early summer on the home front

Adventures in house sitting: I believe in synchronicity. Because when my roommate had four (!) out of town guests staying our (small!) apartment, I had a friend leaving town for a graduation who desperately needed someone to chicken sit! By which I mean she told me she was leaving town and I said I WILL CHICKEN SIT FOR YOUR CHICKS. Yes, that’s right, chicks! One of Steph’s chickens, Chip, is at the bottom of the pecking order. Yes, that is a thing. All the other chickens pick on her- she is literally hen-pecked and is missing a bunch of feathers from the back of her neck 😦 I assume as a symptom of her chicken depression, she got broody. Like, “I JUST WANT TO BE A MOTHER SO SOMEONE WILL LOVE ME!” She stayed in the coop and sat on her eggs all day… which didn’t get her anywhere, since, uh, no roosters around. Since Steph has a friend with a rooster, she managed to get some fertilized eggs, and put them under Chip to see what would happen. There was continued chicken bullying which resulted in some of the eggs breaking, sob, but ultimately three little chicks hatched! And Chip is SUPER MOM!

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I had so much fun taking care of them for a few days… which truthfully mostly meant getting on Chip’s nerves. But man it was magical listening to those little peeping chickies! I also took care of the grown up chickens. I was a little nervous about wrangling them back into their coop at the end of the day, but fortunately they have some mealworm snacks that are like chicken crack. When I waved the snack bag around, they were ready to follow me anywhere. My next house sitting adventure was for a less exotic pet: my cousin’s cat, Hobbes. Hobbes was not initially real enthusiastic about having me around and stayed in his little cat hutch a lot (this picture kills me!)

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But he eventually realized that I had hands that were perfectly capable of petting him, and he came around. We are now buds.

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Back at my own home, I decided to hold another clothing swap, for summer, since the winter one had been so popular.

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I always enjoy having a “randomess” section- it’s fun to see what shows up! (I gave the stuffed lobster to my friend’s kid)

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On the snack front, I took my brilliant Southern roommate’s suggestion and made a dip out of just pepper jelly and cream cheese. GAH it was so good! (Mom, thanks for the Valentine’s Day care package- the pepper jelly was delicious!)

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I was excited to have people around to show off my flower magic! You may remember from this post that I had a surprise regeneration of my orchid plant, after a prophetic dream. The flowers are now in bloom!

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And life is continuing on our porch: House Finch Babies, take 2. We’re having a hard time figuring out if this is the same couple as before. The mama seems to sit a little differently, with her tail sticking up (but that may just be the nest configuration is different because it contains all the detritus from the last round of babies). The father adorably perched above the planter to keep an eye on his baby mama.

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And soon we were treated to another round of frantic cheeping followed by adorable snacktime. These birdies are such good parents!

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Got to go out and peek at the nest again. Another round of four babies. Awkward little goofs.

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The heat wave has caused this round of birdies to relocate to a shadier potted plant on the porch next door. This means we can now put up our hummingbird feeder again, hurray!

Also on the nature front, I took a long evening walk (before the heat wave started) and saw four rabbits in one walk! Three are pictured below (the other one it was too dark. But I swear I saw it).

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This one was particularly adorable- shortly after snapping this shot, he started washing his face (see him holding up his paw?) I have never seen a bunny this relaxed around a human! Trusting little guy.

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Further on my walk I wandered into some weeknight live music on the Weaver Street Market lawn. I love all the outdoor living that happens in the South once warm weather arrives.

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Finally, since this used to be a food blog, a few examples of what I’ve been cooking lately.

This is a good example of the randomness I tend to eat on weeknights- it call comes down to me wanting to use stuff up. First I had some almond milk that needed using so I used it to make a batch of extra creamy polenta. Then that was boring so I turned it into giant griddled polenta cakes. This night I heated up part of one of those cakes and topped it with a reduced-fat string cheese and sauteed kale and mushrooms.

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This night I had received BOUNTY: my neighbor has an extremely affordable CSA through her office ($9 for a TON of produce!) and she’s getting more veggies than she can use, so she gave a bunch to me. I used them to make an extremely wholesome stir fry.

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Sauteed garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and yellow squash plus tempeh, olive oil, and a ton of fresh parsley. Hippie food!

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She also gave me some beets! Wanting to mix it up, I cut them super thin (this would have been a LOT easier with a mandoline) and then shmeared them with olive oil and then roasted them until crispy. Note: 375 was too hot an oven and some of them burned. Go for 350, and watch ’em!

This is them after slicing. Weren’t they beeyooootiful?!

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