Monday, April 13, 2015

Bunny Rescue

Saving the Bunny

A few years ago, my girls were visiting an aunt during Spring Break and I had a few glorious days at home – all alone.  I decided to use the time to organize closets and cabinets and create an uber organized sewing center.

I was working hard to finish up one night when I realized that our dog, Jessie, had been roaming in the woods for some time. When I went out to call her and yelled "treat," she came running out of the woods and up the hill.  She hesitated when she got to the door.  I could see that she had something in her mouth and thought it was a bone.  As she got closer, I realized that two bunny feet were sticking out of the side of her mouth! 

I commanded her to "DROP THE BUNNY!" Nothing. Then I tried the common hunting vernacular, "give."  Since Jessie only hunted what was on the coffee table or lower shelf of the pantry, she just stood there looking at me ~ with bunny feet sticking out of her mouth like a cigar. She had no idea what the “give” command meant. 

In her defense, she did have a terrified, confused look on her face. Some force of nature caused her to hunt the bunny, capture the bunny and hold the bunny in her mouth.  But she was a sweet dog and I think she wished the force of nature wasn’t so strong.  But the force was strong and so she held the bunny in her mouth.

I could see the bunny was still breathing when I lifted Jessie’s “lip” so I went into full bunny rescue mode.   In case you don't know what bunny rescue mode is, let me explain what my version of it looked like. 

Bunny Rescue Mode:

  •  After donning garden gloves, I tried to pry Jessie's jaws apart.  When that failed to work I...
  • Called my vet neighbor - but he, along with the rest of my neighbors, was away on vacation (I later learned that he did research at the vet school – not a veterinarian – no bunny experience whatsoever.)
  • I called my husband who was in another state.  (Don't ask me why.)
  • I tried to pry her jaws apart again.  Nothing.  (All the while telling her to "Drop the bunny! Drop the bunny!”)
  • Next, I tried to cover her nose - thinking she would have to open her mouth to breathe. HA!
  • I put her on a leash and let her walk back towards where she got it thinking maybe she would want to put it back. HA! HA!
  • Finally, I figured eating would make her open her mouth - so I shut her in the garage while I went into the house to get her a "treat."
  • When I came back to the garage, Jessie had dropped the bunny so I grabbed her - and the bunny took a hop. It was still alive!
  • I called the A&M veterinary school but it sounded like the bunny would be a science project if I took it there.
  • So, I made a little nest for the bunny with a small towel and took it back to the edge of the woods and left it. I was hoping that once the bunny’s shock of being in a dog’s mouth and having a lunatic women screaming, “drop the bunny!” for a solid twenty minutes that he would hop back to his mama.
After finishing my sewing center project, back out I went to check on the bunny.  It was still there but had turned around in the towel/nest.  I heard a lot of rustling in the woods a few feet away so I scrambled back inside for a brighter light – and better footwear.

I had a fractured heel and was in a boot cast so I covered my cast in a trash bag and traded the flip-flop on the good foot for a rubber boot.  When I got back to the bunny, I scooped it up and headed into the woods in the direction of the noise - thinking it was the mama bunny. Only there wasn't any noise. All was quiet.  I still pressed on  - hoping that I wouldn't encounter a skunk. 

I hope you can appreciate the picture here - I am trudging through the woods holding a traumatized baby bunny, I have a trash bag wrapped around my cast, it is after 10:00pm and no one except for the bunny knows where I am.

I found another baby bunny so I set "mine" down next to it (still in the towel/nest) with great hopes that the mama would come get her baby bunnies and take them back to safety.

I looked up from the two bunnies towards the woods to see if maybe the mama was coming to get them.  What I saw instead were a lot of glowing eyes! I did not stay around long enough to figure out what kind of animal the eyes belonged to because there were a lot of eyes. I was trusting that they were a lot of bunny eyes and the bunnies were waiting to welcome the baby bunny back home.  But what if they were the eyes of the coyotes I had heard earlier?

But I saved the baby bunny.

Or so I thought.

When I went to check on the baby bunny the next day when the sun was bright and the eyes weren’t glowing, the towel nest was empty!  I was so relieved to know that the baby bunny hadn’t died where I left it. Successful bunny rescue!

Until I turned around and saw a headless baby bunny!  Maybe it wasn’t the bunny family welcoming the bunny home.

I had the best of intentions to save the bunny but I may have just served it up on a platter,  uh, I mean a towel/nest.

I think of other times that I have had the best of intentions and they did not go as planned.

My list of “best intentions” is long and runs the gamut from trying to give food to a homeless person that growled at me to flawed parenting tactics.  Best of intentions.

But I cannot let the failures stop me.  I will continue to try to “save baby bunnies.” I will continue to reach out to people.  I will continue to parent - however flawed my parenting skills might be.

I will try.

All things work together for good for them that
are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28

Not sure how that verse relates to a bunny death ~ but it is a good reminder about other difficulties in our lives.

Have you ever had good intentions that went awry?  Comment and tell me about them.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Foul Play

Friends ~ I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging when my dear grandfather became ill a few months ago so that I could turn my focus to my family. We somehow managed to chuckle through the hard days and are grateful that he is hanging out with Jesus now.  I hope you will continue to chuckle with me.  
Oh, and as you read this blog, know that my brother and I laughed hysterically about this.

Foul Play

The snow fell all afternoon and continued into the night. The roads were icy and the snow was swirling when my brother left his office to drive home.  It was almost midnight and he had nearly an hour drive but a coworker (we will call him “Friend” from now on) agreed to follow him home.  Two things you should know about this situation.  One, my brother is a quadriplegic and, two, Friend was born and raised on a tropical island and is terrified of the possibility of being stuck in a blizzard. Got the picture?

The drive was slow and tedious but while they were on the interstate highway, the roads were fairly clear. Eventually, they had to turn off onto a county road that had not been plowed or sanded.

Though they were driving slowly and cautiously, my brother hit a patch of ice and his truck slid off the road and into a ditch.  It was after midnight so my brother didn’t have much hope of anyone coming along to help anytime soon.  He rolled down his window and hollered at Friend to come get him. 

(Since we’ve named the co-worker “Friend” and you are probably tired of reading “my brother,” let’s now rename my brother and just call him “Brother.”)

Brother’s wheelchair was in the bed of his truck and even if he could have gotten it out, the sides of the ditch were too steep so there was no way he could get to the road in his chair.  So the plan was to have his physically-less-than-in-shape friend carry him up the hill.

Tropics raised Friend was a bit panicky and debated whether or not to open his snow emergency kit and send up a flare.  Brother was trying to figure out how to get out of the ditch – realistically.

Friend decided to wait on sending up a flare and, instead, used the shovel from his emergency kit and started to carve out “stairs’ down to the truck.

Friend carefully made his way down to the truck – sliding most of the way since he didn’t want to wreck the “stairs.”  It was then that Friend learned of Brother’s plan.  Brother was going to “fall” out of the truck onto Friend’s back and then Friend would piggyback Brother up the hill.  

1, 2, 3 Go! Brother did a controlled fall out of his seat onto Friend’s back.  Friend took one step and went down flat on his belly – with Brother on his back.  Uh, oh! They rolled so that Friend could get up.

Plan two.

Friend tried to grab Brother under the arms and pull him up the hill backwards. That resulted in Friend lying in the snow on his back and Brother on top of him since Friend was not able to move Brother more than a few inches.

Plan three.

Brother tried to scoot backwards up the hill. Fail.

By this time, Brother had been sitting in the snow in thin pants for more than thirty minutes.  No cars had passed. Cell phones didn’t have service. Friend was panicked – and short of breath. 

Plan four.

Friend had a blanket in his emergency kit and the decision was made to have Brother get on it and Friend would pull him up the hill.  After a lot of pulling and tugging, they finally make it out of the ditch and onto the road. Brother lay on the road – soaking wet and cold – while Friend returned to the truck to get the wheelchair.

By the time they loaded up in Friend’s car, it was 1:30 in the morning. They left the truck and Friend took Brother home.  They were both safe and sound  - and eventually warmed up.

The next day was Sunday so Brother went to church with his family.  When they returned to the house, a very upset policeman was waiting.

Brother’s truck had been found that morning and the authorities suspected foul play because it looked like a body had been drug through the snow ~ and the snow around the area indicated a struggle! They suspected an abduction! A serious crime!

Well, a body had been drug through the snow and there had been a struggle  - but it wasn’t foul play.  A crime had not been committed.  Quite the opposite.

Instead of a crime, Friend had committed a selfless and compassionate act - risking his safety and comfort.

Are there times in our relationships that we want to cry “foul play” as if there was a crime committed against us? A harsh tone. A misplaced text. An inattentive ear. A forgotten promise. These are some of the things that might make us think someone doesn’t care for or love us.

But maybe there is a story behind the “evidence.” Maybe the friend or spouse or child is tired or stressed or scared or distracted. Just maybe.

Lord, help me to always think the best of others.  Help me to be a selfless, compassionate friend/mother/daughter/wife. 

Always be humble and gentle. 
Be patient with each other,
 making allowance for each other’s faults 
because of your love.   Ephesians 4:2
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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fifteen Years

With the beginning of a New Year, my Facebook feed, email inbox and even the snail mail was filled with New Year’s resolutions suggestions.  I’m being assaulted with “let’s start the year out right” Bible reading plans, Bible memory plans, healthy eating plans and goal setting plans. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all about participating in programs that motivate me to live a better life.  In the past, I’ve started out years determined to follow the “Read through the Bible in One Year.”  I’ve committed to memorize a Bible verse a week.  I’ve started diets the day after the ball dropped. And I’ve stayed committed – until about March!

But I haven’t given up. This year I’m doing an online “One Month to Live” study.  I can do a month, right? (I’m several days into this study and so far I’ve determined that if I only had a month to live I would eat a LOT of pasta with cream sauce, I wouldn’t do ANY laundry and I would NOT exercise!  For those of you now worried for the salvation of my soul, let me say that I am getting some good out of the study.  Don’t you worry about me.)

But seriously, a few weeks ago, I attended a funeral that made me really think about resolutions in a new light.  The woman that was celebrated that day was only fifteen years older than me.  I didn’t know her.  But I know her daughter. 

As I sat there and listened to her family and friends honor her and talk about the impact that she had on lives around her, I was challenged.  Fifteen years.  What if I knew I only had fifteen more years to live? And they would be healthy years. How would I live differently?  What would I do?

So many times, when people receive bad news about cancer or a sick heart or an incurable illness, they decide to make the best of the time they have left.  More often than not, they don’t have the health to pursue their goals and dreams because of chemo, or a surgery or other debilitating condition. 

Tim McGraw sang about sky diving, Rocky Mountain climbing, bull-riding , loving deeper and forgiving sooner.  His words challenged us to live like we were dying.

We are all dying.  It’s just a matter of when.  So why not live that way before we get the death sentence?  Before our health runs out?

As I drove away from the funeral and in the days that have passed, I have contemplated the question, “What if I knew I only had fifteen more years to live and I would have my health during those years? How would I live? What would I strive to accomplish?”

So often, people don’t live that way until they only have a short time to live.  But what if, just what if, I had fifteen years?  Fifteen years is a long time to accomplish a lot of things.

I could get another degree or two.
I could raise a foster child.
I could start an orphanage in Africa.
I could learn to paint – okay, maybe not that one. Or maybe I could. George W did.
I could travel the world.
I could help someone else travel the world.
I could start a business.
I could volunteer in a myriad of different places.
I could write a book  - or ten of them.
I could do a lot of things.
In fifteen years.

If you knew that you had fifteen healthy years, would you do anything differently?  Would you go skydiving or Rocky Mountain climbing? Would you love deeper? Forgive quicker?

How would you use fifteen years to make an impact? A month is probably not enough time to make a lasting impact.  A year may not be either – depending how it is spent.  But ten years is. And fifteen definitely is.

Fifteen years.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Suffering Well

My grandfather will be 98 years old in January. He fell last week, broke his hip, and had a hip replacement. While caring for him, I was reminded of something that I recently read and I want to share it here. 

This grandfather was married to my grandmother for 58 years and cared for her when she got leukemia until she passed away. He remarried a wonderful lady and they enjoyed seventeen years together. When she, at 99 years old, became ill and began to slip away, he cared for her (risking his own health) until she took her last breath. He suffered well with the women he loved.

My other grandfather lovingly cared for my invalid grandmother for many years until she passed away. He suffered well with the love of his life.

I have watched a sister-in-law suffer well.
I have watched friends suffer well with spouses and parents.
I have watched my son-in-law sign up to suffer well before he ever walked down the aisle.

Please take a moment to read Kevin A. Thompson's blog "The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry"

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Tiny Shiny Thing

The Tiny Shiny Thing

Do you have one of these in your home?  I certainly hope not.  Why? Because it is a sin-inducer! A grumble maker. An irritant. This little thing causes me to sin!

What is it, you ask?  How can that tiny, shiny thing cause me such grief? Well, apparently that tiny, shiny thing makes it nearly impossible for others in my home to replace the paper towels when they run out!  

If I had a dime for every time I walked into my kitchen and found the paper towel holder covered only by an empty cardboard tube, the shiny thing still in place, and a new roll of paper towels next to the paper towel holder, I’d be rich.  Or at least able to buy a latte! 

That’s when I start sinning!  And grumbling!  As I give the tiny, shiny knob a few twists and free the empty paper-towel, I mumble under my breath, “Well, that was difficult.  I see why no one could replace the paper towels!  It’s a good thing I came home!”

I yank off the empty paper towel cardboard thing and place the new roll on the holder.   Then I grab the tiny, shiny thing again and give it a few twists in the other direction.  And I continue to mumble – often for no one to hear – “There.  Now was that so difficult? Good thing it takes a brain surgeon to figure out how to replace the paper towels with this complicated towel holder.  Oh, wait!  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon – just a little twist of the wrist.”

Grumble. Grumble. Sin. Sin.

Why am I the only one that seems able to unscrew the tiny, shiny thing so that we can have a new roll of paper towels properly installed? Why is it so difficult?  Why go to all the trouble to get a new paper towel roll out and not put it on the holder?  Do you people think it’s acceptable to leave the paper towels just sitting next to the lovely holder I picked out?  Why are these people I live with so lazy? Why don’t they care about me and my dreams and my hopes and…

How silly!  It’s just a tiny, shiny thing!  It requires a few twists of the wrist. I can give it a few twists of the wrist.  I can throw away the cardboard tube. I can replace the paper towels and the knob on top. 

And I can do it without grumbling and getting resentful, angry and bitter. That’s my choice!

Hey, I know a paper towel holder is trivial. But don’t we all have something – or somethings - in our lives that trigger us to stumble into sinning, to respond incorrectly, to grumble, to grow bitter or angry?  And don’t get me wrong, I have bigger things in my life that cause me to grumble or irritate me and lead me down a less than virtuous path but you don’t want to hear about those.  So I use the paper towel holder as a metaphor for all of those other things.

I could create a “Top-Seven-Irritants-That-Make-Us-Lose-Our-Cool” list but I’m pretty sure I don’t need to.  I’m pretty sure you already know what – or who - triggers you to grumble and stumble and… outright sin.  Don’t you?

Again, I have a choice to make.  I choose to chuckle.  I choose to “look on the bright side.” I choose to shift my focus. 

Instead of being mad that the tiny, shiny thing kept my family members from replacing the paper towels, I’m grateful that I have a husband that likes to cook – and uses the very last paper towel to wipe up a spill. I’m grateful that I have a lovely kitchen and a lovely paper towel holder.  And children. And, I’m even grateful for teenagers.

But most of all, I’m grateful that I have a savior that doesn’t grumble and gripe when I neglect to give a twist of the wrist to replace the used up things in my life like jealousy, fear, insecurities, doubt, and replace them with His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy and His grace. 

The Lord wants to give us “the oil of joy instead of mourning
 and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” Isaiah 61:3

Do everything without grumbling. Philippians 2:14

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9

Okay, I’m going to go offer some hospitality to my family without grumbling – I’m going to replace the empty paper towels. And I’m going to do it without sinning!

Do you have a trigger?  How do you shift your focus?

Note: For those that celebrated with me about finally buying a new bedspread, I have some bad news to report: I had to return the ordered bedspread (it was taupe-y).  Last week, I bought two more. Both of those were met with grimaces from my husband.  Keep me in your prayers.  The saga continues!)

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