Monday, February 1, 2016

Thanksgiving Door

Amy keeps a Thanks List on the back of the kitchen door. When I'm home, she lets me contribute as well.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

These are a few of my favorite things...

Bean Pizza

Spread refried beans evenly over a pizza pan and layer with any combination of the following:

sour cream

Serve with tortilla chips/soft tortillas and additional toppings as desired.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Susanna's car partially un-buried. Sara's car is under the snow to the left.
By Saturday evening, the epic storm had passed, but two days later we're still shoveling snow! Our county recorded the snowfall at 36.9 inches. I estimated that we received around a yard of snow, but we don't have a yard stick and so couldn't check for sure.

looking down our street Sunday morning

Sunday morning the entire neighborhood was like a bee hive. Even though the thermometer said it was below 20F, most of us were hot and sweaty. The sun's brilliance, the absence of wind, and the clear blue sky set an ideal backdrop for snow removal.

The four of us took turns wielding shovels (we only have two full size shovels, but we also employed the mini emergency shovel Mom bought for my car, so three of us could dig at the same time). The air was filled with the smell of small engines and raw gasoline as neighbors tinkered with their snow blowers. I had no idea so many people owned snow blowers! Almost all of our neighbors are blessed with one of those nifty machines.

the alley

A compassionate neighbor sputtered her snow blower over late Sunday morning and blew some of our mounds to help us reach our goal of setting our cars free into the alley. Another neighbor gave a little push with his plow truck. Mostly we just shoveled. For HOURS and hours and hours of our weekend.

It was epic.

Not only were the storm and the shoveling epic, but the time we had together was pretty much one-of-a-kind. I'm still recovering from the capital loses I incurred in our game of Monopoly, but otherwise the weekend was fantabulous :). All four of us ate three meals together for two days in a row! That has to be a record-setter.

Sunday evening Sara headed out for an all-night shift, and a couple hours later Susanna followed for an all-night/all-day shift at her workplace. Since our office parking lots were not yet cleared, Sharon and I had a snow day from work today... which meant more time to shovel.

(I'm serious.)

We now have space for Sara's Honda Civic to park on the street in front of our house. Our front porch, steps, and walk are clear; we have a path to the garage; all the cars are un-buried, and we even have a path shoveled from the front of the house to the back of the house. It's rewarding to enjoy benefits of all our hard work.

looking out to the garage

looking back to the house from the garage

our street Sunday morning

snow pile in front of our garage... Sara says we're stuck until a high June day
We ran out of places to pile snow.

mission "rescue the cars"

the alley

looking out the front on Sunday morning

Oh... and another epic part of the storm... the epic aches after all this snow scooping. Just opening my water bottle elicited a twinge of pain!
Don't laugh at us or think we're wimps; have you ever shoveled 36.9 inches of snow over a two-day period?...
I didn't think so!

Saturday, January 23, 2016


I don't know if the rising sun has ever been soooooo winterized!

Well, we're in the midst of an epic snow storm over here in the east!
It's so exciting.

The snow was already up to my mid-thigh when I went out to scoop this morning.

English breakfast together. yum!

Those blobs to the right are our cars!

Makes me wish I were a kid again!

A giant Case loader-type machine drove past with a front blade, followed by a front-blade truck to make a single route down our street.

Hurrah for snow days with grand company, good food, and electricity!
and Hurrah that our heater is repaired! 
(we had a couple extra cold nights last week...)

1,000 Pounds

Another famous part of the Farm Show is the butter sculpture. This year's sculpture was a special recognition of the Farm Show's 100th year! Pennsylvania grows over 60% of the nation's mushrooms, so notice the butter mushrooms. In addition, the State produces lots of dairy products and apples. 
Oh- and, chocolate ;)

(so... maybe that last item is a personal assumption, but there were a lot of chocolate cakes in the Farm Show bakery competition!)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Farm Show

Last week Sara, Sam, Sharon, and I spent an evening at the acclaimed Pennsylvania Farm Show. As I learned years ago at my first Farm Show experience, a visit to the Farm Show is only complete after enjoying a famous Farm Show milkshake. (Chocolate, of course!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

fact or fiction?

Banner at the Penn State extension booth at the
Pennsylvania Farm Show
I had to laugh and take a photo when I read the words on this display...
I would agree with the statement: "Canning; It's Rewarding!" or, "Canning; A Good Choice!" or, "Canning; It's Healthy!" or even, "Canning; Family Friendly!"

But, "It's Easy!"-??!?
I couldn't disagree more.

Canning is a lot of things, but-- EASY is not really one of them.
that would be fiction.