Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's the Simple Things...

Late yesterday afternoon, L and I were having a heart-to-heart discussion at the kitchen table. L suddenly pointed at the window:"Quick! Look at the window!"

The moisture on our sun-warmed, south facing storm window had just reached the magical temperature to form a beautiful fan of frost. We sat in awe for the 5 seconds it took for our window to spiderweb into a work of art.

We have been privileged to witness this phenomenon several times, and it still takes our breath away.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I wonder if they sell a lot of this?

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Turkey Enchiladas

The cold spell is over....for now. Our 6 a.m. temp was a balmy +4F(-15C)! Unfortunately our warming trend was accompanied by 2 inches of snow, with an additional 2-4 inches expected this weekend.

The forecast says we can expect freezing drizzle on Tuesday. WTF?!! This is not even remotely fair after we just endured a week of -40F temps! Rain, on top of our 4 ft of snow, will be devastating to our area's wildlife! Hard-crusted snow allows the wolves to freely run on top of the snow, while the deer are forced to plunge through the drifts. Many birds, especially grouse, burrow into the soft snow to keep from freezing at night. A coating of ice on the snow causes the birds to suffocate while they sleep. If the weather turns cold again after the rain, the birds can't burrow into the snow and many will freeze to death. Nature is indeed cruel!

Many of you have been wondering what we do to amuse ourselves in the cold. The answer is COOK, of course! I always try to save oven meals and soups for the coldest days of the week. The extra heat in the kitchen helps us forget the frigid outdoor temps.

I've recently been gathering economical recipes to post here. I like to have an accompanying photo of the finished product. Z is becoming annoyed with the dinnertime photography. As you can see in the photo above, Z is no longer waiting for me to take pictures of our meal before he digs in..."I'm starving Mom!" Needless to say, this is one of Z's favorite recipes.

Turkey Enchiladas
4 Cups diced leftover turkey or chicken
8 flour tortillas
8 oz grated cheddar cheese
2 large onions, chopped
2 large green peppers, chopped

2-15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp garlic salt
2 Tbs sugar
Mix together and simmer 30 minutes

Fry onion and peppers in your favorite oil until tender.
Lay out the tortillas and place 1/2 Cup turkey in a line down the center of each tortilla.
Divide the onion/pepper mixture on top of the turkey, and top with grated cheese.
Roll up the tortillas and place in a greased 9x13 cake pan.
Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the rolled up tortillas.
Bake @ 350 15-20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and glazed.

Served with salad or a veggie, this makes a great low-carb, lowfat, economical meal that easily feeds a family of 4. I can only eat 1 enchilada, so we usually have leftovers. Leftover enchiladas can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

MORE Fun....

It was -42F last night, with a high of -11F today.

I was interviewed by NPR over the phone at work. I went to their website but I didn't see any quotes from me. They wanted to know if people were "moving around out in the cold". How did they think I got to work? DUH! They were amazed that I was feeding a group of ice fishermen who would soon be out on the ice. The Travel Channel will have a film crew here this weekend. Too bad they'll miss the worst of the cold....mwahahaha.

The cold has created some amazing sunrises!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Weather Update

It actually got to -40F last night. I just discovered that -40F is the same as -40C, but that doesn't make it feel any warmer.

We set a new record for cold...oh goody!

We were supposed to get 20-30 mph winds between midnight and 9 a.m. Fortunately we didn't get ANY wind...for that I am thankful.

Monday, January 12, 2009

No Wii for Mii!

Z has been sticking to his Wii Fit workouts every morning while I'm at work. He said that my Mii has been falling asleep when he starts up the Wii. I guess that's what happens when you don't use Wii Fit for over a week. I wish there was some way to tell my Mii to hang in there. I haven't been slacking on my workouts. I just have a different workout venue right now....SNOW!

It snowed 48 inches here from the middle of December through the first weekend in January. I've cleared the house roof twice, and the garage and metal shed roofs once. According to my calculations this means that I've roof-raked over 4.5 tons of snow in the past week. Last wednesday every single joint in my upper body, from my fingers to my shoulders, was throbbing in agony.

Can you see that little bit of brown tarp sticking out of the snowbank in the center of the picture? That's our camper. Z has cleared the snow off it twice. If we get more snow, Z will have to shovel down the bank surrounding the camper so L can snowblow it somewhere else. We're not too sure where that will be. We have a huge yard and we're running out of places to put the snow!
Here's our fuel oil tank after I dug it out after I buried it with the snow from the roof.

The good news is we probably won't be getting any more snow this week. The bad news is that our temperatures will be -25F to -30F for the next 4 nights. I have one word for this winter...GRUELING!

Sunday, January 04, 2009


You've always been our beautiful baby! I guess that's because you came from good stock...

Cute parents...CHECK...

FINE-looking grandparents and great-grandparents...CHECK!

We all age pretty well...especially YOU!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SME!! We're all so proud of the beautiful woman you've become, both inside and out.

Of course, it's up to you how you choose to use your beauty...

Mom, Dad, Z-kid, and Hairry

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Party's Over

I'm taking it slow, settling into the new year, after enjoying one of the most fulfilling Christmases EVER! We scaled Christmas back a bit this year and enjoyed it even more...who'da thunk it?

L totally surprised me with a Wii Fit! I really wanted one to help with my back problems, but I refused to pay scalper's prices of $129 and up. L actually found a Wii Fit for $10 over list price.

My Mii is now slightly pudgier, and I've discovered that I'm 8% "unbalanced". My Wii Fit age is only 3 years older than my actual age, so I guess I'm not doing too bad for an old broad. I've only been working with yoga, balance, and aerobics. I'll leave strength training for when I re-gain my "balance". I've already noticed an improvement in my back muscles, so I'd say my Wii Fit experience is a huge success!

Does anybody else have a hard time discerning the panda heads from the soccer balls in the Soccer Heading game? I'm also a total klutz at the Basic Step game. I just can't feel the rythm and must watch the other Mii's feet rather than the diagram. I'm always half a step behind. On the bright side, I'm great at the Hula Hoop and Ski-Jump games!

Z is totally thrilled with his Rock Band game for the Wii! What really amazed me is how much Z has gotten into Wii Fit! At first, Z sneered at the thought of a video game as a fitness aid. Now, he actually complains about sore muscles after he has a Strength Training workout, AND Z has a new-found respect for Yoga! Z's participation in the Wii Fit keeps both of us motivated...we simply MUST beat each other's high scores. Now if we can only get L to enroll in Wii Fit...

L has been happily saving the world with Lara Croft, and his spiffy new controller, in his new Tomb Raider game.

My parents' favorite gift was the 4-20 oz packages of arrowroot I ordered online for them. Arrowroot is a carb-free thickening agent that is highly recommended for diabetics. Nobody in our town sells arrowroot, so my Dad had eliminated meals that require thickening from his diet. In the past week, my parents have made both gravy and chow mein with the arrowroot...they're thrilled with the results!

Last night we pigged out with an amazing dinner of munchies...spinach dip, shrimp cocktail(Shrimp was on sale for $3.33/14 oz bag!), bacon-wrapped smokies, cheese, summer sausage, crackers and chips. L and I were asleep by 10:00, while Z brought in the New Year with his online buddies.

Today, L and I are enjoying our final day off until Memorial Day. We're ignoring chores while enjoying the afterglow of the holidays. We'll make up for our laziness this weekend, when we clear the roofs AGAIN! According to Wednesday's paper, this December has been the 3rd snowiest, and 9th coldest on record. Uffda!