Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's all fun and games until someone ends up in an e-collar

I may have mentioned this before, but my cat is certifiably crazy.  I came home last night after enjoying the merriment of Christmas at my mom's house.  I was only gone for two nights, and usually Phoebe can handle a couple of nights on her own.  I was worried that I may find her hanging in the tree like a live ornament, but I did not expect to come home and find her tail almost chewed off.  I've heard of wild animals chewing off their own legs to escape a trap....was Phoebe trying to escape her climate controlled, filled food dish, and comfy bedded home? 

I whisk her to the emergency vet and a couple of hours later we come home with a bandaged tail, an e-collar, and lots of meds.  Houdini (aka Phoebe) managed to wriggle her way out of the e-collar in her crate during the 10 minute ride home.  A crate that is so small she can barely turn around in it.  My very own little Criss Angel had escaped her cone.  I wrangle it back onto her (which I would liken to wrestling with a greased up pig. Not that I have ever wrestled a pig...greased or otherwise.  It's just what I think it would be like.  Only my pig has claws and sharp teeth to add to the enjoyment).  Phoebe crouched in a corner and growled for a while before she tried walking around.  This is when I learned that my cat has absolutely zero depth perception as she repeatedly walked straight into the wall with her lampshade necklace.  And then growled at the wall for being there.  I carried her upstairs so that we could hopefully get some sleep. 

I was not prepared for the bloody crime scene that existed upstairs.  There were blood splatters on the walls, spots on the carpet, and I don't even want to discuss my bed.  But since all of the spots were right along the baseboards, I imagine this is what it would look like if Barbie met a violent end.  I needed Horatio Ken to investigate what had taken place upstairs.  Just as I am recreating the crime, Phoebe comes in and sits in front of me...no cone, no bandage, and a freshly bloodied tail.  And I had only left her in the bedroom for 5 minutes.

I called the emergency vet again:

Me:  Um, hi, I was just there with my cat who eats her tail...and she is evidently Houdini reincarnated.  She is now being all crouching tiger and pouncing on her tail.  Can I try some sedatives until I can get her to the regular vet in the morning?

Vet:  This is your cat on sedatives. 

Me:  Oh.  I'd hate to see her on uppers....

So off we go back to the emergency vet so she can stay the night locked up tight in a cage.  I expected them to call me and say that my escape artist had broken her chains, but all was well when I picked her up.

Now she is at our regular vet.  When she comes home her tail will be a bit shorter with fewer self inflicted puncture wounds.  And some anti-anxiety meds that I have to have specially compounded into a paste so that I can just rub it on her ears ("specially compounded" is just a fancy way of saying "uber-expensive"). 

On the bright side, Bailey is enjoying her Phoebe free home today.

Merry Christmas Mom!  I got you hundreds of dollars in vet fees for Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Disaster it yourself

I know I am posting twice in one day, but I had to share my latest and greatest DIY project. 

When I moved into my home, my main bath upstairs was carpeted in a beautiful blood red which was paired with a gold striped wallpaper.  As the piece de resistance, the plastic panels in the vanity were painted gold as well. It was not love at first sight.

The carpet has been replaced, the wallpaper torn down, and the vanity repainted.  I put up a beachy Pottery Barn shower curtain that matches my bedding in the hopes that something nice would instantly transform my bathroom.  It didn't.  If I were doing this the right way, I would completely replace the vanity and countertop/sink.  But, since I don't have two grand just laying around useless, I have done this myself.  But over the past two years the vanity doors have started to turn to sawdust and the plastic panels keep popping out.  It is vagrant living at its best.

This is where the DIY comes in.  I had the brilliant idea to buy two large picture frames and turn those into new vanity doors.  I own paint and and drill, but not a saw, so I needed to go with some sort of pre-made something.  I headed out to Micheal's and bought two large black picture frames.  The frames were originally $40, but due to a mistake in the computer system, I got them for $0.01 each!  The cashier let me have them because the manager was at lunch and she couldn't fix it.  I guess she will never take a break again.  Here are my penny frames:

I don't know what I would do without Phoebe's help with everything....

The frames have been painted and I made fabric covered panel inserts.  I drilled holes for my hardware and hung them up.  They fit perfectly but I am still trying to decide about the orange fabric (it matches the coral in the shower curtain perfectly, but it may be too much color...even for me!).  I should get some frosted glass cut and install it but that can be a future endeavor.

And no, I didn't hang them crooked, the vanity is all slanty.  My entire house slants and the counter top is level, but the floors and therefore the vanity are not. Once I got them up it dawned on me that having fabric panels under a sink of water is probably not the best idea in the world, but it will do for now.  And now I can use the money I saved on frames to buy some fancy-shmancy hardware from Anthropologie.  

My next car will come with a battering ram

Here it is a just a few, short days from Christmas and everyone is trying to finish up their last minute tasks.  Such as mailing packages.  I am one of those people.  I head over to the main post office to mail my last two items.  I expect a wait in line so I am prepared for that (which means I wasn't standing there huffing and puffing....I am patient for once). 

After waiting in line for 15 minutes (behind a super chatty woman; I now know her entire life story...too bad I don't care) I make it back out to my car.  As I approach my car, I notice that someone pulled in behind me.  There is no space behind me.  They created one.  And because of the design of the parking lot, I can't pull through.  All I can do is sit there and wait for the owner of the car to come out and move it so I can leave.

And I wait.  And wait some more.  People around me found it hilarious (I did not).  I go inside with the tag number to have the owner paged.  Except I would have to get back into line again again to speak to someone.  The post office is too large for me to stand there and yell for the owner.  I head back out to wait.  And wait.  My little bit of time I had for lunch is now gone, usurped by an idiot that doesn't understand parking lots and the idea of "spaces". Exactly how stupid does someone have to be to realize that they were not in a space?  I contemplate putting my car in reverse and ramming the little Toyota until I push it out of the way.  I hope the owner doesn't own a gun.  I hope they come out soon.  I hope they didn't run away.  I start to google towing companies. 

Finally a woman comes running to the car.  She tells me she is sorry as she rushes into her car.  She tells me she didn't realize it wasn't as space.  As I start my tirade of smartly worded arguments she drives away.  Then as she is backing out (trying to escape me) another car tries to pull into the fake spot.  REALLY????  They quickly realize their mistake as I turn my tirade towards them. 

So, I had to wait to do my business at the post office, then I had to wait for the dumbest woman in the world to do whatever she had to do, then she left so quickly that I didn't get to yell at her, and then she had time to make a getaway while I tried to back out before someone else could back me in. 

If my car had a battering ram, I could have just moved her out of the way with no damage to my car.  And all would have been right with the world.

Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What?! It’s the Christmas season already? I had no idea…

Thanksgiving, the gateway holiday to the Christmas season, has passed.  No matter what holidays you celebrate, you will be hit over the head with Christmas until it passes.  I actually started having nightmares about the upcoming holiday season as far back as July (I guess it was my own personal version of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”).  I would awaken with a start, with an overwhelming sense of dread.  In my dreams, I had completely forgotten about Christmas!  It was suddenly Christmas Eve and I hadn’t done a thing to prepare.  There were no gifts, no tree, no lit up reindeer in my yard.  Of course the reindeer fall over every day they are out there so it looks more like Christmas hunting season at my house.
How could something like this happen?  Hallmark introduces ornaments in July, catalogs begin arriving with holiday gift guides as early as September, and Thanksgiving symbolizes giving thanks for Black Friday ads in order to plan shopping strategies with the fewest number of casualties.  The mall is pulling out the decorations before the lights go out in the Halloween jack-o-lanterns. 
I could go into the same complaints about the commercialism of the holidays, about how the meaning is lost amongst all of the tv ads, catalogs, and reminders to buy, buy, buy!  But I’m not…because I love every minute of it!  I become such a little kid at this time of year.  I love buying just the right gifts for family and friends.  I am comforted by the soft glow of the lights on the tree (well, at least until the cat turns the tree into her own playground and I have to dodge the flying ornaments).  I sing along with every song on the radio, and my singing is so spectacular that even the animals leave the room.  I’m sure the fish would leave also but he is stuck.  Hopefully the water muffles the sound somewhat. 
But then, when it is all over, I go through shock on December 26th.  It’s like I need a 12-step program for Christmas withdrawal.  The songs are over, the commercials have ended, and the stores are already squeezing Valentine’s Day merchandise onto the shelves.   I hate to take down my decorations, I find it all very depressing to pack everything back up into the attic for the next 11 months (except for the tree – I’m ready for that to come down because the cat has already taken the decorations off and rolled them under the couch).  As kids, my sisters and I would never let our parents try to put any of the presents away because that meant the magic was all over. 
And that is what the holiday season is all about; the magic.  I hope you and those you love enjoy the magic of the holiday season (just don’t forget about the mayhem altogether!).

Organization (or lack thereof)

I am a professional organizer's dream (or nightmare).  I can't organize anything; my home, my office, my computer, my thoughts...it is all quite a disaster.  I called my mom close to tears the other day because I did not want to be at work, yet I didn't want to come home either.  I still have 12 cans of dog food sitting on the cutting board on my kitchen island because the spot it usually goes in is full of something else.  I'm not exactly sure what it is full of; I just know I can't put the dog food up until I clean off the shelf.  As a result, I can't use my cutting board.  Which in turn led to me getting out a plastic cutting board and melting it on the hot stove as I tried to cut up veggies. 

I then decided to give up on the kitchen and attempted to organize my computer.  Right now, it looks like this:

I can't find any files at all.  Nothing.  All of these folders are full of other folders.  And my email inbox is full so I can't send anything out. 

Anyone else out there stressed by my complete lack of organizational skills?  My heart is speeding up just writing about it.  It may just give out.  I wonder if I can do a WebMD search on this??? 

I even did a search on organizing and ran across this great blog http://www.orgjunkie.com/.  The author started a 52 week organizing challenge that I really wanted to be a part of...only she is in week 46.  I missed it all!  Too late to start now...

So I decided to organize my blog.  Baby steps.  Since this hasn't gotten too out of control I think I can get it in shape.  As a result I have given my posts these things called "labels".  One of these label thingies is "Bella".  There you can read my Bella articles (but only if you live out of the area.  All you locals can support local advertisers by picking up a copy). 

If I were an ambitious person I would follow the 52 weeks of organizing and do a photo blog (with a label!) chronicling all of it.  I don't think I am that ambitious.  I swept the kitchen today. I don't want to over do it.