Monday, December 1, 2014

I'm Finding Myself At A Loss For Words...

... and the funny thing is, 
it's OK.

In case you're unfamiliar with it,
 those are the words to one of my favorite songs, 
Word of God Speak, by Mercy Me.

That song has been my theme song for the past few months. (Yes, I pick theme songs for certain seasons in my life. When you're the star of your own personal sit com, that's the kind of thing you do.)  It happened to be playing in the background one day as I was foraging through Hobby Lobby, looking for some purple-y  fall schlock for the October tablescape challenge. For a variety of reasons, it spoke to me.   It spoke to me so strongly that I put all my purple schlock back on the shelf and went home. 

Have you seen the new reality reality show on TLC where three families agree to go off the grid for a while in an effort to save their families?  Yeah, well, that's kinda what  I thought God was telling me to do, only in my case it  didn't involve an outhouse and washboard. 


And in my case, I wasn't trying to save my family as much as my sanity.


Or maybe, it was my family's sanity and my broken spirit. 

Whatever the reason, I found myself at a loss for words. (And the funny thing is, it's OK...) I stepped away from all things internet, gave up the teaching of my women's class, and waited (and waited and waited)  for the still, small, voice. 

Yes, there's a back story, and no, I'm not going to yak about it, at least not right now.  I've tried to come up with some eloquent yet pithy way to describe what happened to break my spirit, but for the life of me, all I can come up with is this:

Somebody was mean.  

No, it wasn't a family member. The family is fine. Sir Lotsa Hair hasn't run off to join the circus or anything. Miss Whimsy is working locally for now, and The Practical One just flew in and out for the Thanksgiving holiday.  The Duchess and her new bionic knees are busy creating her 2014 Christmas house. 

We even got to take down our yellow ribbons last week,
way ahead of schedule.

I really wanted to blog about all of  that,
 but well, you know... the theme song and all...


Right now, I'm trying to elf myself into the Christmas spirit,
 one Hallmark movie at a time.
Though I'm still at a loss for words,  I do have a new, shiny red Iphone
 which is ready for some adventure.  Kind of puts a damper on things
when you've lost your yakabout.

So here's the thing...

I would  love to have you join me on facebook and instagram for now.
 In case you missed it, I've got the little buttons up in the corner that look like this:

  

Just click them and join me.

Don't worry... 
You won't have to fight a crowd to get a good seat.

If you don't have a facebook or intagram account, now would be the time to create one.

(I'm needy like that and not too proud to beg.)

Because I'm finding myself at a loss for words.



And the funny thing is, it's OK.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Me and My Drum




It  has been nearly a decade since Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show came into town. They came for a revival service at our church.  Brother Love was an amazing speaker. He had his own brand of hybrid holiness which combined stand up comedy with hell fire and brimstone.  His wife played the piano and belted out original compositions which could be purchased for a reasonable price in the vestibule.  Visa and Master Card accepted.

By all worldly accounts, the show was a success. Night after night, they filled the pews for an evening  of high church entertainment which had us rolling in the aisles. We weren't rolling with the Spirit; we were rolling with laughter as he pranced back and forth across his stage, cutting one joke after another. His favorite topic was that of the church flowers and the persnickety old ladies who arranged them.

If he thought he wasn't getting quite enough response on another subject, he would trot over to the flowers, pick them up,  and threaten to  move them on us.

Oh how funny he was...

I'm ashamed to say that I laughed right along with everyone else.  The guy was gifted, after all. Besides, I had my own personal pious opinion about the non eternal things in worship, and  I figured he had a point about church flowers being one of them.

So yes, I laughed.

It was in the middle of one such chuckle that my eyes just happened to light on an old woman in the section in front of me.  She wasn't scowling,  but she definitely wasn't laughing either. She was just looking down at her lap.  If I had to give her look a name, I guess I would call it embarrassment.  I might even go so far as to call it shame. As you might have guessed, she was the resident Flower Lady.




Now, lest you think our Flower Lady was some  pickle- faced old crone, please think again. Our Flower Lady was the most unassuming old soul in the church. If there is such a thing as being quiet to a fault (and I'm pretty sure there isn't), this woman would be that quiet. She had one of those soft, white, faces, the kind that made you want to reach out and touch it to see if it was really as soft as it looked.  Her heart was as soft as her face, too. I never heard of her so much as giving an unkind look to anyone.  As presence goes, she was practically invisible, and all signs pointed to the fact that she liked it that way.

There was just one area where she stepped out, and that was in the area of gardening. The lady was a flower whisperer. Her skill at growing and arranging flowers was legendary in our little town, and aside from her role in the local garden club, she poured every bit of that skill into the flowers of the First Baptist Church.


Week after week, month after month,
 year after year, decade after decade. 

It wasn't until Christmas that I  discovered she was no longer the doing it.  She had exited in her characteristically quiet way at the fall turnover. I only realized it because the Christmas decorations had a distinctly different flair to them. They had a more designer, Southern Living look than usual, a look that was (dare I say it?) beautifully faux. Their loveliness had been credited in the bulletin to a new flower committee.

It was just a week later that the Garden Club held their Christmas Tour of Homes.  Our old Flower Lady was involved as usual. When I saw her standing quietly in the corner of one of the homes on tour, I thought about the church and the revival and wondered for about the hundredth time if his words had hurt her spirit.

And you know how whenever something pops into my head, it almost always wants to pop out of my mouth? Yeah, well it did that day.   I don't remember exactly what I said, but I walked over to her and told her how much I missed her personal touch with the flowers and decorations at the church.

She looked at me for a few seconds, and then her eyes started to fill with tears.

  Debbie, she said,
 Do you know that you're  the only person who has noticed that
I'm no longer doing something I gave my heart and soul to for over forty years? 


I didn't know what to say. I just reached out, took her hand, and mumbled something awkward about my being the only one to say it, but most certainly not the only one to notice it.  We had a few more kindred moments before I moved on to tour the home.

She collapsed later that day.

Right there on the tour of homes, she had some sort of a fainting spell and had to be taken to the emergency room. I think the doctor diagnosed her with a terminal case of old age and sent her home to pasture out her days. As far as I can recall, she never made it back to church again. Not long after that, she passed away.

Hardly a Sunday goes by that I don't think of that Flower Lady.  I'll look at the flowers in the sanctuary, ordered from some local florist to the glory of God or in memory of a loved one, and I'll think about how that quiet old woman turned her love for flowers into a gift for the King.

Maybe it didn't matter to Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show. I mean, God forbid that anyone be distracted from his theatrics by a bunch of silly flowers. Maybe it didn't matter to anyone else in the church, either, and yes, in the whole, eternal scheme of things, maybe it doesn't matter whether we have flowers in a church at all.

But it mattered to her. 

Like the Little Drummer Boy in the Christmas song, she had one gift to bring that was fit to give the King.

pa rumpa pum pum...


Maybe the flowers in the sanctuary don't have an eternal importance to God, but  the people who put them there do.  

I happen to think that God has a particular fondness for all things botanical, too. After all, that  crown of righteousness in scripture isn't a crown of jewels.  It's the stephanos, the crown of victory given to the winners in the ancient Greek games. It's a wreath of leaves.

Of course, when I think about the Flower Lady receiving her stephanos,  I like to think that maybe... just maybe... He gave her a wreath of blossoms instead, blossoms collected from decades of her simple gifts to Him. And I like to think that maybe... just maybe... when she finally saw Him face to face, He smiled at her and said, "I like flowers, too."

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, 
but the words of the wise bring healing. 
Proverbs 12:18


So, be careful little tongue what you say...



*****

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gurgles and Bloops and Uplifted Roots


We knew there was a problem six months ago. 



Technically, we knew it even before then. Even before the first of the year, we knew there was a problem with the flow around this joint. It didn't come with an unfortunate septic incident or anything. It came with a very quiet gurgling.

bloop-bloop

I heard it one morning when the Man of the Place was in the shower. Then, I heard it again the next day, and then again a few days later. Because I'm sort of an ostrich when it comes to house gurgles, it took me that long to mention it to him.  Because he's a man and apparently speaks fluent toilet gurgle, he called the plumber that day.  

By the end of that day, we had had a visit from the septic tank guys. Crisis averted.

That's what I thought, anyway. Then, a few months later...

bloop-bloop. 

This time the septic doctors pointed the bony finger at an innocent looking crepe myrtle standing too close to the junction box. They kind of pointed the finger at us, too, as if we had planted it there like a couple of morons.

We hadn't.  In fairness, we didn't plant that tree; someone else did.  We're just guilty of leaving it there. Mainly, we left it there out of ignorance. Besides, I liked that tree. It was pretty, and the flowering branches shaded the front porch. I wasn't even willing to let the man of the place trim it back all that regularly. I just let it grow.

All the time that beautiful tree was growing on the top, the roots were growing on the bottom and spreading in the direction of the junction box. Once they got there, they began a slow, invisible strangle.

Wouldn't you think we would have pulled up that tree six months ago? But no, we didn't. We tried some sort of hyperbolic root blasting method instead.  For a while, all was quiet around here, but then...

bloop-bloop.

It was time to surrender.

I watched as Mr. Backhoe Man reached into the ground and ever so easily pulled up what was left of the crepe  myrtle. It took him all of two minutes.


How can something so beautiful on the surface
 have such ugly roots?


I dunno. It just can. 

A little tangle of roots can cause an awful  lot of collateral damage, too. 



I stood outside that day and looked from the roots to the ditch, and the ditch to the roots, and suddenly,  I *got* it.   I got it so clearly that I looked up at the sky and gave God the look.

You know the one, the one that says,
"Doink!" 

You see, I've been dealing with some serious flow problems around here of another sort, too, a spiritual sort.  You can call it coincidental or ironic if you want to, but I choose to call it Providential that almost the exact same week six months ago, I had a a crisis of the spirit.

What's more?  I had been hearing the gurgling for longer than that. I had tried nearly everything to stop it, too. It would quiet down for a while, but then...

bloop-bloop

Six months ago, it all came to an ugly head. Six months ago, I discovered some really ugly roots growing too close to my spiritual junction box. I hadn't planted them, either. I was just guilty of letting them grow. You know, for the sake of the tree.

Can anyone relate?

Wouldn't you think I would have pulled up roots when I discovered them six months ago? But no. I didn't want to be left treeless.  I tried to blast through those bitter roots with the power of prayer instead.

It didn't work.

It didn't work because, sometimes, all the prayer in the world won't blast through a problem that God says it's time to uproot. 

As I stood there surveying the damage that day, I kind of wanted to give myself a good, swift kick in pants.  I thought about how much my lawn... and my spirit... might have grown in the six months that I wasted trying to keep the roots for the sake of the trees,  and I could almost hear the voice of Little Debbie the Closet Stuffer from THIS POST that I wrote years ago:

Musta been da debil... 

Musta been da debil that made me leave those bitter roots in the way. 
But the Lord's in me now, 'cause I'm pulling them up. 

I won't say it has been easy, and I won't say it has been fun, but this one thing I know: The view from the porch has changed since the beginning of the week. The time for uprooting is over, and now it's time grow.  As for the tree? Well, leave it to God to show us that what we think we want is never is good as what He wants for us. You see, I was fighting to keep the shade. but He was trying to give me the sun.


To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven. 
A time to be born, and a time to die. 
A time to plant and a time to uproot what has been planted. 

*****
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Monday, September 29, 2014

I Fought The Lawn...

... and the lawn won. 


I fought the lawn, and the lawn won.

That was my version of the vintage tune  stuck in my head like an ear worm for the past week.
 I kept singing it over and over. 

And. Over.

I have no clue what the rest of the words are to the actual song so I just filled the gaps with some carefully placed doot- doot- dooting. It worked for me.  It kept my mouth occupied and away from worthless lamentation and grumbly grousing as we attempted to save both a lawn and the privilege of indoor plumbing.


The rest of this post will be short on words. Nobody wants to hear it, anyway.  I just figured that some of you might have wondered what had sidelined my flower cart for the past week.

Here's a quick recap. 

   We tried to salvage as much sod as time and strength would allow before the backhoe came. 


Time and strength didn't allow very much. 

Mr. Backhoe Man came.   


He came with his backhoe, and his big old truck and trailer, and two more tractors.  

 Which are apparently called tractors because they leave tracks, right? 


They tracked in areas not even remotely close to the trench they were digging. 



That's because the big pile of gravel that was going into said trench 
was unloaded  onto the driveway and then tracked across the lawn.



The new junction box that started the whole thing. 


The pumpkin latte that helped me cope with the whole thing. 


The tractor tracks when it was all said and done. 
(I do give them an A for leveling it off nicely.)



And here's where we are in putting it back together again, one clump at a time. 

This wackado method came on the advice of a neighbor 
who was the first one in the 'hood to survive an unfortunate septic incident. 
We'll be adding seed later in the week.


And that's all I have to offer this morning.
Yes, I know it's not the most interesting post, but it is what it is.

'Cause I fought the lawn, and the lawn won.
I fought the lawn, and the lawn won...

****
Oh, and by the way?
Happy National Coffee Day!!



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thrifty Thelma and the Three Dollar Lamps

Do you have one of those friends who loves to get all her clothes at the thrift store so she can tell you all about it?

 You know the kind I mean, the Thrifty Thelma who can't receive a compliment on her  blouse without  assigning it a dollar amount followed by an outfit yakabout that sounds like a clip from The Price Is Right.

This blouse? It's Ann Taylor, and the tags were still on it.  It was only $5.00.
These Michael Kors shoes were $5.00 too.
 And this Kate Spade purse? Two bucks.

Wow. Just wow. 

I've never purchased an article of clothing in a thrift store in my life. I have enough trouble finding clothes to fit me in Retail Land where they have not yet begun to shrink. I'm sure enough not going to buy preshrunk clothes in a a place with neither a dressing room nor a return policy. That would be a trip to the crazy patch for me.

No, I'm not a Thelma in the fashion department. I totally get her, though. I get her because I'm a Thelma in just about every other department, especially in the home decorating department. I don't know what it is, folks, but I get a serious thrill (I mean a serious thrill...) out of finding stuff for my house on the cheap and then yakking it abroad to anyone who will listen.

But then, you knew that, didn't you?

 Very soon, I'm going to be finished with the Great Living Room Adventure that I've been working on for months, and I'll give you a tour. When I do, you can be certain that it's going to sound like an episode of The Price Is Right. 

Coffee table...$20.00.
Some sconces... $5.00 for the pair


Table lamps...

Three bucks.

About the cost of a pumpkin latte.
(Thrifty Thelma always throws in the comparison cost. It makes it even thriftier. )

I paid a latte apiece for the matching lamps in my living room,
and today, I'm going to yak about them.


I didn't buy them because they were pretty.  I bought them because they resembled the lamps living  in my head. Of course, the lamps in my head didn't have rusted lamp parts and a body coming apart in several places.




 And they didn't have a harp almost as tall as the lamp itself. 

What in the world is up with that harp?

But they were tall and skinny. I was looking for tall and skinny. And they weren't metal. I wasn't looking for metal.  I was looking for a modified baluster style.

And they worked.

That part's kind of important too.

So they got cleaned up, and the brass parts got polished and Rub n Buffed.  Gorilla wood glue fixed all the loose parts, and I bought new harps. (Which technically adds five bucks to each lamp, if you're keeping track.)

 I painted them with poor man's Annie Sloan in a shade  that I call taupelicious.  It's a combination of 423 different taupe rejects from my very large stash of taupe reject testers.

Because it's nearly impossible to find the perfect taupe for a project, that's why.


It's hard I tell you.

It's so hard that I have nearly broken up with taupe three times this year. When I finally created a shade that worked, I made a paint chip and took it to the paint store.  


It looks really pretty white washed with some soft white.

At least it looks pretty to me.

Kind of a latte color, don't you think?


 I could very easily sand it down in parts to distress it if I have a mind to. 

I don't really have a mind to.


The shade was actually the biggest pain.  Every lamp shade that I tried came up a bit short. Literally.  They were all ten inches in length, and they tended to make the lamp look like a gawky preteen.


See?

Longer shades were all too chiffony or pleated for the lamp in my head. 

I finally found these simple barrel shades at Target of all places for $22.00.  Lucky me, I happened to have a fifty dollar gift card to Target in my stash of unused gift cards.

So in Debbie Land, that means these shades were free.


They're a soft white, which is what I wanted, 
and they stay white even with the light on, which was important to me, too. 

I like them. 

Yes, I know it's plain. Plain happens to be exactly what I was going for here. I like to call it simple instead. Soft, restful, and simple. Those are the watchwords for the new living room.

And taupe. Don't forget taupe.

So in the end, the lamps ended up costing me about eight bucks each. Even if you add in the cost of a shade, which I didn't,  that's still only thirty dollars for the lamp and shade. Not  too shabby for a lamp that is so very much like the one living in my head, is it?

No, I don't think so either.

And that's all I have for today. I think it has stopped raining enough for Mr. Backhoe Man to begin the terrible, horrible, very bad, no good lawn destruction, and I need to go upstairs and put on the big girl pants...

... which I can assure you would never come from a thrift store. 

What about you? 
What will you buy from the thrift store?
What won't you buy?


And yes, dear Farm Sister. You do not need to answer this question. I know the answer fully well. Shhh.






.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Lights

So I was trying to share a random act of senseless decorating last week. It was little corner of the living room sort of dressed up for fall.  

Don't scroll back. You didn't miss it. The post had a failure to launch. 

For one thing, it was gloomy out there. It was one of those days when you have absolutely no business trying to take a picture for Blogville, one of those days when you know that any picture you post is going to be followed by that goofy apology for the clouds... as if they're your fault or something. 

I was trying anyway. I had turned on every light in the room and was running about the place turning on every other light  I could find as well. The Scottish MacHusband was running right behind me,  turning them off as fast as I could turn them on. 

Oooh, that man. 

"I am trying to light up this corner in the living room,"
 said I. 
"By turning on lights in the den?" 
said he. 

Then he called me Deb-or-ah and launched into some kind of physics lesson about the properties of light. (At least I think it was physics. Science and I aren't exactly on speaking terms.)    

All I heard was wok wok-wok-wok-wok wokkkk 

and something about light traveling in a straight line. 

And therefore, apparently, it makes no difference whatsoever whether we have a
light turned on around the corner...

Deb-or-ah. 

I'm sure he's right. It's his turn to be, after all. Still, it irked me to have him going around behind me turning off my lights when I was so desperate to chase the gloomies out of my picture. 

So yesterday morning, I did a little experiment. I took a series of photos of the same spot in the house while I ever so scientifically turned on lights in the adjacent spaces and then around the corner.

 Then, without retouching them at all, I lined them all up. 


Because apparently, I have too much time on my hands. 

And then, I showed them to Einstein to make him admit that he could see a slight difference. 


And either because he did see a difference, or probably because he had a tree to cut and wanted to me to stick a sock in it, he said that he could see a difference.

He used the word subtle. 
Then, he said something snotty about turning on the light upstairs in the master bathroom. 


So OK... Maybe I wasn't able to bring about any great change by turning on the lights around the corner.   Maybe that part is mostly in my head.

But here's the thing: When you're desperate for just a little light in your corner of the world, isn't even a subtle change an encouraging one?

It is to me.

And it got me thinking.
I'm always thinking...

There seems to be a lot of folks out there desperate for just a little more light in their corner of the world. Oh, maybe it's not completely dark in there, but you're facing your own version of the gloomies.  Some of you have shared it openly on the world wide web. Others have quietly emailed. Still others have said it, but their words were mostly written between the lines.

You know who you are.

And if I could, I would take whatever paltry light I have to share and come straight to your corner of the world to help you chase those gloomies away. If I could, I would get on a plane and travel coast to coast with a tray full of pumpkin lattes.

But I can't.
I'm sort of stuck here in my own little corner of the world.


But maybe... and yes I know this flies in the face of physics...  maybe I can send at least a little light to your corner of the world just by turning one on in mine.  

I think the Master and Creator of the Universe can do whatever He pleases with the laws of physics. He made them up in His head, after all.  He is perfectly capable of taking one little light from  Georgia all the way to a corner in California by way of North Carolina with a side trip to Texas... if He has a mind to.

I think He has a mind to. 

After all, what's a corner but an intersection of two straight lines? 

That's the way I see it anyway.

So even though I can't travel to your corner of the world with a pumpkin latte this morning, I'm going to do my best to light your world by lighting up the world, one little corner at a time.  


Anybody want to join me?
I'll meet you at the intersection. 

****

Comments off as always for Sunday

Friday, September 19, 2014

Finding Something Orange

It's  that time of year again, folks. 

Time to get out there and find the orange.  

It's one of my favorite things to do. 


In full disclosure, I actually found this orange while on one of my inexplicable blog breaks. I took it along the country commute that lies between me and every place I need to be. Usually, I need to be there pretty quickly, too.

Was it worth the delay to stop that day and notice the orange?
Yes, it was.

It was worth it in more ways than one, too. Not long after I took that photo, they began to clear cut that entire little forest. Today, it's nothing more than gravel and some weeds. I won't depress you with the evidence.

And then, we had this orange sighting. 


OK, it's an old one too... 

These are the Bradford pears that line our street. It's a good thing I have stopped to enjoy them every other year because they will never look that lovely again.

Between the ice storm, some sort of pear tree blight, and old age, we lost more than half of the pear trees in the neighborhood this summer.  Ours was the first to go, too. It nearly broke my heart. What was once a beautiful canopy road now looks more like a random bunch of umbrellas.

As if the pear trees were not enough...


Today, I found this orange.


I'm not so jazzed about this orange, but I took a picture anyway. 

In case you can't tell, this would be the little orange trail left by the power company.  It shows where the electric lines are buried. We're all schmancy in our neighborhood, you see. We have things like buried power lines.

Too bad we don't have things like buried sewer lines.

No, this little country neighborhood has septic tanks instead.  And do you know where septic tanks are installed when the back yard is a piney stick forest?







And that's exactly where the big, ugly backhoe is going to go, too. 
That's why we needed to find the orange. 

Monday morning, Mr. Backhoe Man will dig two, big trenches out there so a new drain line can go into that septic tank. (Or does it go out of  the septic tank? )  I'm not ashamed to admit that I haven't the first clue how septic systems work.

 I only know when they aren't working, and even after major repairs in the spring, ours is not.  Apparently, the drain line has been snuffed out by a gang of malicious pine roots and their gun moll named Myrtle.

Sigh.

Myrtle will be going the way of the pear trees and taking half my front lawn along with her.

By this time Monday  (weather permitting)  I'll be the proud owner of a bald lawn and a balder bank account. We really had no choice... considering the alternative.

On the upside, I'm also the owner of four toilets, without which we would not need a septic system at all. That being the case, I'm pretty sure this qualifies as the ultimate First World Problem.

Time to put on the big girl pants and deal with it.

Of course, since I tend to deal so much better with the help of a hot beverage, I'll be taking this  half full cup of mine out for a drive to find something orange.




If you have any suggestions for regrowing a lawn in the autumn,
now would be the time to share them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Suspect Mrs. Peacock...

... in the dining room

... with a feather.


Yep, that's the way it happened. I was there, and I saw it. 
Apparently, the old broad invited a bunch of hens to a luncheon club 
and tickled them to death.



 Have I mentioned that the Farm Sister has always had a thing for peacocks? Probably not, I can't imagine why I would. She has, though. When we were kids and played the game Clue, she was always Mrs. Peacock, and she spoke the entire game with a British accent. I was Miss Scarlet and spoke with a drawl. 

We've always been a couple of oddballs now that I think about it.   

Mrs. Peacock grew up to marry a farmer, and on their farm they actually do have a peacock. His name is Ralph.  Ralph is a bit shy about showing his feathers for the camera. 



He's not in the least bit shy about shedding his feathers for the picking, though. 





So when her daughters gave her these whimsical plates for her birthday this year,
 she knew exactly what she was going to do for her turn at luncheon club.  


Gold flatware and some gold chargers were a must. 
Peacocks are all about the bling. 


And the rest of the table was all about the feathers.  

Feathers on the place cards.


Feathers down the middle of the table


And eyes looking out from the votives and linen.   



Mrs. Peacock is nothing if not a detail person.  


Napkins were done in a peacock fold. 


It's made by fan folding a square napkin on the diagonal 
and nesting it in the glass. 


Her flowers had a lot of plumage too. 
 She was kind of afraid that this centerpiece was going to be too tall,
 but noooo...

We talked right over them without a problem. 


In regular accents though, which means that everybody was trying to be Miss Scarlet.


Everybody that is, except the Farm Sister. 
No matter how she talks, she will always be  Mrs. Peacock. 



And she will always be the second oddest bird in town.  

(If Miss Scarlet inexplicably disappears for that one,  
feel free to suspect Mrs. Peacock with a lead pipe in the conservatory...) 

*****

Sharing with The Porch on Thursday. 

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