It’s been a whirlwind weekend filled with setbacks and progress.  It’s a fair bit to digest on this beautiful Sunday evening.

The boys had hockey on Friday evening and I had a rare 45 minutes to myself.  It was decadent to actually hold the remote in my hand, and choose the show that I would watch.  Ah, bliss!

I awoke about 5:30 on Saturday morning and tiptoed downstairs to cuddle our puppy for a while and then begin some morning chores.  I fed Charlotte and then let her outside.  After a few minutes, I let her back in and went back to my tidying.  An unmistakeable odour suddenly wafted through the room.  I knew it all too well.  Skunk.

Lucky for us, she hadn’t actually encountered a real skunk; but, rather, a place which the skunk had either recently sprayed or had been occupying.  I am fairly certain that it was the latter, and that this mystery place is under our deck.

For this entire past summer we were well aware that a little critter was holing up under there.  I made a concerted effort to convince the skunk that our deck made a lousy roof and it should relocate.  I sprayed water under the deck twice a day, played loud music, stomped my feet, and shone a flashlight in all the dark corners.  All of my efforts only resulted in a temporary increase in the funky smell emanating from under the deck.  Effectively, it was Skunkese for, “Bugger off.  I’m here to stay.”

My husband’s brilliant solution was that he was going to trap the skunk.  “What,” I enquired, “Did he plan to do if he caught it?”  He was convinced that he would simply throw a blanket on the cage and carry it off someplace.  No matter how I tried to convince him that it was worth every penny of the one hundred or so dollars that an exterminator would charge to get rid of it, he was determined to catch that skunk.  Wasn’t that terrific?  Now we had the scent of testosterone mixed with “eau de Pepe le Pew.”  It was a Molotov cocktail.

Fortunately my husband was only successful in relocating a few squirrels and and several raccoons, but no skunk.  Nearing the end of the summer, it seemed that the skunk had disappeared.  But Charlotte had developed a strong love of rolling in things that reek.

I returned home from work one evening and bent down to snuggle Charlotte when I was met with the pungent smell of animal urine.  Ugh!!!  I marched her downstairs and gave her a doggie bath.  A short while later, our dog walker sent me a text, “Charlotte had such a great day!  She galloped and rolled and rolled and rolled in the grass.  She was so happy!”  No kidding!   You don’t say?!

On Saturday morning I found myself forgetful about the skunk under the deck and so I was shocked to find that Charlotte had not forgotten for a moment and was now stinking up the place.  Not only did she stink, she also decided that she smelled so absolutely fabulous that she should roll and roll and roll on our new shag area rug.  I grabbed Charlotte by the collar and marched her down to the bathroom for yet another shower.  She smelled significantly better.  The rug was a different story.  My only brainstorm there has been to sprinkle baking soda over it using an icing sugar sifter.  I am letting it sit for a few days and then I will vacuum and hope for the best.

Yesterday I caulked the granite in the kitchen and then we put up a new light fixture in our dining room.  Later we went to Home Depot to pick up some lattice.  We wanted to use the lattice to close off the deck to any future Charlotte explorations.  I left my husband at the cash to go look at table saws and lost track of him.  Since he had my purse, my car keys and my phone, I was very anxious to find him.  I stood looking out the window in the foyer of the store, searching for him in the pouring rain for several minutes.  I must have crept up too close to the window because when two men exited the store, the automatic door slid open and hit me hard in the eyebrow.  I was bent over with my hand on my face but the two men just walked out laughing.  So much for chivalry.

I set off through the store again, fighting tears with one hand pasted over my swelling eyebrow.  When I finally found my husband, I burst into tears and felt completely embarrassed.

Although I have a goose egg, I felt a lot better this morning.  We spent today putting a skirt all the way around the deck.   I sincerely hope that it will keep my stinky dog out from under there.  While I was measuring the first piece, my broken tape measure suddenly retracted and cut the tip of my finger.  I keep soaking through the bandaids today, and between my finger and my head, I don’t know what is hurting more.  Where is that Advil?

After we were finished the deck, everyone played hockey on the driveway while I cooked dinner.  A short while later our son shot his hockey ball right through the glass in the garage door.  Of course he did.  But I just couldn’t be mad at him.  I sat down told him about the time when I was 13 and I drove my parents’ car into the garage door.

Besides, it really was just one of those weekends.

We certainly had some undeniable steps backward over the past two days, but let’s hope that the steps forward outnumber them.

Now it is time for some relaxation, well away from anything fragile, sharp or heavy.  Well, heavier than 4 ounces, that is.

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