Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer's End

Here we are again. "Summer" ends tomorrow. Now, I know the calendar says it's not over, the 84 degree, 94% humidity outdoors says it's not over. However, my youngest daughter started school last Wednesday and tomorrow we move our oldest back to college. There will no longer be teenager voices here during the day. No singing, peals of laughter, puppy scolding or puppy calling in their sing-song voices reserved for puppies and babies... No last minute trips out to lunch or for an iced coffee, no one tagging along for a day-time trip to the grocery, bike ride to the farmer's market or daughter along for yoga. No hugs and kisses during the day and "Mama, I will miss you when I go". I didn't think I would feel so sad-our oldest is ready-ready for her friends, her daily routine, her independence... I know that and I want her to be independent... but boy, I will miss her. I miss her sis, and I know I see her in the evenings, but that time is filled with eating and homework. But she will still be home... School year time is different than the summer. And I don't like it. It makes me teary.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blowing Off The Dust

As you can see, I haven't posted in quite some time. Up until a couple months ago I hadn't even sat down to read the blogs I regularly read, let alone sit down and put forth the energy necessary to string together thoughts for a post that someone might want to read. Not due to excessive accomplishments in my daily life... Just uncertainty-uncertainty of what to post, what would even be interesting enough to readers. Topics appeared in my mind, on and off, but how to piece together a few paragraphs escaped me. I wondered if I should just keep using my blog as a journaling tool, or to share specific information, crafting paragraphs for discussion... I am still unsure, but I am tired of the blog sitting dusty, covered in cobwebs, so I write. Today I start with a catch-up post, updating on those things that have been keeping me busy.
Things were happening in my small corner of the world, keeping me busy on and off. I have had the joy and exhaustion of the goldendoodle puppy-

she is an adorable fluff and definitely an energetic puppy. She is very smart, but doesn't always have the desire to please me. ;) I am excited to train her to be a service dog of sorts. I would love to have her visit elderly or children, people who would just benefit from contact with her. However, I haven't been diligent with her over the summer, so I need to dig in again, even more so as she becomes the dog version of a teenager. ;) She already loves to call the furniture her own, which we never let our other two do... She doesn't chew or dig on them, which is good! :)
Our two teenage daughters are both home for the summer, which has been nice. We have continued running, enjoying spending time together and even gotten ice cream a few times. :) I have been blessed with my daughters' company on yoga nights, ridden bikes with my oldest up to the town farmer's market and ran with each of them. My husband and I have gone on runs together and biked, gone to dinner and enjoyed new seasons of MasterChef and Royal Pains. Family time continues to be my joy. We have also been able to head up to see my family, including grandparents, some who have been ill and in nursing homes. It is sad to see my maternal grandmother not remember my name, but on the occasion she recognizes me, I take that and tuck it away in my heart.
My funeral coordinator job sat silent from December to May. Then I worked on five funerals from May to last week. There were a variety of circumstances surrounding them: two men who died unexpectedly, two people who had been ill for quite some time, but were still fairly young and one woman who had been a beloved member of the greater community. Some were celebratory-based on faith and belief in their life after they left this earth. Some were more somber-such an unexpected loss for them, that even though they relied on their beliefs and faith, their families ached from their loss. In each, I felt my calling to this job as fresh as when I started. I was so glad, I felt so blessed, to be there for the families in their time of need.
I finished my chaplain training, but haven't been on any visits, yet. I feel like the training helped my in my funeral job, though, in teaching me how to respond with grieving families. Both the training and job have been a blessing to me. They aren't where I saw myself a year ago, but I am glad I am in this spot in my journey.

 Where are you, Reader? I hope wherever this post finds you, you are well.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

My reading has changed a bit:

  1. I postponed Winter's Tale. So technically this book isn't "what I'm reading", it's "what I will read some other time". :) It was so big and so intimidating, plus I saw my time to read it before the movie was dwindling. Then I saw some reviews that weren't great of the movie. So, I gave myself permission to set it aside and pick it up again later, and rent the movie later. The book was good, it just took more attention than I had to give it these past few weeks. My mind and heart have been elsewhere. And let me say that I don't usually quit or postpone a book. I read it through, sometimes to the bitter end-a book I despise can drag out and make me dread picking it up, but I want to hope it might get better at the end. This year I gave myself permission to stop reading a book I dislike. Thus, two I've quit on and one I have postponed.  I must say it feels good. :) Are you a reader who wants to finish a book? Or a reader who gives themselves permission to set a book aside?
  2. I am still reading my devotional: The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional: 365 Devotions through the Proverbs
  3.  I am also reading Jesus Calling. It's another devotional but from a different voice/perspective. I am really enjoying it!
  4. I have started a puppy book. I need to refresh my memory and work on being a better puppy owner/teach my dog better than I did the last two. I know looking back that Merlin turned into a wonderful dog, sweet and loving, but I didn't teach him as well as I could have and his first two years were very difficult. This time, I'm trying to prepare ahead of time and am starting with How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond by Cesar Millan It is good, thus far, but I'm only on page 11. :) I have 2 1/2 weeks until Morgan comes home, so time to prepare. I bought two puppy books at the store. My youngest daughter wants to help this time around, so she can read these, as well. :)
  5. I am readinOur Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring by Henri J. M. Nouwen for my chaplain training. It is giving me new eyes, as well. I'm only on page 19 in this book.
  6. I would also like to start reading The Lost Lake, which is by Sarah Addison Allen, who wrote The Girl Who Chased The Moon and Garden Spells, both of which I really liked. This is her latest book and I am looking forward to reading it. I have it here in my "to read" pile.
I started the year well, tackling and finishing quite a few books, but then I slowed to a crawl and then stopped finishing them/reading. I expect to finish at least two of these books by next Wednesday. What is in your "reading" or "to read" pile these days, Reader?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Social Media Monday

This week I checked out my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram postings. I found a Sesame Street quiz to see what character you are and I was happy, loveable Grover, a local crime tracker which was interesting and scary at the same time, pictures of Morgan and some quotes re-tweeted. Here's one of my favorites for the week. :) Hope you have a great week, Reader!

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. -Carlos Castaneda

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Morgan

Well, I didn't have to dream for long. We had done our research, we knew what we had in mind... My husband and I knew we were leaning towards a goldendoodle. We were looking for a mild-mannered dog, since our last two were/are a bit on the neurotic side.

We had heard that people who get goldendoodles were concerned about the poodle parents. So, we took a trip-about an hour and a half drive-to meet the parents at a breeder's home. The breeder asked us the size range we were looking for, since she would have two sizes. We told her the larger (50-60 lbs) size. She then brought in the male/father/poodle. He was amazing. So friendly, sweet, and liked us better than treats! :) That sold it for us, I think. Then she brought in the mom who was also lovely, although she liked the treats. :) Then, the puppies.

When we went, we knew from looking on her website that they only had females available. But, someone who had a deposit down on the last male backed out. Since we had males previously and my weim was such a loving dog, I thought I would want him. My husband, younger daughter and I held and snuggled with all five puppies. The pup who cried and wiggled the most like he wasn't comfortable was the male. My husband had the biggest female and she snuggled into him and sat calmly. When I took her she gave me a kiss and snuggled more, eventually falling asleep in my arms. Adorable. My youngest daughter loved and snuggled her, too, delighted. Although we loved all the puppies, this girl was the sweetest and most calm, which-after the two guys we had before her-seemed great! :) Let's hope that is her personality as she grows.

On the way down my husband asked about name choices. When we got our first dog, he said we could pick the dog and he'd pick the name, eventually naming him Merlin, after Merlin the magician in the King Arthur stories. So, I reminded him of the precedent and he went to thinking. He said how about a girl could be Morgan-I asked if he meant the sorceress Morgan Le Fay from the Arthur stories. He said yes or Guenevere? I said definitely Morgan. We didn't even discuss a boy's name. So, we will welcome our lovely new puppy, Morgan Le Fay in mid-March. :)