Signs….Not Always Accurate

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I do not typically make e-bay purchases, but when my husband called my attention to this sign and it was a buy it now deal……I found I could not resist.

This sign is pretty laughable when I think of my chickens. The girls are pretty tame and generally mind their own business during the day.  (My husband pointed out that this sign is accurate if you happen to be a bug or a worm….)

I have seen them chase small birds that were picking at the same seeds or bugs they were after. It is great fun to watch them chase the small moths that like to hide in the summer grass.

I have never yet seen them attack anything that was bigger than them. After thinking on that I may be wrong. I did see them, one time, go after a friend’s toenails.

She and her husband arrived one evening before I locked the girls in for the night.  My friend had sandals on; and had her toe nails painted red. We soon discovered that those girls love red toe nail polish and they were very persistent as they followed her where ever she went.

I often wonder what those chickens would do if I painted their toe nails red…..chase themselves around? I wonder this because I have another chicken loving friend who actually does this!

My biggest problem with my sign is knowing where to put it. My husband thinks it should be put on the chicken coop. I think it needs a more prominent place…somewhere that keeps people wondering about the girls!!( In case you were not aware of it….I have a sense of humor that may or may not be a bit off-center.)

My husband also wonders how long I will keep having chickens. I really don’t know how to answer that question. I enjoy having the girls around. I laugh about their different personalities and I love the fresh eggs.  I also wonder what my grandkids would call me if I no longer had chickens?

I have a feeling there will be chickens around here for a long time….and I am thinking that is a fine idea! We don’t have a dog…who else am I going to talk to as I work outside this summer? Yup, the girls may be around a long time.

 

Chickens are like potato chips
You can’t have just one…..
Unknown

 

 

 

 

“Lo” is Good

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My husband always finds it funny that we spend hours baking and preparing treats for the holidays. We spend time eating all those sweet treats…usually to excess. Then suddenly it is January and we are all worried about the holiday pounds that have appeared out of nowhere….(well maybe out of our fridge and into our mouth).

Today I figured I would check out the scale so that I might either be impressed to keep it off or depressed to take some weight off. (Like that is going to happen these next few weeks!!)

When I stepped on the scale I was pleasantly surprised. The only thing it told me was “Lo”. I have decided this scale is a wonderful scale. I did go purchase new batteries for it, but part of me really wants to just leave the old ones in till after the holidays have come and gone.

You have no idea how good it is for your esteem to find your scale telling you your weight is “Lo”. At least I thought it was great.

This past weekend we attended grandparents’ day at my grandson’s school. As we were standing in line with my grandson I overheard the best conversation ever. Two fellow first graders were looking at a drawing one of them had done. The drawing resembled and apple with a head; and a couple sticks coming out of it. The conversation kind of went as follows:

1st boy: “What is that?”
2nd boy: “My grandma.”
1st boy: “hahahahaha…..your grandma?”
2nd boy: “Yea….she’s fat.”  (this was said very matter of factly)

I love that little boy. It did not seem to matter to him if his grandma resembled an apple. It was a great reminder that children see with eyes of love and that is a great lesson for us all.

That child looked deeper than his grandma’s shape. He looked at the love they shared for each other and the beauty of that love.

That being said……I really don’t want my grandson drawing me as an apple shape!  I think it is time to go put those batteries in that scale…..

I’m in shape….
round is a shape.
Unknown

My favorite exercise
is a cross between a lunge and a crunch….
I call it lunch.

Anonymous

 

 

Pink Blankets and Lessons Learned

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Sometimes things just do not go quite like you think they are going to when you start out. This morning I decided I would wash the bedding that I took home from my in-laws home. At present we are sorting through household items, as they are in the process of down-sizing.

My husband was gone for the day; so I thought it would be a good time to keep the wash machine running. The first items I put in, were two vellux blankets. I am not even sure they still make these type of blankets, but they were really soft and quite pretty.

I did read the tag to make sure I laundered them correctly. The tag told me to wash in warm water and tumble dry on low. (I am, if nothing else, a direction reader.) The tag also reminded a person that they needed to be washed a minimum of twice a year!

I put those blankets in the machine and got it started. I then proceeded to start housecleaning in my kitchen cupboards while the machine did its’ thing. Later I could hear the wash machine had made it through all the cycles and it was time to transfer them over to the dryer.

Imagine my surprise when I lifted that washer lid…..it looked like a giant rodent had been set loose in the machine with those blankets. Instead of blankets, I had a washer full of pink fluff that faintly strongly resembled that blow-in attic insulation…..only pink.

After a moment of stunned, brain-numbing disbelief, I started to laugh. I am not really sure why; but there was really nothing else to do! Mumbling to myself, I went in search of a garbage bag and headed back to the laundry room.

You would not believe how long it takes to scoop out two blankets worth of fluff from a washing machine. You would also not believe how that pink fluff tends to spread into every part of your home.

I did have to take a photo of the fluff and send it to my sister-in-law with the rather vague caption, “Vellux blankets do not age well when not used.” She called to tell me she was laughing so hard she about cried when she saw the photo of that bag of fluff.

I did learn a lesson from the bag of fluff….maybe not such a profound lesson…but a lesson none-the-less. I learned that we should use our good stuff because it might not age well and we may as well enjoy it while we can.

It also made me think that, perhaps, we should not wait till the time is “just right” to do the things we have on our bucket list. By the time it is “just right” life could have shredded!

I learned that sometimes life does not go as planned. Sometimes, it starts out looking marvelous, goes through a “wet” patch, and falls apart. I also learned it does no good to fret about it…it is much better for the attitude to find the funny side (if possible) and look for the silver lining (there usually is one, though it might be buried pretty deep).

Fortunately, a shredded blanket is not the end of the world. Sometimes it can be a great reminder to treasure the things we have, treasure the people we know and to not put items and people on a shelf to be enjoyed later.

It is a reminder to live the life we have now. We cannot go back and change things that have happened…..I cannot go back and turn that fluff back into a beautiful pink blanket….but I can find the “funny” in it….I can believe that life is good and trust that God’s got it….whatever “it” is.

 

Accept what is,
let go of what was,
have faith in what will be
Unknown

Chocolate Chip Cheese Bars

Chocolate Chip Cheese Bar

January is typically the month that many resolutions are being made. Resolving to lose weight, to exercise more, read through the Bible in a year, stay in touch with loved ones….and the list goes on.

Heading the list always seems to be the weight thing. For some reason when I decide I should work on the weight issue every amazing tasting food seems to end up in front of me. I am not sure how that happens or why. Is it kind of the Murphy’s law of dieting?

I had planned to bake less this season to help with the getting healthy idea. I really did plan to do that….and then the phone rang. A neighbor gal called to ask if I would take her turn bringing lunch to Coffee Break Bible Study on Wednesday. (She was busy moving cattle with her family). Of course I said sure…..I love to bake. (I love to eat too!)

I figured it was a great time to make those bars that are really addictive. If I am baking bars like these particular bars, it is always a good idea to bake them when you need to bring most of them away. It is never a good idea to have a whole pan of these in the house with just two people.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Bars
2 cups +4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1 Cup butter or oleo, softened
12 Tablespoons sugar
12 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Filling:
2 8-ounce pkg. Cream Cheese

1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375º
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt….Set aside
Combine butter, sugars, and vanilla
Beat in eggs; add flour mixture, and mix well
Stir in chocolate chips
Blend until creamy
Put half in bottom of 9 x 13″ pan
Then spread filling mixture over this and top with rest of cookie dough
Bake 20-30 minutes
Cool and cut
Store in refrigerator (if there are any left!)

 

These bars are from a recipe book that the employees made when I worked at a lab that produced swine vaccines. I have always told people to look for the recipes in that book that are from a woman named Ethel. If you make any of her recipes you are in for a real treat!

I have a feeling that till the bars are gone those New Year resolutions are just going to have to wait….fortunately or unfortunately it won’t be long and they will be gone. I dallied with the idea of using this post and linking it to the Daily Post photo challenge “Growth”……for the very reason that consuming too many of these bars will definitely promote growth…of the wider, not taller variety! Aaaahhhh well…..tomorrow is another day…..I guess.

If you give these bars a try let me know what you think of them…..also please feel free to share some of your favorite recipes….I am always on the lookout for a new favorite.

“Take a bite of food,
if it tastes good…..spit it out
……you can’t have it!”
An Uncle

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people.
Orson Welles

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/orson_welles_104829?src=t_diet

The Best Laid Plans…….

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Sometimes things don’t always turn out how you think they will when you make a plan. I am not sure if anyone else ever has this issue…..but I seem to run into that rule more often than I like.

Let me back up here a little. The next weekend/week are going to be busy for us over here. We have a wedding of a nephew that we need to attend this coming weekend. Family from four states will be coming this direction for the wedding and there is lots of planning to be done.

We want to gather as often as possible, so meals are being planned, there is housecleaning, baking, cleaning some more, bedding to be washed, lawn to be mowed, cleaning, field work to finish, weeding, and of course some more cleaning.

There probably wouldn’t be so much cleaning….but I would rather be outside than inside so now I am hitting crunch time to catch up on all the stuff I let go while I was outside. There are also some projects that I have been hinting I would like done. (I think I need to do more than hint…..) One of those projects involve a chair.

In a bedroom upstairs there is a chair that I have wanted to get rid of long ago. As of two days ago it was still there. Yesterday, I as I was putting clean sheets on the beds, I stood and looked at that chair. I looked again at the chair, I assessed the doorways, I pondered on the stairwell and decided I could get that chair out of there myself.

I put the chair on its side as it was too wide to make it through the doorway. That worked great! My confidence was boosted. Through one more doorway and I was at the top of the stairs. I found if I stayed on the step above the chair I could ease it down step by step to the landing.

Things were progressing wonderfully up to this point. The chair and I negotiated the 90 degree turn on the landing and started our way down step by careful step. I discovered that gravity is a wonderful thing when trying to get a chair down the steps. In looking back…I realize that might have just been an illusion!

I was incredibly impressed with myself….right up until the legs of the chair became firmly wedged in the doorframe at the bottom of the stairwell. No matter how much I tugged, pulled, pushed, coaxed, pleaded and sweat glistened, would that chair budge.  (It was kind of reminiscent of giving birth…..)

Another problem soon became evident.  I was stuck on the stairwell above the chair. My husband was outside and would never hear me holler for assistance as he was hooking up a cultivator to a running tractor. It was time to once again assess the situation.

I decided I could possibly stick my left leg over the chair and carefully feel for the steps below the chair. I started that maneuver and half way through it realized that there was really no way my legs were that long. I also realized that never in my life, have I ever been able to do the splits and this was not a good time to try them again.

I finally managed to get my left foot on a step, while firmly (or should I say frantically) hanging onto the doorframe. I still had one issue….my right foot was stuck, higher than my waist, up on the chair. It was so sad…..I actually had to use my hand to unhook my foot. In my defense….there is only so far a woman my age can stretch and only so long you can keep your foot at a level somewhere between your waist and head.

When looking at the chair from the bottom angle I realized I should have started with the other end of the chair. I briefly wondered if I could get it turned around and try again. I had an entire conversation with myself over that idea and decided against it as I did not want to get stuck on the steps above that chair again!

I wandered outside to find my husband. I told him the problem, told him there was no hurry as that chair wasn’t going anywhere on it’s own and then did some other things while I waited for his help.

I should have had the camera and got a picture of the look on his face when he saw the chair wedged on the stairs…..then again….maybe that wouldn’t have been a good idea. It was kind of a look that alternated between a cringe and wonderment at how his wife managed to get a chair stuck like that.

I am happy to report the chair is released from the stairwell and nothing (and no one) was damaged in the incident.

So…..now this has me wondering…..how has your week been going? Tell me I am not the only one to end up doing stuff like this!

(I just could not resist the first quote! I laughed out loud when I read it because, I should have read it before my journey down the steps with that chair!)

“That’s a horrible plan.”
“Yes, but I have chosen to ignore that.”
Christopher Moore, Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art   

 

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Winston S. Churchill 

 

 

Not All That Glitters…..

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It may be true that “Not all that glitters is gold.” I think the reverse is also true….Not all gold is something that glitters. I have no idea if that makes any sense whatsoever…..it just sounded kind of profound.

I have many things in life that are really pure gold….family and friends being at the top of the list. My daughter-in-law posted the picture of the two grandkids on Facebook the other day. It just made my day to see those two little ones.

They are the real gold in my life. Those two bring such a joy to life. Everything they do is done with everything they have. They really know how to live life to the full and they sparkle from the inside out.

I did have to do some questioning about the Kaboom game after seeing the photo. I first thought they were knocking down the blocks with marshmallows. Turns out those are white painted blocks…..which is a good thing; as I am not sure about the shelf life of a game that would use marshmallows as game pieces.

I digress (which I often do). I also have some amazing friends. One of them truly does glitter! We have often called her the glitter queen. Wherever she goes she has a sparkle about her….literally. I should explain. She is a craft wizard and loves….(did I say loves?) to use glitter. There are times her husband even sparkles. (I am not so sure how impressed he is with the thought of sparkling.)

There is a down side to glitter. Once it gets loose in your home it attaches itself to everything. My daughter-in-law once gave me a Christmas present wrapped in beautiful paper that had glittery snowflakes on it. It did not take long and everything and everyone had a slight sparkle to and on them….maybe more than a slight sparkle. It was actually quite wonderful in a Christmas sparkly kind of way.

My daughter-in-law started to snicker and informed me that the clerk who had sold her the paper explained to her about glitter.  According to him, and I quote, “Glitter is the herpes of the craft world…….once you have it…..you can never get rid of it.” That is a quote that has firmly planted itself in my brain. It comes to mind every time I see a tube of glitter, a card with glitter or anything sparkly and glitter related. That quote is somewhat like glitter….I don’t think I will ever be able to erase it!

I am so glad that there is so much more to my family and friends than just temporary , external sparkle. They are “Real” and their beauty and worth comes from who they are inside and not what they look like outside. They are beautiful, wonderful people….inside and out.

I pray that you have a friend or family member who sparkles and shines from the inside. I pray this friend or family member spreads a little “internal glitter” over your life and brings you joy. I also pray that you, in turn, spread a little glitter over those around you.

 

“Consider the fact that maybe…just maybe…
beauty and worth aren’t found in a makeup bottle,
or a salon-fresh hairstyle, or a fabulous outfit.
Maybe our sparkle comes from somewhere deeper inside,
somewhere so pure and authentic and REAL,
it doesn’t need gloss or polish or glitter to shine.”

Mandy Hale, T
he Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

 

 

 

 

Nailing Jello to a Tree

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Years ago when we were raising our sons I read somewhere that raising children was rather like nailing jello to a tree.  I always thought that was a pretty apt description. This weekend I once again got to experience that feeling with two different groups of kids.

Sunday morning, after church, I filled in for a Sunday school teacher who needed to be gone. I taught (or should I say I attempted to teach) a group of nine first and second graders. If one could bottle the energy in that room it would be truly amazing what could all be powered by it.

I will say it was a tremendous amount of fun. Bribery of candy canes (not the missing ones from previous posts) was incredibly successful in keeping some semblance of control. They seemed fascinated by the story of Jesus and Matthew the tax collector. (It could have been my peanut butter jar of pennies that was fascinating….I am not totally sure.)

The peanut butter jar of pennies was for class participation. Each child was given some pennies prior to lesson time and told to hang on to them. (This had the added benefit of keeping their hands busy.) At a certain point in the story I became Matthew and collected their pennies. (The pennies were also returned at the end of class time as they had been attentive.) I recognize that some will not appreciate using bribery….but, at times, bribery will get you everywhere.

My other endeavor was being the “craft” lady for the 7th grade GEMS that met this Monday night. GEMS is kind of Christian Reformed Girls Scouts. They earn badges, do crafts, have Bible lessons etc. I was asked to help with the 7th graders as the craft was going to be making cards.

It had been a long time since I had been in the company of 7th grade girls.(And it has been even longer since I have been a 7th grade girl!)  I had kind of forgotten how giggly that age can be. After raising boys, this was an entirely different perspective. Never once have my sons “giggled”. They have guffawed, belly-laughed, snorked as they laughed but…..never ever giggled.

The card making went fairly well. Most of the trash ended up in the trash bin and most of the ink was stamped on the cards.  Everyone went home with three completed cards so I feel we were quite successful. For the cards; I basically went through my paper stash and used what I had on hand. The stamps used were all from Stampin Up as were the punches.

It would be kind of entertaining to know what perspective both of these groups had about “that lady” who came to class. Then again…..perhaps I don’t want to know! I have a feeling that the women who regularly teach these classes stay young at heart from dealing with those that are actually young.

I do admire those teachers. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment to teach and give your best to train kids. I have done the Sunday School job and it is not always easy. While it is not always easy……  it is always rewarding.

 

“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.”
Harry Edwards

“There’s nothing more contagious than the laughter of young children; it doesn’t even have to matter what they’re laughing about.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy