Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life and a voice.

Reflections by Daughter Lisa
I watched a program last night, one of those sort of self help things and realized I have spent many hours over the years reading a lot of that type of material and features on Oprah interviewing many people who have done a lot for themselves improving their lives and others along the way.

I believe many of us feel deep down that little thing called "unworthiness" and that has stopped us from working through the fear and coming out the other side with benefits and reaching the very thing the Universe had planned for us, We put ourselves through agony with saying over and over "what me!" I can't do that, I can't afford that, always have an excuse not to push yourself forward that's for other people to gain success and you cheer on the sideline thinking "I wish I could do that".

Oprah used to talk about a "light bulb" moment, looking back over my life I have no doubt that has happened to me and instead of taking notice and doing something about it thought it was better to get on with what I was doing and turning that little light off. Well at my age I guess I missed the boat many times. However 12 years ago I was diagnosed Mantel Cell Lymphoma, I was told there was an experimental procedure and the Doctor asked if I would like to be amongst other patients and take the opportunity there were about 30 of us who took the plunge. It was the first time I actually heard someone shout at me saying "DO IT" I thought the voice came from someone in the room but, it was only me that heard the definite order!

I have often wondered where that voice came from but it certainly was a gift I haven't forgotten. Although actual treatment was gruelling and during hard times I would hear the voice telling me "keep it up, you're OK" I actually felt calm after and I knew somehow what ever or who ever the voice was it always seemed close by.

This week I went for my usual check up, it always is a bit traumatic, especially when you see so many people waiting for treatment, and to see the Doctor. It is sort of like a club but, no one communicates with words but we know we are all in the same boat, you hope for good news when they call your name.

My name now has been called 12 times. (12 year!) "Barbara Bradbury" in I go trying to feel cool as a cucumber after being weighed I am ushered into the cubicle waiting to see the Doctor. His assistant arrives Morning she says and plonks a very thick book of information of 12 years all about me!

She stands up and looks at me beaming with a smile saying "Barbara you are a little Miracle", the Doc walks in checking the records and then me for any problems he looks at me and say's exactly the same thing "Well now you are a miracle! See you next year."

All I want to say is if you hear a voice really urgently saying something listen and what ever you do Act on it. I have had 12 wonderful years of living on this glorious planet, yep you still have your ups and downs but, boy you really can enjoy your husband family and friends.

It might not be a Million dollars but it sure feels like it at times.

Thank you "Voice" where ever you are you have given me much and a chance to be creative, one of the things I thought, and still feel. not worthy, but by golly I try hard and enjoy my hobby, painting. Even more fun Hubby paints, my son Stuart paints, daughter Lisa is a talented photographer, my sister, her daughter and grandson all are talented artists, I am in a family club!

What more could I need?

Anyone reading this I hope it will help you listen and catch that voice! Who knows what it might do for you.

From A very Grateful human being still alive and kicking!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chicken Feathers

Rhode Island Reds
When things were scarce, way back when, my Grandmother was the source of all things useful that had to be used and looked after.

During the war we were encouraged to use a garden as a vegetable patch from potatoes to fruit that could help with rationing.
We had a long thin garden that gave us enough room for a chicken coup that was built at the end of the garden. It was made from wood planks and chicken wire, and was a neat home for the chickens who could sit in little boxes set in the walls for producing eggs. The eggs would roll out into a trough for collecting them outside. The chicken run was about 10ft long which gave them plenty of room to have their food and grit in comfort and to be able to do what chickens do!

I can remember at Easter we would go to a store and pick out the babies, usually 12 of them, they were in a box with straw and when we got them home they would be kept warm and fed until they were ready to go into the chicken house, we always had the breed of Rhode Island Red we  liked them for the lovely brown eggs.

Christmas Dinner
We kept a cockerel, as well, he was very proud with beautiful dark blue tail feathers, the hens knew he was boss. and unbeknownst to me was our Christmas dinner!

The wash house was where most of the laundry was done with a huge mangle for the clothes and a big galvanized tub for washing on a wooden table. We kept the feed in their and all vegetable scraps were boiled up with their feed added along with oats.
I would go with Granma every morning and mix up the mash all warm with my hands, great fun, on a cold Autumn morning the steam creating a great amount of flavourful fumes drifting down the garden path which would start a whole lot of excitement for the hens waiting for their morning breakfast.
The trough was about four feet long which gave plenty of room for them to feed in peace, I would stand and watch them devour the breakfast all pecking away and very happy.
They always rewarded us with beautiful brown eggs every day, which I collected in a strawberry basket and delivered them to GrandMa to wash and be ready for a nice fresh egg for breakfast.

We now live in a rural area of Canada, but unfortunately we can't raise chickens unless you have at least ten acres of land, we buy our eggs from the Super Market, but there doesn't seem to be the taste or flavour in them. We are lucky to have such abundance but, something seems to be missing from what I can remember of how special it was to have the pleasure of a fresh brown egg boiled for three minutes with brown bread and butter.

I guess we tend to always remember the little things in life and how food was so precious and we grew up never to take things for granted, even though I didn't like cabbage!

There was always a mysterious thing that happened during the course of the year, a chicken would be sent back to the country (I was told)but on that Sunday we would have chicken for dinner! Then Chicken feathers, in a big sack appeared in Grand Ma’s room. After picking them out and stripping the feathers she would bake them and carefully put them into a pillow case and saved this was to fill a patchwork quilt she was making.
When I was older I realized Sunday dinner and chicken feathers went together, that poor hen had not gone to the Country after all!

Happy memories from difficult times.