Friday, March 18, 2005


We have returned from Florida, happy and tired. I will post photos and details of our vacation soon. Right now I'm too scattered. But I can tell you it was about as close to perfect as a vacation could be. Muy bueno.

Taxi the cat spent the week patrolling the house and was visited twice by a friend of ours. You're a good egg, Jon--thank you. She was very glad to have your company. She is a little miffed at us, but she'll get over it.

Silver and Cairo spent the week at the Winterville location of Four Seasons Pet Resort. They were the new location's very first customers! They had a fun week at "camp" (lots of romping in the play area, ample Bil-Jac, etc.) and were sent home with Hawaiian-print bandanas around their neck. The manager of the kennel even took a photo of them for us and printed it out on a little postcard.

Gracie the new kid spent a week luxuriating at Athens Animal Hospital. She got all her shots and was dewormed (luckily, she was heartworm-negative, but she did have a pesky case of hookworm that needed attention). She gained a little weight and won everyone over with her friendly personality. When I picked her up, I took her directly to Pawtropolis to use the self-service dog wash. I managed to get rid of most of her hobo smell. You should have seen the dirty water that poured off of her. Who knew she had white feet? She looks so pretty now.

Special thanks go out to my veterinary-student friend Becky, who interned at Athens Animal Hospital and was able to give me good advice on what to do with a bedraggled wandering dog on a moment's notice! Becky, you rule.

The s.o. is building an outdoor run and doghouse for Gracie, since she's not too keen on other dogs.* I have already become very fond of her. She's such a playful, curious little monkey. Sweet as can be. When she rides in the car, she climbs up into the back window and makes all the other drivers crack up. If anyone knows of someone near us who'd be a good parent for her, please let me know.

Other than taking care of all these doggie details and catching up on my e-mail, the only thing I've done since we got home is cook an elaborate Indian meal. I did it because I was inspired by new purchases. We shopped at, like, a thousand thrift stores while we were traveling. At one of them the s.o. found a couple of those stainless-steel covered dishes that they serve entrees on at Indian restaurants. At another, he found a stainless steel three-cup condiment caddy. At yet another, he picked up two volumes of the Time-Life Books Foods of the World series: Chinese and Indian. They are copyrighted 1969, and they're fantastic--super authentic and informative, with as much cultural information as cooking instructions. So I took the Indian volume and set to work filling our new serving dishes. I made:

Roghan Josh (Curried Lamb)
Same ki Bhaji (Fried Fresh Green Beans with Coconut)
Puris (Deep-Fried Unleavened Whole-Wheat Bread)
Dhanya Chatni (Fresh Coriander Chutney)
Kela ka Rayta (Yogurt with Banana and Grated Coconut)

All of the recipes were spot-on. Delicious. I felt such a sense of accomplishment; I had been trying for quite some time to make a decent roghan josh, and this recipe--the simplest I've tried--was the best. Also, I had always assumed there was some trick to making puris, but there isn't. You roll them out and drop them in hot oil, and they puff up like balloons. Cool.

I think it's time to sit around and read some magazines. All that unpacking and dog-collecting has worn me out.


* There was a snarling, lungeing incident when she encountered another dog at Pawtropolis, although I was able to contain her. Gracie trusts people, but seems to have a strong instinct to protect me against other dogs. We will try to socialize her, but I suspect she would probably do best in a situation where she would be an "only dog."