Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Secret Handshake

It seems like lately has been a time of remembering.

Do you find that you have 'times of'? Spells of cleaning, DVDing, arting, chocolating?

What is that song from long long ago?

(just couldn't resist, just a thought pop.) I guess this really date's me like a stamp on milk.

I digress... my real memory is... I love poetry.

What was that wwwwhhhoosh? you let your breath out and rolled your eyes! That's it? you say.

Wellllll, not really, I like good poetry and, scrapbook poetry too of course, quick happy sweet smelling little snippets that make you want to make a card in their honor, feel good chirpy sunny sonnets.

But what I want to talk about is the kind of poetry that makes you think, the kind that you read and realize you feel like that, it's happened to you but you just couldn't quite put it all together in your brain, the fuzzy foggy wobbly thought that escaped.

In my office chair travels, I've happened across a chap named R o b e r t B r u c e who has corralled my attention. So far, I'm a fan, a really big fan in 10 minutes of reading and a big enough fan that I wanted to share him with you.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We know that he
worked as a carpenter
he gave it up to
tell stories
and generally
piss off people like me

We know that he
was a homeless man
his own bed
he relied on the
starry sky and the four walls
of friends and strangers
for brief moments of solitude
and rest from it all

We know that most of his
close friends ended very badly
tortured and executed
for association with the Jew
exiled to a distant island
plagued by terrible visions
in old age

We know that he
was not a social climber
to make powerful enemies
whenever he opened his mouth
he turned to the broke
dined with IRS agents
walked openly with hookers
sat too close to the sick
talked too long to the criminal

We know that he
was sold down the river
by one of his best friends
for around
twelve thousand
That he
spent his final years
on the run from the government
That he
turned down the desperately
hoped for plans of a Coup d'etat
That he
talked more than anyone else
about unfashionable things like hell

That he
willingly rode to his execution
on a borrowed ass
And yet we still believe
Jesus' main objective
through his hard living
and bloody slaughter
was to make you a
To make sure
That your life is
as comfortable as possible
That your kid
attends the right college
That your mortgage
is paid up
That your portfolio
is properly diversified
That your career
moves from success to success
That you are given due respect
for your efforts
And finally
that your confidence
in the Dollar, the Euro and the Yen
is so complete that it
blots out
any need
you may have once had
for hispresence

J e s u s Wa n t s T o Ma k e Y o u A Mi l l i o n a i r e
b y R o b e r t B r u c e
Jesus Wants To Make You A Millionaire is Copyright © 2007 Robert BruceThis PDF Broadside was published on May 9, 2007 by Knife Gun Pen Press

Now this is the one that sparked my fandom, and you all know I am a nut for things of God, but you must must must take a visit to his web page, his blog:

Because he's not a religious nut as I am. He does put it into words, and you are sort of amazed that someone can think it through and verbalize. ~ ;0)

One other thing that struck my fancy was this thought found:

She says,

"Let me see if I've got this right:All good art, by definition, conveys truth.

That is its purpose. But we're not talking about truths like "the grass is green" or "the sky is blue." We're talking about the truths that lie outside the material world, the truths that you'd have to have a soul to know about.
For example:

-All beauty and goodness has a living Source. In modern parlance, we call this source "God."
The closer we get to God, the closer we get to perfect joy.

-We have a strong tendency to drift away from God. Yet further away we get, the more unsettled and miserable we are.

-When other people drift away from God it makes our lives more difficult.

-The pleasures and comforts of the material world seem like they will make us happy, but don't.

-We love other people, but not as much as we should.

-Acts of evil are shocking offenses to the way things should be.

-There is evidence of God in the material world, and our hearts soar when we see it.

And so on. All of these conditions are true objectively (they're not "your truths" or "my truths"), all have been known in some way or another to every person who ever lived, and none can be discerned from the material world alone.
It delights us to share our experiences of these truths with our fellow human beings, because it creates a bond that surpasses our animal instincts and connects us at the level of the soul.

And that's where art comes in.

Art is the secret handshake of the children of God, the inside joke among those with souls. "

Happy thinking!

And finally...the new additions

Well they were out of chicks the day we bought all the supplies. We had to take a rain check on the day that we dropped the big bucks for our little memory for the grand kids, and there was some confusion as to how they were going to give us a rain check and make us happy. By confusion I mean a couple of sales people, and a manager. I don't know what the prob was, but somebody was just not speaking free chicks. Maybe they don't raincheck farm animals too often, I don't know.

Finally, we got our name on the list, our receipt in hand and the stars were back in our eyes, happily waiting for the day that those little eggs would hatch, and we would get our day olds.So on the day that the chickies were supposed to be in, we phoned the Grange and they said, sure the chicks are in.

So we were all a flutter (we can now give new meaning to that expression -yukyuk) and were super excited to get our new little babies, so we packed up the old little baby (our number 2 grandson) and ran out there. We found the first available chick getter and said, we're here for the peepers.

Well a chick is a chick to a phone answerer, and unless you specify FREE chick, OF COURSE some chicks are in. But if you want the free chicks, you have to wait until 4 OR 4:30. That is if the delivery is on time. Etc, yada yada. Well, the corners of my mouth turned due south, and my bottom lip protruded. We said OK, we'll call later and went home to put on some patience.

Well that face must have really done the trick because at 3:00 we got the call. That face, (downturned smile, lower lip protrudin, eyebrows crossed) is new to my old age, and it has been a bother to me before, you know, why am I seeing my father when I look in the mirror and why does my skin look like sandpaper etc. -Finally it serves me!. We were first on the list. So coats on again . Off we sped and we got the cutest little sweeties that you have ever seen. 2 black chickies and 3 brown chickies.

What kind you ask? 2 black and 3 brown. and cute. Those kind of chickies. I hope hope hope that they are all hens, because we love them all. They each have their own personality, and there is a pecking order. Funny! I wouldn't want anybody to eat one of them. So little birdies, please be all girls!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My funny life

Well, OK, I admit it, I just love going to curves. The company I keep there is so much fun. On a good day there's lots of conversation and lots of fun happy girls making those machines swoosh for our obligatory 3 rounds=30 minutes.

Usually I like to listen more than talk because my face turns beet red and I get out of breath, but today the conversation and the company jogged my memory when the chit chat turned to frog legs. How does the conversation turn to frog legs, you might ask and I might wonder, where was I storing this memory all these years? and...what else is hiding away. Well here's how the conversation went.

When I was a very little girl, I remember one time my dad had live frogs, big fat squichy live frogs, a whole smelly mess of them, and we were going to have frog legs for dinner. I don't remember much, (thank goodness?! the trauma!) How he came about getting them I'll never know, we were city suburb dwellers, not a lake for miles and miles. I was spared the brutality of just how the frog legs got on my plate (where was the rest of the frog?) but I do remember these big fat squeaky frogs and I remember that the frog legs tasted just like chicken.

My dad raised a lot of things, he liked the taste of pheasant and deer and wild stuff, so he built a long narrow coop right behind the clothes line in the back yard and got some pheasant eggs, incubated and hatched them and raised these chicks to be dinner. Again, in my mind I am spared the details of the journey from the pen to plate but I remember those birds squawking a lot, always clucking around.

My dad raised a lot of things including beans and garlic in our backyard and I wish I could remember more, I'm sure there's a memory in there that will surface for another time. This was the end of the 50's early 60's when he had his first heart attack, money was scarce I'm sure, as he wasn't working then, he couldn't, and he wasn't well or able to do much. But if you're my dad, you just don't roll over and quit, you raise frogs and pheasants and make me a memory that come to the surface years after the day.

Now, after regaling all with my tales of my dad and my childhood and lots of giggles and laughs, I forge into my present life with my husband. Neither one of us is working, my husband is collecting a truly pitiful unemployment check, and money is tight but we have the time that we haven't had before to spend with the grand kids.

So I tell my buddies at Curves that one day out of the blue he said, 'I want to get some chickens'. I said, "chickens?" with an eyebrow cocked. OK, maybe I was dumbfounded, and listened as he spent a good hour telling me his memories of when he was a child and about how he would visit his grand parents and get eggs, and climb trees, and get scolded for wearing so much dirt, and he has good memories a mile long, and his eyes are a little misty.

This is my husband who still watches reruns of Everybody loves Raymond and still laughs, and thinks Dirty Jobs is equal programming to National Geographic. He is not the least bit in touch with his feminine side, so a little mist in the eye goes a long way for him. There is no argument against the mist.

So. We have spent the last 3 days tooting around this town to see if we can get supplies for our future little peepers, used or at a discount. Oh sure, if I wasn't looking for chicken cr*p I would be tripping over it as I walked out my front door, but these are hard times and everybody and their grandmother is out for the bargain...

Yes bargain, and here's the whole diabolical plot...

The local Grange will give you 5 (yes you heard me correctly, 5) free (yes you heard me correctly free) 1 day old chicks when you buy 40 pounds of little vitamin enriched chick starter food!!!


Only $15.00 and you get the chicks for free. (There's a song in there somewhere) Of course the saleslady (lovely woman. really, very nice) rambled off a list (you know an elbow to wrist list, a two piece waterer, a two piece feeder, a red heat lamp so they don't cannibalize themselves, a heat tolerant fixture, vitamin drops for the water, scratch with cornmeal so they don't get butt clump, non cedar bedding, eat cedar and die chickie was all the Grange lady said, she didn't elaborate) as we were all saying how cute these chicks are and ooooo wouldn't it be nice to get eggs, and my grandma used to raise

...$50 bucks later, we are the proud owners of an attempt to recreate my husband's childhood memory for the grand kids. Better that than my frog legs memory you say?

So while I was away laughing and giggling, sweating with the oldies, telling my tales of years gone by, grandpa and grandson put their heads together and decided the best place to give these fluffy little hatchlings a home would be

in my dining room of course!

You can try to hide...

But I'm gonna find you! Drop those bird feeders!!!

Grandpa tells grandson everything any man wants to know about these space age red light bulbs and the age old question is finally answered...

How many men does it take to screw in a really big light bulb, (or is it... are you smarter than a preschooler?)
Careful placement of the waterer and the feeder. Notice brand new wallpaper, just in time for the peepers.

Note industrial chain that is used to hold logs to trucks as they careen down mountain roads. Only manly men chain their red anticanibalizing light to the ceiling with them babies.

Also note futile attempt at froufrouing the wall and shelf, maybe in 6 weeks when I can get permission from the chickens.

Grandson, trying to contain himself from ripping shaving bag open.

Sorry honey, Alpha male won.

But Grandpa did let you Place the feeders and look at them.

Almost ready for final inspection...
Approved! by the mad scientist.

I have to say I don't know why this entire project was done with our coats and coveralls on, I live in a house with 4 walls and a roof, and we have a lovely heating system, just one of life's great mysteries I guess.

Please notice lovely red roses that I got for my birthday, that now have the honor of welcoming the little peepers.

Future home of the coop. What is a little tree removal when you are trying to make a memory?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy Sunday

Using language rich with texture and imagery that was common before the turn of the century, Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon was a preacher who lived in the Victorian era (June 1834 – January 1892). His body of work is enormous. I am always amazed as I study him. But today, I was particularly taken with one of his pieces used as a devotional and made myself a little reference piece, with links out to poetry and history. My favorite is probably the 'Samson's lion' link to Wikipedias article, it is awesome how they put it altogether. Blessings to you! and many xoxo's, I hope you enjoy this.

"She called his name Ben-oni (son of sorrow), but his father called him Benjamin (son of my right hand)."— Genesis 35:18.

To every matter there is a bright as well as a dark side. Rachel was overwhelmed with the sorrow of her own travail and death; Jacob, though weeping the mother's loss, could see the mercy of the child's birth.

It is well for us if, while the flesh mourns over trials, our faith triumphs in divine faithfulness.

Samson's lion yielded honey, and so will our adversities, if rightly considered.

The stormy sea feeds multitudes with its fishes;
the wild wood blooms with beauteous flowerets;
the stormy wind sweeps away the pestilence, and the biting frost loosens the soil.
Dark clouds distil bright drops, and black earth grows gay flowers.

A vein of good is to be found in every mine of evil.

Sad hearts have peculiar skill in discovering the most disadvantageous point of view from which to gaze upon a trial; if there were only one slough in the world, they would soon be up to their necks in it, and if there were only one lion in the desert they would hear it roar.

About us all there is a tinge of this wretched folly, and we are apt, at times, like Jacob, to cry, "All these things are against me."

Faith's way of walking is to cast all care upon the Lord, and then to anticipate good results from the worst calamities.

Like Gideon's men, she does not fret over the broken pitcher, but rejoices that the lamp blazes forth the more.

Out of the rough oyster-shell of difficulty she extracts the rare pearl of honour, and from the deep ocean-caves of distress she uplifts the priceless coral of experience.

When her flood of prosperity ebbs, she finds treasures hid in the sands; and when her sun of delight goes down, she turns her telescope of hope to the starry promises of heaven.

When death itself appears, faith points to the light of resurrection beyond the grave, thus making our dying Benoni to be our living Benjamin.


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