Friday, September 21, 2012

Chicks in Oregon

    I made a trip to the Portland area earlier this week.  I had to fit in another trip to see grandchildren before my lone employee takes the month of October off to go hunting in Wyoming. This allowed me to deliver some of our surplus chickens to Sarah and further reduce the number of poultry mouths I will have to feed through the winter months.  The Dominique hens seem to have a strong mother instinct as all three of them have managed to set on a nest of eggs this summer and hatch out chicks.  So I drove to Portland with five six week old pullets in a cardboard box. I think one of them may actually be a little  rooster but its hard to tell with young chickens. People go to school for about six months or more to learn how to vent sex chicks and they still only get 90 percent correctly sexed. I find it easier to just wait until the roosters start to crow.

    Sarah's kids were delighted with the arrival of the chickens. She has several little wannabe farmers in her family. We went to a feed store the following morning to pick up a feeder and a waterer.  We were surprised to discover that particular feed store still had baby chicks for sale. Sarah jumped at the opportunity and let the girls pick out ten baby chicks to go with the older pullets I had brought them. Her husband, in a moment of weakness, had consented to let her do some chicks in  the garage. Sarah had thought it was already too late to get chicks this year. The purchase of the baby chicks complicated things as they now needed two feeders, two waterers, two types of chicken feed, and a heat lamp. They also needed two little cardboard boxes in which to transport the chicks so each of the younger girls could hold chicks on her lap. By late morning the older chickens were happily pecking away in their new home in a chicken tractor at a nearby friend's house. Meanwhile, the baby chicks were peeping their little hearts out in a cardboard box in the Kang's garage.
Grand Daughter Elise and her new best friend

The baby chicks' new home in the Kang's garage

    Baby chicks are serious kid magnets and are much more effective babysitters than a television set. Hannah turned out to be the most dedicated foster hen as she spent most of the remainder of that first day hanging out in the garage with the chicks.  An added bonus for the kids is the fact that they now get to read the newspaper comics every day as they are recycling their neighbor's newspapers into chick bedding. The next day Sarah found Elise quietly sitting on a chair in the garage, holding a chick in one hand while reading the newspaper comics. It sounds like Elise has found a new happy place.
Rachel looking determined as she kicks the ball towards the goal.

Rachel tries for an assist while her dad watches in the background 

     After a morning dedicated to poultry, I drove to Portland with Sarah and granddaughter Chloe to watch granddaughter Rachel play in a junior varsity soccer game. We stopped at Nike in Beaverton and picked up Sarah's husband, Chris, en route to the game.  Serendipitously, Rachel scored two goals as Forest Grove won the game 3-0.  I took lots of pictures. but most didn't turn out very well. It's hard to take great action pictures with an iPhone. I did get a really great picture of the opposing goalie's back as Rachel scored one of her goals. The game was even more lopsided than the score showed as ninety percent of the action took place in their opponents' half of the field. Rachel modestly attributed her two goals to the fact that her team's forwards had an off day. They have won several games 11-0 so I guess a mere three goals could seem like an off day.

    I spent Wednesday with daughter Rachel and her family. I visited a rock shop with Rachel in the morning. That is a hobby I could really get into if I were retired for real. Luckily, Lance and Luna had early release from school that day and got out at 1:30 pm.  Their school had dress like a pirate day to celebrate National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Since their school is 70 percent hispanic, the sign on their reader board was something like "Habla Como uno Pirato".  We picked up some Mediterranian  takeout as we walked home with the kids. Rachel was excited for me to try the fabulous tabouleh she gets from the Bagdad Cafe, one of her favorite local restaurants. They include some mint leaves in their tabouleh which is a big change from the way I make it.  Unfortunately they were out of tabouleh, but the baba ganoush (an eggplant dish), hummus, and bakhlava were all pretty good. I'll have to try the tabouleh on my next visit. I've seen mint included in tabouleh recipes and have been interested in trying it that way. However, my primary tabouleh customer is Linda who prefers I leave out the mint leaves.

    I got the grand tour of Rachel's garden and and actually got to eat a fresh fig from one of the fig trees I had given her several years ago. We discussed their little green house, seed saving, and Rachel's plans for her garden. We also harvested her Rockwell dry beans which Lance help me shell with great enthusiasm. Of course her dry beans are running a week or so ahead of mine due to Portland's warmer weather. Lance showed me his really cool wall mounted hot wheels track and I got to demonstrate my improving skills on the ukulele. I say improving skills because that is the only direction in which they can go.  Luna is really excited because Chet is shopping for a drum set. Luna really wants to learn to play the drums.

    I finally left Hillsboro at about 6:30 p.m. and headed home to Snohomish. All in all it was a great trip, but way too short. I will miss the bee store when we get it sold, but it does tie me down. I am really looking forward to having more time to spend with family.  


  1. That sounds like such a good time! I miss all of you cool people!

    1. We all miss you too! I'm really looking forward to your visit next summer.