Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Catching Up: Bella Update and the Fence

Well, I promised myself that I was going to get back on the blog-train. I love writing, and I first-and-foremost want to leave a journal for my family.

Okay, kids...anytime you wonder what is going on, when there's a large gap between posts, know this: Momma's gone crazy.

It all started back in December, when I had the bright idea to get a dog for Joshua. I don't regret it, exactly, but there are times when I get right up to the edge of regret...the closest you can possibly get to regretting it without actually regretting it.

I love this dog, but she is a horse. She is a horse on crack...with the energy of a Jack Russel. Think, if a Jack Russel terrier and the Energizer Bunny had a baby. That's Bella.

I can barely control her, because she's so BIG and energetic. When I take her on a walk, she about pulls my arm out of socket. I am trying to work with her, and so is Jim...but oh my word.

I think she will be a great dog for about 2 years.

If I'm still alive by then, I'll let y'all know.

I don't remember if I shared on here or not, but Bella kept getting out of our fence. We have a privacy fence on 3 sides of our house, and then wrought-iron fencing and gates on the front. Even tho she is huge, she could squeeze herself through the bars of the wrought-iron. Our Vet said, "she's like a mouse...if she can get her head through, she can get her body through."

And if she ever gets I mean, Usain Bolt couldn't catch her if he tried.

So, I ordered her this "puppy bumper" thing from the Puppy Bumper company. You can look it up. It's like a neck pillow for dogs. It has loops on it, and you thread your dog's collar through it. And it snaps around their necks. It made it impossible for her to get her head through the bars.

YIPPEE! I finally had some freedom. I could let her be outside, which is where she wanted to be...and I didn't have to constantly worry that she was going to get out.

BUT THEN...a couple of weeks ago, Holly was here, picking up Joshua to go to the store. They were backing out of the driveway, when she stopped and pointed. Bella was standing in the yard with half of the puppy bumper IN HER MOUTH.

The other half of the puppy bumper, and the stuffing, was spread out all over the yard.


But, she's bigger now...and we haven't noticed her trying to get out of the gate.

Then, last Friday, we had a storm. I heard a noise, and looked outside. The wind was ROARING. A couple of the potted plants were blown over, the trees were nearly bent over...and things were rolling all over the place. I came in, and told Jim, things are really blowing around out there...the wind is so strong." He was, like, "mmmmm..." I said, "YOUR LARGE PLANT JUST BLEW OVER." He was, like, "mmmm..."

All of a sudden, there was a crash outside, and he JUMPED UP and ran to the window. He said, "MOOSE! Our fence just blew down."


And, ya know, I miss the days when, if a fence blew over, or a tree fell down, or water was nearly up to the front door...and neighbors and friends would show up with, ya know, hammers and...wrenches or whatever...and help you get things back to normal.

No one came to check on us...even tho I posted a picture of it on Facebook, and several people commented, "bless your hearts" and things like that.

And, apparently, we are at a time where, when something like this happens, we don't even attempt to move it, much less, FIX it...until the insurance adjuster comes by to look at it. And then the fence guy comes by to give you an estimate. And then the fence guy tells you that it might be 1 1/2 - 2 weeks before they can get to it, and SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT I AM GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS DOG IF SHE CAN'T GO OUTSIDE.

She cannot be contained.


And now, about our back-yard neighbors. ..the fence separates our back yards. Jim met them 3 days after the storm, when they saw him outside looking at the fence. The man's comment? He said, "I told my wife, 'well, you've always wanted a pool...there you go.'"

I really value our privacy. Safety for Joshua is very important to me. I don't know these neighbors at all. They are never outside.

Correction: they were never outside until this happened, and now they are outside ALL THE TIME.

So I said to Jim, "please tell me that you did not invite complete strangers over to use our pool." He claims he did not, but the next day, when Jim was working outside, the neighbor lady came out on her back deck, WEARING HER SWIMSUIT TOP with shorts, and looking over at our house.


They sit on their deck, and stare at us if we're outside. The other night, we were at the dinner table, and Joshua said, "what are those people doing?" I said, "what people?" He nodded across at our neighbors. I looked out the window...they were staring at us while we were eating at our kitchen table.


Please, fence people. PLEASE HURRY.

I hear banjos.

"When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation." Proverbs 10:25

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Clara's Birthday

She came into our lives when we were recovering from the loss of our mother.

Truthfully, she'd been in our lives for our mom's best friend.

But, in the days, weeks, and months that followed, she was a constant support, and a faithful friend, to my Dad. When God allowed them to find love with each other, we were excited and thankful. Besides my Mom, I cannot imagine anyone being a better match for my Dad than Clara.

She embraced all of us, even tho she has a large and loving family of her own.

For most of our kids, she's the grandmother they know and will remember.

You know, life doesn't always turn out like we plan, and we don't always get to end our days with great healthy and mental clarity...and then slip quietly into Heaven.

Sometimes there's a lot of hard and a lot of struggle.

That's kind of where things are right now, because Clara has gone from being a wife, companion, and being a caregiver.

I don't know if my Dad will remember to acknowledge Clara's special day.

I'm pretty sure he will not be able to thank her for the tender and diligent way she is caring for him...but Happy Birthday, Clara!

Thank you for everything you do to help our Dad! We love you!

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mother's Day & Moving

When you have a bunch of kids, there will likely be times when you can't be there for everything.

As parents, we all just do the best we can with that...amiright?

There are also times when not all of our kids can be together with us at the same time, which makes me sad...but it can't always be helped.

We had a fun weekend over Mother's Day. We went to a college graduation on Saturday, and got to see our well as several friends.Then, on Sunday, after church, we drove 2 1/2 hours to our middle son's town, and helped them move into their new place.

My daughter-in-law apologized over and over for "messing up" my Mother's Day. I was, like, "THIS IS LIFE."

Unless I've just forgotten it (which is totally possible, bc OLD), I don't ever remember my kids making me breakfast in bed, or anything like that.

And I've (apparently) slept through my Mother's Day parade for the last...ummm...31 years!

So packing. loading, unloading, cleaning? With my children?

There's nowhere else I would rather be.

I can't even count the times we've done the whole "load the trailer" thing, for us...or for one of our kids. I've learned a lot of things from our many moves, but there's one thing that stands out, and that is this: the words, "all tied down, boys...THAT'S not going ANYWHERE," mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

"The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him." Psalm 103:13

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

The Sunday morning before Memorial Day, I got up and got ready for church. I put on a navy and white dress, and white sandals. I put on a red, white, and blue necklace. And I thought of my Mom...

I thought of how she always dressed my 3 siblings and I in navy and white and red on Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Veteran's Day...and how, in turn, I dressed my 4 littles the same way on all of the patriotic holidays.

I thought of my full of love for our country.

He always made sure we knew that the path to our country's freedom was paved with the blood of the men and women who served and fought and died for it. He made sure we knew to respect our military and our president (every president) and our flag.

He also made sure we knew that, while our soldiers died to ensure our country's freedom...JESUS died to ensure our soul's freedom. His death saved us from the penalty of sin, and assures us a place in eternity with Him.

"All gave some; some gave all."

"Jesus paid it all...all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."

"But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ." Galatians 3:22

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The One Where Jim Has Tick Fever

So, I posted about our wedding anniversary...and Jim's birthday is the day after. And I posted on Facebook about how he was really not feeling well.

I did not post about how he OUT OF THE BLUE said, "I think I might have tick fever." Or how I basically rolled my eyes at him when he said that. Because, he is never sick, so whenever he is feeling bad, OF COURSE he would think he had some random disease.

For several days, I begged him to go to the doctor, or to an urgent care place. We call those places "doc-in-a-box."

Anyway, he finally did, and guess what?


Like, for realz.

He had gone on a hike a couple of weeks ago...he knew exactly when it was, because he remembered pulling some ticks off of him. He neglected to tell me about his little tick adventure...his "tickventure," as it were...and then when he did, I was, like, "YOU HAVE BEEN CRAWLING IN OUR BED WITH ME EVERY NIGHT FOR TWO WEEKS!"

And I immediately started itching. I still feel like things are crawling on me.

When he started feeling bad, he remembered reading that it takes a couple of weeks for the symptoms to show up.

So they put him on this high-powered antibiotic, and he had to go to the pharmacy to pick it up. Even with our insurance card, his part was $125. He about freaked. They asked him if he still wanted it, and he said, "yes."

Because he doesn't want to die.

But he's not letting it go. He has told everyone...every.single.person we've run into...that his medicine cost $125.

And he told the kids not to expect much for Christmas this year.

I'M KIDDING...but just barely.

He came home and read all the instructions OUT LOUD on when to take the medicine, when NOT to take the medicine, what to eat/not eat/drink/not drink before, during, and after taking the medicine.

Then he read about the possible side-effects...OUT LOUD. At any given time, he's convinced he's got one or more of them.

It's gonna be a long 21 days.

I really am very sympathetic to him. We have some friends whose lives have been drastically affected by Lyme disease. It's no joke. So I'm praying for him...that he will only have to have one round of this medicine, and that he has a complete healing, with no residual effects from the tick bite.

But here is a your PSA, in Jim's words: Take this seriously.

*USE THE TICK SPRAY, every time.
*And CHECK YOURSELF, every time you come in from outside.
*And, if you pull a tick off of you, and start feeling bad after a few days, don't wait. GO TO YOUR DOCTOR.

Stay healthy, my friends.

"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." James 5:16