Monday, March 4, 2013

Give and Take

I lost my job on Thursday.  Well, I shouldn't say I LOST my job.  My job was put "on hold"until further notice.  Our division is funded by a grant from NIFA (Nat'l Institute of Food and Agriculture), and with the recent sequestration of funding (budget cuts), the director thought it best that until decisions were made as to how deep the cuts would be, that all "non-essential" positions be paused until they could reevaluate.

The money was sure nice, and I bounce back and forth between being happy about the return of my freedom, and anxiety and regret that that extra paycheck is no longer adding up in the bank.  I was happy to see that the huge annual report was posted on the website.  Look at that beast!  Its huge!  I worked really hard on that thing.

My boss was so nice on the phone when she called with the news.  She felt so badly about giving me the news that way, but I do WORK from home, so I guess it was fitting?  She gushed about how wonderful my work was, and how much help I was to her getting the report and the conference ready.  She said that although she hoped it didn't come to a lay-off, but that if it did,  to please use her as a reference, anytime, anywhere at a future job.  That's a nice compliment.

One of our chickens had been acting funny this week.  The Barred Rock bird known to the kids as "Blue Sailor".   She was isolating herself in a corner of the yard, and walking slowly and with difficulty instead of a normal chicken strut.  By Friday night, I knew something was WRONG, but I didn't know what to do for a chicken!  It didn't appear to be injured, but it wasn't well.  I had to physically pick it up and put it in the chicken house.  It was too weak to even walk up the ramp, too weak to even sit on the roosting stick!  Do chickens have doctors?  Do you give them medicine, and how?  How on earth does one even diagnose a chicken?  By the time Josh got home, it was dark, and there was little we could do until morning.  Our landlady lives in Amsterdam, and it usually takes her a couple days to get back to us via e-mail.  We made a plan that the next day we would clean out the coop, get some antibiotics in her, and perhaps even bring her inside to recuperate in the bathtub.  Sadly, when Josh went out to begin the chores in the morning, she was stiff and dead in the corner of the coop.

Blue Sailor in the front.  She had the prettiest feathers, and Geyser (the buff colored one) was her pal.
Josh told the kids.  They were a little unsure how to react.  Death's a pretty new thing for them.  We'll miss the chicken, but it wasn't a dear pet like a dog or a cat would be.  I think I felt the worst.  Sorry that I hadn't noticed the signs of it being sick and done something sooner.  It's strange to look outside and only see three of them wandering around the yard.  Our landlady was understanding with the news, and suggested that we may want to get a few chicks at the Grange this Spring and raise them in the house.  That will be a fun little project for the kids, she thought, and it's a good way to keep the flock cycling.

Speaking of houses, we finally found a house!  One popped up on Craigslist last weekend, and we made arrangements to view it before church.  It's still in our same school/ward boundaries, so we're happy about that.  A classic 60's split-level like our current house, but there is more open space downstairs.   Some Ag/Science college kids currently live there, and are completing their studies this Spring.  In classic college-kid style, they kept and displayed every beer bottle and can they ever drank.  (awesome).  They were really nice boys, though.  I just find it funny to see what kids do.  The carpets need to be cleaned, and the downstairs rooms have that heavy, textured wallpaper that I can't wait to rip down and paint!  Boo doesn't want to sleep in the "electrical box" room, where one of the boys had set up this dark, tented Ag/Science growing experiment.  Don't worry, it wasn't marijuana.  :)  The backyard has some garden space, and the boys were really excited to hear about our desire to grow a garden.  They offered to help us put it in and get it going, and were willing to leave some outdoor pots and other supplies we could use!  The backyard butts up against our Aquatic Center, and the large soccer fields of our White House.  It will be a bit more of a walk to school for our kids than they are used to, but I think if they walk with some friends, it will be fun and some great exercise for them!  So, we move in after school's out in June.  The owner plans to keep it as a rental, so we're hoping we can stay in it until we move out of state, or buy a home here.  It's also a bit cheaper than our current home, since we will not have to pay for w/s/g!  I'm so grateful I don't have to look obsessively at Craigslist postings anymore!

So, it's been a week of gives and takes.  We'll take them as they come, and try to learn something from each.


Trish and Matt said...

I'm so happy you found a place! It sounds like you guys will have fun there. So nice that it's close to a soccer field and the aquatic center. I know you'll enjoy that.

Sarah said...

Sorry for the losses.
Happy for the regained time and the house!
Thinking of you.

Stephanie said...

So sad about your chicken and your job. So happy for your 'regained freedom' and your house.

I couldn't help but hone in on the 'move out of state' part of the post... ever consider Colorful Colorado? Can I put in a plug? ;)