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I think I”ll give myself a break from brain surgery blogging for today.  Too much intensity might threaten my readership and burn me out on writing about it.  So today you get a peek into our weekend of home ownership duties.

Saturday Bob came over to build our closet.  He stayed pretty much all day till 5:30, with a brief break so he could run to a funeral.  He’s not quite done yet, but what we have now definitely is emerging as closet-like.  There’s 7 ft of railing where previously there was none.  There’s framing and some drywall and I even hung up 2 garments to make sure they’d fit in there.  We didn’t go “standard” depth because of issues of where to fit my gezunta Ikea dresser and making sure we had enough room between the closet corner and the bed to pass without turning sideways.  I got a little scared when I saw that the railing wasn’t centered depth-wise, and had to make sure a hanger would fit in there.  Thankfully, it does.  Bob will come back and finish all that stuff he knows how to do.  Then I can finish my Nova documentary, “A Closet is Born”.

This morning, having procured our ritual Sunday morning bagel sandwich breakfasts, we put on long sleeves, pants, socks, shitty shoes, and rubber gloves and proceeded to attack the poison ivy in the front yard.  Our neighbor saw us, gasped, came running out and asked, “Do you know that’s…?”  “Poison Ivy.  Yes, we know.  That’s why we’re dressed like this,” we said as we held up our gloved hands.  She ran into her house and came back out with some scary looking pesticide spray she had from last year when she used it on our yard.  Our previous owner, Mildred, was 95, or somewhereabouts, so I’m guessing our neighbor did much of the home maintenance for her.  Hence, she attacked the poison ivy for Mildred, chemically. 

I had hoped to be green, and use the chemical-free gloved-hands answer I’d found on the internet, but I’d also hoped Mr. Apron and I would be able to clip our hedges with the manual clippers.  While that was a rousing success the first time, the freaking hedges were sporting new radical sprouts within two weeks, causing Mr. Apron to give a sigh of relief and comment he would be borrowing his father’s electric clippers from now on.  I try to do the right thing by our planet, but it doesn’t always work out that way.  And today, we looked at each other, then looked back at our neighbor, and told her we’d be happy to try her spray.  As we came back from the dog walk this evening, Mr. Apron happily pointed our some already wilting ivy.  I couldn’t help but put on a menacing glare and challenge the plant to “Die, motherfucker”.  I hope it does. 

We had dinner on the front porch, making inane comments about how the street’s cars are parked different tonight.  The Pilot that was parked at the corner all week long has moved to the 2nd spot from the corner, but that Passat wagon is still parked backwards because the owners are douche-bags.  Finley sat calmly, tied to the railing until our back-alley neighbor came along, walking her Corgi-mix.  He started to go bat-shit, and I couldn’t imagine why.  He usually barks a little at passing canines, asserting his dominance over our small piece of turf, but this time he was lunging and growling.  Mr. Apron took him inside to cool off.  He whined pitifully from behind the door as we casually sipped our Cokes and swatted mosquitos.  Then we saw Mother. 

Mother is a light-colored calico cat who lives in the back alley.  I think her real name is Miss Grey, but she’s been nicknamed Mother because she, uh, mothered the latest brood of feral cats recently.  The neighbors whose yards she frequents got a pool together to have her fixed, so she’ll be Mother no more.  She hangs around those neighbors houses, I assume, because they feed her.  Her favorite activity, besides playing in the overgrowth of our next-door neighbor’s back yard, is walking Megan, the Corgi-mix.  When our neighbor gets Megan ready for her walk, Mother gets ready, too.  If you watch at just the right time, you’ll see Megan emerge from the side door, and Mother will come trotting along.  She follows at enough of a distance to say, “I’m a cat.  I don’t get taken on walks.  I’m an independent creature.  I shit wherever I please.”  Yet she’s always close enough to be the caboose of the train.  Today she lingered on our neighbor’s lawn after Megan had passed by, and Finley spotted her through the hedge.  We called to her after we’d shut the dog up, but she remained still, aloof in her feline ways.  “Is this the way you call a cat?” Mr. Apron asked, clucking his tongue and making kissy noises towards the hedge. 

“Yes,” I said, “but there’s a secret of callling cats.” 

“Yeah?  What’s that?” he inquired.

“They don’t come when you call them.”

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