I Go To Prepare A Place For You

Today, I saw this scripture from such beautiful personal revelations.

I used to go and visit my parents who lived about a 5 hour drive away almost every weekend.  They had a complete 2 bedroom suite on the ground floor of their home.  They could have rented out the suite, but chose to reserve it for my weekend use.

When I would arrive on Friday afternoon, the entire suite had been prepared specifically so that I would take joy and delight in the arrangement of “special things” and items of significance.

At the time, I owned 2 Afghan Hounds.

My dad had made a platform that housed their feed bowl and water bowl, (one shelf with dual bowl compartments for each dog) and had seamlessly attached it to the front of each night stand, coming off the front slightly below the shelf compartment. This was so they did not have to bend all the way to the floor to drink or eat!  This shelf attachment was stained to match the night stand, and appeared as though it had been a part of the night stand all along. Their night stands had the cutest soft glow night lights on the top; one in a moon, the other in a star.

This bedroom had twin beds with euro pillow-top mattresses, and my mom had made fitted mattress covers from treated canvas duck to cover the polyurethane mattress covers you buy in the stores.  Over top of the canvas mattress cover, she had made fitted polar fleece covers, complete with a pillow and matching polar fleece pillow case, so each dog had a fuzzy bed to sleep on.  In the closet was a 50 lb. bag of their specific dog food, and bags of dog cookies, chew toys, and all the kinds of toys they loved to play with.

My dad had made a dog run off of this bedroom, and had reconstructed a lower half door (similar to a barn door design) to fit in the doorway exiting the room to the outside covered chain link fenced dog run. The bottom half of the door was pivotal from the center, so that it swung circular in and out of the room. This enabled the dogs to come and go from the room to the run, at their leisure.  The bedroom door leading into the hallway was a pet gate so the dogs could see down the hallway when confined to their room (which was only at night or when we went out). My dogs would go crazy when I would drive into my mom and dad’s driveway; and once free of the car, would bound into the house and race each other to “their” room.  Each would jump onto their perspective bed, roll all over it, then bound off, race each other out the pet door into the run, have a sniff around, and then race each other back inside to go and find my parents. Upon whom they lavished with kisses and dog chatter in thanksgiving welcome!

My room had a 180 degree view of the lake, with patio doors out to my covered garden terrace.  My mom had made seasonal duvet covers and matching pillow shams and sheets.  She knew I loved lots of pillows and I had 6 full sized pillows on my bed. I had a hammock on  my patio.  On the post near the hammock was a small stand my dad had made that was large enough to hold a glass, a book or 2, and a bowl (to fill with snack goodies).

In the closet was a complete set of my clothes that I would need for vacation wear, and a couple of outfits for formal evening wear, on the occasion that we went to dinner out, and on the dresser was a complete jewelry chest of rings, earrings, bangle bracelets, necklaces, hair ornaments, etc. I had shorts, jeans, T-shirts, bathing suits, bathing coverups, blouses, skirts, pants, shoes, boots, hoodies, jackets, bras, panties, tanks, everything I could ever need.

The bathroom was complete with toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, Q-tips, cotton balls, HP, RA, powder, scented soaps, facial soaps, loofahs, tweezers, towels, hair dryer, curling iron, straitening iron, hot rollers, hair accessories, perfumes, and all the makeup items I ever used, as well as a washer and dryer of my own to use.

And the kitchen was stocked with all of my favorite drinks and foods for day and evening snacks.  I am addicted to yogurt, and there was always a full shelf of yogurt and gallon jugs of low calorie cranberry juice!  But, my dad insisted I bring up my own milk. . . .I am a voracious milk drinker, and he thought it too expensive to support my habit of milk consumption!

The living room had a sectional hydebed (in case I brought up friends) with two contemporary recliner chairs, a TV and a stereo system;  and a bar with a separate fridge and sink from that in the kitchen.  The bar was always stocked with beer, wine, and every flavor of soda you could ask for; and the bar had 4 bar stools to sit on, should we choose eat downstairs in the suite.

I never had to bring up anything with me; but literally could leave straight from work, except to stop at home and pick up the dogs.

My weekends at my parents home was the most relaxing, enjoyable and wonderful times of memory.  They lived in my most favored climate on my most favorite location, hot and dry, on a clean swimming lake.

As I was reading this scripture, John 14:3, the Holy Spirit quickened this memory to me, and another one of similar nature.

The other memory, was when I would house sit for a Pastor and his wife when they had to travel the world on Mission Trips.  When I house sat for them I only had one Afghan Hound. When I would arrive at their house, the entire house had been prepared just for my stay.  They went so over the top, I never, ever could ask for a house sitter fee, but truthfully felt like I should pay them to stay at their house. Again, the wife would have cooked all my favorite meals, and put them in the freezer. The fridge was stocked with all the foods and brands that I used, and they always left behind an abundance of Grocery Store Cards in case anything ran out, so I would not have to take money out of my account to eat or live.  The bathroom was well stocked, even to the hair color brand and color I used!  They had a dog bed that my Afghan just loved! and they had his preferred food and favorite snacks well stocked in their garage.   They also insisted that I use their car, and left me their gas card to keep their car filled. And to ensure I would use their car and not my own, they would have me drive them to the airport, and then pick them up again, when they returned.  Most often, the would sneak my car key from me before they left, and would hide it from me so I was unable to use my car for the duration while they were gone. A game we both played with each other!

John 14:1-4 says: “1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not true, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

If this over the top extension of consideration and kindness by my parents and by my hosts for whom I house sat was not only conceivable, but was created just for me, can your mind imagine the arrangements that Jesus Christ will make for every human being that asks for His forgiveness and asks Jesus to be their eternal Lord and Master of their life?  Think about the magnitude of what place He is in preparation for you right now. Nothing short of amazing! So great is His love for all who call Him by name!

My Puppy, Perdita and the farm Broodmares

After I had returned to the PNW region, and after many more “situations” of my walk with God, and His evidences in my life, I came to be an emergency replacement at a TB Breeding farm.  The job assignment in itself was a “miraculous intervention” which I will provide details at a later date.

Here I was on a TB Breeding farm in foaling season.  I had brought home a Dalmatian puppy who was all of 21 days when she left her siblings.

I will have another post on how Perdita got her name and the details as to why she came away from her K9 family so young, and will start this post as to her first few days.

The entire property was chain link fenced, 6 ‘ high.  The first moment I put Perdita in the yard, and left her, and returned to the house, I discovered that she was so tiny that she could crawl right through the fence diamonds.

We worked on putting chicken wire on the inside of the chain link, but she only climbed the chicken wire to go over the top of the fence; and putting welded wire inside the chain link had the same effect.

Any other location would not have caused so much concern, but these were TB broodmares who were due to foal or had just recently foaled and I did not trust them to not think Perdita a threat, and simply take her out, whether I was standing there or not. And then there was the next concern of the farm Rooster.  Roosters are notorious for being overly aggressive, and Perdita was the size of a small rat.

While I was exchanging the mares in the paddocks one morning, someone had let Perdita out of the house to go potty, and she immediately beelined it for the barn.  I was at the opposite end of the barn to the entrance, and while down there, I could hear each mare, one by one, down the line of stalls, snort repeatedly.

I looked out from the stall I was in, and shortly this little white body with black spots came out of one stall, and right into the next.

You see, when broodmares are due to foal, their stall fronts are web guards, or web straps, to give you a full view and quick access should you need to get into the stall quickly.

I quickly ran up the aisle to the stall Perdita had just entered, just as she was exiting, and Perdita burst in a joyous bounce with exuberant vocals to accompany her little happy dance. She had found “her” momma!

I could see the unspoken communication between the mares, along the lines of, “this is Mary’s little baby; we have to be careful, she is so tiny, we have to watch to not step on her, and to not let our foals step on or kick her.”

I was in amazement that these wonderful mares, were so kind, and so considerate of my new little puppy.

And though I desperately tried to keep Perdita at the house and away from the barn, after a couple of days, I realized this was a complete effort in futility. It was just not going to happen.  She was intent upon being at the barn, as long as I was at the barn. Period.a

I had to trust God to keep her safe and sound around horses, and He did all the days of her life.

My Puppy’s First Friend, Jimmy Janga

When we arrived at Eloise’s home, everyone came running to see the new puppy.

Eloise had 3 children, aged 6, 4 and 2 years.  Eloise also had a husband, a Macaw, a German Shepherd dog, a Himalayan Cat, and a Siamese kitten. AND everyone, came running to see the new puppy, except the Macaw, who simply shouted at us from her upstairs perch.

If Perdita was tired, she had received a recharge in energy from the children, dog and cats.  They all ran together into the house and chaos commenced.

Eloise and I made a large lunch for all while we waited for the Preakness Race to begin, and while the children and animals all ran out a bit of the excess in energy.

From moment one, the 6 week old Siamese kitten and Perdita were inseparable.  His name was Jimmy Janga.  He was adorable, but lacked bravery and boldness.  Truthfully, I think the energy level of the children, Dad’s German Shepherd, and the Macaw all had him so terribly intimidated, that he spent 99% of his days hiding and sneaking from piece of furniture to piece of furniture.

But when Perdita arrived, instantly Jimmy Janga became the Lion King.  He strutted the halls, and generally took on the ambiance of a true lion.  But, they were inseparable.  He lived for her visits.  He truly was her best friend in the entire world.

For hours they all played until the internal batteries of children, and pets were impossible to recharge unless going to bed for a full night.

And that was my cue that Perdita and I now needed to drive home, alone, and so we did.

 

Picking Up My New Puppy

The day began quite early.

Today was #1 Puppy Pick Up day! #2, the running of a maiden race for friends Thoroughbred mare, and #3 the running of the Preakness Stakes in Maryland. The Kentucky Derby had just been won by D. Wayne Lucas’ Thunder Gulch and ridden by Gary Stevens. And now the Preakness was scheduled for 2:30 pm.  We had a full day ahead to get all these events fit into the time frames given.

We were at the Dalmatian breeder’s home by 8 am.  Early I know, but the little one had to leave the litter shortly after having her pablum breakfast.

After hello’s, hugs, introductions (my close friend Eloise had offered to chauffeur for the day, as driving with a 21 day old puppy would have been perilous!) we entered the Puppy Room.  They were just finishing up cleaning up the puppy bowls.  My new little girl was not about to leave a bowl without making sure that every possible crumb and mixture of food was no longer detectible, and the bowl was restored to original shine!

I had brought her a blanket, the bottom half of a pet carrier, a bowl, some bottles of water, some chews, some squeakys, and was relying on the breeder to supply me with a small bag of the food that she had been eating (to start her off).  And the breeder did give us a small bag of her pet food that she was using for the puppies.

After paper signing, copies of all contracts made and dispensed, more hugs, some goodbyes, we were off to the races, literally.

On the way to the racetrack, we passed a garage sale, and decided to stop.  The one thing I had forgotten to bring for the puppy was a stuffed animal. She was so tiny, she would need a soft and warm companion to cuddle up to when she was tired. And much to our delight and surprise, at this garage sale, there was a one foot tall Panda Bear.  Black and white to match the puppy black and white, and perhaps a color combination that would be familar for her in leaving home. Stuffed teddy in tow, off we left again for the races.

Arriving at the track I was told by the gate keeper at the Owner’s entrance, that “dogs were not allowed on the backstretch or track or stabling areas.”  “Dogs?” I questioned?  Was he actually referring to this one pound black and white spotted wiggly piggly as a Dog?  I assured him that at no time would I ever put her down, nor would I allow her any freedom, as he could see that she was hardly large enough to see let alone trust on the ground around horses or people.  But no, he would not allow us to come in with her.

What to do?  We could not leave her in the car. We had to attend the race, as it was under committed promise that we pick up the puppy ‘only if we would be at this particular horse’s maiden race’! What could we do?

All of a sudden I see the Racetrack Veterinarian walking towards us, surrounded by children. I heard that the children had seen our arrival at the gate, and of course all of the children took notice of a Dalmatian arriving (no matter how small and insignificant she was as a breed representative) and had run to tell the Track Veterinarian how the gateman would not allow the puppy to enter.

The Track Veterinarian invited her to stay in his “office” on the backside of the track.  His office was a small portable house trailer, parked just off of the backstretch stabling area.  He generously took the half crate from me, as the children took toys, food, bowl, water, chews and all worked so amazingly cohesively together you thought they had rehearsed the actions!  I protested with “but she will have to potty?”  And they all, in that same amazing cohesiveness, began putting newspapers on the floor at one end of his trailer.  He had a giant smile on his face and said what the cost would be for this overwhelming generosity. I questioned this cost.  He said, “that the children can spend the afternoon naming the puppy.”  Naming the puppy, hmmmm.  A most generous offer.  Agreed.  The children could name the puppy.  I informed them that as a registered show dog, she would need a “formal registered name” and a farm or pet name that she would be called all day every day.

We left the puppy in great hands, and went to find our friends in the backstretch area. We found them, had the opportunity to say hi to the mare before she was tacked and ready to enter the walking area prior to the call to the track with the rest of the particular race entrants.

Unfortunately the mare was so overwhelmed with the crowd that she literally stopped running in front of the grandstand at the first pass, and never caught up to the rest of the horses, and finished an embarrassing last place.  But she did go on to win her third race entered a few weeks later.

When we returned to the Veterinary’s trailer, the gatesman told me that it was fine to take the puppy through the barns if I wanted; she had obviously charmed everyone in the entry area of the owner’s entrance!  We did take a small barn side trip to go and see our friend’s horses, and let the puppy have her first meet and greet of racehorses.  She was totally in love with these big animals who would snort at their greeting of her.

Our agreement, the name. The children had spent the time coming up with what they determined was a suitable name for the puppy. Perdita.  I had not seen the movie, so I was unaware that Perdita was the name of the mother dog in the movie, 101 Dalmatians.  The children gave me all of the variations of the name: Perdita, Perdy, Ditta, Perds, etc. The children had not been able to agree on a Registered Name for Perdita, but as they spoke and told me of all of the possibilities they had gathered together, I instantly thought of a name.

Sunday Silence.  He was a registered thoroughbred race horse. He had won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes (which was soon to be televised at 2:30 pm).  He was small, and so was Perdita. He was black, and Perdita was black and white. He had an undaunted heart and spirit, and it was proving that so did she. And he had won my heart, and she had won the heart of all of these children.

So we had our names. Sunday Silence, for her registered name; and Perdita for her farm name.

Now to drive home and watch the Preakness Stakes at home, and let Perdita have a small nap.

 

 

 

I Get A Puppy!

I had been thinking of getting a puppy for a while, but had not made the leap.

The farm where I boarded my horse had told me that a Registered Nurse was expecting a litter of Dalmatian puppies, and gave me their phone number. So I called.

I went to see the litter the first few days after their birth. I had no idea Dalmatians were born completely white, and received their spots the first 8 to 10 weeks of their lives.

They were cute, but so resembled little piglets that I really was not smitten.

I went back at 10 days, and was particularly drawn to the overly spotted ones. The breeder told me that as a “show quality dog” the fewer the spots the better, so I had thought I would prefer one of the more heavily spotted ones in the litter.

At 14 days I received a call from the Breeder basically saying that she had picked out “my puppy” and I would be expected to take that puppy the following Saturday, when she would be 21 days old.

Isn’t that very young to take a puppy from her mother and her litter mates, I questioned.

The Breeder clarified that this particular pup was terrorizing her litter mates, and the Breeder wanted her out of the litter box as soon as was possible. The Breeder stated that she was lapping “milkified” kibble, and her eyes were starting to open, so she would be fine going to a new home.  So it was confirmed the following Saturday, I would bring my new Dalmatian puppy home.

God had His hand in motion here. The TB Breeding farm was thrilled to have a new puppy join the farm ranks, my best friend was glad to chauffeur me and my new pup around the following Saturday, the Breeder wanted to co-own the pup so the initial cash outlay was greatly reduced, I had the day off of work at the farm because the farm had a filly running in her first maiden race and they wanted me to attend the race (therefore I had the rest of the day free to go and pick up a puppy).  All of the universe’s stars had been ordered aright for this acquisition.

 

How I Came To Move To California, Part 3

Once back home in Washington, I had to arrange for movers, discontinuation of services, and give exceptionally short notice to my employer.

I went into work on Tuesday, and after letting them know that I had gone to California for my long weekend, told them that I was starting work the following Monday at the new facility opening in California.

After shock, and congratulations, I chose to work the Tuesday and Wednesday, and make necessary arrangements around my work schedule.

Thursday the movers came in to pack up all the household belongings, as well as the portable chain link dog runs and the wood decking that I had as flooring for all of the runs.

Friday morning they would load the truck, and I would meet them at the new location in California on Monday morning, and then go to work.

My mom had decided to drive down to California with me and my 4 dogs.

She classified our trip as the “Grapes of Wrath” and we had so many fun experiences which I will share at another time.

We spent Friday evening at a motel in Salem, Oregon.

We arrived at our destination late Saturday evening.

We went to “the Denny’s” which we had agreed with the movers was where we were to meet on Monday morning at 6 am.

I introduced my mom to all the gals on staff, and they were so welcoming.

Sunday, my mom and I went out to the house on 6 acres.  And I was so happy, she loved the place.  She wanted us to sleep on sleeping bags at the house Sunday night, but I thought better of it, as we had to be at the restaurant next to the motel in the early am following, so we returned to the motel.

Monday morning.

I had my directions from the gals at the Denny’s of how to get to work. My mom and I went to the restaurant for breakfast, and the movers arrived just as I was getting ready to leave for work.  They assured me my mom was fine riding over to the house with them, and the gals at the restaurant supplied the movers with a map of directions to find the house; and we all parted ways.

I arrived home from work at the new house about 7 pm.  And there on the lawn are the movers, and my mom.

I had forgotten to give her keys to the house.

She did not have the telephone number of the new office, nor the address of the new location.

Everyone had sat waiting for me from when we had met in the morning.

God was so far ahead of all of us.

It appeared that the movers had given away or sold over half of my belongings on route to California, and assumed that my mother would not know if things were missing. Whereas, I immediately knew which boxes (as I had numbered, labeled and documented every box and every item) and items were missing.

I refused to sign for the “incomplete” delivery.

Long and short of the whole ordeal was the International Moving Company paid for the move, and gave me a replacement check to cover the cost of all of the missing items.

Had I given my mom the keys to the new house, I would never have been recompensed for the missing items or the move, as she would have assumed all items delivered and signed for the delivery!

God is so amazing!  So in advance of us!

How I Came To Move To California, Part 2

After I located the motel that I had booked for the weekend, I went to the Denny’s Restaurant that was located next door.

The staff were unbelievably friendly, and so I shared with them my reason for being there.  The genuine courtesay was further extended and several of the waitress’ said they would check the housing rentals in the paper for me daily and circle the ones that they felt would be suitable.

I arrived the next morning, Friday, and they had been busy circling ads.  I telephoned, and made my list for the day of duplex’s, town homes, and single family homes to view.

Friday night, nothing had been revealed of my new prospective residence.

Saturday, I arrived at the restaurant, and again the gals had been awesome in circling ads, and even offering telephone numbers of complexes that they had seen to and from the restaurant to their prospective homes.

I called, made appointments, and then went to view.

Saturday night, same results. Nothing.

Sunday I again repeated the process.

Again, nothing.

Monday morning. My flight was scheduled for 1 pm, which the gals at the restaurant told me that I would have to leave the restaurant by  11:30 to return the car, and make the check-in for the flight.

I began calling.  One property, a duplex on 6 acres sounded exceptionally good. I called. The gal told me that she ran a day care and would not be able to show the unit until after dinner that evening, when her husband would be home to watch their own 2 children.

I explained my situation to her, told her where I was (the Denny’s), and that should things change, I could meet her at any time prior to 11:30 am.

About 15 minutes later the telephone at the restaurant rang, and it was the gal with the rental duplex on 6 acres who had the childcare.  Her exact words were, “I have all 15 of these children loaded and seat-belted into my van; and I am going to meet you at the house in exactly 20 minutes, you had better be there!”

“Oh I will be, I will be!”

I pulled into the driveway, and there she was. I was so trilled. The property was perfect.

I walked through the house with her, a cute 2 bedroom. I told her about my 4 dogs, dog runs, outside bathtub hooked up to the outisde hose attachment.

She was fine with all of the details.

I gave her the cash for first, last and deposit. Signed the one year lease. Shook hands, and she gave me the keys. She had also written out the contact information for the telephone, and the utility contact information.

I returned to the Denny’s to let the staff know the completion of the details. Job – check, House – check.

Does God wait until the last minute?

A great new beginning.

Friends With A Library

In California I had a friend who had a bookshelf that covered one entire wall in her condo.  It was about 18 feet long by 12 feet high.  And was completely covered from wall to wall with Christian books. 

I would stop on my way home from work on Friday evenings, and pick a book or two from her shelves, return the ones I had already borrowed, and then we would go out for dinner and catch up on news of the week.

One particular Friday, I stopped, and while waiting for her to get ready to go out, I scanned the shelves and pulled off “Tough Love” by James Dobson.

When she came out of the bathroom, she looked at the selection of books I had pulled, and immediately reached to take back “Tough Love”, with the comment, “Oh you don’t want to take that book. You will be so bored. It is for people in relationships. You will absolutely wish you hadn’t bothered.” And went to return the book to the shelf.

Internally, I was adamant that I HAD to have that book to read during the upcoming week.  So I argued with her.

She argued back.

We left, and later she confessed that she was thinking of taking the book back at some period of the upcoming evening.

When I took her home after dinner, she did try to take the book with her as she got out of the car, and I immediately corrected her that I was taking the book, and was going to read it.

When I arrived home, I stopped in front of the couch, and sat down to thumb through the book. Each page, far more boring and uninteresting than the one previous.  I read through the first page on each chapter and concurred that she was correct, I would find this exceptionally boring.  I would return it to her the next day at church.  No need to keep it through the week.  She was right.

The next morning while I was getting ready for church my doorbell rang.  It was 6 am, so I could not imagine who would be at my door at that early hour. 

I opened the door to find my best friend’s husband standing there looking rather perplexed and forlorn.  They were going through the rubber meets the road days of their marriage.

He asked if he could take me to breakfast before church to ask me some questions about their relationship. 

I said “sure, have a a seat and let me just get ready, take me 10 minutes.”

I ran into the bathroom to finish getting ready to go, and he sat down on the couch in front of the coffee table.

Lying on the coffee table was James Dobson’s book, “Tough Love.”

After a few minutes, he shouts out, “Mary, can I do a rain check on that breakfast invitation; I think I will go to work and read awhile. May I borrow this book on your coffee table?”

God gave me an instant revelation moment, and I came out of the bathroom smiling, “Of course you can borrow the book; and of course we can rain check that breakfast invitation.”  You can drop off the book anytime when you are done, no rush.  Enjoy.

He left with the book in hand.

A week later the book had been popped through my mail slot with a note inside, “The best book I have ever read. I thank you so very much for letting me borrow it. I would not have made it without reading that book. I thank you so very, very much.”

He is now a born again Christian, and at that time was a 4th generation Mormon elder.

God is soooo amazing!

Who Supplies The Food?

During my time of tight financial budget restrictions “Walking With HIM” I encountered several weeks where my implemented budget plan did not include food or groceries, for me or for my 12 dogs.  At the time, I bred, showed and sold Afghan Hounds. I had the dogs available for sale, or stud fees on the males, but no interest was coming in the door or through the telephone.

God was amazing. Every single day, for over a 6 month period, a different friend would show up at the door just as I was getting home from work and would have stopped to share some “great celebratory news” and would want to take me to dinner to celebrate with them.

During this time, I came to know that unconditionally as long as I was faithful to tithe and to provide offerings where I was aware of God’s leading, I knew He would supply my daily needs, including my food; and He did. Daily.

But, I did not know if I could trust Him to supply my dogs needs.  And since I had them, and had them available for sale, lease or service, I rolled my dependency on their needs onto Him as well.  And He was faithful.

For that entire time that my budget was so restricted that I could not afford my own food, let alone a 50 pound bag of dog food weekly, I discovered that I could depend on God to provide their food and supplements as well.

Each week, a different person would show up at my door with their particular brand of dog food.  Sometimes it was “the feed store was offering this type of food free, and don’t you feed this particular kind to your dogs?”  And the answer was always “yes, that is the exact food I feed them.”  And it truly was the same kind of food.  Other times it was the person had won it in a lottery drawing that they had submitted their name to, and the type of food chosen for the draw, was the same type that I fed to my dogs, so the winner did not want the food, but would rather give it to someone who actually fed that brand of dog food.

God can totally be depended upon.