We need air!!

Here's an update in the continuing saga of "Will Jack and Erica ever be cool?" Well, he's a math major and I'm a music theorist, so my guess is no if we're talking figuratively. However, in the literal sense, we may someday be cool even while we're living in Baton Rouge. We bought a dehumidifier yesterday at Sears (most of the money came from my birthday money from Mom and Bill), thinking that we could at least suck the moisture out of the air in our house and help the heat index, if not the actual temperature. We turned it on last night before we went to bed, and around 1 a.m., Jack left the room for something, came back, and discovered that the bedroom was significantly hotter than the rest of the house. That's right, our dehumidifier was actually heating the air as it cycled it through. They should put that on the package. Anyway, it collected some water, which I used to water the plants, but we decided this would NOT do and took it back to Sears today for a refund. They were very nice about it and gave us our money back. Before we went to the mall, however, Jack got on the phone and called several heating and air-conditioning installers around town to get quotes on the size unit we want, and we found a wide range of prices; the one we're most likely to get is $2300 including labor, and the most expensive we found for the same sized unit is $3400. Whew. The $2300 people are going to come Wednesday to look at our duct work, the platform for the unit, etc., and make sure everything is up to code, but all that labor seems to be included in the price. I suppose if we have to have anything major done to our ducts, it'll cost more, but it'll be worth it to promote efficiency. The problem for them is that they're coming between 1 and 3 p.m., certainly the hottest time of day, and they'll be up in the attic since that's where our unit is. Yucky for them.

I apparently had the wrong idea about what was wrong with our current unit, so if you care, read on. If not, skip to the next paragraph. The indoor unit we have is a 2.5-ton unit, but the one it connects to on the outside, which our idiot contractor installed, is only a 2-ton unit. I had in my head that the whole thing was too small, but apparently, it's just that they tried to cut corners with the outside compressor. I hate them. Something else I didn't realize until yesterday is that we have a coolant leak, so right now, we have no coolant; the air is just being circulated a bit by the fan, but there is no actual conditioning going on. (Incidentally, this is the same problem we have with the air conditioner in his car. The mechanics at the Chevy dealership in Philly, who we also hate, filled up the coolant tank three times before they were able to successfully locate the leak and give us a correct diagnosis of the problem.) I'm sure Jack told me this stuff about our unit back in October when he learned it from the inspectors, but I received so much new information right around then about house things in general that it apparently didn't stick in my head. These problems obviously necessitate the speedy replacement of the current unit, which may be done as soon as the end of the week if we can get financing from them or a loan from the bank in that time period.

Okay, onto other topics... since I didn't keep the dehumidifier as my birthday present, Jack and I decided we ought to use the money to go into our curtain budget, so we looked all over town for curtains and found some nice cactus-colored ones at Bed Bath & Beyond. The one color was being discontinued and was significantly reduced, so we got them for the only rooms in which the color would work: our bedroom and the office. Our bedroom gets especially hot in the morning since it gets the first sunlight of the day for an extended period of time, and usually by 8 a.m. it's been too hot to remain in bed comfortably. The curtains are nice and thick, so they'll block the morning light really well, and then in the afternoon we can pull them back to let in some indirect natural light. We also found a fabulous six-dollar curtain rod on clearance at Sears, so we got it for the guest room to replace the cheap metal bracket that's in there now. Yay, clearance!

We have screens in roughly half the windows in our house. Most of them didn't have screens at all when we moved in, but we got a few for our bedroom and the two kitchen windows. After about 5 p.m., when it's hotter inside our house than outside, we usually open all the windows that have screens, but Jack hit upon the brilliant idea today to move one of the kitchen screens to the office, whose window is the same size, so we can get a cross breeze on this side of the house from the office to our bedroom. Man, this is probably really confusing to people who don't know how our house is laid out. The kitchen-to-living-room cross breeze was cooling that part of the house before, but there's a whole other half of the house that was staying stuffy. Our bedroom is down the hall and around the corner, so it wasn't receiving a lot of the circulated air, but the office is right across the hall from the bedroom, so now there are two cross breezes. It's actually pleasant in the house right now, which makes the wait until we get a new A/C unit seem not quite so long. =) Oh, the last thing I wanted to say is that we're about to go back to Lowe's and buy fake wood blinds for our kitchen window, which presently has no covering whatsoever, because the heat coming through that window in the afternoon is palpable and we'd like to diffuse it.

I spent a lot of time talking about temperature regulation in this post. Sorry for those who were looking for more pet news... here's a little bit to tide you over. Celia and Patti are continuing to hiss at each other, but now, Patti seems to get upset only when Celia runs at her. If Celia calmly approaches her, she's okay, but Celia seems to want to be the good-will ambassador and make everyone like her immediately. She tends to bound and frolic wherever she goes. It worked for us, but Patti remains skeptical. However, we think they'll be fine as time passes.

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