He laughed, knowing that our lawmakers were perfectly safe from the likes of me. At 4’ 11-1/2”, I need a stepladder just to straighten a collar, much less to perform a strangulation. Besides, I’m too tired to whack anyone right now, thanks to the sleep I lost. There’s that. The other solid indicator of spring’s advent is that the upstairs window has just been opened for the first time. Oh, not by me and not to catch a warm spring breeze, mind you. It was the TIBJ (Tornado in Blue Jeans) doing his tornado thing. You know, the one where you go out the window and over the rooftops before dropping to the ground instead of using that perfectly serviceable set of stairs. He’s just warming up, getting ready for the inevitable indoor-outdoor revolutions that start when someone else takes the last donut or is caught wearing your socks. You don’t “dialogue.” You chase and pound. All over the property, see, on a route that takes you through the house, up the stairs, out that window, and around the barn with a couple of loops through the garden, over the tramp, and up into the spreading maple just there. Spring can’t come fast enough for the father of the hooligans, either, because his radiator is about shot. It’s this close to going kaput. I can’t help it that my feet get so cold. A girl can’t sleep like that, and he knows it. Every night as I’m huddled, shivering beneath the covers, I say to him as he finishes his bedtime prep, “Are you radiant yet? ‘Cause I’m freezing here. You’re gonna need a radiance factor of at least 6.” I peer at him, eyes just visible above the comforter as he shakes his head. “Then try to ramp it up, please, because a 3 or 4 isn’t gonna cut it.” You can see why the poor man prays daily for gentle spring zephyrs to come “on the double.” Oh, and here’s another little scrap for you. I finally found something that’ll clear the decks and make the entire tribe turn green to a man. It’s called Buckley’s cough syrup. I was desperate, alright? After days of fever, the whole lot of ‘em took to coughing. Eager to find a cure and tired of living in what sounded like a kennel, I scoured the shelves at Meijer. And there it was. That night, I lined them up, bottle in hand. One by one, I poured it down their little gullets. One by one, their eyebrows shot up, disappearing into hairlines as their eyes crossed and tears streamed. And one by one, they shot into the bathroom, Little bringing up the rear, where a great clamor erupted over the sink. Huh. Apparently it wasn’t bubble gum flavored after all. And that’s our rather crazy quilt. Spring is here (we give thanks), we survived DST (we grudgingly give thanks), and in a few weeks we head to Indianapolis for the annual mini-marathon and family time in a hotel. If the offspring make it back home with us, they’d jolly well better give thanks.