Helen is a close talker. Well, kinda. Not really. She just likes to lean on me when she wants something. And hold her face really close to mine, I guess so I don’t forget she’s there. I hate it when things are close to my face. Lifetime pet peeve. Linus gets all up in my face, too. So does Emily, the calico.

And Alice likes to show me her treasures, which she holds less than an inch from my nose so I get the best view. Of blurry.

Why do they do that!?






Stand over there. Good.


Two years ago, I was in the back yard with the girls, while they played on the swingset. The dogs were chasing each other around, as they usually do when we’re out there with them. They love to play when they have an audience.

At one point, 150 pounds of dog came hurtling at me at top speed (Logic was in the tuck-and-run greyhound posture that he gets when he’s running at a full gallop) and slammed into my right knee, hyperextending it and knocking me to the ground. It took me a while to get up and I remember using the fence to pull myself up. I limped for a while from that, but it mostly got better… It just hurt when I sat with my right foot tucked under me and then got up (a favorite sitting position of mine), or after a long walk/run, or when the weather changed.

For the past few months, however, the pain has been more consistent. And there have been a few times when I’ve been seated for a while (like when tutoring) and I get up and my knee has just buckled. And I catch myself limping a lot more now.

So I have an appointment tomorrow morning with an orthopedic surgeon for an X-ray and an exam. Hopefully it’s something that can be corrected non-surgically, but I’m concerned. It’s been 2 years. I should be better by now.

Wish me luck.

Update: MRI on Friday. Suspected tear in medial meniscus. Will go back to the orthopedic surgeon for treatment options consult next Friday after he reads the results of the MRI.

Linus makes a request

Jerry likes to sit in this chair in our bedroom and read. He usually has a pillow on his lap to prop the book up a bit.

Linus wanted to be given permission to jump on the bed (he won’t get up there without permission).

So he went over to Jerry, and placed his head on the pillow. And just stood there and stared at Jerry for about 2 minutes. It was really cute. I love that dog.

Linus says please.

A Lesson in Humility:

A few weeks ago I decided to use some of my tutoring income this year towards a weekly housekeeper (since I’m not paying for Helen to go to Montessori anymore — she’s in public kindergarten and thriving). This summer both girls have been home, and our house has been under construction and Jerry and I were trading workspaces. So the house has gotten seriously out of control because I don’t want to spend every second cleaning it. Or even every other second. Or every tenth second. I hate housework more than I hate my annual gynecological exam.

So I called my friend and got the number of her housekeeper. Her housekeeper just started working full-time at a local university as a Dorm Advisor, so she doesn’t have time for another housekeeping job, but she came over to meet me anyway and figure out which one of her friends might be a good fit for me.

Several days later I got a call from Valerie, one of her friends. Valerie said she’d love to come over and meet me and see the house, and she did. During the course of our conversation it came out that she’s terrified of dogs, and rather afraid of cats, too. I agreed that I’d put the dogs out of her way when she came over (and if she took the job, they’d be shut in Jerry’s office while she was here). The cat’s won’t bother her as long as she doesn’t sit down — at which point the two downstairs cats would be trying to get some love… Tango is a Lap Fungus.

So. She came over and was really jumpy because of all of the animals, and kept saying, “Oh, my” about how “lived in” our house is. It’s mostly cluttery, but there’s a LOT of dog hair (which is why I keep destroying vacuums) and the kitchen floor needs to be mopped rather badly.

She named her price, I accepted it, and she said she’d come back the next Wednesday morning at 8:15. “It won’t be perfect the first week; it’s going to take a bit of time to get it where I’d like to see it.” No problem, since it didn’t GET this way in one day, either.

Tuesday afternoon there was a message on my answering machine: Valerie had done a lot of thinking about it and decided that this job was more than she “wanted to take on at this time.”

I was turned down by a housekeeper.

So. I’ll try again, once I’ve recovered from the humiliation.

You’d think this would inspire me to get busy cleaning up the house, but it just doesn’t. I can’t clean it as fast as the girls wreck it, so they have to be asleep or out of the house for me to clean it. And if they’re asleep or out of the house, I am NOT ABOUT TO CLEAN. So it’s a Catch-22 and it just keeps getting worse.


I guess I’ll call a housekeeping *company* tomorrow, since they’ll send a team of people and not be quite so overwhelming as it would be for one person…

My mother had a housekeeper that came on Tuesdays, and Vera vacuumed the areas she could reach, dusted, wiped down countertops, did the bathroom, and changed the linens. That’s what I want — I don’t want someone scrubbing behind the toilet with a toothbrush or anything… I just want the basics done so that I can attack the clutter. My mother wasn’t superhuman, and neither am I. I’ll never be remembered for my clean house, and that’s totally OK with me — if that’s what people talk about when standing around after my funeral, then I will have failed in my lifetime.

That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.