Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My neck of the woods!

Wordless Wednesday!

This is our dog "Lady" in her new habitat....Galicia, northern Spain. Our friends who adopted her sent us these and well it says it all doesn´t it!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Feline Finale

Yesterday was another day of letting go...another stage...another level. Yes it´s like that preverbial onion with layers. Each layer gets closer to the heart....

Our final stage in "letting go" of the animals concluded yesterday taking the 3 cats to a new home. It didn´t quite work out as we had planned.... God definitely knows best and I wanted to share what happened with you!

To start off with I have only one cat carrying case. At a pinch, one could squash two felines in there but there was't room for three! So our first challenge was making a comfortable and functional carrying case of sorts for the two remaining cats.

There´s is nothing like that kind of challenge to get the creative juices flowing and we came up with a perfect solution that provided both air conditioning (lots of vents) and space. This was a combination of washbasket and plastic box that was then taped up with duct tape.
So that initial problem solved, actually the distraction of having to think of something else helped to not dwell on the reality of what we were doing, we were set to go. We packed the lovely pussies into the car serenaded by a meowing conchierto of, "where are you taking me!" Needless to say, Deb and I are trying our best to maintain a postive outlook.

We headed out just after 10:00am in search of the animal shelter. Naturally this wasn´t our first option, but due to the reality of how difficult it is for older cats to be adopted, especially in Spain, we found ourselves after one month of trying sadly at the option of shelter. (I have to add here, that almost all of our aqaintances have cat allergies too)

So here we were driving around desperateratly trying to find the animal shelter we have been given directions for (very vagues ones I might add). You know how difficult it is to drive and look for something that you have no idea how it´s going to look (often these places don´t have signs either on the road or at the shelter) with 3 cats in the back seat crying on and off and just feeling plain sad????

Well, naturally, we stopped at several places that looked like animal shelters but weren´t and ended up like good navigators at a petrol station to ask for directions. Meanwhile the clock is ticking! Of course the helpful chaps who were disappointed not to fill the car up, had never heard of such a shelter in that area and took their animals into Madrid!!! (about 45 mins drive away!!!)hmm so now we were back to square one. We had already been driving for 45 minutes up till that point.

So what to do? Head back to the vet thinks me and recieve new directions. This we did...another 30 mins pass.... and she gives us yet another set of directions but in the other direction and to a different shelter. She had apparently never heard of the one we were trying to find.... Naturally she didn´t have any telephone numbers or cards of these places.... and she did hasten to add that there was no sign to see from the road. (why did this sound familiar to me????!!!)

So off we trundle again. The cats had somewhat calmed down and were sleeping now much to our delight. Only when we went round corners did they all begin in chorus again! I am beginning to feel progressivly sadder and guilty about the cats and their fate. Debee and I try to maintain an upbeat conversation as we drive along.

It goes without saying that we are again looking for something that will have no signs from the road and be diffcult to spot so we have our eyes peeled each on our own side!

"Quick, stop! I think that was it!" Big sis says as she thinks she has seen a dog sign. We turn the car around, because of course she she noticed once we had passed.!!! We find ourselves standing outside something that looks like it could be an animal shelter. Clues? Dogs barking!!!!

We ring the doorbell and wait. I throw the cats in the back of the car a glance and begin to wonder what they must be thinking. I am pulled away from my thoughts as a lady appears at the gate.

"What do you want ?"she growls, "You've probably come to the wrong place!"

Not the best first liner I have heard that´s for sure.

Feeling a little threatened we sheepishly say we are looking for the animal shelter. She sighs and gives us the look, "I told you so." and begins to explain how everyone shows up at her door looking for the animal shelter.

Not only that, they also start accusing her of being unhelpful and demand that she take their animals. She tries to explain that this is her home and that the animal shelter is further down the roadbut they pay no attention.

She also goes on to tell us that the animal shelter they wouldn´t take them and that there´s all this hype on the news about how they take animals...but it´s all just a moneymaking business!

Sadly many people drive off leaving the animals abandoned right outsider her front door anyway. Having the big animal heart that she does, she takes them in: cats, dogs, and even birds right there in her garden...

Recognizing we had not come to verbally accuse or abuse her, she began to calm down and asked us what our situation was. I told her that my husband had developed allergies/asma to our pets and that even though we had been able to pass the dog and one cat on to friends we still had 3 cats left. She agreed at how almost impossible it was to find homes for older cats even though they had been sterilzed.

She asked to see the cats in the car and offered that she would even take them. I was touched by her willlingness to do so. She did though, want us to try and take them to the shelter so that we could see for ourselves that what she had said was true.

She was right. They wouldn't take the cats and gave us all kinds of excuses. There were no signs either.

So we drove back to our new friend. Actually I wondered if she was trying to give us the slip too, but she answered the door. Much friendlier this time too!!!! She just wanted to prove her point about the animal shelter. Sadly it was true.

She opened up the gates and let us into her secret garden of dogs, cats and exotic birds. All very healthy looking and well taken care of. She took our cats out of their boxes and said she hoped that they would settle soon.

I wanted to somehow recompense her for what she was doing for us and asked her if she would please not be offended if I offered her some money, even if it would just be towards food. She refused out flat and showed me all the food she had in storage for them.

Just as we were leaving we asked her for her name. She said her name was Remedios and gave us her card and telephone number so we could call and check on the cats.

Remedio means Remedy in English. Big sis and I looked at each other and we knew she had been God's remedy for our cats.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The First Fire

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,

for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:

it is the time for home. ~Edith Sitwell

It arrived

Like cold water to a weary soul,

So is good news from a distant land.

Proverbs 25:25

Yeah it finally arrived Karen!!! It was post dated 7th October and today is the 24th...hmm 2 weeks and 2 days. But you know what? It arrived safe and sound. Not a break and not even a rip in the paper, no melting ...nothing... perfect!

Here I am with shaking hands from the sheer excitement of receiving a package and wanting to know what is it inside it!
And it is ..............(drum roll please...)a fantastic bar of chocolate with kiwi fruit from my fabulous cousin in NZ!

Hmm let´s see what is in this wonderful bar of cacao .. ... food of the gods!!!!

Surrounded by screams of delight and lots of "this is great"...we reach for more!!!

Hmmmmmm simply delicious!

Wordless Wednesday!

Ps 30:5 Weeping may last for the night....

...But a shout of joy comes in the morning. ( NASB ©1995)

View is from my balcony! Click on post title to trace back where Wordless Wednesday began!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday´s Tribute

My tribute today is to my big sister.

She is the oldest of us three siblings, I am the youngest, and well we have a brother right smack bang in the middle! Man isn´t he the lucky one!!!!

It may sound corny, but I wouldn´t want to even begin to guess where I would be today if it wasn´t for my sister.

Not only was she there to take care of me as a new born due to my Mum´s paralasis, (click here to read more about that) but at the tender age of 10, she sat on my bed and led me through the prayer that made me a newborn into the Kingdom of Heaven!

She has travelled with me along this road we call life from the very beginning, and has been with me in the good and rescued me in the bad. Yes... in very essence I don´t know what would have been for my life, if she hadn´t made herself available to be instrumental in God´s hands to reach me!

My sister and I are soooo alike in some things and sooooooo different in others. We share many loves: one of them is humour. We love doing skits, laughing and making jokes.

This is my sis and me doing a funny skit during our 1920's Party!

I so appreciate having an older sister because I always feel protected just knowing she is around. She is very selfless and has always looked out for my bro and me.

My sister is very detailed. She loves theories, explanations and sudokus. She always has systems for why and how things work, which saves me having to think about it! A classic first born trait if ever I saw one! (read the birth order book and you will be amazed and every enlightened...i just love that book)

I´m so glad she lives just down the road and not hardly a day goes by when we don't see each other. Sis, I love you. Thank you God for giving me the bestest big sister a younger sister could ever have.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More of Him Mondays...

By Samuel Smiles

Our pastor shared this quote on Sunday. One thing that I really enjoy about him is that his preachings are very down to earth. Not hairy fairy or pie in the sky unattainable spirituality. Yesterday he shared a practical piece or reality but one which I felt was very spiritually powered!

Of course Samuel Smiles didn't hit upon this great principle on his own did he? We all know that the bible teaches what we sow, we reap. (Gal 6:7) But I was especially moved by the truth behind this quote and the challenge it presents us with. a Question of the heart.The reality of this principle is not only life changing, but it´s ramifications are beyond comprehension.

Today's message is that all roads,with varying types of moral and value, lead to Rome. They would like us to believe that each walk of life each with it's individual expression is equally valid and all of which ends in peace and happiness!!

Although this philosophy is wide spread and very much rampant amongst our youth, would you not agree with me that it is blatantly evident that certain choices embarked upon today propose nothing but disaster and destruction for the future? Is it not true that there are roads that lead to anywhere but the proverbial Rome, peace or happiness?

God´s word clearly teaches us that there are decisions we make that have the ability to convisgate a future of hope and peace. There are choices I can make which will not give me a happy end, which the philosophy of, "Everything will all come out in the wash anyway?" so eagerly promises.

Yesterday I was challenged to weigh my choices and decisions 0f today. As Ps 90:12 says, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. "
How desperately I need the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth and not to trust my every so wandering heart which is is wicked above all things. (Jeremiah 17:9) It´s in the heart that the seads of thought are sown. Only God can test the heart (Ps 26:2) and only He is able to give me a pure heart (Ps 51:10)

I can help my heart from being deceived if I hide His word in my heart(Ps 119.11) I need to guard it because it's the wellspring of life! (Prov 4:23)

P.S. Click on title of this post to link to the blog where More of Him on Mondays was originated.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Letting go III

She´s gone.
Just an hour ago her new family came to pick her up. As Shakespeare said, "Parting is such sweet sorrow...." It is rather a a bitter sweet experience. Lady was a dear dog, but also a very nervous one with not all wonderful traits. But as much I got frustrated sometimes... I miss her... I really do. I´m in a real letting go phase... the animals are just a reflection of this I guess.

Next I have to face saying goodbye to the cats... oh boy...then the house will REALLY feel empty.

More of Him Mondays...

Okay, so I am a bit behind (again!) But I did still want to do this one because I have been inspired by Sharon . I have just gotten to know Sharon through Blogging and I have been encouraged by her openess and transparency and downright honesty... check her out... I am sure you will be drawn closer to God for sure! In sharon´s post about enough what sprang out to me was:

For you, O God, tested us; You refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance (Psalm 66:10-12).

"God's economy of abundance often has little to do with material blessing. In God's economy, abundance is often measured in wisdom and knowledge of Himself. It is then that we are truly blessed. Wisdom cannot be gained through intellectual pursuits.

Before we come to our place of abundance maybe God has to bring us through some other stuff... I am feeling like the part: "you let men ride over our heads!!!"

Pls go back and read the whole enough will be blessed. I have printed it up because I know I will need to go back and read and re-read it several times before it starts to really sink in!!!!

Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday´s Tribute

This is an initiative from Bonnie!and I think that´s it great so I am joining in. If you want to get on the band wagon go to Bonnie's blog and let her know you are getting involved...

I want to give my first tribute to my Honey! I have known this wonderful man for 24years and we have be married for 20 of those! He is German, (but he doesn't have a square head!!) although he came to Spain when he was 8yrs old, he learnt English when he was 14yrs and married a weird and wonderful Brit when he was 22yrs! what a combination eh!

I like so many things abut him... one of those is his sense of humour. He must have one because he married me!!!! He also has a terrific smile and sensational laugh! If I can make him world is complete! Often we compete to see who can make the other laugh with the wittiest comment!!

He is very gracious and merciful. I admire the fact that he can always see the best in others...and especially in me... where it can be quite hidden at times.

He is a peacemaker and bridgebuilder tres magnifique! He has been blessed with "a way with people" that few I know possess.

When I get locked up in the tower of math homework, he is my knight in shinning armour and rescues me from the numbers hell. He doesn't let me feel dumb or weak for needing to be rescued!!!

He has a wonderful voice and plays the guitar wonderfully! I love singing with him and enjoy the music we make together.

He is upright and trustworthy. Qualities that don't go unnoticed in the work place and ones which bring him honour.

He is a committed provider to his family and is always giving up his desires for the sake of the rest....

Above he is my friend. He is there for the good, the bad and the ugly.... The ugly is more visible as the years progress!

I love you Honey Bunchi!