Screen Shot

One would think that the rambunctiously enthusiastic dog would be the reason I need to replace the screening on my back porch door at regular intervals, but no. The innocent-looking cat that spends most of the day sleeping and her claws are the culprit! I've replaced the screen three times in the last two years, and two of the three times, kitty "klaw" tears were the reason the screen broke. Yes, Piglette did break one when she was a puppy, but she's learned to paw at the door frame instead of the screen (hence the brown spot in the photo - I'd rather have to clean and touch up paint than replace a screen).

So this past weekend, I built a little frame out of scrap wood I have lying around (you'd have to see my scrap wood piles to truly appreciate how much junk my family hoards) that fits inside the bottom portion of the door frame opening. I originally intended for it to divide the door screening into smaller portions, so I'd only have to replace the bottom where Gigi scratches. But now I think plexiglass in the frame is a better long-term option -- sturdier and easier to clean, and the top portion will still be screened for air flow. I just have to figure out how I'd attach the plexiglass.

Unfortunately, I ran out of patience to build another frame for the door on the left, so my doors no longer match. I'd like to think that the effect is whimsical, which suits my personality more, but in my heart I know that's a bald-faced lie!

By the way, it may seem as though I've abandoned my blog, but I try to visit others and say hello or leave a comment or two. It's just been difficult for me to sit down and organize my thoughts into anything writeable for the past year.

First, serving on the board of an animal welfare charity was challenging. Small charities are often led by people who feel strongly about "the cause" but are not necessarily those with strong leadership skills. Personal feelings, rather than duty to put the organization first, have a disproportionate influence on decision-making, which can put the whole organization at risk. Going in, it's easy to think you'll be the one who will be able to use reason to move things in a positive direction. When my one year term came due, I bowed out of a second term.

Dissatisfied with raising heck in the animal welfare domain, I rejoined the ranks of my neighborhood association (I was secretary of the umbrella organization that provided a unified voice for all neighborhood groups in my city, back in the day) and began battling city hall over the implementation of wobblette (can be charged as either an infraction or misdemeanor) statutes, which are based on the wobblers (can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor) in the California state code. The problem is not necessarily in the spirit of the law, but in the letter, which is inadequate (I think) in providing checks and balances in the implementation. The proviso was added that the city attorney prepare an annual report of results and the city attorney promised to provide more detail with regard to how he plans to implement it. A short-term win as long as he remains in that position, but who knows long-term.

Given the last two paragraphs, you'd think there'd be something interesting to write about crazy animal welfare people and potential abuse of power. But the first topic was taboo, because my first responsibility was the welfare of the organization while I was on the board, and writing about it while still caught up in it was a bad idea. The second issue just sucked up a lot of time -- I'm not a lawyer, so had to do a lot of background research around a part-time job and consulting efforts, and maintain communications with the three city council members who bothered to reply, the city attorney and the neighorhood associations. All this said, I am still somewhat at a loss for words in general right now, and though I will be posting on occasion, it won't be regularly.