Friday, June 24, 2011

Totally in Love

I have the bestest nephews ever!  I have been so blessed with sweetness I cannot even tell you.  My 3 1/2 year old nephew is the light of my heart.  He is so excited to see me when I come, and sad to see me go.  We have so much fun and he knows he's my little sweetie.  I want to be the auntie that he knows will be there for him no matter what....he can tell me anything and I will help him and keep his secrets and pray for him, and wipe his tears, share his joys, and get him stuff his parents can't afford.  Nothing bad, just stuff Mommy and Daddy would like to get him but they can't afford it, cause they have two kids.  Enter Auntie Kathy and she can make it happen.

I have nightmares sometimes.  You know the snakes in your hair, or the guy chasing you in slow motion.  But the worst ones are when I dream that my brother and his wife break up.  I love my nephews so much that I would be devastated for them if something would happen to their parents.  Having been there, I know the pain and the unfixable anguish of your parents divorcing and ripping the family apart.  I never want that for my boys.  I want their parents to be happy and I pray for that every night when I pray for my boys health and happiness.  As that is all intertwined. 

I understand how you can love someone so much you wouldn't even hesitate to die for them.  I love my parents very very much, but I know they wouldn't want me to die for them, they would want to go first, and have me follow many years later as nature intended.  I would give my life without hesitation for my boys.  Given the chance, I wouldn't need to even think about it, take me not them.  I wouldn't want to live in a world without them anyway.  I would also give myself in place of their parents.  I want a mom and a dad for them.  My brother and his wife are much more important to their well being and their happiness than I.  So, I would also not hesitate to trade my life for theirs either, as they are much more important for my boys.

If some evil monster were to hurt one of my boys, I understand how parents can't stand it and kill the evil that did that to their kid.  You hurt my boys, I want to hurt you...I see how it would be so hard NOT to go after the devil - but then I couldn't be there for them, but it would be very very hard not to hunt them down and take them out.

Sometimes I dream about playing with my boys.  We are running and swimming and sliding and racing down the road.  I think he will like theatre like his auntie and we can go to shows and then I can watch him star in all the school plays.  I will go watch all his races, as I'm sure he will share Daddy's love of racing.  Maybe he will be a writer like me.  He will ask me to edit his beautiful and thoughtful essays.  Maybe he will be an artist or an inventor.  He could invent things and let me try them out!  I'm sure whatever he does, he will be awesome at it.  I will support him and encourage him and remind him he can do anything he wants.  If he can dream it, he can do it!!

Now my newest little boy, he is just 3 months old - I don't know much about him yet, but I do know his smile is enough to light up the room!!  He smiles all the time!!  He is a good cuddler too.   Maybe he will be my fellow animal lover.  We can go to the zoo and he can come to work with me to see the puppies and the kitties.  He grows so fast, every time I see him he is so big!!!

My greatest blessing are little boys that I never knew I could love so intensely, so fervently, with such passion and protectiveness.  I'm so glad its not up to me to raise them right, I'd only screw that up, but I get to love them with such complete unconditional love that I'm so lucky. I also get to go home and sleep in a nice quiet house and recover till the next visit!!!

ME: how did you get that scratch on your face?
3 yr old nephew: A lion bit me
ME: Really?  Did  a lion really bite you?
3 yr old nephew: was an elephant.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Athletically Challenged

I am severely athletically challenged.  I am not exaggerating.  I do not have one iota of athletic ability in me.  When God was deciding how to design me, for some reason in his infinite wisdom decided I didn't need one drop of athleticism in my entire make up.  Someday I will be able to ask him about this, and just what the deal is with that, but until then, I have to cope with my lack of ability in this area.

God didn't see it fit to give me any coordination, speed, agility, or that ability to hit the softball with a bat.  None.  Didn't get any of that.  To this day, I don't believe I have ever hit a softball with a bat.  I couldn't even hit a tee ball on a tee (I am NOT lying).  Even if by some miracle (divine intervention would be needed) I would hit the ball, I'd never make it safely to 1st base.  I am slower than Yertle the Turtle.  Any race - I'm the one lagging a few laps behind, the one everyone feels sorry for...ohhh look at her, at least she's still -- well, no...she's down....oh how sad...get her some water....

In PE (the worst class ever) when we were told to run laps, I'd just run until everyone else was done.  So if everybody else ran their allotted 10, I probably did about 6.  When they stopped, so did I.  Otherwise we'd be there till next week and I'd be the only out there.  My high school PE teacher hated me, I'm sure.  He'd yell at me to run faster and I'd say, "you cant make me run."  I didn't either, it was more of a fast walking jog.

PE - pretty much hell on earth.  For a kid like me, before I was able to reconcile my condition with who I was as a person and realize my talents lay far far FAR away from a gym, it was very emotionally hard for me.  By high school I didn't give a rip, but before that, being the last one picked is hard enough, but for me it was "we HAVE to have HER again...we had HER last time, you guys take her, no you, no you...." they would fight over who was STUCK with me.  No lie.

I would like to take aside the guy who invented volleyball and explain to him just how terrible he made my PE classes.  Because of his little invention, I suffered many hours of volleyball hell...I was the girl who just prayed not to get hit by that stupid ball.  There is no way I was ever going to hit that torture device with my arms.  At that time I tipped the scales at like 90 pounds, so my twigs that passed for arms were very tiny and very weak.  If by some divine intervention (again) I might actually get the despised ball to hit my wrist where you are supposed to meet with the ball, I NEVER could wack that thing hard enough to get it to actually go anywhere....wack...immediately drop to the floor with thud.  That was only like the 3 times in my life my wrist would actually come in contact with said ball, usually that ball was no where NEAR my wrist.  I was just relieved it didn't wack me in the head. Again.  

Lets see, basketball was a joke.  I would be stuck on a team, and nobody would ever throw the ball to me (like I could catch so I would stand there looking like a doofus with nothing to do.  Nobody worried about guarding me either.  Never had to worry about me making any points. My PE teacher would yell at me to get moving...umm...where?  If that divine intervention would ever show up and I would actually get the ball in my hands - forget about getting it into the hoop.  Yea right.  I don't think I made my first basket until like lie.  You think I'm making these things up?  Nope.  That is how sad my affliction is...its real.

If we were to play dodge ball where the little foam balls are placed in the middle of the gym, everyone runs up to get them and you try to hit the other guys with a ball to get them out - I would walk up to the balls and wait for someone to get me out and sit down.  I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a ball, no way was I ever going to get someone out, I was on my way out soon enough, so might as well get it over with and sit down.  Again, my PE teacher would yell at me I had to try harder, and I'd say "I tried, they got me out fair and square."  Take that one PE teacher!

You name the sport, I SUCKED at it.  I was the worst player ever.  Even if I would be trying my hardest, it is like even more embarrassing cause I still fell on my face.  I was the worlds worst cheerleader (when there are only 5 girls who show up to try-outs you get in).  I actually did try pretty hard in this area.  Honestly I only did it cause two of my best friends were doing it and they talked me into it and I thought it would be cool to get thrown up in the air. It was.

I practiced for hours at home, trying to get the motions to the cheers right.  This action and this word and do this with your feet and clap.  I am the most uncoordinated person ever, and this required a lot of that.  Ooops

I think I called in sick the night we had to perform that one....either that or I've blocked it out because I can't stand to recall such horrible nightmares.

I don't understand running.  Why?  It sucks.  Why would you run on purpose?  I only run if someone is after me (but get real he's gonna catch me) or if I have to go to the bathroom really bad.  Otherwise...I don't understand the notion.  Marathons?  Those people have to have something wrong with them...sane people don't do that do they? 

I will never understand people who love sports...but then again they will never understand me...but I'd rather have a brain and excel in academics than at being able to throw a ball into a hoop...but that's just me.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pen to Paper

I'm a writer.  I savor the feeling of a pen clutched in my hand, the nib scratching on paper, the feel of the pen in my fingers, imparting my words onto the paper.  I love pens...the ink dribbling out onto the paper, putting the words that are tumbling out of my thoughts onto something permanent.  You can't erase ink. Its forever.

I love paper.  The feel of it, the smell of it (much better in a book with ink on it).  I love the stark nakedness of a pure white sheet of paper in front of me...the promise it holds that I can fill it with whatever I choose.  The possibilities of what I could put on that paper abound!

I have been forced to type, forced to jump onto the computer-run society train.  It is much faster to type something, hit a button and send it quicker than lightening to the recipient.  BUT - the prose loses some of its character, some of what makes it yours in the typing.  I am doing the sendee a huge favor though, as I have such atrocious handwriting, they might not be able to read it is as well if I did hand write it.  I feel like my thoughts are coming so fast I cannot write them all out as fast as I can think them...and I find I can also type faster than I can write.

I still have a love of the written word...the ink on the page...the words wet with authenticity.  My curl of the c, my crossing of the makes me feel good.

I also love books.  Books have been my greatest pleasure for as long as I can recall.  I can learn, escape, laugh, and cry in a book.  A good book makes me happy, a GREAT book can catapult me into a state of pure ecstasy, lost a million miles away, living with the characters, loving them, hating them with an authenticity that makes me want to know more.  When I am forced to turn that last page, put that book down and my journey has ended with that author, I am often a bit sad...and looking for a sequel!

In my hardest times, every one of them, I can remember escaping with a book.  When life gets too hard to bear, to tough to think about one more minute...I can open a book and let my thoughts journey to a place where I don't have to think about myself, don't have to worry about my loved ones, or focus on the here and now.  I can get lost somewhere else and I can get a break for a bit.  This has saved my sanity more times than I can even count.  A brief respite, a break to let my heart rest before it bursts open with the pain or ache. 

I love the physical feel of a book.  I want that book in my hands...the feel of the cover, the pages.  I want to put my nose in the pages and smell that inky smell.  The best ones are the old books with the really old musty papery inky that!!  I want to turn each page, I want to savor the words as my eyes rove the pages, drinking in the wonderful story that I have become entrenched in.  Nothing can replace that physicality of a book in my hands.  I will never bow to the ever popular Nook, or Kindle.  Whatever the newest craze of electronic book may be.  I can't see myself holding yet another electronic device and reading from yet another screen and scrolling through the pages.  I dearly love libraries and I pray they will remain for a long time to come.  Books are more than just words - books are pages bonded together, ink applied to the page, magic coming alive through the beauty of words....such a joy!!!!

Someday I will have my own book.  The cover will read "By Kathryn Ann Klatt Riehle....." and it will have all of MY words in thoughts, my ideas.  I hope others can derive some escape through my words someday...and I can give back some of that joy....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Puppy Love

There is not much in the world that is cuter than a basket of little puppies snuggled up with each other.  My heart melts at such things....their tiny little bodies all rolly polly and twisted up with each other...their precious little paws curled up and tiny eyelids squeezed shut.  I just want to snuggle up with them, their warmth and their love enveloping me and my tired soul.

One rough little tongue on my cheek, a whiff of puppy breath....and I'm smiling.  I'm warm and gooshy inside.  Soft fuzzy puppy fur on my face, tiny little paws on my arm...little whimpers of love.  Those big brown eyes, softly gazing up into my own....full of trust.  Full of pure, unmarred, perfect love.

Soft round pudgy body splayed out on my chest...tiny heart beating against mine.  Puppy dreams frolicking in her little head, her paws twitching.  Heaven...pure joy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fido Feels too

Make sure you have somewhere cooler for your pet to go....even if it is a big shady tree.  Also make sure they have lots of fresh water available at all times.  It's so hot these days that dehydration can hurt our pets as well.  Regular temps are pretty easy for them to adapt to, but extremely hot or cold isn't as easy.  Don't take them for a long run or anything either, you take water for yourself, do you take some for Fido?

Some people think a dog with a longer, thicker hair coat should be shaved, as they are hot.  Nope.  This thick coat, such as on a collie, works both ways.  It serves as insulation for them in the winter to keep them warm and as an insulation of sorts to keep the cooler air close to their body in the hotter weather.  Unless they get a lot of hair mats that don't allow the air to flow through, this system works well for them.  Now, if they are covered in matts, their skin can't breathe, and they get "hot spots" or sores under the matt of hair.  Very painful and can cause bad infections.  The matted hair holds moisture in and doesn't allow for the skin to dry.  Lots of bad stuff can grow in there.  Plus, if you shave their beautiful coat, they do get embarrassed.  Don't tell me you haven't observed an embarrassed dog!

Of course animals have feelings just like we do.  You can't tell me they don't miss us, grieve us or their pals when they die.  They are pure emotion, without as much cognitive ability to reason through it.  They are super happy when we come home - and sad when we leave.  They are proud when they accomplish something great and they are sorry when they are bad.  They love us - a real, true love....innocent and unconditional, without boundaries, without exception.  They believe in us when we have lost the belief in ourselves.  They don't care if we have a lot of money, they don't care if we dress right, say the right things at parties, or have a huge zit growing out of our foreheads.  They love us for who we are and help us aspire to be better people.  The innocence of their wholehearted, boundless devotion to us is something we can all aspire to.  Want to learn about true love?  Watch and learn from your pet.

Which brings me to another subject I am passionate about.


God is all about love - pure love.  What better example of love than your pet. What better example of God's love can we find???  How many times have you felt God's love through your pet??

I know that you have to believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and choose to believe in him as your savior to get eternal life in Heaven.  So how can Fido believe in that?  Well, how do we know he doesn't?  God created the animals.  How do we know that they don't talk to him in their own heart every day?  How do we know that they aren't closer to God than we are?  Who are we to LIMIT God or anything in his creation?  I think my dog, Abbie talks to God as often as I do.  I think she has the faith of a child...God calls us all to have the faith of a and certain without doubt.  I think Abbie has that.  We let our cognitive and thinking skills get in to way too much - to reason ourselves right out of faith.

I also believe babys that die - before they can willfully decide to follow Jesus - go to Heaven.  By the grace of God, they are saved.  I think animals fall into that category as well.  Even if they don't communicate with God, they are innocent as a baby.

How many times in the bible are animals mentioned as part of the heavens and earth?  The lion will lie down with the will that happen if they aren't there??

If there are no animals in Heaven, I think there are a LOT of people who wouldn't want to go there...I don't know if you (or even if I do) buy the stories of people who say they have visited heaven and come back, but if you do...almost all of them mention animals.  Trust me, I listen very hard for the mention of animals.  Not everyone I have researched mentions animals, but more often then not they do.  So, that's just another kernel to chew on.

I have no doubt in Jesus love for me - and for Abbie.  I know she will go there before me, but she will once again greet me with all the purest of love when I join her someday.  My cat Cassie is already there, pain free and healthy - waiting for me to come and scratch her just the way she likes it....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fashion Failure

I think a lot of people think I am totally ignorant about whats "hot" or whats trending right now.  This is not true...I notice lots of things people are wearing, I don't like them.  For instance -

Absurdly huge and outrageously large rings - UGLY

Also huge and over-sized sunglasses that make you look like a bug - UGLY

Peasant blouses - oh my ugly and make a person look pregnant

Parting ones hair on the side and letting it fall in ur face - drives me NUTS, even watching others constantly flicking said hair out of their eyes

Low rise jeans - hello, can't stand not feeling they are there and worried they might fall off, I like my pants to fit thank you very much

Capris - pick a length - shorts or pants - don't waffle

All these cute little dresses that have you bare from your boobs up, showing your shoulders and arms - I have ugly arms - I have to have sleeves.

My style is comfy and easy.  Don't pinch me, poke me, make me look fat, show too much or make me chilly, and for heaven's sake don't make me iron it.  Throw it in the dryer and then hang it up.

I wear my comfy sweatshirt, jeans that fit, sneakers that are comfortable and my hair isn't in my eyes.  Is it too much to ask to have shirts that don't balloon out, pants that don't make me suck it in and then not be able to bend over, dresses with sleeves and sunglasses styles that actually fit your face?

I guess I'm just too old.  Wait...I dressed the same way as a teenager...hmmm...I guess maybe I am a fashion failure...

Spay and Neuter!!!

If you really love your pet - real, genuine want-the-best-for-her-love, you will spay her.  By spaying her, you remove all chances of any kind of cancer in those parts later.  You also usually have a more easy-going pet.  If she is a cat, you will be able to live with her in much better harmony.  Cats go into heat and drive everyone crazy with loud whining, crying and weird behavior.  Not to mention that both cats and dogs bleed while in heat.  Drops of red blood all over your carpet. Nice.

Besides the health aspect, spaying is the responsible - yes I said RESPONSIBLE choice for you and for society.  Have you ever toured a humane society?  Have you ever witnessed the killing - the murder - of an innocent, healthy pet for no other reason than nobody wants her?  The over population of unwanted pets is a huge problem, and everyone knows about it.  You may choose to ignore it and say you aren't the problem, you find homes for your puppies.  Well, you are continuing the problem when you provide another pet that needs a home rather than those people going to a shelter to adopt a pet already here and days away from death just because they have no one to love them.

I've heard it all..."we want our kids to experience reproduction":...WHAT??  If you want them to witness the cycle of LIFE, you MUST let them witness the DEATH part too.  They also should have to go to a shelter and witness the killing of unwanted homeless pets...a whole litter of puppies that are unwanted and never given a chance to live, murdered because they aren't the "right" breed, color, shape, size...etc.

"I've always had shelties" (whatever breed)....they are so sweet (whatever trait)....dogs are like children, just because they are the same BREED doesn't mean they will act exactly the same, have the exact same temperament or be just like the Fido you remember from your childhood.  You can take one black lab that is sweet, and calm, loyal and very smart.  You can take the same parents and have another black lab and this one is hyper, won't calm down, runs amok, won't listen to a word you say.  You can take this for all dogs in general.  If you REALLY GENUINELY want a dog for the RIGHT reasons -- to love and to be a companion - you can find that in any good dog.  A good loving dog that will fit your lifestyle, whatever that is, at a shelter that needs you more than you can ever realize.

You can find one that has the traits you recall from Fido in your childhood.  The loyalty, the fetching, the hunting, whatever you loved so much about Fido can be found in many dogs - if you care enough to look.  There are also rescues - you can search for a Sheltie (fill in breed) rescue - they rescue unwanted, abandoned, mistreated, abused, needy Shelties and re home them to people who can step up and do what's right for that dog.

"Well, I'm responsible, I have a boy dog and he wont have pups."  What about that one time he slips his collar and finds a sweetie next door in heat and it only takes once.  Besides, you also remove the cancer risk in boys as well and they usually settle down more when neutered.

"I can make a lot of money breeding" This is the biggest lie ever!!!  If you breed responsibly and do what you should do, and do it right - YOU WILL NOT MAKE MONEY unless you have a huge operation - not just a few dogs.  You have to budget for all emergencies, C-sections, or other birthing problems.  You have to have them all checked out and vaccinated for at least the 1st puppy combo - some breeds have to have their dew claws removed at 3 days or younger.  You have to worm them, you have to make sure they are healthy.  You have to be aware that if the mother would die, you have puppies to bottle feed every 2  hrs...for weeks.  And that's if you are lucky and they will take a bottle...not as easy as it sounds.  If the mother would die in childbirth or refuses to nurse them or has complications - you are in for a heck of a ride tying to keep them alive - and a HUGE vet bill.  Even if everything goes perfectly, you still have to have them all checked out, dew claws removed, vaccinated...perhaps travel fees if you are selling them around the country.  DON'T let yourself be sucked into the myth that all you do is get the dog pregnant and then boom - pups to sell for big bucks!  They can have all sorts of problems too - cleft palettes, hernias, failure to thrive, malnutrition, mom can lie on them - only to name a few.

I've heard them all.  I have an answer for all of them too...

"He will be mad at me if I don't let him BE A MAN and make babies"...uh no.  They don't care about sex, like men do.  Its all instinct and frankly you can take all that away and let them relax if you neuter him.  He wont even know what he's missing and won't be looking for a woman all the time.

"They need to go through 1 heat cycle before they get spayed, its better for them" also not true.  It is in fact BETTER to spay them before they ever even go into heat once, you prevent all those hormones from ever circulating in their body at all.  The sooner around 6 months, catch them before ever going into heat, is ideal.

"She will get fat after I spay her" also not true.  If you pay attention to her diet, like you should anyway, and feed her according to her weight and watch treats and no people food, she will tip the scales like any other dog.  If you let her eat as much as she wants and feed her a lot of people food, she will get too many calories and get fat, like any other dog.

If you think you MUST have that certain dog - that one breed you love, then go to a shelter FIRST - I challenge you to go there and look at all the unwanted, homeless dogs in their kennels - wishing for a home and a real chance.  You look them all in the eye and tell them they aren't good enough because they aren't a (fill in breed).  You then go and witness the killing of the animals that didn't make the cut that week...they have reached their limit on waiting, and they are being euthanized only to make room for more homeless and unwanted pets to come and wait as well.  If you can do that, and still want to breed your dog, or get that special breed, then I guess you don't have the heart to love a mutt...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Leaving for a week

We went to a cabin for a week to fish in the lake.  We couldnt bring my dog.  It was so hard to leave her in the kennel for a week.  My regular dog watcher was unavailable so she had to go to the kennel.  I felt like such a terrible mom!  When I came back to get her she was so happy to see me!  I cried a little.  She took a little while to warm up back to normal when we got home.  I gave her a bath, she smelled a bit funky and then she was back to her old self.

I told her when I left I would be back for her in a week.  I really hope she understood me and didnt worry about being back in a kennel.  I also hope she knows how much I love her.  I rescued her from the kennel when she was 6 months old, that was 10.5 years ago but I am sure she recalls it.  But we have a connection so strong that I'm sure she feels my love.

I am so blessed to call her my baby!!