Be Astonished

To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.

Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

During an evening walk with Lucky, when I was way beyond tired, delightfully astonished to find this praying mantis on a neighbor’s car.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 4-7 NIV

Present even your fatigue! Keep watching for those treasures in plain sight! Reminders of His care and the glory of His creation.

Praying Mantis outside office window at last home

Report on Lucky’s Vet Visit

Yes, she was terrified. When she went for her check up in July they emptied her anal glands and she cried. One was really bad. So she is not brave at the Vet.

She was given oral medication for the flea infestation. Vet said some fleas develop a resistance to the drops. Today, Tuesday, she is scratching less and more peaceful. When I brushed her this morning I found a few live ones still on her. We are washing all her blankets and pillows. Sweeping the house like crazy. Bob will set off a bug bomb soon and we will vacuum again and again to try to eradicate those evil pests.

Her eyes look better this morning. The vet said this med were best absorbed with food. Lucky was fed before her 5 PM appointment. While I opened her new pill vet went to get a little “snack” for her. Before vet returned the pill was gone. She fed Lucky about 1/3 can of wet dog food. Luck-Luck was delighted with that!

So we will be purchasing flea tablets from now on. Keeping watch over her to make certain she is flea free!

You do NOT want fleas, trust me!

Poor Lucky

Lucky has been overrun with fleas. I noticed after her last application of flea drops on the back of her neck that she was still scratching. A week later I inspected her and no doubt there were fleas around her tail area.

Resting for a moment before shake and bite again

I brushed her and applied coconut oil which the web said would smother the fleas. I guess some of them just ran for other areas. I bought “Natural flea wipes” and brushed, applied oil, wiped her. Still no relief. Gave her another treatment to back of the neck. No relief.

Finally decided she needs the flea medication that is digestible for dogs. Walmart said they had it. We stopped. No tablets. Ordered for pick up at a different Walmart location. They texted next day that it was not available, but could be shipped. By now, this dog needs relief. I cancelled the order. Well, let’s say I tried to cancel it. Eventually I had to call their customer service phone line as the internet site had me going in circles trying to cancel the order. Grrr.

So there is a vet appointment at 5PM Monday, 9/12/22. The vet only sells Rx treatments, so yes, she must be seen by vet.

We have had Lucky for over 2 years. She has NEVER had fleas like this before. The web said one reason might be if our grass is long. We live in a subdivision where the mowing is taken care of. Well, not so much this year! The company we hired for mowing 2022 is awful. The grass is long and actually shaggy today. They consistently miss mowing days.

Contemplating sending them the bill for vet visit and medication. Poor doggy. She can get no rest with these pests.

Kiss the Joy

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.”

William Blake

I likely had not read or heard this since high school. So true! And leads me to another bit of humor.

We have a niece who lives in England. She and her husband are expecting their first child in January. Since we are going to visit her mom in California next month, I needed to purchase some flannel and yarn for baby blankets. So I hit the sale at Joann’s fabrics.

A man entered the store after me. I overheard him ask an employee, “Where can I find the snaps?” Under my breath I laughed, “In Norwood!” You see, my mother’s maiden name was Snapp. Most of her family lived in the small town of Norwood, now completely surrounded by Cincinnati.

I was cracking myself up!

A few minutes later I came across him in the wrong isle. I told him my joke and he obviously knew where Norwood is. He cracked up, too. Then I showed him the correct isle.

“Kiss the joy as it flies, live in Eternity’s sunrise.” Wise man that Mr. Blake!

Physical therapy is a self-discipline that I am trying to rejoice over. Yes, I still have pain in my foot, but I am trying to walk more and stretch more in regular shoes. No easy feat after months in the boot. It reminds me of a prayer request I made to God many years ago. You are no doubt familiar with these retractable dog leashes? The owner starts on a walk and can push a button to let the dog run further and further ahead if desired. Pushing the button on the handle the leash begins to retract into the case.

When I first saw those I was , “Nope. Not for me.”

More my style, in fact, this is what Lucky uses. (Colored circles indicate colors to choose from)

My prayer became, “Lord, keep me on a short leash. I want to stay by Your side. Do not let me run too far ahead of You or lag behind. Please, keep me on a short leash.”

I pray you are doing your spiritual and physical disciplines. I hope you can rejoice in staying at the Master’s side on a short leash. I find I stay out of trouble that way!

Under the Deck

The dog took an interest in whatever was under the deck this spring. First time she went exploring in the mud I had to get a bucket of water to soak the mud out of her toes and nails. The second time she did the belly crawl underneath and into the mud and came out with her nails packed (and I mean packed) with mud, her entire white belly brown with it, legs, you name it, I had an absolute fit. I bathed her in cold hose water and I did not even care if she got chilled. Besides it was warm enough out side in my demented mind.

Bob agreed that, yes, she was making a terrible mess. He bought new boards that match the Trek deck and attached them to two sides of the deck that she can reach from her lead. That ended the exploring and mud bathing.

Then she took an interest in watching the far left corner of the deck. Staring for hours at either the yard or woods. She often lies down and puts her head between the bars to keep watch. We never have determined what she is looking for, but she is determined there is something out there to see. Has she seen the Doe with her twin Fawns out there, silent in the woods? The doe often leaves the fawns in the shrubbery while she goes to eat at the buffet one neighbor puts out for her. She is so silent I could easily miss her visits if I did not see her movement. Or has Lucky seen something come out from under the deck? Maybe something like this!

Notice the nice job Bob did blocking Lucky! Also, notice the Palm Rock on the windowsill 🙂
I think this was mama bunny before she delivered her kittens!

We are frequently convinced that Lucky is smarter than we are. She hears thunder and lightning before we do. She knows the movements of the animal world beyond our comprehension. Sometimes that is maddening, like when she is underfoot and fearful of an approaching storm while we are getting dinner ready. Or last night when she refused to urinate during her last walk of the evening because she sensed something we did not. Was there a coyote nearby? Will never know.

From the size of the rabbits who frequent the neighbors lots and now ours, these are no “Little Rabbit Foo-foos .” I do not think Lucky would kill a rabbit, but we are not planning on turning her loose to find out!

Oops

Whether an afternoon rest or in bed for the night, I rest best if I read first. I often read books in bed on my iPad mini. Sometimes as I am falling asleep I will accidentally drop the iPad over the side of the bed. The thud rarely wakes me.

Last week I awoke one morning and retrieved from the floor a new paperback book I had been reading. I also saw the dark form of the iPad cover and reached down for it. I could not grasp it, so I reached further down and grasping again, pulled to get it out from under the edge of the bed, but it weighed more than usual. In a split second I realized it was wet on the edge.

Oops. That was not an iPad mini. That was the dog’s snout. Poor Lucky! What a way to be awakened at 6:45! As she scooted out from under the bed she looked at me with so many expressions. “What the heck?” “Are you certain you are awake, Molly?” “Really? Is that the thanks you give to your constant companion?”

I started laughing and have not stopped since. Every time I think of it I get the giggles. Such a good thing that she is a gentle dog! What has tickled your funny bone lately?

This beagle sheds like a maniac. I can brush her out in the yard and gather wads and wads of fur. I have noticed this especially around her hind quarters. I am considering having her shaved there. But then I knew a Sheltie who was shaved and never looked quite the same again. Guess I will just order a new brush and see if I can keep up better with the Hairball/Shed maniac. But she is so cute! Don’t you agree?

Climate Change Hits Cincinnati

I am not out of topics, but I want to tell you a couple weather stories. Weatherman says “If you get under one of these thunderstorms it can pour heavy rain.” Yesterday at our house it poured 2-1/2 inches in about 2 hours. With 98% humidity weatherman says ‘that’s a ridiculous humidity level!’ I so agree. One day we had 4-1/2 inches of rain in 24 hours.

Last week we went to Sam’s and bought gas. Opened the windows. Then Bob dropped me at the door at Walmart so I would not walk so far in the orthotic boot. He parked the car. While inside there was a gully washer thunderstorm. Dan calls them ‘frog stranglers’. When it let up a bit Bob went to get the car. He arrived saying I had left my window open. The small towel I keep in the car for hot upholstery was soaked. He found the dog towel in the back seat for drying Lucky after a wet or muddy walk to sop up the mess. I used every bandana I could find in the car wiping up myself and the car. The rain soaked into my shorts from the upholstery, into my shirt from upholstery. We got home and I changed clothes.

Edge of Paul Brown Stadium

The storms stopped and the sun came out. Been meaning to clean the dog nose-art off the back windows for several weeks. Decided today was the day. I was outside for 45 minutes. In the shade of the garage is was vacuuming water off the floor mats, wiping upholstery, vacuuming trunk, and washing dog nose-art off back windows. Muggy is an understatement with 98% humidity. This is an unusually hot and muggy summer for Southwest Ohio. Humidity is tropical. I sprayed the dog art and wiped it dry, nope! Still wet. One of those days that took extra effort to dry anything off including me! By the time I came inside I literally had to change clothing again. Totally drenched. Every. Single. Stitch.

We thank you Lord for our life upon earth. Forgive us for how we have abused and misused this gift. Lead us in paths of righteousness to try and correct the damage we have done for many decades. Help us, Lord, we pray.

Driving Last Weekend

When I was a child we would occasionally got to Rocky Fork Lake. An uncle had a boat and I would try, but never succeeded, in water skiing. As young adults Bob and I would go fishing there (or drowning worms!) We were poor and it was cheap entertainment.

Last week we took the dog on the drive with us to visit Rocky Fork Lake again. We only went to the camping side this trip. I was delighted that there were water lilies all over the place! I had absolutely no memory of those plants. I thumped around a little bit with my orthotic boot. Bob and Lucky explored places and took photos.

Another glorious July Day!

Lucky sniffed at a frog and it “eeked” as it jumped into the water.

Towards the end of our visit we were blessed to see my favorite – a great blue heron in the distance on the lake! Photo did not work well as too far away! We will return another day for certain.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your judgements are like the great deep;
    you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.

Psalm 36:5-9

Remember This Song?

John Denver, may he rest in peace, wrote “Anne’s Song” with part of the lyrics being:

“You fill up my senses like a night in a forest,
like the mountains in springtime,
like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert,
like a sleepy blue ocean.
You fill up my senses, come fill me again.”

I often think of this as a love song between myself and the Trinity. Bob and I took a walk on a paved trail above Harsha Lake at Eastfork Park last week. It was such a delight to my soul. Brought refreshment on the deepest level. When we first arrive at the parking lot Lucky cries and whines in excitement. Bob teases her to be a good dog while we walk and she remains in the car. She would likely tear up the car and try to break a window if we ever left her behind!

Besides being a bright sunny day with flawless blue skies, the first thing we heard after we crossed the bridge was a Bob White!! As a child I would lie in bed on spring and summer mornings and hear this distinctive bird calling. As the website https://www.farmanddairy.com/columns/can-the-bobwhite-quail-come-back-to-ohios-fields/35205.html reports, “Bobwhite fell by a devastating three-quarters in the 20 years between 1984 and 2004, a dismal crash that illustrates the trouble quail are in.” AND “Bobwhite quail are just one of many sub-species of quail but the only one native to Ohio. The call of a bobwhite quail, just two notes in length, sounds just like the word “bobwhite.” Though we never laid eyes on it, the song was unmistakable! I could have stood there for hours!

Also heard the Wood thrush, though we never saw it. I heard thrush all the time at our last home. Charming, bell-like song.

Wild geraniums were in bloom as was a white violet and white clover.

The Honeysuckle fragrance was strong and enticing. The dog roses were competing in the most fragrant category.

A bullfrog burped in the pond through the weeds. Do you get the idea of “God fills up my senses”?

Red-winged was putting its entire being into his song.

But ah, the Great Blue Herons always capture my heart. In the distance one was wading along the shore of the lake. If it turned sideways it would seem to vanish. Then another one in flight came right in front of us. Neither of us were able to get our cameras out fast enough!

The video below was made in the Philippines. Honestly, it is so difficult to get a good video, in focus of these giant birds in flight, I just had to share this one. They remind me of a prehistoric being! Maybe related to the Pterodactyl? Steve Vantreese of The Paducah Sun writes:

“He is more pterodactyl than tweety bird, a killing machine to all manner of smaller beings that will fit in that bayonet of a beak.

“The great blue heron is our top shelf predatory wading bird hereabouts. The long-legged thing is the largest North American heron — not a crane — and well adapted to habitats all over our continent.

“Our great blue is a relative whopper, weighing as much as a goose but more elongated. This heron is up to about 4.5 feet long, and that is about the height at which it stands on those lanky bird legs. When it flies, it spreads those wings an impressive 6 feet or more.”

As we turned towards the return walk up the path the burbling stream reminded me of my constant access to living water.

The sun was getting hotter but a cool breeze accompanied us.

Lucky was going nuts with her beagle nose to the ground. All the scents of other dogs who were walked here, but more so the wildlife that traverse this path when humans are not around!

I saw one milkweed shoot along the trail and instantly missed our milkweed garden at the other house. Perhaps we can grow some here if the new backyard garden ever gets put in?

Never once heard the Bobwhite on our return walk. My senses drenched, we returned home with one exhausted dog. Not that the walk was too long for her, I think she wears out her brain sniffing!

Not treasures in plain sight, but perhaps treasures in our ears and eyes!?!

Walking Lucky

We ventured off our usual evening walk and took to the side street that leads to the bank, dollar store and post office. I came upon this sad sight and thought of all the nest builders in God’s kingdom who abandon their efforts for other, lesser things.

So sad

Have you given up too soon on your efforts to sanctify a place in your heart to meet with the heavenly Father and Savior of your soul? Have you forgotten to invite the Holy Spirit to commune with you in the center down silence place? Have you set aside a few minutes each day to truly get quiet?

Are there truly more important things than this?

Further along our walk towards home, Lucky and I came upon this.

Robin’s egg blue looking dismal

There is life and that more abundantly (John 10:10) awaiting you in your relationship with the One from on high. Please do not let the enemy of your soul kill, steal and destroy that life.

There are times when I wonder what I am going to write the next time I sit before my computer. Then the material is dropped before my eyes and I wonder anew at the Lord’s power. Abide, wait, commune, listen, pray, reach out to the Lord and He will meet with you. He promised.