Archives for category: Ramblings

When I met my Husband, he had a young throw away shepherd lab mix named Hydro. I had a rescue greyhound still using his track name, Bojack.

Bojack was diagnosed with cancer a month before we were expecting our first child. He died 2-1/2 months after Reade was born. Hydro continued on.

We moved (aka gloriously camped) into a house we were still building, birthed two more children, were adopted by a lot of cats and some horses, and then Rocky came into our world. That was eleven years and two more children ago.

Rocky is a Louisiana Catahoula mix. We knew his mama and she was 100% Catahoula. Rocky, at 6mo old, was going to be thrown away to the shelter. So we brought him home.

Hydro trained up Rocky on where to hunt, how to herd children and horses, and where the best spots on the bed and the floor were. About two years later at nearly 16yo, Hydro took a very peaceful natural last breath here at South of the Fork.

Gretel, our only sought after dog – a miniature schnauzer, made her debut a few years later and a year later another throw away shepherd lab puppy, Daisy, made her way to us.

It became Rocky’s role to now train the girls up to do the work he took over from Hydro. He is a good teacher. They are lousy learners.

Blonde Daisy, Speckled Rocky, Silver Gretel

Rocky is now getting tired. He has been in renal failure for two years. He has to wear a “male wrap” inside. It rarely is wet anymore because his body just is not working like it once did. He is winding down.

I plopped myself in the floor the other night and and just loved on him and got up briefly to take this photo wondering if it might be the last of his photos. Whether it is or not, what an awesome dog.

Sweet Rocky

UPDATE: Six days after I wrote this post, Rocky passed away. It was Imbolc which I think is a fitting time for a creature to leave this space. We thought we were prepared for his passing, but there are still so many tears. So many tears. This was his last photo from Tuesday afternoon, about 12 hours before he struggled through his last breath. We’ll Meet Again.

When I get anxious and I am home, I usually go to our barn. It’s maybe 250-275 yards from the house so it is a short trek and I have no excuse for not using it to calm my soul.

Sometimes anxious is getting frustrated with a kid, my Husband, a friend, or a peer. Anxious could be anticipation such as an impending activity for which I don’t feel fully prepared. It could be the shifting weather and where I am in phase with the moon. Anxious can be lots of things. And sometimes anxious is just anxious. Why does it really have to be a “thing” at all. Why isn’t it just a moment in life. A moment in which I must cope and respond with either grace or fear or anger. Why does the culture in which I am living insist on labeling everything? E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

Maybe folks perceive that labeling means releasing responsibility. Uh, no. Not at all. I would still have to respond to the feeling – whatever its root, its purpose – regardless of what label travels with the feeling. So why complicate things?

While I very fortunately do not suffer from depression, depression is no less a luxury in name. So is anxiety. So are all the other labels. And to quote Cristian Mihai from the linked article, “That’s why happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. It’s not about goals, but about habits. It’s about the routine.” But read the entire post and watch the entire video. There’s truth and maybe even recognition sans labels in that for all.

After watching that video and reading that post, maybe take a trip down to our barn. And breathe.

“Breathe in love, breathe out love.” ~Adriene, Yoga with Adriene

 

Hoping for snow, not more rain.

More Six Word Saturdays for me!

There are a lot of Kellys in my life. Each of them is so very unique in her own way but also contributes uniquely to my life. One of the Kellys taught me the term “re-entry.” It describes the hours, days, weeks of returning to a regular rhythm after days without the usual. Maybe it was traveling or a break from lessons or weather or illness that broke apart the daily rhythm. No less, there is always re-entry. The times where no one really wants to be doing the usual but doing the usual actually feels better than anyone is willing to admit.

Our family’s re-entry from 2018 into 2019 was today. Sure, we had a few things going on last week, but not much really. Today, though, we needed to get to it. We actually needed to get to it for our minds, bodies, spirits. So we did. We woke at sane times, ate sane things at sane times, got a little movement into our day, and met the one obligation we had. Not bad. No less, it was indeed re-entry. A moment of anxiety, a moment of whining, a moment of trying to stay awake…

Sweet spot of the day was at the barn where I may have lingered longer than usual and certainly longer than necessary to just watch the animals from inside one of the chicken houses. I’ll probably find myself lingering a little more as re-entry continues.

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I stopped my kitchen on-a-roll to write this. No kidding.

Everyone I know is intolerant. No one I know is all-inclusive. We are all like a fancy resort in a sunny, warm clime. We are all good and nodding “uh-huh” until we see, smell, taste, hear, touch something that creates an opportunity to carve out a niche and criticize. For whatever reason.

Christians are criticize anyone who does not believe just like their preferred Christian clan. Bombs are tossed.

Other faiths criticize Christians. Bombs are tossed.

Non-faiths criticize anyone with a faith. Hearts are hardened.

Conservatives criticize liberals. Laws choke everyone.

Liberals criticize conservatives. Laws choke everyone.

Libertarians criticize other political ideologies. Laws choke everyone.

Broncos fans criticize Seahawks fans. Marijuana is wasted.

Seahawks fans know they’ll win. I mean, Seahawks fans criticize the Broncos. Smack talk is wasted.

And so on and so on. I know NO ONE who would open their door to a person they do not know and help them in any way they can. Not even me.

I am going to protect myself, my family, my friends, my home. I am not tolerant. And I personally know no one who is.

There are people who are more likely to open a door and a heart to those they do not know, who may be completely different from them, but it matters not one bit before or after a ride is given, a meal is served, a heart is heard. A dearest family to me brought in a hitchhiker that stayed with them briefly. But even they offered up their tree house rather than their home. They had a family, a home to protect.

There are the selfless people much of the world knows about – like Mother Teresa. But even she is criticized here for not encouraging the impoverished in ways that would have given them the ability to lift themselves out permanently. Maybe she did. I won’t ever know. I do not pretend to know hearts and minds.

No one is tolerant. No one.
And it is a good thing. It is OK to not agree. It is OK to believe different things. Until we force, physically or financially, others to believe like us. Like is happening here. It is OK not to agree. Move on.

I am not putting my dish gloves back on. It’s almost tea time.

Really? Is anyone surprised that Phil Robertson believes homosexuality is a sin? And did anyone bother to read on that he clearly and decisively said he was not condemning them, but loving them and sharing Jesus’ love with them? Here are some nutshell thoughts.

1.)  He was asked a question and he answered it honestly. How many of us, especially our nazi leaders (Ds, Rs, Ls , and Is) answer direct questions honestly?

2.) His show never hid his personal beliefs. He has not pretended to be anything other than the sinner he is. How many of us don’t put on airs to promote ourselves?

3.) What is “tolerant” about ousting anyone because of what a person holds true in his heart? Uh… Methinks tolerance is overrated and most of those preaching tolerance are a.) liars because they are not in any way tolerant and b.) fakers because they lie to promote themselves.

4.) Is it a coincidence that all this hub-bub has befallen Phil Robertson after the Duck Dynasty Christmas Show that was promoted for two weeks on A&E? No. The news about the GQ interview has been out there a while. A& E manipulated the market in cahoots with money-suckers such as GLAAD who are of the likes of MAAD. No coincidence.

Here’s my take – Phil Robertson knew damn well what he was saying and to what audience he was saying it. Phil Robertson will be fine without A&E. And truly, I don’t even really think this is a free speech issue as he was bought and paid for. And he knew it. Perhaps he was tired of being beholden and knew this was a sure deal to set him free AND get his message across.

Regardless of any of my thoughts, Phil is his own person. It’s his business what he thinks, how he acts, and with whom he associates. For me to think any other way would be honestly, openly intolerant.

(I have written this most on Thursday, December 19. I am confident that some of these thoughts will be seen as fact when this posts live on the 23rd. And perhaps some may be proven false. Either way, given my limited knowledge of an event surrounding a show our family very much enjoys, I’m willing to be right and/or wrong in advance.)

Our Christmas seasons can be fraught with gift needs and wants, places to be, people to see. There are gifts wants and needs and people we would like to see, but no fraught (fret?). Not this year.

 

I grew up in a family with faults far too numerous to count and far too in the past now to dredge. But there were some really cool things, too, that I have chosen to carry into this moment in my life. Like the sincere appreciation for homemade gifts. So, many years I make some if not all of the gifts even when I know they are not appreciated. I had the recipient in mind through the process and so the gift is a piece of me on behalf of my family.

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This year there are not so many homemade things. I don’t know why. There just isn’t. And it’s OK. I’m not in the least bothered by it as I would have been in the past. I don’t know why. I’m OK with not knowing why.

 

My Husband comes about the holidays in a different way than I do. He likes to go and look a half dozen times and then pick up a few things here and there. Stealing a piece of a text with my Sister …

That’s a big part of what gets his mind in the right place for the holidays. Funny how I just want to be home and bake and make while he wants to be out and about. This year, for the first year, I am perfectly OK with whatever. I have no stress. So odd and awesome at the same time.

And I am OK with that. This year. Typically I get my granny panties all wadded up over it. Not this year. I don’t know why not this year, but not this year.

 

As I type this I am just laughing at myself. There is a brief squabble over what color the next loom band ornament should be. There is a science experiment debate over proper microscope management and there is a miniature schnauzer in desperate need of a good grooming on my lap. It’s comical. And I’m all good with that.

 

I am grateful for the odd and awesome.

Last week I sat in our local co-op grocery with three of the sweetest of friends. We listened to teens and tweens make their first attempt at a formal meeting. We listened to younger friends rambunctiously laugh their way through nearly every wobbly tall stool in the place. And I became overwhelmed.

Several physical challenges were wrapped around our family. All at once. Nothing life-altering. Nothing permanent. Yet I was overwhelmed.

Why?

I am sitting with a woman who has lost two loves. Lost them. They were taken from her. In an instant they were gone. I cannot comprehend.

I am sitting with a woman who will be central to the future of her parents. Precious parents. Parents who love to kiss one another and me. Parents who love their daughter with words and actions I cannot comprehend.

I am sitting with a woman whose steadfastness has bound her family with one another and in determination through the most devastating of challenges. She is the glue. I cannot comprehend the many months, years of wondering.

And my woes are temporary. I cannot honestly say I feel any guilt about my worry. I am concerned about my worry taking me. I am simply overwhelmed. But I was with friends. Sweet, honest, solid friends.

That evening, as I was pounded by the jacuzzi jets that ease the pains in my legs, I made a decision. I decided I am taking these physical challenges of my family’s. I am taking them. I am making them into the most sincere pause of Advent, Solstice, Winter’s Nature that I can. Not by doing, but by being.

And the treadmill I so badly want to be back up on … the walks on our trails covered in hickory nuts and dotted with mud pits? I am taking them, too. After all, I have been medically declared the most non-compliant patient in the county. Why disappoint?

I recently won Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold from Mymcbook’s blog giveaway. I am truly excited about this as it is 1.) aviation, 2.) gold, 3.) a female, and 4.) a red-head. WOOOhoooo!

This makes me want to learn more about how to do giveaways. Not that I could determine what was relevant to the miss-mash here … SO much fun!

Funny how posts that seem “fluffy” to me sometimes get some not-so-fluffy play.

 

Apparently there are folks from many walks that feel quite offended that my family enjoys Hanukkah and Christmas. And the mention of Samhain. Whoa. People of the World … relax.

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What is my faith? Mine. I believe in God and His Son, Christ Jesus. I have faith in Him as my Redeemer. Is it mysticism as assumed by one clever reader with an excellent, vocabulary. If it is mysticism, it is my mysticism.

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And if it is mysticism, I will add the faith and trust in my Husband to provide for our family into the mysticism column. And my faith and trust in my friends to hold my confidences into the mysticism column. And my faith and trust in the producers of the foods and supplies my family uses. And my faith and trust in the chair holding my tired legs into the mysticism column. Oh, wait. The last one was pure physics. The others are blind faith and unyielding trust, however.

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Whatever my faith is, it is mine. These children are here with us for this brief time. Will they be influenced by my faith? I cannot imagine how they could not be. As within any family. Am I confusing them with our learning about Nature and history and faith? No more than I am confusing them when I encourage them to eat fresh foods then serve them buttered pasta for dinner. (To my credit, the pasta was whole wheat, the pizza seasoning on it organic, and the parmesan fresh and local. Or was it? There goes my faith and trust [in the products I purchase] again.) Nor as confusing as when I expect them to hold their portion and then cave regardless of portions held. Kids are wise.

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They are kids. Why can’t they simply enjoy light? Why can they not simply enjoy light in this season of darkening days? Why can’t they simply celebrate light as the days lengthen and we begin to prepare for our outside time? Who cares if their joy is simply striking the match and watching the wick catch fire and then coating their fingertips in the warm wax? Who cares? I don’t.

 

I have faith that they are designed and made for their Nature of curiosity and learning in their own ways and in their own times.

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I have faith and trust in myself and in my Husband and in our children that this Advent we will enjoy and grow in our own faiths, in our own ways and in our own times by seeking light inside, outside, within. For me, the light is Christ. The light is God’s Nature. The light is a beautiful rhythm of life and death and light and darkness. The moment of living in the joy with light and the finding light within death and darkness. A constant circle. That is my faith.