Pressing Reset: from runaway chicken to encouraging others

I’m coming at you for a quick post on Friday afternoon. I need a do over. Ever need one of those? Well today I’m desperate for a fresh start so it’s 3:00pm and when I get up from my desk… I’m officially pressing the reset button. The reset started with a shower and some good music. But I’ll start with why I need this reset…

I made the most delicious oatmeal bake, Corban has been devouring it. But rather then a quiet reading time over breakfast this morning I fought every bite with my big boys. Then I headed outside with them to enjoy the damp fall air. Only to find that my front yard was  a disaster. Since I’m determined to not be the neighbor who has a dump as a yard and knowing the baby was almost due to eat I enlisted some help from the boys to fill a bin with garbage and a tub with indoor items that needed to be taken in. They were helpful, until Camper broke a bottle with a rock. This is recurring issue so he was sent to his room.

Then I got a text from my hubby reminding me to check on our new chickens and that both sets of girls had food and water. This lead the “the great escape” of one lovely black and white chicken who had yet to be named. As I saw her escaping I also saw a white blur, my terrier pup, chasing after her. You need to know that she has previously killed one of our ladies, and it was so hard and sad. Namely for me who had to deal with it all.

I was in my pj’s and slippers SCREAMING at the dog. I bolted across the neighbors hard, running back frantically to close the coop door just praying that the dog wouldn’t kill the chicken in front of the kids. The construction guys came running, due to my insane screaming, when just then Ipa stopped chasing. She had hurt her paw. Never thought I’d be thankful for an injury… I scolded her to the front door where I got a nervous Cashel to lock her in. Went after the chicken to only find she had disappeared.

Frantically went into the house trying to lock up the cat and dog, and ensure the kids were safe and inside. Baby crying to eat, gave him his binki. Turned a show on, and prayers were shouted heavenward that the kids would stay put.

Several trips in and out of the house left me with frantic texts to Benjamin and my folks, sweating buckets since that cool fresh air was really humid post summer dampness, and discovering insane messes made inside. First, the big boys used a chopper to dice hot dogs (no idea where they found this stuff) and then later Corban littered the entire house with baking cocoa.


This second mess took place when I found the chicken hiding in a drain pipe. No way to get her out. I brought a cage over and was hoping she’d come out. My hand trying to get her out only pushed her further into the pipe and out of my reach. I asked Cashel to stand guard while I fed the baby, that didn’t last long especially since nursing sessions take SO long and then Corban’s mess. Did I mention the drain pipe she chose was two houses up the road? It was a long walk to and from the spot and my children were literally littering my neighbor’s yards…

Camp tried to help. The handheld vacuum that we all love had a dead battery, he moved to the Swiffer vacuum that only blew the cocoa powder out it’s vents further around the house and causing us all to sneeze. Then he put my dry norwex dust mop into the milk and cocoa powder, spreading it everwhere. I called off the help at this point and asked them al to sit. Still.

My mom said she’d come, by now I’d been doing this over an hour. I put some food out for the three big boys and finished nursing. Chicken still in drain pipe… hopefully…. When my mom arrived she put Corban down for a nap and I finished nursing. Big boys ate while we assessed the situation. Somewhere in there I got most of the cocoa up. But we’ll be smelling it for weeks I am sure.

My mom and I set to creating a trap, but she was just too deep into the pipe. We scoped out the other end of the drain pipe only to find it ended under a drain grate with water at the end. IF she went out that way she’d drown – plus there was a water snake in the water. Lord help us. We took the grate top off, those things are heavy, got a broom and eventually used a 25 foot tape measure to scare her a bit back toward the cage. Still too deep to grab and the tape measure wasn’t long enough. Taping a stick onto the end and creating a tunnel using a dark blanket connecting the drain to the cage – our fingers were crossed. Girl Scouts never give up. I’m just lucky my mom was a girl scout and she is one of the most determined and creative people I know.

The boys were “helping” and at one point Cashel reported he saw the chicken’s chest feathers. I bent down and sure enough, I was baffled, but she was making her way out, eating the worms we had dropped beneath the blanket. I signaled to my mom to keep banging and in a few more seconds  I dropped the blanket over the end of her tail closing off the drain pipe so she couldn’t go back in. I heard her feet in the crate, slammed the door closed, and we did it! Day saved. Nona to the rescue and this chicken is officially named after my mom, Wendy Lu.

Lu Lu was saved and is now in a crate awaiting Benjamin’s return home to put her back in the coop. I’m NOT risking another escape.

Into the house I came to feed the baby again. When he was done, I decided,  we are pressing reset and that starts with Momma feeling human. A shower, food (since I haven’t eaten all day), and some good music. I’m going to take it a step further and use this feeling, this discouragement and frustration, and turn it around to encourage others. I’m taking the #encouragementdare September 10-15 and with only 2 days until it starts I think I’ll get prepared. I know it’s hard to encourage others when you are depleted yourself so  I’m going to hit my devotional and planner for a short bit. Refuel myself.

Then I’m going to go through my old stash of cards and pull some out that I can deliver or mail during the encouragement dare. You know you too have a stash of old random cards somewhere, you know the ones you picked up at those enticing Target bins or have leftover from packs of cards that just aren’t used. Now is the perfect time to use them up! Or use up some fun washi tape, I hoard this too and need the excuse to use it, by matching a few fun colors and adding it to the front of cardstock with a wee message. A quick pick me up for a friend by just delivering it to their windshield, doorstep or right into their hands!

There are a bunch of fun suggestions I received by signing up here, including some great ideas and resources, and some fun downloads I’m going to use too. I’d love to see you all join me in the Encouragement Dare and then you can share your encouragements in our group. Join us here.

Truly you guys, when you set to encouraging others it changes so much inside yourself. At least it does for me. So… I’m off. Resetting and turning the day around by encouraging others.

Stay tuned for an update on the dare. Or even better signup here to join me! And be sure to let me know so we can share our stories in the Facebook group.

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