I have become a lunch lady. Not a lady who serves lunch, but a lady who often goes out to lunch, with other ladies. My current work schedule provides me with two days off in the middle of each week and they are mine to fill with all sorts of activities. I tend to be a hardcore “get stuff done” list maker, without much relaxing built into my schedule, so I largely spend those two days “being effective,” as we call it here. Or, rather, I am effective during the time that Lily is in school on those days. Lately, though, I have had the immense pleasure of going to lunch with various friends on those days and enjoying both their good company and some really good food. My lady friends amaze me with their intelligence, humor, and kindness, and I am indeed grateful for them.
Sometimes I spend those days off in the middle of the week trying to catch up on sleep while Lily is at school. As I’ve mentioned way too many times before (sorry), I rarely get enough sleep and there are lots of boring reasons for this that go way back. One current reason is our dog Happy. I don’t think I’ve written about her much here, but she is a huge presence in our lives and a beloved member of the family. She is also EXTREMELY needy and works my last nerve.
Poor Happy is afraid of loud noises, especially fireworks, thunder, wind, and rain. If you live in this area, then you know that the past couple of weeks have been all about wind and rain in large amounts all the time never ending. Loud wind. Loud rain. Occasional thunder. Poor Happy has very little ability to deal with this scary, scary weather. She yips and barks and pants and trembles and drools and freaks out for hours. We have resorted to giving her anti-anxiety medication on occasion, prescribed by her vet, because she can’t calm down and she is basically destroying our house with all of her fretting. And, as you can guess, preventing us from sleeping. It breaks my heart to see her so upset and I don’t want to drug her all the time. So, we leave the radio on most of the time, quite loudly, to cover up the noise that the weather makes, which helps, and try to keep her company as much as possible. If Happy is on one floor of our little house and I go to another floor, she often starts pacing and barking. So, those naps I try to take while Lily is in school almost never work.
It’s all very exhausting and unfortunate. Happy loved our almost rain-free summer. This fall, though, is wearing all of us out. Good thing Happy is such a sweet and loving dog, despite her neuroses. We probably would have found her another home long ago, otherwise. (Sorry, Lily. I know it’s horrible to admit that, but you know how I am about that honesty stuff.)
Other than lunching out and coping with my sad Happy dog, I’ve been cooking and baking some wonderful fall food (recipes to come), reading Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem (which is taking me a long time, but is worth it), hosting a brief visit by my mother-in-law (who kindly came here to attend Grandparents Day at Lily’s school), making arrangements for my family to get a variety of flu shots (which is much harder and time consuming than I ever could have imagined — I’ve never felt as victorious as I did when Lily finally got both an H1N1 flu shot and a seasonal flu shot), attending Jonathan Irving’s reading at Third Place Books with Joe and Lori (we should write about that, he was fascinating), and going to that awesome Raphael Saadiq show that I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Plus, you know, working and parenting and stuff.
Now, though, because I don’t have a lunch date to attend, I’d better go be effective.