by Valerie Nusbaum

Last night I did something that I almost never do. I took a Tylenol PM to help me sleep. I don’t like taking that stuff and here’s why: I can’t find my face this morning; I have had two cups of fully caffeinated tea, which I don’t need because I’m jumpy and jittery enough without it; and I have full recollection of the weird dream I was having when I jolted awake at 6:30 a.m. 

I was dreaming that Randy and I threw a party. Everyone was in formal wear, with the women wearing brightly-colored gowns and the men in black ties. The husband of one of my friends showed up with a packet of pot that somehow ended up in the trash. I won’t get into the part of the dream where a bunch of us were digging through the trash looking for it. I do remember that the guy who brought it was angry with us because it had cost him $8.00. And I kept calling him by the nickname to which we all refer to him behind his back. He was angry about that, too.

When I told Randy about my strange dream this morning, he pointed out that the nickname for my friend’s husband isn’t one that I bestowed on him. The nickname came from one of his own family members, and honestly, if you knew this guy, you’d say, “Oh….I get it.”  They don’t live around here and his wife doesn’t read my column.

That’s enough about my subconscious. You really don’t want to know more about what goes on inside my head, so I’ll fill you in on what’s been happening with us recently.

Randy visited our dermatologist for his annual skin check. This is one of those times when we want a really low score, as in how many spots did the doctor spray/lance/cut/burn this time? Randy’s score was two (yay!), but both of the spots were on his face. The big one is in the middle of his forehead, and he’s calling himself “Cyclops.”  The other, of course, is on the tip of his nose. My mother bragged that she had six spots on her face last month, so Wanda is ahead by four.  However, my appointment is next month, and since last time my score was 27, I’m optimistic that I’ll be the winner. My appointment is also three days before my birthday, so I really mean it when I say I hope there’s no surprise party this year.  After Randy’s appointment, my mother had us over for spaghetti.  Randy always gets spaghetti when he has a boo-boo. Yes, he eats a lot of spaghetti.

Back at home, I finished cleaning my studio. It had been a while since that room had a good deep-cleaning, but, in my defense, I’ve been working in there non-stop for almost two years, cranking out a lot of new paintings. I’m lucky to have even spot-cleaned the counters and cabinet tops. Since the room was finally sparkling, I spent the next two days holed up in there doing a new painting. It’s of the War Correspondents memorial at Gathland State Park. The painting turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. Sales have been good so far.

Randy and I have been taking long walks in the mornings on the days when he’s not at his office.  It’s good for me to get outside and away from the treadmill, and this way I know he’s actually walking and not sitting on a rock on the street behind our house waiting until his walk time is up. He told me once, jokingly, that he does that.  I hope he was joking.

My friend, Teresa, had her 60th birthday in July. It’s nice to have something happy to celebrate. I lied and told her that her sixties will be the best time of her life. I’m a true friend. It will do her no good to know the truth about what’s coming.

There was house cleaning, lots of laundry, and more than one piece of pizza from the fireman’s Ambulance Company carnival.  There were also steamers and fries, but we justified it by saying that the carnival only comes once a year.  Then Randy reminded me that we’ve already had the Ambulance Company carnival, which gave us the most beautiful fireworks display (Thank you Thurmont Ambulance Company), which we were able to watch from our bedroom window.  It was so nice to have fireworks in the bedroom again. But, I digress…

We had dinner with our friends Gayle and Jon* on Monday night at Los Amigos. It was margarita Monday at the restaurant. We laughed and laughed, but it wasn’t because of the margaritas. 

I took Mom to the grocery store, too. She hadn’t been inside the store since before the pandemic, as we’d been doing her food shopping for her. She was in for some sticker-shock as she saw how much prices have gone up recently.

The heatwave continues, my car got an oil change, there were lots of Etsy orders to fill, and I cooked some chicken and broccoli. Oh, and our neighbors went away on vacation. We’re keeping an eye on things for them. Randy thinks we should put a “For Sale” sign in their yard and text them a photo. 

That’s pretty much what happened here in the last week.  Next week is more of the same. 

Whatever you have planned for the coming days, I hope you stay cool and enjoy it!

*Names changed to protect the innocent.

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