Friday, October 31, 2008

This may be significant - or not so much....

Bad picture (cell phone) of a beautiful berry-laden tree I parked my car under today. I sat there listening to "Bring the Rain" on my iPod and stared at it for at least 10 minutes before I went in for an appointment. I'm not sure why, but it really caught my heart, my brain, my wonder. I sat under it for a few minutes on the way out, too - I have no idea why.

Tea tonight: Spring Cherry Beginner's Mind

Weather Fit for a Dog

They say animals know more than we think they do. If the truth is known, they probably know more than we do. Usually on nice days, Lucky likes to be outside for prolonged periods, but only if someone is within sight of him. Go around the house with the pruners in hand, and he's a barking, whining, canine fool.

But not yesterday. Or today.

By 0800 he knew it would be a beautiful warm fall day. He had already been outside 4 times. Either he didn't get his business done, or he forgot he'd been out. Whatever, he just stood by the back door looking back at me expectantly to let him out again,while I was perusing all the good wishes from him friends at Doggyspace. People who blog may have their quirks, but dogs who blog are really special. (OK, I know how stupid that sounds, but stick with me - see for yourself - he does!)

I let him out yesterday afternoon while I baked cookies (OK, now my friends think I've really lost it! Me? Cookies?). He literally sat in the yard, wandered the length of his cable, laid under the crab apple tree, sniffed the wind, pinned his ears back - for about 45 minutes. Today I made a chop-a-lot salad for an exciting tailgate tomorrow, and there he was again. Sniffing. Wandering. Lounging. For over an hour.

Thousands of thoughts went through my head as my Kitchen Aid twirled the dough, I chopped away (knuckles in perfect position) and I watched him from the kitchen window. Is he taking in these beautiful days, thinking they are among his last? Is he looking for the entrance to the Rainbow Bridge? Why is he so content out there all by himself for the first time ever in his long life? If I unhooked him from his cable, where would he go?

I couldn't risk that. He's nearly blind and deaf. But oh, how I wondered.

He knows I'm writing this. His nose is resting on my leg as I'm typing, almost as if he wants to tell me what to say.

Perhaps if I trim his nails, he can say it himself. I'm the Lucky One.

Tea today: White cantaloupe

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blessed Are They ....

...who do not see and yet believe! But this is seeing and believing! Oh joy, what a miracle God has done once again.

Tea today: Harney & Sons green with citrus

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Not me! "Monday

I absolutely did not innocently crouch down in front of a standing patient to look at what he told me was an infected leg wound (thinking he meant lower leg) and have him DROP HIS PANTS so when I looked straight ahead, all I saw was "Jockey" ...and shadows of "the brothers." I did not nearly die of embarrassment. And this did not happen in front of a room full of patients. Jaws were dropping a-plenty at the sight of the whitie-tighties. I did not maintain a perfectly professional demeanor (35 years of practice!) and get those pants back up as quickly as possible - then die laughing when the coast was clear. Whoa.

I did not eat an entire container of chipotle hummus with pita chips in one sitting. I called it a "healthy meal," just to justify it. Oink.

I did not tearfully grieve the loss of a dear friend this week; the gentle man who gave Ron Burgundy his first real job. His work remains here on earth through all the lives he touched personally and professionally; his soul is with our Lord. Heaven in Hi-Def, and cameras in His Courts.

I did not maintain my composure on the outside (but bubble like a total groupie on the inside) when I got to visit with Tom Brokaw this week while they were airing "Meet the Press." Just another guy who puts his pants on one leg at a time...oh yeah. And his dog is so well-behaved. Gotta love a guy who loves his dog.

I did not stay up waaayyy after a normal bed time last night doing the Law and Order marathon because I am on vacation, and for the first time in many months have absolutely no reason to get up before noon. And I did not pop a Benadryl, just to prolong the the blessed sleep. And I did not wake up at 0700, only to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed (ok, I'm half right) and not be able to get back to sleep. I'm an old dog; this "sleeping in" is a new trick.

Now where's MckMama's Mr. Linky? Please continue passionate God talk for her and baby Stellan this week. This is the week of his birth!

Tea today: Yogi with triple echinacea

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I AM Better Off Than I Was 4 Years Ago...

And it has nothing to do with politics, government, the President, the war, the economy (duh!) or the country at large.

It's all about me.

OK, so my retirement fund hit the skids, my bonus from work was worth less than the "Jelly of the Month" Club, my fitness level and core strength really took a nose dive, and most of the old clothes I took to the consignment store were rejected for "lack of style and excessive wear" - so they went back in my closet.

But oh, my heart is better. And my soul. I've become more faithful. I trust God implicitly to take care of things (like retirement funds, family. friends) and He has, I worry less, I pray more, I've really given Him a huge load these past couple of years and am trusting He will continue to carry it for me.

No matter what the outcome of this election, despite all the promises of CHANGE by both parties, I'm confident in my God who is the same, no matter who rules the country, no matter what the stock market does, and no matter if I have a job when I return from vacation. He never changes, and I'm so grateful.

He's got me - right where He wants me. Wouldn't have put myself here, but His plans are wiser than mine.

I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Malachi 3:6


So I rush down like a groupie this morning to see "Meet the Press" where Ron Burgundy was allegedly to get an interview with McCain, but got the classic brush-off and a stern warning from the Secret Service to "hold it up here, sir" as he tried to chase him down. But the most exciting groupie part was seeing our friend Tom Brokaw again after 20 years. He hasn't changed a bit. Still as kind, professional, and ordinary as ever. Graciously signed his book "A Long Way Home" for us. Couldn't pass up the photo-op. And I even got kisses from his dog Red who came along for the trip so they could go hunting.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to You

Today my baby turns 28. It hardly seems possible that I have lived long enough to see this little scamp of a guy (who is more like his mom than his dad) get that old. We're proud of you, baby. Yes, baby. Always. Forever. LYF. May God continue to bless you and keep you safely in His arms. He's got you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Not Just Any Old Dog - MY Dog

I am in awe of dogs blogging. Yeah, they really do. And they do a woof woof job of it, too. Ever since Lucky signed up for Doggyspace and joined the Puppy Prayer Chain group, my email has been flooded with good wishes for us. Dog owners are so special. Dogs are so special. There are thousands of poems written about family dogs and their demise. Lucky's still with us and has good and bad days, but he's become more "clingy" and I'm fearing he's starting to tell me things I really am not ready to hear. I will continue to listen attentively.

The Last Battle
If it should be that I grow frail and weak

And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes,
please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we two -- these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

~ Unknown

Tea tonight: Jasmine

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Not me!" Monday

I did not make a deep and abiding commitment to myself and God that my diet will consist only of whole, mostly raw, and nutrient-dense foods...for now, one day at a time. It has been easy and freeing (albeit short-lived thus far)! Nothing nasty has passed these lips since 10/12, which was my first-ever stop at BWW (and probably my last) after which I felt awful. I'm proud of this one, but will need some serious prayers.

I did not sob for an hour on the way to work one day last week because my dog simply could not stand for more than a minute without crumpling to the ground. The vet said he'd tell us when he's "ready to go." I haven't heard that yet. He still seems fairly content and not in any pain. And he's up walking today.

I did not forget to cover up Harold and Sam for the first frost. I mean, duh, I even had the fireplace flaming this week and still forgot! Thankfully, I think I can salvage them. I need 2 strong men to help me get them in the house. C'mon over.

I did not stay in my jammies and refuse to shower all day a week ago today. It was my first day off in months and I'm sure there's a PTO policy that one is allowed to be a dirt bag during that time.

I did not read Malachi four times before starting a podcast sermon series on it, only to completely misinterpret what that last book of the New Testament says. I'm really trying to bring out my inner Bible scholar, but I do believe God bestowed that gift on someone else (Christine, Justin, you're very blessed!)

Rock on, MckMama.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yellow Brick Road

Raine Maida is one of my favorite artists - it was a toss up between this and "Hanging On." Maybe that will be next week. After starting a great sermon series last night, I'm not regretting anything anymore. The past is all a part of the journey. I seriously can't wait for the end of it. (Scroll down and turn off my music first.)

Tea today: Green with citrus and wildflowers

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What Moses Saw

This fall has been the most beautifully leafed that I can remember in a long time - so much that I leave my bedroom blinds open so I can see this fabulous burning bush in the morning. God sure has a beautiful palette! When He called Moses to service with the burning bush, He certainly knew how to get his attention! (Gotta click on these photos for the full effect).

The vibernum by the pond are just starting to turn, so in about a week they will be a sight to behold (and yes, I'll move that jug of RoundUp before I snap another photo!). It's rare that I still have live water hyacinths at the same time the leaves are turning.

Please don't peek in my windows....I want to enjoy the few sunny mornings we have! And I won't mention how furious I am about those "30 year warrantied"shingles!

Tea tonight: Yogi Green with Echinacea

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Newsworthy Runners.

Scroll down and stop my music first...

Tea today: Tazo Green with Ginger

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Guilty Heartache?

I was feeling pretty much on top of the world after the marathon weekend, finally shaking the lingering flu, watching my KT accomplish a goal that at one time not only seemed impossible, but more importantly that she really had no penchant to do. Oh, how time and God's hand changes hearts and minds! I watched my "aging" (I say that loosely) Ron Burgundy complete his 10th marathon - he called me four times and even texted our youngest son during the race! I didn't see any of the elite athletes with their BlackBerries during the race, which may in part explain why they finished 3+ hours ahead of him. (That, and they train 210 miles a week, are 40 lb lighter, 35 years younger...)

So during this rare day off, I was catching up on my feed reader, and read Angie's post for today, recognizing tomorrow as National Day of Remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss. Some of the comments left on her post are simply cutting to my very core. Is it right for me to feel so good when others are so deeply hurting? Why does God dole out such pain to some and not others? Does He truly need to put so many of us "in our place" in order to get His job done? I know many people who have been brought to their knees finding God and praying for the very first time because of tragedy - is that what it really takes for some? Apparently He knows better than I, and I certainly know that He's given me some pretty grave reasons to seek Him. He also knows it takes very little to bring myself to Him in prayer - good or bad. He takes us on journeys we can only understand through faith. And that's what sometimes makes pain a beautiful thing. He knows the plan, because He wrote the plan.

I'd like to think everyone would reach out to God on a glorious sunny day in Chicago after a victory, just as easily and eagerly as they do during those rock-bottom, heart-breaking times.

Through it all, He is always the same. He has proven that over and over again.

Tea tonight: Tazo Green with Ginger

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Not me!" Monday

I did not beam with pride, cry tears of joy, and thank the Lord when I got the text alert that my daughter finished her first marathon. Way to go, KT!!

I did not ride 4 trains (2 in the wrong direction, 1 the wrong color), walk over 10 miles, and stand in a crowd of 45,000 runners and 1.5 million spectators in Chicago just to get a glimpse of said daughter, as well as my husband, during the marathon....and never saw them until it was all over and the sweat had dried.

Can I add a "my husband did not?" He seriously did not call me from his cell phone 4 times during the marathon just to say hi. Didn't he have some running to do?

Counting down to MckMama's delivery - keep praying for their family and read her "Not Me!" Monday for the week!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why I Love Lucky

They never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation.
~Jerome K. Jerome
Tea today: Hy-Vee cheap stuff

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Some people know how to blog

Special K's are celebrating today - visit a great site!

Monday, October 6, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday

I did not sob uncontrollably in the reception room of the vet's office last week (surrounded by two happy Scotty twins and a charming Golden Retriever begging for attention) when I went to pick up Lucky for the last time. We learned he has terminal cancer. And I will be the best doggy hospice nurse I can be. (Why does he keep staring at me, then look away when our eyes meet? What does that mean?)

I did not delete all of my other "Not Me" entries, because after that one, they didn't matter this week.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Doggone It.

It was, quite simply, only a matter of time.

How many of us live long past 90? (How many of us want to?)

Certainly not dogs who aren't expected to live past 70. And not our precious Lucky.

We got the news today that our 90+ year old puppy has cancer in the bone above his upper teeth. He has a visible tumor on his schnoz, but we thought it was an abscessed tooth (and so did the vet). When he went to pull the tooth today the bone above it sort of fell apart.

That's when they realized this was more than a dental problem. It was a large tumor.

Way down deep, where we haven't hurt in a long time, our hearts ache. A shared family sadness, reminiscent of Buddy and the day we lost him. An end too near to even want to think about. An end that I pray is calm and peaceful for Lucky and for us. A pain-free end. And I hope he tells us when he is ready. I so wish I knew Lucky would be in heaven with me, but I'm not so sure. The scripture has a few things to say about that, but that's in God's hands. All I know is that He loved us enough to bless us with Lucky for so many years. God is so good.

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog."

~George Graham Vest

No tea tonight - can't swallow :(

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Prayers Please

Looking for some answered prayers - Lucky is having some surgery tomorrow. Why do I say "answered?" He always answers.

Yes....No.....Not Yet

Which will it be?
Tea today: green with lemongrass