Dear extremely weird August with all your 80-something degree days, I like you. I want to marry you. Please come back next year. Dear Blossom, you’re usually a pretty good dog. I can forgive you chewing up everything in reach..and some things that aren’t in reach but somehow mysteriously end up in pieces anyway. I can almost forgive you for chewing up our HOUSE SIDING. (Almost. Please remember that I am not an animal lover.) But I cannot forgive you for being completely silent all day and night until exactly 1AM and then barking nonstop for an hour. It’s like you literally wait until I’ve closed my book and just drifted off and then, BAM! Time to howl at the moon, all the bugs, and every blade of grass — RIGHT UNDER MY BEDROOM WINDOW. Not cool, dog. Not cool. Dear Susannah and Madeline, you are grounded for all eternity from anything with an alarm. No more phones. No more cd players with alarm clocks. No more watches with alarms. It’s nice that you can sleep right through those things at 2 or 3 AM though, while I attempt to first FIND the offending device, trip over everything you’ve left out as an obstacle course, contort my arm into impossible shapes behind your bed to unplug the device after I’ve failed to find the right button to turn it off, and pretty much want to give up on living after repeating the routine for the FOURTH NIGHT IN A ROW. Special mention goes to Jerm, who also sleeps through all the fun. Dear chickens, I miss you. Every time I see that crazy-looking coop at the in-laws I remember the horror of that day that you all decided to die for no reason. Also, I wonder how on earth I got attached to chickens. Such stinky creatures. Dear Jerm, would you believe me if I said that I’m tired of traveling for a while?