Last night I’m trying to sleep, and barely succeeding, when I feel something on my arm. Something cold, and wet. A nose. My dog Scout’s nose, to be specific, which means two things: she’s up from her normal sleeping place across the room, and it’s about to storm.

I swear, she knows even before there’s lightning or thunder. Sure enough, a few minutes later, a huge thunderstorm moved through. Wind blowing hard, rain pouring down, lightning flashing, making everything bright. Meanwhile Scout is huddled next to the bed, bumping her head up under my hand, terrified. She didn’t used to be like this. When she was younger, she wasn’t scared of storms at all: it was the night Hurricane Fran hit that freaked her out, and she’s been freaked ever since. She’ll either cower right next to me, or try to wedge herself in the tiny place between the bedside table and closet. If the storm is really bad—like it was last night—I’ll open the walk-in closet and she’ll go in there until it passes. I always feel so bad for her. I mean, I’m afraid of a lot of things—flying, heights, Marilyn Manson—but at least I’m able, in some logical sense, to understand what they are. All Scout knows is that sometimes, the world just gets very loud and crazy, and it scares the crap out of her. It’s got to be tough.

This morning, though, the rain has passed, and everything’s calmed down. Meanwhile she’s completely sacked out in the living room, sleeping so hard I can hear her snoring. Tough night. Of course, my husband and Monkey both slept through the whole thing, no worries. That’s the ying and yang of our little group, the worriers, the sleepers. At least we all balance each other out. Most of the time.

Meanwhile, it’s Friday, and I’m feeling much better since I got a big bulk of my Christmas shopping done yesterday. When I first got to the mall, the task was so daunting I thought I couldn’t take it. But then I pushed on, and about the time I was in Nordstrom, picking out very cute little items, I started to cheer up. Of course, I also spent way too much. And, um, bought myself some stuff at J.Crew as well. And, oh, a pair of boots, too. Oops. But whatever, I’m feeling more productive, and it all counts, right? Right. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.

Have a good day everyone!