Chick Strangles in shape wear

Recently it was reported that “shape wear” may be hazardous to your health. From personal experience, I know this to be true. Embarrassing…and true.

While I was home alone one day, I tried on several outfits for a wedding.
Determined to make a dress “fit”, I pulled out my shape wear. I (struggled to) put it on and then added the dress. Perfection! I thought. I photographed myself and sent it off to my sister via phone message in another state for approval. Done…or so I thought.

My husband was out of town. I live far from family. I attempted to remove the shape wear by myself.

As it was stuck around my arms and near my neck, I couldn’t get it off OR back on my body. HOLY! I couldn’t even reach my phone because my arms were in the air! I was breaking a sweat. I was breathing heavily. My heart rate was out of control.

What to do?! I decided to lay on the bed. Just breathe. Just relax. Just pray. God, help me. (And, admittedly, I was laughing there…all by myself!)

Thoughts of dying like this crossed my mind. As I was laying there with my arms above my head I just said,”I surrender!” Giggling…I finally relaxed.

And so…I’m here to confirm that shape wear may have an adverse affect on your health. It did mine. Thank God my humor and humility are in check! I guess this means there’s more adventures to follow. I hope so!

What has shape wear done to you?

Chick Can Do Bluegrass

As I have taken on a challenge to write everyday, I found some lyrics I wrote long…long…long ago!

If you want to make a girl’s day, set some bluegrass music to it and let’s make some music together. Tag! It’s your turn! I’d love to hear your creative melody…It would be sweet!

“Oh Sweet Collards”
By: Summer DeCoste

Oh how I miss you
It’s been only a year
Your butter bean – green eyes
In my mind…
and I fear…

You’ve found another
She stole you from me.
I miss you, my sweetheart.
Well, I miss your sweet collard greens…

No one makes ’em
Quite like you…
Mmmmm, they were tasty
Miss ’em, sweet Honeydew…
How did you do it?
Pulled me in with yer rod
Must have baited with yer collards
Cuz it wasn’t your charms

Sweet tea to chase it…
Life just isn’t the same…
But the sun has gone down on that missin’ you game.

How I’m missin’ those sweet collards now

Maybe it’s time I get rid of yet stuff…
Most of it’s gone
But that perfume
Ugh…that stunk!
Can’t rid of that smell
It won’t go away.
But a pot of yer collards
Well, those…they can stay.

So maybe it’s not you,
That I miss at all…
Them sweet collards…
Those sweet greens
Had my heart all along.

Well goodbye sweet darlin
I’ve had enough…
Of you and this silly sweet missin’ you stuff.

Farewell, Adios, & have a good life
Just leave me a note
With some collards sometime….

Chick Can Draw from Horses

In college, one of my electives was “Horses and Horsemanship”. I was from Texas. I wore boots. How difficult could this be for me?

I thought I was going to be riding and enjoying the beautiful, flat, tumbleweed rolling land of Abilene. Well, it was sort of like that. We did clean stalls. We fed the horses. I met some fine cowboys. I made some fantastic friends…and tutors!

Here’s what I did not imagine. It was the most difficult class I had ever taken. Not only was the class work challenging, the terminology was exasperatingly difficult! Then, we had to dress the horse and ride the horse. (God help me.)

After 3 weeks in class, we finally got to ride! I was excited. My “friends” I met in class promised not to let me down and they did not disappoint! They helped me back up on my horse as many times as I fell off that horse. When my horse broke into a gallop with the hint of a race from another horse, I hung onto that baby for my LIFE!

The Professor called me aside after that class. She said she’d never seen someone with such determination, as she helped pull the grass out of my hair and my teeth. I was so proud…until. I was so proud until I finished that grass filled, teeth grinning talk and realized I never…tied…my horse…up. Where was she?! (Later, and I mean hours later, I found that my “friends” had hidden her from me.)

In conclusion, I finished this course. I met some cowboys and cowgirls with heart. I tore muscles I never knew existed. I learned that when you don’t ride correctly, you are actually doing consecutive leg splits, when galloping. (I didn’t know I could do that many splits at once! No one said I wasn’t talented!)

So, what do I do with this now? I take this determination decades later and I write. I do my watercolor illustrations. In fact, I’m writing about a barrel racer in my next book…right now. I admire the sheer talent, drive and determination they have. I’ve met some of the PRO barrel racers and they’re encouraging me! (Imagine that!)

The lesson I’ve learned: Find the lesson in anything that you do. I may not be a barrel racer, but I’m determined, with grass in my hair, to get up and move towards my goals. I will paint. I will write. I will make it and I will achieve great things, even if it’s not on a horse, and it will be for God’s glory..not mine.

Now, Keep MOVING!

Chick Can’t be a Veterinarian

Reflecting on the past is important in order to know where I’m going in the future. There’s two ways to look at this. For one, I’ve made a lot…a dozen or possibly a million mistakes and I believe I’ve learned a lesson or two from those ugly incidents. Frankly, that’s why I am who I am. It’s why I think too much now.

Let’s take my job search, for instance. It’s been difficult after being laid off of the same job twice. (By the way, I don’t think many people can say this…or would admit returning to a job which laid them off even one time…but I digress.)

Because of our rural domain, I decided to interview for a local veterinarian’s office. I mean, I love animals. Sure, my college degree is Interior Design, but I was open to new possibilities! After the interview, they offered me a position which sounded perfect. It was close to home. I would work with humans and the dogs alongside the vet. How hard could this be?

I’m shaking hands. I’m excited! “Oh and you’ll want to come in at the end of this week. On Friday’s we put some of the shelter dogs ‘down’. We’ll just need you to cuddle and comfort them.”

Silence.

I couldn’t hear another word.

“See you on Friday. Don’t worry. You’ll get used to it.”

Returning home, my face was swollen and puffy. I cried for hours before my husband got home. I washed up…put on a happy face and reported with tears the size of alligators that “I got the job!”

Hubby called me repeatedly for the following two days to say,”Call them back…you’re not taking that job. We don’t have a kennel. I know you. We’ll end up becoming a shelter for everyone of those animals on Fridays!”

I continued to cry for two days as I tried to convince myself with their words “you’ll get used to it.”

He was right. I wouldn’t get used to it. I don’t work there and we are currently are the house of 4 dogs and 17 chickens.

Can you imagine if I’d taken that job? I had to examine my past and my present to determine my future.

What’s next, you ask? Stay tuned.

Chick Can’t Do Secrets: The Tree

Keeping secrets from my husband is not just a bad idea. It’s impossible for me.

A decade ago we moved to a rural area. I wanted a fragrant and live Christmas tree. He said to wait until he returned home from a business trip. (He didn’t think I could get it home alone.) Like anyone who tried to start our fireplace alone and ended up meeting our neighbor. (Meeting him because he spotted the smoke spewing from the second floor windows of our house and responded! This same neighbor, who subsequently put the fire out for me…burned his eyebrows & arm!) I decided I could surely get a tree home alone.

Stopping at the local produce stand, I chose a beautiful tall tree. The big bubble glass lights were twinkling. the Christmas music was blaring. The boys loading it laughed loudly but said they’d strap it to my beetle bug. While raining and cold, I happily waved and pulled out onto the rural road. As soon as I gained any speed, that tree shot off the top of my car like fingers struggling to secure an oiled pig!

Reluctantly, I pulled over for a quick cry. In my rain sweat windows I saw the boys laughing hysterically; but the scene wasn’t over yet. I stepped out of my car to drag the tree back to the side of the road…but not until after a semi-truck came along and ran over it…transforming my beautiful tree to “road kill”.

Returning to the produce stand, they could barely contain themselves with laughter and tears. I was crying too, but I was simply embarrassed. The owner said,”How ’bout I deliver it to your home?” Gladly, I accepted but only if he could do it before my husband’s truck was in the driveway. (I wanted the hubs to know I could do this without him!) He offered to bring it in the house but I declined stating that would be more than I could of handled “alone”.

For many years, this “adventure” remained a secret from him, until his mom said,”What about the tree that year?”

We don’t do secrets anymore. (At least, that’s waft he thinks.)

Chick Falls for Animals

Fall. How appropriate is that title for this time of year? It is beautiful in Virginia with the multicolored fall of leaves. The weather is crisp. The dogs love chasing each leaf as it floats back and forth to the ground. I love all of it.

What I didn’t love was taking my pup Ellie for emergency surgery yesterday. As I sat in the waiting room with eyes full of years, I prayed. God, please. Please let her live. Then, like a train wreck, I was transported to 20 years ago, in my mind.

It was Fall. I was in college. I was late for an exam. Driving furiously I barely saw the road, much less the “thing” I just ran over. I stopped. In my rear view mirror I saw two elderly people making their way to my car.

Slowly, I got out and looked. I’d hit a dog. A DOG?! I was horrified. Crying uncontrollably I looked up to see the elderly couple following their retractable lead…that was attached…to this dog…I just hit. (Nooooo! This cannot be happening.)

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I love dogs. I know a Vet! We’ll take her there. Just put her in my car!” They looked at me and said,”It’s o.k. We shouldn’t have let her take so much of the lead on such a busy road. She was just a pup. She’s not in any pain. She was only 9 months old. We can get another dog.” Whaaaa?

Torturing myself with tears and regret, I loaded up their pup and drove them to the Vet’s office anyway. It was awful and they couldn’t have been nicer to me…they couldn’t have been. Why? I don’t know. I can only say it was but for the grace of God, truly.

But now, it’s Fall again and 20 years later. Still tortured by this act, I cried harder as I sat in the waiting room at my Vet’s office. 20 years later, I’m still broken up about that dog AND what was happening with my Ellie dog in that operating room.

How could I not have noticed she was feeling so bad? Why didn’t I take her sooner? What kind of dog owner am I? I’d had a dog with Addison’s disease and for 3 years I took her every month for her shots. I’d been such a responsible owner.

Then, it hit me. She never acted as she was in pain. This wasn’t punishment. The Vet said if I’d been a day later, it could have been critical.

She’s still there. Still at the hospital, I went to see her. It’s one day later. She is getting the care she needs. I still pray that she will live. I pray that she’ll be back to running circles and hugging my neck with “Ellie hugs”, soon.

It’s Fall again. I love my dogs and chickens…each one of them AND I hate retractable leashes. Hate ’em.

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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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