Friday, July 28, 2006


When, in the course of human events, said events become more that our little psyches can take, it becomes necessary to rise to the occasion and throw an all-out completely immature tantrum.

For instance, say your 70 lb, 9-month-old puppy makes an error in judgment and grabs your hand playfully in her mouth, causing your reflex cry of "Molly! No!" (Because you think that this behavior needs to be stopped or you will have no friends coming to visit you, due to your loving but inappropriately denticular dog and her 'love bites'.) As the words leave your lips, you realize your error; you should have hit the button on the remote in your pocket that triggers a short but extremely effective blast of citronella from your exuberant pet's collar, instead. The reason for your ruing of the shout vs the spray is that the dog pees when she senses displeasure (your yelped "No!") but not when she gets a blast from the collar.

Of course, it is too late and she pees and pees and pees all over the ruddy kitchen in several spots as you reflexively holler, "NO! NO! NO!!!!!" This is, of course, the same dog who you have taken outside to the great outdoor latrine 4 times in the past 90 minutes, all to no result.

Clearly, she anticipated such an outcome. Perhaps, she was even saving up for it.

You keep your frazzled temper barely in check, lest you tee off on the furry creature, and that would be bad, especially as she is now completely empty of urine, yet still full of poop. (Every situation can conceivably be made worse, you see.) You hustle her to her crate and turn to face the pools o' piss, completely pissed, yourself. It is then, as you vigorously pull off some paper towels with much ire, that the whole damn roll flies from your hand, spilling across the kitchen, with the lion's share of the roll, still wrapped around the center cardboard core, landing in the greatest lake of yellow.

The final straw.

Literally stomping mad, you summon your inner 2-year-old and throw a full-blown tantrum. It's not pretty. You're not proud. Sometimes, it can not be helped, though. The fury of your buttoned-down WASP-y ancesters surges through your body and you are vaguely aware of screaming, "AAAAARRRRRUUUUGGGGGRRRRRRAAAAAAAHHHHH!" While you repeatedly slam the floor with all the force in your right leg. (As you can't tee off on the dog, might as well lay the blame squarely on the floor.) BOOM!BOOM!BOOM!BOOM! Your sturdy German thighs and calves, handed down through the female line, that thousands of miles on the treadmill have made not long and lean, but even thicker and more muscle-y, drive your right foot rapidly and repeatedly into the floor.

And now you see the problem, don't you?

The foot, she is bare.
The muscles, they are strong.
The floor, it is tile.

The heel, it is now bruised.

Lesson learned. Indeed, with every step, lesson re-learned:

Always wear your padded shoes when you decide to teach the floor a lesson, lest you become the lesson, instead.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cranky Goes A-Ranting II

Generally, I am a placid, easy going lass. Things do bother me, but I usually get past them with a shrug and a muttered profanity or two. If it's something extreme, I may resort to a quick venting with Charles (or a handy friend) with briefly bulging eyeballs and spittle. After that, I wipe my mouth and poke my globes back in my orbits (It's handy, being a contact lens wearer. No qualms about manhandling your eyeballs back to their proper positions.) and I'm done. Water off a duck's back.


Sometimes, though, I must take more extreme steps to purge these irritations. That's where you come in, oh my friends in the computer. If I get these down, I can remove them, one by one from my psyche, where they are currently lodged, like splinters in my toes.

1) It is summer. Summer is hot. In hot weather one tends to wear cooler clothing. In winter, it is cold. In winter, one tends to wear warmer clothing. Therefore, in summer, the set temperature of a building ought to be warmer than in the winter. Yes? Fuck yes. Or not. At least not in our office, where it is set at a frosty 68 and even in my lab coat I am shivering and holding my warm cuppa coffee to try to get the feeling back in my fingers. Lacking a warm mug, I am forced to inflict them on my poor patients. If you need me to examine your sore throat, you will probably not mind my corpse-cold hands. If you need me to poke around on your belly, you will probably find yourself clutching the ceiling tiles, where your reflexes have flung you. (Of course, I have inquired into the reason for this. I have been told that the A/C in this building requires it to be set at this level or it stops working. My comment that it would not be a bad thing went unheeded.) Were I a patient sitting on the iceberg that is the exam table in my underpants and a sheet, I'd have even more to say.

2) The problem with being a smart-ass is that it can be difficult for people to realize that you are not being a smart-ass when you suggest it would not be a bad thing to let the A/C die a quick death.

3) Baby talk. Especially baby talk to babies. If you are a consenting adult and prefer to call them 'doggies' and 'horseys' and utter sentences like "Oof. I went whoopsies!" and "I need to tinkle," then that's your own lookout. But the babies, for crying out loud, are just learning to talk. Let's teach them to talk correctly.

4) Jell-o is not a salad. It is a dessert. And corn is not a vegetable, it is a grain. A very tasty grain, but a grain, none the less. It does not count as a serving of veggies anymore than a piece of bread does. That is, unless you are the branch of the federal government that oversees the nutritional content of school lunches, which notoriously considered fries and ketchup to each count as a serving of veggies. I haven't looked, but I'm sure that then qualifies a PB&J sandwich as 2 veggies and a fruit. Add 2 handfuls of chips and you've got your '5 A Day' all in one sitting.

5) The entire office, minus a couple of us, is taking part in the new weight loss clinic that has been started at our site. A program that involves medication and shots and such. (No, I'm not involved, just a bystander.) Why, then, did those staff members who are partaking in this ordeal order 2 huge egg, bacon and cheese breakfast pizzas from the local pizza delivery place? I understand cravings during dieting. Lord, do I. But is this really such a good idea? (Can you tell it is taking every ounce of willpower to not go to the back room and scam a few slices? Could that be at the root of my bitterness? Hush, you.)

There. I feel better. Still hungry, but better.

Anyone else need to fling some angst? It's fun.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Suddenly, I'm Not Laughing

Pictures for you

I confess that this is probably part of some large cosmic payback for being too smug and daring the fates. After all, Jamie did warn me several months ago. "Beware. It's the coating on the lenses. The dogs just love it." And so, I was careful after that, for a couple of months or so, after we found Charles's missing (and industrial sized) key ring waaaay under the bed. Over the ensuing months, other things were drug under there to be mauled and mutilated by the shark-dog, most recently a plastic Darth Vader, who ended up looking like the scarred, broken Aniken Skywalker at the end of the Revenge of the Sith, as his body is encased in Vader armor, face and limbs all chewed away. There was also the collection of tiny dolls that were supposed to go on our trip for Sara, but instead were pilfered from the packing and mutilated. I returned to a scattering of disfigured mini heads, hands, feet and knees. Disturbing but hardly something that would touch me on a daily basis.

Of course, it was inevitable.

I'm also pretty sure the kitty was an accomplice. She who loves to bat things off high places, thus tempting the evil dog to do what is in her nature. It's just that I really did like those glasses and I really don't want to spend an hour and a couple of hundred bills a the eye doctor right now. Not to mention that I now have to get up and hop right in the shower, so I can put in the contact lenses, to be able to see. (If I put them in before I wash, for some reason, they get 'funny' and my eyes are irritated all day. I don't get it, either. I do close my eyes. Soap doesn't get in them.) I'm also glad it wasn't my contacts. When something happens to them, I get this sort of vague anxiety attack that lasts until I get them back. I hate wearing glasses. Always have, but they are handy for those pajama times.

I should probably get that lasik surgery, but I'm just not ready. I want some more years to go by to let me know that there's not some sort of complication that happens to those eyeballs when they reach the age of 50 or 90 or whatever. I am fearful of losing my sight, such as it is, completely.

So, off to the eye doctor, I go.

And, see, she really is sorry:

Pictures for you

BAD DOG. Baaaaaaaad Dooooooooog.

Bad dog.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

S Is a Very Fine Letter for a Sultry, Sunny, Sticky Sunday

It's Sunday and it's horribly hot and humid, around 100 degrees. Too hot to go out and futz in the garden, although I have two butterfly bushes to plant and a bench to move to the back of the acreage. The planting should be easy enough, but will entail multiple holes as we try to find a place to put them that doesn't have miles of limestone a foot beneath the topsoil. Plants don't like to grow in solid rock. It makes them keel over and die, unless they are cactus-y or lichen-y type things.

So, to feel like I'm being productive while lounging inside in the bliss that is central air conditioning, I will dust off a meme that Teri tossed to me over a month ago, having mercifully given me the letter 'S' and not 'Q' or 'Z':

The 10 Things Meme:

Sara-- The obvious. My stubborn, silly daughter. Aged 3. And 1/2.

Son-- Also obvious, my Colin. Also silly but not quite as stubborn, unless it means deviating from the rules. He is all about the rules. He refused to ride the shopping cart in the plant store last week, something he loves to do, hanging on to the handlebar of the cart with both feet up on the undercarriage part as I push behind him. There was a 'no riding' circle with a bar across it symbol over a picture of a kid doing that same thing on the handlebar of the cart. Sara had no problem but Colin was horrified that we were BREAKING THE RULES, MOM! I'm going to hell. He's 7. I really, really hope he's like this during adolescence.

Shy-- We've gone over this, too. Quite shy and rather introverted. Doesn't bother me anymore but it sure used to.

Science-- I've always loved science. No kidding. Majored in biology with a chemistry minor, but got a Bachelors of Arts rather than one of Sciences. Made me giggle, my Bachelors of Arts in the Sciences. Well, what else are you going to do with all that Spanish you tested out of for college credit when you were in high school, I ask you? Just throw it away?

Sing-- Sara loves it when I (we) sing before naps and at night. Of course, the longer she keeps me singing, the longer she delays bedtime. Colin wasn't so wise. Whenever I tried singing to him as a tot, he'd get the most horrified look and slap both hands across my mouth with a firm, "NO singing, mommy!" I do not sing in public, though. No. That would be anti-shy.

Sigmoidoscope-- I've been told that I'm gifted in threading a flexible fiberoptic 'scope through the bowels of poor hapless patients. Mind you, it's not the patients, themselves who told me I had the gift, just the GI guys I learned from, and they are a notoriously sick, but fun lot.

Sphygmomanometer-- Um. I have a confession. I have a terribly twisted mind. There's this test, called the Mini Mental Status Exam. It's widely used as a fairly quick way to assess someone's basic thinking to point you along your medical diagnostic path. One part of the test is to repeat, and then name 5 minutes later, 3 objects. I usually choose: ball, tree and house. I have this yen to use one day: ball, idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis and sphygmomanometer. "What? You need me to repeat them? Again? And 5 minutes later, you can only remember 'ball'? Hmmmmm. I think we've a problem with your short term memory". Yes. I'm going straight to hell.

Scabiosa-- Just one of the 100 or so 'must have' flowers on my gardening list. What? Oh, yes. I love gardening. Didn't you know? [FYI: Scabiosa-- aka pincushion flower.]

Sayers, Dorothy L.-- My very favorite mystery writer. Sadly, dead for decades, but the books she wrote are, well, sigh.

Smartass-- Again, so self explanatory. I must make sure that I don't sit next to friends of a like nature in meetings, the temptation to make snide comments under my breath is nearly irresistible as it is. Sit me by a friend and we will end up in terrible trouble within 30 minutes, and that's if we are hidden in the back of a very large room.

So there it is. I return to work tomorrow and to some new duties, so I anticipate blogging will be a bit sporadic. Should anyone want me to assign a letter, I'd be quite happy to do so, even though this is quite passe by now. Picking a letter is probably not above my mental capabilities, although some might argue that.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Stupid Pet Tricks

Pictures for you

And, so, we reach the point in our story where you might start to wonder, "Hmmmmm. How are those new pets that you arrived home with a mere 7 months ago. They'd be, what now, about 8-9 months old?"

"Ah. Yes," I'd answer. "Mad-kitty is, as far as we can tell, since she was literally born in a barn, about 9 months and Maul-y-dog is about 2 weeks younger."

"And things are going.....?" you'd solicitously inquire.

"Never dull," I'd reply.

"Care to elucidate?"

"Well, ok, since you asked?"

Charles and I have come to the conclusion that Molly is like those white mice in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy trilogy. You know, Frankie and Benji Mouse, the ones who were actually hyperinteligent, pan-dimensional beings, who ran the planet Earth as a huge experiment? (If you have no bleeping idea what I'm talking about, go read all 5 books of the trilogy and then come back. Now. I'll wait. At least read the first 3 books. You can finish the series after you finish this post.) I suspect that she's been conducting devilishly complex experiments on us using her chew-bones. See, some bones she chews, others, she keeps intact and places in, well, odd places. Like under our pillows. In our (Charles's) slightly ajar dresser drawers. Under the pile of laundry awaiting to be folded or in the basket of folded clothes. In Sara's bed, under her bears and dolls and such or between the sofa cushions, etc. You find it, toss it on the ground, and she spirits it off to yet another place. I've not seen her 'hiding' bone in a few days. I suspect it's either in the freezer under the bag o'chicken or on the closet shelf with my sweaters. If it's the latter, I won't see it for months. Actually, if it's the former, I probably won't see it for months, either, as I haven't dug into the freezer in a while, with all the lovely fresh stuff this time of year. She has many words and phrases down, including the invaluable ones of "oooooooooohhhhhh bad dog" and "Leave. The kitty. Alone." as well as its variation "Molly. Don't eat the kitty."

She's also becoming quite athletic, having caught a bird a few days ago. Literally. The bird (something small and brown) was taunting her. Really. The bird was dissing her and flying all over the back of the yard, at mouth height. If the bird got too far ahead, it would stop and taunt her, flying off at the last minute. "Hm," I mused from the deck. "What would she do if she actually caught the bird?" Seconds later, she found out. Yes she did. She caught it entirely in her mouth as it was flying away from her, just not flying fast enough and....oops.

She spat it out at once, clearly bewildered and a bit horrified, I think. It must be horrifying to find an entire bird in your mouth, nearly as horrifying as it would be to be the bird. I dashed to get my sandals (this be thistle country) and hurried over to find the foolish thing, but it was gone. Given the attention Molly was then paying the wiegela bush, 50 feet away from the incident, I'm thinking the bird was hiding in there for a little 'down time'. I called Molly away and that seems to be the end of the incident. The bird has not come back to taunt her further. Dead-dog, Emma, had a similar bird friend, a robin, who would 'play chase', but kept a healthy vertical distance away.

She hasn't yet given up her cave that is the space under our bed. To get in and out she somehow flattens her 70 lb body and scuttles, like a hairy crab. She then chews up magazines and plastic toys that kitty has supplied her with by knocking onto the floor. She has recently started making small moaning noises of the sort you'd expect if you were confined to a tight space of your own choosing. The clearance is only about 8" to get under the bed rails and only about an extra inch once you are under the bed proper. Someday, she's going to get stuck and I will have no choice but to ridicule her and poke at her with rubber bones. Then I will have to dismantle the bed to get her out. That won't be as much fun.

She is also rather fond of garden produce and has become quite adept at picking raspberries off the bushes, much to Sara's outrage.

Madison kitty is back to planning a prison break. After a several month hiatus of not trying to escape to the great outdoors, she's resumed her efforts and has actually managed a foray into the garage and another into the front flower garden. Fortunately, she was too giddy with her success, so she was easily recaptured, but this is concerning. She has taken to haunting the outside doors, drifting just out of your sight or behind the ajar door, waiting to make her move. She also has a disconcerting habit of writhing in ecstasy on the bathmat pretty much every time you use the bathroom off our bedroom. It's uncanny. She just appears, apparently euphoric that you are relieving yourself. Maybe she figures she had a role in our potty training and is demonstrating her praise? She doesn't do it in the other bathroom.

And then, there was the time, a couple of weeks ago, when she went missing for about 10 hours. We scoured the house and called and put out smelly kitty treats and searched the garage and called all over the yard and no kitty. We became seriously concerned and then downright worried and then bordering on frantic (we have hawks and coyotes and other cat-eating creatures, here). We tried to get Molly to help, ("Where's the kitty, Molly? Where's Kitty?") but all she did was tilt her head and then run in circles. I can't tell you how many times I used the bathroom off our bedroom in hopes of getting her to appear. Then, in sheer desperation, Charles began to look through his dresser and found her asleep in his sock drawer.

Yes. She'd gotten herself shut in the sock drawer and just napped all day and evening. I remember shutting all his dresser drawers that morning as I was vacuuming the carpet between the dresser and the bed, because if the dresser drawers are all open (ahem) the vacuum won't fit. So, instead of meowing like any normal creature needing rescue, she slept. Silently. Wish I could say that about her night-time antics. She still likes to play all night long, but, thanks to Leigh-Ann, she mostly leaves the plants alone. Sadly, she doesn't leave my knees alone and I've been woken more than once with all 18 claws and both jaws full of teeth embedded in my left knee. Damn cat. Too bad she's cute and otherwise affectionate. Make that downright cuddly.

So, there we are. We adore them, they submissively piddle on the carpet and chew up stuff that doesn't belong to them (Maul-y) or wake us painfully (Mad) and make us worry unconscionably (both). Not quite an equal relationship, but it has taught Charles to close his dresser drawers, so that's something.
Pictures for you

Aren't you glad you asked?


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Wanted: Advice To Ignore, Until It's Too Late

OK. I need advice. I probably won't take it, unless it corresponds with what I've already decided to do, but I need it, none the less.

See, I've undertaken to paint the front porch. It's your basic railing with spooled supports, wood, painted white. It's been about 9-10 years since it was painted. Well, that's when the house was built and I'm positive that its not been re-painted since the day it was born.

It looks like this, if you are really interested.

{An aside. I love old houses. With painted exteriors. I hate to do home repairs, though. Having a house that needs painting is beyond me. All my houses have had siding and I've loved the fact that I've not ever had to paint a house. This porch is putting me over the edge.}

Ok, now is where you break into your favorite Monty Python character (mine for such a time is Terry Jones) and slap me for being such a whiny little punk, because, when you were me, you wished you had a house to strip and paint. Oh, yes! You'd have paid the neighbor for the privilege of stripping and painting his 4 story house! Each and every year! Yes! You feckin' ingrate.

Am I the only one to hold Monty Python conversations in my head during times of sweltering, dull drudgery?

So, as I understand, it's important to strip off the old paint, especially if it's peeling a bit, before slapping on the new. Yes? So I did what any normal, anal person would do, and went to Home Depot and asked the paint guy what to buy and how to do it. He smirked only a little and drug me to the correct aisle, away from the incorrect aisle ("No, you don't want that.") and loaded me up with paint stripper that is supposed to remove anything but acrylic surfaces in "15 easy minutes" (bollox) and a conditioner (haven't used it, so can't mock its undoubtedly misleading claims) and a gallon of standard, non-glossy white exterior paint (I'm dull. Like the paint.) He told me to use a plastic spray bottle to apply the stripper (smirk) and to use a stiff brush (Sold me one as I hadn't cleaned the garage at the time and had no idea that I already possessed an identical one in the corner, among the cobwebs and bits of beetle.) to scrub off any stubborn bits of paint.

Easy as pie, was his implication.

Soooooo. Thursday last, I did as the instructions said, right down to laying drop cloths and shaking before applying. I waited the full 30 minutes before spraying off the loosened paint with the hose. (HAH! '15 minutes' is for only a few things, like removing a dusting of dust from your dust colored patio.) I used a spray bottle. (The extremely toxic shit is the consistency of corn syrup. Do you know how well corn syrup sprays from a spray bottle? It doesn't. Trust me. It dribbles erratically.) After a few hours of valiantly trying to get the fucking paint off the fucking wood, soaking meself down to the delicates in the process, I took my pruned and covered-in-protective-clothing-in-the-80-degree-weather-self inside and had a shower and a very cold drink.

The amount of paint removed was less than 10%.

I was dismayed, to say the least.

Today, I girded my loins, again in hot protective clothing, and did another assault, this time with a paint brush. I figured that maybe the spray bottle technique just didn't get it where it needed to be. So I personally put it there, me and my 2" paint brush. (That I found while cleaning the garage. HAH!)

Again, I followed the rules to a 'T'. I did manage to get pretty much all the paint off the horizontal surfaces, like the top of the railing, but only about 1% (and that's an enthusiastic estimate, let me tell you) off the vertical surfaces.

Fuck that.

So, I posed the situation to my beloved and supportive husband, who agreed with me, that it's just not going to be stripped further. Clearly, the paint looooooves the vertical wood and wants to stay married to it fooooooreverrrrr. Who am I to get between that? No love lost, apparently, by the horizontal surfaces, though.

So, next, I apply a corrosive acid to 'condition' the surface. It's supposed to be applied with a spray bottle and you make it foam. I'll be wearing my head-to-toe hot and sweaty wear, complete with safety glasses that cover my cheekbones. I feel like an elderly movie star when I wear them.

Then, I will paint. I will paint over the paint.

Now. Here is where I need your input, dearest darlings, whether or not you know what you are talking about. How badly will I regret doing this and not, say, renting a sandblaster to get off all the remaining old paint? I need to know, as recrimination is all the better if it is in writing, so it can be used in the future as an "I told you so!" Roll your eyeballs liberally. Recommend products that actually work. (I used Behr brand.) That way, I can choose not to go get them now, but can get them next spring when the porch railing looks like a rotting, anemic gopher's kidney. Ridicule me liberally. Ridicule is a powerful teaching technique.

Let me have it. I'm ready and wearing safety glasses.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Not. My. Son.

Our scene: 6 am. In the am. Of the morning. Our heroine in bed, having gotten back to sleep after a slight bit of middle-of-the-night insomnia. The bed is soft and comfy. The cat is curled up in the bend of her arm. The dog is under the bed, making no noise. The husband has left for work, nice and quiet. She even remembered to pull the curtains so the sun didn't stream in, banking off the dresser mirror and hit her square in the eyes, which were shut in slumber, as they should be, as it was nearing the end of her first week of a two week vacation; time spent cleaning large garages that had never been cleaned, stripping the paint off the front porch and playing with her adored kiddos. {An aside: Did you know our heroine has found a task she hates even more than scrubbing the hard water marks off the shower? Yes! Stripping paint is even worse.} In short, she's sleeping comfortably aaaaaaannnndddd the bedroom door bursts open! By! Her! Previously! Adored! Son!

Evil Son: Leaping on the bed "Hi! Mom!"

Our Heroine: "Uff."

E.S: Bouncing on the bed "Hey! Mom! Its Morning! Dontcha Know!"

O.H: "Oooof"

E.S: Leaping over Our Heroine to embrace the less-than-thrilled kitty, her sound and comfy sleep also shattered. "I'm already dressed! The sun is up! See?" The last clearly demonstrated by the forceful yanking back of the dark curtains that no longer prevent the full force of the sun from banking off the mirror and straight into the eyes of Our Heroine, who had unwisely opened them a slit. Huge error in judgment.

E.S: Vaulting back onto the bed, landing nearly on top of the poor disoriented kitty. "Why are you still in bed? You usually are getting me breakfast, now!"

O.H: "Actually, you usually don't eat for at least an hour or more. Are you REALLY hungry?"

E.S: Frolicking all the fuck over the former sanctuary that was my bed. "YES!"

O.H: "OK. Gimme a minute."


5 minutes later, Our Heroine staggers vertiginously into the kitchen and manages to hit the 'on' button of the coffee machine. She looks vaguely akin to Medusa, but without the benefit of her style.

O.H: "So, Colin, what would you like for breakfast?"

E.S: "Oh, I'm not hungry. I want to wait."

O.H: Blinking in stunned silence as the events penetrate her slowly moving mind. "Fuck. Now I'm the one who's hungry. Hope there's a bagel left."

Yes. I let him live. And fed him breakfast. And continued to love him. I deserve the Nobel Prize in Something Exalted. Or Sainthood. Yes, I do.

I know, of course, I'm not going to get it. But some day, he will probably have offspring.

I have a long memory and I can wait.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Oh, what HAVE I been doing with my time?

There are times when it can be said best with a Limerick. My condolences.

There once was a lass named Diana
Whose garage looked like a slum in Havana
With piles of crap, much!
And dead bugs and such
And slimy, black skins of banana.

Poor, sad piano from my childhood. We need to get it moved into the basement. It weighs hundreds and hundreds of pounds. Yes, we could hire a few guys to come out and do it, but that would require me to make a phone call and write a check.

And so at the start of her vacation,
She felt it was her destination
To clean all the crud
And evict all the bugs,
The mouse turds, and large spider nation

And see, we have here a garage clean
Just look at that shine and that sheen!
The cars are not scared
To be left in its care
A room that is fit for a queen?

The water is from me hosing the concrete down, getting rid of the dog whiz. Did I mention that Molly-pup is a submissive pee-er? Yes? More than once? She's 8 months old and still doing it. Bleh. We're still hoping she'll outgrow it. We may well be hoping that for the next 15 years, at which point, we'll attribute it to canine senility. Always good to have a back-up story.

Yes, the piano is still there. The windows are now clean-ish, though, and no longer the world's largest dead bug cemetery. Ew. Triple Ew with a heaping helping of ugh. No wonder I felt the need to come up with the 'Clean Garage' as a reward.

Well, no it smells not like carnations
It's only a garage, for tarnation!
But that is not all
Our lass had one more call
And invented a brand new libation!

I call it 'Clean Garage' but would welcome a better name for it. It is very cold, fizzy, refreshing, slightly sweet and makes you smile:

Clean Garage
Take a large, slender glass and fill it 1/2 full with ice cubes.
Add a shot or so of good quality gin (it's no fun if you hurt the next morning from bad gin).
Add some apple-passion-mango juice (Old Orchard brand makes one, here in the States) to the level of the ice.
Fill the rest of the glass with tonic water and stir.
A mint sprig would probably make a lovely garnish but I've not had the oomph to trot the distance to the herb garden (a whopping 30' from the kitchen) as I was beat.

So, anybody come up with a better title?
I've never invented a drink before.
Clearly time off agrees with me.

Next? Strip and paint the porch, of course!