Jesus bracelet

Posted by on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

My little friend Jesus that I met 3 years ago in Panajachel, Guatemala is still around, selling his hand-embroidered postcards and assorted bracelets.

I love seeing his sweet smile and hearing his stories of what he’s been doing. He works very hard each day to make enough money to go to school – and he LOVES school! We invited him to join us for breakfast each day we were there, at least getting one hot meal in his belly for those days.

This year I bought a bundle of woven bracelets from him and went around the table, making sure each of us had one firmly secured on our wrists. When I returned to my seat, he tied one on my wrist – where it still is at this very moment. I haven’t removed it and have no intention of doing so. I hope it lasts all year until I see him again!

I find that it matches beautifully with everything!

Filed in Life,Me,On the road again,Randomness | 3 dorito bits so far

Walking Stick

Posted by on Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Last night I dreamed that I was riding in the back of a truck (something that is commonly done in Guatemala – where I was last week, although I sat INSIDE the truck) and on the side of the road I saw a walking stick insect that had a leash in it’s mouth. On the other end of the leash was a small black and white puppy. In my dream, I said, “STOP THE TRUCK” so I could hop out and take photos of it. Of course, the walking stick bug outsmarted me by stepping into the lush greenery on the side of the road. It and the puppy disappeared into the foliage.

Now, in the harsh light of day, I realize that is totally unrealistic. Wonder what it means?

Filed in Randomness,Weirdness in my world | One dorito bit so far

Blue sky sadness

Posted by on Friday, September 14th, 2012

I attended the funeral of an 18 year old this week. He was a local boy – a phenomenal baseball player who had just started college a few weeks ago on a baseball scholarship. He died in an automobile accident, on the way to a party with friends.

As I stood outside the funeral home, under brilliant blue skies with white fluffy clouds, I looked into the grieving faces of all the teens and twenty-somethings in attendance. I could only wonder how they will handle the grief at their tender age? I am wayyy older and I can’t hardly do it. It never makes sense to me when someone so young dies – I know God has a plan for everything and for whatever reason, it was this boys’ time. My head knows that but my heart…. that’s another story.  As I heard his mom sobbing, as she was being led to the car for the trip to the graveside service, I found myself feeling as if I was underwater – totally immersed in a wave of her anguish as she passed in front of where we were standing.

I haven’t been able to shake the feeling ever since that day. From somewhere deep within me, a truth has surfaced. I realize I have been …. not ungrateful…. but maybe…… less grateful than I should be.

Lately, every direction I turn, I find a friend going through something painful and difficult – a failing marriage, a life-threatening illness, financial struggles, death of a loved one…. the list is endless. My heart just hurts for them. All I can do to help is to pray, pray, pray for them.

But on the other hand, I HAVE to remember to be present in the moment – this moment – and be grateful for all that I’m blessed with. I’ve been so bogged down with this feeling of helplessness since my wrist surgery – everything is off-kilter since I am not working, not doing things as I normally would. My natural reaction when things feel out of my control is to turn inward, feeling very “woe is me” and sorry for myself. It’s such a selfish reaction – I know this. And yet, it happens. It’s an ugly thing to admit. But there it is.

Filed in Life,Me,Randomness | 2 dorito bits so far

Color me happy!

Posted by on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Sucre` and Simba

These two cutie pies joined the family on June 22nd. They are so much fun to watch as they play and wrestle. After losing Shadow, they sure have eased my heartache. Beebo and Luby each picked one and named him. It’s the first time my daughters have had a kitten and lemme tell ya, they are LOVING it!

Filed in Funny Faces,Kids,Randomness | 2 dorito bits so far

How time flies

Posted by on Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted anything here. It’s not for lack of desire, believe me….more from lack of ability. Some of you are already aware of the wrist problem I’ve been having for many months. After much pain, I finally visited the doctor. An MRI revealed a torn TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex) in my wrist. This is a triangular shaped ligament that sits between the wrist bones and the ulna and radius. It was torn away from my ulna – and had evidently been like that for  a while, which allowed my ulna to migrate forward, toward my hand. Because of this, as I worked, typed, cooked, crocheted, or carried around my camera…the ulna was banging against the wrist bones – causing excruciating pain.

The decision was made that I needed surgical intervention. Of course, as a dental hygienist, I book patients at 6 month intervals so in order for me to be off work for the recovery period, I had to find fill-in hygienists to cover my patient load. Long story short, although I found out at the first of February that I needed surgery, I had to schedule it for July 3rd.

Over the last few months of work, I had to wear a brace to restrict wrist movement. By the end of each day, I was spending lots of time wrapping my wrist in ice and taking NSAIDS on a regular basis. After much thought and prayer, I had to come to the ultimate decision to eliminate all non-essential wrist activity. Therefore, no crocheting. (although I’ve looked longingly at my yarn stash a million times!) No photography. (which I miss SO much!) And…no blogging (which was the hardest of all!!)

But now, I’m in the recovery phase!! Surgery was 2 weeks ago today – and although I am typing with my left hand only, as my cast will be on for much longer….I just had to say Hi!!

In order to create enough space to repair the torn TFCC, I had an ulnar shortening. Which means he sawed my bone in half and removed a piece – and then placed a metal plate and 7 screws to hold it together until it heals.

I have much to tell you, and I look forward to hunting and pecking it out! I mean, I am off work after all…. what else have I got to do??

Filed in Life,Me | 3 dorito bits so far

Saying goodbye

Posted by on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Mr. Lucky and I got married in September 1994. The following summer, right around the 4th of July, we went to visit my sister who had moved to Lexington from Cuba, where she’d been living with her husband and kids. As per usual, Cuba was experiencing some unrest at the time and military dependents were sent back to the States for their protection. Her husband had to stay there to finish out his tour of duty so she came to Ky with two kids and a few cats.

The day we arrived, she introduced us to her cats and pointed out one that was sleeping on her couch didn’t really live there – he was just visiting. I laughed and questioned what she meant. Apparently within just a few days of her moving in to the rental house she was to be in until their next assignment came through – a stray male cat showed up, looking for a warm spot to snuggle. She knew she couldn’t keep yet another cat, in case they had to leave the States again on their next assignment. So she said, “Why don’t you take him home with YOU?”

After begging Mr. Lucky, my oldest daughter Suki (who was about 9 at that time) and I managed to get him to agree to bring the cat home with us. We named him Shadow and he immediately fit right in with our small family. We actually had plans to go camping the very first weekend he was here so after much discussion… we decided to take him with us. (Who takes a cat camping?)

We set up our tent and started a fire and settled in to play some games. The first few hours he paroled the area around our campsite, never getting out of our sight for long – almost as if he was making sure we weren’t planning to leave him there. He finally settled in for a nap nearby and that night, slept right in the tent with us. I knew by the end of the weekend that he was going to be a great pal to have around.

Over the years, I’d laugh at his casual attitude toward us. He would sit on the arm of the chair I was in or on the headrest (with his tail flipping around and whacking me in the face occasionally) but never in my lap. I could pick him up and snuggle him in my arms for a few minutes and he tolerated it with a calm reserve, but when I’d set him back down, he’d shake his fur out and give me an expression of disgust – something we began to call his “stink face” – a look that clearly said he was annoyed with us. He had the personality of a true cat – independent, calm, aloof, and often, downright invisible. Oh, he was around – just usually off asleep somewhere until he got hungry!

There was a point in time a few years after we brought him home that he just vanished. I hung “Lost Cat” signs all over our neighborhood and called the vets office, hoping someone would find him and turn him in. He was wearing a collar and a rabies tag – surely they’d know he had a home. Months and months passed. I mourned him, as if he were dead and gone.

Finally, one day out of the blue, the vets office DID call – saying he’d been located about 5 miles away. A family had been feeding him for several weeks and when the woman’s young son had tried to pick him up, Shadow had bit the boy on the cheek. Suddenly it became urgent for the woman to find the owner, so she was tracking us by the rabies tag on his collar. (Which she should have done in the first place, duh.) During the months he’d been missing, his rabies tag had expired so I guess she was worried about her boy – rightfully so – but it really annoyed me that she’d been feeding my cat for weeks, without ever bothering to find out who his family was until he did something wrong!

The vet advised me to carefully go pick him up – in case he had been exposed to a rabid animal… mainly because I kept saying that it didn’t sound like him to BITE someone. I was worried that he might be half crazed out of his mind with illness! I drove out to the woman’s house with a can of tuna and my pet carrier. I opened the can of tuna and set it inside the carrier as I rounded the corner to the back of the house, as I was told he was laying on the back porch. My plan was just to lure him into the carrier with food and quickly close the door, thinking if he was sick and biting people – I didn’t want to be next!! (I was about 8 months pregnant with Beebo at the time and was afraid to risk her health or mine if he was sick).

As soon as I came around the house, he took one look at me and jumped up, purring loudly and ran toward me. In moments he was rubbing all over my legs in his joy to see me. I knew at a glance he was NOT sick at all – but I still put him in the carrier and brought him home, mainly because the woman was glaring at me with an evil eye – as if it was my fault.  Within minutes of arriving home with him, a man from the Department of something-something showed up, needing to check him out since he had bitten the child and the parents had reported it. I ended up keeping Shadow in a cage for 10 days, the quarantine period, to ensure he was NOT sick – which is the state requirement when an animal has bitten someone and there is no proof of proper rabies vaccination. In our case, we had proof – it had just expired since he’d been gone for so long. The man returned on the 10th day to see him and said, “Let the poor guy out of there. He definitely used up one of his 9 lives on this ordeal!”

I went that very day and got his shots updated.

Shadow never wandered away for long after that, thank goodness. Even though sometimes he’d disappear overnight. I’d always fuss at him, telling him he better not be using up all of his lives, out there – running the roads. I kept asking him if he had a lady-friend somewhere he’d go visit but he sure never was one to kiss and tell. :)

As he mellowed in his old age, he realized sitting in my lap was actually pretty warm and snugly. It reached the point where he wouldn’t sit anywhere but IN your lap, if at all possible. It was kind of funny to watch him change so much as he got old.

We always counted the 4th of July as his birthday – since that was the weekend we brought him home – although the vet estimated him to be 2 years old when he came to live with us. So this July, he would have been 19 years old. That’s really old for a cat, huh? I think it is, anyway.

On Friday, May 4th – my sweet boy ran out of his 9 lives. Over recent months, he had been showing signs of losing his hearing. And Mr. Lucky swears up and down Shadow was losing his mind – wandering through the house bellowing at the top of his lungs. He’d wake me from a dead sleep by meowing so loud I thought someone was screaming!

Here comes the hardest part to say……

I killed him.

He was asleep under my van. I didn’t know, of course. I came out of the house to go pick up my daughters from school. He often slept under the van but he always heard the front screen door open and close and he’d come out from under the van, stretching and yawning. On his final day, I’d even opened the sliding doors on my van to empty out some trash and closed them back. He never came out so I never, not even for a moment, thought about him being under there.

Until I started backing up and heard a big THUMP.

And then I saw him – it was as if he jumped up to run and couldn’t – instead his poor body flipped around a few times, until he collapsed on his side. I ran to him, touching him, petting his side, screaming prayers. It was awful. I knew there was a small blanket in the van, I’d just seen it. I ran back to get it and picked him up, laying him on the blanket. I saw three droplets of blood fall from his mouth as I moved him. Before I could even get my brain wrapped around what had just happened, he took a final shuttering breath and left this earth.

I have cried until I can’t cry any more. I feel overwhelmed with guilt. I know he was old and he lived a good life and I knew his days were numbered – they’d have to be for a 19 year old cat. But never, EVER,  in my wildest dreams, did I think that sweet boy would die at MY HAND.

I love you, sweet boy. Please forgive me.

Filed in Life,Me | 9 dorito bits so far

Oh how He loves me

Posted by on Saturday, April 14th, 2012

I don’t know how He does it. There’s a LOT of bad stuff going on in the world and yet God still has time to answer my stupid prayers…. and with such a sense of humor too. He is ever so patient with me – when I ask for the same things over and over and over…. and only because I can’t remember His answer from the previous fifty times.

Sounds cryptic, huh? Let me explain.

Marriage is hard sometimes. I love my Mr. Lucky but I swear, sometimes I’d like to just jerk a knot in his tail. (And I’m quite sure the feeling is mutual at times.) But here’s the thing: he is consistent. He always responds to things in the same consistent manner, with patience and calmness. I, on the other hand, am usually wigging-out which makes his calmness infuriating!

Sometimes we get so darn busy in our lives outside the home, that we forget about each other a little. I mean, I know he’s here and I’m here – but we are not always nurturing each other emotionally or spiritually. I tend to be the one that gets bent out of shape when this happens because…. well…. because evidently I am needy.

There. I said it.

I like to be hugged and touched and reminded that I am the object of his love. Nothing brings me more peace than the simple act of cuddling close to each other in our sleep – which is something we both do unconsciously during the night (unless I’m having a hot flash – then heavens, don’t TOUCH ME!) I mean, I KNOW he loves me but sometimes I just want him to SHOW it a little! Take me out to dinner. Call me for no reason. Give me the undivided attention that the newspaper gets each evening. Do the dishes without having to be badgered into it. I mean, seriously – is there anything more attractive then a man doing the dishes WITHOUT being asked??

So a few days ago, I found myself praying, something like this:

Dear Lord, please help me to not kill him. I know and have thanked you many times for sending Mr. Lucky into my life when I thought there weren’t any good men left out there. I know I need patience and to be less angry and resentful of his work or the newspaper, both of which occupy much of his time. Lord I just ask that you help me to either be at peace with things the way they are between us or that you light a fire under his feet. So I don’t. Amen.

The next day, as I woke up, I swear I heard these words in my head:

My child, you are silly. Haven’t I told you over and over that no one responds to a prickly cactus? If you want to be shown love then you have to show love. If you want him to touch and hug you, then quit being grumpy with him. Step up to the plate and BE what you want in return.

I brooded over it all day. I am really good at being a prickly cactus, evidently. I alternated between thinking about running away (chickens’ way out) or just attacking him with hugs when he walked in the door. I did neither.

But at some point during the night, I found myself practically on his side of the bed, snuggled up nice and tight to him. Apparently my sleeping self was tired of being a cactus, even if my brain wasn’t. He noticed, asking if I’d gotten cold during the night. Yeah, that was it. Guilty as charged. Ha.

The next day, we ended up at dinner together. Alone, as the girls were at a game. Which practically never happens. Followed by a night of sleeping, during which he rolled to me and wrapped his arm around me in his sleep. I laid in the dark, smiled to myself – thinking that once again the Lord answered my prayers and gently reminded me (yet again) that I am as much responsible for the success or failure of our marriage as Mr. Lucky. I am so far from perfect that it’s not even funny…. and yet half the time, I can only see what he’s doing wrong. What is WRONG with me??? Why can’t I see how my own actions and behavior directly affect his actions and behavior?

I am so very thankful that the Lord reminds me I am accountable. And I am thankful that my Mr.Lucky is ever so patient and calm during all my crazy ups and downs. Even if half the time he is unaware of just how deep my inner struggle runs.

Filed in Hubby,Life,Me | 4 dorito bits so far

What was he thinking?

Posted by on Monday, March 5th, 2012

In a rare moment of stupidity…. my husband did this:

He meant to burn the overgrown brush at the side of our house.

Not what I would have recommended but he meant to do that part…. seriously.

But for the fire to flare up quickly and melt the vent to the crawl space under the house? That was an accident. And unexpected.

What a goofball! It made me laugh because it was so unlike him… to not even consider the possibility!

That being said…. I don’t think I’ll leave him unattended with gasoline around any time soon.

Filed in Around the house,Hubby,Just plain funny,Randomness,Things that crack me up | 2 dorito bits so far

Sweet Santos

Posted by on Sunday, March 4th, 2012

I got this sweet picture from Santos  (the cutie pie boy I sponsor to attend school in Guatemala) and the words written on it are precious:

Translates to say:

Dear Godmother,

I am very grateful with you for the gifts that you sent me.  I thank you with all my heart for being so special with me and because you have helped me a lot.  I will always be grateful with you, may God bless you.

My guess would be – someone helped him…. those are some pretty grown up letters he formed on his paper for a first grader…. not to  mention, how he’d know how to spell those words if someone didn’t help? But the sentiment is precious!

By the way, I understood them to tell me that madrina meant “sponsor” but maybe it means “godmother” ?

Filed in Kids,Life,Me,Randomness | One dorito bit so far

Choose Kindness

Posted by on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

My best friend has a heart of gold.

She really and truly does…….

I am honored just to know her and call her “friend”.

But then, to know she is my BEST friend – the one I can always count on,

no matter what,

is just nearly unbelievable.

I am beyond blessed.

Go here and read this post.

You’ll see just how AWESOME she is!

There is a handy dandy little PayPal button at the bottom of the post that says DONATE.

Click on it if you’d like to help her.

I did!

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Filed in Life,Randomness | 3 dorito bits so far

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