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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

Checking In

I'm sitting in the sunroom tonight, trying to get a pathetic little fire going in the stove.  The fire gods seem to be against me.  For those of you who use wood stoves regularly, you know how there's a RIGHT way to start a fire as well as a WRONG way?  And, yes, sometimes the wrong way actually works.  Most of the time, though, it doesn't.  You cut some corners:  you didn't use enough paper or birchbark or there's not enough kindling.  Or the only logs in the woodbox are too big but you don't want to go out to the woodshed to get more.  You know the drill.  Anyway, that's the point I'm at with this particular fire.  I didn't have the energy to build it properly and, so, it is faltering.  And I'm blaming low pressure.  Or the stupid stove.  Or the fact that it's a Wednesday.  Certainly not myself.

I've been trying to write the necessary post ever since it all happened on Monday, but I'm just not having any luck.  I don't have the will to rehash the whole story right now. But, in brief, for those of you who haven't already found out from Mama Pea's blog or Facebook, I lost Annie Blue (the little cat I'd picked out when she was just 4 weeks old) Monday morning.  A big-@ss fisher took her, right in front of me.  He had just torn out her throat when I got out the door and fired.  There was nothing to do for Annie Blue other than hold her and sob over and over and over, "I'm sorry!  Oh, Annie Blue, I'm sorry!"  

The irony of it all is that I think I now know what the predator's been this whole time (helped out by an eagle a time or two):  this big fisher.  (Some call them fisher cats.)  That is part of what I want to write about in length some time . . . just not right now.

That and saying goodbye to Annie Blue, burying her, and planting a tree over her grave.  But I just don't have it in me at the moment.

To add insult to injury, I got sick last night with what I'm guessing is the 24-hour flu.  At first, I thought it was the accumulated stress finally exacting its revenge on my body, but now I know it's more.  

After spending an extra hour at my office last night . . . and then another, just 1.5 miles down the road, at my folks' (all on the toilet, thank you very much), I had an excruciatingly miserable hour drive home - inclusive of a visit to Mother Nature's lavatory (thank gawd for dirt roads and no traffic) - followed by a long, painful night of limited sleep.  This morning I ate the only banana in the house, a soggy old thing, and that settled properly on my stomach, amazingly enough.  The yogurt I tried this afternoon did not.  I should have skipped the small bitefuls of rice noodles tonight, too, and stuck to only the two pieces of toast I just had.  The 24-hour mark should be cleared any minute, though, and I can't tell you how much I'm counting on that!  (I'm not willing to accept that this could be a more-than-just-a-single-day bug.)

Now, the upstairs couch, my heating pad, and a movie are just what this doctor's ordering.


  1. I'm glad you could finally get a post up, Chickadeedle, so that everyone knows you're still with us. Lots of people have been worried about you. Call it mother's instincts but I don't think you have the flu. I think your body has finally said it has had enough and the terrible blow Monday was just too, too much. Your body is shutting down for a purge and a rest and can't handle anything other than you holing up and taking care of yourself.

  2. I agree with your mama, or at least the recent events have lowered your reserves so much that the nasties can gain entrance. Please take good care of yourself, I know you must be going through hell from what happened, but you have to take care of yourself for your other furry kids that need you! I bet Maisy and Tucker have had quite a bit of fur grabbing and sobbing lately, I've been there - or I should say my dogs have been. Wish I could make you some soup or at least try to make your fire so I could get a laugh out of you as you watch me fail miserably at it! Thanks for checking in, I look forward to your post about the predator, most people in this country have never heard of such an animal and will be very interested to know what their story is.

  3. have you tried slippery elm for the intestinal stuff? I did it for Marley when I thought she was going to drop out on me last month and it worked wonders along with the rice and broth.

  4. So good to hear from you! And so sorry you aren't feeling well :(

    We have all been worried about you! I truly wish there was some way we could make it all go away and bring you to a happy place.

    Just know that we are rootin' for you Chickie! Big hugs and happy vibes!!! xoxo

  5. This is a heart breaking post. I'm a regular reader of your Mom's blog and am just catching up on my blog reading. I was so saddened to hear you lost your sweet kitty in such a horrible way. Being so sick only makes it worse I know. Hugs from another cat lover.

  6. I can't wait to hear the story of the fisher - and truly hope that your aim was true and you got the sucker.

    It won't bring Annie back, but a little retribution might help you heal.

  7. Take care of yourself! Be it a 24 hour bug or your body forcing some 'down time' your heart/soul/mind needs to deal with your loss - whatever the case take care of YOU, ok?

  8. Hi - your mom said you could use a few extra hellos these days. I am shocked to hear about the brutal! way in which kitty was murdered!
    But immediately beyond that tragedy - you need to get well. I hope your next fire lights brilliantly and burns effortlessly and I am looking forward to reading more of your blog writtings! God bless your heart for now.

  9. Well, it all stinks. I think you could use a nice, long good-news run, CM. I am going to put my mind beams towards a long positive streak for you. Too much stress, too much loss. Take care of yourself.

  10. Hi, everybody, you wonderful readers (and commenter . . . commentators?). I am feeling MUCH better today - just that wet, limp, post-flu (or whatever) dishrag feeling.

    Erin, thanks for offering to fix my fire: that image made me smile, although you grew up in Minnesota - I'll bet you KNOW how to make a fire!

    Oh, and slippery elm? No, haven't tried it, but I think I'll grab some at the Co-op to have on hand. Although, truthfully, anything 'slippery' doesn't sound like a good compliment to what *I* was experiencing! ;)

    Thanks, Ms. Apple Pie and Leigh. It DOES help, so much, to know that you are out there, rooting for me. :)

    Jenyfer, yes, yes, and double yes! While I don't want that nasty little (rhymes with 'trucker') to have suffered, I hope my shot DID end his life!

    Faye and CMarie, thank you. "I hope your next fire lights brilliantly and burns effortlessly" is such a beautiful sentiment . . . and I'll TAKE it! :)

    And, Susan, up until this last sadness, I really hadn't thought about or realized that I HAVE been having what could be seen as a run of bad luck! It just seemed like "Life on the Homestead" or "The Life of Chicken Mama". But, yeah, 2010 HAS been a tough one, I guess. Still, what's done is done, and I don't dwell on that at all. Each day is a new day, leading away from the old. I guess THAT'S what helps me deal with everything. That and the support of all of you iFriends. :)

  11. Get well soon dear Chicken Mama. It's all up hill from there.

  12. Ohhhhh Chicken Mama! I too have lost a fur friend to, almost, the same method. I just want to send you a big bunch of love!!!

  13. Hello, I just wanted to delurk and say I am terribly sorry about your kitty (and chickens, ducks and geese). I hope things go better for you.

    I think you are incredibly strong and courageous. I live in Northern Minnesota also and wish I could do what you are doing!

    Take care,



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