Thursday, May 29, 2008

Introducing Claire (pt 1)

Anyone who has read my blog has probably determined (from all 10 or so of my posts) that I am obsessed with Yorkshire Terriers. I've wanted one for at least 20 years. But limited finances and the farm kid in me can't pay $900 for a dog. Especially a dog that doesn't herd cattle, guard my door or do my dishes and cook for me. The first Yorkie I ever experienced was way back in the day when I was a supervisor for America West Airlines. At that time, AWA did not allow onboard pets, kenneled or not. A young woman (old teen? 19? 20 tops?) had smuggled a teeny tiny 6 week old Yorkie pup onboard in her pocket from El Paso. It was a red-eye going from ELP to ABQ to LAS and there she was changing plance and ending up in Portland. She smuggled it in her pocket. We're talking about a 20 oz. puppy here. And the flight attendant caught her. My thoughts were that since she was already enroute, to let her go ahead and take was SO one would ever have known the difference. But Bambi, the FA (Bambi reference included here for the benefit of Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee) was rather a snoot and wouldn't let her take the puppy with her. So I brought her home with me for the weekend until we could arrange to ship her in a kennel to PDX. She was so tiny that when we put her in the front yard in our grass it came up to her chin. Adorable. In love with her. And I had to give her back. Hard to put a tiny little puppy like that in the belly of a 737...

Fast forward 15 years. Ted's sister got a Yorkie named Ta-Ta. She was one of the smartest little dogs I've ever seen. And totally cute. Becky is the mom to rowdy boys like mine. Do any of y'all have multitudes of teen boys? If you do, you know how funny scatological humor is. Most especially humor centered around flatulence. My nephews would make fart noises when Ta-Ta was sitting with them or in their laps. She would become so incensed, she would snort, sneeze, and roll around on the floor like she'd been sprayed by a skunk. It never failed to make me laugh until I cried. She weighed in at about 3.5 lbs. Ta-Ta was taken from Becky's back yard by a hawk. It was a very sad day...

So on Tuesday I was trolling all the local classifieds, all the Pet Harbor sites looking for Yorkies, or Yorkie-crosses. I have a confession: I've been doing this every day (or nearly every day) for about a year. Low and behold, I found a photo of a little Silky Terrier. Now Silkies are a little big bigger than Yorkies.. Whereas a Yorkie has a more "square" body, Silkies are more elongated (semi-weenie dog shaped). She looked absolutely terrified. And had become available on May 26. I couldn't figure out why she was still there, and then I remembered Memorial Day. And since Monday the city pound is usually closed, they were closed on Tuesday of this week, too. I called and they said she was an owner surrender on Monday. That because she was surrendered they put her up for adoption immediately. And also, because she was already available, that my best bet was to get there at 10:30 when the doors to the dogs opened and try to get her the next morning. They said that it was not possible to put a hold on her. I called my friend Tauni from church, who works at the city shelter and she filled me in. This dog, named Silky (real imaginative, huh?) was surrendered by her owner because she was too "aggressive and defiant." She is an AKC registered dog. Her owners had bought her and a male (she was born Christmas Day 2006) and bred them. She was so aggressive she sent the male to the hospital. They had to wean the pups early because she was too mean. She was trained to use a doggy door but would pee on the floor when she was mad, just to be defiant. Hmm...she had puppies in February, so she wasn't even a whole year old when they bred her. I think I'd be a little aggressive and defiant, too. I'm just saying. The owners had her spayed and when this didn't alter her behavior, they turned her into the shelter. These are $500-700 doggies people! Have they never heard of the Dog Whisperer?!? To make a long story short, Tauni told me the office opened at 9:30, but the kennel not until 10:30. Since she was surrendered and no one could hold her she said to get there just before 10:30 and she'd meet me with in the kennel. We knew there were going to be lots of people wanting her. I was so excited, I emailed Linda and asked her to pray for me...that if this was the right dog for me, that it would be clear as a whisper from God. Oh, how I wanted this dog. I slept very little that night, trying to think up cuter names than Silky. I couldn't stand to wait around yesterday morning, so I got to the pound around 9:45. Someone HAD A HOLD ON HER!!! They can't DO that! They AREN'T ALLOWED!!!!! I was MAD. But I stayed around and waited 'til the kennel opened. I was almost in tears when the lady told me there was a hold on her until noon. She said that the people had until then to come back and get her, but after that it was 1st come, 1st serve. I would have to pull a number and be put back on the list. Amy and Caleb were with me. I think they were scared to death I would embarrass them. There are 5 BIG (50 + animals each) dog pods at this pound. I had no idea which bldg she would be in. I walked right into the very building she was in. Tauni was in Silky's kennel, dog in hand. She whisked us out the door to the "adoption-bonding area," a little cinderblock gated patio area. We were given multitudes of dirty looks by other people holding on to printouts they had made from online wanting this same little dog. Tauni just said, "Follow me, this could get ugly. Lots of people want this dog." I told her what we'd been told by the office lady. Now, you have to know Tauni. She is a tiny little Native American thing, all of 5'1" and maybe 105 lbs soaking wet. But wiry. And she could probably bench press a tank. And she went on the warpath. She said, "Wait here." She marched up to the office and let the clerk have it. Then she went to the office manager, and finally to the director. She told them that sure, I was her friend, but she had told me the rules and what procedure I needed to follow to get this dog. And now, because I had followed the rules, I was being punished and not getting the dog. She came back with Silky's paperwork. It had a typed out memo her owner had written with a long list of laments about why this dog was such a pain. Silky was petrified. She climbed up into Caleb's lap and just shook. Wouldn't even look at me. We tried to play with her, but she just couldn't relax. Tauni went back to check on the progress at the office. The clerk was in the process of telling the family with the illegal hold on the dog that they didn't want her after all; she had major behavior problems. Now, I was in a dilemma. What should I do? Is this dog going to be a problem? But, because she is spayed (and the owners had it done on May 16--we're talking not quite 2 weeks ago...did they think it was going to magically change her behavior? But I digress), because she is spayed her adoption fee was only $32. I had to rescue this terrified dog. Even if it didn't work out, I would find a home for her. So, because Tauni is a Warrior Princess with much valor and a heart the size of all outdoors, Silky came home with us. We immediately rushed to PetsMart and got a red (of course it's red!!!) jewelled (of course it's jewelled) collar for her. In the 6 minute ride from the pound to the store, she began to relax. Her ears came up. She kissed Caleb. She stopped trembling. I bought her bacon treats. She loves me. And..... so....( drumroll here).....

p.s. Her name is Claire. More later....have to get ready for the Lost Season Finale Party......

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


When I fall short, when I sin (which is an archery term that means "to miss the mark") I tend to do one of two things (and on reflection usually BOTH of them, in this order):
1. Justify (It wasn't my fault; I only did it because ________; At least I didn't kill someone, drive drunk, beat my kids, have an get the idea)
2. Berate myself over and over again, obsessing over what a loser I am and wondering what God should do to punish me.

Now, I miss the mark quite often. It's usually not intentional. I say usually here, because frankly, sometimes in the heat of the moment I give way to anger and vent and in that moment it feels good. Really. Good. To. Yell. And then immediately afterwards the dialogue in my head starts in: "How do you expect God to forgive you? You are never, ever going to get a handle on this. You blow it all the time. What kind of wounds are you inflicting on your kids?" Even after I confess and repent, this nagging little voice in my head keeps chirping cheerfully that I am a big, fat loser. I know, and have written on my heart, that my sins are forgiven. They are on the ocean floor, as far as the East is from the West. At least I thought I had it written on my heart. But sometimes getting that concept 18" from head to heart is an insurmountable task. It's not possible. Not under my own power, anyway.
And then, yesterday I got to spend most of my afternoon with a little boy. My kids just aren't little anymore. I realized how much I love being around little kids. Not that I want another (or grandkids right now, thank you very much!), but the time invested in him yesterday warmed my heart and taught me something. He fell down, spilled his juice and just got up and went on his way. He missed the mark. And when he did, my first thought wasn't annoyance. I wasn't perturbed at him. Rather, I was concerned for him. Was he ok? Did he need a hug? Was there something in his way that was unavoidable that cause him to take a tumble? OK. So he's fine. He shouldn't have been chasing the cat, and running with juice in his hand, but it's ok. He helped me clean it up and we got on with our afternoon. It dawned on my that my Heavenly Father probably feels this way when I fall down too. He's not up there scheming and just waiting for the next klutzy trip so he can punish me. He's there to cheer me on, help me wipe up the spills from my less than wise choices. Yes, I believe He can be disappointed in me. But more than that, He wants me to make sure that I clear my path and watch what I'm doing so I don't fall down. But when I do, and I know I will, He'll wipes my tears and help me discover where I went wrong. And next time, I'll not chase the cat with an open cup.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Went to a garden party...

....with 10 of my closest friends. Friends who hold me up when I can't hold myself and make me be accountable when I'm holding on to something I shouldn't. Friends who are my soft place to land and my safe place to tell my heartsongs to.
Friends I can cry with, I can laugh with, I can be with without having to be on guard. It occurred to me as I looked around the room at these beautiful women that because I can count EACH of them as friends, true friends, I am probably among a privileged few (I'm guessing less than 5%) who have so many they can call "Friend." God ministers to my heart through these women and we all take the most tender and gentle care of each other.

Here's to you, are captivating. You are valiant warriors. You are beautiful and wonderful and all I want to be when I grow up. You are hot mommas. You are some of God's best works....I love you all!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Ok....I'm a sucker for reading and chocolate, so I'm posting the meme from Linda, aka Lidna....

1. List three things you would do with a chest full of gold (assuming you got to keep it!)

I would give a bunch of it to build our new church building/community center, I would put my kids thru college and I would get a little tiny Yorkie

2. List three charities/missions/organizations you support (and why).

My church, Compassion International, most anything that supports servicmen & women, including fire and police

3. List three ways you have volunteered your time/services.

Youth ministry, lots of church stuff, band/soccer/track/(any school thing my kids are in) boosters

4. List three things you keep "hidden" when company comes over.
All the stuff on my desk gets thrown into a laundry basket and put in my closet, I hide the Guitar Hero remotes and I spray all the doorways with pledge so it smells like I've been dusting.

5. List the last three things you've lost.

Keys, cell phone (I call it every day to find it), my temper (In your anger do not sin, I know...)

6. List the last three things you've found.

Keys, cell phone (see # 5), the grace of God and my family daily (see # 5).

So, TAG--you're it! Leave a comment when you've posted you're very own meme....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Celebrity, Stimulus, Laptops, & Homework...

First off, I have to tell you how absolutely stoked I am (yes, stoked--I am a child of the 70's): Linda from (I can't figure out the cool html stuff and Amy's busy now) visited my blog and left a comment. I could just DIE! I think we are TSAB....both mid 40-ish, ministry assistants, Yorkie lovers, moms of teens, trouser jean afficionados....

Speaking of Yorkies, try hard, REALLY hard to envision this: Momma's got her check from Uncle Dub. Momma's got 4 chillun's. Consequently, in part because of said chillun, Momma's check was p-r-e-t-t-y nice. Momma's check's already in her bank account. And I found THE absolute bestest cutest of all time Yorkshire Terrier puppy the other day. One ear points up, one tips down. I named him Spike. He's just a little ball of love-fluff-furkid that I could just scoop up and take home. But I didn't. (See Momma weeping and gnashing her teeth here). Momma just got a new laptop for the notary gig. And Momma still has to pay the co-pay part the tonsillectomy that one of her lil' chillun had over spring break. So even tho' I'd be highly stimulated to call Spike my own and bring him to our humble abode, I didn't. I was very, very good. But I'm still looking. How much is that doggy in the window? Too much, sadly.

OK, the laptop. It's a Gateway. 3GB memory and a 250GB hard drive. But the part I really like? It's red. Like my truck. Like my walls. Like the '67 Candy Apple Camaro that God will reward me with in heaven. FedEx says it'll be here Tuesday. I am picturing myself @ Satellite or Flying Star with my Skinny Cinnamon Dolce blogging profoundness. But will probably be stuck in some smoking borrower's home, attempting to do an e-signing with a 90-year old poodle humping my leg. Oh, well. It's RED people!!!!!

Tanner just finished his (we hope with a heart that beats pitty-pat in our little chest) LAST big homework project of the year. I now know that stars are classified by color, temperature, composition and size. More than I wanted to. But I made him finish it tonight so I he wouldn't have to do it over the weekend. Ames is testing for her blue belt Saturday. After a sleepover for a friend's birthday party. These friends are homeschooled and they typically go to bed around 7...A.M.. Pray for her.

I need to go. Lost is on. Don't want to wait for the full episode player tomorrow.
WHEE! What a nice night!