed and puttered around here until almost midnight like we normally do the night before leaving on a trip. The dogs went out and returned quickly for their nighty treat. Couldn’t find the cat, which isn’t unusual, so closed up the house and went to bed.

Shortly thereafter, 3-4 coyotes started yipping in our back yard. Diane let Panzee out on the upper porch so they could ‘talk’ for a bit. Apparently Panzee convinced them to depart, because they did after a very noisy conversation. At times like this, Breezie is a concern because she’d make a pretty nice coyote snack. I know, that’s probably not an appropriate thing to ‘say’, but it’s true. This morning when Diane got up, Breezie was meowing at the basement door, so all is good. The coyotes probably spied her behind the basement patio door which caused all the ruckus. She doesn’t flinch much so that no doubt added to their frustration. I can just see her down there, sitting by the patio door, one hind leg sticking straight up in the air, licking away with an occasional pause to look a coyote in the eye then back to licking.

Since the coyotes are prowling, Breezie will have to spend her nights indoors. The problem with that is, if things turn out OK for Jean, we may not be here to ensure that happens and she may not always magically show up when one of the kids checks the house. In those cases she’s on her own, but she’s a tricky cat that survived outside for a year on her own.

Throughout all of this added turmoil, add the noise created by 15-20 guys ripping off your roof and replacing it … in three days. They started last Thursday and finished Saturday afternoon. Pretty amazing to watch and very very loud the entire time. They did a great job and we’re confident that our house will not leak for the next 30-40 years. That will be a comfort when we’re sitting on the porch, watching the sunrise behind Mt. Hood, when we’re around 100 or so.

Now I must go shave and get ready for church. I have an hour before I pick up Lydia. Since Diane isn’t here, most of that time will be spent looking for the things I need to accomplish my task.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day. If we manage to hit the road today, I’ll be in touch. Actually, I’ll be in touch whether or not we hit the road today. I have gizmos that help me with that.