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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Gettin' There

You know those days when you think you may have been better off just going back to bed?  Yup, that was mine today.  It wasn't a horrible day, but neither was it a I-feel-good-and-I-got-so-much-done day.  Blech.  

On the up side, I was VERY happy to find 4 eggs in the nest boxes!  I haven't seen 4 eggs in one day in . . . well, MONTHS, sadly!  I'm trying to figure out how this coming year will or, more to the point, should impact Swamp River Ridge's poultry population.  Had circumstances been "normal" (?!), I would have ordered a whole slew of chicks & turkey poults & probably a duck or two this spring for delivery ASAP.  Now, though, with money being super-duper tight for me, I'm not sure how to proceed.  Yes, they will pay for themselves in time, and they will give me a great deal of enjoyment.  On the other hand, will they pay for themselves soon enough and will I even be HOME enough to enjoy them this summer?  Oi . . . it's six of one, 1/2 a dozen of the other.  What to do, what to do . . . .

What kept me up so late last night was working on the new header(s).  Do you like it?  I LOVE it!  I knew the sunflower motif probably wasn't going to stay, but I also knew it would be hard to find graphics to properly illustrate the feeling I wanted to portray.  BUT, lo & behold, I found 'em!  I designed 14 different headers to rotate throughout the year.  A few general ones, just one winter one (the above), a couple of summertime, a couple of spring.  How do people function without a full home office including copy machine, a couple of printers, a scanner, and a good computer (or two)?  I know I couldn't!  :)

Of course, once I had the new header loaded, I saw that the old, dark template wasn't going to work, so then I was on the search for the perfect new one.  Fast forward past an aggravating couple of hours futzing with the templates & HTML . . . and here we are.  Whew!  I still don't have all the items in the right-hand side bar correctly ordered, but that will come.  At least I finally ended up with a template that I can stand to LOOK at, not to mention love!

(And WHAT would I have been spending those hours doing if it weren't for computers and silly activities like blogging?  Yeah, yeah, I know.  But, I'm using the excuse that blogging is my own personal journal of the past . . . GOOD GRIEF!!! . . . nearly five years!  I started this blog in May of 2005!  Wow, I had no idea!  Crazy.)

Anyway, like I said, I love the new header(s).  They'll all be pencil illustrations like this one . . . chosen to fit different situations, seasons, etc.

The rest of my day was spent doing outside chores and more shoveling, dishes & food prep, breaking up dog fights (empty bags of dog food will do that, ya know), and deskwork.  And, ZIP, there it went!  For whatever reason, though, there was no real feel of accomplishment attached to the days activities although there were, certainly, things that I crossed off the To Do list.  Point is, I'm just hoping to have a better day tomorrow.  That's what I like about the start of each new day:  you have the option of making it a better day than the one before!


  1. I like the new header, perfect for a MN winter up in the trees! This post didn't go to my reader though, I only saw it after linking to your shoveling post. I still need to fix my blog, I have been meaning to fix the slideshows on my sidebar and all my "tags" for almost a year now! Got back from IKEA last night about 8 pm loaded to the gills, now today will be putting together bathroom cabinets and painting! One day at a time, Chicken Mama, that's the way to do it... if you weren't my homesteading-woman-hero before, you certainly are now that you are doing it alone! (but you were before :)) You are Caroline Ingalls while Charles was away finding work in the fields... minus the locusts and prairie fires!!

  2. Erin, oh, what would I do w/o blogging friends like you?!! "Homesteading-woman-hero"? If I am, it's only 'cause I learned from the best, Mama Pea. She was in a faaaaaaaaaar more stressful situation when she & Dad were doing it 30 years ago. AND, she had bothersome little ol' me following her every move, to boot!

    Sorry about this not showing up in your reader. Yeah, it's completely wonky. For example, my settings show that I still have my 'reactions' . . . but where are they on the blog? Tons of other stuff, too. Dumb technology. Great when it's working, aggravating as h#ll when it's not!

    Oh, and I haven't commented about this on your blog yet . . . I'm a little behind in my reading . . . but when you two do remodeling, you DO remodeling!!!! But then, I suppose you have to w/ the hubby getting deployed at a moment's notice. Nuthin' like a deadline to spur a person on!

    And ANY comparison to the Ingalls? SWEET! I'll take it! Ooooh, that reminds me, I have a picture of me sitting on the steps of Laura's first school in DeSmet. I'll have to post that one of these days.

    Anyway, THANKS for all the props - it helps!

  3. I love your new blog look! Your new blog header looks very Tasha Tudor-ish (which should please you). Did you think of that?

  4. I love the new header. That lantern and style it is done in is great. It suits you, besides. :)

  5. Mom, I was thinking more Garth Williams-esque (illustrator the Laura Ingalls Wilder books). But Tasha Tudor works, too! :)

    And, thanks, Foxy Lady! :) As I'd said, I knew the new name was right . . . but not the image. Now I've got the right combination!!! By the way, WHEN are you going to start blogging??? I hope you're planning on it when you retire from your current day-job, at least!

  6. Omigosh, Foxy Lady, I second the motion that you start blogging! The pictures you could post would knock the sox off anyone remotely interested in the North Woods and its animal life. How 'bout it? Huh? Huh?

  7. I'm finally catching up on reading-it's been a very busy and snowy February here in MI. It sounds like you've been on an emotional roller coaster as well. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you figure the next steps in your journey. You are so brave and so strong-I have no doubt that you will be thriving in whatever that new normal looks like before you know it!

  8. Becky, thank you. Your comment brought a smile to my face. I like the thought of a "new normal". And, you saying that I'm brave and strong does nothing but brighten my weak moments. I don't believe I'm any braver or stronger than any other woman, I just firmly believe that we can do whatever we put our minds to.


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!