Hi everyone. The weekend has arrived! And Friday the 13th, if that says anything to you. My off day was yesterday so today I hope for better things.
Specifically I’m still hoping for a call from my family doctor, giving me the results of the ultrasound I had Wed. An odd lump on my cheek, close to my ear: will it be a lymph node, a problem in the salivary gland, or something more sinister? Here’s hoping for good news — and I’d sure like it today. 😉
Yesterday I was waiting for a phone consultation with my oncologist, hoping she’d get me started ASAP on some chemo or pills to treat my CLL. In preparation for this visit I’d had a blood test Wednesday. Yesterday morning the oncologist’s nurse called to explain that the results of a couple of these tests wouldn’t be in for three weeks. (What kind of blood test takes three weeks??) And the doctor wants to hold off treatment until she has these results, will call me around Feb 2nd. There was no mention before of this possible delay, so I’m rather disappointed!
After dinner I sat in our recliner and zonked out. For me that’s sometimes my go-to response to emotional upsets. Later I went to the Villa, visited with the residents and played Mexican Train with Helena, one of the ladies there. Sometimes it’s helpful to run away from your problems. 🙂
This morning started out with a lovely rosy dawn. And later my husband drew my attention to our frequent visitors, the sharp–tailed grouse clan. I’d just tossed out feed for the sparrows and the grouse were clustered around, gleaning the grain. I counted at least ten, but they scuttle about constantly or cluster, so are hard to count.
This afternoon I’ve been scheduling some posts for early February, just in case I’m away from my computer a lot.
In a nutshell: my family, my hobbies and interests. At this stage of life I don’t feel a lot of the thrilling kind of joy, but more of a deep contentment and gratitude for the many blessings God has given me. My spouse, my daughter and her family, my grandchildren. Our home, the acreage we live on with the nearby woods full of birds. The blogging community I can be a part of.
I enjoy writing, blogging, poetry, reading, painting, piecing blanket tops, doing jigsaw puzzles, listening to singing. I enjoy visiting, especially with the seniors at the Villa. I was there yesterday helping them with their jigsaw — a really hard one for senior eyes! I enjoy watching the birds. Observing nature, weather, the skies — all this brings me delight. Which is why I’ve used nature themes for my book titles.
The first thing that came to mind when I read the challenge was this song, which I heartily agree with. Here are the first two verses:
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
Henry J van Dyke
Sandy came in from sweeping snow off the steps, pulled off her mitts and scarf, rubbed her hands together and began to sing. “Chestnuts roasting by an open fire, icicles dripping from your nose, frozen birds strung out on a wire…”
Coltin grinned. “You haven’t got the words quite right there.”
“I sing it the way I see it. It’s -32 this morning with a light breeze. As in frigid. My poor birds!”
“Look at the up side of the season. Our world needs winter. It’s a rest for the earth. This cold will kill off the bugs. Snow melt waters the land in spring.”
“Still, you notice how many great songs and poems have been written about the other seasons and how few about winter,” she said. “Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…”
“Well, you’re the poet. Why don’t you versify some of the laudable things about our winter? Fat snowflakes falling from the sky. Catching snowflakes on your tongue. Sunshine glistening on snowbanks. That kind of thing. Leave off the killing bugs part.”
Sandy went to her desk and flipped through several notebooks. “I did write one once — but it probably won’t enthuse you much. Ah, here it is.” She read from a coil-bound notebook:
Oh, to fly with blackbirds
twirl with the windblown leaves
that dance the autumn through.
Such are winter’s day dreams
for the snow-bound scarecrow
with his frozen smile.
“Hmm… Yeah.” Coltin handed back the book. “It’s okay, but for extolling the virtues of winter, this doesn’t cut it.”
“The best of winter’s virtues I can think of this morning is that it doesn’t stay. Now I’d best pop out and feed the birds. Can’t imagine how they survive.”
“”Well, there’s one praiseworthy note. It kills the bugs but not the birds.”
The Ragtag Daily Prompt today was CONNIPTION. In response I’m going to post one of the stories I wrote awhile back, and read at the POETRY NIGHT two weeks ago. I’ll embellish it a bit for today’s prompt.
See that handsome young rooster? That’s Firecracker. Raised him from a chick, I did, fed him, fussed over him, gave him lots of TLC so he’d be nice and plump come fall. He was a cute little guy back then, especially when he started following me around the yard. I’ll admit, I’m going to miss having him tagging along after me, but now that he’s full grown, he’s going to be the star of our Thanksgiving table.
He wasn’t very old when the grandchildren named him Firecracker — and we thought it was kind of a cute name, so it stuck. I’ll tell you why he got that name. Oh, yes, he can make enough noise when he wants to, like at 5am when you’re wanting another hour of sleep. But you should hear him explode when he catches sight of a mouse or rat around the chicken yard. One day the grandchildren were in the yard fussing over him like they do, when he spied a mouse in the grass nearby. They said he went off just like a firecracker and went dashing over to do battle.
He’s been really good that way. Every time he sees a rodent he goes after the thing, calling all his ladies to come help him. He has a certain kind of squawk that says, “Enemy spotted!” and the hens come running. Our dog, Duchess, dashes into the action, too, when she hears that sound. Between them all, they make short work of rodents. And what a conniption if the intruder manages to escape into a crack in the wall!
I’m thinking old Duchess will miss Firecracker. The hens will, for sure, but he’s destined for our Thanksgiving table. One can’t be too sentimental about these things.
One thing I’ve been happy about is how good Firecracker behaves when the grandchildren come over — maybe because they’ve fed him grain and other tidbits ever since he was just a spring chick. Roosters can sometimes be cantankerous, but not him. And you know how kids are: as soon as they get here, they rush out to see Firecracker. He usually comes running when he hears their voices, to see what treats they might have for him.
Maybe we shouldn’t have let them spoil him quite so much. When I told the youngest grandchild last week that Firecracker is going to be our Thanksgiving dinner she got all sober and sad-looking for awhile. I probably shouldn’t have said anything. I guess she’s going to miss seeing him around.
One of the grandsons must have heard about this, too, because he phoned a few days ago and asked, ” Grandma, are you really going to cook Firecracker for our dinner?”
“Well, yes. We can’t eat him raw.” I was trying for a little levity but by the gulp I heard from his end, I guess he didn’t appreciate my humor. So I gently explained to him how Firecracker has had a good life and now it’s time to say goodbye, because he belongs on our Thanksgiving table. That’s what Grandpa and I raised him for. This is life on the farm.
I’ve got the bread cubed and in the freezer for the stuffing. On Tuesday my husband’s going to dispatch Firecracker. I’ll tell you, plucking that bird is going to feel pretty odd — he has such beautiful plumage, you know. Oh, hang on a minute…my phone’s ringing. Call display tells me it’s my oldest son.
“Hi, Jason,” I say. “How are things going? Glad to hear it. By the way, I wanted to let you know we’re planning to have our Thanksgiving dinner at 5pm this time… What do you mean, you’re not coming? … Are you saying NONE of you are coming? But why? I have this huge meal planned…
“Your kids are all refusing to eat Firecracker. Can’t you just explain that he’s part of our Thanksgiving meal – that’s why we raised him. What are we supposed to do with him if… What!?”
I tell Grandpa about the call and he shakes his head. “What a conniption!”
“The grandchildren have all emptied their piggy banks and they want to buy Firecracker. They want to keep him as a pet, of all things, and we can just let him live here. The family is offering to bring fish for the meal—Jason says none of them know any fish.”
“If that doesn’t beat all! Guess he’ll live to a ripe old age then.”
“I’m not especially sentimental,” I tell him, “but I’ll admit I’ve gotten rather fond of old Firecracker myself. And for sure the hens will be more content having him about the place. Even Duchess will be happy if Firecracker lives to chase more rodents.”
“Guess we can do this to make the grandchildren happy,” says Grandpa. “But next year we’ll buy a bird from the store and not let them see it before it’s cooked and on the table.”