My Life With Gracie…A Leap Of Faith

The Villain King

It was easy to tell Gracie was worried and trying to hide it, so I scattered around some sunflower kernels. While everyone else was enjoying their treat, I called Gracie to me to see what was concerning her.

“There’s been a monster creeping around here when it starts to get dark and before you come home,” she said all at once.

I could tell she felt a bit better just by saying something about it. So I asked her to tell me what it looked like, and she did.

“With a long narrow snout and all of those sharp pointed teeth, that sounds like an opossum,” I said. “Did it have a naked pink tail?”

“Yes,” she said, relieved I believed her and knew what she was talking about. It hurt me to see her trying to be brave while carrying such a heavy responsibility all alone.

“Gracie, Sweetie, you were right to be alarmed. Remember though, it’s an opossum, not a monster. It only becomes a monster if you let it become one in your mind. Understand?”

She nodded.

“But tell me, why didn’t you say something before now? Is it because you didn’t want to make the others scared?”

She nodded again and then added in her softest voice, “I didn’t want you to think I wasn’t a good leader. I don’t know how to protect anyone, not even myself, from something so mean looking.”

She waited to see if I was going to say I was disappointed in her. When I didn’t, she continued, “And he hisses the most evil things at us! So I just stood there, looking him in the eyes and not moving. But I didn’t do anything.”

She lowered her head, waiting for me to say something, even if it was something she didn’t want to hear.

“You are a better leader than you realize, Gracie. Are you afraid right now?”

“No. But that’s because you’re here.” She looked up and saw I wasn’t angry or disappointed.

“And when I’m not here…Have I made things safe for you even when I’m not here? You girls are more important to me than anything. I would never leave you without making sure you are protected. You do believe that, don’t you?”

Gracie took a while to think that over. She looked at the strong fencing I had used to build their home. She looked at how everything they needed was safe and secure, just like they were. She nodded.

“And what do I tell you every morning before I go away to work?”

“You say to be good to each other and take care of each other. Then you say to never forget you love us more than anything here.”

I smiled my biggest smile and said, “Exactly right, Gracie! Take care of each other. You don’t have to do it all. Just be someone the others look up to because you put them first.”

She looked at the others and then back at me.

“Most important of all, remember how much I love you. I would give up anything you see here to keep you with me. Are you afraid when you think about how much I love you?”

“No!” she said with so much amazement she actually surprised herself. “No! I’m not afraid then!” She fluffed out all of her feathers like she was a whole new girl ready for a fresh start. “I’m not afraid then!”

“Sweetheart, you just taught me a very valuable lesson. Thank you!”

Gracie looked stunned. “Me? What could I ever teach you?”

“Oh, you know what I mean, Gracie! You are so modest, and you teach me things all the time. But look. Let’s turn the opossum into part of our ballet about The Rose Garden Princess. We need an evil character to make the story more interesting. We can call him The Evil Villain King. What so you say? Can you only pretend to be afraid? For the ballet? For your ballet!”

“Yes!” she clucked again and again, overflowing with more joy than I’ve seen in the longest time.

Gracie hurried back to the others to get a few sunflower kernels before they were all gone. She even did a few ballet leaps along the way, or certainly what might pass for ballet leaps…at least in my eyes if no one else’s.

She is so beautiful, my beloved little Gracie, and one day we will dance together, just as our hearts already do. It will just take a leap of faith.

My Life With Gracie gave me a chance to see fear only has power when we forget how much we are loved.

You can read more about our production of “The Rose Garden Princess” if you’d like. I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

The Villain King

Bessie’s Best Ever Ricotta Frittata

Ricotta Frittata

Here is a new recipe from Bessie as we work to fulfill her dream of being a master chef. It’s easy to make and fun to say!

Bessie likes to call this a “One Frying Pan and One Bowl” recipe, and it is our weekend (or anyday) gift to you, our readers. As you may remember, she insisted on illustrating each recipe herself so anyone could follow them, and look at that! There really is one frying pan and one bowl. She is so clever, and the chicken drawings are really nice too!

If you have any chickens or children at home, they can help out using Bessie’s easy-to-follow recipe illustration, starting with getting out one medium bowl and one 8-inch non-stick frying pan! Arrange everything like you see it and get started! (Except you won’t need three separate measuring cups! Just measure three times.)

Although her recipe illustration tells just about all you need to know, below is her recipe in a more traditional format if you don’t have chickens or children at home to help you!

Special Notes: If you have a large “flock” of your own to feed, use a 10-inch non-stick frying pan, and double all ingredients. Baking temperature and time can stay the same. This is a great way to use leftovers!

Bessie’s Best Ever Ricotta Frittata

Ingredients for 8-inch Frying Pan

Butter (just enough)
1/4 cup (more or less) your choice already cooked meat such as ham, diced bacon, crumbled sausage, etc.
1/4 cup (more or less) your choice raw veggies such as onion, sweet pepper, corn, etc.
All of one and none of the other is okay too! Just keep the total about 1/2 cup.

Ingredients for Bowl

1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Part A In your frying pan, add small amount of butter and turn on heat to melt. Add veggies to pan and sauté. Add meat to pan just to warm since it should already be cooked. Turn off heat. Set aside.

Part B In your bowl, add 1/4 cup Ricotta cheese, wisk lightly to break up. Add 3 large eggs and then salt and pepper if you’d like. Wisk all together.

Part C Pour cheese and egg mixture into pan over your meat and veggies. No need to stir in…otherwise you’d have scrambled eggs! Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. (Since oven temperatures and pans vary, you should watch carefully at least the first time or two when you make this. After that, you’ll know exactly what time works best for you.)

While you are waiting, Bessie suggests drawing and coloring your own little chickens…just like she did!

Part D Remove from oven. Let cool slightly while you’re making your toast. You can serve right out of your frying pan if you’d like! Just cut into wedges, sort of like a pizza! Or since you’re using a non-stick frying pan, you can slide your Ricotta Frittata out onto a serving dish.

Additional Information Bessie thought adding some other type of cheese to the top before placing in the oven might be a great idea, either grated or sliced. I have to say she was right! American cheese slices placed on top and then covered with the egg mixture make a nice oozy cheese filling! Don’t forget the better the eggs, the better the results!

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is true appreciated, especially if you’ve tried Bessie’s recipe! And if you did, what did you use for your meat and/or veggies? We tried quite a few different things, but the possibilities seem almost endless!

Ricotta Frittata

Family Photo Friday

Family Photo Friday

I thought it might be good to share this photo of Amelia today since yesterday’s post was all about her. Of course, this only shows one side of her very dynamic and adorable personality!

This is a photo of Amelia on New Year’s Day. You can see a little of Bessie there too. While Bessie has her head buried in the breakfast salad, Amelia is giving me “the eye” and trying to figure out just what is going on. Amelia keeps me on my toes, and she doesn’t miss a thing.

When I’m filling their dry feed holder in the morning, she is the only one who will fly up to the shelf I use and inspect everything. She will even help herself to her favorite items in the mixing bucket before it’s all poured into the holder. Her most favorite? Sunflower kernels.

Sometimes I move my chair into their run area so we can all sit and enjoy time together. Amelia is the first (and often only) one to claim the chair when I go back into the house to find a treat for everyone.

Yes, she is bold and adventurous! I’ve been told when she was just a little chick, she was the first to make it to the top of the water container, the first to make it to the top of the brooder box, the first to reach anything! This is why her original Chicken Mom and Dad named her after Amelia Earhart.

Yet with such an independent spirit, she still has a very sweet side which she shows only to those she knows and loves.

You can read more about all of my chickens on this page.

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