Happy Spring to everyone in the northern hemisphere and Autumn to my friends in the south! I am usually so keyed to solstices and equinoxes but for some reason I totally forgot about this one and was only reminded about it during the weather forecast on the radio this morning. That kind of reveals how all over the place my brain has been of late. Work has been busy and then at home there have been lots of things to keep track of — a four-day Easter weekend, a four-day birthday weekend, chicks coming in a week and a half, a chick brooder to build, a chicken coop to finish, seeds and sprouts to keep track of, a garden to plan and a just released Friends School Plant Sale catalog to comb through to help me plan that garden. Also, books to read, a Library Journal review deadline coming up, cycling workouts, a weekly virtual cycling group ride to lead, weights to lift, core workouts and time with a foam roller for all my tired muscles. Oh, and blog posts to write. Though I didn’t do so well with that last week. This week should be better though. Maybe.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the last two weeks have seen two new essays go up on Vocalis. Check ’em out, they are great! I’m hoping the Easter weekend will afford me time to write one of my own I have been kicking around in my head for a couple of weeks now.

Phew. Breathe.

My seed starting is going pretty well. The tomatillos are being stubborn but everything else is sprouting and growing including the peppers that were so slow to start. Last week I intended to get marigolds started but for the life of me I could not find any of the seeds I saved from last year. Where could they have gone to? I really have to make an effort to get better at organizing my end of gardening season self. I am generally so tired at that point I put everything aside to deal with in a few weeks during late fall/early winter and then it ends up I don’t do anything until spring when I am running around wondering what I did with the marigold flower heads I clipped for seeds.

Since I could not find the dried flower heads, I resorted to buying a packet of marigold seeds when Bookman and I went out today to get chicken coop hardware. We got hinges and latches for the coop and run doors. Also nails. I am paranoid about critters of both the two and four-legged sort getting into the coop and run when we are not around. As a result, you would think we were building a mini Fort Knox. We got door latches for the run door, the egg door and the cleaning door that we can put locks on. Bookman and I also spent way too much time discussing hinges — what kind, how big, how many, where and how are they to be attached, how will they open, expensive galvanized or a little cheaper zinc coated? Yes, we are totally over-building this thing. It will be a chicken coop for the ages.

The weather this weekend is sunny but a cold, much more normal temperature for this time of year (40F/4C). The week brought us sun and rain and snow. Also, my tulips are up through the mulch by several inches. The week ahead will have warm sun, rain, and possibly a day of wet, heavy snow. This is much more like typical spring in Minnesota where winter isn’t quite ready to let go but spring is ready to take over. It’s a rollercoaster. Or Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates.

Brooder building

Brooder building

The chicks arrive in a week and half. To that end, Bookman built us a chick brooder today. I was planning on us doing it together but he did it while I was doing some household chores. When I asked whether he wanted me to help, he grunted at me and said I didn’t have enough testosterone. The brooder is a temporary home for the chicks until they get big enough to go outside. We built it, Bookman built it, out of cardboard boxes and duct tape. Building something with duct tape is a manly job apparently, men being distinctly qualified to fix and build things with industrial strength tape.

For some reason the cats do not help Bookman build things like they help me. Perhaps they were concerned about tape and fur? Whatever the reasons, they stayed clear.

The brooder is done. Next weekend we will put in the bedding and hang the heat lamp and make it move-in ready for the babies. Just a little over a year ago we decided to get chickens. Back then it seemed like a forever time to wait and now in about ten days, the Dashwoods will be arriving and I worry if we are ready. I’ll find out soon enough.

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