Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Dozen Things I Carried

These are not farm-fresh eggs.

They're citified backyard eggs, from our neighbors Tim and Conor, who have been raising chickens a block north of us for the last three years. (Not to be confused with the chickens being raised by our new neighbor a block east, recently celebrated in this blog, who modeled the rehab of his house after the aesthetics of his hand-constructed coop).

That parenthetical did not deceive you. We now have two sets of backyard chickens within a block of our house. The country usurps the city. The smog will not win.

I've learned that eggs straight from the chicken have a protetive coating, a "cuticle," that allows them to sit on the counter, unrefrigerated, for up to a month. But I'd like to reassure my mother and anyone else who eats eggs at our house, we're keeping them in the 40-degree safety of the Frigidaire middle shelf.

Scrambled or sunny-side up?

Sunday, November 6, 2011


My neighbor Allison gave the block a present last week. She and her young daughters planted these flowers in our scrappy little corner garden.

Now when you approach the corner, you're met with vibrant color and a last brief glimpse of . . . well . . . life before winter settles in.

Sometimes you need to make deliberate choices when you live in a challenged neighborhood. Will you measure your days by broken bottles in the parkways? By boarded-up properties? By graffiti on buildings and the time it takes to have it removed? Or will you define it by the efforts to make things not just less ugly, but even, at times, acutely more beautiful.

At least for today, my community is yellow and purple mums and the giving hands that put them there.