The Chickens of Change

Let me get this out of the way right now. I think chickens are stupid.

peepsNow….before some of you get your feathers fluffled, let me give you my chicken credentials, so that you know…that I know these fowl dummies.

I grew up in the era of getting little purple, pink, and pastel-dyed chicks for Easter. No…
not the marshmallow kind..

chicks_Easter

The live kind.

Oh…stop gasping!!!  Remember, this was the era of no seatbelts, leaving kids in the car while you went into the grocery store….and people smoked in every closed building.

Live chicks were no big deal. After they grew their coming of age-pullet-feathers, we put them with the other chickens. The weather-hardened ones. The ones who stood around, gawping as a chicken hawk soared down and took them for a little road trip. The ones I put in a box and they’d go to sleep because they thought it was night. The ones who couldn’t figure out how to get back on the other side of the fence to their chicken buddies—even though they were standing in front of the open gate….You know…the  stupid ones.

Maybe if I wouldn’t have put the purple or pink chicks with the dumb ones, they would’ve grown up to be geniuses. By the time I was old enough to stop receiving baby chicks for Easter and start asking for a chocolate stash, I was convinced that chickens didn’t have the good sense God gave a whisk broom.

That’s why this trend of urban chicken farming, amuses me. I have a friend who waxes on for fifteen minutes about the pleasurable sounds of chatty chickens. For her, it’s a whole brilliant, new world of discovery as she talks about when they roost and how to get an egg that doesn’t break in her hand.

I keep my mouth shut. Why?

“Stardust Melody” 1927
One of the most recorded songs of the 20th Century

Because years after I became too cool to raise color-tinted chickens, I discovered “good” music. I once went on and on about this great new song. I even sang a couple of verses for my Dad. He let me have my moment of discovery. It was a while before he told be that “Stardust Melody” was a hit when he was young. It was just making the rounds again.

Oh.

Things change. Things stay the same…kinda the same…

I still think chickens are stupid.

Before You Die: Regrets of the Dying

LutheranLadies.comAn interesting list appeared while I was doing research for the next Lutheran Ladies Circle novel. It comes from a palliative nurse, Bronnie Ware, as she worked with folks who were catching the bus to the next world.

It was a LIST OF REGRETS OF THE DYING

That makes sense.  Death doesn’t wait until we’ve watered the plants, put the mail on vacation-hold, and paid all the bills. It comes, when it’s time. And it’s not necessarily synced with our personal schedule.

Some Regrets of the Dying…

*)” I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
This was one of the top regrets, and easy to see why.  We worry about what others will think of us and then we make decisions based on fear of their judgement.   Later….we ask ourselves, “Why did I do that?” or promise, “I’ll be smarter next time.”  And sometimes we are…if we don’t run out of time.

*)” I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
Most  folks don’t say, “I wish I would’ve done more laundry and washed more dishes.” However, constant work would NOT have been my ol’ German grandpa ‘s regret. He was a hard-driving man. Every moment (besides sleeping and eating) had to be spent productively.   He said it kept away his fear of being hungry. I suppose, not every person has the same regrets. Granddad was certainly an exception to this one. At a very old age, he  toppled to a stop  while pitching hay  onto a wagon.  His heart thumped to a halt a few moments afterward and I bet his last thought was,” I wish I could’ve finished getting the hay in.”

*) “Why didn’t I stay in touch with my friends?”
We let go of friends for so many easy reasons.  Our interests don’t run in the same circles anymore. Our politics don’t match. Our personalities don’t match.  We get busy. Soon friends (and sometimes relatives) are relegated to the Once-A-Year Christmas card.   And then the end nears, and the ghosts of those old forgotten relationships haunt the heart.

*) “I wish I’d let myself be happier.”
Hindsight  is twenty/twenty they say.  How many times have worries curled around my feet like a slinking black cat, tripping me—only to end up never happening and thus wasting uncounted hours of cursing the cat?

When standing at the end and looking back…

  • It’s easier to see the line-up of catastrophes that never appeared
  • Or how life seemed to work out, even when problems fell.
  • And then there are even more regrets for wasting that time and encouraging early-appearing  white hairs.

My research was to gain insight into a outspoken character, Aunt Ula, who takes off on a wild trip, gathering  the pieces of her past. But as I read the list, I found myself making new rules for my own life.

REGRET  can be a strong motivation for CHANGE.

There’s a joke that goes: How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: We don’t know.  We don’t like change.

Perhaps it’s the same for Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Baptists and others. But hope still beckons. Sunrises, kindnesses…even the cute but irritating cat are reminders not to allow the past to dictate NOW.  We remember that we live in a state of forgiven grace—warts and all. We make adjustments and move forward.

Because even in the last twilight of life, we’re all still moving forward.

Twilight near dresdenNote:  OKAY, Okay. I received you emails. I turned the comments back on. It’s just that I know I can’t always get back to reply to every comment. But some of you emailed me. Your admonitions made me snort root beer out my nose at the predicament I put all of you in by tethering your talk-back . I’m sorry. Please don’t take offense if I don’t reply to every comment.

Oh…never mind. You can be as offended as you want. I’m changing so I can avoid Regret #1 above.  “Stop worrying what other people will think.”
AND…..Regret #3:  Losing touch with friends.

Let ‘er rip. Tater chips. Comment to your heart’s content. I’ve missed you.

AND….please, please come back and check the progress bar at the top, right-hand side. I’m sequestered at the keyboard this month knocking out the initial draft of Book 3 in 30 days. (National Write A Novel Month). I could use your support or a swift kick in the patoot every now and then. Thanks.

(List source: The Top Five Regrets of Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departed,  Photos: clock-Marsmet546  , man-Shanoor Habib, cat-Doug88888, Sunset-Wikipedia )

Being Important- Gone with the Wind

I saw a headline the other day under Celebrity Deaths

Ann Rutherford: ‘Gone with the Wind’ actress dies at 94

The story in the LA Times indicated “Ann Rutherford, one of the last surviving cast

Cropped screenshot of Ann Rutherford from the ...

Cropped screenshot of Ann Rutherford from the trailer for the film Love Finds Andy Hardy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

member of “Gone with the Wind,” died Monday night at her Beverly Hills home at the age of 94.

And while she’d played Polly Benedict, girlfriend to a teenage Mickey Rooney, in the Andy Hardy movies, it was her role as Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister, Carreen, in Gone With the Wind that she was best known.

It almost didn’t happen.

MGM head Louis B. Mayer called it “a nothing part”, intending to cut it, but Rutherford burst into tears, asking him to reconsider. Mayer okayed the part.

Of course, fame is fleeting, but I think the enduring gem tucked into this story is that no one wants to be a “nothing part.” We all carry an invisible sign: I want to feel worthwhile and important.

Criticism or withholding praise can blow those moments of connection away with the wind. Getting any church group, office group, neighborhood group, or even family to all agree can be a real headbanger. Believe me, the Lutheran Ladies don’t always see things the same way. But criticism junks up the road with wounded hearts, taking a long time to heal.

We have more of a chance of a positive discussion and being anchored against the winds when we remember each of us is carrying an invisible sign. I want to feel important.

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:2

Feeding Less Than 5,000

OOOOOOGA!!! OOOOOGA!! Sound the alarm.

Theodore Gustersham just passed away, his service will be in three days. At least a hundred people are expected for this long-time member.

Okay, you may not be feeding 5,000, buit who ya gonna call….well…it’s usually the Lutheran Ladies. To help with this problem, the bedazzling, always snazzy Kitchenettes (can you hear them grumbling in background?) have visited other Lutheran Cookbooks for EAZY-PEAZY recipes to whip together quick. quick deliciousness. (Unless you simply buy everything which is quicker, but not cheaper.)

Lemon bundt cake.

Lemon bundt cake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we feature

Quick Quick Lemon Cake
Immanuel Lutheran in Missouri


1 box lemon cake mix
2 pkgs lemon pudding mix
1 1/2 C. milk

1 tub whipped cream

Prepare according to package directions for 2 round layers (8 or 9 inch). Bake and cool    in pans for 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks;
Use a whisk to mix pudding mixes and milk. Spread over the top of each cake.
Place layers on top of each other and frost with whipped topping.
Speedy Tip: Cook in a 9×13” pan. Spread mixed pudding, then whipped topping.

If you have a recipe or subject you’d like to parade by the blog, use the contact form above and wing it this way. 

Why Your Pastor Goes to the Pub

Look…Lutheran Ladies know stuff.  It might be the lint of the Universe or ponderous enough to stump Rodin’s thinker, but here’s what Betty in Chicago wants to know.

“Our Pastor is meeting with the twenty-something-year-olds at the local pub. It’s a family friendly place and I understand they tackle any topic, but now I can’t get my son to go to church. He thinks this fills the bill.  How to convince him this isn’t worship?”

Oh, Betty. Betty. Betty.
You didn’t mention underage drinking, pole-dancers, or head-banging music, so I’m assuming this isn’t a problem with the location, it’s about sitting in a pew on Sunday mornings.  Or what younger people like to call “forced worship.”

Here’s Plan A:  which I wouldn’t recommend because it’s an epic fail.

Plan A: Some doofus (like me) says, “Hey we need more young people in church, and because they think the service is boring, let’s have a service on another night, crank up the music, and spice up the homily with powerpoint or videos.  Hoooray!!!

And no one comes…well barely anyone.  Because…well…it’s like my tenure at Big-Mart and we started every (EVERY) meeting with the company song and hand waving.  And let me tell you, no one ever said…”I can’t wait to get to the meeting and sing.” Think about it—lots of folks don’t like to sing. Faster, louder music is not a magnet. And when was the last time you were yowzered up about a Powerpoint presentation?

So, maybe your pastor went with PLAN B and asked  your young pubbers, “How do you want to worship?” And one or more said….

“Stop talking at us.  We’ve got questions. “

So he’s meeting them where the clink of glasses make the pizza and questions about war, sex, stealing, and dealing with the pressure of work and classes flow into conversation.

Sure…you perhaps could force your son to worship. Tell me how that works out for you. For him?

In the meantime, find out if your pastor needs support (buying food, providing transportation). Young people aren’t coming to the church, so the pastor  is shouldering a backpack of caring and going out where they are, creating and satisfying a hunger.  I’d say it probably gets the job done better than wailing or clapping to a song on Sunday morning if they don’t want to be there..

Spread the Tarps; We’re Under Construction

Pardon our paint and streamers.

There’s a little disagreement over the first feature article. Kay wants a biker chick to show how cool and modern we are.

Hettie, the foodie, wants recipes.

And of course, I say there should be something reverent like a flickering candle.

It’s like herding bears.  And that’s what makes us Lutheran women.

Be sure to come back and see us when we get the door opened.

PLEASE…..Leave a comment, so we can notify you when we finally launch. Thanks

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