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When most people (especially women) say that they are ‘high maintenance’, they usually mean they require elaborate spa treatments, many expensive outfits, designer shoes, dazzling jewelry.Gill would argue that my love of clothes and shoes qualifies me for that title.I take her comments with a large grain of salt since this comes from a person who wears Birkenstocks, flip-flops, well-worn cowboy boots and Converse sneakers almost exclusively. And that is her ‘work’ footwear!

She should feel the shame…although it has to be said, now that I’m older, have somewhat crippled feet, and am not going to meetings and fancy dinners often, I too spend an inordinate amount of time in less-than-fashionable footwear. It pains me (not as much as my twisted feet), but it is what it is.

I laughed when the neighbor announced today that I deserve the aforementioned title. But in this case, it was because I had a team of workmen doing things in and around my house. Part of the work is routine work (such as painting the deck), but the push is on to get things completed in time for wedding festivities (for L’il Sis) later in the summer.

In order to facilitate the carpentry work in my garage, I had to move my car. I drove it immediately across the street to park in the same neighbor’s driveway. We view each other’s driveways as ’emergency parking lots’ when things get tight. I’ll often leave my house for a walk and discover his car sitting in mine when I return. No need to ask…we just know it’s fine. And we know which side of the driveway to park on so the actual homeowner can still get his or her vehicle out.

While chatting with this neighbor, we discussed the wedding preparations for L’il Sis. She wants to have a breakfast here the day after the wedding — including eggs. Now, regular readers will know that I (a) don’t like eggs and (b) am not great at cooking them. I make a tasty quiche and a fab cheese souffle, but that’s a lot of work given everything else I will have to do. The Man In My Life is good at doing boiled eggs since he likes them and eats them often. I considered asking him to do that. But given that his backyard has now become “The Donkey Sanctuary” Annex, he’s already making an exceptional contribution.

The neighbor cheerfully piped up:”I can make eggs at my place and bring them over! Or I could do quiches if you want.” Wow! That’s wonderful.So we now have everyone helping with the wedding –neighbors providing driveways for the actual day, My Man providing the venue (although he might balk if I suggest renting a donkey for the day so we don’t make liars of ourselves after originally promising donkeys), neighbors cooking and helping set up chairs…and the list goes on.

I have to give it to the neighbor when he saw all the workmen and vehicles at my place. He remarked:”It really DOES take a village.” To which I replied, guilt written all over my face, “Yup. I’m pretty high maintenance!”

The good thing about not having the wedding at The Donkey Sanctuary is that I won’t have to wear rubber boots with my outfit to avoid the donkey doo-doo. And it will be a more intimate, dare I say civilized venue? But yes, Dear Readers, Groucho, the bent and busted rescue dog from the Dominican Republic adopted by L’il Sis, will still have a leading role in the ceremony. He might save the tiny sombrero I bought for him in Mexico for the day-after breakfast, but rumor has it he will be dapper in his specially-made bow tie–matching that of the groom!

Dear Readers: It’s early morning and I, above all people, should know not to touch anything technical or mechanical at this time of day. I’d say ‘until I’ve had my first cup of coffee’ but since I don’t drink coffee, I can’t even blame my careless trigger finger on no caffeine! While reading Gill’s post for tomorrow, I accidentally touched the ‘publish’ function and so, today features two blogs — one from each of us! This also means there will not be a new one from Gill tomorrow. We hope you’ll end up reading both since, as you know our pattern, they go together…sort of! At any rate, sorry for the mix-up and happy reading!