DON’T YOU HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS? – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Rebuke

On a day with little to be done, I got up to discover that during the night, some dog (I’m looking at YOU Bonnie!) peed all around the legs of the dining room table. I would put the gate up to keep the dogs out, but I already know that the Duke just knocks the gates down and if that doesn’t work, he jumps them. But these plastic baby gates that have worked for many dogs over many years and are useless now. The Duke has discovered they are lightweight and easily pushed down.

Any of our dogs could have pushed them over but none of them did. Just The Duke. He’s special.

A glass-fronted desk full of memories

He’s a thief but otherwise, a clean boy. Bonnie, on the other hand, doesn’t like going outside unless someone forces the issue … and even Gibbs occasionally feels a masculine need to lift a leg. Despite all that, this is the first time any dog has done anything in the dining room.

Dining table with French doors

This made me very cranky. I was looking forward to several hours of lurking over the computer, sipping coffee, and contemplating the nothingness of modern life, brooding on politics, and generally readying myself for a day of nothing in particular. Instead, I had to clean the dining room which is difficult to clean because it’s crowded with stuff. Mostly, it’s crowded with a huge table and a non-working organ. The table is used to keep my cameras ready for the shooting birds.

As a matter of fact, the reason I was in the dining room at all was that there was a nice, fat Cardinal waiting to drop by for a feed and instead, I was mopping the floor and realizing that there were cobwebs on absolutely EVERYTHING — and several of the oak chairs were splitting along seam lines and needed to be glued and clamped.

When this stuff happens, I always feel like life is simply falling apart around me. It isn’t really. The dining room rarely is used for its original purpose. Maybe twice a year we have a sit-down dinner. The room is largely pretty clean, except for dust. But it had been a while since it was cleaned and the dust had done a good deal of gathering.

Meanwhile, at least two chairs were splitting for no reason except, I assume, the glue gave out. I bought those oak chairs about 32 years ago before we were married. It really doesn’t seem that long ago. I was getting my first place and was working in a furniture store. Instead of a percentage of what I sold, I got furniture. Oak. All oak, mostly made by the Amish and until now, it has lasted. Somehow, I thought it would last forever.

Nothing lasts forever.

Vines in the dining room against the French doors

Meanwhile, the Cardinal finished eating and moved on. Just as well. My arm is telling me to “PUT THE CAMERA DOWN.” How can I be so smart and be such a slow learner?

I was snippy. Garry took this as a rebuke, a kind of blame for the mess.

I wasn’t mad at Garry. I was just mad because I didn’t want to start the day moving all the furniture and clearing the table. My back already hurt and the idea of floor washing before I had my coffee was distinctly unappealing.

Don’t you hate when that happens? Something you really don’t want to deal with comes up and there’s no one to blame, so you snipe at whoever happens to be in the room. It was really the dogs’ fault, but there’s not much use in sniping at them. They really don’t care and probably don’t remember whatever they did that they should not have done.

My memory is like that these days. Fifteen seconds and everything is just gone. Poof. But for the dogs, their whole lives are like that. That’s why they need constant repetition to learn things … although we have had some very smart dogs who learned on one or two lessons. Duke is like that. If he does something he’s not supposed to do, it isn’t because he doesn’t know better. He knows. He just doesn’t care.

Now Garry is doing his ritual morning cleansing in the bathroom. Yesterday’s cleansing resulted in today’s post. He said I should remember that he does much of his thinking in there. I don’t really see why he can’t think somewhere else, thus freeing up the bathroom for me, but it’s his … meditation (?) room.

And now, the sun has come up. It’s a very cold day outside. I know because I could hear the radiators rattling this morning. We keep the house at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) — cool, not warm. If it gets colder, that’s what sweaters and sweatshirts are for. I prefer a cool house to a warm one anyway. I grew up in a chilly house and it feels normal.

But I have to apologize to Garry when he gets out of the bathroom … any time now. Because I was irritable and he hadn’t done anything wrong. I just didn’t want to do all that work before I’d had my first sip of coffee.

Don’t you hate when that — ALL of that — happens?

I thought you would.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

35 thoughts on “DON’T YOU HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS? – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Testify! I need that jolt of caffeine in the form of cola before I can face the sometimes harsh realities of life. Naughty Bonnie!! Is there a way to bolster those gates so Gibbs doesn’t knock them over? I had to do that at my old house (not that it mattered really…the carpets were so filthy) and learnt the trick of pushing a chair or other hard to topple object against the gate so the dogs didn’t knock it down. Must be something about being penned in…

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    1. The problem is that Duke can easily jump a very tall gate. He jumps in and out of the yard whenever he feels like it, so the only thing that would work would be a door. I can’t PUT a door there. The Duke can easily jump a 42″ fence and probably more if he was motivated. I’ve never had a jumping dog before. Several of our dogs could easily have jumped the fence, but none of them did.

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    1. See, that’s the thing. It’s all because of the birds. I wouldn’t have even gone INTO the dining room that early if there hadn’t been a big flock of birds surrounding the feeder, so I wouldn’t have noticed the crisis until post coffee. But now I’m hooked on pictures of birds … so there’s I’m using the dining room again. It’s always something!

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  2. YES, same feelings here – and it’s NEVER just one thing, they accumulate and multiply. I start seeing one little thing that’s wrong and while trying to make it alright, 5 others bloom and make me forget about the first one…. And then normally the bell rings and I’m there with 5 messes instead of one. But dogs have very short memories and Bonnie won’t take it badly if you mess up a bit 😉

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  3. I don’t like stuff interrupting my morning rhythm. Today I had to make two phone calls early in the morning and even that disturbed me. Then I got to the supermarket and found all the parking spaces for handicapped were occupied so I had to go down to the gardining department. No peeing dogs around, just a feline that wanted to go out for a bowl of fresh water that I had to fill.

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    1. Usually, the dogs are pretty good. Grubby because they go out and they track mud inside — but that’s not their fault. The peeing is almost always their version of “one-ups-manship.” The last pee-er wins. And the girls do it too, especially older spayed girls.

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  4. Been there, done that…well things like that anyway. I”m definitely not a morning person like Dan. Fortunately, if the weather’s good he’s out and about before I get up. Generally it takes and hour or so of quiet time in the morning, while sipping my tea, watching the birds and relaxing:) Enjoy your coffee!

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    1. I hate when unplanned work whacks me over the head before I’ve even had time to sit and sip, but no matter how hard I try, stuff just happens. Neither of us is a get-up and go, go, go sort of person and I think nobody should require me to show up before noon — which is on the early side of what I consider my day! I might not get up at all, but the dogs get really loud about it. Especially Bonnie who will stand outside the door and bark for hours … and Duke, who will actually try to break the door down. So … I get up! But to have to get up and also WORK? Unfair!!

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  5. I hate that too, getting up to discover a mess when you were looking forward to raisin toast, coffee and an hour on the computer. Once you clean one thing you always see half a dozen other things you ought to do as well and there goes your relaxing day.
    I saw a story about snowstorms hitting east coast USA on the late news before I went to bed so jumped on the computer to see where they had hit but as far as I can tell you missed it, well Boston did. My computer tells me that you are currently experiencing a sunny -1Celsius in Uxbridge (4 pm Monday your time.)

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    1. The ball gets rolling and it’s one cobweb after another.

      All the storms have missed us.

      They’ve either been north or south — and we’ve been the hole in the middle. Rain, but no snow. This, I sense, is about to end next weekend when we are likely to get all the snow we’ve previously missed. This isn’t so unusual. End of January through March is our heaviest snow period. But we’ve had years when we’ve had deep snow from November through April — and one year when it went up to 80 F in the middle of February for two weeks, so we got treated to watching the ice in the river melt and then the weather changed and we got 18 inches of snow. We have pretty erratic weather patterns here.

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  6. Another reason I’m a cat owner rather than a dog owner is the cats are much more likely to not do their business outside of the designated place and time. Other than when Ody was going through his diabetic phase and soiling the litter box beyond usability and Biskit decided at the time he’d go wherever he pleased… I’ve never had to clean up any cat #1 or #2. Now barf is an entirely different issue… and now I wonder if that would be #3?

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    1. Between the hair, barf, piss, and shit, there’s ALWAYS something to clean up. But generally, they go out. They do, however, get into pissing contests. He or she who pisses last wins. We lose. We always lose.

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  7. I’m so glad my new house has a bath-and-a-half. I think hubby and I were about to face divorce at the last house, which only had 1 bathroom. With both of us working full-time, it was a nightmare in the morning, especially if I was having a colitis flare. Now we each have our own room and only have to share the shower (um, separately – we’re way past that share-the-shower thing). As for the dog, I do worry that Cody will pee in the house because she’s gotten really stubborn about peeing outside (can’t blamer her, it’s 11 degrees Fahrenheit out there). So far, she’s behaved herself. (PS, our house is set for 68 degrees too, during the day when we’re home – at night we drop it down to 67).

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