Wait, mother needs surgery?
Ma got emergency abdominal surgery last night. Turned out to be minor problem, easily repaired, thankfully. But by the time it was clear she'd be needing it, I couldn't get a flight. Came up first thing this morning, in the middle of a snowstorm; fortunately, the surgery went easily and very well -- the problem was on the minor side of things, and didn't have any of the complications the doctors had been worried about. Now I'm helping out around the house for a couple of days; will fly back when Ma has things in hand.
Meanwhile, Cigarette is spending so much time at my friend Ash's house, he probably has grounds to have her help out with his mortgage. I'm not sure what a pit bull mix would *do* to help out with the mortgage. Fire ant removal, maybe.
(She digs their nests on occasion. Still. After getting nibbled like crazy before.)
HINES. "What are you *doing?!*"
DOG. "It's an acquired taste."