Sunday, April 26, 2009

Going to Ground

The wedding is less than a month away. I have been given the largest project of my career--one that I have wanted for 3 years--and it has to be completed by the end of June. I have another huge project in the works. As the school year winds to a close, my children need some additional parental attention to their homework (spring fever has bitten the Doxy household in a bad way...). Jasper needs more exercise.

All of that to say...I'm going to focus on what needs attention the most at the moment. I won't be blogging--but that's not the hard part. (It's not as if I blog all that often anyway...) The big challenge for me now is to try to stay off the Net so that I can get the humongous project in good shape and not have to take my computer on my honeymoon. Well, that...and get married and be a good mom to all three of my children and a good partner for Dear Friend.

It won't be easy to quit for a spell---I count on many of you to keep me informed about the things that matter most to me. Faith, politics (ecclesial and otherwise), and your own madcap adventures. I pray daily for many of you, as I know that some of you do for me. I'll keep praying--and I'll be bold enough to ask for yours. It's going to be a bumpy, wonderful ride!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Guest Blogging by Jasper

Hi! My name is Jasper. I live with my Mom, Doxy, and the Emperor and Empress. I love them with all the big, wet, sloppy dog love I can muster. Especially my Mom. I try to be with her every minute of the day, so that I can protect her from squirrels and guys on motorcycles. (There ought to be a law against those things!)

I also spend half my time at Dear Friend's house. He's pretty cool too. He lets me watch "Animal Planet" on his big TV, and he plays tug-of-war with me when Mom isn't looking. (Don't tell her, or we'll both be in trouble!)

Some people think I'm a poodle, but that's only because they don't look very closely. I'm a Portuguese Water Dog. A lot of people call us "Porties" for short. I think that sounds stupid.

(Mom says "stupid" is not a nice word, but they aren't shortening her name to something that sounds like "potty!")

Being a Portuguese Water Dog means I'm kind of famous, because Mom says that there is a new Portuguese Water Dog living with President Obama at the Big White House...the one with the even bigger Green Lawn. I would looooove to play on that big green thing!

I've seen that new dog, Bo, on the news, because Mom made me watch the video. He's cute, but I feel a little bit sorry for him. He can't even do his business without people taking pictures of him. Yuck.

(I love having my picture made, as you can see, but I have my limits.)

My friend Jane at Acts of Hope wanted to know what I thought about having one of My Kind in the Big White House. I think it's pretty cool, but Mom thinks I should point you to this article about dogs like me:

Water Dogs Should Come With Warnings

Hey, I can't help it if I have LOTS of energy! And I confess I have a "thing" for sofa cushions:

See what a good job I am doing of checking this one for squirrels hiding inside it? Mom isn't very happy about this. She keeps saying "I haven't even finished paying for those yet!" I don't know what she's so upset about. It's my job to protect her from those evil hordes of satanic squirrels!

Know what I love to do for fun? Eat kleenex and paper towels. Boy, howdy! That is some kind of entertaining! And it provides lots of roughage...not to mention the exercise I get from Mom and the Royals chasing me around the house to try and stop me. (They can't usually do it. We Portuguese Water Dogs are FAST!)

My most favorite thing in the whole, wide world is going for walks. And now it's time for Mom to take me on one. Hope you have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Prenuptial Agreements

Dear Friend and I have been working on finalizing our prenuptial agreements.*

I think a spouse should have to promise to put the toilet seat AND the lid down. I think a male spouse should wipe the floor when he misses the target. And I think said spouse should towel off in the bathtub, rather than dripping all over the bath mat and the floor.

(I have bathroom issues. Sue me.)

Dear Friend is having his best friend, Harold, help him devise his own prenuptial agreement list. Knowing Harold, I'm sure it will contain acrobatic sexual performances on demand, keeping the fridge stocked with designer beer, and no complaining about time spent on the golf course.

Knowing what you know now, what would you require of a spouse before tying the knot?

*For the humor-impaired among you, this is all in good fun. Work with me here....

Monday, April 06, 2009

It's the end of the world as we know it....

Recently, I was reading MattyBoy's grim blog post on the economy (specifically, the impending tidal wave of credit default swaps), and I was feeling all worried and afraid. I've noted before that I'm a worrier by nature, and stuff like this can just send me right over the edge. It's huge and scary and totally out of my control--an issue tailor-made to keep me awake in the middle of the night.

But let's be realistic--nothing lasts forever. Certainly not governments or economic systems. The human belief that we can go on and on eternally, "just the way we are now," is silly.

This may not sound like a very optimistic approach to you, but it helps me to consider this.....

Every two or three hundred million years, there appears to be a mass extinction of life on this planet. We are probably about due for another one. At some point, there will be another asteroid hit, or a massive nuclear accident/attack, or a virus we can't stop. At some point, we will run out of resources, luck, or both.

It comforts me to know this because it actually gives added urgency to the need to live NOW. We have no control over the markets or the possibility of cataclysmic events--but we do have control over what we focus on in the moment.

The thought that there might be no more tomorrows reminds me that, just for today, there is love and beauty and music and dark chocolate/red wine. There is poetry and Jasper's unearned adoration and the way Dear Friend's eyes sparkle when he laughs. There are lilies and sunsets and whatever else makes you happy.

No matter how much we like to pretend otherwise, the only moment we know we have is the very one in which we are breathing.

This is much on my mind right now because of the situation with Dear Friend's brother-in-law, who was rushed to surgery last night to try and stop bleeding in his brain. As of this afternoon, he was relatively alert and communicative. For now, every word, every glance, every squeeze of the hand is a blessing to him and to his family.

And they should be to the rest of us, if only we could pay attention...

I am not good at paying attention, and I know I'm not alone in that. Some part of us knows that we should revel in the time we have, but we rarely do. It usually takes tragedy to remind us of the importance of this moment--and we quickly forget again when the tragedy recedes into the distance. We are a remarkably stupid species, in that regard.

None of us is going to live forever. I believe we have a responsibility to be good stewards of what we have, so I strongly support efforts to change the way we live in the world. But we were ALWAYS going to die. Individually and as a species. The only really important question is: "How are we going to"

That is my question for myself during Holy Week. The world is coming to an end: What am I going to do before it happens?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Call for Prayers

It appears that Dear Friend's brother-in-law, Jim, has a brain tumor. We are still awaiting word on how serious the doctors believe it is, and what the next steps should be--but Jim commented that he felt better knowing that people were praying for him.

In light of that, I will ask your prayers for Jim, his wife Ruthie, and their teen-aged sons, Taylor and Daniel. They are a lovely family and I suspect they can use all the help they can get right now. I know how much your prayers can accomplish, having felt them on more than one occasion myself. Thanks so much...