On Friday morning I went out with Gwen and the daycare baby to go buy some window screens. Every year I mean to do this and every year I forget-slash-put it off until high summer when they’ve sold out and then I’m screwed. Last year I tried making my own, which was semi-successful but a huge pain and I never finished them. I was actually supposed to have ALL the windows screened before I adopted Mark Fluffalo but like… that didn’t happen. It wasn’t an issue last year because as you may recall he spent his life under the bed, but now he is very sociable and friendly (haha not really) and enjoys sitting on windowsills, and I don’t want him getting out. I’ve also been having trouble with animals coming IN my open windows; sometimes raccoons and squirrels, who tend to run away quickly, but most annoying is other people’s pet cats. They will come right into the apartment, they get Georgie all riled up, I’m worried about Mark fighting with them, and they aren’t always the most friendly with kids so I’m also concerned about Gwen getting scratched.

I’m trying to get the landlord to pay for some of the screens. There are 14 windows in my apartment that open; seven are single-hung windows (the kind that slide up) and the other seven are casement windows (the hinged kind that open outwards). The former are easy, you can get extendable screens from hardware stores (or amazon) that you can attach to the outside of the window frame or just set under the raised sash so the window’s own weight holds the screen in place. Casements are a different matter; screen installation is on the inside of the window and have a little opening in them to reach through to access the window lock/handle. Casement screens are custom-made, and last year when I was calling around to different companies they quoted $50 per window MINIMUM, so AT LEAST $350 if not more. For screens that would be custom fitted to this apartment’s windows, so if we were to ever move (not likely but u never know) I would have to leave them behind. Anyway I know when one of my neighbors was having trouble with raccoons coming into her apartment last summer the landlord offered HER screens so why not me?

So back to the screens I bought on Friday. I immediately put two in the windows at the end of the living room where Taylor and I have our shared office space and it was SO NICE. I’ve only been able to keep those windows open a tiny crack since Mark decided to no longer be an underbed cat, and being able to throw up the sash and get fresh air was amazing. Not long after we got home it started raining and the sound & smell of rain on my terrible garden was somehow soothing and refreshing at the same time. Mark also enjoyed it, at least I think he did. He spent a good long while on the sill peering out through the screens with his eyes bugged halfway out of his head, before becoming overwhelmed and retiring to the dark bedroom.

ALSO I discovered a few months ago that the garden store downtown has closed (in a shocking Vancouver twist some developers are tearing down the building that housed it to make way for some overpriced condos). I like to buy a couple of plants in the spring for my garden and home which I then kill almost immediately, so while I was getting the screens I also picked up a new little tropical desk friend. Place your bets on his longevity now.

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