Yesterday I had many little things happen that were sort of exciting. I mean, not Indiana Jones exciting--you know how I am. I get excited when it's new-bar-of-soap day. So.
I've been migrainous, so I got up when Lottie did yesterday, took her outside with my screaming head, let her back in and fed everyone, then left the back door open so she could go outside to pee. I let her run around while I slept with the bedroom door closed. I was worried but didn't know how else I could sleep. If I'd put that energy-of-a-thousand-suns back in her crate she'd have had a fit.
When I woke up again? She'd been fine. She was lying outside my bedroom door, waiting for me. No accidents anywhere.
Anyway, as I was struggling to wake up and so on, the phone rang. It was Ned.
"I was just calling to see how you were doing." And that is when I asked him to come make the gate we'd bought two years ago into a smaller gate, so that I can keep Lottie in this back room, with access to the back yard. That way every once in awhile I can, oh, gather my sanity for a bit while she runs around like a chilly fool back here.
Twenty minutes later, there was Ned with his tools, and that is not a euphemism.
He shortened the gate so I can keep it right here, and in fact that's just what I did when he and I left to go to Lowe's. He needed new string lights for his backyard, and I'd left that dog bed out, the one in the living room that was half-chewed anyway. I'd been cleaning the floor in there, for a change (no one cleans a floor more often or more fruitlessly than me, old Sisyphus, here.) and it started to storm out and I was not only ridin' the storm out, I was leavin' the bed out. I needed a new one.
So we headed to Lowe's on a Saturday at 2:00, which as you can imagine rendered it completely empty in there. "We could have BROUGHT Lottie," I pointed out, and Ned looked weary. I've already taken her there once, although I really shouldn't because parvo. She gets her final round of shots this week and she can go just everywhere after that. The day I took her to Lowe's it was another "I just got home and I can't possibly put that poor dog back in a crate" sitch.
Single motherhood. It's not for everyone.
The point is, while I exposed her to yards and yards of parvo in every aisle, she was like the Lowe's greeter. Holy shit with that dog and the smiling and the wagging and then when someone stopped to pet her, of course you couldn't actually pet her because of the jumping and wriggling and that is why puppies are the worst.
Turns out, they don't SELL dog beds at Lowe's. I was at HOME DEPOT and saw on-sale dog beds. Why the hell don't those two just merge? It would help my confusion tremendously. The good news is, Ned found his string lights, and I met TWO boxer doggies who were together. To tell you the truth I was never much of a boxer person--and now I dearly wish I had Photoshop skills so I could pop in a photo of me with a boxer face--but anyway, now I'm suddenly all, Look at his boxer Lottie earses. Look at his Lottie chest, all boxer-y.
Their owner told me they calmed down at age 4. God help us, everyone.
So Ned and I went to TJ Maxx, which, really? When did I become the person who spends her Saturdays at chain stores? I used to go to cool coffee shops and restaurants and have sex all day. Now I go to TJ Maxx.
But it turns out, TJ MAXX IS FANTASTIC. Who fucking knew? They have a WHOLE SECTION of pet stuff, and I got a new bed, two bins for pet food, which I've been wanting forever because ants, and also a microfiber towel that allegedly wipes more mud from dog feet.
The stupidest thing I ever did was give to Goodwill that huge, mud-trapping entryway rug my mother got me five years ago. They cost like a hundred dollars and WHY DID I DO THAT?
I moved abroad with Ned. That's why.
"The stupidest thing I ever did was get rid of all that stuff to move in with your ass," I announced to Ned, who was perusing pillows. He just got a new mattress, to bang all those women on because swinging bachelor. "I got rid of all kinds of books I regret," he said, WHICH REALLY ISN'T THE SAME.
Anyway, we were armed with our fabulous TJ Maxx goods, and we got the max for the minimum and I just made that up. We were headed back to my house when we noted our barbecue place was BOARDED UP.
"Stamey's is boarded up!" I said, and right then Ned knew. We pulled in to the parking lot, and there was a little sign announcing they'd had a fire, but won't we go to their food truck? And right in the lot was the food truck, and right then we knew again.
"We totally should," I said, because altruistic. So Ned, of the salad Neds, had a barbecue sandwich with cole slaw on it, fries, and a bottle of Cheerwine in a glass bottle for lunch. Am certain this made him nervous. Am certain he is still thinking about his triglycerides as we speak.
We got back to my house and the gate worked! I know we're teetering on the day Lottie just jumps over the thing, and that is the day I get a big chain and a tire and she lives tethered in my back yard. I'll throw a few scraps out there every day or so.
"We should get ice cream," I said, and that is when Ned, whose soul has left his body, said okay and off we went. The place we like to go to is near his house, and they take only cash, so we pulled up to his house so he could run in and get the many many stacks of dollars he keeps behind that picture over the fireplace, where the code is...
When we pulled up, two men were in the driveway getting out of a pickup truck. "Who's that?" I asked. "I don't know. Stay here," said Ned, because he knows I carry and my trigger finger is ITCHY, man.
He got back in the car after a minute, looking disconcerted. Even more disconcerted than he had when he realized he was following up a bottle of Cheerwine with some ice cream, and that it was likely they weren't going to have lettuce flavor as he was hoping.
"That was really weird," he said. The men said they were there to do yard work, but since the day we moved in this guy Jesus had done the yard work. When Ned asked who'd sent them, they mentioned someone named Mike, so maybe my chair guy sent them. Or my screen door guy. "I told them to not work on my yard," said Ned.
We sat on the stoop of the ice cream shop and he ate thoughtfully. We'd gotten there five minutes before they closed, and Ned noted we'd closed two places down. Last weekend when we went to that bar and ran into my friends, they left and Ned and I stayed and talked, till we noticed it was just us, the bartender and some guy waxing the floor. I'm certain the bartender was not wishing to corkscrew our heads or anything.
We ate our cones (peach for him, butter pecan for me) and discussed the men at his house. There WAS a handyman named Mike who'd do things around the house. Could he have sent the men? "That was really weird," Ned kept saying, till a garbage bag got thrown at us. It missed us by an inch.
"Score!" said the bearded millennial from the doorway. He'd clearly been trying to clean up and wanted to get the bag near the trash can or something. Then he saw us.
"God, I am so sorry, guys. But I saw you there and you just made me so damn mad."
And that is when we loved the millennial ice cream guy.
We decided to swing past Ned's house again, and THERE WERE THE MEN back in his driveway. Ned was really upset, so we pulled around the corner and called 911. He has this, like, fancy thing now where if he's on the phone in his car, it automatically becomes a speakerphone sitch over his radio. "What do I tell her?" Ned asked, once the operator came on.
"Two men, one smelling of alcohol, are in my friend's driveway without authorization," I said authoritatively to 911, who probably knows me from all the other annoying times I've called.
"Yes, how do you clarify butter?"
"I'm leaving the car here," said Ned. "I'm going back there to confront those men, and I want you to stay here in case it gets dangerous."
Naturally, I was delighted by all this, because drama is my friend. But while he stalked off to, I don't know, have a knowledge-of-literature-off with the strange men, a triglyceride-off, it occurred to me, maybe our gaylord would have some info. I still have his number on my phone.
"Well, hey, June!" said my gaylord, former, who told me he had the phone IN HIS HAND to call Ned and tell him that (1) Jesus quit and (4) two men were coming to trim the ivy, clean the gutters and prune the bushes.
And right then I knew.
I ran--RAN!!--to the house, calling 911 in the meantime to stop the presses. "It's okay!" I bellowed, as I saw Ned confronting the poor men in the driveway.
In the end, Ned felt like a jerk, the men think we're crazy, 911 is over me and my former gaylord is all, Why was she at Ned's?
As we pulled away, Ned asked, "I just wonder why Jesus quit."
"He probably doesn't need to work anymore, Ned," I said. "After all, Jesus saves."
And right then I knew. I am my own soulmate.
So, I've already written 1700 damn words, and I haven't saved the bird yet or seen the muskrat or closed down two more places or gotten to Peg or talked about Boomer the big-headed dog, so I guess I'll write more tomorrow.