Why blog?

It's therapeutic... specially for dorks like me who communicate better when they have the chance to process their thoughts, select their words, and write precisely what they want to say. As much as I'm a "talker", I stumble, stutter, and don't always say things right. English as a second language might have something to do with that (unfortunately, I don't think I could blog in Spanish... I lost my grammar in that language). I like to pour out my thoughts and leave it out there in the cosmos (or the world wide web) for other people to mull over...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Nova" Part II

Almost as if to prove a point, Nova has come out of her shell a little!

She now is not too terrified to go to another room and pee or poop. Being optimistic, I think this is good because now she's acting like a DOG, which we can work with and train!

She doesn't walk around the house with her tail between her legs any more. She sniffs things looking for food. She is VERY food motivated! She wags her tail at the sight of food, has no issues jumping up on your lap or on the kid's table when there's food around. More things to work on, but like I said, it's more encouraging than having to carry her out of the kennel and pretty much gently begging her to eat.

She enjoys Paul's company. And she has a bit of a game going on with Leo.

She's a sweet dog! She may not be the dog to jump up on your lap to say hi (approaching you and putting her head close to your hand may be "it"). She may not be the dog to play tag or fetch with the kids. But she's definitely sweet and gentle and will still make a great pet when she gets adopted.

On that note, I've had 2 if not 3 people interested in her.

Which teaches me a couple of things:
1) Just like you can learn fear, you can also learn trust. It just takes a little time.
2) When you trust, you expect your needs to be met. Nova may not know much of anything else when it comes to being a pet, but she knows that we are her source of food and water.
3) Even at your ugliest, shyest, or absolute not best, you are still loved! Nova is still wanted by potential families even though she doesn't have this "Lassie" personality.

There is hope in the world after all!

Yesterday she came up to me after work, and I sat down just to pet her, and she licked my face. Mind you, I had a burger king bag behind my back as my late night dinner... but all the same, I was stoked to have her approach me and get close to me on her own free will.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Nova: 1877, from L. nova, fem. sing. adj. of novus "new" (see new), used with stella "star" (a fem. noun in L.) to describe a new star not previously known. Plural is novæ. Astronomy .
a star that suddenly becomes thousands of times brighter and then gradually fades to its original intensity.

That is the name of the puppy I'm fostering through Alask
a Dog and Puppy Rescue. Paul and I have been wanting a dog for a while, but didn't know quite what we could handle yet, and decided it would be better to provide temporary homes to dogs that would otherwise stay in shelters and be euthanized. The goal is to have her adopted, and then foster another one... and another one...

The need for foster parents in Alaska has grown a lot since the Mat-Su shelter seized 157 dogs from a "breeder" that were all starving to death. Around 20 were already found dead on the premise, one dog had to be euthanized at the shelter, and some of the dogs seized may not make it per the last article I read. They were starving so bad that their recovery is long and hard.

The town has risen to the occasion by sending in donations of food, straw (for warm bedding), supplies, and money. But these dogs are in a shelter that was already full, and the shelter cannot have them adopted yet because they are part of a criminal investigation - so until the judge declares the hoarder "guilty" those dogs are at a standstill. So the rescue is helping by pulling out dogs that were there before the seizure and are adoptable and placing them in foster homes and in their adoption clinics.

Seems like we picked a perfect time to get involved!

So we have this sweet, small husky mix named Nova. I'm praying she lives up to her name! I'm waiting for her to spark. It may take a while, or it may never happen... she's still a lovable dog either way.

She is ridiculously timid and submissive. If it was up to her, she'll stay in her kennel forever. She's afraid to come to us, and if our cat walks by her food she will run into the bathroom in the dark and stay there until the coast is clear. I have to prepare the house to get her to eat; get the kids to quiet down, but Caleb in his crib, feed Leo something else in the kitchen.

She won't bite. She won't even whimper. She is mute as far as we know. She just ducks for cover. She'll pace around the house until she finds a lonely place to lay down.

The kids offer her plenty of love and help. They like being involved in feeding her and they pet her as often as they walk by her. Of course, no one will take her out for walks except for me (wait... Paul did... ONCE) because it's like, -15.

She looks sad/depressed most of the time.

Her mellow nature helps because we are in an apartment building... so I don't have to worry about neighbor complaints. It was perfect for Leo because he's sooo much more relaxed and he wasn't used to dogs at all. He did NOT like dogs. But he likes Nova about as much as he likes our sofa. The kids are more gentle and quiet around the house only in consideration for Nova (they don't care if I have a migraine - but for Nova, they'll quiet down).

She takes on lots of love. You can tell she needs it too. I'll sit next to her on the floor and just rub her head and behind the ears and her eyes will get real big as she looks at me. I've seen her wag her tail twice (normally it's permanently positioned between her legs, and she only moves it out of the way to pee); once I was feeding her, the other time I had doggie snacks in my hand and she seemed interested in one. A couple of times she has walked up to me and Paul for a head scratch, which is leaps of progress.

Her usual, if she will have it, is to lay in the back of the kennel all day.

I can't help but wonder what has happened to her in the estimated past 6 years that she has no spirit or personality other than "EVADE!" Poor baby. It must've been a very rough life. And if I pick up the broom, she somehow manages to cower even lower than usual.

Why is this blog-worthy for me? Because I feel like God is trying to teach me something. Am I as withdrawn and discouraged from Him as she seems to be with the rest of the world? And how do you help heal a broken heart (mines, a friends, or a church members)? An injured, sick body has ways to be recovered... manuals, books, veterinary instructions... But how do you restore a spirit that has been broken? Will MY heart and MY broken spirit ever be restored?

In other words, will either one of us ever witness our burst (of light)?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year: 2011

Wow I haven't blogged in like... ever... didn't quite have the muse.

But with it being a New Year and all, you put a lot of thought into New Year's resolutions and such, goals, failures, etc... you can't help but come up with SOMETHING to write.

I guess what hit me recently is how much our culture and media is teaching us that we are not good unless we produce more, do more, look better... etc. And I wonder how much of that I've been feeding into.

It hit me when I was watching "Eat, Pray, Love" with Julia Roberts and there was this scene where she is in Italy and her friend is telling her that she can't eat a pizza because she has a "muffin top", and Julia tells her that she's gonna eat the pizza because she's tired of all the calorie counting and self-loathing... yada yada...

And it was revolutionary for me that for the first time women aren't all about "hitting the gym", or "trying new diets" on TV but rather just ... enjoying food and enjoying life in this movie. It was like the FIRST time I had seen something like that!

Made me really think: Do I want to lose weight because it's what's best for me, or it would make me fit better into what everyone else thinks? Because the source of the motivation is the key! And will I spend this year eating a pizza and then punishing myself at the gym and hitting the shower with self-loathing, self-depreciation, because I can't fit into the same pair of pants I wore in High School... ? I don't know... I think I would rather go to the gym because I like to exercise, and I love the "me" time that being on a treadmill gives me, and its a good way to invest in myself a little bit....

See the difference?

So maybe I do decide to go on a diet and hit the gym. But I want it to be because I love myself, not because I hate myself. At the end of the day I have to sleep with myself and rise with myself and be accountable before God for no one but myself. It sounds self-centered but its a ringing reality.

And its not just with my self image that I'm thinking hard and deep about the sources of motivation... but also my friendships. I find myself bitter and sick of my friends and then I have to wonder why: Am I envious? Do I feel left out? Or is it the feeling that something should be wrong but isn't? Why would I want something to be wrong in the first place? It doesn't make me sound like a very good friend right now, but putting it all in the open, I have to evaluate every thought and motive.

Its hard for me to be a good friend because I'm much more comfortable with being a loner -which is why my friends are so few. I have found that a lot of friends either aren't good for me, or don't want to invest into a friendship with me as much as I would, so my true friends are few. And when it comes to friends, I've always found that guy friends are better friends than girls because I have very low tolerance for DRAMA. And whining. But I'm aware that sometimes DRAMA just comes and seeks you out, because life has challenges, and THAT'S when a friend needs you the most (right?)!

Kids... do I want to have the perfect kids so that everyone thinks I'm a perfect mom? Or do I want for them to be the best THEY can be with nothing but sincere good interests for them at heart? I've always said I DID NOT want to be the Mom who took every child's decision personally and believed that whatever the kids did was a reflection of whether she was a good Mom (or not)... but did I fall into that trap I was trying desperately to avoid?

Church... Do I go to church every Sunday because I have to or because I want to? Am I talking and acting differently at church than I do at home because I'm trying to look holier than I am? Do I serve at my church because I feel God has called me to or because I feel the expectation of doing so as all good Christians should? There is a beautiful division between my "church" life and my relationship with God. I've always felt that I can be completely honest with Him. He can handle my tears, my anger, my frustrations, and my questions. In the middle of my hissy-fits I know He still loves me and it won't diminish any more than my love for my kids would lessen when they throw a temper-tantrum. I read the Bible because it speaks life to me; it lightens my heart, gives me hope, and God has proven it true to me. But so much of my walk with God happens from Monday to Saturday when I'm NOT at church (rather at work, home, grocery store, etc...) that it begs me to ask these questions because my Sunday morning does not need to be any different than my Saturday night!

I could go on and on... Do you see what I'm saying, though?

Am I a good Mom when the house is all clean and the dishes are done and dinner is perfect right at 6pm? Am I still a good Mom when the house is a mess and I'm on the floor coloring pictures with my kids till 9pm and their dinner was oreos and milk while we were working on our artwork?

By whose standards am I proposing my New Year's Resolutions?

I guess my challenge to whoever reads this (even though you may not be a Mom, or a wife, or a little on the heavier side than when you were in High School) is to pray and search your heart for motives. Don't fall into the trap of the patterns of this world because they don't satisfy. Just when you lose 30 lbs they will tell you you need to be skinnier (believe me, I know!).

I guess I'm going to start my resolutions with asking God to help me love myself for all that He made me to be: Good, bad and ugly. I hate being in the kitchen, I just love to eat. I rather work with animals than with people. I'll probably never stop singing. I'm not an ideal housewife. I'm not religious. If I pray kneeling I fall asleep and go unconscious (in fact, in order for me to focus when I pray I have to pace around the room to keep my self from being distracted or falling asleep). Then from this point - the point of loving and accepting myself just as I am with no ifs, ands, or buts - I can work on setting goals and working towards the things that ultimately are better for ME. And I can be the best ME.