Well, folks, I still haven’t seen much in the way of reviews, but look at the front table of the Barnes & Noble on Merchant’s Square in Williamsburg!

I tend to get a little behind with blogging in the spring, because while I’m still writing away on my regular projects (just now, I’ve got two on the front burner: the history of the medieval world and the revisions which will turn my dissertation into a readable book) the farm-work springs into full blossom. All of a sudden we’re incredibly busy with grass-cutting, gardening, fence-mending, equipment repairs, picking up a winter’s worth of yard debris, and spraying Round-Up around every foundation and fence post (we’re all about judicious use of poison here). The days are suddenly longer, and the kids are outside every possible minute, enjoying nature. Also trapping it and putting it into little plastic cages.

In a couple of weeks I’ll get back to a few more thoughtful topics, such as the importance of Latin and why Byzantine theological quarrels are of riveting importance. In the meantime, take a look at the week’s high point: the baby chicks arrive.

We don’t have an incubator, so we order our baby chicks by mail. It amazes me that this actually works, but it does: you place the order, and when the chicks hatch they arrive the next day in a cardboard box. In our case, the Charles City postmaster calls us up and says, “Hey, tell Doctor Wise that his chicks are here!”

So while my father helped my oldest son set up the brooder,

I took Emily and Dan down to the post-office for the box.

When we opened it, there they were–all alive (which isn’t always the case, but the entire batch survived this time).

We got them into the brooder, where I had some trouble KEEPING them, since baby chicks (like kittens) are much cuddlier than their adult counterparts. This particular batch almost got smothered by love.

After several days of constant cuddling, they follow Emily around wherever she goes and jump up on her to sleep.

It’s so sad that they’re going to get big and ugly.

In other news, the William & Mary faculty were all notified last week that we can get tickets for an audience with the Queen, who is visiting the Wren Building at the College as part of her Jamestown anniversary tour. I considered going in and getting my ticket for about twenty seconds, and then read the part of the email where it says that SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE will be in town.

Huh. I don’t think so. I’ll just be watching it on TV.

Stay tuned for those riveting essays on Monophysitism and the eternal value of the gerundive…

Showing 8 comments
  • Jo

    I love the pictures of all your kiddos and the baby chicks! Looking forward to a blog on Latin to re-energize my homeschool!

  • Staci in MO

    My grandparents got chicks every year (not sure if they were mailed or not). They kept them in the garage (their brooder was a big cardboard box with a light hanging over it). I used to love going over and playing with them.

    Fun memories.

  • Connie

    I really think you should pick up a ticket to see the queen! You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to give her an autographed copy of your book! Hey, I’m sure you could rig it….that would be awesome!

  • Diane

    Oh, boy, do chickens get ugly. It was the biggest disappointment to me in country living. Having chickens sounded sooooo romantic. We are now trying to decide if we want to make the chicken coop into a greenhouse or if we should flatten the thing to make more room for a garden. Maybe your dad is selling plans to make an office out of it? (-:

    I think the Queen on TV sounds a lot more fun than crowds.


  • melissa in va

    So, where do you keep the chicks while they’re little?
    What an awesome time for your kids! I love the pictures. (And BTW, I’m still lovin’ the new book!!! I swear, I might actually be smarter…….seriously.)

  • Jennifer in OR

    I agree with Connie, suffer through the crowds and go see the queen! And slip your book in there =)

    I did a chick project my first year of teaching 4th graders in a little rural school. We did the entire project, from egg to chick, courtesy of the Oregon State Extension Service. They all decided to start hatching the moment the bell rang to start school one morning – total chaos. You brought back some fond memories!

  • Jenna

    The chicks are too cute! Oh, how I envy your farm life! And I second the excitement for your Latin post. We’re finishing up Latin III Primer this year and need a boost for next year…

  • CatsAcreFarm

    What do you do with all of the chicks when they are grown? Eat them? Or do you replenish the laying flock and eat them too? We tried having a laying flock, and I enjoyed it until the rooster got big enough to be cranky. At one point, the chickens turned on their own hatchlings. One survived because we literally saved it from the angry mob. The entire flock, save the one chick, went to a friend that raises them. Our dog had the habit of trying to herd them back into the pen. And it wasn’t pretty when they refused to be herded. But alas, Egor (the lone chick) got too big and too territorial for his own good; he actually attacked my son. So now there is a mound in the woods where he rests in peace!

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