My mind finally may have gone 'round the bend last week. I had a bad day. Actually, in my mind I had a bad week. Can't-catch-your-breath sobbing was involved. But in reality, nothing catastrophic happened; and most of the meltdown feelings involved our puppy's well-being . . . that, and U.S. politics.
Recently I read an article involving tips for living in Costa Rica. One of the tips suggested attempting just two (2) tasks per day. Two?!? Seriously? I can accomplish more than two tasks in the three hours that I'm awake from 5:30 to 8:30 A.M. Admittedly, after that it's usually downhill, often involving a nap-fest. Nevertheless, as I read that questionable tip I began to feel better about my week. I made chocolate chip cookies. I painted a gate. I groomed a puppy. I shaved my legs. I continued the ongoing battle against mosquitoes and toads. And I pondered a number of future tasks. Pondering counts.
This is the puppy. Penny the Puppy. Her coat reflects Day 2 of being hand-stripped (don't ask). But regardless of coat, one can see that she is a long, leggy animal. And with those long legs she's learned to jump.
My friend Judy helped teach Penny how to jump into our arms. This is a great trick with only one problem: a puppy that knows it can leap into the arms of an upright adult also knows that she can leap just about anywhere she'd like to go. Hmm.
Anyway, I love her to bits despite the fact that I am so neurotic that I am convinced she is going to die . . . any moment. Every time she eats a bad bug and vomits . . . whenever I cannot see her . . . whenever she refuses breakfast I am convinced that she's dying. I'm also convinced that she will drown in our pool.
This is the pool; so drowning actually is not beyond the realm of possibility. These are the dimensions of our existing pool steps. Nineteen inches down to that first step; and though she can leap, I'm confident that leaping while submerged involves different physics . . . something about inertia, Sir Newton, and objects at rest (a law of physics that I clearly grasp from my nap-fests). And that first step is quite narrow, thus preventing a running start . . . a start that, again, would be impeded by the viscosity of water versus thin air. Science, yeah! I rarely enter via the steps. That first step is deep, even for me. More often than not I simply roll in from the coping.
Now that Penny can jump she's been seen scampering around the pool coping. She's also been known to take a step directly from the pool's edge onto any inflatable raft or boogie board floating in the pool. This is the point where my heart stops and I begin a rant about leaving nothing in the pool, ever . . . of which only I am guilty.
So do the math. Nineteen-inch step; 14-inch legs. Steps were taken . . . or created. Yes, we drained the pool; and Lubos and Cynthia designed two steps that cover the entire width of the far end of the pool -- both shallow enough that Penny can exit the water with an easy step directly up to the coping . . . and wide enough that I can roll about in shallow water like a beached whale.
Rusty, get your checkbook. After all, we certainly cannot place a price on Penny's safety; but moreover Rusty cannot place a price on a relatively sane wife. Relatively.
This week the new steps will have their little blue tiles installed, we'll refill the pool, and Penny will learn the in-out trick in water. She's already begun lessons on dry steps.
So with our favorite crew (Javier and Tonio) working outdoors on the pool (thus the chocolate chip cookies), I felt compelled to do a bit of work in the yard.
The gate. A gate that Penny, should she so desire, can leap over at any moment. Denial -- not just a river in Africa and my current coping skill about Penny's leaping skills. Happily, as of now, she doesn't realize that there is anything of interest beyond her gated and fenced yard. She's seven months . . . so it's just a matter of time. Anyway, what does one do with a gate when the color green ordered at the paint store isn't quite what one envisioned? Vines. I painted vines. Yes, I felt very Pinterest-y, which is almost as frightening to me as the idea of losing young Penny. Sally, you understand, right? Lo que hay.