Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March comes in like an albino lion

View out front from  living room this morning
Most all snow was melted by Saturday,
here my shadow taking photo out back
Oh, what a difference the MN weather makes in just four days, welcome to  the north where Mother Nature is not to be trusted. As these photos tell the story, from  a few days to today, things change.  Here is treachery recognized and accepted by long time locals who tell me, "it's early"  "not spring yet" and once more they are right.  This is tiresome to me having grown up in southwestern PA and then spending most of my life in northern California, where now trees and shrubs are already blooming to welcome spring.  While I do appreciate 4 seasons and yes, I know it hasn't been that long  nor tough a winter, I am already done with it.  I thought I was getting ready to pack away both my long tall and short Uggs, other boots, and all winter gear.  Because Saturday was glorious, the balmiest warm day, when I didn't even need a jacket as I logged in a few foot miles around the local nearby high school  track before we  drove down to Lansing Iowa.  As usual, the weather conned me.  And although we only had a couple inches  of snow, I find it amusing.  Snow was iffy, if we had been luckier with our river bluffs, this would have stayed south and swept east, but nope, we caught the white.  The snowfall though slight  meant I canceled my morning drive to the Y for my Tuesday pretzel class aka yoga workout, having to do so at home instead.  It was rather treacherous on the roads, several schools wee closed or delayed opening, as that voice tells me, "don't go out looking for trouble, stay in your safe warm home, nothing you need to do out there."  My intention with  remaining home this winter was to accomplish all sorts of projects, most of which remain in various pending states as of today because I can become easily distracted and  do  a little at a time, flitting as I see fit, not very disciplined because I don't have to be.  
Binders of recipes along with part of my
cookbook collection

One binder page open
At least, One task  nearly done now was to reorganize or finalize the filings in my collection of recipe binders, photo here of the collection with cook books.  I am an uncontrollable clipper of recipes as are many of my friends.  We talk about our shared affliction, especially those of us now at our "age."  WTH are we doing this for?  In my case, if I cooked one recipe a day from my collection I wouldn't finish in 40 years and I do not expect to survive that long.  Well at least they are in binders, still when I look for a recipe as I did yesterday in preparing chicken thighs, I cannot find it easily. I will end up using my trusty tablet and searching onto the Cook's or Cusine sight.  Turns out that particular recipe was not here but in a collection of my Cook's Illustrated and Cuisine magazines which are accumulating on our Four season Porch which serves as my walk in wine storage cooler in cold weather.

I sometimes ponder what in the world, why bother. And then I go on and toss some, rearrange others, and even go so far as to consider creating an index, a table of contents on a data base so I can readily find the recipe or tip I want when I want it.  But, as  happens I have more ideas than implementation efforts.  I always have been the idea person, the manager, the one who could think things up, I had staff to implement.  Ahh,shades of my career days, some of those skills are not so much in use today as I am my own staff.  

Which brings me to the meandering thoughts that circulate round my head with ever increasing frequency, why bother?   I have no descendants to enjoy nor be interested in my collections.  So when I am gone to the here after, this will all be tossed.  I'd like to think, someone will get some of these and find them useful, iconic, or who knows. I often do as I buy on impulse an old recipe book or two at an estate sale.  I wonder about the person who used it before, especially when they have noted something as good or added their modifications, or the page is dogeared, stained from years of use. I smile and remember that someone enjoyed this same recipe and well, here I have it now.  But reality is ,this just won't happen here with mine.  Which is where I could  get off into a pity party of poor us, no family to share with, and so on. Nope, not going to go there, would do no good, instead, I try to keep busy, now maybe I'll put this on the blog.Well, there more time has gone and now time to get to thinking about dinner, so it goes, a snow day and some minor tasks accomplished.  For this I am glad to be retired, time is all mine..  
Partial collection of my binders of clipped recipes
Feet happily clad in warm soft German socks from
Regensburg, my trip in Nov/Dec.  Ahhh, easy living. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day 2016

Back yard squirrel pair
Valentines Day is here bringing a warming trend finally from our past couple weeks of arctic polar freezing sub zero temps which  had me lamenting,"remind me why I thought we should stay home this winter?"  Maybe now I have my lasting dose of winter and will be happier in Florida, in the motor home, even if it gets chilly in the south.  Meantime, today felt definitely warmer at 15 degrees when I went to get the Sunday Pioneer Press from Pump 4 Less.  It was already snowing though which is expected on and off all day.

Jerry blew most of the snow out of the driveway with the leaf blower already.  He is recuperating well from the sinus surgery and after this week when he returns to the ENT the last of the packing can be removed from his nose and perhaps he will be able once again to blow it.  Relief is expected from recurrent sinus infections which he endured too much of the last year. That's another thing, we stayed home and hopefully now  will have most of our medical appointments out of the way. As our late neighbor Frank said  years back, "good thing we are retired because we can go to all these doctor's appointments."  Still we are blessed that we have outstanding medical care here from Mayo where we live, many people do not enjoy that luxury. 

Valentine's roses
 .  Jerry took my car to the car wash Friday and returned with his traditional Valentine's dozen red roses.  I am not a chocolate person so he knows not to buy that for me.    They are lovely but opening fast and so will not last long, nevertheless, I love roses.  It took me less than an hour to notice them, he had even trimmed the stems, selected a vase, added the package of bloom stay and set them on the dining room table.  I noticed them after about 20 minutes, how easy it is for me to become oblivious to surroundings.  Paying no attention, otherwise absorbed, who knows why, but once again he sat back and got a chuckle at my expense.  

 I want to share this Valentine's poem that I found in 2011 and have updated to 2016 marking our years together, and our lifestyle.

"Reserved Seating for Valentine's Day"

It's all been said, It's all been done;
Forty eight + years of chocolates, flowers or "I forgots"
Find us seated in comfy recliners, feet up.  
Our eyes scan commercials that portend chocolate diamonds and open heart pendants 
Are the only perfect gifts to portray unending love.
When really it comes down to the comfy recliners
And we who remain happily seated there
Over the years.  

Candid shot of me moving the vase of roses.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Happy New Year new blog post

 Something frolics in the snow all around our property and hillside, who was skiing?

Trying to not fully ignore this blog which has been replaced by Facebook, to which it is much easier & faster to post photos directly instantly from smartphone  and tablet, blogging is yesterday's method.  Still blogging provides much more room to write than FB, yet most all people with whom I stay in touch are on FB, few read blogs.

 We have a white frozen Wonderland for this New Year and I have been out exploring tracks in the snow.  I think this white carpeting means the end of my Rosemary plant that thrived in the small back flowerbed. Now if pics will upload from this tablet, here goes.
What creatures came up to the front window, we did not see, likely in the darkness
While we were at ease downstairs enjoying the massive 60"TV

This first photo at the top,  is the giveaway clue along with this hint, they seek tasty treats of any foliage that has survived our so far mild winter, now in our first snowfall.

Frustrated that I cannot get these in the right order, so an off kilter array to this post.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Recipe reverie, blogger acts out

Yesterday's all day snow coating more with continuous whiteness added another  four inches to what has been steadily accumulating this winter.  It  must have affected this blogspot where  I thought I posted this and  yet today I see it had been reverted to a draft...daft why? Blame it on the winter weather.   So here another attempt to publish, winter is getting the best of us and the cyber waves.  

All the descriptive adjectives--pretty, sparkling, fluffy have been exhausted this winter, enough already.  I feel like we are living in a shake 'em up snow globe, no sooner does it settle than Mama Nature sends another blast our way.   I am tired of white and annoyed when it sidelines my plans as it did, confining me to home and hearth.  I did not venture out to drive in the winds with limited visibility nor was I tempted as there were reports of the potential to slide along the roads if the plows had not already been through.. 

 It was a day to stay home and a good day to cook. It has been quite some time since I stuffed and roasted a chicken because for the two of us, it's preferable to stick with chicken parts, breasts or thighs and occasional drumsticks although wings are a great snack.  However the market had these chickens on sale, very cheap and with my purchase of two bottles of wine I got $2 off any poultry, bringing the cost to $1.  So I picked up a whole chicken Friday intending to do something with it over the weekend.  Those intentions did not materialize but Monday's snow day  was an opportune time to stuff and roast this bird.  Jerry is not a fan of what he refers to as "sea gull" although he grudgingly eats the day's menu; I am a big fan of chicken, amd roasting filled the house with wonderful scents.  

My bargain chicken stuffed and ready to roast
As I prepared  thestuffing with lots of sage, big bread hunks, broth, butter, sauteed onions and celery I thought about my maternal grandmother Rose, my Polish Baba, with whom I spent a lot of time and stayed most weekends.    I have written about her  many times on this blog. Roast chicken was one of her special favorite Sunday afternoon meals, with all the fixings after we went to morning mass.  She had none of the kitchen conveniences like deep freezers nor microwaves and she did insist on fresh chickens; she did not want those from the  grocery market that would have been sitting for "you don't know how long."  No,  Rose insisted chickens must they be just bled, fresh; , to her that was the only way to ensure a tasty chicken, kill , drain and cook.  They lived in town so while she did not raise her own chickens, she did walk to the local  butcher for a fresh just killed bird on Saturdays.  It was Sarniac's, the  Polish butcher shop where  my grandpap hung out, helped make Polish sausage and played cards and they knew to have a fresh chicken ready for Rose. Sometimes it would still have it's feet attached but she would tell them to leave the feet, which she would remove at home, herself. 

Baba, my grandma Rose about mid 1940"s
Once she brought it home, the ordeal of cleaning it meticulously began, I cannot remember how many times she rinsed and rinsed that chicken and then soaked it in a brine though it seems that hours and hours were involved. I once remarked in childlike wonder that it was clean already to which she said, "oh no Patty, we don't want any dirt or feathers.  Chickens are dirty and you don't want to eat anything like that."  Finally by late Saturday afternoon, she had her fresh chicken ready for  Sunday roasting.  Her oven had no timer so that bird did not get into the oven to begin until after we returned from church and then she would carefully watch and baste it from time to time.  I wish I had a picture of those feasts, they were a meal which she served with pride and a smile.  So today stuffing and roasting a cheap chicken brought the reverie of childhood.  And I thought of how I will not buy  frozen chicken parts in mass bags, and certainly not  those that are processed in Asia.  My chicken choice is fresh, locally Amish grown and processed....I am Rose's grand daughter after all.  It's my legacy, You don't want a chicken that's been sitting around for you don't know how long."  Recipes can stir up our memories..    

Monday, January 6, 2014

Clear to go but now waiting out the weather

Notice the truck tracks on our frozen Mississippi backwaters
transporting those who drove to their ice fishing huts

So here we are centuries after William Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It about winter, "Thy breath be rude" we agree.  Inhuman, I say.  Winter has arrived with an icy grip but we are warm and comfy inside our home. Here along the mighty Mississippi, the river has frozen and the river barge traffic has long ago ceased, the waters are still and white all along.  Winter's metaphors often reference the stillness, sense of silence and darkness, a season of hibernation, a season where everything dies a little. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, "The falling snow is a poem of the air,..where the "troubled sky reveals the grief it feels." That is a fitting sentiment as we marked three more  deaths in December, one anticipated a blessing after her long suffering, one sudden and most unexpected and the third a surprise perhaps not so unexpected with the person's illnesses the past years.  All were too young, or "not that old" as my Mom would say when she reached her 70's; one my contemporary from high school in Pennsylvania another only 74.  Winter with its cold and darkness aptly describes death and yet it is a respite for the year. In "January" John Updike wrote about the lack of sunlight in winter: "The days are short,   The sun a spark,  Hung thin between The dark and dark." Long freezing winter nights and crisp winter days can evoke harsh feelings among the people who endure them, but not all poets consider winter a bleak and lifeless season. My favorite poet, Robert Frost's "Dust of Snow," a crow’s movements cause snow to dust the speaker passing under a tree, and this dust "Has given my heart / A change of mood / And saved some part / Of a day I had rued." 
For my fellow bloggers not on Facebook, I passed my colonoscopy with an all good to go, clear, victoriously, flying colors and hope I get another 10 year pass until the next exam.  I will say the prep was easier than what I had 10 years ago and I was able to get a good night's sleep until I had to arise at 5:00AM to drink the remaining clearing solution.  At the hospital wing waiting area, holding my "traveling bag"so named by the nurse who processed me aboard, in it my clothing as I had stripped into the ugly hospital gown and robe the common dress of the women in the room.   I read and talked with another patient through her sign language interpreter, that woman was also named Patricia; soon another patient arrived to wait and she too was Patricia.  I have not been with so many like named women before.  Whenever a nurse came for Patricia we made sure by last name which of us was next.  Finally it was my turn to walk down to what would be my procedure room and climb into the bed which the thoughtful nurses had heated with a warm blanket and  then quickly piled some toasty blankets atop me, hospitals are always cold.  They hooking me up to all sorts of medical measurement equipment.  My doctor was a pleasant young woman, at least she looked young to me, an  Italian immigrant who apologized for being late to  proceed with me but explained that there had been issues with the  previous patient that took some time to resolve.  I assured her I expected to make it easy for her, in and out and done in no time so she would not miss lunch; by this time it was 11:30 and I had been admitted at 10:00AM. Moreover, I was hungry for lunch now.   She laughed and the next thing I knew it was time to awaken.  She said she easily removed 3 tiny sessile polyps, minute in size only 1 and 2 mm, or Millimeter which measures length; she sent the tissue for a pathology examination but she did not anticipate any problems and I would receive a follow up recommending my next exam and my primary care doctor would already have the electronic access o the results.  Technology abounds.  She provided a written report to the nurse who passed it along to me after I dressed for my exit. I have since learned that my tiny polyps were something that might not be spotted (ahem) but for the state of the art equipment of Mayo and the specialists.  

Back deck thermometer through kitchen window
8:15 this morning, sub zero has arrived
Now we are keeping a careful watch on the weather as our temperatures fell  well below zero overnight and the south eastern parts of the country all are experiencing very low temperatures. I have never before experienced these sub zero temperatures, all the more reason to stay comfy inside, marking another first for me.  We had been planning a departure about January 16 right  after my last meeting of the Diabetes Prevention Program at the YMCA.  But now we are watching for better weather. 

2013 at Easthaven.  Icicles hanging from the
wheels covers on our coach. Here in MN it
has its own house and is not exposed to harsh elements.
Last year we spent a week at Easthaven, just outside Memphis, TN waiting out the ice storm that was devastating the area and making for treacherous driving conditions in an area not equipped to handle it.  Then when we did get going we drove through snow in northern Mississippi.  It was not an experience we want to repeat.  Jerry said, why try to drive the rig and toad (tow vehicle for those unfamiliar with RV style lingo)  for two days to sit in ice, we are better off right here at home, cozy and warm and not having to go out in the frigidity arctic temps.    
2013 last  year through the windshield of our motor coach on
I55, northern Mississippi.   
So we wait patiently and keep warm and I keep busy with many projects including writing on my blog. I see I  need to remove the Christmas and Santa from the right side here, tomorrow perhaps. A lesson I have learned  to perfect in retirement, I don't have to complete all tasks in one day, tomorrow's another day. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mother nature is not playing by the calendar

Today I declared,  "Enough is beyond enough."  Spring must be allowed to catch up to the calendar, so I hung the spring forsythia wreath and anticipate passing of this  Marchlong winter.  Such a bizarre hold onto the wintry weather, return to the ice age, and fie to the ice and snow.  We have melt in progress but the last couple days frigid single digit temperatures in the early morning reaching perhaps the high 20 degrees by noon, then repeating the frigid records the next morning.  But at last it is  warming,  36 and 38 degrees and we are good to go walk outside, bundled but nevertheless in fresh air.  But wait, more on the way this week. Maybe the weather will not pay attention to the predictions.

I have good news too about my boob recall, all is well.  Yesterday with more intense diagnostic xrays and a sonogram, the radiologist admitted there was nothing there, but normal breast tissue. However he wants me to  return in 6 months for another sonogram so he is absolutely sure.  I could not see what he thought he detected on the screening until he ultra magnified.  I asked if it could have been calcification to which he responded no nor a cyst.   I think of Carol, Linda and Joan and Karen, friends in CA  who all lost their fights with breast cancer years ago, Carol especially dying a very long drawn out death, and others quickly taken, along with a  friend in PA  who is a survivor today.  So I am blessed to have this care from Mayo.  To my joking repartee that he had given me a headache for nothing, Dr Uy  replied that "I have a perfect record of diagnosing, I have not ever missed anything and I am not going to start with you."   The nurses warned that he is a perfectionist and has been known to stand looking over the shoulder of the technician doing the sonogram or taking over the xray machine to get photos.  Attention to detail, that's the right stuff.

Yesterday afternoon and this morning on my walks around the 'hood I took some ice, snow and melt photos.
Down the corner to south 14th, roads clear snow aside

Under all that whiteness is the track where I like to walk,
not possible this month
The shadow from the pine allows the melting to become treacherous
glassy ice.  One must walk carefully, like a bear over these patches 
Melt, ice, white prevail down the street at the hockey rink and ball fields
The shadow of the branch resembles an irritated person, weary of winter,
hair on end, arms extended, snapping at the grass under ice,
"be gone with you white and glassy hazard. Let the green emerge!"
This lamppost through the barren branches will not be
visible once the leaves come with spring.  It is
spring so says the calendar, Mama Nature,
pay attention.,