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The Notorious BKL Dreams of Chickens… and more notes of summer

Hey, how’s your summer going so far? Someone here is appreciating the sunbeams… and I guess that technically I don’t know that the Notorious Bad Kitty Lucy dreams of chicken dinner, but it’s what I imagine when I look at her sleepy little face. (And seriously: Wouldn’t you wake up with the worst crick in your neck sleeping with your chin flat down like that?) She does heartily disapprove of us letting the girls out to peck in the back yard, so she sits at the door and doesn’t take her eyes off of them for a second.

(What else does The Notorious BKL disapprove of this week? I’m going to have to go with: Boxes that are not for her.)

But the backyard chickens peck on…

The younger chickens are still pretty nervous about venturing out of the run, but do eventually make it past the open door. We do only let them out when we’re outside and able to keep an eye on them, however, because our yard isn’t fenced. We have hawks hanging around, our neighbor lets his dogs roam free, and we get coyotes and other animals back here that would love a chicken dinner even more than BKL might.

And speaking of backyard chickens: Just look at the gorgeous color on these yolks. The chickens lay better in summer, so we’ve been eating a lot of eggs lately over here — which is perfect for low carb MashupDad (and real food me!). You can really tell the difference with the farm fresh (or I guess, backyard fresh?) eggs; they’re so good.

Luckily you can cook eggs quickly on the stove, which is a bonus when it’s been hot… hot… hot… hot… and the promised rain never came until yesterday. The timing of the rain and associated cool-down last night was lucky for us, though, because on Tuesday our A/C broke. That’s about right; I swear this house is falling to pieces around us this year. The repair guy is finally here as I type (they were backed up — see photo above as to why, lol), so cross your fingers for us that it won’t be the most expensive fix.

I’ve also been making quesadillas with the leftover quinoa unstuffed peppers, and a lot of salads and sandwiches. We’re having leftovers tonight and then I’m doing a slow cooker dinner tomorrow (just saw my favorite seven quart Crock-Pot on price drop, so it’s a good time to pick up a bigger one if you don’t have one already). What are some of your hot-weather dinner go-tos?

Summer break keeps on keeping on…

This week High School Guy had orchestra auditions at IMSA, and next week we’re heading to an all-day orientation. I also have to get going on his supply list, including things like XL twin sheets… it’s like outfitting a college dorm room, and I’m not really ready for this. He, however, can’t wait for school to start in August.

And how cool is this; it should provide plenty of fodder for discussion! All the incoming IMSA sophomores are reading Hamilton and listening to the soundtrack, so I purchased the book for him on Amazon — and luckily the soundtrack is available on Prime Music. So he’s not going to throw away his… shot. 😉 (And yes I am listening to it myself right now; love that Prime Music.)

Mr. 10, on the other hand, would be just as happy if summer went on forever, what with its sleepovers (complete with blanket fort!), mulberry smoothies, taekwondo camp, and a whole lot of fidget spinners like this fancy one he just ordered on Amazon “because it is SO COOL WITH DRAGONS” — this is what ten year olds save up for, apparently! I think this penny one looks niftier, but I’m old, apparently. He did slip coming down out of the mulberry tree this week and clonk his chin on his own knee, which looked about as painful as it sounds, but an ice pack and a smoothie went a long way toward making that all better.

How does your garden grow?

What are you growing this year? Our tomato plants are going strong, kale will be ready soon, we’ve been eating a lot of salad, and the herbs are going nuts, so I might dry some herbs in the microwave later this afternoon. I also just got another Home Depot Garden Club coupon in email (sign up for a welcome $5 coupon + more throughout the year) so am trying to think if we need to do anything else right now.

We’re going to get a bunch more weeds with this rain, and I’ve been throwing them to the chickens as I pull them — they’re particularly fond of the clover and dandelions, but not overly picky in general. I figure that’s a great use for garden weeds, and it makes me feel doubly productive, lol.

That’s it for us right now…

Next week Mr. 10 is heading to taekwondo worlds, and High School Guy will doing a morning STEM camp. That one sentence pretty much sums them up! 🙂 So going back to the beginning here: How’s your summer going so far?


Thursday 15th of June 2017

I sure hope your A/C is fixed and you are not having to mortgage your house to pay for the repair. Our 15 year old A/C went out last Friday and it wasn't too hot, but, I'm not heat tolerant. Thankfully they were able to come out a day earlier than our appointment and were able to fix it for a few hundred dollars. I think I would be in a hotel or would have bought a window unit and stayed in one room if it was as hot as the last few days. Our garden is beautiful because my husband has a green thumb. He did have major trouble with our green peppers not coming up, so, we had to buy plants at a nursery. We just have corn, tomato's, green beans, potato's and cucumbers. The squirrels eat all the corn before he can get it, but, the stalks are nice for the green beans to climb. How do you herd those chickens back into the pen? I know you have a ton of stuff going on, but, it all sounds great and I really enjoy the pictures and updates on the kids and pets and family adventures.


Friday 16th of June 2017

The A/C was NOT cheap, ugh. The chickens, you can just kind of chase them back into the pen -- Mr. 10 does a masterful job of acting like one of those sheep herding dogs. :) They actually go in by themselves if it gets too dark because they naturally go back home to roost each night. :)


Thursday 15th of June 2017

High school guy is going to IMSA in the fall? How did I miss that exciting news? I've heard really good things about that program, and kudos to you for letting him out of the nest.

Our oldest is getting married at the end of August, and he also bought a bank owned townhome. So, there has been lots and lots of painting, cleaning and just about anything else you can think of regarding home repairs going on there. Also wedding showers, mog dress debates, and general wedding mayhem!

In the midst of that my 18 year old dd, got accepted to Moody Bible Institute in the city, so we are beginning preparations for that move.

No garden this year - and I am so glad for that decision. My dad grows enough for a small village, and he is willing to share.

Husband and I just had a discussion last night about how we are not feeling summer in our lives this year. We are hoping to get away for a week at the end of June, so maybe that will propel us into the swing of things.

Thanks for your updates!


Friday 16th of June 2017

IMSA! I know, crazy -- he goes in two months. I'll miss him dearly, but he can come home on the weekends and it's an amazing opportunity. Good luck with the dress decisions and the college shopping. ;)


Thursday 15th of June 2017

There are some Summer lettuce varieties that are much more heat tolerant such as the Summer crisphead lettuce. I get all of my seeds at Johnny's out of Maine, and they have super customer service, and all of their varieties, are bred to grow in colder climates. They have a bunch of lettuce that they label as heat tolerant. Most lettuce will bolt when it gets in the 90's. You just have to be careful when you direct seed the lettuce out in your garden, that you don't do it when it is 90 out. Your seeds will not germinate when it is that hot. The only thing I have found that germinates when it gets that hot is beans and onion sets. I got some onion sets on clearance at Menard's recently for $.59 a bag. Once you plant them, you can have green onions in three weeks. You just have to make sure you amend the soil where you are going to plant them. I also saw them on sale at Home Depot last Saturday, but they were still a $1 a bag, and they looked awful. I am not a big fan of Home Depots garden department

One thing I love that Johnny's sells is Japanese turnips. They are sweeter and more mellow than regular turnips. Johnny's is one of the few seed companies that carries these. You can use the roots and greens in a stir fry. Johnny's also carries some Asian greens such as Komatsuma, that mature in three weeks once the seeds germinate. I also use those in stir fries. You can also use immature greens in a salad mix.

One of the farmer's that comes to the Evanston farmer's market, sells basil plants for $4, and they are fairly large plants, but I wait until the middle of June when he marks them down to $1 per plant for a 4" pot. Last fall he had the last of his fresh basil for sale for $4 a bunch, and he was getting ready to go home. I asked him if he could give me a deal if I bought 4 bunches of basil, and he told me that he was going to give me a deal, but it was a take it or leave it deal. He sold me that last 12 bunches of basil he had for $10 total, but I had to take everything. I took them all and made pesto that evening.


Friday 16th of June 2017

I don't think I've ever had Japanese turnips, interesting. I do enjoy the Downers Grove farmer's market, but the parking is so terrible that we don't go as often as I would like.

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