Turning Things Around?

When poults (baby turkeys) arrive on our farm, they are less than 24 hours old. They are cute, hungry, thirsty, and not very smart. In addition, they are top heavy thanks to their full yolk sacs and skinny legs. For about the first 7 days of their lives, it is not uncommon for them to spend a great deal of time flipped onto their backs, kicking their spindly, little legs like crazy, and looking up instead of ahead.

Appropriately, we, in the turkey industry, call the flipped-over poults, “flippers.”

A flock with a lot of “flippers” takes more time to care for because we spend so much time walking through the range house setting the spinning birds right-side up. Often they flip back over or a stampede of other poults pushes them prone again, but we still work to set them all in the right direction.

I feel like many of us are “flippers” in our lives because we allow the weight of our overthinking and worry to upend our outlooks or the pressure of trying to go with the flock to capsize our cause. Just like the extra time it takes to care for a building full of “flippers,” we are too panicked about our problems and freaking out instead of finding ways to fix them. We spend too much time failing to find the solution to turning things around in our lives.

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Jane Jetson Aspirations

It is the year 2022, and I aspire to be Jane Jetson 40 years in advance. I say 40 years in advance because The Jetsons portrayed society in the year 2062. My aspirations to be Jane Jetson most likely stem from laziness or exhaustion (not sure which), but I can tell you that my robot vacuum lacks the personality of Rosie Jetson and my wardrobe has far fewer digital options than Jane’s.

I can only imagine what it would be like to press a button and a fully fresh face and hair style would materialize. Forget the frustration of not having anything to wear, I could just step into my holographic closet apparatus and create my perfect look by swiping through the digital designs. My dishes would wash themselves, food prepare itself, and the laundry would wash, dry, and fold all on its own. It would be magical.

Maybe it’s her cool triangle-shaped collar, or her ability to juggle all the galactic challenges of being a woman of the future, but I know that I would love to put myself in her spacetastic shoes. Clearly, Jane is a woman who knows how to handle her bumbling husband, reign in her teenage daughter, keep her brilliant son from getting too big for his britches, and maintain a social life and philanthropic endeavors through her work with the Skypad Apartments’ recycling company and Galaxy Women Historical Society. Who wouldn’t want to be like Jane Jetson?

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It’s Okay if Things Go “Sploosh”

Sometimes I find myself consumed with what-ifs. So consumed in fact, that my thoughts have no where to go but straight to panic mode. As I planned for a recent girls weekend, (one that my worry-logged nerves desperately needed) I asked Hubby to help me with getting a load of firewood. My gal pals and I were staying at a secluded cabin, complete with wood-burning fireplace, and the weatherforecast was calling for snow.

After some impressive chainsaw brandishing, Hubby and I had filled a tractor bucket full of logs. When I told my loving lumberjack that I would stack the logs on the flatbed to drive to the cabin, he told me not to worry. He would simply dump the wood right on the truck, and it would be ready to go. Immediately, my internal anxiety alarms started sounding in my head. He asked if I was okay with that plan. I told him all I could picture in my mind were the logs going “sploosh” as he put them on the truck or flying off as we drove down the highway. He firmly but lovingly put his hands on my shoulders and said, “It’s okay if things go ‘sploosh’ sometimes.”

With that statement my tears wanted to splash but, instead, I found a giggle for his use of “sploosh.”

I knew he was right and maybe, just maybe, if I could get over my fear of the potential “splooshes” in life, I could get past the nervousness that has been nagging at me so heavily lately.

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Breaking News: Plane Lands Safely

In the last few weeks, I’ve had two friends going through a tough time with their kiddos and school. So tough, in fact, that both transferred to a different school. When my gal pal, Cindy, reached out to let me know of their decision, I shot a quick text to our friend Lisa letting her know we are here if she or her kiddos need us. Change is hard, but leaving one negative situation to face a new, overwhelming one can be a lot to take. I didn’t want them to feel like they were alone. After sending love, support, and humor in our texts, Lisa thanked me for reaching out to her. I told her to not spread the news of my goodness; I didn’t want people to think I had gone soft. She sent back, “Ha!! Good news doesn’t seem to travel as fast as bad news, so your secret’s probably safe for a little while. LOL”

It made me sad to think about the snail-mail pace of positive reports and a story that had come across the morning news reaffirming this depressing dispatch. Lisa’s situation and the CBS Morning News inspired me to put some Intentergy into broadcasting some cheerful correspondence.

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Reasons to Get Out of Bed

The alarm clock ringing might be the #1 reason people give for getting out of bed, but it’s not that ring, ring, ring that really calls us to rise. My alarm clock is working fine, but I’ve been struggling with motivation to get moving in the morning.

It’s not just that it’s winter, and I want to hibernate, but that I really haven’t felt successful or inspired as of late.

I know I’m not alone, if you are feeling like there’s not enough good reasons to get going in the morning, check out my recent telephone conversation and how it helped with my dragging drive.

I called for tech support as I was working on the cataloging system for our elementary school library. We are relatively new to using this cataloging system, and this was not my first tech call. I had already spoken to Keith, the company representative, in the past. Keith is in Canada. I am in Central Missouri. When Keith takes my call, I always ask how things are in Canada, and he kindly tells me about the weather there. As we waited for the computer system to reboot my account, I asked Keith how many tech support calls he answers on average each day. He said, no one had ever asked him before, but, ironically, it was just discussed at a recent meeting. Keith said his average daily call count was 12.

Because I know that my past calls have all lasted between 30 minutes and 90 minutes, I thanked Keith for his time and his assistance. He laughed and told me that most people probably wouldn’t think of what he does as valuable. I pointed out that his service calls help me to provide library resources to over 130 students and faculty. While my school is a small one, I know he assists large colleges, universities, churches, and high schools; all with patrons in the thousands. I happily went on telling him that his 12 calls a day help thousands of people with their writing, reading, and research. He has a tremendous ripple effect on the success of all those patrons, and that’s a great reason to get out of bed every day.

Keith didn’t speak for a few moments. Actually, I was afraid he hung up on me or lost connection. When he did speak, the sincerity in his voice was so sweet. After saying, “Thank you,” Keith told me that it had never occurred to him to value his position in such a positive way. It made my day to know that I had brightened his.

After hanging up with Keith, my library software was working, and my mojo was much improved.

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Monday’s Message – December 6, 2021

Happy Monday, everyone! In this week’s Monday’s Message, I just want to express thanks for everyone who read, commented, and sent kind thoughts our way after publishing The Colors of Change. Your support and faith for good things to come is greatly appreciated.

I’m excited to say that this week’s Wise Words Wednesday was inspired by my son’s homework for computer class and his surprising knowledge of Bible verses. Please be sure to check it out and hopefully find some peace and inspiration for yourself.

Additional inspiration was provided by my friend Jamie and her daughter Kate this weekend. So be sure to check out my post Friday on “….and All the Other Things.” If you struggle with the demands of being called to fill too many rolls, this post is for you.

As we are fully immersed in the holiday season, be sure to give yourself the gifts of grace and time. Know that you are not perfect, and that’s okay. You deserve time to be healthy, happy, and dedicate room for planning and coping with all that comes your way this time of year.

If you want to check one gift off your list, be sure to give the gift of Intentergy and put some positive purpose and energy into someone’s day.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Intentergy comes in everyone’s size.

“The Pissy Prayer”

All too often I’ve heard that if you pray for patience the Lord will test it. I take pride in the patience I feel towards children, animals, and tedious tasks. I’m not always so patient with laziness, meanness, and ignorance.

Lately, I have witnessed laziness and unkindness in amounts exceeding my limits. In spite, of my prayers for peace, grace, and patience, the will to tolerate such selfish behavior has had me thinking about an alternative intent for my prayers.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still asking the Lord to help the flawed human race find peace, generosity, and compassion, but every once in a while, I want to pray “The Pissy Prayer.”

Now this isn’t a prayer sanctioned by any church or liturgical governing body, but it is one that I think a lot of us could benefit from. (I made “The Pissy Prayer” up myself.)

The Pissy Prayer
By Melanie A. Peters

Dear Lord,


Grant me permission to be pissy about insignificant things that others blow way out of proportion.

Grant me fussiness when friends and family fail to recognize and appreciate all the blessings you have bestowed upon them.

In your most holy name, I ask that you help me through this hissy fit and guide me as I lose my good and capable mind over whatever has worked its way into my heart.

But most of all, Lord, grant forgiveness for my imperfections, because that’s what I need to feel and demonstrate in this most imperfect world.

Amen.

I know what you are thinking.

This sounds a bit blasphemous.

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The Fizzle of Summer’s Sizzle

If the smell of sunscreen is making you nauseous and your flip-flops have blown out beyond repair, don’t worry. You are not alone. I don’t know about you, but once August rolls around, I feel all summer sizzled out. In fact, I am probably a poster child for the Summer Fizzled Out Federation (Not sure that’s a thing, but it should be). It’s been weeks since I’ve posted. Proof positive that my summer craziness has led to a depletion in my ability to put thoughts into words and words into posts. (I just took me 7 tries to type that sentence.)

After three months of working cattle, baling hay, raising fair hogs, coaching baseball, squeezing in doctor appointments, making Bar-b-ques, planning playdates, watering plants, and applying sunscreen, I’m feeling about as withered as the last of my tomato plants. When I talk to other people about how their summer is going, they all seem to voice the same end-of-summer exhaustion.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say they are ready for their kids to go back to school. Those dollars would add up to enough money for an end-of-summer vacation for my family. If I had a dollar for every time one of my kids said they don’t want to go back to school, I would have money for a vacation to Europe and a new car.

Why is it that once we’ve successfully navigated swimming lessons, baseball bleacher-butt, sun burns, mosquito bite madness, garden vegetables coming out of our ears, and lawn mowing lunacy that we have the desire to move away from summer and all its Go-Go-Go glory?

It’s because the fizzle of summer’s sizzle has begun, and that’s okay.

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Fish Delivery! Making Farm Pond Memories

After almost 25 years of too many other things to fix, last fall Hubby tackled the task of repairing a busted dam for a pond located on our farm. After hours of pushing dirt and packing it down with a dozer, the pond filled quickly with fall rains and winter snow melts. As March approached, we kept our eyes out for the fateful announcement of “Fish Days” at our local feed co-op.

Making our choices from the fish order form was almost as exciting as circling our wishes in a Christmas Toy Catalog. There were options of different species and sizes for every pond and lake. After careful consideration and research compliments of the Department of Conservation, we made our selections; hybrid blue gill, red ear, and a whole bunch of minnows.

Prior to picking up our fish, we had to fill portable tanks with pond water, so as to help the fish acclimate easily to their new home. Hubby took our kiddos with him to receive the fish at the co-op. They were eager to help and in awe of the process. (Those fish delivery guys don’t mess around. They get you loaded and out of there in no time!)

Once they arrived on the banks of the new pond, we questioned whether or not we would get the truck back up the bank without getting stuck, but into the pond the fish had to go.

Watching those tiny fries fly out of the tanks was exciting and nerve-wracking. How could such little fish survive the force of that water gushing out of the tanks and plopping into the pond?

Well, survive they did, and there is terrific anticipation for when that fresh fish delivery turns into a fresh fish fry.

Giving our kiddos the chance to be a part of the fish pond process has been fun. As the fish and our kids grow, that pond is overflowing with opportunities to spend time together, and the kids have shown great pride in the work that went into its re-construction and addition of fish.

While you may not have a pond to fill with fish or a task that requires thousands of gallons of pond water, you can always find joy in creating opportunities to be a part a project that is bigger than yourself.

Find ways to build, create, or grow with your loved ones or community. I promise it won’t be hard to reel in some fun and net some great memories. If things don’t always turn out the way you expect, it’s okay. Even fishing is called fishing for a reason. If you caught something every time, it would be called catching.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. We did successfully drive the truck up the bank without getting stuck.

20 Books of Summer +1 #20BooksofSummer2021

Thanks to Cathy at https://746books.com/2021/06/01/its-20-books-of-summer-time/ for sharing the 20 Books of Summer Challenge again!!! Yay summer reading!

During the summer of 2020, I participated in Cathy’s #20booksofsummer2020 and I LOVED it!

I enjoyed reading my choices and the posts of others readers as they shared their summer read picks. It made a season of quarantine feel like it a had some sense of community.

For Summer 2021, I am eager to dive into my summer reads, but I’m going to challenge myself to 21 reads before September 1st! #20booksofsummer2021 +1.

As the volunteer librarian at my children’s school, I host a reading club each year, and I always try to include the books in contention for the Mark Twain Award. There at 12 books nominated each year, and I have yet to be disappointed whenever I read those nominated. Students love them and often make informal waiting lists on my library desk for the Mark Twain Award titles. These 12 titles will definitely make up part of my 21 reads this summer, so I thought I would kick the list off with the nominees.

Shine!
Summer Read #1: Mark Twain Award Nominee #1: Shine by J.J. and Chris Grabenstein
Pay Attention, Carter Jones
Summer Read #2: Mark Twain Award Nominee #2: Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt
The Bridge Home
Summer Read #3: Mark Twain Award Nominee #3: The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
New Kid (New Kid, #1)
Summer Read #4: Mark Twain Award Nominee #4: New Kid by Jerry Craft
Song for a Whale
Summer Read #5: Mark Twain Award Nominee #5: Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
Shouting at the Rain
Summer Read #6: Mark Twain Award Nominee #6: Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation (Charlie Thorne #1)
Summer Read #7: Mark Twain Award Nominee #7: Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs
Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse
Summer Read #8: Mark Twain Award Nominee #8: Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught
Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen
Summer Read #9: Mark Twain Award Nominee #9: Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen by Niki Lenz
The Memory Keeper
Summer Read #10: Mark Twain Award Nominee #10: The Memory Keeper by Jennifer Camiccia
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA
Summer Read #11: Mark Twain Award Nominee #11: The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Benda Woods
White Bird: A Wonder Story
Summer Read #12: Mark Twain Award Nominee #12: White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

M.C. Higgins, the Great
Summer Read #13: M.C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton is a book I often recommend to students in the library, but it’s beena while since I read it the first time and want to revisit this amazing story.
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