A Houndful of Issues…

I love our dogs.  I really do.  They are our furkids, and I'd do just about anything for them.  Including shelling out upwards of $1100 because Rolo did this while I was at work on Wednesday:

Kitchen Mess

Note that the oozing liquid coming from the plastic bag on the right was actually a new bottle of jack Daniels that I was carrying in from the grocery store.  I managed to drop it once I saw the kitchen disaster and it shattered and leaked out everywhere amongst the orange peels, coffee grounds and sweet potato peels.  Yay me.  

Once the mess was cleaned up, I noticed that Rolo was hiding in his dog bed–not out of shame for having destroyed the kitchen, but because his abdomen was swollen and hard and he was in a great deal of pain.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the emergency vet we go…

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They game him a thorough exam and did x-rays…

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Which turned up nothing urgent or surgical, so we went with a diagnosis of pancreatitis.  They gave him fluids and pain meds and sent us home with instructions to let him rest.

In the morning, he was worse.  He cried and cried and cried.  It was awful to listen to.  (Pardon the quality–all you need is the sound.)


We ended up right back at the vet, where he was hospitalized for the remainder of the day.  Poor little guy is still in pain today, but things are looking a bit up.  He's walking a little bit, and his tummy isn't as swollen.  Poor little guy.  

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I sure hope we all learn our lessons about the trash can this time.  We've already started looking at cabinets like this, which we will promptly install child locks on.  Grrrr.

To the Dogs

When we started fostering dogs for the basset rescue, I never imagined it having the impact on our lives that it's had. By the end of 2012, we had helped 5 dogs find new homes.  

It all started with Eddie.  We only had him for a short time, but I will never forget him.


After Eddie, the rescue said they wanted to give us an "easy one," and so there was Gwendolyn.  Easy to love, yes.  Easy to let go of, not so much.  I really did fall in love with little Gwennie.


After Gwennie, there was Norman.  A big love.  He went to live with a sister hound named Lucy, and they changed his name to Ricky.  Love.


After Norman, we told the rescue that we needed to take a break over the holidays.  We were going to be doing a great deal of traveling, and were worried about having someone to care for three dogs.  Before we knew it, though, they were inundated with dogs and were in desperate need of fosters.  We asked for a mellow dog, and got Mildred. We had Millie the longest of any of our fosters, and gosh was she sweet.  We really did love little Millie.  We would have kept her in a heartbeat.


We couldn't stand the thought of a hound being homeless for Christmas, so we took in another foster quickly after Mildred was adopted.  Enter, Romeo.


I fell hard for Romeo.  He is the biggest hound I've ever had, but was essentially a 70-lb lap dog.  He LOVED to cuddle.  Romeo was adopted just after Christmas, and my lap still feels empty.  I miss him the most of all of them.  

I'm proud of what we've done for our fosters, but even more, I'm grateful for their reminder of how lucky we are to have food, clothes, shelter and love without question. We will never go hungry.  We will always have family who loves us.  We will never spend a night outside alone. We are so very fortunate to be able to share our space with these sweet four legged friends.

The Happiest Place…

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Catch and I started going to Disneyland at least once over the holidays the year we met. We still have our Disneyland "santa hats."  Mine is Tigger and hers is Stitch.  We take a photo there together in our matching hats every year.  

Of all the traditions we've created together over the years, this is one of my favorites.  There's something about being there with the lights and the costumes and Christmas as far as the eye can see–it puts me in the Christmas spirit like nothing else can. Something about it helps me put the daily stress of our lives out of my head and channel my inner six year old. I wish I could find ways to do that more often.

Before we left, we decided to get season passes again for the first time in years. I'm hoping regular visits will help me stay a bit closer in touch with that inner six year old.  

A (not-so) Vintage Cake

For Christmas, I asked for the book, "Vintage Cakes" by Julie Richardson.  


I couldn't wait to try out some of the recipes, but since our Meyer lemon tree is abundantly covered in ripe lemons right now, the two lemon cakes were calling to me immediately.  Since we were having a dinner party on Saturday night, I got to try making the Lemon & Almond Streamliner cake.


The cake itself is made with buttermilk and almond paste, and the result is moist and dense with the most lovely almond flavor.  It's topped with a deliciously tart home made lemon curd in place of icing.  I added some fresh raspberries for color, and they were a lovely compliment to lemon and almond.  

This cake was worth every single minute I spent in the kitchen on Saturday morning.  

This weekend, I'm going to try the Lemon Queen Cakes.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

A Week In…

For us, 2012 ended on a sour note.  Someone broke into our home while we were away on Christmas and helped themselves to (among other things) my computer and our two ipads.  We are still feeling totally violated, but knowing that someone has my computer just makes it that much worse.  As does the fact that I don't have a back up of a good chunk of the 3 years worth of our lives that are on that computer.  

Still, at the end of the day, it's all just stuff.  I'm trying hard to remember that as we attempt to let go of 2012.

So, 2013 is upon us and with the clean slate of a fresh year there is much talk about all of the things we always talk about at the benning of the year.  Our physical and mental health.  Our plans for a home of our own. (We rent.) Plans for a family of our own. (Let's face it–I'm not getting any younger.)

It's all overwhelming and anxiety-inducing.

On Saturday night, we had a little cocktail party. Our place is tiny, but somehow we managed to entertain a group of 9 farily comfortably.  

We spent all day cooking, cleaning and preparing for our guests, and by the time people arrived I was already exhausted–but by the end of the night when the last guest had gone home, I felt incredible.  Still tired, but so pleased with our hard work. The food was wonderful, the house looked beautiful, and the company was lovely. It was a good feeling.

So, I have decided to leave the usual list of resolutions tucked away inside my head. Instead, I will say only that I would love to do more entertaining in 2013. I love feeding people. I love the warmth of a clean house with candles glowing, a few friends, a bottle of wine and some good food. I want to embrace that feeling as often as possible in 2013 without getting hung up on how much work it is or how tired I am. It is worth every aching bone in my feet.