Twenty-four hours with June. The musical.

It was a little after 1:00 yesterday that Ryan called using our Teams feature at work WITH CAMERA. Remember Ryan? My youthful coworker? Of course you do. Buncha cougars.

“Why did you make these changes to this article?” he asked as I hurriedly turned my camera off, as I was doing Witchy-Poo impression with hair and delightful robe at 1:00 in the afternoon.

“Because the style guide said to do it that way,” I said, stirring my cauldron and leaving hairpins when I screamed off on my broom.

“Where?” he asked. We got out our style guides together.

“Page two,” I said, winning that round heartily.

As we spoke, I felt a migraine pokin’ at me, pokin’ at me. Remember that candy bar commercial? Long about noon, when your hunger’s pokin’ at ya, pokin’ at ya. The answer? Get a candy bar. The answer? Look on page TWO of the style guide.

I took a migraine pill and then two hours later I took a migraine pill and I might as well have done nothing because that thing came charging at me like a team of horses with a migraine in its cart. Oh my god. I laid down at 4:00, having already worked a full week so fek it. I woke up at 6:00, disoriented and still with migraine. I dragged self out of bed and headed to Lilly’s.

Lilly has kittens, you see, which I know I’ve failed to mention. And Marianne, my old friend, was running low on cats. I had to go to Charlotte on Friday anyway for Edsel’s heart appointment, so I said I’d get a kitten and bring it to Marianne, who lives near Charlotte. So last night with my head throbbing and my nausea pokin’ at me pokin’ at me, I drove to Lilly’s house to get Marianne a new cat.

Oh my god, that kitten was charming. He was not a fan of the car, or perhaps he just enjoyed mewing panickedly every 4 seconds, but once we got home there was no hesitation. He rubbed against me and purred. He observed everything without hesitation. He was a dolly head. [Official name of charming cats everywhere.]

I took Edsel with me to get said kitten, and even brought him on Lilly’s porch to observe every one of them dwelling there. It was Edsel heaven. If anyone asks me why I didn’t snap a photo with a dog on his leash in one hand, a kitten carrier in the other and a migraine in the other, I will drive over to your house and say “dolly head” 46 times, show you my three hands and then leave.

Anyway, Fred Milhous, of the Guilford County Animal Shelter Milhouses, was obsessed with the fact we had a kitten, as per usual. I realized this wasn’t a shelter kitten and I wasn’t forbidden from introducing them, so I did. Just for like 5 minutes. The black kitten rubbed against Milhous and O come let us adored him immediately.

However, I felt like dung. Oh, my head. And my naus. I slept very badly, getting up often to have the diarreee. Someone Faithful Reader Paula knows calls it diaree and now I do too. Did you ever notice how many people Faithful Reader Paula knows who say weird things? She also knows that person who thinks the store is pronounced Bed, Bag and Behind.

And what about the ex-coworker who thought it was “right from the gecko”?

Anyway. I almost canceled everything, so bad did I feel, but Edsel needed to know how his heart was and the kitten needed to be delivered, so this morning selflessly I hauled selfless self out of bed and before 8 a.m. the kitten, Edsel, my migraine and I headed to Charlotte.

[play big-city music from Andy Griffith show]

I had the car tuned to my phone so it would give me directions, speaking through my radio like I had schizophrenia, and when it wasn’t telling me to head north, which, why? Don’t say “north.” When it wasn’t doing that it kept playing really good music.

Oh my god I should have played this as my wedding song. I love love love this song. So despite my head and my diaree and my worry about that teensy kitten having to be in the car AGAIN, I sang along.

Oh, HELL, yeah. This song? I’m in college, working as a bartender at a vegetarian restaurant that served strong drinks for vegetarians who wanted to get drunk fast.

Then?

Oh, heck yeah. I should have had this as my wedding theme. I wish I looked exotic and had coffee-color skin rather than looking like a navy bean.

“Man, this is the best Sirius station,” I thought, till it played

And right then I knew, it was my dang phone playing my songs. And in alpha order! I am not bright.

Anyway, after a harrowing drive through Charlotte traffic [big-city music starts back up],

we arrived at Edsel’s cardiologist and I’d like to once again look back to those halcyon days when our pets got peaked and we just shot ’em out back.

Right when I pulled up, Marianne and her son did too.

“How did I know you’d have a super-extra-hippie mask?” I asked, as Marianne handed me coffee and an egg sandwich. She is a very nurturing hippie.

You guys, I LOVED that kitten. There are two more available at house o’Lilly. Oh, dear.

Anyway, they drove off to show black kitten his new home or worship Satan with him, whichever, and meanwhile the vet had taken the Eds in to get his heart looked at. Eventually a very good-looking vet came out. She was a woman. Don’t get excited.

“Edsel has a beautiful heart,” she said. “His blood pressure is beautiful. His ventricles are beau –“

At this point I’d burst into tears and was hugging the Eds, and then the vet cried and everyone cried and it’s a sad day when Eds is the stoic one.

HE’S FINE! HE WAS MISDIAGNOSED!

Oh my god. For almost a YEAR I’ve thought he had congestive heart failure and all he really has is bad arthritis. That’s why he falls over when we play. She is going to confab with my vet to come up with a better plan for Edsel. “We’re part of your team now,” she said, before charging me $750.

Anyone need a tarot reading?

We drove back home through one of those downpours where you can’t see a fekkin’ thing, but my car kept cranking out the jams, jams that were oddly centered on the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, back when I was still…okay I never for a minute was cool.

Anyway, now we’re home and I’ve taken a Silkwood shower because I had to pee in a gas station that had a big sign: YES! WE HAVE COVID! So.

I have to leave in a minute as I am going to the bakery (Slogan: COVID baked right in!) to get a treat for The Poet, who is going through the shiitake mushroom kind of a time. Things are shiitake for her.

After that I plan to sleep for six days. Other than the part where I have to get up and drive Iris to the Raleigh/Durham area tomorrow.

[big-city music…]

But in sum, YAY!

Good-heartedly,
June

The one where June is tired and makes little, if any, sense-a-line-a-da

I know I know I know I know I know. I haven’t written here in forever. I am too dang busy for my own good. So now it’s 5:13 and I technically COULD still be working, god knows I have work to do, but I’ve already worked 8 hours and I am full. My brain is full. So I will write you now, till 6:15-ish, when I have to get ready for my trainer.

First of all, does anyone know what I can do about the canker sore the size of a dinner plate I have residing inside my mouth-al area? Usually I have them a day or two and they dissipate, but not this one. Nooo. I’ve swished hydrogen peroxide around there a hundred and nine times. …I guess that’s all I’ve done. Other than complain about it to anyone who will listen.

Today I had a brief exchange with Thousandman, my boss, fmr. Not to be confused with the boss, fmr., who refuses to believe Billie Jo McAllister threw a baby off the Tallahatchie Bridge. That’s ANOTHER boss, fmr. The only thing I can remember about Thousandman being my boss is that his real name actually has the word “gross” in it and I legitimately thought a gross was a thousand, except a gross isn’t a thousand. What is it? Ten? I forget. Anyway I called him Thousandman, thinking I was World’s Most Clever, and yet I was World’s Most Unclever. I was the writer of the Bazooka Gum comic, that’s how unclever.

The point is, haven’t seen or talked to Thousandman, my boss, fmr., since, you know, February, and he was all, “Hey, how you doing, anyway?” and I said, “Oh, I have a canker sore the size of a dinner plate. You?”

No one likes to hear from me.

In other news, Lilly the person’s friend is at Lilly the person’s house getting his kitten, the Siamese-ish kitten that for a few blissful weeks was potentially MY kitten.

But you know what I really can’t handle right now? A kitten.

The vet called to say I love you. The vet called to say how much I care. The vet called. To say. I lovvvvve you. And the vet means it from the bottom of his heart.

No.

The vet called to say Iris’s info/urine sample is all ready and all I have to do is call the radiation place to make her appointment to get her thyroid radiated. I meant to call this afternoon but see above re busy.

Also, I feel guilty. I have a neighbor whom I have been helping out when I can, but it’s getting to the knock-every-day point and today I answered and said, “I’m really on a deadline and cannot talk.” I really was on a deadline and really couldn’t talk, but I feel bad. It seems like a thing in this neighborhood, though. You give an inch and they take a pizza. Remember that? When I got pizza and the one neighbor knocked and said, “Can I have a piece of pizza”? I had also been helping him when I could, with matches, water, never money. Once Ned gave that guy $20 and said, “Please look out for June.” Do you know what that guy has never done? Is look out for old June. I guess he DID look out when the pizza delivery guy came.

Anyway. Tomorrow night I drive over to Lilly the person’s house and get one of her black kittens, not to be confused with my Siamese kitten I almost had and not to be confused with the boss who didn’t believe they threw a baby off that bridge. I am taking said kitten with me on Friday to Charlotte, where Edsel has an appointment with his cardiologist

“Tallulah. Eds be comin’ to join Lu, honey.”

and while I am waiting outside for Eds to have his heart checked out, I am meeting up with and inevitably catching coronavirus from my friend Marianne, who was running low on cats and offered to take one of Lilly the person’s kittens.

Lilly the person. Not to be confused with Lily my cat or the Siamese kitten or my boss or the baby that went sailing off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

Good god.

I have to go. I mean, I don’t HAVE to go, but I might catch up on a few of your tarot readings. Twelve of you asked me for them and I have read six of them so far. Remember, if you made a donation to Iris’s radiation and did not leave me a note in PayPal saying you wanted a reading, I do not know that you want a reading. So email me here at junegardens16@gmail.com ONLY if you want a reading. Use the subject title “Tarot.” Thanks! Thanks for the donations for Iris!

I’ve been letting her sleep with me because she’s sick, and I have to tell you Iris is the best little sleeper ever. She lines up her spine with yours and never fusses. If you roll over, she just moves over to where your spine is now. She is spine-align-a-da.

Have I mentioned I’m too busy? And coming up with phrases like spine-align-a-da? It literally makes no sense.

Talk to you, except talking hurts the canker sore I have that is the size of a dinner plate.
June. Not to be confused with the month. Or June Allyson for Depends. Or my boss, who threw a baby off a bridge.

T4 2

I’m a little bit on edge for two reasons: One, Edsel is in the backyard and didn’t want to come in and I know any second now he’s gonna bark at a passerby or do something else that’s gonna make me have to jump up and run out there. The second reason is I have to take Iris to the vet at 8:30 and it’s already 7:34. I act like this is a crisis of major proportions, but really if it gets close to the time to go I can just, you know, stop typing and come back to this blog when I’m done. I could even take you with me in the car and finish typing at the vet’s office parking lot, as I am not allowed to go in like I’m in one of the lower caste systems or something.

Also, my coffee has no taste. It came out glittery and singing Coldplay. So now I’m all, is it weak coffee or is it COVID? Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s plague-belline.

…Ah, good. I can smell the hydrogen peroxide on my hands. Good, good. I have hydrogen peroxide on my hands because I have a canker sore the size of a dinner plate because of course I do; what stress? So I’ve been pouring hydrogen P on it. That’s its rap name.

The vet called me Friday with Iris’s lab results. Iris has high T4s or low T4s. Whatever a T4 is, hers was not good. He gave me the radiation/pills option and he said, “I see you called about the ear gel. We can try it but my experience is that isn’t very effective.”

Then he was totally you guys, where no one believes me about pills and Iris. I mean, you all believe me but are convinced there’s a way to trick her like I haven’t pondered tricks in all this time. I told him how for 9 years she has been a nightmare about pills, and how last summer I had to give her steroids each day and she just eventually spent all her time hiding from me. He acted like I haven’t had cats all my life.

“Did you try hiding it in her food?” he asked. “Did you try a pill pocket?”

Here’s the thing. And I do it too. Before we give advice that’s at the very top of the barrel, the very first thing anyone would do, perhaps we should pause and consider what we’re saying.

“Have you tried Excedrin for migraine, June?”

“What about water? Might you just be dehydrated, JOOOOON?”

Anyway. So we’re going with radiation, which means she will be cured of hyperthyroidism. The cost is $1,675. I am selling tarot readings to help pay for it and I will put a link to my tip jar here: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/JuneGardens. If you want a reading, please in the notes section of PayPal, tell me you want a reading. Some people are all, here’s a tip for that cat but don’t give me any tarot reading, you devil worshiper.

Tell me if there’s a specific thing you want to know (love? money? family? health?) and what period of time, if any, you want me to look at.

I’m in the middle of an intense time at work, so I haven’t gotten as many readings done as I’d like but I WILL do them. So far I’ve read like 5 or 6 of you. It’s been fun! This should so be my profession. June Gardens: Tarot reader.

So that was Friday, getting that all set up with the vet. He needs a urine sample from poor Iris which I’m sure will make her happy and that’s why we need to be there at 8:30.

I worked late Friday and fell into bed resentfully.

Saturday I got up and worked. I know! TGIF! TGIS!

Finally I put my work away and showered then got the hell out of the house. I took one of my drives out to the country, which always puts me at ease other than the Confederate flags.

Then on Sunday there was an earthquake. I woke up like I was Linda Blair, with the bed shaking and all, and because I was half-awake it took a moment to figure out what was happening, but what usually happens in an earthquake is once you’ve caught on, it’s over. Not this one. This one rolled for quite awhile.

I was in the bedroom with Edsel, but he didn’t have any reaction at all. I imagine the cats wrote their congressmen but I didn’t think to check on them and it’s a shame God never saw fit to grant me children, what with my maternal instincts and all. My instinct was to stampede to Facebook and tell everyone about my earthquake while my cats were out there with their ears back.

Then I got out of bed and worked.

I also made one of my HelloFresh meals, which included a salad, and I was so excited. I know this is odd but I’ve craved salad. Since I don’t go to the store myself anymore I never think to order salad things, and I was delighted to have one from How’s it going, Fresh. It had four super greens, not just mediocre greens, and then an apple I sliced really thin. I made my own dressing with the expensive vinegar. I was so thrilled. I put it in the fridge while the fish cooked.

Finally everything was ready and I got the salad out. I was about to set it on the table when it

SLIPPED

out of my hands, and

CRASHED

into 8 hundred million tiny shards of glass. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen something shard so hard. The salad was impossible unless I wanted lettuce under glass.

…Just now, I finally got too nervous about Edsel being outside without me and went to see what the hell he was doing out there.

Just hangin’. Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. Hangin’ with Mrs. Pooper. Look at all the fallen pears. I had no time to wash my floors or pick up pears because it was either work or do something do calm down all weekend.

Sunday’s do-something-to-calm-down involved driving to work and walking on the greenway we always used to walk on at 3:00. It’s something we did for years and hope we pick back up once we can go back. Once I saw someone from another department throw us shade on Facebook. “If only we had time for a walk every day like the creative team.” Right. We don’t kill ourselves at work at all. If only we had time to watch what other people were doing.

Anyway, when I got to work I had a notification from the fine folks at Ring doorbells that someone was at my door but when I looked it was just me leaving my own house.

It was a cute video of me leaving, so I put it on Facebook then got out of the car to take my walk.

PLOOK!

PLINK!

PLOINK!

My phone was constantly going off with notifications. Texts, IMs from Facebook, you know the drill. And mostly they were about the video I’d just put up. Why do we need to discuss my Facebook post on another forum, first of all, and second of all, IT SHOWS ME LEAVING. I’M NOT HOME.

I didn’t have my reading glasses with me, either, so I couldn’t quite see the messages but everyone who messaged me kept FOLLOWING UP and I could see one person was getting offended that I wasn’t answering immediately. (!!!!)

I spoke into my phone to everyone who was plunking me: “Hi. I’m out and can’t talk right now” and every single person REPLIED AGAIN with MANY WORDS and in sum it was the least-relaxing walk I ever took. Once I told you guys I took a walk with no phone and you all had 40 fits and told me I HAD to take a phone because what if I’m KILLED, so I do and now look at the mess you made.

Then I saw this in the sidewalk and said fuck it and went home.

Then I tried to relax in my back yard but I DIDN’T EVEN GET TO SIT DOWN before a neighbor hung over my fence and talked at me till the sun went down. Picture me with a grim expression, listening to someone talk while my drink grows warm on the table and the sun leaves the building.

So that was my weekend and now I must take Iris to pee in a cup.

Life, laugh, love,
June

P.S. I did end up taking you with me to the vet. Now I’m in the parking lot typing into a laptop like a giant loser.

Grass, revisited

Somebody has eaten grass and then, you know, revisited said grass on my front porch. I discovered this today as I got up and went to the porch. It’s closer to my door than this photo below so you mercifully cannot see it.

I love this picture, by the way. Even though everyone’s trash and recycling is in it. Even though the people across the street have their giant semi in it. It’s more of a complete than a semi.

Look how Eds is staring at me like I hung the damn moon. Which I did, by the way, and I never get credit for it.

The house across the street is empty. Won’t you be my neighbor? I’ve painted such a tempting picture. A Realtor told me recently that this area is “a gem” and will be exploding in popularity soon. I can already see it, actually. Since I’ve moved in at least three other people like me* have bought houses here, and mine is no longer the expensive house. The rich-lady house. I broke the $100,000 mold, paying a big $111,000 for my abode. But just recently there have been houses selling here in the 120s. I know!

Everyone on the West Coast—or the East Coast, really—just fainted. Hey, man, I know. I lived in LA for 10 years. “Oh, this two-bedroom ranch house is cute. And just $885,000! A steal!”

Also, I assume it was a cat and not a hobo. Eating grass and revisiting it, I mean. *And by “people like me” I mean people who didn’t grow up here and get the house handed down to them, which is what most people have going on in this hood. People like me are people who have bought in and not inherited, as it were.

Is it politically incorrect to say hobo now? What is hobo even short for? I’m assuming it’s like Soho.

…I just looked it up. A bum is someone who won’t work. A tramp is someone who works when he has to. And a hobo is someone who is a traveling worker. None of these sound very sensitive. Did all these get invented in the ’30s when people couldn’t help it? Rude.

If I had the chance I would so be a bum. Or a trophy wife. What’s the difference? A trophy wife has to keep up her appearance, a thing I’m not doing, so it’s back to bum. I’ve never understood people who are rich and keep working. Why not lie around? Enjoy the fruits of your laurels?

In general, am scattered today. I still hate everything but what can you do?

I still haven’t heard from the vet about Iris’s test results. I’ve called twice and they are clearly very busy. “Vet’s office. Is this an emergency or can you hold?” So I hate to call them again. I hope today is the day. If the cute-sounding vet does say Iris needs the radiation, or if he recommends it as the best course of action, what I’ll do is come back here, say, TAROT READINGS FOR SALE and you can go to the right of this page if you’re on a desktop, or scroll to the bottom if you’re on your phone, leave a donation in tip jar, then email me—

You know what? Too hard. If he recommends radiation I will come back and put all that info in one place. But what you’ll end up doing is telling me what categories you want me to cover and the amount of time you want me to cover. Like, my love life for the next year. My career for the next two months. Etc.

If he says ear gel we’ll forgo all that, except maybe I’ll still sell tarot readings because I act like Edsel’s cardiologist visit isn’t in a week.

I just found this picture on my Ring, as well. No one has enjoyed a security device as much as I.

By the way, it was not my cats who presented me the grass that had been up inside them. My cats were in all night and this grassy discovery was first thing today. So now some RANDOM cat—hey, why didn’t Ring show me this happening?

…I just checked. Scrolled through the whole night and I can tell you when the neighbors turned off the porch light (around 11:18). No evidence of grass-filled cats coming to my porch. What gives, Ring? God. Maybe it was some sort of ghost cat. Who ate real grass from the great beyond.

Anyway I guess that’s the highlight of today so far, that someone randomly coughed grass onto my porch and I don’t know who. I’ll be back to report on Iris’s health if there’s anything new to report.

The grass is always greener on the other side,
June

Limited-time only.

My mood is one of poor. I know it’s hard to believe because normally I’m so sunny.

I cried during work yesterday, and got panicked and sweaty, for about the 40th time. Afterward, I had to take a Xanax because I couldn’t, you know, right myself.

So that’s jarring, and I couldn’t quite shake the dread and anger and sadness of that, so I took a damn Xanax and got into bed with Little House in the Big Woods, as I always turn to my Little House books when things are at their worst.

Then I woke up at 6:00 because I’d already slept 8 hours at that point and was all, “Why am I so dizzy?” I’d totally forgotten.

But here’s the other thing that’s making me blue.

Three times lately, Edsel has fallen down. Twice on his way up the back steps–well, wait. Once on this way up the steps and once on the patio on his way toward the steps. Both times I convinced myself he had, like, tripped on something. A teensy banana peel.

But lately, when I wake up, he just flumps his tail on his dog bed but doesn’t get up. I know he’s dying to join me but I think it hurts too much, despite his medication. I’ve taken to getting on his bed with him in the morning. He used to always get on the bed with me when we woke up, so now it’s just my turn to join him, that’s all.

Today I got up I petted him awhile, got the violin leg going, then said, “Let’s go outside,” which is on his list of favorites, along with breakfast and humping Lily. But when he got up, he fell over. Just splat, right onto the hardwood floor.

I hate to be Scarlett O’Hara vomiting a radish and shaking my fist at the sky, but come on.

The anniversary of my car accident is coming up: August 19. Everything had been going OK up till then. But then I had a concussion and couldn’t read or watch TV or go on the internet for a month. OK, I said. OK. I can get through this. OK.

And I did. I shopped and listened to I think it was 7 audio books.

Then Edsel got diagnosed with congestive heart failure weeks after I got better. OK. I said. He might live with that for a long time.

OK. I can do this.

Then almost immediately after that I had the “I have to pee all the time” thing, and multiple doctor visits, and 6 tests for cancer, some of them excruciating. I was horrified for months. I woke up horrified, I worked horrified, I went to bed horrified.

The worst part about terrible things happening is the part where you have to keep going. You can’t just sit in a room sobbing while people bring you coffee.

Then we sort of figured out what was going on, I had surgery, and OK. So the surgery was harder than we thought it was gonna be. OK. I can just get through this time. Also, sometimes I still have the pee feeling. But OK. I can live with it.

Then there was a pandemic.

For six months I’ve holed up here in my house while half of you parade around with your reunions and parties and play dates while I wait it out because I can’t afford to fool around with it, nor do I wish to spread it to people worse off than me. There is an old lady in my neighborhood. I am dying to talk to her. I see her on her glider in the evening, reading the paper. I won’t talk to her, though, because if I got her sick I couldn’t live with myself.

OK, I say. This is a lonely dull time and not everyone in my country cares about others. OK. That’s just how things are, but OK. I’m a tad disillusioned with where I live, but OK. My theory is the loudest protestors are the most scared. The “it’s a hoax” people are horrified. I compare them to Fitz, the feral I fostered who was so mean. I knew it was just fear and had compassion.

Something about that dog falling down today put me at my limit. I cannot say it’s OK one more moment. I cannot say I can do this one more time. I can’t. I can’t fucking do this.

Fuck it. Fuck everything.

Fuck a huge bag of all of this shit. Fuck it.

And that’s my post for today.

Thirteen, going on 13 and one day

What made clowns decide on the onesie for their look? Somewhere, the first clown had to say, Ima pull on this onesie. Maybe add a ruffle. Why? Was it because it was some sort of circus troupe and that’s all they had to wear?

Quarantine. Month six.

This is the 13th anniversary of my moving to North Carolina. We moved here when NC was having a record number of days of 100-degree heat, so that was relaxing. Here’s my first blog post from North Carolina the day after we got here. I said that very specifically because someone would delight in stampeding to say, “But that post was dated August 6, Jooooooon. You said you moved there August 5, JOOOOOON. Why didn’t you tell Marvin you had to stop schlepping boxes to blog that first day, JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON?”

We had to fly in the cats. They boarded in Los Angeles while we drove here, and once we arrived safely in NC my father had to go get them at the kennel and put them on a plane. Then Henry, Winston and the cheerful Francis all flew first class—or under the plane, whichever—to Charlotte, North Carolina. Francis totally got drunk and harassed flight attendants. Tried to cram a giant bag in the overhead. Moved his seat all the way back. He didn’t give a shit.

When I left Michigan in 1992, I spent four years in Seattle—but they were very formative years and it seems like longer. Ten years in Los Angeles, where I was either betrothed or married to Marvin. And now 13 here. Making the grand total of years I’ve been gone 139, according to my maths.

Oh, I was sad when I first got here, although “here” wasn’t Greensboro, it was a teensy little town that so far has had two COVID deaths—it’s among the counties I check. Also, I joined a book club in that town and ended up sleeping with one of the other members after I was appropriately separated. Also, Marvin joined a band in that tiny town and two of the four members hit on me, after I was appropriately separated, so I have to say I got a lot of leg out of TinyTown.

Now I like it here. In Greensboro. I drove around this weekend because it’s my new way of killing time, although I have a fear of having to pee. Where do all y’all pee now? This is actually relevant because in a few days I have to drive Edsel to Charlotte for his cardiologist appointment and I KNOW I can’t drive him all the way to Charlotte, wait for his appointment, then drive back and not pee. Do I need adult diapers like that astronaut who was definitely an anxious attacher?

Do tell.

Anyway, I drove around the country this weekend, for maybe two hours, which is an amount of time I can go without peeing. I am a rock.

In all, ’twas a fruitful drive. I even stopped at Arby’s, and let me tell you something shocking. In the last six months, I’ve gotten fast food very seldom, and each time I do it’s so awful! What gives? Are they cooking it different or am I losing my taste for it now that I’m Chef Do Tell?

Last night I made rice with ginger in it, and a stir fry of pork, scallions and green beans. I now own three pans. I KNOW! But I hate to think I’ve lost m’taste for the food that is fast. It’s who I am, like Tara. It’s where I get my strength.

I have to go. It’s six minutes till I should officially be “at work” and I need to gird my loins with coffee. You know what it is that stresses me out? It’s not that lots of work is ahead. It’s the unpredictability that stresses me. If they say, “Here’s a project. It will take 9 hours. Go do it and bring it back.” If they say that, I am glad to do it. But “Here’s a project. It will take 9 — oh, wait. Work on this thing instead and still get the — oh! Can you also do this? Why not? Hey, are you done with the 9-hour thing yet? Why not?”

It’s the lack of control of what’s coming at me that makes me tense, I’ve realized. A lot of work, I can do. Unpredictable work, that’s what makes a pearl in my oyster.

That sounded dirty.

Anyway, it’s time.

Loins. Girded.
June. JOOOOOOOOON.

Little inflammation on the prairie

We’re having a hurricane today, because of course we are. I said good morning to my Google Home, which is saying a lot because you know how I detest the phrase “good morning” or anything close to it, and yet that’s how you get your Google Machine—as my mother calls it—to tell you the news of the day. You have to say, “Good morning, Google” and every day my insides rankle. Then your Google Machine says, “Good morning. June.” or at least mine does. Then it tells you the weather, the headlines, you know the drill.

Today, Google Machine ended with, “A hurricane local statement has been issued. Have a good one.” And by the way, he won’t tell me WHAT the local statement is, and if you ask him, he defines what a local weather statement is. Computers. We don’t have them all mapped out yet.

Anyway, a hurricane. Sure. Sure, we are. Of course we are.

In my Little House series, not that I wrote them, there’s one book titled The Long Winter, and I hate to spoil things for you but there’s a long winter involved in the plot, a winter that actually happened. I mean, all winters actually happen, but I’m saying Laura Ingalls Wilder describes a horrific series of storms that really did hit her town in 1888.

This is a picture taken near her town with iPhone 1, where the snow is as tall as the damn train, which is what I might have titled my book instead of The Long Winter. Look at that tiny man atop the train. We’re talking snow.

What happened was, these storms would swirl up, starting in October, y’all. October. There was no pumpkin spice anything for Laura Ingalls Wilder, because out in the prairie, if there’s a blinding snowstorm, you have to stay home. If you’re wandering from, say, Ye Olde Starbucks to your house? If you miss your house because you can’t see due to the storm? You could just keep walking endlessly into the open prairie and freeze to death like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.

Also I like how the 1888 coffee shop is Olde English. The coffee shop that polishes your furniture.

The snow storms of 1888 were relentless. They’d swirl and howl and refuse to wear a mask and carry on and Wi-Fi was spotty at best and everyone had to huddle in one room where the stove was. It would blow for days like my college roomate, then blissfully shut up, unlike my college roomate, then a day or so later another one would come. They had to tie a rope from the house to the stable so they wouldn’t get lost between them and do the dreaded walk of shame into the prairie.

Now we pay big money for cryotherapy to freeze. I’ll bet inflammation wasn’t a big deal on the prairie.

Eventually the trains could not get through and the whole town ran out of food and Laura and her family lived on just wheat UNTIL APRIL, and Ma’s keto was shot to hell.

My point of telling you all this is this: At one point Pa, who was mellow and cheerful and whom I loved as a kid and now when I read his antics I’m all, Jesus. Get it the fuck together, Pa. But anyway Pa, who was usually so happy-go-not-lucky, at one point stood up. He was full of wheat and rage. He shook his fist at the wind and said, come at us, motherfucker. Come at us. Go ahead and try. Then Laura allegedly sings some inspirational song that I feel certain was a plot embellishment from old Rose Wilder Lane, Laura’s daughter, who incidentally wrote a book called Let the Hurricane Roar and here we are full circle.

And that’s how I feel about a hurricane during a pandemic. Oh, let the damn hurricane roar. Stop trying to fucking scare me with everything. If everything’s a priority, nothing’s a priority. Cut it out.

As I typed this, daring whatever to come my way, poor Iris just threw up all over the vintage tablecloth I washed and ironed two days ago. Also, that was the last of her food, and I have to put on a mask and my haz-mat suit and get her more later today if there’s not a hurricane blowing through town. So now she’s meowing for food and I’m all, You just HAD food. It was there in your stomach. If you’d keep things in their rightful place you wouldn’t be in this dilemma.

I did call the vet about her yesterday, and the chippie who answered said she didn’t think they HAD ear gel there, but that she’d ask the vet and call me back but she never did. I know they will call me eventually this week, with the more detailed labs, and now I am picturing a yellow Lab with great attention to detail. Sort of a Lottie Blanco Lab. Labby Blanco.

If you were going to get a Lab, would you get yellow, black, red or the controversial silver? I saw a silver Lab puppy once and I have never forgotten how beautiful it was.

Anyway, I have to go. The Poet and I are splitting a magazine this week. She doesn’t work Mondays, so they sent it to me to start it, and I worked on it all day yesterday. I am hoping to get a few more pages done before she gets to work, and by “gets” I mean she turns on her computer. My goal is for her to say, “Oh, wow, I don’t have to do much of this at all!”

Then she’ll wander into the prairie with her celebratory Olde Spice latte, never to be seen again.

Love,
Ten-Topics June

Hyper Iris

As you know, from the messages your local town crier keeps bleating in the square, Iris hasn’t been feeling well for about a year. She looked bad last year, her fur falling out in chunks.

(The group I hung out with in college included one of the three Finnish people on our campus of 50,000. He used to kvetch that he could not meet a woman. “Women all want a chunk. You don’t want a man like me. You want chunks.”

He meant hunks. Chunks. Oh my god. My best friend ended up dating him for years, even after college, not caring if he was a not a chunk. Talk about your long-distance relationship.

Anyway.)

I took her to the vet—Iris, not my friend who liked the Fin. Although once I dressed as a mermaid for Halloween and complained I couldn’t walk because of my fin. “Sometimes neither can I,” she said, nudging me like she was a construction worker.

The vet said Iris had either irritable bowel disorder (IBD) or cancer, which was relaxing. Apparently it’s hard to tell the difference, and to find out for shizzle she’d need exploratory surgery. So we treated it like IBD and hoped for the best. Part of that treatment was giving her a steroid pill every day.

….!

I have somewhere in my blog archives a photo of Iris as a kitten, foaming at the mouth because I’d given her a pill. She is the nicest cat, and yet when you give her a pill? Oh my god. She Flails, Fights and Foams till I don’t give another F. She will not swallow the pill. She will defiantly foam until the pill is gone.

And yet for several months last year, I did this with her, I think two times a day. It got to the point where she hid from me all the time, and I was starting to think she’d be better off dying of her stomach condition than to have to live under the couch all the time, avoiding me.

But then the steroids made her really sick. They lowered her immune system and she got that hunched-cat look that sick cats get, and instead of avoiding me under the couch, she insisted on going outside and hunching against the house. I think it was warmer there than my AC meat-locker house.

I get hot flashes.

I took her to a second vet because that was ridiculous, and instead of steroids we put her on a special diet that costs a lot and that Milhous loves. He would much rather have Iris’s special stomach food than his own delicious in-my-prime food. The whole time Iris eats I have to watch, or Milhous will jump up and shove her aside and eat her food, and she stands there helplessly because she’s Iris.

Anyway. We did that all last year and this active, go-places year, then as of late there was so much drama with my vet, and the office closed, and I had to get a new vet. Vets are my new doctor.

I made an appointment for the I. at the new place, as her fur was falling out again. And she was doing nothing but standing on the kitchen table and screeching at me for food. In fact, when I went to put a photo of her on this blog, I realized I have none. I had w94934030r9394304 of everyone else, but none of her. She’s not been socializing with the rest of us. Also she is heavier and yet I can feel her spine.

I got down the carrier on Saturday morning, which all cats get obsessed with and repelled by, like all my relationships. They all walk low and sniff the carrier and hustle away, then creep back like they’re hyenas and the carrier is a dead antelope being munched on by lions.

Except for Milhous, who opened the cage door and got right inside. Settled in. I had to dump him out to put Iris in. Never in my life have I had a cat just get in that carrier for fun.

Anyway, I told the vet how all Iris does now is stand on the kitchen table and screech at me. My theory was her stomach was worse and she thought eating would help.

It turns out her stomach is doing fine. The IBD is under control The eleventy-thousand-dollar special food is working for her. But now?

She also has hyperthyroid. Her thyroid is a contestant on The Price is Right.

I didn’t even know that was a thing, but apparently it is and after talking with you all on (Face)Book of June this weekend, it happens rather a lot. The vet could feel it in her neckeldy area, her thyroid I mean, and her bloodwork was just this side of high. He suggested we send it to the lab to tell us more and I agreed. I don’t know what more it’s gonna tell us, but I enjoy my bill being as high as possible.

And speaking of a high bill, here is the other part.

My choices, he told me, were to give her a pill every day

…..!

forever.

Or I could have this radiation treatment done for her. It’d be a one-time only thing, and it would get rid of the hyperthyroid condition. The cost? $1,600. They don’t do it at his office but that’s the amount he recalled it being.

Oy.

So that’s the choice I wanted, but you’ll be stunned to hear I don’t have $1,600 right off the bat. What I’m going to do, then, is allegedly I will hear today from the lab, get pills for her as a result of those results, then pill her

……!!!

until I can save up for the radiation treatment.

So I had this brilliant plan in mind when I went to (Face)Book of June on Saturday, offering to shill my wares. What I said I’d do is give anyone a tarot reading for, like, what $5? $10? A donation? And I’d keep doing that till I’d saved enough money for this.

Lots of you said you were in, and on Saturday I read quite a few tarot cards.

But then there’s a reader, Rita, who’s been reading me for 10 years now. She used to work at a vet’s office and she said, “Why didn’t they tell you about the ear cream?”

The ear cream?

Apparently there’s an ear cream I can also put on Iris that is the same as giving her the pill, and the cost is more reasonable than, you know, $1,600.

So NOW I plan to call there as soon as they open to ask if we can opt for that.

And that leaves me in a awkward position. Because something like five or 10 of you donated to Iris’s cause and some said, “Do NOT give me a tarot reading, June” because some of you don’t want to hear any bad news. I understand this, as I give myself a tarot reading every month and sometimes it says bad things and it makes me nervous all month. The bad isn’t usually as bad as I think it’s gonna be, but I’m on edge all month, waiting.

Anyway, if you are a person who donated to this cause and did NOT want a tarot reading, I will return your donation as soon as I find out we don’t have to go with the radiation treatment. Your donations are just sitting there in PayPal in my tip jar. I just have to hit a button to refund it, I think.

If we DO have to give her radiation, I will be back to shilling tarot readings. It’s my one skill. I guess I could copy edit something for you. We’ll cross that Iris’s expensive bridge when we get to it.

So that’s all, other than that I was considering taking one of Lilly’s kittens but I think the timing is not conducive to a whole NEW kitten right now. I hate it when I have to parent myself. Also, I mean Lilly the person and not my cat. Not that Lilly the person had kittens. Don’t be obtuse.

Anyway, that sums up my weekend, was obsessing about that, and now it’s time for work and I will update you as events warrant.

Concernedly,
June

You know how sometimes I write about nothing?

I sat down here to type you and just as I was poised for my first word of nonsense, Milhous jumped up here and knocked an entire cup of coffee off the table. Remember yesterday when you discouraged me from driving them all to a field? Now look what you’ve done.

By the way, no one laughed at my brilliance with “feld not field” yesterday.

Let’s say you actually don’t know this. My last name ends in feld. Like Ziegfeld Follies. Like Seinfeld. And yet? Every single day of my life I get called “field.” Well. Not now, because I go almost nowhere so no one can call me anything but invisible.

I have been taking walks after my workouts and as a result have ended up socially distantly sitting in my neighbor R’s yard a bit more. She has a fire pit that of course isn’t going RN because it’s 407 degrees out. But she has a nice bricked area and Adirondack chairs, which for some reason Ned always called hurricane chairs and now I want to say that too and god help me.

He also called Mel Blanc “Mel Watt” and I want to do that too.

I know we’ve discussed this before but it always tickles me: What do you say wrong because someone said it wrong? It’s usually a child who fucks it up first, as they do everything. My cousin Maria said someone was “big-bone-ded” once and now I always say that, and it’s good I didn’t become an orthopedist. “Madam, I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re big-bone-ded.” If I were a doctor I’d call people madam and sir. I’d also twist my mustache knowingly instead of Nairing it.

Anyway, look:

Look at my poor pear tree! It’s literally weighed down with fruit. I guess I have to, I don’t know, trim it? After it sheds its fruit? Somebody hep me. HEH. Good god. [Stagehand gets cape]

That tree is nothing but work. You cannot eat the pears. They never get soft. Be sure to tell me to put them in a bowl or paper bag. But there must be SOME way to get them edible. I sometimes wonder if Trudy the fox comes in and eats them at night. Someone does, as when I endlessly clean them some are munched, but we also have a squirrel who risks his life daily to hang in this yard so it might be he. Between Milhous and Edsel trying to kill him on the daily I can’t imagine what keeps him here. Maybe he’s a pear addict.

That ovary hanging on the tree is one of a trio of wasp deterrents my mother sent me at my birthday. Allegedly the wasps see it and take their gin and tonics and go elsewhere. They think it’s a large, impressive wasp nest. It’s kind of like how a man will aggressively hit on you till you say you have a boyfriend, and all of a sudden he respects the man and leaves you alone.

Anyway my pear tree looks like it belongs in McDonaldland or something, doesn’t it?

I risked the COVID and went to Lowe’s this weekend for a rake so I could gather ye pearbuds while ye may. I entered through the outdoor garden part, grabbed the rake like I was in some sort of race against time—literally—and paid outside at the garden center. Then I came home and Howard Hughes’d my hands. I like how I see some people on social media all, “Here we are, all 70 of us from around the country, on our annual trip!” and I’m running out of Lowe’s like it’s burning building. I’m Pee Wee Herman with the snakes running out of there.

Speaking of kittens, and we weren’t, but we always kind of are, since the angry feral mom ran off and abandoned her children, Chris and Lilly have moved all the kittens into their screened-in side porch. I sort of can’t imagine and also totally envy their chaos. If that damn mom comes back there pregnant again I can’t imagine the kind of trouble she’ll be in with C&L. Raising her passel of mealy-mouthed brats.

I gotta go. I got 2 hours into a task at work yesterday and I had the wrong version. So now I’m behind. Also I have to make more coffee; thanks, Milhous. If he were any kind of a good cat he’d be prancing in the kitchen on his blond hindies, making it himself.

Usefully,
June

The day June got over cats

Lily injured me last night and it’s so cringey and disgusting that I won’t tell you how.

OK, I will.

She was on the coffee table and was trying to lug her girth over to the couch, which for a cat should be easy. (I guess I should have alerted you I was speaking of Lily my cat rather than Lilly my friend. Lilly my friend has no girth and she certainly wasn’t trying to leap from my coffee table to the couch. I would have lead with that. Although I guess I AM leading with that but never you mind.)

Anyway, I was absolutely exhausted, as I am wont to be lately. I get up and immediately get to work nowadays, and all day long while I’m working on one thing I get notices to work on something else. When the day is finally over, I have my trainer Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and on a day I don’t, like today, I have some other “as soon as work is over” plan. Like, today, I am going to Bona the wood floor in the living room, as I had the area rug taken out to be cleaned because you’ll be stunned to hear that after two years of dog and cat action that rug has grown dingy.

It gets back tomorrow, the area rug does, so tonight is my big chance.

Oh. And Bona is a wood-floor-cleaning system that works great.

Anyway, so by about 8:00 I am usually at the lying-on-my-couch-staring-blankly part of my evening, as I find myself absolutely drained these days.

I was in that state when Lily the cat lugged her girth over to the couch, except she did not make it over the SIX INCHES that exist between table and couch, and instead was commencing to fall between the two, except she

USED
MY
ARM

to cling on. It was a cliffhanger. An armhanger. I had a beautiful girl hanging on my arm, literally. She was like that guy in the old silent movie who hangs from the clock. So, ALL OF HER CONSIDERABLE WEIGHT was hanging BY CLAWS off my arm.

I am sorry to tell you that I screamed, because the pain was exquisite, and she freaked out and spent much time trying to remove her claws from my arm, which by the way was even exquisiter. Then she did the thing where she waddled off huffily, ears back, and normally this would be the part of the human/cat relationship where I am following fruitlessly, saying, “I’m so SORRY, Kitty! Come here, Kitty!” but at that point I just wanted both of us dead.

Today I have a perfectly paw-shaped gouge on my arm and it hurts like Hades. Please be sure to tell me how cat things can get infected because I haven’t had billions of cats my whole life or anything.

In sum, cat for sale.

Anyway, how are you? I found yesterday’s organization tips wonderful, and was particularly enamored of Laura who sent links out her ASS. This is so great! Once I Bona the floor and have arm removed I will get started on purging books. Then I will get some dividers for closet, but I have to wait a pay period, as area-rug cleaning was pricey.

Other than that nothing is new except NOTHING stops Milhous from clawing the furniture. He doesn’t care if you clap your hands or say a sharp, “No!” Edsel gets U-shaped, but Mil cares not. He likes getting squirted. He ADORED clawing past the tape I put up.

My next idea is to drive all three cats to a field, not a feld. I’ll take Iris just on principle. Drive them all out, never have cats again. Be one of those people with a tidy home and no fur on her clothes. Delete all the cat-related pages I follow, which will mean I will have one page I follow on Kate Middleton. Who by the way, has no cats and her clothes are impeccable.

I have to go. I have 10 hours of work ahead of me and then it’s Bona time. It’s like hammer time but with no big pants.

Cat lady-ly,
June

P.S. Speaking of Lilly, the mean, angry feral mom cat ESCAPED a few days ago! She got out of the cage, out of the room with a door and out of the garage. HOW? But she did. So now they are taking care of all 8 kittens even harder than they were before. I am now speaking of my friend Lilly and not my cat Lilly. Oy.