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Gill told me yesterday that it was going to be 14 degrees all week in London. Rub it in, why doesn’t she? The weather has been so cold and miserable here that we are all suffering from a bad case of Cabin Fever. Even The Pig looks bored. When we put her leash on and inch her out the side door towards the three foot drift for her pee (the yellow marks already there designate it as HER mountain), she looks at us and turns right around, chatters her teeth intentionally and trots back inside. When even the dogs hate winter, it’s time to turn tail and run.

I attempted to do precisely that. After another rough night of tossing, turning and not sleeping (as my mind whirred with the day’s doings and things I have to do tomorrow) and wondering when the wind was going to blow my house down, I was in a cranky mood. L’il Sis had errands to do so would be taking the car for a couple of hours. The Pig and I would (optimistically) go back to bed and try to recover some zzzs.

After giving that up an hour later as a lost cause, I got up and changed into my ‘going to town’ clothes…i.e.: NOT the pajamas I have been featuring for three days. It has been too cold and too icy to walk so I decided getting dressed took too much effort.  When L’il Sis returned home, there I was — clothes on, makeup done, list of errands in hand. I was the prisoner ready to make a break for it.

“Damned outside world!” she screamed as she came in. “It’s awful out there. The people are awful, the blowing snow is horrendous, the driving is shitty, everyone is being an a__hole!”

“Oh, then I guess you don’t want to go out again with me?” I asked nervously.


With that, and realizing that if SHE declared the driving to be bad, it must be more than I, in my current hazy, sleep-deprived state of mind, could handle.

“But”, she tried to smile bravely, “I brought you some things to cheer you/us up. Look: flowers, drugs (the legal kind), and entertainment (lottery tickets from her winnings on the ticket I gave her in her Christmas stocking…nothing says Christmas like gambling). Woo-oo! It’s fun time!”

We both scratched the tickets. She began scratching hers with a coin directly on the table. “Stop!” I yelled. “It will mark the table.” With that, I showed her the grooves in the pine where I had sought the elusive pot of gold many times before.

She looked at me strangely. “So you ruined an expensive pine table trying to win $4 on the lottery?”

“Well, hope springs eternal,” I mumbled. “But I learn from my mistakes so don’t you do the same.”  Alas, the tickets this day yielded nothing…a fitting statement for a really bad day. But why did I expect anything else? Winning a jackpot on a cold, miserable winter’s day? Ha! At least there were no more grooves in the table.

“Well,  I got the drugs you wanted and I stopped by the little food market to get some fresh stuff. They have lovely produce.”

“Oh, you went there? Damn! I needed strawberries…”

“I got you some oranges,” she offered, looking crushed.

“Didn’t need those,” I said, crankiness oozing from every pore. I knew she had been extra thoughtful and I was harshing her buzz. “Not to worry. I’ll up my orange intake to three a day. No problem. And Mrs. Beeton (the pink parakeet) will help. She loves them!”

We both agreed that we’re ready for this winter to be over. We’re cold, we’re scratching our itchy skin to the point of bleeding, the birdseed bill for our poor starving feathered friends (they’re banging on the windows to be fed) is astronomical, the case of Perrier stored in the garage exploded after it froze, we’re beginning to look at each cross-eyed, we’re testy. Good thing my knives are dull.

Having admitted this to ourselves, we went off to preserve the rest of the day. L’il Sis baked muffins and I planned a ‘comfort food’ dinner of mac and cheese, chocolate brownies, and whine. I mean wine. Lots of wine.