Thursday, April 30, 2009

a self sermon

So I think to myself a lot. I find that I am a great sounding board, so I plan and compose things in my head, sometime saying snippets out loud to get the feel for them. Besides assuring that I get so zoned in that I tune everyone else out, and get strange looks when I suddenly start talking to myself, this leads me down some interesting paths of thought.

The other day during my devotions, I was thinking. (I know, I'm so terrible to be wandering around in my head when I should be reading, studying, praying, etc) Anyway, I was thinking that my relationship with God is not what it should be. I mean I've heard sermons all my life about how God is the friend you have with you at all times, and the one you can talk to whenever. But it still seems like He's the friend I have on speed dial. Just a call away, but think before you disturb Him. I find myself checking how late it is "Hey God. Did I wake you up?" or the current state of the world. "Just wanted to pop in and say hi! know your really busy right now what with wars and elections and all. Give me a call back when you get some free time."

Then my thoughts shifted to how much I take my relationship for granted. It's like I've always been a Christian, and sometime I just forget. I sought in my mind for something to compare it with, you know, just in case someone walked along and asked me what I was thinking. My hair, I thought. My relationship with God is like my hair. Its there all the time, but its not something you think about all the time. Like sometime I forget what exact color my hair is. No i thought, that's no good, I mean your suppose to work daily to keep up your relationship with God. Hair is not a good comparison. And then the other side of my brain said, sure it is. You comb your hair everyday. If you don't take the time for it one day, it looks a bit frizzy. But if you leave your hair alone for to long, pretty soon its full of tangles and snarls, its dirty and just looks horrible.

Then I came out of my head and laughed at myself. What a perfectly useless sermon illustration I thought, you loose half of your congregation on that one. How many guys really comb their hair every day? And with a small shake of my head I put aside my momentary ministerial aspirations, and went back to my Bible reading, trying not to let myself be distracted again.

From a book of perfectly useless information

A guide to Different Political Systems

Communism - You have two cows. The government takes both and gives you a little sour milk

Fascism - You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk

Bureaucracy- You have two cows. To register them, you fill in twenty-three forms in triplicate and don't have time to milk them.

Socialism- You have two cows. The government takes one of them and gives it to your neighbor.

Feudalism -You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

Democracy- You have two cows. A vote is held, and the cows win.

Environmentalism- You have two cows. the government bans you from milking or killing them.

Libertarianism- Go away. What I do with my cows is none of your business.

Capitalism- You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Surrealism- You have two porcupines. The government invites you to take cello lessons.

childhood flashback

So I'm riding in the car with my father today, and typical him, he can't just drive, no he has to multitask by talking on the phone. Well, that's not really new, however the car we're in is. New to us, not new really. And its a stick shift. So right in the middle of my wandering thoughts, his voice changes, directed at me, and says,"straight down".

The adult in me panics. What? What does that mean? Meanwhile, the child somewhere inside, instantly reaches out and jerks the gear shift straight down. Just like I use to do when I rode with dad, oh about twelve years ago. It scared me then, and I have to say it scares me now. I never really knew what I was scared of back then. I also really didn't know what the purpose of shifting was. I just was afraid that if I did it wrong the car would, well break. But now, I worried that I would miss third and land in reverse while traveling down the road at speed in excess of . . . forty miles an hour!

I didn't miss third, and I soon discovered that, even though I don't know how to drive a stick per say, I do understand the principle, so I soon learned to watch the foot that was on the clutch and he didn't even have to tell me where to shove the lovely little stick. And I only missed once. (from second to fifth because I overshot third.)

Anyway, it was. . . interesting to travel down the road, feeling seven or eight again. Who knows, next time (and knowing my dad there's sure to be a next time) I might even remember to shift back to first when we come to a stop.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

becoming a morning person

I have never really been a morning person. I can get up whenever I want to, no problem. 5:oo am, 7:oo am 2:oo pm no problem, I'm wide awake when I need to be, and sound asleep otherwise. So its not a problem of waking up, but rather getting up. I find that no matter when I set the alarm, if I don't' have to be somewhere, I'm gonna hit snooze.

But recently, God's been dealing with me about my devotions. Not in them, sadly, but about them. You see, they are not so regular, not so helpful. I do them at night. I have no problem staying awake to read, but again, sadly mostly I am trying to finish that new book, or my latest re-read. I find that while I can stay up till 3 in the morning for fiction, I often completely forget to do my devotions.

So God gentle suggested that I do them in the morning. For the past few days I have gotten up early, grab breakfast and coffee, and sat on the back patio having my devotions. I have to say, thanks God, that was a great idea. I feel refreshed, not only from spending my morning with God, but also from being awake. I feel better throughout the day, not only from having fresh truths to apply to life, but from rising early, and not having that icky-I-slept-way-to-long-and- the-day-is-half-gone feeling. I get so much more done.

I am quite frankly, much happier.

And hey, I realize that it's only been two days, but still, things are looking better than they have for a while. I think God has used my natural tendencies to help me along. You see, I have this dog, that gets up early and starts barking. Which means I get a phone call from mom or dad, telling me to get out there and persuade him to stop. I have some chickens who are also early risers, who like to be fed early as well. And the rabbits, and the garden needs water of a morning before the suns to high.

By the time I feed all the animals, I wide awake. No sleeping through the book of psalms. And while I water, I find its a good time to reflect or pray. I don't know why, but it still amazes me how God can take the things in a persons life and use them to help us along. He can make the dragging weight into an anchor, turn the tailspin into a new direction.

I know I've got a long way to go, but with Gods help, and prayers from all my friends, I think, well I think I just might make it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Today I am thankful for. . .

Fish- and that they need so little care.

Flowers- I think that God must especially love spring time.

Sunburns- because any color is better than white

Work- because many people can't say that

Friends- 'cause they are totally cool, even though I don't see them that much

Characters- 'cause they make life, and my job interesting

Beauty- which I see all around, read every day, taste at each meal, and which makes the world worth living in.

Forgiveness- a concept only God could have come up with

Patience - a concept only God can perfect

Love- a concept only God can understand

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

pet updates

1. Chickens are finally big enough to tell apart. One rooster, nine hens. Lucky. His name is King Ranch Chicken (Rooster technically). The only other one with enough personality to warrant a name is the smallest blk one. Chicken Little.

2. Mocha is dead, not sure how it happened. Letha fell apart when she found out. On my shoulder. Tried not to laugh. Did pretty well I thought.

3. Sydney has been adopted! Oh happy day. To a family right down the street. (we have a running wager how soon she'll escape and be back home.0

4. Cowboy is forlorn without Sydney and so turns to a exciting career as an escape artist. He's good, but can you really call it talent when he so big he just leans on the door, and all the latches, wires, bricks, etc, give way and it swings open for him?

5. Bear is finally eating out of a bowl, a mixture of puppy milk and cat food. I am relived. Looking forward to a full night of sleep somewhere in the near future.

6. All other fish, rabbits, and cats are fine, or annoying whichever was their usual state.


1. plant garden /check
2. feed chickens /check
3. clean house /check

1. dig up garden /check
2. terrify chickens /check
3. tear up backyard /check

1. replant and fortify garden
2. fortify chicken coop
3. clean up back yard and fortify trash cans
4. fortify (possible cement) entire dog cage

Sunday, April 19, 2009

harsh truth

Wolf is dead. Enough said.

Bear is alive, and getting both steadily strong and sicker. (She gets bigger and eats more, but her eye infection spread, not a pretty picture.) some strong antibiotics and regular disinfecting are helping.

I need sleep.

My writing project is progressing slowly.

I miss my friends, GBS, Holiness people, English class, Chapel, Dr. Brown even (well sort of in a distant way.)

Of late I spend more time in my head than the "real world".
I try to look toward the future, but I am unable to see past tomorrow.

I predict that it will rain Monday, Thursday, and this weekend. Those are my days off
I predict that it will be sunny Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those are the days I work.
This has been the pattern for about two weeks.

I get up feed the dogs, rabbits chickens, fish (when I remember) and think about changing the name of my blog to Life on the Farm.
I work around the house and think about going to work.
I go to work and think about what I need to do at home.
I come home, sleep on the couch, get up every three hours and feed the puppy.

Tomorrow I will try to rent a tiller, and plant the squash, zucchini, and green beans that I started in the green house.
I will also plant some flowers Letha and I started, and the Marigold seeds we saved from last year.

I have not seen Tiffany since Tuesday night.
I miss her.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

If I were on a desert Island . . .

I would want to have, (besides those things which everyone expects you to have)

`at least three books (I suppose one of them should be the Bible)

`large notebook and pencils (I would write very small)

`a six pack of cream soda (possible Jones)

`a cat? (comfort, companionship, dinner)

`some ponytail holders (I for one cannot deal with that whole castaway, dirty, stringy hair.)

`a comfy chair (or a squishy couch)

`a large blanket (one of those six foot things that actually covers your feet.)

With that I could entertain myself for a good long while.

And now, not that you care, you know.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

here we go again . . .

I had thought that my days as puppy nursemaid were over, but I received a phone call from my father this morning at 6:26 to tell me that Sydney had killed all but two puppies and Jocilyn was about beside herself. Could I come down and help? So here I am again, just finished with the second feeding, getting ready to do it again in another hour or so, and I've been pooped and peed on, which is encouraging since the last two had trouble with bowl movements, but not exactly what you want to wake up to.

I have tagged each puppy (I cant say named, since mom will get me for becoming to attached), anyway, I call the one Bear, because that's what she looks like. I turn her on her back to feed her, and she looks just like a little bear cub. She has been given a poor chance of survival, because she has an eye infection, and several cuts to her nose/ head. The second puppy is Wolf, because that's what she sounds like. I turn her on her back to feed and she arches her head up and howls. She has been given a fifty-fifty chance of survival because she has no visible wounds and a pair of lungs that would shame an opera singer. Even as I type she is doing her things, which is a short aroo over and over. She has not stopped since 6:30 this morning.

And so goes life on the farm, whether they live or die, or whether their around for years or days, animals always seem to make some impact on your life.
Sydney just after delivery, with all the orignial batch of eleven.

The monster mutt looking desptively calm and somewhat small.

Basil (named for a Brian Jacques character it is pronouced as the English would have it, Baa zle)

Chai (obviously red chai)

The chicken/rabbit, cage/hutch

The "Ideal 236" in the bird cage

The Dominque chickens in their little box

Monday, April 13, 2009

a medium size post

*I have added two rabbits to my growing little farm, and continue on the quest for ducks.

*I attempted to bottle feed two sick puppies through the night but was unsuccessful they now rest with their three brothers and sister who went before them. Out of a litter of eleven we have six left. I may have to shoot Sydney before this is over with, as she is not even the least bit interested in them and has actually tried and succeeded in killing some of them. (the aforementioned two.)

*I spent a pleasant night amongst my friends at the house of a former employer of mine, a currant employer of Leanna. We stayed up late watching movies, and had a cream soda tasting.

*I am completely obsessed with cream soda at the moment, I buy all the different brands I can find (mostly from Jungle Jim's) and try them one by one. I have tasted about a dozen different varieties with at least three more in my fridge. I have all the regular types from Jungle Jim's, and will have to start looking for a new source.

*I am making great progress with the ever so mistrustful Oliver, my cat, whom I received as a Christmas present from Tiffany, I have yet to lay hands on him, mostly because I am fond of my hands, such as they are. He does however walk about the room while I read at night, and yesterday afternoon as I lay reading on the floor, he actually came slinking up and sniffed my hand! I thought I would faint away. He still runs when I walk toward him, which I do only when he is blocking the exit of my room, but I continue to worm my way into his heart by buying canned food as a treat, and stocking my room which enough cat toys to make all the strays in Cincinnati very happy. I keep a cat play set in my room, a scratching thing, and a bag of catnip. I am confident of success, however long it takes.

*My dogs continues to escape on occasion, though I can tell his heart is not really in it and he just wants the attention. His bark collar continues to test my Christianity, as I have paid a good deal for it, and know it works when it is on, but when the collar is on, the shock box, falls off, and when the box is on, the collar comes loose. I have bought nuts and bolts, lock washers, and zip-it-strips, and I cannot get the confounded things to stay together.

*My chickens grow. My rabbits are becoming more tame. I have an established pet feeding routine, even if I have not got a set time yet. Feed the dog, feed the chickens and rabbits, feed the cat if he needs it, and . . . blast it all, I forgot to feed the fish . . . again. I have written a note on my hand in hopes of remembering, but I do not worrying to much, they seem to be hardy little fish and neither my neglect nor the changing weather has had an effect on them.

*In short, my life continues much the same. I am out of school this term, but I hope to work more. I still need to practice for my driving test. I have a little writing project I plan to work on, and in my off time, Dad still needs help at the restaurant. I helped him grout the other day, and it was kinda nice to be back working with my hands, getting dirty. I like to be able to see what I have accomplished and know that it will remain there for others to see. I never did like paperwork to much. (Oh no! I think I may have ink on my chin from leaning on my palm while rereading the post. Dumb little fish note!)

*I fear my medium size post has turned into a long one, and I apologize to you who have kept slogging through it all to come to this conclusion. For those of you who gave up halfway through I have no pity, but also no hard feelings, after all, it is just as likely that I have skim read some of your blog as well. And with that I will say goodnight, and return to my paperwork.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

what's with that. . .

Spring thou art a fickle thing.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a little bit of my . . .

Since my last post my life has been fairly busy. My school term has come to a close. I have taken my vacation/spring break. I have built my chickens a coop and hen house, and taken my dog on a very tiring walk.

For those of you with little time, the previous has been a summation of the post which will follow. You will miss little if you quit reading now.

Ha ha. There is some evil little revenge in that word. Someone had a lot of fun thinking up that one. A time of relaxation and fun, spent with family and friends to escape the pressures of everyday life. Then why does a vacation cause more headaches than almost any other function? spark tension in the most loving friends and family? and generally leave one more tired than when one left for the thing? We were suppose to go to North and South Carolina originally, to visit family. That fell through, so we considered going camping. To cold. Finally we planned to take off just for a few days and head up to see Niagara Falls, the whole family, and Brit. As soon as our plans were set, they called for a snow storm and other nasty weather up that way. Soooo, we ended up heading out to South Carolina, then coming back up to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in kind of a drive-by/hit-and-run style. It was mostly fun, but I was bummed Tiff didn't get to go, and driving through the mountains always makes me car sick and crabby.

Well, lets just say I'm at that point where I just don't care any more. In my mind I resign myself to flipping hamburgers for the rest of my life and determine to quite for good. Of course I won't, being much to sensible for that, but its nice to dream. :) So I have missed several days of school this term on account of travel, funeral, and just plain laziness. I had thought to add last Thursday to that list as well, since we got back only late on Wed. but some nagging little voice said that I ought to go. Lucky me! When I got to class I realized that I had misread the syllabus and today was the last day of class. I had to take three test and present a project in art class. It was a long day needless to say, but still, thank you God for that nagging little voice.

Can't live with them, so I found out, and I thought I couldn't live without them. Oh yes, I just had to have chickens. They are so cute! as chicks anyway. But little chicken grow to big smelly hens. (mine are not big smelly hens yet but somewhere in between.) I had house my chickens temporarily in a knocked-together cage in my little used back hallway till I could get a coop built. Wow was that a dumb idea. With all the running around I hadn't had time to work on the cage, and the chickens smelled worse everyday, despite my cleaning. Finally once we got back I could take no more and so coerced my Dad into helping me finish the incomplete structure. Well mostly. Once things had gotten along fairly well, He had to leave, and I was forced to finish it alone. I have worked with my Dad most of my life on this kind of thing, but I am still no great shakes with a saw, so forty five cuts later, I had my chickens hen house door cut. Between breaking drill bits, missing hammers, and contrary wire, it was a job, but it did get done, and last night my chickens spent there first night in their new home. Yeah me!

Why I ever thought I wanted one I don't know. I am a cat person. It wasn't until my dog began racking up medical bills that I remembered that. And now I have shelled out so much that I refuse to get rid of him or let him die. He will live and be made into a good dog, or else!! To that end, I have begun his leash training. I'll admit it is touch and go, more of a when I have the time things than a regularly scheduled thing. His new talent of breaking and exiting has led me to believe that vigorous exercise, and a completely concrete pen are the answer. Until I can afford that much concrete, I have begun the exercise. OK just one day, but it worked well. With the whole family gone to an old friends for dinner, I still needed to get to the hardware store to get some hinges and latches for my chickens, so I leashed up the big brute and we took off on errands. First to the library to drop off some books and check to see if my holds had come in, (they hadn't) then to the Glassbarn for the hardware. Then on up to the Redding Feed Store to price some plants I need (want). Over and hour and a half later, we got home, and he was tired, to say the least. No escape attempts made so far. Tomorrow we shall do it again, but I think I'll get some roller blades and let him drag me. Then we won't have to go so far, and I wont be so tired when we get back.

So aside from a little yard work and reading, you are now completely caught up on my life in the past week or so. Aren't you so privileged?