Category Archives: Quigley

Flipping Priorities

Lately the Lord has been giving me lots of messages from various sources about the importance of focusing, of having priorities and following them, of knowing where your heart is by looking at where you spend your money and/or time. They’ve all been urging me to get more serious about the book and making me think about priorities.

I thought I’d already gone through all that, and had set up my morning routine to take care of things that had to be done every day or week as my first priority. The routine is always done and there’s no dithering about that. You just get up and do it.

And I have been. The first portions of it have become automatic. The second half, not so much. Plus I would often get distracted or sidetracked with some other project before I finished the second half. Was my morning routine too long? Maybe.

Worse, by the time I got around to writing — say between 10:45 and 11:45 — I was tired from all the other stuff I’d been doing all morning.

So I decided to change it up. For the last couple of days I’ve done only part of the morning routine and then went straight into the office to work on Sky for a bit, until I was hungry for breakfast. At which time I would do the second half of the routine (which includes hanging out clothes and doing tricks with Quigley)

So far that has been working really well, not just because I don’t end up out of gas before I get to the writing, but because once I’ve started working on the book, I tend to want to get back to it, and am thinking about it and not new housework projects I can work on. The other way, the new projects bombarded me.

Monday I alternated home chores and writing all day long. Today (Tuesday) I wasn’t quite as good on that, because after all the progress I had yesterday, today was more of a stalled out day. I spent a good amount of time being distracted, still, and being blank. But toward the end of the day I began to find a way to at least collect and organize my thoughts (which are mostly questions and possible answers) in such a way that I’m hoping tomorrow will see a few more pages added to the total.

One of Orson Scott Card’s recommendations is to always has why.  Why are the bombers in the basement? Why did she ask Lago to bring the ambassador up to the office to see the video? Why would she ask him to make the bombers go away?

The problem with that, is that I open up a world of questions I often don’t have answers to. Hence the distractions and protracted periods of staring out windows.

Wait. Maybe I should rephrase that.  “The problem with that is that I open up a world of questions I don’t have answers to …yet.  🙂

And tomorrow is another day. As it stands, in two days I’ve moved from the end of chapter 1 to almost the end of chapter 2.

Quigley Update

Well, I spent the day basically pre-occupied with my dog.

He made it through the night without throwing up or having any more diarrhea. He also didn’t move from his sleeping spot and drank nothing. I gave him his pill this morning and the Fast Balance GI, which he wasn’t excited about. Then he ate a cereal bowl full of rice, chicken and water, along with a small dog biscuit that is part of my husband’s morning departure routine — and that was it for the day.

Except for leaping up to bark ferociously at his nemesis — a large, white male dog who gets walked by our house every morning — Quigley slept in the living room. He didn’t come and wait in the kitchen for us to do tricks. He didn’t come when I got out the cheese to make my lunch (usually he does, hoping for a tiny sliver which he usually gets).  I tried to get him to eat/drink some more rice, but he wasn’t interested. He just lay around and slept.

So I got to spend the day trying not to worry, trying not to make up horrid speculations relative to dehydrated dogs, trying not to call the vet again, all because he wasn’t eating or drinking. My husband wanted to wait til tonight and see how he did, so that’s what I did. But it was hard.  Doubly so because our cooler wasn’t working. When the air coming in was hotter than the air already there, I turned it off. And with the interior of the house at about 86 degrees for much of the afternoon, it was hard to do anything.

Except think about how Quigley wasn’t eating or drinking anything — even though he rarely eats or drinks anything during the day. So that was stupid, in addition to being sinful.

But oh well. At day’s end, Stu came home and Quigley woke up. He ate more dog biscuits (part of the evening return routine). He ate two bowls of rice and chicken. He went for a walk and drank water when he got back… So now I am feeling much more at ease.

Also, the cooler’s been fixed and the air is now cool and much more comfortable. Now I have to go fold the laundry before I can go to bed.

Another Day I Didn’t Plan

Quigley has some bumps on his head around his ears. He’s had them for a couple of weeks it seems and after several days of waiting for them to subside, or thinking they might be getting worse, and  then wondering what they were, and speculating all over the map, suddenly TODAY I decided they were getting worse.

In my examination I found what I thought was a blob of sap on his neck under his ear, got the mayonnaise to take it off, and discovered the hairs coming off with the mayo and underneath, very definitely a lesion.

So I called my hubby about taking Q to the vet. After discussion, Internet research, and more discussion, we agreed that’s what needed to be done. I called, thinking no way he’d get in today, but… they had an opening in an hour from when I called.

Quigley LOVES going to the vet. He gets so excited. He jumps up on the counter in the reception area, wants to smell everything, jumps up on the counter in the exam room, because he knows right where the treats are, or wants to help with the computer. He jumps up to greet strangers, as well…  He’d really like to get hold of one of those stethoscopes everyone seems to carry around.

Despite all that, everyone seems to love him. He’s very good about holding still for the doctor to examine him or the animal tech to take his temperature. If I could just figure out how to break him of the jumping up on people he’d be perfect.

Anyway, the bumps are not an allergic reaction as we’d thought, but probably the result of bug bites, maybe ants since we recently had a big problem with them, and/or bacteria. The lesion she said was definitely bacteria, so he’s on antibiotic for the week. At which time all the bumps should be gone.

Anyway, we got home around 1, I caught up on all the regular things I didn’t do, ate lunch and then just crashed, that no doubt the result of going to bed at midnight and waking up at 6… so I took a nap. 🙂

Cool Dude

Quigley in Disguise

Yes, that’s Quigley. In disguise. I think he actually likes to wear it. Or maybe it’s just anticipation of the treat he gets afterward. No, I’m sure he likes doing the tricks first.  Those of you who were reading this blog when we first got Quigley might appreciate just how amazing it is that he will allow the bandana and sunglasses to even be put on him, let alone wait patiently for me to take his picture!

A Dog Who Crosses His Legs

Well, I did ten more pages today, not writing from scratch but working through a sort of dump document, where I took elements from several different drafts of the Prologue (as in, entirely different scenarios) and cobbled them together with only the vaguest consideration of how the pieces might fit together. Now I’m going through and giving it all much closer consideration. It’s kind of slow going and… after all the problems I have with my hands already, can you believe that last night, just after I started working I started developing a pain on the outer edge of my right wrist?  Hmph. I’ve never had that pain before.

Another distraction. Too bad. I have a wrist brace. And Advil.

And since this is another very brief post I will show a picture of Quigley. He cracks me up the way when we go out into the yard in the morning, and I’m hanging out the clothes, he’ll do a round of the premises, then plop himself down in the grass not far from me and immediately cross his front legs. Almost always. Thus:

A Quick Trip to Las Vegas


Colorado River Bridge almost completed

Last Saturday we piled into the Jeep with Quigley and headed up to Las Vegas, a seven hour drive that turned into eight hours, arriving barely in time for the wedding reception of my husband’s niece. That went from 4 to about 8 or so. We had a good time, got to talk to another of his nieces we hadn’t seen in years and who we had not expected to be there. Afterward we walked Quigley around a mostly deserted city park where we discovered a sign on an empty dog run informing us that it is illegal in Clark County, Nevada, to own or harbor a non-spayed or -neutered dog. On pain of a big fine and possible imprisonment.

Whoa! For years Stu and I have decried the trend toward mandatory spay and neuter laws that is rising in this country. One more erosion of our freedoms that, like so many things, punishes the law-abiding for what the law breaking commit. Quigley is our seventh male dog. None of them were neutered. Of them, only Bear sired any pups and that was deliberate. He was papered, and sprang from champion bloodlines as does Quigley. We have never let our dogs run about, scaring the neighbors, getting into the trash, getting into fights with other dogs, running amok in the cactus… or making puppies with whatever random bitch in heat they might encounter.  Yet there are those who do not think we should have the right to make the decision ourselves about whether our pet is to be neutered… because other people don’t control their animals. 

And the creepy part? In Las Vegas it’s okay for prostitutes to hawk their services in newspaper like directories freely available on the street, and even for prostitutes to walk about pretty blatantly… but you better not have a dog that’s not been spayed or neutered…

Anyway, I’ll step back from that soapbox and go on. We left the park hurriedly, and returned to our hotel room, eager to leave the state as quickly as we could… which was fairly early the next morning…  (Had to get back in time for LOST, you know.  😉 )

One of the fun parts of the trip was seeing the new bridge that’s being built to bypass Hoover Dam.  I’d seen pictures of it in progress, the two arms reaching out from their respective cliff walls with a space still in the middle. (If you’re interested you can see photos here, including one from space of the canyon before contruction began) Last weekend, we saw that the two sides had been joined and the bridge now spans the gap. It’s still not open, and is obviously still under construction, but it will certainly make getting to Las Vegas faster if you don’t have to creep across the dam in bumper to bumper traffic on the winding, two-lane road that is constantly being crossed by the mass of pedestrians that bustle along either side. Nor be stopped at the security checkpoints on either side of the dam while federal officers peer into your vehicle. (Are they afraid someone will try to blow up the dam? We didn’t know)

Another fun part of the trip, besides stopping at Subway, was Quigley. See how relaxed he was in his bed at the back of the Jeep?

Quigley relaxed in the car

Sometimes he’d get up and come forward to rest his head on my shoulder. Then when he got tired of that he would back up into his bed and lie down again. Reminded me of a crab returning to its shell…

New Things

I’ve taught Quigley how to take something into his mouth and hold it long enough for me to take his picture! Isn’t he cute?

Yes, I know I’ve not posted for almost eleven days now. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, having so much to process and do that I’ve not hardly been able to think. My brain has felt empty, fragmented, blitzed. I’ve had no words to offer the world, no words, at least that would make any sense.  In fact, today in my journal I wrote that I felt like a character pulled out of a story. Someone with no back story, no objective, no narrative of events in which to fit, just a character doing things that seem to have lost all relation to each other. Then, a couple of hours later I read almost that exact description in a book I’ve been reading called The Introvert Advantage,  part of their description of an introvert who is suffering from an “energy crisis” as a result of not having “enough downtime.”

And certainly over the last three weeks or so my downtime has been severely limited and/or compromised. I thought of 2 Corinthians 4 and how there’ll be times we will be afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down. One of those words — I think it’s “perplexed” — means to lack resources, at least temporarily. Like the resource of internal energy, and the time to be able to process everything so you can actually think straight…

But, since I see that it’s almost time for me to take my mother to get her shot, I’ll have to save my elaboration for another day (and notice I didn’t say “tomorrow” since I have no idea what the rest of today will bring, much less tomorrow).  I do, however, have a new Jeep, and it is without question an upgrade!  I love it:


Well, I’ve been really tired today, manifested by the fact that I couldn’t make myself do anything and didn’t really even try. I’ve been thinking about things, sort of, and noticing the way my thoughts are so fragmented. I have so many things to remember to do, to deal with, to finish, to start… I’ve gotten so that I don’t even want to hear any music, just silence. I think it’s a form of overload. Drowning in details.

I did make Orange Cranberry scones this morning. 🙂  And did some Bible Study. Talked to a friend, made a card, pulled some weeds, renewed a library book… walked Quigley. Watched 24… Whoo! That is really taking some weird turns. I couldn’t believe that President Taylor went over the dark side. Lost her brain, as my husband commented.  But wasn’t that scene cool where Logan’s on one side plying her with all these self-serving reasons why she should go against her better judgement to pursue the peace process and Ethan’s on the other trying to get her to see the light? Logan is such a snake!

Anyway, obviously I don’t have any significant musings to share, so I’ll share a couple of pics instead. Here is Jethro, Quigley’s younger brother. I think he’s six or seven weeks old here.

Isn’t he cute?  I love the long ears, the wrinkly face, the big paws.

Here’s a shot of him and another of his littermates, also Quig’s sibling:

The above photo shows the breeder’s place in Litchfield Park. This is the same field where we first met Quigley and his littermates — all of whom were completely obsessed with chewing shoelaces. I just love the pups when they’re at this stage. At least, I love the way they look. Soooo cute. The needle teeth and scalpel claws I could do without.

(No, we’re not getting another pup — Heaven Forbid! — one of Stu’s friends is. We sent him pics of Quigley as an adult and he contracted the breeder about a pup. He’s been sending us regular photo updates.)

Another Speck

Some of you may recall that two years ago in April, when Quigley was about 4 months old, he had a speck blown into his eye that required eye surgery and two weeks of recovery wearing an e-collar. (Which disintegrated the morning of the last day he had to wear it.)

Well, it’s April again, and it has been very, very windy. Sunday Stu and I were discussing whether the way Quigley was sort of closing his left eye while he watched us eat, and pretended to doze, meant anything. Monday evening, as I was preparing to go out for our walk, the light was just right as Quig came up to me and I saw a bump on his cornea with a little blood vessel-looking thing snaking out to it. Later, Stu examined him with a strong light and said it looked like some sort of reddish covering.

So this morning I called the Vet Specialists, with visions of surgery, a two-week recovery, and an e-collar dancing in my head. I took him in at 9:15 and… as usual, my speculations were wrong. I don’t know why I bother with speculations. They are ALWAYS wrong. Anyway, I sat in a chair in the corner of the examining room and held him with the help of two veterinary technicians while the doctor numbed his cornea, turned out the lights and examined his eyes. Quig was pretty good about letting her do it, too. Eventually she determined that the speck of plant matter had probably been in there for over ten days. Thankfully it had not penetrated his cornea and she was able to brush it away with one of those little paper spears. After the administration of a few more drops and a treat for Quigley, we were on our way.

We brought home a bag of three different types of eye-drops that we’re to continue administering multiple times a day. After he got home, before the numbing wore off, I went out and bought a new e-collar in case he started rubbing his eye later on when the numbness wore off. Well, day’s end is here and he’s not rubbed it once that I’ve seen.

I love it. Nothing is ever what I expect it to be, it seems. And God knows that so well. Forget about expectations, He seems to be saying to me. And just trust me for however it’s going to turn out.

Quizzical Quigley


Life has been full of late. Lots of challenges, lots of opportunities to make applications of doctrinal truth, and of the fabulous doctrines we’ve been learning about our position in Christ. Dead to the sin nature, alive in Christ, we must continuously consider those facts. Every day, throughout the day: I’m in union with Christ and therefore I forbid the sin nature to reign, it has no power any more. It’s dead. So I have no business submitting to it, and instead must submit or yield to the Father’s will…

But, as has been obvious, I’ve had no time and no energy left over to write any blog posts.  In addition to taking care of my mother (she had to have another MRI last week) we’ve been getting ready for our son’s wedding coming up this week. Thus, I don’t expect to do any posts until next weekend.  But fear not. I’ll be back next week.

In the meantime, here is a picture of Quigley up on Mt. Lemmon, which is about an hours’ drive up from Tucson. This was early in the season, back in December. My hubby takes him up on weekends if the weather’s good and he doesn’t have other things scheduled. The last time they went the snow was so deep, Stu sank past his knees, and Quig had to bound from track  to track behind him. They both got a pretty good workout, but I think Quigley prefers it when there isn’t quite so much snow. It was the first time he was actually ready to get back into the car to go home.