Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful for puppies and kitties

I would be remiss if I didn’t share how thankful I am for the namesake of this blog.

Dino the Wonder Dog came into our lives in April 2007. We had lost Pepper and Shadow just three months before and at the time said to ourselves, as many dog owners do, we won’t get another dog. Isn’t it nice to not be tied down and have to worry about someone being home to let the dog out? Isn’t it nice to not have another mouth to feed, another critter to run up vet bills, another responsibility?

But that April things weren’t going so hot for the family. We spent the weekend in the hubby’s hometown and when he went for a walk one morning, he stopped at the humane society just a few blocks away. They had a few mixed breed dogs up for adoption and had just been told they would be getting St Bernard mix puppies soon. Maybe we wanted a puppy instead? (Or a pony, do you mean?)

One dog caught the hubby’s eye. They thought he was part Australian shepherd and was about six months old. He’d been abandoned with several other dogs, perhaps his brothers and sisters, and all of them had found homes. But no one had taken an interest in this dog for some reason, and one of the boys who volunteered there had nicknamed him Demon, because he was so wild.

The hubby walked back to the house and told me about the dog, said that we could return to the shelter later that afternoon if I wanted to see what they had. It was close to our daughter’s birthday, and she had been having a rough year. Maybe we should get her a dog.

My living room, the morning after Dino's first night with us.
 He spent that first night in his kennel and did this in the hour
after we let him out and went back to bed. 
We drove to the shelter that afternoon, and even though we looked at the other dogs, I knew this one was the one. Yes, he was a little wild, but that was just the pent-up energy from spending too many hours in a cage in a cement building. I wanted to take him home right then.

We had to fill out an application and they wanted to check our references. They would call us once all the paperwork was in order and we could pick him up then. It was a long weekend. I was off of work that week and willing to drive over to get him as soon as I got the call on Monday.

Since we already had cats with the names Fred, Pebbles, and Bam-Bam, it seemed we could stick with the Flintstone’s theme and name the new dog Dino.

I’ve been thankful for him ever since (ok, except maybe that first morning).

Let me just sneak the cats in here too, coz even though the brains in cats’ heads function on a totally different level from a dog’s, I still have to respect who they are. Coz if I don’t, they will retaliate.   

Here are the cats who have shared my adult life with me:

Keisha – October 1986 to February 2005

Pebbles – July 31, 1993 to January 28, 2008; Bam-Bam – July 31, 1993 to July 24, 2010

Fred – September 2004 to present

Barney – June 30, 2008 to March 20, 2009; Betty – June 30, 2008 to present

Alice – July 31, 2010 to present; Cheshire – July 31, 2010 to present

I’m thankful for the joy each of these cats have brought into my life.

And I should mention Muffins too. May 1991 to June 1995

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thankful for Family

Hard to believe that we are this far into November. I have been writing about what I am thankful for this month, and I better get serious about my list as I was only up to number 12 last time!

#13 Ok, since it is lucky thirteen, she will understand. I am thankful every day of my life that God sent my sister Pat to be my best friend for 39 years. But actually since she was here first, I guess I should be thankful that God sent me into my particular family when Pat was two and a half years old and totally ready to be a devoted big sister. Not a day passes that I don’t miss her, but I know we will be together again someday and I am just as thankful that I will have that opportunity to again be her baby sister.

#14 My other big sister, Judy. Because she is quite a bit older than me, I don’t remember her living with us. But I do remember her wedding, when I was six years old. I thought it was pretty cool. I’m thankful though that now that we are older, we have more things in common, and we can be friends in addition to being sisters.

#15 My brother Tom. I can’t tell you why I am thankful for him. Judy knows why, and my hubby too. Family secrets, don’t you just hate them? I can tell you that I am thankful that he has a family picnic every summer. It brings out the whole family, kids, grandkids and cousins. It is always a good time.

#16 My dad. What can I say about Dad? Too much to list here. I can’t believe he’s been gone 21 years!

 #17 My mom. Ok if I can’t think of anything quick and witty about Dad, I sure can’t come up with something about Mom. I’m thankful that I had two parents who managed to turn out four pretty decent kids. I can’t in all honesty say they were always there for us, but they were always there when we really needed them. I guess that’s what’s important.

Ok, whew, I got through the immediate family. What’s next? 

(Disclosure: Because there may be someone in my family with an aversion to having their picture taken, you only get to see pictures of those who are no longer with us.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Psalm 26

1 Lord, you be the judge and prove that I have lived a pure life.
    I have depended on you, Lord, to keep me from falling.
2 Look closely at me, Lord, and test me.
    Judge my deepest thoughts and emotions.
3 I always remember your faithful love.
    I depend on your faithfulness.
4 I don’t run around with troublemakers.
    I have nothing to do with hypocrites.
5 I hate being around evil people.
    I refuse to join those gangs of crooks.
6 Lord, I wash my hands to make myself pure,
    so that I can come to your altar.
7 I sing a song to give you thanks,
    and I tell about all the wonderful things you have done.
8 Lord, I love the house where you live,
    the place where your glory is.
9 Lord, don’t treat me like one of those sinners.
    Don’t kill me with those murderers.
10 They are guilty of cheating people.
    They take bribes to do wrong.
11 But I am innocent,
    so be kind to me and save me.
12 I am safe from all danger
    as I stand here praising you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
(Easy-to-Read Version)

For the month of November I am sharing Psalms which contain the word thanks or thanksgiving. Psalm 26 is called a psalm of vindication, as David pleads his case before God. Yet David was as big a sinner as anyone, as you may recall from the whole Bethsheba story (2 Samuel 11).

But I don’t think we should read this Psalm thinking of these as David’s words. They should be our words. If we have committed any of these sins (or any other sins, of which we each have a long list), all we have to do is ask for God’s forgiveness and those sins are washed away. Then all that is left is for us to thank and praise God for His goodness.  
After you read 2 Samuel 11, you'll know why I thought of this picture, even though there is no one on this roof top. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Running the gamut of thanks

The weather forecast for this past Monday morning through Tuesday night called for up to 20 inches of snow. By four p.m. Monday, when there was maybe four to six inches of new snow on the ground, and nothing seemed to be coming out of the sky, I thought that once again those weathermen were just pulling our leg.

February 29, 2012, 8:00 am, on the main drag of town
Then I woke up Tuesday morning and thought, “oh, nuts.” I haven’t been able to take many pictures of this new snow, but here is the blizzard of Leap Day 2012. This week’s snow wasn’t that bad but this is the kind of snowfall potential we can look forward to in the Northwoods.

For the month of November I am writing about the 30 things I am thankful for. Right now, I am thankful for snowblowers, snowplows, graders, tractors and anything else which moves the snow out of my way making it easier for me and all the people around me to get where they are going in a safe manner.
Found a picture of hubby snowblowing that day.

But that is only the ninth item on my list. I seem to be running behind as it is the 13th of November already.

I am also thankful that I have a warm house to live in on these snowy days. I shouldn’t even mention this for fear of jinxing myself, but when we first moved into this house, it had an old oil burning furnace. Our first major investment was getting a new furnace, but that one never seemed to run right. For a couple of years, it felt as if I was calling the furnace repair guy a couple times each winter. I don’t remember what happened, but the furnace finally started working reliably and the house has stayed warm. Or it would stay warm if I wasn’t too cheap to turn the thermostat up past 66 degrees (that’s warm enough outside in the summer and besides, I am also thankful for sweatshirts and blankies. But I will stick with just the warm house as item number 10).
My house all snug in winter. And thankful for snow-rakes too.

I’m going to throw out to you two more things and call it a day. Number 11 would be the best well water anywhere. One of the reasons that hubby never wants to move is because he is afraid he will never find water this good. He’s probably right, but I would still like to at least try the water at other houses that have newer kitchens or – never mind, my kitchen is the only thing I would change about my house.

I digress. Last of all I am thankful today for where all that delicious water goes after we are done with it. We had to replace our septic in 2008. The yard looked like a mine-field a week before our daughter’s graduation party, but hey, once the new septic was in all was well. And I don’t have to worry about the waste backing up into my bathtub. (Have you been THERE? Yuck!)
The view outside my office window, with the septic cover visible on Sunday.
Oops, septic cover no longer visible Tuesday morning. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thankful for Freedom

Today is Veteran’s Day. As I write my 30 days of thanks this month, it is a no-brainer what I am thankful for today.

Since the Revolutionary War, tens of thousands of men and women have fought for our freedom, have fought so that we can retain our God-given rights, have fought so that we can sleep easy at night, can earn a decent living doing work that we enjoy, can spend leisure time with family and friends, can practice the religion we choose. I think of all the things we have in the United States the one thing we take most for granted is our freedoms.

Then I look at all the things going on in this world, the things happening right here at home, and I feel there are those who are deliberately trying to take our freedoms away from us. They are devious and cunning, they aren’t bold and in our faces. Instead they are insidious, silent, predatory. I don’t think they plan on waging the kind of war we are prepared for. Our Service men and women prepare for physical battle, with physical weapons, weapons that kill and maim bodies, not weapons that kill and maim souls.

And so, I’m thankful for what I have right now. I won’t take it for granted. I’ll try to be strong, try to defend my personal freedoms and the freedoms of those I love. I’ll support our troops in the battles that they wage, but the rest I will just have to turn over to God.

In the meantime, semper fi.
Last I must also share Ben's story one more time. Click here. 
I also want to tell you about a book two of our friends wrote, "Dear Laura" by Dave Baltes and Gordon Lovsletten. It is going on sale today here in Tomahawk, or you can send for a copy. Read the article in today's Tomahawk Leader. 
(which wasn't on line when I posted this, but keep checking.)  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Psalm 9

1 I will give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart.
    I will tell about all the miracles you have done.
2 I will find joy and be glad about you.
    I will make music to praise your name, O Most High.
3 When my enemies retreat, they will stumble and die in your presence.
4 You have defended my just cause:
    You sat down on your throne as a fair judge.
5         You condemned nations.
        You destroyed wicked people.
        You wiped out their names forever and ever.
6 The enemy is finished—in ruins forever.
    You have uprooted their cities.
        Even the memory of them has faded.
7 Yet, the Lord is enthroned forever.
    He has set up his throne for judgment.
8 He alone judges the world with righteousness.
    He judges its people fairly.
9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust you, O Lord,
    because you have never deserted those who seek your help.

Psalm 9:1-10 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Looking at the world around us today, listening to the news, one wonders if God is still thumping our enemies like He used to. Maybe that is because we aren’t living out verse 10. I will continue to be thankful that God is in my personal life and will continue to pray that He keeps me and my loved ones safe from the wicked. 
Lest we forget the Holocaust 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thankful for Trees

For the month of November I am blogging about all of the things I am thankful for. I hope that no one minds that today I am also blogging for A Personal Photo Challenge. Yes, I am multitasking.

The Photo Challenge for November was “Trees”. How can I not be thankful for the beautiful trees in my yard.

(I played with the colors on this one.)
I took all of these pictures one October morning with my Nikon Coolpix S8100. I must admit that I am thankful for this great little camera. Easy to use, small, and I have beat it up pretty bad over the years, even forgot it in my pocket when I went in wadding up to my waist in Lake Superior. I am pretty sure the instructions said not to submerse it. Then there was the day I blogged about here, yet it keeps working for me.