Thank you, everyone who wrote and called. I'm feeling much less grim. Of course, I'm still drowning in work on my Victorian dog kennel project. At the clients' insistence, we are using the worst paint imaginable, in terms of suitability for mural painting. So, everything is taking three times longer than it should. Trying to paint a mural with this paint is like trying to paint a mural with Jell-O. Yuck.
Robb is going through a really difficult time (which is, no doubt, what is causing me to see the word through such a bleak filter). He is horribly uncomfortable and exhausted, much of the time. Laying down no longer offers any respite from unpleasant sensations. At the moment, there is no position in which he can be truly comfortable. We keep telling ourselves that these distressing sensations might be the first flickerings of return of neural activity, but ultimately it is a very upsetting time for both of us.
Anyway, I've got to get back to the Puppy Palaces, so I leave you with a photo of a spunky magpie that I took on our cross-country drive, back in 2005. He flirted with me across a huge rest stop in Nevada. He would let me approach, and as soon as I raised my camera, he would grab the scrap of bread he was carrying and fly away from me. I like how the small twigs on the underside of his perch look like talons.