There are definite disadvantages to writing a regular column, namely, writer's block. It's not that I don't have anything to write about, it's simply that I have to air my dirty laundry once again because I can't think of a convenient little lie to drone on about. By default, I'm forced to spill my guts.
As you all know it's been a long winter. Lately (since about October) I've been on my last nerve -- so, after more than two decades of marriage, I finally left my man. Here are a few of the sordid details ...
I know you will not be happy when you get this letter. I'm putting it on top of the coffeepot because I know that it's the first place you'll be in the morning. I know, I know, I've told you all this stuff before, but one last time, before I walk out that door, you need to know a few things ...
First of all, in the hall closet, stapled to the inside door, is a laminated list of all the phone numbers you might ever need in my absence. While you are there please locate and note first aid supplies, fire extinguisher, candles, flashlights, the ipecac syrup, the epi pen and Pat's inhaler.
My mom and your mom are on the top of the list. I know they both live out of town, but they can give you a hand with questions. Remember, you must tell each of them that you called them first for advice or they will be jealous.
The pediatrician, the allergist and vet are also listed. If the cat's rashy spot doesn't get better by Friday, give the vet a call. They will ask for the cat's name. You must comply or they will not be able to find his file. Just say "Mow-Mow Michels" as if there was nothing weird about naming one's cat Mow-Mow. Another thing, don't get all disturbed or put off when the receptionist laughs. Be prepared to testify that indeed Mow-Mow is his name and yes, you have to open the front door and yell, "Mow-Mow" when you want kitty to come home. Whatever you do, don't bring the subject of fleas ...
The poison control number is listed in red. I know you said you would always remember the number since the time Patrick swallowed the bubble bath, but just in case, it's there.
The names with stars next to them are people you can call to baby-sit. I know we really don't need babysitters these days. It is best to refer to sitters as people who will hang out or something like that. Pat is fine alone for a few hours and he is probably old enough to babysit for little ones himself -- still, I worry. Remember the incident with the goldfish tank and the package of chips? And does the science experiment that involved live electricity and colorful sparks ring a bell?
Speaking of science experiments, if you guys decide to blow things up in the garage again, please open the windows this time so they don't shatter. Better yet, if you simply must experiment, call Uncle Be-Be so he can come and babysit hang out with you guys ...
Listing 911 might seem to be overdoing it, but you never know. You might forget if you are flustrated enough.
There are leftovers in the fridge and you will find several frozen dinners in the big freezer. On your list you will also find numbers for take-out pizza.
There's new bags of food for Mow-Mow and Sapheria. Mow likes his Iams sprinkled fresh in his bowl twice daily. Hold any sauce and don't forget, he especially hates salmon and crab. He does love butter though so for god's sake, don't leave it on the counter.
As far as Sapheria goes, remember she is still a growing pup so it is vital she gets adequate nutrition. Feeding her can get tricky though. If you toss dry food in her dish she will pout for hours and not come out of the bedroom. Please understand that she requires her diners to be accompanied by a meaty sauce, sauted, not boiled, and she doesn't like big chunks so cut everything in about 1/2-inch chunks and definitely none of that canned dog stuff. If you don't have appropriate leftovers, make her a peanut butter sandwich with the crusts cut off and mix it in with the dry food. If you happen to take her to the vet in my absence, deny just don't mention this little snacky habit K?
Anyway, I always put fresh water AND ice cubes in Sapheria's dish. She loves to chew on the cubes, Mow-Mow likes the cold water -- and if you leave the toilet seat lid up for Sapheria to take a drink, this whole arrangement will work out very nicely.
Don't forget to feed the geese and chickens, they are picky about having fresh greens mixed in with their daily chow.
As far as Pat goes, he will he eat anything that is not tied down. Your biggest challenge will be to get him to stop eating before he gets a bellyache. Remind him to chew. However, don't let the dog sit anywhere near him, or she will get his dinner.
I have attached a schedule. It is color coded, so that should help. Remember that you will have to repack the lunch/school bag each night and no matter what he tells you, snoop in his backpack for stray permission slips and rotting food ...
Your day is highlighted in pink (get over it). Pat's is in blue, Rental and Business Chores are in the black (so keep it that way) and the greenhouse watering schedule is, of course, in green.
Besides that, be safe, recycle, brush, and pleeeease don't forget to actually READ the schedules and To-Do Appendix because "I forgot" doesn't cut it when it was all put in writing so you wouldn't forget. If that sounds like nagging, just remember, I told you so in advance.
I will be back late Sunday night. I'll call you every day, well actually probably two times a day, plus once at night to say goodnight to Pat, and maybe in the morning before he goes to school. I'll be in touch ... in fact, go answer the phone, it's probably me.
I know you understand that I needed a break and I do hope we can always be friends. I love you my handsome stud muffin!
P.S. Oh and speaking of studs, all the tires are illegal so add that to the to-do list, watch for sales on muffin mix and did I mention Sapheria is in heat? I suggest you get her chocolate and some Midol. Good luck with that ...
Jacki Michels is a freelance writer who lives with her husband, son, dog, cat and a multitude of fowl creatures -- that's when she is not indulging in a leisurely spring retreat.
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