Month: September 2013

Chick Can Change Direction

Actions and doing are better than sitting and stewing. So, I’ve been busy.

I raked. The chickens then climbed to the top of the piled leaves and started kicking their legs furiously through the pyramid of fallen leaves to make a nice flat circle for me. Time wasted? No. They loved it.

I cooked. I made a roast. My husband obtained a cold so I transformed it into a beef and vegetable soup. Waste of time? I don’t think so. He feels better today.

I wrote. I received feedback from others, who cared enough to read my manuscript. I reconfigured my words, not once but a couple of times. Hours gone but am I upset? No, because the book is only getting better.

Looking back over the weekend, I notice I’ve been busy! Doing for others is never a waste of time. (Funny thing is..I didn’t look at it that way at the time!).

Sitting and wallowing over spilt milk…what others might or might not be thinking…what may or may not happen? THAT is a waste of time!

I think I’ll keep doing. I’ll keep loving. In the end, I keep receiving, but only when I take the time to “see” that.

Today, I’m thankful.

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Chick is NOT a stranger

We live in a world where everyone is a stranger. I understand the need and-or the option to talk, to smile at or be friendly to just anyone…or NOT. I know we need to be careful.
I happen to trust my gut on who to talk to…or maybe just to smile at a total stranger. We need to trust that intuition or gut instinct.
My husband and I don’t have children. We don’t eat out a lot because we like to cook & we simply enjoy a healthy dinner at home. I say this because we invited another couple to a night out for dinner and, well…it was anything but normal.
We met early. We ordered early, so there weren’t many patrons when we began eating & visiting. As we ate, we noticed one family after another, with children began walking through the door. At first this place didn’t seem so kid friendly. It was more of a a burger/bar…hole in the wall.
“Kid Karaoke Night!” How in the world did I miss that sign by the road in front of this place? I did. I missed it.
The place quickly filled with “Taylor Swift” wanna-be’s. Cute little girls with sweet printed dresses and their favorite cowgirl boots! Horrified, everyone else we were with was ready to leave.
“Since we don’t have that many children volunteering to sing at the moment, we are welcoming adults to get us started!” Turning to a table behind us, there was a family there with the book of songs in front of them.
Looking at two girls at about 9 years old, I ask to see the book. They pushed it to me. Glancing at the book, I ask them if they are going to sing. (Silence). “I’ll sing with one of you, if you want.”. (My eyes are turned to the book. I wasn’t even looking at either one, when asking, by the way.).
“Do you know any songs?”, as I flip through the book. “Stranger.” I looked up. “Excuse me?” She said,”Stranger!” I said, “I don’t know that song. Who sings that?” (Silence. They stare at each other.).
Wait. I look at the other 9 year old and say,”Oh. Wait. Is she saying that (louder) because I’m a stranger?!” Pursing their lips, they both say “Yes!”
I got up to go explain to the parents, who by the way, were seated at the same table, to explain.
Their mother got up from her chair and patted her children on their heads for doing *the right thing*!
Really? I said how saddened I was that as they were seated with their parents…and a simple turn of my chair…while they were right there, that I’m being humiliated for being friendly to them.
She congratulated them. I cried on the way home. What a sad state we are in that people cannot be “friendly”, while the parents are less than 24″ away from them.
I’ve received criticism since I don’t have children, for not understanding the parents point of view on this. I get that. What I don’t get is that IF the parents saw me as a threat from the beginning for talking to their children, WHY didn’t they speak up to me BEFORE…the kids said “STRANGER” to me…?!
Even when I tried to explain, the mom was so proud.
Here…having no evil intentions, I wonder. With computers, television & the disassociation with anyone these days, WHO is the bad guy and should I just remove myself from being nice…to any child…any where?!
God help us if everyone is a threat, even when the parent is practically sitting next to them?!
I love “my neighbor as myself”. I know not everyone is like that, but WHERE do you draw the line? WHO is ok to help socialize your children? I mean, I let most people touch my dogs in public. I am at arms length. I’m not screaming “STRANGER”! And they aren’t human beings, but I love them…as I would a child.

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Chick Can Survive a 16th Birthday

So, I was turning 16 years old on September 11th….a number of years ago. My family always invited a few friends over. My mother always made a cake, as that was her hobby and she was terrific at it!
We did church on Sunday the 11th, so I wasn’t expecting much “fanfare” over my day until they could get the parade together at a later date. I mean, it didn’t really matter to me that we celebrated on THAT day.

After our service at church, our youth group was getting together to have a devotional. I loved and still love many of these “kids”! What I didn’t know was the fact that about 50 of my closest friends from my high school would be attending our youth devotional!
Imagine my surprise and jubilation to be “surprised” on my birthday! THAT was fun!

We laughed. We ate. they sang, while Mom brings the cake out with a drawing of a cheerleader…16 candles…and the lettering on the cake said, “Sweet 16 & never been kissed! Happy Birthday Summer!” Oh joy!
After hugging everyone and sharing some cake and ice cream, I exited promptly to the kitchen with Mom. I was drawn to tears. You see, I’d never heard the expression “Sweet 16 and never been kissed”! THIS was not fun. In fact, I was 16 and I truly had never been kissed. Imagine my horror that my mom announced it to 70 or so of my closest friends and family! (Oh hi! It’s me…the girl with the announcement on the cake! Any takers?!).
She hugged my neck and explained it was just a saying. Well, ok…if I didn’t get what that meant, then the other FIFTY OR SO FRIENDS DIDN’T GET WHAT IT MEANT EITHER! (Just thinking out loud for a moment…)

On that day at age 16, September 11th, I remember what a great family I had. I remember the friends I had. I don’t dwell on the birthday cake saying…that much…anymore…I digress.

On this day, September 11th, I count myself thankful that I had never been kissed, yet. I don’t count it all joy that my friends found out about that, but I digress, again!!

I count my blessings. I am grateful for a mother who loved me more than words. I am grateful I had a daddy that said,”no”, when he had to do so. That’s love. And, I’m thankful for my sister, who reminds me to live, to love and to trust God.

I cherish that I still have most of those friends I had when I was 16. God put you right there for a reason…a purpose and I see that, with a thankful heart.

On this September 11th, just know that grace matters. That’s God’s unmerited favor. You are worthy. And, I’d love to have you for a friend, if you want. Happy Birthday…to you, too.

Stupid cake! LOL.

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Chick is NOT a chicken

Chick is NOT a chicken

Yesterday was not my best day as a chicken and dog lover. I read stories all of the time how the dogs and the chickens get along. I see pictures of little chicks sitting on the backs of cats. That is not the story I have to tell today, from here.
We have a backyard for the dogs. We have a large house and outdoor run for the chickens. I love letting the chickens free range, so if I am going to be home, I let them just roam the property. Typically they don’t get in the dog yard. Typically. That is not the story I have to tell today, from here.
Yesterday, I was looking out my kitchen window and all was right in the world. The chickens were doing their chicken scratching and roaming through the woods. I was also looking up whether or not I needed to get plastic surgery for my rooster, Thurston. His top beak had broken off and don’t ask me how or why. I don’t know. They do have Vet’s that will perform a surgical procedure for that, by the way. I digress…
All in all it was a successful day. I completed a painting and sold it. My chores were done. Dinner was ready. In walks the hubs and I was happy. As I normally do, I fed the dogs and before letting them into their yard, I checked the backyard just to make sure there were no chickens there. None. I release the hounds.
I went out with them and Louie who is our 80 pound pup ran along the fence line. He loved to see the chickens fly. It was then that I tried to get Louie back in the house. I do not know why, but Lacey, the 6 month old hen flew right into the backyard. Cue the chase. I mean, I calmly tried to say “leave it”. Didn’t work. So, the chase began. I latched onto Louie. I rode my dog through the backyard screaming “LEAVE IT!”
He didn’t leave it. Now, my husband is with us as I am pinned against the fence, with grass in my teeth. He removes the frightened hen from Louie’s mouth. Believe it or not, Lacey wasn’t hurt. There was no blood. There was no harm done, or so I thought. I just laid there. It was me who ended up injured. I cracked my two front teeth. Yes, I did.
The last time I cracked one of those very same teeth, I was riding a lawnmower. At .05 miles per hour, I ran into a “Neighborhood Watch” sign. (That sign is still crooked, by the way. I wish someone would fix that. They won’t let me touch it. Imagine!) In the end, I got the experience of having an implanted tooth. Do you know that I’m no longer allowed to borrow any lawn equipment from any of my neighbors, nor will they entertain my requests. All of this over one little accident! And, I digress once again.
I’m thankful that no animals were harmed in the aforementioned situation. On the other hand, my body and my teeth feel like I rode a bucking bronco bull yesterday. And, in essence, I did get a taste of how sore a bull rider must be the day after his competition. Ouch. That brings me to a phrase I heard yesterday. “Danger is real. Fear is not.” How does that fit into my scenario, you ask? Because I say so! I am now not afraid of the unknown because I am going to get out there with courage, no matter what the situation is and nothing can stop me.
David of David and Goliath in the Bible, stepped up and without thinking said, “I can slay the Giant.” Don’t think he wasn’t prepared. I mean, he’d had plenty of practice in his everyday life as a hunter. Because of those experiences, he knew just the right size pebble or rock to put in that slingshot, depending on his intended target. He was ready and he had God. He had a God sized belief. He let God lead him and he won.
I posted my traumatic experience on FB in short, and ended it with “Jesus Take the Wheel”. My niece responded with “Dear Jesus, Please take the wheel.” With support like that, I can’t lose…ever. Courage, with God is underrated. He’s got this. Let him have the wheel, as Carrie Underwood so adequately conveys in her song. Change your tune. Have courage.

Chick Can Wear a Swimsuit

Agreeing to drive a car from Texas to New York, I ended up wearing my swimsuit and I am not a spring chicken.  I suppose an explanation is in order.   A cousin, whom I met about in the last six months, put a request on FB.  Her son had just graduated from Army Boot Camp.  He had only so many days of leave and he and his family wanted all of that time with him at home, in Houston. 

Since I live in Virginia and I work from home, I figured this would be an adventure and especially for someone who is in the military.  He’s working to secure my freedom, but “freedom isn’t free”.  Sure, I could do it!   I mean, I hate to ride in a car for any length of time!   How hard could this be?  Within  twenty-four hours of saying that I could probably do it, she booked my ticket from Virginia to Houston to include a return flight from New York to Virginia a mere five days later.  It was only twenty six hours of driving.  Never had I traveled such a distance except when on a family trip in my youth.  And those were some long trips.  “She’s staring at me!  She touched me!  She’s on my side of the seat!”  Ohhhh, I loved being in the car for twenty four hours at a time!  NOT.

And….I digress, once again.                                                

My husband pampers me and I pamper him.  On this particular day of packing for my trip, he was out of town on business.  I threw just about all I thought I would wear to include my undergarments…all of them, in the washing machine.  I figured I would pick a few things after that and put them in my suitcase the following morning.  I am not a high maintenance wife, that’s for sure! 

The following morning:  I take care of my chickens.  I feed my dogs.  I shower.  I go to dress and pack from the dryer.  THE DRYER!!  I forgot to put the clothes in the dryer.  Quickly, I throw them in the dryer.  The clock says I must be ready to leave in 45 minutes.  Since my neighbors agreed to take me to the airport, I didn’t want to be late.  In the event that I wouldn’t have dry clothing, I went to Plan B. 

Plan B:  I put on my swimsuit as undergarments.  I layered clean, dry clothes over it.  At this point, all I could do was pray that the clothes would dry in the dryer.  Staring at it wasn’t helping, so I paced.  That wasn’t working either. 

I wrote to some of my girlfriends and explained.  I wanted them to know that in case of a SUCCESSFUL water crash landing on the plane… that I was wearing a swimsuit!  I mean, when all of the major networks were filming from the helicopters, I wanted for one of my good friends to call in and let them know why “THAT GIRL” is wearing a swimsuit AND WHY…she is able to swim out with her swimsuit on and rescue with ease, so that the other passengers may get back on the wing to safety!  And without skipping a beat, one of my friends said she was going to tell them it was “Divine Prophesy”, IF, that happened. ( Yep, those are my friends!)

So I go through security and as I walk through the machine, they pull me aside.  I’ve got nothing to hide, I think.  The Agent says you have a shadow under your clothing.  I pull up my shirt and say it’s because I am WEARING A SWIMSUIT!  I start to explain why and they wave me onward….Wait.  I didn’t get to explain the rest of the “why”! 

And I loved it.  It was comfortable.  1800 miles and let me just tell you that swimsuits are the way to travel!  My swimsuit was so comfortable that I recommend it highly, and in case of emergency, your’e always prepared!

In that same vain, I kept hearing God’s voice.  He says not to worry about what to wear.  With Him in my life, I’m always prepared.  He asks me to have his words “written on my heart”.  With God, “all things are possible”.  He says I’m going to have “troubles” but He has “overcome the world”.  If He has overcome the world, He can take care of me. 

Wearing a swimsuit under my clothes is not the end of the world when I know Jesus and His promises.  So thankful for the invention of the swimsuit and also thankful for this Labor day that it’s the end of swimsuit season.  God is good.  Isn’t He?