Friday, November 27, 2009


So, we survived our quiet Thanksgiving dinner, just the 4 of us. Lucy mostly snored throughout the entire meal so we were thankful that we didn't have to listen to her bark, moan, whine as we were trying to enjoy the delicious spiral ham and all the fixings I had made. Yes, that's right. You read it correctly. *I* cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal. By my ownself. Mashed potatos and gravy, stuffing (do you know how hard it is to stuff a ham?), fresh steamed asparagus, corn on the cob, rolls. And I served it on the fancy good china instead of the usual Corelle. Oh, I had to wash all the china first on account that it has been sitting unused and untouched in my china cabinet since it was bequeathed to me several years ago but it looked lovely once the decade of dust had been washed off.

Of course the kids bickered throughout the entire meal and Thing 1 had already had one Thanksgiving dinner with his "other" family but other than that, it was lovely. And afterwards, I cleaned the kitchen all by myself. TheManTheMyth was flabbergasted that not only did we have this fancy meal without me having any sort of meltdown (I NEVER have meltdowns! Piss and moan and bitch and cuss, yes, but meltdowns? Not I!) but that I cleaned up afterwards and did the dishes and everything. Yeah, I don't know what came over me, either.

This morning, still in the glow of the lovely dinner, the menfolk are getting ready to head out to the desert for a weekend of riding and I'm sitting on the sofa reading the morning paper while Lucy was sawing logs in her bed. And I hear something. I hear a funny noise coming from the kitchen. Kind of a knocking, scratching, clawing, gnawing sound. I go into the kitchen and I'm standing there listening to these sounds and my heart is sinking because I know that sound and I hate that sound and everything it represents.

Yep, the goddamn rats are back. Over the years we've had a problem with rats because of where we happen to live. I've seen rats climb out of the storm drain in front of our house, I've seen them running on the telephone wires at dusk and I've seen them in my very own house whereupon I screamed like a girl and leaped onto a chair. We had to call the exterminator when TheManTheMyth opened the pantry door early one morning and one jumped down from the shelf and went running through a teeny-tiny hole the size of a quarter underneath our bottom cabinets.

We've put traps out, which work just fine most of the time except when they don't and you know when they don't when you hear the trap snapping and then the sound of the trap being dragged across the floor because the thing trapped in it is still alive and only caught by the tail or leg and it's trying to escape and I get all freaked out and demand that TheManTheMyth Do Something about it. It's been a year or two since our last invasion and obviously they decided it's time to make another attack on my house.

Back when Lucy could still see, she caught several on her own and we were very proud but now that she can't see for beans and spends the majority of her days and nights snoring happily away, I can't rely on her for exterminator duty.

So. I'm in the kitchen listening to these nasty, disturbing sounds and the menfolk have just pulled away from the curb and it sounds as if IT is getting ready to pop out of a cupboard or drawer and there's no way in hell I'm going to open a cupboard or drawer and have this thing jump out at me and I'm thinking what the hell is a rat doing up at this time of day because aren't they nocturnal and shouldn't it be in bed by now instead of in my kitchen and what the hell am I going to do?

I did what any self-respecting wife would do and call TheManTheMyth, who is probably just about to get on the freeway towing a 28 foot toyhauler and I'm all "You HAVE to turn around and come back, there's a RAT in the cupboards!" and he's all, "Are you freaking kidding me?" and I'm all, "No! Come back and get rid of it!" and he's all, "Sic Lucy on it!" and I'm all, "She's snoring and she can't see anything and I don't want to have to witness a fight to the death between a blind Lab and a big ass rat!" and he's all "Oh Jesus Christ I don't believe this!" and hangs up and I'm thinking I'm screwed here.

A few minutes later, he and Thing 1 come walking in the door all "where is it?" and I point them in the direction of the kitchen and yep, the little bastard is still clawing and gnawing away and TheManTheMyth flings open cupboards and drawers and... Nothing. There's nothing there. But we can HEAR it. Which means the little fucker is in the walls. TheManTheMyth kicks the toekick under the cabinets, plops down a trap and box of rat poison and says "Here ya go. Use them" and then he and Thing 1 jump back in the truck and drive off, leaving me with nothing more than ONE trap, a box of rat bait and a blind, senile (but happy) Lab to defend myself and my home against an Army of Invading Rodents. And since rats are ALWAYS on the Friends and Family Plan, I think I'm going to need reinforcements. And lots of likker. Which won't do anything for the rats unless they like a nice dry martini but it will help me get through the next few days until TheManTheMyth returns to do his husbandly duties and KILL THAT RAT.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let's Talk Turkey

Ok, tomorrow is the third Thursday of November. Which is a National Holiday. It's the day millions of Americans watch football or the Twilight Zone Marathon and work their way towards obesity by consuming mass quantities of foods high in starch and carbs. Because that's the American Way!

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always held at Farnham Avenue. Gramma and Grandpa and my mom's mom, who we called "Gigi" (pronounced with hard G's, "Giggee") would join us for turkey, stuffing, that cranberry sauce stuff that comes out of the can in the exact shape of the can with all the rings of the can molded into it, the infamous Green Bean Casserole that is known in our family as "Gigi Beans," mashed potatos and gravy and pumpkin and apple pie for dessert.

My mom would get up early and start cooking. Once the turkey went into the oven, Siam, our Siamese cat (totally original name, eh?) would plant himself right below the oven and make these funny sounds. We think he expected the turkey to march right out the oven door and into his mouth and he was not going to miss his chance should that actually take place. Since our kitchen was pretty narrow, naturally he was right where someone would trip over him. Unfortunately for Siam, the turkey never did do a swan dive out the oven.

One year we invited a group of Japanese visitors to experience a Genuine American Thanksgiving Dinner. They arrived dressed in silk suits and dresses while us Americans were in casual attire. They didn't speak much English and I remember my Grandpa telling us to "Speak Slowly and Distinctly and They Will Understand You." He also seemed to think that speaking LOUDLY would also be helpful. Our family is loud enough and I'm sure our guests were more than a little overwhelmed.

After TheManTheMyth and I were married, we spent a couple of Thanksgivings at our vacation place on the Colorado River. One year, I decided to do something different because neither of us are all that big on turkey. So I decided to make roast lapin (rabbit) along with made-from-scratch baked beans. The rabbit came out pretty good but those damn beans never softened, despite soaking, boiling, simmering.

The first Thanksgiving after we got married, TheManTheMyth's grandmother decided dinner would be at her house. There were 10 people crowded into her tiny 600 square foot house including my in-laws, my mom, my dad, my dad's wife and my Gramma. I still don't know we all fit. I think we had to take all the furniture out of the living room and put card tables in there.

15 years ago, I decided I want to spend Thanksgiving with my mom so I flew up to Washington, leaving TheManTheMyth and Thing 1 to spend the holiday with my in-laws. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I just felt blah and ick. I thought I might have eaten something bad on the plane. We drove to Portland to have Thanksgiving with some cousins and all I could choke down was a couple of biscuits and gravy. My mom asked me if I thought I was pregnant but that wasn't possible because a) I was using birth control and b) I hadn't missed a period so no, I'm not pregnant.

I spent the rest of my visit feeling like hammered shit. My mom kept telling me I was pregnant and I kept denying it because see paragraph above. I got back to California still feeling crappy so I decided to take a pregnancy test just for shits and giggles and to prove that I was Not Pregnant.

After my test I immediately called the doctor who, after examing me and performing an ultrasound, confirmed that not only was I knocked up but I was just starting my SECOND TRIMESTER with Thing 2. Color ME flabbergasted.

This year, it'll be just our little family: me, TheManTheMyth, Things 1 and 2 and Lucy. We'll be enjoying a spiral-sliced ham from Costco (none of us really like turkey), stuffing although I'm not sure how to stuff a spiral-slice ham, mashed taters and gravy, steamed asparagus, corn and apple pie and ice cream for dessert.

I'll get out my good set of formal china that I inherited from TheManTheMyth's grandmother and we'll sit and do the "What are you thankful for" question that each of us has to answer although I'm sure there will be some smart-ass answers because we're not a "sentimental" family and just have a Nice Family Meal. While Lucy moans and drools and barks and begs from under the table. And we'll eat at a "normal" hour, like 6:00pm. None of this 3:00pm dinner stuff. What's up with THAT?

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Don't overstuff yourselves and remember that there's always something to be thankful for.