Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Addition

Do you ever make a rushed decision because, well, it seems like a good idea at the time and then spend the next couple days freaking out about how much of a good idea it may have really been in the first place and pray to God that you didn’t just make the most horrible decision of your entire life? That’d be my husband and I on Thursday. Why? Because we got a new dog.

So here’s the situation (and please don’t tell our Great Dane, Lucy this because, well she’s quite the jealous bitch), I have another canine child. Well, stepchild, more like. Or work child, I guess would be more appropriate. Back in March, a cute dog of random mixed breeding was brought into the veterinary clinic I work at after being hit by a car. It was exactly what the person chasing him down the highway was trying to prevent, but alas, cars happen on highways, and this is a busy highway too. Anyway, after posting his picture on Craigslist in the Lost and Found section, contacting the local Humane Societies, and waiting for someone to claim him (which never happened), both my coworker and I fell in love with him, broken leg in a cast and all. I tried to convince my husband that we needed to take him home, but it was at a very unstable time where we didn’t know about job prospects for him and could end up moving any day should something become available. Scary shit. Alas, it was not meant to be. However, my coworker decided she’d have to keep him since I wasn’t going to. His name is Goose. He’s my Work Dog and Lucy is my Home Dog. He likes me to hold him like a baby. Then recently another dog ended up at the clinic roaming around a local lake who, I kid you not, looks almost identical to the random mixed breed Goose. They also act alike, appear to be the same age, have the same temperament, make the same snorting sounds, and are both petrified of stairs. Coincidence? I think not. Their similarities are far too obvious for them to not be littermates.

And so after I get to work on Thursday, unbeknownst to me, my coworker was texting my husband apparently pestering him to come in and meet the dog they decided to name Duck. Yes, they have a sick sense of humor, my coworkers. Sick. Anyway, my coworker looked at me and said, “Uh oh.” I asked what the problem was and she said that she’d been texting my husband and he stopped texting back. I checked my phone. Nothing. I thought nothing of it, figuring he was just getting ready for work and went about my business. Then he showed up, and before I could even say hi to him, one of my other coworkers had brought out Duck to meet him and that was it. He said we had to bring him home, but the name would have to be changed. Within an hour I walked in on him getting his balls chopped off and asked if I want him micro-chipped. This was all a bit too much to take in. Freak out mode begins now.

What if Lucy hates him? What if he doesn’t get along with the cats? What if the chickens and ducks are dinner and not friends when he finally meets them? What if he just doesn’t work out? So many questions went through my mind, and I almost recanted our decision to take him home. But then this morning when I looked in on him after getting to work, I realized this is all new to him too. He’s going to be scared and not understand all that is happening. And he’s going to need training. Lots and lots of training. And a new name. Chuck.

So I bring him home, and Lucy freaks out… for a few seconds until after she put him in his place. Our cat, Dexter, also put him in his place, however, Chuck didn’t seem to know when to back down, so the cats are going to take a little more work with him. Alas, as he lies down next to me, snoring, I can’t help but hope that he is able to fully integrate himself into our somewhat chaotic household.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cream of Carrot Soup

Pulling together a meal can sometimes be daunting when you haven’t actually planned anything out. However, having a few tricks up your sleeves can help.

We had planned on having spaghetti for dinner last Sunday when a friend of ours announced she was coming over to go walking and have a Scrabble Death Match. Dinner plans changed immediately as said friend doesn’t eat pasta of any kind except for my macaroni and cheese because, well, the goo to pasta ratio is quite high. I quickly decided on baked chicken thighs, garlic mashed potatoes, freshly picked green beans, and something with carrots. At first I was thinking I’d just roast the carrots alongside the chicken, but then decided I should check on the carrots in the garden boxes in our backyard first. After pulling out one the size of my forearm, I decided roasting may not be the best option here and perhaps I should look into making a soup instead.

As usual, when looking for a recipe, I can’t simply follow it. I have to fiddle. I’m weird like that. So I gathered the ingredients I had and began. Onions, ginger, curry, carrot and broth all mingled away for about twenty minutes until the chopped carrot was tender. The results were amazing and I can’t wait to make this again and again.

Cory’s Cream of Carrot Soup
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 can chicken broth (14 oz)
1 – 1½ pounds of carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter and add the onions, ginger and curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and just begins to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the carrots, sugar and broth next. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth or stock instead of chicken. Cook on low, uncovered, for about twenty minutes or until the carrots are fork tender. Using a ladle, place the solids in a food processor and process until smooth. A blender will suffice in place of a food processor. Mix back into liquid and add the heavy cream, salt and pepper. This makes about four cups of a thick soup. For a thinner version, double the broth or use an additional 1½ cups water or white wine when cooking the carrots.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Play Must Go On

Yesterday was quite the treat, as my husband and I chaperoned Ridgefield High School to the annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare in downtown Portland. This year was especially exciting because the emcee was Sarah Jessica Parker. Alas, she was a no-show thanks to a scheduling pushback on Glee. I’m sure the fact that there was a major hurricane in her hometown of New York didn’t help matters either.

The day was filled with four plays from four high schools with Ridgefield performing last. Sadly, the other three schools’s leads had some line issues and ended up with scripts in hand for a majority of the plays, which in turn meant some scenes were skipped and major plot points not-so-much revealed, but the show must go on. At one point, in order to break the awkward silence as the male lead fumbled through his script to locate his next line during a dinner banquet, another character raises his glass and shouts, “Kazah!” and everyone at the table repeats with raised glasses. Finding out after the plays that some of these main roles were cast only a week ago made up for the lack of memorization. However, one character who really stood out was Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet, a part I have always loved and would love to play. His performance was amazing, filled with an abundance of confidence and sexual double entendres that character needs. It was a shock to learn that was one of the recasting decisions made the week prior, because he was spot on and had every witty line down with perfect timing.

The audience was also amazing, mostly filled with kids from the other schools participating in the event. When these actors were obviously struggling to remember their lines, they would suddenly burst out into applause, giving them a few seconds to regroup or allow a fellow cast member to help without obviously helping. Hoots, hollers, ohs, ahs, clapping and boisterous laughter were aplenty, making the actors much more engaged with the audience. When all was said and done, the kids had a fantastic time, and Ridgefield pulled off a cohesive condensed version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream without a hitch in what was their best performance. I have a feeling an audience mostly made up of their peers from schools around the Southwest Washington and Portland Metro area helped with that.

I’m always sad when these plays and events are over, because it makes me wish I could be more involved. Perhaps the only way is to go back to school and either study drama or become a teacher. Hmmm… the thought so intrigues me.