Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Always asking why, without ever seeing the obvious

I'm sharing this blog post because it seems appropriate for now, again and for so many times in the past we've asked "why".  I think we all, or most of us, already know the answer.  We've been told times are going to become worse and worse, in fact, worse than has ever been in history.  That's unimaginably bad.  These things must take place.  It's so simple, it's difficult for people to understand, or accept.  These mimic my thoughts and so I'm sharing this message with you today.  Hopefully it's food for thought, worth considering and worthy of making some changes.  There's so much more that I could say, but this writer does a nice job of explaining what is painfully obvious to me. 

Is Satan Stealing Our Families?

This past year I read a book with my daughter called Little House in the Big Woods. You may be familiar with it. It’s the first book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it began the popular Little House on the Prairie series. I don’t recall reading it before, and as I read it to my five year old, I think I enjoyed it even more than she did. Something about the way the family lived, it intrigued me. I love my internet tremendously, but the simplicity and closeness this family shared sounded really wonderful to me. The idea of working together for each other drew me into their little world. Many times as I read the pages aloud I yearned for such a time as the ones described.
I look around today and I wonder if we wouldn’t be better taking a step back in time where we could focus more on important matters, and less on trivial ones. I see the things around me that cause so much unneeded stress, and I truly believe that the principalities and powers of darkness wish to destroy what God has created. God favors families. He favors love, time together, and focus on cultivating those relationships. What I see today is in direct opposition of that, yet those things have developed slowly over time, so much so that we don’t even notice them deteriorating the fabric of family.
Our pre-teens and teenagers are so absorbed in their Snapchat and Instagram that they can’t even come up for air. Not that we notice. We’re buried in our Facebook newsfeed or hottest new game app.
The normalcy of public school education with its ever increasing curriculum demands are swallowed like good medicine. The school year gets longer, testing increases, and hours of homework creep into the family time. So children that already spend 8-9 hours away from home are spending their evening hours doing more projects, reports, and extra credit assignments.
Mom and dad are too exhausted to help much. They’re tired because they’re putting in more hours. Dual working parents are the majority. And while the cost of living has definitely increased over time, I wonder how much of our “necessities” are truly that? We work more to be able to buy more, yet we hardly have time to enjoy all our purchases. We save all year long for a week long vacation that leaves us exhausted and in need of a day off from our off days.
A lot of our hard-earned money is spent on activities. So. Many. Activities. We spend more time driving to activities, purchasing gear, costumes, and accessories for our activities, or working on our off days to raise funds for our activities. Activities where we watch other people teach, coach, and mentor our children. Is this the time together we’re craving? Makes you think.

 If you had to sit down and add up how much quality time you spend alone with your spouse, what would it be? What about your children? And not time doing and going. Just time. Is it less time than you spend on your weekly commute to work?
It makes you wonder if divorce is more prominent today because it’s become socially more acceptable, or could it be because we’re spending less time enjoying the company of our spouse? Would children get in less trouble if they had a present parent/parents available to guide them? They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I’m wondering if we’ve taken that too far. Now we just want the village to take care of them. And then when our children fall down and fail we can have teachers, coaches, and the church to blame for their demise.
This is hard stuff to think about. It’s taking everything we’ve called normal over the past few decades or more and realizing that it’s actually destroying the family unit. Our kids are playing ball 3-5 times a week until 10pm, and the parents are working 60 hours a week to keep designer duds on the kiddos lest they get bullied for wearing WalMart brand clothing. Everyone has a TV in their room, a cell phone in their pocket, and a brand new car in the drive-way yet none of that will go to Heaven with us. We’re working very hard providing material possessions for our children, when in all reality we should be on our knees with them leading them to a closer walk with Jesus. Eternal life is what we should want for our kids, not the best education money can buy. And while I’m all for giving them a bright future, I don’t want to give them the world if it forfeits their soul. When my grown children look back on life I want them to have memories of time well spent rather than spending all the time. I gotta work on this! I don’t have it all figured out either, but I’d like to think my eyes are open enough to see that Satan wishes to destroy us.
Satan wants us tired, worn thin, and stressed. He wants us in debt up to our eyeballs, and our health failing because we can’t sleep enough, eat right, or handle our stress effectively. He wants husbands and wives fighting over finances, disrespectful teens who learned how to treat their parents based off Nickelodeon sitcoms, and thousands of young children sexually abused by the adults we’re so quick to place our trust in. He wants us busy, but not productive. He wants our plates full, but our tank empty. He wants us looking to society for what’s best for our families, not God’s word as a lamp to our feet. He wants the family unit ripped apart, and many times I look around and see us letting him. We’re not even trying to take a stand.
I’d like to believe that it’s not too late. We can still fight to save our families. Perhaps it all comes down to stepping out in wisdom, courage, and truth for our family. In a world that’s so busy Keeping Up With the Kardashians, maybe it’s time to be a Little House on the Prairie. What do you think?

Blessings all,

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

You just never know

Life is full of unexpected happenings.  Surprises when you least expect them.  Some are extraordinary and life altering; others are just a welcome change to the routine. 

We had a beautiful, warm weekend.  Yes, the sun was shining!  Oh my goodness, did it ever feel good!  All of us, horses, dogs, cats, chickens and people alike turned our faces heavenward and just reveled in the warmth beaming down upon us.  It was so nice. 

Just what we needed to lift our spirits and remove some of the gloom that has been cloaking our world lately.  The horses were dropping like flies.  They ate breakfast and then were sprawled out all over the pasture, just basking in the warmth.  It felt so much like spring, temps were in the 60's and I even saw a honeybee.  The flowering tree in our back yard will be budding soon, as will the daphne bush by the deck.  One of the most heavenly scents imaginable!  I love to pick a bouquet and place the vase on my night stand...sweet dreams.  :)

As I looked around I noticed signs of spring everywhere.  Daffodils are pushed through the soil, tiny buds on many trees and the horses are starting to shed a bit.  And the days are getting longer!  It's no longer dark when I leave the clinic in the evening.  Oh man, what a blessing.  Just thinking that winters' end is near, makes me feel so much lighter.  I know I can't complain, because we really haven't had much of a "winter", but the rains all through January just seemed to be never ending and even the horses seemed depressed.  For whatever reason, this year I seem to be struggling with the endless grey skies, rain and mud.  But, knowing the end is in sight helps me so much. 

Another true surprise happened to us recently.  Something so unexpected, but very cool.  Shortly before Christmas I received a private message from someone I didn't know.  She asked if I knew someone (name withheld for privacy), and I said yes, that's my husband's son.  She said she was searching for long-lost relatives.  Curious, I asked her if she thought she was somehow related to him.  She said yes, he's my biological father.  You could have knocked me down with a feather!

We had a fairly long correspondence that day and I got the feeling she was a very nice young lady.  Apparently, unbeknownst to us, JP fathered a baby with a girl years ago when they were in high school.  The infant was given up for adoption and she was raised within an hour of where we now live.  What a small world, huh?  Last year she graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Civil Engineering and now works for Oregon Dept. of Transportation in The Dalles, which is several hours from here in the Columbia Gorge area.  I really enjoyed visiting with her and so did my hubby.  He was even more excited than me, since this is another granddaughter he was unaware of.  This Sunday, Anita and her dad are coming to our home for a visit.  We're really looking forward to meeting her in person and the chance to get acquainted with her.  As far as looks go, there's no doubt that JP is her biological father.  She's the spitting image of him, same complexion, hair color, smile, everything.  Pretty amazing huh?  We're ready for all the questions she's likely to have, although we've already covered some of the basics earlier.  We've got lots of pictures we can share, she's an active outdoorsy type, loves animals, has a dog and seems very down to earth.  I'm sure we'll get along just fine.  She used to be a horseback rider, took English riding lessons for years and loves to dance.  In her spare time, she teaches Hip-hop dance and has several videos on You-Tube. 

I'm actually a little bit nervous, but I'm sure that will pass as soon as she walks through the door.  The dogs will assault her, we'll try to get them under control to no avail, and the ice will have been broken.  As far as meeting our horses goes, the timing couldn't possibly be worse.  They are shaggy, muddy and fat, but will welcome the attention from someone new.  Ladde will do his best to give her kisses, and Eagle will work his wiles and seduce her just like he does all the ladies he meets. 

Eagle doing what he loves best

Should be an interesting day.

Until next time,
Lorie @ Cingspots

Friday, February 2, 2018

A stitch in time

That's what I keep telling myself.   That loosely translates to, "this too shall pass".  *sigh* 

I'm pretty much over my cold, with just a bothersome occasional cough that produces a very small amount of hmmm, yuck.  That works, hopefully without being too graphic for you sensitive ones. 

However, my overall condition this winter seems to be genuine lackluster.  I'm feeling tired, disinterested, cranky, and at times, bordering on having the outright blues.  So many rainy days and so very much mud creates so much extra work, muddy paws, muck boots, difficulty dumping the poop wagon, on and on.  I'll have to be careful or I'll pass my depression on to you.  :)  Sorry...

Seriously, not much going on really.  Shad was off his feed for a short time, had a very foul odor coming from his mouth and generally looked like I felt.  Maybe it's not just me after all.  So, my vet came out and had a look in his mouth, we were thinking likely a bad tooth, or a gum pocket causing him discomfort.  But when the speculum was just starting to open, he went straight up and there was a serious pain response, even with detomidine on board.  Poor guy.  From what the vet could see, it looked like a wound in the mucosa of the inside of his mouth, with hanging tissue, or maybe a tumor-like growth about 3/4"  long with a white tip.  ???  Who knows what it really is though.  We're guessing here, you know the "practice" of medicine.  A pressure smear was sent in for a cytology which didn't show anything abnormal, normal mouth bacteria and all that.  Good news.  So, we decided on a week of antibiotics and a small dose of banamine twice a day.  Mainly we wanted him to eat.  Being an old Thoroughbred (28 years this April), with the metabolism their breed is famous for, he drops weight very fast.  He was also a bit dehydrated because his water consumption was down and we needed to keep his caloric intake high.  No food, no energy to fight off whatever was ailing him.  So far, so good.  Last dose of both meds tonight.  The bad smell seems to be gone, so it's cold turkey to see how he responds.  While he's been medicated, his appetite has been great, we've been pouring the feed to him and that seems to be working.  His energy levels have improved and he's much more bright-eyed and back to his old, but child-like, playful self.  :)  We're just hoping whatever the thing was, it's healed up and he maintains when drug free.  We're hopeful, because there's really not much else to be done.  Anesthetization would be too risky for the old man and we're just not willing to risk it. 

This whole situation was reminiscent of what happened with Kadie, and had me worried.  We let her get too weak and weren't able to get her eating again, which I think, was why she just quit.  I wanted her to keep trying, but I could see it in her eyes.  She was too tired.  What a precious soul she was, but I know what a huge blessing she was to me.  I'll probably miss her forever, but I wouldn't have changed a thing.  When you love a good one, you just want forever.  So, I'm hopeful we have a better outcome with my hubby's sweet boy. 

I recently had a birthday.  I'm 58 years old, and just keep wondering how that happened.  I mean, it's gone so fast.  I can't believe how close to 60 I am.  And retirement.  Good grief. 

Can you hear it?  That old Rolling Stones song, time waits for no one, and it won't wait for me...

My hubby took me out for brunch on my b-day.  Yum!  Was a nice day.  I got to get up when I wanted to, enjoyed a leisurely morning and actually got to view a very brief sunrise, but a sunrise nonetheless.  That was cool.  Then the torrential rains began.  January birthdays are usually best enjoyed from the comforts of the inside, preferably by the fireside.  Like mine was, so I was a happy birthday girl.  Man, I really am getting old.  Sounds like a granny birthday for sure, doesn't it!? 

My dogs are going stir crazy too.  So much rain and mud, seriously curtails our walking adventures.  Such a bummer, but sometimes you just gotta go for it, stop worrying about the muddy paws, and get outside anyway.  Fresh air, exercise and wide open spaces help all of us so much!  Then let the cleaning frenzy begin...and the depressed doggies suffering on the blankets.  I'd switch places with them anytime.  Yesterday morning, Ruby came running towards me when I was standing with my car door open.  I thought she was running to me, but oh no, she jumped straight into my car, through and over the center console and onto the back seat!  Oh my gosh, I could have killed her!  Mud was everywhere!  Had it been blood, you'd have thought it was a major (and totally gory) crime scene.  Amazes me how many different places mud spots go in such a short amount of time...did I mention that my car has light grey interior?  Yeah...what was I thinking?

Hubs and I were dreaming and scheming again the other day.  We found this absolutely perfect home on 7 acres of gorgeous land with big, fir trees and pastures.  The home was situated on top of a gentle rise overlooking the pastures and the Grand Ronde river down below and across the driveway.  It was at the end of a dead end and very private private lane.  This is the first place I've fallen in love with since years ago when we first started looking at properties in Central Oregon.  I mean, the house was gorgeous, amazingly peaceful views from every window...sigh.  But alas, there were 2 serious drawbacks.  The rail line ran next to the private lane.  The train goes through there several times daily, and just below that, was the 4-lane highway.  Apparently, noise travels up.  I just couldn't imagine living somewhere, that all that peaceful serenity is marred by constant noise.  Nope.  Not going there.  We'll keep dreaming and scheming.  If it's meant to be, we'll find that perfect place; and if not, we're pretty happy where we are.  Always has been fun to dream though. 

Gives us damp Oregonians something to do...

Blessings all.

THE ROLLING STONES - time waits for no one