Trying to Balance

I have been working, working, working VERY, VERY, VERY hard. And I haven’t done very much of what I wanted lately. But, today after school I came home, popped a bag of popcorn and sat down and ate it. Then I cooked dinner for everyone else (I had popcorn), then Victoria and I baked a cake, then I wrote the rather lengthy blog post below.

I have several posts in my head. . .and the one below isn’t as well-formed as I’d like, but it’s a beginning. In more ways than one. Have a happy Wednesday.

Someday, a Dog for Me (A story in two parts)

I have already documented on this blog my love of the puppy I had so long ago–and her early demise that led me to not give my heart to any animal for a very, very, VERY long time. (While doing a search through my posts for that link, I typed in her name–then realized that I still hadn’t been able to bring myself to even when I wrote that post. Her name was Elvira. Blame the ’80’s. She was white and brown and about the prettiest thing you have EVER SEEN.)

The NEXT time I loved a critter, it was a bird. And then she flew away, and I was glad for her, but I didn’t get to say goodbye.

We began building our house out here, and I told you about sweet, Joss.

I asked her if she wanted to be My Dog once we got here full-time, but she likes being the “block dog.” (This link is to the song only. . .obviously if there is a dog in a tub–it is NOT a block dog.) Even though we don’t live on a block. She had a hard and difficult puppy-hood, teenaged pregnancies, and many attempts by well-meaning folk to tame her. But she’s a gypsy, so I just feed her and pet her when she visits.

Then Zoe showed up over spring break, 2010 as we had plans to adopt two of the feline sort (plus Tony, at best, tolerates dogs–he at least owes me that what with all of the snake/tarantula/bullfrog/mice/cricket nonsense).

We got her to a good home, but oh–I would love to see how she looks today. Gorgeous I imagine.

Then, of course, we got the kittens.

How we loved those kitties–and we still do, but Penny (the princess, Princess Penelope) up and vanished and broke our hearts. Truth be told, she was my favorite even though she was really THAD’S cat. Yes–Buttercup (the gray) was the one I initially wanted,

and Poppy is a model worthy cat,

but Penny was the one with personality and verve and LITERALLY posed for several of my favorite photos. If she saw the camera out, she was looking into it.

Things have been pretty quiet on the pet front–both wanted and unwanted. One of the The Girls will stay out at night every so often, but they are at the back door ready to be fed the next morning. And THAT is right where we found the most recent animal to adopt us–or, rather, me. Yet ANOTHER female German Shepherd. Tony opened the door to let the cats out last Wednesday morning, and then announced the presence of “a dog out there.” I looked, and there she stood. She was INCREDIBLY skinny, and VERY LARGE, but I could tell she was young. If we’d not closed the door at that moment, she would have walked into the house.

I was instructed to most definitely NOT feed her. (*Ahem* What happens when everyone leaves for school and I’m the only one at home STAYS that way.) I did OFFICIALLY give her some water, which she drank and drank and drank, and then she flopped down on our back door welcome mat (she felt welcomed in more ways than one) and for all practical purposed passed slap out. She didn’t FLINCH when I turned off the back porch light. And we kept the cats in the cage that day.

I wondered, at first, if it might be Zoe–the puppy from about a year and a half ago. The family we had given her to lived where the fires had burned, and I was afraid they had lost her. Upon closer examination of the photo, I knew it was not the same dog. Zoe was black and silver, and had some distinct facial markings. This dog had a lot of rust in her coat and didn’t have such defined coloring on her face.

Tony called me that afternoon to inform me that my college text book was on the front porch “along with That Dog.” I had called a couple from church to see if they wanted her. No go. Same thing when I asked a neighbor the next day. So, it was off to the SPCA temporary disaster rescue Thursday afternoon. When the fires broke out, they set up an emergency shelter for animals from the fire zone, and it was closing down last Thursday at 5:00 p.m. The dog and I were most DEFINITELY in the fire zone. I thought she was way too skinny to be a fire dog, but that shelter was our last resort. . .

Running

I have about a million things I need to blog. Victoria running cross country and generally being an amazing 13 year old. Thad being. . .Thad. Irlen syndrome success stories and yet ANOTHER female German Shepherd that showed up at our house. Oh–and also you know, the fire.

But here is what I’ve got for now. A photo of my daughter running. . .she does it WAY better than me in more ways that one.

My sister (who said Victoria has more legs than a bucket of chicken) said, “Victoria has accomplished something NONE of the rest of our family has–and that is to RUN. FAST. While not being chased by something very large. And she is running further than to the nearest truck.” Hear, hear, Sissy. No truer statement spoken.

Thad is obviously in attendance too. He isn’t really SOLD on the whole cross country thing. . .and we hear MUCH complaining–except when his friend Reed is there to cheer on his own sister. . .or when he is getting to drink Gatorade and eat Oreos. . .or when he is getting to run around unencumbered by parents or a sister bossing him within an inch of his life. . .or when we are getting to eat out after the meet because it’s 7:00 and we are all starving. But other than THOSE THINGS, he doesn’t really like it at all. 🙂

Home, Sweet Home!

We were able to get back into our house last night about 7:00. Everything is fine, and the cantaloupe that had been sitting on the granite all week long was in a plastic bag, so there was just a LITTLE mess to clean up. 🙂 We are so, so, so blessed. Everyone is back to work and school today. More later.

Ummm. . .yeah.

So. At 9:15 on Monday night, we were evacuated from our home due to wildfires in our area–which is the juncture of Waller/Grimes/Montgomery counties. We grabbed the cats, the kids, photo albums, pictures, medicine and hit the road. Tony and the kids have been out of school all week. I missed two days. We are with his mom and dad in the Houston area. Right now our home is safe and so are we, but we are still unable to go home due to the fact that our house is CLOSE to the fire and in the middle of the evacuation zone for our county. Below is the thermal image from the fire YESTERDAY (Thursday 9/8). Due to winds, etc. the situation changes frequently–hotspots pop up, etc. A DC 10 that had been doing fire retardant air drops on the Bastrop fire near Austin was diverted to our area to do some drops. There are also helicopters doing water drops and A LOT of firemen and police officers doing their jobs and keeping people safe. We would, of course, covet your prayers for us and everyone else affected. So far, there has been no loss of life–which is AMAZING and evidence of God’s work. See photo below.