Visitors - Come on in and say hello!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Foreclosure Fiasco

It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings and I ain't singin' yet.

Truly, I don't even know where to start and I have no intention of recapping (here, anyway), every conversation I've had in the last couple weeks with my mortgage company. Suffice to say I am outraged. Never in my life have I ever dealt with such unethical business practices. If I had, I would have switched companies immediately. But herein lies much of the problem; we consumers do not have that ability when it comes to mortgages.

Oh, sure I could refinance under a different lender. Right. With $85,000 in negative equity in a house now worth even less than the negative equity? Right. Sure. That'll happen.

Let me hit a few high points for you:

1. First the mortgage company wouldn't work with me because I called them BEFORE I had missed a payment. I called IN ADVANCE knowing that I was hitting financial trouble and asked for a solution in good faith.

2. They gave me only one option: a 3 month forbearance. I wanted to make payments or partial payments. They told me no, then when I pressed the issue, I got a reluctant "OK but you have to call this number and do it over the phone."  Me: "But won't there be an additional fee for that?"  "No, not while you're in a forbearance."  OK, fine, I made some partial payments, again, in good faith, and EVERY TIME I CALLED I had to reassert why I was making a payment, what I had been told and that there shouldn't be a fee. It was a battle EVERY TIME.

3. At no point was I ever informed that my payments, which were being withdrawn from my bank account, were not being applied to my mortgage.

4. At the end of my forbearance period I received a letter stating that my monthly payment had not changed and then asserted I was nearly $3k in arrears. I was not told not to make my October payment with the payment coupon they sent to my house with the admonition to "remit $920 to this address."  I did what a reasonable person would do and made my regular payment. No, wait..I actually made a bit more than my regular monthly payment. Again in good faith.

5. I spoke with the company to advise of the payment being sent and they told me they would apply it to what was in arrears and any future payments would be taken in order. That's when I got the foreclosure notice.  And the letter said I had until November 5, but on the phone, they told me November 4.

6. My family member sent me a check to help and I called the bank to make that payment. I had to go through the entire re-hashment of the entire mess. I called informing them immediately that I would like to make a payment to bring my account current and gave them the amount. They tried to tell me I only paid $750.  Um...WHAT?!

7. Then they informed me about the "holding account" and asked why I hadn't made my October payment. WHAT!?

8. Then they informed me that they'd received my payment and sent it back and that I would be responsible for October late fees even though the payment had been received on time. WHAT!?  They said it was my fault. WHAT!?

9. Then they forced me to pay $17.00 in fees to pay the amount to make my account current. I could not make my October payment at the same time because the money had already been taken from my account.  (yes, really)

10. Today I called to make my October payment and rehashed the same dang thing AGAIN. Several times, in fact. Because my account is current but October's is merely "late", I tried to pay online, then through the "SpeedPay" option which has a fee but a lesser fee. No. I had to call the collections department and my only option was to pay them via phone with another $17.00 fee.

11. And that's when I was informed of the "Appraisal Charge".  Um...what appraisal might this be? I was informed that was done in August without my knowledge but I was responsible for the cost. No, I said, that is part of the company's overhead, cost of doing business. Why is this being passed on to the customer? No choice..I have to pay it anyway or my account would not be brought to bear.  Oh, and what does this appraisal consist in? She tried not to answer my question but I forced the issue in no uncertain terms. They talk to neighbors and look at my house to see if I'm living there. How can they tell if they don't talk to me? What neighbors did they talk to. Really? How do they know anything by doing an "appraisal" like that?

12. So I pay the extortioner just so I can stay in my home and finally get them to concede to not charge me the "late fee" for October.

13. We finish the call with me paid up fully on my home, and in fact, beyond fully to date since they've now deprived me of a few utility bill payments I'll have to delay to December now. So much for Christmas gifts, family.   And then she says to me, "Why were you behind on your October payment?"

14. That was it. I went off, and right through the roof and I let that woman hear ever bit of my very directed rage (without profanity, mind you. I'm quite proud of myself for that particular restraint.)  I informed her that I had, in fact, as I told her, made my payment which they SENT BACK. I informed her that her company needs to communicate better, that they need to provide better payment options and in fact, if they are limiting options, need to inform the customer of the same. I informed her that had I not been sent that coupon that a reasonable person would believe indicated regular payments should resume on paper, I would not have made a payment that would be rejected. I informed her that it is THEIR FAULT ENTIRELY that I was behind on my October payment and in general, their entire process is  incomprehensible and clearly deceptive.

And then she told me the company would take "my feedback" into account.

15. I hung up and immediately began making inquiries as to which department in the State of MN I needed to contact in order to lodge a formal complaint against this mortgage company for deceptive, manipulative, and predatory business practices. A friend put a call into someone he knows at the Attorney General's Office to see if it's there, or if there is another department to contact. Or even multiple.

Here's the thing, y'all. I've worked in the business world. Many people hate auto insurance, and yeah, I get it and I've had bad experiences there, too, both as a customer and as a rep. But one thing I knew on the job: I was there to serve the customer and often had to bend over backward to help them out of some jam, even if the jam was their fault. Our different departments communicated easily and if I couldn't see some information, I could obtain it with a quick phone call and help the customer that way. Or if need be, directly transfer the customer to the person who could help them.

The mortgage company? No. Not interested in helping. In fact, clearly drooling over the idea of flipping my home in a neighborhood that already stands quite empty. Folks, if I move out, NO ONE is moving into this place. It'll remain just as empty as the others surrounding me.  They did everything they could to make it impossible to pay my loan, and in the end, I actually had to pay them in order get them to accept my payment to them!

This is not ethical! And it wouldn't be happening if consumers had more rights and could hold these companies accountable as we do other businesses.  Don't like your auto insurance - switch companies. Don't like your bank where your checking account is held, cancel the account and open one in a different bank.

Don't like your mortgage company - oh, well, sucks to be you. Even if you can refinance under a different company, there is NOTHING to prevent them from selling your loan right back into the black hole you left. As a consumer, you have NO rights which is why these companies don't help their customers: they get paid the same whether the customer stays in their home or lands on the street. There is no competition and every single customer is over a barrel. How is this NOT racketeering?

Now, I won't be quitting my job and becoming a hippie in order to hang out downtown any time soon. I'll continue going to work and trying to pay my bills, as I always have. I'm glad to have a roof over my head. But I will stand up and be counted to any department that will hear and register this complaint, and I will sign my name to it and hope to God every other person out there having to deal with this crap does the same thing.

For now, I have a home. Thank God for my family scraping the bottom of their own barrels to help me; one of them actually skipped a few bills this month on my account. I didn't know that until the check was cashed and signed over. I didn't know.

This is ridiculous. I just have no more words.


PS: God bless my family!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We Are All Called to Death

Recently I learned that the father of a dear friend had finally passed from this world into eternity after a long battle with cancer.

It wasn't unexpected and when I was asked if I could take time off work to attend the Wake, I asked for the date and time of the funeral, immediately pledging I'd attend both. I did this without reserve, even though mentally I was already rearranging my work schedule. What would I have to give up? What would I have to change?  I had a catalog in my head with regard to my personal life: what would I have to give up? What arrangements had to be made before I could go?

Let me be honest:

I didn't want to go at all. I didn't want to make those arrangements, I didn't want to take vacation days from work especially for something I didn't want to do, and really...I just didn't want to go.

My friends, I don't enjoy funerals. They are awful, they are terrible, they are sad, and I say this because every funeral I attend reminds me of the night I saw my Dad for the last the casket. I remember the weirdness of the Protestant-with-secret-Masonic-ritual-afterburner rites, the cheapness of it as he had no money nor did we, so couldn't even afford a funeral in a Lutheran chapel. With every funeral I attend, I remember the grief, of the discomfort of the folding chairs, my mother staring at me constantly with her cat's eyes ready-to-pounce expression as I cried very natural grief. Then we were called forward from some odd reason to come to the casket for one last time to stand there and publicly grieve and then turn and FACE the audience while the Pastor or random person presiding over this show (whoever he was...I still have no idea) said some words and then we were finally allowed to go back to our seats so that we could stop being a public freak show of sad people.

But that was my weird experience. Had my Dad been Catholic, it probably wouldn't have been so bad. Part of what I experienced in his death was the absolute trauma of the alien-ness of the service, devoid of anything I'd ever understood a funeral to be, and the fact that after the funeral he was cremated but not buried until spring. I believe his remains were brought to a mausoleum but I have no idea if he was just tossed unceremoniously into the ground come spring or if someone was there to prayerfully lay him to rest. I have no idea.

Every funeral since then has reminded me of that; we tend to be marked by the funerals of those we love the most. 

So you see, even though I have a Theology degree and understand the theology of redemptive suffering, and I believe in the Resurrection and look forward to it myself, that doesn't make funerals any easier.

It took me aback, therefore, when my brother and I were asked by the grieving family to bring up the Gifts of bread and wine. I wanted to refuse, but remembered as a child when our family was asked to do this at a Sunday Mass. Mom was very excited and said to us with shining eyes, "This is a great honor!"

I didn't understand that, but we did what we were told (or invited, rather), and returned to our pew.  I've never forgotten those words, though, or the action, even though the import was totally beyond me at the time:: to bring up the gifts at Mass is a GREAT HONOR.

So it was that when my brother had asked me if we could/should do so at today's funeral Mass, I said "Yes."

No hesitation.  Not outwardly.

Interiorly, I didn't want to go to the funeral. 

My dear friend had confessed that she wasn't at all sure what condition she or her  brothers would be in during the funeral, and the moment I heard that, I knew she was asking for very real help. I couldn't forget standing before people at my Dad's funeral....I knew that I could do this for her, and in her and her brother's names. And, in the theology of the Liturgy, I knew I could bring the gifts forward in the name of all, the symbol of the offering of all.  I could to at least that out of love for my friend and her family, and her dear, dear father.

Still, something struck me during the Mass, and I pray I never forget it. 

In the last few days, New Advent has run many articles about funerals and death and dying. I've clicked on every one. Even though I did not know the deceased very well (for my friend is the fiance' of my brother, so my brother is their considered family member, not me), the words in every article seemed to speak to our situation.

I was convicted when I read one article citing funerals as an "inconvenience" and in the end, the author was blown away by all the people "inconvenienced" to come...and how much that meant to her when she saw those mourners paying respects to her own loved one.

Today, during the funeral Mass, I pondered both my experience as well as those I've attended as a mourner, as a friend, and I realized that indeed, one of the reasons I dislike funerals is because of their utter inconvenience.

They always happen mid-week, at odd hours, and one must take either a half or full day from work, if not more. One must often travel out of town, and make arrangements that go beyond those required for daily tasks.

I didn't want to go to the funeral today, or the wake last night, but I went, and it hadn't been in my mind to refuse; I went because I love my friend and her family, even though I hadn't seen her father for years. That didn't matter: I went because she is my friend and I know what it's like to lose my father. She's a new member of a horrible club and needed the support of fellow club members.

During the Mass, I pondered this reality. I was ashamed, to the depths of my soul, for not wanting to be there. I was ashamed, for I knew how important it was, for it means a great deal to a grieving family that others love their loved ones...and them. One of the best ways to show love it just to BE there. Presence says far more than words will ever express. Presence is eternal. Ink on paper, words on the wind...those are easily lost.

It was Divine Providence that my brother and I had been asked to bring the gifts, for I could not help but ponder the significance of this liturgical action. Usually during the Offertory, I bow my head and pray, trying to offer myself, my intentions, prayers for those I union with the Sacrifice of Christ. Today I was called upon to do something more physical and as my brother is not a practicing Catholic I had to help him also, to know where to go, when, and what to bring up. As it was I still flubbed it a little (I started to offer what I had before what my brother had as I'd forgotten to think about the order of reception! But the priest was gracious and is used to distracted mourners.) I felt bad...I could have better directed my brother, I could have been more aware...I could have reminded him to walk with me and not behind, etc.

Today, I was reminded that I don't have all the answers, and even when I am in "my element", I am still lost, I am still confused, and I am still but a sheep in need of a shepherd. I am a soul in need of a savior. I'm glad my brother got to offer his first, for it was so proper on so many levels.

Often God's lessons in humility are gentle, and hidden, but always so loving that we cannot miss the point.

Our Lord reminded me today that we are all called to death. 

While indeed, yes, we do all face death, it is our little deaths in life that matter the most. We are all called to walk where we do not want to walk, to bow our heads in deference when we want to lead, to be silent when we want to speak, to suffer confusion when we most do not want to be confused.  We are all called to mourn not when we would prefer, but when God calls our loved ones home. We are called then also to the service of those who mourn the greatest, and offer ourselves to them in their simplest needs. In practical ways, in friendship, in service, in representation, and in presence.

We are all called to that. We are all called to lay down our lives upon the altar and live there in the shadow of the Cross, knowing that it is only there that we can understand the resurrection and eternal glory of Christ.

Simply to attend to a death, we must die to ourselves. We must put our own lives aside to give comfort to the lives of others, and pray for the eternal life for the one who has been called into eternity.

Yes...this is our call. In life we are indeed in death, for we cannot live eternal life unless we are willing to die, over and over again, every day and every minute, all for the sake of Christ our Lord.

Please pray with me for the father of my friend:

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, may your countenance shine upon him, and may he and all the Holy Souls in Purgatory rest in peace. Amen. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Moment of Eternity

Today I had to run some errands that took me into a suburb in which I worked for five years. As I passed the familiar exits and mused on new construction since I had last driven that route, one particular sign gave me pause.

I knew where it led and suddenly, I knew that I had to go there before I continued on. There was time and, well...I couldn't say "no" to this particular clarion call.

When I worked in that city, I had a very stressful, demanding job, and one awful summer I had to do the work of three people as the others on my team had either been promoted or had left the company. Instead of taking lunch, I had begun going to Adoration.

Starving for Home

The first chapel I found near my work was still quite a drive and it was so comfortable and I was so emotionally exhausted that when I arrived there I'd almost immediately fall asleep, only to have to rush back, addled, to work. "Something" goaded me to look further, and indeed, I'd found a chapel closer to work. Each day, perhaps nearly every day that terrible summer, I looked forward to my break so that I could steal away to the chapel.

I didn't each lunch at all. I knew what I needed:  My Lord.

I remember the first time I arrived and crept up the stairs to the chapel, careful not to disturb any of those who were there praying. I didn't like the fact that I had to enter the chapel from the front, but just the same, I was grateful to be able to go and sank down in a pew like an exhausted swimmer collapsing upon the sand.

The chapel was like one from an old convent (which may be what that building once was); the altar is in the front surrounded by stained glass windows set into an arched outer wall. the pews line up precisely with heavy wooden kneelers and the scent of the old building is so permeated with ancient incense and...well...that indescribably sweet but nostalgic pungence one often finds in old buildings.

I was always comforted from the moment I entered the chapel and it became an oasis of peace that kept me sane in a very difficult time of my life.

Today, although I was happy to be able leave the office to run my work errands on a nice fall afternoon, and I was thrilled with what I was going to pick up, I knew that I had to take this detour and visit Jesus as a perfect balm for my harried soul.

I could not disobey the invitation that came to me today on the freeway and it was like stepping back in time as I parked my car and once again approached the chapel door, climbed the steps, and entered into the presence of the King.

As I knelt before Our Lord, deeply taking in the familiar aromas, I was taken back in time, thanking Jesus over and over again for this refuge He so freely offers us. Thanking Him for allowing me to come into His Presence.

Although I've fallen away some from praying the Liturgy of the Hours, it continues to go with me everywhere I go and today I was not surprised to open it and find us amidst the story of Esther. Her prayer is never far from my lips:  "Help me Lord, for I am all alone and I have no one but Thee."

 The Psalms spoke to me so deeply today that I nearly wept in gratitude as well as sorrow.

I could not help but marvel at how far God has taken me with Him in these last several years. Even as I prayed the Psalms, the memories of the place played in the background of my intellect.  I recalled that the last time I'd been there in that particular chapel, I barely knew my faith and was eagerly absorbing all I could. There were days I would go there and would just weep from stress and anxiety because of my job. There were days I would arrive and, in spite of the hardness of the pews, fall asleep out of pure exhaustion, unable to speak or absorb. All I could do was BE. And there, in that chapel, Our Lord allowed me to  I could do that in His company, where He, simply...IS.

My mother was always a very devoted Catholic and our homes always housed the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Although I was familiar with and loved that image of Christ and His mother, it was there, in that particular chapel, that I re-discovered the devotion, learned about it, and made it my own. I absorbed into my very being the spirituality of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and began learning how to entrust myself and my prayers to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

I sat there today, realizing that God has given me SO MUCH, and has and is taking me along with Him on a long walk to Calvary. It becomes so apparent, for the last time I was there, I was asking to know Him more deeply, praying about a religious Vocation, knowing that what I was doing was not what He intended to be my life's work.

I returned today, this time with a Masters in Theological Studies, with the Liturgy of the Hours, and with an entirely different type of burden. 

But was all the same. Jesus is the same, everywhere, every day, in every age, from today to tomorrow, from the past we can't fathom and into a future we'll not see with earthly eyes. HE IS, quite simply. He IS. Eternally.

There I knelt, and although I did not really pray in words today, I prayed wordlessly, staring at Jesus as He looked back at me. And in that passive activity, time stopped and there was nothing but eternity in the gaze of Christ.

Earthly life continues and I had to break that incredible gaze, so I  invited Jesus to join me as I ran my errands. I knelt and left the silent endlessness of the blessed chapel and continued in silence to the next task.

Pondering my brief visit to the chapel, I realized that it was exactly what I needed. God knows us all so well and although we can encounter Him anywhere, at any Catholic parish, whether hidden in the tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance, He continues to use ALL of our senses when we seem to have lost our way in the darkness of this world. Jesus brought me into that suburb today not simply to complete an errand, but to visit HIM in a place special in my own memory of Him.

You see, I realized  that it was in that very chapel that I fell in love with Jesus. 

I needed to go there today. I needed it because I needed the sensory reminders of my passion for Him and His life-giving Passion for me. I NEEDED that.

Today, in that all-too-brief interlude, God did not speak to me of the Cross or of deep theological explanations. He spoke to me of eternity with Him. There, in that place where I first discovered the meaning of real, sacrificial love, He gave me a moment of loving eternity. And that description contains no paradox.

+Sacred Heart of Jesus, be my salvation!+
+Sacred Heart of Jesus, ThyKingdom come!+
+Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me!+

Immaculate Heart of Mary...Pray for me! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thanks Be To God!

Thank you, my friends, for your prayers!

Today I received a call from a family member - a couple are pitching together to help me in this crisis, at least with regard to the house.

The foreclosure is going away!

I don't yet know how I'm going to keep from going into default on my student loan but on that front, there is a little more hope and I can probably "buy" a little more time. Please keep the prayers coming!

Many have suggested I place a Paypal button on my blog, and I may yet need to do that, but given the phone call today, I am thankful to be able to hold off. Thank you for your offered generosity - I am very touched by so many so willing to help. Whereas I may still need that kind of help one day, for now the hand of the bank is going to be stayed at least with regard to the most critical issue - the roof over my head.

This afternoon in the Adoration Chapel I prayed for all of you who have been praying for me and I hope you are all deeply blessed by God. I know many of you are undergoing other kinds of trials right now, so be assured of my prayers on your behalf.

Thank you, Jesus!

I Knew it Was Coming

My friends, I need to request your prayers.

Yesterday evening as I settled in to watch Kitchen Nightmares, a nightmare of a whole different sort came to my door in the form of a ringing bell and certified letter. I didn't even need to look at the address; I knew what it was as I signed for it.

It was my foreclosure notice. I have until November 5 to come up with $1800.00 in addition to my regular monthly payment of about $930.00.  I will also owe $200 on one of my student loans that was under a forbearance.

Right now I'm praying for a miracle. It's possible that I own something that can be sold, but probably not likely to happen in the time period I've been given.

I know that I can live in my house for a year under foreclosure, but my hope is that I can stop the proceedings by somehow coming up with the cash to pay the amount I'm behind. It seems like so little, doesn't it? Yet to me, it's a greater fortune than I've ever seen.

For those unfamiliar with my story, the reason I am behind is not for willfully skipping payments, but the fact that over the summer I was down to 25 hours per week and no other income. During that time my lender granted me a forbearance and I paid about half of my regular mortgage in that time period.

I am trying to work with the bank but they offer few options and the fact remains: I must pay this debt and I intend to pay it.

Please pray for me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Mystery of the Open Door

For the last several days, it seems like every time I've come home from work, I've had a door open that wasn't supposed to be open. Or perhaps a makeshift "baby gate" that has been tipped over by a very guilty-looking German Shepherd.

I'm used to her antics in trying to access some baby-gated areas and usually, no harm done so it's not a huge deal (as long as it's not the kitchen!).  Open doors, though, are a different matter entirely!

I had actually been attributing the recent open rooms to my own failure to properly close the doors, and again, neither the bedroom or bathroom had any damage or obvious disturbance, so I didn't worry. After all, my dog isn't a puppy anymore although she DOES on occasion get into things and make a mess simply because (GSD owners say it with me!) ...she's a GERMAN SHEPHERD!

Until last night, anyway, I'd been attributing open doors to my own failure to close them, and this is the cue that I need to give you a little back story.....

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, little new homeowner Adoro adopted a German Shepherd, age 1.5 years, from the local Humane Society. The paperwork and the staffer there told Adoro that her new pet was very very smart and had a long history of an uncanny ability to open doors she was not supposed to open.

Adoro learned this very quickly the first time she tried to kennel her dear GSD, only to come home 45 minutes later to find the kennel door ajar and the dog standing outside of it with a happy waggy tail and a big happy doggie grin. 

The next time Adoro left, she reinforced the kennel with flex ties at all points, even the door, thinking that as she would be gone for only about a half hour, this would be a good test of the new "security" system. 

When Adoro came home, the kennel was completely intact! Yay! The door was still closed and tightly tied shut!

Unfortunately, the German Shepherd was AGAIN outside of the kennel, staring at her, doggie-grinning and happy-wagging. 


Well, Adoro gave up on the kennel, at that point realizing that to continue might actually cause her dog to be strangled if she was trapped in an escape attempt and Adoro did not arrive home in time to stop the tragedy. So it was that she invested in a baby gate for the kitchen to prevent counter surfing (for some reason the dog did not desire to jump over the gate), and pseudo-gate the steps at the bottom to prevent the dog from going upstairs. 

Over the years this worked, until the German Shepherd did begin leaping the stair gate. In place of that, Adoro closed upstairs doors, especially after an incident in which her dog had injured herself during the day and cost Adoro hundreds in veterinary bills to prevent her dog from bleeding to death when the clotting factors were thrown off by the injury. 

That system worked very very well  unless Adoro forgot to close the door or simply didn't latch it properly.

And that's where the story continues to the nearly present day.

Keep in mind that the doorknobs in my house are the round sort that tend to need to be GRIPPED in order to turn and unlatch.

Well, I had begun to wonder about the open doors, wondering if in fact, there was a "mechanical" problem with the mechanism - was it not latching properly even though I had pulled and heard the "click"?

Then last night, I came  home to find that my bedroom door was open and a child-size scapular I bought at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City in 1994 was lying on the ground, the string in shreds and the miraculous medal lying neatly among the mess.

When I stopped to stare at it in confusion, my German Shepherd circled my feet, ears back, tail tucked with the tip wagging as she "apologized".

I picked up the pieces. None were wet so it happened hours ago. The string appeared to have broken through stress. There was no damage to the door or the knob. The dog was playing "guilty" all over the place, especially when I had the evidence in my hand.

Thankfully, only the string was damaged - the two main pieces seemed fine and perhaps can be used again.

You see, this scapular is one that maybe I had worn (I don't remember) but as it is so beautiful and comes from such a place, I put it on my doorknob as an act of devotion - both to preserve it and to remind myself of Our Lady's protection, her intercession, and of course, what it means to be devoted to Christ.

I guess my dog isn't really into sacramentals even though I've done my best to raise her as a Catholic and she seems to enjoy it when I pray the Liturgy of the Hours with her.

But still.- I couldn't figure out what the broken scapular had to do with the open door! And of course, WHY the scapular was broken!

Yesterday a storm had passed through, and as the years have gone on, I've noticed that my dog reacts more and strongly seeks my company when the thunder cracks. I wondered if perhaps she'd nudged the doorknob in hopes of finding me, or maybe to get as close to me (via my scent in my room) as possible during the storm, and the door just happened to be forced open at her insistence, the knob turned just enough.

Today changed that theory, but first a little more to the story: 

You see, a couple years ago my dog wandered into the upstairs bathroom one evening and apparently closed the door on herself. She didn't make a peep, but because she was often in my room staring out the window doing her GSD-thing, it wasn't uncommon for her not to be with me in the main part of the house.

Well, having not seen her for a few hours and wanting to feed her, I called and she did not come. I knew she was not outside (no fenced yard so she was never outside alone). I went upstairs, saw the door to my room closed and recalled doing that. But I knew she wasn't in my room because I'd ushered her out before closing the door. But why was the bathroom door closed?

I opened it and she exited somewhat sheepishly as I greeted her. I remember being confused; the doggie Houdini-extraordinaire hadn't made a peep up there and hadn't torn the door apart in an attempt to get out!

I thought that perhaps she'd forgotten about her door-opening skill after nudging the door closed during routine sniffing and decided to just wait it out. I was wrong. 

She just hadn't had the proper motivation at the time as she was quite content that evening, apparently, to lay down on the rug and take a nap until I'd opened the door.

Today when I came home, once again I found the bedroom door standing ajar and the dog acting guilty in her rush to pass me in hopes I wouldn't notice that, in fact, I didn't actually have to open the door myself.

I stopped, horrified, staring from the floor to the doorknob. Was my only other scapular from that shrine destroyed, too?

No, no...the ground was bare. I looked at the knob. No, there it hung, although it was a bit more tightly wound. I reached out to grasp the "tag" with the embroidered picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe, feeling the gold threads under my fingers. I tugged gently...and saw the knob turn. The string was just taught enough to rub and pull the knob to the side, releasing the latch!

As the door opened, I rose my eyes to my dog, perched at the window, staring outward, ears forward and twitching according to the sounds reverberating against those huge radars. She stood at the window I always left slightly open in fair weather to let the fresh air waft in, and there she could percept, as well, all the sounds of the neighborhood including the dog the neighbors always allow to roam off leash all day long....

Mystery Solved!



* close window even while gone
* remove scapular from door and leave nothing to act as "doggie pull-chain"
* more interesting toys if actually affordable?  (donations accepted!)
* get a different breed  NEVER! GET BEHIND ME SATAN!  German Shepherds are as close as a canine can get to being human - must continue to nurture in accordance with St. Thomas Aquinas's hierarchy of Creation as this is clearly an animal present with Adam in the Garden! Must learn to be more like the dog whose thought process is very logical!

OK then!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Blog Quotes of the Day

It's been awhile since I posted some of these, so back by...uh...popular demand of the past, I bring you some silliness for today:

If bloggers stopped blogging about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty web pages.
~ inspired by Elaine Liner

The man who blogs about himself and his own time is the only man who blogs about all people and all time.
~ inspired by George Bernard Shaw

The role of a blogger is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
~ inspired by Anais Nin

Either blog something worth blogging or do something worth blogging.
~ inspired by Ben Franklin

And for the cherry of truth atop a cupcake of silliness:

The skill of blogging is to create a context in which anonymous commenters can flame without fear of reprisal.
~ loosely inspired by Edwin Schlossberg