A Month

A month has passed since I last wrote.  I’ve started to forget the challenges we faced as we integrated Violet into our family.  I look at her and wonder how I ever doubted we could be a family.  She is a really terrific dog.  A few minor quirks remain, but even if we never sorted them out, we’d be fine.  Happy.  Ecstatic.

Still walking like crazy.  I’ve been keeping records for 84 days during which time we’ve walked 529 miles.  That’s an average of 6.3 miles a day.  The prong collar is still magic.  She can be within a few feet of a squirrel and not freak out.  She’ll stare at it without pulling for as long as I’ll let her and then I can walk her away when I’m ready.  Maybe she’ll then pull a bit to try to get closer, but not always and if she does it is nothing remarkable.  I’m so happy.

I’ve started a few hearty plants at the community garden.  Unless it rains, I go there every day to water.  I’ve tried leaving Violet at the picnic table while I water but she barks and barks until I come back.  That is a quirk I will try to sort out.  I want to be able to walk her there to water, then play at the dog run in the same park.  But leaving her at home means I get to pedal to the garden, which is nice.

I feel pretty strong on the bike.  All this walking must have helped.  I tire a bit on longer pulls, but that’ll go away as I keep at it.  We’ll see how much I bike this summer.  In the same way the long walks leave Violet with little interest in being wild, they leave me with less need to get out and pedal.  A trip to the garden or the store may be enough.  Having walked outside for three to four hours, I am content to work, do chores, lawn care, cook, read books and watch TV.

I just started watching Raja, Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan on Netflix.  It is an Indian show covering Indian cuisine, region by region.  Subtitles and all.  Up until now, I only had a rough, and probably confused, understanding of the differences between the food of northern and southern India.  I am ready to learn.  The first episode covered Rajasthan.  Desert country, so families rely on khejri trees, the leaves of which feed goats milked by the families to get milk.  They also grow millet which tolerates the heat and needs little water.  It’s tough living but the people don’t just survive, they thrive thanks to the cuisines they’ve developed and adopted.  Inspiring.  Next up is Tamil Nadu.  I can’t wait!

I am reading Karen Tei Yamashita’s I Hotel.  My friend teaches at St. Rose and was having her students read Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange.  That book isn’t in our library system, but I Hotel was.  It covers the Asian American experience in San Francisco during the late 60s and early 70s.  A turbulent time in which Asian Americans were fighting for their civil rights.  A good review is here.  I am enjoying it very much, but I am a little bit distracted since I received Haruki Murakami’s latest short story collection, Men Without Women.  You may recall that I spent much of 2016 devouring everything he wrote and I am ready to dive back in, but I am 100 pages from finishing I Hotel.  Patience!

I’m still making food from all over the world.  Mexican, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Ethiopian and US dishes top the charts, but I’ve added a few dishes from Russia and Egypt, too.  Having never had many of these foods prepared for me, I have no idea if I am hitting the mark or any mark, but the dishes delight me.  Isn’t that enough?  Might be because I love cooking and eating and have a huge sense of gratitude for the variety of wonderful ingredients I can get, but I may also be getting a little better with practice.  It’s slow going, but fun along the way.

Speaking of food, I’ve typed my way past eleven so I am going to cook something for lunch.  Take care of yourselves.  Have a walk and make some yummy food.  Cheers!

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