I was just perusing Craig's list, Farm and Garden…hobby of mine…and came across a listing for BRAND NEW! ALL SIZES OF SHACKLES. 

I have to say that I am intrigued.  Now that Eric is laid off until the "fuels" (what you people call national forests) "dry out" (what you people call late spring/early summer)…. he is home and husbanding 24/7.  This is nice at first, when we're both on our best behavior, having missed one another during fire season. 

He gets up when I do and vacuums. I care about his day and feign interest in Battlestar Gallactica, which he tapes for me so that I can "catch up"…. 

I'm happy that he gets down time, to ski..to walk the dogs…

He pretends to understand why I insist on fabric softener, NEW SHEETS, not used ones, to be in EVERY LOAD OF LAUNDRY,

"It has something to do with…. your… hair, right?" 

The tolerance lasts usually until the first bulbs bloom outside our kitchen window, no longer visible through the haze of dog slobber.   Until the garage is cleaner than any room we prepare or eat food in.  Gradually, like the unfolding of spring, I grow to bristle at the constant presence of someone I did not give birth to.  Someone I cannot boss.

I am a person who NEEDS alone time.  Weeks of it.

Until Smokey's arm rotates into the Red Zone and the last of the fat full ticks waddle off my dog….my life could use ALL SIZES OF SHACKLES.  The skimpy pair for light restraining, and the Maxi Shackle for those days when light confinement just isn't enough.