Monday, May 11, 2009

I Got A Harley!

While J picked up the boys Friday, I was busy making dry rub ribs & dulce de leche cheesecake. Pie arrived with big hugs, which was lovely. Boot was just his usual helpful self. We just hung out around home Friday night. Saturday morning, Boot joined us for our trip to the farmer's market (where I indulged in some morels and a whoopie pie while J got beautiful asparagus and Boot chose a mini loaf of pumpkin bread and some salsa) and grocery. We swung by the library to pick up the copy of "New Moon" J had requested. Then, we headed to the Animal Protective League, where we just planned to look. However, we left with a dog.

When we met Harley, I knew that if we were going to have to have a dog (I am decidedly a cat person. I like other peoples' dogs, you know, the ones I can leave responsibility for to their owners. J has been angling for a dog since we met and I decided to bend my "NO DOGS!" rule when I considered how I would feel if she instituted a similar ruling on cats), Harley would be a good choice. She's 6 years old, half Rottweiler and half Doberman. She is about the sweetest, most mellow dog ever, with a hilarious bark more akin to a duck sound than a dog sound. She is incredibly well-mannered. She lived with one family until a week ago, when they were forced to give her up because they lost their home. The only times we've heard her bark since we got her have been when she needs to go out & once, when Boot went out to the car for something, she stood at the door waiting for him & barked a couple times. She has playfully chased after the cats twice when they've gotten close (and instantly stopped when we told her "No") but mostly just ignores them. Fred has gotten within a foot of her & been ignored. When I took her for her walk yesterday, she thoroughly ignored another dog on the path. We expect that she'll get a little more active once she fully recovers from spaying (which was done Thursday), but we think she'll be mostly just relaxed. She does have a little arthritis, so that will probably cut back on her desire to be wild, as well. Pie said when he first saw her, he was scared she was going to rip his throat out since she looks fierce, but that he loves her now.

So, of course, we spent the bulk of Saturday afternoon & evening just sitting around gazing at Harley and petting her. J & I ventured out to get her some supplies & toys, but we mostly just hung out with Harley. Pie even brought his t.v. and game system up from his video cave to be with her. J made lasagna for dinner and Harley was very polite about staying in the living room (albeit just over the line) while we ate. She has clearly been well-trained. The boys opted to stay downstairs with Harley overnight. We are trying to have her sleep downstairs for a couple of reasons. One is that we are simply not strong enough to carry her upstairs every night should her arthritis get to the point where they become difficult for her to manage on her own. The second is that we want the cats to have a Harley-free zone. They're getting less freaked out and more venturesome, but have mostly sequestered themselves upstairs. Storm was sitting on a chair in the living room when Harley first arrived and arched her back mightily while puffing up to twice her normal size. Harley swung by the chair for a sniff and Storm gave her a swift paw to the snout. Harley's response was to amble on over to the middle of the room & lie down.

I visited a church where I have applied for a part-time Christian Ed director position Sunday morning. The adult ed class was populated with impressively knowledgeable and friendly people. The worship service was great, with inclusive language used for both humans and God and a sermon about the conversion of the eunuch being a reminder that the church is not supposed to be normal and fit in with society. The pastor was on my ordination committee and is the one who suggested I apply for the job. I don't know if he's gay, but he has an HRC bumper sticker on his car and is unmarried & childless. He talked a lot about how oddball it is in our society for someone to choose to be childless. It was a very interesting sermon, especially for Mother's Day. The church just voted in December to be Open & Affirming, the UCC designation for a church that has chosen to actively include a statement of welcome for LGBT people, and they had P-FLAG flyers in the narthex. They also share the building with an African-American congregation in an interesting way. Instead of being totally separate & just happening to share the building, as many building-sharing congregations do, they share a coffee hour between the two services. It's very cool! I had a few great conversations, some with folks I am pretty sure are on the personnel committee and were checking me out. One man has a gay son and the son and his partner are both members of the New York City Ballet. The man told me he & his wife don't want to be members of any church where their son and his partner aren't fully welcomed. I also got into an interesting conversation about the (too seldom mentioned) feminine divine with a couple of women, one of whom handles women's issues for the national body of the church. It was a great, rejuvenating morning. The personnel committee will be meeting this week and looking over my info together, then will call me for a formal interview. Fingers are crossed.

Once we were all home (J and Pie had gone to the Star Trek movie, then J & Boot went out to fetch lunch), we sat down & ate cheeseburgers & fries from Five Guys, which was what J wanted for her Mother's Day lunch. They are great! Harley was again very mannerly. Definitely interested, but maintaining a polite distance. J said her gift from the kids was Harley, but Boot had made us a card, too. I gave J a couple new figures from the Schleich toy collection of elves, wizards, dragons & such that she collects. If you haven't seen them, they are very cool and fully playable-with. They can go in the tub, to the beach, whatever...anywhere Barbies can go. J gave me a really funny card and Pie had chosen a darling sweet one with a mama cat bathing a kitten on it. J had asked him if he wanted to find a step-mom card, but he was happy with just a mom one for me. Boot inserted "2nd" in front of "mom" when he signed, but Pie saw no need even for that. Sweet. He also chose my gift. He was in the Sci Fi section of Borders and J kept trying to steer him to another section. He was insistent & chose a book I've never read by one of my very favorite authors, Terry Pratchett. Yippee! Sparkly jewelry is all well & good, but Terry Pratchett is marvelous! Jeff really likes him, too. My closet reader. J got him a philosophy of Star Trek book and he loves it! I looked and it's full of references to Kant, Derrida, Lyotard. It's not just a joke book at all, but serious, hard-hitting philosophy with Star Trek woven in. And he actually gets a lot of it! Wow! On the way home, Boot fell asleep within 10 minutes, only awakening every now & then to ask them to keep the station on a country song he likes. I guess Pie & J talked philosophy & Sci Fi the whole way back to their dad's (where their father, very uncharacteristically, came out in the driveway & waved at J-weird!). He said he's a "closet geek" and said how uncool it is to like reading, Sci Fi and, for that matter, thinking where they live but that's who he is.

While J returned them, I dropped off a bunch of minestrone for tonight's church dinner, took Harley to the nature park and watched chick flicks. Well, a chick flick and a half. I finished "Rumor Has It" and was watching "Music & Lyrics" when J got home. After a good phone chat with my mom (who seems to have a new cat...he wandered in & their cat really likes him), I made some chicken breasts with Moroccan spices with rice on the side and fried up my morels. I had actually found another, hand-sized morel right in our yard, too! They were scrumptious! I think the only way to eat morels is to soak them in salt water for 24 hours, drain them well, dip them in egg, dredge them in Saltine crumbs and fry them in butter. Heaven on a plate!

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