Aint’ nobody here but us chickens!

by @nylaportraits

by @nylaportraits

 

We have taken the leap!  We are urban chicken farmers.  We have been talking for years about getting chickens. We have a big yard.  Mark has had them before.  He knew what not to do: have a rooster that makes your neighbors mad.

One day our friend Larry the landscaper texted Mark that a family was selling their chickens, coop and all.  An orthodox Jewish family who were moving to Vegas for a lower cost of living.  No use taking the chickens to Nevada when they already have the Chicken Ranch!

Mark came home with 6 chickens which the kids promptly named.  I heard “Steve” and “Dutchess” and then lost track.  Our two story chicken coop is easy to move around the yard so no one part of the yard gets all the fertilizer!

Cody in a friendly mood

Cody in a friendly mood by @nylaportraits

Upside: Eggs!  About 5 eggs a day.  Which challenges Mark and I to keep working on more egg dishes.  Frittatas, quiche and last night a souffle!  (should I get my cholesterol checked?)

if a frittata and a quiche had a baby it would look like this

if a frittata and a quiche had a baby it would look like this

 Here is a recipe for ham and egg fried rice from my Food Network show Daphne Dishes.  Which by the way.. is repeating every Saturday at 8am.  And no, no word on a pick up so I think that’s no, but dunno :(

We have gone to some of our neighbors and gifted them with our fresh eggs.

Hey neighbors, want some eggs?

Hey neighbors, want some eggs?

Our chickens are free range and are on a vegetarian diet so they live better than me.  Well except for sleeping on their excrement.

It’s also been a good lesson in responsibility for my kids.  They have cottoned to the chores associated with the chickens more than they ever did with Cody.  Let them out in the morning, check their water and feed.  Put them in the coop and lock the door so the raccoons don’t get em.

Speaking of Cody.  He is sometimes fascinated by the hens.  But, other times his primal side comes out and he starts chasing them.  He never hurts them, but scares the chickens and causes them to squawk and jump on the fences.  Then we take him up to the house or put him on a leash.

So, if you are in the area, come and get some eggs!

 

stealth vlogger: homework

As my kids get older I’m less comfortable with blogging about them directly.  Vivien is savvy enough to say to me now when I take a picture “Don’t post that”.  Poor kid.

So, it’s been harder to figure out how to pivot coolmom to still be relevant to parents.  This tussle has lead me to not post at all sometimes.  So, thanks to the 4 of you for bearing with me as I figured this out.

One thing that has been getting to me recently is HOMEWORK.  I hate homework.  I come home with the kids btw 3:45 and 4:15 and it’s the time of the day I’m my MOST exhausted and I hae to say, “no screen time till you do your homework”  The wrestling begins.

But, I’m an alternative school kid and I don’t even believe in homework most of the time.  My kids need to chill and isn’t better if I let them just start to play creatively?  One day I did and they turned my driveway into a delightful homeless encampment.

sort a Gilligan island

sort a Gilligan island

 

They took empties out of the recycling to make a it look like a home.  Clearly they used the palms for a tropical thing.  But, most days are more like the following video.

So, here is a quick one I did recently.  Because if I do something as a mom and don’t blog about it, did it really happen?

Hence why so many moms are winos.

 

 

 

how to take a good picture

So, as often happens with mom bloggers I’m not sure where I’m going with this.  I don’t have the back up right now to do videos and it’s a crowded market now that is much harder to monetize.  I also think my kids need more privacy as they get older.  So, for now I think what I can offer is how to take a good picture.

Well, today at least… I liked this vid.  More later.

sweet ’16

Happy New Year!!

Resolution easy to keep:  DVR the reruns of my show “Daphne Dishes” on Food Network starting Jan 2nd, Saturday 8am.

Hello New Year!  before shooting a scene on Daphne Dishes

Hello New Year! before shooting a scene on Daphne Dishes

Check it out, pleeze and got to the site and find recipes you might like HERE

Before I get out of town taping a cooking segment on the always delightful Home and Family on Hallmark channel.  Airs Jan 4th

If if does well again I might get a 3rd season which will keep me from having that mid life crisis that I have on my “maybe To do” list.

I’m breaking out a bit and taking my first ever, trip for me for no real concrete reason ( work, wedding) and going out of town with a bestie.  I was so nervous about leaving children and husband, but once I announced that I wanted to do this they all seemed pretty non plussed.  So, goes to show you limitations are so often OUR OWN creation.  I hope I can retain this lesson for 2016 and breakout out more in other areas of my life as well.

Have a great 2016!!

holiday body- return of Muffinlicious

Okay, I’m not at prime muffin top right now since I lost weight being sick, but in general this is not the time of year where we feel svelte.  Drinking, sweets, roast meats, plus when it’s colder our bodies are covered up and layered.  Only that lucky dude who we picked up for the cold months or a husband gets to see any flesh. ( in fact, got dolled up recently and felt great being a tad thinner)

Daphne Dressed up

Daphne Dressed up

Make sure it looks nice, like this picture my friend took in Joshua Tree.  In the winter the stubble can grow fast.. legs, underarm, chin.vagina rock

Anyway, I got a ‘fan’ message recently saying that they loved my muffin top.  A newish friend thought that was an odd compliment.  That’s when I realized she hadn’t seen my one bona fide viral video and didn’t know that we need to embrace our muffin top!  Something to grab and hold.  So, encore!   Happy Holidays

 

Bomb Threat day

Well, here in Los Angeles us  public school folks have our kids home due to a bomb threat.  Mark and I were doing the “NOW, we really have to get out of bed now” chatter.  I was walking downstairs in my ugly, comfortable slippers and nightgown to make coffee when Rex yelled, “mommy, you have a call.”  He knows if he wakes up really early I’m so desperate to keep sleeping I will give him my phone and he gets screen time.

Who would be calling this early?  Oh, maybe my neighbor to see if we can take her son to school today.

No, a robo call from LAUSD saying school is closed because of a “credible threat”.  All this before coffee. Hey, what??  But, we are in a charter so does this apply to us?  A flurry of calls and texts.  Yes, it does.

I go to tell Vivien who didnt’ want to wake up. “no school today”  Yeah, she cheered from her pillow. The new snow day.

A mom sent an email out that she would be happy to take some kids if moms had to work.  I did the same.  Within an hour two were dropped at my door and my neighbor came down later with her son.  As we tried to get three first grade boys to do homework I thought, as I have thought many times, how do teachers do this?  Exhausting.

I think it’s all a bit creepy and maybe alarmist.  I really hope this is not the new normal.  I hope at worst we look back on this like we do the old ’50’s duck and cover videos. lausd the new duck and cover? Those seem funny not because we now longer have nuclear bombs, but because it seems so foolish to think hiding under a desk would save you.

Course last year  I did hide under a wood lectern when a gunman came into the building I was in.  So I know how terrifying it is to be involved in a shooting.  I bet the schools would have been okay, but I of kind don’t blame officials for being a bit jumpy.

Side note:  I’m doing much better with my pneumonia.. been a month and two days.  I am still deaf in one ear, and have a TB cough, but MUCH better.  Trying to take it easy so I don’t relapse, but I did go to a holiday ball I help put on at our women’s club and it was so fun to get dolled up and feel like a person again.. or at least out of my nightgown!

at dinner with one bf's and "second husband" Jasen

at dinner with one bf’s and “second husband” Jasen

 

brain draino

As I lie in bed.. and I’m not going to lie.. lying in bed for a month, I’ve lost weight and I like it.  Look for my new book “Do nothing, lose weight.”

cover of upcoming book

cover of upcoming book

Anyway as I lie in bed and read the paper and the internet it’s hard to not feel dread and sadness at the shootings, at Trump’s hate speech, feel like the world is going to hell in a hand basket.  What helps me is not to stay in the macro, but to also look at the micro. Let me offer you some brain draino from the negative of the day.

In my micro world I’ve been humbled by the goodness of friends of neighbors helping me and my kids while I have been sick.  The first week when I thought it was a bad cold it was hard to make sense of what was going on .  Mark was still rushing off to work per normal.  I got pretty upset and emotional.  “I can’t do what I normally do.”  I can’t be the one who makes breakfast and school lunches everyday.  I would have filed for divorce if I could have gotten out of bed.  The fevers where making me loopy.  I wasn’t sure of my thoughts. I was so tired I could barely get to the bathroom.

Slowly, he started to step up, but there are still gaps when he is gone and week two I was much worse.  I texted a neighbor, “can you please bring me soup and feed my kids?”  I didn’t know I could do such a thing.

food made with love tastes the best

food made with love tastes the best

So  desperate an ask.  But she came over with soup for me and took my kids to her house for a few hours where she made them dinner and they had a good time.  She continued to bring tea or soup over the next several days.  I just gave her my key.  I wasn’t going anywhere.

I had to punt Thanksgiving to my sisters.  I cabbed over for about an hour, but I was a zombie at the table.  I thought I would have made my creamed spinach, my cheese pinwheels..but was a feverish day dream.

Days kind of blurred. Another neighbor texted, “may I bring you dinner?”  Please.  Meanwhile another neighbor whose son is at our school was picking up my kids almost everyday.how to bring food to the sick

I think people think if people are married they are covered, but “it’s takes a village” is a real statement.  It’s not it takes a nuclear family.  When I’m healthy I need my friendships, I need the camaraderie of the world and certainly when I’m sick I’ve learned my level of need.  I knew I had to go back to the doctor ( I went early and I tested negative for everything).  I decided I would call a cab and get to the Sunday clinic when they opened.  My friend Anya came over with a big tea pot and said, “I will be here at 8am and take you.”  I said, only if you promise to leave because the stress of her waiting with me would get to me.  I don’t want to be burden.

at the doctor's they asked me to put this on. My Tinder photo?

at the doctor’s they asked me to put this on. My Tinder photo?

She drove me the next morning while my family slept and sure enough the doctor said, “pneumonia”. I got some antibiotics and the fevers lessened.

Long story, but I needed to go to my regular doctor the next day to adjust the meds.  An uber took me there and back.  I love just being able to lie down in the back seat.  Money well spent.  I got the right medications.

A friend texted me, “anything I can do?”  Yes, can you get chicken tenders from Vons for my kids?”  I had soup, but I needed a ringer for my kids and I couldn’t stand let alone cook.  Now, at this point you might say, Daphne, aren’t you married to a chef?  Couldn’t he have made a week of meals for your kids that you could heat up in his absence?  But, friends that’s how I ended up with a cooking show on the Food Network.daphne dishes  I am the cook of the house.  Mark is still annoyed that the kids don’t want some fancy multi part dish he would like when they really want butter noodles.  Plus, when you cook for a living I don’t think you do at home. I don’t know.   I needed to figure out work arounds. This same friend brought some take out a few days later which I made about 4 days worth of meals out of.  By the way, ones appetite is pretty dinky on pneumonia.

My  sister Cecily took Vivien to a Christmas event I couldn’t make.

good aunt

good aunt

My mom came and hung with the kids because I started to worry that they were alone too much.  My kids have been so kind to me.  They haven’t complained.  Vivien fills my pot of tea.  Rex gives me massages.  One weekend Mark took Rex to a long planned father son camp.

won the first two heats of the box car race

won the first two heats of the box car race

One of those nights I got Vivien a sleep over so I could totally rest.  I knew I was no fun, not able to help with homework, zippo, so I kept wanting to find my kids fun time, company.

I was also fortunate to be friends with an Eastern Doctor who makes house calls.  So, I got acupuncture which helped open my breathing and relax me. She gave me some herbs and pro biotics that erased some side symptoms I was having.

Week 4.. I’m much better, but weak.  I drove to school for parent teacher conference.  Walking in and out of campus.  Talking for an hour my chest hurt.  I felt light headed. I went back to bed.  The kids and Mark went to get the tree.  “help us decorate the tree mommy?”  I can’t.  I got some boxes out and lay on the couch.  “Okay, unspool the lights and walk them around.”  I directed.  I’m so proud of 2014 Daphne, she organized the lights and ornaments for 2015 Daphne. organized christmas So, it’s not just about taking care of others when you can.  Take care of yourself!  Because you don’t know when you will be broke down and your stronger self can help out.  I was so proud of them.  They did the whole tree. I just had to stand on a chair and put the star on, that’s it.trimming the tree

As this was going on a dear old friend ( more than 20 years) showed up with three different entrees.  Home made mac and cheese ( fab) home made chicken soup and a frozen chicken curry.  Also from her kitchen.  It’s people like this that make me strive to be a better friend, a better person.

So, when you read the bad things let’s remember that most people are good.  That if we ask for help it comes!  For years Mark and later I too have done some fund raising for Meals on Wheels.  Man, I really get it know. Being a homebound, elderly person with no one visiting you but a sweet person bearing food.  That would make quite a difference in your life.   I don’t need any presents under my tree I already got more than I could ask for.

how to talk to your twenty something

Ha, I have no idea.  Today my step son Oliver is 22!.   Good for him, but that means I”VE AGED TOO.  Kids are cruel.   He is a wonderful young man who has been very patient with my loud, outgoing ways, which are not his.  A few years ago he even played  along with me on a video, “How to talk to your teenager”.  An experience that was probably close to running through bees while dripping with honey.  But, performance is like restaurant work in this family.. it’s hard not to be brought in ( or brought down.

So happy birthday to the first person who made me a “mom like” person.  I love you Oliver.

 

Daphne Dished raw

Okay, this ain’t pretty, but it’s what’s happening.  A little vlog on my life with pneumonia.  I know I’m not the only one suffering with this now, so maybe it can put a smile on someone elses’ face who has a pale, ugly face right now like moi.

Thanks to those who have been asking if Daphne Dishes is coming back for a third season.  I sure wish it would I day dream recipes ( unable to cook right now).  I have heard it’s going to be repeated in Jan.  So maybe that’s a good sign?  My recipes are still at www.foodnetwork.com/daphnedishes

I hope you are well and healthy and I hope to return to being funny and cooking and LOOKING BETTER.. oh and feeling better.

I am SO humbled by the help friends and family have given me and my kids the last few weeks.  We are all in this together.