Chicken Run | June 2010

While Alek was at the fire academy, I was having a grand time with his family celebrating Gab and Brad’s marriage with a girls night at our place. One of the sweetest moments of the year was when Alek’s nieces Livia and Gwyn discovered the Polaroid camera. The sheer delight and surprise when the photo came popping out made me wish I had more film for them.
Leanna and I were in charge of delivering the cake to the wedding, and we will forever be bonded over that shared experience. I can’t really go into more detail than that because we swore we’d never go into more detail than that. Let’s just say, delivering a wedding cake is about the most stressful thing EVER. I’m surprised those Ace of Cake people aren’t in mental institutions.

In mid-June I ran the Wasatch Back Ragnar race. The Wasatch Back Ragnar is a 188 Mile, 12 person relay race. My Ragnar experience really deserves its own post, but I still wanted to share these pics because they represent the best parts of the race. First – you guessed it, the medal. Every time I see that thing it makes me smile. Second – I did it, and will be doing it again in 2011, because of these people. This race was SO MUCH FUN because of my team. And if you’re smiling after running ~20 miles over 36 hours, after spending two days crammed into a Tahoe, after watching your teammates puke and pop their blisters, and after using countless porta-potties, well…it’s just hard to explain. I’ll just say it was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life.

When we went to pick up the first delivery of meat from our CSA Janaan said that everyone in the parking lot was a Yuppie (Porsche, Range Rover) or a Hippie (Subaru, 4Runner). We decided that we were a hybrid because while I drive a Subaru and Janaan drives a 4Runner, we really both want to be driving Range Rovers. So we started calling ourselves Hyuppies. Then my friend Lisa said that Yippie had a better ring to it, and we agreed. So, we are now proud Yippies. Sidebar: we were at a family reunion this summer and I was so intent on recycling as much as possible that my aunt told me she was going to buy me a green swastika. That was possibly my proudest moment as a yippie, and for the record we took home THREE 55 gallon bags of recyclables from the reunion.

Our biggest commitment to yippiehood to date has been our chickens. Janaan started doing research on urban chickens after we watched Food Inc. Then our Uncle Perry came to town and got us all jazzed up. He lives in Los Angeles and he has had backyard chickens for almost 20 years. So we formed a coop co-op (get it: coop co-op, heh heh heh) consisting of Janaan and Ed, me and Alek and our friends Barrett and Danielle. More or less, the deal was Barrett and Danielle would keep the chickens in their HUGE yard, Alek and I would build the coop and Ed and Janaan would raise the chicks. Then all of us would split the costs for feed and take turns cleaning the coop and we would feast on farm fresh eggs for 20 years! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

So, Janaan did a bunch of research and found out which chickens laid the best eggs, were winter hearty and were easy on the eyes. We ordered them from Murray McMurray and they arrived on Sunday June 19th. You have to order the chickens in batches of 24 and you get a “surprise” 25th chicken for free. Somehow we ended up with 27 healthy happy baby chicks which Janaan and Ed raised with lots of love until they were ready for transport to the coop. (We’ve since had two casualties due to a backyard predator of some sort, one is M.I.A. and presumed dead, and one was a rooster and Barrett and Danielle ate him for Sunday dinner.)

Now I’m not going to lie, this chicken thing was a total pain in the ass to get off the ground. Coordinating the six of us to decide to go ahead with this (love you sister!), figuring out which breeds to buy (thanks Uncle Perry!), building the coop on the coldest, rainiest day of summer – the ONLY day that we had time to build it (thanks Dad for all of your help and your tools!), the drama of getting the chicks on Sunday (a special thank you to the USPS agent at the downtown SLC office for making a special delivery that day!), keeping the chicks alive (thanks farmer Ed!), transporting the chicks to the coop, making sure they are fed and have fresh water every day (thanks Barrett and Danielle!), and rebuilding the coop so that varmints (yes, that’s right, I just wrote varmints) can’t get in and kill them was and continues to be quite an endeavor. But all of that is forgotten every time we walk in and there are a pile of eggs waiting!

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