A/C (air conditioning) and C/H (cat house)

Living on the 11th floor means that our apartment gets obscenely hot, even in the winter.  Last summer, we didn’t live here most of the time, so we lived with fans, open windows and lots of whining.  This year, however, we are living in town full time and have a furry friend to worry about, so we decided to invest in a portable air conditioner.

So, Patrick and I headed to Home Depot on one of my last glorious shift work days (in the pouring rain) to buy an air conditioner.  We found one and I stood waiting while Patrick went to find a cart to put it in to get to the cash and out to the car.  While I was waiting, I was asked by FOUR people working there if I needed assistance.  Every time I answered like a foolish, clueless woman, “No thanks, I’m just waiting for my husband.”  Way to perpetuate the stereotype, Trisha.  On the other hand, I must say Home Depot has some good service!

We bring the air conditioner home and then exist through the rainiest long weekend in a while.  We procrastinate setting up the air conditioner.  In the mean time, Jeter has established the air conditioner box as his new home.  He liked to lay on top of it, scratch at it… All that good stuff.

Finally, today, it is kind of warm out.  And predicted to be scorching for the rest of the week and weekend.

So, post call and warm, we decided to assemble the air conditioner.

Easy enough.  Then we discovered that our apartment building, along with having freakishly high ceilings and ill placed cement beams around windows (see my post about hanging curtains) also has weird windows.  The window fitting thing is made to fit 18 inch windows at their smallest.  We discovered that although the bottom (opening portion of our window measures 18 inches, the actual space where the thing can fit actually only measures 17.5 inches.

Seriously?

So, we try to make it fit in our patio door.  They are freakishly tall.  Also an epic fail.

As a result, my husband who is working on becoming more handy measured and plans to exacto knife off the extra 1/2 inch off, so we can fit it in our window.  This after trying to use one of my kitchen knives to get the job done.

Meanwhile, the cat is having a time trying to attack the plastic ties, and seems distraught his box is an open cavern.

So, I did what any reasonable person cat lover on a budget who is ridiculously cheap would do.

I made the box into a giant cat house (clearly, this is another step in our becoming crazy minions to our cat).

We have been considering getting Jeter a cat tree because he loves to climb to high places, but all the same, we also are very aware that he has not been a huge fan (minus applying cat nip) of his scratching post or the box I made a bed for him in when we first got him.  Plus, they can be ugly and overpriced.

So, since we have the box anyway and it is currently filling a space that I want to get a shelf for, I decided to concoct a cat house for Jeter out of something he already loves.  photo

I even made a door, so he can hide inside (although he has been avoiding going in, even though he hides out in our luggage, dressers and any other confined space).   I went at the sucker with the staple gun and attached one of the plastic ties he likes to attach and one of his balls on a string.

Unfortunately, I, the one who was only sawing cardboard with a knife as opposed to the plastic vent holder, managed to break a knife. Fortunately, no body was impaled in the making of this cat house.

Who knows, if it sticks, I may even paint it.

I clearly need more sleep.

Pattern

This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is called “Pattern.”  They seek out photos of, well, patterns.

It is probably going to seem a bit odd to you, but photos are not the first things I think of when I think pattern.  Or really the second.  Sure, I take pictures of pretty patterns or designs when I see them, but I feel like that isn’t my first thought.

When I think pattern, I think pattern recognition.

Medicine is full of pattern recognition.  I do not eat, sleep and breathe exclusively medicine (except when I am on call sometimes), but they appear everywhere and they are SO ENGRAINED in me that I can’t help but notice them.  Sequences of symptoms, for instance the high fevers for days followed by a constellation of peeling fingers and toes, red eyes, red lips and such that make up Kawasaki disease (I totally had that case on Grey’s a few weeks ago figured out before the intro was over).  They way cancers tend to spread in a certain way by a certain route.  The way pregnancies progress.  Rashes (I hate rashes).  They are patterns to me.

But patterns aren’t just medicine to me.

Patterns are music.  Chord progressions follow patterns.  Some people like to recycle chord progressions (there are only so many options, after all).  I remember things to music better because I find it easier to recognize the sound differences.  When I was younger, I studied Aural Training, which is basically training one’s ear to recognize spaces between notes, chords and that good stuff.  I taught it when I got older and I liked to see it as pattern recognition.  If you recognize the pattern from one place, you can often apply it to another.

Patterns are knitting and sewing and creating things.

But patterns are also visual.  And since this is a photo challenge, I suppose I will get to that bit.

I took these pictures at the Vatican when we were visiting Rome.  The place was beautiful and epic and there was art everywhere you looked.  Even up and down.

Dentists and Benches

Just so you know, due to my inability to rhyme, I think the title rhymes, even though I know in my heart of hearts it probably does not.

Today, this cool cat went to the dentist.  Yes, that is right, the dentist.  We are the coolest people ever because not only did I go to the dentist on vacation, but Patrick did too.  We went on a dental date, as the hygienist called it.  This was, however, the most convenient time for us to get to the dentist… Because I work when they are open.

It is not something I would do voluntarily normally.  We haven’t been to the dentist in a year and a half due to scheduling challenges.  And because I strongly dislike the dentist.  I know lots of people hate the doctor.  But I have a weird thing about people having their hands in my mouth.  I place immunizations and pap smears above the dentist in things I would prefer doing.

The big win is that I had no cavities and they said I can continue to keep my wisdom teeth because they don’t generally bother me (hooray for risk-benefit ratios).  This drives Patrick crazy because I dislike the dentist and I have no real reason to hate it.

But beyond that, my vacation awesomeness continues to be full of general household improvements and a lot of TV/reading (and that we went out to a fabulous all-you-can-eat pasta bar last night).

I know, this is so out of character for me, all of this craftiness, but it kind of fun.

I promise I will start writing about things other than crafty projects… Tomorrow.

The Child and I recovered the bench/shelf thing in my living room with some fabulous fabric.  Effort and all, the entire process was half the price of buying a new one… And there is no way we would have found such an awesome print for a reasonable price.

To prove to you it happened… Here are the photos, as stolen from the Child’s Facebook page (yes, I am one of those people) arranged and documented as if we are a how-to and the sorts of people who know what they are doing.  Well, she is a crafty sort, so she was the creative one (and the photographer) in the situation (check out her blog here)… I was the “read 50 how-to guides on the topic” person (cue nerdy snort) in the situation.

The bench top before.  Jeter felt it his duty to only scratch that and two spots on our carpet for the last several months.

The bench top before. Jeter felt it his duty to only scratch that and two spots on our carpet for the last several months.

Removing the legs of the bench.  Jeter was trying to help.

Removing the legs of the bench. Jeter was trying to help.

Lining up the fabric on the cushion while Jeter plays with the screws from the bench.

Lining up the fabric on the cushion (to make sure it fits and is straight.  Meanwhile, Jeter plays with the screws from the bench.

I bought a staple gun for the procedure.  Staple the corners first to make sure it holds, then cut and adjust the fabric  so that there is not excess hanging down.

I bought a staple gun for the procedure. Staple the corners first to make sure it holds, then cut and adjust the fabric so that there is not excess hanging down.

Realizing that we stapled the fabric over the holes where the legs go.  Pro tip: if you leave the legs, it may be a bit complicated, but it saves a lot of cutting through double layers of fabric.

Realizing that we stapled the fabric over the holes where the legs go. Pro tip: if you leave the legs, it may be a bit complicated, but it saves a lot of cutting through double layers of fabric.

Getting the legs reattached after chopping out chunks of  fabric.  And after trimming away the excess, so that the staple line is under the rim of the bench.

Getting the legs reattached after chopping out chunks of fabric. And after trimming away the excess, so that the staple line is under the rim of the bench.

We stapled the pulp out of the underside, so that things are tight.  Using a staple gun is kind of like stapling someone's incision site.  Just saying.  We were pleased with the result.  And Jeter is not a fan of scratching the new texture (double win!).

We stapled the pulp out of the underside, so that things are tight. Using a staple gun is kind of like stapling someone’s incision site. Just saying.
We were pleased with the result. And Jeter is not a fan of scratching the new texture (double win!).

I have enjoyed all of the creating.  Maybe I will keep it up once vacation is over, although odds are I won’t.  It has given me a whole new admiration for crafty folks, especially given all I usually do is knit (not that there is anything wrong with knitting).

Vacation versus Redecoration

My staycation thus far has consisted of all kinds of awesomeness that I suspect the average person would consider dull.

A big chunk of my Monday was spent on house cleaning and some creative adventures that began with a Wal-Mart field trip with the Child (who is now local!).  I came home with several bags of decorating paraphernalia and a pair of orange rubber boots (finally, my feet will be dry when I walk home… Unlike what happened the day I wrote this post). Patrick was shocked to see the heap of stuff when I fell through the door with it all.

He was even more shocked to see the end result when we got home.

I did a full re-do of the bathroom.  I had this fabulous rainbow shower curtain that was getting disgusting beyond repair.  We actually picked out more “grown-up” print for the curtain, which also better matches the tile in the bathroom.  In other excitement, we got a new soap dispenser and toothbrush holder (that you can more easily clean).

The before curtain.  I loved it.  It still breaks my heart we had to part.

The before curtain. I loved it. It still breaks my heart we had to part.

Our new soap dispenser and toothbrush holder... Not that different from our old set, but cleaner and not disgusting anymore!

Our new soap dispenser and toothbrush holder… Not that different from our old set, but cleaner and not disgusting anymore!

Everything is more grown up, the bath mat is a dream... But we still kept the trusty rubber ducky for a taste of whimsy.

Everything is more grown up, the bath mat is a dream… But we still kept the trusty rubber ducky for a taste of whimsy.

I did not stop there… I then ironed my giant heap of ironing and our new orange curtains.

Yes, orange.

I then hung the curtains under the close supervision and “assistance” of Jeter (who did not get his afternoon nap for all the excitement).

Helpful Harry (er... Jeter).

Helpful Harry (er… Jeter).

I even made my own curtain ties with ribbon and snaps (for about $4.00… win).  It is strangely simple, all you have to do is measure out the length of ribbon to the desired length to hold the curtains back and then sew a snap on to the inside, so it is easy to fasten on and off.  I opted for long ends on the ribbon, so that it looks like a bow (almost).

The supplies... Delightful ribbon, measured (by wrapping it around the curtain and hook), snaps (from a dollar store sewing kit, thread and scissors.

The supplies… Delightful ribbon, measured (by wrapping it around the curtain and hook), snaps (from a dollar store sewing kit, thread and scissors.

The snaps sewn on.

The snaps sewn on.

The finished product.

The finished product.

More of the finished product.

More of the finished product.

I feel ridiculously accomplished.  Especially because I am not always that crafty.  I feel like homemade curtain ties are something that would be on Pinterest.  And thus that makes me feel super crafty.

Top that off with cooking a nice peppercorn trout with rice supper and I felt like a regular housewife (I still need to clean out the fridge and oven… A mission for another day).

I was excited.  Patrick was amazed at the transformation that my psycho redecorating took.  And I have yet to partner with the Child on the bench re-covering.

I told Patrick that night that I kind of like the whole vacation thing in combination with the whole housewife thing.  I contemplated quitting my job and just having babies.  He reminded me that being a housewife is not a vacation, which I know very well.  However, pretending to be a housewife is a part of my vacation because somedays I feel like medicine eats my life.  And that I will get time off when I eventually have a baby.  And that I am on vacation, so instead of scrubbing and rearranging the whole house, I might want to consider doing vacation things.  But, it is a change from my norm.  I swear, we did some vacation stuff too.

For instance, we went skating.  And I wore hockey skates for the first time in my life and realized that I like them better because they fit my feet better.  I resisted the urge to wear a helmet and fend off concussion (against my better judgement, but heck, I am on vacation, why not rebel?).  I didn’t fall once and we both returned with all of our limbs intact.  Plus, we burned sufficient calories that I justified a Beavertail dessert.

My boy-skates!

My boy-skates!

The rink... Beautiful night, complete with a full moon!

The rink… Beautiful night, complete with a full moon!

We survived!!

We survived!!

Om nom nom... Canadian delightfulness!

Om nom nom… Canadian delightfulness!

Love the vacation-y goodness!