Magnolia May Sickles passed away peacefully around 10:05 am on January 5, 2022, surrounded by Peyton, Dolly, and Matt. She had a stroke mid-morning on January 4 and went downhill rapidly. She was a good girl and beloved member of our family. Our hearts are broken with the loss of the tiniest love of our lives, but we are all the better for having loved and been loved by this sweet girl. She is buried in her favorite meadow beneath the crabapple tree, with her sisters Penelope Butter up and Rosemary Violet, who preceded her in death. She was fourteen-and-a-half.
We’re big community volunteers at my house, which typically translates to a combination elbow grease, boosting the signal, working as community advocates, and fundraising. I’ve been helping the Chatham Cares Community Pharmacy with grants and fundraising since mid-summer, and wanted to put the plea out into the universe: if you’ve got money to donate this year, please consider Chatham Cares Community Pharmacy. They’ve got a bright, new, shiny PayPal donation page now, so flex your e-muscles and help someone in your community obtain the lifesaving prescriptions they need.
It may come as a surprise to learn that every county in North Carolina has a free pharmacy. Some counties have more than one, depending on need, but Chatham has just one – Chatham Cares Community Pharmacy. It operates on an efficient budget of less than $150,000, employs one full-time person, one part-time person, five volunteer pharmacists, and serves about 350 Chathamites a year.
I wrote about them in the Chatham News & Record last week. Over the weekend the pharmacy will have its only fundraiser, the Celebration of Lights, which should be pretty. Event information is available at the Chatham News & Record, IndyWeek, and Chatham Magazine.
With my literary grant award, I donated copies of Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen to four elementary school libraries and three public libraries; and copies of Mine By Design to three public libraries. All right here in Chatham County.
Special thanks to the Chatham Arts Council, naming sponsors MOSAIC and Chatham Park, along with Main Street Pittsboro and the Pittsboro Business Association, who let the event piggyback onto the culmination of Chatham County’s 250th yearlong celebration.
*This photo from the Chatham Arts Council.
I’m super stoked to have an essay on gratitude in the Winter edition of Chatham Magazine. When you get a moment, check it out. Remember that kindness doesn’t cost a thing, and gratitude is a state of mind. It might even be a superpower.
I was honored to be one of the recipients of a 2021 Chatham Arts Council JumpstART grant for my literary project, which donated copies of Peggy Noodle, Hula Hoop Queen to four elementary schools and three libraries, and copies of Mine By Design to three libraries in the county. Now, the county is celebrating the recipient artists at the Chatham Experience on November 7, 2021.
I’ll be doing a reading from Peggy Noodle, and signing copies of this fun, pocket-size book. I may even have some hula hoops for sale. If you’re a supporter of the arts, I’m especially thankful for your efforts to continue making the world a more artful place during the pandemic.
Me and Rah-Rah had an exciting day in Durham today, spending some time at Leighroy’s station, having a tour (wahoo!), and delivering a bunch of cookies! Rosemary shortbread, along with M&M, treasure chest, oatmeal raisin, and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Check out how capable our girl looks — and actually is. What a day! We even had time for lunch at Guglhupf on the way home. I mean …
This week we did something fun and different with our friends and family … I hosted an online cook along! It was so fun, even with our small group. We were small but mighty! On the menu was an old family favorite (mango chutney), with an amended protein (jerk chicken instead of roasted shrimp). Everything together was divine.
– 2 chicken breasts or 4-6 boneless thighs
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper
– 1/2 tsp allspice
– 1 tsp thyme
– 1 Tbsp brown sugar
– 1 large garlic clove, minced
– 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
– Juice of 1 lime
Marinate chicken in a bag (do this step in the morning), if they’re larger pieces, pound them a bit so they’ll cook more evenly. We cooked them together on the stovetop. I used an old iron skillet we refer to as “the utensil.” This is always tasty when grilled.
– 1 champagne mango, diced small
– 1 cucumber, seeded and diced small
– 1 red pepper, seeded and diced small
– 1/4 yellow onion, minced
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp pepper
– 1/4 tsp curry
– 1/2 tsp cilantro
Add all ingredients in a small bowl, stir and set aside as you begin cooking.
– 1 c Cous cous
– 1-1/4 c chicken stock
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– Pinch of salt and pepper
Cook according to package directions.
– Butter lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
– 4 Tbsp olive oil
– 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
– 1 Tbsp agave
– 2 tsp lime juice
– 1/4 tsp cilantro
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp pepper
Whisk all ingredients and dress the salad just before you serve it.
What fun activities do you do with your family and friends to pass the time?
Check out my rooster, Willie Nelson. He’s a seven-week barred rock rooster from down the way. He’s a big baby, hides behind my legs when our Rhode Island Red hens pick on him, lets us pick him up and love on him, and chirps like Beaker from The Muppets. He’s BFF’s with Lady Gaga. In conclusion: he’s dreamy.
Me and Rah-Rah made a quick stop for lunch at our old trusty Belted Goat today. It’s the perfect spot between home and the Big City, particularly when we’re running errands. Once lunch was done, we re-donned our masks and got in some steps through Fearrington. It was hot, but refreshing.
We’ve never found the task of making our own adventures daunting, so when Mr. Sickles got us a MasterCard cooking experience with Marcus Samuelsson, we were excited. On the one hand, we’re big cooks at my house. On the other, we’re southerners who’ve probably eaten our weight ten-times over in shrimp & grits. But this time it was different, the recipe was new and the ingredients unexpected. The whole shebang was fun, my mini me came over to participate, and we all enjoyed the evening.