Ask yourself what makes you comfortable. Right now, for me, I’d say bedtime. At the end of the day, there is nothing I look so forward to than sliding between the sweet, creamy, cool sheets and stretching out. But that’s not all. The next slice of heaven comes when I reach over and grab the bottle of moisturizer and apply generous amounts to my hands and arms with the certainty that I’ve washed my hands for the last time that day and the lotion will not be washed off. Ahhh. I can feel it sinking into my skin, smoothing out the rough parts. The relief is sublime.

During the winter months, my skin (I was going our skin, but I don’t want to presumptuous! Oh, hell, never mind….) our skin gets dry. When you have a household to run, and a dog, and snow, and cleaning paws and boots and floors after everyone is in and out all day, you wash your hands—a lot. Tiny cracks in the corner of your thumbs appear. Which brings me to part two of my winter bedtime ritual. After putting down the lotion, I grab a box of Band-Aids and the Neosporin and then apply the medicine to the open wounds and dress them. It’s like a miracle cure. By the next morning, the painful cuts are practically closed, and I can begin the hand washing cycle again, but this time with less pain.

If you find this blog ridiculous, then you do not live in a northern climate. You are a wuss. You are spoiled. You are not a hearty breed. You are not entitled to enjoy a mosquito-free summer!! I’m jealous. Winter takes its toll on the mind, body, and spirit. When will it end! Which brings me to part three.

Band-Aids in place, thumbs in the air, moisturized to a degree where I cannot touch anything without transfer, I happily get myself into position and pull up whatever TV marathon series we are currently watching. In years past, we would read in bed, but routines change. It may change back, but right now, George and I are watching the telly in bed. The poor man just endured watching the 1980s series – Dynasty. It took us almost a year—watching only in bed— to get through the 220 campy episodes, but we did it. George is a sport! He also laughed along with me—a lot. Don’t let him tell you otherwise. After Dynasty, we moved into Bosch, which was fantastic. Based on the Michael Connelly books which we devoured, I highly recommend it.

Part four of my luxuriating routine brings the sequence to a close. It’s when George actually arrives with a sleepy puppy in tow and the two of them climb in next to me. Family snoodled, I try to let go of all the drama that transpired that day. We breathe next to each other and relax…..until I hear crunching.

“What’s that noise?”

“Oh hell,” says George. “It’s Gemma, she’s eating out of the trash. GEMMA!”

“Well I just lotioned-up, you left the bathroom door open, you get her!”

“Dammit! Gemma!”

“What’s she eating?” I ask as I sit up.

George holds up a square foil package.

“Are you kidding me!” I scream. “That’s a hormone patch. Did she eat it!”

George searches through the saliva-covered debris. “I don’t know, what does it look like?”

ARGH! I throw back the covers and go over to look myself.

Pause here. What do you think is troubling me most at this juncture? That Gemma may have eaten a hormone patch, or the fact that I may have to wash my hands again after going through the wet mess and the trash? I’ll let you figure that out.

Disclaimer:  The dog survived. She will never sleep in our room again…….until tonight.

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