I Know She’s Cute, But She’s a Wuss

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So I have two red-merle Australian Shepherds now, Harvey and Spendy.  Harvey is my oldest adult live-in relationship, I have had since since August 2001.  I honestly don’t remember my adulthood without Harvey.  He is now 13 years old and has what the vet’s believe to be Congestive Heart Failure.

Here is the dichotomy of my opinion on dog’s: I love dogs and I plan on always having one around, but the are dogs not my children.  So when the vet told me what was wrong with Harvey they started prescribing treatments and medications.  I stopped them as politely as I can (which is actually a pretty abrupt experience when I am irritated) and asked what the normal life span of an Australian Shepherd was, turns out it is 13.  He is not in any significant pain so life moves on.

Maybe the hardest issue that Harvey is dealing with in his life is our new dog Spendy.  I call her “Spin” because I am not big on the name Spendy.  Harvey is a loner by nature, always has been, I did not know there was such thing as an “Aussie Introvert”.  We got Spendy now because we wanted to make sure that Harvey could have some influence in her before he is gone and with four kids we wanted to try to make sure that there is a smooth transition time after Harvey goes.  Harvey doesn’t care about this, all he knows is that she is trying to steal his turf, and his food.

Here is the funny thing though, Harvey is Spin’s security blanket.  The first few days that she was here she would fight with him, chew on him, steal his toys, steal his food.  All that stopped when the days started to get shorter because, and this is something that I did not every think I would experience, she is afraid of the dark!  What kind of dog is afraid of the dark?  She will not leave our back porch without Harvey.  What a wuss!  So for about two weeks she would “hold it” and then go to the bathroom in our basement if we didn’t pay attention.

Now we are finding that after we let her out and she does go potty outside she wants some privacy, so it is not uncommon for her to run into the woods and then see her looking at you through the ferns while she is pooping.  Harvey is neither a scaredy cat nor discrete, but he has his quirks as well.

And Then His Foot Just Snapped Off

People seem to find stories about my leg interesting, here is one that I posted a while back that many people did not read. I thought it would be good to re-post it.

Swimming in Circles

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I have been volunteering to go and tutor at Pearson Elementary for the last couple months.  This last Monday as I was leaving the office I heard the sound of metal rolling across concrete.  Then I looked down and realized that I was standing on one foot and my other foot was behind me.  The collar between my foot and my socket just snapped in half.  This is not too uncommon for me as many of you know I believe myself to be a bit of a legend when it comes to breaking legs.

What is more normal than I would like it be is downright bewildering for other people.  There was a woman that came walking up behind me as I was collecting my various leg parts.  She seemed to take a moment to process what she was seeing, then to her credit she offered to help.  When she…

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Cost/Benefit Analysis of Having a Prosthetic Leg

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As I was standing in the shower this morning (where all, and I mean all, of my good ideas come from) I was thinking about all of the things in my life that I would never have thought of if I had not lost my leg.  So with out further ado, a list of good and bad things about having lost my leg

  1. Good- Stepping across a creek or stream without getting your feet wet.  I simply step into the stream with my fake leg and step out with the other.
  2. Bad – I probably would have jumped it if I had two legs
  3. Good – After one day of wearing socks I simply switch feet
  4. Bad – I usually forget to change the sock at all making for a couple of awkward scenarios.  The first of which is that usually wear out one sock significantly faster and the second is that I usually have mismatched socks.  But honestly people don’t notice the mismatched socks as much as the mismatched legs.
  5. Good – Pity if your into that sort of thing….which I am not…..unless I am.
  6. Bad – Attention home builders putting the shower drain right in front of the shower head means that I usually end up inadvertently filling up the stall with water because my size 13 is plugging the drain.
  7. Good – Cheaper ferry tickets, fishing licenses, and National Park Access.  I don’t like to be thought of as handicapped, and I don’t usually need your parking spots.  But when being handicapped means that I can save money, well all of a sudden I feel like limping.
  8. Bad – Swimming in Circles
  9. Good – People always want to know the story so its an opportunity to share and hopefully inspire
  10. Bad – People always want to know your story
  11. Good – Kids think your a robot
  12. Bad – Sometimes those same kids run into things staring, wait maybe that’s a good thing.

Can’t These Dang Kids Tell the Difference

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Yesterday morning I woke up late, well 6:30.  For many of you that is very early, for me its about an hour late.  This means that the stuff that I would like to get accomplished before the house wakes up did not all get done.  So when my boys had to get out of bed to get ready for school I was already thinking about all the stuff I did not get done.  So I had the boys get their breakfast, and then they had to make their lunches.  I know that is asking a lot but they actually like doing it normally so I let them.  However asking them to do this stuff in “hurry up” mode is a different process altogether.

In order to get them out the door I felt the need to do a little bit of yelling and expediting, so that by the time they were in the car they felt as though they had been shot through a cannon.  The reason that I had to get them out of the house early was because I was leading worship music at school and I had to get there early to get ready.  So imagine my shock that when all of the children from the school are gathered for a time to worship God, my boys look a little distracted.  I was immediately upset because my boys should be great “worshipers” because they are my boys.  Instead I was angry because one of them had his arms folded and another one was preoccupied with his shoes.

So here is a list of the things that I should have remembered when I started to try to lead my boys in worship this morning:

  1. Boys NEVER sing as much as girls in these events, my boys would rather have a job to do than to just be asked to sing with a group.  If I had asked them to run slides to bang on the drum or something more tactile they would have been more involved.
  2. My oldest son, the arm folder, likes to work to raise money for ministries.  He is an activist by nature, so why did I ask him to show his spirituality through singing.  Something that he does all the time by himself.
  3. That leads me to a third point, two of my children are natural introverts.  They don’t want to be noticed in a large group, they want to be noticed by their friends.
  4. My sons might, just might, have been more focused on dad’s attitude leaving the house than my attitude in front of the whole assembly of children.
  5. Last but not least, I would not have been singing at their age unless it was to mock the song (or the worship leader).  Why would I expect much more from them.

I am in a constant process of having expectations for my children then adjusting them based on my own self actualization.

“I want an unplanned life”

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There is a scene in one of the best movies ever “The Brother’s Bloom” (#2 after Groundhog Day) in which Bloom tells Stephen that he wants an unplanned life.  The movie is about two brothers who are con men, but that is not the real story.  The real story is that Bloom was never comfortable being himself, but he was very good at being an actor in Stephens cons.  Stephen was a virtuoso at planning cons and at helping his brother out at the same time.  Bloom finally realized that he did not know where his brother’s cons ended and his own life began, hence the title of this blog post.  I will not tell you how the movie ends, but it is perfect.

All political views aside (I think) I have many moments in which I feel as though the system and the culture that I live in tries to program me to the point that faith in God does not make any sense.  I have been set down a road in this life that was planned out by the culture and systems that I grew up in.  These schemes try to lead me to believe that all of my needs can be met by a system created by mankind.  In order to be able to truly have faith in God I have to step out of the systems and schemes that have been set before me in order to step into the plans that I was intends to be part of from the beginning.  I want an unplanned life, or rather I want back the plans that make my life make sense.

Ride Sundance, Ride!

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Not many people idolize The Pinkerton’s.  In almost every movie about the old west there are the bandits, which many times we are rooting for.  Then there are The Pinkerton’s, the private police force hired by the forces that wanted to keep their money.  When Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and others were wreaking havoc on the mine owners, the banks, the cattle baron’s, and the railroad companies; the Pinkerton’s job was to make the thieves pay, and if possible get their clients money back.  But again hardly anyone idolized the Pinkerton’s; they idolized the Bandits.

This is not because they were moral, they were very immoral.  It is not because they stole stuff, or killed people, or caroused women.  The real reason that these Bandits were idolized is because of the sense of adventure that it inspired in the hearts of those that followed them.  It was the idea that people could fight a system that kept money from them and gave it to others.  So much so that people would not believe that they died when they did.  Butch Cassidy, Billy the Kid, and The Sundance Kid were rumored to have escaped when they were obviously dead.

Being really moral does not seem to inspire people as much a having a life full of passion and adventure.  Being moral is great, but even the Bible points out that the law is only a shadow of what our life was intended to be.  Of course none of us want our children to grow up to be victims of someone else’s crime or perpetrators of crimes, but we do want them to live a life that reaches outside the bounds of what is expected and what is normal into a life that moves them beyond the artificial boundaries that are created by a world that tries to sell them a artificial life.

To those few people that read my ramblings, sorry I have not written for awhile.