Saturday, January 31, 2009

I don't like the cold...just whining...

We had -3 degrees about 1 week ago. Our kitchen pipe froze and didn't run for 4 hours. We were lucky as it didn't burst but, man, we were afraid it was going to. One of the good things about winter is cold water from the tap...it tastes like the best ice water you can imagine. But if your pipes freeze, it's not so great, let me tell you. We stuck a heater under the kitchen sink, the smell isn't that great and I had to turn it off after awhile. We have learned our lesson and have left the cupboard opened on the coldest nights. My sis-in-law wasn't so lucky...her town's pipe burst and caused all their toliets to back up/flood the basement. They were out about $140 to the plumber to make things right.

I just turned up the heat to 62 on the thermostat. I felt like my bones were brittle. That's how cold I feel...and still do. I need tea and I'm all out of peppermint. dang.

I've been driving around, finally. I have to use 4-wheel drive to get out of driveway and alley. It's a bit of an adventure; a tad scary. But the streets are usually well salted/cleared. So, this is good.

Tomorrow, it's supposed to be 44 degrees. I hope to God it is and melts some of ice on our walking path. I'm shocked at the ice/packs of snow. It is pretty in the sunlight, I admit...so white and fresh. I cannot deny this.

I decided to do a mild workout...and am feeling this mild attempt in my back and tummy. I guess I shouldn't have jumped into it by doing 200 crunches. Oh, well...

I believe, I really do (even with all the above), that spring is on it's way. I have started to clean out my closet...which needed it badly. I will be donating a bunch of stuff to the Salvation army.

Jon and I stayed up and watched an independent film called "Seducing Doctor Lewis". It was pretty good and is what a lot of towns around here feel like too...jobs leaving, people stressed/frustrated, and almost willing to do anything to survive. But it had a good old happy ending...I really do like happy endings. I need to watch more independent films.

I'm still in shock we have a new president! Amazing and I believe things are going to really get cleaned up for once and set on track.

I'm going to take a few Tulip bulbs and try to force them indoors. I think this will be a nice thing to do for all of us. Oh, and I have download about 200 photos I've been taking. Why did it seem simpler to take photos with film? I never had to pick up 200 photos from the photo lab. I'm going to have to get some ink for the printer, I think.

Otherwise, it's bed time and I need to sleep. So much to do tomorrow...plus, we're planning an event at the museum for Valentine's. I think it's going to go well. Sorry for the short sentences and so forth, I'm just tired.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Casseroles...

My computer was down for about 2 weeks...very annoying and have finally gotten it up and running. In the meantime, we have had some really cold weather...snow, ice, blizzard like conditions. Most of the time, we were all safe inside but every now and then, it's been yucky traveling. This means staying at home and waiting till the weather let's up before getting supplies and so forth. So, in desperation (most of the time), I learned how to make casseroles. Oddly, I've never made one, really, before this winter. I've made something close to casseroles but honestly, I thought they were a lot of work. I usually make soup for something hot and comforting or else banana bread to warm up the kitchen (made that last night, actually).

But I never tried casserole in the sense of eggs and adding whatever you have around. I found a good recipe in one of the magazines I have geared towards mom's and so forth, and did my own adaptation. Basically, as long as you have eggs, some bread, a bit of cheese and some frozen or canned veggies, you can make a casserole. I even used cheese from a can and one onion bagel! It was pretty tasty, I must say. So, the humble casserole is quite good when you don't have as many supplies in the house or are just sick of soup (not that I ever really could be...unless it warms up to 80 degrees someday). I'm aiming to try pop over next and soup.

Oh, a really nice yummy food to warm you up (and a fave for everyone), use some of those forgotten dried fruits (those raisins in the back of the cupboard and that organic moment, cranberries), Fruit Empanadas. Oh, these are good...basically you make little pastry like crust (this one calls for vinegar, but I used baking powder in mine)with sweetened fruit. I cooked the fruit in sugar with cinnamon and crushed cloves (I used all spice instead) with a bit of water for about 10-15 minutes. Then, I baked it at 350 until there was a brownish crust (good reason to stay in a warm kitchen). These are delicious and let me just say, the kids LOVED them! Plus, it's a nice way of getting a bit of Hispanic culture. I got my recipe from an old Arizona Highways cookbook. This must have been from our adopted Grandma Alta. She lived in Arizona most of her life and was our first experience with a vegetarian (she was 7th Day Adventist) as well as religion that was new to us. She lived through the great Depression and taught us all sorts of interesting foods to use...I actually found a recipe that is (I believe) the very one she used to make...Oatmeal patties (the early version of veggie burgers). I'll have to put that up here soon...I made the oatmeal patties into oatmeal meatloaf. It actually calls for cottage cheese and eggs for the base as well as oatmeal. It's very good with blue cheese dressing.

Oh, and this is for my sis...I'm back on-line! She was worried about me. Basically, I've been taking care of the kiddos, making various meals and doing a bit of art in-between resting.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

10 degrees...

That's what the weather is right now...outside my door. Too cold to do anything outside. The kids will be disappointed. But I think I will surprise them by getting a bit shovel full of snow and put it in some big containers so they can play with it. I got that idea from Wonder Time, a kids magazine. I actually did that about 2 years ago...we had fun then, and should have fun again.

Once it does get a bit warmer, I'm going to give them squirt bottles with water in pink, green and purple. They can decorate the snow. :) I still cannot believe how cold it is. Thank goodness, Jon sealed the windows.

Did I mention that one of my guinea pigs passed away recently? I was very sad (I took it harder then the kids, as usual). She was the mama guinea pig and died about 3 days before Christmas. Well, Jon knew I was sad and went with the gals and got a new piggie. Her name is Apple Jack (after a My Little Pony toy). We call her AJ. She is brown and white and is really, really cute. Once she settles down (we've had her for about 2 weeks now) and I can get a picture of her, I'll post that. She moves with lightening speed and popcorns around the cage like crazy. She is a total sweetie!

In other news, we are reading out loud the adventures of Moomintrolls. The kids LOVE it and reenact all the scenes. I'm so happy they love the Moomin's. :) They love the humor and the fact that Moomin's are smart enough to hibernate during the winter and wake up when it is warm Spring. We could all learn from that! lol!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Learning new games...

When I was in 6th grade, my parents owned a little restaurant. For awhile, it did all right but then we lost it for some reason...I still don't really know. Anyway, this was a very exciting time in my life as the little restaurant was located in this plaza/outdoor mall area and was probably one of the biggest cultural meeting places I had ever had...except, perhaps school (went to public school and was very lucky to be a part of such a group. We had people who were new immigrants, settled people and so on...just amazing when I think about it).

Well, some of the fun things about having a restaurant in such a place was there where other restaurants, Chinese, Greek, and few others I can't remember. On the way into the entrance to the plaza was a magazine seller...had all sorts and of course comics (which I still love). I'd spend many hours there and nearly all of my little earnings when I helped my parents. I pretty much liked all comics but especially, Archie, Betty and Veronica and Sci-fi. There were a couple of little shops out front and they sold the usual stuff...clothing, jewelry and a really neat stationary store where they had some sort of Japanese style cartoons. Loved that! Plus, there was this great shop where the owner was a nice man. He watched everyone and loved to talk with everyone. He gave me some dreidels around Hanukkah time. I didn't really understand the game too well...or really remembered how he taught we to play. But I kept the little dreidels and am going to learn to play this with my kids. I found some cool directions on how to play. I think we'll be able to catch on quickly. It will be fun to use the actual dreidels I got and sort of bring back that kind man and his patience (he really tried to explain the game several times to me, but I was an impatient kid...what do you expect?). lol!

Anyway, I'm looking for games to play as it snowed more and is even harder to get out and about. We managed to make it to Target yesterday...the first time I was out in 2 or so weeks. I had a good time but the parking lot was full of massive salty puddles of slushie snow. Yuck!

For Christmas, I got the kids a game called Mancala...I love it but it seems to bore the kids a bit. Darn...maybe, if I make it more interesting with a prize. Oh, well.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Wearing a sweater

I knit him. It's a bit short in the waist and long in the arms. Oh, well...his hair looks a bit reddish blond here. :)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Cold...

It's a cold day and snow is starting to fall. We're supposed to get a winter storm tomorrow/this evening, I guess. I had Jon go to the market and get a huge list of food stuff we were low on...I feel better now.

Things are going better now that we are adjusting to baby Harrison. I thought it would be harder...well, the physical is harder. C-sections are a lot more pain, then I ever realized and I hope all mama's who have had or have to get them, will be given extra care/attention. It's amazing how the body heals so fast, but it really needs rest/help. It's not that easy, believe me.

I just ordered some made by me, birth announcements. I was going to do a pre-made one but for 25 it was be $50! That's outrageous. So, I made my own and got quite a few more (something like 60 for $10).

Anyway, I'm really glad we're homeschooling as the weather would be awful to go out in. Lydia has a cold, again. I'll have to take her to the doctors, I think.

I'm going to try to do some baking today. I hope I feel up to it. Mostly, I feel like sitting and resting. Which is good for homeschooling...we did a few more hours today and will do more.

If it snows, I hope it's enough for a snowman. We haven't made one yet. As with everything, I'll see how my energy level is. Boy, I get tired fast.

Well, I'm off to do some more work with the kids.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

yawn


yawn, originally uploaded by emily999.

Just a wee bit tired. :)

Sociable

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