I have finally decided that Polly needs a bedtime story before she settles down for the night. It's the only explanation I can come up with for her weird behavior, which has been going on for years now. I think I've written about the behavior before, but it took until yesterday to define it.
Both dogs settle down after their dinner, which is around 7 p.m. Somewhere between 9 and 10, Polly will go outside. Now, during the day, they either wander around the yard, or they rush at one of the fences to bark at dogs, people, or ghosts. Maybe a rodent that we can't see. When the mailman comes, they rush the front fence to bark at him. They bark and bark and bark together until they either get bored or we call them in.
But this late evening thing is all Polly. She stands on the patio and barks a fairly quiet bark. One bark. Then about 5-10 seconds later she barks another. She keeps this up for maybe ten minutes. If you look at her, she doesn't seem to be barking at anything. Lizzie ignores her, but once in awhile Polly's bark changes ever so slightly and Lizzie goes outside to check, but then comes back in again.
I finally decided it is the doggie version of "Goodnight Moon."
On the concrete patio
There was a table
And a rickety fence
And a dog who -
Stands in defense
And there were three little plants covered with ants
And two little plots
With a pair of pots
And a little tool house
And a little mouse
And a puddle, some slush and a tree with a thrush
And a grumpy old grandpa who was yelling "hush"
Goodnight dog standing defense
Goodnight grandpa yelling "hush."
Goodnight noises everywhere
Once she has said goodnight to everything in the world, then she comes in, goes into the living room and goes to sleep for the night.
She has probably followed this routine for at least the last couple of years.
I had my taste buds tickled this afternoon, a satisfaction years in the making.
The one thing I have missed about my parents has been my father's potato salad. He created his own when I was still a kid and I've never tasted any like it. For one thing, the potatoes aren't chunks, but are sliced very thin. For another,there is no mustard in it and he used sweet pickles instead of dill.
I was always his taster, lettng him know whether he had all the blends right.
I've never actually made it myself because it's loaded with onions and Walt doesn't like onions. It also involved a ot of slicing and I could never get the potatoes to slice thin enough.
I eat other people's potato salad and they're OK -- some I actually like, but nothing has ever equaled my father's. My mother did ok with it, but tended to over-salt it.
When I got the new mandolin slicer I suddenly thought I could use that to slice the potatoes...and I could make an individual serving that I wouldn't have to force on Walt because of all the onions.
Today he went to San Francisco to the symphony and I had the afternoon home alone with no car (so no temptation to go anywhere) and I decided to try it.
It worked! It needs tweaking. The potatoes were cooked a little too long and the parsley wasn't diced fine enough, but otherwise, it was that taste I'd been missing.
It's such a simple salad -- just the potatoes, onions, sweet pickles, parsley, hard boiled egg and mayonnaise mixed with pickle juice. I might try pickle relish next time. But it was pretty close to what I've been missing for so long! i also satisfied my taste buds and probably won't have a craving for it for awhile now. At least now I know I can make it, if I want it.