Hobby Farms has arrived, and I was downright giddy last night as I poured over the glossy photos and enticing titles of articles on each page. This makes me feel a little more normal, a little more connected to the other "Hobby Farmers" out there, and one step closer to being on that real farm someday. Issues arrive every other month, so I have lots of time to read, explore, and absorb until the next copy arrives.
We've also been inundated with all the seed and greenhouse catalogs that we associate with the dead, grey role of winter which January plays, and I'm really looking forward to sitting down with them next weekend. There's something entirely therapeutic about descriptions of bountiful snap pea harvests, prolific tomato plants, and corn that you can hear growing in the night. I may not order much, but I'll read it all.
On the chicken front, we are all recovering from the loss of Norma Jean. It's strange to see only five chickens huddling around the morning treat bowl of lettuce, cucumber ends, bell pepper seeds, and plain yogurt, but we're happy that our remaining flock is healthy and well-adjusted. It turns out that gluttony was the killer of our little bird. She ate too many meal worms the day before she got sick, and the overdose of protein was lethal. Just when you think you've got nature figured out...
Yesterday we collected the sixth egg. Each one is a little bigger than the previous one, and now they are being laid IN the nest boxes. Hooray! While we originally thought it was Raquel doing all the hard work, Ursula was busted nesting in the box twice, and each time a small, perfect egg was found immediately afterward. She spends her sweet time in there, too. I feel like I should give her a magazine or something.
And, last but somewhere firmly in the middle of the mix of life as we know it, school started for me on Monday night. I'm enrolled in English 101 and Math 099, and my night classes have not yet conflicted with work and vice versa. This is the first quarter of many to come, and I'm hopeful that everything will go well. It feels fun to go to college, especially looking around the classroom at the teenagers who are scared out of their wits at the thought of dividing fractions. I don't expect big challenges for a while yet, and much of the first few quarters of class will be catching up from 15 years of not being in school, but it still feels fun.