Thursday, December 31, 2009

We All Need a Safe Place to Rest, Eh?

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ho Ho Ho. No No No

Savvy's been sick. She's on her second antibiotic for a urinary tract infection. The first bill was $140, including antibiotic, pain med, office visit, "pill pockets" and urinalysis. I had to go back for the second antibiotic and pay out another $70. She's still shows no improvment and my heart breaks when I see her squat and try to pee. Yesterday on her walk, she must have squatted 3o times. When we're in the yard, I need to wave a cookie under her nose to get her to come back in. She's trying to rid herself of the waste, poor thing.

Speaking of waste...

I just read that the last Democrat hold-out on the Health Care Reform bill has caved and will vote yes. Senator Nelson is self-proclaimed pro-life and now has cover to pretend that this bill will allow states to refuse abortion funding. Right...and I've got an ocean liner to sell Sen. Nelson of Nebraska.

When I paid all that money for Savvy's care this week, I couldn't help but think of people without health insurance. I remember the old days when doctor's visits and medications weren't covered. Things were cheaper back then because we KNEW what the cost of most visits and procedures were.

I have to get a molar crowned shortly. The cost is $1300. I know I paid $800 just a few years ago. Phew.

So I do worry about people without health insurance, especially with so much unemployment. We have a massive entitlement culture in this country, both for people on government dole and those of us who have sailed through the last ten years. I worry especially about people caught in the middle, the working people whose jobs are disappearing rapidly. The first worry is usually 'how to I pay my mortgage?' The second is 'what do I do about health care?' Dear ones who travel through this blog have faced this worry.

But I hate that I don't trust our government. I hate that I have no voice. (I live in Massachusetts, after all.)

I hate that I think they're all idiots. And I hate that I can't trust any media outlets to help me see what the real truth is.

And what I really hate is that I fear we've brought this on ourselves.

I've been guilty of spend-spend-spend in my own life. To see it on the national stage is frightening. And I worry that, with a massive bill created in darkness, no one will be served but the ruling class of this nation.

Bah humbug.

God is good. I know this. Fix your eyes...come on, Kathy. Fix your eyes on...

Hard to do when I'm fixing my eyes on Savvy's back end, to see if the poor thing is getting out any urine. Hard to do when I'm fixing my eyes on Washington and shrieking, "when was the last time you guys climbed under your car in December to change the oil; or picked through the discount bin at the supermarket; or struggled to keep a business going so you don't have to lay off your one employee; or bought your own groceries or pumped your own gas or drove to work in a snowstorm so you wouldn't lose a days pay or...lived like us?"

Big things and small. God is good. Fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith.

Oh man, still so much work for Him to do!

Merry Christmas, Christ is born, Christ will come again.

Ho ho ho. Proverbs 31: 25

Monday, December 14, 2009


I fell in love with my husband the day I heard him speaking baby-talk to my two cats.

That was 36 years ago.

Clearly, I have chosen well.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Sweet Smell of Snow

It's snowing again. The forecast say this should turn to rain but I don't see it on the weather map. Just a blob of blue. And it's beautiful snow, hard flakes that make powder and oh--how they cleanse the air!

I'm in my upstairs office, Savvy sleeping under Ryan's bed as I work. This is our schedule, and we're both a trifle disoriented if we don't keep to it. In another hour, we'll be out in the snow, wearing orange so the hunters don't mistake us for a buck. Breathing in the sweet smell of this snow.

And wondering...why? Why does calamity seem to come in clumps?

In the past month or so, three people in our church had health crises. These are the stalwarts, my brother and sisters I have known for almost 20 years, the wise and faithful among us whom we take for granted. Nancy and Diane were struck with breast cancer and, given it was Diane's second, she chose a dramatic surgery. Dana--who not only helps gird our church but the whole community--suffered heart problems that led to a bypass.

I forget we're all going older. I hate--oh, how I hate--to see loved ones suffer. Especially when it's all sudden and in a clump and the rock we think we've built our church home on takes a hit. But praise God, they know THE ROCK, and God is bringing them through healing. Still--I'd wish their illnesses on serial killers or rapists. Not our dear ones who are so giving. They shame me because I'm not as generous with my time and surely don't have their wisdom and faithfulness.

And then...Dave, one of my oldest writing pals, is diagnosed with a terrible cancer. He's in good hands and has had some observedly miraculous progress (thank you, Jesus!) but it will be a long and perilous road back to health. My writer's group are all touched and worried.

And now...Stephanie, the wife of another writing brother. has cancer. Her brother-in-law is the pastor of a large and wonderful church, so she will have a lot of prayer support.

But still. All these beloved have to walk hard paths. I sit here in a comfortable office, my puppy stretched out under the bed, heaven's snow falling. And think. And pray. Because I know what it's like to think about life going on around you when you are suffering. You sometimes want to scream, "Hey! Stop shopping or watching movies or whatever and look at MY life, stalled here in pain." I remember thinking that at my father's funeral, listening to the minister and watching the cars go by outside and how, in the midst of sorrow, life goes on.

I worry about my sisters, Mary and Janice. I love them very much and I always worry about them getting sick. If Nancy, the picture of health and beauty, can get sick, anyone can. Funny--I don't worry about Steve because we've been through two drastic illnesses in our marriage.

I don't like this clump of illnesses. It scares me.

Lord, I pray this day that you raise to health: Nancy. Diane. Dana. Dave. Stephanie. Amd I pray that they see Your blessing, and give You glory. I ask that I be faithful.

That I be faithful...and not fear life's clumps.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Whiter than Snow?

So much for training Savvy to pee on demand with an offer of a "cookie." Steve informed me that this weekend's snow has provided a revealing insight.

Savvy fakes it.

She is known for multiple stops...squatting, allegedly peeing, then grabbing her morsel, then repeating the process. As responsible dog owners, we do want that bladder empty before she comes back in the house.

Saturday Steve caught her cheating. Squat, pee, cookie. Squat, pee, cookie. Squat...wait a minute, that snow is still white and unbroken!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Savvy Does Her Job

Every dog owner knows he or she needs to "name" the dog's necessary but indelicate functions. There's going wee-wee or doing your business. My mother called going poop doing your load. I loved my mother but I always hated that term, though if you've got a large dog, that's exactly what it is. Steve has been taking pride lately in the size of Savvy's poops. In his mind, a big poop means big dog.

Our term for performing the necessary functions is do your job. It's a multi-functional term that, combined with a dog biscuit, pretty much now can instruct Savvy to pee on demand. We have done the whole training thing--choose a term, apply it with a bunch of praise and a snippet of treat when the pee or poop happens, and teach the dog to then go on demand. Or invitation.

Like all Labs, Savvy is a fruitcake when it comes to treats. She so lusts for that taste of biscuit that when she's told to do her job, she'll go...get the biscuit...then scurry off six feet and go again, expecting more biscuit. She has, after all, done her job.

There's an unfortunate consequence to this multi-stage performance. She has been so eager to be rewarded for doing her job that she'll turn and look for the treat before she's quite finished. That has left us back where we started pre-housebreaking--with a stinky dog. I now make sure to stay in her line-of-sight so she doesn't turn and look for me while she's fulfilling her responsibility.

When I lose sight of God, I too often do the same thing--soil what He's called me to do. He calls us to fix our eyes on Jesus and don't go chasing the biscuit.

I'm off now--to do my job.