Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Day of Drama: Smells Like Chicken

I used to think that having 3 kids under 4 was a monumental feat of mommyhood. Either I forgot how hectic those days were, or it truly wasn't that bad. Because today I was wishing I once again had 2 in diapers and toddler meltdowns. Dog and cat meltdowns can get very, very ugly.

The drama was unfolding in this section of the house we call Doggy Hospice. By "section," I mean the entire first floor, which is a bit inconvenient since we haven't been either upstairs or downstairs since Christmas. This first floor thing - it's our space, or was. The Doggy Hospice gig has been going on since October. The dog that was going to The Bridge in two months remains alive and somewhat well. Still, he remains.

It started out with The Soup last night - the infamous chicken vegetable soup I started making for Lucky when he was no longer able to eat his kibble because of the tumor that is growing through the roof of his mouth. It takes hours. Stew the chicken, peel and cut up the vegetables, strain, cook until everything is good and soft, add noodles, cook some more. Thicken a bit, cool, then put in a giant vat to dole out his daily rations.

Because the vet said when he stops eating, it's time.

And we don't want it to be "time."

He loves his special soup. He knows when I'm making it. And he can't wait for it to get served up in his bowl. Underfoot, but very unsteady, he falls, I trip over him and vegetables go flying and the chicken carcass hits the floor. I pick it up and rinse off the inevitable dog hair. I start mopping up chicken stock, while he competes with the scrub rags. Slipping, sliding, and of course, covered in the stock. And I grab the wishbone. Just because.

And the cat now thinks Lucky smells nice. Like .... chicken.

Eventually the kitchen is clean and all is well. For now.

I woke during the night to the sound of cat yak. Ugh. In my sleepy stupor I tell myself it can wait til morning. Oh how I wish that Little Green Machine had a remote. I got up and saw that Snickers had not only yakked, but she had dropped a deuce in the corner of the family room. Ripe. She had already done the same thing on the edge of her litter box, and no Princess Kitty can go in the same place twice. After all, we have scruples.

Today before I served up Lucky's (will it be his last?) supper, I scrubbed and cleaned his eating area, the floor, the rugs, the bowls, the wall. His poor little mouth is pretty much out of control, and food flies everywhere. Reminiscent of 3 children under 4. The hose to the vacuum is on the floor and he decides he needs to be right by his bowl, so he attempts to navigate his way across the hose. SPLAAAAT. Down he goes, gangly legs tangled in the hose and he tries like crazy to get himself up. His legs are too weak to push himself up on the tile.

So like any old person who gets frustrated and confused, he pees. And pees. This ginormous puddle beneath him spreads like a giant amoeba, all over the vacuum hose and under his belly. And his feet and legs are literally swimming in the mess as he flops around, trying to stand. One tall, skinny dog, covered with pee, and his spiffy dining area is now a sea of pee. The only way to get him out of the mess is to lift him up, take him outside, and dump him in the snow.

Now I'm covered in canine urine, still have the lingering smell of feline feces, and Ron Burgundy comes in as I've finished cleaning up the floor. He puts Lucky in the tub. Yes, the whirlpool. Gives a whole new meaning to "spa day." Dog gets clean, towels get washed, and then he tackles the litter box. I hear him mumbling under his breath.

Standing there in the laundry room in his whitey tighties, I hear "I never thought I'd find myself standing here on a Saturday morning doing this."

"And I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

Sweet man.

Smells like....chicken.

Tea tonight: Harney & Son's green with citrus

TSMSS: Million Pieces

A cranked-up house-cleaning, soup-making song for today if I've ever heard one. One of my favorites!

Soup's on today: Chipotle 15 Bean, Loaded Baked Potato, and of course, Doggy Hospice Chicken Vegetable. (linky love especially for Elaine! (((hugs))))

Check out all the other great songs at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders!

Tea today: Genmaicha

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Little Girl. Pink Shirt. Big Tears.

Today in church the Sunday School kids got up to sing a song - "We Want to See Jesus Lifted High" with all the arm motions and the whole nine yards. The usual suspects were there. The shy ones, the talented performers who you know will be performing long into their adult years, and the ones who are craving attention and exaggerating all the movements. Not looking too cool, but making some great footage for the graduation highlight reel. The kind you know will need to be peeled off the wall the rest of the afternoon.

And then there was the little girl in pink.

I never saw her face. She was in the front row, right beside the hyper kid in the Bears fleece vest who definitely got all the chuckles from the congregation.

But she stood there, her head looking straight down at her tennis-shoed toes and her hands in her tiny pockets and her silky blond hair falling covering any facial expression that might reveal her heart. And she didn't move a muscle the entire song.

After the song she slowly moved down the steps, slower than anyone else in the group, and she wiped obvious tears from her eyes, head still down.

My heart just ached. I couldn't help but wonder what had happened in the few minutes before an obviously well-rehearsed performance that would make her feel so seemingly invisible. It was almost like she didn't think we could see her because she wasn't looking at us. Like she wanted the floor to open up and swallow her. Like perhaps, it already had.

After the song, the kids gathered for the children's sermon and she had her back to pastor, continuing to dry her tears with her little pink shirt. I had all I could do to not run down there from my perch in the balcony and whisk her in my arms, stroke her hair, and tell her how much He loves her. To tell her that nothing will separate her from His love. To tell her that yes, everything will turn out all right.

But obviously her parent(s) were somewhere in the congregation - she didn't get there by herself, and it certainly wouldn't be appropriate to do anything at that point, because perhaps her mother was thinking the same thing. I just prayed that she had a loving embrace waiting for her.

I looked for her after church and never found her. I wanted to tell her how pretty she is and how much Jesus loves her. That she can be a princess or a ballerina or anything she wants to be. But I never saw her again.

My heart still breaks that little hearts break and don't understand why.

I left church praying that the rest of her day goes better and that she feels some comforting arms around her.

We have all at one time been that little girl in pink.

I hope the next time I see her, her eyes are focused upward.

Will you pray for her with me?

Tea today: Republic of Tea Beginners Mind

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Hopeless Romantic

Y'all can post your lovely photos of your loved ones on this special Hallmark day, and yes, I enjoy them. Really I do. But since my husband's birthday was yesterday and he got all the attention anyway, I thought rather than a lovey-dovey picture, I'd link to a lovey-dovey post because to me, it means more than any other Valentine's Day post could.

Read about my baby girl's love.

And for the record, I love this guy, too. And not just on Valentine's Day when the price of roses is too high and there's not a reservation to be had in town - except in our humble little kitchen.

Oh snap, I had to throw a photo in anyway.

Tea today: Republic of Tea White with orange blossoms

Friday, February 13, 2009

TSMSS:You Never Let Go

I can't get through this song without tears, and by the time it's over I feel so peaceful. Sing along with me!

Tea today: White cantaloupe

7 Quick Takes Friday

I've laughted myself silly at the
mondegreens over at Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants this week. Ever since I figured out that Celine Dion really sings about hot dogs and not about "hearts going on," I can't remember the words to any of the songs I used to think I knew. Thanks to Nick the Geek for teaching me a new word. I will find some way to work that in a conversation this weekend.

And a two.

I won a contest from Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer and yesterday my "Courage" necklace arrived in the mail. It was just a few days late from when I needed the actual courage, but it was worth the wait, which means a wing and a prayer got me through the week. Thanks to lisa leonard designs! Forget Valentine's Day guys? Something hand-made from Lisa would get you out of the dog house!

And a three.
At our Beth Moore "Stepping Up" Bible study last night, this line hit me in the gut. "The things I hate the most about my past are the things God is using in me to minister." Isn't it great how He brought us to our respective places? If you don't think so now, trust Him. You will see He knows what He's doing.

And a four.
Ron Burgundy turns 59 today. He is absolutely the youngest (not to mention sweetest, most humble, most giving) 59 year-old I know. I love this guy. And our kids. And our dog and cat. My heart could go on and on....but Celine ruined it for me.

And a five.
Thoroughly convicted, yet at peace with Pete Wilson's "Paralyzed" podcasts this week. During some random reading this week, this jumped out at me:

"I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance. Then, whenever doubt, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal - and soon they'll forget my number." ~Edith Armstrong

His Word will keep my telephone ringing this week. that, and incessant prayer. Pete rocks.

And a six.
I think the best birthday dinner to feed the one you love is leftover black bean soup. Don't you?

And a seven.

Tea tonight: Green with lemongrass

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Most Prestigous Average Award

Subject yourself to snark and sass, with a heart of prayer and a mind of mensa. Steele (the Day) didn't win an award (no doubt because the background looks like that skirt I took to Goodwill) but this post at The Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants did, if only for the comment tally.

I'm humbled, honored, and horrified that a picture of a urinal was probably my best post yet.

I'm feeling more worthy of Katdish's friendship every day - sort of. And check out that awesome cat in the sidebar at Smarty Pants.
Tea tonight: Jasmine

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Join the Wagie Ride for Tuesday

Today, at 11:00 a.m., family and friends are gathering in Parker, Colorado, to celebrate Tuesday Whitt with a "wagie ride" parade.We want them to know that the celebration is not only in Parker. It's in California and Texas. In Ohio and Michigan. In Illinois and New York. In Canada and South Africa. Right here in Iowa. And in even more places than I can name. Please join us in a "wagie ride," a sled pull, a spin on your bike or a Saturday drive. Keep Tuesday in your heart today. Keep her family and friends in your prayers. Write a story. Take pictures. Create a post. Link up to Mr. Linky here. We love Tuesday!

Tea at this moment: Jasmine

TSMSS: A Parent's Prayer

This wouldn't have been my first choice of video (because it's someone elses kids!), but the song says it all, as only SCC can sing. Not sure I could make it through a wedding with this song, so it's a good thing it's not a chosen selection. Scroll down and stop my playlist first!

Tea today: Republic of Tea Sip for the Cure pink grapefruit

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Loved Them Enough, But Did I Love Them Right??

One of my IVL friends posted the question on her blog the other day, asking if we (the blogosphere) have any regrets. My first impulse was to say "Who, me? What in the world could I possibly regret?" Then this little voice in my head (or was it the voice in my little head?) said "Shut up and don't answer, or you'll hog the entire comments section..."

Teach your children well...

My kids are all smart in very different ways. There's tremendous some common sense, enviable some critical thinking skills, good great writing talent, and great above average analytical thinking. None were fiscally prudent as teens and young adults, but then, they didn't exactly have Warren Buffet as a mentor.

They were blessed with SuckerMom. You want it? You got it. Because I love you.

I'm proud that they have grown up to be kind, respectful, and loving, but not always to each other. They're siblings.

In other words, they are human. Beautifully, wonderfully, perfectly, and yes, sinfully human. Born in His image, made to seek Him, and still searching for the answers to life.

I often wonder why I didn't teach my offspring to deal with disappointment with a little more grace and acceptance and as a routine part of life. How to tough out the disasters and heartbreak life hurls at you. To "find the glory in suffering." To recognize that God will not keep them in the darkness, yet He never promised them a perfectly happy life either - on earth, at least.

I probably wouldn't have listened to this advice had it been given to me at the right time. I commented to a blog friend today, I want some "do-overs." The consequences for not getting it right the first time are very heavy today.

But if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't make it quite so easy for them. As a matter of fact, I would have made them darned close to miserable.

A bit poorer. A little more tired. And a lot hungrier.

Rather than doing the paper route myself and allow a teenager to sleep in because I loved him so much, I would drag his sorry butt out of bed...because I loved him so much.

Rather than not make a careless, unapologetic teenager pay to fix the dented garage door frame because I loved him so much, I would make him work his skinny tushy off and figure out how to get that door frame fixed...because I loved him so much.

Rather than offering a mall shopping trip (lunch included) to a sobbing teen rejected by friends because I loved her so much, I would talk it out, let her cry it out, and show her how to suck it up...because I loved her so much.

Life stinks sometimes. It throws us curve balls, fast balls, and we get beaned by foul balls. It breaks hearts, spirits, and wills. But God will never leave us where we are - He is only asking us to perservere because He has so many wonderful plans for us, and He wants us to feverishly seek Him in order to fulfill those plans. Sometimes He will bring us to our knees, sometimes flat on our faces, sometimes even drag us through the mud - just to get our attention. He doesn't care if we come to Him angry, questioning, and untrusting - He just wants us to come to Him, and beg for His mercy. Because any relationship with Him is the start to a wonderful relationship with Him. And He has such wonderful plans for that relationship.

It's a tough lesson to learn as an adult, but it's never too late to learn.

I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; I was given life that l might enjoy all things.

I was given nothing that I asked for; But everything that I had hoped for.

Tea today: Young hyson

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The 25 Things That Won't Go Away

Since BBB (blogger block blues) has hit me again, I'm dragging my 25 things over from Facebook. Surely there will be something inspiring yet this week, but katdish has kept me so busy over at The Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants that I can't seem to focus on a creative post. That darned kat!!!


My 25 things:
1. I am a recovering perfectionist, and becoming mighty good at the recovery process, I might add.

2. I am not in control, but I certainly know Who is. And He’s got my back .. and my heart.

3. Andy Roddick looked directly into my eyes and said “Thank you” when I wished him good luck at a tennis tournament. I was within inches of him, and the only one of the group that wasn’t a screaming teenager. Yes, I was visibly out of place.

4. I cry in church almost every Sunday. Praise songs move me to tears.

5. I don’t like help in the kitchen. Maybe #1 isn’t so good after all.

6. If I were to choose a husband for my daughter, he would be a worship music leader. And he could sing for his supper at my house. See #4 and get the Kleenex. Then see #2. Then see KT freak if she reads this.

7. I hate balloons and rubber gloves. EEeeeek.

8. I have a beautiful quilt that is near completion that just can’t quite get itself done. Perhaps recovering procrastinator should be added to my resume.

9. If I bite into a piece of meat and hit a blood vessel or something else stringy, I’m done. Take. It. Away. Bring me vegetables.

10. My first computer was a PC Junior, and when I got a “real’ one, the IT guy at the hospital said “you’ll never need more than 80 meg for home use.” I think he still uses a Brownie Instamatic.

11. I got to meet Mark Schultz and even got an embrace from him. Then he sang to me. Well, there were a few hundred others in the audience, too.

12. I met SONICFLOOd backstage and had my picture taken with them.

13. I once saw Chevy Chase in a hotel elevator in New York. He was not friendly. He did not appreciate Ron Burgundy’s comment about our Christmas lights. He could not stand up very well.

14. Rafael Nadal is even more perfectly sculpted in person than he appears on TV. I got within a few feet of him, too. He didn’t speak, though. Language barrier, I’m sure. Wonder if he’s seen my Facebook profile pic? (Have you figured out I’m a groupie yet?)

15. I finally have the secret to getting that applewood smoked bacon flavor in soups and stews – it’s called applewood smoked bacon.

16. Bad table manners make me crazy.

17. I take more time preparing meals for my dog than I do for my husband and me. He’s special. And dying. (The dog, that is).

18. I always meet deadlines, but not until the last minute. Self-imposed deadlines often require rescheduling. See #8.

19. I will never understand how an airplane gets off the ground.

20. My favorite smell is onions and garlic sautéing in olive oil.

21. I have four years of college eligibility left to play tennis.

22. I can’t memorize Scripture very well, but put it to music, and I’ll sing you every word….horribly.

23. I have a cat who only loves two people – Ron Burgundy and me. Everyone else is chopped liver.

24. I want to visit the Holy Land and walk where Jesus walked. But the fighting there scares me (oh ye of little faith).

25. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

Tea tonight: Metamucil (yeah, you read that right!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Serious.Life Magazine!!

I'm honored to be a part of a publication called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published the February issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia ( The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is free, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues.

Tea today: Green with pomegranate