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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.

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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 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? 

Chick Can Wear An Ugly Dress, even on Wedding Day

The dress. The wedding dress should be the best dress you have ever had. Mine was designed and made by a couture designer in New York. You see, I was living there at the time I got engaged, with less than a month to plan a wedding. Away from my family and friends in Texas, and with limited time, I had to rely on this “talented” lady I had never met to make me beautiful.

I chose the fabric. It was beautiful. It was to be a fitted knee length dress. Let’s just say that the fabric was the only part I liked. After my first fitting, I asked if she could cover some of my “top” and add a “I Love Lucy” type netting or sheer skirt that would hang to the floor and could be detached for the reception.

One of Bill’s friend’s agreed to come along for my final fitting. I was nervous as I had no idea what this dress was becoming. I mean, I had paid more for this dress than just about anything at that time in my life. It should have a personality for what I paid for it. As she unzipped and pulled out the fabric, I smiled. She left the room. I cried. I put it on. It fit me like a glove. I mean I looked like that OJ hand and the dress was that glove that didn’t fit. Oh, and did I mention that she added about five sheer rose embellishments on the flattest part of my body…my booty, so the “train could attach and detach from them. And it was like a tail. It didn’t wrap around like my “I Love Lucy” skirt that I had envisioned. It was like a sausage with a tail.

I posed. She took photos and Bill’s friend didn’t know what to say. He had no expression. I know. It’s hard to imagine that there was silence and blank looks on both of our faces, when there was a wedding dress involved. I cried. I cried all the way home. I had to wear it. I had no time. I couldn’t afford another dress, nor could I buy a dress off of the rack. I didn’t wear a size off of the rack. I mean, maybe if I had gotten two dresses and sewn them together…no time for that either.

So, I flew from New York to Dallas with this dress. My sister, Taunia and her two daughter’s picked me up and took me to her home. They anxiously waited while I tried on “THE dress”. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to laugh or cry before I walked out of the bathroom to show them. Wait. I forgot to mention the “Jackie O” NO veil that hung down to my shoulders. I put it on and all you could see was my cleavage…that’s exactly what I was working to avoid. And it was all out there…we even had a name for that cleavage. It was called “the shelf”. You could have set a drink on it.

Door opens and all three girls laughed until they cried and then they laid on the bed so that they could catch their breath. I’m talking there were real tears and that head hurting kind of giggling. Even when my sister Taunia helped me to remove and upcycle the “tail to a lovely head covering, there was laughter. (There’s that personality that the dress had. It was creating memories for us from that moment on…) I was wearing that dress. I didn’t care what anyone thought. I was wearing it.

And it’s time to walk outside to see Bill and I was so happy to marry this man. He picked flowers for me and left them at the door. I carried those. Now is the time where in my dreams my father says how beautiful I am and that my mom would love to have been there and….my father says, “Are you pregnant, because I still love you if you are.” I HAD GAINED A FEW POUNDS IN A YEAR AWAY, OK?! And no, I wasn’t pregnant, so I told him how disappointed he was going to be 9 months from that time and that I was sorry. We then just laughed and we walked. My life was not as I had imagined it to be but…it’s better than I imagined.

We walk out and I wore that stupid dress, with the tail on my head. My mothers friends were given iris’ to hand to me as I made my way to Bill. My mom always gave me iris’ and we planted them together when she was alive. I was in tears. I didn’t care about the dress. I didn’t care about the “shelf”. As we were steps away from Bill, my niece Makenzie whispered the word, “butt-head” to me. I had to laugh because Taunia made the veil out of “the tail” of the dress. Again, this was not as I imagined, but everyone there wanted me happy and I was giggling.

And that is why I don’t care so much about clothes. I live and I love. I’m clothed with God’s love. I love like I want to be loved. And as soon as the wedding ceremony was over, I changed out of that dress. I put on the dress from my rehearsal dinner and had just as much fun. My friends and my family were there at a moments notice and I was in love and there was love.

Fourteen years later, and I still love Bill. So, maybe next year for our fifteenth anniversary, I will wear that dress again. I just might. I don’t take myself so serious. I make mistakes but God gives me grace. That dress…doesn’t deserve grace, but I’m giving it grace, because look how happy it made so many people. Even me. Image