If you’re looking for a good place to make a donation as the year comes to a close, I encourage you to find the free pharmacy in your county. I’m the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Chatham Cares Community Pharmacy, and we’re doing great, important work in central North Carolina. We were awarded the Humanitarian Award from our local NAACP chapter last week, which is super exciting. On December 3, our big annual fundraiser, the Celebration of Lights, will be held. It’s free, but if you’d like to purchase luminaries in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one, 100% of the donations go to free prescriptions for our clients. Spread the word, and do good stuff in your community!
My son is a freelance photojournalist, and he’s been killing it lately. Last week at the 2022 North Carolina Press Association Awards, he took home two awards personally, and his community newspaper raked in a whopping 31.
Last month I had to cancel my daily subscriptions to the News & Observer, NYTimes, and USAToday because our newspaper distribution guy, Ben, was so inconsistent. We missed nearly forty percent of our papers, and it broke my heart. But Peyton, like me, is a journalist and in this industry. My dissatisfaction with the distribution asshole is no reflection on my support and interest in hardworking journalists. Truthful, vetted news from truthful, vetted news sources is crucial to correct information being disseminated in the community. Peyton’s accomplishments bolster my opinion of the importance of real news, and make me a prouder mom than usual because he has embarked on a career of truth telling that is often difficult. The way he sees and captures the world is a game changer
So, Bravo Peyton!
- First Place – Siler City Controlled Burn
- Second Place – Cyclist Chuck Gillis
Support your local news outlets, y’all. Support the truth.
*Thanks to publisher Bill Horner III for this spectacular photo of Peyton.
Today we’re celebrating our 28th anniversary. We’re the atomic number of Nickel, the atomic mass of Silicon. We’re the standard number of tiles in a box of dominoes. Our binary representation is 00011100, and if we were a 28-sided polygon, we’d be called an icosikaioctagon.
But when you delve deeper, you’ll see that we’ve worked hard to have a good, happy, adventurous life together. We’ve raised the world’s most amazing son. We’ve raised and survived the world’s best dogs, Penelope and Maggie … and most recently added Daisy Marlalade to the family. We’ve got both of our mothers. We’ve got our sweet LeighRoy. Life is good. We’re so fortunate, and we’re so thankful. And 28 years is a huge fucking deal!
Well, our hearts were broken on January 5 when our sweet Maggie May died, but a couple weeks ago we adopted a new little Jack Russel Terrier, Daisy Marmalade. She’s a firecracker!
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.
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.
That’s 3x3x3. Three-cubed. The Trinity of Trinities. We are the atomic number of cobalt. 27% of the universe is dark matter. The width of a tennis court is 27 feet wide. There are 27 cubes in a Rubik’s cube. Uranus has 27 moons. The Twenty-Seven club includes some of the greatest musicians, including Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. Eddie Izzard ran 27 marathons in 27 days. Mozart was born on January 27 and produced 27 piano concertos and 27 concert arias. 27 is the only positive integer that’s three times the sum of its digits … like my family. We are the sum of our members, and we Sickles Three are mighty thankful for our health, happiness, and optimism.
Twenty-seven is a big deal. I’m proud of us!
Photo: Peyton Sickles
I drove my cousin crazy a couple weeks ago when I posted a photo of a SPAM and egg biscuit. So when he and his family were relocating cross-country for the Coast Guard, they spent a couple of days with us in the meadow. Chief among his requests was a SPAM day. And thus was born our First Annual Family SPAM Day Extravaganza. We started out simple this year: SPAM and egg biscuits, with eggs from our girls. Next year we’re going to try fancy SPAM recipes, and to see if we can add more cousins and friends to the day. There’s a real SPAM day, but I think our extravaganza is going to be better because it’s us. Just saying.