It’s been bloody cold lately, with snow coming at regular intervals. Winter, as it always does at this time of year, is hanging on, not quite ready to let go. There’s signs of hope though – forecasts for 50ish degrees later this week, the local Co-Op is advertising mulch rather than shovels, and tomorrow marks the beginning of seed-starting. I rearranged the living room to accommodate the potting bench, and as soon as it stops sleeting we will bring it in. The clocks changed last night, which is disorienting, but another sign that soon the white stuff will dissipate, and the earth will be closer to the sun.
It was icky today, with the weather changing from snow to sleet to rain and then cycling back through all three at intervals, so I postponed my long run for 2 days to avoid slipping on ice, and instead Eli and I went for a long walk. A long wet walk, but a good one. I’ve been thinking about goals a lot lately. Setting them, working towards them, adjusting them.
Every year on New Year’s Day, we list out goals for 2019. This is an all-in family endeavor and this year’s list included ‘finishing the garden’, ‘a new coop’, and ‘make new memories for the 4 of us’ among other things. We’ve made steady progress on some, others not yet started, but as we head towards 1/4 of the year complete, I think we’re doing all right. There is, of course, limitless things still to do, on our goals list or just on the to-do list. So I did a lot of them, and then, after our walk and more things, I perched myself on the couch to watch the birds, write a little, and allow myself to ignore the endless things to clean, sort, iron and organize for a bit. The kids are with Dad tonight, so the house is quiet. Eli and I are going to make another batch of Thai Peanut Chicken Ramen tonight, because this weather calls for comfort food for a little longer.
The big news here is the imminent arrival of 27 baby chicks – 26 girls and 1 rooster – from Murray McMurray Hatchery, a combination of beautiful varieties, such as the Pheonix chicken and the Crevacoeurs. I have wanted to place an order with them for as long as I have had chickens, or longer. We got some good layers, but we also got chickens for their looks and cool factor.
But the real news is the impending arrival of our new chicken coop. After years of free range co-chickening with the neighbors, and losing them all to the large variety of predators that abound here, we decided that we needed to provide better protection, and invested in a coop with an enclosed run, complete with wire underneath the run, predator-proof latches on the nesting boxes, insulation for winter, solar lighting and automatic chicken door, and last but not least, epoxy floors, nesting boxes, and removable trays for easy cleaning. This is, to be honest, the Tesla of chicken coops, and if I have to make a plug for a vendor, I’ll do it for this one – Lancaster Chicken Coops was helpful, friendly and some of the best customer service I’ve ever had. They even offered to bundle delivery with other area customers to make it cheaper. The coop isn’t even here yet and I’m already in love.
It’s dark and cold tonight, but spring is coming, and with it the tiny peeps of baby chicks to our little farmlet.