Friday, January 2, 2015

A Farewell to the Fluffiest Friend

One of the really big downsides to dogs is how short their lives are relative to a person's. If you're a person who likes to have dogs around--as we do--then it's inevitable that in the course of your dog-owning life, you're going to have to say goodbye to a lot of dogs.

This morning we're saying goodbye to Leda the Fluffball.

The fluffiest of all, indeed.

She had been declining slowly for awhile now, not surprising considering she was coming up on her twelfth birthday in March. That's pretty old for a collie. Yesterday morning she wouldn't eat her breakfast, though she was happy to go on a walk in the woods with the family and the rest of the dogs. Last night she was noticeably worse, and when the MiL went out to check on her before bed, Leda was nowhere to be found.

This morning A. found her curled up in the flower bed by the door. She had died right where she wanted to be. She died quickly, and after a day in which she got to have a last adventure in the woods.

Not a bad way to go for a dog.

We're all sad, of course, though not surprised. When the weather warms up this weekend, we'll bury her in the pasture where so many of the family's pets have been buried over the years.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Smells Like Roux--Must Be New Year's Day

I have wealth and happiness simmering on the stove at this very moment, with health (another piece of an enormous pork loin, because the MiL was once again in charge of pork procurement, and she goes big) ready to put in the oven in a couple of hours. I get very sentimental making this traditional meal every year, imagining my far-away family--mother in Tucson, brother in Phoenix, sister in Jacksonville, Florida--making the same thing at the same time.

Though I suspect they didn't use lard to make their roux. Or half-frozen and indestructible volunteer kale from their gardens for their greens. So I've adapted it a little to my environment and particular kitchen, but the tradition remains unbroken.

Also, although my sister has admitted that she uses canned black-eyed peas now, my mother certainly never did. Not sure about my brother. But if he does he's in good company, because I have gone over to the canned dark side, with no shame at all.

Happy New Year, my lovelies. I wish you all health, wealth, and happiness this year, no matter what you cook for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Season for Sickness

We went a suspiciously long time this fall without any illness in the family whatsoever. For a family with small children, one of whom attends a breeding ground for viruses euphemistically known as a preschool, it's something of a miracle to have a two-month stretch with no one dripping from the nose or coughing or whatever.

Then December came. And Cubby got sick. Then he got sick again. Then I got sick. Then I had a baby. Then Charlie got sick. Then Cubby got sick AGAIN (we can see the weak link here, can't we?), then the MiL got sick, and then . . . dun dun DUN. Down went A.

He went down in a spectacular fashion, with what I suspect is strep throat. He's always been particularly susceptible to strep during holidays and other times of stress. I think a jury trial, a new baby, AND Christmas qualifies as a high-stress time. Wouldn't you agree? Yeah, so does his diseased throat.

When I called his office for him yesterday morning to let them know he wouldn't be in and someone else would have to meet with his scheduled clients, the paralegal who answered the phone noted my newborn, two small children, and sick husband situation and jokingly asked if I would rather come into the office today. Probably one of the few days on which being a lawyer would be preferable to being a stay-at-home mother, actually.

Anyway. A. is going to go to the doctor today to get his antibiotics, the older children are still hacking but are otherwise on the mend, and neither I nor the baby have succumbed to anything yet.

And I am now knocking on a whole forest of wood.