I don’t make decisions rashly. I just don’t. It’s a learned behavior. Once, back in 2010 I went on a trip with a friend to Savannah. The first day we were there we decided to get our noses pierced. Everything was fine for three weeks until I discovered a little bump forming on my nose. I called up my husband in a panic, “Danny, I can’t have a bump on my nooooooooosssssee!” “Calm down,” he told me. This coming from a man with two arms full of tattoos and a list of past piercings that beat out my three. “Whatever you do, don’t take it out,” he said, “it could get more infected. Just leave it.”
I yanked it out as fast as I could.
And then, I made everyone in my life promise me to never let me get a tattoo, because you can’t yank them off and I can’t do permanent.
This is just one of many experiences that have led me to realize that whenever I make quick decisions, I usually regret them. I used to make a lot of quick decisions, and then I learned to wait, and to really think things out. I think that is maybe part of adulthood, and maybe, just maybe, I’ve taken it too far.
I’ve wanted chickens for about the last 8 years. Since about 2010 (the year of the nose piercing incident) and have thought about it every spring since. Actually, I’ve wanted chickens a lot longer than that, but I have seriously thought about it every year for the last several years. I go to the Bothell Feed Store, look at the chickens, price out what I would need to get and then…..think about it. (I realize it’s weird that I hang out at the feed store which is several towns away because I live in a Seattle suburb buuuuuut I’m pretty sure that I should have been a pioneer/farmer so I’m really just living out my “authentic life”, I just know Oprah would approve)
Well, about 4 weeks ago on a Friday, my daughter and I went out to Evergreen Speedway to watch my husband drive his race car in a drift school (think The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and as we entered the fairgrounds we passed the Monroe Feed Co-op. Isla and I drove by a sign that read “We have baby chicks in!” It was 30 degrees out and Isla and I were out in Monroe all day so we spent some of the time walking in the freezing wind to the Co-op and looking at the baby chicks. And then, I spent the rest of the weekend talking myself out of getting them.
On Tuesday, I went to work and decided I couldn’t do it any longer. I had a whole moment of self talk where I hashed out how I can’t live on a farm because I can’t move more than 3 miles from my family because I love them so freakin’ much and so I have to make my little backyard a farm. Some way or another. And chickens were a good place to start.
I picked up my girl and we drove the half hour out to Monroe to pick out our new little chicks. I couldn’t tell anyone because it had already taken me 8 years to talk myself into action and I couldn’t risk anyone talking me out of it. To my surprise, there weren’t that many chicks left (apparently people line up on Friday mornings to get their chicks first and so the majority of them were long gone). We chose 3, an Anacona, a Golden Comet and a Black Jersey Giant, and picked out all the fun stuff we needed to go with them. I think for the normal girl it would be like clothes shopping, but for this aspiring farmer, little chicken feeders and brood lights were the shopping highlight of my year.
On the way home I kept looking at my girl in the back seat. I have never seen a happier 5 year old. She held that cardboard box with her chicks and smiled from ear to ear. And it hasn’t changed since. Except we went back that Friday and picked out 3 more chicks (a Silkie, a Barred Rock and a Light Brown Brahma).
So, here we are, 3 1/2 weeks into this journey with 6 little chicks that are fastly approaching their awkward teenage years. We have Lily, Marigold, Bluebell, Rosie, Sunny and Brownie. I’ve started building their coop (which is another blog post all together) and watching my little farmer girl pick up those chickens with such confidence and let them climb all over her is the sweetest of sights. The best part is, I haven’t even had the urge to “yank” the chickens out of my house.
Wish us luck!
The Chicken Lady