Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jose & Kathy's Thanksgiving Visit

Our Indian Dinner Thanksgiving Feast on Tuesday
The dogs didn't bark when Jose and Kathy came down the driveway about 8:15 last night. They stepped in the door and we started talking like they had never left from their visit 6 months before.  Eventually I let Maxie and Willow in the room, they barked for a few seconds, sniffed, then settled down. I uncrated Lucky and she was immediately friendly, although of course jumping up to try for eye level contact. Jose and Kathy are both so mellow, it didn't take long for me to feel confident letting FoohFooh in as well, he took a few sniffs and was as calm as a docile cat.  It's very strange the calming influence these 2 centered, spiritual, artistic people have on our dogs.
I had prepared turkey soup for dinner, but they had already eaten in the French Quarter, so we just talked in the kitchen while I laddled my soup in plastic containers to freeze. Turns out, they like detective stories, so we settled into the LR and watched the first few episodes of Damages, with Glenn Close as the super villainous lawyer. They liked it and we watched a few episides each night they were here.

Maxie surprised me by hopping up on the red couch and falling fast asleep between them.  My two-timin' doggie!  I actually felt jealous after awhile and had to reclaim him.  Everyone else turned in around 1, but I wasn't the least tired.  I trekked out to the camper to get my pottie chair, positioned it in the teepee, making sure it would work in that confined space, figuring out where to put the velcro to close the door. 

Aside: I so love the quiet of night.  I'm truly a night person.  I feel like a flower blossoming (time-lapse photography style) after midnight. Only true love, or desparate necessity, could make me go to bed early. Wonderful secrets, creative insights, are hidden in the night.  But if I stay up late and have to get up early (to train or trial, for example), I pay dearly for every one of those insights with bleary eyed, foggy headed misery the next morning.  To combat this problem, at the last 2 trials I began taking half a sleeping pill at 10 p.m.  I doze off within an hour, sleep reasonably well, and wake up at 5:30 feeling refreshed and clear headed.  The lengths we will go to for our dogs!

Sunday, all day, we prepared for an Indian Thanksgiving Dinner, having invited the new friends Jose and Kathy had made on their last pass thru Baton Rouge.  Jose travels with 2 shoe boxes full of indian spices, J & K bought all the fresh ingredients and spent 5 hours in my kitchen preparing 4 spicy dishes (chicken, fish, lentils and basmati rice), and brownies.  I straightened, dusted, swept and decorated the dining area. People began arriving at 5, each one bringing a dish of their own, and some wine.  After dinner everyone went outside and drummed for about an hour.  I stayed in, though, cleaned up and put food away, and spent some time with my poochies.  We all had a fine time.

So even though I'm not having family Thanksgiving this year (for the first time in my life I believe), this dinner satisfied my desire to entertain, share food and give thanks this time of year.

Kathy makes a design of swirls on my little model.
Monday, the next morning, I distributed all my old paint clothes (I have several sets), and Jose, Kathy and I began painting the tee pee.  It was great being outdoors in the crisp air, bright sun and falling leaves. 

Kathy made a design of swirls on my little paper model, which she thought expressed playfulness and spiral energy.  She said it would give me a platform to work on later, adding jumping dogs, etc.

Kathy, Jose and I prime the tarp with Kilz.

We primed the tarp with Kilz hoping the paint would stick better (it doesn't, the primer is easily scratched off).

Mixing the paint, tarp spread out on all our tables.

Jose supervises from above.
We took all my old acrylic paints from Montessori School days and mixed them as best we could to match the colored stripes on the pop up camper.
Kathy commenced painting the designs on, after which we all added our creative input.  Jose supervised from the top of a laddar, made jokes and told entertaining stories.  I added my creative input to the Indian dishes that were left over, and for lunch we gourged ourselves on more spicy food.  Thanksgiving is stacking up pretty nicely for me.

Jose said it had been years since he had been involved in an art project and he really enjoyed it.

Kathy Keller, a free lance graphic designer by the way, said it was interesting working in light pastel colors.  She usually works in warm dark colors (brown, black, maroon, gray).  You can see a collection of Kathy's paintings at:

Monday night I took off for agility class in my beloved, generally trusted, 1994 Grand Marquis.  On the way the lights on my dashboard dimmed then went out.  That's odd, I thought.  When I went to leave, I needed a jump from Nedra.  I drove out as far as Don's parking lot and it died again.  I called John, he said the alternator was out, leave it there, and have it towed in the morning.  I hitched a ride home with Nedra, called Geico and arranged for a tow the next morning, and called to postpone picking up Jonathan from New Orleans on Tuesday until I could get my car out of the shop, hopefully by Wednesday morning. Crap!  This kind of shit always seems to happen just before a trip!

On the other hand, I'm glad it happened before and not on the road to Lake Charles!  I take it to mean that some benevolent divinity is looking out for me!

J & K had to leave for Tucson by 8:30 on Tuesday morning, so I waited until they left to call for a tow and meet the truck out at Don's.  Before they left I rigged up the TeePee and took their photo.  Another fond memory for my scrapbook!

Now, on to meet the tow truck, using John's 1998 Grand Marquis, and led the guy to Sherwood Car Care, who said they could have me fixed up by tomorrow morning.  New alternator.  New battery. New posts.  $700.  That doesn't sound right, but I don't have time to argue.  At least the tow was free.

With all that going on, for sure the tee pee won't be ready for this trial/trip.  Disappointing, but I'll eventually have a private outdoor place to pee, PLUS a canvas to decorate with all kinds of dog-related cartoon drawings!  Maybe other creative artists will come along to make my PPTP a memorable dog agility folk art piece.
Picked up the car Wed morning, then on to New Orleans for Noon to pick up Jonathan, then back home to pack up for 4 days in the camper, 1 husband, 3 dogs  and a grandchild all going with me to the agility trial in Lake Charles this weekend, and arranging various neighbors to come in and feed FoohFooh and cats.  So much to plan and think about.  Never a dull moment.

Upwards and onward,

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