Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Playing Chicken

Some of you may know of my attempts to "get back to the good life". I grew up in what could be considered by today's standards a cave. I remember telling some of my girlfriend's in NYC about the summers where I carried water for our kitchen in a big blue bucket that was larger than myself (picture a tiny Cosette type character here) Expecting a laugh, what I got were completely blank stares. Yes, there are some people in American who don't' have running water. Unbelievable eh? Well this will shock you more: some people like it that way. Nuts huh? No, I've never done drugs.

Back to the point. I really like my indoor plumbing and running water today. But I miss some of the aspects of my rustic childhood. Like the animals. We had a small farm in Idaho as a kid and we had just about every kind of animal you could imagine living on it at one point or another. We also spent our summers in the high mountains of Idaho (this is where my Les Miserables debut comes in)where we routinely played with a lame moose and talked to coyotes before bed. (They are all gone now thanks to the reintroduction of wolves - thank you very much - that's a story for another day). I also think it was really important that I, as a child, learned to take care of animals and learned how they are used and loved by us humans.

I've always wanted a goat, but I knew for sure I did not want to be "The Goat Lady" by my neighbors. And I would love to have a big ol' jersey cow, but our lot is only half an acre and we're already using every single inch (plus some that's not exactly ours... shhh.. don't tell). And frankly, another part of my childhood was the dairy next door. Nice people, but I could live forever without ever smelling another pile of cow crap and be quite happy. Also, in my experience, ponies are mean and utterly useless unless you want your kids to learn how to get bucked off and then get right back on. I'm allergic to everything else and pigs are gross. Sheep are adorable and I love them.. but again.. not enough land. So we got some chickens. Six to be exact. And they are beauties. (Not really.. they look nasty right now. I posted younger cuter pictures. Chicken adolescence is NOT pretty). We also got an adorable chicken coop on craigslist and a nasty smell in our dining room from said babies.

I only got a few, I didn't get any roosters. And now we have something I'm not allergic to, the kids can manhandle... er.. I mean love and pet and feed and clean up after. Plus we will get fresh eggs and save a fortune on our groceries because I will no longer walk past the 99 cent eggs weeping for the poor dear hens trapped in cages pumping those things out their whole lives and head for the $4.99 a dozen free range eggs. How can we know they are really free range?!?! How!?!? they could be lying to us!!

Back to the story. So the girls are good. We lost one last week when Evan was in the hospital. She was my favorite, but I always tend to fall in love with the underdog anyway. The other six are as follows: Rhymer & Reason - two bardrock beauties named by my 4 year old Lydia who is way smarter than me. She's so smart I don't get her half the time. She said we should name them this because "then we'd have Rhymer Reason!" yah.. up is Goldy - the family favorite golden laced wynodote. Goldie can be found on Evan's shoulder about ten times a day looking scared out of her life but she's generally the sweetest and gets the most love because of it. Her sister is a silver laced wynadote.. I've been calling her silvergirl, ala Simon and Garfunkle, but I think Lydie calls her Racer... not sure what we'll settle on for her. Then the two newest little babies are Cadbury, she's an Easter Egger. Sooooo cute and fluffy with big fluffy cheeks. There's hope that she'll lay different colored eggs!! And our runt of the litter is Cheetah the fluffernutter. I can never remember that she's a Silkie (amazing I remembered now!) But they are really fluffy and cute so I end up calling them fluffernutters. Anyway.. she has cheetah like colors and that's all I can think of when I snuggle her up. Our little yellow Easter Egger that died was Daisy (RIP) and that's that!

Wish us luck.. we have to get the run in soon because the chicken smell is about to drive my husband to a hotel. I personally think that Scratchy, the guinea pig, smells waaaaay worse. But then I am allergic to scratchy and not to the chicks. It may be a sinus-bias thing.


hillari said...

I remember when you had a pet potbelly pig in high school! I thought you liked pigs. Anyway, cool about the chicks!

JAMIE said...

so much fun!! We had 18 chickens growing up in the middle of San Diego Suburbia. Good times! I'd like a couple hens as well, someday.

Is that your cute coop?