Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do you ever have people in your life and you just know God put them there to keep you humble? Well, I do and they are my neighbors.
They moved onto the acreage behind us probably two years ago and honestly, we don’t know them all that well. We see each other in passing and they are very nice Christian people, but they have this gift of always stopping by when I’m at my worst. You know how it is, right? They stop by to visit and the house is a wreck, or they walk past the yard when you’re running out to get the paper with “bed hair”...

Well in order to understand today’s humiliation, you must first know a little background. We have two beautiful and energetic golden retrievers. Recently I saw an ad on TV for a new training system called, THE PERFECT DOG. It promised great results quickly and like a sucker I bought it! Now, I’m actually very happy with it and am eagerly going out to work with my dogs each day, imagining in my minds eye these well behaved dogs from the commercials. My dogs however don’t tend to react just like the dogs on TV, so although we are seeing some success we also have our moments of frustration. One of the new techniques we are practicing is for the dog to come up to an open door, but not to cross the threshold until you have given them permission. If they do you pull them back to the “line” they crossed and give them a firm wack on the chest while telling them to wait. So I’m in my garage practicing with them to not come in from their pen without my permission, (now in my defense....I was outnumbered two to one and I’d just hit my head on the garage door)!

One more small piece of information that you need to know, our doorbell doesn’t work!

Here enters the neighbor lady, their phones aren’t working and she has come over to ask if she can use mine. Knock, knock, knock on the door.....followed by a voice from the garage....”wait”..........knock, knock, knock.....(a little louder voice from the garage)”WAIT”.................knock, knock, knock........(much louder voice,)”WAIT!!!!”

Do you get the picture here?????

She’s probably like, “Ok, I’m waiting” and meanwhile I’m in the garage and can’t even hear her knocking!

Eventually I come into the house and hear a gentle knock, she gets to use the phone and I’m “the crazy neighbor” again!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Parent's Influence

(It has been ages since I posted last. My excuse is that I’m earning my Executive MBA and making free time to blog isn’t a priority. I have never been a frequent blogger but going to school full-time makes it even harder.)

I took special pride in my older kids today. Their actions re-assured me that my place of influence as a parent is not dead. Without any prompting from me, they held their own “See you at the pole” day at their small middle-school. My son and daughter walked past the open door to stop and pray for their school and community before class.

As a parent I often fear the challenges facing my children in modern society. My knee-jerk reaction is to want to protect them. Just by shear number of minutes I fear I will lose the battle to influence my kids. As they grow older I try to teach by influence rather than control, to discuss rather than command. A philosophy of gradual independence, the more they mature, the more freedom they earn and the less we command. Today they showed me they can make good, even noble choices. I am proud of them.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Best Phrase of the Day

"Carbon-cloud cuckoo land" gets my pick as the best phrase of the day. It is the phrase I just read today in one journalist's opinion of the latest G8 summit commitment to cut carbon-emissions 50% by 2050. (You can read the story here:
Every politician from both parties in city government to our country's top leadership (and those running for it) are affirming the man-made global warming threat. Just as they jump on the band-wagon of global warming the scientific dissent is beginning to take hold.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Finally, Spring!

Saturday dawned with the first, real, significant spring weather. It was bright and sunny with a predicted high in the mid-60's. I've been no-so-patiently waiting for spring to arrive so I could plant the peach trees and blue-berry bushes I bought weeks ago. The weird part of the day was clearing an area out of the snow to plant the trees. By mid-afternoon the day had warmed up and so had my neck and top of the head. The equation ss + rsp - fhh = sb accurately captures the experience, Sun Shine + Reflected Snow Properties - Full Head of Hair = Sunburn.
The kids enjoyed the day as well. They took large sticks to attack the various piles of snow about the yard calling themselves "The army of spring." Their plan seems to be working as the scattered piles were the first to disappear this weekend. The last little joy of spring was driving by the ice-free little lake near our house. Its finally time to buy my fishing license.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Impostor

For the past four years I have cared for someone I thought I knew and just found out they are a complete impostor. I can think of no better term then to call him an animal. He is a cat specifically. He has warmed itself by our nightly fire, purred contently on our laps and ate the food we provided. We even let him intimidate our dog and beat up our other cat, Pollie. The cat formerly known as Hobbes, a.k.a. "Psycho kitty", is not Hobbes after-all. You-see, when we moved into our new house four years ago Hobbes ran away. Four months later, an emaciated, beat-up and weak Hobbes look-alike showed up on our door step acting like he belonged there. It was Thanksgiving day to boot. We took him in, nursed him back to health, paid his vet bills (yearly check-ups included) and told the amazing story of the lost-and-found-on-thanksgiving-day cat. Even the vets were amazed at our wonderful cat who came home story. So, it is ironic, after four years of regular shots and check-ups that our vet should break the sad news to us that Hobbes is not who he said he was. Actually, Hobbes is not who she said she was. Hobbes is a girl.
So, what choice do we have but to continue to let her live our her little charade. We'll let her warm herself by our fire, purr in our laps, intimidate our dog and beat up Pollie. However, I've lost a little faith in our vet who has taken this long to figure out he was a she.