secular easter.

In this family, the family of me, we celebrate secular easter. And we love it!

Love it!

personal history.

As a younger kid I didn’t think much about easter beyond a basket of candy and wearing a cute dress and a fun hat. And egg hunts! LOVED IT. We did go to church some years because my parents were in a like, “going to church to maybe make some friends phase,” but I never really paid attention in church and didn’t see it as more than a social event/public place to show off the aforementioned cute dress and fun hat.

When my pre-teen and teenage years came around, we were always on the road for easter! Spring Break! We were in Florida, Hawaii, Myrtle Beach…wherever. It was fun AF. On the actual day of easter we’d just be like, “Let’s eat candy in our bathing suits, cool cool cool.”

In college, easter fell within our “spring break,” but as a cheerleader I didn’t have a spring break and we would just practice for hours and hours on end every day and almost die. It was a great time to bond as a team but did not have any kind of holiday vibe, besides maybe some candy.

After I graduated and moved to Jersey City, my parents would come visit and we would do a “spring brunch.” We didn’t get to do a “spring brunch” this year and I’m still feeling pretty sad about it. In past years it was often the first time of the year we got to go to a restaurant and eat outside. Sometimes it would still be cold but we would walk there and the sun would be shining. Nature deserves to have a day or two (or 20) devoted to celebrating and enjoying it, and I think this was a perfect day to do that.

I’ve always taken special care to emphasize the fact that our “spring brunches” are completely and totally secular. I don’t want anyone to think I’m celebrating a Christian holiday…because I’m not. It doesn’t seem right! I don’t believe in it at all so what’s the point?

I prefer secular easter. Completely separated from any religious meaning, at least to me. Maybe some of the traditions even began as religious ones, but now I have them and I’m crediting them to nature and science. It’s nice to celebrate “spring” as a whole and to focus on flowers and birds and eggs and bunnies and rebirth and all the springtime symbolism that comes from nature.

But on my end it’s really just an admiration and appreciation for the natural order of things, not a deifying of any of these elements of nature. That wouldn’t seem right to me either. Meaning right to me FOR MY OWN LIFE. You can deify whatever you want as long as it doesn’t mess up my day in some way.

high five from american gods regarding secular easter.

Last year I came across an episode of the show American Gods, ON EASTER, by chance, and it really gave me something to smile about as far as easter/celebrating spring goes.

Kristen Chenowith (always adorbs!) plays the goddess Ostara, one of the “old gods” as far as the storyline in the show (and book…I think). This god also goes by “Easter,” ever heard of it? The protagonists go to visit her and she’s having a big spring party and there are bunnies and flowers and HATS. OH MY GOSH…the hats. But there are also a bunch of longhaired dudes there, aka different representations of “jesus.” According to the plot of the show, it seems that the Christian version of celebrating spring and easter has overtaken the older, closer to nature ways, and the main characters kind of convince Ostara to take BACK easter from “jesus,” AND OH, DOES SHE.

Spring dinosaurs in bow ties actually LITERALLY walked the earth. Look it up.

I was super pumped on this episode and SUPER INTO IT. After it was over, I Googled the HECK out of it. I found a few things on the internet that were like “Yeah people worshipped that gal,” “One of the Brothers Grimm made it up,” “There isn’t conclusive evidence either way.” So I don’t know if she is REALLY REAL.

But I still like her. As an idea! Even if she IS real in the sense that people DID worship her, I see her as more of a symbol, a metaphor to explain the spring fling things that are already happening. An attempt to be connected to the earth and the natural order in a special way. They didn’t have science or the internet in olden times, they had to invent their own shit and explanations.

Now we know better.

this year’s secular easter.

As an atheist, I don’t believe in anything. But I DO like stories. And I enjoy the pagan stories much more. They’re more fun! More colorful! The gods get into HI-JINX!

Getting into our own hi-jinx. Unhhh.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the secular easter this year, even though I was still sad I couldn’t go to “spring brunch” with my parents.

We colored eggs…

The easter bunny came…

Omg who put this here?!

And we ate candy and wore hats.

Then we finished the whole thing off with a nice dinner and also banana pudding and waffles, together in taco form.

I’m glad it’s spring and the world has woken up and I can’t wait to go outside.

PLEASE LET ME GO OUTSIDE TO FULLY COMMUNE WITH NATURE I AM LOSING MY SHIT.

chickie ladies.

I LOVE CHICKENS.

I always liked chickens, I always wanted chickens. Overall I’m obsessed with birds and birds you can hang out with that also provide a valuable service are a pretty good deal.

The Internet says that they have incredible eyesight and I can see with my own eyes that they are most definitely the descendants of dragons.

Dragon.

Last Xmas we got my mom a chicken coop and told her in the spring we would be getting her chickens! She was pumped AF.

When spring came, we went to the local Tractor Supply and they had buckets and buckets of baby chicks and we picked some out of the mix and they were so cute and peep-y and we were glad to meet them.

Babies!

When you buy backyard chickens at Tractor Supply they are “sexed” which means they are pretty sure that they are lady chickens aka hens. But they could still be roosters they don’t know for sure. IT COULD GO EITHER WAY YOU GUYS.

We got 3 Buff Orpingtons (they grow up to be very plump and fluffy and lay light brown eggs), 4 Golden Comets (they are reddish brown and lay brown eggs) and a very pretty/special/last one left Ameraucana chicken (they lay blue eggs and have a funny beard). And actually they’re not THAT special but this one WAS the last one left and the only brown chick and we thought she was so cute and we had to have her.

Everyone cuddled together.

The maximum capacity of the coop is 8 adult chickens and we got 8 expecting that at least one would die.

That’s morbid I guess but when you get the chicks they seem so small and frail! And you have to take very good care of them and keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t get cold or die from doing something ridiculous and sad like drowning in their water bowl (this happens!). So it’s tough to keep everyone alive.

THEY COULD HAVE DIED.

But they all lived! We did it! We are the greatest chicken caregivers in the land! My mom kept them inside the house in a little chicken cage inside of a plastic kiddie swimming pool until they were big enough to be outside and warm without a heat lamp.

First day outside!

Toward the end of their time inside the house they started to feel very crowded and you could tell they wanted to get the heck out of there. They would always jump out of their cage and protest when you opened the door. The chickens were rude teenagers.

Rude and unruly.

Soon enough they got to live outside and they were really excited about it. They love to run around and peck at stuff and eat grass and bugs and anything else they want to eat because they will eat a lot of things. They are omnivores and they have really great eye sight. I feel like I have mentioned this somewhere before and I probably have. I’m very proud of them and the way they live their lives.

Double Trouble

Their favorite food hands down is mealworms. They also enjoy cheese and frozen corn. If you put half of a watermelon in there they will demolish it right down to a thin green rind. If you feed them cooked spaghetti they will at first be really excited because they think it’s worms and they will run around and fight over it. Then they calm down a little but still devour it.

MEALWORMZZZZ!!!

They love live worms dug right out of the ground and any kind of insect usually, although they don’t seem very interested in THE INVADERS. Once I heard a very loud screeching buzzing noise coming from their coop and I ran over and one was killing a cicada! IT WAS SO LOUD. This must have been a highly prized meal in the chicken community because once it was dead they all chased after the killer and another gal stole it away and ate it herself.

It’s a cutthroat community in my parents’ backyard.

If another type of non-insect animal enters their area it may also die. They once ganged up on a mole and killed it, and chase away terrified sparrows if they try to eat their snacks.

They also lay eggs! Since they started laying in the middle of this past summer, they each lay one egg a day so that’s 8 eggs a day! It’s supposed to slow down soon when it gets colder out and there is less sunlight but as of now they’re still going strong.

As you may or may not know, the eggs they lay aren’t fertilized because we don’t have a rooster. The eggs are their ovulation. And they do it every 28 hours instead of every 28 days. PRETTY BADASS. They make a lot of funny noise when they’re laying eggs and it’s pretty silly, but once they lay the eggs they seem okay with us taking them away. I like to think they’re proud. We do thank them often.

Harry lays blue eggs!

They’re very friendly because we always hold them and pick them up and pet them. They’re also brats and will try to sneak into their food trunk to steal treats or dart out of their gated area to find more fresh plants to eat or peck at your toes because they don’t like your pedicure. BUT THEY ARE SO CUTE.

WE DEMAND THAT YOU FREE US.

They’re my favorite friends and I love to go home to my parents’ to see them. This past weekend my mom used half of our Halloween jack o’lantern pumpkin as a bowl and put cheese, chicken feed, and mealworms layered into it and they LOST IT. I got this timelapse below.

If you watch closely there are a few times they come up close and stare at the camera for a while and it’s hilarious.

They were also kind of scared of my tripod because they get scared of everything. I guess they have to be cautious in case anything actually IS dangerous to them so they’re wise to be suspicious.

Suspicious.

Also, their names are: Harry (the brown one), Polly, Pepper, Precious (the yellow ones), Sunrise, Sunset, Butterscotch, and Barbara (the red ones).

Chickens rock! Do you like chickens? Do you have chickens? Would you like to have chickens? Do you want to ask me any questions about chickens? Do you want to correct anything I’ve said about chickens? I always want to learn more about chickens.