Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Five: Fork in the Road

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Singing Owl writes: I am at a life-changing juncture. I do not know which way I will go, but I have been thinking about the times, people and events that changed my life (for good or ill) in significant ways. For today's Friday Five, share with us five "fork-in-the-road" events, or persons, or choices. And how did life change after these forks in the road?

1. My choice to skip most of the 6th grade, which ultimately meant I graduated from high school at 16, affected so many more elements of my life that it's impossible to calculate. It wasn't easy, especially from the social standpoint. But it shaped me in so many ways... for example, if I hadn't been on track to graduate early, I wouldn't have encountered my future husband the summer before my senior year!

2. College is an easy one. Had I gone to a state school, I wouldn't have had student loans to pay off when I graduated, but I also wouldn't have several of the friendships I cherish today.

3. Buying our house. It's amazing how where you live affects your life's pattern; if we'd bought a house even half a mile away from this one, life could very well have been totally different.

4. Getting fired from a job that I wouldn't admit I hated. I was incredibly angry, hurt, and scared at the time, but it opened up amazing possibilities -- for starters, rescuing a certain stray puppy, and getting a new job that paid 40% more than the one I'd lost.

5. Visiting Church A first, even though Church B is closer to our house. I'm not sure why, but we decided to try them in alphabetical order. We never left Church A to try Church B. And a year after starting that new, higher-paying job, I walked away from it to work part-time for Church A (confusing the living daylights out of my sweet husband). It was the beginning of discerning my calling to full-time lay ministry.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Getting my Lent on

ashes on forehead
mortality reminder
but then, back to life

Each year on Ash Wednesday, we have a brief evening service including the imposition of ashes. We say a prayer about coming from dust and returning to dust, and about our mortality, but we aren't told that part individually when we go forward for the imposition of ashes. Instead, it's something like, "May God restore to you the joy of your salvation."

I think I've only been told "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return" one time. It was in college chapel, and I received those ashes from a guy in the class a year behind me. It was humbling, chilling, holy. I really wouldn't mind being told so again. I'm just sayin'.

Tonight our pastor challenged us to give up several c-words for Lent: control, complaining, and I didn't write them down so I can't remember if there was one more word or two. (I'm sure someone will remind me in the comments.) The c-words I do remember are even harder than the one I'd already chosen to give up: cussing. (I already uttered one vulgarity today; there's no chance at a perfect Lenten record here.)

And after the service, some visiting. We aren't a somber crowd for long. Besides, several of us had to go back into the sanctuary for choir rehearsal. And several had band practice after that. There's always more to prepare, and that's good.

Lately I've been countin' up all my days,
good and bad;
I found that joy has more than doubled
all the trouble I've had.
From now on, I'm not gonna worry about
what might be
I know I'm part of something
a whole lot bigger than me.
Life's a song and we're all singing,
Life's a song that never ends.
We pass it on to sons and daughters
and it starts all over again.
-- "Life's a Song" by John Hadley & Sean Locke (recorded by Terri Hendrix)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mystery post

Ever want to blog about something without really knowing what that something is?

Let's try a thankfulness list:
I'm thankful that I have piddly little first-world problems. I'm thankful for the glass of pinot grigio I just finished. I'm thankful for sweet husband who understands my occasional need to stay up later than he does.

New topic:
Lent is coming. I haven't decided whether I'm taking on a discipline or giving up something. For the first time in a while, I have a bit of an urge to do neither. Maybe it's like the year after we gave up caffeine for Lent -- we decided to give up Lent for Lent. Who knows... the right practice may yet strike before I get my smudge of ashes.

Okay, one more, then I give up and go to bed:
The Boy seems to be fully recovered from his upper-GI nastiness. He's acting like a normal blue heeler again. Technically, I guess he was acting like a normal blue heeler when he ate the bunny, and when he threw it up. But I'd prefer he not do that at all. Dogs will be dogs, I suppose.

Friday, February 20, 2009

RevGals Friday Five: Taking a Break

Over at RevGalBlogPals, our dear Songbird writes: Where we live, it's February School Vacation Week!
Yes, that's an odd thing, a vacation extending President's Day. But it's part of our lives here. Some people go South or go skiing, but we always stay home and find more humble amusements.

In that spirit, I offer this Taking a Break Friday Five. Tell us how you would spend:

1. a 15 minute break: Catching up on fellow BlogPals. Perhaps with a sweet snack handy.

2. an afternoon off: I have the yarn for a new knitting project.... an afternoon would yield quite a bit of progress with it (it's straight knit, to be done on big needles).

3. an unexpected free day: I'd probably just assess the factors that morning and decide what to do right then. Could be productive errand-running, could be eating at some restaurant that's not normally in my path, could be reading, or dog-walking... or all of it!

4. a week's vacation: If money's no issue? Y'all, I'm heading back to Alaska! Thinking more practically, though, perhaps later this year we'll visit a national park in the lower 48, or just rambling around in New Mexico and seeing where I wind up.

5. a sabbatical: First, I'd be serious about home organization and up-sprucing. Then, I'd begin scheduling visits to friends with whom I haven't spent enough time in recent years.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


My friend Tyra's husband Steve is back in the ER tonight. Brain tumors are no fun at all, but somehow he manages to keep the medical staff laughing anyway. Please pray for this whole family.

And The Boy is SO going back to the vet tomorrow morning. I'd already scheduled the appointment, then just as I was getting ready to leave work this evening The Alpha called to report some very interesting and fragrant contents that had made their way back out the front end of The Boy. ("This hassenpfeffer is raw.") So now in addition to excessive thirst and resultant output, I get to tell them that he needs to be tested for bunny-borne diseases.

So now, apropos of nothing, I leave you with something special one of my friends sent to me today: The WTF Blanket.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How Good I Have It.

When my car wouldn't start yesterday, our household had a second car to jump into.

When my car problem couldn't be solved today, I could afford to have it towed to the dealership.

If I wanted to, I could begin the process of buying a brand-new car tomorrow morning -- with no roadblocks whatsoever in my way.

We filled out our 1040 this evening. A good-sized refund will go straight into our savings account, and the amount we deducted for charitable giving is more than last year's income for some people I know.

My dentist says I have the teeth of a much older woman, but they're all actually my real teeth, none missing.

Our kitchen could use an upgrade to get rid of old colors, impractical cabinetry, and a traffic bottleneck in front of the refrigerator. But we have friends who told us that if we really love each other, don't remodel the kitchen, as it nearly destroyed their marriage. They weren't kidding.

The couch right behind me is 26 years old. It's not gorgeous, but it's a neutral color and we aren't picky about letting the dogs up on it with us.

We "need" new floor covering. But the carpet is basically clean, if a bit tattered in spots.

I have absolutely no reason to whine about my life.

Seriously, give us a break here.

Another RevGal has lost a DogPal: Law and Gospel bid farewell to Buddy the Beagle yesterday.

Rest well, Buddy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

RevGals Friday Five: Pets

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Sophia writes:

My son's tiny beloved lizard, Elf, is looking and acting strange this week. His skin/scales are quite dark, and he is lethargic. We are adding vitamin drops to his lettuce and spinach and hoping and praying that he is just getting ready to shed his skin--but it's too soon to tell. Others in the ring have also been worried about beloved pets this week. And, in the saddest news of all, Songbird has had to bid farewell to her precious Molly, the amazing dog who is well known to readers of her blog as a constant sacrament of God's unconditional love. So in memory of Molly, and in honor of all the beloved animal companions who bless our lives: tell us about the five most memorable pets you have known.

Here we go:

First off, it's been a hard week for animals in the RevGals circle, and I wish Elf a speedy recovery.

Now, everybody who knows me at all knows who is the most memorable animal in my life: Cub.

It is so hard to choose just one photo of her--I spent 15 minutes trying--so I went with video because it better captures her joy. We still miss her very much.

Then there's Angus:

He hasn't been his usual crazy self this week. We think he either ate something he ought not, or caught some kind of bug at the dog park last weekend, and we are hoping that today will mark the return of his appetite and continuation of his regained ability to keep food going in the direction it's supposed to go.

And I can't make a favorite animal list without Lady:

Lady is the dog who convinced me I could be a dog person. And just for fun, here's a memory of Lady from Cub's point of view.

Of course, there's the new kid, Tuesday:

When I dropped Angus at the vet Wednesday, they asked about her and told me once again how glad they were that we were the family who adopted her. I'm glad they were willing and able to let her hang around their office from the time she was dumped there in July until October, when the timing was right for us to learn about her.

And for number 5, I have to go with a combo choice: Molly and Sam, Scout, Grendel, Whistle, Fish, Dubby, LittleManKitty, Rowan, Tanner, Amie (who is coming to visit us soon!), and all the other animals I know via the writing of the people who love them. (Because of my allergy, other people's writing is really the best way I can spend time with cats.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waiting for a decent blog idea

Well, not really waiting. Because here I am blogging, with nothing very blogworthy. So, some random crap (as if the Tracelook meme last week wasn't enough):
  • I'm one of those rare people who, even though she's been paired off with the same person for half her life, still doesn't really like Valentine's Day.
  • Today is a particularly difficult day for some people in our family. I consider it the beginning of Family Death Week. I always hold my breath from the 11th until the 17th: niece, grandfather, grandmother... please, nobody else this week.
  • The Boy spent the day at the vet. We still don't really know why he's been all pukey since Monday at 3:30 in the morning. But at least now we have some anti-nausea assistance, and he has kept his dinner to himself thus far.
  • A friend who is an accountant is basically taking the next two months off from his life, rather than from his job, thanks to a compressed tax season. He pretty much hates everyone in Washington. I have more hope than that; but, then again, I'm younger and I don't have to deal with government crap very often.
  • I should go to bed.
  • Dog-related grief is very real grief. I'm just sayin'.
  • New windshield wipers: check. Next: inspection and oil change.
  • Sure, I may not be a big fan of Valentine's Day. But, like my new hero Liz Lemon, I'm a huge fan of food. So, either tomorrow or Friday night, we'll head to Whole Paycheck to choose our steaks, side dishes, beverages, and desserts for the dinner we'll cook at home on Saturday night.
  • Example: I attended a pretty productive and interesting meeting yesterday and today, but the thing I'm remembering most clearly right now is the obscenely large brownie from lunch.
That is all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In Memoriam: Molly

Her mama pretty much says it all.

Molly, a Canine Good Citizen, Certified Therapy Dog, and all-around wonderful girl, will be missed here at Dog and God.

More RevGalDogPal prayers

Last week at this blog, we prayed for Tanner and the rest of the Cheesehead family. We are still praying, and getting regular updates from Cheesehead.

This week we're adding Molly and her family. Here's Molly with her mama, Songbird:

Songbird has posted a Blessing of the Animals litany over on her blog, and asked for our prayers. Molly's arthritis symptoms have worsened quite a bit over the last few days. This is a difficult time for their family. Please be in prayer.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Five: My Favorite Things

At RevGalBlogPals, Songbird writes:
In a week of wondering how various things in our family life will unfold, I found myself thinking of the way Maria comforted the Von Trapp children in one of my favorite movies. Frightened by a thunder storm, the children descend upon her, and she sings to them about her favorite things, taking their minds off the storm. So, let's encourage ourselves. Share with us five of your favorite things. Use words or pictures, whatever expresses it best.

And here are five of mine:

1. Time with my dogs (as anyone who knows me or reads this blog could guess!):

2. Time with my husband:

3. Food, especially sugar- and/or chocolate-intensive items.

4. Music (both listening to it and helping create it).

5. The English language.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


This is Tanner. He's a very sweet boy who is a valuable member of my friend's family.

Tanner's people got some discouraging news about Tanner today. And I quote:

When the first and last words out of the vet's mouth when you go back after the test are "Enjoy every minute you have with the little guy," it's not good.

So this blog entry is official notice to all who pray for dogs: Please pray for Tanner, and for his people.