Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pit Bull Attack Next Door

What I am about to write is true and graphic. If you can't handle that, turn away now.  I have to write it in hopes that maybe I find healing in my mind in the telling rather than in the surpressing of  it. 


It was about 8:20 Saturday night, just this past weekend.  My youngest son and I were coming home from Target. As I neared our driveway, my headlights illuminated a little dead animal--the neighbor's big orange cat, I thought.  I hit my brakes. Someone had hit that cat, I thought. How awful!

Neighbors stood in the shadows. One large man. my son noticed,  had a pit bull by the collar as the dog marched on his hind legs away from the scene.

 I looked at the  dead animal again. It was not a cat.  It was a dog!  It was Kiki, one of my next door neighbors' two little Chihuahuas.  I heard a lady screaming. Wailing. Sitting on the curb. Rocking back and forth, running her fingers wildly through her hair.

I maneuvered my car around and parked in my driveway.  "Call Dad, Joel! Hurry!" But my husband was already outside on the porch.

I opened my car door.  I heard the woman scream, "Oh, my God! He killed BOTH OF THEM!" He KILLED BOTH OF THEM! What am I going to do? Oh, my God!"

I hurried to her and put my arms around her. "What happened?"

At the same time, the large man I had seen walking the pit bull came toward us. "I'm so sorry, Oh, God. I'm sorry, ma'am. I accidentally left the gate open--"

"It was YOUR DOG?" the lady yelled. "YOUR DOG KILLED MY BABIES!"

"Can I call an ambulance?" he offered, seeing that she was nearly hyperventilating.

I bent down and held the woman, whom I'd never see up close before. "My grandchildren!" she cried."They loved those dogs. They cannot see them like this. Oh, help me. Pleeeeasee help me!"
I prayed aloud, "Dear Jesus, please have mercy. Please bring comfort."  That's all I could think to pray in the moment.

She turned to the open door of her house, pointing. "I had just had them in my lap. I got up and put them out to pee and all of a sudden, this DOG comes running from across the street!....." She gasped.

I still hadn't seen the smaller one, Chichi.  All I saw was Kiki in the road, her bloody bowels hanging out. Lifeless.

I took charge. To one neighbor man I said, "Can you please get a box or something? "  To another I said, "Can you call 911?" (They said someone already had. Cops were coming.)  To the lady I said, "Let's go inside and call Shawn."

  I held her as we walked across the lawn in the semi-darkness,  fearing she'd faint. As we approached the door, I looked down to her walkway. There lay the littler dog, the brindle puppy,  in a pool of blood.

"He got hold of the little one--Chichi-- and just--"--she shook' her head violently like the pit bull had."I grabbed a stick and beat that dog! But he wouldn''t let go! Then he went after Kiki. Oh, KeeeeeeKeeee! She was SO brave! I know she was trying to protect me. She barked and barked. Oh, God, they were so helpless! She fought for her life!"

To be continued

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Healing in the Hodgepodge

1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?

I have two favorites:  from about 9 am till noon  because I  feel most alert (after my yummy cup of coffee), the  most productive physically, and the day is fresh.   I also enjoy from about 7 till bedtime when we sit and veg, watch TV, play on our screens, relax (unless there's homework that the boy needs help with). Sometimes I go to my sewing room or sit in the family room doing some hand sewing.

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house? 

The blender is missing a small part (just the gasket, I think) that would be a cheap, easy fix, but since I hate to clean a blender (all those parts plus a sharp blade) I hardly used it after a slew of smoothies a couple summers ago. No appliance needs replacing right now, thankfully.

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?

Honestly,   chitchat ad nauseum while waiting for a meeting to get started is something that makes me grumpy. The older I get, the more I appreciate when leaders "rein in" the talkers and get down to business.

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?

One time I went to Toronto with a college friend and her mom and another lady to visit my friend's aunt.    We drove through the night so completely missed Niagara Falls except in the dark fog.  We stayed with the aunt who lived in an apartment above an electronics store on a busy city street.  Just as we were about to fall asleep,  we heard a loud crash and glass breaking, then a security alarm.  Burglars had broken the storefront window and grabbed stuff. And by "stuff" in the early 80's, I mean probably a Walkman or boom box.  Scared me to death. Not sure I slept in Toronto, but I've spent the night there!

I would like to revisit Canada, sans burglary, and see Niagara Falls in all its glory.

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?

Grilled cheese sandwiches. 

6. Do you cry easily?  

I used to. I've toughened up with age. In fact, I am moved more toward irritation than compassion when anyone cries with very little provocation.   I just wanna say, "C'mon, get a grip."

Gosh, as I write this, it sounds like I've become quite the curmudgeon in middle age, huh? I used to cry over the littlest thing, but not any more. I may get choked up, but tears? Not so much.

Two things that get me every time though? Seeing a baby being born (even on TV) or watching  the baptism of a new believer.  I am undone.

7. Have you started your 
(gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?

Yes.  I've made doll quilts all year to send in shoeboxes along with other little things for Operation Christmas Child.  I have also bought something for my daughter-in-law. I never really get into the whole swing of things until after Thanksgiving, though. I like to take one holiday at a time, thank you.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

A friend of mine gave a testimony in Bible study this morning. She has suffered chronic back and knee pain for many years, and yet perseveres to care for her disabled veteran husband.  And there's always a big smile on her face. (She's the friend who made the blue dress for me for my son's wedding--free of charge!) 

This past weekend Bonnie attended  a special service at her church, expecting something from God, but not sure what. 

Soon after sitting down (in great pain), she noticed a man near the front get up out of his seat--someone she'd never seen--and he came and sat down in an empty seat right beside her.  Bonnie said nothing, just observed. The man was shuffling some cards that said "hope" on each one, but was intently listening to the speaker as well. When the offering basket was passed, Bonnie noticed in his wallet a 50 and a 10. He put the 50 in.  At the break, she finally introduced herself. 

"Hi, I'm Bonnie." 
"Hello,"  he said, reaching to shake hands. "My name is Gabriel." 

That was all he said. He was friendly but quiet, and went back to shuffling the hope cards.  Bonnie turned to say something to her friend, Joan, on her left, and  then looked back to say more to Gabriel. But he was gone. It was seconds, literally, that she had looked away. 

Fast forward to after the meeting. She went to the car. Her friend Joan found her crying in extreme pain. Joan asked if she could pray for her. 


Well, Joan did, and then said, "I want you to get out of the car and walk around it. "

Bonnie balked. "Get out and walk around the car? But--"

She did, and as she walked, the pain was gone! No pain in her back. No pain in her knees.  

She went home and looked up Gabriel in the Bible. He's a messenger angel.  The hope cards were the message God had for her. Hope in God. Trust and obey. If she hadn't had hope, she wouldn't have gone to the meeting expectant. If she hadn't gotten out and walked around the car, she would not have experienced the instant healing that just took place. 

Is that amazing or what?? We serve a great and powerful God!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Peek-a-Boo Hodgepodge

Why this title?

Maybe it's because I was watching my almost 14-month old niece yesterday and she loves to play peek-a-boo.

Or maybe because you wondered if I'd dropped completely out of bloggy sight and just popped in to say, "Peek-a-boo. I'm still here."

Or maybe it's because I had a really, really embarrassing  peek-a-boo moment on the flight home from Kansas.  I blame it on my friend Barb whose 1904 Victorian home no longer has working locks on bathroom doors and they don't need them because it's just the two of them, usually, herself and her honey .All week long I got used to closing the door and not locking it.

Well, when I went to the toilet on the airplane, guess what I forgot to do? And guess what happens if you don't lock the door that triggers the "OCCUPIED" sign?

Guess what happens when the door opens while YOU'RE occupied, pants full down with a wad of airline Charmin in your hand?

I screamed, "HEY, STOP THAT!"  I didn't know what else to say.  Honestly I was so mortified I just wished there was a way to jump out of the jet. All I saw was a flight attendant's navy skirt and the back of a blue turbin of a Middle Eastern Muslim man  in the last row.  Did he see me? I hope not.
I had to get out of the bathroom because we were getting ready to land, but truly, I wanted to simply evaporate and then re-appear at home.

So that's my first of many last-week's-get-away stories. Somehow telling it is less,  or  just as more haunting than experiencing it firsthand, but it had to be told. For your levity, if nothing else. Because if I'm gonna be embarrassed, YOU'RE gonna be entertained, okay? Deal?

No jumping out of aircraft. How about I simply jump into the Hodgepodge?

1. Do you manage your own money or do you have a financial planner who helps in some way? Do those kinds of conversations stress you out? A lot or a little?

We have a financial planner, as of a few months ago when my financially savvy but stressed out hubby concluded that he'd rather pay someone to keep an eye on our "flocks and herds" and perhaps do it better than he can do with limited spare time and energy.   We went together for that sit-down conversation,  and I admit to trying not to have visibly glazed-over eyes.   Or to not suspect that this dude's aother Bernie Madoff.

All that finnacial business comes second nature to my guy, and he gets an adrenaline rush out of talking stocks, bonds, risk,  trust funds, yada yada.   My only input was  "do not invest a dime in Starbucks because their CEO made it abundantly clear that we don't share the same views on morality."  'Nuff said.

2. The second week of October is Pet Peeve Week. Off the top of your head, share TWO of your current pet peeves.

Gotta say, when I read this, my pet was chewing a new stuffed piggy that was SUPPOSED to go to a child for Operation Christmas Child.  So, any beast--or person--who takes stuff without asking--and then slobbers all over it--has committed a pet peeve of mine.

Another pet peeve? Poor grammar.   I just really can't stand it.  What was you thinkin' I's gonna say? Don't none o' ya'll be hatin' me just cuz I talk good. M'mama and m'daddy raised me to talk good and I'm pert near glad theys done did that.  I might not lock potty doors on airplanes likens I should, but heaven knows I even scream with good grammar.

3. What is one thing you'd like to learn right now, this very week if you could?

How to confront people, with grace and truth, when I know someone in authority has done something morally and legally wrong but won't admit it.   In short, how to fear God more than man.

4. How concerned are you about the recent health related news concerning Ebola? How about Enterovirus D68?

I'm really not.  I think the media blows it way out of proportion.  Sensationalizes something that people have been dying from for a long time, and will continue to die from once the hype has blown away.  If only the millions of babies still being aborted were receiving such attention!

I offered  a soldier my barf bag on the airplane when she had filled her own. (Sorry, TMI?) I felt so bad for her and she was just across the aisle. I didn't want her germs, but I didn't wonder "has she been to Africa?"  I handed her the bag without touching her hand, but I'd do that for anyone.

5. Garfield, Nemo, or Tigger-your favorite orange cartoon character?

Nemo.    I never liked Garfield and never attached to Tigger.

6. I'm going to see Gone Girl with my neighborhood book club this week. So often books made into film are disappointing. What's a book turned film you thought was well done, in that the casting was 'like you pictured' when you read the book, and the film plot remained mostly true to the book plot?

I'm REALLY dating myself here because I almost never see movies after reading the book, but when I was young I read "Old Yeller" and then saw the movie.  Old Yeller himself was just like I pictured.  Ha!

7. What is one story your family always tells about you?

They love to tell the tell the "time mom fell in the pool" story.   We were at a resort in Myrtle Beach many years ago, when the big pool got shut down because of FFM (Floating Fecal Matter).   Hottest day of the year, so everyone and their brother moved to the kiddie pool to enjoy the big ceramic mushroom sprinklers and knee-high cold water.

Well, I thought the bottom of the kiddie pool was only about 15 inches deep, but no, it wasn't. I underestimated.  When I stepped in, I lost my balance. Landed butt first in  22 inches of water, right under the mushroom sprinkler, which I hit my head on, and came up coughing and gurgling.  The family sat on their lounge chairs just guffawing all over themselves.

Now, when trying to get our 12 year old son to smile for a picture, someone just has to say, "Remember the time Mom fell in the pool?"

My embarrassment in exchange for their levity. See a theme here?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

All laughing aside, please pray for my brother-in-law Jay.  Last Friday morning he went hunting, and as he climbed to a height of about five feet up the tree, the peg snapped. Jay fell, full weight, onto the hard knotted roots of the tree. His ankle broke at a 90-degree angle to his foot, and he was all alone. Thanks be to God he had his phone on him and it was not crushed . He called my sister (his wife) and  his mother, neither of whom heard the phone at 4:45 a.m. Called his hunting buddy whose property it was, and then 911 . 

About 16 people in all finally located him, deep in the woods, as he screamed in agony. They tried to remove his boot thinking how swollen the foot was. But the pain was so excruciating that Jay threatened them not to touch his foot again.  Only morphine first and then doctors could do that.  Over rugged terrain they carried him on a country stretcher to the waiting ambulance. 

His ankle bones on the x-rays looked like Rice Krispies, my sister said. Jay is wearing an external fixator for two weeks and then will have surgery and months of recovery and rehab.  He is miserable from pain, and has an esophageal hernia causing chronic hiccups from screaming so loud and long.  The hiccups caused a panic attack--felt he couldn't breathe--which landed him back in the ER 3 hours after coming home from the hospital. 

He is miserable from sitting still .He is miserable that this happened at the beginning of hunting season . And they have a toddler and rambunctious black lab they have to keep away from his  bad foot.   Prayers are greatly appreciated for him, for my exhausted sister, and for the caregivers who are all pitching in to help as needed. 

Oh, and one other very important random thing: today is my parents' 53rd wedding anniversary. And yes, they are still madly in love. Daddy said they honeymoon hasn't ended yet. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday's Letters in Flight Mode

I'm linking up today over at The Sweet Season to do Friday's Letters, although it looks like Ashley hasn't posted for today. She has some beautiful wedding photos on there for anyone who would like to gawk from afar.

Dear Bloggy Friends, I'm sorry to have gone AWOL for so long.  It's been a combination of reasons for which I've not written.

Dear quilting hobby, you've become more of an obsession, a great source of happiness. Moreso than writing for the past couple of months. Not that you'll ever take the place of writing because you two are separate and noninterchangeable expressions of creativity.

Dear Husband and Children, thank you so, so, so, so much for giving me the gift of airfare and time away --a whole week--to go visit Barb, my dear friend of 40 years.  To have a friend that long and to keep close in heart is a cherished gift. Getting to spend time face-to-face, eyeball to eyeball, is a rare treat for us. She wanted more than anything to ring in her 50th year by having me come visit.  You made it possible and I'm so very grateful.  I will be celebrating that I am NOT 50 yet and oh, how I love to rub it in her sweet, smiling face!

Dear Airplane, I board you tomorrow.  Yay!  Goodbye, BWI, hello Wichita!

Dear Suitcases, I fear I don't know how to not stuff you like a belly on Thanksgiving.

Dear Need, apparently I don't understand your definition when it comes to packing.  Do I really need tennis shoes, flip-flops, wedges, AND shooties? Do I really need to accessorize?  Do I really need both silky sleeveless PJ's and long cotton pants with long sleeves? You tell ME. I might not listen, but I'll hear.

Dear Laurie, I am so looking forward to seeing you again.  How the Lord made our paths cross via the internet and then via the roads to your home in Kansas was quite a pleasure. He's in the business of blessing us like that, isn't He?

Dear Uncle Norman, it will do my heart good to see you again. As my dad's oldest and only brother, did you know that you've always been a hero to him? Every time he talks about you, it's how talented you are, how you saved his life in a  sledding accident where he landed in a pond.  Oh, yes, It's a Wonderful Life has the same plot, and you guys lived it in that moment. I hope you still have your red '66 Mustang convertible. I want another ride around town!

Dear Clock, once again you keep on tickin', regardless.  You wait for no one. And so, I must obey the hands that spin round and round, reminding me that in less than 22 hours, I will--if the Lord wills--stepping from the terra firma of Maryland to the skies over  the heartland of America. Oh, how I love to fly. The feeling of soaring through the clouds makes me feel closer to God. And knowing that if the plane should crash, I will be in His presence without suffering first. What could be better?

Dear Bloggy Friends,  another note to you: I do still visit your blogs, although if I am on my iPad, it's been a challenge to comment if I have to edit my comments for any reason. I am impatient when it comes to glitches. I seem to hit glitches moreso with that gizmo than on my laptop. Do know that I haven't forsaken you.

And please let me know it's mutual.  A little comment love keeps me keepin' on here!

Dear Family, let me end with saying I love you very, very much.  You mean more to me than you'll ever know. I pray for you daily that you would experience God's presence, His peace, His joy, His comfort--whatever you need.