Please, No BS

ON the second day of my summer vacation, Shuggie woke me up just before 4 a.m. to go outside. Then she stayed out there and I couldn’t sleep. When she finally came back in, I laid in bed tossing and turning until I must’ve dozed off, which seemed like mere minutes because suddenly she was up and pacing again. Ten of six.

But wait! On the first day of my summer vacation Sabra woke us up at 3, coughing. And coughing. I got out of bed and made her follow me to the kitchen for a drink. Whoever said you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink…….. is probably right. I gambled on my poodle and she drank. Back to bed we went, again lying there trying to fall back to sleep and finally getting there until 5 when Shuggie decided it was Time.

My mom is always talking about people’s “path.” Well, MY path clearly did not include sleep in this lifetime. There was a solid year in my twenties, completely of my own doing, that I didn’t sleep At All. Then there were the years every parent complains about. And THEN my kid got diabetes. She’s not even here with me and I still wake up every night between 3 and 4.

It’s raining today, which is good for a variety of reasons but mostly because I don’t feel like I have to be doing something outside. The downside of this wet day is a bored dog and we all know that a bored dog is a baaaad dog. It’s like having a toddler. Keep things off the floor that you don’t want her to have. Don’t leave your mug unattended on the coffee table. Pray for naps. Plan activities to keep her busy. SERIOUSLY. I have go-to things I do for this damn dog.

Dog puzzles are awesome but blockhead is done with them in 2 minutes. I have bones that I put peanut butter in, guaranteed to keep her occupied for twenty minutes or more, which I did this morning since the other two weren’t ready to get up yet. Sat down with my coffee and less than three minutes later she’s standing in front of me like, what’s next?

Todd and I went out to dinner last night. In a restaurant. This is our fourth time and I still sit down in my chair and lift my shoulders to my head and squeal a little. We both are feeling more at ease with it, even though it’s not over and we know it. But even we are among those who are, to some degree, “sick of it.”

It’s a lovely little Italian place with great food (and even better leftovers). We walked in without our masks on. This is a first. On Mother’s Day we went out with my in-laws – the first time dining out – and we were masked until seated. Still, walking through the restaurant made me emotional. How long it has been!

We returned to an old favorite near the college which was great until we were leaving when some asshole, who was smoking right outside the doors, with whom I made NO eye contact, said “you know you don’t have to wear a mask anymore.” It was literally the same day the mandate was lifted in Maryland. I turned around and said, I think that’s MY business. And continued walking across the parking lot doing my best talk-to-the-hand impression.

What I should have said was, you know you don’t have to smoke directly outside the doors of a public place. Or, you know not everybody can be an inconsiderate asshole. Or, you know some people are unstable and dangerous.

There’s that saying about women over 40 being full of rage and sick of everyone’s shit. Mind yourself lest you get burned. I will smote you. See how you are? Always so angry.

On that note, I admit I have a low tolerance for bullshit these days. No worries. This, too, shall pass.

I got a message from a former family member, with whom I am not Facebook friends, asking me to inform another family member – with whom I have had no contact in nearly 8 years – that he’s going to be facing another lawsuit. It could have stopped there, but she also suggested I involve the parents. Oh no you didn’t. WHO messages someone you haven’t spoken to in years, asking them to pass along your batshit crazy business? How dare you message me about this. How dare you try to involve the parents. How DARE you.

Did I say any of that? No. But made plain that the parents do not need to be troubled with these problems and hoped the unspoken warning was felt. And then, because I’m a chronic over-thinker, wondered if she might attempt to pull other, “younger,” family members in and… I better not hear that she did.

We went out to dinner with my mom on my birthday, to the lovely Chesapeake Inn, and sat outside on the upper deck. Everything was delicious and there was an absolutely divine breeze drifting through the covered deck and the sun dazzling over the water. I had the molten chocolate lava cake for dessert and I cannot believe I made it to 52 without ever having had that before. If I had died immediately after eating this, they’d have said I died happy, with a smile on my face and one hand on my paunch.

So Mr. and Mrs. Dean had a night out last Saturday courtesy of the college – a delightfully warm, bordering on steamy, event outside under a tent – for a blues/jazz concert. It was AMAZING. This woman is hella talented – barely thirty years old and she was workin’ it. I might’ve fallen a little bit in love. The crowd was dispersed enough to be comfortable, no masks, and one little white dog on the couple’s lap three seats away.

It feels good to be out and about again, though sadly it’s happening in the sweltering heat of summer and I’m old now and less tolerant of heat. We were supposed to see the symphony orchestra on Monday evening too, but it was 91 degrees at 7 p.m. and I just wasn’t feeling up to it and especially after working all day. And sorry, not sorry, I’m not real big on symphony. Classical music has gotten me into trouble more often than not and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Todd and I got into a debate about zip codes because this is where we are in our second day of vacation. Our old high school is technically located in a “village” called Bucktown; however, its address is Pottstown (not to be confused with Pottsville, birthplace of Yuengling Lager). Todd suggested that Bucktown has to have its own zip code by now, due to all the growth in that area since we left. Then we debated on Pottstown zip codes (there are two). There weren’t two when we were in high school. So of course I had to look up Bucktown, which is still a village and is NOT a mailing address, Todd.

It is now 10 a.m., the soggy dogs are sleeping, the zip code debate is settled, Todd is in the garage, and it’s still raining. I just ate my leftover Bolognese for breakfast and I’m not sorry.

Today’s Holidays – June 11

Corn on the Cob Day. A happy discovery, considering I have six in my fridge. Guess what’s for dinner?

Cousteau Day – remember Jacques Cousteau? Unofficially celebrated on this day of his birth in 1910. Ecologist, environmental activist, inventor, photographer, filmmaker, author of over 50 books,  and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985. He produced over 120 documentaries focused on his underwater exploration and co-invented the Aqua Lung (aka Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus or SCUBA) in 1943. Who knew this???

National German Chocolate Cake Day – Mrs. George Clay’s recipe for Baker’s German’s Chocolate Cake was published as the Recipe of the Day in the Dallas Morning News on June 3, 1957. She used Baker’s German’s dark chocolate that was created by Samuel German 105 years earlier. The possessive apostrophe was dropped at some point. It is not from Germany. Why the 11th and not the 3rd? I have no idea.

National Marriage Day – Elkton, Maryland was once the Wedding Capital of the East, in the early part of the 20th century when Maryland didn’t require a waiting period like other states. There were more than 15 wedding chapels on Main Street at the time, with about 12,000 people getting married there each year. The train that brought many here was called the Honeymoon Express. Famous people who tied the knot here: Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Billie Holiday, Debbie Reynolds, Charles Barkley, and my aunt and uncle.

The 48-hour waiting period was installed in 1938, though people still continued to get married there. Today, all the chapels are gone. A marker stands at the site of The Little Wedding Chapel, which was the last to go in 2017. Elkton, incidentally, is 25 minutes from where we live so we are often there or passing through. The Chamber of Commerce created the second Friday in June as a celebration of weddings and vow renewals, with a champagne reception and wedding cake for participating couples. A quick search produced no recent results for this event.

Gene Wilder was born today in 1933 and also Ben Jonson in 1592 (for all you English majors out there). John Wayne died on this day in 1979. The world events in history are full of bullshit so I’m not sharing those. This is a no-bullshit zone.

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