Six bales

I’ve been ill [grabs your hand dramatically from her bed]. When I last wrote you, I had a migraine, so if I had the personality of a thousand suns, that’s why. I had taken one of my pills, hoping it’d go away while I wrote, but it turns out it was the third-worst migraine I’ve ever had, and lasted two days. It was feat. my best friend, nausea, and eventually I had a panic attack because the pain would not relent so in general it’s been a relaxing week. Just like a spa getaway.

You know what I’d love to do one day? Is one of those trips to a spa for days on end. Oh, that would be my ultimate. My most ut, as Rosie the Robot would say. I wonder what my references would be like had I not been allowed TV in my childhood.

Anyway, sometime yesterday the pain finally went away. There’s almost a euphoria when a bad migraine subsides, albeit a euphoria that’s packed under 6 bales of cotton. Because you are also cloudy and dizzy and generally out of it.

This whole time I’ve been writing you, Forest Lawn has walked across me, back and forth like he’s picketing. He’s purring and swishing his tail and touching me with his nose and being silky. Oh, what a good little cemetery cat he is. Milhous does not share my sentiment.

Anyway, since I was feeling better, I decided to go ahead with my trainer appointment at 6:30 last night, then afterward I took a walk with my neighbor, R, and then I decided I was famished so I made curried chicken or chicken curry or however you say it, and my post is I did too much and afterward felt decidedly peaked.

I should note that the biggest lesson here is that anything with coconut milk involved, I’m down for.

I have to go. I missed two days of work and I have to go see what nightmare pileup of work awaits me.

Headily,
Juan

P.S. Obligatory kitten shot.

P.P.S. Obligatory Edsel-and-kitten shot.

Forest Lawn

“Walk?” texted my neighbor, R, yesterday afternoon.

“Nah, I got too much to do. Tomorrow?” I wrote back. We agreed.

But then the thing is, once I got done with all my stuff, it was still sort of light out. And I’d played fetch with Edsel and noted what a lovely, breezy night it was. It was like 82, which for here is a lovely night.

So I decided to take an abbreviated walk. Normally I’d take Edsel, but we’d just played and he was very dramatically drinking water and panting so I walked alone. Yeah-h-h with nobody else.

I take the same route, generally, which involves cutting through the school parking lot and over to the church across the street. The church has a cemetery attached to it—is it a cemetery or a graveyard when it’s attached to a church? I can never remember—but I rarely walk through the cemetery. Snakes. I fear snakes are in there.

But a couple times when I walk over there in the evening, I’ve seen this woman pull up and psstpsstpsst with some food, and I assume she’s feeding ferals in there. She may even be one of those trap-neuter-release people and these are her ferals from that. I don’t know. All I know is when I see her I try to look for cats, because it’s not enough I have three perfectly serviceable cats at home. No. I also gotta see OTHER cats, and it’s exciting every time.

So when I was over there last night, I saw a car slow down. Oh! Was this the (wait for it) middle-aged white woman coming to feed the ferals?

But it wasn’t. It was some dude. And he walked to the low fence of the cemetery and put something in there. What was he…? Was that…?

The dude drove away and I don’t even remember crossing the street. I hope I looked both ways but clearly I made it. He’d put a kitten, or a small cat, in there! In the cemetery! It was black, and looked like maybe it had long hair.

“Hey, kitty!” I said softly, but that kitty wasn’t having me. It hunkered under a bush, looking at me with big yellow eyes.

My mind raced. If I went back home and got the cat carrier, this cat might disappear forever. Also, goddammit, I didn’t HAVE a cat carrier. It’s with Iris! With all my shelter stuff, I have lost and gained about 20 crates. I’ll take kittens in for shots and they’ll return them with a whole new crate. I’ve lost towels and bath mats and I can’t begin to tell you. So, I used to have two crates and now I have one and it’s with Iris in Chapel Hill.

Remember a few summers ago, when I was driving home from a restaurant, and it was dark, and yet somehow I managed to see a tiny skinny black kitten on the sidewalk? It wouldn’t come to me either, till I got the ham out of my sandwich from the restaurant.

O! Ham shed diffrent lite on matter.

How I longed for ham right then.

Fortunately, when not being abandoned in a cemetery, this kitten, and it is a kitten, maybe four months old or so, is really friendly. Eventually it came out to me, and I scooped it up, and headed for home.

God, I was nervous. I was trying to exude calm, so the kitten would stay calm, but do you know what I never exude? Also, I was sleeveless, of course, and I pictured self arriving home resembling Rambo, all sleeveless and bloody.

But while he wriggled, a LOT, he did not scratch me, and every so often I’d stop and rub his neck. If you pick up a kitten’s neck a bit, it calms them. Like, where their mothers pick them up. Right there. So I did that, and was sweaty and nervous, but eventually we got home and into the kitten room.

If anyone was gonna find a kitten, it’s convenient that it’s me, as I had the kitten tent, a tiny litterbox, scads of bowls and both wet and dry kitten food from all my shelter stuff. I had the room kitten ready in about 5 minutes.

I CANNOT KEEP HIM. But meanwhile I’m calling him Forest Lawn.

I am keeping him separated from everyone, but today Edsel looked at him and got scared. I know! I think it’s because he isn’t tiny but rather almost big. He’s SUCH a sweet cat, oh my god. And his fur? Silky! Also, why does he have the flyswatter? Where has that flyswatter BEEN?

OK, I gotta go. But I just keep thinking of the timing. If I’d gone for a walk with R earlier. If I had taken Edsel. If I hadn’t walked that way. I’m so glad I saw him!

Cat-magnetly,
June

In which nothing is discussed for several hundred words

I have this jar of gummy vitamins. I realize that makes me 6 years old, but I live alone and always fear choking on a large pill. Then my choices would be to hope the one neighbor hasn’t nodded off, or get past the giant pit bulls at the other neighbor’s, or go to the truckers’ house for help. It’s decided. Truckers will Heimlich me.

The point is—and also I give those pit bulls treats when they’re out, so they’d likely not add injury to inhale—I just use chewables any time I can. So I get these gummy vitamins. They come in three flavors: orange, lemon and strawberry. And here’s what I do, because I am 6 years old. If I get a combination lemon and orange, that means it’s gonna be an OK day. Just OK. If I get two lemons? My day is gonna suck.

If any strawberry is in there in any way? Ooooo, it’s going to be a most excellent day. Strawberry! Yay!

But here the thing: As much as I love strawberries and even that imitation strawberry flavor—give me that strawberry Quik any day—my strawberry gummies don’t even have that much of a taste. You can taste the hell outta the citrus ones. Strawberry? It’s like maybe you thought of fruit. And isn’t that the way life goes? Things you think are going to be magnificent rarely are, and things you think will be just awful are often, eh, that wasn’t that bad.

Am very philosophical today. Am June-Paul Sartre. Am certain he’d be riveted by my gummy observations.

Anyway, how was your weekend? I can’t remember a damn thing about mine, which shows you the level of rivet.

…I just scrolled through my photos to jog memory.

I made a curried chicken salad, and who even am I? My Aunt Mary was making one, and I texted, Oooo, how do you do that and she told me and I copied her. Except she uses dried cranberries but I can’t have dried fruit. Sulphites.

Also, this weekend was my uncle’s funeral. My mother’s oldest brother, my Uncle John, died. They had a funeral and offered the caveat that anyone who was too afraid to attend would not be judged. So I ended up watching it streaming on Facebook, and my Uncle Leo and my Aunt Bette—both of whom are former spouses of the family and we’ve kept them—watched it with me. We had a viewing party. They even listed Uncle Leo and Aunt Bette in the obituary and being in-laws, which was adorable.

A viewing party for a funeral is weird. I mean, any time you have “party” and “funeral” together is weird. Once my Uncle Bill was held up by a funeral procession and he came home and said, “I couldn’t get here because there was one of those, oh, those, PARADES. You know, a death parade.”

At one point this weekend, I got so bored that I went behind the chair I’m sitting in currently and lay in Edsel’s dog bed just to see my house from a new angle.

This concerned the Eds. He’s doing just fine, by the way, off his heart medicine and when I think of the TEN MONTHS I needlessly gave him pills. Not to mention they were $200 a month.

Also, I put away some of my clothes using my new matching hangers. It turns out that’s, like, a chore. I had to throw out the old wire hangers, that I think were occasionally from as far back as dry cleaners in Seattle. God, I had a lowly receptionist job there and had to wear dry-clean-only clothes. I should have made them pay for that. They had a service at work where someone would come get your dry-cleaning and bring it back, but it was cheaper to go to Ace Cleaner in my neighborhood. I’m going to hazard a guess that Ace Cleaner is no longer in business in my hip little hood. Hang on and let me Google.

Nope, it’s not there, but aw, man, I miss that neighborhood now. It was just burgeoning when I lived there. So you’d have a diaper-cleaning warehouse next to a coffee shop. Now it just looks like the whole thing is cool. Dangit.

I also looked at old pictures because did I mention I’ve been cooped up for 6 months now? Anyway, this is Grammy’s cat and this is also me. Why did the cat have to be fed near my head? Was this safe? Also, my grandmother, who had some nerve, wanted my name to be Shelly, so she just referred to me as Shelly, here, even though I had a name. I also like how she TYPED the picture caption. Once a secretary in the Pentagon, always a secretary in the Pentagon.

Also? The cat gets top billing.

Oh my god, I gotta go. I leave you with one more old picture of me; hang on.

First of all, I remember everything about this. A lot of kids were out with the flu; hence the chairs being up. That’s Phillip Rathbun in front of me. Sheila Nash, with whom I am still friends, in front of him. Normie Winterstein is the cute boy next to our teacher, Mr. Keup. And Robin someone or other who said she was allergic to tomatoes but one day she ate tomato soup and someone, possibly Sheila, pointed out this discrepancy and Robin said, “I eat tomato soup because I like tomato soup.” I always admired this comeback.

Also, the lunchboxes. That first big one was mine: It was a Peanuts lunchbox. I must’ve gotten there first that day. The farm one belonged to Tomi Slagle. I can’t recall who owned the Shawn Cassidy one but my guess is Kim Schemp.

If I hadn’t had ADD, this brain would have gone far. I believe that.

I also remember that felt banner Mr. Keup made about a hunter’s paradise. I never quite understood what it meant and I still don’t, quite. It was the Trova, at Pace, Columbus, of my school hours.

All right, I have to go. I already have two giant things to do that are due today and have angina over them.

Usefully,
June

Bisque is the color of your angst

Would you like to know what irritates me? (Everyone heads to the storage facility, where they store their tome of “Things That Irk June.”)

Symbolism.

I know that makes me sound unintelligent and I’m fine with that. I also find it irritating the things we consider signs of intelligence.

But really. Just tell me a good story. I don’t need to find out after that I was supposed to be noticing that the color blue represented your ennui. Shut up, blue man.

Anyway.

Oh, but I do have good news! You’ll be stunned to hear it’s pet-related, seeing as I hang around no one else unless you count getting ice for my neighbors “hanging around.” There’s no ice at their house. I think they have, like, a mini fridge and that’s it? I think? They told me but I forget.

So, I mean, it doesn’t kill me to provide ice, although some days I put a sign on the door: Don’t knock till after 6. I mean, nothing’s more irritating (except for everything) than being interrupted in your workday to get ice for someone who is not family.

I want to ask them, would you leave our neighborhood and head to my work and walk to my desk to ask for ice? Because that’s what you’re doing right now when you interrupt my workday. But I never say that. Instead I just low-grade-irk-edly get ice. But I have to stop giving away my really good freezer bags. They’re the kind with that slide-y thing at the top. I guess all freezer bags have the slide-y thing at the top. Not to mention mine are just Food Lion brand. Maybe I need to get off my freezer bag high horse.

Oh my god, my good news. OK. So, as you know from your Big Book of June Events, Edsel is now on TWO medications for his arthritis. When they determined it’s not his heart making him fall over when we play but his bad hips, which don’t lie—and I really need to get over that song—they signed him up for a second medication on top of his Galliprant.

That sounds like some sort of name a cowboy would use affectionately for his saloon prossie. Hey, there, m’little galliprant. What say you dribble off those Bobbie Brooks pantaloons so I can do what I please.

I had to go to CVS, which thankfully has a drive-thru so I can wear my HAZMAT suit and stay in the car. “Yes,” I said, when I got to the window. “Prescription for Gardens? 7/16/65?”

God, I’m old.

“Hmmmm. We don’t seem to have anything for you.”

“…Oh! Edsel! Edsel Gardens!”

“…Date of birth: 7/18/10?”

“I mean, that’s not his actual birthday. His birthday is July 1. But you still have him as a Cancer so I can live with that.”

No one thinks I’m normal.

Why did my vet pick 7/18? First of all, that’s my wedding anniversary. Secondly, I very clearly, on Eds’s chart, put July 1. Also too, I have no idea what his birthday is. I mean, when I got him

he was very clearly three months old, and that was October 2, 2010. So I just assumed his birthday was around July 1th. I just said July 1th because my hilarity knows no bounds. I just wouldn’t put him at July 18rd.

Oh my god, the good news.

So he’s been taking both medicines now and this morning he headed out to use the facilities, and by “the facilities” I mean “the grass,” which by the way, Milhous now pees in the grass. I think he just watched Edsel and said, “Dat look conveeen yint” and squatted. I cannot complain about this turn of events.

Oh my god, the good news.

“What do you like to do in the morning?”

“I read this one blog where a woman with ADD tries to tell one single thing. It’s usually around 1,000 words.”

WHEN HE SQUATTED he could, you know, squat! For agess now, he does this tentative sort of half squat. I’ve never mentioned it, but sometimes I hold his hips for him a bit so he can concentrate on going and not squatting. Ask his hips: They don’t lie. But today it was full-on copping a squat. What does that phrase mean?

So that’s my good news.

Also, the following happens.

I’ll do something, like, let’s say I’ll paint my porch ceiling haint blue. Then I’ll go on (Face)Book of June and show it. Or I’ll show it here. Or I’ll show it on Instagram. Whatever. The thing is, not everyone is on all my channels, The June Channel, so inevitably someone will say, just to throw a scenario out there, “Didn’t you paint your porch, JOOOOOON? We want to see it, JOOOOOOON.” and I’ll be all, Didn’t I show that 60-hundred times already?

So let me get up, in my sexy robe, and take a photo of my porch ceiling once and for all. Hang on.

…Oh my gaaaad, when I just got up you know what was truthful with me? My hips. They didn’t lie. I had my trainer last night. She made me do this godawful thing where you’re on your knees, m’little galliprant, and you put one leg forward like you’re about to propose, and why is that the official proposal position? If anyone proposes to me ever again I want them to squat like Edsel and propose from there.

Anyway I was in the proposal position and then I had to STAND UP. Without using my hands. Like, 10 times she made me propose and stand and then 10 times on the other leg, so maybe it’s m’thighs that hurt and not my hips, but they seem to be involved in the whole protest.

I still wish to get a new ceiling fan to replace that “Nod to the ’90s” one I have now. Someone said it looks like the Golden Girls’ ceiling fan and that’s totally it. Plus I see the paint tape is still at the top of it. Goddammit.

Also, because SOMEONE will ask, that is a wasp detractor. That thing hanging from the porch. You hang it and wasps think you already HAVE wasps so they don’t drop in. Ask for ice.

I gotta go. I have to go to work and also I could really go for some toast. I’d like toast with peanut butter and banana but the person who did my grocery shopping for me got the greenest bananas this side of Mr. Yuck. “Here are some groceries. You can’t eat any of them yet. Thanks. Bye.”

So I’m over here willing them to ripen. Which is not a symbol for anything except a want a banana. Also not symbolic.

OK, bye.
June

Why, Fi?

I just spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make my WiFi work, and one is reminded of when Grammy could not get the electric can opener to do what she wanted so she threw it down the basement stairs. To me this is a perfectly reasonable response.

So now I have to begin working in 12 minutes and I don’t have any time to talk to you. Since the pandemic, I’ve been remarkably on time for work, way more on-the-dot than at any time when I had to drive in and be at a desk. I guess I feel nervous that someone is in a giant 1960s computer room, recording what time we all sign on on a clipboard. If it’s 8:31, I’m all, “I’M LATE!” these days. And we aren’t — weren’t — that kind of office. We were creatives. We were some-people-get-there-before-the-dawn/some-stroll-in-at-11:00. But now everything feels different.

Anyway, since I don’t have time to chat with all y’all and I had to UNSCREW MY RING DOORBELL and screw it back on (this morning, man. This morning tried my patience.) let’s discuss something. We’ll have participation day. But on what?

Oh! I know! OK, you know how my grandmother threw the can opener down the stairs and to me that seems a perfectly reasonable response? … It’s right up there three paragraphs ago, Sparky. Honestly, 14 years of doing this assures me someone will ask. “Where, June? Where did you say that?”

What kinds of family traits do you have? Like, what’s a thing you do where you say, “Oh, dear lort, I’ve turned into Grampa Henry.”

My other grandmother once chased her husband down the road with scissors. Again, seems reasonable to me. I think I’m not good at having husbands.

All right, let me know. Didn’t we have some kind of family story day recently that killed me, it was so funny? I have a vague recollection of adoring that day. Of course, nothing will top the “These darn shoes” story someone told me here once. I’d tell it but I now have THREE MINUTES to begin working on time.

Taking the morning train with my paper under my arm,
June

It’s Fixin’ to Stitch!

I got my box of StitchFix clothing this week, a week in which I have neither the time nor the social life to justify trying on these fancy outfits. That said, let’s look in June’s box, shall we? You know you want to.

The fine folks at Lilo and Stitch or whomever sent me a top and shorts this time, which is lovely because they don’t ever seem to send me, you know, an outfit. Also, I am 78 years old with my “outfit.” “That’s a cute outfit, honey. Better than those bluuuuuuue jeans you usually wear! Let’s watch our program now on Channel 12.”

I have no idea who I was just being right then. I was trying to sound old and I don’t even know if I did. It’s Monday night as I write this because these StitchFix pieces that I write for my internet weblog are very time-consuming and I don’t dare try to do it all in the a.m.

Do you recall back when we actually watched, for example, Channel 12, right before your show would come on the local guy would say, “It’s 8 o’clock.”

Dun-dun-dun-DUNDUNDUN! It’s the story. Of a lovely lady…

Do you recall that?

Anyway, back to how time-consuming these CrossStitch posts are. Back to our regular kvetch.

First, see, you have to put on all the outfits (“outfits”) and then you have to photograph yourself because you live alone and no one loves you.

Then you have to upload the photos of you in the outfits (“outfits”) that don’t make you look like Hoss from Bonanza, and THEN you have to create little polls for each outfit (“outfit”), listing the price so everyone can say, “I’d never spend that much on an OUTFIT, JOOOOON. You can go to Marshall’s and get that OUTFIT for 40 cents.”

Let’s stop the jibber-jabber and vote, shall we? It’s 8 o’clock.

I took this first picture, I had my picture made, in the privacy of my kitchen. But the lighting in the kitchen is stupid, with the track lighting SCREAMING DOWN at me like I’m beaming up. So I got the bright idea to go outside and hang my phone from the window box.

Note my casual, “Oh, are you making my picture” look, like I don’t live alone and unloved and didn’t set this whole thing up myself. “Oh, would you look at that! A photographer!”

The fine folks at a Stitch in Time sent me a denim jacket, for those notoriously chilly nights in the South.

Next up? A dress. I haven’t even seen another human since February, but OK. A dress would hit the old spot. Maybe I can have tea parties with myself and propose to me and marry self in this dress during my simple ceremony. With self.

Finally, the folks who are fine at Fixident sent me a jumpsuit, in case I wish to start working on automobiles. Greased lightning, go greased lightning.

I used to be so skinny. I had this straight up-and-down sort of a figure, not unlike a rectangle or Gumby. Now I’m all zaftig and I curve curve curve everywhere and I suppose I’m supposed to hate it but really I’m kind of all, yeah. Lookit Ma Kettle, over here, rockin’ out with her pockets out.

I apologize for not having the requisite hating of self that white American women seem obligated to have.

And that sums up m’BitchFix for this month. Do vote early and often and I shall take your opinions under consideration.

Fixedly,
June

Like water for chocolate kittens

I have a problem. Every morning I go to the sink,

That’s not my problem, by the way. It’s not like I will myself not to go to the sink and yet there I am, back at the sink. No.

Every morning I go to the sink and run water for quite awhile. First I empty out and fill the many many many animals’ water bowl. It’s more the size of a trough. Then while that’s filling, I go outside for my watering can and fill THAT and water the hanging plant they insisted would be good in afternoon sun except every day it gets the vapors and faints. I keep it, though, because it’s beautiful as long as I water it, and it attracts hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are forever sliding into my plant’s DMs.

THEN I fill my coffee pot. And here’s my problem, other than taking too long to get to the point. The water is tepid. It doesn’t get cold anymore. I don’t know if it gets better as the day goes on because I don’t run a lot of water after that.

So today, after I ran I ran the water awaayyyy like a Flock of Seagulls, I got annoyed. And instead of just filling my coffee pot with tepid water, I pushed the lever thingie® to the back, meaning, “Hot water, please”

and cold water came out. Cold as a mountain stream.

WHAT GIVES?

I know this means I have to call Alf, my ridiculous handyman, but just the thought of that gives me angina. It makes my blood run cold like my water when it’s on “hot.”

Anyway, hi. When we last saw each other, as we were tearing out paper from our notebooks and writing down our numbers, I had taken Edsel to his cardiologist appointment, where he got a clean bill of health, and I was headed to the other side of North Carolina to take Iris to HER appointment.

I hated to put her in her carrier and take her on the road. She’s really sweet about getting in her carrier. Her little marshmallow toes go right in. Then we got in the car and here’s what I heard for an hour:

“meow.”

“mew.”

“meow.

“mew.”

“MEW!”

“meow.”

So that was relaxing. Also, I was getting my migraine back, which is a charming thing that happens. They leave and come back for days. This particular batch never quite went away. It was always kind of there. And on the drive to the radiation place, where I was zapping my cat, my head was going

“meow.”

“mow.”

“MEOW.”

So that was relaxing.

Also Marianne called. Marianne of the “I’ll take one of those kittens as long as it’s a boy” Mariannes.

“My kitten is a girl!” she said, from the vet’s office where she had stampeded with her nonbinary kitten. Fortunately Marianne is what you might call someone who goes with the old flow, there.

“It’s OK! It was meant to be!” she said.

Marianne is the type of person who thinks things were meant to be.

But then I panicked. I panicked while my head throbbed and my cat sobbed. “Call Lilly,” I told my car. My car called Lily.

“Mrrrr-low?”

No. My car called Lilly, the person. Not my cat. But now I have a visual of Lily holding a phone with her teensy paw and I am sort of dying in a good way.

Because, see, Chris and Lilly have 8 kittens. One was that Siamese-looking one who was a boy. The rest were all solid black, who all looked the same. One person wanted two girls, and as far as I knew, there were only two girls in the bunch. Did I just screw up their giveaway?

See, a BAD friend would have just stayed silent. But I didn’t want a whole fiasco with whomever they were giving the two girls to. I thought it was better to be honest so they could tell that person and let the chips fall where they may.

“We still somehow have two girls,” Lilly reported to me, to my great relief.

Sexing kittens is hard. I watched a YouTube by the Kitten Lady last night so I’ll be better at it in the future. In sum: Girls will have a vertical line back there and boys have a circle. Don’t try to feel for teensy testes, as I did. You will be wrong.

“Chicken sexers get paid a lot of money and they’re only 92% accurate,” said Lilly, who knows things like that.

Anyway the drop-off for Iris was uneventful other than that 45-minute story I just told. Her actual procedure is today and then she’ll be there for 14 days from today. Can you imagine?

It’s just awful here without her. First of all, the house is empty. There’s only a 45-pound dog and two other huge cats in this 999 square feet. The place practically echos.

When I get up in the morning, before I go to my sink, I dash to the bathroom, and every day all the animals run in there to say hello. On Sunday when it was just Milhous and Lily and the inevitable Edsel, it was SO WRONG. No Iris there with her sunny little smile! Oh, god, it’s terrible. That was one sad pee.

I spent much of Saturday with ice on my head trying to get rid of my DING-DANG migraine.

On Sunday, I moved all the books from my kitchen cupboard over to the closet space in my bedroom. I also took out ALL the sheets, and any sheets that weren’t a full set I got rid of. Do you have any idea how many half sets of sheets I had in there? I saved one huge fitted sheet just in case I needed an old sheet for something: painting, the inevitable kitten birth, whatever. I think my mother gave me that sheet from when Edsel and I were on a road trip, to help cover my car seats. It’s clearly a king-size, like my dick.

I also ordered a set of those skinny velvet underground hangers that someone mentioned on “Organize June” day. It turns out the prices vary wildly. You can spend $19 or $60. Why? I also discovered you can spend a lot more if you wanted, say, pink hangers, just to toss a shade out there.

In the end, I ordered a set of 100 hangers (in beautiful blush) from H2O or HIV or HMO or whatever that shopping channel is. They had a set that had regular AND pant hangers, along with those little clips you can add AND an under-the-bed slidey thingie® all for $29.

Next on my agenda is a set of those bags where you put your jackets in and suck all the air out, but that’s next pay period.

So that sums up my weekend, except oh! I did find a cookbook that my Aunt Mary sent me ages ago. It’s a cookbook my grandmother sent her. It belonged to HER, Grammy’s, mother, and has the bonus of having EXTRA recipes in there that Grammy typed up for her mother when she was in typing school. My goal this week is to make one of the recipes. Further reports as developments warrant. FRaDW.

I like how I’ve been using that acronym for almost 14 years now and yet every time I use it someone says, “What does FRaDW mean, JOOOOBB?” Are people just on that (Face)Book of June page who don’t read me? Why would you join that page for any other earthly reason? I don’t know. I can’t figure people out. Or maybe someone DOES read me but just not any of the days I wrote “FRaDW,” which it feels like I write 76 times a day but maybe not.

I want you to gird your loins because tomorrow is StitchFix day! I begged them to send me “sitting around” clothes but apparently that is not what SF specializes in because they ignored me.

Wearing a dress for no reason-ly,
June

P.S. These are the two kittens left at Chris and Lilly’s, in case you were out of kittens.

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.