R told me a very funny story about love bugs yesterday (while we were having a nice Mother’s Day brunch) and it almost made me feel kindly toward them. For a minute or two. It didn’t last.

For those not from Florida, the bugs colloquially called “love bugs” — I have no idea what their real name is — have a brief mating season in spring and in fall. Every few years, their mating season is insanely crazy and there are bugs everywhere. You can’t go outside without breathing them in, because there are so many of them. They will crawl on you, they will get in your hair, they will fly in your face, and they will cover your vehicle. Yesterday, during my drive to Sarasota, I probably killed hundreds of them, maybe thousands. It does not make for a cheerful drive. So, so, so gross.

Fortunately (?), it’s also really rainy. Enough so that I checked the weather this morning with a wary eye. I’m not leaving Florida until R graduates from college and there’s no way I’m missing his graduation, but we actually might be looking at the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season. About three weeks too early, but Al Gore warned us a long time ago about changing weather systems. It’s not a surprise. And it is handy for rinsing off dead love bugs.

I’m waiting on test results for Z, but she is unchanged. Yesterday afternoon, she peed on both beds, so I spent the afternoon and early evening doing laundry. The campground (Oscar Scherer Stat Park) has a nice washer and dryer, so I managed to get clean sheets on the beds, but it cost me $7 total. That’s going to be an expensive daily habit.

Meanwhile, she rejected fresh Atlantic salmon and rice for breakfast. I ate some and it was quite delicious. But she seemed hungry before I gave her the pills she’s supposed to take and it finally occurred to me to wonder whether the medication — which is not doing anything for the peeing problem — is making her nauseous. Turns out the side effects are restlessness, irritability and loss of appetite. I’m thinking we are going to stop those pills. I’ll continue with the antibiotics, at least until we get the test results. Eventually I will become nonchalant about the peeing, I suppose, if the other options are starving dog and/or dying dog. Peeing dog is fine in comparison.

I actually really wanted to make some cute flow chart graphics for this post. The first would ask, “Has Zelda peed inside?” and the answers would be, “No,” leading to “Of course not, what a bizarre idea, why would she do that?” and “Yes,” leading to “Seriously? WTF?”. The second chart would ask, “Has Zelda peed inside?” and the “Yes” response would lead to a bunch of variants, like “Did she pee on me?” and “Did it wake me up?” and “Did she pee on so many things that I must immediately do multiple loads of laundry?” and so on, with answers that would include “Great!” and “No problem,” for the lesser pee issues. Honestly, pee on the floor only bothers me now if I step in it.

However, creating a flow chart turned out to be a lot more work than one would expect. I wound up having lots of fun playing with book cover designs instead. I’m a long way away from needing any new book covers, but it was fun to try out some variations. (I was using free templates from Canva and my own photographs.)

possible new covers for A Lonely Magic

Of course, the book I’m really working on is Grace, so I should get back to it. No progress this weekend, unsurprisingly, and this week — given the graduation and the distractions inherent in being in the same town as R — is probably not going to be my most productive, but I’m really pretty close to finishing a draft for the first time ever. And I have no current impulse to start over from the beginning, which is a good sign.

I’ve got one other distraction happening this week, though, which is pretty fun. When I was walking Z this morning, I was wondering why it felt sort of like Christmas Eve. You know the feeling, that slightly magical sense of anticipation? And then I remembered that it’s because The Penderwicks at Last releases tomorrow. Yes, it feels like Christmas Eve because of a book. But I love the Penderwicks and I’m so looking forward to getting lost in their world again for a few hours.

First, though, some Grace!