Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm more attached than I thought

When Hubs and I leave town, we take Ransom to a dog boarding facility. It was a shocker at first that we would pay over double what we were used to, but we love Bauserhaus and found they are actually on the cheaper end of other places and I prefer their style of boarding than others. Ransom is playing with dogs for 10-12 hours each day and comes home exhausted. Before, he would try (and succeed) to escape his enclosure, and would give me such sad eyes and throw a fit when I left him. Now, we drop him off and he doesn't even look back to see if we left.

This time, I dropped Ransom off a day before we left town. I thought about how lovely it would be to clean the house and it not immediately get covered in hair and drool. However, I didn't realize how accustomed I had become to having him in the house.

When I came home from shopping, I subconsciously expected him to be standing at the door, tail wagging. It doesn't matter that I usually don't pet him or give Hume any attention as I walk inside; he still greets me like I've been gone for days. And I kind of missed it.

As I was working in the basement, I lost track of time and realized it was almost 6:00 pm. Then I realized why the time had crept up on me. Ransom wasn't there to annoy me at 5:00 sharp for his food. His incessant nagging can drive me crazy, but when it was gone, I missed it.

Our house is not noisy for the most part, but with Ransom gone, it was eerie quiet. There was not clinging of the collar tags, now shaking of the head, no loud yawns or dream barks, and no "click click click" of the paws against the hardwood floor. I found I like a little noise.

I woke up in the morning and shifted in bed and waited for Ransom to hop off his bed, anxiously hoping that I was finally awake and ready to start the day. Nothing happened. It was strange to not have that normal morning routine, and I even missed that.

So, it turns out I may be more attached to our big black monster than I thought.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Brazilian Barbeque

When Hubs told me we needed to go to a graduation party, I was reluctnant. Parties where I don't know anyone aren't my fave, but we headed there, planning to do the American thing and stay for a little bit, then leave.

What I didn't realize until we pulled up to the house was that this family was Brazilian. We were right on time, and as we walked to the door, obviously the first people there, I mentioned that in Brazilian time we were probably really early. Sure enough, it was obvious they were not expecting anyone to arrive on time and the next guests did not arrive for another 30 minutes. Clearly, this was not going to be a come and go party.

We sat and chatted for a while and the guests started to arrive. Immediately, we were submerged into a different culture. The language of this house was Portegeuse and the culture was Brazilian. We felt very out of place.

The food? It was delicious and not for the vegetarian. Meat just kept coming and coming. The most flavorful steak I've had in a long time. It is a cut of meat that isn't very common in the U.S. and was only seasoned with salt. It was delicious. Then, there were these things call "cheese balls." I ate so much food because it just kept coming, and it was so good, I had no complaints. I'm determine to find somewhere to find this cut of meat.

Two very nice men (one of them Richard's professor) were kind enough to sit with us and speak in English. It was fun to talk with them, and we knew they were being super nice to make us feel welcome in an awkward situation.

After 90 minutes, we decided we should get going. But, dessert hadn't been served and we were told we must try the dessert. So a little later, out comes a giant apricot and dulce de leche cake with these layers: cake, apricots, cake, dulce de leche, cake, frosting and a mound of strawberries. Not only was it very good, it was beautiful. Along with the cake came these amazing little homemade chocolate caramels. I loved them. And then, after the cake, was passion fruit mousse. And of course, it was delicious.

Two and a half hours after we arrived, we left, completely stuffed with food. We also left with an invitation to another Brazilian party in a month. And we left ready to plan a vacation to Brazil in 2015!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

When Hubs is Away

When Hubs is away, I explore and do things I normally don't do. I'll take long walks without telling anyone where I'm at, or go walking at 10:30 pm past shady apartment complexes. I drive myself to places I haven't been before. I have not seen everything in St. Louis yet, and having extra time where I know I don't have to make dinner or be home at a certain time is fun. Plus, I have to find something to fill all the lonely time up. Usually I take Ransom with me for protection.

Hubs hates it that I do this.

This time, I decided to check out two nature parks I had heard about. The first one was a bit run down. It didn't look super nice and there were very few cars in the lot. But, I still got out and covered myself with bug spray (because bugs seem to attack me) and set off on the trail.

It was pretty, but the paved portion was really short. So, I took off on what looked to be a dirt trail off-shoot. I hiked for quite a ways up onto a bluff over the river. It seemed like the trail would go forever, but then I started thinking about the fact that I was all alone and nobody knew where I was. I then started going over scenarios in my mind about what I should do if someone were to take me. I had at least taken my phone with me, but realized a bad man would take it from me in an instance. I needed to hide it; so I put it an unmentionable spot and decided that I would text Hubs from the trunk of this unknown assailant's car. Then I would push out his tail light and someone would see me and call 9-1-1. Then I'd be safe. No big deal, but I wouldn't do any TV interviews because if the man got out on bail, he might try to find me.

Once I figured that out, I decided to return back to the paved part of the trail. I was really pleased with myself that I found my way back with no problems. I made sure I had exhausted all the options of the paved trail and then decided to try another park on my way home.

This second park is Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center. It is very nice with three paved trails. I choose one of the short ones, thinking I would try them all. What I didn't expect was the steep hills. It was a constant up and down trail for 2/3 of a mile - super steep hills, with switchbacks. I loved jogging this trail because it was completely in the woods and I love to be enclosed by a forest. They have a staffed information center and the parking lot was much fuller and I saw other women walking around by themselves.

While I did not feel scared at either of these places, I felt safer at the second and I plan to go there again on my way home from work. It was really nice and enjoyable.

I really feel like I should tell you that when Hubs is away I don't do anything that I feel is unsafe. But I may go jogging at Forest Park or go try out a new park that I haven't yet visited or try out a new area of town if I know there is a store or coffee shop I have been wanting to see. (The walk at 10:30 pm past the shady apartments was a necessary task when Hubs was away due to getting home late. I walked really fast and had Ransom for protection.) I always do my exploring during the day and if I ever felt scared, I would stop.

Hubs knows I am an explorer. When we went to Seattle a few years ago, Hubs had an interview and I took off to explore downtown Seattle by myself. That included walking 2 miles to a bus stop, navigating the bus system to downtown, spending the day downtown, taking the bus back and walking 2 miles back to the hotel.

I think Hubs just wishes I would explore when he was in town...