Ready Or Not

Life happens

Thoughts following my album from 21 years ago

Today is a mental battle day. It is common for these days when I am also fighting my right to breathe. Yesterday my asthma snuck up on me after a warm bath. i did not even know my breathing was labored. It become so shallow that I blacked out twice. I sent my dog out to “find dad” and convince dad that I was in need. (She simply went back and forth until he followed her.

That’s another one of those problems with living in a glorified hallway. Someone in the back eighty can holler all lungs depleted and the front room occupant will never hear a thing. On a couple of past occasions people have come to the front door and i never knew knew they came. Of course, for me being in the back end and partially deaf does not help much for the matter.

Anyways, asthma is like that for me. Sometimes it catches me off guard. My trusty Honey was sticky enough that her “find dad” worked and the nebulizer was administered. I lived.

This picture below was taken in November after Coca’s bi-monthly nail trimming. We were teasing that we could paint his nails pink. It seemed to lighten the mood and make Isabelle less scared. Until Coca tried to tast her little boots. The moment was funny to me, not so much to the two year old.

So this morning, once again the air pump was used before the days activities. Today it was an appointment with the local horse shoeing specialist. Cocoa was amazignly well behaved for the sub-zero weather. Today I did not hunt him down. I simply said, “Come on Cocoa, Bradyn is coming today. You know that I can’t see very well. We are the same that way aren’t we buddy? So you come and put your halter on nice and easy. I’ll give you some oats and an apple if you behave. Now that’s a good boy.”

It worked. All went so smooth. And the good little pony received his apples and oats. I’d like to say with gratitude. But he devoured the apple so fast, I’m not sure the juice even squirted on the oats!

I have been watching a new Amazon prime series that was put together in the late nineties . “Dogs with jobs” continues to impress me. Sometimes it seems it is really all about the inteligence of the handler rather than the good senseof the dog. Other times it is obvious the dog is superior in intelligence and their sixth sense. So from now on I am just going to expect more out of my animals. If a horse can be used to lead a blind person around New York City, well, then my horse can put his halter on nice and easy. And Honey can learn to fitch my inhaler. (Now, how do I teach that, again?)

Every one of the dogs on the show works for some sort of reward . My daughter told me that there is a new style of parentying that removes the reward system. That’s the stupidest idea that I ever heard. Really? I grew up with one parent taught motto, If You Don’t Work, You Don’t Eat!

Really! Even as a small child, we were taught to help with the meal. From settign the table, to picking up the dishes, to simply putting away our toyw before the meal. As soon as a child can dump out the blocks, they can also put them away. My mother made games out of so much of what we did, it hardly felt like work.

So today the mental battles loom large. I find sitting and resting very heavy. Not only is my body weighted down by it’s lack of oxygen, then my mind gets to going into the past mistakes until I want to scream or cry.

So then, I tell myself to pick up the prayer list. but concentration is hard. I have to force myself to think about other people. Composing a compassionate thought for someone else makes me remove myself from the “woe is me” trap.

We all have cages and kennels to break free from… perhaps yours is more fiancial, or spiritual, or physical than mine. I believe that God gave us dogs so that we can learn lessons and know true unconditional love at some point in our lives. The capacity of a dog to go from extreme abuse to full trust is so amazing. I wish I could remove my inhibitions and trust in God like that.

Why do I find so much comfort in the company of animals? Maybe it’s because they do not talk back. Because they simply do what you ask of them. They do not whine at the task you give them. the love to work their reward drive is so strong. I have been trying to “promise” myself things more. Like when this blog is complete, I’m going to have a chocolate covered blueberry. Not before!

I am so tired.

I took a break the other day and it is now Monday morning while I revisit this journal entry. Morning is usually my favorite time to be in the library or office. Today it was subzero weather for my morning rounds. It looks like the cold will hand around for a few days. what this week holds will probably be more of the same asthma struggles as my lungs tend to twinge in pain when the cold air hits them. Even with a mask, a scarf and limited time, trouble will arise. Teaching Honey to retrieve something that is not “hers” will be quite a challenge. I’ll have to tie the inhaler to a toy for a few sessions.

Twenty one years ago I put together a music CD that I titled “Are you ready?” It was a music business flop. But the history is still there. The melodies still find their way into my mind on occasion. The song that is a one hit wonder is for another blog. But the title track was such a “God-thing” for me. I remember constantly asking what the Lord’s will for my life was and this song being His answer.

“Are you ready?

Are you ready to do My will?

Are you ready?

Are you ready to do My will?

When you seek Me

The you’ll find Me

You will know My will.

Search for Me, Watch for me. And be still.

And she listens,

yes, she listens for the voice of His word.

Oh, she listnes,hush! She listens for the voice of His word.

When He speaks out her name,

She’ll rejoice at His word.

Search for Me. Watch for Me And be still.”

-Are you ready? Written by Yvonne age 30 in 1998

Today, I have a new thought…

Ready or not…

Yep, ready or not, God’s will for our lives is done. Whether we recognize Him or not.

Isaiah 55:6. “seek the Lord while he may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.”

Before dash cam-Dash Lamb

A monitor of a different sort

Once upon a time, there was a shepherd girl whose husband bought her a truck. That truck was actually a Ford Edge to replace the awful eight seater cargo van that she did not like very well.

We got the car the summer of 2010, and then took a family vacation to the east coast. Nothing like putting on thousands of miles right after a vehicle purchase. Other than the serpentine belt going bad this side of Chicago, it was an uneventful trip. The main event was the music camp that the girls attended.

The best McDonald’s toy ever

What is the purpose of those ridiculous Happy Meal toys anyway? Most kids don’t seem too happy after the thing breaks. This little Dash Lamb came at just the right time though. The girls were old enough to drive when we brought this car home. So not long after the first payment was due, they were driving the family truck to get dog food, sheep feed, groceries, and even driving to all of those music lessons.

Once and a while with the food runs, they let me get a Happy Meal. So instead of getting the meals for little kiddos, they were trying to keep their mother happy in the back seat. That was actually one of my requirements for the new car, the back seat had to be comfortable.

When this little lamb came in a meal, it found it’s home on the dash right in a pasture of sage vinyl (PVC). It was the perfect home for this little bobble head creature.

Who put the lamb on the floor?

This was always the first thing said when my first glance at the dash did not find the little lamb in it’s stead. Anytime the dash monitor lost it’s footing, we knew someone was overdriving the conditions. A lamb on the floor meant that the corner had been taken a little fast. A lamb in the defroster vent meant that the breaks had been applied with force.

Before there was ever a dash camera monitor system, we had Dash Lamb. So, it was a little sad when the new vehicle did not have a spot on the vinly for such items. Now there is some little drawer cover to hide the unsightly items.

No spilled coffee here in this family. Dash Lamb never lied. She always told us who was not driving with their eyes on the road or hands on the wheel. She always told mom who was driving with out taking care of her little bobble head. Over driving the conditions could mean a little lamb shaking her head to declare, “no,no, no!”

Poor little thing didn’t even have a name. All of our little special ones got names. There was Lucy, Who-Do, Spot, Moose, Triple-Wide, Smokey, Blackie, and Buck-buck to name a few. The girls had the first fifty or so all named. After that it was just the bottle lambs that received such special treatment. One after the other came and went, season after season the lams came and went. But Dash-Lamb was with us until the day the car died.

Oh, yeah, there was Bam, Bam-the twins that use to come and lift there poor mother ewe right off of the ground. They were the first season lambs that were on the mamas much too long. We learned not to let them be so harsh after those two kept that picture stuck in our minds. Poor mother.

Aside from the fact that the lamb was always rolling her eyes at the driver, or the passengers in their distracting fashion. God is always watching us when we drive, walk, talk, or sit. This little lamb was really a reminder that someone is always watching no matter what we do. But God is the all knowing, all seeing being who really watches me.

Good bye little dash lamb. Tahnks for giving our family car a lot of story time worthy history. We loved having you as part of our lives for ten years. Some things just can’t be replaced. We can get another car. We can get new tires. But a little lamb from a Happy meal? She is really shaking her head now, “No, No, No!”

Patina

I Chronicles 16:11 “Seek Lord and His strength; Seek His presence continually.”

Weathering artfully is something that copper does naturally. by attracting the elements to its surface, the patina of copper has colors that change almost imperceptively year by year. When I look in the mirror, I wonder if my aging process contains as much beauty to the beholder. The verse from 1 Chronicles chapter sixteen also has the ending option of “seek His face evermore.”

During our recent drive-inn church service, our sister church’s Pastor gave a message about the likeness of Fathers and Sons. She shared how some father and son duos look so much alike, that in the year by year comparison it was hard to tell them apart. Through the week following, I thought about my family and who was like whom… I am not going to implicate anyone.

When we look at our face in the mirror, whom do we see? So much of the world is a comparison of images that we forget whose image we are really suppose to reflect. Genesis chapter one verse twenty-six says that God made people in His image. The message of the sermon was that we are to look for God in His Son, Jesus. We are to look for little rays of the Father in the images of His children.

Lately, with all that has happened in our country and around the world, we have to look a little harder it seems. Seeking the face of God the Father in the images of people as they flash past on the social media scroll is not easy. We are ever more scrolling through the latest news and we by pass the glimpses of an eternal God over and over.

While I am not trying to make my face into the most angelic figure ever seen, what do I spend my time “facing?” What do I seek? Once or twice a week, I am blessed to visit the little faces of my grandchildren. The rest of the hours I spend facing the task of filling the time wisely.

My newest age defiance is putting together the old and new yarn into a mix of stitches. The old and the new together unlike any other . Being creative is one of the joys of life for me. And I believe in a creative God. If you don’t, I am sorry for you. There is so much joy if searching our His creativeness in life and in others.

The wonder of how something will lokk drives me to work at a pace my back and neck don’t like. My breaks from the project at hand usually means house hold chores. So I wont talk about the constant clean up after our goings out and cojmings in.

Just finding this pattern was fun. There were so many plaid variations on the mosaiac crochet, but this one really caught my eye. Somehow it looks like the plug of the outlet, the buckle of the overalls, the continues flow of energy of a two year old grandchild. I love the mis of the old and new yarns. The Seafoam spray of the gray and the bold undertones of copper turning old… Fun.

The dogs and I are enjoying the cooler temperatures out of doors. I have kicked Honey outside more than usual and the two don’t seem to scrap nearly so often. Eva still won’t sit on command, but at ten years old, she probably won’t learn a new trick. She is so short it does not much matter.

The endless hours alone can be almost exhausting. Hubby spent more of his days on site for work rather than at home. It is understandable, with the majority of what he really does being an on sight requirement. But this morning after rising and seeking His familiar face in his temporary office and then not finding hime there… i was sad.

Pandemic isolation was not something that I saw in my life’s plan. I would not choose to give in the Alaskan wilderness. Watching television shows about the hermit life seems ridiculous. Yet some people seem to be making a living doing just such a thing. Selling their life choices on YouTube via video footage of the alone time.

While I do watch a number of “how to’s” on the channel, I just don’t see how sorting through hours of my go-pro footage would be interesting for anyone. My crochet story would have to be put into high speed to make it even remotely entertaining.

For now I will continue on in my endless hooking of yarn. Days will turn into nights. And weeks, and months end in project after project. This one more than likely will take about two to three weeks to be complete. However, while it occupies for its hours, there are other things to do also. The garden will soon demand harvest time. I completed two or three other little items in the last two weeks . And there is the library book time project that is nearing completion. That one is another blog.

The rest of the world seems to continue on it’s path to nowhere, anywhere, or somewhere. I’ll just stay here making my crochet hook march through time. Not having a spleen makes the virus epidemic seem really scary. So this distancing thing gets old, buts it is the answer for the moment on letting me age artfully. Haha.

Keep seeking strength from the One who gives it. And keep seeking for little glimpses of the Heavenly Father’s Image in the faces of those around you.

Without

That would be “as opposed to with or not having”

The definition of without can be defined as a preposition, an adverb, or a conjunction. In this situation it is a preposition and used as “not having the benefit of…”. In my life today on my walk through the neighborhood near my daughter’s home, it was walking without the benefit of a real true helping canine. Ahhh, but the tears flow fast.

There are many different types of grief, many different kinds of losses. Mourning takes all kinds of shapes, sizes, and emotions. But this is not going to be one of those “this is what happened and now I’m going to shave my head” type of writings. Nor is it the “I will just go eat worms” of the century story.

Today at church our pastor shared the second sermon in his series on the life of Job. He also gave an excellent children’s message on bad-awful-terrible-days. I go to church mostly for the children’s sermon. It’s the most relatable. Sorry, pastor. We did not leave town immediately, as my husband’s folks needed a few little errands done. They experienced one of those everything-went-wrong-mornings that pastor talked about in the children’s sermon. After figuring out the keyless entry to a vehicle and completing those little “save the day” items, we headed home to pick up the dog and go for lunch with our daughter number two and her hubby, our son-in-law number two. That is no indication of our feelings for them. We love them both the same!

After our lunch together the father daughter duo went to work on their plumbing project and I made the awful decision to go for a walk with the ditzy doodle Honey. It might have been a good decision if there were not so many factors that play into our unhealthy relationship.

We made it back to the house in one piece. And my anxiety attack did not land me any worse off than previous panic experiences. But here is the gist of it all.

A few years ago, I had a rescue dog I named Seymour. For some reason, when I put the harness on him to do the guide dog work, He just GOT IT. As a person going blind, there were moments that we did a few minutes of training and Seymour amazed me. His ability to grasp what I needed was just there. Then gradually, he got lazy in the house and because of his 95 pound stature , he would take up half the floor space. I began tripping over him in the house. He worked for me outside the front door, but slept like a baby inside the house.

And rather than making the changes to accommodate him and his “allergy” inducing episodes with family or friends, we decided to re-home him. He is happy in his new family.

But today on my walk with Honey, I realized once again exactly how gifted Seymour was in guiding me. Recently, my husband saw some statistics that stated even if the bloodline of the dog has a propensity for guide dog characteristics only about a quarter to a third of the dogs actually turn out to possess the qualities of an excellent guide dog. I did not know these statistics when I decided to trade in one dog and get another.

Seymour was trained as hunting dog, and probably failed the test. He was either abandoned or a run away. In his rescue days, he spent time healing from a trap wound on his foreleg. When he entered our family, we enjoyed the fact that the puppy was all out of him. Then, the days came for him to “guide” me.

His knack for learning about trees, hitches, the names of places, people, objects and such was uncanny. But more than his ability, there was the feeling of security that he gave me. Now that I have Honey, I can really grasp what I lost by giving him away.

Going blind, and being blind are two totally different things. But going blind is being blind in a new way all along the road. Some days I am more aware of my losses than other days. Some times it hits me literally (like when I run into the doorframe or something). And some days, like today it hits me in the gut. Hard.

Honey just does not have it in her to serve my need for security or stability. When she sees things or observes changes, her first reaction is “there is someone that I want to go jump on and that should love me because I love them!” Seymour gave me signals that were completely different. Honey gives me anxiety with changes. I never know if she is going to jump, bolt, or love with doggy exuberance. Seymour would have pushed me towards the person rather than drag me. This relationship is so different. And so hard to explain.

There are things about having a “helping” canine that you can never really explain to other people. These feelings of security and anxiety reduction cannot be fully expressed in one writing. If you have ever had a relationship with a dog like this, once it is gone, feelings of grief and loss arrive at moments least expected.

Today, was one of those days.

Honey might be sweet. But she’s a little sticky once she gets all over your fingers. After awhile, I just want to wash my hands of the whole affair. I want to trade her back for Seymour. But that’s not an option.

Just like it seems our family could only have one really good family dog, and his name was Furbie. Well, that’s a whole different story of a little Shih Tzu crossed Border Terrier that even had a toy he named “the worst Christmas ever.” That dog was one of a kind. Seymour was one of a kind, too. And Honey is absolutely not any thing like Seymour.

The anxiety over my eyesight was not given any relief by having anxiety over my hyper doodle. If anyone wants a dog that loves frisbee and flying fast on all four paws, you can have her. While she has all the best qualities of a really good dog, she just has not picked up on the “service” thing yet. And if she does not “GET IT” soon, she might just get replaced.

(Here’s the deal: I can only afford to go through so many sets of underwear, before I’ll have to get some fancy ones to catch the results of all this adrenalin dump that she is creating in my life. And, I really do not want to just sit around all the time, when I once knew what it meant to have a dog named Seymour that could help me for REAL!)

So there.

I said it.

I’ll try not to cry myself to sleep tonight because I miss my dog.

Or maybe, I will anyway.

Get out the new tissue box. I might be using the whole stack up tonight.

Pouring it all out

Or is it spilling?

Psalm 62:8, “Trust in Him at all times you eople; Pour out your heart before Him, God is a refuge for us.” NKJV

As much as I love this purple iris patch, I will never wear purple. Years ago a study was done on the colors that most put people at ease, and at distrust. People who wear purple, drive purple cars, or wear purple lipstick are best seen as not worthy of trust. I have never thought of this deep lavender color as untrustworthy until my children came home touting this study. Why would purple be such a symbol of false motives? And for the most part people who chose this color are good people. Women who look good in purple are not meaning to put people off. This color it its rich vibrant hue is still going to be my garden favorite.

The garden boxes out front of the house gave me a pleasant surprise. While it has been nice enough to plant some flowers in the rectangular holder, the trip to the greenhouse has not happened. So while I cleaned out the weeds, I found this lovely perineal gracing the otherwise empty space. Okay, I told myself, maybe I really should get some pretty flowers to go with you. Now, if I can just find some more like this one.

Tea doilies are not popular anymore. Women do not spend all their free time managing a household, preparing for socials, and being the members of some group society. Therefore, the tea doily that lays on the saucer beneath the tea cup, is not necessary. The tea doily is out, by about 100 years, I do remember once upon a chrch social when paper doilies were set out beneath all of the coffee cups. The time to wash and iron these fancy little linens had gone out by atleast 50 years at that point. I thought it odd that the paper piece rather than a napkin was giving a nod to the past.

Pouring it all out anymore is not popular either. When someone really wants to share their heart and gain counsel from a few good friends, we now have to pay a counselor anywhere from fifty dollars to one hundred twenty-five to get the counsel that good friends once gave us.

When there is no way to get to the counsel, there is always some one-eight-hundred number that has someone who will listen. I have seriously considered being one of those numbers. Just so someone would call me for advise. Wisdom is not cheap, however. The school of hard knocks taught some of us a thing or two that will never be written in the books.

Spilling your guts to family, friends, or relatives does not happen much anymore either. Too many people are afraid of the “social” effect that being vulnerable affords. We get either condemned or avoided if we are too much of an open book. Closing the door on others does not do much for the whole self preservation. It just bottles things up.

So when, I see the people as all wearing purple, and the empty boxes represent their feelings, I’ll try to remember that sometimes they see me as an outdated tea doily. Oh, well, my refuge and safe haven will continue to be my Lord and Savior. I will spill it all out at the foot of the cross. I will let Christ carry my burdens when they are too heavy for me. I will trust in the shelter of my soul’s salvation.

Empty rabbit hole

At too yellow

Where I am at is not where anyone else wants to be. I find myself in an empty rabbit hole, running around in circles and never finding my way out. The only way out is up. Reaching up for the ladder that is just out of touch. Being too short to touch the bottom rung, then I will need to jump. Jumping up to grasp what is just beyound reach. My attempts to be anything but the rabbit that I once was leaves me exhausted,. No one wants to pretend at life. The whole idea is that Halloween costume party might just exist everyday for some…

At this point in my existence, I am at covering up who I am now by who I once was. Learning to deal with the change in my abilities to navigate the normal life that everyone else still lives has left me faking the smile. Pretending to be okay in my rabbit hole. The world goes on. The people around me have left. The others have their daily interactions with others. I have a rabbit hole.

Pushed over a cliff. That’s me. Sitting on a ledge with a large rock wall just before me. Open the door for me and push me first. The anxiety and the fear that surfaces from the unknown because of my eyes inablity to adjust to the change form outside to inside or from inside to outside. Might as well push me over a cliff. Who pushes a blind person first? Lots of people don’t understand. This anxiety from new and the constant flow of people in a group setting, continues to set me face value with a rock wall in front of me. Finding the face level of an outstretched hand is like asking me to go first. This anxiety of meeing new people or new situations has left me sitting out on a ledge with a rock wall in front of me and a deep cavern heading off in all directions.

Chasing a bunny tail around in circles. That is me. The less one goes to experience new, the more life is just chasing the owner’s tail. Round and round the sun travels. Round and round the familiar circles go. Yet with the blindness that comes my way, the circle grow smaller. The never ending expansion of one’s life and experiences, has now reversed direction. Until all that remains is the beginning of the line. And now all the bunny does is chase his own tail. Not a very fun day actually.

Socially deprived dogs will develop anxiety or elements of acting surprised at every thing that happens. Whether it is the door bell, the phone ringing, or a neighborhood child that cries out, a dog that has not been exposed to lots of experiences will overreact. Never mind the dog, my days are now turning into the socially deprived mutt-hood. Without the proper training and constant repetition of social skills, they become lost. Empty days in the country turn the hermit into an angry mutt. This is not the me that I want to be. The country bumpkin I used to be longs for sitting on the busy corner of a street and do some good old people watching.

An empty planterbox sitting in front of the parked car reminds me once again where I am at. The days that coming home to the pretty plants adorning the parked vessels are so long ago in the past. Filling the boxes so that someone else can park there and enjoy the view as they arrive… Nope. My life is that empty planter box. I do not take that vessel to wherever I so chose. Filling the boxes just reminds me that I no longer have the choice to go away and return to an enjoyable view. It is not an enjoyable view when it is all that I ever see.

Open the door to a brick wall that stands in front of me. Outside my daily empty rabbit hole there is a brick wall. Seeing a future ahead is getting harder and harder. I do not see a future without the view of delapitating buildings around me. Living on an acreage where things are just left to fall apart, reminds me that my eyesight is failing. It is very depressing to imagine a future filled with the view of buildings crumbling. While others leave and do not see the crumbling status, who wants to imagine this view as the last days of their eyesight. I do not want to just watch buildings crumble, while my eyesight fails me. These images will be burned in my brain. I want to watch things being taken care of. I want to see neighbors fixing their roofs. I want to see people planting their gardens.

Lacking social skills is attributed to children who do not slpend time with peers. No one understands the value of an active life more than sn inactive life. Not having peers or people to go do things with has left me empty and lacking in social skills. I still know how to ask someone else all the right questions, but having no experience outside of my rabbit hole makes me an empty person to be with. Therefore, no one comes

Gas tank on empty usually gives a driver a little red flag or red signal on the dashboard. When I look in the mirror agter the same empty start to each day, I see a signal eep in my soul that the gas tank is on empty.

Not many days ago, I found myself tired of not having expressed anything about myself to for so long a period of time around a group of people, that when I finally did, there was an audible “shushing” that escaped someone next to me. The feelings that followed the experience were undeniably awful. Everyone has feelings, and when left to never express those feelings eventually they ooze outward. Being shushed in the midst of the expressing left me collaping into

Too yellow

Who would tell a dandelion she is too yellow? Lots of people do this very thing every day. Telling the dandelion not to shine so bright in the sea of green grass. Telling the expressive soul not to be soo loud, or the nonconformist to be more like everyone else around them. I begin to wonder what the world would be like without Picasso, Rembrandt, Mozart, or Debussy. What would the new world have looked like without Columbus, or Sacagawea, or Madison? Why do we shush the abortion debate, the political issues, or the holocaust? Will there even be any history in the history books? Maybe dandelions are just yellow. Not too yellow.

Just yellow. Not too expressive. Not too passionate. Not too wordy. Not too loud. Not too boisterous. Not to excitable. Not too Impressive. Not too intimidating. Not too dramatic. Not too bright. Not too dreamy. Not too hopeful. Not too flamboyant. Not too artistic. Not too creative. Not too inventive. Not too different. Just yellow.

Blurred vision

With the smoke in my eyes

This morning found me in my easy chair clicking buttons on my phone looking for a classic book read. Now as I sit in mhy office with the books hugging me, I realize how much I missed reading and rereading these classic pages. The voices might not always sound as pleasant as listening to the one in my head, but it really was time to find a good quick read again.

“As A Man Thinketh” along with “Tongue the Creative Force” are probably my two most read books in my library. There are other books that inspired me, but these two anchor me and act as homing devices for my thought patterns. Then there are the classic reads…

But I do not want to do a book review at the moment. I simply want to journal the happenings of the past two weeks.

We made it up to the log home show two weekends ago. Perhaps it could be called a dream quest. We met with people from the industry and had positive interactions with one company in particular. We have some work to do on our part before the dream can be realized. More think tank date nights with focused dreaming will have to be accomplished. And the calendar of events set up. Only time will tell if this dream is part of God’s plan for our lives.

The biggest blessing was a visit with old friends in the town where we lived during the early years of our marriage. Our children were born in those days and it was fun to make them guess what house was in the picture that I sent to them. They were jealous of the visit to our good friends.

Then, time simply slipped away from me. Four or five blogs written and trashed. I struggled to tie up my thought life. It seemed as though the smoke in my eyes, entered my brain also.

Having smoke blurred vision is difficult when no matter which way one turns the smoke seems to follow. The past weekend we finally burned up that old pile of dead branches and such. But with the happiness of saying goodbye to the possum home came the smoldering rubble that lasted much too long. And with my asthma, you did not want to hear anything from me during that time.

Happy thoughts flee like mice from the hot flames, when smoke surrounds the acreage. And no matter when the fire is lit and with what wind it is first fanned… the wind will switch the next day and blow directly towards the house. There could be a forecast of perfect breeze and it will turn around exactly the hour the fire reduces to smoldering soot. I do not know where this law came from, but it happens every time we burned a pile of branches.

Asthma and smoke do not agree.

Every time they ask me at the doctor’s office if I smoke or drink alcohol, I want to just stare at them in utter disbelief. “That would be stupid!” Is my customary reply, “I have asthma and allergy responses to both.” So the last two weeks resulted in book reading, crochet projects, mini-series watching, and blurred vision.

The smoke stung my nose and caused my vision to blur. My focus on writing disappeared as I struggled to manage daily living. It took me two hours to clean up my dear Honey from her smokey fur and sooty paws. Then it took me another six hours to clean up the bathroom and attached bedroom where she coexists with us. During the smokey haze, her sense of smell was greatly disturbed and so we have been playing scent games to get it back. She still sneezes vehemently as she attempts to use her nose. So far her finds have been with her eyes.

And more gently training to keep her near me while I am outdoors. With the smoke drift and the present drizzle, it is easy to keep her leashed. We will eventually designate frisbee hours. He attachment to me is welcome even though grey air was the catalyst. Getting her to “sight-dog” status may be an entire summer’s job. I rather doubt she will take to it as easily as Seymour did. But who knows.

The greenhouse suffered from the lack of sunshine and cold. My disheartened spirit has kept me from posting any wonderful spring photos and keeping my hopes up is hard. The poor fig trees are still trying to recover from the hard winter. Proof that the sun is so important.

Classical piano pieces fill my ears while I attempt to regain some focus.

Remember that little nursery rhyme:

“See, see, what shall I see?”

A horses tail where it’s head should be.

I wonder how many times I have failed to back into the stall for fear of tripping or fall? Am I stuck in my ways, unable to sway? Feeling the breeze but frozen stiff, like bricks and stones in my own way? Do I handle the moments that come along, with my head turned wrong?

Listening to an old favorite “bridle book” is a good reminder to take a second look at all that I think and say. It is necessary at times to rediscover our foundation.

It is still rainy and miserable cold out today. But the library holds many good reads that can lift me into a more sunny way. Mother Goose was one of them. (Apologies to the people who hate rhyme time.)

Morning Mist

Fleeting faith

Hosea 6:4. “Oh (fill in with your name here) what shall I do to you. For your faithfulness is like the morning mist, And like the early dew it goes away quickly when the sun comes out.”

Who knew that the Bible has something to teach us about every thing that happens in our lives?

This morning while I did my morning chores, the fog rolled in and blurred my vision to return back to the house from the barn. Then my mind had to tell me “no silly that’s the fog, not your eyesight.” Sometimes this has to be clarified with my retinitis pigmentosia. There are times when the eyes dry out and that glass of water is one cup of coffee too late in keeping my eyes hydrated enough to see. Evening is the worst. So this verse about faithfulness and the morning mist is very real to me.

Another verse in Hebrews eleven tells us something similar. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is not what we see, rather it is the hope of things not yet seen. Hope and faith seem to go so hand and glove together. A glove does not keep me warm just lying there. I have to put it on. Faith does not become a working thing unless there is some hope involved. These concepts of spiritual and physical are very hard to grasp. It’s something like trying to squeeze the mist out of the air!

My lungs were just trying to get the air and not the water. I did have to come inside after a few frisbee tosses to my muddied up doggy. My “smoker’s lungs” told me it was time to leave the mist and opt for the dryer house.

So goes the clouds. So the mist evaporates in the sunshine.

This week my husbands plans to take a trip literally went south. His midnight vertigo turned into severe motion sickness and the plans were canceled. My plans for the week also ended up flipped upside down along with about a dozen other people that are close enough to be affected by his movements. Thanks to his sister for all the car rides as he got his stability back. A doctor visit, therapist, and chiropractor all had aid in helping him get back to upright. One ear can sure make the world go topsy turvy-literally.

So now with new plans, and another schedule in the future, we wait to see how that will all take place. Faith has to be both firm and flexible at the same time. How do we find hope amidst such feeble circumstances. Change in an instant can surprise or devastate. Faith cannot be placed in physical objects. Yet we place our faith in others hands all the time. We walk by faith not by sight. Once again this thing grips us and we must decide what carries us forward.

Hope that the sun will take away the fog. Belief that the morning mist is not a dim view of my Lord’s faithfulness to me. My God is sure. My God is steadfast. My God is here with me whether my eyes fail me, my ears give me vertigo, or my wits grow dim.

The substance of faith for me is the hope that God is here with me whether I can see the house through the morning mist or not. His Son is that ray of light that drives away the morning dew and allows my spiritual lungs to breathe once again. Ahh. Air. Fresh clean perfect air.

Dense fog advisory

De-valued subsistance

Maybe some questions have no answers.

The alarm does not call me to rise up. Neither does duty. Most days it is the dog that signals my rise time.

Having no go-to-meeting alarms makes my life seem empty some days. The work of my hands calls my name certain days. The challenge to keep my fingers occupied keeps me going. Until the days that it does not. Even the idea that keeping house in order needs being done sometimes does not get me out of my corner to tidy another one.

Human being means that unless I find something to do I am not content just being.

There is no convincing that my evolution from some critter that could care less what design his kennel or cage has…. Well, no matter how hard they try I am not buying that by chance the human spirit began thinking up something more complex than a beaver cavern. Nope, not buying it.

More and more it seems that my “doing” has less value than ever to others. A recent scheduled something by one person, was erased by another and then completely overlooked by a third person. My idea or scheduled ability was tossed into nothingness and now I find my mind in a battle for the value of me. Is there anything that I do that is not simply overlooked by others?

The thoughts that want to take root are ones like – no one believes you are worth listening too. This thought especially has plaqued me. I use to write music and sing songs. Songs that I felt had been given to me to share. As time passed it seemed no one wanted to listen. I felt my thoughts turned to songs were waste of time. The supposed gift fell silent. The instrument that once said sung now rots in the forest.

When there is no opportune to share, why bother with the writing. At last love of my own music has left me. In fact not long ago, we burned all but a hand full of the discs that held my failed attempt at the music industry.

Almost the same in it’s gradual death is the joy of my crocheted creations. One person says something negative about one shawl and the happiness I had while making it goes “poof” like a popped balloon. Amazing what the power of words have over us.

My whole being-ness seems to be a finite breath of air that someone has determined to deflate. Rather than being a beautiful flower or grass I have become a small breath. A little peep of a chickadee that has been drowned by a deluge of rain water.

Dense fog advisory

No, the subsistence of self preservation has not boiled over. Self awareness has not rendered me completely speechless. However, the reality of my de-valued life is beginning to rub raw. There are times when it seems people “tell” me what kind of day to have while at the same time stealing all joy in the moment at hand. And the negative comments of others roll through my daily empty hours like freight trains. When one has onle four to twelve hours weekly with outside of the walls world, any little look, comment or other connection cam seem like an overwhelming flood of damnation.

How do I traverse the dense fog?

How do I find value in basic existence? When my life really is nothing more than taking out the weekly garbage and shredding all this junk mail?

This past week it came to my attention that life has been de-valued in several state legislatures. The Old Testament mantra that “Life is in the blood” has not been considered in half a century in our country,. The unborn have no more value that the dollar amount of their tissues for scientific research. What is sickening to me, is that I never heard one ward about it on the radio or in my media feeds on my highly intellectual device. Life no longer has the value it once did. Who ever though that the world would return to the ancient practice of sacrificing human babies to selfishness.

The dense fog of this value system will not be overlooked by the One who designed this breath-filled being. The vapor of a life so snuffed out by such unbelievable cruelty surely will not be overlooked by the Make of such weather patterns. While man thinks that he can control so much by taking life, he still has no power to create life. Life. The heartbeat of a being that will one day choose his or her own doings on an hourly, minutely decision making process.

The oppression of this decision by so many to devalue the human life in it’s existence from the moment of conception to the moment of first breath. How can one person go to jail for the rest of their life for wanting to quiet a screaming infant at a day care and another person has the right to silence the infant before he or she has the chance to cry out?

I do not understand this thinking.

Once upon a time I too had a voice. Once upon a time I made the choice to listen to the voice telling me to do… shall I sit in silence for the rest of my subsistence and never mention my own need to breath clean air? Shall I give up all rights to being someone who loves to do certain things? Or do I let the dense fog fill in every space of my surroundings until I am no longer heard, and no longer seen?

And this is all at the work of someone’s hands. How can this be?

Psalm 139: 2 “oh, Lord, you know my thoughts even when I am far away” even when I siet in my own dark corner and dwell on things too difficult for me and I have traveled into the deep unknown You know what I am thinking about.