Friday, January 3, 2014

Keeping Afloat, and Skunks

If humans came with blinders and earplugs, I'd be feeling pretty good today: A cup of hot coffee, no surgery on the calendar, and we still have power despite the girly but persistent blizzard that's been pelting us for the last 24 hours. Instead we have brains that receive messages relaying the misery of others, and that's a bummer. A deep and debilitating bummer when you can't fix their problems, and so they become your problems too. I have several of those situations percolating at the moment, not to mention my husband's bronchitis.

For respite I turn to Facebook, my happy place. It's not real, I know, but happiness is all over the pretend world that fills my computer screen. Photographs of people having fun, out partying, skiing, drinking and dancing, at the top of a mountain or lying on the sand somewhere exotic with an umbrella drink in hand, while I'm here in Maine shoveling piles of snow and trying to keep the hot tub from freezing, no easy task. (Last night Mitch and I spent an hour pouring buckets of water into it because the pump keeps running and the water inside is evaporating and when it gets too low--oh forget it. Trust me, it's bad.)

Just two weeks ago I was posting pictures from Spain and Portugal, so who am I to talk? Still, when you're the one not having a good time, when your head is full of plaintive voices and you're not hallucinating, just replaying conversations with friends and family who are at rock bottom, or damn well near it, those Facebook photos can be quite distracting. And talk about your First World problems: Boo-hoo, my hot tub is acting up! Still, there it is, right outside on the deck, and we are its stewards, and it's expensive so we have to try, don't we? We can't let it go all to Hell, can we? Saving the family farm, and with it the fragile framework of our lives, takes constant work. One false move, look away for an instant, party too hard, and it's all gone.

Cartoon by Gary Fields Studios
In the distraction department, and because I promised to make this blog new and different and full of interesting and helpful information, I hereby present a foolproof, non-tomato paste remedy for a skunk encounter involving a family pet. We found out the hard way that it works.
1 quart hydrogen peroxide
1 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon mild dish detergent
Mix well and shampoo the odoriferous party.

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