Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

fast forward and insert changing circumstances

There have been some changes in our home this week.  Two things you can count on – change and God.

There was a brief time in our married life when the only pets we had were fish.  At one point we thought about becoming fishless.  (I especially think that when it is time to clean the tank.)

Meet Jasmine


When our youngest son moved out, he wasted no time in getting a puppy.  He now realizes why we would not let him or his brother get a puppy.

Fast forward and insert changing circumstances and Jazzy came to live with us.  We dog sat while he went off to college.  He has graduated and moved home to pay off some of that huge college debt.  Jazzy is very excited.

Meet Daisy May


She loves to curl up on our bed.  She enjoys it even more now that we have added another dog to our house and only she is allowed in there.  (btw the crazy flower pillow was made by my grandmother who died in 1980)

When we got Daisy May, she was a free to good home, declawed,  and spayed  cat – everything on Curtis’ list of requirements.  She belongs to us.  Actually she is Curtis’ cat, no doubt about it.  He says it is because he feeds her.  However,  I wanted to give her away and he said no.

So my oldest son, not to be outdone by his brother, gets a puppy.   Being the good puppy grandmother that I am, he was only allowed in my house a couple of times.  There are reasons we didn’t want puppies.

Fast forward and insert changing circumstances and my son has to find a home for his dog.

Meet Killian


I was dead set against adding Killian to our household – 2 big inside dogs??  Yet, this dog has seen my son through an extremely difficult time in his life.  He is part of our family.  How could I say no without seeing if the dogs would get along?

Would the dogs get along?

Fast forward and changing circumstances = the test.  Will they get along?  Killian is much bigger than Jasmine but Jazzy wasted no time letting  Killian know she is boss.

The test


So we now have two large dogs and one very unhappy cat at our house.    It is a good thing that our cat is sneaky  and fast.

Both dogs are social and under my feet.  That will take some getting used to. Life is about how you deal with change.  I choose to see this as an adventure.

Two things you can count on — change and God.   When it comes to change, I remind myself that change does not take God by surprise.  Whatever comes my way,  I know that with God I can handle it and He will work all things out for my good.  (Romans 8:28)   God is an ever present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)  God is a God of hope.  (Romans 15:13)  God’s love is unending.  (Eph 3:16-19)

til next time


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January 21, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Empty nesting is all I thought it would be and so much more.  If  I stopped right there …  maybe I should just stop right there? 

My mother keeps telling me every time I talk to her, “You wouldn’t want them lying around all day doing nothing.”    She is right, but there is a difference between moving out — say to an apartment in the next town — and moving 6 hours (Chris) or 8 hours (Andrew) away. 

We had the opportunity to take some of Andrew’s things (motorcycle, car, food, etc) up to him this past week.  I have decided that I am NOT driving through Minneapolis, during anything remotely close to rush hour traffic, ever again. 

andrew's cabin 064

What I can’t ignore is the biggest grin on my son’s face.  Here he is in his element. 

Yes, this is the latest addition to our family.  I am now a ‘grandma’ 🙂   Jasmine is just a little over 9 weeks old.

  andrew's cabin 013

andrew's cabin 012

The view is just gorgeous -even though it rained most of the time we were there.   I certainly can see the attraction of a cabin on a lake.

andrew's cabin 037

Chris and Galina were able to come up for the week-end.  I am blessed to have her as my daughter.  Ok the wedding isn’t until May but as far as I am concerned she is my daughter.  🙂

Having us all together was great!  

This is the beginning of a new season of life.   i.i.w.i.i is my new slogan.  It is what it is.  A big part of frustration is not accepting truth or trying to make it be something it isn’t.   i.i.w.i.i. brings me back to reality.  It stops me from spinning around in the circles.  It reminds me that God is in control.

Many people have hinted at our moving to MN now that our kids are both there.   While I would love to be close to them, I really have no desire to live in MN.  It is cold too much of the year and way more snow than I like.

Chris and Galina are talking about Florida in a couple years. Andrew has not abandoned the possibility of border patrol.   Only God knows what the future holds.  As for Curt and I, when God is ready to move us He will let us know.  

So for all of you that are wondering — Yes, my heart aches.   I miss my boys. I miss being a part of their daily lives.   This is uncharted territory for me.  Some days I handle it better than others.    Yet I do know that one day my heart and my head will be on the same page.  In the meantime God’s grace is sufficient as our fish bowl changes.

til next time

November 6, 2009 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

dogs have feelings too

Our cat is thrilled.  She struts around the house.  She hasn’t ‘yelled’ at me all week.  She is one happy kitty.  See the dog is gone. 

It is has been a week since Curt took Daisy to the Humane society.  Last Wednesday was the final straw.  She had three accidents (small but none the less still messes) all in the morning.   If only one of us was home more, that would have made a big difference.  I volunteered to stay home – for the good of the dog of course 🙂  You know how far that got me.  LOL

I still find myself keeping the crusts for her and looking for her when I come in the door.  I guess I was more attached than I thought.   She is the most loving dog.   

We gave her four months.  On the one hand, four very long months.  On the other hand, only four months.   She adapted really well, that is except for that occasional one small thing.  The longest she was able to be successful was a week.  That is not long. 😦

What is the problem now?  Tonight after supper Curt told me he called the Humane society.  He wanted to tell them a couple of things he had  forgotten and to check on her.  If only they would have said that she has managed to adapt or better yet that someone is interested in her.  It’s been a week.  Yes, I am probably asking for the moon.  I just know that I sure didn’t expect the news we got.

What he was told is that she whines all the time and is not eating or drinking.   Now doesn’t that just make us feel better?  I asked him if we could go get her?  Andrew had the same exact question that I had.  

Do they even let you come and get a dog that you have dropped off?    Is that even an option?   The problem is that  we would be right back where we started.  I really hate no win situations.    

I’ve heard it said that animals do not have emotions.  Whoever said that was wrong.  Daisy misses us as much, if not more, then we miss her.   She may not understand, but she knows we have left her there and haven’t come back.  She is sad, terrified, and depressed.  Those are all emotions.  (I say depressed because I think that is the only reason I wouldn’t eat or drink for a week )

Do dogs have abandonment issues?? 

til next time

January 14, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

this wasn’t on my radar

The first nine hours of 2009 were great.    I had forgotten just how much fun overnights are.  I spent the first two with a great group of teenagers down at the church.  Pictures will be coming later.     

However, I did bail out when it was time for the movie.   This body is not sleeping on the floor.  I came home to sleep in my own bed.  🙂   Ah, the best of both worlds.

Andrew came home at 9:00.  He had managed to stay up all night.    However, he came upstairs to inform me that the cat had pucked all over his chair.  She does have a problem occasionally with hair balls.  I don’t like cleaning them up, but it isn’t bad.

 I asked him if  he cleaned it up.  Silly me.  The look was priceless until he said it stunk so bad that he couldn’t stay in the room.   Uh oh, Curt (my night in shining armor) was still at the overnight.  He is the ‘go to guy’ that cleans up after the animals.  We leave it for him if at all possible.   We are so thoughtful.  *grin grin*

Knowing he wouldn’t be home for a few more hours, I head into the bathroom to get supplies and promptly step on a wet spot on the rug.  Grrrr, that dumb dog!  It doesn’t matter that last night she was off her routine.   Momma is not happy.   So, I lock her in the back porch.  Then I head back into the bathroom to  arm myself with paper towels, a wet rag, and resolve pet stain and odor cleaner.   I should have grabbed a face mask.

Well, let’s just say the cat was not the only one pucking.  It was nasty.  The smell was beyond words.  This was not a hair ball.  I am not sure Andrew’s chair can be saved.  Time will tell if it seeped through the stitching.  The sad thing is everybody loves his chair including the cat.

Happy happy New Year!!    Since I don’t drink alcohol at all, waking up New Year’s morning  throwing up was never on my radar as a possibility.  

animals2Here is the dynamic duo. 

I’ve heard it said that animals don’t remember things.  Well then explain to me how today Alley (the naughty cat)  came creeping into the dining room while I was typing, looked up at me  and did a real soft meow.  It was the best cat apology. 

Normally she is meowing as if to tell me of all the injustices she has to face with the dog.   She is a very high maintenance psycho kitty.

Funny thing though she is not going anywhere near Andrew’s chair.   I can’t say that I want to either.  Anyone want a really nice, black, swivel, smells like Resolve, slightly soaked chair?? 

A few life lessons to remember: 1) starting the new year with the youth group is one of the best ways to ring in the new year – they know how to have fun!!  2) if we are keeping the dog, she must be put in the kennel by midnight.  3) when grabbing supplies to clean up messes, grab a face mask.  4) expect the unexpected.    

Well, my night in shining armour just came home.  He hears the dog whining.  I am sure he will want the first hand story. 

Hoping your new year has not involved vomit. 

til next time

January 1, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

going after it

It seems that everywhere you look people are busy.  Ask someone how they are and many times the answer is ‘tired’.  We can fill our schedule so full that we don’t have time for what really matters to us. 

Here is Daisy trying to get the crumbs out of a chip bag.  She chased that bag all over the living room.  My dog is many things.  One of them is very persistent.  If she wants something she goes after it.  Mild discomfort is not a deterrent.  

Oh, if I had her determination.  Of course if I laid around all day and snoozed, I may have the energy to ‘chase a lion’ metaphorically speaking.  Maybe lack of energy comes with age, but more likely, it comes with too much going on.

I love technology, but I think that it is doing exactly what it was set out to not do.  It was suppose to make our lives so much easier.  😛  Instead I think it has complicated our lives.  Instead of just having snail mail pile up requiring my attention I have email, facebook, wordpress,  etc. 

We take our phone with us so that we are accessible 24/7.  If there were a chip bag to chase or a ‘lion’ we would have to put it on our day planner.  Maybe I can fit that in a week from Tuesday.  Oh wait, how about two weeks from Monday?

Finally, Daisy has mastered the chip bag after I stepped in and opened up the bag.  What have I mastered today?  Laundry? a sink full of dishes?  Maybe neither of those but the real question is ‘have I mastered the art of enjoying the day?  Have I used my time wisely?  Using time wisely does not mean working every waking minute.  There is a name for that.

Just as Daisy went after that chip bag, I plan to go after life.  Life is good.  There does seem to always be more than I can possibly get done in a day.  So the question I ask myself is “what am I going after today?”  “What are the really important things?”   There are ‘lions’ to chase, people to help, prayers to be said and most important time to be still and spend with Jesus.  I believe that is the important key.   As I spend time with Jesus – He helps me, He opens my ‘chip bag’ – He restores my soul and floods me with peace. 

til next time

October 25, 2008 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, spiritual reflections | , | 3 Comments

another lesson from the dog

Well, Daisy is still around.  Daisy is our basset hound that I have written about who was having a bit of a time figuring out where to potty.  She was finally given three chances to get it right.  To which she promptly used up two of those in one day. 😦 

Like I said she is still around which is surprising to both Andrew and I.  Curt says the dog is teaching him ‘mercy’.  I think the redeeming quality is that she is good sermon illustration material. 

Whenever I come home she is very much in my face.  She loves to go where we go and be with us.  Just try to get out the door without her.  She loves car rides especially.  She is very much a people dog.  Oh and she does love to give kisses.  Just ask my friend Cherie who upon meeting Daisy hollered, “She just french kissed me!”   Cherie did not like that one little bit.  For Daisy, it is how she shows love.

So tonight after work I am trying to get on facebook and there is Daisy.  She is all but crawling up in my lap.  Then it hit me.  What if I was like that with God?  What if I just couldn’t wait to spend time with Him.  What if I sat at His feet the way Daisy sits at mine?   What if I spent less time on the internet and more time alone with God?  Now before you start wondering about my relationship with God let me assure you that my relationship with God is good.  He is the One on whom I trust and He is what keeps me going. 

I once heard someone say though that good is the enemy of best.  Sometimes we settle for something because it is good enough instead of going after what is ‘best’.   

It seems that life has a way of draining me of that zeal that I had as a young single woman.  Trying to balance everything out and have time to fulfill all of the various obligations while still having energy left or have enthusiasm for anything,  well sometimes it is easy to fall into the trap of ‘it is good enough’. 

Yes, I talked with God today, but did He notice the same thing my dog noticed – that I was a bit preoccupied?? 

So today my dog reminded me that I don’t want to settle.  I want to be closer to God today than I was yesterday.  The good news is that I can be, it’s just up to me to seek God!

I love this song.  It is a great reminder.

til next time

October 22, 2008 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , | 1 Comment

old nature?

My ‘baby’ is home for a week!!!  To say I am excited is an understatement.  It seems like it has been forever.  Ok, so really it has only been 7 weeks, but who’s counting??

I love this pic of the big city, but I’ll take rural America any day!  Chris, however, loves the city life!

Before we headed home we stopped by to see my sister, mom and Caleb.  It was a short visit.  Mom is feeling much better which was wonderful to see.  Praise God!

As we neared home, we warned Chris about the dog.  Daisy is very cowardly and true to form, when Chris walked in – she wet on the floor.  ugh!!  It was a bit comical though.  She was trying to be all big and tough until he stepped toward her.  Then she reverted right back to her old nature. 

Makes me wonder, are there things in life that cause us to revert back to our old nature? 

We know that God is our provider.  He is in control and yet do we find ourselves worrying about what the future holds with the economy the way it is headed?

We know that God is our healer.  Yet, does fear take hold in our heart when our health isn’t what we want it to be?

We know that God works all things out for our good – as we trust in Him.  Yet, do we struggle to get things to happen our way?  Do we try to control outcomes?

We know that God loves us.  Yet do we find ourselves receiving that love?

Do we let our old nature (flesh) creep in?  Does fear replace faith?  Worry replace trust?

Life is not always easy.  Sometimes it is down right hard, but even then life is good because of the hope that we have in the God who created us.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

til next time

October 11, 2008 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl | , , , | 4 Comments

day off

Friday is our day off from all jobs.  It is a good thing to have a day of rest.  Life is not a 50 yard dash but a life long marathon.

Last Friday we went hiking in the rain.  Got some great pics and the rain only made it that much more adventurous.  Check out the pics by clicking here.

This week the sun was shining and it was warm.  We went with Andrew on cycles to a neighboring town for lunch.  It was a great day for a ride!


Andrew had to work at 3:00.  However, he helped his dad load up the sailboat before he went to work.

Curt and I headed out to the lake.  It is a warm, sunny day.  This time the dog came with us.  She really is a people person dog and she loves to ride in the car/van.

Curt is sailing along while   Daisy and I find a comfy spot where we can sit and enjoy the beauty.  This time I picked a table as I had some writing I wanted to do.


The problem came when the wind died down.  It is kind of hard to sail without wind.                                      

 Reminded me again of the importance of having a day of rest.  It is hard to keep going, going, going, without running out of ‘wind’.  A day of rest refreshes and restores me as I allow God’s Spirit to minister to me through a day of quietness.   There is just something special about taking a whole day of rest.  It is a time to set aside all work and to slow down.  Maybe even smell the roses!   To not just see but enjoy the beauty that is all around us.

til next time  

September 20, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, motorcycle, Pastor's wife | , , , , | 4 Comments


Here is the newest addition to our “fishbowl”.  Daisy is a purebred basset hound.  This is a first for us.  We have always had mutts.  She did, however, come with the huge price tag of “free to good home”  — this makes Curt smile.  🙂

She looks so much like Max.  She is the dog I talked about earlier.  You can check that out here.  Although Max was taller, had a smaller snout and ears, shorter body, and smaller paws.   Which is why Curt refers to her as a “deformed Max”. 

She is adjusting to our “fishbowl”.  Like Max, she has some history of abuse.  She frightens easy and tends to potty when she is excited or scared.  It was touch and go for awhile, because Curt gave her a time frame to get it right — potty outside, not inside.  I do think that she is getting the hang of it. 

She is very affectionate.  She will slobber you with kisses.  No, I am not liking that so much.   Her tail wags at a very fast rate and it can be somewhat dangerous.  So far there has been very little barking or howling.  This is a great thing.  However, she does whine when we don’t let her follow us somewhere. 

I have always wanted to be able to let the dog off the chain when I am outside.  However, that was not to be with our other dogs.  One taste of freedom (no chain) and whoosh gone like the wind.  Daisy, however, seems to be able to handle staying right around us for the most part.  We will see how this works out.

I do find myself calling her Max once in awhile.  She is smart and doesn’t come to that.  I still miss Max.

There is another really great blessing in that Alley (our very old, sassy cat) gets along with this dog.   No hiding in the basement for 2 years — good thing cuz I’m not sure she has 2 years left in her.  Here is a pic of Curt with Alley and Max.  See the resemblance between the two dogs?  

Daisy has picked up right where Max left off.  It is fun to watch the animals fight for attention.  Life in this ‘fishbowl’ is never boring.   

til next time

September 11, 2008 Posted by | living in a fish bowl | , , | Leave a comment

Looking for a dog

Well, we have begun the search for another dog.  We’ve checked out a couple of the Humane Society’s.  The second one actually had a couple of dogs that we were mildly interested in.

Did you know that to adopt a dog you practically have to give your life history?  You need three references – that are not related to you.  In addition they want your employer’s name and number along with the vet that you go to.  It is a very thorough application.   I don’t have a problem with all that, but it will all take time.  I want to just go in, fall in love with a dog and bring it home.  

A friend of mine has her daughter’s dog and is looking to find it a home.  The problem with this dog is that she looks so much like Max.  The benefit though, is that my friend is very good with animals.  I am sure she had trained her to be a good indoor dog.   This is pretty high on my list.

Then there is Alley to consider.  Alley is our very old, very sassy, psycho kitty.  Is she up for one more new dog to take charge of?  She sulked in the basement for two (yes two) years when we brought Max home.

All of this has just made me miss Max more.

til next time

August 30, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , | Leave a comment