I'll get the bad news out of the way first. The wee girl chick died as well. The flock stays at eight for now.
We just got back from a visit to my northern California family, which involved a little tiny bit of scoping out potential places to live if Dan is offered a job up there. I don't want to get my hopes up, even though we saw some beautiful places and in comparison to Orange County it's CHEEEP up there. There are some opportunities for him, and very close to my Uncle Alan and his wonderful daughters, plus within 1 and 2 hours of my other paternal uncles. So of the list in out head of where we want to go if we leave OC, norCal is tops at the moment.
Fantasy: Dan's company sells, at which point his stock vests fully and we sell it. He lasts a couple more months with the new owners, but is then laid off and still gets two month's severance pay. We then head for Chico, or whichever Cal State has the cheapest cost of living and a masters/credential program in math or computer engineering. We live cheapo for 2 years and then Dan comes out double-barreled: MSCE and credentialed for teaching. I'll finish my degree someday too, one course at a time...
In the meantime, all is well here. We have enough backup plans that I'm back to not being worried about the future. The garden mostly survived me being gone for six days, but it needs water today or I'll lose a few more seedlings. Salt the hen is still broody, I'll have to go back to locking her out of the coop all day now that I'm back. If she keeps this up much longer than a month, she may have to fulfill her destiny sooner than we'd bargained for. I hope not, as I am still very squeamish about slaughtering. But I reckon I'd be hypocrite if i couldn't do it - after all, I haven't been able to quit eating animals, so I should be honest about it and be willing to do the dirty work myself. Ick.