It’s Sunday over here on the yard and if you’ve ever read one of my little stories you know where I am, in one of my favorite spots-by the back slider gazing out into my yard with the chickens. My chickens have been frustrated with me lately for so many reasons, yes they let me know. They have been confined to the back-forty since the new puppy Jordan has been in our lives; it is for their own safety. Snoopy my big fat beagle knows the drill, don’t mess with the chickens, Jordan has not learned this yet. I do miss waking to the sounds of my chickens pecking at the back door on Sunday’s when I might have managed to doze off back to sleep-I am an early riser. However with the weather changing I can now keep the bedroom window open for the morning breeze; it also allows me to hear the rustling of the leaves while my girls forage for their morning grubs and the egg laying calls they make with pride so early, the life of free range chickens. I think they have noticed my lack of time with them as well on the hammock. They like to hop up and nestle, some just perch on either end and roost for a while; not all 16 show me love like this but at least 5 do. They bring a calmness to my life, a bit of peace and serenity that I just can’t explain. Lately there has been something else that brings that as well.
I have been traveling this summer. Some places just around the corner to neighboring cities, some places far away. A few of the trips have been with the kids, some with the ladies, but most with him. Camping, concerts, events, and even a trip to the backyard with the grand-kids can be an exciting adventure for this grandma. Life is what you make of it and I choose to make it fun. Of course life still shows up and as I key this story out the grandson has awoken and the sound of an electronic sword is swooshing around next to me with the Power Rangers blaring from the TV in the background. I am not sure how I am even gathering my thoughts with all the action, but I am. Just one of my gifts.
Maybe it is that calmness I was speaking of that allows me to be still and enjoy the moments no matter what is going on around me? I am sure it is just the growth of the journey that I am on, the spirit awakening. I will not attribute it to him, but he helps. I can be the most chaotic person at times. Maybe it’s all in my head? I am a bit off the wall and always on the run somewhere doing something. I am not sure if he doesn’t seem to mind all of this or if I just settle down when I am around him- either way it feels good. I think it is a conglomeration of both, a balance if you will.
I have been on some amazing journeys this summer, quite a few on the back of his little motor scooter. I have seen and experienced the beauty of places I have never been, some of those in my own heart. It has been quite a freeing experience, opening up and trusting once again. I don’t do that lightly. He has taken me to more than just places and I trust him-no matter what and wherever we go. However those places that we have gone to have been riveting. Day trips up the mountains with friends, long coastal trips down the seashore for getaways. I even bought a ticket, packed a bag, and met him in South Dakota where he then took me everywhere I am sure he could in the few days we had there before I boarded for home.
The open fields and the skies in South Dakota were breath-taking and in an instant the weather would change and you knew there was something greater than you out there in control. Just be. That is what I am taking from this part of my journey this summer. Just be -Christine. Wherever you are, whether it be in the trees, on the road, with the kids or with him; just be. Enjoy it while you can and take it all in, because you never know what tomorrow brings. I can only hope that it is more of this feeling I have been allowed to enjoy at this moment.
The Chicken Lady
Just a bit about this blog, it was written last year on this day- August 7, 2016. It came up in a memory on Facebook, a good one. As I reflect on it I’m currently in Sturgis, South Dakota at the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with a man I love. We have been riding all over, not just here but everywhere. Who would have thought that this is where I would be today? Just get up and go do things before it’s too late. Or in my case as I always say, it’s never too late.
I am still on the journey finding Christine and passion for life; I hope my quest never stops, enjoy.
Sunday Morning with Coffee and Chicken’s
How absolutely amazing is it to finally start finding yourself, OK, continue to find yourself at the age of 47? The saying for me, “getting better with age”, really encompasses my choices and zest for life.
I am growing up, still gratefully learning who and what I want to be. Finding the FUN in life. You may see my Facebook side, which is actually me go figure. However, just a few short years ago I was very sedate, quiet, I stayed in woman’s meetings and the only way you knew me is if we did service together or I was asked to chair. I would walk in, throw it down, and walk out; still not letting you in. I stayed home every weekend and babysat grandkids, joyfully, EVERY weekend. Hahaha Daughter moved away, far enough so that I became a visitor, not a nanny, kids got older, and I started venturing out. Creepin.
Time has a way of healing if you do the work, and I did, do, and am.
I needed that time, to work on Christine. I had a lot of figuring out to do. I still do. One thing that I have been figuring out though is that I am going to have fun in whatever I am doing. If I do service, I have fun and still manage to get the job done. I do a lot of service. This act I do for others is really very selfish; it has done more for me. It has allowed me to meet some amazing people and let people into my life and my home, I don’t do that. I am a very private person. Secret Squirrel Morraco Mole type of private.
Coming up on 8yrs soon, over 3 yrs in my home and I only have 2 things on the walls at my house of which I just added this past year. Almost as if I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and I might lose it all. More likely that I somehow was gonna fuck it all up and walk away, one more time. I don’t have those fears anymore. Those are choices, that I am no longer willing to make. So I do the work, stay in the middle, let people in, some I let right back out.
I am getting better with age!
The Chicken Lady
It’s a Sunday over here on the yard. The sun has long since been up and regardless of what time I went to sleep last night, past midnight though which just doesn’t happen much for me anymore, I am still an early riser. The sounds of the chicken’s however got me moving this morning. The egg laying calls which signal I have slept in, leaves rustling out by the side fence, and just the chatter of my lovely ladies; 16 hen’s and counting. I can almost feel the season changing into fall-I love the fall most. This little piece has taken some time to get started. The coffee had to be made, the dogs fed, the cat let in and out; all of that while I shuffle around the house on my hardwood floors in my slippers. Not to mention just the fact that my mind wanders from here to yesteryear and back in an instant, sometimes it just wanders into the back-forty with the chicken’s and the sounds of the birds in the trees.
Last weekend I went on an amazing trip, one might say a once in a lifetime trip. However I have a feeling there will be plenty more once in a lifetimes with him, there have been so many already I stopped counting. We rode to Los Angeles from Sacramento along the coast and back on his Harley for a concert to remember, one I definitely will. The music was classic, it was actually called The Classic West; from a time when I was young and the memories were still good, it is still my favorite music. I know he wondered if I could make it, I knew I could and as I always told him leading up to the trip-it would be him who would have to haul me, I would just be holding on and I did.
I am a crier. I never was a crier before. From a very young age I seemed to have shut off emotions altogether. The means to feel anything for anyone had long since been removed almost out of necessity or second if not first nature, even for myself. The gift of being in touch with yourself and the capacity it takes to feel all the feelings, the good and bad is something I will never take for granted again. Many years after I found a new way to live a common theme resurfaced from my past. Did you even care about me? Did you ever even love me? The answer was always the same; yes, to the best of my ability.
Gratefully the tears of joy and gratitude constantly flow from my face on a regular basis today and everyday for the life that I live now. I often times reflect while I am driving alone in the car; I spent so much of my previous life in solitude driving in a car on my way somewhere. Always thinking. It’s no wonder that driving is still a time for reflection for me. Being on the back of a bike was something completely different. So much so that I came home and started window shopping for my own, but that story will be another day in the future. The sense of freedom I felt while riding through California was astounding; it literally took my breath away. There was a lot of healing happening on the back of that bike for me while he hauled me from here to there.
I have managed to do quite of work on me, the inside stuff throughout the years. What I know is that it will probably never be done, that work of the heart and soul; I am thankful for the knowledge of that. It is like that onion they speak of, layers. Sometimes even though you have healed that part, something comes up to remind you of it and you get to do a bit more healing. If you are lucky enough to look at how it affected you and your choices.
Well on the long ride home I shed a whole layer of that onion just like that along with a quite a few tears. Maybe it was the scenery? Maybe it was the company? Maybe it was both? More than likely it was just the time it took to get where I needed to be, metaphorically, to let some of my past go. That trip would take me through quite a bit of my life; on a long desert highway, cool wind in my hair.
I lead a pretty charmed life nowadays, one that is full of love. I don’t think he will ever have to wonder once if I love him either; my eyes tell a different story today. In fact no one wonders anymore if the light is on, I can’t stop shining. This little tale started in the wee hours of the morning and ended up taking a hiatus until my return from another ride, just a day trip with friends celebrating life! My chicken’s are now on their roosts for the night; in fact my own little chicken’s, my daughters, are ready for bed too goodnight.
The Chicken Lady
It is a Saturday and my coffee is strong; it always is with my trusty little French press. I have already been out to the back-40 to feed the 17 chicken’s, we don’t have time for all their names right now but the youngest is named Hope. She is a Black Copper Maran that will produce the most beautiful chocolate eggs when she is ready. Hope’s name derived from the fact that she was the only survivor of a shipment of 6 little chicks; she could be called nothing else. Hope more than likely will be the last little chick I add to my flock for a few years as well, maybe. You never know what happens in this thing called life; I try my best to stay in the moment, enjoy it all, and take it in stride. No matter what.
There is this little saying that goes around in the circle that I run in, it is a rather large circle by the way, it is- “don’t leave before the miracle happens.” Well it took me a long time to figure that one out for myself, but I did finally get it. What I have found through that process was that I was indeed, “the miracle.” All the things that happen in my life are the miracles and blessings that I get to enjoy. I do enjoy them all, even the not so fun moments that I get to learn and grow from. I might not exactly enjoy them in that moment, but I have learned so much from them; enough to now appreciate them as they come as opportunities to grow from in that moment. Kind of an epiphany.
My latest little miracle happened a little more than a week ago, very few people know, you know. In an instant my little life changed, just a bit. My eldest daughter Marina, who is just 25, showed up on my couch sleeping-alone. That alone part was the tough part. You see, Marina is a mother of two. She has a seriously stable life, career, family, and she had even moved away, with him, and taken my little grandbabies to another town for an opportunity to grow in her chosen field. Just a bit more about Marina and I, she was removed from my life along with her brothers and sisters in 1999, with good reason for just over 10 long years. I truly had no clue how much time had passed, that is the life that I had chose and those choices would lead me down a path that I almost didn’t survive. I did though, I would come up a few times for air, into that circle I spoke of; but I would make the choice to leave a few times before I stayed.
That little saying, “don’t leave before the miracle happens,” I never got it before. Probably because I just fooled around in that circle and I wasn’t ready-yet. However, that last shot of air I had proved to be what I needed. Things were happening in my life and in my children’s lives that I had no clue of at the time; I believe it was a Divine Intervention that brought me back. I had left that circle again, one more time. Well my daughter had heard I was alive and heard where I was, she thought. So Marina, at the young age of 16 ran away to the last place she knew where her mother might be. She was wrong, I had made the choice to go away again; I was long gone already in so many ways. I left before the miracle had happened, my child finding me; clean. That was the miracle-I missed it that time.
Marina on my couch a few weeks ago, that is my miracle today. She has always had a key, but never really used it; in fact always said she couldn’t find it. What has transpired over the past week is I am a part- time, full- time grandma again. She went back and got her babies. I was able to share with her what it might be like if she didn’t; she was never going to leave them, she is not like I was. My home is full and my daughter is under my roof for now. Marina hasn’t been under my roof since she was 6 years old. I have all three of my daughters in my home, I really just realized that as I typed out these words, I also have two grandsons who have electronics glued to their little hands. We will work on that part soon enough. We also have an air mattress, food, and lots of love; thankfully we have two bathrooms too.
The gifts I get around here, that circle I run in, are immeasurable. The tears of absolute joy and gratitude that fall from my face daily I just can’t describe, they are falling now. I don’t know how long Marina will be here? I am just a stop on her journey and ever so grateful that this time when she came looking for me I was there; in my home waiting for her with no judgments, just love. The fact that I am here for her now; that is the miracle. That is my miracle. I will stay on this journey that I am on, no matter what. I once pulled a little strip of paper out of a bag that was chosen just for me and that was, “Divine Wisdom Guides You.” I believe that, so I will just keep going down the road on the path that I am on.
The Chicken Lady
It is a Sunday and I am currently staring at a few different situations unfolding in my life while I sip on my coffee watching the two dogs watch me from the yard, anxious to be released into the back forty where they can run wild and chase the chicken’s. I make a pretty mean cup of coffee by the way with my little French press, however that is not the topic for the moment. Actually it could be, I have so much that has been floating around in my head that I have wanted to put down on paper; I just haven’t had the time. I have started a blog, I am a blogger or is it bloggess? I do like the sound of bloggess. For whatever reason, possibly my need and strive for perfection, I have not posted anything much as of yet due to the fact that I want to capture my previous writings and chronicle them in order. That bit of perfectionism that has been creeping out is proving to cause a hindrance to my creative process since I have been writing for a few years now and only started to save those writings in a designated location last year. So I have decided just to write, write, write, and will probably write something later to describe why everything is written out-of-order. As if someone will take the time to read my silly ramblings.
On to the watering can. Imagine if you will a young girl obsessed with a watering can; and then just kick that up a notch. Irene, my youngest child that I have had the privilege of raising is Autistic; what that means is she is just like you and I. Only better. Irene over the past few years has been collecting watering cans; it has only been recently that I have noticed. I can see two in the back yard now as I type, one on my kitchen floor, I know she has at least two in her room and countless others under the sink and in the garage. Often times when we are at the store, whether it be a traditional store or a thrift, she gravitates to the watering cans. I always note as she walks up to me holding yet another can, how many we have at home. Sometimes I let her get the can and sometimes I don’t.
Autistic children often have some habits that make them unique, I am not sure if she will take this into adulthood. A few of her others are she hums. I have no idea what she hums and I do not even know if she is aware of it? What I do know is that it is one of the sweetest sounds that I have ever heard and when she is humming; I know everything’s alright in her little world. Irene glides too, all around the house. I have hardwood floors and what it looks like is skating in slipper socks or actual slippers. She has a new pair of slippers that she is already wearing out. I am very surprised that the floors don’t possess a groove for her path or certain spots on my walls have not lost the glow from the paint where she touches softly to push-off and the walls show no signs of wear and tear. She bounces like a pinball and that I am positive she has no clue of but that is my best description of that.
Moving forward I will put a shelf up for her cans in the garage and let her start her collection or at least display the collection she already has. I will not dissuade her any longer at the register when it comes to a new can. As I mentioned above, it is only recently that I even noticed all the cans throughout the years and how they have grown. She likes to watch things grow and is constantly planting something somewhere. Now if I could just get her to remember to water with those cans we might have a forest over here, we do not.
Encouragement is all I do here in my life, with all of my children. I admit I may encourage this one a bit more. I remember when she didn’t speak or look at me. I remember when she screamed and cupped her ears at the sounds of just about any noise. I remember when I was told she defecated on herself in class all the time and would run out escaping to various parts of the field without anyone even noticing she was gone. I remember when they told me she would never be able to live alone, that they had centers for housing when she grew up and if we were lucky she might be able to hold a part-time job with assistance. Irene has made great strides with years of encouragement, social skills classes and love. She can do anything!
The Chicken Lady
July 4, 2015
It’s early, way early for my day off, but I usually have more things to do on my day off than I do when I am working. Today is no different, well maybe just a little?? Today my father is moving pretty much around the corner from me. He has already put his tools in my garage and made space for his Harley during the winter.
My father has been a hard man most of his life and we haven’t had the best of relationships, partly due to the lives we chose. He has always lived in Sacramento as far as I can remember? Me, I have run all over and have always come back to Sac. Well through a series of events he decided to move and low and behold found a place nearby me. During his stalking of the environment and tenants, he found something was a little shady, his neighbor was moving soon. Let’s just say with further investigation my dad found out the manager was an ass, his decision, move in because nobody is a bigger ass than him. Also, he said the deciding factor was living close to me he would always get a hot meal and eggs. He wouldn’t starve!
These chickens in my life over the past several months have had a HUGE impact with me and everyone around me. Believe it or not, I was a hard person to get to know too; especially if you were my kid or grand-kid. It has taken years of work to become the person I am today, I still have a lot more work to do. A year ago I added a Beagle named Snoopy in my life to teach me about unconditional LOVE, it worked. Irene, my youngest, and I for a few years now have talked about raising chickens. Then an old friend blessed us with 4 hens, a coop and enough feed to get us started; thanks Kristine!
This has brought about such change in my life all around, so much that I am starting to tear up as I write this now. Irene is Autistic and there isn’t much that she likes to do, but she LOVES being outside with those chickens. She loves to compost, garden, gather eggs, go to Home Depot and of course the feed store! She researches breeds, remedies, behaviors and everything else she can think of; let’s just say that is a lot. We have become, in our minds, chicken experts and getting better every day. We now have 15 hens of various ages and by next year will have eggs galore!
This has brought my dad around, he is a miser and have you seen the price of eggs lately? He makes his rounds once a week and saves me cartons, sometimes leaving them on the porch if I am not home. OK, so at times I would buy eggs for my house just to make sure I had a dozen fresh eggs a week for him. I used to never see my dad, ever, and we live in the same town. Now he is moving around the corner! My grandson Vinnie, my eldest son Niko’s child, has never really warmed up to me either. I tell you I am or was very abrasive, OK maybe still just a bit. Vinnie would cry the moment he saw me, practically stand by the door waiting to leave if he was not clinging for dear life to his parents at my house. My eldest grandson Angel from my oldest daughter Marina couldn’t even break the ice with Vinnie at my house and that grandson loves me! The very few times I watched Vinnie he cried the entire time, one time in his car seat which he dragged to the front door and fell asleep in crying for his parents. We stopped trying to have him come over, it was too traumatic for him and everyone involved.
Well, now who do you think he loves? I am not sure really if it is me or the chickens, but when asked he says, “grandma I love the CHICKENS and YOU,” in that order. He now wants to stay over when he can, he calls to check on the chickens, he comes over to gather eggs. This was not possible 6 months ago, no way!
My life is a journey, I am not sure where it will take me. The kids are growing, the grandkids too and I am blessed that at this point no one is taking after me. It is safe to say no matter where I land in the future, I will have Snoopy, my chickens and a huge dose of gratitude!
The Chicken Lady