Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just One More, Please?

  I haven't even had the job interview yet, but I've already planned out how I'm going to spend my paycheck! 

  Yes, today I have an interview for a summer job. I told my (current) boss about it, to reassure her that I was definitely NOT planning on leaving. And her reply: "Another job to add to your list." Yes, I guess I do have a bit of a list: one regular job at Giggles, one "when they need extra help" flower job, and one moonlighting with LMS job. Add to that: one summer volunteer position at the CSA and (hopefully) one more regular summer part time job. It looks like I'm going to have a busy summer!

  Today's interview is at a local greenhouse - the one that I shop regularly in the spring for my vegetable plants. I'm hoping for a position at one of the "satellite" greenhouses that they set up, the one that is just a few blocks from my house. And since I spent much of yesterday working on the landscape plan for our "new" back yard, I hope the employee discount is substantial.

  Yes, I'm going to be doing some major work in our yard this summer (oh, yet another job!) putting in a fence for the chickens, then hiding said fence with plants and bushes (a Currant bush in the corner - Yummy!). And since I'll be taking some plants out of the front garden (it's too shady for them there), I'll have to replace them with something. So, some work in the front yard as well. Our original plan in the front isn't working very well, there's a lot more shade than the designer anticipated. I've slowly been replacing things and moving  them around. I'm sure the drought last year killed off a few things too. So, needless to say, I've got quite a list of plants to buy.

  So, on this first full day of spring, the temperature outside is definitely un-springy: high of 17°F, a couple of feet of snow still on the ground. So I'm wrapped in a blanket in front of the computer, looking at pictures of flowers, dreaming of warm summer days.

Edited to add: Interview done. It doesn't look promising since I can only work one weekend in May.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


  What a great weekend I had!

  It started on Friday, when I went to Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park for Women's Day. It was kinda scary. I think I prefer riding on a trail in the woods. That way, I can't see what's around the corner, and I don't worry about getting over it. I'm not sure if I picked up any new skills, and I certainly didn't conquer any fears. But I had fun and missed rush hour traffic on the way home.

  On Saturday it was Katrina's Middle School Solo & Ensemble "festival." Since the kids are still beginners, they don't have a full-blown contest, but they are judged. Katrina did a solo and a trio with her cello. She played very well, and the judge was impressed with both the solo and the trio. I think they'll get the results on Monday. After she performed, I spent the afternoon mucking out the chicken coop - chopping up and removing the ice, then shoveling out all the wet bedding. I got it all cleaned out and left it to dry/freeze overnight. We capped off the day with a fun dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, stopped at Menards (Yay!) for a few things, then settled in and watched Skyfall. 

  It's been a while since I've seen a new Bond film. I honestly think the last one I saw starred Timothy Dalton as 007. I've been slowly introducing Katrina to some of my favorite movies, with Goldfinger and Dr. No in the last two weeks. So, she was ready for more Bond. We all loved it.

  This morning, the coop was sufficiently dry/frozen, so HOORAY! The girls got to stay in their house. A nice fluffy bed of wood chips and they were some happy hens. Karl and I cleaned out the garage, but we're keeping everything handy for the upcoming spring thaw - whenever that decides to happen. There's still a six inch thick bed of ice in the back yard, and that's going to take a while to go away.

  Everything is back to "normal" here: Sunday night game night had us all laughing so hard that all three of us were in tears, Karl played the piano while Katrina accompanied him on the slide whistle, and we were having way too much fun to do the dishes.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fighting Back

  Today I decided to fight back. I am already weary of wading back and forth to the chicken coop. It froze overnight so I was like an arctic icebreaker making a path through the sea ice.

  I made some calls, rented a pump, wrassled some frozen garden hose, and now the water is slowly but surely receding.

I'm particularly proud of myself for this engineering feat.

  Most of the extension cord is buried under the ice, snow, and water. I had just enough slack from the coop end to reach the low spot. Notice the sled/boat keeping the plug out of the water. Also notice all the footprints through the ice. Not an easy task. 

As previously mentioned, the chickens are in a makeshift "enclosure" in the garage. Only Pickles doesn't know she's supposed to stay enclosed.

  I'm getting very impatient for spring. I'm making my landscape plans for our new "chicken fence," gardening catalogs keep arriving with pretty pictures of flowers and vegetables.

I've got a massive case of Spring Fever!

  It's so bad, in fact, that yesterday, I signed up to be a part-time farmer. I put my name in for a work share in a CSA. This means I'll be working 4 hours every week at a small farm, and I'll be paid with a weekly box of fresh vegetables. I cannot wait! This is a new farm for us. Our last CSA provided a lot of  variety. So much in fact, that we had never even heard of many of the vegetables, and ended up not really liking most of them. We threw away a lot of stuff. At least this year, the chickens will eat up a lot of our left-over veggies.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Slightly Damp

  It's been a very stressful day.

  This weather is really kicking my ass. Let's see... five days ago we got about eight inches of snow. Then it warmed up and started to melt. Yesterday, it started to rain. It rained all night. On top of the snow. My back yard looks like this:

My chickens cannot swim.

The chickens are camping out in the garage. They're not thrilled with the arrangement.

  I had to throw together a makeshift enclosure for them, so there's a hodgepodge of plywood pieces held up by sheer luck. Thankfully, Karl is a hoarder, and we still have the gigantic box our TV came in. That's one whole wall! They finally calmed down this afternoon. But until then, there was a lot of  squawking, chasing, and flapping. I could tell they were nervous. I spent a fair amount of time with them in the garage today.

  But three little chickens can't keep themselves warm in the big garage overnight. So, I've just toted them all back inside their little (elevated) house for the night. I waded through about six inch deep ice water to get them home. I hope they appreciate it.

  And tomorrow morning, I'll have to do it all over again. Oh, and did I mention that the rain will be changing over to snow any time now?