BRRRR! Boy, was the wind bitter this morning! I felt bad getting my two Chi's, Charlie and Sammy, out from under their snuggly blankets to go outside. Most mornings, they zip down the back steps and across the windy driveway to do their business, dragging me out the door by their leashes. Then we set out on a brisk half hour walk to make sure no strange dogs have visited the neighborhood overnight. But on mornings like this, it's not unusual for them to be on their way back inside by the time I clear the bottom step. However, my glove got stuck on the door handle this morning and by the time I got out the door, both dogs had already decided it was waaay too cold to venture far. When I looked down, Charlie had managed to do both No. 1 AND No. 2 on the bottom step. Sammy was a little more adventurous and was using a nearby landscaping rock as his target. They both rocketed back into the house, gladly giving up their morning walk in exchange for some warmth. I trailed them back inside, got them out of their leashes and gave them their treat. Then I gave them each a little good morning snuggle and filled their food and water dishes. Before I went upstairs to take my shower, though, I grabbed a couple paper towels and my coat, and headed back outside to clean up the gift Charlie left on the step. No sir. Wouldn't want to start our Monday morning by stepping in that! But what did I find? It was already (ick) frozen to the step! Did I mention it was bitter cold?? Someone who'd already had a cup of coffee might have thought to make use of the shovel stashed a mere two feet away behind the hydrangea bush. A thinking person might have remembered the new metal pooper scooper tucked next to the steps. But it was 5:55AM and I had neither coffee nor functioning brain cells, so my thoughts took a different track. I went back into the house, filled a small bucket with hot water and threw it on the step with enough force to wash everything into the flower bed. Did I mention it was bitter cold? 45 minutes later, I rushed out the back door to go to work, slipped off the top step and cleared the rest of them by a good ten feet at least. It must have been truly spectacular to see. Probably a 9.5 or even a 10. When I got my wits about me, I collected my purse, lunch, and other goodies strewn about the driveway and limped off to the garage. Nothing broken. Couple o' things bruised, though, including my ego. I decided that the next time I'll just leave the present on the bottom step. Maybe put a tissue over it so I won't forget and step on it. Or set up some crime scene tape around it until the weather warms up. But there's this much about it: when your day starts out like that, you've got nowhere to go but up. That is if you can get up at all.