The countdown is on. Only 177 days until I graduate from my Nurse Practitioner program and boy am I feeling the jaws of grad school clamping down! We have somehow managed to squeeze in enough time to get the new chicken run up and running, plant some flowers and get my vegetable garden going inbetween clinical days, class days, work days, and volunteer days. Oh, and as if hubby and I weren’t crazy busy (or just crazy) enough, we started renovating our downstairs!
It will all be ok. Woo-sah. (*Rubs ear lobe).
I won’t bore all of you with the details regarding grad school. I’m sure a lot of you have experienced this first-hand and just those two simple words, “grad school,” makes your stomach turn over and you get a little acid reflux. Long story short, I’m what they call an “adult learner” now, meaning you don’t get to live at home with mom and pops and have your dinner cooked for you and no bills to pay while you go to school. Oh no. You get to navigate a marriage, a mortgage, fur babies, feather babies and a career while sacrificing free time, friends, family, and basically- your sanity. For those of you who are conquering or have conquered “adult learning” while having kiddos- YOU are the real MVPs. I don’t know how you do it.
The new Chickie Babes are young adults now and they are quite the spectacle. They are delighted to have their run built so they can dust bathe and scratch around in the soil. I have even heard my silkie rooster, Fiona crow a few times! Yes, his name is Fiona, and it suits him well. He’s confident and sassy, and is every bit of a Fiona now as he was when I thought he was a hen. The other roosters have not begun to crow yet, but I imagine it will be quite entertaining when they achieve this milestone. A new roo crowing sounds quite pitiful. It’s more of a squawk than it is a crow. I’ve had to reassure Fiona that I am laughing WITH him, not AT him when he attempts to crow…
Ok, let’s talk veggies. Fresh, home grown, garden veggies. I was all amped up to start my veggies from seeds for my first go-around with this whole gardening thing. However, because I tend to obsess over homestead-related projects, I decided to wait it out and get veggies that were ready to plant. Even though I feel like I am somehow cheating the system, I am glad I went this route.
Mom and hubby were rock stars when it came to helping me get my veggies planted. Mom, as you know from previous posts, is a green thumb when it comes to all things garden related. She spent the afternoon with me teaching me about each veggie and what their preferences are. Hubby scored me a truck bed full of horse manure to till into the soil, and also shoveled all of it out of the truck bed for me. All of this help and hard work with tilling the soil, planting, watering, and weeding has paid off! I now have a few yellow squash, zucchinis, lettuce and tomatoes sprouting with beans, peas, cucumbers, and peppers not too far behind. It’s rewarding to watch something you have planted and nourished begin to grow. My only hope is to have an abundance of veggies to share with family and friends!
As bummed out as I was from not starting my veggies from seeds, I have recently discovered a better alternative… chicken poop. Yup. Chicken poop! Would you believe I stumbled upon more than 10 tomato plants in the OG chicken run? After calling my mom in total disbelief, she helped me figure out how these got there. I feed the OGs cherry tomatoes as treats all the time, they absolutely love them. Well, a combination of their chicken poop and tilling the soil in their run this spring led to planting the tomato seeds from their poop and sprouting some tomato plants! This is true organic gardening if you ask me… Ha!
Finally, a brief mention of our home renovation… We have waited two years to begin renovating the downstairs of our home. Our old farm house came fully equipped with all of the bright red carpet, plaster, and ceiling fans you could ever hope for. Can’t say I’m going to miss any of these things! Each room was also conveniently separated by a wall so as not to confuse the mud room from the kitchen from the dining from the living room. All of these walls are going! Hello, open floor plan! I can not wait to see the end result, even if it takes us half a light year to finish!
So now I am just trying to power through these clinical hours, continue to grow my veggies and admire my flower garden, and tip toe around my home so as not to step on a nail. Life is busy, but life is good. I have a hubby who means more to me than words could ever explain, a happy home, and hopefully more cherry tomatoes than anyone could ever need.