Today we took Persephone to Pier Park, which is a walkable shopping center/carnival/bar scene. She partied until her little chicken heart was content. For the most part, people were unbelievably cool and welcoming. As always, there were a few naysayers, but P would just glare at them from her beady side-eyes and they’d slowly back away. Darwinist instincts at their finest.

She’s having a little sugar induced nap right now, but who knows what she might get into next…

{August 16, 2011}   Persephone’s Big Day Out

Yesterday, Persephone experienced the ocean for the very first time. She was a bit tentative at first, but a few margaritas and some encouragement later and she was swimming like a champ.

A whole day at the beach with P and only one pair of uptight, middle-aged ladies gave us the stink eye and inquired, “And just what is the purpose of this?” To which I quite nonchalantly (and super sarcastically) replied, “It’s P’s first trip to the beach. Of course we’re going to take photos.” Boy did they feel stupid.

Beach day = check. Up next – Coyote Ugly.

A couple of weeks ago, on this blog, I introduced you to my new chicken, Persephone. What none of us knew then was exactly how obsessed with her one might become. And by one, of course, I mean me.

Let’s back this up a few steps. You all know that I think chickens are assholes. Well, it turns out that only LIVE chickens are assholes. Dead or fake chickens are actually quite fun. Earlier this summer I participated in a photo shoot with the most amazing Marc Turnley (NSFW link, btw). Marc is this awesome photographer that I know. He really knows how to make a girl feel so comfortable that she can really and truly be herself — even if herself is slightly (ok a lot) strange. Well, it just so happened that there was a taxidermy chicken around that night and we had a lot of fun with it. The resulting photos are amazing, but I’m not quite ready to share them.

Now let’s segue to my discovery of The Bloggess and her five foot tall metal chicken Beyonce. I have never laughed/cried/snorted so hard in my life. And then there was the magical moment when I first laid eyes on Persephone. She called to me and I knew I had to have her.

Since then, Persephone (who has her very own knife and a rockin’ personality) has been very active. She’s watched (and snarked on Facebook about) Project Runway with some of my college friends:

And now she has accompanied G and I on vacation! Here are a selection of photos from Persephone’s beach vacation so far:

Packing a few books for the beach.

Seatbelted in and ready to roll!

Having some boiled peanuts from a roadside stand in Dothan, Alabama.

Checking out the Florida welcome center.

All unpacked and ready to party!

Hogging the Cheetos after a long night (brr that air conditioning is cold.

Still on Persephone’s to-do list are a day at the beach and dancing on the bar at Coyote Ugly. Photos to follow!

{August 12, 2011}   Jesus was a Minotaur

1) Actual conversation G and I had today:

b: What do you want for your birthday?
G: A grill pan.
b: Not a tattoo? You’d be hotter with more tattoos.
G: I’m not hot now?
b: You’re hot enough.
G: You’re an asshole.
b: You love it.
G: I thought of a tattoo I want, but you won’t like it.
b: What?
G: A bible verse.
b: I’m not paying for that shit.
G: Fruits of the spirit.
b: I know you love Jesus and all, but since I think he’s a mythical creature…shit! That’s my next blog title: Jesus was a Minotaur.
G: Yeah. I guess Minotaurs are mythical (pause) enough.
b: Shut up. What about a pin-up girl?
G: I’ll think about it.

Now that I’ve introduced the topic, meet Jesus, the Minotaur.

I chose this photo because I thought it had a reasonable resemblance (look at that robe) and because this Minotaur is kind of sexy (what?) and because it came from an interview with/about the Pixies. I effing love the Pixies.

Speaking of bands I effing love(d), Jani Lane of Warrant died yesterday. This makes me sad. I was a huge Warrant fan back in the day. People just don’t understand the greatness of 80s hair bands these days. I could lie and say that I didn’t have the poster (below) hanging on my wall in the 8th grade, but we’d both know that I was lying and that would defeat the point. I see a drunken karaoke version of Sometimes She Cries in my near future. This one’s for you, Jani…

{August 10, 2011}   Paging Doctor Haldol

We’ve talked about the fact that I may have a screw or two loose before, haven’t we? I hope so, because if not this is going to come as a total surprise.

Here is the conversation I just had with G over text message:

G: You don’t remember me coming home last night, huh?
b: Um, I vaguely remember you kissing my neck.
G: I got home 30+ minutes before that. You threatened to stab me for not laying correctly.
b: Um…what?
G: Yeah. You actually reached for the knife, which is why it was on your dresser this morning. I removed it from under the mattress.
b: Um…sorry?

Yeah. That just happened. Anyone for a sleepover?

1) I feel like I’d be way happier if I was sitting at my desk, sharpening my knife on a whetstone today. The sound of the knife scraping along the stone would be so Zen. What? Don’t judge. I think this photo, given to me by the lovely Leslie, best sums up my feelings about today:

2) I had some delicious ass food last night. G deep fried some fresh-from-BFF-Lauren’s-Mom’s-garden eggplant while I sauteed up some brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes and tossed them in dijon mustard and fresh squeezed lemon juice. We topped the meal off with G’s cuppa cuppa cuppa peach cobbler still warm from the oven. It was heaven. All that wine I drank while/during/after cooking didn’t hurt either. Here’s some photos:

3) Thanks to increasingly good friend RouxBarb, I fell head over ass over ulnar nerve in love with The Bloggess this last week. I think I want to be her when I grow up. Except I can’t, because I’m just not that funny. Seriously. I snorted. A lot. And leaked out of my eyes. A lot. As a result, I now have my very own slightly murdery chicken, Persephone.

My chicken will cut you.

4) The new topic I’ve been obsessing over/discussing ad nauseam with everyone who will listen is: Are readers born or made? I’m a reader. I always have been. I even remember the first book that made me cry (A Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace) that I bought at the Book Fair in elementary school). My nephews, however, are not readers. This makes me sad. I want to them to be readers. At minimum, I want one of them to be a reader. To this end we always have reading time when they are at my house and I keep buying them books. I just got an awesome one for my oldest nephew (Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen) and I’m really hoping it will be the book that pushes him over the edge into readership. Fingers crossed.

Now, about that whetstone…

{July 13, 2011}   Murder by Bacon

I know that some of my friends don’t eat/like bacon and I can respect that, but at my house tonight we accidentally celebrated Decatur Baconfest 2011. You see, G had the day off and was scheduled to make some salmon and turnip greens. Then, the unthinkable happened: Adele/Big Fattie/Kit Kat, the half-wild black kitten we’re babysitting disappeared. G spent two hours tearing the ENTIRE HOUSE apart (even though she’s been confined to the spare room until she is adjusted). He was so worried, that I left work an hour early to do my own thorough search (let’s just say I’ve lost a cat or two – temporarily – and felt I was an expert). I searched and I searched and I…didn’t find her.

So, I did what any self-respecting gal would do. I grabbed a bottle of wine out of the fridge and a glass from the shelf and said, “I’ll be on the couch drinking this while you make dinner.” And make dinner he did. We ended up eating salmon with bacon braised greens and bacon brown rice.

G made a dill compound butter to slather on the salmon pre-roast, cooked up some brown basmati rice flavored with bacon grease and then braised some turnip greens (minus that slug he had to wash off that one leaf, hazards of shopping at the farmer’s market where EVERYTHING is fresh) and spinach in bacon grease. He piled it on the plate and garnished with — wait for it — bacon crumbles!!

I’d show you a picture, but I was way to busy scarfing (or as one of my most favorite authors, Karin Slaughter, said in her book tour blog — “nomming” it) to take a photo. She’s not only an amazing murder mystery writer, but she’s also an engaging speaker, a real champion of libraries and HILARIOUS. As a bonus, she lives right here in my very own city!! Fingers crossed that I’ll run into her one day and can be a tongue tied fan or her new bff (whichever she prefers).

p.s. we found the kitty, but we lost a few baseboards in the process.

{July 9, 2011}   YDFM Lovefest

I can’t even begin to tell you how great it is to live back near Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market. Not only can you get $150 worth of groceries for $60, but it also has such a huge variety of food! I’ve been going to YDFM each weekend and have been happily up to my eyebrows in fresh produce. This has, of course, inspired me to cook.

This morning, I noticed that I had several bananas and two mangos that were super ripe (and on the verge of being over ripe). What to do? What to do? Oh yeah, let’s make something. G is working tonight, so I sat down and Googled “mango banana” to see what kinds of recipes were out there. I found a few that looked good and prepared for greatness.

All decked out in my favorite apron (pardon the mess on top of the fridge, cabinet space is limited).

The first recipe is for Banana Mango Bread. I didn’t have any walnuts at the house, so I used sliced almonds. I also made mini-loaves instead of making two big loaves so that I can give them out at work next week. Other than those two tweaks, I used the recipe as is and man is it good. It’s so moist and flavorful. I could have eaten the batter raw…and maybe I did, but that’s neither here nor there. See how well they turned out:

Delicious Mango-Banana Loaves, hot from the oven!

I still had one banana and one mango left on the shelf that needed using, so I whipped up a batch of Mango-Banana Frozen Yogurt. I peeled and pureed the mango and banana and mixed it together with one container of 0% fat vanilla Greek yogurt, one teaspoon vanilla and two tablespoons of honey. I poured that mixture into the ice cream maker and voila!

Healthy and delicous!

Needless to say G will be one happy boy when he gets home tonight. Do you shop at the farmer’s market? What has it inspired you to make?

{July 8, 2011}   Chickens Are Assholes

Don’t give me that look. It’s true. Chickens are assholes. I know because when I was little, we had chickens and it was my job to gather the eggs. First, you had to make sure the rooster was no where to be seen, because those spurs on his legs aren’t decorations. Assuming you evade death by rooster, you then have to sneak up on the hens and ever so gently slip your hand under their roosting bodies and snatch that egg real quick like. If you aren’t quick enough, that asshole chicken is going to peck you. Hard.

That being said, I still wish I had a couple of chickens…and maybe a milk cow.

I kicked off my birth week on Saturday with a hat-themed, all ladies birthday brunch at Rosebud. I think the photo below, from Blunt Card (my new favorite website), sums up the plan for the day:

There were twelve of us altogether and let me start by saying that the staff at Rosebud is just awesome.  We had two more people than anticipated (12 instead of 10), but even on a busy Saturday, they wrangled things around so that we could all fit and be accommodated at our original reservation time. Our waiter was awesome and just the right amount of attentive. The drinks were flowing freely, the food was amazing and boy-o-boy did our hats draw some attention. I’m pretty sure a good time was had by all. I certainly enjoyed it.

Group photo time -- we were still missing two ladies at this point. Thanks to RouxBarb for the photo!

Let me stop at this point to mention the fact that I have a lot of really awesome lady friends. It’s so nice to be surrounded by a group of strong, independent women in their 30s-40s-50s (mom). You should all be so lucky. I used to be one of those girls who had more guy friends than girlfriends and that was great in my twenties, but as we (women) grow up (and older), I think it’s super important to have a circle of girlfriends on whom you can depend (even if it’s just knowing that you can depend on them for a good time!).

I’ll spend the rest of my birth week celebrating with family (mom, dad and the nephews will come up on the actual day for some mexican and margaritas at my long-time favorite Los Loros); going to see one of my favorite authors, Karin Slaughter, with G at a book signing (nice of her to arrange the Atlanta leg of her tour for my birth week); getting the nephews overnight on Saturday (Atlanta History Center here we come!) and capping it off with anAtlanta Braves‘ home game on July 4 – complete with fireworks (again, nice of them to do that during my birth week).

And yes. I know that’s more than a week of activities, but birth week sounds so much better than birth nine days AND I don’t like math, remember?

So, thirty-four here I come. I’m rolling out all the stops to welcome you, so you better treat me right!

et cetera