Wednesday, December 19, 2012

God & Country

I love God.

I love my country.

That being said, I prefer to live my life quietly. I wear neither my religion nor my patriotism on my sleeve.

I pray for myself and my fellow man. I participate in the events of a local church and attend services regularly.

I fly the flag of the United States of America on a staff at my house. I vote when called upon to do so. I rail against the tendencies of my government to interfere in the aspects of my life where I feel it has no place.

Normally I don’t say much to anyone about either of these particular aspects of my life as I find them both to be quite polarizing for most people. However, events of this past week have had many of the friends in my social media circle screaming about both God and government to the point that I can no longer deny my own strong feelings.

Many are saying the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary happened because our government has kicked God out of our schools. Really? I think that might be crediting our government with more power than it really has. God is in our schools. God is everywhere we are. Contrary to popular belief, God is all powerful, not the US government. If the parents of the children attending our schools have done their jobs and taught their children to love God, then God is with them everywhere they go.

As far as our government allowing or not allowing God in our schools? What does that mean? He’s already there. What the complaint really is is the fact that our government doesn’t allow corporate prayer in our schools. I am OK with that. My son loves God and Jesus. His faith allows him to pray and live a joyful life. Someone else’s child may call God by another name such as Allah or Buddha and have a true love for their faith that gives their life peace and joy. Who am I and who is the US government to deny them that?

This country was based on freedoms and freedom of religion tops the list.

The problem with giving our government the ability to put God in our schools is: whose god should they put in? Yours? Mine? Theirs? Even those of us who call ourselves Christian can’t agree on God.

Some of us believe He is all things to all people and no matter what name He is called, He answers. Others, who also call themselves Christians by the way, believe God is . . . well, to be honest, I don’t know what they believe except that they seem to want us all to conform to their beliefs. In my mind this is not a reasonable expectation. If that’s the god they are wanting in the schools, even I, who call God, God, have a problem with that.

Do I believe God was in Sandy Hook Elementary last week? Yes. I do. My God was there. Weeping at the senseless tragedy of it all. Knowing it was going to happen before the event occurred. Knowing He was going to be called upon to pick up the pieces. Knowing, even as He did in the beginning, the free will He had given His people was going to break His heart. He was there to gather all those souls to Him and take them home.

Was your god there? If not, why not? Because the all-powerful United States government told him to stay away? Do you even know how ridiculous that sounds?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1 can chicken broth
1 can water
3 med potatoes, chopped
3 med carrots, chopped
3 c chopped cauliflower
½ c chopped onion
1 t minced garlic
1 t marjoram
½ t dill weed
½ t black pepper
5 T flour
1 c milk
1 c cream
6 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1½-2 c cooked, cubed ham

    Simmer first ten ingredients until vegetables are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Combine milk, cream and flour until smooth. Add to vegetable mixture and cook and stir 2 minutes until thickened. Reduce heat and add cheese and ham. Heat through and serve.
    Throw all ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on low, stirring somewhat frequently. Should take about 7-8 hours give or take. When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, eat it up!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I am not a vet, but I play one on TV

At about 9:30 last night we discovered Malcolm, Liam’s cat, had a sore leg. Liam came downstairs and said, “Mom, Malcolm is hopping on three legs.” I went up to check and sure enough, his left front leg was all swollen and so tender he ‘bout ripped my head off when I probed it a little.

So off to the vet clinic this morning we went. The veterinarian diagnosed him with cellulitis. This is just a sort of non-specific inflammation. At this point there is no clear abscess, so nothing to lance. He sent us home with a bottle of antibiotic.

So I’m preparing to give this amazingly strong 11 pound cat this medicine. I’m supposed to give him 3 ml a day until the bottle is empty.


I pull the dropper from the bottle and discover it is marked with 12.5 and 25 mg. I have no idea how this translates to ml. As I am pondering this, with the damn cat tucked under my arm. He wildly swings a paw and sends the little bottle of medicine flying. Now the carpet and toy box in Liam’s room are covered with icky sticky medicine. There is none in the cat and none in the bottle.

My work here is done. Goal accomplished. The bottle is empty.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Things I love

Finding the joy in life right now is a bit of a struggle. It is temporary, I’m sure, but at times like these it is very difficult to write anything anyone would want to read. No one tunes in here to have their day brought down into the very depths.

Things are happening.

I have discovered the truth in the saying: “The ox is slow, but the earth is patient.” Now if only I could be. Patient, that is.

We put our house on the market a couple weeks ago. No one has even looked at it yet. I suppose I was too optimistic if I thought it would sell in nine days like our neighbor’s place did. Average time on the market is much longer than that. I was hoping we might get lucky although I should know better. Real estate is stressful.

A friend of mine composes a list of 10 things she loves every Thursday. I so admire her for this as here lately the things I love are buried under a heap of difficulties and I can’t even think of one. I’m sure at times hers are, too, but she is pretty faithful to the effort each week.

So in an effort to improve my outlook, here goes:

- My sewingroom. We have placed almost every personal item we own in storage in preparation for showing the house. Only two rooms were not stripped bare, our son’s bedroom and my sewingroom. I told the realtor I would be willing to repaint it, but until we get an offer, that room has to function for me.
 - The flexibility, openness and acceptance we find in our church and pastor. My soul can be at rest there again.

- Our puppy, Finn. He is cute as a button and completely rotten. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who loves him. He barks. He digs. He steals Liam’s toys and takes them out into the yard. At times he is so bad I feel guilty for ever bringing him home in the first place, and I’m sure my husband will make me pay for it forever, but I do love the little blighter.
- My work. I am jumping these days a bit more than I would like, but I do love what I do.

- Our son, Liam. He “graduated” from preschool this week and got and award for being most respectful and honest. We are very proud.
- My car, Sally. She is a 2003 Mustang Convertible. V6. Sonic Blue. Loaded. Prior to Liam coming along, she was my baby and I still love driving this car.
- My husband. I love this man with all my heart and it is a constant and pleasant surprise to me that he seems to love me, too.
- Spending time on the deck. We have a beautiful outside space on the back of our house. If it ever does sell, it’s what I am likely to miss the most.

- The green and coolness of these beautiful spring days.

- Friends, old and new, who love us enough to make an effort to spend time with us when we are in their vicinity. Looking forward to tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Little dog you are loved

We have had to face an unwelcome truth this week: our little dog is failing.

Mufasa joined our family in December 1997. He was a 2.3 pound ball of fluff. My husband did not want a dog, but I really, really did. I talked CJE into letting me bring him home with me on a trial run one weekend. He never left. The tiny ball of fluff grew, not much, but some. I think the most he has ever weighed was 6½ pounds. CJE has often called him a “dog-lit,” because he is like a dog, only smaller. He became a sweet, mostly well-mannered little dog. Small enough to be a lap dog, he is altogether cuddly and adorable.
He has been part of our family and a great little dog. He’s quiet and he doesn’t shed. Those have been two huge factors in his favor over the years. He has been attached to me for 14 years. I made a pillow to fit the corner of my serger table and when I am sewing he sleeps right there under my elbow. When I am in my office he sleeps in the wing-backed chair behind me. At night he sleeps in his basket on the floor by my side of the bed. Unless he gets cold. Then he begs to get up on the bed, and slips under the comforter, not the sheet, just the comforter, between CJE and I. If I am in my recliner, he is too. If I get up he follows me. When he can’t find me in the house, he panics and runs from room to room until he locates me.

Last fall he bit our son, Liam. He didn’t mean to and he wasn’t being vicious. Liam startled him, and as Mufasa can’t see or hear anymore, he just lashed out. We have worked with Liam over the winter to not scare the dog, to be nice to the dog, to put a hand on the dog first so he knows you are there and that problem, while not going away, has gotten better.

Unfortunately my sweet little dog has become rather defiant about not going outside to potty. He doesn’t have much fur and hates the cold and wet. So this winter, rather than go outside to potty, he has been sneaking around all over the house to do it. We have had a pet door for several years and he knows how to get himself in and out, he just refuses to do it. This past week has been worse than ever as he has done it twice now right in front of me. I have to be constantly on alert. If he jumps down off my lap I have to watch him like a hawk to make sure he goes outside. I have to leash him to the bed at night so he will wake me if he tries to go anywhere. If I am leaving the house for even 2 minutes I have to kennel him.

I have spent much of the past several days in tears. This is not what I want, and perhaps if I had enough money to throw at the problem, it would go away. However, I feel that would be a lot like putting a Band-aid on a bullet wound. He is 14 years old, the issues are going to keep coming.

The poor little thing can no longer see or hear. This gives him no opportunity to obey. What I want or need him to do no longer matters. I have no way of getting across to him these desires.

As he has indeed been my constant companion for 14 years, this is not a decision I have come to lightly. We will all be devastated and miss him terribly. I feel just horrible about it, but in the end his quality of life has become the determining factor. He now lives in an almost constant and complete state of confusion. He doesn’t understand why he can no longer be loose in the house to come and go as he pleases and because we cannot get anything across to him, he no longer obeys and then subsequently is in trouble.

It has become a matter of trust.

CJE and I have agreed I will spend this coming weekend with my dog. I will give Mufasa a bath and walk him and assure him that he is loved.

CJE says: “Are you sure?”

Well, I both am and I’m not. I’m not simply because I just don’t want to do this at all. I am because I really want my memories of Mufasa to be happy ones. I don’t want the sweet memories of what a great little dog he has been completely colored over by the problems he is having and creating now.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"String too short to use"

10) A good friend sent me a book to read. I read it. I didn’t care for it and have reasons why I didn’t. I do appreciate her sending the book. Do I give her my honest opinion about the book? Or do I just send it back with no comment?

9) We are in the process of mucking out and putting half of our belongings into storage. I know it is true for most everyone, but still it surprises me the accumulation of stuff we have. We are donating piles and piles to a local thrift store, but still there is a lot for storage.

8) Made a cute little round purse in my sewingroom recently. It is a pattern I want to use for one of my five this year. I found the pattern to be a bit tricky as by the time you get to the final seams that attach the front and back to the sides the overall thickness is considerable. I am now studying the pattern to determine if there is a better way to finish the purse and avoid this unwieldy thickness.

7) January is finally over. January is always a crazy-busy month for me and this year was no exception. I actually think it was crazier than ever before, or maybe my memory is failing. Between having almost a whole week of snow days and trying to keep up with my four-year old, I have reached the end of January both mentally and physically exhausted. And, unfortunately, no real recovery time in sight. Damn.

6) I hope my faithful readers, if I have any, haven’t completely given up on me. I know it has been a long time since I have written anything. I read several blogs that are shared. First one person writes and then another, so the blog has new postings every day but no one person has to be on top of the ball each and every day. Hummm. Something to think about, although I don’t share all that well.

5) They tell me the groundhog will come out tomorrow and have a look around. I wouldn’t mind a shorter winter this year, so can we get that message to ol’ Pace Picante Phil?

4) My son is rapidly outgrowing his toddler bed. This breaks my heart as his Granddad, my dad, made it for him. Dad died 3½ years ago and Liam only remembers him because we show him pictures and talk to him about his Granddad. We are putting the bed in storage, but I wish we didn’t have to. He is growing so very fast.

3) Just going to give a little nibble about the new quilt I started. Naturally it is for Liam’s soon to be new twin bed. This quilt is a step out of my coordinated-color comfort zone. It is quite unique and I am having loads of fun with it. I have started a blog entry to tell more about it and post some pictures. Stay tuned. Aren’t I a tease?

2) I am doing the pay-it-forward on facebook again this year. I had so much fun with it last year, I just had to do it again. I only have one person from last year that managed to get on again this year, so I have an almost  whole new crop of friends to make something homemade for. I have ideas and two projects cut out already. Yea!

1) If you could have known someone as a child that you now know, who would it be?