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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Archive for April 2nd, 2012

Claire Wolfe

Dog politics, floor finishing, and a vast desire to lie on the beach in Tahiti

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

It’s not that fostering a dog is a full-time occupation — although dealing with the politics of a canine pack can be as consuming as (though much more honest and direct than) dealing with human politics.

I have Robbie — normally the bully of the bunch, but this time remaining blessedly aloof. Clearly he believes introduction of a new female is a problem to be worked out solely by the girls.

There’s Nadja. She’s low dog on the totem pole, but those few privileges she can claim for her own are hers, by damn. She’ll even head Robbie away from the Costco bed I fished out of a dumpster a few months ago. Woe betide any mere new dog who so much as looks in that direction.

Finally, we come to Princess Ava Prettypaws and the new girl, Sweetie. Both are cattle dogs (Ava, having no idea she’s a mix, considers herself a privileged purebred). Both expect to be the one at “Mom’s” knee at all times. Neither is willing to accept that Mom has two knees.

I intended to discourage Sweetie from bonding with me, given that she’s here only temporarily. I had intended to kennel her much of the time and not integrate her with the pack. But turns out she’s one of those dogs who laughs — laughs! — at wire mesh and simple latches. She chewed her way out and integrated herself with the pack on her first morning here. Now my job is just to keep things civilized.

Jake MacGregor’s expression, “Keep your dog pants on!” is having at least some effect.


No, it’s not that fostering a dog is a full-time occupation, but between that and finally (almost) finishing the living room a year after I intended to feels like full-time work. Who knew that climbing up and down a few ladder steps for painting and wallpapering could be as hard on the body as scaling serious mountains?

My thighs know. They remind me with grievous wails every time I sit down or stand up. Climbing stairs? Please. Do not even mention climbing stairs. My thighs will have a nervous breakdown.


So you’ll have to forgive me for having nothing witty to add about the dangers of high unemployment in Europe. I can’t even rouse any verbal indignation over the IRS trying to claim the right to revoke the passports of allegedly delinquent taxpayers. Oh yes, I seethe inside. But even the fact that the wretched provision is (so typically!) buried as usual in some big old must-pass transportation bill can’t draw a loud snarl from me at the moment.

I’m too tired even to bleat.


After dragging butt through a short morning dog walk I did stop at the local greasy spoon and have an enormous, completely disgusting anti-health-food breakfast. That helped.

But really, only Tahiti can guarantee a full recovery. So. Who’s offering? Anybody? Anybody?


And about finishing that living room …

If you’ve hung out in these parts for a while, you may recall that last spring I tore up the really-not-too-bad living-room carpet that came with the house. Expecting to find beauteous oak, I discovered … ghosts of builders past.

You guys offered some lively suggestions about what to do with that weird old floor. I have to tell you, I took none of them. I thought seriously about all those clever things, I really did. But in the end, I decided the problems were just too large. Discovering that the nice family trying to keep the local flooring shoppe alive were having a huge sale, I opted for the easy way out. A couple of months ago, I bought laminate and now I’ve saved up my pennies to get the shoppe to install it.

I made an appointment for mid-April to force myself to finish everything else that’s needed doing in the room. The old barely functioning pellet stove — gone! The truly gigantic, hideous, OMG-who-can-believe-anybody-would-build-anything-this-ugly stove surround — out! The ruined wall behind the surround — patched, papered, and painted. Ceiling painted. Bookshelves and trim painted. Busted baseboard moldings replaced. Or about to be.

Light spotted at the end of the tunnel.


But still, it’s the cold light of a Northwest spring. Tahiti … ah, the light is different there. Warmer. And the gin-and-tonics on the beach are unparalleled.

Seriously. I’m ready. It’s just a matter of time. And money. Anybody out there have a Gulfstream and want to swing by and pick me up on your way to the South Pacific?

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