Quick update and Skylights

Sea Ranch 2014: Walk to Shell Beach

It’s been at least a few weeks since I last posted here on the blog. The weather has been fabulous and it’s been hard to focus on a computer screen. I have a ton of posts of summer DIYs, vacations and new projects to write about and hundreds of photos to edit. I plan on just adding a few summer posts with the “current” ones until I get caught up.

As I have mentioned many times, this blog the place for me to document our goings on. I don’t take myself too seriously here, but I still like to post when events and projects are fresh. I often get stressed when I get backlogged, but that’s just life.

I see a pattern of me being über focused on the blog, then stepping back, then becoming intense again. September is such a good time to recalibrate. I’ve been evaluating a lot of my habits and daily processes lately. My new goal is to fan my intensity out a little so I am more even paced here and elsewhere in my daily to-dos.

Luckily, the last days of our summer have been relaxed and easy. It always gets a little intense right before school starts, but we both tried to slow down and enjoy as much as possible before the tide changed once again. We are now in the second week and finally getting accustomed to a normal work schedule. With football starting this weekend, I can see Autumn on the horizon even though it still feels very much like summer in these parts.

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Installing New Skylight Screens

Installing New Skylight Screens

When you last saw me, I showed you my lovely new front window screen, but that wasn’t the end of the full project. Once the screen was installed, I moved on two our skylights. We had to replace the skylight screens for a slightly different reason than that windows. Although both had the same culprit – those darn cats.

Installing New Skylight Screens

You see, not only to cats love to hang on and attack screens, but they also will sit on them. I guess that mesh allows them get a little airflow on their furry backside. Well, lo and behold, the screens couldn’t hold up to repeatable abuse and weight of the cats. So for the last year or more, we’ve had broken screens in our skylights.

Installing New Skylight Screens

Climbing on the roof, isn’t one of my favorite activities, but I was determined to finally get this task done.

Installing New Skylight Screens

The biggest difference in skylight vs. window screen repair is the removal/install. Skylights have to be unhinged or opened so the screen can be taken out. In our case, we also had to unclasp the chain that moves the skylight up and down because the chain actually attaches through the screen on these models.

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So I climbed up onto the roof, took off the skylight hood and unclasped the chain so I could hand the screen to Nate who was waiting below. Then I climbed down and worked on fixing the screens with the same basic process I used before.

Installing New Skylight Screens

On the second skylight screen I found an issue. The frame was broken at the corner. I needed to run back to the hardware store to get a corner replacement, but had to postpone the trip until after work the following day.

Installing New Skylight Screens

Then, the next day came with a potential thunderstorm in the early evening. This seemed highly unlikely to me, but as soon as I left work, raindrops began to hit my windshield. I didn’t dally and got the part I needed, but once I got home I remember we had plans that evening. So instead of installing the screens, we went had a nice evening with neighbors. It rained a little, but nothing much. I got the frames put together, but needed help getting them installed. Nate was going out-of-town and we just didn’t have enough time to get them in before he left. So we had the holes open in our roof for a week before we were able to install them.

Installing New Skylight Screens

It actually was nice to have the openings. Obviously not practical for the long haul, the week without screens was mild so we got a ton of light in and just enjoyed the extra airflow.

Installing New Skylight Screens

When we finally had time to get the screens in, Nate climbed up on the roof with me and held the skylight cover in place so I could get the chain clasped in.

Installing New Skylight Screens

It was a little harder than I thought laying on the hot roof trying to thread the clip in. We were sweating bullets by the time we finished the second one and quickly got done to admire our handiwork.

Then guess what happens a couple of days later…

Cat on screen

I crossed my fingers and hoped the cats were just testing it out and would eventually leave the screen alone. But no – less than a week after the install the back screen busted. Nate gave me the bad news Friday night.

Damn cats.

I am not sure how to proceed from here without adding spikes and other impaling instruments around the frame. I am going to take a little time to cool off and think this through. Any ideas?

DIY: Refurbishing a cat scratch post

It’s funny the things I get annoyed at purchasing.

Laundry detergent because I only want to buy it on sale.
Cilantro because the last batch went bad before I used it.
Coffee beans because it’s usually when I am all out and cranky.

But more than anything, I hate buying something that should have replaceable parts, but doesn’t.

Cat scratch post

Enter the mighty cat scratching post. It keeps the cats’ claws away from our furniture (most of the time) and is therefore a necessary evil in out house.

Close up of cat scratch post

Regardless of its usefulness, it is perhaps one of the ugliest things in our house. I’ve looked for a better looking post, but it doesn’t seem to exist so we have two inexpensive versions from Target. They work out great for the cats, but when the carpet gets all worn out and grungy, I wanted to replace it. But I can’t. They don’t make replacement parts for the posts. It’s very short-sighted on the manufacturer and it just drives me crazy!

So I got thinking and decided to make my own replacement carpet post out of a utility mat, glue and staples. A fraction of the price of a brand new scratch post. And while I was at it, I gave the post a makeover at the same time with some dark green spray paint.

Dark gray utility mat

I started by buying a dark gray utility mat for $3.00.

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Then I took apart the old post.

Take apart old post

Using the old carpet as a pattern piece, I measured the width of the carpet tile.

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Then I cut the mat with a straight edge and a utility knife.

Spray paint old post

Next using dark green spray paint I had on hand, I darkened the current post stand and topper to match the dark gray utility mat.

Assemble parts

Once the paint was dry it was time to assemble the parts.

Staple and glue the carpet

I stapled one end of the carpet piece of the post and then used some tacky glue to keep the carpet in place before stapling down the other end.

Secure with rubberbands

Then, I clamped the carpet post with a bunch of rubber bands until the glue dried.

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I let the glue dry overnight before I reassembled the post. Voila! The cat scratch post is ready for action. I spent less than $5.00 on the makeover and I have left over supplies for the next time I need to replace the carpet post. Not a bad deal at all.

Bad cats

Bad cats

I gave our house a deep cleaning on Sunday. The floors were swept and mopped. I spot cleaned with my handy Spot Bot. The couch and chair slip covers were washed.

And that’s how I found this scratch post under our club chair.

Damn cats

Bad cats. I’ve know they have been doing this for awhile, but I didn’t know how extensive it was. I am so glad I have slip covers on this chair. I taped up the rip with a little duct tape and put on the slip cover.

stickypaws

Enter Sticky Paws. The package says “our transparent medical grade adhesive is odor free and is so easy to apply: simply pull off a strip from the brown backing sheet apply where you don’t want kitty to scratch, then peel off the white “crack-n-peel” to expose the surface that the cats can’t stand.”

So far it seems to be working (??). It peaked Pixel’s curiosity so she sniffed and licked it, but I saw no scratching.

The big question for me is how long the tape lasts. A day, a week? I think its going to take a couple weeks (at least) to correct this behavior. If the tape lasts only a day, this could get pricey.

I’ll check again tonight to see if they tried to scratch and how the tape holds up.