The Wag of the Tail: the welcoming spirit of a dog

It’s strange  how when you lose someone you begin to look for perhaps something to replace that void.  Completely impossible.  It wasn’t a month after my dear FIL passed away and I responded to a friend of a friend’s request for possible care of their precious toddler part time.  After conversation with my husband and prayer, I knew that wasn’t what I was to do.  In fact, my husband’s response was, “Don’t you think you need a bit of a break?”  When my mother in love had passed away, it wasn’t long before we moved my FIL, “PawPaw,” in with us.  Our family worked as a team to help care for him and love on him.  Most interestingly, we never sat down and said “You do this, you do that”; we all seemed to operate in our strengths for the most part, each one of us bringing something different to the table.

So a few months later I began a search for a Schnauzer.  Tony and I had two Schnauzers before the kids came along:  Scruffy and Toot-Toot.  We loved those dogs.  Their passing would have been much harder on us had our kids not been very young, keeping us busy!  I searched and searched…and found my searching was becoming a bit obsessive.  Tony had finally acquiesced to a second dog.  Yep, that’s right.  We already have a dog.  But he’s an outside dog, and I was looking for an inside dog.

My obsessiveness was an alarm that went off inside me and I backed off.  I decide to “Love the dog your with.”  Each of us loves on our dear dog, but there are times when I’m sure he goes through periods of neglect.  And I’m sure with the caring of PawPaw, there had been some of that.  So every night I began taking time after dinner to go sit on the back porch in the rocker and brush him.  He was very receptive!  I began taking time to throw the ball for him, which he loves chasing after….if only he’d learn to “drop” the ball so I don’t have to fight him for it!  We’ve worked on that with some treats, which he gladly exchanges the ball for a treat…but then we run out and I forget to pick up more at the store.  Alas, I go back to fighting him for it sometimes.  Then I started taking him with me during our walking time.  Then it was winter and I started letting him stay in during the night.  Yes, read between the lines:  SPOILED.  He thinks he now belongs inside. He comes in, checks out a few spots where food might have been dropped, and then lays himself down on the cool floor.  It’s now near summer here, and he’s back outside for a while, but still thinking he belongs inside with us.

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What I came to enjoy about loving the dog I was with was this:  almost every time I interact with him, he wags his tail for me.  He looks up at me with those big brown eyes and wags his tail.  His wagging tail is a smile for me – and I smile back.  He’s happy.  And that makes me happier.




Viola – from office, aka dumping ground to guest bedroom

Well, here it is – the mid-way flinging/purging/goodwilling/freecycling effort in our 15 year old office/dumping ground

Before - office and "dumping ground" for 15 years
Before - office and "dumping ground" for 15 years

To the guest bedroom for the next 2 months for our East Texas PumpJacks baseball player – Chad Keefer, #34.  Which speaking of, they won their first game tonight!  Way to go! 

Viola - spare bedroom
Viola - spare bedroom

This took a good two weeks of constant effort. Constant.  Every day.   Funny thing is, cleaning out this room helped me shed a few other “hot spots” (as the FlyLady would say) around the house.  For several years I’ve been bummed about this room – we’d clean it up/out and it would go back right to where it was.  In fact, when my friend, Michelle, saw it, there was a place to walk from the door to the computer.  I’ve had many a conversation with my Heavenly Father about when were we (meaning He and I) going to get rid of this crap.  And the day couldn’t come soon enough – it just didn’t come as I thought it would/should/could.   It was my beloved husband’s idea to host a player – so trusting my God-given “umbrella” I helped make it happen (for there was no other place to put the boy).  So essentially, Father blessed me with an opportunity to get rid of the crap, and in turn, for it to bless someone else (the crap that left, and the room it made).  So like Him.

Many thanks to my “ruthless” Mother’s League friends, Sarah and Faydra, for helping me accomplish a great deal in 2 1/2 hours – their help organizing non-crap things was inspiring and motivating!

Learning from ML members

Yesterday I posted about enjoying learning from other ML members.  Kathleen, one ML friend I was gardening with yesterday, had given me a tip – but I couldn’t remember what it was…until this morning while I was decluttering and was folding up a small gift bag to tuck away.  Kathleen’s tip was to use the grocery tote bags (now out at our local Brookshires and Walmart) to give gifts in – they cost a buck and can be reused to carry groceries (I love my first Brookshire tote – I just don’t always remember to use it  – I need to work on that :))  Anyhow, I liked this idea (although the recent wedding gift I gave of a crockpot wouldn’t have fit…).  But the Brookshire’s bag (now) is a pretty green with artichokes on it – very gift-worthy! 

Thanks, Kathleen!

Friday blessings

What our scenic route blessed us with - a lovely foal

What our scenic route blessed us with – a lovely foal

This morning we took off for the Huber backyard to do some shared gardening.  Dana is sharing her garden with Mother’s League members.  We took the scenic route since I missed a turn – and this was what we were blessed with. 

Sammy and Sawyer learning to garden
Sammy and Sawyer learning to garden
Saw Wayne enjoying the slide off the deck
Saw Wayne enjoying the slide off the deck
Protecting the surviving watermelon plant
Protecting the surviving watermelon plant
I know basically nothing about gardening.  But I want to learn and enjoy this with the boys.  Today we planted squash, peppers (from our neighbors), carrots (per Sammy’s request), and dill.  We’ll be potting some basil, lavender, mint and more dill.  I look forward to the fragrance!
All the kids did well with just a few incidents.  And we started early enough that we endured only about 1/2 hour of sticky-humid-heat.  Father definately blessed us with a morning breeze. 
What I have ALWAYS enjoyed about belonging to our Longview Mother’s Leaugue is the blessing of learning from this beautiful women.  We are all different – having varied interests, talents, personalities, etc.  But I love being with these ladies.  Kathleen taught me something today – now I have to remember what it was! HA!
Thanks, Dana, for sharing your garden space!

The Blessing of Leisure

Ah, today Sawyer and I slept in until 9:30amish.  This was a gift.  Our sweet Sammy had (and still is) spent the night over at his MeMe’s house.  This is the only chance I get to sleep in – I don’t do it on purpose (for to me, sleeping in is a waste of time….I’m in the process of redefining “waste of time”), but it happens.  I had scheduled a babysitter for Sawyer so that I could have lunch with my dear friend, Mary.  She and I usually get together anywhere from once a week to once a month, depending on what’s going on in our lives.  Lately it has been once a month!  So it was a delight to have lunch with her and catch up on what’s going on in her life.  Webster’s defines “leisurely” as without haste; UNHURRIED.  Oh, what a blessing it was to have a leisurely lunch with a close friend.  It made getting my oil changed this afternoon (which is not normally a favorite task of mine) all the more pleasant because I had taken time for myself. 

What I like and admire about my friend Mary is that she is accepting of others wherever they are in life.  She welcomes others with open arms and makes them feel comfortable.  She’s also a “safe” person to be with; not only can I trust her with anything I tell her, but I also know she won’t judge me and she will speak the truth to me in love when needed.    She’s also a Mary Kay director so she always looks well-put together.  She inspires me to love others unconditionally, to be a good friend, and to look my best!  Thank you, my friend!  “I thank my God every time I remember you.”  Philippians 1:3

I was also blessed today with some leisurely time with my husband; to sit and visit about our week and look into each others eyes.  He knows me well and still loves me.  He is a joy to be with and I’m blessed to have him as my life-long partner.  “I thank God every time I remember you.”  Phil. 1:3.