Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bitten by a Dog

I have a new experience to write about. For the first time ever in my life, I have been bitten by a dog. I remember getting bit a time or two by my pet hamster as a little girl. I'm pretty sure all my kids bit me a few times, at least, as babies. But until last night, I had never experienced a dog bite. Paul went to fix the furnace of some people in our homeschool group. I tagged along so I could talk to the mom. I walked into the house, which was a study in chaos, between the 8 kids and a furiously barking terrier. All of a sudden, the dog lunged at me and bit my kneecap - twice. That was not pleasant, at all. He even broke the skin. Today it is all swollen and bruised. I even had to take some Aleve for the pain. Good grief! I tried to make light of the whole thing, although I was kind of shocked it happened, because I didn't want the mom to feel bad. I know I would feel just terrible if my dog bit someone. I know, personally, I couldn't keep an animal like that around. Of course, I am not an animal lover at all, so it wouldn't take much to persuade me, ever, to get rid of an animal! She emailed me today to see how the knee is doing and to let me know that she did some research on why the dog bit. It's territorial and I "invaded" his territory by passing through the room. Good to know! I'll try to avoid that in the future. She said her kids want to pay to have the dog trained. I hope it works. Like I told her, this time it was just an adult knee. But what if it had been a child? Scary thought!

On to happier things - we went to the marriage retreat Friday and Saturday. It was SO needed and we really enjoyed it. Friday morning we took off and ended up at Merle Hay mall, where I never go. We're wandering around and I finally told Paul, "You know, there's nothing I need here." He replied, "I think you need a new dress!" So I got a new dress! I happened to find one on a clearance rack at Younkers, plus I had a 20% off coupon, which made it really cheap. It's so pretty - it's black and white with clear plastic sparkles glued on the fabric. I wore it Sunday and my friend Janice said, "You're sparkly again!" The previous Sunday I had worn my red, orange, yellow, and black sparkly jacket. The dress has a high (and sparkly) neckline so I just needed a fabulous bracelet, which I found (also on sale!). I already had the perfect shoes so it was good to go for Sunday. I'm having trouble buying groceries these days, but I have a new dress. I think there's a paradox there, somewhere. Maybe it's that I'll look good while I'm slowly starving to death?

We spent rest of the day poking our heads in antique stores in the metro. Paul found a couple more Tonka trucks for his collection. I was looking for something big to put over the tv. I may have found something at the Brass Armadillo, but I'm not sure. There's going to be a big craft show in Des Moines in a couple of weeks, so I want to check that out first. I did find a little statue I really, really wanted to get for our bedroom. However, it was mildly pornographic and I decided that with children in the home, it was probably best not to have something like that around! We were at one store that seemed to have an abundance of Victorian era furniture - heavy, dark stuff. That's definitely not my style. However, I did find a really, really neat secretary desk. I glanced at the price tag out of curiosity and about had a heart attack when I saw that it was priced at $18,500!

The conference was really great. I didn't know what to expect. It was put on by our church association and I didn't realize it would be so big. We're guessing there were about 300 people there, though, at least. I kind of had it in the back of my mind that we would just be preached at, but it wasn't that way at all. The speaker was fantastic and I actually learned some things. He spoke about selfishness in marriage (for one thing) and I found myself really convicted about that. Lately, it seems like my marriage is one area God has really been working on me about. The two of us have peeled back some pretty icky layers and gotten to the bottom of some stuff - some issues that actually go back pre-marriage. So that's been a bit of an eviscerating experience! And then I heard this speaker! It was good. Paul was scribbling notes like crazy and I want to go back over the handouts. Some of this was actually new stuff to me, which is amazing, after 19 years. I figured I had heard it and learned it all by now!

Before the first session on Friday night we got a phone call from the dad of one of the newlyweds in our church. He had heard that Paul does furnace work and had one down. He owns a number of rental properties. Paul finally told him that he just couldn't come. Then we looked at each other and just moaned. As I've mentioned in previous posts, work has been really slow lately, which means that money has been exceptionally tight. I finally told Paul to call the guy back and we'd just skip the Friday night session. He could go fix the furnace. But Paul said, no, the marriage conference was more important. He did end up calling the guy back on Sat. afternoon just to let him know that if he ever needs work done in the future not to hesitate to think of him. So hopefully, he will!

And then, a few minutes later I got a phone call from a friend in Council Bluffs letting me know that a mutual friend of mine had died. Her name was Mary and she was 83 years old. Oh, I just loved her! She was one of my biggest writing fans and was so intellectually on top of things. She travelled all over and loved to sew Civil War costumes for herself and her dolls. She would dress up in these costumes and lead tours at the General Dodge House in Council Bluffs. You would have never have guessed her to be as old as she was. Her death was a real shock to me.

We got back to the hotel where the conference was. Paul took my hands in his and said, "You know what's happening here, right? The Devil is trying to discourage us because we're doing something good here." And he was right. I'm so thankful, now, that we did stay at the conference. We heard some pretty powerful things at the Friday night session that we would have missed if he had gone back to fix that furnace. Later that evening we were in the hot tub chatting with a couple we had met. They go to Burton Ave. Baptist in Waterloo so we had that common ground. It turned out that they are foster parents! They gave us some good pointers and encouraged us to continue to be patient as we wait for that special phone call. It was all good.

We had such a relaxing and romantic time away. It had been 3 years since we did anything like this. I asked Paul why do we not do something like this every year? There's no reason we couldn't. We just haven't thought of it before. Next year is our 20th anniversary, so I know we'll do something extra special. I'd like to come back to the conference some year, as well. Wouldn't it be something if we could steal away to Hawaii, just the two of us? I'll keep dreaming...

And now we're back to real life. Today is Valentine's Day. I've got gifts for all my men. I think it would be nice if we would watch "Fireproof" as a family tonight, but since 3 of them are getting videos of some sort, I have a feeling that isn't going to happen.

Sam asked me Sunday night, "Does jelly come from jello?" Yep - I'm definitely back to my Real Life now!


  1. I agree with Paul! So many people (myself BIG TIME included) marginalize Satan's schemes-so glad you stayed. God will provide dear one. OH, here I was missing you and then you say the phrase, "Burton Ave. Bapist" that is all it took to make me heartsick. BABC is my family-so many of my extended family members were not Believers and/or involved in very destructive behaviors so we were not always close. My high school-well lets just say I did not fit in at all -not just for religious reasons. BABC I have never felt so at home and have not since. I love those members like my own flesh and blood.
    So glad you went to the retreat. In the past, I have neglected my marriage-and the temptation is there now- esp with a special needs child & when we attended a smaller church where I was "needed" I was raised up to NEVER say no to a church need. I fulfilled those needs at the expense of my own spiritual life and my marriage. I will ever regreat that, but hope I have leared my lesson. I am so proud of you for going!!! Have you seen Courageous?? If so what did you think??

    Sorry about the passing of your friend Mary.

    I look forward to more posts:)


  2. sorry for spelling errors. I'm trying to hurry due to being on break from work.