Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alli’s Wayward Wednesday

(In which my mind wanders and I find some random bits of information that I found interesting and hopefully you will too.)

1. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this year on Groundhog Day. It’s snowing in Nashville, so maybe I was wrong with my flowers and there really are 6 more weeks of winter. Well, technically, Groundhog Day is Feb. 2nd so now we only have 2 ½ weeks left.

2. Most soda company’s originally used extracts from the kola nut in their drinks, which is native to Africa. I never knew there was an actual kola nut! Did you? Today most of them use artificial flavorings instead. Coca-Cola used to actually use cocaine in their soda as well, until it was outlawed in the late 19th century. Cocaine-Kola nut. Coca-Cola.

3. My dog can play the piano. See for yourself.

4. Today is John Steinbeck’s birthday. (1902-1968) So in honor of him I’ll end with a quote of his that makes me smile:

“I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.”

Friday, February 22, 2008

Some Yellow Flowers

Oso and I went walking at Radnor this morning. A state "Natural Area" just south of the city. He loves it there, which is great because I do too, and I think it’s helping us bond, the walking.

It's a rainy day here, and as we were leaving I saw one patch of yellow flowers coming up through the leaves and dirt just off the trail. The first sign of spring that I've seen! It seems like the whole country is having a long winter and I'm ready to open some windows. I actually have one open right now so I can hear the birds.

I wanted to share this quote that I read recently from A.W. Tozer's book, The Pursuit of God.

"What can all this mean except that we have in our hearts organs by means of which we can know God as certainly as we know material things through our familiar five senses? We apprehend the physical world by exercising the faculties given us for that purpose, and we possess spiritual faculties by means of which we can know God and the spiritual world if we will obey the Spirit’s urge and begin to use them."

So what are our “spiritual faculties”? Can we put a finger on them, name them? Like we can sight and smell? I can hear the birds outside and I can feel the cool air coming into this room. But there doesn’t seem to be a way to describe how I hear the voice of God. How I sense him near me, or sense his existence at all. Those things cannot be described the way I can tell you about Oso, who is lying at my feet right now.

When I read that Tozer quote, I thought of a new song of mine called Closer to the Moon. It rung true with me in the same place that this song came out of I guess. Here’s a bit of it:

"Frederick rarely hears the voice of God
He says the silence is the answer most of all
When the world has explanations for every miracle
How else would we have ears to hear him call
It’s not a steady rain, it’s more a longing or a pain
It’s in the aching that he knows there’s something more
Well I have never heard even a single spoken word
Except the rhythm of a wave upon the shore
Like watching dancers through a crack in the door"

It’s just like Jesus, it seems, to use something simple like a patch of yellow flowers to remind me how much we have to hope for.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More on Oso

Here is another picture of Oso for you.

Thanks for the advice! We are using a kennel, and he sleeps there at night and stays there when it's cold out and we're gone. He doesn't necessarily like it though... I’m assuming that comes with time. It's key for me to feel okay about not being with him 24/7. And i know i should feel okay about that.

I think Oso's mother is some sort of Cattle Dog (she has short black hair with prick ears) and his father is probably a Chow. It appears the other dogs in the litter were fathered by a Rottweiler. But the vet told me that it’s possible for there to be multiple fathers in one litter, which appears to be the case here. The other 3 puppies look like Rottweilers, short brown and tan hair. Oso is obviously the odd one out. And there is a Chow that roams the neighborhood that I think is the father.

If you’re not a dog lover, don’t worry. I plan to write much on non-dog related topics. Things like cats and birds and the strange stick/rock like bug that I found on my shoe yesterday that made me jump and drop it on the ground.

Kidding… unless I feel inspired (Annie Dillard style) I will probably stick to humans as my topic of conversation on this blog. ☺

Monday, February 18, 2008


Okay, so the dog is not so cute today. He’s stepped on one of my paintings (it was dry, but still), he went to the bathroom under my keyboard, and he’s really cramping my style. I’m starting to question our decision to call him ours. Is it always like this?? Will someone please tell me how long puppyhood lasts? Am I a bad person for leaving him in the backyard all afternoon??

What they say is seriously true, this seems to be pretty good practice for parenthood. Except Oso is not part of me, I didn’t carry him around for nine months. So disowning him doesn’t seem so out of the question. Now I feel horrible for saying that. Any puppy experts out there?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The D Word

So my life changed this week. I’ll give you 5 clues and see if you can’t guess what is different:

1. I’ve run out of swiffer wets
2. We have moved every pair of shoes from the front door to a nearby closet
3. I’ve woken up every morning for the last week at 7 without an alarm (this is a big deal)
4. We probably won’t be taking our living room rug with us to our next house
5. I’ve discovered that my backyard is actually a wonderful playground filled with sticks, rocks, and all sorts of weeds and plants that double as food and toys.

Can you guess what it is?

I don’t want to start this sentence with the words “we got a…” because that’s really not how it happened. But if I say “we took in a …” then I sound like I’m all proud that I’m sympathetic towards stray animals. The truth is I may be sympathetic towards animals, I just hadn’t really turned the animal sympathy side of myself on (out of necessity) until two years ago when I started taking allergy shots and became Alli the immune. So I am exploring this new side of myself that enjoys the companionship of dogs. There, I said it… dog. There is a dog living in our home and we feed him and put him to bed and let him outside to go “potty”. He came from an unplanned litter 3 doors down from us. I suppose you could say he is ours. I suppose I am slightly in denial. But it’s the truth.

Right now there is a black and white, 25-pound, adorable 2-month-old puppy lying at my feet eating a leaf he found on the kitchen floor that probably came off of somebody’s shoe. And since all the shoes are in the closet far away from his teeth, this must be the next best option. I’m learning so much from this four-legged creature!