Sunday, January 21, 2018

A pig is not as bad as a bull in a china closet

Amidst the shattered lives of so many of the people I love and care about near and far, I feel overwhelming sadness and I find myself searching desperately for hope, for the love in life that I know exists, for the tiny treasured moments that make life rich and beautiful. As I weigh in my mind and heart what seems insurmountably heavy, I find the simple (potentially trivial) happenings around me to be profound (and delightful). 

A man and his dog.

A really cool human.

I look at the mountain that looms in our backyard and I marvel... every day. It's always changing. It's always there. It (always) takes my breath away. 

I've been observing the various responses to fatigue in our household:
Madigan: excessive energy, accompanied by loud (did I mention LOUD?!), nonsensical chatter profound statements of fact.
Paugie: tears. A. Lot. Of. Tears. About everything. And nothing.
Lochlan: Screaming. Grunting, Moaning, Laughing. In that order.
Kelton: The implementation of every bad idea he has/hasn't had.

Everyone needs a horse knocking on their door, with a knicker in greeting.

Great. White. Dog.

He is starting to use sign language - when cajoled and bribed. :-) We're insanely proud!

Gumpai and his shadow. 

True things I say in a day:
"Madigan, Kelton, please stop standing on the poop." (manure pile)
"Stop snorting... I can't hear."
"Please don't burp so loudly when I'm on the phone. It's hard to explain to the person I'm talking to."
"Pee in the cup... we don't have time to stop." Again. Since our last pee stop was 2 minutes ago. And 10 minutes before that. And...
"I'm going to go feed the horses. Please make sure nothing is demolished (or "remodeled") while I'm out."
"Okay, let's hoof it! We've got a mountain to conquer!" (usually no more than 4 miles, if truth be told, but every hike is "mountainous" at this stage of the game.
"If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie." 200 times a day. And don't forget to put the toilet seat down. And flush. Please.

I headed out the door for an early morning hike, leaving Daddy in charge, and Kelton sleepily grabbed my leg and said, "Mama, I'm feeling loving." And so, I never left. Just kidding. 

Madigan (with great authority, whilst conversing with Paugie): "A Pig is not as bad as a bull in a china closet." Obviously. 

I grab this human and hold him more tightly. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

I'm too tired for a title...

"We are going to make this week a success!" I told myself as I kissed George goodbye on Sunday morning. I'm sadly notorious for my global positive statements which are all too often unsubstantiated by actual facts. Facts, my friends, are the enemies to my week, and the assassins of my global positive statement.

Paugie started feeling poorly on Sunday evening and began vomiting. I moved him into the bathroom and we began our 30 minute vigil until approximately 4 am, at which point he seemed to improve. We rallied ourselves for a great Monday - the sun was shining, the temperature perfect. We ran an errand, did school work and I maintained a steady drip of hot caffeinated beverages. Monday afternoon, Devany started to look progressively less comfortable and by evening was clearly in the early stages of colic. I called the vet and started walking her at 2:00. I walked her off and on for the next four hours, while the boys gallantly entertained themselves on the pedal cars and in the horse water trough. The vet felt certain she wasn't at the point of taking any drastic action, but encouraged me to keep her walking. I found a pizza in the freezer, (under)cooked it, threw it at the boys and headed back out the door. The outside temperature seemed to plummet to nothingness, though I don't think it actually dropped below 26 at any point and I periodically popped into the house to feel my nose and make sure I still had all my fingers. The boys put themselves to bed - geniuses. At midnight, Devany had improved enough for us both to get some rest. After thawing, I finally got to sleep at 2 am. Lochlan awoke crying, with a headache (I think), at 5 am. The day began with sun creeping over the Peaks, showering them in a subtle pink hue. Utterly breathtaking. Obviously it was going to be a great day.

Devany continued to improve throughout the day, but we stayed close to home to monitor her. We used this as an excuse to bake Christmas cookies. By 10 am we had baked our 5 favorite recipes and gotten them packaged for the neighbors. Sadly, we had yet to realize that we were hosts to the plague. Perhaps some freezer time will render the goodies less than hazardous??? Paugie started to be sick again after dinner and continued to vomit every 30 minutes until 7 am. After pouring a quart of Powerade into him, he started to perk up, though he continued to not really keep anything down until this evening.

Lochlan began vomiting at 5 pm tonight. Madigan started feeling ill at 7 pm. A friend suggested that I give them an epsom salt bath, and that was going nicely until Lochlan vomited in the water and Paugie had diarrhea in the water. Wow. Keeping in mind that our gray water (from the tub and sink) feeds into our indoor garden to water the plants (a brilliant feature, most of the time), I grabbed a coffee filter to prevent the worst of the chunks from becoming a feature. Once the water had subsided at coffee filter speed, I removed the remainder with baby wipes. Sanitizing the tub will be tomorrow's adventure! Perhaps I'm delirious from fatigue, but this seems simultaneously hilarious and horrifying.

Sitting amidst the 7 loads of laundry from today, I find myself staring at these pictures - these tiny captions to a life. They hint at the wonder of it all, but they fail to capture it in it's essence, in it's fullness, all the heartache and happiness woven into a moving, growing, constantly changing tapestry. Sleeps alludes me, but the magic of this ordinary (or wait... is it?) life does not.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

I don't even try...

She's got me hook, line and sinker. This dog has stolen my heart. Whenever you lose a faithful friend in a dog, it's hard to imagine that you can love like that again. We have been completely surprised by joy - immeasurable joy - that this little creature has brought to us. 

She has had big paws to fill, but she has proven herself worthy of the task and she wears Valiant's little red blanket with dignity. I do believe Valiant would approve. 

Months after losing Val, I told Krista and Lisa that I wasn't sure another dog would fit into our family well. I really wanted a dog that I could bond with (as "my" dog), but who would integrate into the family and love the boys and Daddy. I wasn't sure such a dog existed. 

Pey Pey J. Moose (i.e. Paisley) doesn't just put up with her boys who smother her with affection. She dishes right back! When they wrestle with her, she wrestles back, enthusiastically. When they throw her ball, she fetches it and brings it back. When they call her, she always comes running. When they bite, she bites back. When they love on her, she loves right back. When they get out of the bath, she re-bathes them because they need it. Yet, throughout the day, she does not leave my side. I never have to wonder where she is... I only need to look down. She helps me with every task menial or important. 

Each day she can be seen shadowing our great white dog, learning the ways of the Pyrenees, walking the fence line each morning. She takes this job very seriously, as does her mentor and it really is too much cute to watch. 

Here... a great dog who brings us endless joy. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Exasperation and hope

I felt the blood race through my veins as the tension inside me grew with each step. My face flushed with embarrassment as I tried to avoid making eye contact with anyone that passed, for fear that any look of reproach or judgement might force the tears that were threatening to overtake me. Your brothers gallantly trotted alongside me, encouraging you that this store experience could be different if you would rally yourself to see things differently. After the 5th return trip to the vehicle to address your screaming and 5th attempt at a more successful reentry into the store, my exasperation was toxic to my ability to reason, yet I could not help but marvel at the resilience and patience of your three brothers who love you so unwaiveringly. There was no reasoning with you in any manner, no ability on my part to calm you, to help you find the good to be had in this small adventure or to resume anything but a tyrannical approach to this shopping experience on your part.

When we finally reached the car after completing another shopping experience from h***, the rush of feelings overwhelmed, discouragement pushed the tears to the surface and I sniveled my way home. Kelton, patted me on the shoulder and said, "Mama, don't cry. It will be fine." I think that's what makes it so insanely hard, if I dig to the heart of it. There is no assurance that everything will be alright. Though hope prevails, the outcome of this journey of life (let's be realistic, for all of us) is yet to be determined. The discouragement from today was compounded by pain of yesterday when I argued all day with the state about what services you should be "awarded" to help you have the best chance at success and the greatest opportunities to thrive in this difficult thing we call life.

Oh my boy, this is your fifth year in this harsh world and each day you grow more beautiful. If I could make anything in this world come to be, the wish I would wish is for you to find deep joy, for your ability to see things as they are (to find and KNOW Truth), for your life to be fruitful and for the things you are intended to do to be fulfilled completely. To love - to truly love - is something we all learn for the entirety of our lives, I suppose. Each day, I feel I come to understand another facet of that undefinable word, as I gravitate toward you and your brothers, and as I am perpetually shaped and changed by the things you show me each day - new things, hard things, insanely wonderful things, seemingly impossible things, obvious things that I've never understood before.

So, little buddy, though I may fall to discouragement in my weakness, know that I am forever behind you, always beside you, loving you with every fiber of my being, never doubting who you are and whom you are created to be. You are strong and you have shown courage and perseverance in the face of adversity and pain. Walk through the doors that are opened for you and look to the one who made you to show you the plans He has for you.