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I know I've been absent this week...

...but you see, the weirdest thing seems to have happened.

I'm now a morning person.

Since school has started I have gotten up at 7am on every Tuesday and Thursday and every other Friday.  And in the 8+ weeks I've had broilers I have gotten up before 8 on every other day because I feel bad making them wait for food, seeing as how they don't do anything but eat.  I've had to get up early in the past- during school, of course, I had to be up by 6:15 because we got on the bus before 7.  Even during the summer growing up my dad woke me up by 7:30 to do chores and work with my 4-H animals.  But even then I was a night person- if given the choice I would stay up late and sleep in.  So, since my parents spent their entire parental careers trying to drag me out of bed and barely succeeding, I assumed that there was nothing to be done about it- I assumed I was a night person and that was that.

But this time around I wasn't trying to change.  I was just doing what I had to do.  And in these past two weeks I have been awake at 7am every day.  Sometimes I don't get out of bed right away (usually because Oliver has crawled in bed with me and he wakes up if I get up no matter how careful I am, and the more he sleeps the easier he is to be around), but even when I stay in bed I don't usually fall back to sleep. 

And on the other end, I have been worthless past 10pm.  Which is why my blog has been so quiet- I do a great deal of my blogging in the evenings after the kids go to bed (even if the post goes up in the am- I schedule them that way).  But lately after putting them to bed and getting the kitchen cleaned up all I want to do is sit for a while and then go to bed.  So strange.

We'll see if this changes- I kind of like it, since I get so much more done when I get up early.  But once the last batch of broilers is packed off to the freezer (6 more days!) I'm afraid that I won't be as motivated to get up every day, so I may slip back into the habit of sleeping late (and by late I mean like 9).  And while I like the amount I get done in the am, we'll see if that's enough motivation to keep it up.

Anyway, in case you're afraid you've missed something, here's what's been going on here.
  • The first batch of broilers is in the freezer (mine or someone else's...).  The trip to the processor was pretty traumatic- due to poor planning and a broken pickup I had to take them in the back of my Nissan Pathfinder... yes, that's right, I had 44 poopy, stinky broilers in the back of my car.  I laid down old towels and blankets, but it was still gross.  And one flipped (ie chicken heart attack) during the trip, so I had to bring him back home and bury him.  Needless to say, I am glad that's over and done with, and my car got a good deep cleaning the next day.
  • I am slowly getting my garden cleaned up and prepared for next year's planting.  I have one and a half beds completely done, which is more than I got done last fall.  But I have my garden planned for next year, thanks to the Mother Earth News Garden Planner
  • I've decided to expand my garden again, but this time I'm taking a much easier tack- remember the carpet I ripped out of my living room?  I'd thought about selling it for cheap on Craigslist, but it's not worth much especially since I had to cut it to get it out of here.  So instead I'm going to lay down a layer of clear plastic and put the carpet on top of it to kill the grass for the garden expansion.  That way in the Spring all I have to do is pull up the carpet and plant- I plan to plant melons, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes in the new portion, so the soil needs to be warm (so I'll leave the plastic).  Part will also be potatoes, and I'll remove the plastic over that portion.
  • I've also decided I'm not buying straw next year, but I'll go into that more later.
  • I know I missed this past make it yourself Monday post that I promised on making "cream of" soups at home.  It's coming.
  • I may have a broody hen- she didn't even move when the cat tried to jump into the nest box (and she let the cat have it!).  And about an hour before this I had taken eggs out from under her and laid all the eggs I had collected in an empty nest box so I could take water to the broilers... and when I came back she had moved to the box with all the eggs and was all flattened out.  So I took all the eggs except for three good sized eggs- two brown (I hope they're Barred Rock eggs- I think the red stars have started laying, but the eggs I think are theirs are smaller) and the one blue egg laid by the broody because I felt she needed to hatch one of her own.  We'll see- the prospect of new chicks is exciting, but it's getting kind of late in the year for hatching chicks and I worry it will be too cold... plus I have nowhere to brood her.  It's not completely off the table for me to bring her inside.  But I'll worry about that if she sticks to the nest.  If she's still on it this evening I'll take her some scrambled eggs to keep her energy up.
  • I'm almost done putting up food- my basement fridge is filled to the brim with sauerkraut, sour pickles, lacto-fermented salsa, and hot sauce.  My cupboards are full of canned tomato products, jams, and fruit.  I'm still working on apples, though.  I'm loosing steam (seriously, I've been canning pretty consistantly since Strawberry season started in May), but even so I've put in several quarts of apples and several dehydrator-loads of apples a week for the past few weeks.  I want to get a few more in, but I need to hurry because the apples are starting to fall.
  • My fall garden is producing nicely- we've got more than enough veggies to eat on a daily basis between the beets, cabbage, kale, chard, mustard and collard greens, and lettuce, which is nice because we're not yet needing to rely on the stored veggies (although I have dug into the sauerkraut... I couldn't help it!).
  • I plan to sew the kids' halloween costumes, but need to actually start them:)
That's what's been going on... another part of the reason I have been quiet.  Busy busy!

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