Monthly Archives: September 2015

Happy Fall, Y’all!


Chilly weather, and chili weather…

My cousin Judy has lots of kitchen traditions she has built with her family over the years.  The first snowfall of the season always brings a homemade pie, for example.  For the last couple of years, Judy has opened her kitchen up for “Fall-Chili-And-Hot-Tamale-Making-Day”.  And we’ve already started talking about this year’s installment!  I can’t wait to spend time together, stirring the chili pot, making the mixtures of meat and meal, assembling those little packages of tamale goodness!  We share the work and then share the finished product, with me and anyone else who helped taking some home to enjoy later. And of course, we have to taste and see that what we made was good!  Quality control, after all.


It reminds me of the times when Mama and “Mamaw” Allred, Aunt Martha, Aunt Ruby and/or any combination of them, would gather in someone’s kitchen to make tamales, or candy, or to can tomatoes and green beans in the summertime.  Shared work provided shared goodies, as well as lots of laughs and fun.  The foods they prepared nourished both body and soul.

I look forward to chili-and-hot-tamale-making-day, for the yummy food we hope to make.  But even more than the physical food, I look forward to the comfort of time spent together with Judy and whoever else can join us (both Reed and Jeff have helped in the past), carrying on the traditions of the generation before us.  And I think this year, cake may need to happen!


Puppy Love


Our Four-Legged Fur Family…

Last night driving home from work I received a text message from Jeff telling me he was at the vet with Our Boy Roy.  When Jeff got home from work, he let Roy out and at first the dog seemed fine.  Then he began to whimper and would not put one of his back legs down.  Roy is not much of a complainer so Jeff knew that he must have hurt himself and got to our vet hospital right away.

Dr. Rick examined Roy and said it was a stretched tendon, gave him a laser treatment, sent him home with pain medication, instructions for us to try to limit his activity, and a follow-up appointment for Monday next week.  Dr. Rick also said that at some point the tendon could break and that would mean surgery.  Jeff and I have been down that road before, and neither of us relishes the thought of revisiting it.

Just last week was Roy’s “birthday”, the 8th anniversary of the day we brought him home from the shelter.  Since his estimated age at that time was about 2 years old, he is about 10 now.  Definitely a senior statesman, but still very puppy-ish in his personality.  Little dogs seem to stay that way longer than larger breeds do.

We never really intended to, but we became “those people”.  Our dogs have been like kids to us, and Roy’s injury brought back memories of our last year with Ernie The Wonder Beagle, who died from mast cell cancer.  We went through tumor surgery, medication, more tumors and more surgery and more medication, before Ernie’s llittle body just gave out and he died.  Jeff said he was concerned that, at Roy’s age, “this might be the beginning of…”.  I tried to reassure him, and myself, that this is just an injury, a temporary situation that Roy will overcome.

Roy is an agile little 22-pound Terrier mix who loves to jump onto the couch.  One evening last year Roy jumped up on the couch like he does dozens of times every day.  But this time, he got a weird look on his face and began acting like he was in pain.  Somehow he had landed in such a way that he got a hairline fracture in one of his little ribs!  Medication and rest took care of that and soon he was back to his old self.

And I am hopeful that rest and meds will take care of him his time as well.  He is usually a pretty light sleeper, but not long after he got his half a pain pill, he was bearing weight on his leg again, and he slept well through the night.

I’m glad one of us did.