June started out nice enough, with a bunch of Americans being jollied by the gate agents to form disorderly lines, shuffling with two personal items onto overbooked airplanes, occasionally being met by just enough staff to actually fly them, and jetting off to attend the improbable graduation events of their amazing relations capable of finishing degrees during Plague Years. Sure, a bunch of people got Covid, some of them for the second or third time, but by the end of the month no one would be talking about it. Not a word.
Why would anyone talk about an airborne virus we could keep from spreading by wearing the right masks, running a few tests, and taking common-sense precautions to isolate ourselves when we have six berobed demon overlords who have seized control through irreversible lifetime political appointments to the highest court in the land who, in the last couple of weeks, have ghoulishly weighed in on everything from whether women are people (no), whether states like New York should be able to have different laws about guns (no), whether gerrymandering is ok (it is if it oppresses non-white people), whether some bullying loudmouth coach can force his football team to pray to his god (heck yeah), something something Miranda rights (whatever favors the jackbooted totalitarian regime), and strips the Environmental Protection Agency of the ability to protect the motherfucking air (why not).
[NOTE: Yucky photos of a turkey carcass, but no guts or anything. Just dirty meat.]
Somehow, last Thursday I forgot it was Thursday and I didn’t write anything.
I have been staying busy doing nothing, trying not to get the Omicron variant as the entirety of America seems to be working on getting it. No one outside of my paranoid household and any given hospital ICU seems bothered by this, though. Half of America still won’t get vaccinated. The other half of America might definitely sometimes wear a mask, mostly covering part of their face, at the doctor, when they go to the movies (ok, until it’s like dark anyway), and when they walk into restaurants (but obviously not when they’re eating). They’re uncomplainingly sending their kids to in-person school, taught by whatever random substitute is replacing their usual teacher (because she’s out with COVID), and they’re just so psyched for when this whole thing is like over and we can like just go back to like normal.
Last Friday I passed some garbage on the side of the road near my house, which is, in and of itself, a remarkable thing. I live in a community with both paved and unpaved roads, all lovingly maintained by our taxes to preserve the rural flavor. The local Department of Thoroughfares is quite responsive if alerted to a downed limb or illegal dumping, and typically the roads stay clear. Those of us who walk our dogs around here pick up errant trash when we see it and this corner of Bedhead Hills stays picture perfect.
So when I ran out again to mail a letter, and it was still there. I slowed and rolled down my window.
It was a turkey.
Not like a wild kind of turkey that lives in a flock in the woods around here. It was a naked, plucked, legless, headless, ready-to-be-salted-and-peppered-and-roasted kind of bird. It was raw, and not frozen. It had slid out from its butcher paper wrapper, and bounced, out of whatever vehicle it was being delivered by. I imagine it was in the way of something else that had to be delivered, and it got moved, and then it slipped out. It was abandoned in the gravel at the side of the road, and easily a 20 pounder.
Now, whoever dropped this turkey obviously messed up. Big time. Maybe the turkey escaped without notice. Maybe the turkey exited the vehicle with a dramatic flourish. Either way, someone around here did not get their 20+ pound fresh turkey delivered Friday. It was a turkey they were waiting for, that they had special ordered, that they weren’t expecting to need to defrost; this wasn’t an easy to replace item. This was dinner for 12, plus a weekend’s worth of leftovers.
All I really wanted to see happen next was the sad turkey accident going to a good re-purpose. Sure, it wouldn’t be feeding the neighbor’s weekend houseguests, but maybe the crows would find it. Or the coyotes I sometimes hear yip-yipping in the woods. We’ve heard stories of the bears down the hill, and I’ve even seen their poo around here. Would a bear eat that? Might they come up this far? And when the deer died in our wetland, we had a great congregation of vultures gather. Would there be vultures?
Friday night we had a big wind storm, so I drove down to check the carcass late and didn’t get out of my car. Saturday morning it was very cold, so I put Eggi in her jacket and she and I walked down together first thing. She noticed the crow in the tree before she saw the turkey, and they exchanged insults. The crow was still shouting at us as we retreated homeward through our woods.
That day was very, very cold. I assumed that whatever was scraping away at the turkey wasn’t going to be able to move it, since everything was frozen solid.
Sunday afternoon, I took Eggi for another walk to see if it was still there.
By Monday afternoon, the snow was very soggy, and the turkey was turned over, but it was still there. The Bacon Provider ran out to mail something and said he saw buzzards in the road, but didn’t get a picture.
Tuesday, I took Eggi to obedience class, and the turkey was lying on its back again in the middle of the road.
A few hours later it was out of the middle of the road but not quite to the shoulder.
Had something attempted to carry it, and failed?
Yesterday afternoon, before we got more snow, the carcass was to be found over on the shoulder, and was looking pretty stringy and dirty.
At 11:45 this morning, Eggi and I saw that it was in similar condition, under fresh snow.
Today at about 5 pm, I drove down to try to see if I could find it before I lost the light.
All that is left are the two big thigh bones, the spine, and the pelvis. And, of course, the plastic hock lock, because plastic is forever.
What I did beforehand: I woke up this morning around 5:30, in a tangle of quilts, hearing the cat purring. It was still dark. I wondered why the Bacon Provider wasn’t yet up; we was due to leave early for a meeting with the board of the company that he runs. I did not know all of the details. Eggi surprised me yesterday by coming into season a full month before we expected her to, so it was easiest to leave all the dogs exactly where they were (in their boxes), while I slipped out of bed and started doing stuff in the kitchen.
Things that were sad: see painting, below
Dog breakfasts made, coffee brewing, crossword started (I’m on a 46 day completion streak), Fellow’s bag packed with food and a jacket for his vacation away, I got started on my December 16 data painting, knowing it was going to be a big one. Today is the day the U.S. passed 800,000 COVID dead, like that’s an achievement.
What I wore: dirty jeans, clean t-shirt, old barn coat with deep pockets, Chinese-made Australian-brand barn boots, a Chinese-made “N95 Particulate Respirator” mask which my husband swears is fake, homemade cloth mask
Who went with me: other residents of Westchester county, New York, by appointment only, plus that guy who thought I looked stupid for wearing two masks.
How I got an appointment: online, in mid-November, after failing to find an appointment at a pharmacy
Why I got boosted: because I want to outlive the schmucks who’ve refused to get vaccinated.
Where I parked: like, I would’ve left early, but by the time I was dressed and the dogs were fed and the painting finished, I had to snatch my vaccine card from my desk, jam my feet into boots, shove my arms into a coat, grab keys, and go. I took the big Ford, and let the Navigon pick the route. I took the paved back way (as opposed to the unpaved back way). I parked at the back edge of the sprawling lot, over by the creek with the other bozos in large trucks who also can’t squeeze into itty bitty parking places. As I marched confidently towards building 110, I checked my phone and saw that it was suite 110 and building 100. But, I needn’t have worried. Just had to look for the line of sad, grumpy people, and the confusing signage.
What it is: there’s one of those loud, genial Westchester doofuses talking in the 15-minute post-vaccine waiting area and I look over at him as he says goodbye to the old friend he’s run into because in the restaurant business everybody knows everybody doncha know? Well, his mask isn’t over his nose.
Things that were funny: many things were funny. I am fucking hilarious.
Things that were not funny: no matter how long this coronavirus goes on, we keep acting like this shit is temporary.
What I did on the way home: I got gas.
What I did after that: then I met the vet at the barn to take a look at my mare. We exchanged texts, and I managed to pass them on the highway and arrive just in front of them. My arm isn’t as sore as it’s going to be in a few hours, but the child I saw with the lollipop in their mouth, being carried out after their vaccine floats by in my mind. In their dad’s arms. Their mask under their chin. I wear a mask the whole time I’m at the barn. No one else does.
My horse has a little arthritis in her ankles, and got some injections. She’ll get a couple of days off, too.
I delete another email about a virtual program that wants me
to enroll to help manage the virtual programs I haven’t yet enrolled in.
I have a Zoom appointment and we touch on what I eat and what I don’t eat
and whether I’ve tried riboflavin yet
and I write magnesium continuously on the back of an envelope
and we get down to brass tacks about caffeine intake.
Brain doctors and mind doctors have no fucking idea what they are treating
but only they have the pills.
What even is a headache if the brain cannot feel pain?
Whatever they are, there are many. And more.
We will try something else.
Since my last medication change there is something new to try.
A new class of migraine meds.
The catch is she said to get it covered by insurance you have to have tried
at least three of the old class and her eyes circle the screen as she opens my chart
ah it’s fine she says actually you’ve tried five this is good this is great
Is this good is this great
I get to go to the office and pick up samples and try them
I drive in
I wear two masks
I like one I dislike another I take them
It’s ok things are ok and then and then and then things are not ok
And of Course
let me ask you
is anyone ok right now
anyone anyone anyone at all
Even the person who made fun of migraines in fucking front of me was she ok
oh no she wasn’t ok
I’m not ok you’re not ok none of us are ok none of us at all
Some time around Thanksgiving I am having so many headaches that I am taking pills every other day and I am only given nine a month and at this rate I’m going to use up the allotted quantity in the prescription and then and then and then what So
I call and ask for another follow-up
And the brain doctor says it’s time to stop treating my head
we are going to treat the air around my head
There are a number of different medications for this and each has its own plusses and minuses
We discuss which one sounds the most promising and I choose the one that offers peace and well-being
The drug is as small as a peppercorn. The drug comes with a large sheet of paper folded many times and printed on both sides with many paragraphs of side effects including weightlessness, tingling, and invisibility.
Well, I sleep so hard I think I haven’t slept. I am invisible, and struggle to drive. I reach the nurse.
Oh no she says. Stop right away. We’ll get you something else. Bye bye now.
The next pill I try I must take twice a day. It is confusing, but slows down time. I have to drink quantities of water so I do not become a stone.
This month marks the end of an entireyear of makingthese. These things. Sometimes I use paint and I guess they are paintings. Those sometimes I think I could call them data paintings. But other days I use glue and paper and ink, but a brush. Ok. Maybe that’s a painting. And then there are the pencil drawings. Those aren’t paintings. Since it’s a daily practice, lets call it that. The Daily Practice. That, or an anti-NFT.
Mid-month, I went to Virginia with Fellow for the Vizsla National. I just got the pictures downloaded, so that story will be next week.
While we were gone, the Bacon Provider got the puppy Dibs weaned and started getting him housebroken.
When we got back, we had about ten days and then it was time for Dibs to go to his forever home.
After Schwartz died, I was sad and furious and confused and within two weeks of his death, I had already asked my pilates instructor where the good cat rescues are around here. Because I am a fuckwit.
I got into an email exchange with one cat rescue operation that had an entire litter of black kitten gremlins with yellow eyes, and had “pre-approved” me to come visit the creature of my choice. I made an appointment, and my son wanted to come along. We were expected to drive to the rescue, and the kitten, named “Yodel,” chosen from the briefest description and smallest profile photo, would be brought to our car where we could meet him. If he met with our approval, we could take him then. The suggested donation was $200, payable via an well-known mobile phone payment app, which was not accessible at the rescue because of poor connectivity issues. No one in this part of Westchester wants the towers that reliable mobile phone coverage require. So we were expected to pay the donation in advance, using the an well-known mobile phone payment app, without having seen the animal. Or decided to definitely do this. I may be a fuckwit, but at least I knew to just take cash.
We arrived. I texted to let them know we’d arrived. We sat in the driveway, in awkward silence, for about 15 minutes. A teenager came out, and asked us which cat we had come to see. I stared into the trees and thought about how I could meet 100 kittens and none of them would be Schwartz. I wanted to leave. It was a terrible idea. Then, they brought out a box with a cat inside, and we were told to roll up the windows of our car, put the box in the car, and open it and hold him.
“Take as long as you want,” they said.
He was not Schwartz. He had a weird, two-tone meow, a long skinny body, and big ears. We took turns holding him. We gave them $200 and headed straight for Petco.
We bought food, and litter, and some small toys and a pink feather wand.
When we got home, the Bacon Provider was on the phone, working, so we took the cat that was not Schwartz to an upstairs bathroom. We set up a litter box, and fed him, and played with him. At dinner I began to wonder how I would tell the Bacon Provider what a fuckwit I was, and that I’d gone and gotten a new cat that was not Schwartz. I slept on it.
When I woke up the next day, I fed the new cat that was not Schwartz and carried him downstairs and woke the Bacon Provider who was still very much asleep. Instead of telling him, I handed him the cat that was not Schwartz.
“When did you get this?” he asked.
There was a bunch of other shit going on that week, so the new cat that wasn’t Schwartz had to stay upstairs and settle in. He liked the pink feather toy a lot, but also chasing balls.
On pilates day, I took the cat that wasn’t Schwartz to the room where I do pilates. He galloped around like a nut until he was tired, and my teacher was delighted.
Time passed. Eggi had her puppy. We let the cat that wasn’t Schwartz out of the bathroom, and he took to sitting at the top of the stairs, watching us.
He began expanding his territory by about 12 feet a day. He broke a lamp. The Bacon Provider grumbled, “I didn’t do it.”
He kind of has a thing for bathrooms and checked out all the fixtures.
The cat that is not Schwartz reaches under the door to the kitchen, and Fellow is obsessed with the idea that every so often there is a cat paw there.
At night he creeps around the house, making mischief, scaring Eggi, and enticing her to bark. Then he comes in our room, jumps up on the bed, and curls up between us. Just as Schwartz did.
He is not Schwartz. He is, nevertheless, fascinated by Dibs.
Well, that was a month. Thirty whole days, one right after the other.
I have had a lot of sleepy days this September, with a baby puppy in the house. When I’m not well-rested, I’m more short-tempered, and inclined to despair. Bad pandemic numbers confirm my sense that things are not going to be ok. But there’s a puppy. He’s here. He’s adorable.
My skin prickles in September, like a yellow jacket wasp just landed on me, and it’s gonna sting me, again and again.
We passed the six billion coronavirus doses administered this month, as a planet. I get that there are still people out there who distrust Big Pharma, who are skeptical about the origins of this pandemic, who think the medical establishment in the U.S. rushed to create immunizations, and that money followed that might have been spent on treatment options. You can think these things and still get vaccinated.
Next month is my twelfth month of this project. I intend to continue.
Ok, ok, but, like, ok, so, the first person who said anything about puppies was the vet, who, holding Eggi at her first exam, and having exclaimed the she was perfect (which she certainly was) went on to ask if we thought we would ever breed her. She was a baby at that point, and the thought had not crossed my mind, but we’d only had her for a few days at that point. Sure, I’d owned vizslas since the early nineties, and now found myself in possession of my first show dog, but it had always seemed to me that there are plenty of dogs in the world (uh, I guess, you know, there are probably more than enough people, too), and I’d never had a bitch I intended to keep intact indefinitely. Anyway, we went on to show Eggi in the conformation ring, and she finished her championship and her grand championship in a timely and orderly progression. As a matter of doing what one does when one is told to do so (whatever that is), we had her eyes checked and then her elbows and hips and thyroid and heart and at the end of all those tests you send the results to a foundation that gives your dog a number and then you have official approval to breed your dog.
Another vizsla person put it this way: the decision to breed a dog really comes down to whether the dog has something the gene pool needs. There are plenty of other considerations that go into the decision, of course, and I am very grateful to have other breeders and trainers in my life. I have plenty of questions, and I’d rather take in the opinions of people I know and trust over random shit I read on the internet. Even when those opinions differ.
Dogs come into season twice a year, and when you own an intact male that you don’t want to breed to, life gets complicated for a few weeks, keeping them separated. My dogs are related through Eggi’s grandmother, who is Fellow’s mother, and this would be a tight line breeding, which is something people do, to maintain the qualities of their line, but for me, the right approach seemed to be maybe breed Eggi to a stud dog out of the line, and if that was successful, maybe breed one of those puppies back to Fellow. But wait, suddenly the possibility of breeding one dog, one time, now also includes breeding another imaginary future bitch another time?
Anyway, dogs go into season twice a year, somewhat but not entirely predictably, and if you are planning to breed to a stud dog that’s far away (or dead), you really need to track not just progesterone, but you need to look for the LH surge.
So the recommended veterinary reproduction specialist (who I chose after attempting to talk to two different ones, but one was so busy I was left on hold too long, and I got bored and hung up) gave me written instructions for bloodwork, every day for about a week. My usual vet could do it during the week, and I was counting on the local vet emergency hospital to fill in on the weekend. The emergency vet is actually the first vet I saw after we moved to New York, in the fall of 2011, when Captain scratched his eye. We have seen them over the years for various other memorable and forgettable things. I tried and failed to speak to someone there on Friday to try to arrange a visit Saturday that maybe worked with everyone’s schedule, rather than being a true emergency, but the first time I called about it the person on the phone said, yeah, sure let me check with someone and call you back, and never did, so when I checked back, I was told that they couldn’t, or wouldn’t. Anyway, the next day I called and spoke to new staff who could and would fit us in, but, in the end, after lecturing me about how we might have to wait if there was an actual emergency, they failed to follow the written instructions past step #4 and they charged me $300 and gave me an incorrectly handled vial of dog blood. Sunday, I saved myself the frustration of throwing more money at ineptitude. But by the time we did bloodwork on Monday, the LH surge was imminent, and I didn’t know until Tuesday, and then I was told to send all the blood via Fedex to the reproductive specialist who would see them first thing Wednesday morning.
Wednesday I got up and did pilates with the cat and my phone rang as I got out of the shower. The message was, best days to breed were yesterday and today and I needed to get Eggi to the stud dog by the end of the day.
Of course, because if I’m gonna do this, I want the very best stud dog for Eggi that I can find, the one that is just as perfect as she is, but in his own way, maybe has something she doesn’t have so that the puppies might just be even more perfect than perfect, right? And since she’s a maiden bitch, don’t we want a live breeding? And, of course, there are so many good vizslas, but the stud dog I want is in Georgia.
So when the vet’s assistant on the phone said to do a breeding by the end of the day, I had to get to Georgia, with my dog, as fast as I could.
Oh, it felt a bit like Smoky and the Bandit. My bags were packed; the car had a full tank of gas. I had been anticipating the go signal. I just hoped that it would come Friday, when it was convenient.
Eggi and I hit the road, hoping to make it to Georgia in the middle of the night.
The Bacon Provider had Things Going On that he couldn’t miss, both Wednesday and Thursday, so I was really on my own.
I made a navigation error straight off the bat (never, ever take the George Washington Bridge if you can avoid it), so we spent the first two hours of our drive sitting in stop and go, New York traffic. Then we drove through New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and made it to Georgia by the crack of dawn the next day. We stopped for gas and potty breaks, hit multiple hours long traffic slow downs, many construction projects, and a number of heavy rain storms. We checked into our hotel and slept for about 2 hours.
The stud dog’s owner brought him by our hotel on the way to work. The dog knew just what he was there to do. Eggi was like, hey, ok, but, actually, no, maybe she could rip his face off.
Thanks to an experienced stud dog and stud dog owner, a breeding was accomplished, in the hotel room, with some help. Eggi napped all day and we did it again after dinner. When I checked out the next day, I left a very, very nice tip for housekeeping.
So is she pregnant? We won’t know until 28 days past the LH surge, when we can do an ultrasound. If she isn’t, we can try again in January. If she is, puppies are due 65 days after the LH surge, in the beginning of September.
This May, in the Second Year of Our Pandemic, 2021, was especially long. Certainly, it was a lot longer than May of 2020, of which I have no memory whatsoever.
I do not have any tattoos, but if I were to get a Commemorative Coronavirus Pandemic tattoo, it might be this:
A friend who lives in Europe told me recently they are anxiously still awaiting their vaccine. (Between writing the first draft of this post and publishing, I am happy to report they’ve now had their first jab).
The day before, I saw a Facebook post from someone I know here in New York who complained that “the whole world is brainwashed” above a posted graphic saying, “the unvaxxed have to wear mask to protect the vaxxinated.”
I am disturbed and haunted by it.
I can unfollow this person on FB, but I will still see them in person and regularly in real life. Someone with pets! You know, beloved animal companions, vaccinated for rabies, distemper, and West Nile?
One of my brothers is taking a break from social media; he’s missing out on the vaccine selfies, the proud graduation photos, the puppies, the ads for washable rugs and knitted sneakers, the hot takes, the old memes, and the bad news.
My mother was the sort of old school reader of books about social courtesies who believed that good manners dictate that one not point out another’s bad manners. The 21st Century extension of this rule is that one might abstain from commenting on a bad take.
The bad take in question had some enthusiastic support from friends and family (insert cringing noises here), and some genuinely concerned replies from mutuals, who hate to see a seemingly nice person humiliate themself on a rude, science-denying, loud, public fart.
I scrolled on, closed Facebook, and tried for days not to think about it.
I have not stopped thinking about it.
The brainwashed believers in a coronavirus pandemic? Includes me, and every other intelligent person I know. Brainwashed people with advanced degrees. Vaccinated as soon as they were eligible. Helping people in their lives find appointments. Anxious to get 80% of America vaccinated. Brainwashing isn’t real, but science is.
The vaccinated people still wearing masks? Me, at times. My husband, too. Out of a desire not to expose people who haven’t gotten their shots yet. Out of habit. In deference to 27,504 hospitalized people in the U.S. Out of a desire not to make anyone else uncomfortable. Out of an abundance of caution. In memory of 594,051 dead Americans. As an example.
The meme they shared? From someone who is getting attention for their contrary takes (with an extra grammatical error to own the libs). From someone who could be themselves vaccinated. Definitely something that we could use a lot less of.
I wish I could stick with my instinct to ignore the post. I record it here for my future self. To remind me of the time when the vaccine was becoming more widely available, when still not everyone had it yet, when it wasn’t something you could just ask each other about, when it wasn’t clear if enough people were going to get on board, when we didn’t know if we were ever going to be getting past some people wearing masks and others disliking it.
My brother who has gone off Facebook is happier without it (for now).
Me? If no one in my life is going to graduate from something soon, maybe I’ll have to make some puppies.
The second worst thing about someone new finding out that my husband used to work at Microsoft is hearing from the person again, and, you know, they’ve been meaning to ask him about this problem they’re having with Excel (which he never worked on), or Word (ditto), or Outlook (ditto), or Windows (which he certainly did work on), or a printer driver. Device drivers don’t seem to be all that much better now than they were in the era of dial-up modems and dot-matrix printers, which is when I started using a PC, but that’s my opinion and there are probably a lot of men on the internet who would like to tell me how I’m wrong about that. As for Microsoft programs that my husband did or didn’t work on, I will say this: we use Apple products now. Furthermore, the Bacon Provider has spent his pandemic weekends writing Apple Watch and phone apps, mostly relating to the weather. What I say is, “Have you tried turning it on and off again?” because that’s what he always says to me. Ok, really, what he says is, “Have you tried soap and water?” because that’s shorthand for, “Have you tried the first thing you probably should have tried?”
The third worst thing about someone new finding out that my husband used to work at Microsoft is being asked if he knew that guy, the brother of your ex’s college roommate, who like, worked there in the 90s. Anyone who worked there for any length of time only reported to despicable creeps (except for maybe that one decent guy in Research), and so they’re all still suffering from the post-traumatic stress. Or they’ve blocked it all out. So, no, it was a big place, anyone you know who knows someone who worked there, that person they knew? We don’t know him.
This week is the tenth anniversary of my husband’s departure from Microsoft. He was the last of the four original Xbox founders to leave. He worked there 18 years, and if you look online you might be able to find a copy of his resume floating around out there, or piece one together from articles about him. He did a lot of things there. I wish he had kept a little album with one of each of his business cards. Things being how they are now, normal business travel and the customary exchange of business cards seem like rituals of a lost age. In the ten years since Microsoft, he’s had some very good work experiences. He continues to be focused on what he’s doing now, and what’s coming next.
When he resigned from Microsoft, it was cause for celebration, and since then it feels like several decades have elapsed, not one. The move from the west coast to the east coast was hard. It took years for us to figure out where to live. And, we are both still smarting from the sale of our beloved Seattle house; it was perfect, as was our neighborhood, and on my visits back to Seattle I have not managed to be able to get closer than a few blocks away. People ask if I would go back to live in Seattle if I could, and sometimes I say I’d like to go back to Seattle, 1999.
I miss that house. I miss having three wild, barefoot children storming out the front door, brandishing sticks. I miss our neighbors. I miss the spectacular summer sunshine. I miss the months of rain. I miss walking to restaurants. I miss the wide sidewalks, and the trees, and the grass that’s green ten months of the year. I miss my friends there—even some of the ones who forgot about us the minute we left, and haven’t so much as texted in the ten years since.
Our current house in Bedhead Hills, New York was a compromise, but all houses are compromises, be it on price or location or features. We’ve been in this house long enough that I no longer think of it as Mrs. Gardenwinkle’s 80s museum. It is our house. We fenced the yard. We replaced the gutters, and the furnace. We lived through remodeling the kitchen and all of the bathrooms. Soon enough we will need to do more things, because houses require constant attention or they fall down.
I am very much enjoying our current backyard and the small new patio. I now have a big umbrella for the old table that was once on our back deck in Seattle, and I can paint in the morning and drink coffee while the dogs run around the yard picking up ticks. Fellow likes to lie down on the stones underneath me, and was there, panting, when I wrote this, this morning. Eggi was there also, and certainly these two dogs are some of the things that are in my life now because I live here, and if I lived someplace else I would have different dogs or none at all.
I was interrupted and had to take the dogs in. They came to spray for ticks. They use cedar oil, and come twice a year, and I’m not sure it works. The ticks are terrible here. Every spring feels like, oh, man, the ticks are really bad this year. Any ticks is bad. I found one on the wall in the kitchen last weekend, just chillin. Fuck that guy. He was hard to kill.
I am distractedly deleting emails as they come in, hiding with the dogs in my bedroom, with the lights on low. The AC is on even though it’s only May. We didn’t even have AC in Seattle. Or ticks.
I still don’t miss overhearing certain names or the word “Microsoft” in restaurants. Ah, but I haven’t eaten in a restaurant in over fourteen months. Everything is supposed to be getting back to normal, but for that getting back to normal, we are all counting on you, and you, and you to get vaccinated. Also, you.
Captain is snoring. Eggi is on my left. Fellow leaves his corner at the foot of the bed to insert himself between Eggi and the pillows. I sneak another look at Eggi’s vagooter; we are expecting her to come into season again soon. My stomach growls. What are we doing about dinner? Last night we had sushi delivered. We cooked a lot less in Seattle, didn’t we. Yeah, well, this kitchen is better. Much better.