Write 28 Days Challenge—#4 Community

Humans were created in part for community. Whether the locality be city, suburbs, or country is immaterial. Our neighbors may be close or a country-mile away. We are neighbors and part of a larger community.

Our church takes this truth seriously. We have Community Groups within the church body to connect folks within smaller communities. We have Prayer Walks around our community. We simply walk and pray for folks around a neighborhood. We collect food for weeks for food drives to be delivered to those in need in the community. A spectacular outdoor Christmas program is put on by us every year. It brings many folks from surrounding communities to witness the Real meaning of Christmas. This production requires a huge community of volunteers.

Though I do not help in all these activities, I do in several. The most recent of which is the mentorship program. This is my first year in this popular program between our schools and church. Known as the National Church Adopt-a-School initiative started over thirty years ago by Dr. Tony Evan’s. A highly successful program formed between local churches and the public school community. Our church has been a part of this program for a couple years or more.

On-line and in home training are required, along with background checks on potential mentors. Questionnaire forms for mentors were filled out as well. With the consent of the parent(s), and help from the school counselor, students are given a mentor. I was given a 1st grade boy.

Last Spring, 2022, our community pastor invited more congregants to participate in this program. The previous year gleaned such positive results, the local school system asked it to be opened to all area churches, for all the city schools. I accepted the invitation.

It was pretty awkward on the first few meetings. New friendships always are. But now, he smiles big when he sees me, and visa versa. I have high hopes for this sweet mentee and me.

Write 28 Days Challenge #3—Fascinating

Many folks find travel fascinating. They say it is interesting to see how and where others live. I agree. We humans all around the globe have fascinating life-styles indeed.

Yet here on our property is an environment/lifestyle that intrigues and fascinates me at every visit. It is our pond.

Talk about an entirely different lifestyle! How grand is it that fish live in water all their lives! What magic from God a turtle has to have to be able to live in and out of the water! I know these thoughts can be answered in any number of nature/biology books. That is not my point. The point is simply the fascinating wonder of it all.

Watching life at the pond is tricky. Most of the inhabitants are wary of humans. Turtles quietly slip off their sunning logs into the dark green depths beneath. Fish scurry away in a flash. Snapping turtles are rarely seen. Red-winged blackbirds hide in the rushes, while Great Blue and Green Herons lift off into the air before ever getting a good look at them. The Canada geese glide along the water making much ruckus at the human disturbance. I only hear the fun bullfrog every spring, never yet seen one. Only the huge ker-plunk as he quickly returns to hiding.

From afar, life at the pond looks rather dull and ho-hum. I suppose that is exactly what I enjoy so much about it. In order to enjoy the life there one must be still and quiet. The silence is enjoyable. No flashing lights, loud noises, folks going hither and yon and no motor boats.

It is a fascinating place to visit and to enjoy a whole different lifestyle and environment. One little piece of advice—a good pair of field glasses adds greatly to the enjoyment of the visit.

Write 28 Days Challenge #2—Broken

You can’t break up the nest without cracking the eggs.

We own chickens. I understand what a broken up nest would, at the very least, crack the eggs. I came from a broken up nest from long ago. Our parents divorced when I was six years old. As a child, I saw my father for the last time at ten years old, and for the final time, as a grown woman, lying dead in his coffin. I never asked our mother anything about why our family had broken up. What good what it have done. It was the way it was.

But God had other ideas. Our loving, devoted great-aunt was the positive, Godly force in our lives. She was our ballast. Secure in her beautiful Christian faith, she lovingly patched our broken family with prayer and hope. She never spoke in negative ways to us, in any manner. She was our saving grace.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, Lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will direct your ways”—she would recite Proverbs 3:5-6 while tapping her finger in rhythm on my chest. She had a way of making us not feel broken at all.

Our world is full of brokenness. We are all guilty. We break promises, hearts, commitments, treaties, laws, and agreements. Some are intended, others are not. The attempt to avoid having a broken heart, life, or commitment is to have no life at all. My sister succinctly says, “Life is dangerous to your health.” Indeed it is.

Yet, trust is also a part of our lives. We place our trust in many things and many times unaware. We trust our cars will get us to work; other drivers will stop at red lights; the food we buy is safe; that chair will hold us!

So when God tells me to trust in Him, I believe His promise. I have walked with Him long enough to know He does not break His promises. My broken youth He healed and made for good. Only He can heal our broken lives.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart…My great-Aunt was right.

Write 28 Days Challenge—Wonderful

Wonderful–the first prompt for this Write 28 Days Challenge hosted by Anita Ojeda. So odd. I find myself saying this word many times throughout the day:

The morning sky is wonderful.

Hay for the horses is wonderful

Playing frisbee with HoneyPie, our corgi, is yet another wonderful.

The weather; folks I run into; Instagram posts; our daily bread—all wonderful.

Yet I know everything is not wonderful. A glance at any newspaper headline or email reveals how wonderful many things are not. Just the same, we Americans live in a wonderful country. There is no other I would care to take up permanent residence in. How about you? Opportunity is open to every citizen. Every day is a new day to begin again and/or continue on with a dream held dear. These opportunities are available to anyone with the willpower and determination to drive them forward.

Ben Carson, immediately comes to mind. His books are full of obstacles he had to overcome, and full of encouragement to the reader. Have you read any of his inspiring book? Gifted Hands, and America the Beautiful, are well-written, personal stories of how he overcame hardship and turned his life wonderful. Talk about willpower, self-discipline, and determination. Where else but America do such wonderful stories come?

Our history is replete with stories of men and women achieving great things. How about Amelia Earhart, Doug Wilder, or Ben Roethlisberger? Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Doug Wilder, the first African American ever elected to serve as a governor (which was my state—Virginia!), and Ben Roethlisberger, the “Big Ben” football quarterback that played eighteen seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Amazing Americans! They are an inspiration to every American. They have exampled a wonderful life for many.

Where else but America are there more opportunities to rise as far as one might dream, but here? Our wonderful country. Why do you think so many people still come to our country?

Five Minute Friday Writing Prompt—Doubt

Todays FMF word, doubt, is perfect. Along with this weeks writing prompt from Kate came an invitation to join Anita Ojeda’s 28 Day Writing Challenge for the month of February.

I have never considered myself a writer, but I do enjoy words, well-written stories and blogs, etc. So it seems daring for me to even enter into a group of writers. My doubt is high.

The biggest joy will be reading the other participants in the group. So, I will take the plunge, try to ignore my huge doubt and plan on having fun and learning much. Thank you, Anita, for hosting this opportunity.

Every Dog has his Day

That is what my mom would always say. Well, this day belongs to chickens. More specifically, their eggs. They are nearly as hard to find as my hundred pair of glasses I have strewn all over creation here on the farm. Once eggs are found, the price is so high, one would think there was a golden one in the dozen somewhere. Things come and go in this world, and I think it is super that the one animal the whole universe wants for lunch is having her big day!

Chickens are the current big thing.
It is their ‘day’!

We have owned chickens off and on for many years. We have had them continuously since moving here. They are an important part of our farm. We depend on them not only for eggs, but because they are free-range, they perform good work around the place. They eat tons of bugs. It is fun watching them follow the horses, gobbling up insects the horses stir up. They are great composters as well.

They eat tons of bugs.
They scratch up the manure.

I leave fresh horse poop in the paddocks for several days. The chickens will dutifully scratch the piles up after a few days looking for just-hatched worms. Great! Worm controllers as well. Want to create a new flower or vegetable plot? Pen your hens in desired spot for new garden, leave them there several days, and voila! They have done the first part of scratching up the ground for a new bed, and have fertilized it as well. Good chickens.

They help compost the manure and eat the hatched worms!

As to be expected, we do loose some to predators during the day. Though dogs and horses help in that department. They help keep wildlife at bay. So far, in nearly eight years of having chickens here, we have not ever seen a snake around the barn. Thanks again to dogs, horses, and cats.

So hurray for the chicken. These current days seem to be hers, and I would say everyone likes to have ‘their day’, would you agree?

Go, chickens, go. It is your ‘day’!

Anatomy of a Burn as Perceived by the Patient

I reached for the electric plug from the wrong side. A careless move that caused a steam burn on my arm. Never reach across an electric boiling steam kettle on the spout side, always unplug from handle side.

Never unplug boiling water kettle from this side.
This is the side to unplug a boiling water kettle.

Any thinking person knows this. Obviously I was not thinking at that hot second. That non-thinking moment caused a nice first-degree burn on my arm. As our son-in-law succinctly says: “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes”. That I did.

I ran it under cold water first thing.
Nice sized first degree burn in an inconvenient place.

Immediate first aid was running it under cold water. This helps relieve some of the heat and pain. It had a pretty mean sting to it for sure. Afterwards I spread honey over the burn for relief. Our honey is local which makes it all the better. It is also an analgesic, and an antiseptic, and sticky. Air can further irritate a burn, the honey helped keep air off. Do you know honey is the only know food that never goes bad? Amazing.

Local honey spread over the burn, after running cold water over it, helped relieve the pain.
Shirt sleeves caused the tender, new skin to peel. It was not a blister. A blister from a burn is a second degree burn.

Although the photos make it look as if a blister came up on the burn, it did not. Long sleeved shirts irritated the tender new skin, and it peeled. This was the hardest part of the healing process, as it was quite tender. The sleeve needed to stay rolled up. Problems presented themselves when I had to go out in public. This is when I bandaged the wound to protect it from the sleeve and being out in public without being exposed. Sleeping was a bit of an issue as well. It seemed no matter where I placed my arm, the sheets would aggravate it. I did not want it covered at night as it needed air to help the healing process.

I bandaged it when going out in public.

It took a full two weeks to heal. And here is the best indication of a wound healing—it starts to itch. It is now only a pink patch on my arm. Because we are in winter, I am not concerned for it getting too much sun. However, if it were summer, I would be very careful about the amount of sun this new tender skin could get.

Healing is happening.

I grew up in an era where First Aid was a required class to take in high school. It is no longer taught in school to my knowledge. We were given an excellent First Aid book that I still own and refer to often. I know methods of first aid has changed much, but in my little mind, a burn is still a burn, a broken bone is still a broken bone, and a splinter is still and splinter, and good, basic first aid should be known well by every one of us.

Looking better and better.

Starting to itch now—good sign of healing.

Took two full weeks to heal.
Can hardly notice it now.

Hasn’t God given our bodies amazing powers of healing? Glory!