We got em!

We went to this auction to get the chickens at the recommendation of our old landlord. He had chickens for years. Anyway, this auction was something else… such an interesting cross-section of people, I couldn’t help but wonder what each of their stories were. I realized that we were the only ones of our type there that I could see- a few 20-something city kids looking around like we had no idea what we were doing… and we didn’t. There wasn’t anyone there to ask, either. Everyone looked like they knew exactly what they were doing, and we just kinda did our best. There was a nice older German man who took an interest in me and talked to me for a while. He was funny, he asked me where I was going to have the baby, and when I told him I was having it at home he was so relieved. He kept saying how great that was, and how happy he was I wasn’t going to a hospital- that hospitals are for sick people and that all they do these days is treat the symptom rather than heal the person… It was really random, but he was a kindred spirit. He talked about raw milk and staying away from vaccines… funny. I didn’t get into any of it with him, he just kinda talked and talked, but I liked it and it was a unique experience- how often to I get an older foreign farmer man randomly applauding my home birth choice? haha. Another nice thing, I was feeling all sweaty and enormous and 8 months pregnant, and this woman came up to me and told me I was beautiful. I needed that, especially at this stage of the game. Lately it’s been hard for me to feel anything but cumbersome, but I’d much rather meditate on feeling beautiful and full of life. I’m working on it. 

After we picked out the chickens we were going to bid on, I stood around with Jeff and our friend just people watching and trying to dodge the cigarette smoke (we left Vera with my parents, and I’m glad we did, it was a little nuts). There were lots of animals there- ducks, chickens, goats, sheep, pigeons, rabbits… I didn’t even explore the whole place, it was 90 degrees and humid, so I chose to plop in the shade instead. Anyway, we had to bid on entire cages, and each cage had 3 chickens. So we decided to bid on two and just give the extra two chickens away to our friend. We’re only allowed to have four in our city. Anyway, turns out to be a good thing we got 6 (it was only 10 bucks for all of them!), because as we were happily leaving with our new clucky friends the German man was talking about how some may be roosters… uh. He said it would be alright, just to soak the roosters in lemon juice for a day and they’d be delicious! haha. Then we asked around and found that it’s pretty hard to tell the sex of chickens at this age (we’re thinking they are about 6-8 weeks old), and we have to wait to see what they turn out to be. Great. So we’re keeping them all right now and hoping that 4 turn out to be hens. If not, we’ll just go back and get some older hens, or trade/buy from a friend who’s raising his own chicks who are around the same age. Either way, it’s a good learning experience. We’ll just watch them and listen for crowing for the next few weeks and see what we end up with. I’m also trying to identify the breeds, but that’s tricky too! There are so many. Anyway, here they are.
 

I love them! We’ve got two white ones with brown flecks, two brown ones with some black, a speckled black and white one, and a black one that I forgot to get a picture of. So far I know that they love strawberry tops and millet. Vera is fascinated with them, but the one who’s really over the moon is Maya. Oh boy. She’s obsessed. I think she’s just genuinely intrigued and desperately wants to check them out. 

This was her the first day:

And here she is this morning:

Standing guard. I love it.

Anyway, this weekend was very productive, but we didn’t even start on mulch. Jeff got most of the trellises up, but we’ve got to finish those in the next couple of days. Things are getting big! Today I’m going to try to get the house sort of organized and crack down on projects. My goal is not to burn out, but to just stay really organized to get ready for this baby. I’m planning on spending an hour every morning getting the house cleaned up while I still have energy (by evening I’m pretty much useless and I just want to hang out and lounge). Then each day I’m going to spend an hour on a project. I figure that will keep me focused but not overwhelmed, and it will add up quickly. Today I’m going to organize my thoughts and order things based on priority. This way I still have plenty of time each day for hanging out with friends, spending fun time with Vera, relaxing, doing cooking things, spending time on the garden, etc.

I’ve also got some fun crafty things in the works, which I think I’ll start working on in the evenings when I’ve got less energy. I’m going to make Vera a big sister doll to give to her on baby’s birth day. I’m also gearing up to do a big painting for my living room… it’s been ages since I painted, but I have a concept and I’m excited to do it. Besides, if it turns out to be crap I can just paint right over it and start again. I’ve also got some sewing to do. I’ve got to make more cloth wipes (which is going great, btw, I don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner), make some postpartum pads out of old prefolds, and I’m hoping to bust out an easy quilt for using outside. I basically want to spend the rest of the summer lounging on a blanket with a sleeping baby and some iced tea while Vera splashes in her pool (which she calls her "puddle")… that’s my peaceful vision anyway. 

Quote of the day:
"I realized that if I had to choose, I’d rather have birds than airplanes." (Charles Lindbergh)

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (22)

  1. pagangoat

    Yay chickens! That’s really exciting,I hope at least 4 are hens:)
    When you make PP pads, are you going to use something like the PUL from diapers as a backing?
    That is a lovely vision, I really hope that’s exactly what you get:)

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Okay, so my idea for the PP pads are just to cut them out, serge the edges, then tie dye them for fun. Then I’ll attach a piece of fleece (I have a bunch) to the back to make them more water/leak proof. I’m hoping to find someone with a snap press so that they can have snaps, too.

      Reply
  2. purerandomness

    You are big and beautiful and full of life! I’m hoping you enjoy these next few weeks with your belly alien, even though it’s really really hot!

    We had the black-and-white speckled hens growing up. They laid brown eggs. I forgot to mention in my long message to you the other day that for a while when the hens are starting to lay regularly, you might end up with a bunch of double-yolked eggs. For a while, every egg my mom cracked was a double yolk. Then the hens matured, their bodies figured out what was going on, and we had no more cool eggs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love the idea of a big sister doll for Vera! Very clever.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Cool! I love the double yolks! I didn’t realize it was while they are young, how interesting. Thanks again for the message full of your dad’s wisdom. I may be throwing a question your way here and there. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  3. custardfairy

    This is so awesome!!

    Reply
  4. pearlstreetdiva

    the black & white striped one is a barred rock. you can tell what color eggs they lay by the color of their ears- red ears = brown eggs & white ears = white eggs! good luck figure out the rest. it looks like you avoided the evil rhode island red breed!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Cool- thanks for helping me to identify one! I’m really hoping that we get at least a few hens… either way, it’ll be fun to take care of them until we know.

      To answer your question about Maya, I really don’t think she’d bother them much. I think she might chase and try to play, but once the novelty wore off I think she’d just guard them. But who knows, so we’re keeping her away for now.

      ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  5. pearlstreetdiva

    the black one might be an australorp! have fun & watch your garden if you let them roam!! you dont think maya will eat them right? dogs are a predator to chickens…

    Reply
  6. poppleshatesyou

    Chickens!

    I love that you had such a wonderful conversation with an unlikely kindred spirit, those are so the best!!

    Woohoo craftyness! if you have any questions about pad making/resources for pad making, let me know! Can’t wait to see some pictures of your painting.

    hehehahha her “puddle” — sooo cute!!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I think the pads will be pretty easy, but I really want to find someone with a snap press so I don’t have to buy one… those things are pricey! I really don’t want to use velcro for these… hmm. I was thinking I wanted something extra absorbent for the postpartum time, and I had a bunch of toddler sized prefolds, so we’ll see how they turn out! I’ll post about it, I’m sure. Do you think I might need a waterproof backing? I was thinking I’d just attach a layer of fleece to the back, but I noticed yours aren’t waterproof. But for heavy bleeding I wondered if I’d need it… what do you think? You are my go-to pad expert!

      Reply
      1. poppleshatesyou

        The Snap Source, offers this attachment tool, which basically helps you hammer on metal snaps. You can also use a wooden (or cork) spool of thread to attach snaps with a hammer. You basically use the thread spool as a cushion so you don’t smash your snaps. You set your snap pieces in place and then put the spool on top and hammer on that. Did that make any sense? if not i can try to explain differently.

        I don’t use PUL in my pads, but the fleece on the back acts as a water resistant barrier, I bleed pretty heavily during my period and have only leaked through a pad once, when it was waaayy over saturated. I think you could get by without a true water proof layer, but if you really were worried about it, I’ve seen PUL at Joanne fabrics.

        Reply
        1. poppleshatesyou

          Also, duh. If you wanted, you could mail me your pads and i’ll snap them and mail them back. But that might take a little more time then you have to work with. ?

          Reply
          1. poppleshatesyou

            P.S.

            While i was out walking with Cecily in her sling yesterday, this older man (like walking with his cane and all hunched over) shuffled by us and in passing said “that is the best way to carry a baby!!” -I heartily agreed with him. It was too cute! and made me think of you. ๐Ÿ™‚

        2. Gracie (Post author)

          Thanks for the ideas! Yeah, I think the fleece should be fine, I’ll be changing them often enough. If I have trouble with the snaps I may just ship them to you! haha. That’s a really sweet offer.

          Oh also, I love that you wear baby Cecily all over the place. Good for the soul. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Reply
  7. yayhappens

    The chickens are beautiful! I hope they work well for you. What an exciting venture.

    I love being out at new unfamiliar places where people like the old German guy you met just get so excited to share. What a treat that is. Hopefully you were comfy enough in the shade. I’m sure you looked just terrific. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The photos of Maya standing guard are just precious!

    It sounds like you have a lot of stuff to keep you busy before the baby comes along. The doll for Vera is so thoughtful. I hope your peaceful vision comes to fruition. ♥

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Your comments are always so nice! Thanks for all the encouragement, it boosts my confidence in all these new things we’re doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  8. malimizu

    Maya picture love! Your dog is so cute I can’t stand it!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love random conversations with strangers. I just had a similar experience with an older man at the airport – I walked away feeling like, “that was just what I needed.” My flight was delayed 2 hours but I was glad it was, because I got a chance to talk to him. It made me realize the profound importance of connecting with other people – and I think strangers often offer you a perspective and experience you wouldn’t necessarily get from someone you know. The story of the random woman telling you that you look beautiful inspires me to tell other people that more often. It can really lift a person’s spirits!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Isn’t it great when that happens? I love feeling like we’re all connected and yeah… it’s nice. You should totally spread the love! It makes me think of that cheesy story about the one kind thing said making a ripple of difference… lemme see if I can find it. Nope. Anyway, it totally makes a difference. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  9. pithy_epigrams

    Chicken’s! So cute!

    You are a truly beautiful woman, remember that.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      You infuse your sweetness into my life! I hope you take the same advice- you are simply lovely.

      Reply
  10. jess3686

    Your dog keeping watch is too cute! What will you do with the chickens in the winter?

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Apparently they are really great in the winter- you just have to make sure their water doesn’t freeze. I still have to get a book about caring for them, I have no idea what I’m doing!

      Reply

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