Tuesday, March 11, 2008


That's about the only word I know that describes how I feel right now. Last time I wrote here, I wrote about our 7-month old puppy. I continued to become more and more attached to Pup Pup. I really think he pulled me through the grief over not teaching. We got him in September, and as his primary caregiver I got him out of the playhouse every morning, fed him, played with him, rocked him in the rocking chair on the back porch, and all the rest of it. He sat on the back porch and watched me cook supper every afternoon, he went on walks with me twice a day. We were walking together Saturday, when I thought I felt a sprinkle or two even though it was mostly sunny. There were a few dark clouds, and I've been caught with clothes on the line in afternoon showers too many times to count lately. I went around back to get the clothes off the line, took them in the house, decided to start some coffee, and that's when Bobby came to the door and I couldn't hear exactly what he said but I did hear "your little puppy". I just dropped the pot and ran, and there was his sweet little body in the road. I have been in a fog the last couple of days. Sunday was particularly hard. I had such a sense of unreality that day, expecting him to be sitting at the back window watching me, and expecting to hear the tinkle of his little tag when he came running around the house. I've had to change my walking route, because I can't walk the same route I walked with him--just too painful.

We went to the animal shelter yesterday; Lizzie picked out a brother-sister puppy duo. We paid the $150 to have their little surgeries and shots and everything, and we're waiting for them to call us to come and get them. I walked every step of that place, looking for another Pup Pup, not that I thought they'd have a designer hybrid at the shelter or anything, but mainly I was looking for a pup with his spunk and love of life. Pup Pup absolutely made the most of every minute of every day. He plunged headlong into everything with a real zest for life. When Tim eulogized him at the graveside, he thanked our Father for the privilege of knowing Pup Pup and asked that we would all learn from his example, the way he embraced life and made the most of it. I've thought a lot about that through my grief during the last couple of days. I've been thinking about all the people I've loved and lost, the friends I don't have anymore through death or moving away. I realized with startling dismay I don't have a friend right now. Not a real friend, really. I asked God for another Katie, another Shontelle. We'll see what happens.

Enough about Pup Pup; I am starting to descend again. On a brighter note (but what is brighter than Pup Pup?) I saw the Celtic Spring band on EWTN the other night. Incredible! Wow! Google them for more info. They have a truly enjoyable show.

My friend Mandy Lacy's husband Ray found out a couple of weeks ago he has colon cancer. He's only 29. For updates, click here: http://www.stpatrickhighschool.net/?section=viewStory.cfm&ID=3716

Oh, and here's a page I made of the pageant Hannah was in: http://mrsatwood.com/pageant2008.html

I don't know why the link thing isn't working.

I voted early this morning against Barack Obama. Only 8 people had voted before me. Tim voted on the Republican side, and I voted on the Democratic side. It's the first time we've voted on different tickets. I really felt strongly led to vote against Obama, so that's what I did. He scares me. I don't even think he's a good speaker the way everyone says. Isn't substance part of the package at all? Can you be a good speaker if you have no substance? My main problem with him is I think he's very weak. I don't think he'd ever be able to stand up to his handlers. It irritates me that you have to vote either one ticket or the other. There were people running in the congressional races that I wanted to vote for, but I couldn't. Whose dumb idea is it to make you vote a straight ticket?

Did any of you ever look into the history of early church worship? Did you ever think how closely related it is to synagogue worship, since of course the early church started out in the synagogues? It just seems so obvious to me that it was heavily influenced by it. It also seems so obvious that so many early Christians were crazy in love with those priest suits and ceremonies, despite Paul's clear and constant warnings against it all, despite his clear and continual declaration that the new covenant is new, new!, they sewed that blasted vail right back up and kept right on. I have friends who've been to Rome and they say those keys are everywhere in every basilica. Despite the fact that Jesus himself said the world would know his body by their love. But did you ever try to call one of them on it? One of those people who are into genealogies and holy days and priest suits and keys? They'll spew hatred for all they're worth and come running out with their swords cutting off ears right and left.

I guess I could care more, but since we put Pup Pup to rest under the dogwood tree, it just seems to me there's no time for anything but love.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Time Flies

I'm sitting in Starbuck's in the university library with my bold brew and chocolate-covered graham crackers. The waistband on my pants is snug and not likely to get any looser if I don't take some action. Actually, I do work out three or four days a week, but still I've gained ten pounds, mostly in my mid-section, despite the kick boxing. I lack energy, I lack creativity, I lack initiative. I googled all my symptoms, including the chest pains, sleeplessness, etc., and it's almost certain I am experiencing depression. It's not in me to just accept it, nor to go to a doctor for meds, so I'm doing the magnesium, fish oil, exercise, fresh air bit. As much time as I spend googling health problems, I think I could probably practice medicine.

A girl named Michelle just came in and called across Starbuck's to a boy named David that they're having a birthday party for Sharla (Charla) and all chipping in together to buy her some fuzzy dice. She is wearing an orange and red North Face jacket. His is black. From where I am sitting, I can see 11 North Face jackets. If I turn around, I can probably see more, but if you've seen one you've seen them all. Or so I thought. Hannah got one last year, but somehow needed (?) another one this year.

How do mothers get through the teenage years? This week, there's Beta convention which requires new clothing; next week, there's the school beauty pageant--she's wearing a dress she's worn before, at least; two days after the pageant, cheerleader tryouts; later in March, she's someone's little sister in Junior Miss. Then there's gas and eating out and general public school expenditures. She also has a prom dilemma unfolding. When she comes home in the afternoon, it takes her 30 to 45 minutes to tell me about her day. I mostly listen attentively, sometimes sympathizing, sometimes advising, and always silently praying she is learning good lessons from these teenage dilemmas and will mostly make good decisions.

Some of these coffee drinks cost nearly $4. How do these college kids afford it? A North Face jacket just came in in a color I've never seen before.

A couple of days ago, I read with deep grief that Emmett Rosenfeld did not gain National Board certification this year. I had kept up with his blog last year as he went through the process. Most of you know that part of my new job is to support National Board candidates. When I read Emmett's news, I immediately wanted to get in touch with him and give advice, etc. , but then yesterday I saw that he has been inundated with advice about Entry 4. I somehow don't want to add my words to those that have been written already. Just too, too many words

Lizzie has a dog. I am crazy in love with him. Jennifer's dog had three puppies back in August, and she gave us one. A Pomeranian / Rat Terrier mix. I didn't know until one of the home school moms came over for a play date that he's a designer hybrid. She said, "Oh, wow! You have one of those designer hybrids!" What? He's a mutt. Turns out he's a Pomerat, a designer hybrid. All I know is I am deeply attached to him, and he has absolutely got to stop running cars. I've seen him almost get killed a couple of times. Every time I come home, I look for his little body in the road before I turn into the driveway. He has a name, but I've called him Pup Pup from the start. It made Lizzie mad initially, but now the whole family, including her, calls him Pup Pup.

These are possibly--no, definitely--the best chocolate-covered graham crackers I've ever had in my life.

I just don't have any get-up-and-go. I know it has to be some sort of imbalance; I know I should go to the doctor. I know. I'm reading Beth Moore's new Stepping Up, a study of the psalms of ascent. I don't normally like her stuff--I don't like her writing style--but the content of this is good. I just tune out her voice, and listen to God's. In all my years of Bible study, I never knew there were psalms of ascent. Check it out for yourself; google it. This may be what gets me out of the mire, please God.

You just don't leave something you loved with all your heart, soul, and mind for twenty years and not grieve. It has finally hit me, and I can't seem to throw it off. The anger is gone--mostly--but the sorrow is overwhelming.

News . . .news. . . .news. . ..What has happened since I wrote last. . . A lot, really. Almost too much to attempt to catch up on. Daddy had surgery for prostate cancer. Mama had two more shoulder surgeries, the latest one a replacement. She's in a lot of pain, which is not likely to get better for a while.

Lizzie has stopped accusing me every day of taking her away from her friends. She only accuses me a couple of times a week now. I don't have a defense, so I don't usually say anything. I stand dumb before my accuser. I worry about it. A lot. I wonder about the lasting effects it will have on her. On a good note, she and I are having some very rich times in our morning Bible study. I do not believe inteaching children doctrinal stands--hold your cards and letters, please--because I think if you fill them with the word of God, they can draw their own conclusions. I'm not saying they don't need some guidance if they're way off, but in my experience they don't usually get way off. It's simple, really. Love, faith, obedience. I read the biblical accounts to her, chronologically, of course, and she is very astute about getting to the core of what's happening. She has made some profound observations about Abel, Noah, Joseph, the children of Israel. She ponders the events in the Garden of Eden perhaps too much--she becomes very disturbed about this at times--but perhaps not too much, after all. I just will trust God to direct her thoughts. She understands faith and obedience in a deep way that is certainly not lived out in her own life with her parents. She is strong-willed and disobedient, to put it frankly, and I yearn for the day when her understandings, her heart, her head, her hands, her tongue, are all in one accord. She listens in disbelief to accounts of disobedience, lack of faith, lack of trust, strife, etc., and derisively scoffs at the lack of discernment evident in the accounts, but she doesn't make any connection between herself and the infidels. Come quickly to her, Lord Jesus.

I will not get another bold brew, though I want one. I will not get another pack of chocolate-covered graham crackers, though I want one. I will never have any energy, I will never get out of this hole, if I don't stop living on sugar and caffeine. I long for the day when my understandings, my heart, my head, my hands, and my tongue are all in one accord. Until then, there will be no peace for me.