Sunday, July 28, 2013

Expanding Our Family

No, I'm not pregnant! (That joke never gets old. I'll probably be telling it on my death-bed. Heck, I'd probably still tell it if my shriveled-up womb were in a bowl beside me. Ick. Sorry. Look at the picture of the adorable doggy.)

My sister, Pat, and her husband, Ross, are moving to Switzerland (lucky them!) and have reluctantly realized that their geriatric dog will not be making the move with them. There are quarantine requirements and she has a docked tail, which Switzerland does not allow. (I should note that Pat & Ross did not have her docked. She came to them that way.) She has arthritis and takes estrogen supplements.

Scooter is a lovely, and much-loved, dog. We have offered her a home with our family. For now, she is with us for a week. This is actually her second visit - she came for three days in early July.

At that visit, she and our cat, Elly, circled around each other -- no growling or hackles, just cautious observation.
Cautious kitty

Today, they looked at each other with a "Oh, you again" nod, then went on with their lives. Steve and I went out for a show. (Cirque du soleil!!!) When we came home, they were both asleep in the living room.

It humours me how similar they are:
  • arthritic
  • white with brown-and-black spots
  • submissive
  • quiet
Ross, who has been Scooter's "Alpha" for her entire life, is heartbroken at leaving her, and I feel so sad for him. I suspect that, quite aside from his own sense of loss, he worries that Scooter may not be loved by us as much as she is by him. But she will. She's just that kind of dog.

She's already attached herself to Stephen (she really likes men), and I'm pretty sure that, in six months or so, the cat and dog will be licking each other and lying by the fire.

So that's the big change in our household. No babies. Just a menopausal old bitch welcoming a lovely dog to her home.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Backyard Menagerie and Kitchen Mystery

The weather this weekend was absolute bliss. This afternoon (after running a few errands), I threw on my swimsuit, grabbed a cold beer and my Kindle, and made my way to the patio.

After splashing inelegantly for a while, I sat in the shade to read. I hadn't been sitting there long when I heard some chittering and chattering from beneath the bird feeder.

Short, dark, and handsome
But he (she?) was not alone.
A cute little redhead
Surprisingly, they seemed to get along quite amicably. Eventually the squirrel left, and the chipmunk was joined by two nondescript little birds.

"There's plenty for all of us."
Those cheeks are filled to bursting!
Eventually, I abandoned the oasis to help make dinner. On the menu tonight were these.
Have you ever seen such a thing?
I thought they were some kind of exotic bean - they were delivered with our weekly "surprise box" of organic veggies. But as I topped and tailed them in preparation for steaming, I was greeted with a decidedly oniony-garlicky aroma. I stopped what I was doing and Googled images for "bean-like onion flavour."

Sure enough, this image popped up:
Which led to a recipe for pistachio and "garlic scape" pesto. These greens are actually NOT beans (or alien pods); they are the sprouts from garlic bulbs and they are called scapes. Although the recipe describes them as having a mild flavour when raw, I found them a little too pungent, but sauteed a couple of them in butter and found them to be quite a delicious garnish for potatoes or for the Swiss chard I had steamed.

I am very glad I didn't try steaming them. Can't imagine that would have turned out well.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I'm as Graceful as a Goat*.

Which is to say, not very graceful at all. Not by a long stretch. (Those of you who've read my blog for a while know that this is true.)

Recently, however, I seem to have developed a specialty in destroying white shirts and blouses, particularly where coffee is concerned.


That is a sploosh of coffee down the front of a previously pristine white T-shirt. It happened on my very last day at my old job and prompted me to pop down to a nearby store and purchase a new blouse. (One I like very much, but it was not a planned purchase at all.)

And then, on the very first day at my new job. I grabbed a coffee (in an open-top mug) on my way to a meeting. Almost immediately, I dripped coffee down my front. It was not quite as remarkable as the mess above - and I did have a jacket I could cover it with, but still.

I made a point of finishing the coffee during the meeting, but I still managed to spill it a SECOND TIME when I twisted my arm so I could read the time on my watch. Fortunately, there was only a drip of coffee left and it landed on the floor.

The next day, I brought in a mug with a lid.

On my fifth day in the new office, I managed to knock my (almost empty) mug over during a meeting. No blouses were defaced, but my paperwork was splattered.

Do they make no-spill sippy mugs for coffee? If not, why not?

* In retrospect, goats really aren't that clumsy, are they? I mean, those things can climb cliffs!!! But when I tried to think of another simile, I came up blank. Giraffes look klutzy, but they are actually quite graceful when they run, considering their grotesquely long necks. Google presented some klutzy penguins, but they look rather graceful to me. Look at that recovery!

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