Monday, November 29, 2010

Bah Humbug and Your Little Dog Too!

Ok, I've had it. I'm really over the dirty looks I'm getting from an elderly couple in my neighborhood. Couldn't they stop being so annoying in light of the holiday season?

I have 3 dogs right now that I walk through our neighborhood and the nearby park twice a day. The reason I have 3 dogs is that we foster a dog every now and then. This big brown dog has been with us for about 7 months now and she may just stay with us. She's old. She's gray. She limps due to arthritis. Her hearing is fading. But I took her in because I thought she deserved to spend her last few years of life being cared for instead of neglected. I simply can't understand why anyone would dump their dog at the shelter just because she's old. But it happens.

About 3 months ago I started getting dirty looks from a couple a few blocks away while I was walking my pack. This couple has a little white pomeranian. That they push around in a baby buggy. Really.

Yes, my dogs are kinda big. Maybe they look a little scary to someone who has a fru-fru dust mop for a dog. They like to wander and sniff. If they make a deposit in anyone's yard I pick up after it. They sometimes pee on mailboxes (at the bottom, not like in their actual mailbox). They're not aggressive. They are friendly.

Today I was walking only one dog and he stopped to pee on the aforementioned elderly couple's mailbox base. The old guy comes charging down his driveway all red in the face. I simply say hello and my dog and I keep walking. A few steps away I come across his wife pushing her dog in the stroller. She gives me a dirty look and crosses over to the other side of the street.

Maybe they think 3 dogs is too many. Maybe they are just prejudice against big dogs. Maybe they don't like the way I look.  Maybe they don't like that my dog pees on the mailbox bases, on trees, and sniffs around the edge of people's yards, which their dog would do, too, if they ever let it out of that whacked out baby buggy.

I'm going to try to ignore it. But they're starting to piss me off.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things I've Learned from Thanksgiving

Since becoming an independent adult and a mom, I've been responsible for cooking several Thanksgiving dinners for my family. This responsibility has taught me many things about myself and about life in general. Here goes:

I am incapable of cooking rolls or bread of any kind. Not that I ever really try to cook bread or biscuits from scratch. I usually get frozen yeast rolls or the Pillsbury canned biscuits. No matter, I burn them every single time without fail. Needless to say, I no longer put bread or rolls on my menu for Thanksgiving (or any other meal frankly).

Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk are two different things. Really, I have a strangely sweet and kinda soupy pan of homemade macaroni and cheese to prove this. 

Turkeys scare me! The first time I ever cooked a turkey on my own was when I was in college. My workplace gave all their employees frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving. I brought it back to my little apartment and called Mom to ask how to cook a turkey. That's when I learned what that little red plastic thingy is in the Turkey (pop-up thermometer) and that your cook time is based on time per pound. Even with this expert advice, my first turkey-cooking experiment resulted in a turkey so overcooked and dry it separated from the bone and was more like turkey-jerky.

The next time I tried to cook a turkey was a couple of years ago (yes it was almost 20 years before I attempted to cook the big bird again). Since thawing a big frozen turkey seems like a salmonella outbreak waiting to happen in my opinion, I purchased a fresh, free-range turkey from the local butcher. Man do those things cook MUCH faster than previously frozen turkeys! My turkey was cooked and ready hours before anything else.

Don't ask my mom to bring the cranberry sauce. From the earliest Thanksgiving I can remember to modern time, my mother purchased canned cranberry sauce to serve for our holiday meal. And she forgets to serve it nearly every time. Usually we find it in the cabinet the next day when we are eating Thanksgiving leftovers, so it eventually winds up on plate with (leftover) turkey and dressing.

Hope you benefit from my "lessons learned." Feel free to share some of the lessons you've learned at Thanksgiving. It might just save a turkey or a pan of dressing for someone . . .

Monday, November 15, 2010

Opposites Attract

My husband and I are opposites in many, many ways but somehow we've managed to make our marriage work. This means we've each had to embrace the interests of the other person even if it goes against our nature. Case in point.

1. We give each other time to do the things we like to do.
Beloved got up early Saturday morning to take part in a motorcycle ride with his American Legion post. While he was riding, I was happily shopping at the mall.

2. We come together just as often to do the things one or the other likes to do.
After his ride Saturday, Beloved joined me at the Halifax Humane Society fundraiser. It wasn't all just crazy dog lady stuff though, it was a chili cookoff. So he got to eat chili and drink beer and I got to snap a photo of a weiner dog with a mohawk.

After that I asked Beloved to attend a showing at our area Film Festival this weekend. Foreign films and Beloved are not exactly like peas and carrots. But he agreed to go see The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest with me. Having read all the Steig Larsson books in this trilogy, I knew I had an unfair advantage, but he was trying to be a good sport. Luckily for him, the theater oversold the tickets and I had to get a raincheck for another showing, which I attended with my girlfriend later that evening. Beloved was off the hook and was not too subtle in showing his relief.

Finally on Sunday, I agreed to go to a local establishment (re: Biker Bar) to hear one of Beloved's favorite local bands play. I only go to this particular bar with Beloved because the people watching is priceless. It's the kind of place ugly women and men with no teeth go to dance.  Here's a photo of the band, Big Engine, playing while a "fan" from the audience dances in the "cage." And no, that is not me up there.

So to recap: I enjoyed shopping, Beloved enjoyed riding and we joined each other for furry fundraising, foreign films and a biker bar concert.

Life takes compromise.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Zombie Loving Household

Around Casa Native Mom, we're all zombie fans. So we're luvin' this new series on AMC Sundays at 10 p.m., The Walking Dead. Warning: graphic zombie violence and lots of shuffling, moaning uglies.

Zombie mania was unavoidable when raising two stepsons. Luckily, thanks to her older brothers, MiniMe was introduced to all the zombie action at a very early age, so it was like an inoculation for scary movies. I guess when you grow up with zombies, that's just your "normal."

I remember the good old days when zombie movies were in black and white and the walking dead moved slower than molasses. Now they're likely to spring up into your face at lightening speed  in all their techno-color, HD, digital special effects madness making a super gross spectacle of themselves.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Love You More

Yesterday I asked Favorite Middle Stepson to go to the feed store to get a bag of dog food. With 3 dogs now living in my house, we go through a lot of kibble. I've found the prices best at the feed store.

"Remember to write down the brand and type of dog food so you get the same thing," I asked him. Not that I buy a super special brand or anything, but switching foods makes the dogs sick.

"Right," he says taking out a pencil and paper. "Ultra Premium I-Love-My-Dogs-More-Than-My-Kids Blend. Got it."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wish Book Memories

I have officially started my Christmas shopping. Shopping online is great, but what I really long for is the days of the Sears Roebuck Christmas Wish Book. I eagerly awaited the arrival of that 4 pound catalog each year. I'd spend hours pouring over the toy section circling the things I liked and wanted for Christmas.

I did a little research and found out that the first Sears Roebuck general merchandise catalog was distributed in 1894 and the first Christmas Wish Book was published in 1933. The company stopped publishing their general catalog in 1993, but did begin publishing the popular Christmas Wish Book again in 1997.

Some of the items for sale in the first Christmas Wish Book were a Mickey Mouse watch, Lionel electric trains and live signing canaries. The Wish Book of my youth had more than 600 pages with a little over half featuring toys and the rest featuring clothing, tools and gifts for adults.

Of course the Wish Book has morphed for the digital and social media age. You can view the Wish Book online, there is a Wish Book app and if you visit the Sears Facebook page you can post a wish through the end of November to win prizes from Sears.

So while this iconic American Christmas staple is not the same Big Book from my childhood, we haven't lost it altogether.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Wildlife Weekend

Beloved and I came across some interesting wildlife this weekend. What makes it interesting is that we stumbled across these creatures not by taking a hike but just going about our usual weekend activities.

During a bike ride on Saturday, we crossed over a small bridge and spotted a manatee below us. It was feeding in the shallows and we watched it for about 20 minutes or so. On a motorcycle ride on Sunday I spotted a rather large bald eagle.

Isn't living in Florida great!