Monday, May 14, 2012

The Chicks are Here!

The chicks are here!
Hip hip hooray!
The chicks are here...
The fountain of youth of yellow fuzz will appear,
if only for one or two weeks of the year!

Yeah, I think I sprained something in my brain making up that little ditty...  -_-*
Well, as the title suggest, the chicks are here at our house.  The first of three schools dropped them off. 

Every year we get the chicks from local schools who have incubated and hatched them.
We find them good homes which range from farms out of town, acreages down south in Illinois, backyard chickeners all over the city, and hobby farmers.

In the week or two it takes to arrange pickup or drop-off, the kids gleefully pet the chicks, feed them, socialize them, and generally squeal with excitement.  

Much to the dismay of the rest of my family, I sometimes let them loose in the house.

Balls of fuzz with little yellow feet...
Keeps us awake at night with "cheep cheep".
Sweet and yellow, peeping little chicks.
It may be, that in truth,
 I am just as (if not more excited) than the kids.

Busiest Saturday EVAR and Smelt Fishing in Chicago

Few Saturdays could possibly top the business of this one.

The adventure started at about 12am when I dropped off this chair.

It was a lovely chair I had picked up from the side of the road one day.  I had hopes to someday reupholster it, and give it a face lift.  However, with three kids, a bustling volunteer life, a front yard garden, and all sorts of time constraints... let's be realistic.  It probably wouldn't be worked on until the kids went to college in 15 years.

Then a friend of mine posted a link to some blog where they painted the fabric instead of reupholstering.  Interesting concept.  I offered her my chair, and it's now in her living room awaiting said paint job. ( pictured below)

Here's the example pictures on that website. Before and After painted chairs.
So, best of luck to her on that project!  It's more than I have ambition to do right now, but I am happy to freecycle it :)!

A couple hours later, at 0900, I got a call from a friend of mine who needed help setting up for the chili cook off.  He needed as many hands as possible, so I called up a few friends and went out to help setup the chili cook off with them.  The GLMV Jaycees Chili cook off donates a portion of their proceeds in the form of scholarships to local high school seniors.  This is the second time we've thrown the chili cook-off, and Tighthead brewery in Mundelein generously donated some space int heir parking lot to us.  Awesome....

Did you know I was a member of the Jaycees?  It stands for Junior Chamber of Commerce, and almost every village or town has one. I've met so many interesting people and had so many cool opportunities by being involved in this volunteer group.  Anyhoos, this is us helping setup the tents.  There was other work to be done such as: running of cables, setting up lights, and labeling the port-a-potties.

Fast forward to the hours volunteered.  Here I am working the entrance with some other fellow Jaycees.

Then, right after my volunteer shift, we zoomed down to Montrose harbor in Chicago for the annual smelt fishing extravaganza!  If you don't know about smelt fishing....

Gather around chickadees, while grandma Holly tells you a story.
It used to be that every April in Chicago, people would flock to the harbors to setup a smelting rig.
It consists of a tall pole to hold the line, and a huuuuuuuge net, and a trolley.

                                        SEE BELOW TO MY AWESOME DIAGRAM.

Then, you gather all your good friends, and grill up some beer brats, and other various deliciousness.  It's a good excuse to see friends, and grill in front of the Chicago skyline till 1am when the smelting time ends.
You can hear all the experienced veterans tell you about how it was back in the day when they would put the nets in the water, and pull up buckets and buckets of smelts.  You could hardly keep up with it, and get hundreds in an hour!!  WOW.  THE DISNEYLAND OF GILL NET FISHING!!!

"Mommy, can we go check the net?"  

Huh? ... oh okay.

Here's the big gill net.  Looks like nothing in it.
Well, I wont lie to you folks.  The smelt may have been running fifteen or more years ago, but I have done this for over seven years and I have caught less than 10 smelts to this day.
There are stories that the smelt run will return to Chicago, but I wont hold my breath on it.

However, it's still a great time once a year for all ages to get out and spent time with family and friends!