Thursday, March 19, 2009

For the birds...

I really wish I could have written a blog entry yesterday morning, when I was still filled with laughter and details about our adventures with my sil's baby chicks. Today I'm stressed about piled-up work and a messy house so I don't know how well I will convey our adventure but I will try. I'm sure it won't be any better by the end of the day.

So, my sil called a couple of months ago to see if they could come up a couple of days during their spring break. Of course, I said yes. I love my sil and nieces and we don't get to see them nearly enough. She said that they wanted to go to a hatchery up near Columbus and pick up day-old Dominique chicks to start their chicken flock. Ok by me. Sounded fun. I put it on my calendar and waited for March 16th.

They arrived with their sweet dogs around lunchtime on Monday and thence commenced the adventure. You've got to understand that Amber and I can have some wild times on our own. Add assorted children and animals to the mix and you can imagine what controlled chaos my house was. We decided to leave for the hatchery after Rachel's piano lesson Tuesday morning, then attempted to go to bed. Unfortunately for Aunt Amber, Keziah was pretty revved up by the presence of her cousins and just could not sleep. And came in to share her life with Aunt Amber. Amber's a lot nicer than I am. When they do that to me, I tell them to go back to bed. Eventually Keziah left her alone but she still had the privilege of sleeping on our couch with daughter Cassidy, who was not feeling well. Now our couch is quite comfortable, for one. But not so much for two. So she didn't get a lot of sleep.

Tuesday morning, we got a bit of a late start. Well, not too late when you consider that we were toting 8 children with us, but later than we'd wanted to. We stopped just outside Columbus to eat lunch at a Chinese food buffet. The people there seemed amazed by all the children. Either they don't see many children there (I didn't see any others) or they don't see them in such profusion. It cracked me up. Afterward, we packed 'em in and proceeded to the hatchery. Or attempted to proceed to the hatchery. It was quite far away. We knew it was far away, but it felt a lot farther away than would be indicated by the time we knew it would take. When we passed a sign that said, "Cleveland, 70 miles", I exclaimed, "Cleveland! Where in the world are we?" Yeah, I'm not renowned for my brains. But still, Cleveland seems like it should be reallllly far from Cincinnati.

Soon thereafter we pulled off the main highway to take a smaller state highway to the hatchery of our dreams. After a couple of false starts, we found the hatchery and rushed in to see the chicks. Amber was disappointed that the hatchery itself was not onsite. She discovered that Amish families nearby actually hatched the chicks and the building we were in was the sales point. Still, it was quite interesting and we got the full view of it, partially because we were so glad to get out of the cars.

I never knew there was so much to chickens! They had all sorts of chicken paraphernalia there, from chicks to dinner. David was fascinated with the automatic chicken plucker they had on display, enticingly near to the cash register. He attempted to run the stuffed chicken they had atop it through the machine but I was able to stop him before harm came to the chicken or to the (very expensive) machine.

We piled into the vans for the return trip home, changing passengers. This time, I had Autumn, Cassidy, Abby, and Rachel. They convinced Amber to let them hold the box o' chicks on the way home, so we listened to the chirp chirp chirp all the way back. They weren't noisy, just constant. And I was getting a little anxious to get them home. We'd been warned that we needed to water them right when we got home, so they didn't get dehydrated and die. The girls were very disappointed that they weren't allowed to take the chicks out of the box and hold them, due to the fact that this would hasten the process of dehydration and early decease. I wasn't so disappointed. I didn't want chick poop all over my van!

Eventually we returned home and attempted to give the chicks water. Chickens are so very stupid. They just didn't get the watering system too well. I dipped my fingertips into the water and was able to water a few that way, then got the eye dropper out of our dissection kit (yes, I did find that rather amusing) and watered a few more. They finally figured it out and we whooped and hollered over their success. Then the girls started removing chicks to play with them.

I never thought I'd have barnyard poultry all over my house. While it is true that my house looks like a sty most days, I was not attempting to make the statement that I was going to convert it into a hobby farm. Seriously, though, the girls had a blast with them. Truth be told, so did the grown-ups. I finally told everyone that I was going to bed. I had woken early on Tuesday (like 3:45) and although I had a nap before piano lessons, I was pretty wiped. I was dead to the world before very long. Good thing too, because I didn't get very much sleep that night either.

To be continued...


Julie said...

Lori, You have such an awesome life! Baby chickens all over the house looks like a lot of fun. It is one of those stories your children will be telling their friends in about 20-years to prove that they had the oddest parents ever!

stringsofpurls said...

What fun! I have always wanted chickens. Not gonna happen here though, so I will live vicariously through your stories...