But I Could Catch the Biggest Bull Frogs

© Jeanne E Webster All rights reserved

Thank you, Lord, for Mom and Dad,
My angelic grandma I loved so.
Abundant sustenance all my life,
Safe environments in which to grow.

I respected my brothers and sisters,
Though we fought like cats and dogs.
We played and wrestled and got dirty
…I could catch the biggest bull frogs.

You gave me a sound body and mind;
I learned well to read and write.
Mostly I behaved quite proper;
A few wrongs but tried to do right.

Summer time we got rounded up
One year for that Bible school;
Met this gentle young man, Jesus,
Who taught me the Golden Rule.

He’s led me down life’s pathway,
Soothed my heart and hell-bound soul.
Cleaned me up one side and another;
Dug me out of that dark, deep hole.

The loving heart you gave me, Lord,
I used for lost sisters and brothers
That forgiving spirit was harder to bear;
But you said we should love one another.

Oh, the wisdom in that there Bible,
The tools for us to use in our lives.
I’m finding new ones most every day,
‘especially joys from just being alive.

A thankful heart and loving spirit
Is my offering, Lord, back to you.
Reflecting a happier way of life,
And a heart that’s tried and so true.

FOILED


© Jeanne E Webster All Rights Reserved

I went shopping today for a few groceries and craft supplies. After loitering in the craft area for assorted items, I realized I was tiring and needed a rest room. The restroom came with explicit instructions on how to use the sink, water faucet and soap dispenser, and I was back out onto the main floor in just a few minutes.

One comment: I detest those self-flush toilets! I was “resting” on one of them that insisted I was finished every time I leaned forward just a tad bit. That gadget must have surprised many a rester.

Back to shopping, I pieced through the pet supplies aisle, picked out a few cans of dog food for my spaniel and a cuttlebone for my cockatiel.

Ahead was the sundry aisles . . . should have been a snap. I selected some room aromatics, a jug of laundry soap, a couple of mousetraps, and 12 rolls of toilet paper. Almost through, produce aisle awaits!

I am not a happy shopper. I detest the ordeal. Give me a list and I’ll go through a familiar store in no time flat. Usually; today was an exception. Perhaps I should not have shopped today, it being Sunday, the Lord’s Day.

In my previous life, we never went anywhere on Sunday, ‘cept church and Sunday school. We stayed home the rest of the day and read the Bible, sat outside in decent weather in the porch swing, watched the chickens go from yard corner to fence corner, kicking up lawn stubble as they searched frantically for bugs and more bugs.

Occasionally we were allowed to go swimming at the lake down the road apiece, if it was warm enough out. If it wasn’t warm enough, we would pitch stones across the water or look under rocks for fishing worms. Then, if that adventure was profitable enough, we’d do a little fishing from the bank of the pond next door to my uncle’s house. But we never, ever went shopping. We wouldn’t dare make anyone work on the Lord’s Day. No siree.

To get back to shopping, I was approaching the produce aisles, almost done with my ordeal in the store. I suddenly remembered I needed some aluminum foil, as I was in the midst of fixin’ Christmas recipes. I had already baked Gram’s filled cookies, a full charge of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, a batch of penuche fudge, and a new recipe of oatmeal cranberry bars. All I had left to bake was the old-fashioned sugar cookies, and maybe if everyone behaved, a batch of brownies with a great big Hershey bar in the middle of it for added effect.

I returned to the paper product aisle and found the foil. All I needed was one roll, and not the heavy type for roasting turkeys and such, just one roll of regular foil. So much for that.

There before my eyes on the shelves from top to bottom was FOIL: heavy-duty foil, 20 feet of foil, oiled foil, frosted foil, thin foil, 50 feet of foil, extra heavy duty foil, 200 feet of foil, 3 foot long foil, unoiled foil, brand name foil and store brand foil.

This is why I do not like to shop. I make a list, a simple list of standard things, no embellishment stuff or bells and whistles on it, just ordinary everyday things. You’d think a person could go into a store, walk over to the right shelf, pick out the item, and set it into the shopping cart. No major decisions; simple equations. Go on to the next item, select it and set it into the cart and in no time at all, you’re checking out at the register, walking out to the parking lot, in your car and, poof, you’re home again without a hitch.

But it doesn’t work that way and I know it. I don’t want to have to make decisions that materialize from the atmosphere within the store instead of my organized frame of mind in my own home. Too complicated.

I made it home with all my STUFF, unpacked it and put it away. The box of ungreased, unlined, non-perforated, non-heavy-duty, uncrinkled, 200 feet of Great Value Aluminum Foil currently resides in my cupboard. And that is that. Tomorrow I am going to bake.

Hoary Scritches

 

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved
.
A poem-a-day in the month of April?
Is a tad bit silly; goes better in May.
But an order here I will fulfill
About what or who I just can’t say.
.
The reader will have to wait in line
As the poet scritches the hoary head
Crossing the Ts and the words align
Wafting at play the slatey threads.
.
I whoof off those stringy cobwebs
Sit up straight and take a breath
Thoughts pop in, then out they ebb
Some alive, others scrubbed in death.
.
Cheerio! I say to anyone present
Read these lines and in between
We shall have daily times spent
A’ scribbling in this blogging scene.

A Rainy Fling

© Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved
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A little drop of rain, quite a dainty thing,

Can be a harbinger of a grand stormy fling.

Itty dribs of rain, combined a million times,

Slush themselves into a cloud-bursting chime.

Tiny raindrops tap, a pitty-patter prance,

Tinkling out a soft-shoe clicky-clacky dance.

Ploppy rain drops clomp, a splatty-slitty smash,

Thunking like men in a five hundred yard dash.

Rain is thirsted after like dry-on-dusty dirt

Showering the earth in teeny tiny squirts.

Eager eyes anticipate the end of the day

When that glorious rainbow films its display.

Hallelujah!

Where Did All the Pretties Go?

©  Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved

 

Hey, Ladies!

Life is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of arenas. For most women our first colorful formatting begins months before birth with the preparation of a cute little nursery containing a changing-table. We don’t remember but have seen photos and heard stories about it. It was loaded with all the “gotta-haves”: drawers stuffed with wash cloths, receiving blankets, undershirts, nightgowns, bibs and tons of diapers. The top was the cleanup and/or changing area, cluttered with jars of baby oil, baby powder, wipes, cotton swabs, baby lotion and the traditional tiny comb and brush.

Quickly outgrowing that scene, we shifted into the bright “I’m Mommy’s big girl now” table, strewn with Barbie dolls, stuffed dolls, dolls that walked & talked, dancing dolls, crying dolls, doll clothes of every sort and color, crayons and colored pencils, paper doll cut-outs, coloring books, little reading books and an oversized doll house for little people in-residence, for a while.

With the passage of a bye-bye rummage sale for our doll collection, we splished & splashed into teen-hood with a vanity table, full mirror, and racks of makeup products meant to dazzle. Included were lipsticks, vials of powder and liquid makeup, and tubes of that oh-so-sexy black mascara. Jars of Noxzema face cream and acne preparations were utilized as restorative agents. Extra-essential items were perfumes, the latest deodorants, photos of boyfriends sealed with a kiss of the reddest lipstick we could find, hand mirrors with a flip zoom lens to get those back-of-our-fancy-hairdos shots, and the ever present bobby pins and hair clips to control stray unmanageable hairs.

A few years after high school graduation, our sparkling vanity table lost its luster due to the addition of a wonderful husband and vibrant children. We had parted easily with the radiating frills of yesteryear to concentrate on family. The table now spun a different scene, and old photos were long gone along with the acne preps. Maybe the two were connected in some way? Hair curlers, perm rods, scarves and lots of hair products played their parts now: sprays, softeners, firmers, high lighters and ultra-controllers. With a growing family, we had less time to color, as family was our main priority and love.

The middle-age vanity table made its entrance years later with a slowing down of the sparkling revolutions. Crisp, clean crocheted table scarves and miniature lamps with smokestack-looking shades replaced the shake rattle and roll view. A lighted makeup mirror was added to help repair damaged areas due to the aging process. Makeup flavors were fewer now, with experimental periods dismissed to settle in with our favorites. Less time was spent sitting at the table as we became enraptured with soap operas, chatting with friends on the phone, or playing spin the bottle with the garden jewels.

Life had thrilled us with such brilliant, beautiful extracts to hold dear!  All too soon we waken to a small bedside table holding a glass of water, 6 bottles of prescription medicines, two or three cough drops, a cell phone, TV remote, a small flashlight and an old miniature table lamp.

Where did the all the pretty’s go? Time has changed things from the frills to the basic essentials so quickly! Enjoy life; it passes by with hardly a whimper or shout. To LIFE!

Hang on Tight ……..Aging in Process

 

I must confess:

+

I’m getting older…and feeling it too.

I painted our dining room walls…only got halfway done.

I get up early in the morning…but still don’t finish my chores.

I walk miles on a treadmill…but still don’t lose enough pounds;

I ride a recumbent bike…that doesn’t help much either.

I have fun now with exercises for my brain…don’t even need a bike!

I cook most everything from scratch…keeping the sodium and calories down.

I vacuum the carpets and mop the floors…my hair drips with drops of sweat.

I start one project…then forget two others, or was it start two and forget one.

I make a grocery list…then leave it at home.

I need more time to think up a poem or story…so write it down quickly before I forget.

I wash and dry my clothes carefully…but they still shrink.

I could sew, crochet, knit, or craft all day…but rheumatoid arthritis is slowing me down.

I used to put on makeup—lipstick and eye stuff…but it doesn’t satisfy anymore.

I used to kneel in my bedroom to pray…the knees complain too much now.

I still do spring-cleaning in the house…but it takes all spring time to do it.

I had no problem with reading…now I need glasses and a good strong light.

I must have the house real cool for sleeping…hangover probably from the change of things.

I used to hear a whisper a mile away…now I go for the close-ups or repeats.

I used to love to hang out the wash…smelled great but hard on the hands.

I am noticing that technology is changing too fast…it takes me longer to grasp the knack.

I tremble at the closeness of the world today…too many people with no place to go.

I sense the undercurrent anger stewing in people…this breeds coldhearted characters.

I find myself reading the obits in the paper…even though I don’t know too many people here.

I find myself having to take pills everyday…never was a good swallower.

I find young people are looking too young…to be starting a family.

I find the list too long of my great-grandchildren…hard to remember all those birth dates.

I find myself more grateful I can still drive…I value my independence greatly.

I find aging to be a literal pain…and I will be kicking and screaming, but smiling all the way.

 

See you in another ten years for an update on this!

Jeanne

Oh No! They’re Baaack!

 

©  Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

Wintertime is an excellent season to get to know your neighbors… the birds.  Buy a couple of feeders, a big bag of seed and prepare to be “up close and personal” with some flighty feathered friends.  I’ve been feeding birds for many years and it’s thoroughly enjoyable.  Takes the drab wintry blues out of the picture and gives you bragging rights at the Tuesday night bingo game.

To give you a little heads up, here are the names of some birds that visit feeders: sophisticated cardinals, brazen blue jays, bubbly chickadees, sprightly goldfinches, unassuming Carolina wrens, drabby house sparrows, lively titmouse, hot-pink purple house finches, guarded nuthatches, red-chested grosbeaks, vigilant red-bellied woodpeckers, fickle downy woodpeckers, nervous hairy woodpeckers, and the dowdy strutting mourning doves.  Fill your feeders and sit back to enjoy nature’s finest.

…err, what’s that out there?  Those darn starlings and blackbirds are back!  Aargg!

It is most frustrating to purchase feeders and seed only to peer out your kitchen window and see a flock of these nuisance birds!  They hog the seed, scare away the good birds, don’t get the hint that they’re not welcome, and they don’t take no for an answer!  I’ve tried different feeders, thinking that would at least prevent the “hogs” from gobbling up the seed.  No, they didn’t work.  I’ve yanked open the kitchen door and shooed them away…they’re back before I’m resettled in my chair.  My husband says he’ll shoot them for me…I don’t think so!  (That must be a guy thing)

Today I tried a different strategy.  I bought some scratch feed containing flecks of corn and all the trash seeds and poured a huge pile of it way, way out back, figuring they would be so busy eating that stuff, they’d leave the more expensive seed alone.  My little “guys” would get to eat in peace.  Nope.  The blackbirds put out the word that there was more seed than usual and invited more of their kin.   They are presently making short work of ALL the seed.  I’d tie my two spaniels out there if that would scare the birds off, but the dogs are so spoiled their feet would freeze and I’d look out and see them rolled over on their backs like dead cockroaches.

You know, I think those blackbirds are smart.  They have it all figured out.  They fly from yard to yard, checking out the neighborhood.  Then they leave a lone sentinel posted in a tree to check for any new additions to the bird feeders.  I refused to refill my feeders this morning and watched in horror and guilt as my favorites sat in the bushes in subzero temps waiting for me to feed them.  I peeked out several times to check for blackbirds and finally after no sightings for a few hours, I relented and refilled the seed.  I hadn’t completely thawed myself out from that exertion before I noted the brats were back.  I was steamed!  Not on my watch!  Not in my neighborhood!  Yeah, right.

Right here and now the good Lord blessed me with an attitude adjustment.  “Remember my parable of the wheat and the tares?”  (Matt. 13:24-30)

Sure, Lord, what does that have to do with blackbirds?

“Pray on it a little and you’ll see.”

After a short review, my memory revealed the facts.  This parable is about a man who worked hard all day sowing wheat in his field, and while he slept that night, his enemy came and sowed weeds among his wheat.  His servants discovered them while cultivating the wheat and told their master their discovery.  They were determined to yank out the weeds but the master told them not to do that.  He explained that if they were to pull up the weeds, the wheat would be uprooted also.  “Let them both grow together and when it is harvest time, then we’ll gather the weeds first and burn them.  The wheat will then be gathered into the barn.” 

I followed instructions and prayed about the situation a little.  The revelation came quickly:  leave the blackbirds alone and in due time, they will be taken care of by the Lord.  In the meantime, enjoy the good birds.

Got it, Lord!