* * * * * * *

"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

End of the Day

I'm pooped.  Tired.  Done for.

I'm sitting here in the sunroom, cup of hot Yogi Tea on the arm of the couch, one flat cat (which is how they look when they're flat-out asleep) on the gently swaying hanging bed, and the fire quietly flickering away in front of me.\

I got a good bit done today, considering my late start.  Didn't get as much progress as I'd hoped for, but that seems to fall under the 'Of Course' category.

I spent a good bit of time outside in the afternoon as the temperature dropped.  Cutting a part of the overgrown grass in the front yard when my breath comes out in steamy puffs is MY kind o' lawn mowing!  ;)  (Remember, I . . . hate . . . heat.)  Also got a small pine tree cut down that had died earlier in the summer and had been glaring at me, all brown and crispy, for TOO many weeks.  Moved some rocks and spent a bit of time hauling some firewood into the house.  Did some pre-wood-burning-season maintenance on the outdoor furnace, too, and started cleaning up some of the scrap piles around the big wood pile.

I'll insert the picture once I'm at work tomorrow (the photo's on that computer), but I got another load of firewood:  six cords of maple, this time.  There's an old bachelor who's lived here his whole life who tends to "look out for" the single women in the area.  He's been logging maple on the Rez for a couple of years, and he gave me a ridiculously good deal on 6 cords.  Another friend (Bundle of Joy's papa, for those of you long-time readers) was the middle man for the transaction and explained to the almost-an-old-timer that, due to my divorce / financial situation, I wouldn't be able to pay him until later in October.  Word is that he blustered, "Hell, I don't give a sh*t about that!"  What can you say that properly encompasses goodwill like that?  :)

Speaking of Bundle of Joy's daddy, I've had a couple of sneaky little wood angels steadily working on the many cords of wood waiting out there to be cut up.  Twice now, J has come with a 2nd in tow and chainsaws sharp (when they thought I'd already be at work) to attack the 8-12' lengths.  

. . . I've been sitting here, fingers on the keyboard, trying to figure out how to properly explain what kind of person J is (and not having much luck).  The problem is, I don't know how to describe him in this day and age.  Were it 150 years ago, I'd have no problem.  He and his wife would be the farmers who put their own crops on the back burner to come harvest yours when you were in dire straights.  No, correction:  they'd come to help BEFORE you got into a tight situation.  J is an old-fashioned kind of guy.  A blue-collar, honest-as-the-day-is-long kind of guy.  To him, family is #1.  Hands-down, no arguments.  And, somewhere along the line, he and Bundle of Joy's mama decided that I was family.  And family comes first.  I know that NO MATTER WHAT EVER MIGHT HAPPEN, I can call on and count on them.  Flat out, no questions asked. 

I know Tom's and my divorce has been hard on them.  They are devoutly religious.  Not devoutly in the "zealot, can't-have-any-non-Christian-friends" way, but their every belief is founded in a deep trust in the teachings of the Bible.  But, they balance that (disappointment in our divorce) with the understanding that, #1, the decision to divorce was not an easy one for us NOR, more importantly, one we took lightly and, #2, we are all different (in our beliefs and principles).  While they are sad that we're no longer together, they also find comfort in the fact that we are determined to stay friends.  Matter of fact, Tom and I have often been invited to their house on the same night to visit . . . killing two birds with one stone, if you'll pardon the pun.  Although, we've also visited just as many times (more, probably) on our own.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this . . . I wasn't meaning to bring it back to Tom and me.  I'm just trying to express what incredible people J and H are.  They have taken us (me) into their hearts and, as a direct result, into their family.  And I do NOT take that love and relationship lightly.  It's one of the most meaningful and treasured friendships I have.  You know?  We need to invent a new word!  I know they say that "friends are the family you choose", but I want a word that means MORE than "just" friends.  What should it be?

Well, I feel like I've really strayed off on a tangent tonight, but, rather than pull it back to whatever intended path I'd sent out on, I'm gonna sign off.  Like I said at the beginning of this, I'm tired!

P.S.  Very much NOT incidentally, my "adopted daughter" is J's baby sister . . . .  ;)  Although, we have very much separate relationships:  mine with her vs. mine with them.  Weird, huh?


  1. Those kinds of friendships are few and far between, but the most valuable 'things' you can have. I have a friend like that - I call her my "frister" - part friend/part sister/family. Maybe J and H are your framily? I am not a warm weather person, either. My perfect day is sun, cold enough for a sweater, but not quite cold enough for snow ;0)

  2. Amazing friends like that are hard to find. It shows so much that even though the divorce troubles them, they put that aside and continue to provide much needed love and support, that is what "family" is all about! I must admit I was a bit worried with all that has been going on with your work that your woodshed wasn't prepped for winter - but it looks like everything is ready to go!

  3. Something you didn't mention regarding J and H that makes me admire both of them so much: Neither had what you could call a "golden" upbringing. They've both overcome obstacles that would have made many of the rest of us crumble. Not those two strong sweeties!! (Yes, you can be strong and sweet at the same time. They are examples for us all to emulate.)

  4. Susan, I like that: framily! My oldest girlfriend and I are like sisters (closest thing I'll ever have, anyway) . . . sometimes in the worst sense of the word - ha! We call each other 'blisters'.

    Erin, nah, no worries about the woodshed. I'm a glass is half-full kinda gal: even if it's in 12' lengths NEXT to the woodshed and I know how to work the chainsaw . . . I'm A-OK! Once the many cords were delivered earlier this year, any stress about it went out the window for me.

    Mom, GOOD point! H and her 9 (yes, nine) siblings went through a hell that would cause the best of families to fracture and the best of people to crumble. Instead, I have never seen a CLOSER, more LOVING family nor a woman rise like a phoenix out of the ashes. Truly, she is an inspiration.

    And, J? After quitting school at 15 and starting a man's 40-hour work week to support himself . . . and getting caught up in all the bad stuff you can imagine a young man looking "to belong" WOULD get caught up in . . . he walked away from it all one day, and that was that.

    Here's another good example of what kind of guy he's like: a couple of weeks ago, he was working on a steel roof (he's a carpenter specializing in roofs) and slipped. The house had an attached garage with a roof at the 1st level. J was on the roof of the 2nd story of the house. As he started slipping and knew he would fall onto the roof below, he twisted his body so that he would land on the roof's peak . . . he'd not yet replaced that roof, and he knew the timbers were rotted and he didn't want to break through the roof.

    Well, the peak of the roof that he landed on held, all right: enough that he smashed onto it with his chest and then bounced OFF and was thrown down to the ground below! He finished work that day.

    H tried to get him to go to the hospital that night, but he wouldn't. On Saturday, they went to the ER. Nothing broken, the docs said, but they didn't give him a body scan - I wish they had (only x-rayed the corner of his foot). A couple of weeks later, now, and he's still limping (smashed foot & groin injury) and can't lift super heavy things (cracked ribs?). Mind you, he's still coming over to cut my wood.

  5. How incredible to have such dear friends. I truly believe that people don't have to be blood relatives to be family. Honestly, I have sweet friends that I'm closer to than some of my own family. I'm glad you're so blessed! I also believe that they're equally blessed by you!

  6. Becky, I AM blessed with amazing friends! I especially treasure my relationships w/ them since I'm an only child AND we (Mom & Dad & I) live in another state, entirely, than any family.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. The friends you have are one in a million. hope you get some rest. Winter is a comin Take care

  9. Aww, you ladies...I just might cry! :) I miss you, Chicken Mama! We need a "family" get together soon. Wish we could have seen you at McFarland when we were all camping. We are trying to arrange an Asian food night soon. Would you be interested? :)

  10. Just so y'all aren't going, "Huhhh?" in response to Patty's, "Aww, you ladies...I just might cry!" . . . . SHE is the oldest sister to the J I was talking about and 'My Girl'. There's a 19-year spread between Patty and My Girl. So, yes, she, too, is part of this framily! :)

    And, Patty, I'd love to come over for an Asian inspired night! I make a darn good egg roll, if I do say so myself! Sending you a BIG hug! xo

  11. I was actually trying to think back to the photos you posted of your "adopted" daughter and thinking they resembled Patty's sister LOL! I


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!