He is eating them. My husband hates leftovers. Ask his mother. Two days ago I made my version of my mother’s “orange chicken” with fresh orange juice.

We shared one chicken breast and saved the other. Yesterday we shredded the other, added mayo, s&p, tarragon, halved black seedless grapes, halved multi-color cherry tomatoes, a nut mix and served it on small sesame rolls. Oh, I added orange zest and a bit of juice to reinforce the orange flavor. Also 1/3 of a lemon for freshness.

My husband is eating leftovers. They’re re-made but yesterday he helped re-make them, to my specifications. I need to tell his mother that reading a book is not like learning from vision. Taking a rubber boat down a fast river, nothing to know except you do it with a guide the first time. That’s how I learn. We did a five-hour run in two hours because the water was so fast, Class 4 rapids. It was scary and he read a book and thought he could do it alone. No way I will go or let you go alone. I’d been through Class 5 rapids, was thrown out of the raft and almost died and all the rescue boat people almost died as well in an eddy. I did that with my brother when he was 17, once. My husband and I learn from each other over the years. I know that when he says he’ll take our old dog Zoe out in the morning he has to brush his teeth, shave, shower, comb his hair and dress and that will take an hour. Sorry, Zoe has her “routine.”

Of late I’ve been going out with a jacket over my silk long undies, and FIDO tee-shirt. Save Fiesta Island Dog Park! Plus a jacket. I get up early and take her out. That is the priority. I’ll take a shower later, after I feed her and she takes a nap.

Sometimes people think the two dogs and two cats I’ve had from shelters over the past 30 years are “leftovers.” They are not. Each has a particular talent and no matter how damaged they were when I/we adopted they were fixed by love, attention and training.

In 1987 I was sent a five-week old kitten 3,000 miles, who had fallen off a 7′ shelf and his mother would not feed him. My sister sent him via my brother by plane, to me. Surprise! I had him for 13 years. He was a leftover. I made him not so. I named him Nathan, Hebrew for “gift.” I didn’t know anything about cats, but learned quickly and ended up running cat programs for adoptees, and spay/neuter for ferals later for many years.

No-one is a leftover. Those that may be deemed “leftovers” need a second chance. Nathan was a talker, I never got a last word in until I held him in my arms and they gave him the pink shot. Chani was so abused and at the end the community got together and gave a tree to our park in her memory. Mick was a retriever (post-it notes over the sofa) after spending a year in Chani’s bed, and a dog magnet. Zoe is a lover who is a mascot around here. She was never interested in birds for 13 years but tried to chase “Tom The Turkey” last week. He is the only creature that lives free, and for free, in our neighborhood and we “pardon” him on Thanksgiving every year.

My husband is a prize, not a leftover. When it comes to pets, please adopt from your local shelter. Cheers! Dee



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