Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Fence Picket for my Kitchen

 I learned a valuable lesson from Lillie this week.

Well, perhaps I should say,
"I am learning a valuable lesson."

Let me explain:

This spot above my stove seemed bare.

My husband put trim up under the kitchen cupboards,
and this trim came across from under the corner cabinet
which separated the tongue-and-groove on the back of the stove.

It needed something.

So I found a picket from an old picket fence at an antique store for $1.

I mulled over what to put on it.

I saw a great idea from the Graphics Fairy Blog,
a saying my Farmer used to say to me nearly every morning
as he left for work:
"carry on;"

and who doesn't need a reminder to
"keep calm" when cooking?

But I didn't like it.
The lettering came out wrong to me
and I just couldn't stop not liking it.

Don't you hate when you spend time on something
and it comes out wrong?

It has been like that lately:

 The green beans have been devoured by the bugs.
We got nothing from the second planting.

Our refrigerator has been leaking.
The inside bottom has to be wiped out every other day
or it seeps out onto the floor,
which then passes through our plank floor,
and drips onto the basement floor and woodstove,
rusting it.

We've worked on it,
looked the problem up on the internet,
defrosted it,
cleaned out the drains,
and now we're just hoping it will get better on it's own.

Appliances do that, don't they?

 I found strings all over the floor under my bed when I was vacuuming.
I also noticed empty thread runs in my favorite vintage coverlet.

I finally put the two together and got a confession from my son:
he thought it was "fun" to pull out the strings.

No sense crying over pulled strings, right?

I tried to tell myself that.

I got a tooth worked on
by my "new" dentist
and the crown feels wrong.

I already drove the hour drive once to have him fix it.
Now it's better, although still feels a bit awkward,
like a marble:
I'm just going to live with it.

The farm truck didn't pass inspection:
it needs $2000 worth of work.

My new contacts are a different "improved" brand of the old,
which they no longer make.
They make my eyes feel tired.

Lillie broke my favorite necklace.

The computer is acting sooo slow,
I haven't been around to anybody's blogs,
can't look up info I need,
takes a quarter hour to load up to write a blog post.

It was just in to be fixed a month ago.
And it's bad again.

And Fido.
 His mange seemed better,
so I decided to give him a bath and wash out all that old mayonnaise.

 I was not expecting what I found:

as I washed, fleas began pouring out.

It was enough to make an entomologist shudder.

I hate fleas.
They love me.

It suddenly dawned on me that those "chigger" bites on my legs
might actually be flea bites.

Then I looked down and saw them,
hopping up on my legs.
 They were everywhere.

I felt like my privacy had been invaded while I had my back turned.

It had only been a couple weeks since I'd given the dog a bath.
How could I have missed this?

I used my last vile of Advantix the next day,
the one that had been down in the laundry room for a few years.
I used it,
and THEN wondered if I should have been concerned about the expiration date...
because that's generally how brilliant I am.

I have been vacuuming every night...
the whole house...
all three floors.

It's long and tedious
and typically after I am done,
I'll walk through a room
and feel a flea or two making the ascent on my ankles.

Nobody else is affected by them.
Levi didn't even know what they look like;
but I walk into a room, 
bend over,
and I can watch them bouncing over to my feet.
They even passed the cat to get to me.

It's awful.

I felt angry.
I can take something for a few days,
but when it's every day,
every room I walk into I feel the plague assault me
unless I put my feet up onto another chair or something,
it starts to wear on me.

I clean and clean and bathe the dog and hope...
only to be oppressed soon after.

I want to scream,
"It's ENOUGH!"

And then I see my little girl,
 not even two yet.

 This little spitfire is smart and quick
but she is also a grateful kid.

She cries when I change her diaper
as she has been working on her molars
and is often sore.

But just as soon as I am done,
she sits up and says,
"Tank-you, Mommy."

I brush her teeth, which she hates and cries during,
as well as when she gets her hair washed,
and she always has a "Tank-you, mommy,"
even when the tears are still wet on her cheeks.
If she is helped with her shoes,
or picking up her toys,
 or given a kiss...

no matter what it is,
she usually always says,

I was wondering the other day why she'd thank me for changing her,
right after she stopped crying.

I wouldn't be thankful for something that hurt.
It's easy for me to be thankful around the Thanksgiving table,
or when things are great
and it seems God is giving blessings in life.

Suddenly, the verse in Thessalonians came to mind,
"In EVERY THING give thanks..."

and for the first time in my life it hit me.

Every thing.

Not just the good things.
I've never thanked God for the bad things.
I've skirted the issues and found good things outside of the bad.

I've tried to look on the bright side,

find the good that might be reasons for the bad;..
but God doesn't always want me to know the reasons.

He just wants me to say,
"Thank you,"
and trust him.

 And so today,
after battling these pests and feeling discouraged and frustrated,
I just gave in and said it.

 "Thank you, God,

for the fleas."

It was hard to do.
It didn't make them go away.
I still had to vacuum.
I still itch and want to have a good cry about it sometimes;
but I've done what God wants.
I said "Thank you."

I took Lillie's example
and stopped whining about it,
(or maybe I should say I am trying to).
Because as much as I hate to admit it,
fleas can't be excluded from the word

Linking up to:

Keeping It Simple
The Graphics Fairy
(The image I used on the picket of the birds
is also a graphic from the Graphics Fairy blog.
They were on one of her teacup graphics).


  1. Awe, Tonya, what a great post! thanks for the encouragement. I love the verse! I would find it really hard to give thanks for the fleas too! Love the "new" sign with the verse on it. You are such a great lady to be able to sit back and ponder these things and help others remember! That's why you are my special friend :)

  2. Wow did it to me again!! I was pitying myself for everything that isn't fixed and in place yet after our move and was hit today with your blog "in everything give thanks"! Yes Lord, those words are a very good reminder to me! I have been SO blessed and have all my needs and alot of desires supplied by my loving Heavenly Father.I needed this reminder...thank you from the bottom of my heart Tonya! You are in my prayers for all those flea bites! Thank you Lillie! Out of the mouth of babes!

  3. sweet lillie could teach us a lot, i think. :)

  4. Great post! Something I need to remember to do too!

  5. You took the advice of Betsie ten Boom in "The Hiding Place," too...which is only one of the reasons I love this post.

    You've read the book, right? If not, you absolutely must! It's written by Corrie ten Boom, and it is a book you would love, if you haven't already loved it.


  6. I still love your flea bitten legs!!!they are nice and skinney and firm just real nice

  7. I'm going through a bit of a rough spell in my life right now and after reading this, I'm sitting here crying because it's exactly what I needed to hear and it's an encouragement to me in this time. Thanks roomie! You have NO IDEA how much I needed this today, right now!

  8. Oh this is just about one of the best posts I've read in a long time. I so needed to remember this and tell the Lord Thank You!!!! You hit me at home and I adore your picket. It is now just perfect. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs,Marty

  9. Tonya, your post had me in tears! Your sweet, sweet Lillie has taught us all a lesson. And, just when I was starting to feel sorry for myself for a few things, I read this post and it hit me head on. Thank you for your honesty and for inspiration!!! Btw, your picket is gorgeous and I just love the verse!

    Many, many blessings!!!!!

  10. The perfect verse for the kitchen!

    Salt on the floors will dehydrate the fleas. sprinkle, leave over night, I know, it will feel like sand, but it is amazing how nicely it worked for me. They get it on their tiny feet, lick it off, dead fleas!

    Oatmeal in a sock, in your bathwater, should relieve the itching. Your water will be murky looking. The oatmeal will make a little film but will help this or poison ivy itching.

    I'm not sure I'm strong enough to thank God for ticks!

  11. I have to say....a post has to be really good for me to read it completely....THIS was an excellent post!!! Thanks for being real.

    now following....

  12. Regarding the fleas: Remember when you vaccum them up, they can still live in your vaccum bag and will hop right on out. Put your vaccuum bag in a bread bag or garbage bag after vacuuming, seal tightly and leave outdoors until it is time to vaccuum again and repeat!

  13. They make a pill for dogs and cats called capstar (I think) it's pretty inexpensive and if they have fleas it kills them once you give them the pill. Keeps them from coming back for a bit too.

    A couple of summers ago we had quite a mess with fleas. Had to treat and retreat the whole house and all the critters. In fact they almost killed my kitty - he has long hair and they were extremely difficult to get rid of on him. He ended up staying over night at the vet and getting iv fluids b/c they and the shampoo I used had done so much damage.

    Good luck getting rid of them! I'll be thinking of you.

  14. Hey sweetie, I got fleas from my Aunties dog years ago, they lived on a farm and had come to stay with us for a week. I had no idea the dog had fleas and let her sleep in my room. About a week after they left I started getting bites esspecially on my legs and thought what on earth!! We did not have pets then so I had no clue what was going on at first but eventually figured it out when I too seen them little buggers flying around me... holy!! I went to our local vet and got a spray, I had to spray the entire house and wash anything I could that was cloth but they were gone in just a few days. They like to get on beds and cloth furniture so you will need to spray those too!! Of course puppy needs to be bathed in flea treatment too, poor guy :O( Best wishes!!!

  15. Oh and by the way I can totally relate about your daughter, mine does the same for me, they are so inspiring!!! This was my writing today on facebook...

    "Made Madi a paper airplane.... all the toys she has and a paper airplane has kept her interest all!!! Love how simple things can make kids so happy, guess we should all try to remember that for ourselves ;O) I just love my girl, she makes me smile from ear to ear!!!"

    Hugs sweetie, enjoy that little girl I know I do mine!! If only the entire world could see what we see when we look at our girls!!! ;O)

  16. Wow, thank you for all your kind comments and for the great helpful advice! I do love the story of Corrie Ten Boom, Sue. I kept thinking of her when I'd get angry about the fleas. It's her great story that helped me as well. :) I'll be praying for you, Rosanne. Love you. :)

  17. You are such an example to me. Thank you Tonya for that example and thank your sweet little Lillie, so nice to be reminded of how to be thankful in such a loving way.

  18. Oh dear what a time you have had of it recently, but great the way you have put it all into words and perspective.

  19. I don't know how I missed this - but am so glad I came to it. Wow - things can really pile up can't they? I am proud of you for working through all this. I on the other hand would have ran from the house screaming. Lillie is getting so big!

  20. Your post was such a comfort to me this morning. Our entire year has been like health, vehicles, house issues....I am so grateful to you for writing this. Blessings! :)

  21. Love your pickets. Plse come link them up to Market Monday at my little joint.

  22. Oh thanks for sharing on Market Monday. Plse come again!


I love your comments!