Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful for family, good dogs and life.

We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving, Jeff, my mom, Aunt Kimiko, Nelson and me. Of course, the four wolverines known as Tess, Maid, Nan and Rainey were in attendance. As soon as my mom and Aunt arrived, the dogs sprung into action; first by barging me out of the way to greet them with wags, barking and general mayhem and secondly; when I told them to go to their beds, they ran behind my mom who then said, “It’s ok” and I relented. It has been a traditional greeting now and my mom loves the wild abandonees of it all. The girls appreciate the fact that when my mom arrives not only they get lots of treats but only have to listen to her. She goes into the kitchen with her hands full of bags but the dogs seems swirl all around her but never in the way. They end up at the treat jar when my mom tells them to sit and they sit fast as lightning and I wish they downed as quick as that on the trial field. Their eager panting tongues hang out in anticipation of the treats and soon they are rewarded. A full bag among the four girls and I know better than to tell my mom what to do as she will soon fill my belly as well and heaven forbid, that I piss her off. She loves feeding the girls and they adore her.  When she was cooking shrimp tempura she had the four black and white fan club at her feet. I caught her feeding pieces of hot tempura shrimp to the dogs and told her that was not good for them. So she reached over and snagged a piece of turkey for them.
At this time, I felt it would be a good time to finish the mashed potatoes. I added half and half, sour cream, crispy bacon bits, butter and garlic. Filled the gravy bowl to the rim and also put out the corn and bacon stuffing. The turkey was cut up and put on a large platter. It was joined by asparagus with mushrooms, fresh homemade cranberry and raspberry sauce (made by Nelson), Japanese cold rice sushi, yams, sweet potatoes, shrimp tempura and tons of homemade pies as well as store bought. We were hungry.

We made Nan, Rainey and Maid wait at the beds for their portion but Tess wandered over to the table. We figured since she won’t be here much longer she could have free rein. Soon she was eating shrimp tempura tail, turkey, the veggies and whatever else my mom and Aunt could feed her. Soon the other girls snuck over and they all huddled under the table next to mom and my Aunt and got their share. I pretended not to see and they made themselves scare near me as they know if I saw them, I would make them go to their rugs. When my mom comes over, I let them sneak over to eat as it gives her great pleasure to hand feed the dogs and it’s a small price to pay to see her laugh and be happy. But when I think they have had enough, I let her know and the girls go back to their rugs. Maid will lean her head ever so gently on my mom’s knee and is the best of gently taking the food from her hand, that she gets a good portion. Plus my mom loves her little cross eyes and gives her extra for that pitiful look when she looks at her.

We ate well, family and dogs and soon pushed back from the table and talked. It has been a tough year but we managed to make it through. I am grateful that my heart surgeries are finally over and that chapter is closed. The elbow is healing quite well and I go back next week for (hopefully) the final checkup. I have been doing the PT to keep the full range of motion and although it hurts, I still do it. It does hurt when the weather goes to cold and the barometer drops. It’s to be expected for the rest of my life but I look at it as a weather guide.

After dinner and clean up we wandered down to the barn. My mom and Aunt love this part as they get to feed the animals and it gives them great delight. The sheep recognize my mom and run up to the fence and immediately start baaing to her. She gave them lots of bread and they also ate it out of her hands. A couple of them are seasoned vets to this and stick next to her so they get more than their fair share. She gave the poultry bread and soon they were around her feet and she laughed at how they fought over the bread. The geese saw her and waddled up and began to honk for theirs. Soon the barn was a bunch of animals all crying for their Thanksgiving feast. No one got worked on Thanksgiving but everyone got extra rations. I love to see my mom and Aunt being so happy when they feed. I saw the four girls gathered at their feet and were getting pieces of bread. I sighed. My mom saw me look at her and quickly stated, “The bread just fell down.”

I was going to take photos but forgot as I was enjoying watching them feed the animals. I heard stories of when my mom was a child and how she had a pet chicken, of how bananas were rationed during the war and hardship and now as a family we not only eat well, are well but enjoy life and are happy. It’s a good feeling. Later we had dessert of Tiramisu, cheesecake and Nelson’s home plum and apple pie. Needless to say, I was stuffed and soon passed out on the couch after everyone left. With the girls, of course. It was crowded but we all managed to find a spot on the couch. I woke up with a cramp in my leg and saw that Rainey was stretched out and I was shoved in a corner. Maid had the pillow, and Tess was against the foot and Nan moved to the floor. The girls had no cramps and were annoyed that I made them move off the couch!

But later that night, they forgave me when I went for my second round of turkey dinner and they got their share. Hopefully by forgiving me, they will run well on Saturday’s trial.

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