Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lots to say!

How much time do you have?  I've got about twenty minutes to share with you everything I want too.  So much has happened.  SO, if I talk way to fast or ramble too much, it's just cause I'm excited (more excited than I usually am) and I want to get everything out.  I know you're sitting there going "Why don't you wait till you get off work?"  I'll tell you why, because I'll forget everything I want to tell you.  I was up at 2:44 to take care of some bizniss and almost got on the computer to tell you, so since most of what I wanted to tell you is still fresh here we are! lol

Okay, first, it does not escape me how blessed I am.  And, I don't mean that in a nonhumble way, quite the contrary.  Through the whole wonderdog ordeal, God has shown me just how blessed I truly am.  From all the post on facebook, to everyone just sending me their prayers and love.  It has been truly wonderful!  That's the great thing about having spiritual friendships verses regular ones.  I get texts throughout the day asking me how I am doing (and the family too) and that the person is praying for me.  So awesome.

Okay, secondly, Monday, I was praying to Jesus and Mary all morning.  Then, as I leave for work, the rose bush has a bloom on it.  So I thanked St. Therese.  Came home from work, still one bud, took Lizzie to the vets for the last time, came home, still one bud.  Then, we had to go to Jaime's scout thing and there were two buds!  I knew St. Therese had my back.  The vet couldn't have been more wonderful.  The whole process of leading Lizzie home was so amazing and so bittersweet.  The vet even stayed with us after the final shot.  He didn't have to do that.  Such a very compassionate man.

Then, yesterday, I go to adoration.  I needed Jesus.  I sat down in front of him like I always do.  And, my conversation to him went something like this..."Dear Jesus, Dad, I just need your help.  I know we did the right thing but my heart hurts so much.  I need a sign.  Yes, I know I shouldn't have to ask you for one, but I really need a sign.  I need to know that she's okay.  That she knows how much I love her.  And, I need to know that she loved me.  Please, don't have George tell me again.  He's suppose to say those things so it's hard to really believe him.  (He laughed at that one)."  So, I just sat there and became quiet in my head or as close to quiet as I could get.  The next thing I know, there's a tap on my shoulder.  I look up and there's this woman I've never seen or met before and she says "what is your name?"  I tell her then she says "I'm going to pray for you."  I was BLOWN AWAY!  I had my sign!  Boy does He work fast when He wants too! lol  I was so happy (but immensely tired) the rest of the day.

Sure, I still have crying moments.  Sure, I'll always love and miss my Lizzie the wonderdog, but through it all, My Dad is there for me.  He knows exactly what I need when I need it.

God is so awesome!

Whew!  Okay, that's just about everything!
Until next time,
Wish my dear, dear, sweet friend, Cindy McKenna happy birthday today!!!  She's one of God's greatest treasures :D


Saturday, March 19, 2011


There are really no words that I have that can thank you enough for the outpouring of love we have received with our beloved wonderdog Lizzie.  Somehow, thank you just doesn't seem weighty enough but it's all I can say, so thank you.  I love you all.

As for our wonderdog, well we have news and it's not good.  We found out yesterday that it is cancer.  Most of you have already gotten a text or a call and have been absolutely wonderful.  The word is that it's just a matter or weeks, if that.    We spent much of the day in tears.  I went to the vet's to get a new prescription and I had George text me a list of questions to ask the vet b/c I can hardly remember what to ask while I'm trying to ask it.  I was so distraught, I barely got out the first question before I broke down.  I just handed the lady the iphone (as the vet was in surgery) and she went to the vet with all the questions.  They were so awesome.  One of George and my main 'issues' if you will is wondering if we did something wrong.  Apparently, that's normal.  And, no, we didn't do anything wrong or not enough.  Cancer is cancer and creeps up in animals just like it does in humans.  Cancer sucks. 

One of the blessings I received yesterday, among all that I received yesterday, happened while I was at Kroger.  I look a fright, I'm sure, as I had just spent the morning crying.  Just left the vet's where I broke down.  So, I'm at Kroger's looking for food, no meat mind you and I'm basically just wandering up and down the isles not really paying attention to what is going in my cart other than it not being meat.  In one of the isles, I came across a friend of mine.  And, in true friend fashion, she says "you don't look so good" lol  She was one of the people I texted about Lizzie.  She gave me exactly what I desperately needed.  She gave me a hug.  We didn't spent hours talking in Krogers chatting.  Just a minute or two actually and it was exactly what I needed.  Such a gift from God.  See, George was at work and while I was keeping him abreast of what was going on, we couldn't really hug it out.  God is so awesome and always, always amazes me.

Now, the kids and I, mainly Sarah and I, came up with a plan before Lizzie goes to 'the farm'.  We have been using the term 'the farm' as Lizzie knows something's up.  She knows she's not herself.  She's been at the vet's so often, I'm pretty sure she knows the term 'the vets'.  So, we talk about her going to 'the farm'.  The kids know exactly what and where 'the farm' is.  But, it makes it a tad easier.  Not much mind you, but a tad.  I learned at the vet's that people do different things.  Some, leave the ashes there, others take them home.  My other gift from God yesterday, came from my Sharon.  She sent me the most beautiful email that brought me much comfort.  And, knowing that I'll see her in less than two weeks doesn't hurt either! lol  So, here's the plan...when our beloved Lizzie can no longer eat, we will take her to 'the farm'.   Then, we will bring her ashes home and she will be placed on the bookcase.  She likes to sleep in front of bookcase a lot, so there is where she will stay. 

Not that I'm happy about any of this mind you, but having a plan helps.  It's not like I'm all excited, on the contrary, but having a plan helps.  So, now is the waiting game.  In the next week, we are going to give Lizzie the wonderdog an early birthday present.  Everything she loves to eat!  So, that will be bittersweet, but I'm looking forward to it.

So, that's the update.  That's what's going on with our wonderdog.  So, if you see me breaking down, looking sad, that is why.  We are losing a very important member of our family.

Until next time,
How's your lent going?


Friday, March 18, 2011

Place witty quip here

I've never been one of those people who look at pets as their kids.  Ever.  I have kids who sometimes act like animals sometimes, but that's different. 

We had a dog growing up.  "Smokey".  He was my sisters dog.  He stayed in the kitchen on his mat.  He really wasn't a dog you interacted except to take for a walk.  He didn't play fetch or anything, just laid on his mat.  Then, one day, my mom sat me on the couch (I was in seventh grade I think) and told me that he passed away.  Not long after (or right before as my memory is a bit cloudy) my mom sat me on said couch to tell me that my Godfather, my favorite uncle was in a horrific accident and was in a coma.  I told her, I'm not sitting on the couch ever again if she asks, it's always bad new.  FYI, my uncle is okay.  He's still my favorite too.

But, I digress.  As an adult, I've had a dog, a puppy here or there that we ended up having to give up for adoption for different situations.  My one dog, sunshine, who I loved more than anything ran away and broke my heart.  I looked forever for her.  But, I've never had a dog till death do us part.

I had been wanting a dog for years.  That's what you do when you have kids, you get a dog.  Not a cat.  A dog.  I don't like cats.  While they're beautiful, they're sneaky and jump up on things.  No thank you.  Dogs only.  Five years ago I looked at different rescue organizations.  And, after a while, I found Legacy Boxer Rescue.  See, George and I know our limitations.  Raising kids takes a ton of patience which I don't exactly possess in spades.  So, training a puppy was out of the question.  We went to the local petsmart where LBR was going to be that day and there was this dog, Liddy in one of the cages.  Liddy had part of her lip tucked in her teeth.  I thought she had a jaw problem and fell in love with her on the spot.  Who else is gonna want a not perfect dog?  Turns out, her jaw was fine.  That look, which we dubbed her Elvis, was just something she liked to do.  After the application and home visit process, Liddy was ours.  We didn't like the name.  I wanted the new name to be something close so she would recognize it so we came up with Lizzie.  Short for Elizabeth.  St. Elizabeth to be exact.  It just worked out that way.

Lizzie was abused by a breeder.  We found out later that the parents (I think one was the breeder) threatened the kids if they didn't get good grades the dog would go, and go she did.  She just had a litter right before we got her.    We're almost positive that the abuser was a woman.  I say this b/c Lizzie has never really taken to me.  Well, the best she can.  She constantly give George and the kids kisses.  Me, maybe twice a year, if I'm lucky.  But, right after we got her and she got into the Halloween chocolate, it was me she wanted.  She tried to put her whole 50lb (at the time she was 50lb) body into my lap.  She knows that I'm her mama.  She would always thump her tail.  A true boxer has their tail docked.  Not her.  She has it all.  She's always happy.  Even when I would come in the room.  So, kisses aside, I know she at least liked me.

Lizzie will be nine in June.  Sadly, my Lizzie won't make it.  It is doubtful that she'll make the weekend.  See, in January, she started getting sick.  And, of course we took her to the doctors.  When I called to check on her, I was at a loss to say who I was.  I was more than just her owner.  No, I was and am, her mama.  We've made weekly visits to the doctors.  They're amazing.  So compassionate.  They never fail to tell me how wonderful Lizzie the wonderdog is.  How she's such a sweet girl.  My girl is sporting two lumps, one on her face and the other on her chest.  We're awaiting the results, but the doctor is positive at least one is a tumor.  She no longer can walk.  She hobbles and hops.  She was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.  She can't put her back right leg down.  She can't get up on her own.  When she goes outside to take care of business, she looks behind her now, a few times, to make sure I am there.  Usually, when she would finish she would run across the yard and into the house, sometimes skidding.  It was so cute to see.  Now, she hobbles...slowly.  She tries to go a little fast, but she realizes that she's different, that something is wrong.  So she sleeps most of the day.  All the anti-inflammatory and pain pills and antibiotics aren't working.  She's not getting any better.

I've been praying to St. Francis and St. Maximilian Kobe as well as Jesus and Mary.  But my heart is still breaking as is my husbands, (who is my consummate rock) and the kids hearts.  Lizzie the wonderdogMema, just this past July. It doesn't matter whether it's a person or an animal.  Hurt is hurt and grief is grief and death sucks the big one.  Yes, I know she'll be out of pain.  Yes, I'll know she'll be in a better place.  But me, and my family...we'll still be here, mourning her loss, always loving, and always missing her.

I know it's silly, but this past week, one of the things that brought me a smile was a rather open debate on animals and souls and heaven.

All I can tell you is that it made me smile.  I don't know if dogs go to heaven.  Fr. Tim has the answer.  I remember years ago, he said the answer in his homily.  And, the truth is, if the answer is "no", I really don't want to know.  I'm choosing to believe, that when I eventually pass away (probably from a broken heart), that Lizzie will be there, thumping her tail, excited to see me, and give me lots of kisses.  Until then, I just hope she knows how very much and how very deeply her mama loves her.  That while she is not my child, she is not just a dog either.  "What then, is she?" you ask.  She is mine.

Until next time,
love each other.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Movies, Music and Lent

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I like movies.  Scratch that.  I love movies.   When it comes to movies, George will tell you that I have no taste (he forgets that I picked him! lol).  Sure, I love some movies that everyone else does.  But, I also am not a fan of others that got rave reviews...i.e. LA Confidential (how Kim Basinger got an oscar is beyond me!  I say it should've went to Minnie Driver) and Gone With The Wind...SPARE ME!  I've learned to tell people "I appreciate it for the cinematic masterpiece that it was for it's time" but HELLO, talk about a downer of a movie!  Depressing!  One thing after another goes wrong and no happy ending!  I also watched movies that people found funny, but I just ended up feeling bad for the main character (There's Something About Mary and Meet the Parents).  While I found moments of funny, I didn't find them laugh out loud, just sad for the person being made fun of.  Yes, I know it's a movie and all acting, but still.

Lately, I've watched a movie that won a Razzie award.  For those of you who don't know what the Razzie's are, it's an award for the worst movie, actor, actress, et al of the year.  It's the anti-oscars.  I watched the movie called All About Steve.  Now, George will tell you that the only reason I like it, is because it stars my friend Sandra Bullock.  No we're not friends in real life, but in my head, yes.  I'm also friends with Jennifer Aniston.  I will not see anything that has Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie in it.  Home wreckers, I tell ya!  You want to leave your wife, be a man and leave your wife, don't cheat on her.  They don't need my eight dollars.  Well, neither does Jen, but I've got her back, lol.  I also won't see anything with Tom Cruise in since he went off the rails.  But, I digress.  I've love Sandra Bullock and her movies ever since she did Love Potion no. 9 waaaaaay back in the day.  Sure, some weren't her best (28 days) but I don't think All About Steve is one of them.

Her character, Mary Magdalene Horowitz, resonates with me.  She works at the local newspaper as the person who creates the crossword puzzle.  Therefore, she knows a lot.  She also knows a lot of useless information, minutiae.  She meets a guy through a blind date set up by their parents and she basically follows him.  Thus, becoming the butt of the joke, the main part of the story.  She took his initial words "I wish you could come with me" or something to that effect, literally.  But as I watched this movie, I saw myself in her character.  She talks a LOT.  She talks just about as much as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables.  She talks as much as I do.  At one point, when she's in the turning point of the movie, the feel good part, she says "words have meaning.  Words hurt."  And, later in the same scene, when in a rant she says "he was my ticket to normal."  Then, when asked, "why do you want to be normal?"  She says, "I don't".  Those lines stuck with me.

The first quote about words, it made me remember my teenage years and how being on the receiving end, words hurt.  Then, as I thought more, I realized this lent thing.  It's a lot of work.  Sure, I can be easy and just go through the motions, but Jesus didn't go through the motions when he went on the cross so...My words hurt just as much as the words I heard when I was a teenager.  I talk a lot about my work and the couple people that like to cause drama.  I like to say "I don't gossip, so listen good the first time", and I mean it as a joke, partly.  I can get sucked in to the drama fairly easily.  I can easily get on the bandwagon and joke (not really joking) about these people.  Then, there are days when my faith comes into play (sadly, not everyday) and I try to resist talking about these people.  I have gotten better, though.  When they irritate me, I bite my tongue and say a Hail Mary.  When I want to say something, I smile and nod and say a Hail Mary.  But, sometimes, most of the time, my humanness comes through and I fail.  Becoming who I was created to be is hard.  And, then I remember, it's not suppose to be easy, just worth it.

The second quote, about being normal, I loved b/c I'm not normal.  I spent my entire childhood and all of my twenties and part of my thirties wanting to be normal.  Then, St. Jude's and chrp made me realize that I am normal.  I'm my version of normal.  I dance to the beat of my own drum.  Heck, I have my own orchestra.  Then, they're are songs about not being normal like "Make your own kind of music" by the Mama's and the Papa's or "Pork and Beans" by Weezer.  "I Don't Want to Be" by Gavin Degraw and "Free to Be Me" by Francesca Battisteli, and a whole host of others.  And, to be quite truthful, I don't think normal exists.  Sure, everyone wants to belong.  Everyone wants to fit in.  Somewhere.  It's just finding that group of people who appreciate you for your uniqueness that's not easy.  But, eventually, we find them, even Mary Horowitz.

Lent is about being who I am, just a better version of myself.  Lent, is about being who God is calling me to be.  And, the coolest part is that even when I falter, on a daily basis, as I always do, He still loves me.  Whether I eventually become who He is calling me to be or not.  Whether I become the world's version of normal or not, He still loves me.  He will always love me. 

So, if you get a chance, watch All About Steve.  No, it's not the greatest, but it's enjoyable. 

Until next time,
Be yourself.  Don't worry about what the haters say.  As long as you like you, that's all that matters.  And, hey, I like you.  Just, the way you are!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Drama, Bob and Forgiveness

Wow. I know it's been a while. And, I've had so much to tell you! But, as usual, when I sit down to tell you, it doesn't seem all that important now. The last few weeks have been busy, busy, busy! Work drama and family drama--Maria is now sporting a boot on her left ankle. It's a sprain, she'll be fine. Lizzie the wonder dog has been pretty sick and now diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Jaime left this morning for his Band trip to LA (cue, LA is a great big freeway, put a hundred down and buy a car in a week maybe two they'll make you a star). I miss him already. And, it is my very favorite time of year...LENT!!!

I spent some time at one of my favorite stores on Wednesday. Sacred Heart Books and Gifts in Plano. I went to get one thing and I didn't spend a ton! lol I love it there b/c it's not a store where you can run in and out. It's so peaceful. I stayed for about a half hour. And there, I found something I really, really wanted to share with you. I thought of you as soon as I saw it.

I looked it up when I got home. It's called the Holy Spirit Cross. Now, I'm sure there's a dove above the cross, I just didn't see it to take the picture. All the ones I found on the web have one. But here's what struck me...look to the right, under Jesus' left hand. See how God's hand is holding Jesus? That struck me. You can't see it in this pic as Jesus' hair is blocking the way, but God has a moustach. Huh. Never knew that. I've never pictured God. I mean, I talk to Him. He's my Dad. But, I've never pictured Him or thought about what He looks like. Jesus, that's easy. I've seen Him all my life. But God, pretty cool to have an image. Now, I'm not saying that's what God looks like, but this artists interpretation I thought was pretty cool.  Oh and for all of you that I keep telling and never get to see it...look under Jesus' ribs, under His heart...its the outline of Mary!  You can see the outline of her Mantle!

I stood there for a while just looking at this cross. I even made it my desktop background. There's something about it that is just stirring to me. It looked at first, like God was the cross, but as I looked more, He is on the cross as well. God is truly always with us, in every joy and every sorrow.

Speaking of sorrow. When I pray the Rosary (not as often as I should) I realize there are four more mysteries, but I am always drawn to the sorrowful ones. For those of you who don't know, or don't remember, the Rosary is Jesus' life. It's all the Gospel's in one. It's Christmas and Easter all in a prayer. It's beautiful. The sorrowful ones focus on the Passion of Christ. I just am drawn to them. I don't know why I like those over all the others they're great also). Check them out sometime! And, speaking of the Holy Spirit, I wanted to share with you and the world, just how COOL BOB IS!!!! On Sunday, my class took a tour of the church and then went back to class. We talked about confession again, since there was confession that afternoon. I have a student who hadn't taken advantage of this sacrament since the third grade. I talked to the class, specifically her, about going. I've mentioned it to her before, but today I said "If you want, I'll go with you. I won't go in, but I'll go with you." And, she said "yes"! She and her friend and I went to confession. She had a bunch of questions and Bob and I answered them all. Her friend asked if I had an examination of conscience from the retreat. I said no, but I had the iconfession app! lol Some of the parents laughed. I told them look it up, it was approved by the Vatican! It's a cool app! So I left my class in the very capable hands of George and my aide and took the girls to confession! Afterward, the student said she felt better! I was flying high the rest of the day! Bob is so amazingly awesome! He never ceases to amaze me!

Then, there's another picture I wanted to share with you. It's one of my very favorites...

This picture just stirs me. Look at Jesus'hands. See how He is not just holding the guy? He's grasping at him as if to save him. He's grasping at him to hold him up. Now, look at the guy. See the remorse in his face? See his feet? See how they aren't even holding him up? That guy, he's the Roman soldier who nailed Jesus' to the cross. The picture is called "forgiven". It's so beautiful. Just look at it. Really look at it. What does it stir in you? Me, it makes me feel loved. It makes me feel that forgiveness, His forgiveness is truly real. It's not just words. If Jesus can forgive the guy who nailed Him to the cross, if Jesus can forgive St. Peter for denying Him, He will forgive me for all my transgressions. Forgiveness, it is truly real.

In this season of lent, I wish you peace. I wish you growing and stretching to whom He is calling you to be.

Until next time,
Sit with Jesus for a while. He, and I, miss you.

Lent is a time of growing and stretching and being reminded of who we are called to be. As I told my friend yesterday while we were having a particularly trying moment..."He never said it would be easy. He only said it would be worth it!"