When Ray and I decided to get chicks again, we agreed that we only wanted layers for eggs. We went with the bigger layers so that when they were ready for retirement, we’d have some nice meat for the freezer.
“Chicks,” I said. “Let’s get ’em.” “We’ll be home for awhile.” “Why not?” he said. “Let’s do it.” We both shrugged with a smile.
We brought our new flock of 8 home and the boys immediately fell in love with them. We handled them daily and played with them as much as we possibly could. Joe named one Crystal and a few others Cheep and Peep. Jake called one Pupil and the rest were The Sunny Sisters.
At first, they’re cute and fuzzy, with the sweetest little cheeps. Then they grow real feathers, and sharp claws and razor beaks.
One of the Buff Orpintons was quite a bit bigger than the rest. We thought that maybe it was just older or maybe just grew at a faster rate than the Red Comets. She quickly claimed the alpha position in the flock.
One buff was big and fluffy, her feathers had a shine. She nipped at all the others, keeping them in line.
And then, one morning when we were moving them outside for some fresh air…we heard it. Not yet a full-throated crow, but the early attempts of one. Ray, deep in denial, said that hens sometimes crow too.
“I’m sure it’s not a rooster,” my husband shook his head. But I knew we had one, so I just smiled and said…
“I know you’d like to think that, but you should hear this crow.” He hung his head, defeated, “I just don’t want to know.”
He is right. There are times when a hen will take the alpha position in a rooster-less flock, but it is rare for a young hen, only 10 weeks old, to suddenly start crowing.
Overwhelmed doesn’t seem to be a big enough word to apply to our world today. It doesn’t really touch the full scope of events ping-ponging around the globe. It’s easy to get caught-up, wrapped-up, stressed-out and over anxious. We can spin each other up like angry, fearful tops if we let ourselves.
So let’s not.
Instead, let’s look at all the good shooting like a geyser through the world.
Let’s be amazed with all the creativity restaurants, flower shops, and other small businesses are coming up with to adapt to this new time of social distancing.
Curbside pick-up at fancy steak restaurants. Art shops offering “To Go Kits” with a fun art project for pick-up or delivery. Major entertainment chains like Chuck-E-Cheese offering “Family Fun Night” packages with pizza delivery and a goody bag.
Businesses are adapting with lightning speed to this new world.
Let’s be awed by the ability to reach out to each other virtually so we don’t feel alone.
Museums, zoos, aquariums and art galleries around the globe offer virtual tours. The technology has been there, but now we are forced to take advantage of it even more than before.
And let’s be excited that we are coming up on gardening season. If we have seen a boom in gardening over the last 5 years, we are about to see an explosion. Grocery shortages have people ready to plant.
The weather will turn and once it does, many people, who have never gardened, never wanted to grow their own food, will be plunging their hands into the soil and planting their first seeds.
The 2019 Garden Competition is going strong. The harvests are not as big as we had hoped, but we are happy with what we do get.
So far, Jake has taken the lead in the biggest harvest with his summer squash. Jake is second with his cucumbers and I in last place with mine.
Jake is also the front runner for most oddly shaped.
Joe’s homemade refrigerator pickles are delicious. They are “sugar free” and he even used a “secret ingredient” to give them that extra spice.
Jake made squash cookies which forced us to split the Best Recipe category into two: sweet and savory.
Jake will be making squash pickles for his savory entry and Joe is waiting for his pumpkin to grow so he can make a pie for his.
Although he has rearranged, lost and buried much of his gnome village, Jake still has the Best Decorated category locked as well as the Biggest Plant with his massive squash.
Joe’s garden has been hit hard by drought and cat attacks, but he’s still in the lead for Most Colorful.
My harvest has not been as plentiful. I am last place in every category. But…I am hopeful that my watermelon will save the day and get me the Biggest Fruit trophy. Although, Joe is determined to take that title with his “experimental cucumber”.