Tag Archives: EW!

Ode to Buttsong

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Found on the back porch:

Buttsong

One early morning I heard noise from Debra’s butt.

“Debra, you have a buttsong!”  “What?!” 

“There’s no such thing as a buttsong!”she yelled out loudly.  So,

“Yes there is” I yelled on back, “You just don’t know!”

So we spent the whole day arguing, laughing to and fro.

Now, I think, “Oh how funny was that, oh!”

This little masterwork comes to you, dear reader(s), courtesy of Rhonda’s oldest, the originator of the “buttsong” concept.

Fever ‘n Ague

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So last week The Lovely Rhonda came down with some kind of grippe.  It seized her by the scruff of the immune system and shook her like a terrier shakes a rat.  It wasn’t pretty.

The next day, it came for me.  Even less pretty, it must be said.

And so I spent Thursday in bed.  In. Bed.  I do not lay abed for anything, except pneumonia last fall.  So you can safely assume I felt fully wretched.

The fevery part of it departed fairly quickly and by Friday evening I felt almost human again.  Except I lost my voice.  This had happened to TLR a day earlier, so it made sense.  We tried to back out of an Obligation that we had made, but alas, there was no one else to do it so we pressed on.  One cannot stand up the church, and we have the reputation among the charity-auction circuit for being efficient and accurate when it comes to the cashiering process, which is complicated and takes place in a huge rush of semi-irritable people trying to get home.  They have dressed up and given generously and now they want to get back to whatever it is that people watch on TV these days.  I can’t blame them.

Sunday was fairly uneventful except that we both still felt terrible, but then Sunday night TLR coughed and coughed until I forced a Chloraseptic lozenge on her.

I love the word lozenge.  It’s so specific.  And it has a z in it and sounds kind of exotic.  Not just a hard candy, no!  It’s a lozenge!  And then you must present it with a flourish.

At any rate, this lozenge helped her, and thus was I the hero once again.

No really, it was nothing.  *preens*

Anyway, I spaced off that you really can’t take Sudafed if you want to sleep at night, so last night I tossed and turned.  Eventually I realized that I was also rubbing my eye, and it was unpleasant, and I woke up to full-blown pinkeye.  As did TLR.

Also?  My head felt all ‘splody.

So today we visited The Best Nurse Practitioner Ever, who was kind and decent and decided that we had not just pinkeye but most likely bacterial pinkeye because we both have sinus infections and I myself am flirting with ear infections as well.  (So far just a bit of slap-and-tickle, but you know how fresh these out-of-towners can get.)

So we got antibiotics and eye drops.

I’m a huge fan of antibiotics, used wisely and judiciously, and based on the sheer misery of the past five days I’m going to declare this a wise and judicious use of them.  That being said, I’m also allergic to a lot of the really common ones, so when I get sick with this kind of thing I’m often prescribed Keflex.  This is a cephalosporin and you have to take it fifty times a day for months.  Okay, four times a day for up to two weeks.  By the end of the two weeks you can’t remember why you were ever taking it in the first place, and if one of the capsules ruptures on its way down you’ll be coughing up a dusty cloud of evil all day.  Needless to say I take it with a lot of water.

But!  Then they invented the Z-Pak!  Which is azithromycin, and you only take two tablets the first day and then one per day for three days after that.  Hurrah!

So… for pinkeye they commonly give a sulfa-based eye drop.  Guess who’s allergic to sulfa?

YES, THAT WOULD BE ME.

Guess how much sulfa eye drops cost, and where you can get them?

Four bucks, and practically everywhere.

Guess how much azithromycin eye drops cost, and where  you can get them?

FIFTY DOLLARS, and — oddly enough — Costco.

So it was that I spent half an hour wandering around Costco waiting to buy eye drops.   I tried not to touch stuff, but if you hear about a massive pinkeye epidemic over by the airport, I KNOW NOTHING AND WAS NEVER THERE.

By the way, they have a nice deal on fluorescent light bulbs right now.

Why I didn’t do my homework tonight

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So we have this little black dog and he occasionally gets a little neurotic and pees in the hallway.

My theory is that he does it when he thinks he’s home alone.  We crate him and the other dog when we’re not home, but sometimes The Lovely Rhonda leaves for work before I get up and I think that Jake, for that is his name, forgets that I’m home and figures it’s his opportunity to saunter down the hall and leave us a little token of his esteem.

This morning was one of those mornings, and after putting enzyme solution and a towel on the offending spot, I texted TLR to inform her of her dog’s actions.

He’s not my dog.  He’s HER dog.

MY dog is the one we got to keep HER dog company.  MY dog digs holes in the yard and is too mouthy, but what he does NOT do is pee in the house.

So anyway.  TLR came home from work and looked at the hall and festered about the pee stains until I got home.

We decided to think about laminate flooring.  We decided to do this at Ikea, because reasonably priced probably horse-meat-free meatballs.  Sadly, Ikea is phasing out their laminate flooring, at least at our location, so even after traipsing all over the store we came away empty-handed.  Well, sort of.  It was Ikea.  We had to buy a Kermit-the-frog-green spatula and some other odds and ends.  One does not simply leave Ikea without buying things.  Gah.

And we ate dinner.  Because HELLO MEATBALLS, GET IN MY BELLY.

What should we have been doing?  Going home to do our homework, of course.  What did we do?  We went to Home Depot instead.

So now we have laminate flooring.  Because painting the entire interior of the house isn’t enough to do.

This is where Kenny comes in.  He comes in, rips out carpet, and lays down laminate flooring like a boss.  He does this without displaying more than a soupçon of buttcrack, and for this we shower him in money.   And sarcasm.

Mostly sarcasm.

The Last Valentine’s Day Post, I Swear

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So  I was in kind of a funky place all day vis-a-vis the whole Valentine thing.  Not so much because I was feeling pressure to meet some societal standard of adequate gifting etc.  The standard is self-imposed and is one that I’m comfortable with.

No, the problem was that the item that I had carefully hand-selected has not arrived.  And when I went online to check on its progress through life, I was informed that the website was sorry but that it could not provide updated information about whether it had even shipped, let alone where in the hell it might actually be.  I was welcome to call Customer Service.

I was not, frankly, in the mood to call Customer Service.

So, I resorted to the next best thing which was to substitute a place-holder gift to tide The Lovely Rhonda over until the real deal finally makes it off the slow boat from China or wherever it will be coming from.  Thus did the children and I hop in the van and head over to a place where such things could be obtained.

Just before leaving I was struck with some kind of flash of inspiration, or maybe it was something I ate — there is a wicked virus blowing through the house, more on that later — and found myself sitting at this very keyboard tapping out a little something.

I’m not much for mushy cards full of Hallmarky sentiment, but it turns out I can churn out a limerick for any occasion.  Behold:

There once was a nurse with red hair

Whose life needed urgent repair

She stole a man’s wife

‘Mid stresses and strife

Despite all advice to beware

 

They married, those ladies bespoke

And some might think she treated it a joke

But love is mysterious

She takes it quite serious

So, disregard naysaying folk

 

I love you more each passing day

I’ll go anyplace that you say

I’ll stick to you always

And chase you down hallways

If ever you scamper away

 

Be mine always

…. I didn’t really steal her but it sounds better that way.

And the virus?  Two kids out of three so far.  We would not have made that trip to the place in the van this afternoon had I realized it wasn’t just one of those things for the first kid.  It hit the second one as we sat at the dinner table.  Lucky us!

Frugality has its price

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So the large main cat came in looking all pitiful with one side of his face all swollen up.  It was so swollen and he was so pitiful that I dragged myself out of my pajamas and through the shower in the early evening on Christmas Day so that I could go to the store for kitty litter.  He’d need to be kept in overnight and taken to the vet in the morning.

When I got out of the shower I could just see that something had happened in the vicinity of his face.  I will spare you the gory Technicolor description of what followed except to say that it’s a good thing that The Lovely Rhonda is a nurse, and also that I understand why veterinary technicians usually wear scrubs, i.e. are not naked and dripping wet whilst tending to an animal with a large abscess.

At this point we figured that his face would now heal on its own and let him back outdoors.

The next day TLR texted asking me to pick up litter after all since he was back and looking sad again.  He went to the vet that morning and was reasonably patient while they shaved half his face and cleaned what turned out to be a pretty ugly open wound on his cheek.  A quick shot in the behind of antibiotics and he was good to go.  “Oh,” says the vet, “and keep him inside for two weeks.”

Which is like saying, “Oh and also?  Teach him to recite pi to the forty-seventh digit.”

This morning he meowed piteously at our bedroom door until I let him in.  All went swimmingly until he climbed on top of us both and began to yowl.  Suddenly the bed exploded into activity when Rhonda sat bolt upright and hollered, “YOUR CAT IS PEEING ON US.”

And so he was.  And it was disgusting.

Which is how I ended up in the side yard hosing out the litter box at eight o’clock in the morning.  I’d fashioned a small temporary one out of a plastic storage container but I feared that perhaps it was too small for His Majesty’s liking, thus leading to the fun this morning.  The old litter box was full of rainwater and used kitty litter.  O joy.

Later I entered the kitchen in search of disinfectant and an old dish brush to finish my delightful task.  “And by the way?” I said to TLR, “The next time one of us just hauls a full litter box outside and leaves it in the rain instead of emptying it, it’s grounds for divorce.”

“But you can’t divorce yourself,” says TLR.  “Because I’m pretty sure it was you.”

“Oh, I don’t know, right now I think I could,” says I.  Twenty minutes spent prising clay spiked with cat turds out of a plastic box will do that to a person.

Also?  If you are out walking  your dogs and you see your neighbor standing in their side yard grimly hosing a litter box out at 8am on a forty degree morning, you can feel pretty secure in the idea that they are not doing this of their own free will.

The litter box is now ensconced in the laundry room and Himself is driving us all crazy meowing at all the doors and windows.  I think we will be lucky to keep him in for three days.

I may never feel clean again.  I informed Rhonda that it might be easier to just start over and clone me from some DNA off the hairbrush.

Oh and?  I could have driven to the store and bought a new litter box in the time it took me to clean this one, but somehow it felt just a little excessive.  Apparently fifteen dollars is my threshold.

 

Three Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

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So The Lovely Rhonda and I went to rearrange one of her girls’ rooms today.  She wants a desk like my kid has now, and we figured why not?

Oh, so many reasons why not.

First thing we find out is that one of the four drawers (two each side) of the captain’s bed is defunct.  The little screws that affix the drawer track to the bed were completely pulled out.  And the composite wood/glue stuff the bed is made of is not the sort of thing you can repair easily.

Okay, so we’ll put that side of the bed toward the wall.  We start removing things from all the drawers, so we can move the darn thing.  And of course we find that the drawer that backs up to this one is similarly broken.

A short conference is called and it is decided that we must make an emergency trip to Ikea.  This bed must be replaced.

Then the smallest child in the house, as we are gathering shoes and coats, calmly enters the bathroom and vomits copiously.

Change of plans.  I will run to Ikea alone.  Nobody else really wanted to go anyway and we can’t take Barfy McPukerpants with us.

On the way there I return a call from an old friend who is in town for a few days.  Unfortunately he is in town because his mother passed away.  But he’s got some time to hang out before getting back on the plane tomorrow to return to his wonderful family, and for some inexplicable reason he’s willing to spend it with us!  So I meet him at Ikea and he is patient with me as I communicate with TLR using the only means available to me in Ikea, the text message.  I think they block cell signal for the same reason casinos have no clocks or windows — to cut you off from reality so you will spend more time, and therefore money.  Stressed people who have to either send a million tedious text messages or else — horror! — rely on guesswork and long-distance mind-reading tend to lose all touch with sanity and make expensively bad decisions.

At any rate we finally obtain the needed items and head back to The Burrow, where we surprise TLR because I did not tell her that my friend was coming too.  TLR then runs a few errands with the one of her children who is not throwing up while Graham and I begin demolition on the old bed frame.  What we find when we remove the mattress is that the metal bracers that run diagonally from the center of the frame to the corners are suspiciously bowed and bent.  As if, say, children — certainly not OUR children — had been, oh, perhaps, JUMPING on the bed.

That can’t possibly be the situation, because OUR children would NEVER do that.  Perish the expensive thought!

Oh well.

We then begin assembling the new dresser which goes about how you might think.  Go ahead and conjecture amusingly to yourselves about how we put pieces on upside down or pounded dowels so hard they broke through to the outside of the dresser shell, etc. etc.  This will save time and keystrokes at my end.

When TLR returns she is not in any mood to cook so I take over (meatloaf, and it was delicious) while she and Graham finish assembly of the dresser and bedframe.  This involves rather more hammering than I suspect is strictly called for in the instructions, and at one point I was rather breezily asked where one might find a set of drill bits in the shithole that is our garage.  But aside from these things I stayed ignorant of the entire process, as is my wont.  I am not a fan of the assembly process if it is not taking place under my specific, rather exacting specifications.  These specifications include the tedious sorting of materials and painstaking, step-by-step adherence to the instruction manual in excruciating detail.  Since virtually no other human being of my acquaintance will follow this process, I usually leave the room and get drunk find something else to do until the project is completed.

At last the dresser and frame are done and the children, after a stern lecture about Why We Do Not Jump On Beds, and furthermore How Many Weeks Of Allowance a new bed frame might cost a child caught jumping on a bed, are all either asleep or close to it.  The pukey child spent some time napping on the couch and appears to be over the worst of it, and tomorrow morning we will finish what was supposed to happen today.

They say life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.  I say, life is what happens whether you like it or not and this is why wood glue and alcoholic beverages were both invented.

A Day Off

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So today I awoke to some issues that you don’t want to hear about, and after a few attempts it became clear that I was not actually going to succeed in leaving the house.  So I laid around trying to not feel too wretched.  This is not as easy as it sounds, sometimes.  Eventually I resorted to a book on CD and some minor household tasks to amuse me.

I’m not much of a seamstress but if  you have something that requires repair and it won’t be worn out in public ever, I’m totally the gal for you.  I have honed my skills on stuffed animals with split seams or that the dog has taken a liking to, the occasional wayward button, and now: a sleeping bag.   The spawn have these kid-sized sleeping bags of the sort one might use at a sleepover or summer camping, and recently I was compelled to wash them.  They had that slightly mildewy-smelling funk that things get from being stored in the garage, and they’ve seen a few gymnasium floors in their day (for elementary school movie night).  Unfortunately one didn’t survive the experience unblemished, and I was faced with a six-inch split seam.

Now, I don’t own a sewing machine.  The thought of it terrifies me.  I would be That Lady who sews things to other things by mistake, perhaps even to something I am currently wearing.  It wouldn’t be pretty.  So I got out the little sewing kit that we keep in the drawer in the kitchen and I found some pink thread and I sat right down on the couch and started sewing that bad boy right up.  I even used a few pins to keep the slippery nylon fabric edges together so it wouldn’t keep slipping and sliding around.  I’m practically ready to be a costumer for the New York Metropolitan Opera, yo.

Okay, not really.

The seam isn’t beautiful, but the object here — to keep the insides of the sleeping bag from becoming the outsides — has been accomplished.  And I figure this little repair is saving us forty-five dollars plus tax.  Because if we replace one kid’s fifteen-dollar sleeping bag, we’ll have to replace them all; otherwise there will be resentment and grudges and eventually they’ll do drugs and sleep around because of how unhappy their childhoods were.  We can’t have that.

Now I just have to figure out how to spin the whole thing so it’s actually super cool to use the one with the big awesome scar on it!

I was still feeling pretty pitiful but was so torn with wanting to do something useful.  I looked around for another one of those things I’d been meaning to do and spied a pair of eyeballs on my desk.  Obviously this would require SuperGlue, so I rummaged around in the junk drawer and found some.  Pretty soon Big Lethal Pointy Metal Owl had eyes again.  He’d had them initially, but then they fell off when we unwrapped him.  I guess if I spent a year wrapped in newspapers inside a cardboard box in somebody’s garage my eyeballs might fall off too.

 

I think he looks a bit better with eyes.  I’d gotten used to seeing him with no eyes, so now he looks kind of surprised all the time.  Or angry.

Later I finished something I’d started the day before, wherein I had run hot water with bleach into my washing machine and let it soak for a while.  Then I ran hot water with vinegar in it.  This allegedly loosens up the grim and “scale,” whatever the hell that is.  Then I got an old, slightly scratchy washrag and essentially sanded the grime deposits off the agitator and the rim of the wash tub.  I went ahead and ran more hot water and threw some vinegar in there, and let me tell you, I have no idea how the clothes ever got clean in that thing considering how much it stank to clean it like this.  A crapload of crud came out of the various nooks and/or crannies.  Yech.

By the end of the day I was feeling somewhat less horrible.  Apparently the absence of vileness caused me to completely lose my mind to some kind of post-malaise euphoria, because I then found myself under the kitchen sink removing everything from the cupboard and scrubbing it out.

I’m going back to school in a little over a month and I think I want things to be halfway orderly before I start.  We’ve reached Defcon Level: Crusty around here lately, and I’m doing my fall cleaning or something.   One crummy little project at a time.

Why I’m not so much of a dog person.

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So we got this new dog and his name is Jake.  And he’s a dog.  And he barks.

Jake barks at the doorbell.  Except, we don’t actually have a doorbell. Poor Jake!  How can he bark at the doorbell if we don’t have one?

I’m so glad you asked me that question.

Jake barks at the doorbell that rings on TV.

Guess how many doorbells ring on TV?

LOTS of doorbells ring on TV.  And sometimes, when you’re up late watching a little TV by yourself because you can’t sleep or The Lovely Rhonda has gone to bed at 9:30 because she is in the ICU tomorrow or whatever — sometimes, the doorbell on TV rings really late at night.

And of course if Jake is going to bark, BY GOD I MUST BARK AS WELL says Otto.  So there you are just watching some crappy rerun of The Nanny or something in the quiet of the night and suddenly there is a cacophony of dog barking.  And you have to shush everybody before TLR comes out of Grone Up Land (as one of the kids spelled it) and murders us all with just a look.  That look.  That one look of flaming instant death.

It wouldn’t help to remind her that these dogs?  These noisy, hairy, smelly, flatulent dogs?  That bark at the TV and poop in the yard and chew things up?  These dogs were HER OWN DOING.

No, no.  That wouldn’t help.  Don’t do that.

Let’s move on to cats.

We have three cats.

They poop and pee discreetly in the bushes.

They have never barked, in my experience.  Even if a doorbell goes off on a TV show late at night, there is no barking from the cats.

Cat farts are seldom and, again, discreet.  They are rarely audible and only occasionally can you even sense that one has occurred.  (Granted, if  you do sense it, it’s too late and you are doomed.)

I have yet to meet the cat who will, left unattended, chew the right shoe off of a La La Loopsy doll left on the couch by one of the children.

Last night I was obligated to feed the dogs because TLR had worked all day whine whine whine and had to get up early tomorrow whine whine whine.  Ugh, fine I’ll do it if you stop whining.  So I went to head outside where the dry dog food is kept in a big plastic bin on the back porch.  Except I had picked up the big dog dish and Jake was so excited about FOOD OMG DINNER that he jumped up at my hand and knocked the dog dish out of it and it fell on my toe with a big metal CLANG.

And it hurt!  It hurt in that way that you have to hold really still and Not. Say. Anything. for a minute or else you’ll blister the paint off the walls with your colorful invectives.

And then I had to open the can of wet food to smush into the dry food, because I am now a short order cook for dogs, and the smell about knocked me over.  The worst part about this is that the can has to be cleaned out with a dish brush so you can recycle it, because the dog food sticks to the inside of the can like paste.  GROSS.

And then I fed them and had to sit in a cloud of dog food smell, dog-breath-after-eating-dog-food smell, and, after a deceptively short time, the smell that dog food makes when it has navigated its way through most of the dog.   TLR had already gone to bed so it was just me and the dogs and the smells.

And the doorbell on TV.

ArachnoNONONONOphobia

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So last night as The Lovely Rhonda and I prepared to retire, I noticed something huddled in the corner of the baseboard.

I had already removed my glasses, so at first glance I took it to be the new cat, Mrs. Norris, who is smallish and striped and totes adorbs. 

But no, then I decided it looked just slightly smaller than Mrs. Norris, so I loomed a bit closer and squinted at it in the dim light and determined that it also had several more legs than I recall cats having, in general.  Also it was not stripey.

Based on this and the arrogant way it was ignoring me, there was only one conclusion I could come to which was that it was a really enormous spider.

I commented on this to TLR and she of course was indifferent to my plight.

“So get rid of it,” she said.  As if it were that easy.

“Why do I always have to get rid of the spiders?  Why don’t you ever do it?”

“BECAUSE I AM TERRIFIED OF BUGS AND JUST GET IT OUT OF HERE OMG.”  Then she hid under the covers and kicked her little legs.

I was very reluctant to address this particular spider because if its sheer magnitude.  I mean, normally you just get a tissue and bunch it up a little in your fingertips and sort of squoosh the spider in it and the spider is so tiny you don’t even feel it in the tissue at all.  Better yet you can often just get a magazine or something and scoop the spider up and take it outside where it can fulfill its many-legged destiny of menacing your neighbors instead of you.

But this monster?  Ugh.  What I was afraid of was that it was so large and meaty-looking that I would not only feel its weight in the kleenex but that I would sense also the squishing and the ichor spewing out of it and all that.  Taking it outside wasn’t an option because what if it was a spider accustomed to the comforts of indoor living?  What if it came after me?  I couldn’t risk that.  I have a family.  I have obligations.

I complained about this at length but to no avail.  Finally I went to arm myself against the thing.
I chose three 2-ply paper towels and folded them over several times.   Paper towels are thicker than kleenex and the ones we are using at the moment have a comforting print of pots of soup and flowers and curlicues and flourishes.   Every little bit helps here, folks.

I rushed at it and shoved the paper towels onto it, pinching them together quickly so as to get this thing done before the heebie-jeebies set in.  I then raced through the house bearing the spider-containment unit at arms length before me.  Once it was safely in the kitchen trash I returned to the bedroom to perform an involuntary shuddering seizure of disgust.  TLR found this amusing.

I sure hope she doesn’t lay awake nights wondering if that spider was really dead or not.

It could be dragging itself with its one remaining good leg back to the bedroom, bent on revenge.

She sleeps on the side closest to the door, and I doubt that big hairy bastard really got a good look at me to begin with.

No sir, sure hope she isn’t consumed with worry about things like this.

Thanks, Grandpa.

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So early this morning The Lovely Rhonda and I woke abruptly to an odd screeching sound coming from somewhere in the house.

As the designated handler of such circumstances I sprang into action.  This involves swearing a lot and putting on my Superhero Glasses while scrambling into the living room to put an end to the noise before it wakes the children.

It’s spring here in all its glory; pasty Northwesterners are emerging into the sunlight, blinking and applying sunscreen, and there seem to be birds everywhere all of a sudden.  Plump, delicious birds that our cat Grandpa stalks and kills.  He stalks them outside but drags them into the house to kill them.  He does this with pretty much anything smaller than himself, not just birds but mice and other rodents, and I would not be surprised in the least if one day he drags a full-grown duck through the dog door.

I scanned the perimeter for whatever might have made this screeching sound and at first didn’t see anything but the dog who was standing in the laundry room door wagging his tail hopefully at me.  He was standing over a squeaky tennis ball so in my confused state I thought his tail was expressing guilt over squeaking the ball.  He’s the sort of dog who exudes a mild aura of guilt at all times, though, so I wasn’t sure what to think, plus the screeching wasn’t really of a squeaky-ball variety.  I didn’t see anything else and turned to re-enter the bedroom with orders to stand down when I heard a rather smug meow from down the hall.  And I knew the awful truth, and turned to face it.

The light was dim down there but I could see something motionless on the rug that resembled a squirrel, perhaps?  Something fairly long, with a light center and dark around the edges, and I took this to be a squirrel laying on its side, and there was Grandpa languidly rubbing freshly killed squirrel goobers on the nearby doorways, the cat equivalent of driving home with the deer strapped to the hood.  Ew.  I went to get a wad of paper towels and was stifling the heebie-jeebies at the thought of the weight of the warm dead body of a young squirrel, master of his universe until he suddenly wasn’t anymore.  We only have trash service every other week and it was just taken away on Thursday, so this thing was also going to fester in the hot garbage can for nearly two weeks. Ew ew ew.

But then there was a noise almost under my feet and I wheeled around to find that it wasn’t a squirrel at all, it was a really angry bluejay and as luck would have it it had fluttered and flapped to the sliding glass door.  The cat was on it in a flash but I shooed him away and slid the door open, and that jay was off in two big hops and a leap into the air.  It made for the fence and somersaulted determinedly into freedom like an action hero.  I swear this thing was the Bruce Willis of bluejays.  I think it was wearing a white tank top and had a slightly bloody cut over one eye, and if it’d had fingers the cat would have gotten one.

Grandpa is pretty miffed but he’ll get over it and go back to stalking the local wildlife, quite possibly by later this afternoon.  I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t, because this is what passes for excitement around here.  I may not be able to sleep for days.