Thursday, March 28, 2013

These Sure Aren't Cheap Cheap

    Cheep. Cheep. Little One gently patted the little biddie that the salesperson held ever so carefully in his large hand. The baby chick rapidly blinked his eyes and peeped up a storm. Even though we both smelled the odor the moment we hit the door of the Tractor Supply store, I found myself intrigued. As a dreamer and investigator by nature, I am always drawn to the novelty of new and challenging experiences. Raising chickens in suburbia. It crossed my mind. I have watched with interest and a little trepidation as the fresh egg movement has taken our area by storm.
    Friends have succumbed. And then my Baby Sister and her husband got in on the act (admittedly they live on a farm). Then they sent my granddaughter a video of their adorable biddies. I felt myself swaying. But then I stopped that crazy mad rush of thoughts and rationally considered the idea. Chickens have to be fed every single day. You can't board chickens when you travel. And I don't really like eggs, a relatively important factor. Finally, I took another good whiff in the Tractor Supply store. Then I sashayed my fanny right past the warmers, feeding troughs, water bottles, and shelves stuffed with chicken feed. Sigh. I'll just keep buying The Husband brown eggs in the grocery store and pretending they are as good as the real thing.
    But for all you chicken loving folks out there and a few of us chicken dreaming folks, here are some lovely accommodations for those little peepers. Warning: Building one of these will not be cheap.Can I get a cheep? Anybiddie? (I just couldn't resist...)

Here is Velvet and Linen's coop at her former home: about this chicken castle? Definitely not a coop.

Source: Marsha on Pinterest

And this is the crooked little house....

This one is vaguely reminiscent of an outhouse

And this one a chicken church. How about "The Church of the Good Egg?"

I call this the Chicken Pavilion

And this is Coop de French Chateau...for sale through none other than Neiman Marcus

And how about this take on gothic architecture, complete with lightning rods.
You wouldn't want those chickens to get fried...yet!
Source: Margy on Pinterest

And here is an eco friendly option. You could use the chicken manure to fertilize the roof top garden. The plants will help regulate the temperatures and keep the building warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. You could grow herbs or small veggies and complete the cycle.

Then there is the option to upcycle that old dresser that you don't really use any more

The Thatched Coop. Wow. It makes an architectural statement.
Another benefit:  If you run out of chicken feed...
they can just eat you out of their own house and home...
Source: viaJudy on Pinterest

What? The chicken that laid an egg...

Bilbo Baggins might snag this gem

And finally, have coop will travel...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Just Do It

    I painted my dining room red twenty-six years ago. I was ahead of the curve then, but the curve has moved on. My dining room was outmoded, outdated, and in serious need of a change. Or at least until yesterday. The Husband and I have been busy bees. After trying out four different shades of gray (no pun intended), I settled on the right one, and after church yesterday, we promptly got to work. I am amazed at the difference one gallon can of paint can make. Talk about transformation!
    You know how one change leads to another. Before the paint was dry, I immediately began thinking about changing out some of the decor. There is nothing like a new wall color to give a girl a little inspiration. Then it was off to Pinterest I went. I found some gallery walls that seemed to reflect a bit of the vibe I was going for. I asked The Husband if he had any objections to moving the Civil War Great-Grandfather's portrait (never mind that this was a Yankee Colonel who married a lovely Confederate flower of a girl despite the rigorous objections of her Nashville family...but that's a story for another day), when he said that he did not, I promptly went to work.
    I was amazed at how quickly the wall went together. I like it. I mean I really really like it. I have one picture that will be reframed, and then I plan to buy some of those little do-hickey things you put on the back of pictures to anchor them and keep them from jiggling around when a herd of elephants comes through the room.
   Here are a couple of pictures of my wall. And yes, I know that some of the pictures are a bit whompyjawed. But, hey, that's what happens when you don't plan ahead, you just do it! Besides, the do-hickeys will help with that!
Another angle below

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Hope of Spring

   Once upon a time a crotchety and quite skeptical English don of no small intellectual mettle reluctantly found his way to faith in Jesus Christ and we are all the better for it. From the classic Mere Christianity to the incomparably magical Chronicles of Narnia, Clive Staples Lewis, better known as C.S. Lewis, continues to push us and prod us to believe in more than we dare and to hope against all hope that there may be found within the wintry heart of man a means of grace that brings with it a solid hope of spring.

Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.
                                                 The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

Source: Uploaded by user via Jo on Pinterest

Jesus is risen just as He said He would

And heaven and nature sing.
And the song is spring
And spring becomes the fount of Hope in the frozen heart of man.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting to Know You

   A couple of weeks ago this little man, now known as Brother, came to spend a few days with us while The Daughter and her husband got out of Dodge for a few days. I wish that I could say that it was completely and utterly delightful, but the poor little guy was sick the whole time. He mostly wanted to be held and since I didn't have to worry about spoiling him, I was all happy to oblige.
   Brother and our Cavalier spaniel, Wilson, became fast friends during Brother's visit. As I watched them, I was reminded of the song from The King and I Broadway musical. Here's my take on it courtesy of Brother and his new found friend!

Cue the music, please!
Getting to know you,
 Getting to know all about you
 Getting to like you,
 Getting to hope you like me,
Getting to know you
putting it my way,
 but nicely,
You are precisely,
My cup of tea!
 Haven't you noticed 
that suddenly I'm bright and breezy
because of all the beautiful and new
things I'm learning about you
day by day...

        Signed and sealed with a kiss,

Two fast friends forever

The Daughter is going to die when she sees some of these photographs. You can guess which ones!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Irish Heritage

     The Irish are known for many things, among them their gift for wry humor and achingly beautiful poetry. The Irish have also contributed some of the loveliest blessings to the 
canon of poetic liturgy. With St. Patrick's Day fast approaching, I thought I might share 
a gem or two...beginning with a little levity, of course.

If God sends you down a stony path, 
may He give you strong shoes.

Bless those tending cattle
And those minding sheep,
And those fishing the sea,
While the rest of us sleep.

May the frost never afflict your spuds,
May the leaves of your cabbage always be free of worms,
May the crows never find your haystack,
And if you inherit a donkey, may she be in foal.
Source: via Lacey on Pinterest

Cradle Song
Sleep, my babe, lie still and slumber,
All through the night
Guardian angels God will tend thee,
All through the night
Soft and drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping,
Mother dear her watch is keeping,
All through the night
God is here, you'll not be lonely,
All through the night
'Tis not I who guards thee only,
All through the night
Night's dark shades will soon be over,
Still my watchful care will hover,
God with me His tender watch is keeping,
All through the night

Prayer from St. Patrick's Breastplate
Christ be with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ on my right
Christ on my left
Christ where I lie
Christ where I sit
Christ where I arise
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me
Salvation is of the Lord

And perhaps the best known and loved of all
The Traditional Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you
And may the wind always be at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And rain soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

And here are some landscape treasures from the very lovely Eire to give you pause

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blessed Be the Tie That Binds

    A wife laid her husband to rest today. Without a doubt, the love between the two of them was the love of a lifetime, a love that lasted nearly a lifetime, and was a love that transcended nearly everything else in their lives...except their faith.  The husband's failing heart and weakened body had not diminished the depths of love and tenderness this man felt for his bride. Even after sixty-seven years of marriage.
    I remember watching them as a couple many years ago when their health was not an issue. His eyes would light up whenever she entered the room. He continually found her to be delightful and funny and lovely. She was his girl, his M.E., and his love for her was as palpable and real as the sun that hangs in the sky. She felt the same about him. He was her rock, her best friend, her defender and her champion. She could always count on him to be there and to make things better. It was what he did.
   Together they were happier than they ever were apart. She glowed in his presence and became even softer and more lovely. He was tender and protective of her. And nothing gave him greater joy than making her happy.
   Year after year he was granted a reprieve from a variety of physical ailments that drained his health and vitality. As a man of steadfast faith and confidence in the surety of heaven, he knew that it was only a matter of time before he would stand before his Lord and Savior, Jesus. One day in the last season of his life here on earth, unbeknownst to his bride, he sat down to write her a note. I am sure that he thought long and hard about what to say to his beloved. He penned these words and then tucked them away in a place where only she would be sure to find them when death and the glories of heaven came to claim him.
    Here is David's last love letter to his bride, Mary Edith. You better get have some tissue handy. You are gonna need it.

and if I go
while you're still here . . .
know that I live on,
vibrating to a different measure
behind a thin veil you cannot see through
you will not see me
so you must have faith
I wait for the time when we can soar
together again
both aware of each other
Until then, live your life to the fullest
and when you need me,
just whisper my name in your heart
I will be there...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

In the Pink....

   The Husband loves his concerts. And it gets even better in his book when the artist combines his or her music with some aspect of showmanship. In that regard we could not be more different. My preference would be for something intimate with acoustic instruments and  a lovely voice or two. For The Husband, the louder and bigger the better. Having said this, you can well imagine that he has found a new love...and her name is Pink. Think Cirque de Soleil combined with Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth and you begin to get the approximation of style that Pink brings to the musical arena. I can't really describe all that she does. It defies description as well as gravity. I am going to stop here as the pictures really do speak for themselves.