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Friday, April 28, 2023

A recipe, another bird picture, and what I've been watching...

 Two posts in one week?  Look at me blogging like it's 2013!

I saw a recipe on TikTok for a salad earlier in the week and tweaked it a little and made it my own and ate it twice in one day - it's that good - so I thought I would share.

Here it is before I mixed it up so you could see all the lovely ingredients:

Here it is after I dressed it and mixed it:



  • Greens of choice (first time I made it I used spring greens, the second time romaine)
  • Chickpeas (drained, room temperature)
  • Avocado
  • Feta
  • Pickled Onions
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt, pepper, Tajin

I just threw everything into the bowl, added a generous amount of the olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and then added salt and pepper to taste (the chickpeas need the salt) and because I absolute love Tajin, I tossed a little of that on top as well to give it a little kick. 

This was so delicious that I didn't need any other dressing.  That's huge for me because normally I like a lot of a creamy (usually Ranch) dressing on a salad to make it palatable. But this was delicious without a creamy dressing and healthy. I'll be eating this again...I'm just out of feta.

In other news, LOOK...

The mama bird is feeding her baby!  Isn't this the cutest thing???? (Although, at first glance, it appears that she's eating her baby...)

Before Dan left on his trip we watched a couple of episodes of Jury Duty. It's on Amazon Prime/Freevee.   It's a staged/reality show.  The premise is that there's a trial but a camera crew is filming everything to show people what it's like to be on jury duty.  Everyone is an actor except one person who is just an ordinary guy who thinks he's actually there for jury duty.  So far it's pretty funny and I'm ready for Dan to get back home so we can watch more.

And also while he's been gone I have finished up season four of Love is Blind.  I really do enjoy that show!  I used to really like the Bachelor but this show is so much better.  And now I'm just waiting for season 5 - which won't air until the end of the year.  I guess that gives me something to look forward to.

Happy Friday everyone! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

A concert, the beach, and a baby!

We've been busy-ish around here! Last Friday, Sarah came home after class because she hadn't seen Joe in three weeks. She originally planned to go to Raleigh on Friday because there was a big end of semester party called Wolfstock planned.  Lots of events, bands, food trucks, etc.  But the father of a friend of Joe's passed away suddenly so Joe came home to attend the funeral.  They did manage a late dinner together on Friday night and then they headed to Raleigh together late Saturday afternoon after the funeral.  They made it in time to see the closing band which is the band they were most excited to see.  Sarah sent me this picture of the two of them at the concert:

Last Thursday after class, Peter and his fraternity brothers headed to the beach for their formal but before they left, they had a fundraiser for the Raleigh Boys Club.  It was called Dunk-A-DEK. Students paid money to dunk the guys and all the money raised went to the Boys Club.  

Here's Peter doing his part:

And here's his view from last weekend:

Not going to lie...I was extremely jealous but he had a blast and I got to live vicariously through him.

I asked him to send me the group picture of everyone all dressed up and he texted me this:

I immediately texted him back telling him that this picture is absolutely horrible.  Half the people aren't even looking at the camera and even if they were it's too far away!  He responded with a laughing until crying emoji.  I'm sure (maybe) there's a better photo of the group somewhere but if there is, I'll probably never see it. He did send me this one over the weekend but it's only a small portion of the guys in his fraternity. Oh well...

When he returned from the beach, he texted me this picture:

It's hard to see but in the left-hand corner is the BABY BIRDIE!!!!!! It hatched while he was at the beach.  I was bummed he didn't get to see it but I'm so excited there's a baby!

On Saturday morning, I attended a ladies luncheon at Union Grove Baptist Church. My friend Kim was hosting a table.  It was a lovely morning.  We had a delicious meal, listened to a wonderful speaker, and there were door prizes galore!  It was such a nice morning.  (And I say this even though I did not win a door prize.)


On Saturday evening, Dan and I went to Mass and then had dinner at a new restaurant downtown, Twisted Pine.  It was really yummy!  We started with the cheese curd appetizer.  It was delicious.  I've never had cheese curds so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I'm not sure if these were 100% authentic cheese curds but we ate every single one of them!

And yesterday was Jennifer's 50th birthday so I had lunch at work with her.  I took zero pictures because you know how I am but it was great being able to spend a little time with her on her milestone birthday!

Dan is back in Ireland.  He's basically going to be there for the majority of the spring and summer. Peter will be done with exams next week and will come home for a week so I'll have a little company.  He's still trying to decide where he wants to spend his summer - here or in Raleigh.  

Sarah will be done with exams the following week and she will be home for the summer working as a lifeguard.  She's excited to be able to see all of her friends regularly for the summer and she's also excited to just relax.  I'm excited for any and all time I get to spend with my kids!

And that's what we've been up to!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Emerging Leaders Program Graduation

Emerging Leaders is a UNC Charlotte program founded in 1980 that offers a select group of first-year, first-time UNC Charlotte students the opportunity to develop leadership skills, while making friends and having a great time. 

Back in September, Sarah applied to the Emerging Leaders program. After the application process, there were in person interviews in October and she was accepted!   

In November the group of 70 kids met twice before the end of the semester and then things started in full swing in January with an overnight retreat where they were broken up into PAL (Peer Advised Learning) groups. The PAL leaders were students that had previously completed the Emerging Leaders program. 

In addition to the retreat, there were 12 socials through out the semester where they got to get to know one another and for 4 months they had weekly workshops where they covered topics like conflict management, effective communication, goal setting, event planning, etc.  

And at the beginning of this month, each of the PAL groups had to plan and execute a service project that would benefit the community. After the projects the groups had to present the project to the rest of the Emerging Leaders.

Sarah's group had to create a project based on education.  (I don't remember the exact parameters.) They reached out to area elementary schools to see if they could read to the kids or help the teachers in some way.  They finally got things set up with a school 15 minutes from campus.  They went in and read to the kindergartners and also listened to them read as well. Then they ate lunch with them in the cafeteria.  Sarah said the kids were so cute and loved the extra attention and gave them all hugs as they were leaving.

In addition to the onsite volunteering they had to leave something with the school so each of her group members created brochures on different topics.  Sarah's brochure was on creating good study habits.  It turned out great!  (The brochures were for the older elementary kids.)

The main purpose of the project was to put into practice everything they had been learning at their different workshops throughout the semester. 

On Saturday, they had graduation from the program.  It was remote for parents but the students enjoyed a brunch and then awards and then got their diplomas.  Here are a few pictures Sarah sent me:

The whole group!


This is Sarah with her PAL leader, Salvatore. 

This is her PAL group.

Sarah really enjoyed this program and is so glad she applied.  She learned a lot, met a bunch of great people, and has even applied to be a PAL for next year. She also gained a lot of confidence in addition to everything she learned.  (I think she was really proud of herself after giving the project presentation to over 70 people. That's the most people she's ever spoken in front of before.) I'm really proud of my girl...she's taking every opportunity that comes her way and she's making the most out of her time in college.  (And in a few weeks she'll be home for the whole summer! Yippee!)

Monday, April 17, 2023

Our family group chat is more exciting than yours....

 On Thursday, April 6th, Peter texted the family group chat the following:

This pigeon has been roosting there for the past three days! He comes in the mornings and leaves in the evening.

("There" is outside of his bedroom window.)

Dan asked Peter if the bird brought any nest stuff  and Peter responded that he wasn't sure if he was trying to make a nest because there isn't much room on the window sill. 

And then being the annoying "bird lady" that I am, I informed him that it's a dove and not a pigeon (even though they are in the same family).

Then later than same evening, he sent us THIS picture:

Sarah responded with "He is a she!"

And then Peter let us know he wanted to name the bird Tony but now needed a new name.  Sarah suggested Tammy and I suggested Toni.  Not sure if Peter ever officially named her or not.

Every couple of days he sends me an update picture with the dove laying on the egg.  

I researched it briefly (and of course "researched" means "googled" but still...)

Apparently doves often build their nests on windowsills with very little nest material.  If you see in the picture about there's some twigs but nothing that looks like what I consider an actual bird's nest. 

The nesting period is 12 - 15 days so we could be seeing a baby dove one day this week.  

Typically they have 2 eggs in each clutch so I'm not sure what happened to the other one.  

I'm extremely excited to see if this egg hatches and how long it stays on the windowsill! 

And don't worry...I'll keep you all posted! :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Easter 2023

Earlier last week, Dan mentioned that he noticed I hadn't written a new blog post lately.  My reply was that I had time to write one but nothing to really interesting to write about.  Does the internet really care about my birds or my knocking around in an empty house looking for something to do that doesn't involve cleaning anything?  I think not!

But - my kids were home this weekend so you know I have to document that.  (And while I'm here, you know I'm going to briefly mention my feathered friends.  You've been warned!)

Sarah didn't have class on Friday so she came home on Thursday evening.  She slept in on Friday morning and look who showed up while she was sleeping! My first hummingbird of the season!!

Friday was a cold, rainy, dreary day - very fitting for Good Friday I think. Sarah and I headed to the mall with Dan in tow because he had the day off work.  She needed a few spring items for her wardrobe.  I think by the second store, Dan regretted joining us.  But he persevered.  He took advantage of all the seating OUTSIDE of the stores we visited.  Forever 21, American Eagle, and H&M had lots of cute stuff and she found a few things.  It was a good trip.

After the mall, we headed to church for the 3:00 service and when we got home from that, Peter was waiting on us!  It was so very nice to have my babies under the same roof for a couple of nights!

Sarah had a big test this week so she spent a lot of time studying this weekend but on Friday night we watched Catch Me If You Can.  It was quite enjoyable!

On Saturday evening, we headed to Roar in downtown Winston-Salem.  Roar is a very cool place!  They have a food hall with a performing area.  We ordered from the burger stall (and the burgers were really good!) and they had dueling pianists playing in the performing area.  There is an upstairs with bowling and virtual golf.  There are two other sit down and be served type restaurants in the building.  Also on the upstairs level they had someone singing country music.  There's a beer wall on both floors where you can serve yourself from 25 taps once you've checked in and gotten a wrist band.  And there's a basement level that will be opening in a few weeks that is going to have Esports.  They have a little something for everyone. It was a nice way to spend a rainy and cold Saturday night.

And then of course, Sunday was Easter!  We went to Mass and then came home to enjoy a delicious lunch with my mom and my brother. Mom outdid herself as usual with a ham, hash brown casserole, broccoli casserole, slaw, creamy cucumbers, green beans, black-eyed peas, and biscuits!  And I made a homemade cheesecake with cherries and homemade whipped cream.  It was all yummy!

And of course, mom had baskets for us all!


And then we came back to our house and the kids finally looked at their baskets from the bunny. 

I appreciate them humoring me by letting me take a picture!  :)

And then, just like that, it was time for Peter to head back to Raleigh but not before indulged  me with a family selfie!

And Sarah snapped this one with just the two of them. 💚

Sarah ended up spending Sunday night at home so she could study in peace for her test and headed back to school Monday in time for her afternoon classes.

I loved having them home but I told Dan that when they leave it always makes me a little bit sad all over again.  But, I guess that's the life of a mom with college age children!  And summer break is right around the corner.  Sarah will be home all summer working as a lifeguard again and Peter's plans are still up in the air.  He has his apartment through the summer and it sounds like he'll be home for a little while after exams and then head back and get a job for the remainder of the summer. I always tell them that they are welcome anytime and for however long they want to stay!  

That's all that's been going on around here.  Check back later for more bird updates and more puttering around the house updates.