Month: December 2008

Arvin’s 80th birthday

Here is the wool/alpaca vest I’ve been working on for my friend Arvin, who for the first time in his life says he’s feeling the chill now and then. It took much longer than I expected, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

arvwhole.jpg

Posted by wordsmith in Family, Knitting, 0 comments

The daily hoot

Ran across this while I was hunting for a place that will sew leather if  I can’t get my sewing machine to do it:

http://www.stopabductions.com/

No explanation required!

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Skull hat!

Since I cleverly forgot to take shots of the skull hat before I sent it frantically off to its intended owner, beloved Son 1 did so for me. Here it is, by itself, looking like an oversized golf-club cover:

skullhat1.jpg
And on the noggin of the lovely youngling who was its recipient:

skullhat2.jpg

Posted by wordsmith in Family, Knitting, 0 comments

Botts’ dots wounded in storm

Reports of killed and severely injured Botts’ dots following last week’s winter storm triple-hitter have proven to be true.

A trip down city streets today revealed innumerable wounded, crushed, and fractured dots scattered pathetically across the pavement and onto the roadsides, lying still and silent on the dirty, melting snow.

The gruesome sights included so many of the mangled dots’ body parts that it was impossible to determine which went together.

“Identification is going to be very difficult,” said a city spokesperson. “We don’t know how we’re going to match up the parts so they can be buried properly. Unfortunately, Botts’ dots don’t seem to have any individualized organic matter such as DNA that can be used for this purpose.”

Other dots, stubbornly clinging to their assigned stations in the street, can be seen to have severe, life-threatening and probably fatal fractures that transect their bodies. Small children covered their eyes and cried at the sight, and mothers tried to prevent their children from looking, hoping to minimize the potential for lasting psychological damage.

Experts say the horrific carnage occurred when snowplows, carelessly guided, massacred the helpless, hard-working dots while trying to clear streets of repeated, successive snowfalls from the three severe storms.

Despite repeated efforts, public works officials and snowplow drivers could not be reached for comment.

The faithful dots are known for their commitment to warning citizens, year in, year out, regardless of circumstances and obstacles, on dark, rainy nights when pavements glare with dancing reflected light. The dots provide a tactile warning that people’s cars are slipping over the safety zone into the oncoming lane. The stalwart dots have prevented uncounted numbers of human accidents through their unfailing service and dedication.

Typically, the dots are employed only in areas where snow rarely, if ever, falls and requires removal. Obviously, this outdated safety measure has been insufficient.

Botts’ dots seasonally migrate to roadsides during January and February, their mating season, and people are accustomed to seeing them in their travels during this period and adapting their driving to avoid them. However, this unseasonal scattering of their remains is causing passersby and drivers to shudder with horror, which of course causes swerving that only multiplies the damage.

Drivers are advised to avoid roads known to house the dots to prevent further casualties and avoid desecration until city workers can provide the deceased with respectful disposition of some kind.

Photos should be available tomorrow. Small children and sensitive individuals are advised to avoid viewing these images.

Posted by wordsmith in Family, Wildlife Chronicles, 0 comments

Mother Nature fails yet again

The weather promised to be in the low 40s today, with rain melting the two-foot accumulation. However, Mother Nature yet again failed to live up to promises made on her behalf. It has been below freezing all day (at my house; it was a few degrees warmer in town), and yet another two-plus inches of snow has wiped out all the hard shoveling work I have performed. And the wind is blowing tonight, so the power lines will probably go down. Bah, humbug.

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Unwelcome, unwelcome

This bloody white stuff has outstayed its welcome.

The shop picked me up yesterday to go get my car, which now has a new battery and alternator, and on the way home I had the devil of a time getting started from two stops. The city sold its snowplows a couple years ago, and even the main streets have largely not been either plowed or sanded. The majority of people out had 4WDs and big-ass pickups, and not only barreled along as if immune to the laws of physics, but also bullied us lesser beings out of their way. Their high vehicles might not have any problem with 18″ of snow, but those of us with lower-slung cars, whom they were pushing into said snow, don’t fall into that category. Jerkwads.

Coming around the corner onto my street, which hasn’t seen plowing or anything in the last couple of snows and has about 10″-12″ on it over the ice, I lost momentum in slowing down so’s not to hit somebody’s dog romping around, and I got stuck. Really stuck. Stuck to the tune of three guys, me, two bags of cat litter, a pot of garden dirt, two snow shovels, a lot of swearing, and an entire hour to get me out. Two of those guys had been out most of the day helping people get in and out of here.

I’m going to go outside and build a snowperson, put a sign on it saying “Snow voodoo doll,” stick a few knitting needles in it and see if anyone else joins in. We’re all heartily sick of this crap, and more is supposed to roll in tonight, tomorrow, Christmas day, and over the weekend. I’m really worried I won’t be able to get down to Ryan’s to pick up my work ‘puter before I have to start work again.

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Let it sn. . . no, no, no!!

We here in Lotus Land, where warm Pacific currents normally keep our winters quite mild and pleasant, if rainy, have endured an awfully Midwest-like series of storms lately. I mean, I left North Dakota to get away from this. I am not particularly pleased with Mother Nature at the moment. After the third storm, which I am seriously thankful did not live up to its overly hyped predictions, finally let up, I went out and spent an hour or so shoveling snow a la guess what? You got it in one!

Here’s what my birdfeeder looked like. I had to shovel through the deck to get to it and knock the snow off. I was afraid if it got much heavier, it might break the wire holding it up.

2008snow3feeder.jpg

In the lower right background you can see the fractal lines that limn the bones of the branches. I do love looking at those. They’re quite beautiful. Next is my front deck following shoveling. You can see a bit of the stairs, too, and Next Door’s raspberry patch.

2008snow2.jpg

And here is the path through the deck, with my poor swamped blueberries and chard and kale in the background.

2008snow1.jpg

After I finished upstairs, I took Miss B for a walk around the neighborhood. She wants so badly to run. Wish I could run with her!

And of course, by the time I brought her back in, it was snowing again. The next few days it’s supposed to hang around 30 degrees, so it’ll be the heavy, wet snow we usually get and the streets will be awful (and the stupid people still out). I’m still hoping to get my car back tomorrow. Even if I don’t go anywhere.Now I’m going to go take a nice hot shower, eat some comfort caramels, and watch—sigh—yet another movie.

Oh, in case anyone wants to make the comfort caramels:

1 stick butter (or margarine)
1 cup sugar
1 can sweetened condensed (not evaporated) milk
1 cup white corn syrup
Stick everything in a heavy saucepan and cook on medium heat until it reaches the soft-ball stage. Pour into a pan, either over pecans or plain. Wait ’til it cools and enjoy. Usually, these come out pretty soft, so spoons are necessary. Yummy.

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Going dark in the dark: Part II

Wednesday morning following the drop-off of Car at the shop, the phone wakes me. At 7.29 a.m. We all know that “morning,” by definition, begins at noon in my universe. This is unconscionable.

“Hi! This is Jason at the shop,” says a far-too-chirpy voice.

“Anghrgh,” I mumble. “Shop. Car. Oh. Yeah. You have an unexpected auto sitting in the drive.”

“Yep. We figured out it was yours, but we need the keys to get into it.”

“What?” I am confused mightily. Tow Guy promised to leave the keys. If he didn’t, the keys are now 150 miles from the car. And the roads are icier than ever. I explain this to Jason. Tell him to look on top of the tires or under the hood or something. He makes mumbly noises and promises to go check while I call Tow Guy and ask about the keys.

Thanks to two-plus hours of what passes for conversation with tow-truck drivers the previous night, I know that Tow Guy’s shift starts at 2 p.m., so I’m not expecting him to be awake at 7.30. And hey! I don’t know his name or phone number. I call Engineer Boy. Engineer Boy says he’ll call his people, who’ll call their . . . well, you know how this goes. But it turns out that Tow Guy’s number is on Engineer Boy’s cell phone, so he passes that along. I call Tow Guy and leave a message. “Hey, thanks again for the ride. The shop says the keys aren’t with the car. Could you please call and let me know what happened, or drop them in the mail or something?”

I hang up, and the phone rings. “Hi, this is Jason again. One of our guys spotted the keys locked inside the car and managed to jimmy the lock and get it open, so we can get into it. We’ll get started as soon as we can!”

“Mrggh. . . great,” I mumble, wishing my morning tea would heat faster and wondering who “jimmy” originally was and why this was named after him. Caffeine has got to make this better . . . doesn’t it? Of course, this means I have to call Tow Guy again.

“Never mind the previous message,” I say. “They jimmied the lock and got the keys out, so they’re working on it.”

The nuker pings, meaning my tea is finally hot, before the phone rings again. “Hi, this is Tow Guy. What do they mean, they can’t find the keys? I put them in an envelope and shoved ’em in the key drop,” he says. “I didn’t know your name, but how many cars can people have left there overnight?”

Ah-ha, I think. An unlabeled envelope. Obviously, the shop guys hadn’t had their morning tea yet, either, and were too embarrassed to admit that they didn’t connect loose, unlabeled car and loose, unlabeled key. I reassure Tow Guy that they did find the keys. Whatever. They have the key and they’re working on the car. I’m willing to cut them some humiliation slack.

The phone rings later. “Hi, this is Jason again. The good news is that the problem is the alternator.”

“OK. That implies there’s bad news. What is it?”

“We’ve had to order the part and it won’t get here until tomorrow.” Order the part. Order an alternator. An alternator. One that is probably used in quite a few of the models they sell. And they don’t have any spares on the shelves? This is at least as bad as not having a replacement oil cap on hand last time I was in, and it’s certainly carrying JIT inventory control WAY beyond its limits! But hey, I’m an old hand at disasters. You just roll with them.

“I can live with that,” I tell him, not even letting on that I think their inventory guy should be taken out, flayed alive, and left on the aforementioned icy roads. He explains how much it will cost, and I explain that I bought the extended warranty and that better pay for it, and a flurry of additional phone calls ensues while that’s settled. Eventually, we learn that after a $100 deductible, the warranty pays. I can adapt. I’m flexible, I tell ya.

I resign myself to a quiet day at home, knitting, walking the dog in the snow, shoveling snow as it accumulates, watching movies. . . and remind myself not to grind my teeth, in case the temporary crown falls off, because I can’t get to the dentist.

Thursday morning, the phone rings. This time at 7.40 a.m. “Hi. It’s Jason again.”

“Jason! How nice to hear from you. How’s the family? How’re the dogs?”

“This is getting weird,” he says.

“You’re telling me,” I reply. “How’s my car?” I know the answer. I know it. I just want to make him say it.

“Well, that’s why I’m calling,” he hedges. “You know how the roads are so slick? Our delivery truck slid off the road about 200 miles south of here and the parts won’t get here today.”

“Golly, gee,” I say in my most unsurprised voice. “Who’d think that could happen?”

“They expect they’ll get it up here tomorrow, though.” That would be Friday. After two days marooned in my snowbound house. But hey. I roll with it.

Thursday, I shovel more snow. Walk the dog farther, and uphill. Friday, I learn from the news that the sliding-off-the-road thing is becoming quite a popular trend all around Puget Sound, and a couple of buses have managed to slide clear down a hilly street and overshoot the guardrails so they’re hanging over the freeway below a high (and now rather less stable) retaining wall. I know. I just know what’s coming.

At 4.35 p.m., Jason calls again. “I have good news!” he claims. Yeah, right. No holding the breath here, you’ll notice. “Your part is here!” More is coming. I know it. “The problem is that it got here at 4.29, and our technicians go home at 4.30. And it’s Friday, so they won’t be back until Monday morning. But your car will be the first thing we do Monday morning! We’ll get it to you as fast as we can!”

I rant and rave for a while, mostly about weather, cabin fever, and the cruel vagaries of fate. It’s not Jason’s fault, after all. Jason makes soothing noises. “Bad luck stalks my life, too,” he says. “I sympathize.” At this point, sympathy makes me feel not one iota better. But I adapt. Really. I just roll with it.

The news now tells me that a really, truly horrible, huge, monstrous, ferocious, no-good, very bad storm is coming in on Saturday. It will bring winds up to 100 mph, and mountains of snow, and blizzard conditions, not to mention gloom, despair and agony. In these storms, my power always goes out. It’s as predictable as the sun coming up. Trouble is, if that happens, I

  • a) have no way to get out of here and impose on a friend with a warm house;
  • b) have no Internet connection, because the router-reset software is on my main computer, which is at Engineer Boy’s house after having undergone surgery; and
  • c) will have no phone with which I can even call and plead for the Red Cross to take me out and shoot me.

Somehow, pondering the lack of Internet until I can get to Engineer Boy’s and pick up my desktop strikes me as more frightful than the prospect of freezing to death. It at least gives me the illusion of contact with the outside world, and once I have no car, no Internet, no phone and no heat, I suspect I shall also have no hope.

I decide I am going to cook Comfort Caramels, something I have not made in a very, very long time. I haul out corn syrup, condensed milk, powdered sugar (it turns out my sugar canister is—surprise!—empty), and pecans. But I have only two tablespoons of butter. My teeth begin to grind. I remind myself about the temp. Then I call my up-the-hill neighbor, who has just that day offered to provide such things if necessary. This is necessary, by damn, it’s necessary!

I explain the situation on the phone.

“You poor dear!” she says. “I’ll bring some butter out and toss it down to you.”

Excellent! However, apparently thinking that I can neither dodge nor catch, she fears that if she tosses it too hard, she might hit me. The butter goes ker-plop into a four-foot drift of very light, powdery snow, which spouts a pretty little plume of flakes as the butter makes contact. And plummets to the ground. I sigh. I retrieve the butter. And I cook up my caramels. Now I’m fortified for high winds, damaging snows, and disastrous avalanches. But I gotta tell ya, my adaptability rope is pretty darn frayed!

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Going dark in the dark: Part I

When I arrived at Ryan’s the other day after having braved snow and ice to check out a new yarn store in West Seattle, my car expressed its displeasure at such abuse—108 miles’ worth—as I pulled up to the curb.

The radio died. The traction-control and ABS lights fluttered on and off (odd, since I wasn’t moving).I turned Car off, and the stereo made those choking, gagging noises a CD player makes when it can’t get itself switched from one slot to another.

Peculiar, I thought, and tried to start the car again.

No go. Choke, hack, grorlf, but no satisfying ba-room. Waited a bit and tried again; started up fine and the radio worked. Must be the cold, I thought. It’s balky is all.

After an absolutely killer dinner of Indian food, the last leftovers of which I happily devoured for lunch the next day, Engineer Boy went outside with me to be sure the car would start before I headed it home. No problem; so off I went, braving the darkness and blowing snow.

Nearly to the freeway, the radio went out. I didn’t worry about that too much (note to self: next time, flash Danger, Will Robinson, danger! sign). Got on the freeway, up to speed, and . . .

The dash lights started to flash pointlessly. I frowned, but forged ahead. No difference in actual engine performance, so oh, well, I thought, I can get home with weird flashing lights. Won’t be the first time.

But then the dash lights died.

And the gauges, so that even though my car fit nicely into the traffic flow, I could have argued in court that I was actually going 0 as measured by my speedometer.

This was a bit much. Well, I thought, this does not bode well. I should probably pull off at the next exit.

I put on my blinker. It didn’t work. I edged over into the right-hand lane.

My headlights went out.

Hmmm, I thought, either I’m being stalked by Lucas, Prince of Darkness, or it’s maybe time to start planning a panic.

Cars began flashing their lights at me. One honked. Here I was, cruising invisibly at high speed down a crowded freeway in the dark.

OK, I thought, it’s probably time to deploy the panic plan.

The next exit came up and I raced up the ramp, intending to find a parking lot and call Engineer Boy so he could have the honor of rescuing his pathetic old ma from what was doubtless yet another manifestation of her antimatter-based personal electromagnetic field. I cruised around the corner, realized I was on a fast-moving arterial, and before I could even find a parking lot, the car made that ka-chug, ka-chug noise that every motorist dreads.

It means death. Not just death, but motor death. A final, terminal sound.

It had gone dark. In the dark. In 20-degree weather. On a high-speed arterial. At the side of which I was marooned.

I looked at Ms. Dog, sitting sentinel in the back seat. She looked at me. I sighed. She licked my nose. “Like that’s gonna help,” I grumbled, and called Engineer Boy.

He showed up shortly and pooh-poohed my gloomy prediction that it was the main circuit board and would cost me $2,000 to have fixed. “It’s the battery, Ma. I’m sure of it,” he insisted. We popped the hood and he took off the battery cover.

“Yuck! Look at that! LOOK at that! There’s enough corrosion to stock an acid factory!” he said. “I don’t suppose you have a wire brush?” Um, no, but there might be one of Grandma’s diapers in the trunk. Would that help?

He glared down at me from his great height. “I’ll run up to that station and see if they have a wire brush. Not likely, but I’ll give it a try.”

Seemed like a long time before he came back. I wondered whether he wasn’t looming over some tiny immigrant person to terrify him into building a little wire brush in the back shop. But no.

“Hi, Mom!” he chirped. “I had to go to four places. I ran across the freeway.”

“You WHAT?!?”

He did his “gotcha” laugh. “There’s a walkway over the freeway. I did have to go to four places, though, and all I could find was a toothbrush”—he placed it in my hand—”and a bottle of alcohol”—likewise. Proceeding to scrub the terminals with the flimsy OralB, he then discovered that cleaner terminals made no difference whatsoever.

“It’s probably your alternator,” he amended. With 38,000 miles? Really?!?

So he called his AAA people, who called their people, who eventually showed up with a tow truck. I’ll skip over the bits where Engineer Boy and I attempted to do a Ryan-and-Tom routine at the C-store down the street. It was somewhat less than successful.

Tow Guy arrives and we go through the same business, only he has actual battery-terminal cleaners and such. While the procedure works a lot better, the car does not. Eventually, the consensus is that Car is Dead, and must be towed.

Neither Ryan nor I know anyone locally to whom to tow it, so we kinda scratch our heads and mumble about my staying in his crawl space overnight; and he comes up with some Rube Goldberg transportation plan to get my car, his car, KrisDi’s car, and half a dozen others involved the next day. I grew tired just listening to it.

“Hey!” says Tow Guy. “You’re a Plus member. That means you have a hundred miles free tow. I could take her clear to Bellingham if you want.”

Engineer Boy looks at me. I look at him. This is an easy Yes. We transfer Dog and Accoutrements, which include the new yarn whose purchase I am now seriously regretting, given the growing number of dollar signs I see accumulating over Car’s hood.

“Don’t let this man take advantage of you,” Engineer Boy admonishes as he hugs me good-bye.

“Are you kidding?” I reply. “At my age, you have to take advantage of every opportunity to be taken advantage of!”

“Ewww! That’s disgusting!” he says. I smile my own “gotcha” smile.

So whoosh! off we go to Bellingham.

It turned out not so bad. I got chauffeured home, Tow Guy dropped off the car at the shop, and Dog and I  didn’t have to sleep in Engineer Boy’s crawl space.

I had a nice glass of wine, went to bed, and slept soundly.

Because I had no clue what was coming down the pike.

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Seven-league boots

Wow, a busy day! Took Miss B. to a different park today, one that doesn’t allow off-lead runs but also isn’t a three-foot-deep, 34-degree mud swamp. Went way back in so I could let her run anyway. Couldn’t believe how much faster I was walking, and with how much less effort. First I thought the hills weren’t as steep; but they were steeper. The wind wasn’t at my back, either. Eventually, I realized it was because I wasn’t wearing the ten-pounds-a-pop four-buckle overshoes I take to the mud park—it was like having little wings on my feet!

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Union busting

Just in case you don’t realize it, the shrieking about the automakers’ bail-out is all about eliminating the autoworkers’ union. You notice they’re yammering about cutting union workers’ wages so they match those of non-union workers making Japanese cars in the U.S.? The issue should be raising the non-union workers’ wages to match the union workers’, which provide a good living for their families (but not for much longer).

And the other issue should be the disgraceful quantities of money that high-level execs get, and their even-more-disgraceful bonuses, along with the incredible stupidity and mismanagement they have visited on the companies. But no, here, we punish the rank and file for the crimes of the elite.

Why can’t U.S. cars compete, here or overseas? Because Congress has refused to enact and the automakers refused to voluntarily improve fuel efficiency. Did you know our fuel-efficiency targets are way below those of every single overseas auto manufacturer, including China? It’s not because we don’t have the brains to improve it, either.

Your grandfathers, some of whom got beaten up and even killed to win a decent life for their descendants, are spinning in their graves.

End of rant.

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On vaca-:happydance!:-tion

Ah, yes, my much longed-for vacation starts today. :happy dance! happy dance!: Well, tomorrow, technically, but who’s counting? Not going anywhere except maybe a couple of day trips, but I have tons of things I want to do (fun things, not house-cleaning things. I want my epitaph to be “She had a great time!” or “She laughed like a loon!”, not “Her house was always clean”), beginning with the newly designed 10-year journal presently printing out. Once I get it trimmed and bound, I intend to build a leather cover for it with a hard surface in back so it’s easier to use.

Then there’s the yarn. Ooooh, yumm, lovely, soft, beautiful colors, wonderful stuff altogether. Greens and blues and purples and browns and oranges and reds and rusts and all kinds of colors and shades put together. I’m doing eight colors in a vest for a friend who turns 80 on Dec. 31, and for the first time ever is feeling a bit of chill on cold days. It looks gorgeous so far, and I have about 1/3 of it left to go.

Then there’s the novel. Yes, I am setting aside at least 10 days to do nothing but novel. It’s too easy to put off that stuff, obviously because it earns no immediate money, but once I get past the initial inertia, it will be a lot of fun. Characters and incidents and scenes have been swirling around in my head for months (in some cases, years), and once I kick-start myself, they will come gushing out in a mighty flood. They always do. Imagination is an amazing thing. I wish I could be involved in brain-function research. It’s magical, the way all those tiny electrical impulses bounce around and turn into me, and you, and everybody we all know.

It’s cold today and windy, and slated to hit 18 deg. this weekend, which will be at least mildly unpleasant. I have finally lost much of my North Dakota stalwart-ness, and just don’t like going out when it’s nasty. It snowed here this a.m. but didn’t stick; now it’s raining buckets. I hope it doesn’t snow, at least not much, just because it’s a royal pain to take the dog hiking in it. Not to mention the idiot drivers. I seem to be the only person foolish enough to hike back into the woods this time of year. Maybe I’ll take a stick up to Grandma’s instead, and see if I can get Ms. Dog to chase it up and down the halls for an hour at a time. Hah. About as likely as my winning the lottery!

Also on the list is some painting I want to do. I’d like to get started, at least, on one of the trompe l’oeil paintings on a door, which are in their second year of “I’m going to…” Several other sketches and photos I’d like to work up are lying around, too. May be biting off a bit much for three weeks, but all my little things are good for keeping me at home, which is the affordable variety of vacation this year.

Oh, yeah, the reason for The Cheapest Christmas in History—the new crown. I sat in the dentist’s chair for a solid hour yesterday while they poked and pounded and squeezed and prodded and punched and smashed. Said highly expensive tooth would not seat properly. After all that, they sent it back to the lab for re-doing, and now I have to go back in a week or so and do it all over again. Ish. So far, the temp is OK, as long as I remember to chew caramel on the other side. 🙂

Recently, I learned something that puts me in a pretty pickle, since the vast majority of my life, as you can see, is built around thinking: Thinking doesn’t use much energy, but it makes you eat a lot. Hmmm.

Snaotheus and KrisDi are out of town this weekend, tending to her grandfather’s funeral. Deaths are always sad, but (in my view) less so when the person is old, and the poor man had been on dialysis for nine years. I hope they have safe, weather-free traveling and get home feeling not-too-tired.

So, we’re up to May 24 on the journal print-out, and I think I shall go start my version of the dreaded Ann Landers Christmas letter. Ta-ta!

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Turkey coma

Finally, I think, I have recovered from the turkey coma that Snaotheus and KrisDi put me in. What a feed! Since I habitually cook with little fat and little if any salt, what other people think of as normal food seems really rich to me. And I know I saw Snaotheus putting a bucket of butter into the sweet potatoes, so I know there was a lot more than I usually eat. So, even though I didn’t eat any more than I normally do. . . I reeled over to the couch afterwards and was completely unable to move, for HOURS, and barely able to talk. Stuffed, I was. Gorged. Porked out. Boy, was it good. So was the pumpkin – gingerbread trifle KrisDi made, which I had to bring home in a little container in order to taste it at all. Yummmmm. Grandma was very, very happy, too: For the first time in her entire life, that I know of, she dived into her cranberry salad and pumpkin trifle, completely ignoring the turkey, dressing and vegetables. Nice to know she’s discovered that sometimes it’s good to eat dessert first. 😉

Miss Bluehound has been sick ever since I got her home Thanksgiving night. I thought it was too many treats on turkey day, which she got to keep her pacified while she was marooned all alone in the garage, but she’s still not eating and has, er, other obvious signs of, er, gastric, er, distress. All I need is for her to have picked up giardia at the dog park. . . certainly nowhere near a remote possibility.

And, since I roasted my very own turkey segments with stuffing on Friday, I am also the proud owner of my very own turkey leftovers. Yummm. Turkey and cranberry sauce sammidges. Turkey soup. Turkey slices. Stuffing. I love stuffing. Especially I love my stuffing, with walnuts and raisins and mandarin oranges. Mmmm. It’s dinnertime, too. Mmmmmm.

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