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Entries in Beagle Bites (5)


Of howling, hairy toddlers

I have a Beagle named Luna. Since I have become an empty nester, I feel like I'm living with a four legged toddler, except that this toddler has no hope of becoming rational at any time. On the upside, it's okay to lock her up in a cage when she's unruly.

Like a toddler, she believes everything belongs to her, especially the couch, although she cannot understand why I don't want her up there when she's licking her hindquarters.

Like a toddler, she has poor manners. Luna has no shame in satisfying her passion for cat food by pushing the cat away from his own dish as he eats. He's pretty stupid, though, because one swipe with an open claw, and she (like a toddler) would run away crying.

Like a toddler, she is a drama queen when she gets caught for her many infractions. Being sent to the crate when she's been busted is generally met with a lot of sass, as she lets out her houndy yelp when the door closes. That is followed by a pitiful wine of resignation. I wonder if the neighbours think we're beating her.

There are toys all over the the place, covered in drool, just like a toddler.

The other day, when she was successful in robbing the cat of his dinner, her hasty ingestion led to her vomiting the entire contraband all over the back door rug; a minute before I was supposed to leave the house. That is when I thought to myself, "My life has become consumed with a hairy, howling toddler." My self-pity didn't last long, fortunately. But this is indeed life as an empty nester. The pets take on a strange significance.

Yes, I miss my kids. This is year eight since the first one went away. They have busy lives, and while the first year away from home saw each of them return more frequently, their independence means that coming home isn't as easy. I've noticed their absence more this year. The quiet is more tangible because it's longer and the sound of their voices returning isn't as frequent. Luna, who desperately loves her pack, feels the same, as is evidenced by the her joyful apoplexy at their return.

But life is good. God is good to me. I am healthy, I can take care of my house, I'm not sitting in a hospital bed or confined to my own at home. I have enough to eat and a roof over my head. In between battles between the cat and dog, I have a full life. This is the way it is meant to be. We raise our children and then we watch them fly. If I became too consumed with melancholy at their absence, I would have a problem. I have had my moments, but when you have a dog who has learned to tip toe so she can sneak up behind the cat while your back is turned, life is intereseting. I'm studying more, reading more, thinking more, and working with my hands. Soon, I'll be back at teaching on Sunday and helping in the young mom's bible study. 

In the past few weeks, I have seen the bloggers who have shared about sending a child to Kindergarten, to high school, or to college. I nod along, because I know what those things feel like. Some share the reality of very mixed emotions. It's exciting, but at the same time, difficult. I get that.

Ladies, it gets easier. Being alone and without career is forcing me to really seek God, to really test that exhortation I frequently hand out: "Find your sufficiency in God." When the day lies open before me, and I feel like I don't know what to do with my time, God has a way of filling it with not only activity, but simply himself. In between missing my kids, I've had precious moments when I am left saying simply, "Thank you, Lord."

For all those women watching their babies fly the coop, it really does get easier. And if you're really bored, I know the name of a good Beagle breeder.


Snowy days

We've had snow on and off the past week or so, and I took the Beagle out.  She likes the snow.  I used the continuous shoot mode and got some good pictures.  I just installed Photoshop tonight, and took the pictures off the camera.  I liked this one:

Apparently, when I was out yesterday being beautified at the hair salon, she was barking and charging at that nasty snow.   Her neuroses grow daily.


Status Report - January

Sitting:  am I sitting?  I just woke up from a 15 minute power nap and I'm not sure.

Observing:  that it is sunny, which is nice.  I should go outstide, but I'm not awake yet.

Hearing:  the sound of Snoring Beagle.

Thinking:  how annoyed I was at Snoring Beagle this morning at 5:00 a.m., because she was apparently trying to dig her way out of the crate.

Realizing:  that Snoring Beagle has been spoiled by all the attention of family and friends over the holidays and needs to re-learn her place in society.

Remembering:  how nice a sleep I was having when Stupid Wakeful Cat got up at 4:40 this morning and roused Snoring Beagle from her slumber which led to her digging for China in her crate.

Feeling:  like I've been hit with a stick; a big one.  When will it be bedtime?

Impressed: with myself for still being able to have power naps while my son records music upstairs.

Fairly certain:  that when I  have insomnia tonight, the sounds of what he's recording today will replay over and over again in my head.  Last night's insomnia featured, "Lonely Nation" by Switchfoot.  

Planning:  to have hubby bring home Chinese food because I am feeling too much like a zombie to go to the grocery store and replenish the food stores.

Anticipating:  the book Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson.  I read the first chapter while my son was getting a tooth filled this morning.  It's going to be good.

Hoping for:  regular sleeping activity to return.  The fall was wonderful; 2012 hasn't been a banner year so far for that.

Pondering:  a cup of coffee to get me going for the rest of this day.


What the weekend is for

Just relaxin'



This afternoon The Beagle discovered the recycling bin.  She was attacked by an A&W french fry cup, which she successfully vanquished.  There was barking and howling involved.