Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mom got scolded in church!!!

Yesterday while cleaning out and tearing apart the house I bought (for investment purposes) I came across a drawer filled with loose change.  A quick count sermized that it was ten, plus dollars worth. With little time to spare I scooped up the change and put it in a small canning jar that was nearby.

I had decided, sometime in the night that I should take that money and give it as my offering in church.  I felt very strongly that since God's whispers lead me into this amazing adventure, that the money should be given to him.

So after picking up Mom, I stopped at the house to retrieve the canning jar.

When ai got back in the car, my mother questioned what I had gotten.  I told her what I intended to do.  I also informed her that I had had a dream last night that I had totally embarrassed her in church as when it came time for me to put my offering in the plate, I had trouble getting it out of the jar.  I told her that I figured she wouldn't want me to do this because she would feel embarrassed, but that I felt rather strongly that the money belonged to God and it was being given from the heart.

So thee we the parking lot at the church and I pick up my jar.  Mom says, "can't you just out it in your pocket or something?" To which I replied, "no, that would be even harder to put in the plate." Nope, I was taking my jar!!!

I set my jar under my seat until it was time.....and then....there it was.... The minister preparing us for the offering....saying over and over again that it doesn't matter what the offering looks like, or how much we give....what matters is the heart with which it is given!!!!

The basket passed before me and I quietly and completely emptied my jar full of change feeling validated and blessed.

I am unique in my thinking and ways....but God loves me just the same!

As for mom.....

She was so busted!!! Mom got scolded at church!!!! And she knew it!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

God Whispers....

Ever since I was a child I have felt and been known to have a very strong "sixth sense".

I knew my father had died just watching my mother drive in the driveway from a third story window.

I dreamed that my best friend's daughter was pregnant.  She swore she was not.  I told her to ask her daughter again.  And sure enough she was, both times.

When the boys were little and I'd have strong gut feelings that something would happen, or someone would get ex would just say that I worry too much and I should let it go.  EVERY time, I regretted listening to him, because my feelings were always right.

And I could hear Abbey saying, "please" when it was time.

Today people will tell me that I have exceptional intuition.

When I was sharing the story of an intuitive situation with a co-worker she told me that her mother would always say at those time that God was whispering to us.


So often I would negate my "gut feelings, intuitions, sixth sense" thinking it was mine.  Not having confidence in my own thoughts....that simple statement has changed me.  I no longer fear them and act on them reminding myself that God is whispering to he must have a reason.  It has given me the confidence and encouragement to act upon the whispers.

Last Saturday, it was so cold, only 17 (of course that was actually rather warm compared to the previous days) and I was out walking.  As I neared home a whisper came to me... it said, "continue walking up the street."  I couldn't explain the strength of the whisper.

I figured I was being told to walk up the street to finally walk through the home that used to be my Grandmother's.  The new owners have been wanting me to stop in and see what they have done, but I just wasn't ready...too many childhood memories.  But this was the day!!!

So I stopped at home just long enough to grab a bottle of wine and tie a ribbon on it.  Didn't want to go unannounced and empty handed.  And I started to walk....

I passed my mother's home and was about to happen upon the next house once owned by my Great Aunt and Uncle. (Yes, it's a family affair here on the edges of the farm.)  The latest owners were obviously in some sort of state of moving and no one knew why.  Just as I approached the property Frank (also my Great Uncle's name) walked out from the garage.

Another whisper...."cross the street, talk to him."

So I did.  Turns out he is originally from Texas and moving back.  He wants to sell the house but not use a realtor.  He just wants to get his money out of it and go.... I asked if I could see the house.  I've always wanted to "flip" a house or buy an investment property to rent.  But more, I was curious as to what it looked like not having been inside since I was a child.

It's a 100+ year old colonial farm house in need of a lot of cosmetic and other work!  Like I said I was just curious.  We chatted.  He informed me of what he would like to get for the house and asked me to share the information with anyone I knew that might be interested.

I thanked him for allowing me to wander through my childhood and continued on up the hill to what was my Grand mother's house.  They weren't home.  Will need to cross that bridge another day.

A week later.  I've discussed my desires in depth with my mother, who supports me one hundred percent.  I've had my cousin who is a contractor walk through the home with me.  I've had another cousin who is a home inspector inspect the house and provide me with a report.  I am pre-approved.  I negotiated a slightly lower price due to some unexpected findings.  And now, have a signed agreement of sale pending the completion of the mortgage, which seems to be just a matter of time.  We hope to be closing in two weeks.  :)

God whispers.  Listen to him.  It just may change your life in the matter of time it takes to cross a street.

Had I not had the courage to act on the first whisper the moment it happened....I may have missed out on an amazing opportunity.

God whispers indeed.

Crossing things off my bucketlist...

Yesterday, with the winter storm Nemo starting, school was let out early.  I managed to move up my time with my trainer.  He's been working me really hard lately and today was no exception.  On my off days, with my determined desire to get myself back, I've been walking a little over three miles of rolling hilly roads.  By the time I got home from the body was already hurting.

So, what did I do?  Well, first I went out and about to take some photos.  Have you ever seen frozen spiders?  I find something so eerily fascinating about them. Maybe because deep down I really don't like spiders.... only at a distance....and for certain NOT in my house!!!

After I satiated my desire to photograph frozen spiders, I decided to walk another 3+ mile loop!

Then it was, walk to Mom's for dinner....back...and dang my body was screaming!!!

Okay....time for a  very hot steamy bubble bath with lavender scented Epsom salts!!  Ahhh....I vould just feel the aches melting away.  Then somewhere between sipping my dark and stormy, candle light, bubbles, snow falling all around, reading a abook.... I decided that I should pretend I'm sitting in a hot tub in Colorado and I should run outside to make a snow angel then jump back in the tub!!!

I posted my thought on FB and stated that if I were to get 10 "Dares" I would do it!  As soon as I posted my thoughts...another thought came to me....Since when do I need someone else to dare me to do something....So I sunk down deep to get as warm as possible then made a dash for the nearest exit, made a snow angel and jumped back in the tub!!!! : Exhilarated!!!

Realizing, my FB friends would demand proof...I grabbed my phone, ran back out and quickly took a photo, albeit dark!

 I had crossed something off my bucket list that I hadn't even realized I wanted to do!

Out of the bath, warm and cozy the snow continued to beckon me "come play".  I love the snow at night.  So, I convinced my neighbor to go with me and walk the fields listening for coyotes and looking for owls.

My legs, already tired from the day's activities would beg me to randomly stop and make snow angels out in the field or lie down on our backs catching snowflakes with our tongues feeling them land on our faces.  At some point he pulled out a bottle of wine for me from the game pocket of his was call "Brazin"....said it was just for me.  He was drinking beer.

We had walked roughly two miles, taking the long route along the edges when we came to Abbey's tree.  In her last days we would walk to this tree and sit for a bit to rest before heading home.  As I sat beneath it's branches tears came ...... Yips of the coyotes joined the broken silence.  It almost felt as if they too were sending thoughts her way.

Having spent some time with her, I decided it was the night to fulfill another bucket list desire...this one, I knew about.

We walked another 1/4 mile to the furthest edge of the field where a chain link fence guards the once popular Indy Car race track.  The track has long since been abandoned and is slowly being reclaimed by the Earth.  I love to watch the progression.

I've always wanted to sneak in and run around the mile long oval.  Tonight was to be that night!!!

Unable to figure out how to get over the fence, I pulled it from the bottom enough that we could shimmy under it.  Then it was up and over the concrete retaining wall.  The jump down was farther than expected and I landed weakly, quickly disguising my embarrassment with yet another snow angel.

We ran, we slid, we followed tracks of deer, fox and something unidentifiable.  It's wasn't until this morning that I realized as hard as the snow was falling, those tracks were really recently made!!!  I gather it was the sound of our laughter keeping them on pace just before us.

I never anticipated so many car parts, fallen speakers and again unidentifiable pieces of metal that would lay on the track.

He never anticipated that as cold as it was would cause the beer in his pocket to explode and run down the front of his jeans as if he were a child and couldn't hold it!!!

Then, there is was....a dark silhouette in one of the rouge trees reclaiming it's owl.  Rustled from it's place of rest, it flew silently before us disappearing in the falling snow.

We completed our lap when I realized I would now have to get back over the wall which was higher than expected and by now my legs were so very tired!!  Jumping just wasn't an option.  Accepting a boost we somehow made it back over the wall, under the fence and home....with more stops to make snow angels and eat snowflakes!

That was definitely one off the bucket list.... think I might go run the track again tonight!!!!  But I'm napping first!!!  :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February 1st, 2013 - My new birthday...

January 31st 2013 there was a full moon....a time to let go.....and a time of renewal.  There will be no planets in our visible sky until February 23rd to wield their influences.  So this is my opportunity, my time to let go and renew.

I've mourned Him and the love we shared for a year now.  If somehow he were able to read my prose I would tell Him that it doesn't need to be this way.  That I miss my best friend.  That n're a day goes by that something I see, hear, smell, touch or taste doesn't remind me of Him.  I would tell Him that it is he alone for which I care...not his house, or truck or bike or boat....but Him and the way he alone made me feel and the life we shared.  I would tell Him that together there is nothing we could not face or handle. We were like sparrows in flight, always in sync with every turn, even in our sleep. And I would admit that I could not promise Him to love him for the rest of his life....but for certain, I will love Him for the rest of mine.

That being said, I have given myself permission to let go and once again rejoice in the beauty that surrounds me.

I've taken off the necklace of hope that hung around my neck and set aside all images left on display.

January sucked.  I have never been so sick for so long.  My doctor required weekly visits of me to check on my health.  A friend of which I was so fond from high school passed and I had to lay to rest my baby girl.  January sucked. Yet, as I laid awake, tears caressing my cheeks on the night of the 31st. I knew the dawn would bring a new day....and so I decided...February 1st 2013 would be my new birthday.

As I drove to work on the 1st the skies were filled with dark blue clouds left over from the nights
rains.  The corn fields were bare nestled up against the mountain range and the winds were fierce.  Yet, the sun was breaking through shining brilliantly in the east.  And there they were...thousands of 
snow geese fighting the winds unable to fly in formation....some hugging the mountain range low in 
the sky, others brilliant white against the dark blue clouds, but all of them glittering and shining as 
the sun reflected off their wings.  I stood outside the school watching, not caring if I was going to be 

 All that adversity that they were up against, and yet they glowed and shimmered and never stopped  trying to fly against the winds.

After work I caught up with my trainer and today walked nearly five miles in seventeen degree weather feeling better than I have in a very long time.

I don't know where my new path will lead me, but I do know that worrying about tomorrow takes the strength out of today.  Today I was strong.

Happy Birthday to Me.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Abbey's last day...

It was warm for a Saturday in January, low to mid forties.  Normally I’d be tempted to sleep in…but not today…today I could barely sleep let alone steal a few more minutes.  The sun was already up although not bright.  Patches of snow were left where the sun doesn’t shine along the fence row.  The cool earth in the fields mixed with the warmth of the air blanketed my world in a hazy fog.  It was quiet and peaceful, perfect.

I mentioned a walk to Abbey and her ears perked.  So I got the leash and off we headed towards the fields.  She actually pranced a couple of steps.  I’m sure that was for my benefit.  Once in the field I removed her leash.  She didn’t really need it anymore.  She walked quietly beside me sniffing the ground and taking in the view.  We walked as slowly as the fog drifted.

We didn’t go too far before it was time to turn around and head back home.  Again she followed scents and checked out tracks left in the mud by the deer, fox and coyote.  But then she did something that she has never done before, as if she knew this would be the last time she would walk the fields.  She stopped.  She stopped on the edge where the field met the grass, looked over the acres she has patrolled for almost eleven years and then took a very deliberate step back into the yard.  It reminded me of the scene in LOTR where Sam stops and when Frodo turns to ask him why he has stopped he says, (I am paraphrasing here) that once he takes one more step he will have gone farther from the Shire than he has ever gone and a whole new adventure awaits him.  

Abbey and I made our way back to the house.  She decided to take a nap in her favorite garden.  I decided to have a photo shoot.  She hates photo shoots.  Most of the time her eyes let me know as much….but in others…she was just too tired to put up a fuss or move.

People walked by on the street.  She let out a few barks.  This is still her property to protect.  Then back to her nap.  We sat listening to the chickadees and snow geese.  With the dense clouds the geese were flying so low you could hear the wind in their wings.

Carol and Mike arrived.  Abbey got up to greet them and guide their car up the drive.  Dr. Carol was surprised by the warm welcome.

It’s so hard to know….if it’s time.

But I knew.  Just the day before as I was kissing my girl good-bye before I went to work…she looked me in the eye and I swear I heard her say, “please.”  I had been waiting for a sign.  This clearly was it.  I cried all the way to work and then called Dr. Carol.

After taking care of the business end of things, Dr. Carol and I walked out to Abbey, with her assistant Mike.

It was absolutely beautiful.  Sounds odd to say, but it was.

Abbey was given a small injection in the nape of her neck.  It would take roughly seven minutes for her to relax and drift off into a blissful sleep.  During that time she checked out the doctor’s bag, said, “hi” to Mark and once more, woofed at the people now walking back down the street.

I called her to me.  In her wonderful Abbey way, burying her head into my chest, she hugged me.  I loved on her giving her muzzle lots of kisses and scratching her behind her ears.  I told her how much I loved her and how much her boy loved her.  Tears caressed my cheeks and dampened her fur.

Dr. Carol gently helped her to sit as she became wobbly on her legs.  And I helped her to lay down in the Lenten roses that she loved so much.  I continued loving on her as she let out the most blissful sigh of relief and fell asleep.

After a few moments we gently rolled her on her side to allow Dr. Carol to administer the final injection intravenously.  She informed me that it could take a while as the liquid goes to the brain and her heart would stop on its own.  She told me that sometimes they twitch as they dream through it.  I was prepared.

I watched as the translucent pink liquid disappeared.  Dr. Carol removed the syringe and placed her stethoscope in her ears.  She placed the end near Abbey’s heart, she was already gone.

Dr. Carol commented that she was “one tired girl and that she had been putting on a good show for us.”  Her gums were so pale.  She had become jaundices indicating that the mass had affected her liver and kidneys.  

She was so peaceful, her ears so soft, her muzzle still warm.

They lovingly and gently placed her on the blanket and carried her to the car.  I gave her one last kiss…and then she was gone.

The fog never did lift that day.  And that night the heavens opened watering the earth with the tears of my heart.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Once upon a time.....I sparkled....

Once upon a time......I felt loved.  Over the years I had thought I loved......but it wasn't until I met Him, experienced Him, that I knew what real love was.

I used to look forward to going to sleep each night because I dreamt about the life I wanted.....and when with Him.....I found myself not wanting to sleep.....I was living the dream.

What made it so real was that he loved me too.  For the first time I truly knew what being loved felt like. Everything was so easy.  We knew each other's thoughts.  We moved like sparrows in sync at every turn.

I didn't need caffeine or sugar.  The energy within me bubbled over and out.  Nothing was too difficult.  No task too daunting.  My body was light.  My feet barely touched the ground....and my heart floated.  It was magical.  And I sparkled.....from the inside out.  My eyes.  My smile.  Ever cell of me sparkled.

And then he was gone.....My forever dreams shattered.....

Now there is just much body feels as though it is weighted down....every movement requires effort.....every day gets darker....hopeless....loveless.

Once upon a time.....I used to sparkle.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Even Greater than a Mother's Love...

Rarely would you ever hear me say that anything could possibly rival a mother's love....okay, never would you ever hear me say that....until today.  Today I must acknowledge a love so real, so intense....and that love is between a boy and his dog.  Or, a dog and his boy.

Allow me to introduce Abbey.....

At eight weeks, she already weighed twenty-five pounds.  She was a bit of an impulse buy.  We were just going to "look" at the puppies!!!  We had fallen in love with the breed and someone local had a couple.

Apparently, they had both the male and female on site and he mounted her.  Even though they pulled him off her immediately, they ended up with eight puppies!!  The usual litter is around fifteen!!!  As it was an accidental breeding, they really didn't want to go through the expense of putting papers on the puppies even though they were pure bred.  They just wanted to find them good homes.  Instead of the usual cost of $1,200.00 they were selling them for $200.00.  Well, that's all my twelve year old son had to hear.

He promptly went home, counted all his change, got his brother's to contribute for a percentage (usually tips of tail and ears).  He even sold a $2.00 piece to his older brother's girlfriend (at the time).  And somehow, we ended up with Abacus (a compromise....older brothers into math, she has an extra dew claw [a characteristic of the breed] so she could count, plus one....and since she is a mountain dog....she could be Abbey for the Abbies in the alps.

My mother was furious with me.  I was a single mom.  We already had one dog.  How could we possibly afford another one.  Simple.  We couldn't.  But it became clear within two weeks that we couldn't afford to not get her!

She was the best thing that ever happened to her boy.  She taught him responsibility, and unconditional love which helped to heal the hurt from not having a father around.

They grew up together.....

From the time she was little....she liked to lay in the flowers, chase squirrels, scare the hell out of  bikers, bark at the moon, kill ground hogs, play catch with herself and howl with trains and harmonicas....but what she loved most....was her boy.

Her boy grew up and left for college....but he always came home to visit...and she loved on him as if he were gone for a life time and just home the day before.

Abbey LOVES snow!!  She has helped us to dig out from blizzards on more than one occasion.  She will lay on the tallest snow pile until it is a mere puddle...and nap as she is coated and covered with an inch or more, in sheer bliss.

Every Christmas she gets a new rope toy in her stocking and can hardly wait to sneak off outside with it to toss it around....but not before her boy gives her one of her cookies....

A couple times she was the star of the Christmas card...but none so amusing as last years.....
Every night after dinner she gets a carrot for dessert.  Yes, a whole carrot.  She will either bounce to her room or ask to go outside to sit holding her carrot upright in her paws savoring one bite at a time.

She is exceptional.  Rare. All love and joy.

She does not live with me... I live with her.  Ask anyone.  When they ask where I live and I start to explain they will always say, "Oh, where the big white dog lives."  All the delivery men, mail men, meter guys, UPS, FedEx, cleaning ladies....they all know her...and treat her....even regular bicyclists have told me they stop to give her a treat.

At Christmas I need to leave big notes posted on all the doors for the temporary drivers... PLEASE DO NOT FEED BIG WHITE BEAST BOXES!!!  See, Abbey thinks all the packages are for her.  So if the drivers leave it where she can reach it....they are opened and played with before I get home!!!

One year the temp drivers was so afraid of her (she can look menacing, although she is just a big baby) that he just threw the package right to her!!!!  The mailman happen to see (as Abbey trotted off with glee having scored another package for her!) who called my mom up at the office, who came down and retrieved the package!!!  See....everybody knows her!!!

Normally she will not tolerate any unknown beasts on the property.  But when one of my older sons adopted a stray and needed to bring her home for awhile...she "tolerated" the wee beast..although I believe she was more confused about exactly what it was....
She is our baby girl....and she is amazing...

When her boy comes home to visit...the hardest thing is to watch them part.

She buries her head in his chest, hugging him.  His eyes tear.  My tears flow.  It's just heart breaking.

Her boy is now 23 and living in Colorado.  Abbey will turn 11 in April.  Maybe.

Call it mother's intuition, but when he came home this past October, I scheduled his flights so that he would have more time at home and be able to spend some real time with her instead of just flying in and flying out.  Turned out we had a lot of together time as Hurricane Sandy hit while he was home.

Again, when he had to leave...there were tears all around.  I wanted to take pictures of them saying good-bye....but something inside me felt it would be an intrusion.  My heart aches for both of them.

Two weeks ago she shared her love with another little boy so in need a healing....Joshua.  He kept saying, "She loves me.  She really loves me."  And I would just reply, "What's not to love?  Of course, she does."

This past week I found out that Abbey has only 3-6 months to live.  She has a mass in her abdomen that is already the size of a spaghetti squash and growing.  We could put her through a very expensive and invasive surgery to have it removed.  But she would also need chemo therapy and would still only have 3-6 months to live.

I once wrote about wishing relationships had expiration dates. I was in favor of them.  There are good pros and cons to the subject.  But this is a pro for me.  So often when a pet is taken suddenly the owner is filled with grief....I say guilt.  They feel guilty for all the times they told the dog to "go lay down" when they didn't want to be bother...or grumbled when they had to take it for a walk, etc.  Guilt, because all the dog ever knows and shows is unconditional love and acceptance.  There will be no guilt for me....unmeasurable grief and sadness.....but no guilt.

For now, I am doing my best to love her for the both of us....her boy and me.  If she wants to walk, we walk.  If she wants a cookie, she gets it!  If she wants to sneak off with her carrot (dessert) before eating all of her dinner....then so be it.

On the pain meds she is happy and bouncing.  Today she wanted to take a walk through the fields and chased a squirrel up the tree.  She is her old self.....but she's not.

There is an overwhelming sadness in my being.
I see the little changes.  My heart breaks for her boy, unable to leave CO.  Having said his last good-bye and knowing it.

A mother's love is amazing....rivaled only by a boy and his dog....or a dog and his boy.

May God please show mercy....for all the unconditional love she has shared with us.  She will be missed.