Friday, March 06, 2009


It's been a very spring-like day today for which I am grateful. The winter has been cold, cruel, and more work than I can remember winter ever having been. It could be I'm just getting old. I'll cut myself some slack and say 'older' instead. After all I am relatively young, well, middle aged. Old enough to feel the effects of aging yet young enough to know if I put a lot of hard work into it I may still be able to run that marathon some day.

Work has been difficult. This winter has been grueling. Today is the kind of day I wish for all winter long. The sun is out it's nearly 50. I can wear a jacket instead of my heavy coat. The snow is nearly gone and I can walk the dogs without wearing boots. They have been walked twice today. It's good for them and good for me. I carry a large walking stick to ward off the suspected cougar that may be in the area. There have been 'sightings' mixed with the DNR neither confirming nor denying the suspicion. That means it's out there somewhere and I'm not the only creature around that has felt this winterhas been very long and demanding. The dogs of course run around oblivious to the potential danger. They are just happy to be outside running around in the field without leashes or the confines of heavy snow. Instead of a mountain lion (look them up, they get huge and you would NOT want to have to confront one. They are more than just a 'wild cat') we see the same six deer we saw the day before. If the deer aren't worried, I'm not worried as I suspect the deer would be the first things it would go after.

The dogs are currently fascinated with deer poop. I don't get it and never will. I turn to see where they are and their heads are bobbing up and down frantically lapping up pellet after pellet. I'm sure this can't be good for them. I call, they come. They feast like someone has spilled a bag of Sugar Babies on the ground. All over. It would have had to be a really large group of kids who all like Sugar Babies. And as with Sugar Babies there are times when the limit is surpassed and a sick stomach ensues. I'm not sure which I'd rather clean up but I can tell you that I'm glad we have wood and linoleum floors and no carpet.

The second time I went out with the dogs I decided it felt good to add a little running. That quickly turned into a jog. Which then turned into a fairly decent walking pace. I'm glad I had my walking stick. I do miss the days when I would run 13 miles. Half a marathon. I really am starting to think that I could get back to that again. I'd like to actually. Maybe it's just the promise of spring but I'm hoping to have the strength to push myself to continue on with this type of exercise. I like it and miss it.

So today has been all about taking time away from the things that stress me out. It seemed necessary and I feel much better for it. Refreshed really. When I returned from the run/jog/quickly paced walk a nice dark beer sounded good for the effort. It was. Bell's Best Brown Ale. Neither of the dogs seem to be sick after their faux Sugar Babies indulgence either. I really have to look online to see what potential illnesses could arise from eating deer poop. I'm sure there's something.

prayer: I'm grateful for the times I'm able to spend refreshing and enjoying what is all around me. Somewhat selfishly perhaps but appreciative of the opportunity none the less and the chance to show appreciation of what's been created.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

New U2 and Goings On

It's one of the few purchases other than groceries or gasoline that I have made lately but I went and purchased the latest U2 offering. I've given it only one listen yesterday and am listening to it right now and I have to say that I like it very much. The music is uplifting, positive, melodic, thoughtful lyrics about being human and spirit, very well put together and sounds great. Many have grown tired of U2, most would specifically cite Bono and every spoken word he's let fly without having given it much thought. Still, these guys get away with wearing their hearts and beliefs on their sleeves in a medium that would otherwise ridicule and taunt them. My personal feeling is they can do that because it's difficult to argue their sincerity to their convictions. That's something you don't see much anymore. Of course, they are in a place where even if they do come off silly they don't need to worry about it, they've already made it and have a place in music history. But I don't believe that makes it easy. Throughout history people's 'convictions' change to meet the masses where they are and what they want. The whole 'give the people what they want' kind of thing. That's when things fall apart. U2 doesn't appear to feel obligated to offer what's popular to the masses. They went that route with a couple of albums (zooropa and pop) and have gone back to what they do best. Each album following has shown a deeper succession into maturity, something the kids might not get and the adults might not want to hear en mass. What a pleasure to listen to and follow though. There is without a doubt sounds of cathedral organs and gospel pointing to the 'Magnificent'. This is not the kind of album that you listen to to jump around the house. It does offer plenty moments of meditation and may just get a person up and moving on occasion. I like it. I recommend it. Without hesitation. I have to admit though, musically one of my least favorites on the album is the current single 'Get On Your Boots'. I may grow to like it after a few listens. I don't listen to music radio much anymore, at least nothing that plays new music. So if this song becomes WAY overplayed I don't have to worry about that unless I do it to myself.

Music has been playing a large part in my life lately. It's been quite painful at times and I've been intentionally choosing music that forces me to delve into who I am. It has also prompted me to make a commitment to try and read my Bible daily. It's been a long long time since I've done that. Last year I bought the one year Bible and that lasted about a month. I've pulled it out again and am hoping to be more diligent this time. In it I found a Christmas card from '07 from someone I had meant to write back and that too was lost until two days ago. It's funny, the Bible wasn't misplaced or lost, it was just in the back of my car sitting on the seat. That's where it's been for nearly a year. I had forgotten it was there though until I went to pick up some more wood pellets for the furnace the other day. While throwing 40 pound bags into the back of the car I noticed the green book cover and thought, "oh, that's where that went, I should start reading that again." Then it sat under 400 pounds of pellets, 10 bags, for the next two days. When I made the second trip to get another 10 bags of pellets (we're stocking up) I noticed it again and made sure to pull it out and place it on the front passenger seat before it was again squashed under hundreds of pounds of pressed tree dust. I read it Tuesday morning. I had to look but it's in Numbers right now. And there's going to be the 40 years in the wilderness and all of that. I missed reading yesterday so I have to make that up today. I will do that while the dishes are soaking.

I continue to look at jobs trying to see what's available out there. It isn't that I don't enjoy my work I just feel at a loss. It's as if we're going nowhere. I truly believe when we are dealing with kids in placement 9 times out of 10 the fight has already been lost. It's that 10 percent that keeps me going back to the house full of children with either no parents or parents that show no interest. I don't know how to explain a mother who moves to North Carolina to live with a man she's met only online, leaving her 10 year old child in placement in Michigan. I really don't understand. This is a child who isn't particularly likable to be honest but he could be. It's just not likely to happen with him knowing he's been left behind. She didn't have custody but that's where it was heading and she'd been taking the parenting classes and coming up clean on her drop tests. I feel for the kid. It's like the anti-Gospel. In this case the choice has not been given by the creator (lower case 'c') it's been taken away.

I'm eternally grateful for second, third, and 4th chances and more.

prayer: break me and heal me, have me become who I am truly meant to be in this world, this role not written in stone, lead me through the paths with stones, roots, mire, meanderings, call to me and let me have ears to hear, a heart to follow....and forgive me for faltering oh so often and predictably.