Summer Stop

Well, my two month stint in Myers Flat CA ended last week and I am now in Mt. Shasta CA. The drive here was brutal. At something like 150 miles, I figured it would be easy but it was almost all mountain driving- hairpin turns, climbing thousands of feet, dropping down a curving mountain road, all with a ton of trailer pushing me from behind. It took five hours! Plus the cat got car sick and yacked. But we made it and got set up. I’ll be staying here for the summer.

Speaking of the cat, he had some problems back in Myers Flat. I was sitting outside with him one sunny day. He had his harness on but I had his leash off. He was sitting near me while I was reading but, as I got engrossed in the book, I didn’t notice he wandered off. I spent a half hour looking for him. He finally emerged from the bushes. He had gotten into a fight with one of the resident feral cats. I’m not sure what happened to the other cat, but Shithead had a mouth full of fur. His harness had a rip in it and some punctures from bites. When I looked him over, I could only find one scratch under his left front leg. It appears that the harness protected him to a large extent.

A few days later, he started to limp.I figured he must have hurt himself when jumping off one of the counters. I took him to the vet for an x-ray. But the vet examined him and said nothing was broken so no x-ray was needed. She shaved the area where the fight wound was and showed me a lump. So it was a soft tissue injury from the fight, not anything broken or sprained from a jump. She said if the tumor didn’t reduce in a couple of weeks an operation would be needed. So after an antibiotic injection, we went home. So far, the tumor has reduced by 50%, so it looks good. Here he is stalking a bird:

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stalking cat

Here at Mount Shasta, the weather is still cold (we’re at 3600′), although it’s supposed to go into the 60s and 70s this week. There are nobody else within a quarter mile of me in every direction, so it’s nice and peacefull. I saw a wolf the other day, too. Here’s the view from my bed:

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bedroom view

Lake Siskiyou is a five minute walk. Here’s a photo with Mount Shasta in the background:

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Lake Siskiyou

I’ve been reading a lot. I try to have four books going, depending on my mood. Usually a work of fiction, one non-fiction (biography, history, politics, philosophy), something food related, and maybe a travel book. Of course, I always have Hemingway’s complete short stories available and Bukowski. Right now, I’m reading these:

  1. The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux. It recounts Theroux’s four-month journey by train in 1973 from London through Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and his return via the Trans-Siberian Railway.
  2. Spider, Spin Me a Web: A Handbook for Fiction Writers by Lawrence Block. The short essays were culled from Lawrence Block’s long-running monthly column about fiction writing for Writer’s Digest magazine.
  3. American Wino by Dan Dunn. A professional booze writer whose life spins out of control tries to piece it back together by embarking upon an epic wine-fueled adventure that takes him to every corner of the U.S.
  4. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman. An introduction to the field of textual criticism of the Bible.
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