Thursday, November 27, 2014

Alone on Thanksgiving and Happy About It!

Jay left at 7 AM this morning for his 24-hour shift at the fire station. Because of health issues, I'm not physically up to going to anyone's house. Which means that I'm alone on Thanksgiving.

Someone asked if that makes me sad.

Nope! Not one bit.


Because it's not a day to indulge in feeling sorry for myself. I could feel sorry for myself the day before or the day after, but I certainly can't do it on a day dedicated to thanks!

It's not "Give Thanks If Things are Perfect Day" or "Give Thanks If You're with Loved Ones Eating Turkey and Pumpkin Pie Until You're Sick Day."

It's an entire day, morning to night, designed to focus on thankfulness.

No matter what my circumstances.

So, I woke up this morning thankful for my warm, soft bed. And pajamas. And clean water in a clean glass on my nightstand. And slippers. And indoor plumbing. And toilet paper (leaves are too crunchy this time of year to work well, I'd imagine). And a house with central heat. And fresh bread. And a toaster. (Now you know how my mornings start.)

Even our animals are filled with gratitude.

The chickens are thankful that I gave them extra meal worms.

Caleb is thankful that after a week, Blanche opened her wounded eye. It's only half open, but progress is wonderful!

I'd been hoping she wouldn't be blind in that eye, because she's been walking around with her head cocked sideways for a week, and I didn't want to have to find a chicken chiropractor. (Taking Zoe occasionally to a doggy chiropractor is bad enough.)

Zoe is thankful that I allow toy massacre in our front room.She gets immense joy in disemboweling stuffed animals.

I'm thankful that she's so easy to entertain.

She's also thankful that she gets to pose for photos since it's one of her favorite things (for whatever weird reason).

I may not be eating turkey today, but I'm thankful that I have a turkey cookie! (It's not turkey-flavored, just to be clear, only turkey-decorated.)

And I'd argue that a cookie might be even be better than turkey.

I'm thankful that I have a variety of wholesome food. But even if I only had porridge to eat (I still have no idea what it is, but I pity Goldilocks for having to try three bowls of it), I'd be thankful that I had bowl to put it in and a spoon.

(Just wondering, why would you make dinner, put it on the table, and then go take a long walk without eating it? Is that just a bear-thing? If so, I'm thankful I'm not a bear.)

I'm thankful I have a telephone so I could call Jay (not quite so thankful to hear him answer with his mouth full of fire house Thanksgiving dinner) and remind him that I'm thankful for him. His response was, "Yeah, yeah, I'm thankful for you, too, honey, and I'll call you back when we're done eating." Rub it in, darling (eye roll).

But it was a reminder that this day isn't about the food I'm not eating, but about giving thanks for what I do have. (I had cheesy eggs and a homemade biscuit, and they were quite yummy.)

I'm thankful that I can sit on massive mounds of oak leaves with our pets and feel the sun on my face.

Facebook is filled with photos of my friends and relatives getting together with their friends and relatives, and I'm thankful they welcome me into their lives long-distance. It makes me smile to see their pictures. And knowing them is another reason for gratitude.

I'm thankful that I can focus on giving thanks to God all day without human (or culinary) distractions. I'm alone with Him, so He gets all of my attention today.

That's why some of my best holidays are when Jay is working, and I have to focus on the real reason for the celebration. 'Jesus and me' is enough.

I'm extremely thankful that I'm not named Habakkuk. (Imagine that nickname. Habby? Kukky?)

But even Habakkuk was thankful:

Verse of the day: (Habakkuk 3:17-18) "
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!" 
And that is why I am having a happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Impossible to Buy for Men

It's impossible to buy gifts for men. Jay rarely wears ties and has plenty of socks (my standard gifts for my dad when I was growing up), and whenever I've asked what I can get him for a present, he's shrugged and replied, "Nothing. When I want something, I buy it myself." 

I love giving gifts, so his attitude has not deterred me. It has just made me try harder.

For example, when Jay goes camping, he often complains about the cold, so I came up with several amazing solutions. But Jay objected to every, single one. Here are a few things that he assured me that, upon receiving, he would set ablaze at the fire department for fire suppression training. Proving that he is a difficult, difficult man.

Not only would he be warm and cozy, but this practical gift would render him invisible to forest predators. And the added bonus is that it would keep bugs from flying up his nose!

And if he wanted to hide in a puddle, he could wear this one!

Jay, to my disgust, shot both options down.

But being the persistent and wonderful wife that I am, I persevered.

I thought more color might appeal to him. I even discovered a matching option for me!

photo from Wild Flower Dyes on etsy.com
photo from Wild Flower Dyes on etsy.com

See how happy these two people look? We could look like them, too!
Well, except that I don't camp.

Or frolic in the woods in long johns.

Or get high.

But if I did, then I am utterly convinced that this would be the thing to wear!

But Jay, otherwise known as Captain Picky Pants (don't tell him I called him that.), flatly refused to even consider my selection.

Finally, after hours of desperate searching, I discovered the preeminent gift.

The incomparable gift.

The inimitable gift.

True perfection in giving.

Undeniably the BEST GIFT EVER!

A knit onesie. In sage green, to match his eyes and the woodland beauty of the forest.


To my utter surprise, he had such a negative reaction that I won't even describe it (especially since this is a family blog).


From now on, I'm only buying him socks and ties.

I can't wait to see his beaming face full of joyful gratitude when he rips the wrapping paper off of his gifts to find these beauties:


Verse of the day: (Colossians 2:7) "Let your roots grow down into Him and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." I read this verse to Jay and he pointed to the man in the knit onesie and remarked, "That guy is hiding his face and clenching both of his fists. 'Overflow with thankfulness' that you have enough sense to not buy that thing for me."

Camo unisuits can be purchased at www.amazon.com
Knit onsie can be purchased (at your own risk) at http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/full-body-sweater
Sponge Bob bow tie can be purchased at www.etsy.com


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Who Does Facebook Think You Are?

I don't mind Facebook putting ads on the side of the screen since they don't charge for using their service. However, I'm a bit confused about the ads they choose for me.

In the beginning they posted "Older men looking for sexy women over 50." I'm not near 50, let alone over 50! How many wrinkles do I look like I have in my photos? And why would I be lured by the thought of "older men" finding me sexy? Is Facebook convinced that I'm unappealing to men my own age?

The ad column eventually added "Medical Miracle Cures for Obesity!" and "How to Lose Belly Fat with One Weird Trick." So, they not only think I look older than I really am, but they also are of the opinion that I desperately need to lose weight.

If my advanced age and considerable size weren't enough to fret about, the other day I was shown
ads for "Facial Hair Grooming Kits" and "The Art of Shaving."

How Facebook sees me
How I see myself

Apparently they also believe my hairline is receding because then I was sent cures for baldness and helpful hints on how to hide extreme hair loss.

Those were followed by "Sexy Club Dresses--$10!"

And then "How to Cope with a Loss of Bladder Control."

Well, now I know why Facebook advises me to go for older men. Only men with limited faculties would find
a balding, bearded, urine-soaked woman in a cheap, hoochie dress remotely sexy.

It could be worse. 

I have a girlfriend who gets ads for prostate health.

Verse of the day: (Matthew 16:15-16) “'But what about you?' (Jesus) asked. 'Who do you say I am?' Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.'” Peter got the answer perfectly right.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Happy Chicken Lady Day (Yes, It's a Real Holiday)

When Jay first told me that he wanted backyard chickens, I thought it was a phase and hoped that if I ignored it, he'd move on to something else. However, he persisted. Finally, I told him, "Honey, I don't like birds and I don't like eggs, but I really like you, so I won't protest if you get them."

If you've read my post Daylight Nightlight, then you know that one of the conditions of getting hens was that we would do whatever we could to make their life enjoyable (which led to the heat lamp fiasco). 

You also know from my post Hidden Hen Hazards, that I can occasionally take things too far.  

At various times in a chicken's life, she moults. This means the old feathers fall off and are replaced with new feathers. The birds usually look half-naked and, since feathers are made of protein, they stop laying eggs as they grow new feathers. Our chickens have a large yard in which to find plenty of protein-rich worms and bugs, so they grew feathers back as quickly as they lost them and never stopped laying.

This past winter, however, we had more snow than usual, so the bugs were few and the worms were deep in the hard ground. Our girls began to look a little scraggly, so I decided to supplement their diet with meal worms.

In the beginning, I was freaked green looking at all the photos of dried, freeze-dried, and live worms on-line as I shopped for the best prices, but out of love of our sweet biddies, I persevered. 

It was rather late when I read the blog of a man who raises his own meal worms.

Me: Jay, listen to this. He keeps them in his living room! Ewww!

Jay (half asleep): That's nice.

Me (still reading): Oh, he keeps them indoors because they need a temperature of least 70 degrees. How warm is our shed in the winter?

Jay (yawning): Not nearly that warm. It's not insulated.

Me (perusing further): He keeps them in a plastic bin with wheat bran for food and apple slices for moisture. He says they're an incredibly cheap source of protein for chickens.

Then I actually asked: Do we have an empty plastic bin somewhere?

Seriously! Someone help me!

If we don't have $7.99 for a bag of freeze dried meal worms, then our chickens will just have to run around half-naked until their feathers fill in.

Because I'm not one of those crazy people who would breed meal worms in her living room for her chickens!

But I am one of those people who would consider knitting them little sweaters until their feathers grow back...

Photo credit: happyvalleycrafters.com

Photo credit: lorainestevens.co.uk

Come on, aren't they cute? Or have I gone off the deep end again? I've lost my ability to tell.

Verse of the day: (Proverbs 12:10a) The righteous care about the needs of their animals..." Jay protests otherwise, but clearly chicken sweaters fall under the category of animal "needs." Which makes me, obviously, more righteous than Jay. Please pray for him to be enlightened.

For two other chicken stories, see "Hidden Hen Hazards" and "Daylight Nightlight." 

Since writing the above post, I've been made aware that a wonderful and magical place called Circle A Hardware (who knew a hardware could be magical?) is selling chicken harnesses! 
Don't have their website, but their # is 225-567-5453
Can you imagine Jay taking a walk with two dogs and four chickens on leashes? I can! 

He says he can't. He has no imagination. 

Which means I really, really need to buy the harnesses. 

To assist his underactive imagination. 

Because I'm helpful.

Helping those who are lacking is a good thing.