Our Fine Four-Fendered Friend

This weekend, Jeremy and I rented a car to do errands, take the ferrets up to the vet, and generally get out of Salem. The rental agency gave us a PT Cruiser, a car we had both been a bit enamored of, but after riding around in it for two and a half days, I think we’ve lost some interest in it as a potential purchase. Not that it was a bad car by any means, but it just didn’t have the same farfegnugen as our cute little Jetta.

In any event, the main purpose of the rental was to get the ferrets up to their vet in Lake Oswego for vaccines and annual exams. (In case you’re wondering why we chose a vet that is 40 miles away from us, let’s just say that experienced ferret vets don’t grow on trees.) We got everyone in the carriers and up to the office without incident—I think, but more on that. Niki got a clean bill of health. Ajax’s occasional wheezing and snorting was determined to be a minor upper respiratory sort of apnea caused by the fact that he’s a big boy with a big ol’ neck, so nothing to be concerned about unless he actually starts having trouble breathing. His very dirty back teeth were determined to be a good candidate for scaling, which could be done without anaesthesia and made a vast improvement in just a few minutes.

Pandora, as might be expected of an older ferret, had a few more issues. The primary one dealt with was the fact that she lost her top left fang sometime in the past few days without our noticing. We’ve been racking our brains trying to figure out when it might have happened, and we think the most likely scenario was after we bathed them all on Thursday night: we were also washing all their towels, so all three were out at once, and Ajax grabbed Pandora hard at one point. When we pulled them apart, she was biting his scruff just as much as he was biting hers, and his skin is thick enough to bend vaccination needles, so it’s possible she snapped the tooth off then. At any rate, the fang broke off right at the gumline, which is a recipe for abcess. Fortunately, our vet agreed to stay after hours to do dental surgery and got the rest of the tooth out. Pandora will be on antibiotics for the next week or so, and we have a medicated wash to keep the sutured hole in her mouth good and clean. She’s putting up with the meds beautifully so far, and feels well enough to roll and carry her jingly balls all around the house like always, so she should be just fine. I only wish we knew for sure when she broke that tooth; it really caught us by surprise.

Other than that rather eventful vet visit, we ran lots and lots of shopping errands with the car this weekend. Since I ordered a bunch of clothes last month for my birthday, this month we caught Jeremy up with a trip to Washington Square for some spiffy new duds (and possibly one more dud for me). While there, we also had great fun exploring the new stores that were built since the last time we got up there (several years ago, admittedly), including a Teavana, where we purchased three new kinds of loose leaf tea to try out. We’ve sampled all three by now, of course, and are very happy with our choices of a traditional Moroccan mint, a slightly nutty Darjeeling called Margaret’s Hope, and a green blend called Japanese Cherry Blossom. Plus, it was just really nice to be able to sniff all the different types before choosing. We should really get out more. 🙂

We ran around Bridgeport Village on Saturday while the ferrets were otherwise occupied at the vet, and went a little wild in Whole Foods, as we have been really missing having decent grocery options sans car. Would it be silly of me to outline some of our prizes? It may totally expose us Salemites as country bumpkins, but I’m too excited not to. We got a beautiful hunk of Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese and some ricotta salata, which I keep reading about but could never find; some sherry vinegar, salt-packed anchovies, and Italian tuna in olive oil; dried porcinis for half the price they were going for at Safeway; some Cyprus black lava salt with gorgeous pyramidal crystals that I have no idea how to use; a chunk of Scharffenberger bittersweet chocolate, some cacao nibs, and way too many Endangered Species bars; a sugar pie pumpkin; and tons more stuff that is going to be a lot of fun to play with.

On Sunday, we ran errands around town, mostly to Lowe’s for supplies so Jeremy can make a still-life box (I’m sure he’ll tell you more about that as he starts building it), but I also got some buttons and grosgrain ribbon to finish off my tweedy cardigan, and we did more grocery shopping for the perishable sorts of foods that we didn’t want to lug all the way down from Lake Oswego.

So that was our rather extravagant, car-powered weekend. Did I mention that while we were doing all this, it was pouring rain almost non-stop, and hasn’t let up yet? This is soaking rain, not your typical Oregon drizzle-mist. Perfect weather to ditch the rental car and curl up inside with a hot cup of Moroccan mint tea and a new sock on the needles while dinner finishes braising. (And by the way, if you like pork chops at all, you owe it to yourself to run straight into the kitchen and make Marcella Hazan’s Pork Chops with Tomatoes, Cream, Porcini from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. I left out the button mushrooms and just added the porcini soaking liquid with the drained tomatoes, and they were maybe the best pork chops ever. Marcella’s the best!)



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