July 26, 2016

God Is Speaking: Another Tool In The Battle Against All This Bad, Depressing News

I stumbled across a video by Anne Graham Lotz on YouTube yesterday and it was comforting to hear that she was feeling exhausted from all the bad news being reported these days, too.

As I discussed in my last post, I'm declining that invitation to be bummed and depressed from all these evil reports by trying to laugh more and working hard to find things to laugh about -- in my day, on the screen.

Stephen Wright had me laughing last night.  So did Jeanne Robertson.

Gotta find the funny in each day, it's important!

And I've signed up for Anne Graham Lotz's "God is Speaking" program as she discusses below -- for the first eight days in August, listening to the Word for two 30-minute segments, and focusing on what God is saying.

You can sign up too, if you're interested (or if you just want to learn more about what is being offered) at the God is Speaking website.

Here's the Anne Graham Lotz video:

July 21, 2016

Jeanne Robertson Is Really Hilarious and I Need a Good Laugh These Days

I don't know about you, but the daily news is getting downright overwhelmingly depressing for me these days.

And it's not like reporting really bad news is a trend.  I remember those daily Vietnam War casualty reports given by Walter Cronkite, and my mother crying over them.  And all those assassinations: JFK, RFK, MLK Jr. ....

My 8th grade health teacher, Mrs. Barnes, was famous around our middle school because she had an official Bomb Shelter in her house, in case of the Big One.  And she was serious about it.  She and her family were ready.

And I bet you remember where you were when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded in mid-air, against a bright blue sky, killing all 7 crew members.  Such a sad day.

So, no, horrible and heart-wrenching news stories are not some recent development -- but it sure seems different to me today.

I feel bombarded by badness, like evil is having a Heyday.  I wonder if you feel it too. 

Right now, I limit myself to checking online news once or twice a day -- but that's because I need to keep my work schedule and not get sidetracked surfing the web.  When I visit my preferred news sites, I leave them weary and worn-out.  You?

Recently, I began thinking about having a No News Weekend -- just avoid any news stories for 48 hours.  Because I really could use a breather.

Maybe I'll do that.  Maybe I won't ... it seems wrong somehow, irresponsible.

I Have Discovered Jeanne Robertson

But there is one thing that I am doing to help me feel better in these dark and depressing days, and that is finding ways to have a good laugh.

And thanks to You Tube, I have discovered Jeanne Robertson.

She's hilarious!  Added bonus: you'd feel safe having your grandmother or your baby granddaughter listening with you as watch her stuff.

Truly gifted.  Why don't more people know about her?  Why isn't she setting on talk show couches?  I dunno.

But I'm very thankful she's got lots of YouTube videos available for me to watch.  Because I need a good laugh, and Jeanne Robertson knows how to be funny.

Watch this one as an example:

June 20, 2016

I Have a Very Old Dog and I Don't Know How Long We Have Left.

I have a very old dog.  His paws are solid white now, along with his neck and jaw.  The rest of him remains black.

He's frail.  He has arthritis.  It's a slow walk now, not a fast run.

We play catch the ball in the yard now, not fetch.  Well, sometimes we do a little bit of fetch, so he will walk a bit.  But it's far from the young days, where he was speedy and quick.  I wonder if he remembers being that way, if he dreams about it still.

If you have an old dog, you'll understand.  This is such a bittersweet time.

Because I know what's coming.  I've been through this before.

It's my job now to be strong and sturdy and solid for him, because this keeps him feeling safe.  All day long, he wants to be near me.  On his bed at night, he will periodically look around, just to make sure I'm there.

For so many years, I know that he has thought of his job as being my protector.  And now, it's my turn to protect him and keep him feeling safe.

There's not room in his world for me to be sad or scared or fretful.  So I can't be any of those things.

I must be strong and confident.  I must be fun and happy.

We had a bad episode recently.  There were a series of thunderstorms that came through here.  Bad ones, lots of thunder and lightning.  When he was young, this didn't bother him.

About a year ago, he started to be scared of storms.  Terrified of the sound of thunder.

So, he was facing night after night of the terrors, and then the roof leaked and a strange man had to come by to fix it.  The back door became so swollen that it wouldn't shut fully and lock; another strange repairman had to come into his world.  Stranger Scents in the house, on the back porch, in his yard.

Two strange dogs got loose in all these storms and kept running up and down the alley, causing my old boy no end of distress.

And then I went off to the grocery store.  I wasn't gone that long, maybe an hour, but I could hear him howling as the garage door rose.  Now, my boy never makes a sound.  The only time I've heard him howl was the night after we had to put his baby sister to sleep last year.

So I knew he thought I was gone, like his sister.

And for the past two weeks, he's been recuperating from that stress.  At first, it was hard for him to get to his feet.  He barely ate that first night.  He slept a lot.

Today, things are better.  He's bounced back but not all the way.

And here's the thing I want to share with you, Dear. Reader.  Not the sadness or the grieving or the tears that I am fighting against.

It's the beauty of all this.  The lessons that he's teaching me in all this.

Things like:

This is how you live life to be happy.  You take the day.  You take the morning.  You take the afternoon.

And you look for the beauty in it.  The face of a smiling dog.  The sun on the leaves of a tree. The heat of the sun on your face, or the smell of freshly brewed coffee.

You must relish life.  A bite at a time.

I thank God for the blessing of being entrusted with the spirit that lives in this dog's body.  I am honored.

January 11, 2016

Ricky's for Dog Arthritis: Ricky Litchfield Dog Anti-Inflammatories Are Almost a Miracle

This past Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, was a cold, wet, and rainy day here in San Antonio.  

My old boy was hurting -- and hurting badly.

I had resorted to giving him baby aspirin, which I hate to do because it's so bad on his digestion.  It didn't help much.  The natural pain pills (Aches & Pains) did less.

My Arthritic Dog Was In Lots of Pain 

He had trouble getting up.  Standing, his tail curled under his butt and you could tell he was in pain.  He huddled near me wherever I went.  No smiley faces.

He would venture out only as far as necessary to do his business in the yard, and then scoot back inside.  To lay near me, wherever I was.

He ate little.  He turned down treats.  He stood or he laid down.  No sitting.  Toys? Forget it.

I was so upset, I thought I might be losing him.  He was one month away from his 13th birthday.

So, I went online to see what I could find.  And I prayed a bit (a lot!) while I was at it.

And I found Ricky Litchfield pills online, at Amazon.com.  The customer reviews were so encouraging!  The ingredients seemed to make sense.  (They are Buchu Oil and Salmon Oil - go check them out.)

And they had a vet who was there to answer your questions via e-mail.  A vet.  A real, live vet.  Wo Nellie.

So I ordered Ricky's on a rush delivery and that next day, Saturday, my beloved boy got his first dose of Ricky's.

It's January 11th now, so it's been around six weeks.  I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW BIG A DIFFERENCE THESE PILLS HAVE MADE FOR MY DOG.

Results From Six Weeks on Ricky's Arthritis Pills Have Been Amazing

These have truly been a life saver.  Today, my pup and I played fetch outside in the yard.  We're back to doing this all the time!

  • He has a better appetite that he's had in years.  
  • His fur is thick and smooth and glossy.  
  • He smiles all the time.
  • He's waking me up, not to go outside to pee or poop, but because he's ready to play and start the day.  
  • He's gone and found a green ball that he hid Lord Knows When (or Where) and now we're playing with it, as well as his stuffed squeaky toy.  
  • He rolls in the grass.  
  • He chases squirrels.  
  • He jumps into the back seat of the car again -- and we're bouncing along the path at the park now.  (We're walking at the park again!) 

Part of a Plan -- But a True Answered Prayer

Now, this isn't the only thing that my boy gets.  He gets really good food that I cook for him.  No grains.  He gets a probiotic daily.  He gets vitamins and he gets Osteo pills with gluco, perna, etc.  

But I am thanking God every day for these Ricky's pills.  They are a God Send.  

I share this with you Dear Reader, in case you are investigating how to help your arthritic pup, too.  I lost a beloved pup at 10 years to Rimadyl-produced liver cancer -- I won't go near Rimadyl.

January 19, 2015

My Morning Routine: Cinnamon in the Coffee, Dogs in the Yard, and Reading the Bible

I have a routine every morning that serves me well, and I thought I would share it with you, Dear Reader. At this point, it's automatic and I think it helps me to have happy, productive days.  Really! 

The alarm goes off. 

I get up and get dressed and let the dogs out into the back yard so they can investigate what monsters may have invaded their territory during the night.  (Currently, there has been a possum roaming around the alley and hanging out in the trees.)

I make fresh coffee in a percolator. 

I use the same mug each morning.  It's huge and has the cartoon image of Wonder Woman on the side.  It was a gift.  I like it because it can hold a lot of coffee and the coffee will stay hot in it.  Plus, truth be told, it's nice that someone thought a Wonder Woman mug suited me somehow.  Makes me laugh.

Anywho, back to the coffee routine.  I toss in a smidgen of Mexican Cinnamon (not all cinnamon is the same, FYI) and some stevia with my Half-n-Half.  A bit of butter (yes; Kerrygold).  I down a tablespoon of Coconut Oil at that juncture (I can't go full bulletproof coffee because I hate that coconut taste in my coffee).

I have a reading spot.

Then, depending upon the weather, I sit outside on the covered patio or inside at the dining room table, and I read a chapter in Proverbs.  I have a little study journal to makes notes in if something comes to mind.  I also read a bit from the Old Testament and some from the New Testament.

I don't follow those Read-the-Bible-in-So-Many-Days schedules.  I always read one chapter in Proverbs, the one that corresponds to the day's date.  Sometimes I read more in the Old Testament books and sometimes less.  It's usually about the same for the New Testament.

I read from the Bible.  Sometimes, I take notes.  

Today, for example, I'm in Amos and I read a chapter before I stopped.  I read a chapter and a half in Mark, ending with Jesus and the kids surrounding him.  It's a nice image to start the day -- Jesus had to be laughing and smiling and playing around with those little children, they were all clamoring to be around him. We don't see enough images of this guy, IMHO: the guy who played with kids, who children liked and thought was fun.

This morning, though, the notes I took were from Proverbs 19 -- about it being smart to have "a wise heart and a clear head."

My Morning Routine Helps Me All Day Long. 

Reading the Bible every morning helps me.  Really and truly, Dear Reader.  Often, something pops up from that Proverbs chapter during the day that is so on point to what's happening.  It's eerie.  It's cool.

Plus, having a morning routine that is automatic habit at this point is a good thing, too.  Before I know it, I'm well into my work day and it's in large part because when that alarm hits I don't lay there and think about what I'm going to do that day - with fear and dread or with excitement and anticipation.  I jump up and get going.

Habits, routines?  They are good things for me in my life.  Reading the Bible every morning?  It's a major help for me every single day.  Just thought I'd share, in case it might help you too.