Hurt, Beautiful

This is the empty container for the antibacterial soap we found worked best for Odd Trundles’s yeasty paws. I…couldn’t toss it just yet. So it sits in the windowsill, where I see it while I do dishes and I think about that little fellow and how much I love him still.

The cracks in my heart make it bigger, make it easier for that beast to expand. But oh, sometimes…they ache.

And this is Sir Boxnoggin, Lord van der Sploot, who has put on several pounds and a layer of gloss to his coat and is hoping very much that you are bringing pets or a treat for a Very Good Boy. He has lost his shyness and become the goofball I suspected he was under all the trembling uncertainty.

So many things hurt. So many things are beautiful, too. Some days I can’t tell the two apart. I would not trade the pain to make the beauty more, or trade the beauty to make the pain less. It’s not the ache I dread, but going numb.

It’s been a long week, chickadees. Let’s all have a bit of a reward for getting through it in still-breathing fashion. Be kind to yourselves this weekend, please.

Over and out.

C Is For…

…when I surface from a post-dinner writing jag, blinking and disoriented, and the Princess hands me a freshly baked cookie and says, “I wanted dessert. Here.”

Yes. Like that.

It’s good to be loved, and to be given tasty things. May you know both this weekend, concurrently or consecutively, as it pleases you.

Some Days

Earlier this week I was feeling low, and down, and just generally meh. So I took myself out to a nice lunch. I couldn’t drink more than half a glass of wine before I started to itch all over (getting older sucks) but I enjoyed that half-glass to the hilt, let me tell you.

I made sure I wasn’t taking up prime table real estate during lunch. My server made sure I was in an out of the way corner, and we negotiated (wordlessly, of course) that I’d make eye contact when he passed if I wanted something. May all the gods bless servers who allow such things.

The day after I started hearing rumbles of a stomach bug at the Princess’s place of work, and wouldn’t you know it, today I’m feeling ooky. Still, I don’t regret a single sip, bite, or moment spent buried in a book at a restaurant table.

Every once in a while, it’s nice to be taken care of instead of the other way ’round. When the budget allows, doing something good for oneself is the best use of cash and time I can think of.

Break to Fight Again

I’m drained today, my friends. The news is so awful, the fight seems so hopeless, nothing seems worth it. Part of the problem is I’ve been on Twitter a lot, and the firehose of bad news takes a toll. And then I feel weak, because I am relatively privileged and so many people are dealing with so much worse than I could ever dream of–and I can dream of a lot, as we well know.

I don’t mind admitting I feel sad, vulnerable, and broken right now. I know there’s no choice but to keep going, if only to make the defeat less severe for those with less advantage than myself. I feel like the job of telling stories is an important one, but I’m not up to the task and just fooling myself thinking I can make any difference at all.

I’m going to keep fighting–accepting defeat is not an option–but I could really use a break.

There are dogs to pet and walk, there are children to raise, there is coffee, and there is work to be done. Today the work might be all about renewing my will to fight, to keep putting one word after another, one foot before another.

I hope you’re doing better, chickadees, and if you’re not, at least we’re in the boat together. I’m holding the line as best I can, and I won’t let go no matter how the rope cuts.

Over and out.

Super Chonk Squirl

Super Chonk Squirl

No, that's not a teensy-tiny bird feeder to the right. That's a bird feeder out in the middle of the yard behind the fir, and a VERY ROUND squirrel who cannot fit between the vertical supports on the deck railing.

SUPER. CHONK. SQUIRL.

Not pictured: Sir Boxnoggin, who was vibrating with the need to get through the glass French door and after said almost-spherical snack…

He Fashion

Boxnoggin has fallen in love with this shawl. I am certain the fact that it was drying on a rack downstairs and Smells Like Cat has something to do with it. If you look closely, you can see his tail vibrating as I coo who’s a good boy who looks good? at him.

One of few good things about Americans losing their tiny little minds over nanny dogs is that men have by and large stopped bothering me while I’m out running or walking Boxnoggin. He underscores their caution by yelling at every guy who comes within range, especially those who look like they might want to stop me as I’m running and utter pleasantries about the fucking weather.

Anyway, Boxnoggin is a dopey, happy, goofy ball of adorable, and he has fine taste in shawls, too.

Advent Veronica

Me, before Yule: Oh, it’s a present from Skyla! Awesome!
Package: *rustles ominously*
Me:

Me, texting Skyla: “THIS IS AMAZING. But…a Barbie?”
Skyla, texting back: “HELL YEAH. Barbie doesn’t revolve around maternity and childcare, and she was created by a woman. Everyone needs a Barbie!”
Me: “That’s fair. But, uh, is she supposed to be talking?”
Skyla: “…”
Me: “She says her name’s Veronica?”
Skyla: “SHE WAS NOT POSSESSED WHEN I WRAPPED HER, LILI.”

Veronica: THANK YOU. THAT WAS A LITTLE AWKWARD.
Me: I hesitate to ask, but–
Veronica: MY SISTER MIRANDA SENT WORD AND NOW I HAVE ARRIVED.
Me: That’s very nice of her, but–
Veronica: YOU NEED AN OFFICE ORACLE. JUST LOOK AT THIS PLACE.
Me: *faintly* I mean to clean for New Year’s.
Veronica: WELL, YOU’RE THE CREATIVE TYPE. ALSO, MIRANDA SAID SOMETHING ABOUT SQUIRRELS?
Me: *looking around wildly* Squirrels? Where?
Veronica: …I SEE. WELL, GET MY HAIR OUT OF THIS PACKAGING AND WE’LL GET TO WORK.

I did clean my office before New Year’s Day, and I have a suspiciously sinking feeling about this…