The Stranger…on my Front Steps??

Can nothing in my life go smoothly? I mean…is it too much expect some sleep at night? I am not a bat. Human beings are not supposed to be nocturnal…

And yet, I only got about 2 hours of sleep last night. Not nearly enough.

The worst part? I was looking forward to going to bed. I was completely exhausted by 6pm. But I had more ‘day’ to get through, before being rewarded with bedtime.

After hustling through the day, I watched my son’s first 8th grade football game. And it was an exciting win, because the team played well–but also because my son had the game of his life, at least thus far. After the game, I rushed home to meet a client who wanted to look at furniture that I had for sale. Thank goodness she bought the bedroom set, because I missed a mandatory parent meeting at the school—I had no idea there even WAS a meeting, actually. I ran back to the school, but it was already over. Then back home to a phone call requesting that I make changes to a recently completed freelance project…

By 11pm, I FELL into bed.

I tossed. I turned. I put the TV on. I turned the TV off. I went down to the basement and moved laundry. Matter of fact, ALL the laundry was finished by morning. And the dishwasher was run. Because I wasn’t sleeping!!

I was WIDE awake.

Finally, I dozed off at about 3am.

At 3:34am, my dogs’ commotion in another room woke me up. They were barking like I’ve never heard them bark. Just ballistic. I stumbled out of bed, half asleep, to investigate why they were acting like the front door was attacking them. I opened the front door a few inches to peek outside…

And there was a Strange Man standing there. 

Stunned, I shut and locked the door at lighting speed. All I heard was…

“Out of Gas…need a phone….”

Still shaking off the fog, I darted into my bedroom and called the 911. If The Stranger truly was out of gas, I wanted to help him. And if he was a crazed lunatic, I wanted him in the back of a squad car–not loitering on my front steps.

The commotion woke my daughter and she hunkered down on my bed as I gave a description to the 911 operator.

Delightful Daughter: The lighting isn’t helping things…

As we waited for the  police to arrive, lighting lit up the sky—illuminating The Stranger in my yard. Plus, the lightning had Rocky Dog–the Golden Retriever—quaking in his boots.

Gracie? She had no problem with the lightning and approaching thunderstorm. She did have a problem with The Stranger on the Stoop. Have I mentioned that Gracie Mutt has a touch of Pit Bull in her? She was in ‘guard dog’ mode. And she was NOT pleased.

Delightful Daughter: Be Strong Mom.

She was NOT referring to The Stranger…she meant that I should NOT  help Rocky Dog onto the bed (He cannot jump up, due to a gimpy leg)

And yet, I hoisted him up without even a thought…

Delightful Daughter: You’re weak!!

Me: Deep sigh…

Delightful Daughter: (laughing at me) WEAK!

Me: Another Deep sigh…

Why would I put the dog on the bed to army crawl around, pant in my face and ‘hide’ his 85 lb. body under my pillow? Why position him in to aggravate me? Good question…without a good answer.

Delightful Daughter: Gracie’s not afraid of the storm…

Me: No. But she CANNOT take Rocky Dog’s meltdown. And The Stranger outside is irritating her.

Delightful Daughter: Mom. Go get the Benadryl. Take Rocky Dog out to the family room couch. Let the Benadryl kick in…then come back to bed in your room.

Me: I’m NOT going out there…THE GUY!

Delightful Daughter: Crawl…

Me: That idea has merit.

Delightful Daughter: What if he has a gun??

Thankfully, the police arrived. There was talk. And The Stranger shuffled off with Mr. Officer. The ‘nice’ 911 Lady told me the police would come back if there was a problem. They never came back. Does anybody think it was a bad sign that The Stranger got into the back of the squad car?

As my daughter and I were pondering this, my son shuffled onto the scene, chugging a Powerade like it’s normal for us to be having ‘family time’ and chatting in my bedroom at 4am.

Me & My Son...

Me: Why are you up?

Son: All the loudness…

Me: Oh.

We quickly filled him in. He and I wandered to the front of the house, to watch the squad car leave our driveway–The Stranger tucked securely in the backseat.

Son: I think I’ll go watch some TV…

The children, dogs and I have bonded. Again. We had some laughs and conversation in the middle of the night. Again.

And I am still not asleep at 4:30 am.

I will surely have to restrain myself from throwing my alarm clock it at a wall in a couple of hours.

I can’t help but notice that we all took things in stride–except Rocky Dog, who was a shaking, panting, wreck because of the lightning. Nobody was cranky or angry. (Even the next day, when we were sleep deprived.) We all rolled with our odd predicament. This tends to be our life.

These things HAPPEN to us. We don’t know WHY…

Of course, 6:15 arrived far too soon. To make up for the sleep deprivation, we left  early and got donuts on the way to school.

The rainbow for me? After I dropped the children off to school, I loaded my car and pointed my Trusty Honda toward Virginia. Me and my ‘friends’ (Rocky Dog and Grace) are at Aunt Kate’s as I type this.

Aunt Kate made a fabulous dinner.

And…there’s cake!!

I am off to bed now. After 2 hours of sleep and a ride from Ohio to Virginia, I am tired. And it is after midnight.

The good news? There’s CAKE for breakfast!!

Rocky – My Doped Up Dog…

Rocky relaxing outdoors

Help. And I really do mean it.

I’m exhausted. Rocky, our Golden Retriever dog, is terrified of thunderstorms. Not just the normal variety of scared. It is just beyond…

Rocky pants and drools. Then whines and cries. And trots around the house, his nails clip clopping on the wood floors. What is he looking for? Me.

When he locates me, he hides underneath or behind me. He army crawls his 85 pound body under my pillow—then carries on with the heavy panting and drooling. He keeps army crawling closer, until he about knocks me off of my king size bed. I push him back to the middle and we start again. There is NO sleeping during a storm. At least not for me. He is on me like flies on shit until the storm passes.

“Close the bedroom door,” Boy is she dumb, you are thinking.

If I do this, he takes his routine on the road—and begins tormenting the kids.

“Shut ALL of the doors…like, duh!”

Rocky and Grace (our puppy) lounging in the family room

Tried it. He rams his body into my door and will not stop. I am not concerned for his  head and/or mental capacity, as there isn’t much hope for that. I can’t have a damaged door.

While on vacation a couple of weeks ago, I was desperate and slipped Rocky a Benadryl.  Yes—I drugged him. He spent the night tossed across my aunts’ couch, during an awful storm.  We poked him a few times to make sure he was still with the land of the living, but we all slept like babies. And so did he. We all felt a little bad. But not too bad.

Last night, I tossed a Benadryl into the back of his throat—but I swear he spit it out. Because I waited and waited—for nothing. And I do recall him struggling with it and that there might have been some chewing, or something…

The dog is 7 years old. I have lost all hope that he will mature and outgrow his fears.  Now, I’m just waiting for deaf and senile to hit. One of us.

Thank goodness the weather calmed down at 3am last night. Too bad the alarms rang at 6am. At 40 years old, I cannot function on 3 hours of sleep. Please forgive me, if this post is filled with grammatical errors, or makes zero sense–I am nearly incoherent…He of course, has been sound asleep since early this morning.

I did get caught up on my television in the middle of the night. Watched The Millionaire Matchmaker, which would be great if I LIKED The Millionaire Matchmaker. Nothing against it, but it only reminds me that I am now 40 and divorced. Watching others ‘date’ gives me the hives. It is like watching those ‘nanny’ shows with the awful, screaming, misbehaving children—just after you’ve put your kids to bed and finally have peace and quiet.

Rocky napping on a heap of pillows and blankets

Anybody watched the weather forecast for the next several days? Take a look…

And then forward some ideas for dealing with Rocky. Otherwise, I am going to be severely sleep deprived.

And no, I do not have a gun. (And couldn’t do that to my loyal friend, anyway.)

But I am open to less drastic ideas…