Yet again, I didn’t sleep well last night. I was coughing a bunch again and ended up going downstairs. It’s odd, but I tend to be fine until I lay down, and even then I try to be propped up as much as possible. But then I just get these coughing fits. I can then be fine for a bit, but then when I breathe in a certain way the air just seems to come through my throat like it’s being passed through a wet cloth or something, and that causes me to cough again. Or sometimes I’ll be almost asleep and I’ll breathe out and make a small grunt-like noise from the top of the back of my throat which then wakes me back up. Once when I did that last night Amanda thought I’d said something.

Anyway, I went downstairs at some point- I don’t know what time but Saturday Night Live was still on but I’d been coughing so much and so constantly. Come to think of it, I think I remember the end of SNL, and, thinking about it more, the crappy infomercial that came on after that. So I went on down and got on the couch. I thought about sleeping in the guest room, but I didn’t want to turn on any lights or anything that might wake up Harvey and get him going. Bruce came down a few minutes later and slept with me for a bit. At some point Harvey was barking, I think this around 4:00, and Amanda came downstairs to let him outside for a minute. Bruce went out too and I think they both peed, then Bruce went back upstairs with Amanda after she put Harvey back up. He barked a little more so I let him out again to see if he’s poop. After I let him back in (he didn’t go) I let him lay out the couch with me for a while until I put him back up. I decided to lay on the floor in the orange room to help keep him quiet. Every time he barked I’d wake up a little and tell him “shh” then let him lick my hand and fall back asleep.

We went to church at 8:30 as we usually do. Mike Ashcraft started a new series today called The Revolution. It looks like Mike’s really throwing the hammer down with this series, talking about a lot of societal problems, some touchy subjects. We went out to eat at Saltworks with Kyle and Lorin Van Zandt and talked about that and opportunities for things we can talk about during small group.

I just looked, and my fantasy football team is sucking terribly today. Almost everyone on my bench if injured, my kicker, Matt Stover, ended up with -3 points. Just after the half Donovan McNabb, after having a great week last week, has -5. At least LaDanian Tomlinson did really well with 26 points. That’s nearly half of my 66 points. My opponent has 83 points and we have the same number of people who aren’t finished or haven’t played yet, including his quarterback, Tom Brady.

Anyway, after church we went home and changed and went to Wrightsville Beach. We were going to walk around the Loop then stop by Anna and Barry Frazelle’s to introduce them to Harvey, but we got ahold of them on the way over so we reversed that.

Anna told us that Kirsten, while in Florida, had walked through some larvae in a body of water and her leg had literally been eaten up, the poor thing. Anna said it took a little while to figure out what was wrong with her but that she’s getting much better now. She said she wished the family could have at least a month go by where some weird medical thing didn’t happen to them.

After hearing my cough Barry gave me a week’s worth of Mucinex, which Amanda said was probably $20 worth of medicine. I mentioned something to Anna about it, and she said that she and Barry had both gotten and opened a bottle of Mucinex a while back so t hey had more than they needed of it, and it expires in January, so they pretty much wanted to get rid of it anyway.

After we left there we walked a little around the Wrightsville Loop. It was a beautiful day out. Bruce got a little tired towards the end of it and Harvey did a pretty good job. He was friendly with the people and dogs that stopped to socialize, which is great. That’s the main reason we wanted to take him out, to make sure he’d get along well with everyone.

On the way back I called my brother, Adam. He said he and Renee wanted to come by to meet Harvey and said they’d leave in a little bit after Renee finished some homework. At church they showed some pictures of some of the walls being up at the building site, so we stopped by (it was on the way) to take a look. That place it going to be massive, which is an observation some other people who were out there made. It was also observed that as massive as it was going to be, it was also going to be full.

I napped a little bit (I needed it) then Adam and Renee came over. They got here a few minutes after Amanda and Bruce went to the Lowe’s Food to get some rolls. We figured we’d offer to cook them some portion of the massive amount of meat in the freezer for dinner, so I grilled some steak for all of us. It was my first time grilling steak and I think it was okay but it could have been better. After dinner I showed Adam Halo 3 (for a little longer than either Amanda or Renee liked- we got through the first two levels).

After Adam and Renee left Amanda and I watched the season premieres of Law & Order: SVU (about a woman who faked multiple personalities to murder her abusive parents), Smallville (which dealt with the aftermatch of the season finale, and wasn’t bad) and Saturday Night Live (which, as you’ve already read I just about saw all of last night).

McNabb looks like he’s about to cry. He fumbled a snap and the Giants got a touchdown as a result. It’s being challenged though.

You know, one nice side effect of having a sore throat and a cough is that Amanda has been reading our nightly devotionals from the book called Night Lights. Usually she leaves that up to me.

Amanda’s in bed now, and I can tell I’m not far behind. Bruce just came back downstairs and is behind me, buried in a blanket. Harvey is on the other couch. He’d been sitting with Amanda and took over her spot after she left, but he just walked to the other side of the couch and is napping on some pillows. Mr. Cobblepott is upstairs on the bed, as he usually is after Amanda gets in it. He’s spent most of the last two days upstairs, although he’s been down here some. He and Harvey have had pretty limited contact.

Harvey peed on the floor today, but in fairness he and Bruce had been playing a lot and I think he was still excited when I was trying to calm them down a little.  It was in the kitchen, so at least it was easy to clean.

Speaking of all the pets, I talked to Dad again briefly today. One of the things he mentioned yesterday was that Schatzi, my parents’ papillon, had somehow gotten out. When I was talking to him my mom was out looking for her. He called and reminded me to call his dad, Pap, to wish him happy birthday (which I did shortly thereafter- happy 81st birthday, Pap!). Someone else was calling in but I asked him real quickly if Mom had found Schatzi. All I got was, “No.” That’s really worrisome. Just a few years ago Link, the original papillon (it was Adam’s, but Mom kept him while Adam was in college) had gotten out one night and was attacked and fatally injured by another dog. Mom took that really, really hard. It was right before Andra’s high school graduation that it happened, and she was upset at it even there in Cameron Indoor.

Oh, if we’re in a kid competition like Andra told me we are, I know that we aren’t winning, at least not this month.

Zach Dotsey