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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Feeling Fancy

Photo Credit:  bethiebee from
If I was ever asked to share what dog I think looks “fancy,” I would have to say a white Standard Poodle with a show cut.  You know the one…with what looks like giant, fluffy cotton balls around the tail and ankles, along with a bouffant hair-do on the top of their head and chest and then shaved everywhere else.  Anyway, that’s what fancy style comes to my mind.  The American Kennel Club says that poodles are very active, intelligent and elegant-appearing, squarely built, and well proportioned.  They move soundly and carry themselves proudly.  When properly clipped in the traditional fashion and carefully groomed, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.  Fancy.

Here’s a little story from Mikey about a wise ole poodle:

A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful, aged poodle named Cuddles along for the company.  One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that she's lost.  Wandering about, she notices a leopard heading rapidly in her direction with the intention of having lunch.  The old poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in trouble now!"

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, she immediately settles down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching cat.  Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard!  I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike.  A look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.  "Whew!" says the leopard, "That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard.  So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up.

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans, and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.  The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

The old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with her back to her attackers, pretending she hasn't seen them yet.  Just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says: "Where's that monkey?  I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"

I loved this fancy Poodle joke and I also loved spending last Sunday afternoon with my two daughters at a fancy-schmancy-Mother-Daughter Tea Party.  We don’t dress up often; we never wear hats adorned with flowers and ribbon; and we don’t use Fine China since there are paper plates available – ha!  So, this was indeed special and we all felt it.

We arrived at the event donning our flowery hats, with pinkies raised.  The teenage girls were in charge of serving the hot tea with milk and sugar cubes, along with the various courses of food.  We began with cucumber finger sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, ham & cheese kabobs, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (because moms of young children have to be realistic…even at a Tea Party), deviled eggs, and a variety of veggies with Ranch dip. 

We then moved along to the strawberries, cubed watermelon & cantaloupe, red & green grapes, banana bread, and chocolate-chip zucchini bread.  Finally, we ended the eating feast with a delicious assortment of Pepperidge Farm cookies, cinnamon & sugar pinwheels, and powdered sugar donut holes.  The girls had to take home their dirt cake pudding cups with candy toppings because there just wasn’t enough tummy space for anything else at that point.

My daughters thought that it was such a treat to be using my grandmother’s Fine China.  I’m sure that my Omi would have loved to see her great-granddaughters enjoying her pretty dishes.  At first, I was a bit hesitant to take my fanciest three cups and saucers to a party with fifty people…over half of them being active little girls.  However, that hesitation didn’t last long when I remembered a short poem I wrote last year called, “Fancy Dishes.”

Use the fancy dishes,
Follow your dreams, hopes, and wishes.
Tomorrow is not a promised day,
Say right now what you want to say.
Love the ones God brings to you,
Don’t put off what you need to do.
Thank God for blessings, one by one,
A contented heart when day is done.
Don’t yearn for all you don’t possess,
Ungrateful hearts are quite the mess.
Let go of anger; it hurts you more,
Hate destroys you at the core.
God’s grace will help you to forgive,
The soul, then free to love and live.
Use the fancy dishes; life is short, my friends,
Imperfectly beautiful; we don’t know when it ends.

So, today is indeed the perfect day to use our fancy dishes.  Sometimes we spend too much energy thinking about what’s wrong in our lives instead of what’s right.  Many times, we spend countless hours longing for what we don’t have instead of being appreciative of what we do have.  Often, we neglect to thank God for the people and things that we are blessed with. 

Maybe we can ponder, “Is it really a terrible day or is it a bad ten minutes that I’m deciding to dwell on all day?”  Hmmmm…..

It’s up to us.  Let’s use the fancy dishes and let’s also ask God to bless us with wisdom (even more than the poodle’s – hee hee!)  May He guide us with the wisdom to choose “right now” as our motto.  Why?  Because right now is the time to offer forgiveness and accept forgiveness.  Right now is the time to offer love and receive love.  Right now is the time to let go of the anger, grudges, and bitterness that weigh us down.

So, join me for a cuppa tea and biscuits and let’s make a toast together, “There’s no better time than right now!”  Cheerio, my friends!

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

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