In two days, it will be two years since Bartleby arrived in the backyard. Given that I got to spend $400 last week running liver tests on him because he has some elevated enzymes — liver tests which found basically nothing except, yep, his liver enzymes are too high — the pessimistic vet who predicted that he would be a very expensive dog to own was not wrong.

On the other hand, the ridiculous little dog has brought me joy and snuggles, just the way dogs are supposed to. I’m feeling as if I’d like to celebrate his anniversary with me somehow, but I’m not sure how. He does not need chocolate cake or pizza, my two favorite celebratory foods. Maybe I’ll take him out for dog-friendly ice cream. My only hesitation is that I’d have to bring Zelda, too — no way does B get to come out for ice cream when Z does not — and juggling two dogs and two doggie ice cream cones, while driving the car sounds just a little unsafe. Okay, a lot unsafe. But it’s not until Wednesday so I’m going to figure out a way to accomplish it. It’s a nice plan.

Today’s plan — words, words, words. I took the weekend totally off. Read a lot, swam some, did useful house stuff. I actually felt pretty damn proud of myself yesterday when I’d finally finished dragging all the bougainvillea branches out to the curb. Bougainvillea is such a mean plant. I never manage to cut it back without losing some blood in the process. (Although, as my nephew pointed out last week, if I wasn’t chopping it down, probably it wouldn’t be making me bleed… yeah, point taken. But if it didn’t grow so fast and have such harsh thorns, I wouldn’t have to chop it down!) Anyway, the garbage guys — justifiably — require that it be tied up in neat piles to be disposed of and I’ve gotten satisfyingly good at getting big branches of thorny viciousness out to the curb in neat little bundles. So it wasn’t word count, but I still got to feel accomplished.

Today, though, it’s time to be all about word count. I was looking through past posts, trying to find the exact date B appeared, and then curious about other Julys, and at this point in July 2013, I was 25K words into Time. In 2011, I’d spent months writing the first five chapters of Ghosts, and finally had a first chapter that satisfied me. It was a good reminder that I’ve been stuck before — repeatedly — and still managed to produce a satisfying book in the end. Although I really hope that once I break loose on Grace, I don’t need to agonize quite as much as I did on Time because I remember that autumn as being… difficult.

In entirely random other numerical notices, I added up the number of reviews I have on yesterday because it occurred to me that I was pretty close to a milestone, and my books have received 996 reviews, not including any reviews from the anthology. (The only one of the anthology reviews that mentions Guests, though, described it as “super fun, sassy” which pleased me so, so much – sassy, in particular, is really endearing to me.) Anyway, 1000 reviews also feels like something to celebrate so I’m going to have to think of something nice for me, too, although it probably be another couple of weeks before I get there. Nothing food-related, so maybe I’ll do another kayaking day trip. I bet it’s really damn hot right now, though. Maybe I can steal a kid or two — my niece, maybe? — and go inner-tubing next week. First though, words. Lots of them.

Fingers crossed that Noah is obliging!