Posts Tagged ‘Walking Around Omaha’

Walking Around Omaha, October 2009

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Omaha, After Psalm 122

We stand as a city united under cialis canadian pharmacy God,

Omaha with her incredible diversityand blend of unique personalities.

We are compassionate.

We are creative.

We are hard workers.

Add the power of God Himself, and amazing things occur.

God is at work everywhere on every level.

He is directing the path of the believer and drawing the unbeliever to Himself.

Great things are happening.

Greater things are brewing.

If you love Omaha, pray for her.

Pray for the violence to end.

Pray for our neighbors to be housed and fed.

Pray for a loving home for each pet.

Pray for healed marriages and families….for met ends….for a family for every conceived child,

…and that each would be loved throughout their lives.

Pray that God’s amazing works would continue until darkness can find no corner of Omaha left in which to hide and must flee.

Peace be to Omaha.

Walking Around Omaha…February and March

Monday, March 9th, 2009

March 9, 2009  In which I became a slacker, then became encouraged and pulled my act together…

I hit a lull in February, but kept walking some.  My daughters and friends kept me going.  We were in Portland during the first week of March for a Banfield conference and are now home, and I am walking with renewed energy!

Westwood Church sponsored a great women’s conference by Set Me Free Ministries that-strangely-focused my goal of walking on every street in Omaha.  My friend Stephanie Olson and her sister Joy (I LOVE that name!) started Set Me Free, and this, their first conference, was just really encouraging.  The day before, my friend Tracey Gardner, who was the main character in the Everything drama* that was a part of the conference, said that she and her dogs would walk with me.

And the night before the conference, I walked with my daughters and our dogs around the church and the neighborhood, and prayed for the next day and for the people I knew who were still at church working hard on preparation, which reminded me I am walking with a purpose.  I had started to lose focus and feel like I was just walking.  Omaha, as I mentioned, is big, and I was becoming overwhelmed.

I got to go to the conference with my Mom-in-law Karen and sister-in-law Kristi, two of my favorite people ever.  And many more of my favorite people were there.  Karen and Kristi both agreed to walk with me, so I know this year is do-able.

Then today, Dad called and took the girls to school and me to Starbucks on his way to work, and I was, again, so encouraged!

After coffee with Dad, the dogs and I walked around Hanscom Park, which was one of the areas I had decided to pray for when Luis Palau was in town.  It is near 30th and Center Street.  When we moved to midtown, I realized what a beautiful park it was, and over time I started hearing awful stories about what goes on there.  In fact, while the dogs and I were resting mid-walk, we saw two police cars and one arrest.  And that was mid-morning!  In the park itself, there is a great little lake, a kid pool, tennis courts, two amazing greenhouses, a basketball court, a soccer field, and gorgeous trees everywhere.  There is also a sign that tells the history of Omaha parks.  The set of parks in midtown (including Hanscom Park and Elmwood Park) were designed by some famous park planner from Minneapolis in the mid 1800’s.  I will find out his name for you and what he said about his vision for the park.  (I did not have a pen.  I just had my house key and a ROCK and a bunch of doggy walk bags!)

On the way back home, I saw my cousin Benjy (YAY), and then we passed a beautiful mural of Hanscom Lagoon, painted on the side of a building.  Today makes me think that Omaha could be as incredible as God Himself must picture it…as cool as any of us hope it could be.  So much of it is.  I love our city.

*Did you notice I learned how to link things??  I started in January linking stuff I mention in the newsletter to their websites.  How fun.  Just a warning if you watch the Everything video…It is pretty intense.  I wouldn’t let my daughters watch it.  In fact, they changed it a bit for the Set Me Free conference because I had a really hard time with the gun scene. But it is an incredible drama, and you will never again wonder if God is on your side.

March 23, 2009  In which I go on a much anticipated walk to pray for our military and the dogs come down with three very serious cases of “Bad Dog” which, of course, does not really exist…there are no bad dogs…

Each of forty Omaha churches took one day of Lent (the forty days before Easter) to pray for a specific aspect of Omaha…Westwood’s day is today and we are praying for our military.  How cool (I thought).  I am not great at praying for huge general topics, so for weeks I have been looking forward to walking with the dogs around the VA Hospital near 42nd and Center and praying for friends, family and acquaintances who have served or are serving in our military.  I figured that would be a great way to stay focused and to make a big huge concept personal.

So, the three dogs and I set out.  I have taught them all to sit and wait at crosswalks and to speed walk across when I say “cross.”  Impressive, huh?  (Ha!)  More importantly, it keeps everyone safe and well controlled when we are crossing busy streets.

At EVERY intersection today, between one and three dogs had to be reminded how to sit with a push on the butt.  That is the FIRST command Joy learned, and Ebony and Noodle have known how to sit for ALMOST A DECADE!  And, for the first time, Joy decided that “cross” didn’t mean speed walk straight across the street, it meant Ebony and Noodle will be speed walking across the street, so that will be a great time to bite their ears, cuz they will be looking straight ahead!

I am so tired!  They are too, but they are happily resting and have no idea how frustrated I am!  I guess that is good, and tomorrow is another day!  What a bunch of dorks.  I love them though.  Maybe I will pray without them this time…

Walking Around Omaha…January

Monday, January 26th, 2009

I will start to log my “journey” so far.  Much of January has been much too cold for the undersides of my little Poodle’s feet.  (OK, Noodle has been doing just fine…it is Ebony and I who get tired and cold the most!)  But the walks we have had have been SO FUN.

Russ is helping me print maps off GOOGLE, and we are keeping them in a bright yellow folder on my art table and marking them as I walk streets.  Omaha is much bigger than I realized, but it is early in the year, and I am optimistic!  Maybe it can be done…We have walked with our family…Russ, Amanda and Abby, with our friends…Heather, Lu, Jodi (friend AND family!  I am so blessed…), Elijah, and with our dog friends…Millie, Lucky, Jasmine, Benji, Oscar, Max and Taco.  See if you can find them all in these pictures.  When you find Millie’s picture, see if you know who her new family is!  She is such a sweet dog!

We even got to walk with Scooter, an adorable little Terrier mix who had lost his way.  His mama and little girl were out looking for him and we checked his tag and brought him home.  This year is awesome.  I told you it would be!

Here are some “Walking Around Omaha” pictures so far…

Happy 2009!  Come walk with us…when it warms up!UPDATE May 5, 2009:  Tammy Hall has found Millie a wonderful new home!!  YAY TAMMY!  And Congratulations Millie :)

Walking Around Omaha (Bring a Leash)

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Happy New Year!

I have decided to dedicate an entire year’s worth of newsletters to health through fitness and nutrition.  This topic, and my New Year’s Resolution (which I will tell you in a minute), came as a result of seemingly random, unrelated interactions with five people, to whom I am deeply grateful.


To start, Janet Shulenberger of Nebraska Poodle Rescue asked me to dedicate a newsletter to obesity in dogs.  I thought that was a great idea.  However, weight management in pets is far too important and broad of a subject to cover in only one newsletter.  Instead, let’s make 2009 all about healthy living.  We will start with dog walking and cover different topics from there…other pets, nutrition, obesity-related diseases…let me know what you would like to discuss.  I decided to start with dog walking, because it has been on my mind a lot lately, and I have not been as diligent as I would like with my own health, or that of my dogs.


I visited a chiropractor recently for the first time in almost twenty years, Dr. Shawn Schmidt.  I was a little apprehensive, but soon realized that I did indeed need an attitude adjustment about my views on holistic health.  Dr. Shawn asked what I did for exercise, and I realized I did…nothing.  I had completely fallen out of the habit of any sort of physical activity.


Shortly before the great, internationally known speaker Luis Palau came to speak in Omaha during the summer of 2007, he challenged a group of Omahans to pick a few streets of Omaha and drive through them and pray for them on a regular basis.  I have been thinking about that challenge alot lately.


During a recent veterinary visit, my Aunt-in-Law Judy Finch asked if she could start walking her puppy Lucy three miles a day instead of their usual two, since Lucy was almost grown up.  I don’t know if I even answered.  (If I didn’t, my answer is, “Yes!  Of course!”)  I was just so impressed by Judy and her commitment to fitness, that I think I went right home to walk Ebony and Noodle, leaving poor Ken and Judy at the front desk with Lucy, and the rest of my clients and patients also standing around, I assume overnight, to be seen the next day, by a doctor who didn’t run off to walk her dogs.  It was a good walk though, and the three of us have been walking ever since.


And finally, Pastor Scott Christiansen challenged the entire congregation of Westwood Church to come up with individual blessing plans for 2009–ways we could each specifically help our community.  I said I would pray for Omaha.  I wasn’t sure what that would look like, but now I am starting to, and I think it will be kind of crazy…

My New Year’s Resolution…

I have decided that my New Year’s Resolution will be to walk with Ebony and Noodle the length of every street in the entire community by this time next year.  As I pass your home, your work, your hang-outs, I will pray for you.  If you will not be offended by that crazy offer, I will not be offended if you file it under “Can’t Hurt/Might Help.”

If you have a pet-friendly business, let me know and I will stop by.  If you want to walk with us, let me know when and where, and I will meet you.  So come on…this will be fun!  You keep doing what you are doing (How is that for a guilt-proof resolution?  You can’t fail!), and I will join you and get back into the habit of walking my dogs.

I believe if the five of you were standing together (Janet, Dr. Shawn, Luis, Judy and Pastor Scott), that would be such a cool group!  But what I was going to say is, if you were standing together, you would each be shaking your head and saying “That is NOT what I meant!”  Then you would turn to each other and say, “She is just a little off.”  And that is ok.  I have often been told that I am crazy (and I don’t think people are always kidding…)  So why not substantiate that with a crazy resolution?

I would not make this resolution without my dogs’ input if I thought there were any chance that they would object.  Their absolute favorite thing in the world is walks.  We cannot even spell “walk” anymore without them jumping in circles.  In fact, I looked around to make sure Ebony was not paying attention before I wrote this paragraph.  (Yes, my dogs are geniuses…well, half of my dogs are genius anyways.)

This will be fun!

So come with us!  No, not down every street!  That would be crazy!  Down YOUR street.  With YOUR dog.  YOU do not need such an insane goal as I am setting.  Your pets are in great shape.  Honestly.  For several years, the veterinary journals have been saying that anywhere from 60 to 66% of dogs in America are overweight.  Well, they are not my clients’ dogs!

Ernie plays with his toys so much, it is hard to keep him up at his ideal weight of four pounds!  Riley the Great Dane is a gorgeous, sleek dog made entirely of muscle and goofiness.  Her friend James the Mastiff is in just as good of shape.  Oreo is the only Boston Terrier I know who is not a bit overweight!  And Jacy May can eat whatever she wants and not gain a pound (sigh).

And if you are one of my clients with an overweight or out of shape dog, remember that there are seasons to life.  If you need to sit this one out, do.  Ebony has sat with me through bouts of depression (mine, not hers), crazy toddler years, injury, and just plain apathy.  We have had seasons of diligent exercise, but also seasons of being indoors together.

And there are the literal seasons too.  I have seen you out in the snow and the rain and the wind dutifully walking your dog…from my living room window.  I like to walk in perfect weather, which would explain quite a few of my stretches of inactivity, given that we live in Nebraska!

I do need to get my act together, though.  So keep me accountable.  And keep me company, at least in thought, as I set out to walk every street of our incredible city.  No, I have not thought through how many miles that is.  Russ said it may need to be a five-year plan, not a one-year plan.  But is that so bad?  If I try and all that happens is Ebony, Noodle and I get in better shape, and we have fun walking with whatever combination of friends we have with us, that will not be the worst failed resolution I have ever had.

So grab your pup and a leash.  Add a Gentle Leader or a harness if it will make your walk more enjoyable.  Bring a potty bag.  Muzzle your Pit Bull (or put their “Breed Ambassador” vest on – congratulations to you both!)  Let’s keep walking and see where we end up!

I will be the one with the gorgeous Black Lab cross with the purple Gentle Leader and the cute little black Poodle claiming all of Omaha with his pee.  I may or may not have my family and our friend Baby Kendal with us.  I am very good at getting lost, so I will put Russ in charge of my route.  I will keep you updated on how the walking every street of Omaha goal goes…I know it is crazy, but somehow the idea is appealing to me.  I think it will be fun to try.  I have decided to file it under “Can’t Hurt/Might Help.”

the end…