Friday, July 22, 2011


My last post talked about my obsession with dachshunds... well one of my other obsessions is birds.. OUTSIDE birds. I am not a fan of birds inside in cages, but boy do I adore the ones out in our yard who flit here and there and sing, sing, sing!  My mom is a bird nut and no doubt passed the love of our feather friends on to me and I have done my best to pass it on to my kiddos.

We have a small covered patio right outside our back doors and we almost always have a wreath or basket hanging on the wall. Over the years we have had birds.. usually wrens.. nest there. We have watched the momma and daddy flit in and out building the nest and feeding the babies... we have listened to them chirp warnings and such to each other... heard the babies calling for food (boy can they get loud when they are hungry!)... and we are rather use to being dive bombed when we open the door to go outside. It has been a year or two since we have had a nest and I, for one, have been missing those little birdies. So I was super excited to see a nest being built recently and then to hear baby birds chirping away.  I kept wanting to grab a photo, but never seemed to have the time. Last night my husband... who is 6'5" and can peek in to the nest with ease!... said "You better snap a picture tomorrow.. these babies are about to fly the coop!"  So I grabbed a stool and my camera and snap a couple of shots today.  He is right... the bitty babies are not so small anymore.. no doubt they will be leaving soon... I am thinking before the weekend is out. I will miss them a bit... but it is time.  I think I will feel that way when my own nest is empty.  :-)

Those Crazy Furbabies .....

As anyone who knows me or reads my blogs knows, we have 2 furbabies in our home.  I grew up with dachshunds and am totally obsessed with the crazy things!  They are, to me, the best dogs ever! Not perfect... not by a long shot!  But I love pretty much everything about them from their regal snout to their massive need for belly rubs! They are just wonderful!

2 years ago this past May, my husband brought me a fuzzy red male dachshund... a miniature long haired one. I was use to smooth coats, so this fuzziness took a bit of getting use to.  3 months later we went and got another one!  This time a girl... black and tan... another mini and long-haired.  They are as different as night and day at times, but as close as litter mates.  And they provide a great deal of entertainment in our home.

It was obvious early on that Mac was all about playing and toys. He has soooo much energy!  Unfortunately, he loved chewing up and destroying his stuffed toys... which led to surgery and a week at the vets (don't ask about the bill!) so those toys are now banned from the house. He loves to run and fetch and play keep away.  We found these wonderful balls made for dogs that do the trick. They look like tennis balls, but are not that fuzzy texture. They are a fairly hard rubber. This is the only toy he does not chew up!  Mac's ball has become a pacifier. He carries it everywhere!  Even to eat!

How on earth he is able to empty out that small bowl when the ball takes up all that room, I will never know.

But he does!

Mia occasionally snatches the ball. She loves to lay on it and torture Mac, who will just sit and whine for it.  I have no idea why he will not take it from her. Normally he is the top dog... very much the dominant personality. He can bug the snot out of Mia.. jump on her.. wrestle her... but he will not take a toy from her. Go figure!

Overall, Mia is not a toy lover. She can pretty much take them or leave them except when we are gone and put them in their room.  I always toss in the 2 balls and 2 Nylabones (great for pets would chew!).  Inevitably when I return I hear muffled barks... I will find Mac with his ball in his mouth and Mia with BOTH bones in hers!  I so wish I could capture that sound and post it here. It is hilarious!

Miss Mi is always so proud of herself for having those 2 bones in her mouth!  It really is the funniest thing to see. When I take down the baby gate, she will prance out with great pride and then run and hide so Mac won't get the bones. She hates to let them go!

I wonder what I have in my life that is like Mac's ball to me... my pacifier or security blanket... that thing I think I must have to be secure... or what I snatch onto and clinch in my jaws for dear life like Mia and those bones.  I suspect I look as silly to God as the pups do to me. And just as I say things like "You would enjoy that meal better without a ball in the bowl!", I suspect He says the same to me.  And just as Mia's barks are muffled when those bones are in her mouth, I wonder if my prayers are "muffled" when I am chewing on something I should put down?

Ahh those wiener dogs... entertainment and object lessons... got to love 'em!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Has it been that long?!.. and the specialness of today...

I am shocked and appalled at myself!  It has been forever (OK... 4 months) since I blogged.  That is terrible!  And sadly I didn't realize it had been that long. I know I kept saying "I need to do some blogging"  and then I would get busy and think... "Tomorrow"... I just didn't realize how many tomorrows came and went since the last blog.  And so many other links in the journey... more than I can remember and write here.. Mia celebrated her 2nd birthday... Hubby celebrated his day too (a few more than 2!)... our son completed his first year of college debt-free and with great grades... our daughter totalled her car (which she loved) and has been on a 2 month journey to find a new (to her) one (and no, she has not found it yet)... the flowers I love so much in our yard have basically withered and die due to extreme heat and drought in our part of the world... it has been a harsh summer and isn't over yet.... our air conditioning, on its last leg, is being coddled and nursed by our repair guy who plans to replace the whole kit and caboodle (but hopes to make it to fall before he has to climb up in our attic and work!)... much more has occurred... most of it will be forgotten (some already has been!)... the journey has continued, but I confess the joy has wavered some and given way to a bit of weariness and apathy. 

And yet there is a deep abiding joy in my heart today... a thankfulness and love for God and the beauty of His plan for my life.  The summer after my freshman year in college I swore off boys... I was just tired of them... tired of the one at home who took for granted I would always be there when he wanted me to be... tired of the one I had dated that year in college who wanted to map out my life by his terms (I have to laugh.. he told me if we were to marry I would not be allowed to work outside the home. I was furious!  The funny thing is years later I was a stay-at-home wife and mom who homeschooled her children!  The difference? It was my choice.. with God and my husband, but not an order.)... I had lost myself... too busy trying to be who other people wanted me to be. So I set out to find me. I worked full time that summer at my mother's store (trust me, she did not believe in giving her kids a cushy job... I worked!)... I joined an exercise place (this was 1981... no gymns, but there were fitness centers for ladies)... I ate healthy, exercised. worked and started talking to God again... truly talking and listening at times.  I was happy and content with my life.. no need for a guy.. I had God and I had me.. that was enough.

My hometown has a small local theater group... NLT.  Each summer, high schoolers put on a play. The director was a sweet spunky lady named Frances.  I came to help her with props and such and ended up the assistant director.  It was a blast!  We were set to open July 17, 1981 (a Friday night). It would be a short 2 night run... just long enough to show off to all the parents and friends who would be coming.  On July 14, Frances told me I would need to pull the stage curtain between acts. I said fine and went to give it a yank. Ha!  It would not budge for me.  I went back to Frances and told her we had a problem. "Well, you could ask Bill to do it. He is the stage manager for the theater and will be here every night."  "Who is Bill?"  To which she relied... "Bill C.  Don't you know him?"... and then with a smile and a bit of a twinkle in her eye "You should meet him."  She pointed me to a small group of young adults and specifically to a man with wild curly hair.  Even sitting I could tell he was tall (6'5"... 1 foot taller than me!) I went over.. introduced myself and asked him about pulling the curtain for me. He smiled the entire time I talked.. the best smile (I see that smile in his children today)... and said "Sure."  And then I noticed that his eyes smiled. It was the cutest thing (still is!).

I had no idea that this tall fella would ask me out 2 nights later.. and that we would have our first date on July 17, 1981 and get married on July 17, 1982!  Here I had sworn off boys... and God dropped the most wonderful man right into the center of my world! 

It has been 30 years since that faithful meeting (which wasn't really our first meeting, but that is another story!). I would love to say it has been a fairy tale perfect 30 years... it hasn't been.  The first year I was 5 hours away at college... not an easy way to build a relationship and plan a wedding.. long before Internet and Cellphones (oh the phone bills!  But oh the letters.. real ones.. on paper that you had to wait for!).  The 29 years of marriage (which we will celebrate this Sunday) have had lots of ups and downs and twisty turns and loop-de-loops.... hard times.. sad times... happy times... and more blessings and grace than we ever deserve!  I expect the roller coaster to continue, but I also know we will live Happily Ever After because we both know the Lord and know exactly where we will be for all eternity.  Until then, we will walk hand in hand through this journey God has given us relishing in its Joy!