Relax, it’s Palmolive.

Friday evening, after my workweek, I was ready for the weekend, and by ready I mean I lay on my bed and cried while tears fell in my ears. I did that for quite awhile Friday; ’tis how I ready myself to PARRRRTAYYY. Actually, it’s been a long time since I cried, as I no longer have a soul.

Anyway I am not making this up; at around 7:30, Ned called, of all people. I haven’t talked to Ned in I don’t know how long. I know we were locked down, but it was definitely early in this process. April? ish?

We ended up talking for three hours, and he told me how he’d gone downtown to help with the destruction after the protests, and I told him … I don’t even know what I told him. Oh, I remember telling him how the lawn guy broke my storm door, and about how then a few days later a neighbor knocked on the door and there was no barrier and after 15 minutes standing in my threshold she said, “Oh, I’ve just been feeling terrible: aches, a fever, my lungs feel terrible.”

I know I told him that hair-raising tale.

And, you know, when I saw those pictures of people downtown with drills and so on, I told myself, Ned is in there somewhere. I just knew.

So it was nice to talk to him, to tell you the truth. It was good to catch up. It’s amazing that there’s anything to catch up ON when you’re mostly confined to home. But it turns out stuff happens to you anyway.

“I’ve really gotten sort of used to it,” said Ned. “I don’t really mind it that much anymore.”

We have Stockholm Syndrome.

Anyway, on Saturday morning I rushed Edsel to the vet, and by rushed I mean I got up, had coffee, did my trainer, so to speak, and then worried because Edsel had no collar.

His old collar wouldn’t work, and I’d ordered him a new one which arrives tomorrow, and didn’t think it’d be that big a deal for him to not have a collar for a few days until I considered EDSEL AT A VET, with DOGS meandering about, and does it annoy you to have to read year after year how life just sort of washes over me with no preparation or forethought on my part? Why don’t I have a BACKUP collar? I have backup eyeglasses. I have backup soap. My mother got me enough backup laundry detergent to last seven lifetimes like Shirley Maclaine.

I settled on a jaunty silk scarf for the Eds

when it occurred to me the vet might have something they could loan me. Turns out they have these leash things they can use like a collar, so Edsel did not have to arrive at the vet looking like a career girl from 1973.

I used my resistance band as a leash/collar to get him from my house to the car. Worked!

One might wonder why I HAVE a silk scarf, given all the outfits you’ve seen me in completed with the look. It had been on a purse. You know how purses were wearing scarves for awhile?

My point is this. And there is a point.

I dropped Eds off curbside, then went for a walk because it’s in a pretty neighborhood and I had time to kill.

Eventually, I thought, man, I feel sort of uncomfortable, and I asked my phone the temp and it turned out I was walking around in 90-degree heat. That meant what else could I do but zip over to Sonic and get a chili dog while Edsel convalesced. I was JUST BITING the first bite when

RING!

I knew that was gonna happen.

“He-woah?” I chewed, trying to sound professional and not at all like Elmer Fudd giving a blowie.

It was the vet, as I knew it would be, filling me in on all that was Edsel. First of all, he’s got some sort of fungal infection on his foot and now not only do I have to give him three pills in the morning and three at night, I also now have to bathe his foot in medicated shampoo

THREE TIMES A DAY, soaking it

TEN MINUTES AT A TIME

and I want you to know he doesn’t at all act like Madge’s clients with the Palmolive. “Dishwashing liquid!?”

Anyway, that is not my point, and I do have one.

“Tell me more about the heart condition,” said the vet, who frankly sounded cute. I’ll never know. The vet will forever be on the Dating Game with me behind a wall.

I’d written him a tome about Edsel but I sort of repeated all that, now with embellishment, and here’s what he said.

“Well, I’ve listened to his heart and I don’t think he does have congestive heart failure.”

You … you WHAT?

“We can’t be sure. We need an EKG and an ultrasound.” Eds has had an ultrasound at the last place, but the vet told me she wasn’t an expert at doing them, but that she’d seen enough to tell her he had congestive heart failure.

But what if she’s wrong?

We have to go to a specialist, in Charlotte, and it’s going to be 600 freaking dollars, but between you, me and the 10 others here, that’s 3 months of medication for us anyway. So if he doesn’t need this medication, you get the drift.

The vet is giving me a referral and in a few weeks I’ll take a personal day and Eds will put on his jaunty driving scarf and we’ll head to the big city for a heart test.

The first thing I thought about Sunday when I woke up is, “EDS MIGHT NOT BE DYING!”

Ever since I got the news about his heart last fall, I’ve been buying his food in four-pound bags so I won’t be stuck with extra. I have a plan with TinaDoris that her husband will come help me dig a hole. I’ve been living like this dog is dying and MAYBE HE ISN’T.

Oh my god.

So that was my big news this weekend, other than it was Hulk’s birthday this weekend and he proposed.

It’s been a big weekend, I guess.

Newsworthily,
June

Hawaii 5-5. Or, spine-tacular.

“It’s my afterbirth day,” I said to Miss Doxie in a text, and then I found a justice of the peace who would marry me in the simple suit I’d picked out for my cat wedding.

Really, you need to come here every day or you miss things.

Anyway, hello. Yesterday was my birthday,

a birthday I am having in the midst of a pandemic and I know I am not the first or the last. People were nice anyway and I am now on my TWO WEEKS OF LOCKDOWN because who was too social? Was it me?

I know my mother enjoys counting how many calls and cards she got after her birthday, kind of a tally of how important she is to everyone, but I never do that. I did notice, however, that I got messages from my doctor, my credit union, my mammogram place, my dentist, my insurance agent and even

my chiropractor. Who’s Karen? Are they insulting me?

The Lottie Blancos, who live 45 minutes away, zipped over to drop off 8 pounds of food, and see my little house back there? Ima be growing too large for it. Note my sparkly face mask from Faithful Reader Paula H&B.

I was kind of hoping it’d be a light workday but

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

and I didn’t get to have lunch or fun or anything all day, but when the workday was done, there was a knock on my door and there was TinaDoris! She came over with a card and we chatted a bit till Marty Martin showed up, bearing cupcakes. She didn’t have one and please see above references to TinaDoris being hot. (And by “above” I mean all photos of her from 2011 to the present.) This is why.

Marty Martin and I, who know we are hot on the inside, ate, drank and merried ourselves in a simple suit. We realized I’ve spent, like, every birthday with him for the last 5 years.

I also got cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries from my mother, and if TinaDoris had been here she’d have said no to them, too. Then she might have looked in the mirror and reached for her simple suit to marry herself.

I have to get over that line. Not to mention when have I ever opted for simple anything. My tablecloth alone answers that Q.

Anyway, as pandemic birthdays go it was not too shabby. At the end of the day, I watched Real Housewives, and maybe that sounds terrible to you but it was a perfect birthday extravaganza ending for me.

Double-five-ly,
June

I can’t drive FIFTY-FIVE. You’re welcome.

I awoke this morning to this from Marvin:

That does, indeed, wrap it up. And look, I am not officially 55 until this afternoon. I was born on a Friday at 4:52 p.m. Happy hour.

My grandmother, the one I’ve turned into, told me on one of my much-earlier birthdays that if you are very careful and quiet, right at the minute of your birthday you can hear your number click over. Every year I say I’m gonna listen for my click and I forget. One year I was IN THE CAR on my birthday, driving to Michigan, and had NOTHING BETTER TO DO, and forgot.

Further reports as developments warrant.

I began my nonstop partying last night, with a socially distant-ish visit to Chris and Lilly. We were outside or on their screened-in porch the whole time, and we kept far apart. Their kids think I am berserk.

I went there technically to see their new cats. A few months ago, Lilly was at work at their feed and garden store and heard rustling in the straw and instead of screaming and getting a boy she just no-nonsense-ly went over and looked. There was an angry gray feral cat who’d given birth to, you know, kittens.

This is one of the kittens. How enraged does this make you? How many SCORES of kittens have I had in this house, both found and delivered to me by the shelter, and were there any magnificent Siameseses? There were not.

Chris and Lilly also saved a sleek beautiful soft black kitten, but both hate me and photos were scarce.

Anyway, I loved them both and wish to marry them in a simple ceremony where I will wear a well-cut suit. And the other good news, other than my upcoming nuptials, is they have the mom cat and were readying her to be spayed when SHE WAS SOMEHOW PREGNANT AGAIN and I don’t know how that works, but now she’s in their garage with EIGHT MORE KITTENS, and she hates everything including Chris and Lilly who are now taking care of 13 cats, 10 of them hers, and situations like this make me chortle.

They’ve got, like, three crates mooshed together, with this extra room all covered up in a drape, so she can get away and swear to herself and watch Bravo.

Anyway, meet my next kitten, unless the person who already said he was taking this kitten takes it, but I’ve already arranged his mysterious execution, so…

So if anyone’s in the market for a kitten, the rest look all black or maybe eventually gray. There are seriously eight of them, but really seven because that one up there is mine. There is nothing wrong with owning 4 cats.

After we were done looking at kittens I looked at the rest of the animals, and how tiring it must be to have me over.

That was a line from Young Frankenstein.

Anyway, then we had homemade madeleines and homemade peach ice cream, which it turns out is better than ice cream you buy. C & L gave me a honeysuckle candle I burned the minute I got home, some lovely little flowered notebooks (I adore little notebooks), a flowered bag I put my makeup in already and a really cool pink leather bookmark that she and her sister MADE. I follow her sister on Instagram and love everything she makes.

They also gave Edsel a chew toy for his birthday that he took into the other room and chewed on his own for like 30 minutes. Edsel never leaves me, but he did to go chew his toy.

In all, ’twas a lovely evening.

Tonight, Marty Martin is coming over to sit distantly from me and celebrate from across the yard at each other, and after tonight I am going two weeks with no human contact and I will monitor every twinge.

‘Tis the way of my people. My sheeple, of you’re one of those.

Annually,
June

And the princess had proofreading

I’m gonna tell you about this day.

I work with a person who is just great. She’s so organized. Last week, on the 9th, whenever that was, she said, “June, next Tuesday, Ima need you all day long. I’ve already gotten the permissions and go-aheads and blessings and the Pope has been here to wave his hand around.”

OK, I said. Then on Friday, whatever day that was, I said, “We’re still on for Tuesday?”

“Yep. All day. If you can’t get it done Tuesday, you have till Wednesday morning to finish up.”

I reminded the other copy editors yesterday. “I’m on an all-day project tomorrow, don’t forget.”

When I woke up this morning, my first thought was, Somebody’s gonna give me work to do even though I have an all-day assignment. I was psychic or something. I was Dionne Warwick. And sure enough, when I logged on today, there were already several messages. “June, can you do this?” “Hey, June, this here’s for later today.” “June?” “Say, June.” “Oh, Juuuuuune…”

And so on.

I kept having to write back. “Just a reminder that I’m booked ALL DAY today.”

There’s a scene in Sex and the City, where Charlotte calls Samantha, and Samantha says, “Charlotte, I told you. I’m going to be masturbating. ALL DAY. I told you I’d be doing that.”

I kept thinking of that every time I sent that message.

So anyway, the organized person sent me the work when she said she would, and did I mention she’s a dream? She sent me the Very Large Assignment, and let me tell you it was large, Marge. And detailed. I was working on it all day. I told you I’d be doing that.

So I started, and I worked, and I wrote, “I’m booked ALL DAY” messages as they came in, prodding at me via email and our chat feature and a singing telegram from a singer dressed as Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee. I worked through lunch, and I worked through dinner.

At 5:30, when a normal person might be winding down for the day, there was a knock on my door. “You got the paint?”

It was my neighbor. I’d forgotten that this was the day he was coming to start to paint my porch ceiling. So I got out the paint and the brushes and the tape and the tray and the Pope and the Chef Boy-Ar-Dee.

We dragged the furniture off the porch, and he undid the fan from the ceiling, and I washed the blades and then I ran back in to keep working.

I got a message. “Can you finish the work tonight?”

Tonight? I thought I … I thought I had till morning. Oh, dear.

Just then, PING!

A reminder that I had my trainer in 10 minutes. SON OF A …

I spoke to the person in charge of the work I was doing. “Oh, do your trainer,” she said. “It’ll help your energy. Can you get the work done by 9:30?” I really like the person in charge of the work, and my job so rarely asks me to work late, so I said OK. I worked out with my trainer, and taking my delicious water back to the laptop, I began working again.

“Hey, June, do you have a rag?” asked the guy who was painting my ceiling.

I got a rag.

“I just need a bucket.”

I got the bucket. I also kicked the bucket, so stressed was I. Elizastress, I’m comin’ to join ya, honey.

PING!

“Hey, June!”

Oh, SON OF A FUCKING …

I had a DATE tonight. A DATE. We were supposed to meet up and I’d 100% forgotten. I told him what was happening over there, as I tried to copy edit and message him at the same time lest I miss my 9:30 deadline.

Oh, lort. There goes the end of that fairytale romance. And the princess had proofreading, and they lived happily estranged forever.

So that’s rescheduled, allegedly, and I just settled down to panickedly return to work when

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

WHAT? WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT?

“Hello, June, I’m the camera doorbell person you scheduled for this time 20 days ago back when life was sedate.”

And that is when I ran an ax clean across my own head.

I got rid of that guy, returned to my work, and after a relaxing 13-hour day I uploaded the job.

It wouldn’t upload.

I tried again.

It wouldn’t upload.

I took the ax out of my head and tried again, ready to weep.

Finally I sent it a different way and the person in charge of the work got it, and wrote me back five minutes later.

“It came through all messed up. Can we go through it together?”

Before I was able to go out and throw myself off a building, she wrote back. “Oh, it came through okay the second time! Thanks, June!”

And that is my day so far. It’s only 9:43. Any number of other things could happen, and let me tell you I warmly embrace them all.

Splish

Before I begin, let me mention that Milhous is at the water dish, and Edsel came in from outside wanting water, so with his 10-year-old, bad-hearted, arthritic self he minced over there, saw Milhous drinking, and walked away.

“You can share!” I said brightly, injecting myself into the dynamic that is my pets. “Everyone can drink from the bowl! Let’s pretend we’re antelopes at the watering hole!”

But Edsel wouldn’t do it. He walked away, head low.

Oh, I was worried. He needs his water. He’d been in the bedroom with me all night, not drinking (I should really put a bowl in there, shouldn’t I?) and then he went outside in the July sun and now he’s acquiescing to a yellow cat.

splish splish splat

splish splish splaoot

When Milhous is done delicately lapping at the water bowl, he enjoys putting his foot in there and splashing the water all across the kitchen floor. It’s why I’m having him put down later today. “Edsel, now he’s just playing with the water like an elephant,” I said. “Let’s go back and get water.”

He wouldn’t do it. He allowed Milhous this private time and won’t be doing any interviews of him during this trying time.

GODDAMMIT. So now Edsel is over on his living room bed, probably dying of dehydration, while Milhous is satisfiedly cleaning his toes.

As you can see, there’s a can of paint on my floor that should be up on my porch ceiling. I went with Meander Blue.

I got it Sunday afternoon but didn’t see my neighbor and felt bad knocking on his door saying, The paint is here! Come paint for me for free on a Sunday! I’ll just wait till I see him, which I guarantee you will be in the next 46 seconds. He’s a very visible neighbor.

For someone in isolation, I got out and about this weekend and am riddled with coronavirus now.

On Saturday I had to get up fairly early because I had my trainer. Whose cockamamie idea was it to see her 3x a week? Now all I ever do is get out a sports bra. I see her ass again tonight. Yeesch.

Anyway I got up early and had nutritious coffee so I’d be at my best during my workout, and then as soon as I was done with my rigorous Rocky training I had to STAMPEDE to the kitten room and get them in a carrier, oh the breezy getting-ferals-in-a-container technique, and head to the shelter so they could get their shots, which were at this point overdue because GETTING FERALS IN CONTAINERS.

I did it, though, by putting spoons of baby food at the back of each carrier. I was able to just pick up Hissy like a normal cat and get her in there, but Fitz slowly, slowly oh my god SLOWLY went in there. The noises they made on the way to the shelter were noises I never heard cats make. When we got there, it was, you know, Saturday at the shelter, so I sat outside on a corona bench waiting my turn and getting a viral load.

I looked in the carriers and Fitz turned his back to me, which will break my heart forever.

After their shots were done, the shelter vet came out and said she thought they should keep them there, as they have taming-feral techniques that might help Fitz better than I was able to. I didn’t know this was the END of Hissy and Fitz, and I got my usual combination of sadness and relief.

This was the last picture I ever took of Fitz, who didn’t hang around my cats really at all but did enjoy seeing Milhous, who ran in there whenever I opened the door to take out litter or refill water (always water with that cat).

Anyway, the drive home was a lot quieter than the drive there. It took about an hour to clean that room of the myriad kitten things.

I have these five girl cousins from Detroit. A few times a year, my aunt and uncle would round them all up and bring them over to gramma’s (the nice one, not the one I turned into). The whole weekend would be chaos and jokes and things getting moved, and then they’d go. I’d stand on the porch with gramma, waving goodbye till their car was out of sight. When we’d go back in, she’d inevitably end up saying, “Isn’t it so quiet and sad?”

As an only child who was basically a piece of furniture over at gramma’s—I was there constantly—I could see how the atmosphere was … different, and yes, sad, but I was also completely overloaded and relished the quiet of just the click of her maple leaf clicking back and forth on her cuckoo clock.

Anyway, wasn’t it so quiet and sad Saturday after the kittens were gone? No more mysterious thumps coming from that room. No more things being knocked over. I hope Fitz gets unferal and has a good life. Hissy will be 100% fine.

The good news is Edsel didn’t have his usual after-kitten depression because he didn’t get to know this batch.

On Sunday, I was so bored I couldn’t even stand it, so I got in the car and drove around. I drove past my old house, and down past the neighbors whom I had given puppy Ava after Edsel ate her.

I think it’s been four years since that day. I was kind of thinking of Ava when

THERE THEY WERE!

The whole family was outside! I rolled down my window. I’ve had 87 cars since I lived there.

“JUNE!!” they all shouted, running to the car, including

growed-upildy Ava! Oh she’s such a wire-haired muffin.

I sat outside and talked to the neighbors for 15 minutes, which I mentally timed because that’s catch-COVID time.

I was so glad to hear what was new and to see Ava and their collection of lovely cats, including a silky-haired beautiful black one and a grand, bob-tailed orange one who looks like a lion. Basically I left my dog and cats to go visit other dogs and cats.

I knew the dad of the house had been a doctor, but what I learned that day was he was a doctor FOR THIS MILL. All his patients had come from the mill that everyone in this neighborhood worked for. Isn’t that weird?

Small world. Wouldn’t wanna paint it. You know what else I don’t wanna paint? My porch ceiling. Where’s my neighbor?

Anyway on Sunday I ended up going for a long walk with a neighbor from THIS neighborhood, my neighbor R. So now I’ve done so much socializing that I have nine kinds of The Virus.

You can see I have humidity curl up at m’forehead, whereas the rest of my hair has refused to curl lately and is back to looking like insulation, a thing I mentioned on social media last night but it’s true. I’ve no idea what’s up other than I haven’t had one of my specific cuts for curly hair since, you know, November. Also, despite two citronella candles and DEET-filled bug spray, all of my skin was eaten last night and I am writing to you with just bones.

I’d better go, which I’m sure you’re sad about seeing as I have talked about pets for nine hours.

Love,
Jooooooooon

The one where June lets life just roll off her

Yesterday was absurd.

I’d had slowness at work, which is stressful because you have to account for every hour so we can bill someone or other, and if you have hours and hours of, yeah, I sat around waiting for work, they frown on that. But if there’s no work, there’s no work.

Anyway, I had an appointment to take the kittens to the shelter for their feral foster shots and I told everyone who mattered at work that I was taking an actual lunch to do so. All morning, it was morte. Fin. Devoid of activity at work. I was doing busywork.

So I began the process of attempting to touch Fitz, who still only lets me pet him tentatively and only when he feels like it. The best way to get him near me is to whip out baby food, and thanks to whomever suggested that. I got the baby food out and

POP!

there was the head of little Fitz. Hissy I’d picked up like a normal kitten and placed into the carrier. She’s practically tame.

Fitz was happily eating baby food and I

picked him up!!!!

!!!!

But when I placed him in the carrier, he

FREAKED THE FUCK OUT and hissed and spitted and frankly I was scared to death of him. Little feral kittens can fuck you UP.

He got away, into the far reaches of the closet, and nothing would touch him the rest of the day. Meanwhile, Hissy opened the carrier and walked out on her own, joining Fitz in the back of the closet.

My grandmother used to tell stories that ended, “And I just set and cried.”

No one was answering at the shelter and I was due there in 15 minutes. Finally, through a series of Facebook messages and repeated calls, I got someone who told me we can try again this weekend, and in the meantime, come get food and another carrier.

I’m going to feed them IN the carrier, so they have to go in and out of there and see the carrier like it’s no big deal. Fitz was on a hunger strike till this morning when he finally creeped in. It’s the first I’ve seen of him, as he’s back to hating me.

So I was stressed and weepy and my shoulders were past my brain when I returned to my computer and had 3949459404034 work messages. CAN YOU DO THIS NOW?

It’s not even supposed to work that way. There’s a person in charge of distributing the work. They should ask her if I’m available rather than sending a frantic email expecting that I hover there like a spider awaiting things. If they’d have asked her, she’d have said, “Oh, June is ACTUALLY TAKING A LUNCH today and trying to do good in the world and will be back at 1:00.”

So I killed self to get the work done on time, and naturally it was extra-detailed and frustrating work, and by 6:00 I understood why people climbed to water towers with shotguns.

So here’s what I did.

I fed all these goddamn animals, including the ungrateful fosters.

Then, I did Tracy Anderson. I did the shit out of Tracy Anderson. Gwynneth Paltrow has never pounded Tracy Anderson the way I did last night.

Then I took a stompy walk. Last night when I was trying to sleep I noted my shins hurt and I recalled stomp stomp stomping around my neighborhood. At one point, I was down at the end of my street, which is just one house down, but I was at the dead-end part, which is a little wildernessy. Wild roses grow down there, and the grass is pretty tall. That’s why, as you can imagine, I

jumped out of my fekking skin

when something brushed my ankle.

It was Milhous.

“Oh my GOD, Mil,” I said, petting him as we wound around my ankles. He just APPEARS places, and as I said that just now, I’m typing outside on my patio and I looked up and he’s standing at the end of the yard all of a sudden, like a stallion or that Mutual of Omaha stag. Was it Mutual of Omaha that had the stag?

Anyway he looks magnificent.

Near the end of my stompabout, I stopped to talk to Haint Blue neighbor, who said, “You know your cat’s following you, don’t you?” And behind me with his tail curled seductively was Milhous. No, I’d had no idea he’d followed me beyond that alley.

When I got home, I played tepid Blu with Edsel, where I throw Blu way less enthusiastically than I used to, for his heart and all. I’d considered taking him on stomp walk but I knew I’d go too fast. Some mornings now when I wake up he won’t get off his bed. He used to leap up and wag at me before my eyes were even open, just magically knowing I’d woken up. Now I get up and go to his bed and pet him there, and help him up on bad days.

Once he’s up, he’s good. It’s like recharging a phone.

After Tracy Anderson and stomp walk and fetching Blu, I took the world’s longest hottest shower, and by the time I was done, I felt better. I drank several small bottles of the coldest water (I set the fridge to really cold. Is that bad for actual food? I ask because I have actual food now) and got into bed.

I slept like the dead and now I’m ready for another day. So far I let everyone out and watched all three cats pee in unison outside. Works for me that they pee out here. Then I watched Edsel and Milhous tag team a squirrel, and it was awful, but he got away and is warning all his squirrel friends. The cicadas are already chirping and I kind of love summer mornings when cicadas chirp. Or rattle. What is it they do?

On Monday, I’ll let you know if those poor feral kittens finally got their shots. There may be more stomp walks in my future.

Emotionally,
June

A three-COVID day

Current situation: I’m in my Frida robe, and thanks, autocorrect, for calling it a “Friday robe.”

My lawn guy, Victor, is here, along with his family, and they are mowing and trimming and edging my lawn and I feel like the Rich White Lady of Millhouse Mansion, in here, celebrating Frida in all her Hispanic glory and yet being all, “You guys do my lawn out in the sticky heat.”

Am conflicted.

The important thing is that Victor does not fear snakes and I do, so I am basically paying him to encounter them. I have given him strict instructions to not murder snakes, as that makes me sad. They’re just over there living their snake lives. They shouldn’t be killed for lounging in bushes or gardens, doing no harm. Other than scaring me to death.

Meanwhile, the ferals and I are emotionally readying ourselves for a trip to the shelter, where they are getting their shots. I put off this trip as long as I safely could because I did not know how I was gonna lure Fitz into a carrier if I couldn’t even LOOK at him without him grabbing his hair by the roots and screaming for the police. However, he now lets me pet him when the moon is right and the feelin’s right, so I have a plan to put a little baby food way back in the carrier if I have to, then shutting the door faster than you can say, “Heyyyy. Why Fitz…heyyyyy.”

Hissy, meanwhile, is 100% a normal kitten, almost, which makes it not 100% but whatev. She runs to the door when I walk in here, she leaps up here on the chair and sits with me. Yesterday she even climbed on my lap and slept.

Now someone just needs to adopt them.

Not only do I have to go get COVID at the shelter, I also have to swing on over to (Arby’s Arby’s—does anyone remember that commercial?) the vet and get Edsel’s arthritis medicine. Plus also too I am CLEAN OUT of canned kitten food, so if I forget to ask for some at the shelter (what’s the over/under that I will forget?) I also have to get COVID at the grocery store. It’s a three-COVID day.

Meanwhile I had a dream about Ned that affected my mood. Do you ever get those? Among other things, he had painted his nails silver and I was over there in the dream thinking, In a million years I did not think Ned would paint his nails silver. Unless it was for Halloween. He’s one of those Halloween people.

Anyway, it bothered me, and I hate setbacks like that.

Fortunately I will soon be battling coronavirus, what with my gadding about all day today, so that will distract me.

Cough,
June

A hainting post

The other day, my personal trainer sent a text to everyone she, you know, personally trains, to say her rates were going up for the first time in 17 years. Men would’ve raised the rates annually. Anyway, because people are stupid, she spelled out what that meant for everyone.

“So, if you work out in a group, it’s $Blah.”

(There are people who work out in groups?)

“If you buy a package of 10 one-hour workouts, it’s $Blah.”

(I can never afford the package, even though you get a discount. I have to pay as I go.)

“If you buy the 30-minute workout, it’s—“

Wait. I HAVE A 30-MINUTE CHOICE?

I discussed it with her last night, as we met up, and by met up I mean I dragged the laptop into the kitchen and pushed the table back and she sat in her backyard and told me what to do with my goddamn resistance band. It’s forever protesting. We’re going to meet three times a week now and for just a half-hour at a time, and I am responsible for doing my own cardio. Oh, dear.

So last night after our half-hour workout, I took a walk in my neighborhood. Any walk I’ve ever taken in my neighborhood results in something occurring. It’s never a nonevent.

This is one of the houses on Snob Hill, part of the very fancy two-story houses on the next block. Also, all of the streets in my hood are named after trees, and THIS street used to be Peach but then they changed it to Joey Jo Jo Junior Shabadoo or something stupid and unpretty like that. Anyway I like the houses over on Snob Hill.

(I’ve had to move my legs up onto this chair just now because kittens are playing across my feet like I don’t have nerve endings.)

Anyway, as my walk was drawing to a close, I saw my neighbor. “Did you see how I power washed this house?” he asked me, pointing to a regular one-story home on my street of not-rich millhouses.

It did shine. “Looks nice,” I said. “…You have a power washer?”

And that is how my neighbor came to power wash my house yesterday evening. I hadn’t meant to watch him for a bit but it was riveting. I’d love to power wash houses for a living. So satisfying.

When he was done, he knocked on my door. “I finished everything, but I can’t get the ceiling of your porch done,” he said. “If a power wash won’t fix it, you know it’s bad. It looks raggedy.”

I stared up at the top of my front porch. Man, it DID look sorta raggedy. I have a ceiling fan out there, and I wonder if it sort of blows dirt to the top or something.

“I’ll paint it for you,” he said. “No charge.”

“You will?”

“Yeah,” he said. “It won’t take long and it looks bad. You have the cutest house on this block. The porch should look cute too.”

“Now, if you had a boyfriend, that’d be a different story,” he said. “He could do it.”

I thought of a story Ned, my ex—NedEx—told me. The first night he ever spent at my house, he looked up at the ceiling and saw the peeling paint up there. The ceilings in my old house peeled like a mother all the time. He lay there knowing that if this went on, he’d one day be painting that ceiling.

And you know he did? It was really awful, too. He had to scrape and sand and prime.

I mentioned this next part last night on Facebook so now you’re bored if you follow me on (Face)Book of June. But I’ve always, since I moved to the South, wanted a porch that’s haint blue. And I know you know how I get when I start thinking about paint colors. So that’s my newest obsession, which haint blue Ima buy.

This website has good info, and they provided the lovely colors above. Oooo, I’m so excited to have haint blue up! It’s not only supposed to help with all the ghosts and spirits, of which I seem to have none despite this house being 88 years old, it also helps with wasps, and I really have a lot of those. If one more Protestant knocks on this door…

That’s all I have to say about that.

That isn’t true. I’ll probably have a million more things to say about that. This might be a good time to take a June break, truthfully.

Haint,
June

Silent June and her blank page

I woke up at 7:00 and then an hour and 20 minutes just flew by, and I don’t even know how. I mean, I know what I just did: animal care. I’m a regular farm girl, if cats and one fey dog counted as farm animals. I don’t know why two small kittens are so much work, but man, they are. Also, in case you wanted my opinion on the matter, I do not care for people calling kittens “smol.”

The holiday weekend is over and I, for one, am glad. I never have anything to do on holidays even when there isn’t a plague, and it’s relatively depressing. Although I do have to say one thing. Well, I mean, I don’t have to say anything. I could remain silent as the grave. But what a dull blog that would be. I could call it Silent June, and every day there’d be a blank page. Tune in tomorrow!

Nevertheless Nessman, I’m going to say one thing. When I first moved in here, the guy who used to own this house also owned the house next door. I think he was sort of trying to control who lived around him, and I kind of can’t blame him now that I’ve been here 2 years and seen what life has to offer over here in the milltown.

The point is he had a lovely woman living next door who was tidy and pleasant and a delight. I remember the former owner saying, “Now, she is a black lady” and I always adore sentences like that. As I recall I just stared at that message, my face a blank, the sentence hovering there like a germ. What the hell kind of thing is that to say?

Her name was CeeCee and it probably still is. However the guy sold the house, and I was worried he’d do that. And then I was all Oh, lort. Who the hell gonna move in next door?

It turned out to be a woman maybe 10 years younger than me who has two almost-grown sons who come and go. She had one cattle dog who is a DOLLY FACE DOLL DOLL (oh, but “smol” offends me) and the fence between us was this bendy wire thing, and that is when I said, “I gotta get a real fence” and here I am paying back my mother two dollars at a time for a tall wooden fence that I am glad I have, because the son got a pitty pit bull puppy snickerdoodley-doo (Oh, but smol) and OH MY GOD I loved that puppy so bad. She is fawn-colored and SHE IS LOVELY and stocky and huge. I remember the day I looked back there and saw her. Oh, with the squeeing.

She is also a barker, a FawnBob Barker, and she taught that angel of a cattle dog to bark, and any time I left my yard to, say, go to the trash can or use the hose, if they were out they’d barkbarkcalltheircongressmenbark.

So I devised a plan, and that was to always have treats on me so that when I saw them I’d pop a treat in their barky mouths. (I’d asked the woman next door if that was okay.)

So now Cinnamon (the pit) and the other one whose name I don’t know (the cattle dog) LIVE for my appearances, and sometimes I’ll be at my sink, I’ll be at my disposal

HAHAHAHAHAHA

and I’ll see them just staring over at my part of the house. “Every time I let them out they run right for your side of the fence, looking for you,” the woman next door tells me.

So we got a thing going on, me and Mrs., Mrs. Bones, over there.

The point is, on July 4 I was making chicken, as I am suddenly wont to do now that I get HelloFresh, and I saw Cinnamon and Other looking my way.

I went out there with treats (another neighbor drives a truck, and I am sorry to tell you that anything he trucks he maybe …doesn’t always deliver 100% of, and it is just my luck that he transports dog treats, and while I claim to be morally opposed to stealing, let’s just say I am rich in dog treats right now) and my neighbor was grilling out, and while she and I always stay six feet apart we often find ourselves taking over the fence like it’s 1950, except now it’s 1950 with distance, and anyway, we had a distant drink together on July 4, so in a word, or 700 of them, you could say I sort of celebrated the 4th.

Wow, that was a lot of words I hadn’t planned on saying. I like her, the woman next door. She also has at least one cat, who stares balefully out at Milhous and me each week during ride-the-trash-can time. He’s black and white but not a tuxedo. More like a splotchy black and white. I think he finds us appalling.

Anyway that’s all I have to say to you, and I suppose I should throw in a photo of this long endless weekend of staying in while other people go to beaches and lakes and barbecues and oh, you’re welcome! Yeah, I’ll just stay here the rest of my fucking life so you can have fun. No problem.

There. There’s a nice shot of The Needy Committee, now with Bunny!

Don’t let me forget to tell you that I got myself a bush trimmer for my birthday, and the first person to make some sort of 7th-grade joke about that gets banned for eternity, like that wingnut Kelly who keeps getting new names so she can leave mean comments. Way to have a real life, Wingnut Kelly. Say, why don’t you attend a crowded party? It’s all the rage.

Cohesively,
June

Wherein mom pimps me out to the AT&T guy

You know how in movies someone will be lost in the forest and then they find a cabin with an old hermit living in it? You know how the old hermit always wordlessly serves the visitor gruel and remains silent the entire time?

Suddenly that seems unrealistic. If you’re stuck with NO VISITORS for AGES, wouldn’t you chatter at one like a magpie?

At least that was my story yesterday with the AT&T guy. As you know, from your now-giant tome of June Events, my internet broke to bits and it was wreaking havoc on m’work, which is, you know, internet-based now that we’re all home. I have to say, I called AT&T and they answered right away, and they scheduled me for the next day, and the guy got here right on time. It’s sad that that’s now our standard for good customer service. “They did the bare minimum! Hooray!!”

Speaking of which, a card came in the mail yesterday and I assumed it was a birthday card from one of my more organized relatives such as my Aunt Kathy, who is a Virgo. Sending a card 15 days early? Of course! You gotta make sure it GETS there!

Anyway, it wasn’t. It was a birthday card, for Edsel, on his actual birthday, FROM CHEWY. If you aren’t getting your pet supplies from Chewy I can’t imagine why not. They send (most of) Edsel’s meds on a regular schedule (I was on the fence about his arthritis meds so I haven’t set it up yet) at a discount, they send food the same way, and they send flea meds each month too, FOR CHEAPER. Oh, and litter! Do you know how nice it is to only lug in litter from the front door to the back room as opposed to across the store, at the checkout, to the car, from the car to home?

DO YOU? Litter boxes have this hard terrible narrow strap that digs into your hand and visits your bones. It’s awful. With Chewy, my bones are visited less often!

I know I sound like a Chewy ad, but seriously.

Anyway what was I talking about? [scrolls up]

Oh, yes, AT&T.

The guy came on time, and he was masked, and I was masked, and masked-edly we went into the kitten room where my modem is and the modem was dead. No one tipped it over or ruined it, it just died of natural causes like Carl Reiner. So he gave me a new one and we had to sit there awhile while it did whatever and he told me about his three dogs.

He has a German shepherd, an Australian shepherd—apparently he needs a lot of things herded—and some sort of poodle/shih tzu mix.

“Is that last one the selection of some woman?” I asked. You’ll be stunned to hear it was. And then he told me they’d broken up and she’d left all three dogs with him. So here’s this big country guy with some teensy shitty white dog. He seemed to really like the shitty little dog, though, and when I asked who the alpha was he said she was. So that was interesting.

“Why can’t you date him?” asked my mother, who spent all the other days of my life telling me you don’t need a man.

“Well, first of all, he was like 25,” I said.

“So?” said Gloria Steinem, over there with her fish and a bicycle.

This may sound very snobbish to you but I could never date a man with a tiny dog.

I have to go copy edit something. Don’t let me forget to tell you that Chris and Lilly have even MORE kittens now—it’s a whole thing. And they did invite me over to meet the other kittens and I said, “Oh, I can’t this day and that day” and then we never did set up a day.

I had my trainer. In case you’re all, But June is a hermit with gruel. Why couldn’t she zip over there ANY day?

Okay, seriously, I’m really going. I have something due at noon I’m scared I won’t finish by noon.

Meanwhile, the gruel is over there in a pot by the fire. WTF is gruel?

Solo-ly,
Jupe