* * * * * * *

"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

Spring Forward . . . Fall __________

We all know, of course, how the saying goes:  "Spring Forward, Fall Behind".  But, for whatever reason, I felt like writing "Spring Forward, Fall On Your Ass".  Must be my mood today.  

But, really, I can't complain.  It could be worse.  My oldest girlfriend had the window in her car smashed and her purse taken in the 10 minutes she was inside to pick her son up from daycare.  At 5:00 PM with tons of other parents around.  And, she had their complete 2009 tax return in her bag.  Social security numbers, signatures, the works.  And the midwife called to say that she was "very worried" regarding test results for Baby #2, in utero.  (More in-depth testing revealed that Baby is F-I-N-E, thank goodness.)  And then Baby #1 was rushed to the ER in an ambulance after the daycare providers had to jab an epi-pen into his 1-year old body to prevent potential damage from a severe allergic reaction.

So, see?  It could be worse.  Really.

That said, I found out last night from a dear, dear friend, that people "around town" are under the impression that the reason Tom and I are divorcing is because he asked me to choose between him and Swamp River Ridge . . . and that I chose Swamp River Ridge.  Great.

Perhaps I need some coaching.  Divorce 101.  I think I'm being too nice.  Trying to keep private business private.  No, that's not it.  I think the problem - MY problem - is that I've shielded Tom for so long . . . thought I was helping him by hiding his weaknesses from everyone else (read e-n-a-b-l-i-n-g!) . . . that I still find it hard to say anything about him that others may find harsh or negative.  Even if it's the truth.  But, nor do I want to be a sniping, shrewish divorcee always disparaging her ex.  So, see?  I need the 'Etiquette During Divorce' book. 

I just don't want people to get the wrong impression.  And, yeah, people "will talk", so maybe it doesn't even matter what the REAL truth is (to them).  But I, I guess, am reaching a point where I want the truth "out there".  

So, how do I do that?  I guess all I can do is tell people the truth when they ask.  In an effort to be clear and concise (I tend to babble when I speak to people in real-life), let me practice on you, dear reader.

Me:  "Tom and I are getting a divorce."

Unsuspecting Local:  "Oh, no!  What happened?"  

Me:  "He left me.  He said, at first, that the problem was Swamp River Ridge and the lifestyle we'd built for ourselves there.  But then, when I offered to give that up and move into a little house in town . . . or even move to a new state to start over . . . he just shook his head 'no'."

Even that, though, is too long.  The flat-out truth is that he no longer wants / wanted to be married to me.  Why?  I have no idea.  And, why didn't he want to work on it?  That part disappoints me the most, because he knows I would have done ANYTHING to keep our marriage alive and make it healthy again.  But, it takes two to tango, doesn't it?

I feel a note to all our friends, family, and acquaintances coming on.  I never do well when the cards aren't on the proverbial table.  I'll bet I'll feel better after that. 

Anyway, my apologies:  too much introspection in the blogosphere tonight.  Blame it on Daylight Savings Time.


  1. You are right, people will talk no matter what the truth is. You are also right in that you are probably being too nice throughout the divorce process, LOL! How about having him continue to come out and take care of the chores and responsibilities he helped create with Swamp River Ridge? oh yeah, but get bitter like that :)! I tried to be nice in my divorce but it didn't change anything in the end, hindsight is always clearer - I should have had him helping pay my bills and taken the better car, etc. That is horrible about your friend, but it does seem that there is always something worse out there to prevent us from being swallowed up with our own distress. How about holding a picket sign in town that clearly states a summation of what happened? oh, there goes the bitter bit&h in me again, LOL! Seriously, people will always talk and they usually know that what they say probably isn't true, yet they do it anyways. Hold your head high and know that you have a bunch of people pulling for you and for Swamp River Ridge and the hell with 'em, you have to do what is right for you, and at least you can move on knowing you made it clear that you wanted to work and save the marriage - it's all on him now. High head, girl... now go do those chores so can use 5 minutes of that extra daylight this evening to sip a glass of wine and look out at that lovely homestead you have created for yourself!

  2. Erin, all I can say is . . . YOU'RE THE BEST! Thank you. :)

    I got this, too, from another friend this AM - a local friend - and it sure did make my heart swell:

    "I know it's easy for me to say, but really, don't worry about what people are saying about your divorce. They will talk anyhow, even if they know the truth....it's all apart of living here in a small community. Pretty soon, it will be someone else who the tongues will be wagging about. Just know that WE all (who really matter) know, and we love and support you. We are here, and if I hear anyone say anything that is not true, believe me when I say, I will set them straight with the TRUTH! We have your back."

    I sure am one lucky girl! And, I have to stop worrying about how bad reading all this may make Tom feel. After all, the name of this blog is 'The Tales of Chicken Mama, Lady Homesteader' now, right?! Right! :)

  3. Well, I say who cares what people think or don't think? The people who really know and love you already know the truth. The others just want a story. When I split up, I tended to stay away from folks because I know myself and I'd have been spilling my guts. It's just my personality to let it all hang out there, and I didn't think it was anyone else's business. So I stayed away from those nosey neighbors who would have loved to pry.

  4. People will talk today and find something or someone else to talk about tomorrow. I've found that what people remember the most is your character in the midst of difficulty. You're obviously very gracious and the people who know you and love you know the truth already and people who want to believen lies aren't really worth trying to convince otherwise.

    Spring's on it's way and you have the promise of enjoying your homestead in the new season. I'm hoping you enjoy it more than ever this year. The stress of trying to keep a struggling marriage afloat sucks so much energy from you and now you can invest that energy into lovingly caring for your sweet homestead. Know you have lots of prayers and warm thoughts being sent your way!

  5. Genny & Becky . . . thank you. Wow. The blogosphere is really allowing some of us lady homesteaders to get the support we need while doing what we want. See, technology CAN be good! ;)

    Becky, you said, ". . . you have the promise of enjoying your homestead in the new season. I'm hoping you enjoy it more than ever this year." You know, that's exactly how I felt tonight. I came home from 6 days away and/or working (that I haven't been able to spend doing what I want here) and began doing chores in the dark. As I shoveled ashes out of the Central Boiler into an empty, metal garbage can . . . and then walked into the woodshed to get wood, I said, out loud, "MY woodshed!" I'm looking forward to cleaning it out this spring and then filling it with wood that I'VE been responsible for acquiring, etc., etc.

  6. WOW as your friend said people will always GOSSIP. That what we get for living in a small town.

    I do hope and pray that you are making Tom take care of 1/2 or more of the bills. You get a the best car or truck. To be blunt Tom should have his sorry butt out there helping or paying for someone to help you some.

    Sounds to me when he took that fall in AZ he must have done some damage to his BRAIN too.

    Weslie when it come to Divorce it can never end friendly..... now what you have to do is FIGHT for YOU and get everything you can and make sure he pays . Hes the one that walked out on you.........

    If I could come up there... I would like to put something somewhere Dammm Men and their &$#@@ brains and egos.


  7. I hear ya. When CL and I split, there were a lot of people who thought I'd been having an affair, which really sucked, since I hadn't. There wasn't really anything I could do about it without sounding like I was trying to overcompensate for...something. So, c'est la vie. The people who know you well enough to matter with know the truth, and that's about the best you're going to get, most likely.

  8. I guess it is time for me (Tom) the "bad" guy who is divorcing Weslie to say of few things on this publc forum. To all you readers who have villianfied me. You dont know me. how people are so quick to judge! I would like to set some things straight. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done. This has not been easy.
    Why did I leave her. I have been struggling with that question for years. Bottom line is that I was never true to myself or true to her. I told her what I thought she wanted to hear. For me to tell her what I truly felt was difficult for me to do. Why. That is what I am trying to figure out. I wanted to avoid the conflict.. How do you tell someone that you love that the dream Swampriver wasnt working for me. How could I tell here that the house we built was way to much. How do you tell someone that over time things have changed and I had lost my love for her. If I could answer those questions, I would not be where I am today. Has anyone mentioned that i have been suffering from severe depression with the goal of suicide. I was/am messed up to the point of comitting suicide instead of telling Weslie the truth. I wanted to avoid the conflict. pretty screwed up huh.... I have problems that I am working on. As weird as this sounds to all of you I still love Weslie, I will always. But I need to love myself before I can truly give love to someone. I really dont care what you people say about me. I would imagine you will continue to feel I am the asshole who divorced Weslie.... It really bothers me that Weslie thinks I am spreading rumors about our divorce.. I have kept this as private as I can. I dont post in on a blog.. I hope Weslie and I can continue to be friends. She knows that if she wants to get ugly in the divorce she can take me to the cleaners. Deep in my soul I know she does not want to do that, but, but the influence of friends and family may change that..I guess time will tell.
    Tom Surprenant

  9. girl, we need martinis.... lots of them!

  10. Yeesh. He said, she said.

    What I WILL say is that I'm glad Tom commented here.

    Anything that I've ever said here on the blog has been relevant to my daily life (which is now as a single, lady homesteader) . . . whether that be the current situation that Tom and I find ourselves in or the latest delivery of firewood. But, all along the way, I've encouraged Tom to share his comments and/or defend himself if he felt that was needed.

    So, I think it's good, it's fine that he wrote. Really! After all, NONE of us will ever make any progress if we keep things bottled up inside, right?

    Oh, and Erin . . . martinis? Seriously?! Have you and I ever talked about this before or did you pull martinis up out of the blue? I ask because I L-O-V-E martinis. Dryyyy. Quality gin. Two olives. M-m-GOOD!

  11. That's funny! We never talked martinis before, but I like them dry too... Bombay Sapphire gin for me, vodka for my husband, I tell him just to "wave" the bottle over the glass and that's enough vermouth, lol. Can't really have more than one though, or I'm worthless! It sounds like your husband has alot of things he needs to work on/work out so it's probably for the best for your mental state if you aren't taken on that ride with him, and maybe that's part of the reason he hasn't pursued fixing the marriage, because he knows it would take too much of a toll on you and may still end up with the same result. I certainly don't feel you have "bashed" him, you have just used your blogging as an outlet for a lot of pain you have been experiencing. That's completely normal, and your sentiments have rang true with several of your readers (including me) and stirred up some old memories for us and maybe that's why we are so quick to jump on the proverbial bandwagon, lol! He could always start his own blog and gather a following of his own! It sounds like you have been more than cooperative with him, just remember that you are number #1 and you need to do whatever it takes to preserve your sanity throughout the process, and if that includes blogging at the end of the day, or talking to your woodshed, you go right ahead! :)

  12. I have a list on my cube "No Truer Words Spoken" by Regina Brett of Ohio.

    #2 When in doubt, just take the next small step.

    #17 You can get through anything, if you stay put in today.

    #29 What other people think of you is none of your business. (I take this as what they think doesn't matter especially when they don't know what is going on)

    #31 No matter how good or bad a situation is, it will change.

    I have added #51 Have no expectations.

    I like what Erin says, ". . . you know you have a bunch of people pulling for you . . . and to hell with 'em . . ."

    It took quite a while but I can now speak to my x without feeling like bashing him in the head. I feel for both of you as this isn't easy whether you want it or not. Guys can shut off their feelings but they still know they are hurting someone they love(d).

    Be strong, be true to you and focus on what you need to do to get through each hour. Don't think too far ahead (well, there are somethings you can think about).

    Cyber {{{hugs}}}


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