Monday, March 12, 2018

Day story


Outside my window daffodils shooting up, and tulips too. No blossoms yet, but soon. The wood stack is getting smaller as we burn through these last chilly days leading to spring. There are lots of leaves to mulch up soon. Looking forward to gardening and digging deep. Soon.

Giving thanks for this breath, this day, this life. I know the destructive power of worry and anger and hate, and it has no room in my heart. I have too much to be thankful for: family, good friends, a sovereign almighty love. Thank you, God, for all that you've given me.

In the school room, a finished day, and pinked cheeks from Erin coming in from outside playing. She's hanging up her jacket to catch a movie with Lanie (and sporting her new glasses!). I am glad to be home. I am glad these are my people. I am glad to homeschool.

From the kitchen: nothing. It's cold today and I didn't get a grocery shop yesterday, or the one I planned today. Luckily I grilled an extra chicken breast last night to serve up for dinner. The monthly menu plan is golden when I follow it! But some days get derailed. Tomorrow is a new day.

I am happy at heart. I love my husband and kids. I love my neighbors. I love my friends. I love the learning in challenges. I love my work. I love learning new things. I love good books. I love hot fires and hot tea. I am happy in the woods. I am happy at home. I still have hard days and challenging things still happen around me and to me at times. But this heart, I'm guarding it. It's worth guarding. It is the wellspring of life.

I don't want to forget the sweet whimpering and wagging of little black puppies. My children's delight in little squirmy pups, their soft cuddles, the puppy breath kisses. Oh gosh we still smelled like puppies three hours later. I don't want to forget the joy of expecting joy.

I am reading Ember Rising by S.D. Smith with Erin, soon starting The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare, A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home by Sue Halpern, Fun & Games for a Smarter Dog by Sophie Collins, The Art of Raising a Puppy by The Monks of New Skete, A Guide to the Good Life by William Irvine. There's actually a larger number stacked in queue. Shane asked, "What percentage of these books do you actually read?"


Truly not enough hours in the day. One day when my kids are grown and gone, if I'm not reading to my grandkids, maybe I'll read to folks at a nursing home, or do something charming like camp in a bookstore sipping a latte. Or maybe I'll be awesome like Anita and play tennis.

Around the house, puppy preparation. We are now a two-kid, two-cat, and soon-to-be two-dog family. This week is a busy week. Closing some doors for good, and glad.

I am hearing the sound of wind chimes and it is a heart song. Do you remember the day I went on a bird watch with the kids and I heard the bird song after I was able to quiet my thoughts? The bird song was everywhere, and I missed it from the churning thoughts in my head. Right now, I'm quieted with a hot tea (Comfort and JOY!), eagerly taking in the tinkling tones of wind song. (Does this count as meditation?)

A view of my favorite things:

No place like home

This puppy represents a lot of things

New life, new beginnings, love and joy

A homeward focus, a taking back, simplicity (yes, I used that in a description with a puppy)

At the table, well, leftovers. But later this week, friends gathered on a Friday afternoon for knitting and socializing. Life is good. Life is good.

And still counting (11,648-11,685)

two fires on a Monday
delicious heat to school by
Sherry's life-giving words

time with her, and how she listens well
Cookie in the hallway
her bright eyes
the baby in her arms
her hand, extended to grasp mine

the flavors of Comfort and Joy (with honey) in March
chips and chocolates for my sister
the bank manager walking out right behind me
his mailbox, repaired
his good neighbors

lunch with a longtime friend
honest talks, always thankful
for friends who carry your heart with you
and that she understood my tears over an unrealized desire
the Newfie at the vet with the shaky back legs

his friendly owner
and our chat in the wait
pills for Nella to tide us over for the delivery
that man of mine
and his willingness and positivity in the process of getting Ruth

knitting a baby hat for Cookie's doll with the remnant yarn
lots of books from the library about dogs for the car ride and after
dinner out with my people
but before that--the two delightful hours of puppy breath and cuddles
meeting sleepy, puppy Ruth

meeting her siblings and mama
and the uncanny confirmations I get in all of this: the foster mom's middle name is Ruth!
a settlement date
confrontations, despite the difficulty

a walk with Lanie
10k steps on a Sunday
wood stacked for the week
peace after the storm
every breath of this day

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Puppy love--baby Ruth

We've been considering a second dog for some time. It certainly wasn't in our plans a year ago that my dad would die and my sister (who lived with him) would become so critically ill--or a sequence of events that would bring their cats, Comet and Haley, to our house. Our kitten plans got put on hold. Puppy plans got put on hold. In fact, all my plans got put on hold--even if it was for a grocery run, laundry, or working in the yard. If any year felt out of control, it was 2017.

I'm so very thankful for getting my hands on a copy of Cultivate by Lara Casey, and using the powersheet journals that compliment the book. It was incredibly helpful to read and focus and try to make a plan for myself. (I rated terribly in health and recreation. In fact, because of those ratings, I filter a lot of stuff I do or don't do through the sieve of it improving health and enjoyment.)

We missed out on the adoption of a gorgeous little Australian cattle dog, but that pup's face got me in the process of applying and interviewing with a rescue and getting on their puppy list.

Because you know what? My kids are growing up. Lanie will be sixteen this year. A year has already gone by too fast. I can't wait for everything to be righted before we live our lives. We can enjoy life in the wait, and I intend to do it with a wholehearted focus.

Several friends came forward to vouch for us as owners. One friend said, "Pray about this dog! That it would be the right dog for you." And I did. We were interviewed and approved. (Yippee!)

I got a few emails about new arrivals, but one batch piqued my curiosity--a batch that had a collie-ish resemblance (I was looking mainly for herding dogs because scent hounds are runners!) and a puzzling set of names that seemed to speak to me. I applied for one of the girls.

We got to meet the bunch yesterday. Our little girl, who we've named Ruth (from Ruth 1:16), was out from the group, cuddling with one of the foster family's kids. We joined her on the welping mat, and before I knew it, we'd been there two hours. It was a bummer to leave without her, but she's got to get two more weeks behind her (she's getting deworming meds and last vaccines before they release her--although it's just protocol).

The foster mom asked if we had a name picked out, and I told her it is Ruth. I rather expected the puzzled, polite pause that I have been getting when I tell the name (where then I feel it necessary to explain that the name is based on Ruth 1:16--"Where you go, I will go. And where you stay, I will stay." After you've had a hound that likes to run on unplanned excursions, you can appreciate the want of having a dog that would stay!). But then I got this: the foster mom's middle name is Ruth.

As we learned about the foster mom, the choice of names she gave the pups, her college background--it was the same God appointed happiness about finding this home (the two lit crosses near our street, the garden awaiting, the spell of the home and the nestled seclusion, the Bible verses, and I will never forget THE CAPTAIN'S BELL.). So, yeah, of course her middle name is Ruth.


The part I thought was Collie, though, upon further research and checking out her siblings, this dog is a shepherd mix with Newfoundland.

"You're going to need a bigger crate," the foster mom told us.

Perhaps we should have named her Moby!

The other day, I was at the vet's to get some pills for Nella and when I walked in, there was a Newfie dog--enormous--and back legs just trembling from fear at the vet. I smiled and chatted up the owner for a bit. I got to pet the giant, and I smiled to myself because I had a strong suspicion that my girl was part mix of this beastly breed. I showed that owner pictures of Ruth and her sibs, and she agreed wholeheartedly. We are getting a big dog.

Enjoying these images of her at six weeks, the smallest she'll ever be again. The foster mom warned us she'll be much bigger in two weeks.


she looked so healthy, and her eyes were bright

the tip of her little tail is white, and those paws!

6 weeks, 11 pounds

Egads! That sweet face!

the honeymoon phase, frequent puppy naps

A friend recently mentioned, almost as caution, but it was in text, so who can tell? "Puppies are a lot of work."

I just laughed to myself. LAST YEAR was a lot of work.

I'm so looking forward to doing something for us. After a year where it felt like my home and (husband, kids and friends) got put last to handle so many matters, I embrace this next phase. I am so deeply grateful we can get this sweet girl now and enjoy her while my kids are still home.

Two weeks and counting.

Thanks, God!