Archive for category holidays

pop the champagne

I say goodbye to 2011 and enter 2012 so angry and frustrated I just don’t even understand the point of… anything.

Oh, don’t get your panties in a bunch, this isn’t some suicidal cry for help. I’m way too lazy to be suicidal and I am not interested in help.

I’m just sick of blogging, and the internet, and social networking, and politicians, and big corporations, and people protesting big corporations, and everyone who wants things to stay the same, and everyone who wants to change things, and pretty much everything, especially Amazon. There are all these tools to facilitate communication but it is so noisy that nobody can hear anybody.

Each year passes and I get a little older and a little less tolerant.

Porch Swing.




May 2012 bring you what you deserve.


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A Turkey of a Holiday

This year for Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I was sick.

Okay, that is a lie.

I mean, I was sick, that is true, but I was really pissed off about it.

Actually, even that isn’t true. I was so sick I wasn’t pissed off about anything. I was just blah. I was really blah, and as bummed as I could muster the energy to be, about being sick for Thanksgiving.

The week started out with a surprise sudden visit from my father, who sent me an email late Friday night while I was in Vegas (Vegas Baybee!) to say he needed to come down for business and would be arriving on Monday.

Hmm, maybe I should start back even farther. On Wednesday of the week prior to Thanksgiving I got the husband from the airport when he returned from China. On Wednesday night we had dinner with a friend. On Thursday morning we drove to Vegas. On Thursday night we hung out with friends in Vegas and ditto on Friday (more on that later). There may have been a lot of eating and booze consumption. On Saturday we expected to leave after lunch to head home. We did, but that ended up being almost 4 PM. Why were we heading back on Saturday instead of Sunday? Because we had a party to attend on Saturday night.

We drove into town, went home, ate a quick dinner and spoke to the teen monster, and said hello to all the animals, and then got cleaned up a bit, dressed and headed out to a party. We left when the police helicopter showed up. Don’t ask, I don’t know.

On Sunday we had somebody over for dinner (braised pork in a apple Zinfandel reduction). Then on Monday I picked up my father & co. at the airport and ate too much for dinner and dessert and stayed up late talking. Indy woke me several times in the night. It is always a crapshoot (sometimes literally) as to whether she sleeps through the whole nights, wakes me up once to go out, or wakes me up every hour for one reason or another.

My point is, that while I should probably not have been surprised to come down sick after all that, I was too out of it to notice that I was sick upon waking Tuesday morning. It wasn’t until I was about 50 miles into a 200 mile round trip with my father (decided to drive him to his business thing) that I realized I had a fever and all my skin hurt and my neck hurt.

By the time business was over (during which I napped in the backseat of my car) and we made it back home, my hair hurt, all my muscles hurt, my joints hurt, and my bones hurt. My stomach felt mildly gross, and I was too hot and too cold. I fell into bed and stayed there for many hours, until my stomach advanced to feeling incredibly gross, at which point I had to sometimes leave bed.

Around 24 hours later, I felt really, really bad, which was way better than I’d felt the day before. I decided I’d be fine to go pick up the teen monster instead of asking somebody else to do me the favor of picking her up (I’d already had somebody else take her). Clearly, I was still feverish and delusional, because I was in no shape to go pick her up.

I finally made dinner on Saturday night because it was the last night the people I originally invited for Thanksgiving could do it. I still didn’t really feel very good, so I had to scale back on a lot of things. I washed my hands A LOT, and tried really hard to be extra careful about everything, and used gloves a lot of the time too, but really, I worried that I was serving Plague Feast.

Anyhow – Menu (not overly traditional)

Caviar (with little toasts and creme fraiche)
Spicy Marinated Mushrooms, Garlic Stuff Olives, and Castelvetrano Olives (one my absolute favorites, even though my husband insists on telling the same lame joke every time I serve them. Frighteningly, some guests believe his joke.)
Salmon (with cream cheese, sesame toast rounds, capers, onions and lemons)
Cheese Plate
Sourdough Bread and Garlic Butter
Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad
Cranberry Orange Sauce
New York Steak Cubes seasoned in salt, paprika and coffee, then wrapped in bacon
Turkey (prepared with a dry rub and the cooked on the BBQ grill with a Turkey Cannon filled with beer and garlic and oranges)
Rutabagas, Turnips, Parsnips, and Butternut Squash roasted in duck fat

I also made Egg Nog (and spiced rum) Ice Cream with Ginger Snap Cookies in it.

After I immediately made Turkey and Wild Rice Soup to send home with one of the guests. Mmmmnn, plague soup. Although he reported back that it was quite possibly the best soup he’d ever had, ever, and failed to come down with the plague. Maybe I just lightly seasoned it with plague. Kind of like eating perfectly prepared fugu, with just enough toxin there to feel it and remind you of life, without enough to kill you.

Anyhow, I did nothing at all on Monday, and did very little on Tuesday, and just tried to recover. I am finally feeling not too bad. Now I will post this, and finish making dinner, which is currently on the stove (and in the oven, and in the rice cooker).

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Looking Back on 2010 – Bear

Bear moved in with us on December 31st, 2010, making him our New Year’s Eve foster, and the 8th foster dog we took in during our first year of fostering.

We actually met Bear on December 18th, his first day with the rescue.  He was badly injured, and they were doing his initial assessment and treatment at the vet clinic when I stopped by to get Laney and Corbin a check up.  The vet told me she had just been working on a chow mix who was a real mess.  Once the puppies had been looked at, I asked to meet the chow.  We went back to meet him.  He was a sad sight, but what a face.  I said, “Look at his bear face!” and was told, “They told me his name, but it was unpronounceable, and I took one look at him and put ‘Bear’ on the records.”

A couple of days later when I saw V over some puppy matters, she told me that she hoped we would foster Bear after the puppies had been adopted.

After Corbin left, I agreed to just try having Bear here for the holiday weekend, so he wasn’t stuck in the clinic.  If it worked, we’d just foster him, if it was too much trouble, we would wait until Laney was adopted.  It was too much trouble, but it always is the first day.  He is still here with us now too.


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New Year’s Day – Tori Style

What is the day to day of fostering like?  Here’s a little glimpse:

For New Year’s Eve, we took in a new foster.  We already had a young puppy named Laney living with us.  Bear arrived and Laney went crazy for him.  They played and played and played.  It was so cute because she is so tiny, and he is so big.  He especially has giant paws, and he would just gently bop her on her tiny head with them.  ADORABLE.

I would have expected all the playing with Bear to tire Laney out and give her (and more importantly, me) a good night’s rest.  I was wrong.  Like an overstimulated toddler, Laney was a disaster all night.  She was in love, and she howled and cried pathetically and loudly any time we separated her from him.  She had a rough night.

On the other hand, Bear was totally worn out from all the playing and got stiff and sore.  He arrived at the rescue badly injured, in fact he has healed enough that tomorrow he goes in for surgery.  Along with being in recovery, he needed to take meds.  I had to give him 11 pills that night.


When V dropped him off alone with a bunch of bottles and instructions, she gave me a package of American Cheese.  She said that he refused to take pills hidden in pill pockets, and it was a pain to shove so many down his throat, but thank goodness, he would take them in cheese.

Ha!   I’m not a neophyte to giving animals meds that they do not want to take.  I’m not hesitant or squeamish about such things.  I can give injections too.  I am typing that so you can understand that I am serious when I say:  Wow, I’ve never met a dog so difficult to pill.

The cheese was a total no go.  First I tried with a little cheese, and he licked all the cheese off and left a mushy pill.  I tried again with more cheese.  Same result.  I tried other cheese wrapping techniques.  No.  I tried a bunch of other kinds of treats.  Same result, but with the pill getting mushier and more disgusting with each go.  I tried shoving a couple down and holding his mouth.  Whoa.  No.  He wasn’t mean, but he sure was stubborn.  I think all of his weight is in his jaw muscles, and he had no interest in allowing me to be doing what I was trying to do.  So, I positioned myself better for battle and tried again, and of course I’m worried about his injury, and history of abuse, so I want to be gentle.  I shoved some pills way back in his uncooperative mouth, and tried to clamp his snout shut and massage his throat.

Well, he was having none of that, struggled away from me, spit out the pills, gagged a bit, spit the pill goo out, gagged harder and…

He threw up a little onto the pills.

He then quickly rushed forward and ate up the vomit, while being careful to daintily leave the pills behind!  I am not kidding.

Anyhow, I wasn’t about to be outstubborned by this dog, so we struggled a bunch more until I finally got all the pills more or less down him, although there is no way he had a full dose of anything with the amount that got dissolved away and smeared on my hands and floor. Oh yeah, and then I had to clean a bunch of the purple coloring off his snout, so some of it went there too.  Pills do not need dye.

When it was finally time for bed, I got him upstairs and crated next to my bed.  He did not want to get into the crate, but it wasn’t too much of a struggle.  He was great in the crate and slept well, which is way more than I can say for Laney.

I woke in the morning to Indy completely frantic and needing to go outside.  She usually can hold it forever, but when she lets me know she needs to go, I always know she needs it.  This got Bear all antsy, so I tried to get him out too so we could all go downstairs together.  Laney heard us and started freaking out again.  We get to the top of the stairs and Bear totally refuses to go down.

No how, no way.

We try treats.  We try showing him that we go down them.  We show him Indy going up and down.  We show him Laney.  Nope.  He just digs in his heels at the top of the stairs and totally refuses to have anything to do with it.  So, I make my daughter let Indy out before she explodes, and we put the frantic Laney in the pen downstairs, and I continue to try to coax Bear down.  This whole time I am waiting for him to start peeing everywhere because he has been holding it all night and he drinks A LOT, and one just never really knows how well housebroken a foster is, but I always assume not well at all.  Eventually my fear of all the pee led me to give up on convincing him, and I was forced to just half carry, half drag him down.

In the meantime Laney, who is beside herself with upset that she isn’t with Bear, has pooped and has tracked and smooshed it everywhere and is just a little poo puppy.

I get Bear outside, and no surprise to me, he has to pee like Niagra Falls, and he does and does and keeps going and going.  Indy has to go over to sniff at it, and she slips in the snow and tips into him, and under him, and can’t get up.  He just keeps peeing and peeing all on her head and neck.  I’m standing shivering on the deck and hoping that it looks worse than it actually is.

I’ve decided to let little poo puppy out rather than cleaning her first, so she is running around like a maniac and Bear starts chasing her when he is finally done peeing on Indy.

I’m just wearing pajamas, because I was sleepy and distracted.  No hat.  No coat.  At least I remembered to put on some boots, but it is FREEZING out.  Below freezing, really.  I just want the dogs to hurry up and come in.  I am calling, but nobody is paying attention to me.

Finally Laney comes tearing up the stairs with Bear following close behind.  It is a real life cartoon.  She runs across the deck.  He hits the deck and loses traction and slides right over the top of her and then all 4 legs shoot out different direction and he falls spread eagle… right on top of Laney.  OOMPH.  Laney is gone.  I hear a muffled yip from under a pile of Bear.  He struggles to get to his feet, gets part way up, and she tries to scramble out.  His feet slide out and he falls again, but she has gotten halfway out, so he just lands on her rear end this time, which sends her shooting out across the deck, like popping a pea out of a pod.

I scoop Laney up, and Bear runs off again.  I send trembling freezing poo puppy inside with my husband, who has come out to hand me a hat.  I bet he never tries to be helpful and do that again.  Thanks for the hat, here, have a puppy of poo.  I instruct him to give her a bath in the bathroom sink, and I trudge my cold pajama wearing self (now, with hat!) out to chase down Bear and Indy both of whom have gone conveniently deaf.

I get to Indy and discover it was just as bad as it looked from on the deck.  Her whole shoulder was covered with frosted pee. Seriously.  Little yellow icicles.  You might think I am kidding about the icicles, but I am not. Yellow frost and icicles hanging off my dog’s fur.

This house is totally not set up for bathing dogs, tiny puppies works fine, but not dogs.  So, I struggled through trying to get rapidly defrosting pee Indy into a tub and cleaned up a bit.  By the time I was done I was in serious need of cleaning myself.

So, that was how 2011 started for me.

Happy New Year!


A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Santa Claus

When our daughter was 3 years old, we were out with friends of ours, a boy and his mom. We were walking past a Santa Claus set up, and he wanted to go chat with the santa. While he was up there, I asked her if she wanted to go too. She looked at me like I was nuts. “No,” she told me.

He did his thing and came running back with a big grin, waving about a candy cane that the santa had given him (Come sit in my lap little boy. Do you want some candy?” See? Creepy). 

She stared intently at the candy cane and looked back at me. “Now you want to go?” I asked.

“Will you go with me?” she asked.

“No,” I snorted, “but I’ll stand right here and watch.”

She frowned, “Okay.” She approached the santa warily and stopped just out of arms reach. She stood there, unsure how it all worked.

He ho ho ho’d and wanted to know what she wanted for Christmas.

“Actually,” she said “we don’t celebrate Christmas.” (“Actually” was her favorite way to start a sentence from ages 2-4).

The jolly act dropped from the santa’s face and he just looked at her perplexed. They stared at each other for a beat in silence. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

“You gave my friend a candy cane,” she told the santa matter of factly. “Can I have one?”

He smiled. This he could understand. He handed over a candy cane and she quickly made her way back to us.

“Can I have part of the candy cane and save part for Daddy?” she asked, holding it up triumphantly.

“Ask me after lunch,” I told her.

The Tooth Fairy

When she had her first loose tooth she came to me one day wanting to discuss The Tooth Fairy. I was a bit surprised. What was there to discuss? She wanted to know if The Tooth Fairy was real.

*blink* *blink* 

This was not a question I had been expecting. It wasn’t just that we didn’t tell her the Santa Claus and Easter Bunny myth, we had explained to her the nature of it, from the start. Yet here she was coming to me about The Tooth Fairy.

“Well,” I asked, “Do YOU think The Tooth Fairy is real?”

She paused for a moment and finally answered, “Yes.”


“Oh, um… why do you think that?” I inquired. I mean, really, why the fuck did she think that?

“When Maiya loses a tooth, she puts it under her pillow and in the morning there is money,” she explained.

“And who do you think put it there?” I asked hopefully.

“The Tooth Fairy.”

Let’s try this another way. “Does Maiya get things from Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny?”


“Do you think Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny are real?” I asked, pretty certain that to this I’d at least get the response I was expecting.

She laughs. “No!”

“Okay, then who do you think gives her the things from Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny?”


“And who do you think leaves money under her pillow when she loses a tooth?” I asked hopefully.

She told me, “The Tooth Fairy.”

This stunning display of non-logic was, well, stunning to me. I was seeing my child in a whole new light, and I did not like it. I was sitting there, no doubt with my mouth hanging open, wondering about the details of the return policy and whether I had kept the receipt for her. I took a deep breath. “What makes you think that?”

She leaned in very close to me and, quietly and slowly, she said something that sounded partialy like she was telling me a secret and a good deal like she was explaining something to a complete idiot, “I. just. think. it. might. be. fun.”

Ah ha. I got it. She wasn’t an idiot. She wanted the fun of pretending, and better yet she wanted money under her pillow. “Oh. Okay.”

So, we did The Tooth Fairy thing. I bought a bunch of books that were tooth related and when she’d lose a tooth and stuck it under her pillow, we’d take the tooth and leave a book and some coins. One time we could not find the tooth, it had slipped beyond reach. That time The Tooth Fairy left a letter explaining that regulation prevented her from leaving something if she could not find the tooth. She would get into trouble. The Tooth Fairy writes backwards, so it can be easily read in a mirror.

She was right. It was sort of fun.

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