My Life With Gracie…About “Winging It”

About "Winging It"

With the stage backdrop almost completed, Gracie and I decided we needed to let Pearl know she should prepare some standup comedy material for her opening night.

She was quite thrilled, and we were thrilled for her. The only suggestion she had, and it was a very good one, was to add a spotlight. Since this was scheduled for Saturday evening, everyone would be able to see better. How could Gracie and I have overlooked such an important detail?

Then I suggested we all put our heads together to decide on the comedy content of the show. You know, what jokes to tell…that sort of thing. Pearl just looked at us with a blank stare as if to say, “What do you mean? So I have to decide what jokes to tell ahead of time?”

It did no good to tell her it was what all the professionals do. She was determined to just “wing it” with whatever came to her mind, though she didn’t rule out using props.

Gracie seemed to accept this more easily than I did. Perhaps that’s just the way chickens do most things, by “winging it.” They have to trust their instincts.

In a way, this sort of makes sense. After all, chickens don’t use pencil and paper. Pearl would definitely have a hard time keeping her jokes organized if they were written down on index card.


So there is a great admiration in my heart for Pearl and her desire to just go wherever her talent and imagination take her. She has a rare trust in the gifts she was given to share with others.

My Life With Gracie taught me sometimes you simply have to “wing it” and believe in yourself and the gifts you’ve been given.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

About "Winging It"

My Life With Gracie…About Prosperity

About Prosperity

Autumn is a wonderful time to get out and do some work in the yard. The temperatures are cooler, and there’s always plenty to do to catch up with what wasn’t done in the heat and humidity of summer.

Prosperity has been on my mind a lot lately. This may be due in part to my age and often now wondering what I’ve accomplished in life that is real and lasting. If it hasn’t been done yet, it probably won’t be done unless it’s right here in my own backyard.

I will never have another house that’s bigger and nicer. Yet I do have a house and a yard and chickens to enjoy on a cool autumn day. I realize my house is an old one, and my finances have changed. Where once I could afford to renovate and restore, now I’m only hoping to “make do” with the resources I have. I know the day will probably come when the decline of my house will overtake my resources and my energy to get things done.

But on a lovely autumn day, all of those things are only passing thoughts. I take a break and sit with Blanche and Pearl and tell them, “Show me how pretty you are.”

In no time at all, they move from the shade to go and sit in the sun. Their white feathers reflect the light in the most beautiful way. They are stunning. They are gorgeous. In that moment, I feel so rich, so prosperous, and I can’t imagine wanting anything else.

Then Pearl nudges herself between the fencing of their chicken run and Blanche who is already as close as she can get to soak up as much of the sun’s warmth as possible. But Pearl is persistent, as only Pearl can be, and Blanche relents, surrenders her prime spot, and shifts over to a less sunny spot.

Pearl is happy. It wasn’t about having the sunniest spot. It was about having the attention. It was about “getting away with it” like only a best friend can. In no time at all, she was up and off and looking for something else to do.

My chickens believe that we are the most prosperous family on the block, perhaps in the whole neighborhood. It’s fine for them to believe that because when I look at them, I feel that way too.

The work on the stage set for Pearl’s comedy debut is coming along nicely. Some old boards and leftover paint can really turn into a nice backdrop for “Pearl’s Comedy Coop.” She still doesn’t know exactly what’s up which is fine.

Gracie has been giving me suggestions privately, but we haven’t told the others yet. I want Pearl’s audience to be supremely excited for her opening night.

The show will be just for us in the backyard. No one will be throwing money onto the stage. She won’t be getting a multi-million dollar contract. She will not go “viral” on YouTube. She will not be interviewed on the late night talk shows.

But she will have her moment, and we will all feel “like a million dollars,” and she will be what she has always wanted to be, a star comedian. This will be our gift to her.

My Life With Gracie gave me a new way of looking at prosperity, and suddenly my family is the richest in the whole neighborhood.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

About Prosperity

My Life With Gracie…Knowing What’s Best

Knowing What's Best

My chickens don’t like human processed food very much, and that’s probably very good. There are a few things they will eat like a bite of or two of bread crumbs from the leftover edges of my lunch sandwich. Even then, it has to be a whole grain bread with nuts and seeds in it. Otherwise they will turn their beaks away from the bleached white puffy stuff.

Along with their regular feed and scratch, every morning I make a fresh salad for them with chopped kale, shredded carrots, lettuce, and cubed apple. There’s usually something extra in there too depending on what’s fresh in the garden or in the produce department.

In the early spring, they can’t get enough of the newly sprouted grass and earthworms. Then later in the spring, they enjoy our strawberries which are must smaller but tastier than the store-bought variety. In the summer, there are plenty of garden vegetables. In the fall, they enjoy fresh pumpkins, and I roast the seeds for one of their most favorite treats of all. In the winter, I sprout wheat and barley seeds for them which they like very much.

I’ve often thought if we all ate like chickens we would be much healthier and happier. We eat things a chicken would never eat like cotton candy and cupcakes!

With chickens, no matter how good or tempting something may look, if it’s not what they know to be good for them, they aren’t going to touch it. Usually they aren’t even going to taste it.

Chickens are naturally suspicious of anything new that is placed in front of them. They cock their head to the side to get a closer look and will usually go right back to whatever they were doing. Occasionally they will give a disappointed or even exasperated cluck.

They tend to stay with what is familiar and dependable. But me, well if it is new, looks appealing in some way, and promises to bring me happiness, it will usually capture my full attention!

People aren’t like chickens with food choices or other things either. Although like chickens we are always looking for something, often we don’t have any idea what we are looking for or are looking for all the wrong things.

The first and biggest mistake I ever made was to say, “I know what’s best for me.” The second was to say, “I know what’s best for you.” (In other words, “If I can’t make myself happy, then you need to make me happy.”)

These errors are perhaps as old as humankind itself. They have brought us a great deal of trouble and heartache…particularly when what is best for me is to lie to you, steal from you, or kill you…or to kill the joy you hold in your heart.

When all else fails to fulfill our longings, it is important to remember faith, hope, and love still remain, and the things best for us are often unseen.

My Life With Gracie convinced me chickens know what’s best for chickens far better than people know what’s best for people.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Knowing What's Best