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November 23, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Turkey Day

I was pretty listless this morning. First day of vacation, lots of stress at work just before this, and I really wanted to do absolutely nothing today. I also didn't feel up to much of anything.

Fezzik seemed to reflect this feeling in a much more physical manner. John and I helped him come in this morning, fed him breakfast by basically putting it under his nose, and, pretty much all morning, all he did was lie in the very spot we put him in the very beginning.

I puttered around a little bit. I read various magazines I hadn't had the time to read before, mostly food magazines and tea catalogs and a few cookbooks I hadn't looked at for a while. That included a stack of Chinese cookbooks that Mom and Kathy had given me, including one Japanese cookbooks written for Chinese cooks. I was thinking about making my own ramen from scratch, with various thoughts and hints from Tampopo, the movie, and some of my own desires and experiences with that humble bowl of noodles. Two major ingredients I really wanted to avoid were salt and MSG. Pretty much every dried package of ramen has significant amounts of MSG in it, so I couldn't use the normal soup packets. I did have soup bases from Penzey's, which I wanted to try sometime, but I also didn't know exactly what the fundamentals of making of ramen soup were. The book Kathy gave me did have the fundamentals, and I studied it thoughtfully.

Of course there were also the chocolate cookbooks, two magazines dedicated to various Thanksgiving meal preparations, including leftover recipes, and all other kinds of food items to read about. There was also all the food around the house. Even though I knew we were going to eat at 4, I grazed for most of the morning and early afternoon. Breakfast included a great deal of leftover turkey because I made a garlic and Chinese chili bean sauce with soy, wine, sesame oil, a touch of sugar, seven cloves of garlic, and a healthy spoonful of the hot chili sauce. It was all simmered for a good long time, until the cloves of garlic had nearly melted and the sauce was nearly a syrup. The spicy, savory sauce was a perfect complement to the white meat of the turkey breast, especially when the meat was cold.

Fezzik didn't move at all, even when there was food on the table. He did look at us while we were eating, but didn't move. By early afternoon I was mildly worried, so I got John to help me pick Fezzik up and put him outside. We took him out the kitchen door and down the stairs off the porch and set him on the concrete just to the side of the porch. He looked fairly comfortable, so we left him there. Nearly an hour later I looked outside and he was still lying in exactly the same spot. That worried me.

It worried me enough the John actually went outside with a handful of dog biscuits. The biscuits turned out to be enough to lure Fezzik up onto his feet. Fezzik then commenced to walk another ten feet and then lie down again. He happily ate biscuits while John fed him. I looked out again half an hour later, and he was, again, in exactly the same spot. Another half an hour later and he had disappeared. He had actually gotten up and gone and did something, somewhere. It was fairly amazing the amount of relief I got simply from seeing some motivation from Fezzik to do something, no matter how small.

Not that I was particularly motivated myself. I actually enjoyed watching John make a banana cream pie for the very first time. I really didn't want to do it, and John really did. He happily pulled out The Joy of Cooking and proceeded to make a handmade crust from the recipe in there. We had an interesting time finding and using beans as weights on the crust to make sure it didn't lift from the bottom of the pan. John didn't realize that the beans might stick to the crust if you put them directly on the dough, and I had to insist on at least some foil between the two. He did a really excellent job with the custard and the meringue, and I started looking forward to actually eating the pie. It was actually pretty fun to watch him work in the kitchen, and I tried to keep critical comments to a minimum as he was doing the work. I think he had fun as well, playing, as he said, in "my kitchen".

When the pie was cool we loaded both the pie and Fezzik into Borax, from opposite ends. We then went the two miles to the Goodell's house, and unloaded both the pie and Fezzik. I took the pie into the house. John took the dog to the back yard, and every time I looked out I saw Fezzik lying on the lawn, looking in my direction. The good thing was that he chose different spots at different times. We arrived around 3, ate around 4, and had a great time socializing with the Goodells. Alex was fun to play with, Hayley was very interesting to watch as she had just woken up and is into looking at faces and learning them, and it was just nice to be able to talk with Ray and Joan for an extended period. It was a very relaxing time. We ate a great deal. Jeremy came home for dinner and the middle of a 12 hour day at Blockbuster. He was getting paid double for working a holiday, and was really happy with that. He also brought dinner back with him for a co-worker, which I thought was pretty nice.

Not only did they give us a really excellent dinner, but Joan had packed several boxes with all the baby things they no longer needed. This included a small play pad, an infant car seat, lots of clothing, and even some toys to go with the play pad. They showed us how the car seat worked, and we loaded everything into the back of the car, along with Fezzik, he just barely fit. Luckily we didn't have to go too far to get back home. Lots of fond farewells, and we headed back home around 7 PM.

We unloaded Fezzik and all the stuff. The boxes and various things went into the house, and we eventually had to carry Fezzik into the house, as he didn't move much from where we put him down on unloading him from the truck. John decided we had to sort all the baby things and figure out everything we had as well as everything we needed. He started making piles all over the living room. He also had plans for tomorrow, which included a run to Costco, and we made a list of everything we needed from there as well. By then we were all exhausted, and Fezzik asked to go out the kitchen door. John and I helped him out the door and onto the porch, and he pretty much collapsed the moment he was out the door. That worried me.

We got ready for bed, went to bed, and I couldn't sleep. I went out the kitchen door and found Fezzik still lying there, coughing. So I found the indoor bed he normally lies on inside, and dragged it out onto the porch and laid it right next to him. It was so cold out, I really hurried. I then went back to bed, still couldn't sleep, and after awhile I went back outside on the porch with Fezzik's water dish. I was going to put it next to him if he was still on the porch, or down on the concrete if he had made it to the lawn. I was worried about the coughing, but also knew that there wasn't really anything I could do. He was still on the porch, lying comfortably, now, on his bed, and he wasn't coughing at all. I took the extra moments it took to pet him and hug him, and he looked so content I was finally able to go to sleep.

I guess I got resigned to whatever was going to happen and found some peace in that.

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