Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dogs, Friends, and Humility

Lesson of the week:

1 Dog + 1 open box of mouse poison = attempted doggie suicide.

I left the house just before 8:00 am to take the kids to school and head off to yoga. I returned home about 9:15am. Gentry greeted me with his usual doggie "Hi, I'm so glad you're home, something happened while you were gone" routine. Usually this means someone called and left a message, or someone came to the door, but he didn't let them in. There were no messages on the answering machine. We have had a number of burglaries in the neighborhood, so I began looking around the house to make sure doors were locked and everything was in place. When I got to the top of the stairs, I spotted a glue trap, upside down, in the middle of the hallway. When I picked the trap up and inspected it, I found white doggie hair on it; evidence that Gentry had been in forbidden territory--the master bedroom. I entered my room to replace the glue trap--we caught a mouse in there just the night before--and to my horror, discovered an empty container of mouse poison. Bits of the deadly stuff were scattered here and there around the chair, and I knew immediately that our mischievous pup had helped himself to a ride to doggie heaven. I ran down the stairs and looked him over. He seemed fine. He looked back at me with his usual doggie grin, lolling tongue, drool and all. I called my husband and asked him what he thought I should do. I knew I needed to call the vet, but I didn't know if we had the funds needed to pay for said vet. Doug told me to go ahead and take Gentry to the animal hospital to see what they could do.

At the animal hospital, Gentry took one step inside the doors and put on the brakes. The floor was slippery so I literally dragged the poor dog to the front desk. He was admitted immediately and the vet explained the entire procedure. One shot to make Gentry throw up anything left in his stomach. It was a good thing to take him in less than two hours after ingestion. It looked like most of the stuff he ate was still in his stomach. Another shot to give him Vitamin K. Another shot to bind up anything left in the intestinal tract. IV therapy to flush out his kidneys. Pick him up at 5:30pm and give him Vit. K tablets for the next three weeks. One trip to the vet, $350.00. Bringing home a healthy, living pet, priceless.

Today after yoga, I stopped to visit with a couple of other ladies in the class. I knew one gal from working out at Curves. She asked about the house situation in Phoenix. The other lady mentioned that her husband is a contractor and has been out of work for a year. Then she broke down and said that things have been so bad that her worst fear is that they will go through all of this and then her husband will die from all the stress. She stated that she is at the point that she would just rather die than have to endure any more. The three of us talked about personal experiences with challenges and depression. We shared ideas about how to cope and how we get through the toughest times. She mentioned her desire to write a book. I told her that I belong to a writer's group and we talked about that for a bit. She expressed and interest in ANWA and I told her I was trying to get a chapter started up here. She said she wants to come...then she said with excitement, "Finally, I have something to live for!"

Yep, it has been an interesting week. I wonder what -ity word I would apply to this week...definitely humility would be one of them. I do truly feel humbled that something I said or did could serve as a light for someone else in need. Serving others is the best pick-me-up of all. I love witnessing how when you share your light with others, your own light doesn't diminish, it gets brighter. What a miracle!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Family Blog

I've been getting some complaints from friends and family members that I am failing in the communication department.

"Use your blog! Tell us what is going on in your life. Post pictures!"


I will relate the mundane daily activities and happenings in the Pike household. I can't promise pictures until I either a) find the cord that connects the camera to the laptop, or b) fight my way through the line on the family room computer where I can download the pictures off the card. Posting them to the blog will be an education in and of itself.

I haven't given up on writing about those -ity words. I have been occupied. I took my final a few weeks ago for Food preparation in the home. I earned a score of 97...missing three questions. How in the world did I miss three questions? I've been cooking for decades..and this time I even read the cookbook! Amy and the kids have been here for a couple of months while they rented out their house in Laramie and so Sean could find them a place to live in Colorado. It has been such a treat to watch their joy in life...discovering snakes and bugs, making friends with the neighbors, acting out imaginary plays, and learning how to cook and clean and be a family. Little Ezra has accepted me as Grandma and even seeks me out when he hears my voice. He couldn't even crawl when they first arrived here and now he is on the brink of taking his first steps. (We decided to discourage that action until his daddy could witness it first hand.) I will miss their voices echoing up the stairs and out in the yard and their warm hugs around my neck. They are leaving in a few days. I dread the quiet...yet at the same time, I look forward to getting our home organized and decluttered...and getting ready for the amazing holidays coming up!

What do you want for Christmas, by the way? What do you see as the ultimate gift?

Growing Up

A few days ago, I discovered yet another act by a couple that caused our family more financial loss. Anger welled up inside me...and thoughts of striking back filled my mind. I felt betrayed and disappointed. I found myself beginning to justify those feelings (after all they are card-carrying members of the Church and should know better, right?) and then I knew I needed to ask my Father in Heaven for help. That simple recognition alone produced a small measure of relief. With a prayer in my heart and open scriptures in my hands, I opened the door and swept the debris out of my mind. I invited the Savior in and through the words on the page, He spoke to me.

Helaman 12:1 points out that the "Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him." Verse 2 then goes on to say how often "at the very time when [the Lord] doth prosper his people...yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord, their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One..."

I felt the promise in those verses, but I felt the chastisement even more. I recognized my complaining and anger as a form of ingratitude and a symbolic trampling of His gifts. The things that were lost, were just that...things. I failed to recognize the true gifts before me: the opportunity to learn and grow and show the Lord that I am worthy to be called His own. Things are temporary. Attitude is forever! A little over a year ago, my husband needed a job and insurance. Heavenly Father provided a job and insurance. Months passed and we prayed to be able to have our family back together again. Heavenly Father provided a way for that to happen. The end result is not what I expected, but that doesn't take away the fact that we were blessed with answers to our prayers.

Today is a milestone in my life. Our ninth and youngest child turned 12 years old today. Sunday will be the 27th Primary Program in which at least one of our children has read a part or sung a song. It's hard to think of not having a child in Primary anymore. However, I rejoice at the idea of having another Aaronic priesthood holder in the home. I've noticed our son watching the Deacons pass the Sacrament over the past several months. He even took notes a couple of weeks ago and stuck them in his scriptures! Last week he expressed a desire for the entire family to take him to the temple so he can do baptisms. Wow. All 9 of our children of age and worthy to enter the temple. I am truly humbled as I recognize this greatest of all blessings. Does this mean I am finally growing up?