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*quick note – I usually choose to keep my blog posts to a writing minimum and fill it with pictures. This one; however, screamed for verbal detail.

“What do I do all day?” you ask.

Well, here’s the short version of a typical day in my life.

I wake up at 6am to the gurgling undulations of what invariably becomes Snuffy’s kitty puke in my sandals by the door, which is usually quite convenient for cleanup, unless it’s a tennis shoe morning. Even though I’ve already skipped my gym workout for today, I figure I’ll stay awake to get some chores done. Without changing out of my pjs, (bra? what bra?) I step outside to water the lawn. Even though I planted some baby perennials that need the water, my main goal is to spray the hell out of the aphids that have taken up residence on the Big Red Sage and my ginormous Desert Willow (not a true willow.) I scare away the cat that likes to sleep in the driveway in hopes of catching the various squirrels, doves, or heaven-forbid-it-ever-catches-them scary grackles that churn up my mulch with their twirly, whistly dancing and proceed to hose down the green things miraculously still alive.

While I’m outside I can hear Snuffy howling at me through the window, but I ignore her because she’s usually extra needy in the morning, probably because she just heaved her guts out and wants affirmation that I won’t move my sandals before tomorrow. Stepping inside brings her howls anew, and she chases me into the bathroom where I scrub the weeds I couldn’t help pulling out from under my fingernails. Jumping on the toilet seat, she starts doing the boot scootin’ thing that animals usually do when that scary dingleberry just keeps clinging. Nope, clean butt, but she cries each time I touch her tail or back legs, so I wonder if she broke something trying to climb on my wire shelves exhibiting pottery from last week’s West Austin Studio Tour. She tries to lick her butt, but can’t quite raise her leg high enough. Well, I acknowledge her advanced age and rotund qualities, try to help move her leg, and get a warning bite for my effort. Ugh, maybe she has worms! I quickly wash my hands again. Amidst her anxious calls and swirling underfoot I notice she’s visited her litter box twice, uneventfully. I walk away to consider calling the vet about my dying cat and hear more scraping in the box. Benignly, she swishes her tail and walks away to curl up in her ottoman box. Huh, I guess constipation causes an achy tail. However, just to be safe, I grab a baggie in case I do need to call the vet later. Online directions say, “Can be stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours.” Let me double baggie that. Gee, these litter covered tidbits look surprisingly similar to the sesame seed covered dates already in the fridge. Won’t the vet be surprised if I bring in the wrong sample for testing? And won’t the hubby be surprised when he’s looking to satisfy his sweet tooth and…?

A knock at the front door leads to a neighborly request to lift a cedar chest into his van for moving to their recently purchased house, still in the ‘hood. “I cleaned all the rat droppings off the top, so it’s actually looking pretty good now.” Thanks Keith, glad I could help.

Shower. Eat. Coffee. Dress. Facebook. Email. Or something resembling that order.

Time to wake up the hubby so we can sign papers at the bank. Applying for a home equity loan truly becomes a giant headache, and that’s even before we close! But, oh, the lovely bathrooms we can look forward to after next month’s remodels. I’m already considering how to throw an amazing bathroom party later this summer. Drinks/ice in the tub? Photo booth in the walk-in shower? Lipstick autographs on the mirror?

Hello Ivey! Oh, it’s pretty much your first time ever notarizing a home equity loan? So glad we can be your trial. Yep, it’s raining outside. Oh, sorry you wore white pants and your birthday is ruined. I suppose you could practice more if you dislike your penmanship so much. Can we please return focus to the buckets of money we’re signing away here? Thanks.

I run to the grocery store because I’m craving protein and the best our kitchen has to offer is canned beans and nuts. I find this yummy looking quinoa salad with cilantro, lime, and other southwest-type tastes. Perfect! I toss some chicken, brussel sprouts and cabbage into my cart and plan to stop by my favorite BBQ place on the way home for a beef rib and coleslaw (with extra cabbage.)

On the way home I pass Josco, the bathroom showroom with toilets we’re considering for our remodel and decide to stop in for a seat check. Sit check? Regardless, I visited yesterday to discuss dimensions, flushing power and prices, but forgot to actually test the toilet seats for comfort and support. I sit. Seems ok, but difficult to tell for sure. I wonder if anyone would notice if I dropped trou in the middle of the showroom? Hmmm…better not. I visit the restroom to see the flushing in action, but am scared off by the upgraded, automatic self-cleaning seat. Back in my car, I notice the parking lot of my favorite BBQ place is not totally packed, so I decide to pop in and pick up food to go, but I’m surprised to see the line almost out the door. Nope, not leaving raw chicken in the car that long! I’ll make do with the quinoa salad for lunch while I research toilets some more.

Hey, what’s this in my email? “Hi Negina, Thank you for participating in the annual Black Star Co-op Member-Owner Survey. You were randomly selected from over 300 respondents to receive a $50 gift certificate.” Saweeet! And this email: “Winners posted for the annual Lukas art contest through Jerry’s Artarama.” Not mine. Not sweet. I view the 3 winners and 12 honorable mentions looking for flaws, so I can denigrate the contest and its worthiness, but finally admitting that they’re pretty darn good.

A few electronic bings later and I’ve finalized plans for this weekend, bought a movie ticket for Friday night, hyped a Salsa social dance on Saturday (preluded by $50 worth of food/drink at Black Star Coop), and forwarded an online shopping cart to our bathroom designer in preparation for our next meeting. I consider chatting about these plans with the hubby at work, but decide not to stress him out by mixing his work and home life. He gets grumpy.

I leave the house for Errands: Round 2.

1. Since my fuel light lit up earlier, I decide to stop at the corner station first, hoping the price of gas isn’t much higher than it was at the warehouse store I left earlier. Filling up continues to be a contentious point between me and the hubby. He researches online the cheapest place around and may drive miles out of his way to go there. I stop whenever I notice the light and I see a station on the right side of the road. Since I fill up every 2 weeks and my tank only holds 12 gallons, I fail to care about the minor price differences.

2. With the pink guide in hand, I return to the scene of yesterday’s finger trauma to exercise my right to vote in the primary run-off election. Had I done my research, I could have taken care of this particular activity yesterday when I renewed my vehicle registration and picked up my new automobile plates. Instead, I proceeded to slice my finger on the corner of the plates, preventing me from fully participating in last night’s pottery class because of the high amounts of bacteria in the clay, and still having to venture back there today to cast my ballot alongside many of Austin’s retired folks. I definitely made sure to pick up my “I voted early” sticker. Totally made it all worthwhile.

3. I successfully visit the darkened group art show location to pick up my sub 12” art, where it hung during West, redeeming part 2 of my epic errand fail earlier in the week. Part one consisted of trying to renew my vehicle registration without my checkbook. Only later did I find out I could have used a credit card for a small fee. Considering I chose to pay in person to avoid the $1 upcharge, I’m happy to have avoided the cc fee. Part 2 mentioned above had me cupping my hands around the locked door wondering when the scheduled pick-up day had become nonexistent. Only upon returning home did I see the email postponing pickup to later in the week. Part 3 of Tuesday’s epic errand fail required a 2+ hour wait for my long overdue oil change. However, today, success! I carried home my sub 12” painting and returned it to its rightful place on my hallway wall.

4. Call ahead to Black Star so someone can unlock the door and hand me my hard earned $50 gift card.

5. I don’t have to wait for an amazing, peppery, melt-in-your-mouth beef rib at the best BBQ joint in North Austin. By 2, the lunch line dwindled to nonexistent. Errands: Round 2 complete. I head home to enjoy the meats of my labor.

While writing this story, I answer the house phone and complete an electronic survey about my voting choices. Considering I’ve already cast my ballot, it seemed rude to answer that their “facts” won’t sway my vote in any way. But is it really possible to be rude to a recording?

During the rest of my afternoon I indulged in a short cat nap…with the cat. I cut 2 mangos, decided they were too ripe to enjoy (I prefer them on the sour side) and stored them in the freezer for a later sorbet-making date. I added fresh cabbage to the coleslaw mix from my favorite BBQ joint to make it spectacular. I roasted CSA beets, cooked chicken curry for dinner, and finished my writing. Wonder what I’ll do tomorrow?

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