30 Pounds of Carrots

I didn’t sleep well for several days last week. Tuesday night my thoughts were too active. Wednesday night we had thundering storms that kept me awake. Thursday was sunny, but we had very strong winds (30-40 mph) that knocked out our power along with 11,700 others. We don’t lose our power often, but if it goes out it’s usually due to winds. I think we lost our power around 4:30 pm and we didn’t get it back until mid-morning on Friday. I didn’t sleep well because usually I have a fan running for “white noise” and it was too quiet without it. Also, Hannah Joy frequently leaped up to investigate little noises (such as the cats running around, the chicks twittering, EJ coming home from work, etc), which the noise of the fan usually blocks out. It was also hot and stuffy with no fan which made it difficult to sleep.

But I survived. Drowsily, but I survived.

Early last week EJ bought 30 pounds of carrots. That’s a lot of carrots. I’ve spent several days peeling them, cutting them up, blanching them, and putting them in bags to freeze. We will use them later in recipes. The first day I worked on the carrots–Wednesday–I took a few out to the patio table on the deck to work. The weather was perfect–not too cool and not too hot, with a nice breeze blowing. Wednesday was much too hot so I worked inside.

Friday morning EJ and I moved the chicks out to the coop. It was easier than I thought it would be because we simply made sure the mesh tops of the cages were wired off then we carried the coop out of the house and onto the wheelbarrow. EJ then wheeled them into the coop. I’m going to keep the chicks in the cages so they can continue eating their “chick starter” feed and to let the chicks and the adults get used to each other.

After we got the chicks settled in their new home, EJ went to work in his vegetable garden while I thoroughly cleaned the bathroom. Hannah looked into the tub several times and seemed surprised to see the chicks gone. I don’t think she actually misses them. Every time they squawked she’d run into the bathroom to check on them, and then come to me with a worried look on her face. I’d tell her that the chicks were just playing, they weren’t in danger, but she didn’t seem convinced. Now that they are gone, she can relax.

Friday afternoon I peeled, but, blanched, and froze more carrots. We were exhausted so we were glad to rest on Saturday, which is our custom.

The National Weather Service forecast called for nicely cool weather for Sunday so I mowed the lawn. It was cool enough that we wore sweatshirts except when we were not working. I usually am the one who mows the lawn because it frees up EJ to do other things–like work in his garden. Also, he tends to mow around any little flower he sees. We keep most of our 5 acres wild because we enjoy wildflowers and wildlife. We just mow a little bit up around the house where we walk/work because we don’t want to risk getting ticks, which carry Lyme’s Disease. Because we have an abundance of wildflowers elsewhere, I do mow the flowers in the lawn area, although I left EJ a little clump of flowers when I mowed on Sunday. Hopefully, we can get the seeds and spread them elsewhere.

I also did laundry and hung them on the line on Sunday. And I peeled, cut, blanched, and froze more carrots. I accused EJ of buying a magic bag of carrots because I felt that no matter how many I processed, the bag was still just as full of carrots.

We both watered our gardens yesterday evening because we had only a 20% chance of rain for Monday morning. Usually, that means we don’t get rain. So I was surprised when I was awakened at 11:30 by thunderous booms and lightning flashes. I checked the radar and we were getting hit by a pretty intense line of storms. I stayed up for an hour watching the storm. After that I wasn’t able to sleep all that well.

I woke late this morning so rather than take a shower first, as I usually do because it wakes me up, I did my chores. I was so drowsy that I spilled water on myself as I tried to refill the chicks’ water bowls with fresh water. Then I accidentally left the gate open so two roosters and a hen escaped into the garden. Not good! I was able to quickly get the hen and one rooster back inside their pen, but the second rooster was wiley. I couldn’t leave the gate open to steer him into it because the other chickens would escape, but whenever I got the rooster close to the gate and was trying to unlatch it, he’d move past it. Finally, I shouted for EJ for help. He guided the rooster my way while I opened the gate. In he went.

The weather forecast was for temperatures in the 90s today and tomorrow. I was worried that the chicks wouldn’t be able to handle the heat, but there is a nice cool breeze from Lake Michigan. I opened both coop doors so there is air circulation inside. I’ve checked several times and the chicks are doing fine. Just in case, last night EJ and I filled empty milk jugs with water and put them in the freezer. If it gets dangerously hot, we can put the iced jugs in the cages for the chicks. The adult chickens always find the shady places in their pen to keep cool. Sometimes I make them frozen treats to cool them off on hot days.

Today I gathered eight eggs and saw no broken ones so maybe my artificial eggs are actually discouraging the one hen from breaking them.

I finished the carrots today. Every time I peel/cut the carrots Hannah Joy sits under the table so she can eat any strays that drop to the floor. She takes her clean-up duties seriously. Usually, I don’t purposely drop the carrots for her because she gets enough that accidentally falls, but I did this one time so I could take this video.

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