three ladies and three dogs
Friday, August 26 2011
Before Gretchen picked up tonight's house guests early this afternoon, I made the final tweaks to the basement, which concluded with much vacuuming and a little bathtub scrubbing.
The guests were Mary P. (who'd taken a bus from New York City after flying in from Seattle) and Katie, our friend (and Mary and Gretchen's friend from college) who used to live near Saugerties but has been living in Rhode Island for the past four years. (Her husband Louis is a carpenter and helped us when we were setting up our house back at the end of 2002.)
First Gretchen picked up Mary at the bus station and then Katie arrived by car. We all sat out on the east deck eating chips and dips (Gretchen had scared up some gluten-free options because Mary is convinced she has a gluten allergy) and everyone caught up on everyone else's life. Mary is getting married to her boyfriend Keith next year, though that isn't really news. She also had a little fender bender recently that promises to cost her over $900.
But the biggest updates were from Katie, who has had two kids since we last saw her. It turns out that all of us childless couples are saving a lot of money by our decision to go extinct; Katie said she spends $400 per week on (admittedly topshelf) childcare and that she and Louis don't have the money to go on vacation or even just, you know, go out.
Later the three ladies got all dolled up: Mary wore an aggressively-colored lipstick and diaphanous black skirt, Gretchen busted out her denim miniskirt, and Katie let her hair down. Then they went out for a night on the town in Woodstock. They brought the dogs along, which included Katie's dog Nina (she looks like a fatter, younger, wiry-haired version of Sally).
By this point I'd cut the fanfold doors down to a size allowing them to fit nicely in the 47-inch-wide closet doorway. To avoid sacrificing too must structure, I'd had to cut off four narrow 3/16th-inch-wide strips, one from each side of both sets of hinged panels. This turned out not to be as hard as I'd initially expected. (It's been a lot easier to reliably rip down wood since I bought a powerful Porter-Cable handsaw at a yardsale last year.)
Alone by myself in the house, I fixed myself a series of boozy drinks and caught up on my television watching. One of the programs I saw was a particularly good episode of Dual Survival wherein our heroes Cody and David had to find their way out of the rain-drenched Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. The most impressive instance of survivalcraft in the episode came when David (the ex-army-sniper "red state" to Cody's barefoot-walking "blue state") napped a perfect late Paleolithic arrowhead out of the bottom of a coke bottle. Later, though, he used that arrow to shoot a turkey, but the turkey looked like a fat Thanksgiving bird, not like any of the wild turkeys I've ever seen. It wasn't white (that would have been too obvious), but I suspect it was an unfortunate domesticated bird sacrificed to improve the story arc of the episode.
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