Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry ho ho

Merry Christmas!

Christmas seems subdued this year--not just at my house, but in general. Is no one's heart in it?

I finally got around to working on the stollen in earnest. It's a big recipe that makes two massive loaves. Pounds each. Once I got the dough going, I worked in the drunken fruit and dumped the whole thing out on the counter. As I kneaded a dough ball the size of my head, bits of citron, raisins, and currants flung themselves all about the kitchen, but mostly onto the floor. Our dog, Sparkle, was quick to react. She worked her way between my legs and the dishwasher and licked up everything that fell onto the floor, from flour to fruit bits.

Once the dough was set aside to rise, my husband said, "I seem to remember something from Animal Planet about dogs and raisins." I was skeptical. My husband checked on the Internet and came back with a report: Raisins are toxic.
"How many?"
"I don't know. They're just toxic."
"To all breeds? All sizes?"
"I guess. It's a newly recognized toxin."
"You're kidding."
"No. I'm calling the vet ER."

My husband spent about five minutes on hold--busy day in the ER. Eventually, he got a tech on the phone. All she did was verify that raisins are problematic--one serving being enough for trouble. I had to ask, "How much is one dog serving of raisins?"

He called the vet ER again. This time, after waiting on hold, he came back with a directive to induce vomiting in the dog. I had to ask, "How do you induce vomiting in a dog?" He looked at me and gave a big sigh as he reached for the phone.

A few minutes later, he came and found me and said, "A little bit of hydrogen peroxide squirted in her throat with a turkey baster." I had to ask, "How much peroxide is a little bit?" My husband did not reach for the phone. He said, "I don't know. Let's just put some in a cup and go for it."

We rounded up the dog and loaded the turkey baster. The dog obediently opened her mouth when asked, and my husband took his best shot. The dog took a step back and gagged. She spit out some peroxide, and I hoped it was at least hitting her teeth going in or coming out--they could use a little freshening.

We watched. A little more gagging, but nothing else. The dog grabbed her tennis ball and ran out into the yard to play. My husband called the dog back to the patio and we tried again. More gagging, no vomiting.

My husband dejectedly reached for the phone. He waited on hold again, and while he was doing that, I let the dog back into the house. While my husband chatted with the tech--who said we could bring Sparkle in and they wouldn't charge the ER surcharge--the dog sauntered into the kitchen. She looked up at my husband and puked with gusto all over the kitchen floor. And then she puked some more, and then some more after that. The vet tech cheered on the the other end of the phone.

We convinced the dog to drink some water, and then my husband cooked some plain white rice for Sparkle.

I finished the stollen, put on some makeup, and we headed out to visit friends. Upon our return, the dog met us at the door. The house was fine, the dog was happy, and all is well our world.

Except for the plethora of knick-knacks sent to us by my mother. As expected. For reasons I cannot fathom, she sent me two bath pillows (I don't take baths), an umbrella (very dry climate), and a pink-and-orange striped vinyl, rigid-sided wallet that's about the size of a $3 greeting card. I don't even carry a purse. My current wallet can be slipped into my jeans pocket with room left over for lip balm or keys. What was she thinking? Was she thinking? If not, is it still true that it's the thought that counts?

My husband, on the other hand, gave me something quite special. It's called the Metta Prayer Mobius Bracelet. It looks like this:

The Buddhist prayer is:

May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature.
May all
beings be free.

This meditation encourages us to give metta to ourselves so we may be more able to bestow it upon others. I may need to wear this bracelet a lot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I laughed very hard at this blog posting, no offense to the dog.

For the record, I clearly remember you bringing a bath pillow to luxuriate in the bath at the hotel you stayed at for my wedding -- except the room only had a shower. So your mother's idea is about 16 years too late.

I got your Christmas letter -- I look forward to that every year. It's a refreshing change from some of the others (which mostly make me feel like a lousy mother) and of course much better written. And I was honored to be mentioned in the letter.