Category Archives: holidays

BE THERE via begin with yes


If you’re lucky enough this year to be surrounded by friends and family, happily buying and wrapping presents, secure in your home and finances, thinking of what you’ll serve, how you’ll decorate….

Take a moment or two to realize how very, very lucky you are, and that many people – people you know and don’t know – might be feeling bad. Many things may have happened – Mother Nature type things, like losing your home in a wildfire (or those who have recently lost everything in the hurricanes and flooding.) They may have lost a job or are having trouble finding work that will pay the bills. A death in the family has left a humongous sink hole threatening to swallow them up. There may be sickness, they may have lost a beloved pet. Their family members may be too far away to be home with them.

Whatever people might be dealing with, it’s harder during a holiday – especially one as big as Christmas and New Year’s. Everyone asks you if ‘you’re ready for Christmas.’  It’s almost expected that you’re bubbling over with joy and thinking only of the frantic rush to get everything done.

Just take a moment or two –

Pay attention to those around you.  For friends and family, be aware of each person’s situation. Give an extra hug. Help them smile. Reach out and show them in any way you can that you care. The best gifts there are – love, caring, hugs, kindness, friendship are all free. Take time to give each of these freely and in abundance – and then make a point of BEING THERE throughout the new year.


Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Holiday Gift Ideas, holidays

Getting in the Mood for Christmas

I have to admit that this year I haven’t been swept up with the Christmas spirit yet, other than making a few things as presents for some of the great people in my life.

My good friend, Jackie Lyons, created a “Snow Village” and posted it on Facebook today. I wrote and asked her if I could share it with you. Happily, she said, “Sure!” Best of all, it gave us a chance to visit and catch up a bit. She’s a beautiful lady I never would have met if it hadn’t been for the Internet and my former website, Creative Artworks.

“Snow Village” by Jackie Lyons

I could feel my spirits soaring when I saw this. Who could be filled with, “Bah, Humbug” when they could see this?

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Santa is UP

We put our Santa mailbox decoration up this morning. I’m not sure if you can tell it from this picture, but the white of his beard, the snowball and fur on his hat, his eyebrows, mustache, and bands on his mittens are all textured with SnoTex, so they have a 3-D feeling. I like that stuff a lot.

We have a mystery, though.

I asked my husband if he would get the mailbox decoration that has two children on either side of a Christmas tree so that we could put it up today. He came back, saying he couldn’t find that one, but had brought back Santa. I went out to the shop and looked through the decorations and I couldn’t find it, either!

I don’t know if I’m losing my mind or what! I can’t find any pictures of the decoration, so there seems to be no record of our making it. I’ll have to look on the net and see if I can find it again. Could I have DREAMED we cut it out and painted it?

Kind of rattles my confidence a bit…



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Day After Turkey Day

We had a great Thanksgiving and hope that you did, too.

We managed to have an almost completely low-carb dinner, with roasted turkey breast, cauliflower “mashed potatoes,” gravy, a big salad, and deviled eggs. The only ‘carb’ stuff was wine and cranberry sauce.

Amber was her usual puppy self when our friend Nora first arrived, but then settled down and was good the rest of the evening. It made Nora laugh when Amber just walked right up my husband’s front to sit in his lap.

We had lots of good conversation, catching up on what’s been happening since we saw each other last. One piece of entertainment for the evening was when my husband put drops and goo into my injured eye.

When we were getting ready for bed, my husband thanked me for making the deviled eggs – one of his favorite things, and said everything tasted good, particularly the mashed potatoes and gravy. I then told him the mashed potatoes were pureed cauliflower with butter, garlic , salt, and parmesan cheese!  He was amazed, admitted he wouldn’t even have tried it if he had known, but admitted he thought it was delicious. I can now feel free to serve it from time to time – with gravy, of course. :0)

Tonight we’ll have one of MY very favorite things – turkey sandwiches! Another thing for which to be thankful.



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Happy Thanksgiving – 2017!

“May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!”



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Eye Update

mad eye moody-harry

Just got back from seeing one of the docs who helped me with my cataract surgery.

He said, “Wow. You sure scratched your eye all up. I’ll bet that hurts.”

The tech, though, had put numbing drops in my eyes before she did all the preliminary testing, so I was able to tell him that I felt better now than I had since Monday evening.

He didn’t find anything in my eye, or any sign of any other problems. Whew. We decided that it was probably a combination of the dryness we’re having right now plus the fact that I did the last bout of leaf mulching. I probably got some really small bits of leaves in my eyes, even though I wear protective glasses.

Anyhow, he called in prescriptions for an ointment and some eye drops that work to alleviate stinging, irritation, and pain while my eye has a chance to heal. There is no sign of infection. We put the two things in when I got home and I still feel a bit of ‘something being in my eye,’ but none of the stinging and no one is plunging a knife into my eye anymore! Hooray!

So I called my good friend, Nora, and said that turkey day is back on tomorrow. I can handle the amount of discomfort I have now, so should be able to do turkey and all the fixings tomorrow, as scheduled. It’s a good thing my guest is my good friend, Nora, who loves, me because I probably won’t get much cleaning done tomorrow…

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Thanksgiving Mailbox Decoration

We put the turkey up on the mailbox yesterday. I’m starting to get into the swing of Thanksgiving, finally.

We have our good friend, Nora, coming for dinner, and are hoping that another friend, Carla, will also be free. I have the fixings for our dinner in the house, and will move the turkey from the freezer to the fridge to start thawing on Monday.

I’m thankful for so many things this year –

  • My good friends from Lunch Bunch,
  • My husband playing ball with our ‘puppy,’ Amber, who now officially weighs 81 lbs at 8 months old, and keeping me company while I made two more 39 gallon trash bags full of leaf mulch this afternoon,
  • having a fun family of my husband, two dogs, two cats, and four fish up here in a house we love on top of a ridge line,
  • our son MAY be coming home from Thailand for a visit in February,
  • my husband and I are free to spend our days enjoying our lives and each other with very few serious problems

I hope that you’re looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with people you love in a warm, dry place, filling your bellies with good food, and your hearts with good cheer.


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What are You Thankful For? – Take



“I’m thankful for the doctor who fixed my heart.” — Jillian, age 12


Source: “Kids respond: What are you thankful for?” by Christina Holt

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What are You Thankful For? – Take 6

“I’m thankful for the USA, family and summer.” — Ava, age 9


Source: “Kids respond: What are you thankful for?” by Christina Holt

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What are You Thankful For? – Take 5

“I’m thankful for my mommy, my daddy, my sister, my brothers and horses.” — Emily, age 9

Source: “Kids respond: What are you thankful for?” by Christina Holt

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What are You Thankful For? – Take 4

“I’m most thankful for my mom and dad… What? Am I missing somebody? Oh yeah, I guess my sister, too.” — Ella, age 8

Source: “Kids respond: What are you thankful for?” by Christina Holt

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What Are You Thankful For? – Take 3

“I’m thankful for my family and Thanksgiving feasts.” — Peyton, age 5

Source: “Kids respond: What are you thankful for?” by Christina Holt

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Veterans Day 2017

credit for photo unknown

This photo of the Greenwood Memorial Park in the center of our square was taken in 2013, but the park looks much like this today, Veterans Day 2017. The main thing that is different is a very nice custom wrought iron fence with gates that go around three sides of the perimeter of the park.


Stones like this line the park and the walkways honoring many men and women of Greenwood who served their country. It’s an awe-inspiring sight. I wanted to get one for my husband, who served in the USMC from 1965-1969. He is classified as a Vietnam veteran, though he never had to fight there. He was offshore in all the hot spots during the four years, most notably Cuba during the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam, but never had to actually be in combat. That fact makes him think that he shouldn’t be honored. I respectfully disagree.

I’m not sure if it’s volunteers or the employees of the park department who make time to put out all the flags for days like this. I think it’s wonderful, and it makes me choke up to see it each year.

I hope that the families of all the men and women who served, and are currently serving, know how much their sacrifice means to all who love our country. There is no way to ever thank you enough.

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What are You Thankful For? – Take 3

“The zoo and the monkey bars… and breakfast bars.” — Bennett, age 3

Source: “Kids respond: What are you thankful for?” by Christina Holt

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What are You Thankful For? – Take 2


“I’m thankful for my parents’ ability to discern that one grunt mean yes and another grunt means I’ve gone #2 in my diaper.” — Dad on behalf of Finnegan, age 2


Source: Christina Holt – “Kids respond: What are you thankful for?”

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What are You Thankful For? – Take 1

Christina Holt wrote an article called, “Kids respond:  What are you thankful for?” where she listed answers from kids aged 2 to 12. I thought they were wonderful, so I’ve paired them up with some pictures of cute kids I found to share happy Thanksgiving thoughts with you.


“I’m thankful that I love everyone in our family and that they love me too.” — Lizzy, age 8


Source: Christina Holt, “Kids respond: What are you thankful for?”

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Happy Halloween 2017! via http://www.pinterest,com









I wish you the best Halloween ever!

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Lewis Halloween Mailbox Decoration # 2

We took the Jack-O-Lantern down this morning and took it back to the shop. I’ll clean it carefully and then use some really bright, neon orange paint to see if I can get it to show up better at night when car lights hit it.


We put our ghost up for the rest of the month. This is the back of the piece.


This is the front. It’s funny, but this is one of our most simple pieces. It shows up at night better than anything we’ve made before or since. I love his happy expression. I hope he brings a smile or two.

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Filed under holidays, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, metal art

Mailbox Decoration – Jack-O-Lantern

We just put this jack-o-lantern mailbox decoration up. This is the back of the piece.


And this is the front. I wish he glowed in the dark…


Filed under holidays, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations

Happy Independence Day 2017!

LoveThisPic – Dreamer


It’s supposed to be rainy here this afternoon and this evening, MAYBE allowing some fireworks late.  For many years this would have ruined my 4th of July. Happily, my life is so full these days that watching fireworks from our backyard valley neighbors will be icing on the cake.


Visit Philadelphia

We don’t have work planned today. Our rambunctious labrador puppy, Amber, is asleep beside my chair as I type. My husband and I are old, but reasonably healthy. We’ve just chosen a new ‘sun’ wall hanging design to try to make on our CNC table as soon as we can arrange for the a/c to work in the shop again.

Our animals are healthy and happy. Our son, across the world from us, is taking classes in Mandarin and Thai, working out at the gym, making music, and working. It just doesn’t get much better than this.

So, happy Independence Day!  I hope that you’re enjoying the day, doing something fun, celebrating our country’s 241st birthday.

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July 4th Memories


I’ve always loved the 4th of July. My favorite thing, other than watching the professional shows, is sparklers and snakes.


Latinos Post

It was my dad’s favorite holiday. He used to get a whole group of ladyfinger firecrackers that were all tied together in a big double swath, kind of like the ammo belts and shoulder harnesses bandoliers used to wear, and light the end of it so all of the firecrackers went off serially, seemingly forever. He would laugh with joy every time he did this.


Toward the end of his life, his health was very poor. He had a bad combination of dangerously enlarged heart, emphysema, and had bad cataracts – so bad he really had trouble seeing anything. His health was so poor that the surgeons didn’t want to risk removing the cataracts.

My husband-to-be spent all one July 4th evening setting off firecrackers that my dad could SEE and HEAR. I spent the whole evening in happy tears, seeing the joy on my dad’s face, love pouring out for my fiance’. If I didn’t love him for 9 million other reasons, I would love him for the gift he gave my dad that year.

May you enjoy sparklers, snakes, and beautiful fireworks this July 4th.

Happy Independence Day!

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OOAK Hand-Painted “Freedom” Basket


“Freedom” Hand-Painted Basket by Linda Lewis

This is a one-of-a-kind hand-painted wooden basket by Linda Lewis.

The oval basket is 11″ long x 9.5″ wide x 7 ” tall. (The basket is about 13.5″ tall with the handle extended straight up.) The dimensions of the inner basket at the base are approximately 8″ x 6″. The “squares” created by the weaving of the basket have been painted red, white, and blue, with the red overlaid with red glitter paint. Red, white and blue 3-D accents are applied around the rim and on the handle. Metallic copper is used around the basket to give a burnished appearance.

One side says, “Let freedom never perish in your hands.” by Joseph Addison. The other side says, “Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.” by Moshe Dayan.  F

REE SHIPPING within the contiguous United States.

*Please order right away in order to receive it in time for use on July 4th.

Link above is to my ArtFire shop. You can order directly from there.


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Welcome, Summer!

“As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.” ~ Unknown

“The Celts & Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun’s energy. The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light.” ~ Unknown

“Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids’ celebration of the day as the “wedding of Heaven and Earth”, resulting in the present day belief of a “lucky” wedding in June.” ~ Unknown



Holiday Calendar

On The Summer Solstice … “Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.” William Shakespeare




International Business Times – Stonehenge

“Today, the day is still celebrated around the world – most notably in England at Stonehenge and Avebury, where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice.”~ Unknown


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Happy Fathers Day 2017

The Joseph Firm PA

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys.” ~Harmon Killebrew




“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” ~Author Unknown



Social Work Helper

“When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.” ~  William Shakespeare

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Happy Father’s Day, Jim

Jim Wheaton

My dad’s left arm was shorter than his right and his hand was curved, almost useless, from a fall from a horse when he was 3. I almost forgot that he might be a bit challenged from time to time. He never talked about it, never brought attention to it. He just lived with it. We saw a panhandler on the street when we were on vacation when I was a child. He walked up to the man, who had an arm just like his. The man asked for money, holding up his arm. My dad simply held up HIS arm and said, “Get a job.”

My dad loved to tell jokes and stories. He loved puns. He loved sarcasm. He survived by humor when he was a child, dealing with kids on the playground, who made fun of his arm. He made them laugh so hard they finally accepted him and quit bullying.

He brought his family to Tulsa, Oklahoma from Chicago/New York/Long Island with a dream of having his own advertising agency. 25 years later, he won a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his “Unique contribution to the advertising world in Tulsa, OK” shortly before he died, having supported his family and putting two kids through college.

He came to a class when I was going for a Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist. My talk in that class was teaching children to listen wisely to advertising. My dad was the guest speaker. He was a bit of a celebrity, billing himself as “Tulsa’s 2nd worst radio voice.” His radio spots got people’s attention because they made you listen, sometimes making you laugh. You always remembered the companies lucky enough to hire him. At the end of the class, he said something to the effect – “It’s fun to write advertising commercials. It’s fun to come and talk to you today. But the thing I love the most about today is getting to watch my daughter give a speech. My daughter is Linda Lewis.” You could have heard a pin drop at the surprise  – and then delight  – in the room. They erupted in applause and I cried.

My dad was unique. He was ahead of his time. He wanted my brother and me to call him “Jim” because “dad” kind of embarrassed him. He was an only child and didn’t figure he was that great as a dad. He set an example of honesty, integrity, determination and courage in living his life every day. He said, “Remember me laughing.”

I do, Jim, even with tears in my eyes. Happy Father’s Day.

“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” ~Clarence Budington Kelland



Filed under Family, Favorite People, holidays, life lessons, Tribute

Memorial Day in Greenwood, Arkansas

Greenwood Arkansas Memorial Park

Greenwood, Arkansas is a small town about 9 miles south and east of Fort Smith in west-central Arkansas.  At last official count, there were a little over 9,000 people living here.

There is a ‘square’ that makes up most of ‘downtown’ that brings back happy memories of visiting my grandmother for two weeks in the summers in Nevada, Missouri. I felt all grown up, getting to stay there by myself, walk to the shops and the library by myself and be thoroughly spoiled. My grandmother was phenomenal, taking sole care of my grandfather who was bedridden from Multiple Sclerosis. She seemed to look forward to the visits of her grandchildren, one at a time each summer, doing all sorts of wonderful, special things we would remember vividly the rest of our lives. When my husband showed me Greenwood, planning to take a job in Fort Smith, I fell in love with it immediately.

The court house used to be in the center of the square. One time it was destroyed by fire. It was again destroyed in 1969 when a tornado leveled the town and killed many. The clock tower is all that remained in the center of the square. Recently, a local businessman built a new copper-looking roof for the clock tower. It really looks wonderful, shining in the sun as you enter the square from any direction. (The court house is now across the street to the south from what is now called, “Memorial Park.”)

Several years ago funds were gathered and grants won in order to turn what was a nice little park into “Memorial Park” – honoring our veterans. If you look carefully, you can see plaques that have been set in concrete up and down both sides of the concrete paths in the park. These were purchased by the families of the veterans to honor their family member for their service to our country. There are more plaques in the park each year. Flags are put out on all appropriate holidays – a sight to see! What you cannot see in this picture are statues commemorating each of the services around the base of the clock tower. Nice benches were added and some lights, and hanging baskets of flowers, and a nice wrought iron fence around the street side of the park. There is a gazebo on one end, surrounded by knockout rose bushes, where people sing and play instruments from time to time.

This is the center of our town. A town proud of the people who made our country great, who served to keep our people free.

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Memorial Day 2017 – 2

Romper – 10 Sing It Loud and Proud

“I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day.  I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.  We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.”  ~ Benjamin Harrison

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Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day Pictures

“That’s what it takes to be a hero, a little gem of innocence inside you that makes you want to believe that there still exists a right and wrong, that decency will somehow triumph in the end.” ~ Lise Hand

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Happy Mother’s Day 2017

Testimonies of Hope

  • Mother is a verb, not a noun.  ~Proverb
  • Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.  ~Linda Wooten
  • Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What’s that suppose to mean?  In my heart it don’t mean a thing.  ~Toni Morrison
  • A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~Tenneva Jordan
  • When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren
  • It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding. – Erma Bombeck
  • I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.  ~Phyllis Diller
  • My mother loved children and she would have given anything if I had been one.  ~Groucho Marx

I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day today.

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Happy May 1st!

Our Continent – Our Culture –

I can’t remember where I was or how old I was when I actually got to do this one year, but I remember it was loads of fun. I vividly remember the excitement, the laughter, the delighted faces of everyone around me, young and old. I regret I am unable to give credit to the kind people who made this possible for me. It was the one and only time I did the Maypole Dance, and it was a high point in my life.

I looked up how one is actually supposed to do a Maypole Dance, since I don’t remember any particular rhyme or reason.

Put the Maypole together. Unless you have access to a Maypole that has already been made for the purpose, you will need to make your own. Find a tall pole and attach ribbons or strong streamers at the top of the pole. These ribbons will need to be an even number, the same number of ribbons as there are dancers.

Divide the dancers into two groups. For example, you might have them count off one, two, one, two, one, two around the circle, or A, B, A, B, etc. The A’s can go clockwise and the B’s go counterclockwise. The dancers go alternately right and left of the dancers going in the opposite direction.

Develop a pattern. The pattern the dancers should keep in mind is over, under, over, under, over, under etc.
On the count of “over”, the dancer raises his ribbon slightly so the dancer coming in the opposite direction can duck under his ribbon.
On the count of “under” the dancer ducks under the ribbon of the dancer coming in the opposite direction.

(Source – Wiki – How To Do Anything)

No excuses now for not stopping and participating, just in case you see a Maypole Dance going on. :0)

Happy May 1st to you!



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Happy Easter!

Birthday Greeting Cards by Davia


A hundred years or so ago, when I was a child, they sold chicks for Easter at the local hardware store.  A bunch of us persuaded one of the moms to take us to get one.  (This was before it was generally known that this was not a good thing to do to the chicks)

There were about 5 of us and we each got a different colored chick. We named our chicks and proudly brought them home – to appalled moms all over the neighborhood who had no place for a chick, and the resulting grown chicken if the chick happened to live.  (I now look at this through a very different lens. Back then, I was in Heaven and couldn’t figure out why my mom wasn’t delighted with my CUTE light blue chick I had named Elizabeth.

They grew – as chicks do. As they did, the dye faded or the baby chick fuzz left, replaced by feathers. Some of the chicks died. Mine didn’t, but my mom was adamant she was not going to make a chicken house. I kept Elizabeth in a box in the garage for a time, and then my friend Ann’s mom said she would take the chicks at her house. I walked to Ann’s every day to see Elizabeth. Soon, though, it was harder and harder to tell one chicken from another.

Added to this, the sweet, CUTE chicks had become pretty LARGE, mean chickens – who pecked us!

I visited Elizabeth less and less during the coming weeks. Finally, the mom who was raising the chickens for us told us that if we wanted our now fully grown chicken, we should come get them. Otherwise, they were going into the freezer.

By that time, I wasn’t upset that Elizabeth was to become a fried chicken dinner. I learned a valuable lesson. Chicks, rabbits, miniature turtles, and all the other things that are so CUTE when they’re young really shouldn’t be sold as temporary playthings to children at Easter or any other time.

I was lucky that my friend’s mom was willing to build a chicken house so that Elizabeth and the others had the best possible life they could have had, given their start in life.

Source Unknown

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