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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

Where to Pick Up?

So, where to pick up with my tales of woes the recent follies of my life?  Well, most importantly . . . 

Sweet Maisy is still with us!  Recently, she's had her longest stretch of good days and even walked down the driveway with Tucker and me on Thursday evening to snap pictures of the lupines!  

She overdid it Friday night, tho (my fault), as a fox was barking outside and sending her and Tucker into fits.  The "my fault" part is because, since it was so warm out, I'd left the front door open so they could come and go as they wished through the doggie-door in the screen.  The tempting fox resulted in LOTS of barking and coming and going throughout the night!  Hmm, maybe I can blame the fox?!  So, she didn't eat yesterday AM, and I had to lift her into and out of the car when it was time to go to work . . . but she slept in the sun on Mama & Papa Pea's deck all day and then ate a good, impromptu dinner of a little dry food plus good, organic scrambled eggs, courtesy of "Grandma".  Her tummy is getting larger, though, and I can feel the tumor (or another one?) getting bigger.  But, all in all, life is still good for this suddenly "old girl".  :)

I can't remember whether or not I'd written about it, but I had five (yes, f-i-v-e) hens go broody ALL ON THE SAME NEST (that they'd made for themselves in a corner of the coop) several weeks ago!

I figured this would actually be a good thing because, with FIVE mothers, I should end up with at least one good one and, as a direct result, some Swamp River Ridge chicks.  And, I have!!!  (Actually, you can see two of the chicks in the photo above if you look carefully.  You know, kind of a Where's Waldo thing.)  As of Thursday, three of the hens were off the nest and clucking like mad at the little balls of fluff scurrying between the legs of the single non-setting hen and rooster in the chicken house.  (Those of you who have mama hens know what that particular anxious, maternal - wonderful! - cluck sounds like.)

The remaining two setters are ever vigilant, and it is still difficult to see how many peepers they are hiding under their fluffy wings.  I've only confirmed 4 so far, though . . . which is actually just fine, considering that the whole bunch needs to continue living only INSIDE the chicken house until an enclosed shelter is built outside.  Which, at this point, will be at our next home.  Wherever that will be.

So, speaking of our next home . . . ugh and double UGH.  The whole process (of being, as I like to think of it, "evicted") officially began the horrible day I brought Maisy to the vet and found out that she's dying.  After that long, exhausting day, I was home and had the critters all settled in and was just sitting down in the rocker here in the kitchen (where my caboose is presently parked as I write to you) to eat a late dinner at 9:15.  It was dark out when suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a BANG-BANG-BANG on the outside door right behind me.  It scared the you-know-what out of me, and, of course, the dogs JUMPED up and started barking like mad (when I'd just gotten the no-sudden-moves Maisy settled).  I cringed at what that might have done to her insides and tried to quiet them down as I went to the door.  Looking out, I saw a cop.  Hmmmm.  Okay . . . ?

I let the dogs out and him in.  He had paperwork in his hands.  "Are you Chicken Mama," he asked?  "Yes," I replied, with a question in my voice.  Then he handed me the papers.

On that already auspicious day (dripping sarcasm here), I'd just been SERVED.  As in legally "served".  With foreclosure papers.  (You have GOT to be kidding!)  Next, "Is your husband here?"  Uhhh, that'd be ex-husband.  And, no, he lives in Alaska.  Apparently, and even tho he deeded the house to me in the divorce settlement, he's still on the mortgage . . . so HE was being served with foreclosure papers, too!

All in all, the cop was very nice and we ended up talking off-grid living with solar.  I did ask him, though, why he'd delivered the papers at 9:15 on a Saturday night?  Especially when it was such a long drive out to me, and how did he know I'd be at home (without a phone call first)?  Well, "surprise" is one of the elements of serving people, I learned (which makes sense - unfortunately).  And, they hope to catch people in.  So, I guess late on a weekend night was the prime time.

So, to encapsulate that day, Maisy was dying, and now I'd been served with the official foreclosure papers.  

But, wait, there's more!

After he left and I got Maisy Grace situated again, I settled back to my dinner and a look at the paperwork.  Guess when I officially lose the house?  On July 5th.  My 41st birthday.

Now, isn't that just SPECIAL?!!!  Un-effing-believable.

At least I know the dates now.  Following the Sheriff's Sale on the 5th, I'll then have 6 months to vacate.  That takes me to January 5, 2013.  But, there's no way I can live here come the dwindling daylight hours and colder temps this fall . . . with the electrical system the way it is.  So, as days fly by and turn into weeks . . . which turn into months-gone-by, I'm getting more and more nervous about finding a new living situation.  I'm also nervous about what my RIGHTS will be after July 5th when this place is no longer "mine"!  Does the credit union then have the right to drive up my driveway and demand to see their property?  The house?  Everything inside?  Another contact with my lawyer is necessary.  I need to know what to expect.

But, back to the Where To Live dilemma.  (Hang on, more coffee required.)  Right now, there are 2 1/2 options (but I need a LOT more):
  • Option A:  Build an addition to the little cabin my friends have so wonderfully offered.
  • Option B:  Try to get a rental agreement with the owner of the little cabin on 5 acres that I love.
  • Option 1/2:  See if anything transpires with renting the house on 10 acres that the house inspector told me about just last night.
Option A definitely has pros, and they are:  in the woods enough that the dogs could run outside, it's private, and free - aside from any improvements / additions I'd make.  But, it also has some cons:  even tho it's set in the trees, it's very close to neighbors who are easy to hear; the lights from town can easily be seen and the highway easily heard, there's no water or electricity or biffy and I'd have to put in a driveway in order to add on (and it's so small - 10x16 - that I'd HAVE to add on to spend any real amount of time there).

Option B:  I had Mama & Papa Pea's carpenter, B, meet me there last night.  In addition to being a friend to us all, she's also a licensed house inspector, and I wanted her to give me her professional opinion about the place.  The pros to this are that it's very private while also being located right off a main, maintained road.  All I'd have to plow would be the driveway.  It's "out of town" enough for me.  It has a biffy and electricity and a large propane tank (which is another thing that Option A does not have and would require said driveway).  The biggest con is that the newly constructed, never-lived-in cabin was built HIGH up on stilts.  Like it's waiting for a flood, even though it's sitting on high ground!!  If reinforcing rebar was in the concrete pilings when they were poured, the situation could be do-able.  But, if there's no reinforcement in them, B is concerned that, should a heavy tree fall on the roof, the center of gravity is so high in the structure that the impact could knock it sideways, right OFF - and breaking - the pillars!!!  And, that concern is, uhhh, a big one.  So, I'll have to pose that important question to the owner, through my real estate agent.  The other big con is that I don't know if the owner would be convinced to rent it to me WITHOUT a contract for Rent With Option To Buy.  But, all in all, this option is kind of on hold until I find out about the reinforcement of the pillars.  If the infrastructure IS there, tho, and the owner would consider a rental agreement, this option would really be the ideal one.

Option Not-A-Real-One-Yet:  Near the end of the two hours B and I spent in the little cabin last night, going over it inch by inch, she had a brainstorm:  a friend of hers has rented a house on 10 acres just a mile or so west of the cabin we were in!  And, she thought it was currently empty!  She was going to place a call to her friend on the way home.  So, I'm currently waiting to hear back on that.  I've never seen this house (but a sneaky drive-by will probably be the order of the day tomorrow during my lunch break!), but it's a fully-functioning house with well, electricity, the whole nine yards.  And, as I said, situated on 10 acres on a beautiful little country road right next to the first little babe I nannied for!  But, I'm trying to not think about that yet . . . until I know if it's even an option.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the incredibly kind, selfless offer of living in the cabin my oldest, dearest girlfriend and her husband are finishing just 9 miles west of me here at Swamp River Ridge.  They've offered it to me, free and clear.  In the past, they've only come up to it two weeks out of each year, so I'd only need to "clear out" for those short amounts of time.  But, now that it's at the state (of nearly-finished construction) that it is, they're coming up more frequently.  And, ultimately, I want it to be THEIRS.  So, for now, I'm not even really considering it . . . other than enough to mention HOW MUCH I APPRECIATE their offer.  I hope (and I think) they know that.  xoxoxoxo

Sooooo, yuck.  That's where I am.  And I'm never good at dealing with unknowns.  Although I sure am getting a lot of practice at it, lately, aren't I?!!

I think I'll get another post up now - while I'm at it - about sleep (or lack thereof) and my schedule . . . but separately.  I'm sure you've all fallen asleep by now, anyway, given the length of this one!  ;)

Zzzzzzzzzzz . . . .



  1. I'm with you on the unknowns - they suck. Just take this one step at a time and you'll get where you need to be :)

  2. I know you love the out of the way home, but you need to find something closer to town, so your drive is not so long. You need running water and electricity.
    I hope the option 3 will be available for you

  3. I am very very sorry about Maisey I know how much you love her . Hugs and Prays.......

  4. Good to know that Maisey still has some good sun-soaking and relaxing days. I know this isn't going to help much, but it's something I try to remind myself: We're ALL dying (technically once we reach a certain age), there are just some circumstances when we are allowed to know that the time for someone (human or critter) is nearing the end so this gives us an opportunity to really, REALLY enjoy that remaining time and lavish all we can upon them.

    Good luck with the nerve-racking house hunting, sending good vibes your way.

  5. I'm so glad to hear Maisy is still having good days and is able to help you through what is such an emotional time for you in so many other ways. I have friend who went through the foreclosure thing and after the foreclose date they would have any number of people show up to either check on the property or show the property at all odd hours with no notice or phone call (some of those people that check on them work from home for the banks and on their own schedules), they were allowed to do this so you may want to make sure there is a sign that clearly states someone lives there still so you won't have any walk-ins through the door, that would be a bit startling so far out of town! I hope you are able to get info on all your choices and make the best decision soon, I know that must be so stressful, I hope you get some good info about the one that might be vacant and has well and everything, that would be such a relief going into the fall and winter not having to worry about improving/building anything right away.

  6. I'm with you all the way,I'm gonna lose a loved one,I'll most likely be evicted and where do I go from there?I want to run away and hide.I am totally unprepared.at least you sound as if life is gonna go on for you,do you choose door #1 ---#2 or #3, I'm sure you will get your sign

  7. Seriously, on your birthday???? That is just over the top. Although....maybe it will bring an end to the bad 2-3 years you've been going through?
    Option A sounds like a lot of work. I'm pretty sure they say when you are dealing with a loss you aren't supposed to make big decisions like getting married (ha!) or, um, building a big addition to a house. I know there would be big benefits, too, but to me it does sound like a lot of work. To do on your 2 non-consecutive days off. Or maybe I'm just jaded by my cabin building experience!
    Option B sounds interesting. And I bet there's rebar because who the H would build something like that without reinforcement???
    Option C I will look forward to hearing about.
    As for the friend's cabin, she is kind of a weirdo, so I'd avoid that one. (Haha!)

  8. I am glad to know that you are still amongst us (and Maisy, too, good girl). And at least you have some options. The Universe still seems to have a few whammies up its sleeve for you (and a perverse sense of humor), but I am thinking that Option C sounds verrrry interesting. If at all possible, go for the option that will cause you the least amount of stress, give you the most of what you need and allow you to take a break from all this BS. Sending hugs your way (and lots to Maisy, too.)

  9. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog post. You seem to have your head on straight and aren't going into ANY of this w/out some serious footwork: contacting your lawyer, having the family carpenter check out a house for you and also tell you about a possible place for rent. The thing about living in uncertainty is that it doesn't always feel good--if ever. BUT, there will be a day when you are in your new place, sitting in a comfy chair, letting out a deep sigh, and knowing that you have begun another chapter in your life.
    And such good news about Maisy! She is going to hang around until your living situation gets figured out.

    If your ex is on the deed, well, how does that work with the foreclosure? Can he help you foot the lawyer fees?

    Hang in there. And a big hug to you and your four-legged children!

  10. I don' think anyone has the right to come on your property. Plus, many people have gotten aound foreclosure for years by--force the bank to show you what you signed. If they cannot find it, they are in for legal limbo. You still have the right to sell your place.

  11. My house was to be sold on the courthouse steps the next morning. car repo men were prowling the neighborhood, threateing me if I did not give them my car. A hurricane was coming through, to make thing worse. My attorney had filed bankruptcy the day before. It ranks as the second most frightening day of my life.

    You may still owe money if the property does not sell for enough.

    If your husband's name was left on the mortgage, he now has a vested interest since it may destroy his credit rating. If your husband's name should have been off the mortgage, then the bank may have to file a new foreclosure on you. You can give them something o think about.

    How many years do you owe? I only owed three and put car and house into ch 11 bankruptcy and paid house and car off in five years instead of the two years owed on both.Rates on everything you owe are renogiated.Go to a bankruptcy attorney for this one, not a regular attorney. They know all the rules. I just came here today for the first time, so know none of your history with your land.


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!