A box of birthday invitations I saw in the grocery store the other day has been haunting my brain, looking for something to connect with. My birthday is four months away, so it wasn’t anything literal.
I cast backward into memory searching for the relationship, and found a birthday party for my friend Joy that I attended when I was eight or nine. I don’t remember the party; I do remember the lights being turned off, all of us being sacked out around the dining room and living room, and her older sister telling ghost stories, the kind that involve hooks in doors and young girls being attacked by madmen (general escaped criminals) on their way to parties just like this one.
One such story ended with the young girl in question having her hands and feet cut off, climbing the stairs as best she could, with the party invitation gripped in her mouth.
Thump, thump, draaaaag.
From this grim tail, I remembered a later evening, also dark, when my mother, step-father and I sat around the dining room table and listened to a science fiction radio drama while a storm blasted icy rain at the windows.
For all the blood, guts, and gore that movies show, I believe that radio, and now pod-cast dramas, are scarier, because what you imagine is so much worse than what can be shown on screen.
It is because of this that when someone mentions Bill Cosby, my first connection isn’t Jell-o or his television show. It’s Chickenheart.
To borrow a phrase from my friend Ms. Eclectic, we hired a Domestic Goddess a couple of weeks ago. She was a referral from another friend, and she’s wonderful, but having someone else do housework means I have to remember to tell her things.
Example: the blue bag is for recycling, not garbage.
Or: the hot and cold water in the kitchen and one of thebathroom faucets are reversed.
Other than stuff like that, though, things are going well. I work from home, so I try not to get in her way, and she tries not to get in mine, and the dogs go back and forth between us until the Vacuum Monster comes out, in which case Zorro dives under the bed, and Miss Cleo goes into attack mode. She HATES the Vacuum Monster. She hates it so much that if we forget to put ours away (because we’re briefly distracted by something else) she’ll leave a deposit on top of it.
In any case, Wednesday’s are now Domestic Goddess days in the morning, and bubble bath days in the evening.
Our dogs have always been relatively healthy, Zorro’s ideopathic epilepsy aside, but when her senior dog checkup showed that Miss Cleo had some fatty cysts, and needed to lose five pounds (which is a LOT for a dog her size) I went into doggy diet-guru mode.
I didn’t buy her lipovox or anything, though from what I read about the stuff, I might try it myself. I did, however, buy her some all natural crunchy dog food, with no wheat or corn. Instead it’s made from potatoes and meat – the flavor we tried first was sweet potato and duck, and yes, I know duck is fatty, but this is actually less so than the rolled food from the same company (the Dick Van Patten stuff) they’ve been eating ever since Zorro began to refuse the raw meat diet.
Surprisingly, Zorro, who is rapidly running low on teeth, likes the crunchy stuff too – it’s a small bites blend – which pleases us, because feeding them separate stuff is really difficult.