Neck up I am damp from dog spit. Friendly pink tongues have been lapping at my face since I got to my brother Neil's house at 12:30 and the pack was released from the four kennels in the bedroom. There is a minature greyhound mix on the couch with me, lipping my left hand fingers, and a sweet part-pit nuzzling my right elbow. The other two, a chihuahua and a Jack Russell-chihuahua blend, were whining on the other side of the door until my brother released them a few minutes ago when he returned from a Craig's List selling run. He was afraid there might be a dogfight otherwise while he was out of the house...all the dogs are female. I was left for a while with the two calmer animals and a loaded gun, in case some idiot tried to break in. (My bro lives in the hood. If there were an emergency, the authorities might show up in half an hour. Or they might not. And the pack of tiny dogs, though fiercely loyal, would probably not deter someone addled by drugs or drink, whereas the noise and/or sight of a pistol has a legendarily sobering effect.)
Happily, the only annoyance of the alone-time was not knowing my sister-in-law's iPad password, so that I could download the app to watch the latest episode of Castle.
Neil took me out to lunch at a great pizzeria and then we hit several Value Villages looking for lamp parts. I found two lamps needing rewiring that I bought for 16 bucks, and then a beautiful handmade vase at the Goodwill for three. Considering that it took $100 in gas to get here, I need some way of recouping my travel costs, and lamp part buying in the discounted South seems a legitimate way to do it. I plan to fix these and sell them for at least $100 (total).
The chihuahua is curled up in my lap, its chin on my knee. The greyhound has its front feet on my other knee, and the other two are milling near the front door, waiting for their mommy to get home. I am awash in puppydogs.