Shiloh’s First!

I forgot to take pics, so I’ll just show you Shiloh by the pool. Today she did her first therapy dog visi20170507_074325t at the pharmacy school at UOP in Stockton. She joined two golden retrievers from Paws4 Friends/Alliance of Therapy Dogs. She was super excited at first, but settled down fast. The students loved her. A truck was on fire on 99, and made us a half hour late. Things were noisy, which she’s not used to, so I was proud she kept her cool.  It was 100 degrees outside, so we hot-footed it through the parking lot. Everyone who pets her notices her velvet ears. They are therapy all by themselves. They gave her treats and a toy penguin to thank her for coming.

Last week we had to put Cozy, our poodle/yorkie cross down. She had a good run, but Shiloh misses her, so I was glad to offer her a distraction. Last week Shiloh also broke into the chicken pen in over 100 degree heat. I was able to cool her down, thank goodness. Dogs aren’t going to stop, even when they can hardly breathe anymore. That gate  you see in the backgroundof her pic didn’t keep that smart red lab out. So Bake and I reworked it, and so far it’s holding. I really love this dog, and my allergic husband is a prince to let me have her.

 

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Planning

I love planning things–trips, parties, what I’m going to say. The other day, I said to Bake (my hubs) that I hope I don’t die suddenly, because I’d rather have a chance to plan it well. OK, you get the picture.

red roses close up photography

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So — our 50th anniversary is coming up in January. Let me digress momentarily. That fact is a miracle all on its own. I’m from a divorced couple, Bake grew up with beatings that kept him from going to school some days–broken folks. I never expected, ever, to make it past our 14th year, but God. So, here we are, anticipating our Golden Wedding Anniversary.

The kids did us a bang up party for our 40th, so I’m thinking I can plan this one. Hipdewoops. We’re going to dance. And dance some more, to songs that put the lyrics to our life. We’re going to renew our vows. (Over that I am sweating blood because Bake can say some of the sweetest things to me, and I so want to do the same for him.) And we’re going to eat cake, and toast every good thing we can think of in life and marriage. People we love have already agreed to help us put this shindig together and now I am purusing (incredibly expensive) invitations.

Back in the day, 1969 to be exact, I planned my wedding on a shoestring. Bake was headed for Vietnam, so we had two weeks to get ready. I used the leftover of what my dad had paid for my dorm room to fund the wedding, since we would be moving into our $75 a month apartment, the second floor of these old people’s house (criminy, they must have been about our age now). Their only stipulation was that we take our shoes off when we came in at night.

Back then, we had a dorm friend who agreed to take photos. Tuesday, my buddy Leslee, graphic artist turned prize-winning photographer, will take our anniversary photo.

My mom made my dress, knee length. The dress I wear to our 50th will be floor length. I made my cake. Our pastor’s wife, Heather, is going to make us a cake on the theme of a rose garden, and it will be a doozy because she’s talented beyond belief.

At our wedding, sisters who sang well rendered One Hand One Heart. At our 50th party, my buddy of years will sing a beautiful song about soul mates, and her voice is honey.

My grandmother played the piano at our wedding, and my dad flipped the lights off because he thought candlelight would be nice. Good thing my grandmother could play by ear. At our 50th, there’ll be a sound guy.

Bake’s dad, pastor and heroic POW, officated at our wedding. He’s gone on to live with Jesus. Our pastor, Jim, who explains the Gospel better than anyone in the world, will introduce our vows at our 50th.

There were no written invitations to our wedding. The guy who ran the dorm cafeteria stood on a chair and invited everyone, and the little mission where I first understood the Gospel overflowed with folks. They were even looking in the windows on a snowy day. There may be no invitations to our 50th if I don’t find some that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

We decorated my wedding with pine trees, silk ribbon and a set of candlelabras. My family lived in the Sierras then. My bff, Georgia, who can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, will head the decorating team for our 50th.

The love Bake and I shared back in the day has blossomed and deepened, and I sure didn’t plan that. But I’m glad God did.

Depression

Depression is weird because sometimes you know you feel depressed and sometimes you don’t.  When you don’t, you wonder whether you really are and just don’t realize it. When you do, you don’t give a big rip, about that or much of anything else, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair. Why did I pick such a joyful subject?To remember, I guess.

There are a lot of definitions of depression. I’ve heard that it’s the time when you feel like you have no control. I’ve heard that if you take a step in any direction  you can relieve it. I believe that could be crap because depressed people are not likely to take steps without help, chemical or counseling, or both. If the help is chemical, get ready, you’re on it for at least six months. You may not want to be, but you may find when all is said and done, that you needed to be.

Once a depressed person accepts help, they’re back towondering whether their depression is over, or just masked. It’s a bit of a Catch 22. However, it isn’t insurmountable. Prayer and the Psalms are as important as chemistry and counseling, maybe more. Writing a psalm in your own words allowsyou and God to think over your circumstances. Prayer before that may not even happen, but after the writing the depressed person has an inkling of what the issues are, and therefore what to talk to God about. Once God directs, you can begin to crawl out of the pit however He indicates. That is what I know so far. Sorry about the words that run together. My computer is nuts. It’s not me, honest.

portrait of a young woman in forest

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May

OK, get ready. I’m feeling hinky.

feet rain wet puddle

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May, as in May I …

  •  have another frozen yogurt, please?
  •  watch Steel Magnolias every year?
  •  play football with my grandsons, or attend a graduation?
  •  go barefoot in your house?
  •  explain how to paint with oils? How about the Gospel?
  •  go outside and only come in when it’s dark?
  •  tell you a story?
  •  hug you?
  •  plant Swiss chard in your flower bed?
  •  smell your roses, or better yet, honeysuckle?
  •  eat corn on the cob like a typewriter?
  •  drive through the alfalfa fields sucking in the aroma?
  •  stroke your labrador retriever’s ears?
  •  show you out.

 

Spring

cherry-blossom-white-sky-bloom-48133.jpeg   I’m not sure when the first day of spring is. Never mind, whatever day the first poppy blooms, or a robin wings toward my rose arbor with a stick in her mouth, or a little girl in a sundress and white patent leather shoes dances down the sidewalk, those are the first days of spring. I like spring, but I don’t have allergies.

Around here, almond trees blossom first. It’s the only snow the Central Valley of California ever gets when they start dropping their petals. (Except maybe every ten years, for about a half hour.) The ground is carpeted in white, and people go into the orchards to take pictures of rejoicing.

Another terrific thing about spring is baby calves and lambs. All clean and jumping. Nudging their moms for milk and exploring their world. Soft to the touch and smelling earthy. And baby chicks are soft, too. I know you knew that already, but I would have been remiss to leave them out.

And then there’s turning on the swimming pool solar and checking the thermometer each day to see whether I can put in my toes yet. Brushing the conditioner and skimming almond blossoms off the top. Dreaming of the feel of the water rushing past and the Marco Polo games we’ll play.

And don’t forget planting the garden. The sweat of digging out the burmuda grass runners is exhilarating. Placing tiny seeds carefully and staking tomato plants, oh yeah. Holding the old man (a tender term) to only three screamingly hot pepper plants. Watering, scanning for new weeds, I love it!

So, let’s hear it for spring! Get out there and revel!