Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Still Stinky

rain, rain, more rain, and...rain. temps 2

Blech. Pouring rain for most of the day. Our front lawn and driveway is flooded. Still, I need to remember this is normal at this time of year.

The skunky smell permeates the house! All night I kept trying to pretend the overpowering smell was just really, really strong coffee. That a skunk had peed into. There was really no escaping what it was! Thankfully Deanna - who would normally come to clean next week - agreed to come this morning. We warned her what had happened. And she came anyway!

We headed out for a birthday breakfast with Joan. Thank God the skunk stink hadn't stayed in Michael's car!! Hate to have to owe him one. Breakfast with Joan was very fun. She runs the local meditation centre - a sort of elder statesman of Sutton. She also happens to be our friend Gary's mother.

We then went over to the pharmacy to store up on peroxide...'cause it was pretty clear good old Trudy wasn't quite skunk free.

We got home with half an hour to go before Lise arrived for a meeting. And Deanna was still there (we'd sweetened the pot by giving her a bag of chocolate easter eggs). The place smelled MUCH better.

But it was time to jump in the shower with Trudy. We mixed up the magic peroxide potion (Michael's sister Carol wrote to say at the rate we're going we might have a wonderfully clean, but very white, dog! I think she might be right) then off we went, enticing Trudy into the walk-in shower with treats. poor Trudy - her mother's daughter. Betrayed by her stomach.

I went in too and we lathered her up. The trick, apparently, is to pour the stuff over her, work it into her coat - then wait ten minutes. At exactly this time Lise arrives. Trudy and me nakes in the walk-in shower - like museum exhibits. just standing there. Waiting. Lise waited downstairs but suggested Michael needed to take a photo. He actually came up with a camera!

I suggested he needn't take a photo!

Then we rinsed off...and I think Trudy actually does smell better. or, I smell worse.

After our meeting with Lise I was just sitting down to write when my sister in law called from Regina. Hadn't spoken for a very long time and they have lots of great news. It was such fun! But I have to admit, by the time I'd hung up, after an hour, I was tired. Sat at the computer, wrote 500 words and realized I was fried. It was late afternoon. the day seemed to have slipped away.

part of me was frustrated and felt robbed. But then I realized it had been a wonderful, wonderful day. filled with friends, and family - filled with wonderful people. Productive but also fun. It was life. Our lives. Which are full, even without the writing.

When I'm writing a book I can become tunnel-visioned. focussed only on that. And I'm of two minds about that. I believe the reason I can write what I do is because I am disciplined. And am not easily distracted. I need to be very clear about what I need to do. Writing, for me, is hard. And I'm always, always tempted to do anything but. And so, being distracted is a huge danger for me. But so is being blind to other parts of my life. The great gifts offered to me, of community and friendship, marriage and partnership.

So, as I write, I struggle everyday trying to find that balance. To be honest, i know I'm getting much, much better about writing, and enjoying myself. And part of that is remembering too, that writing is hard work, but it's also a privilege and a joy.

Have more fun! My mantra for the year. Who'd have thought a stinky dog would help teach me that? But then again, why not? Maybe she is rubbing off on me.


Bev Stephans said...

OMG! What was Michael going to do with the shower pix? Post them on your website? I'm glad that you are getting rid of your smell, one peroxide bottle at a time.

Don't worry about missing one day of writing. You seem disciplined enough that it won't throw you off and you can go at it tomorrow.

Susan Fish said...

I am so happy to hear I'm not alone in the struggle to balance my real life with my all-consuming fiction world. When I am writing, I really regret the needs for sleep, food and toilet. I actually admire your discipline to stop writing more than to start writing!

Rachel said...

Oh my, Louise, your blog today has my laughing out loud! Thanks for sharing Trudy's deskunking!

Trudy is blessed to have your love!


Cece said...

At the moment, do you really want Trudy rubbing off on you? hehehe.

Working at home definitely is a mixed blessing. So much peace, so many distractions.

Christine said...

When I worked for a kennel years ago, it seemed to me that only long-hair dogs with a dense undercoat were favored by skunks. No chihuahuas, rottweilers, or even labs, it was Great Pyrenese or Samoyeds. At least at that time, the best you could hope for from the shampoos or treatments was that the smell would mutate to something closer to vinegar than skunk. Hopefully, Trudy's back to her sweet-smelling self soon. ;0)

Deborah Crombie said...

Hi Louise--Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog, and how comforting I find it to know that other writers (and particularly those I admire!) struggle with the everyday juggling act. It encourages me, so thanks for sharing.


Reen said...

I discovered your books at a time when I really needed them. While reading Still Life I realised that walking is highly overrated, but reading a book is not.

Most of the time I can only listen to the CDs. My arms are too weak to hold a book open, but I have learned how to use a special bookstand that allows me to read hardbound books for brief periods. Thanks to some very dear - and yes, kind - people in Qu├ębec, I have a hardcover version of Still Life, and I am reading it now a little bit at a time. Kendall is lapping water from his "Vive Gamache" mug as I read aloud to him. He loves what you have to say about dogs and thinks he really ought to have a little slice of banana.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

How wonderful to hear from you Deb and you Susan - other writers - that you also struggle. Argh. but what a comfort. Thank you.

and thanks to all of you who also work from home - as you seem to Cece...yes, definitely a mixed blessing...part of my challenge, as I've said before - is taking it as legitimate as 'going' to work.

thanks too for all the Trudy comments. She's still a little stinky, but very, very soft. Looking much more like a stuffed toy than anything now.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Reen,

I'm so glad you got the book! And what lovely notes you sent me and Lise. Complete with a photo of kendall How lovely you are. Can just imagine him having his 'cafe au lait'.