Monday, June 23, 2014

Duck Wars and other weekend happenings

It was close, but there have been no injuries and no bloodshed.
On Saturday I went to the feed store to pick up goat chow, fish chow, dog chow, rabbit chow and I even went to the grocery store (on a Saturday! Do I have a death wish?) and picked up a little bit of people chow.
While at the feed store, I saw the small building labeled "Critter Corner."
What could it hurt? I thought.
So in I went, not emerging until I had two more ducks to add to our three at home.
 But these are brown ducks and will look more natural in our mountain pond setting. This is the very reasonable argument I practiced in my head before Rod saw I bought more ducks.
When I arrived home, I untied the burlap bags and set the new ducks free in their new home.

I had pictured the old ducks welcoming the new ducks with quiet beeps and quackings and gentle flapping of wings.
I did not picture the new ducks catching sight of the older ducks and saying, "Oh, this is YOUR pond? Our deepest apologies. We'll just find a new place. Ta ta and cheerio!" Then the new brown ducks began waddling down the the road, apparently looking for THEIR pond.
So I began to chase them back to OUR pond, which is plenty large enough for five ducks, for goodness sake.
Lucy came down to see what all the fuss was and began to "help" chase them back to the pond.
 Such a big helper.
There was loud honking and quacking as she chased them up the creek, and it got quite a bit louder when she caught one. The slower one.
I'm sure it was just a tiny misunderstanding. Reluctantly, Lucy let go of the poor duck and I returned it to the pond, safe and sound.

Until the older black and white ducks began to peck at it with their duck bills and then attempted to drown it by holding it's head under water.

Not quite the Welcome Wagon I had expected.

And who knew ducks would hate their new duck neighbors and try to drown them?

 Really, ducks? Seriously?

Well, things calmed down for a few minutes and then the first wave of neighboring campers showed up. Our neighbors own a couple hostels in Portland and invite their friends and people staying there to come to the mountain and camp in tents and yurts.
They call it Family Camp.

I call it a time for me to freshen up on my accent skills.

 It  has been happening for a few years and is fun for all of us. We enjoy visiting people from all around the planet and showing them our horses, goats, fish pond, Rod's little barn brewery etc.

 (Do I sometimes feel like we are a really elaborate exhibit at the zoo?
Yes. Yes, I do.
Good thing I like the zoo.)

The only down side of Family Camp is my tendency to pick up whichever accent the person who is talking to me has and begin using it as my own. Like I was born with it.
I know. This makes no sense at all, and  I have tried to stop it, but when I get nervous or stressed out in the slightest I tend to talk even more.
So, I was talking to some nice people from Wales and just relaxing and enjoying listening to them talk about the dogs they'd had over their lifetime.
I almost forgot to be worried. I forgot to be vigilant.
They mentioned that they had had a German Shepherd (they called it an Alstasion.) and I heard my self say, "Oh, so you like the German Shepherd dogs, then?" in a proper English accent.
Why do I do this??
Arrrrggghhh! (Groaned in whichever accent you have.)

The first time I did this accent stealing, (that I noticed) was when I was attending my sister's wedding at a posh (see??) place near San Diego. I was in the receiving line chatting with some of the groom's family who seemed to have a Euro-East Coast-Madonna thing going on with their way of speaking. They were talking about a vacation they had taken yachting around Greece.
 "Have you been?" They politely asked, although "been" was pronounced  "bean."
I have no idea how I replied, except I know it was in their accent.
They all just looked at me strangely, made quietly courteous murmurings (in their funky, citizen of the world accents) and moved away, probably thinking, "Aha! There's the old barmy sister. Every family has one..."
This is obviously something I must work on.
Both the accent-stealing and the barmy part.

In the meantime, everyone is settled in at the farm, peace is reigning and I'm completely knackered.

Close-up, so you can see there are no injuries.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ingrown Eyeballs

Oh, come on.
You know you get them, too. When you become so focused on yourself and your problems that other things, more worthy things retreat, growing dim and quiet.

So, a couple weeks ago I dropped the 6 ton 5th wheel trailer hitch on my foot. After I had x-rays and stitches, the doc told me it wasn't broken.

Except it still hurts to to put a shoe on.
 It hurts to walk.
Last night, it hurt when I was sleeping.
I think I should re-examine that doctor's licensing.
 Did he even pass x-ray class?

On a daily basis, this means that I can't walk the dogs, or run my loop.
This is where I meet with Jesus every morning. If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you probably know this.

As silly as it seems, this has made me feel a little abandoned, as though I need the loop in the forest in order to meet with God every morning.

 Logically I know this is not true. In my heart (which is deceitful above all things...I know, I know) I miss my morning times in the forest spent in prayer and fellowship with Him. Somehow I feel like I can't be as close to God if it is not on the loop.
In the woods.

With the dogs.

 In the morning.

And people call Him controlling.
Boy, it sounds like everything needs to be just right for me to have any meaningful time with the God who created the Heavens and the Earth, amen.

Ingrown eyeballs.

Last Friday, I had to take Lucy,our bullmastiff, into the vet because of a bad infection. They were very concerned and
asked me to leave her there with them. We were all very worried about the possibility of cancer. Certain types of cancer will present themselves this way.
When I came home, Rod was getting ready for a weekend men's retreat with our new church. He was excited to begin building relationships with some of the guys and hear some great bible teaching.

(enter Ingrown Eyeballs. That's Mrs. Ingrown Eyeballs.)

"Please don't go...I bet they're going to tell me we're going to have to put Lucy down and I don't want to be by myself." I may have shed a tear, I don't even remember.

Rod really felt that God wanted him to go on the retreat, promised he would leave the phone on, and come back if I really needed him to.

I was so glad that Rod chose to follow God's leading in his decision. 

I was so excited that Rod was going to enjoy spending time with new guy friends.

I was so mad.

(Full disclosure: I may have mentioned my unhappiness about Rod's decision to a friend. Not a good idea. Ever.)

Rod went on his retreat.

Lucy came back from the vet; her infection being just an infection, at least for now.

(yay Lucy!!)

This morning, Rod was talking to me about the speaker at their retreat. His wife had had cancer years ago and they had beat it. Friday morning,just before the retreat, they received word that the cancer was back and had spread to a few different areas.
They were still in shock.
 They prayed about whether he should still go speak at this men's retreat and his answer from God was a yes.
He needed to be there.
You might think that this man was selfish and should be there for his wife. Or that Rod was selfish and should have stayed home when his whiny wife asked him to.

I say they don't have ingrown eyeballs that are only focused on themselves.

They have eyeballs that are only focused on the object of their faith; Jesus.

I say I want to, need to have their kind of eyeballs, their kind of focus.

 In "The Pursuit of God" by Tozer, I read the following quote this morning ,
" Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our vision, and getting God into focus. Sin has twisted our vision inward and made it self-regarding. Unbelief has put self where God should be, and it is perilously close to the sin of Lucifer who said "I will set my throne above the throne of God." Faith looks out instead of in and the whole of life falls into place."

So here is my prayer for us and my prayer for myself. (even if I can't pray on the loop with the dogs in the morning...whatever)
Taken from Tozer, again:
"O Lord, I have heard a good word inviting me to look away to Thee and be satisfied. My heart longs to respond, but sin has clouded my vision till I see Thee but dimly. Be pleased to cleanse me in Thine own precious blood, and make me inwardly pure, so that I may, with unveiled eyes gaze upon Thee all the days of my earthly pilgrimage. Then shall I be prepared to behold Thee in full splendor in the day when Thou shalt appear and be glorified in Thy saints and admired in all them that believe.Amen."