Home » Uncategorized » My Journey in Pictures

My Journey in Pictures

We had good neighbors there - Dick and his dog Kip, woud come over for tea every day

We had good neighbors there – Dick and his dog Kip, woud come over for tea every day

Last year at this time… Do you ever do that? I do. I always have. It’s a way of reminding myself of what I’ve done, haven’t done and want to do. A way of being thankful.

Me and my sisters this time last year

Me and my sisters this time last year

This time last year we were moving. After a long drawn out battle with our negligent landlord we gave up and moved. There were mould issues that she wouldn’t address. There was a 100′ tree hanging over the bedrooms that had just began a slow collapse.

Our flower garden getting ready to move

Our flower garden getting ready to move

But we loved that house. Really. Even with all the problems it was in a lovely setting and the garden was our beautiful creation. It was so hard to leave it. And, worst of all? I was feeling awful. I was weak and tired all the time.

But that was stress, right? YOU think about moving a big henhouse from where it was entrenched and tell me you wouldn’t stress. How do you move chickens? That alone made me want to curl up in a ball and start screaming.

See that big old henhouse behind me? THAT'S only one of the two we had to move! This time last year? aaaiiieeeeeee!!!!!!

See that big old henhouse behind me? THAT’S only one of the two we had to move! This time last year? aaaiiieeeeeee!!!!!!

Baby Silkies: Small - but don't tell them that.

Baby Silkies: Small – but don’t tell them that.

Chickens. I couldn’t get the two different flocks to stop fighting each other. They never got along. It was the Jets and the Sharks. If they were within some imaginary, arbitrary distance from each other they would fight. ‘Oh, gee, won’t it be lovely to have free range chickens, Laura?’ No. It won’t be. Now I know better. Different sized chickens don’t get along. And you can’t protect free range chickens. They free range all over hell and gone. Into the neighbors yards. Way back to the tree where the owl lived.

They look so cuddley and sweet...and they are. If you're not another chicken!

They look so cuddley and sweet…and they are. If you’re not another chicken!

They’d go stand all over the road. Once in awhile they’d just vanish for hours. When it started getting dark they’d come back. Most of them. Then we’d have to go look for Annie or Nina or whoever was missing. You’d hear their cackles of panic when they realized they were alone and lost. Follow the sound. Pull them out of whatever tree they’d retreated to. They have absolutely NO sense. But they’re really smart. Yeah, chickens. Clever and stupid.

I LOVE my chickens...me and Nina

I LOVE my chickens…me and Nina

This time last year I was driving all over creation trying to find a house and not just any house. It had to accept 3 dogs and 25 chickens, two cats and us. Not an easy proposition.

Every morning I got up at 4:30 am for work. After work I’d go look at houses. Every house that was listed for rent, I would go see. I couldn’t afford not to look at everything. Places too far from work? I’d go see it, telling myself that it wouldn’t be too bad a commute. An hour or two. Each direction. I would go and check it out. I looked at 3 story, 100 year old places with only a wood stove to heat it and startlingly bad wall paper everywhere, unfenced places next to highways, old falling down houses with brother in law handyman renovations, I drove and drove and drove. Looking. I didn’t know what I was going to see, but I had to keep trying.

The vegetable garden

The vegetable garden


Last year, the farewell to the old...

Last year, the farewell to the old…

It was even harder because I had a car with no reverse. I had to be extremely careful about where I was going and what the driveway looked like. Getting trapped in a downward sloping driveway or a place I couldn’t turn around was my daily nightmare.

That and packing with no where to go? Can you imagine?

I was sometimes so stressed out that I had to remind myself that confidence came from within. That positive thinking and an upbeat attitude had gotten me through worse times that this. I was confident. I told myself to see the house in my mind. See it. Visualize the house. Don’t let this beat you. I was going to find a house. This next house would be IT! A perfect 3 bedroom house, for less rent, walking distance to the beach, 15 minutes from work, that would take chickens and dogs and cats. A place we could garden and sit in the sun. A place that was new or at least not neglected, that would be easy to clean and easy to heat. That’s what I wanted.

Building the new garden and seeing it come to life

Building the new garden and seeing it come to life

And that’s what I found. And not only that, but landlords who are kind, patient, decent and fair.

That’s what I did last September and October. I looked and when I got home, I packed. November we moved. December we unpacked and got ready for Christmas. But, boy did I feel awful. But I didn’t mention it. Just to my doctor. Didn’t want to worry anyone. Little did I know that I was about to find myself in the battle of my life.

Me, 6 months ago

Me, 6 months ago

I pride myself on my sense of humor. I am always smiling. I love life. Life was a banquet, maybe just a Golden Corral banquet, but I had a choice of what I took and what I left off of my plate.

Sure it wasn’t a George V Hotel banquet with nice linen napkins and chandeliers and jumbo shrimp but it was the way things played out for me. My decisions all the way across the board. That’s what I thought.

But life has a way of forcing you to pay attention to what decisions you make. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 9 months. Paying attention to every thing I do. Trying to believe in positive visualization. Trying to believe that I wasn’t dying. Trying to understand that it could happen anyway. Then thrusting that thought away.

Me, this time last year

Me, this time last year

It’s like this house. I just have to believe that it can be done. We found our house. The perfect house with less rent, nice landlords who accepted our chickens and pets. We have our garden, our sunshine…I just need to keep thinking like that.


17 thoughts on “My Journey in Pictures

    • awwww, you’re so kind! Yes, it’s a lesson to me. Don’t think you have it tough. You just never know, sometimes, when you have it good! But I love our new house. I must post pictures of it!


    • Chickens are a handful if you want them to be pets. And get eggs, too. They need to be happy and stress free and that occasionally requires a lot of work. Boy, when i think of this time last year and how tough I thought it was…Little did I know it was going to get ‘interesting’!
      GREAT party, Ms. Kate.


    • Not a day goes by that I don’t think about them. His family took Dick away to Arizona or someplace. One day he was just gone and they wouldn’t tell me where. Kip? He was given away too. They wouldn’t even tell me where so I could have him. And Dick and I talked about me having Kip when he passed away! I loved that dog. He was an Aussie Cattle dog cross. [[sigh]] I wish I had a right to protest when people act like ASSHOLES to their own family! Dick was a NASA engineer. He lived at Cocoa Beach during the Apollo launches. He taught university in Texas. He was SO interesting. But apparently once you get old you aren’t allowed to have a choice in life. You can just get kidnapped away. I’m still mad about it and I still miss Dick. He was fun!


  1. That is sad indeed. People can such fuckin’ arseholes! I bet he’s missing the hell out of you lot, too. Yeah, I was gonna ask about Kip as I’ve owned several cattle dogs both Blue AND Red Heelers, the current Bluey is not much more useful than just a lovely pet but a properly trained Heeler is one of the most loyal and staunch dogs on the planet…Kip will be pining for Dick too.


  2. Sorry to hear that, Laura, people can such pricks. I’ve always had Heelers, they’re a very loyal, staunch dog, I’m sure Kip will be most unhappy separated from Dick, too.


    • DEAL! This time next year on your book tour? (we can dream, right? Me with 50 non violent happy chickens that get along, you in Seattle on your worldwide book tour while we discuss who will play the lead in the blockbuster movie)


  3. My goodness Laura I understand your house thing. I’ve moved so many times around Bcn in the last years that I’ve lost count and its always been super stressful. I now I’ve got more moves lined up (but anyway…) The baby chickens look so sweet and yeah, you’d had to bring them all along πŸ™‚
    We know what comes next in your story and being ill…. Lots of hugs!


    • And after 2013 I will never look back or forward and think something is hard. Never again. I did this. The hardest year. And thanks to you Sofia, you were always so kind. It honestly made things easier knowing my friends out there in the blog were rooting for me. And making good music. And jam! And writing. And vacationing. Boy, somedays I just read and read and loved it. It was like a reminder that life is beautiful!.


      • Hi Laura, You’ve been very brave. I’m going to send you an email because I also want to explain that you’ve helped me a lot this year too. xx


There is no sin except stupidity.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s