It’s My Party, and I’ll Cry if I Want to

I have a problem with song lyrics. I’m not sure if everyone is like this, but I get lyrics to songs stuck in my head for, literally, weeks at a time. I will sing a song in my head almost all day, every day. I remember lyrics for an absurdly long time, too – I can sing all of “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot and probably MC Hammer’s entire repertoire from the “2 Legit 2 Quit” era, not to mention every line of every Jawbreaker song ever written. For the last three days, this has been the primary stuck-in-head song (the video is fantastic, too) – “Fake Patois,” Das Racist:

Anyway, this is just to say that, for the last several years, I have gotten the song referenced in the subject line of this post stuck in my head ALL DAY LONG on my birthday. My birthday was yesterday and, true to form, the song was back in my head. This year I fought it, though, and was able at least to rotate between Cracker’s “Happy, Happy Birthday to Me,” and the dreaded “It’s My Party.” I claim that as a small victory.

But! More importantly, I had a birthday! Presents received: a SodaStream fizzy water maker (AMAZING), Fiskars watering can, hot pink snap watch, fancy IPA from Northern California, a new nightgown, Fiskars dirt scooper, a new bike light and bike pump (with attached pressure gauge, oh yeah!), a new necklace and earrings, a book from the early 1900s about Billy Whiskers the billy goat, a bird mobile, and… wait for it… a cheese making kit. Imma make cheese!!!

20120519. Awesome birthday present (from me).

This is my new, very professional, very grown-up watch.

20120519. Awesome birthday present.

I am incredibly excited about making cheese – although this will likely only serve to fuel my desire to get a couple of milk goats.

20120519. Awesome birthday present.

Speaking of goats, look at this beautiful book. It includes an inscription from the last person who gave it as a gift on the front page, dated 1921.

The best present, though, was hanging out with the boyfriend and doing awesome stuff, like dinner at Traders Point Creamery, Indiana’s only organic creamery (which also happens to be down the road from our house), putting money down on a new car for Chris, and wandering the Broad Ripple Art Fair. This afternoon, I cleaned up the coop a bit, watered the garden, and began noticing how insanely well our newest plants are growing. Seriously – we already have baby green beans, squash, strawberries, and cayenne peppers. How is that possible?

20120519. Green bean babies.

Baby green beans!

20120519. Insane snap peas.

Snap peas as far as the eye can see.

20120519. Insane fennel bulbs, waiting to be eaten.

Fennel bulbs – this will be my first experience cooking fennel bulbs.

20120519. Squash fuzzies.

Furry squash foliage and baby yellow squash.

This afternoon, I made some more fennel simple syrup in preparation for our (much belated) housewarming party, as well as a pizza from the sourdough no-knead dough I made last weekend. Is anyone familiar with sourdough or dough you can leave in the fridge for a week or so before baking? The parts exposed to the air seem to get… bluish around the edges over time. It hasn’t made us sick or anything. I just wonder what might be happening with all those molecules.

20120519. Fennel simple syrup.

Fennel simple syrup – delicious.

By the time I got around to harvesting peas and fennel, the chicks realized that they couldn’t get in to hang out with me in the garden.
20120519. The point at which the chickens realized I was INSIDE and they were OUTSIDE.

So I went to hang out with them in the brush pile (AKA their new favorite spot).

20120519. The girls are panting, not holding a very deep conversation with each other.

Someday, I will insert little conversation bubbles above each of their heads in this shot. For now, it’s just a boring picture of hot, panting chickens.

It got up to 85 degrees today, and the chickens were HOT. I’m planning to test out a frozen blueberry/yogurt concoction shortly. Yes, they are pampered and coddled and totally spoiled. No, I don’t mind. I don’t think they do, either.

20120519. Beaker panting.

Beaker panting.

An Outdoor Adventure

The chicks had their first trip outside today, and, dare I say, they loved it. Okay, there was some panting and flailing about and general chicken sensory overload going on, and I did get pooped on (for the first time!). But after some minor freaking out and refusing to actually step into the grass in their outdoor run, the chicks got right to business plucking at the grass, strawberry flowers, and other weeds that have taken over our backyard.

Tomorrow, the girls will be five weeks old. I thought it was time to do a bit of a comparison since they’ve changed so much since they arrived.

Henrietta:
Henrietta at 2 days old and 5 weeks old.

Yolko:
Yolko at 2 days old and 5 weeks old.

Ono:
Ono at 2 days old and 5 weeks old.

Beaker:
Beaker at 2 days old and 5 weeks old.

Introductions: Yolko, the (Sometimes Begrudging) Lap Chicken

It’s high time we introduced the third of our four new chicks, Yolko, one of two black Australorps. Here are some things we definitely need to document about our young Yolko.

1. Riding home from the post office on that first day, I gingerly held a box of very loudly, insistently peeping chicks in my lap. It later turned out that the two making all that racket were Yolko and Ono, the black Australorps, who at first were quite the skittish ones.

20120321. "If I can't see them, they can't see me."

2. Yolko, though, has turned into a lovely little lap chick and is now neck-in-neck with Beaker for the position of Space-Farm’s Favorite Chick (TM).

20120406. Yolko, about 2.5 weeks old.

3. She’s pretty adorable – and slightly regal – when falling asleep.

20120401. Yolko.

20120401. Yolko.

4. She has beautiful white-tipped wings coming in and white patches all over her face and chest, even though black Australorps should end up being a glossy, iridescent black.

20120321. Yolko.

5. Beaker and Yolko have flying and perching contests. Establishing the pecking order already, ladies?

20120406. Yolko and Beaker. Not spoiled at all.

6. She doesn’t mind making eyes at the camera, either, and is also fighting Beaker in the race for Most Photogenic Bird of Space-Farm (TM).

Portrait of Yolko

7. She’s gone from snuggly with her chicken friends to snuggly with the human crowd, which I totally love. In fact, be right back – I need snuggles with my Yolko.

20120322. Today, they slept all day long...

So Yolko, you sweet thing, we just can’t wait for the next time we get to feed you worms and take you for elevator rides on our hands. Just keep being your sweet lap chicken self, and we’ll all be happy.