This holiday was a little odd. My parents went out of time (and still aren't back yet) and we usually spend Christmas Eve evening with them exchanging gifts with that side of the family. The office closed at noon and an early Christmas miracle happened - I got to leave at noon with everyone else. We had dinner at Surly Girl Saloon and got to see their new menu. Let me tell you... I had the Slammin' Salmon with rice and beans and there was not a single bite left on my plate.
Sammy isn't so much our straight man for jokes as he is the butt or catalyst of our jokes. Christmas morning he's jumping up and down from his excitement at going out for his morning walk. This is not entirely unusual. My husband says something to him along the lines of, "I almost think you're as excited as a little kid waiting to open presents on Christmas morning." Of course this makes me laugh.
We wait around until it's about time to go to my in-laws. My husband decides Sammy gets a present from us this year. He gets to celebrate Christmas with us! Even though it's wet and a little bit muddy we pack him into the car. Surprisingly, he does well. He walks under the branches of the Christmas tree to see what's there. He won't go down the basement stairs which is kind of funny - they are carpeted closed stairs so we thought he'd willingly go down them. Instead, he stands at the top stop, leans his body over and cranes his neck as far as it will go just so he can maybe see or hear what is going on - just like at home. My in-law's house has an open loft type room upstairs. Sammy figures out I am up there but it takes him a while to figure out how to get up the stairs. And once he's up there he has a tough time figuring out how to get down the stairs. He's used to jumping off the last few steps into our hallway. And at my in-laws he would hit his head against the wall if he did that. Sammy only barks a little bit while there which we were so happy about.
Grandpa loves visiting with Sammy. Grandma will pet him but can really take him or leave him. When we sat down to eat dinner I can't remember what she said but it was something like, "I have my jello, my coffee and we're all sitting down to dinner. Get lost, dog!" We never know what she's going to say and it usually makes us laugh. Sammy was just standing between her and Grandpa - he wasn't even begging or anything.
We did the usual at the in-laws where we opened the presents in our stockings, passed out presents, opened presents and then ate dinner. This year we had molded jello, green beans w/ham, wheat rolls, beef tenderloin, roasted red potatoes and black olives. Dessert was ice cream with berry cobbler or apple cobbler.
We were there longer than we thought we would be. Got there around 2pm and left around 8pm. Once I was home there was a message from my brother that he left at 2:15pm. About fifteen minutes after we walked in the house he called again. He and his wife had gone to see Sherlock Holmes. They were watching tv with their friend, Nikki, who we hadn't met. So we went over to exchange gifts.
They have two dogs. One is a pit bull mix and a very sweet dog. The other one is a Shiba Inu. It bit me once on the back of my thigh and caused bruising. It's growled at my dad and in September it bit my mom on the hand while she was petting it.
We exchanged gifts, watched some of SNL's Gilly Christmas special and then decided after 10pm we had to leave. I still had a goose to brine! From the way the Shiba Inu was acting I knew it was looking for trouble. He kept trying to get close to me and now and then would tentatively lick my fingers. My brother tried to keep us apart. When I stood up and reached down to get my coat he lunged for me. My husband had a good view of it all. All I heard was snarling and I thought at first I'd stepped on the dog's paw but I realized I didn't feel the paw under my foot. If anything, the dog got my pants leg but not my skin. My brother had put his body in front of the dog and yanked the leash/collar to put more distance between us.
After getting home, I decided to make the brine in the morning because the goose should only be brined for 4 - 8 hours. People were expected at 5pm. It would take 2 and a half hours to make the goose. More on that fun later!