Trying to get ready to leave this week had been a monumental task. For one thing, the only time we can ever seem to do a deep cleaning of our apartment is right before we leave it. Last night I spent at least three hours cleaning and organizing the kitchen. I had laundry going all evening as well because I was stupid and didn't plan ahead. It was easy enough on Tuesday night to think, "Oh, I'll just do the laundry tomorrow so that everything will be nice and freshly washed for our trip!" But that didn't leave enough time for air drying, which oddly left me with less time than usual on a laundry day! Even doubling up on the dryer loads (2 washer loads can easily go into the dryer at once, as long as a few strategic things--underwear, things which air dry very quickly like fleece, things we won't need for the trip like our tablecloth--are pulled out and air dried) it took a long time. I had to ask Shane to transfer the last of the laundry. This is the first time I've ever asked him to do it and he's actually done it. Yay! Of course, his plan has been to sleep all day today so that he'll be fresh to drive tonight so the laundry was in the final stages of drying when I woke up. (I think I burned my wrist on the extremely hot button of one of my pants when I pulled them out.) But laundry is done! I still need to fold and pack when I get home.
On top of all that craziness, I've been working 9 hours every day this week to be sure I'll have enough vacation time and I'm flat out exhausted. Not that work is so very difficult, but the time, the darkness, and the frenzy at home has all combined to make this not the easiest of weeks. The dog hasn't helped anything by continuing her rampage of destruction. Last night she kept trying to mess with the towels as they were waiting to get washed (I think she was licking/chewing the dish towels--because apparently that's pure flavor I wanted to wash out) and she ate one of my bamboo spatulas! We hand wash them and it was on the table drying when she grabbed it and chewed it up. !!!! Not that she knew what I was saying, but I told her that if she ate one more thing that wasn't her food we'd be leaving her at home for Christmas.
We did manage to get a new litter box made. The first one we had was pretty much just a box. No lid, nothing. Now, our cat is quite big. He's very long, that is. So he would sometimes miss, and when he didn't miss he'd often fling litter (and sometimes poo with it) out of the box in his efforts to clean up and hide his waste. Helpful, right? Well, we got him a new box with a lid. And he hated it. I think it's too small, so he felt cramped and it's just not comfortable to poop when you're cramped. So he's instead been using our bathtub as his litter box. The suggestion from a friend that we used was to cut a hole in the lid of an empty tote and fill it with litter. We thought it would work because, like so many others, ours is a box cat. He loves boxes.
I didn't even have a chance to fill it with litter before he was inside it, exploring. When I get home today, I'll check to see if he's used it or not. Hopefully our pet sitter won't have to clean our tub daily the way we've been doing.
It should also be somewhat dog-proof. Hopefully.
We still have so many chores and errands to get done before we go, but vacation time is almost here! I probably won't be posting again until after the new year, so happy holidays to you and yours. I hope 2012 starts beautifully for you all and gets better from there.
And since I didn't say happy solstice yesterday, I'll say it now and leave you with this video of the winter solstice in Fairbanks. It was taken from a building across the street from mine. This is what winter looks like to me. Isn't it beautiful?