Tag Archives: dogs

Save The Chickens

I’ve never really thought of myself as an animal-lover. I figure those are the folks that wear screen printed T-shirts of endangered species and send monthly checks to PETA.  They love animals en masse. The nameless, the herds, the hungry, the hunted.

You know the ones….

I am sure I would love them too but I would need to give them names. As soon as it has a name, I get kind of emotional about it.

We bought some baby chicks a few months ago. There were about 30 little chicks running around at the feed store, cheeping and pooping on each other. They were pretty cute but smelly. Nothing to get attached to. We picked out a few that we were assured would be “good layers” (chickens are a whole new world, let me tell you) and then they threw in a couple wild ones for free. Ok, we said, why not. Three chickens are good, five is better. More eggs. We took them home and gave the “layers” some unfortunate names: Drumstick, Beaker, and Chicken Little. Not our finest moment but the names stuck. The “wild ones” took longer to name because we didn’t know if we would keep them but eventually were called Chilli and Left Eye. Hopefully they are female and sound just as pretty as their TLC namesakes.


They enjoyed staring at one another. Drumstick’s the gutsy one.

And now that they are all named, I love them. I talk to them, I make sure they have poop-free water and nice food and turn on their heat lamp on cool nights. They are bigger now, more chicken then chick, a little less cute, but I am quite attached. I had to leave Jasper at Dad’s place in Kona because we have some travel coming up and I refuse to leave him long hours for someone to let out twice a day (PETA would be proud), so in a teeny tiny chickeny way, they fill the animal void.

Let's be real, no bird could replace this guy. He really wanted to come with me.

Let’s be real, no bird could replace this guy. He really wanted to come with me.

Hopefully they’ll start being “good layers” and Jasper will get used to having them around when he returns but regardless, they will stick around. Because they have names.

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Being Merry and Bright

Since I have finished my semester, I have been able to fully embrace Christmastime. I am not sure what will happen when I am no longer finishing exams and papers right before Christmas. I think when I am working as a Nurse Practitioner in the grown-up world, I will expect everything to come to a halt around December 14 so that I can focus on decking the halls and strolling the malls. I’m pretty sure that won’t happen though so I better enjoy it while it lasts.Here are a few photos of the merry-making around here.


We bought our very first married people Christmas tree. It is very small. But spirited. The little guy is already loaded with ornamental memories.


We lit up our little cottage with all kinds of festive things scrounged from Dad’s garage over Thanksgiving….

The Aussie toured his first Honolulu City Lights. I LOVE the City Lights.


I’m practically a Dremel spokesperson these days.

We are obviously having a very Merry Driftwood Christmas. ‘Round about the day after Halloween when I began to get the holiday gleam in my eyes when I passed anything tinsel in the stores, I saw Roger get nervous. So I  promised him I wouldn’t buy a single Christmas decoration. All those long walks on the North Shore in the fall yielded some pretty great driftwood hauls.


Roger even did some decorating of his own.



And we, of course, hosted a White Elephant gift exchange party. This little tradition is something Roger sort of married into. I believe I have hosted one every year for about 6 years now and this Christmas was the first time I stopped and asked myself if I was the only one who liked these things. The answer was maybe and I did it anyway. Every year there is a good story. There was 2009 when Darren proposed to Stel with an engagement ring wrapped in the last present (It took skills to organize that one). Then there was 2010 when a certain unitard was received…and fought over…and tried on by some very merry men. Then of course, I can’t leave out 2007, the year in which I received Joseph Zephaniah the Beta Fish and best friend Lindsey and I began a year-long saga of beta replacements. So, the White Elephant tradition will continue.


We also decked the dogs with ribbons and bells. That little guy is Bear. Jasper’s only dog-friend here on Oahu. He’s a bit of a grinch when it comes to making friends.

I hope you are all making merry, loving your friends and family, and worshiping the Savior who is constantly merry over his children!

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Remember the Rush

So, as I’ve mentioned before,  I am darn near crazy about holidays. Love them. The older I get though, the more I realize why adults get stressed over the winter months and for some it is a crazy time of laboring under expectations and fighting for joy.  The more I see this trend, the harder I try to buck it. And to do that, we have to be brave.

I know it may not naturally be the hap-hap-happiest time of the year, but it should be merry and free. After all, these holidays are all about freedom: we are free to worship and not worship as we please thanks to the voyaging of the founding fathers. And we have the ultimate freedom through what happened on that night in Bethlehem when God pierced this hurt-filled world with the most thrilling hope ever. That piercing, freeing, miraculous, rush of a night. But round ’bout this time, complicating factors steal the rush.

The Aussie has been on the Big Island for work this week and I go over in a couple days for Thanksgiving week. He took the Porky Terrier with him so that the whole family, dogs included, would be together for Thanksgiving. So, missing my little family, I went and spent a few nights with friends Zan and Matt and their massive hound Harley.

There is something about spending a night or two away that simplifies your life. I think that is why I love hotels so much (well, also the puffy robes and room service with the metal covers on the plates). I like the fact that I can get by with two sets of clothes, a toothbrush, a few books, and my laptop. I am more productive with studying (as evidenced by this blog entry) and I’m not surrounded by half-finished projects and distracting tasks like laundry and dishes. It’s been refreshing to sit and study over cups of coffee with Zan and take breaks to listen to her sage marriage advice or dream about the rural health clinic we will open one day.

These few days have made me look forward to joining the whole family with a simplified mindset for the first round of holiday cheer. It is undeniably a season requiring bravery. It is only our second round of holidays without Mom. And we have elected to spend them at home instead of in a memory-less vacation house. I know a lot of you are steeling yourselves for a fresh wave of grief in the coming months. But remember, these holidays are about new life and freedom. So be free to grieve. Don’t steel yourself against it. Just make sure you have people who love you close at hand and keep it simple. If we don’t belabor the minutia, keep from emphasizing expectations, and focus on a free and purpose-filled future, it can and will be a hap-hap-happy time.

Let’s all buck the trend and remember the rush.

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My Bestfriends and the Airhorn

In these times of transitions, challenge, and general world-shaking, I have a couple of friends that have been an absolutely necessary part of my life.

They don't typically get decorated.

Inspired by a recent blog that I have started following, I would like to introduce you to the kids I talk to most. The short one has been mentioned a few times as the porky terrier. Jasper. The tall guy is Ben.

Jasper sleeps in my room when he feels like being social or I have a load of clean laundry in jumping distance. He listens when I’m crying but the emotions need to get pretty high before I am more interesting than sticking his head between the rungs of the back porch and watching over the yard. He does a million tricks for a treat so sometimes when I really need some company, I just lace the conversation with “treat”. He’s selfish. He is human like that. But I see him struggle against his little sin nature when he knows the right thing to do. Good grief he reminds me of me.

Ben is the dog that everyone writes books about. He’s as regal and humble as he looks. He takes care of the family. Don’t get me wrong, he has his favorites. He will lay outside of Megan’s door for hours if necessary if he gets shut out. But he sniffs out that neediest member of the family and sticks close until he feels that things are under control. That’s right, he was in Mom’s room at all hours when needed. He kept watch over her like it was his job. Now, whoever is sick or crying, gets the big black ball curled up in what he deems the most convenient place for us. If that happens to be the bed, he is willing to oblige.

Both of the dogs sense happy real quick. If there is a celebration going on, they are running in circles and Ben does the jealous dance. Try it next time you are at our house. Choose someone to hug. Say their name real loud as you hug them. You’ll hear a big Ben noise and he will leap to get in on the action. He usually goes for the person getting hugged which makes me wonder if that’s the best instinct should one of us be getting attacked.

Bennie and the Jas (sing the song…you know you want to…) have one fault that they share. They bark at the door bell and the neighbor dogs on occasion. The neighbor dogs bark at the flies, and the grass, and the cars on every occasion. Which, on some particularly fun evenings, prompts another neighbor to blare an airhorn. Yep. He has explained from his backyard that this is payback. Sometimes it is a quick blare. Sometimes it is a loooooong loud blare. In either case, the dogs seem to get pretty excited about the newest noise making member of the community. “Yay yay yay! Bark! Noooooise maaaaking! Hooooowwwl!!”. To which the airhorn replies “Blaaaare. Bl-Bl-Bl-aaare.” It’s an awesome cacophany and such good payback. I usually crack up laughing in my living room as I try to keep my dogs from going totally apoplectic

I suppose this blog makes me a crazy pet person. But I’m pretty sure that carrying Jasper around for 3 weeks after paw tumor surgery proved that. But, come on, who doesn’t like rambunctious greetings at the door, a consistent happy good morning every day, and a reason to roll around laughing on the living room floor?

Have a very Merry Tuesday everyone.

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Bugs and Buying Things: How to Feel Successful

I have my study all set up in the Ohana garage apartment. It’s comfortable and conducive to taking practice NCLEX exams. Apparently it is too comfortable because I started Diagnostic Test 1 with an above average score and by Test 4, I had plunged to well below average. About the time I viewed my miserable results yesterday afternoon, I began to feel a lone mosquito buzzing around and feasting on my calves. Now when a lone bug gets into the ohana unit, it’s really got nowhere to go. And my porky terrier makes it his doggone mission to get that bug. Jasper and I made 15 minutes of valiant bug smacking attempts before I decided that not only can I not pass a practice version of How To Start My Nursing Career, I can’t even smack a bug. A bug sluggish from a calf feast. So I slammed the door shut on everything unsuccessful and went to buy something. Anything. At least I can be successful at Ross. Turns out I needed some really pretty lemon handsoap for the bathroom.

This morning I woke up feeling moderately more capable. I spent some time with Jesus and felt even better. Psalm 130 told me to wait for the Lord with my whole being…as a watchman waits for the morning. I can do that because I have seen it work before. When life is completely out of control and I can’t do anything else, I can wait. Morning does come. My prayers are pretty simple these days: God please help. With everything. Amen. Well, I try to be more specific. But that is the basic theme and I don’t feel guilty. A friend told me a few weeks ago that he had trouble praying for himself. It felt selfish. People, we gotta get over that one. If we can’t pray for ourselves, we aren’t going to be much good at praying for others. That’s my preach for today.

So, I marched back into the study today, heard that freaking bug and didn’t sit down till I squashed him dead. He was quick today after being starved out all night.

But Jasper and I were quicker.





The porky terrier doesn’t rest until I show him the insect carcass.



He is now sleeping the peaceful sleep of a victory won. And I am fixing to hit the books. Success will be mine because I am waiting for the Lord. I am giving him my family and their grief, my friends and their problems, my hopes and dreams, and my fears and failures. Life is out of my control but firmly in God’s control.

In the meantime I will buy household goods and squash practice exams.

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