Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In memory of things once chewed.

When I brought Dakota home, she was 5 weeks old and somewhere around 10 pounds.  Now she is almost 4 years old and pushing 100 pounds!  Our first 2 and 1/2 years were rough.  Dakota was mostly "South" and the only way to wear her out enough to sleep at night was to go kayaking at the lake or play fetch on the tennis courts for hours.  Things have changed.  She's getting older and bigger and wiser and "North-er".  Occasionally, I take all this "North Dakota" behavior for granted, I start thinking that all the "South Dakota" days are behind us.  That's when South Dakota sneaks back in to rip a limb off a tree in the backyard or waits patiently for me to walk away for 2 seconds so she can discreetly devour my blueberry muffin.  That's right, this morning, South Dakota stole my muffin right out of it's little bowl on the arm of the couch!  (I'm not quite sure how she got the muffin with out breaking the bowl, but that's neither here nor there.)

Dakota loved Gator when she was a puppy.  She slept with Gator.  She played with Gator.  She carried Gator everywhere. Then one day, alone in her crate while I was at work, she ate Gator.  By the time I got home, all that was left of poor Gator where his beady little eyes.  Gator was the first to fall victim to Dakota's mighty jaw and, sadly, he wasn't the last...

Some of the things Dakota chews are acceptable, albeit slightly odd: Big bones.  Grass.  Snowballs.  Ice cubes.  Crickets.  Firewood.  Avocado seeds.  Apple cores.  Carrots.  Lake algae.  Her paws.  Empty peanut butter jars.
But most of the things Dakota finds to destroy are NOT acceptable: Stuffed animals, her bed, pillows, old couches... anything with stuffing.  Toilet paper, books, magazines... anything she can rip to shreds.  Ink pens, batteries, vacuum cords... anything toxic.  Underwear, poop, trash... anything gross.  Bobby pins, paper clips, razors... anything small and sharp that could make her choke and die.  Money, picture frames, my leather journal... anything valuable.  And the list goes on.

There are a few things Dakota doesn't show much interest in chewing.  Surprisingly, she's never destroyed any of my shoes.  She likes to pick them up and carry them around, but they're still all in one piece.  And she didn't chew on Garrett when I had to put him in a box (because my apartment was too dangerous for a curious baby, not because I'm cruel).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Look out Amy, here we come!

This weekend we drove all the way across Texas to visit Amy at Camp BlueHaven in New Mexico.  The drive was so long that I read three whole books... well, I had already started two of them, so it was more like two three-quarter books and one whole book.  No matter which way you add it, you still come up with a long time in the car!  I should also mention that Jes had to stay in Dallas and work, so she was only able to be with us photographically.

Amy was soooo happy to see us!!!  And I'll admit that we were kinda happy to see her, too.  She's been a counselor at camp for six weeks, so she had lots of stories to tell.  And trust me, she told as many as she could!

The first day, we made bar-b-que meatballs and corn.  Then Amy took us on a tour of camp.  A couple of counselors are getting married at camp at the end of the summer, so they built a new bridge across the stream.  Mooly and Daddy had to test out the bridge to make sure it was suitable for a wedding.  They approved.

Saturday morning, while the parents were still sleeping, Amos took me and Jes to her favorite spot at camp.  We hiked about 15 minutes before we came to a big clearing.  Mountains surrounded the clearing on all sides, and it was the quietest place I've been in a long time... we didn't even hear any birds.  After the 'rents got up and ready, we went to Santa Fe to get Amos some moccasins.  It was VERY hot and we had to walk around almost the WHOLE city, but we finally found some moccasins she liked.  Jes said they were really awesome, so Amy decided to get them.

Sunday morning, we went to church and ate lunch at camp.  We gave Amy one last hug and got back in the car for the long trip home.  Luckily, we stopped to spend the night in Lubbock with grandparents and cousins.

I know you're all wondering what Dakota did while we were gone.  Don't worry!  She stayed at "Bark! Boutique Hotel for Dogs" for five nights.  She played and swam and played some more.  She even got a bath and "pawdicure" (I didn't make that up... that's really what they call it).  They must've worn her out good, she's been sleeping for the past three days!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Relationship: A two-way street of verbs.

"I am a verb. I am that I am.  I will be who I will be.  I am a verb!  I am alive, dynamic, ever active, and moving.  I am a being verb... and as my very essence is a verb." --The Shack

God's side of the street: 

Creating, loving, knowing, promising, fulfilling, providing, revealing, residing, living, consuming, unyielding, guiding, showing, listening, speaking, understanding, illuminating, alleviating, rescuing, working, watching, reaching, chasing,teaching, pursuing, communing, connecting, orchestrating, penetrating,  interceding.

Healing, redeeming, sustaining, sanctifying, purifying, cleansing, renewing, refining, reconciling, forgiving, incarnating, sacrificing, resurrecting, completing, restoring, filling, overflowing, protecting, freeing, redefining, satisfying, encouraging, uplifting, shielding, strengthening, preparing, sharpening, disciplining, blessing, investing, equipping, sending, leading.

My side of the street:
Believing, trusting, loving, accepting, choosing, seeking, following, communing, waiting, returning, resting, submitting, releasing, receiving, leaning, searching, knocking, asking, enjoying, relying, surrendering, hoping, anticipating, living, self-denying, reciprocating, absorbing, reflecting.

Praying, worshiping, rejoicing, imitating, sharing, confessing, repenting, growing, reading, learning, changing, deepening, listening, hearing, responding, relating, singing, kneeling, falling, soaring, going, telling, obeying, fruit-bearing, testifying, glorifying, magnifying, doing, devoting, planting, watering.

FYI: I didn't want to read The Shack.  My Daddy made me do it.  I'm so glad I did.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A not-so-subtle weekend.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an afternoon meeting with a missions committee at a church in Dallas.  That same morning, the sermon was on "Jehovah Jireh... God the Provider".

This past Sunday, I had another meeting at a church in Russellville, AR.  The church had spent the last few weeks studying the Lord's Prayer.  This week, the message was about "Give us this day our daily bread."

Two meetings asking churches for money, two sermons on God's faithfulness as our Provider.  So God, what exactly are you trying to tell me here?

For lunch on Sunday, Jael and Cole drove up from Little Rock to meet Mary and me for pizza buffet at the BEST pizza buffet EVER... Razorback Pizza.  My mouth was watering all through church in anticipation of lunch.  All I can say is that it's a good thing I don't live close to Russellville because I'd be eating pizza buffet at least 3 times a week.  My mouth is watering again just thinking about it...

Then we went to Starbucks to kill some time before I had to be back at the church and before Jael and Cole had to go back home.

The time with my friends was much needed, but I will say that drinking coffee before a presentation may not have been the best idea... Caffeine plus anxious nerves plus an overly-expressive personality equals one heart pounding-fast talking-arm flailing-perspiration inducing-did you catch anything I just said? kind of presentation.

On another note: I took Dakota to the vet today for her shots.  She weighs 95 pounds!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm not a pansy anymore.

Does this look like the face of a cold-blooded killer?  Well, tonight it did! 

Mooly was in the kitchen.  I heard her tell Dakota to get back, and then she called for me.  "What is THAT?" She was pointing at something on the floor.  I leaned in for a closer look, afraid that my suspicions would be confirmed.  They were.  "That's a scorpion," I answered. 

I couldn't believe the words that came out next, "Hold Dakota, I'll kill it this time." 

WHAT?!?!?!?!  Was I crazy?  Why couldn't I just make Mooly be the hero again?  Why did I have to prove that I wasn't scared of the scary scorpion?  These were the thoughts running franticly through my mind while I went off to put on my tennis shoes (so the scorpion's nasty tail couldn't sting the top of my foot) and find the orange birki (aka "scorpion death smasher"). 

I nervously walked back into the kitchen.  I got low to the ground, poised in my fighting stance, ready to fight the scorpion.  Mooly looked at me encouragingly, "Just do it, Jo... but not too loud."  Yeah, easy for her to say!  I raised my weapon.  My heart was racing.  SMACK!  And a miss.  SMACK! SMACK!  Another miss.  The scorpion was on the scurry.  One more time.  SMACK!!!!!!!  Dead scorpion.

According to the monitor on my watch, my heart rate had shot up to 122!  Killing a scorpion is serious business.  And since I killed it, Mooly had to clean it off the floor.  So far we remain 2 and 0 against the Scorpions.  Let's hope the winning streak continues.