The Seasons and I

© Jeanne E Webster All rights reserved

 

Gentle rains sprinkled their drops
Upon your seeds of infancy;
You burst forth in innocent rapture
Richly adorned with velvet greens.

Warm rays of sunshine soothed your bosom;
You sparkled with bright colorful displays.
Mature and strong were your gestures,
Fulfilling your designated plan.

Rustling in with cool, dry breezes
Autumn interrupted your attempt at glory,
Fading away your majestic beauty,
Leaving you stooped, wrinkled and grey.

Abruptly entered cold, harsh winter,
Drawing to a close the role you played,
Blanketing you in pure, white finery

For
Services
Rendered…
Such are the seasons and I.

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!

 

Winter is for the Birds!

Flying birds

Aargg!

© 2011 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 black birds 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 black birds 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!

Saturday Ponderings

flatiron

© 2011 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

.

A Saturday has crept up on us again. Where’d the week go? It’s snowing here in Illinois, got about 3 inches out there. It’s so white outside, you could hang out your white linens and never find them again… till spring anyway.

Speaking of hanging clothes outside, remember the old ways of doing laundry… summer, fall, winter and spring? Some of us had wringer washers while others cooked their clothes in a huge pot. Nevertheless, winter was the biggest challenge. The clothes would be hung out on the line till frozen stiff, sometimes with icicles, and then we’ve drag them into the kitchen near the old wood stove and hang them over chairs or racks or stood them in the corner till they dried, which sometimes took days. We’d put newspapers down to sop up the moisture and protect the hardwood floors.

When the laundry had finally dried, we began the grueling task of ironing. Generally, everything was ironed, from sheets and pillowcases to bib overalls and underwear.  Most labor intensive were the starched items. You had to fire up the stove and boil water, put it into a bowl and mix in some starch and stir it up real good. Then you gathered the items to be starched and sprinkled them with water, sprayed some starch on them then fired up the heavy old flat-iron and went to work. If you had no time to starch, you dampened the items, rolled them up in a wad and stuffed them in the icebox or fridge till you were ready for them. No wonder people stayed slimmer back then; ironing would work up a good sweat on most anyone. Wow, the old times were a challenge!

We’ve gotten the chores done already and don’t you know, it’s almost noon already. Half the day is gone, used up, spent, out the window. I tackled the laundry and got the bedding washed and put back on the beds, made a lemon meringue pie, put my face on and said good morning to the world. Seems like it’s taking longer to do that every day. If I rose earlier in the day, it perhaps wouldn’t be almost noon by the time I got chores done. However, if I did that, I would be tired from not having enough sleep. Guess it’s basically a wash. (Get it…a wash!)

Oh well, back to Saturday. For lunch we finished the fish chowder from last night’s supper, ate our little cups of yogurt, and had weight watcher fudge bars for dessert. We’ll starve until supper at five. Plan to have baked codfish with a large tossed salad and coleslaw on the side, lemon pie for dessert. Then it’s off to bed after some thrilling TV show about some women being ripped apart from the monster man, her body disemboweled, buried in a foil wrapper and stuffed into some charcoal burner in some national park somewhere in the United States of America. Makes me want to sleep really well, huh?

Why do movie or television writers frequently portray women as victims? Horrendous crimes are repetitively sprung upon them; must be a mental deficit and/or have hatred towards the opposite sex. Many times the plot is about a marriage gone badly; so the husband chooses death by strangling, poison, shooting, or stabbing versus a quickie divorce in Arizona! Hmmm. Why does the woman always have to be killed, tortured, maligned, or butchered? Are we that obnoxious to society?

Anyway, I have had my fill of watching programs that glorify, promote, or focus on cruelty towards women. You see advertisements against animal cruelty projecting sad-looking faces of dogs and cats peering through the bars of cage after cage, all looking for a forever home. They’ve been through the mill, beaten, starved, bred out, gamed, or thoroughly stomped on. Yes, it gets to my heart but not as much as knowing that there are women out there getting nearly the same treatment. Maybe we could advertise; have women’s faces behind living room windows, looking disheveled, beaten, black-eyed, thoroughly stomped on, with pleading eyes staring blankly at the camera, begging for love, compassion, or kindness of some kind, looking for a forever home. Would that help? Hmmm.

Well, gotta go. The sun has come out, the snowy scenery looks bright, and the plow truck went by. How’s that for a good Saturday? Have a great day. See you tomorrow…

(reblog)

Aah . . .Tumn

Fall Leaves on Branch

©2013 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

 

Hot arid airs

Fill autumn days

Stifllin’ up senses

Stuffin’ up noses.

 

Cicadas buzz electric

Gnats whirl swirls

Skunk skits skulk

Midnight closes.

 

Spiders spin maze

Doilies atop grasses

Hornets stick nests

Split eaves affix.

 

Pine cones sprout

Squirrels scout out

Butterflies flit fit

Dip, flip their kix.

 

Coon-littered roads

Bug-smeared cars

Bloated dead bodies

Life long gone.

 

Trees scale leaves

Prelude music cue

Winter trumps flat

Life’s like that!

 

 

 

 

 

Henny Penny Muffins

Macro shot of butter melting on a sliced veryb...

Image via Wikipedia

This is so yummy on a cold winter day!

  • 1/4 Cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 Cup chopped onion
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if on a low sodium diet or replace with sea salt)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 Cups leftover cooked chicken, diced

Sift flour, salt & baking powder into medium bowl and mix well.  Set this aside.  Cook celery and onion in butter until golden brown.   Combine eggs, milk, chicken, and the browned celery/onion mixture.   Add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring quickly until ingredients are just moistened.  Too much stirring will toughen the batter. 

Bake in greased muffin pans in hot oven, 425 degrees, about 15 minutes.  Makes 1 1/2 dozen muffins.  Serve warm with lots of hot chicken gravy.  (diced turkey can be used as well)