BBC: This Means You 

“Happy are YOU when people reproach YOU and persecute YOU and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against YOU for my sake” Matthew 5:11

That was a disgusting article published chocked full of full on untruths. Man that burns me. But, I suppose it’s a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. So I am trying hard to be happy about it, how against the human spirit that is. It would literally take God’s holy spirit for me to feel happy at this misinformation & outright lies. Guess I’ll be praying about that. 

I was disfellowshipped for a time, so I have every right to voice my opinion on the Biblical practice of ‘shunning.’ No one can tell me it isn’t for the good of both the person removed & the congregation. What a load of rubbish. How is that even being sold as news at all. Disgusting. 

Don’t Give Up!

Another Convention has come & gone. That’s always a tough thing. These conventions are never enough it feels. 

Here in Canada, we had over 101 000 tied in together for some of the talks. Here in Edmonton, we had over 14 000 in attendance & I must say, hearing the final phrase of Song 20 sung by 14 000 people brought me to tears. How lovely all those voices were. 

All in all I didn’t find the content nearly as emotional as last year, which was a lovely break from being blotchy faced embarrassed. But wow the program was well targeted to give us the encouragement we need to keep enduring life’s difficulties. All the points on how to improve our spiritual endurance despite the worsening conditions around the earth was a much needed vitamin shot. 

I can’t wait for next year’s convention all ready. I never tire of being with my brothers & sisters & finding every year, more & more are responding to Jehovah’s welcome. It is so encouraging to see so many finding refreshment for their tired souls from Jehovah’s word the Bible & relief from this wicked world & its pressures. 

Love. What a beautiful gift it is. To be a part of this place full of warm & loving people is a true blessing in a bleak world. 

I would say more, but frankly, I never know who could stumble across this & I don’t want to wreck the program or the surprise of the convention releases for anyone who hasn’t had their convention yet. 

Kyra had a study of hers attend for Sunday’s program for the first time, tho, if your studies can attend for all three days that’s always nice. But it’s tough for new ones to take in that much spiritual information in such a short time. The program was very much for those of us who’ve needed the encouragement to endure despite our own failings; aging; financial stress; illness & discouragement. That, is everyone who has made the truth their own. Satan hates us & attacks us in ways to break our endurance. 

In Canada we heard talks by Brother Herd & Brother Hyatt. Let me say, Brother Samuel Herd, what a character. Also, I don’t recall one speaker on the program who was not a full time minister. Not one. That’s a first that I can recall. I loved that too. How valuable the teaching ability of these ones is to us all. 

So now I have to wait patiently for next year’s convention & I’m happy to have new goals to set & reach. 

A small goal I set last year, being a mom of five, I’m realistic about my life, was to start to play guitar for the very specific purpose of playing some of our Kingdom songs. Well, tho I’m still working on perfecting it, I can play The Joy of Conventions. I can’t sing along yet. But, I’m going to get there. But I’ve picked a couple songs from the Sing to Jehovah book that I’d like to learn to play, the melody part, and if I ever learn to sing & play, the accompaniment part eventually so I can play & sing. I want to memorize quite a few of these songs. On my list so far, Song 77, Light in a Darkened World; Song 44, The Prayer of the Lowly One; Song 141, The Miracle of Life; & of course, Song 20, You Gave Your Precious Son. I’m sure there’s many more but these are fresh in my mind today. I have learned and sung the old songs since childhood & having these newer songs, the simple touching melodies & powerful phrasing & heart stirring lyrics, I’m a happy lady to be able to learn them & I LOVE singing them. Even my 6 year old said to me after the convention, “I love singing these songs, they make me so happy.” Exactly what music is supposed to do for the soul. 

So, Goals have been made. Hearts have been stirred. Tears have been shed. Strength has been renewed. I hate the post-convention days where we get consumed by the world to a degree again. It feels heavy & sticky & so another goal is to really work on my daily Bible reading & my joy, the quality of my prayers, to be specific & take ‘note’ on my devices of specific prayers answered. For the record, I have experienced many times, but especially in the last couple years specific answers to prayers. But I’ve not been ‘noting’ them. So, Saturday after the program, something had been bothering me, I prayed about it because it had really made it difficult to focus on the right things that night while I was recalling the day’s program. I then, started to read the verses at 2 Peter 1:5-8, 10. There was a little snippet I wanted to understand better so I looked up the cross reference scripture in that section which took me to Philippians 2:12, which reads, “keep working out YOUR own salvation with fear & trembling.” Which, had everything to do with the topic of my prayer to Jehovah. Then, through the course of a search for bible texts I came across two more scriptures that I never would have thought to read that applied to my prayer. *noted* 

The entire thing that had bothered me Saturday night was gone from my mind completely. Jehovah is able to speak to us directly, counsel us, correct us, show his love for us individually, if only we take the time to ask, to study, to meditate. After so many years of knowing Jehovah it is only more recently that I’ve begun to utilize this powerful way of being taught. I do not have the answers to my questions or concerns. He does. It takes time & effort to search out the answers & humility to accept them, but what a reward it is to be taught by the Creator of this vast & awe-inspiring universe. The humility to accept my imperfections, acknowledge them— I’m working on it. I really am. But not on my own. What a unproductive thing to work at these things on your own. Jehovah is “the one teaching us to benefit ourselves”— I must always keep that close in mind. 

Why Did God Create the Earth?

I love this new little video for the ministry. The notion that that life sprung from nothing seems to me to be ludicrous. The more I learn of life, all the details of its intricacies to the very large things, so many of them that if even fractionally different would make life possible, the more I know there is a Creator. If there is a creator, what was the plan here? If you don’t ask that you’ve forgotten the curiousity that makes us do very human.  


I can’t wait to have a chance to share this one in the ministry. 

Brown Sugar Charlotte 

So, for a week now we’ve been getting to know this little pup. She’s an American Cocker Spaniel & she’s lovely & so very trainable. She’s got striking geeen eyes & she made last week’s terrible decision to put Nysa down more bearable. She didn’t ease the difficulty of the matter but she did prevent us all from feeling dreadfully mopey. Even Roxy lightened up from what is an obvious missing of her life long friend. I’ve never seen a dog miss another dog before. It’s truly heart breaking. Charlotte has already adapted into our lives & I’m certain that after all the things people say about getting or not getting another dog while going through the death phase of an old dog’s life that getting her was the right decision for our family. We can go out and leave Roxy & know she’s not alone. The kids couldn’t help but play with her & laugh despite missing Nysa. We had heard not to make this decision while being so emotional, but we knew we couldn’t leave Roxy without a dog partner. She’s half cocker spaniel & very attached to her people & was very attached to Nysa. I can’t imagine leaving her alone those days where everyone is busy & gone for the day. That would be torture for a dog like her. So, getting her another dog was an emotional decision at an emotional time. But, that didn’t make it a bad decision.

So glad we found a great breeder who breeds responsibly & cares about the welfare of her pups. She’s not registered which makes her less inbred & less likely to develop the health complaints of the breed & her moms (it was a double litter, two moms one stud, both litters raised as one large 15 group with both mothers mothering) were so lovely in disposition that we look forward to having a dog from really good parents. We are on the list for one of next year’s litter too because Roxy will be nine this winter. Knowing how quickly an old dog’s health can decline, we want to make sure we get a bud for Charlotte before Roxy gets too old. 

(Her mom is the brown & white)

You know, as a child, tho I loved my family dog, I would have said I was a ‘cat person.’ I snuggled the cats & loved being in the wood shed watching the kittens play. But the dogs we had were farm dogs; Coon Hounds & an Airdale Terrier. The hounds were obviously hunting dogs. They had their dog houses & were chained, simply because they could truly run away if they got onto a scent. Dash (Treetop Dasher) our most memorable hound, was more like a pet but other than him, the other hounds were working dogs, and some not recommended for kids to be too close to as they were somewhat unpredictable. Jake, the terrier, was a typical terrier. Messy, scruffy, sweet in temperament, but not a cuddly companion dog. He was a rodent hunter for the most part, patrolled the property with enough gusto we felt safe. 

So, having Nysa & Roxy has been my first experience with companion dogs. I didn’t much understand the relationship between people & dogs in that way until recently. Dogs are ridiculously loyal. I always liked the aloofness of cats. That cats require a relationship that can be quite complex & if they decide they don’t like you, oh well, your loss. They just didn’t care. But cats always liked me & I understood their tempered affections. But dogs, my goodness, they have a neediness. But alongside that, comes a loyalty & a trust. If you love a dog, they will LOVE you. They will be happy to see you every moment of their life. When you take them for their final walk to the vet, they will be happy you loved them till that last moment, & that’s all they’ll ever have asked of you. That you be there. You don’t have to do much else for them but be there. That’s a truly stunning gift worth the work of them. 

After all these years, turns out, I’m a dog person. 

And I have learned: Always trust a dog that doesn’t trust a person. Never trust a person that a dog doesn’t trust. Whichever way you want to remember that. 

Nysa seemed to know when I needed her at my feet. How, I’ll never know. But a dog that’s in tune with you is so cool. It is a magical friendship. 

Voids

the most obvious hollow is
the void

time has a hollow
but emptiness in the place
of the something lost
has an ache that time
cannot cure
but it fills & fills
rushing to an ever rising rim
untouching to spill & water beyond

this void always the same distance
from the water’s top to the rim
this hollow of an echo
across the waves
unheard

What Is It About This Kind Of Goodbye? 

Yesterday I made the hardest decision, alongside my husband, that either of us have ever made. We cried, as a family, more than we’ve ever cried. 

Anyone who’s never had a close companion pet & had it age, & inevitably had to make the decision to euthanize knows this is the price you pay for having a pet. It is an experience that was entirely new to both my husband & I & most certainly our kids. It was unarguably the most difficult decision I’ve ever made in my life. But the signs were clear. The dog we had for years known, was nearly unrecognizable in personality. She was still ever-patient & sweet, but for months her mobility had been declining & her overall disposition was depressed. Everyday one more thing seemed to be added to the list of signs that ‘it was time.’ We were hanging on, as people do, because that’s what we are hard wired to do. People hang on until their last breath, most, ever hopeful, ever looking to a better forward than the now. We were designed this way. 

But last week, her eyes started looking at me in a way I’ve never seen before, as if requesting me to put her to death. She could only barely walk around the block, and then, we would feel bad we’d let her, because she needed help up the three steps to the main level of the house. Sunday a strange cough started & so, after all these agonizing weeks going back & forth wondering if it was too soon, we decided, it was not too soon. The next step would be she wouldn’t be able to get in & out to go relieve herself. In my mind, for a dog that had never disrespected our home like that that would be the ultimate dying without dignity. 

So, I phoned around & it turned out, the vet just down the street was the most affordable, which was great because the trips to the groomer to clip her nails every three weeks for the last year since she couldn’t run them down anymore had become nearly impossible. The last time i nearly had to lift the whole of her 70lbs into the truck. So Tuesday, we told the kids Wednesday at 5pm we’d be walking her down to the vet & that was going to be it. We didn’t sugar coat it. We were honest. The girls had a couple guy friends over who shed some tears too, and when everyone had officially said their goodbyes, we walked her down the street. 

We let her stop & sniff as long as she wanted. As it was, she barely could walk the normal paced four minute walk. She tripped up on her one leg a couple times at the snail pace we walked. Her legs had a palsy-like shudder every time she paused. It all confirmed what we were doing. 

We were rather speechless with each other, my husband & I. There was nothing left to say. 

The room felt too small & too big all at once & after bringing her back from being slightly sedated via intravenous, she was dazed already. We sat and held her to see a peace on her face, drug induced as it was, we hadn’t seen since her pre-pain days. The vet came back in and asked if we needed more time. We said it was fine, she could administer the overdose. She did. 

Life is literally a spirit, a breath of God. The moment of death is palpable. It has a weight of ultimate disappearance. Her body was there, but her eyes were full of glass silence that spoke of that breath being completely returned to the Creator. Her soul disappeared. It didn’t hover. It didn’t linger. It simply was gone, as with all death. Only the husk of her lay there & my heart was both relieved & broken. 

We left the room, paid the bill & walked home, empty leash & collar in hand. The decision had been the right one, but never had a good decision been so painful in all my life. 

I can say, I’ve cried when humans have died. But that thing you must do, where you take life from a creature who has loved & trusted you unconditionally, no matter how ‘right’ it is, is so very different than time stealing your loved ones, despite your desire for them to say. The relationship is different & with humans, somehow, we feel, they choose when it is their time unless an accident befalls them. With animals, it seems, they ask us to choose for them. It is the last kindness that is asked of us toward them. It is the largest cost demanded of us for the years of loyalty & companionship, that we not let them suffer beyond reason. 

Nysa was our first true family dog. She lived in my space with me everyday for nearly twelve years. She was there, 3am, in the crushing dark while I consoled crying babies & cried a little myself. She left her hair everywhere while I vacuumed to no end. She ran alongside my kids while we explored the river valley. She went on family road trips & camping trips & fiercely guarded us with all her heart. She snuggled Roxy & mothered abandoned kittens, seven of them & always wanted to simply, be with us. Who else in the world is always happy to just be with us & takes us despite our worst traits even on our worst days than these gifts of our pets. 

So tho yesterday was one of the worst days, it was only one day in what was a beautiful journey I’m so thankful I was on. 

Kindergarten—Done! 

This is a milestone for all of us. Xav finished up his first yr of school, his teacher, at age 67 has officially retired & taught two of my kids there kinder year, & I officially had my youngest finish his first year. Graduating class of 2029, that’s creepy. 

I think I am more excited for what comes next than anyone. I officially will have full, uninterrupted days of life between 8:30 & 3:30 to be a stay at home homemaker after literally, 19 years of having preschoolers & homeschoolers. That phase, for the present, is done. 

I feel so uncertain that this is socially acceptable this day in age, but I would like to just be me. Will that eventually turn into a job I do at home that makes an income? Maybe. But I do know that someone has to be here as the constant for this many people. That’s always been my job, and I somehow see myself being able to focus on the aspects of ‘home-making’ (for lack of a better word) that I’ve always had to just barely get by between strange schedules, sleep deprivation, physical exhaustion, & lack of time to actually perfect something. 

I’m excited. I feel like I’ve earned the slightly less insane pace of being a stay at home mom to school age & grown kids. Man, have I ever earned it. No one can tell you how grueling this career choice is. No one would believe how mentally,, emotionally & physically exhausting it is after a duration of it that I’ve known. What a wonderful time of my life this is. I thoroughly enjoy all my kids in all their age groups, and this combination of older & younger at the same time without the trampling preschool era weighing in anymore, allows me to have a little energy for life again. How thankful I am for that. 

Travel Journal Jewelry

Sarah is still off work from her surgery so now that the school year is done this seems to be what she’s focusing on. She’s collecting older antique & vintage dictionaries & turning the images into pendants and adding her own homemade embellishments. I think they look really good. Hoping to build an inventory for Etsy or to rent a table at a local Farmer’s Market. 

Entrepreneurials, that’s what I’m calling the post Millenials. They have been raised by genX & yet have the internet at the fingertips to gain skills & to market themselves & their skills. Love it. 

What Once Was Beauty…

from within the narrow tunnel
the howling paroxysm
of the sunspent sky
cunvulsions of hail & lightning
& all that had been, so subtle
so touched with that fair tip of
summer’s brush was blown wild & wide
with gaping seams torn, jagged gentle agonies tossed about like refuse
common became the corpse of such spendor

we sat, ragged & a little beyond,
in the netherworld, waking, but still finding the nightmare
lives & breathes, on & on


(Below, a small clip after it felt safe enough to return to the main floor after waking the kids & taking them to the basement) 


Our neighbour is a little wrecked up and that was the worst storm I’ve personally been in. Was super loud & super scary. Brief. But scary. Other parts of the city didn’t even get rain, while at our house it was so loud between the hail, the debris, the rain, and the wind I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t a tornado at the time. I was definitely concerned the willow would blow over. Had to get the kids out of possible harm’s way. Better safe than sorry. Made last week’s wind storm look like a sweet tree balet. I’ve never seen the trees bend that way. Wild weather these days.