The chicken was cold

Recently my daughter prompted me to write some of the stories about my father. He was a brilliant man who never had an opportunity for education past high school He read everything he put his hands on and never stopped learning. This story is one I love. I think it was about the 1930’s.

pat clark standing on stump
My father Pat Clark A man who always shared happiness

 

My grandmother raised chickens. When one was wanted for dinner a chicken was killed by her, cleaned and prepared for dinner. My parents and grandparents lived in the same house. For some reason my mother and grandmother were very busy and asked my father to kill a chicken for dinner. They asked the man who hated to swat a fly.

My father went out the back door. He was gone for a long time. The two cooks started to wonder what was taking him so long.

Eventually my father returned with the requested chicken. It was dead, had its feathers, but it was cold.

My father, unable to kill a chicken, had gone to the grocery and bought one. In that era they sold chickens freshly killed but not cleaned. My mother and grandmother refrained for commenting and went on to prepare the chicken for dinner.

Pets are a joy

It is impossible to say how much I love having dogs. I grew up with dogs as my mother and grandmother loved them and we always had at least one. Now we have two rescued basset hounds. For 50 years of my married life we had dachshunds. One day my son brought a sad looking basset hound to our house. A friend of his couldn’t keep the dog and my son knew that we were easy marks. Once she came into the house that was it. At the time we had two dachshunds. We didn’t really need another dog. However, she is a joy. Calm, loving and peaceful. She knows when I am stressed and will come to bond with me putting her head on my knee.

Shortly after we got Tillie we lost first one doxy and then another. We decided to adopt another basset to keep Tillie company. We ended up with Crash.

tillie (2)
Tillie in her usual half asleep mode

Crash was so named by his foster family after he was found by a basset rescue agency. They felt he had been hit by a car. He was emaciated, covered with fleas and ticks and had a broken pelvis. When we got him he had been treated extensively by a vet. He was better but still thin.

Crash was definitely the right name for him. He crashed into our house and life has not been the same. He has relieved me of at least six pairs of shoes until I learned to put them away properly. It was his job to take this task in hand. He succeeded. He is terrified of thunder storms and cowers by our feet. He hates for us to leave home and howls the basset howl for the neighbors to hear. While we are away he pulls towels down from the racks, rearranges all loose rugs, pulls out any laundry left on the floor of the laundry room and removes it to other places in the house.

Nothing is harmed, nothing is chewed….just moved. Crash is joy personified.

Pets are wonderful things. Whether you love dogs, cats or some other pet they bring joy to your life. They improve our health. Their love is an example to us of how God expects us to love. If you have pets I hope that they bring you as much joy as mine do.

I am NOT tense

I am not tenseI love this picture done by Jane Seabrook. Her book called Furry Logic is wonderful. All the drawings and captions make me laugh. I have this one in a calendar and it is permanently on my cork-board. It is how I feel a lot of the time. This is such a better way to put it.

A lot of the time I do feel terribly alert. At this time in my life health issues crop up and they can take the stuffing right out of you. I don’t want to say that I am anxious but that is what happens. This photo reminds me that there are different ways to explain things.

For most of my life being subject to anxiety was not acceptable. I was good at denying it. I was good at managing to get medication from doctors to tide me over until the episode passed. I was good at seeming to be fine. Life went on and I managed. Thank God I was able to.

Things are better now. They are not perfect but they are better. Physicians are beginning to have more understanding of mental illness. I remember one physician, knowing that I had anxiety, told me that he was going to put down a different diagnosis so that I wouldn’t be tagged with that diagnosis! Shows you how it was understood. I know there is a long way to go and we are not there yet but I do have hope.

Hope_596x.progressive

I keep hoping that the new brain chemical studies will enlighten the medical community and the rest of the world. There is hope everyone will have it easier in the future.

A little fun with death

Today I went to my grandson’s graduation lunch. They showed a lot of pictures from the graduates years in school. Lots of memories. for some reason it started me thinking about how I would like to be remembered. My father loved quotes from tombstones and I wondered what I would put on a tombstone. I found some of my favorite tombstones and thought it would be fun to share.

sick

I know some people that this would suit… do you?

 

athiest

Just a little thought

 

banana

I can imagine myself felled by something as silly as this!

 

nut

I am sure that my children would approve this.

 

inside the box

I guess we need to be more creative

 

died

This one fits our age so perfectly.

Hope you enjoyed these. I needed a good laugh today. With so many cremations today and so little money spent on something like a tombstone (some places don’t allow them any more) we may not find many like these in the future. I did wonder if the deceased wrote them or someone in the family.

How would you like to be remembered?

Emotions: the good, the bad and the ungly

be awareLately I have been thinking about good and bad emotions. Good emotions run the gamut from a simple flash of a decent day to full blown joy.  It is easy to see the negative ones. Fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, sorrow….I could go on. To counter these we can use the positive things we don’t often see as emotions: safety, relaxation, strength, gratitude, pleasure, satisfaction, friendship, kindness, and assertiveness. (From the article How to Tap into Your Light by Kalia Kelmenson in Spirituality and Health)

Most of these we don’t equate with emotion and so we don’t key into them. We don’t see them as positive emotions. We don’t focus on them. That is a major part of the problem.

I don’t know about you, but I am more likely to come home and relate a story about how uncomfortable I felt doing a mediation than that I did a good job. I let the good feeling be lost in the negative emotion. We tend to hang onto the bad feelings and nurse them. We are unwilling to let them go. Think of how often you have been angry about something and just kept bringing it up in conversation or dwelling on it. For some reason we must enjoy holding on to them.

When we don’t let go we experience physical changes. Negative emotions can cause an increase in heart rate and rise in blood pressure. They can decrease our resistance to disease and lower the ability of our immune system to function. They allow our bodies to attack us with autoimmune diseases such as lupus, asthma, ulceration colitis, migraines and irritable bowel. Oh, what we do to ourselves.

positiveWe have to learn to focus on the positive emotions and use them to overcome the negative ones. To do that we need to remember what they are and see them when they come. The list above can be added to I’m sure. It’s easy to see how we think when I realized that I had to find that list and couldn’t just come up with one from my head but the negative emotions were right on the tip of my tongue.

I think the most important piece is to be aware of what you are feeling. We can’t change it if we can’t recognize it.

As the song writer Johnny Mercer said “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative!”

 

Fly your freak flag day!

Today I decided to have fun and read things that make me happy. I pulled out “Falling Up” by Shel Silverstein. I just love laughing over the poems and the drawings. I have always loved this poem. noise day pictures

Every one of us deserves one of these days. A day when we can let all frustrations out. A day to fly our freak flag and just let go. How much emotion we have bottled up that we haven’t let loose.

I really think that we should all try it.

A day to yell, scream, break something, play music full blast, blow the horn endlessly in the car, jump on the bed, splash water out of the tub, bark with the dogs, run in the yard in your pj’s, throw the paper you have shredded all over the living room floor, roll down a hill like a log, hit a pillow until the feathers fly, jump in a mud puddle!!!

I am sure you can think of some things you would like to do. I feel freer just thinking about it.

A joyful, crazy, exotic day. Let’s do it!

Thank God for pets

I love my dogs. I grew up with dogs and so have had them in my home for 77 years. I don’t think that I would know how to live without them. If anyone gets to heaven it is dogs first.

For years we had Dachshunds but several years ago when we had lost one dog my son arrived at the door with at Basset a friend of his couldn’t keep. We are such suckers. If a dog comes into the house it almost never goes out. When our second dachshund crossed the rainbow bridge we adopted a second basset as companion for the first.

basset-hound-and-plants-funnyThese two are so funny. We laugh at their antics daily. They are good dogs with some quirky habits. If we leave them at home the towels are pulled from the bathroom racks when we come back. Sometimes the towels appear in the bedroom. Never damaged…just moved. There are so many toys under the piano in a bin that it is overflowing. I put them back and very quickly, with much rummaging, specific ones are retrieved and distributed around the house.

If one dog is outside and sees something to share (bark at) he/she comes in to alert the other dog to come and join in.

god smiledI could go on but you get the idea. Dogs are a gift. They are being used in so many ways to help us humans with our problems and disabilities. Their ability to hone skills that we thought were impossible seems endless. Service dogs are used to sniff out diseases, help persons with PTSD, anxiety and depression, autism and many other things.

We need to thank God for the gift of dogs and other pets who enrich our lives.