Jones has superhero levels of hearing when it comes to after-dinner snacks. He can be upstairs buried under the duvet and still hear the tiniest snap of a surreptitious cracker for Ramona in the kitchen. Then sure enough, you hear the thud of his paws as he jumps off the bed and then his trip-trap down the stairs. But at six in the morning, he reverts to a mortal and becomes suddenly deaf. No whistle or entreaty can penetrate his resolve to avoid a walk. I had to carry him down the stairs and then nudge him toward the front door. Once we were out though, it was cool.

When you are low to the ground like Jones and hiking on all fours, I wonder if you notice the steepness of the hill as much as a taller homo erectus. Something to do with physics, no doubt. He seemed unfazed by the climb but of course he didn’t have 30+ pounds of girl and gear on his back to emphasize the point. Regardless, there were wows all round when we reached the upper falls cascading 60 feet into the mossy grotto below. The trail goes behind the waterfall, which is very exciting, very pirate cave–and excellent footing, fyi–but Jones was less of a fan. He doesn’t like to be dripped on.

Cat poop consumed: no

The marquee in front of Cottage Grove High School (Home of the Lions) scrolls much helpful information, including SPRING SPORTS DESSERT MAY 25 IN THE CGHS CAFETORIUM, and man, it’s hard to keep one’s ironic distance, even with a word like cafetorium that begs for snark. I attended high school, naturally, but worse, I worked at one for seven years, and I continue to be grateful that I no longer have to, especially now that schools routinely have a room called the “cafetorium.” In my day, we had the multipurpose room and we were glad to have it!

Cat poop consumed: no

Oof, one too many enchiladas for dinner. Sometimes I’d like a minder to give me a carefully measured cup of kibble for my meals, and just be done with it. I’d probably have shinier hair, too.

Cat poop consumed: probably

Ramona used to be so reliable up here. You could take off the leash and she’d stay close, come when you called. But now she is genuinely deaf, so when she starts wandering in the wrong direction toward the golf course side of the hill, and you’re all Ramona Ramona Ramona, while wrangling a toddler who is determined to hike in the opposite direction, it’s not so easy. Like Frost’s fences, leashes and backpacks make for well-managed dogs and children.

Cat poop consumed: no

Excuses, always with the excuses. But I’m so sleepy. I’m so old. It’s so early. It’s so cold. I really have to stop and smell this grass right here. And right here. Also here. Now I must relieve myself. Not really. Actually now. Oh, I’m a poor crippled dog, see how I’m limping? I might be more motivated if there were a better selection of cat poop.

Cat poop consumed: no

I have been hanging around CG for lo these three and a half years and that pile of bricks is still blocking the sidewalk at 2nd and Adams. And that house is still for sale, stubbornly set at the quixotic price that means it will never sell. Next to the swing bridge is a hut on wheels with the hopeful sign declaring it the future home of a family courtesy of Habitat for Humanity. I wonder how long it will take for the chain link fence to be rebuilt, the one on Bryant that was crushed by a tree in the big storm in March? And why is that bucket of waste oil still in my driveway?

Cat poop consumed: no