Vegas, Armchair Expertise and the Coop

We had a super-fun weekend with parties every day. My Ma-in-law graduated with her M.Ed on Friday and we went to commencement and had lunch before heading back to our place for an open house, which went well even though I put very little work into it. It was all upstairs, which is easy to clean, because we have no furniture to fill it (but plenty of folding chairs!).

We got up on Saturday and drove to Vegas, checked into the condo, swam, and went to buffet that night sans kids. On Sunday we went to the blessing then hung out for 7 hours at my bro/sis-in-law’s house eating and playing Guitar Hero, DDR, and more eating. Monday everyone else swam again while I drove 25 minutes to go to Trader Joes, where I almost cried at the entrance with nostalgiac sorrow-glee before spending way too much on favorite snack foods for the drive home.

All through the drive and at every spare moment I was reading, reading. I finished a fat book on compost followed by a fat book on organic vegetable/fruit gardening. I drew out garden plans, read a chapter, erased and redrew per the information I learned, and continued this process repeatedly. I am officially an untested expert on organic gardening, as I have never really seriously gardenened on anything but a small scale. A quick synopsis: plant in boxes (not rows), mulch everything and compost for heaven’s sake.

I have about 4-8 hours a day of work ahead of me for the next several months, with a slight lull perhaps in late June. After I finish more plant-specific study I will start into canning and preserving books.

But before that, the chickens. I’ve belabored the chickens for 24 hours now, trying to decide whether I should refurb the 70-year-old coop or rebuild. Then trying to figure out how to meld coop plans with the existing structure, and how to save $$$. My deadline was 5pm. today, when Elaine was coming to get me so we could buy all the stuff at Lowe’s. I literally sat, pencil-chewing, reviewing plans, chicken books and writing notes all day and was ready on time.

The Lowe’s trip took 2.5 hours (including our drop to Del Taco for Taco Tuesday dinner for the kids), meanwhile David was left home with our 9 children, who became hungry and quarrelsome just minutes after we left. He loved that. He was rewarded with a night out with Ned.

So, there’s my catch-up. I’m back upstairs to get back to my gardening study.