So, the other day I was sitting on the porch petting Bella. And as usual, Pepper kept trying to squeeze between us. When that didn’t work, she clamped down on Bella’s leg and tried pulling her away. That didn’t work, either. So, she got Bella’s favorite bone and dropped it in front of her. That worked like a charm. When Bella left her spot, Pepper scooted right in for me to love on her.
PROVERBS 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Facebook post by Nicci Staton, my granddaughter-in-law
This morning at school drop off I gave Gideon his daily affirmation:
“Gideon, you are a man of God, you are strong, you are brave, you are mighty. You are loving and kind, generous, and a truth seeker. You are a mighty man of valor. You are holy, and you are a giver of God’s love.”
Gideon: “yup! I concur with that.”
If only we could all walk in the confidence of an eight-year-old!
So, I’m sitting quietly in a swivel chair in the lobby at the VA, feeling anxious as usual but nothing to cause the sleeping lion inside me alarm. Hubby was already in his room waiting for the colonoscopy. Neither of us wanted to be there, but since cancer invaded his colon several years ago and he only has a foot of it left, he must keep close tabs on it. Doctor’s orders. And mine.
The mall-like lobby was like a ghost town of vacant chairs except for one all the way across the room. There was no one breathing on me and I wasn’t breathing on anyone else, so I removed my mask and sat minding my own business checking my emails and texting my son.
About twenty minutes into my solitude, a young woman from out of nowhere leaned over one of the marked off couches fifty yards away, her face covered with a stark white mask, and scolds, “Ma’am. You’re required to wear a mask.”
Maybe it was due to the stress of our refrigerator conking out and having to buy a new one. Or that we had to toss a week’s worth of groceries, or had to use a cooler and be without a fridge for a week. Maybe it was due to Bella, our four-legged greyhound-mix, waking me up every thirty minutes barking. Whatever the reasons were, the sleeping lion woke up.
Lions don’t take kindly to being harassed; especially old, irritable ones with anxiety disorders. My hackles raised to the ceiling. I said it didn’t make sense why I had to wear a mask when there was no one around and I’m just sitting here waiting for my husband to come out of his procedure.
Suddenly, her sweetness melted away like cotton candy on a child’s slobbering tongue and scorned, “Either you wear the mask or you will be escorted from the building!”
All right all right, I snorted to myself. I’ll put on the stupid mask! But when she strutted out of sight down the long corridor, her heels kicking up enough dust to choke an elephant, the mask magically came to life and jumped back on my lap.
A whole ten minutes later, she came back more huffy than when she strutted off and even had the audacity to threaten me with calling security.
That did it! The lion jumps on all fours ready to pounce! Who does she think she is telling a woman three times her age what to do? Determined to win the battle of the wills, the lion, roared, “Go ahead! call the whole army! I don’t care!”
I nearly felt sorry for her, struggling to keep her balance in her patent leather stilettos as she stormed off. Great! Now a platoon of security guards is coming to put me in a straight jacket and haul my sassy butt to jail.
I grabbed my pocketbook and hustled to the lady’s room; a room colder than Alaska with one toilet, a sink, and a lock on the door. Good! She can’t come in here and drag me out by the hair and in front of a firing squad.
Well, you did it again, I scolded myself. Just when you think you’re getting better, you’re not. Now, look at the mess you got me in! Do you know how foolish you look? When will you ever learn to keep your mouth shut and just do as you’re told?
On and on the battle between me, myself, and I went. Finally, I told us all to shut up! People are going to think I died in here!
Taking a deep breath, I unlocked the door, praying no one was standing there waiting with handcuffs. Good! The coast is clear, I can breathe now. Now, put on the mask, find a place to sit, and behave yourself! I want to get through this day in one piece!
So I tip-toed to a quiet place and sat by myself and waited, hoping no one will recognize this crazy person behind the mask; we all look crazy behind the mask.
About fifteen minutes later, a stocky, ruddy-faced security guard invaded my quiet space and planted himself six feet in front of me. At least he was practicing social distancing, or I might have been tempted to report him.
Like a stone-faced guerrilla, he stared down at me, his navy blues and stripes and badges and patriotic mask as intimating as a gun to my head.
Still trembling and my heart pounding like a sledgehammer, I glared up at him, ready and willing to defend my rights, which I did . . . Without getting thrown in jail.
Hubby came through his colonoscopy. The inner lion went back to sleep and the three of us made it out of there alive!
I felt really stressed this morning, so I shaved my head. I feel so much better now . . .
Okay. There’s a method to my madness. It may not work for you, but it works for me.
1. I don’t like long hair on me. As a kid, I pestered my mother to death to cut off my long, red hair. Kids made fun of me in school and yanked on my ponytail or pigtails till my head hurt.
2. Growing up I lived under the dictatorship of lofty rules and regulations; enslaved to the convictions of others and was rarely allowed to think and choose for myself. Unable to tame my wild, independent spirit, they tried breaking it with the hammer of guilt and shame.
3. I was a slave to curling, teasing, perming, and burning my scalp witha curling iron. I’d spend hours fixing my hair only to brush it all out and do it again. And again.
4. After years of trying and failing to fit in, I became a hoarder of guilt and anger and rage and stuffed those feelings deep inside so no one would know my dirty little secrets. Then one day something happened; the straw that broke the camel’s back and I snapped and there was no place for all that garbage to go but out. Thankfully, Jesus was there with a big box of bandaids before I bled to death!
5.Like a snake shedding its skin, shaving my head is my proclamation of freedom and growth. I’ve outgrown my old skin of doing it someone else’s way, now I’m doing it my way regardless of what anyone thinks. I’m shedding my old skin and growing a new one just for me. I don’t care if I raise a few eyebrows when I enter a room or walk through the mall. I don’t care that people walk up to me and blatantly ask me if I’m sick. I just don’t care!
6. And last but not least, I can ride in the car with the windows down. I can look in the mirror and every little hair is right where it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t frizz, it doesn’t fall flat, it doesn’t move! Best of all, it’s my choice to shave my head. I’ve allowed too many people to bend and twist and pull me out of shape and it’s been a long, painful struggle to straighten it all back out. I’ve earned the right to live in peace in my own skin whether anyone likes it or not.
Conclusion: A shaved head is not for everyone and I would never recommend doing it unless you really want to. It will grow back, but not as quickly as you shaved it off!
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
COVID-19 has done a number on hearts around the globe. It’s made them fearful and angry, frustrated and confused. They’re impatient. Restless. Bored and lonely and just want everything to get back to normal again. At least that’s what my heart has been feeling these days. So, to help keep my mind off the bad and the ugly I created some happy hearts that I hope will brighten your day.
Free for you to use and to share Click on any picture to enlarge or to begin slideshow
This is an earwig. I was attacked (pinched) by one a few years ago. It was horrible. Like a zillion bee stings. The pain lasted all day.
I never knew such a bug existed so I didn’t know what it was until I looked it up.
It’s harmless, they said. It doesn’t even bite, they said. They pinch, that’s all.
The next day my arm was swollen but that’s a usual reaction for me after an insect bite, so I wasn’t concerned.
Day three my entire arm was red and swollen. And by day four, it was red hot with streaks running up and down and it looked more like a tree trunk than an arm. That’s when I realized the internet lied to me and went to the doctor.
He was quite alarmed when he saw it and thought I should go to the hospital. I had a bacterial infection. But, I had to go to work. So he prescribed a strong does of Amoxicillin and said if that didn’t work I’d have to go to the hospital. Thankfully, my arm got back to normal within a few days.
So, in spite of how harmless these guys are supposed to be, I murdered one on my back porch this morning. With the big rubber chainsaw blade my youngest grandson outgrew, I whacked and whacked the poor little guy till there was nothing left of him.
My first grade teacher taught her pupils the alphabet using big flash cards with pictures. And for some odd reason, the letter S with a picture of a snake on it was my favorite one and the only one that still sticks out in my mind. So, in my case, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. If you like pictures more than words, then you will like my word art creations.
Free for you to use and to share Click on any picture to enlarge or begin slideshow
Talon, my great-grandson is six going on twenty. He is smart and quirky and extremely perceptive for his age. When he looks at you it’s as if he can see into your soul. I love this little boy. He is truly a gift!
With my granddaughter’s permission, I’ve posted Talon’s written school assignment. It is just too darned cute not to share.
I’d rather have eaten a can of worms than have my hair washed. And my parents would have gladly fed them to me rather than wrestled with me to wash it.
We didn’t have modern conveniences like indoor plumbing, walk-in showers, and bathtubs. We had electricity, though, thanks to one of my dad’s many skills.
And speaking of daddy, he rarely ever raised his voice, never lost his cool and never liked whipping us kids. Mom did, though. She liked law and order and didn’t hesitate to exercise her militant authority when needed. You’d have thought she was the one that served in the army instead of my dad.
But to keep peace with mom, during Saturday’s hair-washing night, daddy reluctantly sat beside the galvanized tub with a long, skinny switch; the kind that wrapped around your legs several times like a leather strap. Mom picked it out.
Like a stern-faced Sargeant, mom sat me down on the stool and leaned my head back, allowing my long red hair to cascade into the metal tub. Then the waterboarding began.
As if being electrocuted, I kicked and screamed and wriggled my slippery, half-naked body free from daddy’s firm grip and flew out the door, across the porch, down the steps, and down the dirt lane. If we had had any neighbors, they would have been standing on their porches with shotguns thinking a mass murderer was on the loose.
We lived in the heart of the woods where the only light we had was the moon and the stars. For a little six-year-old with a big imagination and afraid of the dark, that was just a tiny spark in a cave. Every tree was a leaping bear; every sound a prowling monster looking for children to eat.
Suddenly, I came to my senses and decided I’d rather be drowned than eaten alive and shot like a bullet back into the house.
And there they were, mom standing triumphantly with the pitcher of water in her hand and daddy sitting, seemingly amused, still holding the switch.
There were other Saturday night hair washings. But, remembering the monsters lurking outside in the pitch dark, I stayed glued to the stool. That doesn’t mean I didn’t cry and kick and scream and make it easy for my mother to torture me. Oh, no! She always had to pay for her evil crimes!
Using Paint Shop Pro 2019, I turn ordinary photos into works of art. I also create picture tubes, bookmarks, Facebook Covers, cards, tags, and more. I don't sell my art, therefore, all my creations are free for your own personal use.