I Know Why Bird Watchers Watch

The most amazing thing is happening.

Our front door is one of those double glass pane frosted design kind of doors. A few seasons back a sweet friend gave me a lovely grapeviney wreath after I commented on how pretty I thought hers was.  Since I hang it out every spring and summer season it went up about two weeks ago.

Earlier last week I noticed that we were getting a lot of swooping bird action if we passed the door or even

the kitchen windows. I watched for a minute and sure enough two birds swooped in and landed on the wreath and then swooped away again.

At first I thought they were trying to pick branches off the wreath to carry away.

Boy, was I wrong!

Over the next several days I watched as they’d bring bright pieces of grass and twigs and tuck them onto the back side of the wreath. They were building a nest. I was fascinated but figured once the door saw some traffic (it’s the only door we use to come into the house) that they’d wise up and realize that the front door of Hadding Homestead wasn’t going to be the greatest place to set up a home.

I was wrong again. Despite our normal usage they have continued to build a sweet little nest. I’m a little concerned about how things will go if there are eggs laid at some point. I contemplated going to Hobby Lobby and finding something comparable that I could hang on one of the two porch columns but Rob thinks part of the draw for the birds is the fact that it is up under the roof and protected.

I’m not really sure if I should try and move the wreath and hang it on one of the porch windows? I don’t want to cause them to abandon their little home but I don’t want them to realize too late that they wish they had chosen a different location for their babies’ nurseries. If they even lay eggs.

To be honest I have thoroughly enjoyed them. They sing right at my door and it is a sweet happy sound. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve raised the window blinds to get a better look or crept stealthily to the window to try and catch a glimpse of them. Or waited, holding perfectly still with camera in hand to grab a few shots.

They’re utterly delightful and fascinating. Being so still and quiet and then being given the reward of seeing their curious little faces turn around, almost as if they are looking at me with the same curiosity that I have for them. I am assuming that the more brightly colored one is the male and the lil’ mama is the one doing the actual nest building.

The sweetest part is that they are always together. At first he would settle himself in on the lower inner circle while she perched at the top and crafted the abode. He would have the occasional  grass but lately he has been landing on the porch itself, almost as if he is standing guard while she works. They fly off together and return together.

It is making for a lovely start to spring.

“Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” Luke 12:24


Test Kitchen ~ A Product Review

Normally my test kitchens are all about a specific recipe. And, while I will share this recipe, it is more a review of a product than anything else. I am not being compensated or anything. I just know that sometimes I see something at the store, wonder if it’s any good, and wish I knew someone who had tried it so I could ask their opinion. I don’t like wasting money especially when it comes to food so I tend to not be very adventurous and just randomly buy something off the shelf.

There is also a trend for everything to be from scratch when it’s shared on a  blog. I don’t have anything against made from scratch recipes but I also like quick and easy because, quite frankly, Martha Stewart I’m not and sometimes I just want to bust open a can of biscuits or whatever.

Because I am not prone to trying new things just willy nilly, I have no good reason for why I tried this McCormick season packet but a few weeks ago that’s just what I did. Turns out it was a pretty good idea because the kids love it. I like it because it’s simple and easy, and gosh darn it sometimes that’s all you’re looking for come dinner time 😉

What you’ll need:
1 McCormick Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken Seasoning Packet
1 can black beans
1 can corn
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 large chicken breast or 6 chicken tenderloins
What you’ll do:
Put everything in the slow cooker and cook for four hours on high.
Shred the chicken.
Serve over rice.

In case you’ve been wondering how it tasted or you’re just looking for something new to try, this gets a thumbs up from the Hadding test kitchen.

Pinterest Test Kitchen #51 ~ Death By Chocolate Cake

Once upon a time I was really scheduled with this blog and I shared a recipe every Monday.

That, it seems, is a thing of the past. Nowadays, I am just winging it around here. But it’s working so there’s that. Which is a good thing because March is full of Peter Rabbit teas, Cowboy Days, Medieval feasting, and a day celebrating our founding fathers.  Not busy at all really. Do I need to point out that that was totally written tongue in cheek? Because it was. It is busy. The only thing that could possibly make it any busier would be adding in a quick trip to Washington, D.C. next week. And that would be totally cray cray wouldn’t it? Well, welcome to my craziness because that’s the plan.
So, how’s a girl to cope with all that activity? Baking of course! And nothing less than a delicious chocolate cake will do.
I’m not a big cake eater but this one meets my first major rule for cakes that do not have the word cheese in front of them. It’s moist. Dry cakes are the worst and no amount of icing can hide it. This cake is moist and needs no icing although since it’s a bundt cake you could probably drizzle some chocolate over it if you wanted to.
What you’ll need:
1 chocolate cake mix
1 small package instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of oil
3/4 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 cup of chocolate chips
What you’ll do:
Beat the eggs and sour cream together until they are well combined.
Add all the other ingredients and mix well. 
The batter will be slightly thick.
Pour into a greased bundt cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The original recipe called for 45 minutes but mine got done way faster. 
After it cooled complete I gave it a light dusting of powdered sugar across the top for a little pizzazz. I only tasted a pinch (which was very good) but there was nary a crumb left so everyone else thought it was very good.