Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Way to a Dog’s Heart…

And, (according to the winner of yesterday’s canvas is:

Mandy: How about I list what I'm NOT fretting about? Nothing. I'm preparing for a cross country move. Packing a big house w/ 3 little ones is pretty close to impossible. I've been w/ out my husband for 4 months. We're back to square one financially. I'm not taking time for myself. I haven't picked up a bible in weeks. And some things medically aren't right. Life is eating away at me. I guess I need to BITE BACK! Thanks for giving us a place to lay it down. I forget how nice it is to hand it over to Him.

Congratulations! I definitely can’t help with the move and the kids, but hopefully the canvas will help make your new house feel like home. Email me at with your mailing address and I’ll get your canvas off to you!

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I pretty much tortured my dog the other day.

I think we’ve covered the fact (many times) that I don’t cook. In my defense, I have about as much stamina as a dying turtle so when I expend any tidbit of energy on something it’s most likely not going to be preparing a gourmet meal.

The only thing that doesn’t factor into that excuse is that I never knew how to make a gourmet meal to begin with. Unless it was one of those fancy frozen dinners with the word gourmet in the title to make it sound more palatable. Those I can make without a problem. Usually.

Because I’m not a whiz in the kitchen, all the fancy kitchen stuff never really meant much to me… you know, stuff like pots, pans, skillets. Whatever. I had them in my cupboards and they were used on the rare occasions I had people over of supper and we didn’t order take out, but more often than not they collected dust.

Another thing you may not know about me is that I have a real habit of giving stuff away. If you come into my house and like a random clock that has no sentimental value to me, you’ll most likely end up going home with the clock. One of my old roommates punched her husband when I went to their new home and he said he loved the bag I used to carry in some gifts for their kids. She knew the minute he said he wished they had one like it that it would be left behind for them to have. It’s really not about being generous or anything; it just seems silly to keep something unimportant to me if it’s important to someone else.

Back in May when I wrote my first post for this blog, I was stirred to do so because of the nearby towns that were destroyed by tornadoes. It was tearing me apart that an entire city was left in the ruins of what used to be their lives, their possessions, their memories. When you couple my grief for them with my tendency to give things away, you can imagine the spree I had through my home filling up garbage bags with anything I could think of. It wasn’t just clothes these people lost… they didn’t have books or jewelry or stereos or VCRs. They didn’t have purses or wallets or scarves or coats.

They didn’t have kitchen stuff.

Boy, did they affect the right girl. I had already gone through everything else in my home, and when my friend Susie came to pick up my donations I was in the process of going through my kitchen cupboards. I had pots, pans, skillets, cookie sheets, spatulas, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, plates, platters … you name it. For a girl who did so little in the kitchen I had multiples of a lot of things and I knew I’d never notice they were gone. Susie helped me be a little logical about needing a few things just in case she came over and wanted to cook [I’m not kidding, that’s how she phrased it], and she really wanted me to keep the crock-pot that I had put in the pile to donate. I had only used it once or twice the entire time I had it and thought that was wasteful, so into the pile it went.

I really hate it when Susie’s right… but I ended up missing that darn crock-pot. Right and left I would have people telling me simple things I could do to make meals, and all of them ended with, “you just throw it in the crock-pot.” But I knew, in the end, some family without a kitchen was getting much better use of it than I ever would have.

One of my really good friends that I’ve met in this blog/twitter world, Brandy, is one that’s always thinking up little recipes I can’t mess up, and that don’t take more than a few minutes of energy on my part. She didn’t know anything about my giving away half of my kitchen supply, and had no idea if I was kidding or serious when I told her I wouldn’t try recipes that required more than a whisk and a spatula.

But one day, a few weeks ago, a package arrived at my door and it contained a fancy-schmancy crock-pot so that I would stop blowing her off and try some recipes. You know that saying, “What goes around comes around?” Apparently I’m living proof that it’s true.

Which brings me to my original point. [You all thought I’d forgotten my opening sentence, didn’t you?] The other night I put a pork roast in the crock-pot to cook. Because I grew up as the daughter of a hog farmer, there are few things in life that taste better or smell better than barbeque pork. Except maybe my mom’s fried pork chops, but you get the running theme here.

Because I don’t know my way around a kitchen and meat has barely ever been cooked in my house, my dog’s head nearly exploded for the four hours that meat was in the crock-pot. He stood guard in the kitchen… running back and forth to where I was sitting at the computer and freaking out. He was right in my face as his eyes searched mine constantly as if asking, “Don’t you smell it? What is it? It’s meat, right? I mean, you’d tell me if we had meat, right? Hmm? Hmm? Hmm?”

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I was cautiously waiting for one of my neighbors to call the humane society considering my dog laid on the floor and whined for the entire four hours as if being tortured by the smell of this foreign entity he’s waited all five long years of his life to enjoy.

Riley thanks you, Brandy, from the very bottom of his stomach.

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