Tuesday, November 29, 2011

saying goodbye

Today is one of those days that you wish weren't happening, but which the poignant memories will stay with me and sustain me.  This morning we realized with great sadness that it was time to say goodbye to our beloved furry companion, Pippa.  She had been ill for just a few days and after I ran tests on her yesterday (I'm a vet, in case you didn't know) I realized that she was sicker than we thought.  We still held onto hope, though, that we might be able to manage failing kidneys and crazy messed up electrolyte levels, to keep her here and comfortable with us for a while longer.  But as I lay in bed last night, crying a little, and praying, I prayed that God would make it clear how long we were to hold on to her. I have seen too many of my patients linger on with barely a "life" left, I have seen too many of my clients agonizing on whether "it's time" or not. I did not want to be in that place, especially with the kids just 3 and 6, I did not want them to see her slowly becoming a shadow of what she once was.

And so, God gave me a gift. A bittersweet gift, to be sure, but still one I can give thanks for. This morning my dear little kitty was unable to stand on her own, and could barely lift her head. It was time, and we all knew it. All four of us cuddled around her, showing our love and sadness.  And we talked about heaven, for I know that God cares for all the animals just as He entrusted us to care for them. And even the kids could see that Pippa was just barely holding on to this world to be with us.  So with final kisses and pats, the children said their goodbyes, knowing that while they were at school Mommy would take their dear girl to work and give her the special medicine that would let her first sleep and then go to heaven. And that's just what we did, with many tears (mostly mine), and soft goodbyes.

Oh, how I will miss her.  This little black kitty came to me as a stray while I was a veterinary student, in 1999. She had a broken leg and needed quickly to find a home to save her life. At the same time, I had been thinking about finding a companion for my other cat at the time, Cricket. And so God brought me Pippa. She spent the first 6 months with me mostly in a large dog crate, nursing that stubborn broken leg that didn't want to heal.  And she was never a good patient! All through her life she was one of those pets who had to be sedated for any kind of veterinary care!  She was with me through three moves, and my marriage, and the birth of both children.  And she loved to climb the christmas tree and sit in the upper branches, looking out the bay window. And she let the kids pick her up and drag her around like just another of their stuffed animals. She sat on the arm of the sofa each night as hubby and I relaxed in the evenings. She loved a warm lap and a warm afghan. She was always there, a faithful companion. We called her Pippa, or Pippy, Pip-squeak, Pip-ster, and just Pip. I often just called her sweet kitty, and she was. Oh, how I will miss her.

Saying goodbye is hard. It breaks my heart. But God sustains. And today, I fall on him, and praise him for this wonderful cat, for the life she shared with me.  Pippa, I loved you.

Friday, November 25, 2011


This has been a week of Thanksgiving as it should be:  family, good food, lots of fun, and thankfulness for all our blessings, big and small.  The kids made "thankful" lists on Wednesday as we prepared for the holiday, and I was delighted to see things like "frogs", "my socks", "turkeys to eat", "jumping" and "toaster strudel" end up on the boy's list (dictated to me), and the girlie's list include (spelled as she wrote them):  "anamels" (animals), "cine buns" (cinnamon buns), "Molly doll", "God", and "bouns sone" (Bounce Zone). Lots of other things too...I will treasure these lists forever.
We were all thankful to gather on Thursday with hubby's family, including his mom who has recovered from life-threatening illness this summer has been a true miracle. I cooked the turkey, made an amazing new recipe for twice baked potato casserole, did a homemade greenbean casserole with beans from the garden (no condensed soup in this one!), and made my Mom's stuffing which is a once-a-year treat for me. And with the family bringing dishes along, we did have quite a feast.

It was well decorated by the girlie, and some crafts she had made with her Grandma and me.
Then today we continued our celebration with a visit to see one of my cousins who was in town for the holiday, and his wife and girls.  Girlie and her closest cousin would love to live less than 8 hours apart...I think they would be "BFF's" (as little girls say these days!). We visited an amazing playground and were thankful for 65 degree weather!

All in all, we have had a wonderful, THANKFUL Thanksgiving holiday. Being so thankful puts me in a great place to head into the craziness of the Christmas season, and I hope that I can hold on to the sentiment of thanks through the next month.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

fall {in progress}

 I feel like I haven't been here in a very long time (10 days!)...and there have been things like kids with the stomach virus and subsequent days full of laundry and jammies and movies...but there was also a part of me that felt like, "there's just nothing interesting going on around here". But then I realized that there really is a lot in my days, and that the small blessings are gifts in themselves.

There's been quite a bit of creating going on...and I wish I could show you more, but in the interest of Christmas surprises, here is just a hint of the projects. I've been papercrafting for the first time in a very long time (trying not to think about scrapbooks left unfinished a year ago...). And there is such satisfaction in a simple project that won't take years to complete! Plus it was a great excuse to get my Cricut back out and buy a couple new cartridges for it.  I've also been trying to get some knitting in everyday...the projects are slow going and I think I have 5 (6?) unfinished projects in my basket. Oh wait. I think its 7. Sheesh. Working on the orange one below with a fury and hope to have it ready for seaming together by this weekend.

We've also been enjoying the season. Rainy days (like today) just bring out the reds so much more and I couldn't resist standing in the rain to get some pics of my Japanese Maple out front--glorious!  
 There have been nice days too, with walks in the neighborhood, usually with the boy on his "motorcycle" (Big Wheel). And meeting the girlie at the bus stop, and the joy in heading back home.
Home. Its really what fall is all about, now, isn't it? Family, and home, and comfort. Lighting candles. Baking pumpkin-flavored goodies. Snuggling all together under an afghan. Reading a good book, savoring each carefully chosen word when the prose is really just that good (more about the book in a future post!). Being together.  I am savoring each and every (un-interesting) moment!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


 This weekend we have...
  •  enjoyed warm and sunny days playing in the leaves
  • needed afternoon baths after playing in said leaves
  • sold more Girl Scout cookies and been to a Daisy Girl Scout tea party
  • smelled beef stew in the crock pot all day Saturday before enjoying it with friends
  • "helped" daddy with the leaf blower
  • thought a lot about gratitude
  • enjoyed the extra sleep of clocks turned back (and children who know not to wake us before 7!)
  • gotten a little Christmas shopping done at a local craft fair
  • baked and consumed a pumpkin pie
  • worked just enough on household chores (ironing...) to feel a sense of accomplishment, while at the same time wondering if it will ever be done (answer: no).
  • worshipped together with our church family
  • eaten too much leftover halloween candy
  • put away the halloween decorations, left out the pumpkins, and added the turkey-day decor to the mix
  • enjoyed ourselves with a relaxed schedule and time home together.
Hope you have had a fabulous fall weekend as well!