Wednesday, May 15, 2013

SNUGS and the "V.E.T." - shhhh!

How can an animal be so smart? How in the world can an animal who cannot read or talk or spell know what "V.E.T." means? How in the world? Well, this old man kitty does? When I put my purse on my shoulder and Mark goes to pick up Snugs so we can start down the basement stairs to the car . . .Snugs runs in the other direction. These pictures were actually taken back in January when he went for his annual physical but we go once a month for a "mani/pedi" and for them to give him a dose of cat lax. He runs away every time. This last time he ran upstairs and tried to hide under Glenn and Lauren's bed . . .but there was so much stuff under it (because they are getting ready to move) that he "thought" he was hiding . . .but he really wasn't!! His head was "hiding" but his big black and white body was sticking right out from under the bed.

We normally love our vet . . .and all the folks that work there but we didn't have a very good experience this last time.  We have turned into those "crazy cat people" over the years.  Snugs is such an old man and I guess (yes, I know) we have become over protective of him.  They sent a high school student (who is trying to decide if he wants to become a veterinarian- you know how I know this, don't you?  I asked him!!) and an intern (I'm assuming because she looked older . . and I was expecting someone like our friend, Carrie . . .but she wasn't) in to take care of us . . .and let me be the one to tell you . . .they didn't know how to take care of us.  Snugs teeth and gums are really bad and he has a heart murmur and cannot be put to sleep for the teeth and gums to be cleaned . . .and they made his gums bleed as they tried to ram a tongue depressor into his mouth with cat lax on it. So there is all this bacteria in his mouth and all I could think about is that he was going to get an infection and be really sick.  Stupid, I know.  He is usually docile once you put him on that table . . .so it was pretty surprising when he came straight up into a standing position ready to attack.  They tried three times and at that point Mark said, "STOP!" VERY FORCEFULLY.  You have to understand that I've only seen Mark lose his temper once or twice in our entire 29 years of marriage . . .and he was pretty darn close.

Snugs proceeded to hide under Mark's coat (yes, it was cold - in May - in Alabama - weird, I know - so Mark had on a coat) on Saturday much like he did back in January.  They then trimmed his nails . . .they didn't seem to know what they were doing then either but they did a little better job on his nails than on the cat lax.

We asked for someone with more experience to please come in and give him a dose of medicine.  They did send in one of the older ladies (my age!) and she put the medicine on her finger and stuck it right into his mouth - no problem.  We usually have this really sweet lady who calls him "mashed potato toes." 

Snugs was so traumatized that when Mark walked out of the exam room into the lobby, there were two large dogs waiting and Snugs just cuddled up against Mark. He didn't look right or left. He didn't even notice that there was anyone else around. While I was paying, the employees closed the door to the back where everyone (all the techs, etc.) are located . . .I think they were talking about us. I guess we will have the reputation of being the crazy over-protective cat people now. 

I think the problem began with the fact that it was pouring down rain. We usually get up on our designated "vet" Saturday and go to the Vet's clinic right when they open - first ones there (those of you who know us - does that surprise you?) - and get our stuff done and get out of there in about 15 minutes. It was raining so hard that we dilly dallied around the house and were later getting to the Vet's clinic and they were already seeing other "patients" so I guess it was as much our fault as theirs. They always tell us not to make an appointment just for that . . .my goodness . . .the musings of this middle aged mom . . .I used to worry about my kids - do they have an ear infection? are they sick? Now I'm worried about an old man kitty cat . . .

Friday, May 10, 2013

Goldfish and gum and pbandj, oh my!

Did you realize that there are so many people in this world who have so much less than we do? I don't care where you fall on the economic scale, there is someone who falls under you. I can almost guarantee it!!! Sometimes I moan and groan and think we are poor and then I am brought to my knees by the realization that by worldly standards, we are so very rich. But how could that be? We have clothes and a home and clean running water and jobs and groceries aplenty. We are also . . .we humans . . .a selfish people. I like to think of myself as generous. I love to give gifts to others. I love to feed people. I love to surprise others with a treat . ..but I'm still selfish. I believe we come into the world that way for self-preservation (who knows whether that is true or not - just my thought!) and some of us grow and mature and even though that "selfish human nature" is always in us, we overcome it most of the time.

One way that I always remember is by doing service projects/participating in an act of service for others. I wish I had more time to be in service more often.

On this night a few weeks ago, our young professionals group participated in three activities.  They made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - over 100 of them - for the Church of the Reconciler in downtown Birmingham.  This congregation feeds the homeless every day and they love to have extra peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to hand out.  We have a group from our church that goes down to help feed these folks every Thursday.

I love the pictures of hands at work.  There is another one down below.  We are indeed the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth - doing his work.

This group at the kitchen table started on the project for the Urban Ministry kids.  Our Sunday School class prepares/provides Wednesday night supper for them on the fourth Wednesday night of the even months.  April was the last month of the year (before summer) and we made bags of goldfish crackers for the children. (you can see a picture of the finished projects at the end)  Each child received about 100 goldfish crackers so that was a pretty good treat!!

As soon as they finished the goldfish bags, they moved on to the next project.  There is an apartment complex in town that houses folks with mental illness.  The young adult son of a friend of ours lives there.  We made treat bags for them.  We had to be careful because many of them have diabetes and other health issues so we wrapped big packs of extra chewing gum.  Do you know that we are the only church group who has ever done anything for them before?  We live in a large city.  I was stunned to learn that no one else has ever done anything for them.  I think this activity really touched some of our young adults . . .because this church member who lives there . . .is also a young adult.

We had a large group of folks and we even had some new folks.  It was a great night of hands on activities.  God is good.  Yes, he is.  Even when life is hard, God is good.  My scripture for my devotion yesterday said that God is holding my right hand.  I've been clinging to his hand.  What a comfort.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A whole month of fishing at the farm

I am married to a man who loves fishing. I knew that when I married him.  Several of our "dates" were spent in a boat or a canoe.  Since I love to soak up the sun I never minded an hour or two but he would want to stay all day long in the boat.  As I've aged (didn't I say that gracefully?), I am even more prone to motion sickness and sometime I even have a hard time riding around the lake in a ski boat much less sitting in a fishing boat all day.  Thank goodness for other men who love to fish and thank goodness for a lake at the farm!! 

Mark has been enjoying the lake at the farm this year and I am so glad because this lake has given him much worry (and still will because he is such a worrier).  Our friend, Hayden, drove down from Nashville and he and Mark spent several days at the farm.  They caught fish and talked and drank beer and who knows what else (I'm not sure I want to know).

This is our friend, Hayden.  He looks like a happy man.  I love how his jacket matches the fish and the water - couldn't have planned a better wardrobe selection!!

Here is another faithful fishing companion . . .George!  Surely a man's identical twin brother should be a good fishing companion!

How about a son?  Look at the size of that fish?  It is a monster!!  Glenn and Mark fished together a couple of weekends ago.  Mark loves that Glenn is living back in Birmingham.  I don't believe I have ever seen anyone miss someone so much as he missed his boy.  We've been blessed to have Laura close to home and have enjoyed seeing her at least once a week - most weeks two times.  Now we are loving have all three (counting our sweet daughter-in-law) of them in town!

I know . . .and have always known that Mark needs to "run away" to the farm.  He sits at a desk all day long every day crunching numbers and keeping up with important stuff.  He is an outdoor man and needs to spend time outdoors in order to be happy.  I'm so glad that we have the farm and that he has friends and a brother and son with whom to fish.  Who knows?  I might take up fishing in my old age!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

On my knees again

Well . . .another serious post from me.  I promise to post some fun things soon.  I have lots of fun pictures.  I did try to insert some humor in this post. :-)

There is an old song . . ."on the road again." My new song is going to be "on my knees again." I've been spending a lot of time "on my knees." In the last 24 hours I have been on my knees three different times. I'm not bragging. This is just life right now. You know that even in the most serious of times, the hardest of days, I have to throw in a little humor. I always have to kneel on a pillow. We have hardwoods or tile . . .I have to use a pillow. I'm a wimp. What can I say?

Just now I walked down to our sanctuary. Sure is nice to work in a church. The sanctuary was dark except for some light shining through one of the stained glass windows. I knelt at the altar rail . . .where I could see the cross still draped in the white cloth from Easter. That cloth represents hope!!! I was really talking to God. Thank goodness, I was not praying out loud because when I finished praying . . .someone had been in the sanctuary with me. I didn't hear a thing. They were surely tip toeing. I didn't hear a door close or anything BUT the door to the flower room was open when I started praying . . .and it was closed when I finished and there was a light on in the narthex when I started praying . . .and it was no longer on when I finished. Since I got back to my desk I've been listening to this song sung by Jaci Velasquez.  I really love these words:

I get on my knees, I get on my knees;
There I am before the love that changes me.
See I don't know how, but there's power
When I'm on my knees.

There is just something different about praying on my knees.  I think it is because I humble myself before God.  I bow down and acknowledge that HE IS LORD and I am not!

Do you have a favorite place to pray?  Do you have a favorite prayer posture? (sitting in a chair?  kneeling?  lying on the ground?  eyes open?  eyes closed?)  Does it change with the need?