The dogs got me up very early this morning, which is a rarity. They usually sleep until I wake up, no matter what time that may be. Bodily needs took over, though, and forced first Lytton and then Patrick out of bed to deposit various types of waste material on the floor of the bedroom. I tried to ignore the smell, tossing and turning. Then Patrick, who can't jump back up on the bed once he has left it, began to whine. Finally I lifted him up and again tried to get back to sleep. Lytton began to shake his head noisily, flapping his ears in the air. He has an ear infection and this is the way he tries to deal with the pain. I turned over and buried my head under the blanket. Just as I started to finally drift off, I heard Patrick retching again beside me. I shoved him to the floor, showing remarkably little sympathy for his upset stomach. The activity made Lytton think it was time to get up. He jumped off the bed enthusiastically and scratched at the door. Despite the clean-up facing me, I knew I was fighting a losing battle and reluctantly pulled myself to my feet. The messes were far more wide-spread than I had anticipated, and even the comforter needed to be put immediately into the washing machine. Yuck!!
The sun is shining and it has been a fine, cold day. I expected to start painting for a window display Elizabeth and I are doing in Calais, but the morning was taken up with a gallery meeting and the afternoon disappeared as I did first one small chore and then another "before I start the painting." These included finishing Patrick's hair cut that I started yesterday. Lytton got a haircut, too. I promised him I wouldn't cut him, but as usual I slipped up and knicked him with the scissors. He yelped, but didn't bite me, so I called the ordeal a success. They are both ragged, since I am admittedly no dog groomer, but at least most of their matts are gone. Lucky Benny has hair that stays fairly unsnarled, so is often spared the torture the others suffer.
Anyway, by the time I got around to the painting, I didn't feel like working on it anymore. I'll go open my book, "The Sin Eater." It's another one by Alice Thomas Ellis, and I read about a third of it last week. Yesterday I realized I hadn't given it the time it deserved, so I started over again. This time I am paying attention. It takes consentration and dedication to the task to read Ellis. Otherwise, there is no reason to read it. But there are tremendous rewards to the reader who is worthy of her writing.