Gobble, Gobble [ 2003-11-24, 3:35 p.m. ]

Kent and I took Tuesday to Puppy Play Group this weekend, and it was a huge relief to see her playing with all the other puppies. Since weíve had her, she barks really ferociously at other dogs when she is on the leash, so much so that I have been afraid to take her to the dog park and let her run around. She whines when she sees other dogs, but when she gets up close to them, if the other dog barks at all, she unleashes hell in the form of the most ferocious barking/growling Iíve ever heard. Itís scary to me, and also embarrassing. Like Iím a bad parent with a fucked-up kid. But on Sunday we went to the local Doggie Day Care facility and let Tuesday play for an hour with a bunch of other puppies (a roomful of puppies is maybe the cutest thing EVER!). At first, when she was on the leash and the other dogs were arriving, she was in full attack-dog mode, and Kent wanted to just take her and leave. The dog trainers said to go ahead and let her off the leash, though, and if she was too rough, theyíd put her in the pen with the bigger dogs. But as soon as she was off the leash, she was a happy, bouncy, romping puppy. She didnít bully any of the dogs or even bark. I was so proud and relieved! But then, this morning on our walk, she went bananas when she saw another dog, so apparently we still have some work to do. According to the dog trainer, sheís got some ďBarrier Frustration.Ē Kind of like when Iím out with Kent and he wonít let me go into all the cute shops I want, and I whine for a while.

On an unrelated note, I am getting really excited to host Thanksgiving this week. When I was 15, my mom and grandmother had me pick out a china pattern of holiday dishes, which I received scads of back in high school. I hadnít seen the dishes in over 10 years, but my parents just UPSed them to me so that I can host a proper party, with real china and everything. The dishes are lovely, and I have beautiful linens to use as well. My grandmotherís art deco dining room table will be arriving shortly, a generous wedding gift from my parents. The wine is bought, the turkey is ordered, the menu is set. Iím having three other friends over for dinner Ė BritGirl, Mr BritGirl, and Biscuit (who is a pastry chef and therefore in charge of bringing delicious desserts for us!), in addition to Kent and me. I really love the idea of having one holiday a year that is ours Ė for Kent and I to celebrate how WE want, whether it be with friends or by traveling. It is so hard to fit travel time, travel expense, time off from work and our two families into our holiday schedules; I love that we can relax on Thanksgiving and enjoy being with friends. I plan on taking some pictures, so hopefully I will be able to show off my hostessing skills (I mean, skillz) for you later this week.

My parents have dinner parties all the time, throwing together events with 20+ people in no time at all. They are effortless hosts, and amazing cooks. My mother is always the life of the party, no matter the crowd. People are just drawn to her, her energy. Itís kind of intimidating, and I want so much to be like her, and my dad too. Iíve had a few little parties, and theyíve all been great (I think), but this is the first time Iím offering proper food to guests. Iím trying to remain relaxed and allow for last-minute glitches, but, really? I want it to be perfect.

And finally, let me just say how thankful I am to have found this outlet. A year ago I had never heard of online journals; six months ago I never would have thought Iíd be able to maintain one. Itís been a great vehicle for me, and every time I get an email from a reader, my stomach jumps with excitement. My readership may still be small at this point (or Ďintimateí as I prefer to think of it), but I love knowing that I am talkiní to someone! Please, know that I am thankful for all of you, and have a great holiday!!

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