Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Little Bird

I don’t always close the chicken coop.  But tonight I did.  The weather had turned and I’ve gotten over 3 inches of rain in the last 36 hours.

It was dark, wet, and windy.  I pulled on my raincoat, grabbed a flashlight and slipped on my boots.  Trudging through the rain, almost slipping my way down the mud-soaked path, I closed the pop-door and went in the coop.  They were all on their roosts, settling for the night.  They all have their particular spots that they roost. 

I turned to leave and stopped.  On a whim I counted.  Twenty-five.  I was short one. I counted again, and realized which chicken was missing.  

Cheetah – Tess' bantam Sicilian buttercup hen.  She’s tiny; lays tiny white eggs in very unlikely places – rarely in the next box.

I checked the roosts, to make sure she wasn’t scrunched up next to someone to keep warm.  Nope. Managed to annoy quite a few of the hens, trying to see if she was hiding.

Back outside, with the wind blowing the rain sideways, I checked around the coop, shining the flashlight in all the dry-ish little nooks and crannies.  Nope.  Trudging across the yard, I checked the dog house and the other smaller coops that aren’t in use right now.

Then I saw her.  She was huddled in the corner against the house, sopping wet.  She’s a skittish little bird and doesn’t like being held, but she didn’t run or fight at all.  I picked her up, setting her in the crook of my arm to keep her a bit drier.  She didn’t squirm.

I carried her back into the coop and set her on the roost.  She just sat there shivering and staring at me.  Then, slowly, she started “purring”- little chirpy, purry noises.  Still shivering, she shook and fluffed her feathers a bit, then cuddled up next to the rooster who almost tucked her under his wing, chirping back at her.

I left and trudged back up to the house.  My pants were sopping wet, my coat dripping water, my boots covered in red mud.

But I felt better.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Forgive Me

After almost 12 years of marriage my husband and I stopped putting band-aids on our problems.

The result?  We are no longer married.

On August 8th we went to the courthouse and stood together in front of a judge, as he read thru the paperwork we did together.  He asked a few questions, signed the documents and then it was done.

We were married for 11 years and 11 months – to the day.

We are all still adjusting.

I still talk with him almost daily – we have three children together and while he isn’t living with us, he is still parenting with me. We are much better at being friends than being married.

I’m not saying it is easy.  It isn’t.

I don’t have a partner that will help me shoulder the burden of life.  It’s a lot.  It’s hard.

Friends and family want to know how they can help. 

The hardest parts are things no one else can do.
No one else can get the kids ready for school in the morning.
No one else can make dinner decisions every night, and then make dinner every night.
No one else can be there at 2am when the smallest has a bad dream and wants to sleep in Mommy's bed.

Those are the burdens I must bear myself.
I made these choices and I accept responsibility for them.
I am not whining.  I am not looking for sympathy.

Really want to help?
Come wash my floors. Mow my lawn. Drop off a bag of groceries. A tray of Tess-safe goodies.
Listen when I need to talk to someone and accept when I don’t.

Forgive me when I forget your birthday.
Forgive me when I don’t respond the way you want.
Forgive me when I don’t seem to care about your troubles.
I care.  Believe me, I care.

I don’t have anything left to give; I’m pouring it all into making life go on for my three. 

I’m remembering to wash their shin guards.
I’m helping with homework – patiently.
I’m watching as they make cookies and not grumping (too much) when the kitchen is trashed.
I’m remembering that they asked for bagels.
I’m walking them to the bus.
I’m smiling as I stand in the rain watching soccer practice.

I am doing the best I can with what I have.

Everything else will be there tomorrow.

Monday, September 9, 2013


* note: When I committed to re-starting my blog, I had a completely different topic in mind to share as the first topic.  This is where it went, so this is what I’m sharing.*

I've heard a lot of “I had no idea” lately.  Well, duh.  Of course not.  I’m not exactly a social butterfly, and I’m not one to share the challenges of my life on facebook. 

I’m more likely to post pictures of my awesome chickens, like this one:

Than I am to share something that most people would respond by saying “I’m so sorry” 
Really folks, pity doesn't help.  Thanks for your concern. 
I agree, the situation is not ideal.  Yes, it sucks. No, it is not easy. Yes, I’m sure the right decision was made. No, thank you, I really don’t want to rehash all the details for you. 

Someone told me my explanations sounded too rehearsed to be the truth.  Well, when you've said the same thing over and over to different people, it’s bound to sound rehearsed.

I had an incredibly stressful summer.  For MANY reasons.

In my job as a stage manager I spend 5-6 hours a night, six nights a week with a group of actors.  Not only with them, but scheduling them, managing them, and enjoying all the quirks that actors have. 

Every actor is different, but man, they've all got quirks.  The key to my success is to identify those quirks and individualize my communication and management based on those quirks.    I digress.

So, my summer sucked royally, and throughout this mess, I was stage managing a fully staged musical with a cast of over 50, which included almost 20 children. Which by the way, was also one of the most problem-ridden productions I have ever worked on.  On SOOOOO many levels.


I like to think I did a pretty good job of leaving it all at the door and focusing on work.  Certainly the majority of people didn't even notice I wasn't quite myself.   I had an amazing assistant who was able to pick up quickly for me in those times when I needed to leave to regroup for a few minutes.  Truly an amazing lady. Honestly. Amazing.  She listened.  She got it. She shared the humor.  Amazing.  

Erin – thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

There were others too. 
People I've known for years and worked with off and on, who seemed to sense something wasn't right. 

Those people too, amazing. 

The little kindnesses; the quip that made me smile for the first time in days, the 45 second conversation about nothing related to anything. 

The awareness.  The genuine concern without needing to know why I was struggling.

Did you know there were people like that still out there in the world?

My life is forever changed by the kindnesses they showed me over the course of the summer. 

I cannot adequately thank them.

I’m sure some of them are not aware of how much I relied on those looks, quips, and conversations to make it to the next cue/performance/day.

I am and will always be in their debt.  They have my gratitude.  They are the kindest most honest individuals I've had the honor of knowing.

I thought about telling them.  Saying thank you to them.  But that was too scary.  That was giving too much of myself away at a time when I couldn't afford that.  Still can't.  This is probably as close as I'll get to saying thank you.  It also might have made them uncomfortable. I didn't and still don’t want anything to screw up those relationships, some have continued and grown and others were put on hold when the show closed.

And I’m okay with that.

Sometime I'll make it up to Seattle to stay in a pink guest room for a few days.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Distilling the Chaos

Distilled Chaos is a spin-off from my first blog, Sew Chaos.

A few months back I decided to change the focus of my blog from sewing and crafts to writing.  More than a few people have commented (in person) that they enjoyed reading it, and also more than a few commented that the "sew" part of the title no longer described the content of the blog.

So, here we have Distilled Chaos.  All the jumbled up random thoughts inside my brain, distilled until I can express complex feelings and situations in a coherent form.

In the next few weeks I'll be moving the relevant posts from the old blog to the new one.  On the rare occasion I actually am able to craft or cook, I'll post it over at Sew Chaos.