Big cheer, medium cheer, little cheer.

We have been celebrating some around here, some things quietly, some not.

To begin with the least quiet celebration imaginable, Baki had his first proper birthday party yesterday (although he turns 8 on the 28th). Until last year, I was able to convince him that birthdays were something celebrated with your family. Then he started primary school and the invitations started coming and the cat was out of the bag.

Baki wanted to have his party at McDonalds, which I can completely understand since at his age my greatest hope was to have a birthday party at Burger King (and just for the record, mom, I am soooo glad we never did. Our parties were the best!) but empathy aside, that was an idea too depressing to entertain, so I decided that the only place I could face having a party was at Sundance Camp.

We filled the big geodesic dome with balloons for everyone to jump around in, which Baki and Kaya carefully monitored for quality before the guests arrived:

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And I started some flower seeds (calendula and annual dahlia) for the kids to plant in pots and take home. The seedlings were doing really well and I felt quite pleased with myself… until the whole box of them fell off the top of the car as I was trying to get Kaya into his car seat to go down to Sundance. We lost a few, but there were enough survivors to go around.Image

We hunted for Easter eggs, played nature bingo, but mostly the kids did what kids do best, particularly outdoors — they just ran around like mad and found fun for themselves. It was a gas, but I am very, very glad to be done with it. Thank goodness these things only roll around once a year (and Kaya is still young and impressionable enough to just blow out a candle or two with mom and dad and be done with it).

I also celebrated, quietly, the new batch of small fry on its way.

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It’s not very romantic, and I tend to think nature handles these things best, but we are incubating some eggs to increase our laying flock. I was highly skeptical of the whole idea, and I still worry about rearing chicks, but I have to admit that I am also kind of excited about becoming a mama hen. Today was the 8th day of incubation, so I candled the eggs (actually, I iPhoned them — I used the flashlight on my phone) to see how things were going. I was nervous! Happily, 15 out of 18 eggs appear to be developing normally. At this stage, I was looking for a network of veins and a dark spot. My heart leapt as the dark spot I was looking at swam around in the egg! Yes, I know, living things will move, but it was a thrill. I held extra still to make sure I wasn’t the one making it move, but it really wasn’t me, and subsequent eggs did the same thing. Amazing. The three that were not developing just looked empty in comparison, and when I cracked them open to check (I held my breath, I will admit), they just looked like eggs. They were the smallest eggs of the lot, so maybe the hens were too young.

The eggs came from Sundance; here is a look at the new gene pool:

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Aren’t they a handsome lot? They are an exceptionally peaceful chicken community, and they have the run of the Sundance garden in the afternoons. Not that their coop is such a bad place — in fact, Kaya is ready to move in. I think he likes the little doors, just his size.

And the quietest celebration of all, just in my head, a little cheer — two years on WordPress. I moved here after my former blog host was blocked in Turkey. I can’t remember why it happened, but the result was that I could edit my blog but not see it. That was weird, so I came here and I am glad I did.

Here’s to celebrations, big and small!