Back home again, ahhhhh. It is good to be back home again. Had a wonderful Christmas with my mother and Doc, a family friend, well he is family really. Spent a little time with my son and his brood, old friends, and my personal Santa, Rick. However nice it is to visit, it is always nice to return home again. Miss Boo, the Queen of Cats, was waiting at the door bearing a sign reading “the cat sitter was nice but she doesn’t rub my neck like you do”. Before we left she packed herself in the bag with my sweaters and had to be removed before stored in the trunk. On the counter is piled a weeks worth of mail, newspapers, things we brought back with us, and boxes to repack the Christmas decorations for another year. For me, the day after Christmas is none to soon to remove traces of it. Have no idea why I function that way as I love the holidays, but my tradition is up the weekend after Thanksgiving and down the day after Christmas. I’m late.
Got an email from a dear friend including pictures of the protest her bull mastiff staged during their absence. Their oldest son, twenty, was tasked with the responsibility of walking and feeding Hobo while his parents took a much-needed ski vacation. Apparently choosing a night out with friends over taking care of the beloved family pet (Imagine that, irresponsible at twenty? Who would have thought it!) and left the behemoth animal in the house overnight the night before their return without benefit of a pottie break. Oh-oh. No matter how you look at it, this was not going to end well. Pictures show what once was a lovely imported leather chair gutted, with the filling distributed all over the living room intermingled with the contents of various trash cans. Also, it became quickly apparent the empty box of Crayons on the floor had been consumed by Hobo as the recycled version sat in a steamy Technicolor pile in the middle of their freshly cleaned beige carpet. A free-for-all of dog poop, fiberfill, and pepperoni pizza. Welcome home. I believe I’d keep the dog, he is a dog after all and not surprisingly acting like one, and give the kid the boot for the same reason.
When married for the second time (refer to your scorecards) my husband acquired a small golden retriever puppy, who came to be named Barnaby. Barnaby had floppy ears, an irresistible puppy dog face, sweet puppy breath and paws that would have adequately supported a Shetland pony. When I inquired about this anomaly I was told, “don’t worry he’ll grow into them”. Um, yes, that would be what I was worrying about. Hello? Sure enough by the end of his second year he was an eighty-five pound eating machine. Great whites had nothing on him. Kibble was kept in a 33 gallon trash can, and refilled at a budget breaking pace. At the market I needed a separate cart for his consumables. Ach. Totally undisciplined, he was my husband’s “baby”. While my husband, on the road three weeks out of four on business, enjoyed Gumbo in New Orleans or Philly cheese steaks in, well, Philly, Susie had charge of the menagerie at home. Sushi, a well-behaved Shih Tzu, Kitty, an indifferent tabby, Tom and Jerry, a pair of homosexual hamsters, and Cinder a malevolent spirit from the underworld disguised cleverly as a furry black pudgy cheeked lop-eared bunny.
Barnaby, being a huge beast, required a good walk every day after work. Actually he walked me, nearly weighing as much as I did. This usually followed the half hour it took for me to fill the numerous holes he’d chosen to unearth during his time in the yard before I arrived. Cinder, or the demon seed as I referred to her, inexplicably escaped one day. Now, now, my hands are clean, or if they’re not I’m not talkin. Having free range in the yard she dug burrows under my beautiful flower beds, often in them, and lived happily in the backyard for several months until caught and returned to her unnatural habitat on my son’s dresser. During her flight to freedom, Barnaby, a hound by design, made it his sole purpose in life to dig up every section of the yard in his quest to capture his prey. Secretly, I hoisted a flag for Barnaby’s team from time to time, but not to hurt the bunny just maybe relocate her possibly to another state.
In an earlier blog I had written about the dog eating an entire coconut cake brought to share by guests, a tray of lasagna left on the stove to cool, and leaving a perfect Barnaby sized hole in the screen door in pursuit of a neighbor’s cat unsuspectingly sunning itself on our patio chair. Sushi, a lap dog by definition often slept on my lap while I was reading or watching a movie. Barnaby, viewing this as less attention coming his way decided he too would become a lap dog insinuating his entire shaking mass of licking pooch on you without notice often requiring several minutes to reintroduce air to your respiratory system.Barnaby lived to be a ripe old age, finally snoring himself off to doggie heaven a week before New Year’s Day of his sixteenth year. Despite hip dysplasia and arthritis, he still attempted on occasion to climb up on your lap and managed to consume more than his share of leftovers and doggie treats before closing his eyes and leaving us. I miss the old hound and remember him fondly around the holidays. His silly face, jowls flopping in the wind out the car window, and happy disposition. Sometimes I think I want another dog, but for now Boo keeps my pet requirements satisfied.
So we say goodbye to another year of experiences, some good, some not so much and look into the next with expectations, hopes, and dreams. I wish you all a great New Year’s filled to the brim with everything good.
This sauce is delicious. Got the recipe from a friend who served it at a holiday party.
Basil Curry Seafood Dipping Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh basil
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. curry powder
1-2 drops Sriracha sauce (or your preference)
Paprika for garnish
Mix all ingredients together except paprika and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving. Sprinkle with paprika.