On the other side of the miracles are the little losses and set-backs that go with working with living things. For example, we found an opossum eating the chicken feed tonight, who might also have been eating some of the eggs, and who could have potentially killed one of the chickens. So now we will set traps and be vigilant about collecting eggs.
The lettuce didn't really make it. We hardened it off slowly, transplanted it very gently, but it's been getting too much rain and possibly too much sun, or maybe it was too small to be moved. So we planted more seeds outside in the same raised bed and will hopefully get some lettuce eventually.
Something has been eating the tomato plants. I noticed some shredded leaves and some suspicious-looking holes. I thought it might be a fungus, but if it is, there is nothing we can do. But if it is bugs, than we can do something. So I mixed a solution of very diluted Dr. Bronner's soap and water and sprayed the little guys.
It all feels like a battle and this is on a very small scale. The stakes are not very high at this point, but it seems failure looms on the horizon at every turn. I can't see a moral to the story at the moment, though, because it doesn't seem like an object lesson. It just seems like our chickens, our egg supply, all of our hard work on the chicken coop, raised beds, all of the time spent on the seedlings, the self-watering containers, not to mention money.
It sort of reminds me of the people I see walking or sitting around stores, on the main stretches of road, waiting for the bus, carrying groceries, babies, or backpacks. I realized that many of these folks are living on a thread, from day to day, check to check, and that one bad event can be the end, or the beginning of a downward spiral. The economy, the rising gas and food prices, and other factors are stacking up against them and it is a constant battle. This is the comparison that I draw, but I don't have a parallel solution, spray or rodent trap.