Friday, March 22, 2013

Truffles and Schtuff

There's nothing going on *she lied* so here's a smattering of stuff from the past week.  Actually, most are from today.  And yes it is a lie that nothing has been going on, just that we're not part of much that is going on.  Recently was the Red to Dead Marathon Race (well, longer than a marathon I guess, it takes about 3 hours to drive and the race is run over the course of an entire night), coming up is the Dead Sea Marathon in April, I got a job as the new co-CLO at post, and President Obama is in town this weekend.

But I'll show you a photo of canned truffles.  Because why not. 

Do people actually buy canned truffles?  What does one use canned truffles for?  For a second I thought they were chocolate truffles in a can, but no, they are the kind that a piggy would dig up with his snout.  In a can.

In other news, we brought Tandoori to the vet early this afternoon.  He's the only one of the 4 that requires a vet visit for nail clipping.  The others I can do in their sleep.  But then I can also touch their bellies and their paws and anywhere else without fear of retribution.  Tandoori is skittish and perpetually on edge.  Touching his paws is a no-no at any time, except at the vet office where he's so freaked out he freezes up.  So we toss him in the carrier and go.  The other cats find this the perfect time to check him out. Or taunt him.  We can't really tell.  Tandoori kind of puts up with Shawarma but the other two get nothing but hisses and swipes and general bad language thrown at them.  So when Tandoori gets shoved in a box the other take it upon themselves to irritate him to no end by stuffing their noses through the bars, staring at him, and sitting on top of the cage.  Tandoori takes it, he knows they have the upper hand.  We also figure he's sending them "I hate you" vibes through the bars anyway.

At the vet there were the standard cats in carriers, a couple of unusual cockatiels, a parrot that talks but not to us, and well, a pet monkey.  Vets in Jordan are few and far between and finding a good vet from the limited options is difficult.  We are so lucky to have Dr. Ala'a who treats us well and our pets even better.  But because of the lack of decent vet care, the ones with good practices treat every kind of animal.  Dr. Ala'a sees reptiles and primates and birds and rodents in addition to the standard cats and dogs.  People as far as Aqaba bring their pets up to VetZone for care.

The lack of vets is a result of few people who own animals as pets, and of those people, few who bring their animals in for regular check up and vaccinations.  There are so many stray animals on the streets it's a regular sight to find run over cats in the road.  Today we saw a dog that had been hit and left on the side of the highway.  Feral cats are regularly attacked and tortured.  Feral dogs are so unwelcome that they are regularly poisoned or shot.  It's a sad state when feral animals are so poorly treated.

The kids had their riding lesson this afternoon.  When we went to the vet I wore a sweater, then realized it was nearly 80F outside.  Changed into a polo for the stables only to have a sandstorm blow in and the temperature drop nearly 20 degrees.

This is a view of the valley by the stables, the stables are up on a hill.  Usually, you can see for miles, rolling hills, houses, green fields, olive trees in neat little rows.  Not so today.  The wind was whipping around, the sand was blowing, and when the rain started to drip ever so slightly the car got a nice layer of mud on it.  The horses were none too thrilled with the change in weather either, most just hunkered down and waited it out.

Meanwhile the kids were in the indoor ring (thank goodness) learning all about which leg to follow when moving up and down (posting or rising trot) during a trot.  I never knew that even mattered, but apparently it does, and it takes time to figure out.  Lesson after lesson they are told to keep their back straight and look straight ahead, and now they're told to pay attention to a horse leg that's under them.  It was a challenging class but I'm glad they are learning the technicalities.  Apparently the instructor will include cantoring in a few weeks, which should be quite enjoyable to watch.  I like sitting in the indoor ring as well.  Not only does it keep us out of the sun, rain, and sand, it keeps the horses from getting distracted or freaking out from the sun, rain, and sand.

It's an early to bed kind of night, to prep for an early morning.  Have a good weekend, all.

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