This leopard blazer sweater from JCrew is probably my favorite addition to my closet this fall. I rented one similar to it from Rent the Runway last year and I’m glad to own one now.
I dislike wearing my hair up but a woman waiting in line for the bathroom with me last night told me I “look like Lady Gaga” so that was a nice perk and I’ll take it. If I DO wear it up I think a headband def helps. This is also from JCrew.
Of course it’s only appropriate to wear Jersey City shirts while away from Jersey City, and this is one of my old favorites from Kanibal.
The pants are linen pants and they’re pretty loose. I’ve gained a lot of weight in the past 6 months so loose is the way to go when it comes to pants, thanks.
Glad to be back talking about my outfits think I’ll do it some more soon you’re welcome.
Beyond my favorite Bright Eyes song, “Road to Joy” (based on “Ode to Joy,” by some other music guy), this is also an Ode to Joy.
Because it is Joy’s bday! She was born in 1958. You do the math. It’s already making my head hurt. It’s 60 something or something.
I know you didn’t think Joy was a day over 32. Because she isn’t.
Here is the Ode to Joy.
Today is the shortest, darkest day of the year and it’s the first day of winter and it’s very cold. I don’t know how Joy ended up being born in this day because I’m sure she hates everything about it. Also that it’s so close to Xmas and an Xmas bday means less attention on your actual bday and that is truly a travesty.
Joy was born in the cozy New Jersey river town of Lambertville. Who the heck knows what it was like down there back then but now it’s super cute and filled with art galleries and restaurants that they write about in the New York Times. So therefore it’s expensive AF.
One night when Joy was a small baby she was crying a lot and wouldn’t go to sleep. She was demanding that she be removed from her crib and taken downstairs. A few minutes after she was removed from her crib and taken downstairs, HER ROOM GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AND CAUGHT ON FIRE. THERE ARE OLD NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS OF HER BURNED UP ROOM AND CRIB. This was always insane to me. Like…she knew her room would get struck by lighting. She had to have known!
My mom and her parents and brothers and sister lived right outside the actual town of Lambertville in what they all still refer to as “The House on the Hill.” It is a house, and it is on a hill. But no one in their family lives there anymore.
Joy’s family was pretty much Lambertville famous. According to Joy and to anyone we ever run into that she grew up with, they ran that town. They also had a huge pool and handsome black labs and all kinds of cool stuff that “fell off the back of a truck.” I mean it sounds like it was the good life.
Joy played field hockey at South Hunterdon High School and they won a state championship. I hate field hockey but I’m glad Joy enjoyed it.
Also in high school one of their handsome black labs got shot and killed by a random hunter. Because this was Hunterdon County in the 70s and there were hunters and drunk drivers and crazed farmers just running about willy-nilly. This is sad and shitty and not great to mention on her bday but since we’re talking about High School Joy I think it’s nice to mention his doggy life cut short here. Pour one out for Blackie 1, he was very handsome and sweet, according to photos and tales told by Joy.
She has always been a lover of dogs and all animals (except cats) and passed that down to all of us. Except I do like cats. Now Joy is a mother of dragons. Because chickens are actually dragons. Have you ever seen their feet?!
When Joy grew up she went to “work for the state” in Trenton. I still don’t fully know what kind of “work” she did for the “state” but she always refers to this time as “when I worked for the state.” Joy…what were you doing for the state? The people want to know.
One time we visited where she used to “work for the state” and I just remember her old pals from “working for the state” were very kind to us and gave us office supplies to play with even though office supplies aren’t toys and I made a necklace out of paper clips and it was a real prize.
When we were growing up, Joy didn’t have time for our bullshit. If we were acting like dicks and annoying her about making us dinner and constantly asking what our dinner was gonna be she would eventually yell, “IT IS SHIT AND TAMPONS, OK?!” Which is gross but she couldn’t take us being annoying dicks anymore. Which is understandable.
Because Joy made every single one of our meals and snacks. She was pretty much Betty Crocker and Mary Poppins and whoever else you can think of in that category of gals that take care of people all rolled into one. She’s good at being a mom, like the TV and movie definition of a perfect mom, that’s Joy. She takes care of us and watches out for us and cares about us and we’re fully and blissfully aware that she cares about us and she always put us first. It’s really good to see her put herself first more now that we’re (kinda) grownups. Like yaaas Joy get that cool thing you want, go on that cool trip, get mani/pedis and live it UP. Because you really put in like, ALL THE WORK FOR 35 YEARS.
JK though because Joy’s work is never done. She still does so much for us, and our new family members that have come along, by birth and marriage. And force. When she goes on trips she still makes LeXX “TV dinners” so he has something to eat each day that she is gone. NOW THAT IS SERVICE.
Joy loves to party and have fun and laugh and smile. That doesn’t mean she’s always happy, because NO ONE is always happy. But she tries to be! I try to be too, I think she taught me that.
Hopefully today she enjoys some wine and bread and cheese instead of birthday cake. She doesn’t like sweets and don’t even ask her why. SHE JUST DOES NOT LIKE THEM OK.
I tried not to make this too long because Joy DOES NOT LIKE OR APPROVE OF A LONG READ.
I hope Joy has the best birthday today! If you see her, tell her happy bday! Love you Joy! ❤️
Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. Maybe you already knew that, but it is. I actually question if you all DID know that, because the fourth Thursday in November was late AF this year and I saw a lot of people being super confused about it. Just like, stumbling down the street, not knowing which day the fourth Thursday of November is. Don’t be ashamed, it’s okay. Actually no, be ashamed. You’re a dumb dumb.
It’s the fourth Thursday in November. Not the third.
Sometimes I think of this blog as simply an extension of my Instagram and that’s how I’m going to treat it today. An expanded canvas for sharing some shit that happens on my Thanksgiving every year. Or happened specifically this year, on this fourth Thursday in November.
I love Thanksgiving because it is simply and blatantly and unabashedly and only about food. You can say that it’s about like “giving thanks” or “being with family” but you are doing both or either of those things because the food brought you there. It called to you and convinced you to leave your home or invite people to your home. You came for the food. And that’s okay! Just let it happen. Just enjoy the food. You’re celebrating the harvest, after all.
The harvest that we have available to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year because we live in a first world country. But a harvest, nonetheless.
My niece and nephew, aka my brother’s family, come to my parent’s house every other year and this was a off year so we had a bit less stress and running around the morning of because I guess my mom doesn’t really give a crap about much if they’re not here. Which like…cool.
Because we had time to go on a walk by the river in the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park and get some fresh air and exercise. I think that’s really important to do before you eat everything in front of your face within a 10 foot radius for 5 hours straight.
Once home, it was time for coffee and Bailey’s and then to get dressed and prettied up and then do a whole list of other shit.
The first thing I need to get done this year was a chicken photo shoot. You knew that was coming. It was chilly and windy outside but the chickie gals seemed amenable to photos. Kind of.
Following the chicken photo shoot, I did my yearly preparation of the cheesy bread. As I’ve said before I haven’t always been much of a cook and I’m still not but I’m more open to learning now. My previously established role of “cheesy bread maker” involves my mom preparing the bread dough (however that happens) and then providing me with the dough, cheese, and muffin tins to put the cheesy bread into to get it ready to cook. Which she then does.
This requires minimal effort from me, and I made a timelapse.
You may see me exit during the cheesy bread making, and it’s because my dad called from the living room, “OMG SHAN GET OUT HERE RIGHT NOW!” And I ran out and he was watching the Easton/PBurg football game on live TV and this seemed like a big deal. This high school football game has been happening on the fourth Thursday of November since 1933 and it is insane. It is a LEGENDARY rivalry (apparently it ended in a straight up FRACAS this year?!) I do hate sports but there’s something about rivalries that encompass ENTIRE TOWNS in TWO DIFFERENT STATES that just feels impressive to me. I encourage you to read more about both of those places because they’re a TRIP. Actually hold that thought, I’ll write more about them and you can read about it here. Not today though.
After the cheesy bread was prepared I had to set the table. I have no idea how to set a table like “the right way” and I pretty much just wing it so who knows if this is correct.
Perhaps I could have googled it before I did it but I didn’t. I googled it just now but I didn’t read this. But if you read it you’ll know how to set a table better than me and you can hold that over my head forever, I’ll allow it.
Once the table was set it was TIME. FOR. MIMOSAS. Because mimosas are everything, when drinking in the day. My mom gets these little tiny baby orange juices from her school because she’s a lunch lady and half of one is perfect for a mimosa-sized OJ dose. Personally I used a quarter of one, if you’re counting.
My sister and her boyfriend arrived and then my grandma and my uncle, and it was time for cheese and crackers. Which frankly may be one of my most favorite times. We drank our mimosas and waters and black cherry sodas and green apple cider (but like beer cider) and red wines and ate cheese and crackers and talked about shit.
And then it was time for “dinner” but it was like 2 in the afternoon but either way it was time.
I chose pineapple stuffing my sister made, au gratin potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cheesy bread (THE FRUIT OF MY LABOR!), and white meat turkey. I don’t like dark meat turkey because it is slimy and slippery and awful. I’m entitled to that opinion.
Also, I had a difficult time with turkey today because the Audubon Society’s Instagram was full of awesome wild turkey facts this week and they made me feel really weird about eating turkey today. So I just had a nibble. And I’m sorry turkeys of the world, and of the wild. Did you know turkeys are like OG AMERICANS? I knew that but not everyone at work did when I told them the other day so just making sure you know. You’re welcome.
Following the dinner foods I had some pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream. My mom got 3 pies but I’m not huge on pie so I just ate the pumpkin. I brought cookies from the Milkbar flagship too! And the cookies were enjoyed. IMMENSELY. BY ALL.
After the ceremonial stuffing of faces I challenged my sister and her boyfriend to a “Planksgiving” activity that I was inspired to do by Taylor at JaneDO in Jersey City.
AND I WON. I AM THE STRONGEST.
Recently my boyfriend didn’t help me lift someone drunk up out of his hot tub because he was too busy looking on and saying “Shannon is strong, she can do it…watch!” And I am, in fact, strong. And they did, in fact, watch.
And they all went home to their families on this fourth Thursday of November and told their families about it, I just know it. And then I won Planksgiving forever.
After the meal and the fun and the planking, we gathered all of the dirty dishes into a laundry basket so my mom could forget about them until tomorrow. It’s a real tradition here and it’s nice for my mom. Or dad because he usually washes them. But always tomorrow because who needs to deal with that shit today.
As my leftover meal I made these sliders with cheesy bread, pepper jack cheese, white meat turkey, and strawberry/jalapeño jelly. They were fantastic.
How was your Thanksgiving? Happy Thanksgiving, by the way! I hope it was grand. Did you also do Planksgiving? What is your fav food to eat? Did you eat until you felt sick? I’m really glad I didn’t do that. I’ll say it again for the cheap seats. Any time I don’t eat until I feel sick when that much food is available is a real victory. But I AM tired. Bye.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.