Saturday, December 31, 2011

"It's Where You Live"




About a week before Christmas, my best friend came by the house.  Look what she brought with her!  I got all sorts of treasures...a bottle of Sarsaparilla...from "Hosmer Mountain which lies in the heart of New Englandin the pristine northeastern section of Connecticut, known as the Quiet Corner.  A rather minor geological formation, it forms a ridge of the valley known as Willimantic."  Then there was a bag of coffee beans which came from Quiet Corner Coffee Roasters.  I also received two (not just one!! but two) re-usable totes for shopping, groceries, "saving the world-1 bag at a time!"  Does that mean because I have two that I'll  save it twice as fast?  Only kidding...LOL!

I also got real honest to goodness gaiters...and they work too!  I tried them one day when I walked with Moon and Copper.  Everything I got came from right HERE in Northeastern Connecticut!  After the holidays, I plan on stopping by TLGV main office but for now, I'm partial to that bright blue bag because it not only matches my car but also says "It's Where You Live," referring to The Last Green Valley.  Here's the link...go check it out!  http://www.tlgv.org/index.php

After having coffee at the house, we then headed out shopping for several hours winding down with a grinder at Subway and a small trip to the grocery store.  We had fun as always and of course, there are a lot of adventures waitng to be had here in A Quiet Corner!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Giveaway Arrives

Right before Christmas, I received my package in the mail from Eco Natural Soap...http://econaturalsoap.com/

I had won a giveaway earlier in the month from Lisa at Two Bears Farm.  I was excited.  You see, I had never won a giveaway so I was really pumped.  In fact, for days I had been asking the Prez each time he walked down to get the mail "Did I get a package?" And his response was always the same, "No, not today, Honey."  Then in he walked and this time he volunteered the info which is rare for him, " Honey, your package is here!"



In it was my Seaweed Facial Soap, my Arthritis and Joint Relief Balm which really does help my hands a lot, and my Lemon Lip Balm.  So the next time you see me, I should look younger, having fewer wrinkles, moist lips and no pain whatsoever!!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hanging of the Doors

When he called to ask us for "a hand", I knew that the Prez would enjoy this visit since he likes to build, frame, and be the "go to" guy.  Yep, close is good.

...:)  JP

Have Kong Will Travel


Copper modifies a stick

When the Prez was down in Virginia getting the third trip, I called to see how things were.  "Guess what?" he said.  "I found Copper's Kong!"  When I asked where he'd found it he told me it was on the hill where they used to go you know what. 

When he arrived here with the trailer full, out of the back seat of the truck it came.  Of course Moon and Copper were anxiously waiting to greet the Prez.  Copper and Moon have never been dogs when it comes to toys.  They'll settle for anything when it comes to play.  Sticks work just fine once they modify them a little.

However, when Copper saw what was heading in his direction, his tail was wagging so hard and so fast, he even let out a few joyful yips which is unusual since he, unlike Moon, is not a vocal dog.

  

Even Copper needs a little rest now and then and so does his stick.  You should see the stash of sticks he has right outside his "condo."











However, when I was out in the yard taking a few pictures, look who has now found a spot in what I'm hoping will be perennials...and look what he's got with him!!!  He hides it in his crate...way in the back!.





We're down to one Kong for him now where in Virginia we had two...an everyday and a "back-up."
I guess I know what Santa will be bringing him this year!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oh, What A Birthday Surprise...

Today is December 28th.  It is my birthday.  Now originally I wasn't going to bother writing anything nor was I going to tell you it was my birthday because you might think I was soliciting Birthday Wishes.  However...yep, there's a however.  Here goes:

Tuesday night we had a heavy rain storm come through our area along with fierce winds.  I guess it was about 10:30pm when I decided to hit the sheets.  And so I did.  I had just begun to fall asleep when I heard a series of crashes, scraping and squeaking like chalk on a blackboard.  I shouted out to the Prez.  And that was a tree, honey!

I no sooner got the words out and he was out of his comfy leather chair and heading out the front door, saying something like, "Lets hope it didn't hit my truck."  Meanwhile I headed in the direction of the noise I heard...toward the deck and said, It came from the back, honey...it's on this side where the dogs are! 


Turning on the outside light, I spotted Moon through the mess in the dark.  She apparently was awakened from a sound sleep by the crashing limb, bolted out of her house and was so scared she just stood there in the pouring rain and heavy winds.  The Prez broke off the smaller limbs blocking her door and I got her to go back in and settle down.  The damn tree on the edge of the woods, split and fell right on the house, with some of the branches right on top of her condo!!  Turning and walking into the dining room through the slider, the Prez said, We'll look at it tomorrow.

Well, "tomorrow" was my birthday.  Did I get flowers?  No.  Did I get a cake?  No.  But what I did get was a big surprise from Mother Nature.  I got a whole damn tree!  Come on now, gang, who could ask for anything more for their birthday?



However, the best gift of all was, there was minimal damage to the house!  No damage done to the roof except for one shingle up on the peak believe it or not!  The gutter received a few "dings" but that was it.  The dents were small enough for the Prez to straighten them out along with the clips and it will work as good as new.  Of course, the hard part was taking it apart, piece by piece, branch by branch, severing the leaning trunk from the tree itself, cutting it bit by bit until it became manageable for the Prez and I. 


 We had accomplished quite a bit by mid morning when I called in reinforcements with a simple text message.  My SIL and BIL responded within three minutes and said they were on the way!  Yes, close is awesome especially for birthdays...let alone for tree removal!


During the whole process, Copper wanted to play (what else is new?).  Moon, on the other hand took it more seriously and waited at the edge of the woods, safe up above the wall.  She was very relieved when I swept off the deck, placed her feeding station next to her house and she was, once again, able to relax!


Close Matters

December 11th was my youngest grand daughter's third birthday.  The Prez and I had gone to Target and picked up a few things that the little one had been eying.  The food was great.  Visiting with my son's in-laws again was just as great.  However, I have to admit that when the little one came up to me and said, Nana, lets go play in my room.  You can throw my animals at me and I can throw them at you, like we did before, OK?  When that little girl said that to me, I didn't need to be invited twice.  Walking down the hallway to her bedroom hand in hand, I was in heaven!

The party went beautifully especially since I had the chance to spend most of my time with the little one while the adults chatted.  Later on, after cake, we were downstairs in what my son calls "the man cave" playing ball when I realized it was time for the Prez and I to hit the road.

"Mia, Nana's got to go home now."  Looking perplexed she replied, "Why?"  I said, "Nana has to go home and give her doggies some love too."  She ran up to me, wrapped her arms and legs around my left leg and said, "Nana, don't go home.  Nana, don't leave." 

I reached down, lifting her up in my arms and hugged her as tightly as I could.

Yep...it's good to be back and closer to the ones we love...:)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sleeping Dogs

Ever since I can remember I've always loved the painting Master Bedroom by Andrew Wyeth.  As you can see I have it hanging in one of our bedrooms.


One day, as I looked out the downstairs bedroom window, this is what I saw.  Dashing into my office so I wouldn't miss the shot and grabbing the camera out of the antique desk, I couldn't wait to draw back the lace curtains.


There she was my sleeping dog and although she wasn't on or near the Master Bedroom, it didn't much matter to me. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Return of the Happy Hunter

The Prez is leaving for Virginia this week.  A few days before Christmas, the logger called to tell us he would be moving his equipment to our place and be ready to begin soon.  Yep.  We are having seventeen of the twenty acres select cut.  However, the Prez had told our logger that we wanted to retain an insulation of trees around the open acres.  I have such mixed emotions about having it done.  I do know that it's good for the trees and I also know that it will be good for our pocket book as well.  In fact, on the 23rd, we got a call saying he got his first load and it was "prime" lumber (which means no dead/diseased centers I found out from the Prez).

So, the "Happy Hunter" is making the trip down to checkout the logging process and also catch the remainder of muzzle loader season for hunting.  He hasn't had a chance to hunt at all because of the move, so it's well deserved.  Besides while he's down there, he'll have a chance to sit and chew the fat with Buddy, who we both miss seeing and our other neighbors as well.

But meanwhile, I wanted to tell you that
ANOTHER ONE BIT THE DUST!!!
No...not a swag...
one of the deer!!!


 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Now I know it's Christmas but I wanted to share this with you and what better time to share than today!
You see, I found my present right here in my own back yard.


Nature's Fox


So, you tell me...
how cool is that?

It's a tree trunk that sits right above my stone wall.  So each day as I look out the kitchen windows, there it is...Nature's Fox!


I told you I was blessed!




Saturday, December 24, 2011

A New Love??

Sure...break my heart just when I needed you most! 
It couldn't have happened at a worse time.  Just as I was about to sprinkle the confectioner's sugar on the warm cookies, it broke.  The damn pin popped out and that was the end of my eight year old Dollar Store sifter!  Oh crap!  Now what I am going to do? I thought frantically especially with a few recipes left! 

The search began...WalMart, Target, Ocean's State Job Lot, JC Penny, Kohl's.  What they had wasn't what I wanted or needed.  Call me fussy, but I knew when I found the right one, I would know!

Wandering into TJ Maxx after my workout at the gym I knew I was looking for bathroom rugs.  Yet something called me down the kitchen isle and there it was...the love of my life...the best little sifter ever!!!  Now it may not look like much in these pictures but how good can you expect a sifter to look?



Not only does it have a lid on top and a lid on the bottom, but also all you do to "sift" is gently shake it side to side!  No more squeezing a handle...it's all in the wrist!


Now I KNOW you all are wondering about me and my cookie frenzie so I have to report the numbers are in!  Besides it's easy for me to take a head count today since I'm preparing "the bags."  I surpassed last year's total!!! 



Peanut Butter Kisses
Orange Delights
Peanut Butter Balls
Chocolate Chip
Peanut Butter Chip (new this year)
Chocolate Chocolate Chip (new this year)
Russian Teacakes
Spritz
Italian Drop
Ginger Crinkles
Molasses
Oatmeal Raisin
Coconut
Macaroons
Cranberry/Oatmeal/Coconut Bars
Toffee Bars (new this years)
Lemon Bars
Brownies
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip

And



3 Pumpkin Pies
1 Coconut Cream Pie
1 Carrot Cake 

And

4 lbs of Crab Salad
6 Cheeseballs
(sorry....no pic...in frig...LOL!!!)

Can you tell I like to share?


HO! HO! HO!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in Connecticut


Several of you have told me that it will be a wonderful Christmas this year because we can spend time with the kids and grandchildren.  You’re right!  Living in Virginia, we would make the ten hour drive and generally arrive at my MIL’s shortly after supper because we would inevitably hit the five o’clock traffic (let alone the last minute shoppers in and around every Mall we had to pass).

The next few days we would attempt to cram in visits with everyone to the point where we would go to one relative’s house, stay a few hours, then move on to the next.  Constantly shuffling from one home to another as they would extend such thoughtful invitations.  Before we knew it, the few days would pass and we would hit the road at 5:00am to once again make the ten hour trek back to Virginia.  After doing that for eight years, we are more than happy to say that this year we will enjoy our Christmas in Connecticut.  Life is good...and sometimes...letting it happen is even better!!


This year, we will spend Christmas Eve with my daughter and her sweetheart, bringing pumpkin pie, shrimp cocktail, crab salad, home made cheese ball, coconut pie, lemon bars and of course, a cookie tray to share.  Christmas Day will find us at our new home enjoying each other's company, that of our dogs, more good food and more time with family!...:)

P.S.  Even my snowman made the trip home.  Funny story about my snowman...remind me to tell you that one. 

Christmas in CT
Here's hoping you ALL have the most wonderful Christmas ever!!
I know I will...:)

 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Coconuts!!

After telling you how good Bev's Coconut Cookies were and that you wanted the recipe, Bev told me that I could share HER recipe (I told you she was a sweetie!).  So without further adieu:


COMBINE:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

MIX:
1/2 butter (soft)
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

ADD:
1 1/3 coconut

Bake @ 350 on ungreased cookie sheet 3" apart for 8-11 min.  Cool on rack.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While I had coconut on the brain, here's another awesome favorite of mine, Coconut Macaroons (from Roberta, another wonderful person and former colleague). 
Last night I made up the cookies and today the dipping will be done along with dipping the eight dozen Peanut Butter Balls.

Coconut Macaroons:
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut (I use close to 4!)
1 Tbs Corn Starch + 2 Tsp Corn Starch
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted Butter (cut into pieces)
1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Tsp vanilla
1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Eggs Whites lightly beaten

Preheat Oven to 375, butter & flour well a heavy baking sheet.

In a medium bowl combine coconut & corn starch.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla & salt.  Bring to boil over high heat while stirring constantly.  Boil for 30 seconds, remove from heat and stir in coconut/corn starch mixture.  Add half of beaten egg white and mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Add remaining egg white.  Mixture will now become a ball (although I refer to it as a "blob"!).

Return to high heat & cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 

Let cool for about 30 minutes.  It handles better and keeps shape when baked.

With WET hands (I use cold water), break off tablespoon size pieces.  Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet 1 inch apart.

Bake 10 minutes or until tops just begin to turn golden brown.

Turn, if need be, halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.

Let cookies cool on cookie sheet.

Melt chocolate pieces in a double boiler (I use Ghiradelli choc & white).  Dip room temperature balls into chocolate of choice, scraping excess & dry on waxed paper.  You can make them ahead and freeze them, then dip your balls closer to the day they will be devoured!!!!

These are absolutely mouth "wateringly" delicious!! 

P.S.  These can be made to taste like an Almond Joy if you put an almond in the center of the cookie, then dip in chocolate.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Trimming…not the Tree

Remember that woman, Bonnie, I met in the grocery store who told me who her hair dresser was?  Well, on Tuesday afternoon, I went to my appointment.  Now let me explain that I am not a snob, never have been, never want to be, if you catch my drift.  As I walked into this salon for the first time, after smiling and saying hello, I sat as all good customers sit.  However it wasn’t long before  I felt so comfortable that I joined in on the conversation.

Meanwhile Megan came over, introduced herself to me and said she’d be right with me.  When I walked in, I felt frumpy.  Do you know what I mean by frumpy.  My hair had grown so much since I last went to Mike.  After all, it had been since September.  (Mike, if you read this, you can imagine what I looked like!)  Anyway, frumpy is the only way I can describe it.

Megan began with the typical wash and comb out.  We decided short was the look.  Then I watched her whittle away, trimming, notching and shaping.  As I watched myself transform into a look that, as Mike used to say “was me,”  my attitude changed.  No longer frumpy.




All I can say is that I look like Halle Berry…except of course, she’s just a tad prettier…not by much though!  Personally, I think it's her earrings!  I think I'll look for a pair like those!

Oh, one more thing, I made my next appointment with Megan!!
She’s a keeper!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Working Dog?



They told us Moon was a Shepherd, Husky mix with some Chow thrown in as well.  She is a working dog most of the time.

Each morning, while the coffee pot is making my joy juice, this is what I see outside the dining room slider

Waiting like a good working dog should do.




But then, at least once a day, her alter ego comes out and she transforms into her cazy side.  I've always referred to this as my "wild woman"


She too was elated that her Kong made it to Connecticut!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust

If you noticed, I put my favorite swags under the windows around the house.  When I put them up though, I ran into a slight dilemma.  The house in Virginia was made of wood with wooden trim around the windows and my favorite swags were a non-event.  However, this house has vinyl siding along with vinyl trim around the doors and windows.  Although I love both the color and texture, I did have just a slight problem "hanging" decorations.  Not wanting to put a hole in the siding nor vinyl trim, I wanted to find a "work around."  This is what it was referred to back in the days when I worked at the bank.
I love that expression:  find a work around


No big deal, I thought.  I began with these "Command" strip hooks that apparently are the latest rage because they were sold everywhere!  I took the bait, I'll admit buying two large packages and then hung the swags.  The next morning as I circled the house admiring the decorations, there two were that had bit the dust during the night!  They had become unstuck and landed right near the patio.

It was time for more drastic measures so I then moved on to double sided sticky tape that will withstand moisture.  Don't waste your money folks!  Good luck with that crap because, the next day, once again, down on the ground.  Determined to get these damn favorite swags hung and looking absolutely adorable on this house, I hit the local hardware stores in search of "Vinyl Siding Hangers" that I found on the internet

Buy local...everyone always says so I headed over to the local hardware store.  According to the manager at True Value, "they are out of season."  "OUT O F SEASON," raising my voice, "this is the time of the year the everyone is hanging all sorts of stuff (she's lucky I didn't say CRAP) on their homes."  No matter, she would contact me when they came in for the "season" which is flippin' August!!

Undauted by my dilemma, I continued to search high and low for something that would do the job.  I really thought I'd lucked out when I met the manager of the WalMart automotive department.  He suggested automotive double sided sticky tape.  "It hold cars together...it should do the trick."  And so I did as he suggested...cruised over to the automotive section, picked up the tape (two rolls, I might add!) and headed home.  The Prez snickered as I once again went window to window.  

Using the double-sided automotive tape to secure the hooks, I then proceeded to simply hang the swags on the hooks.  It worked.  IT HELD...well, for about ten days anyway.  Then there they were on the ground again.

  This time, I decided to rely on my own logic.  Heading for my "craft corner" (which really isn't a corner but rather two entire four drawer dressers), I found just what I needed.  Pipe cleaners!  Twisting two pipe cleaners together, I anchored the ends through the swag, then around the hook and then, opened the window and twisted the pipe cleaner ends around.  Slamming the windows shut right on the pipe cleaners, I now realized that my swags were not going anywhere...at least not until I attempt to take them down!  Lets hope I can get them down and don't pull off the vinyl siding in the process!!

Oh, one more thing...I'm ording those hooks in August!  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Waiting


Once she hears the coffee maker, she's up and out of her bed...I mean condo...and on the deck outside the dining room...waiting.  So as the coffee brews, I head in that direction, knowing just what to expect.  I know what's coming.  Kisses and a little chatter will be all mine once I open the door and stoop down.

  Meanwhile, the boy (aka Copper) is still out like a light tucked snugly away in his condo.  After all, he has a dog door to help keep out the chill.  Generally he doesn't budge until I come out with their breakfast.  Then he's ready to play!




Saturday, December 17, 2011

Window of Opportunity

I've decided that the world is just that...a window of opportunity!

Late in the afternoon when the sun is going down, it gives me much pleasure as it hovers among the tree tops outside the living room window.  Our builder placed this house perfectly.  In fact, although I tried to get a picture of it, there is a pond that can just barely seen through the tall pines.


In this picture, the pond can be seen right above the first layer of green.  However, since I wanted you to get a better idea, the kids and I took a walk the other day.  Of course, Moon and Copper are not used to traffic which posed a slight problem when we went to cross the road to get our pictures.  I definitely have to work on that with them (for now we won't go there)! 



I know I told you somewhere along the line that the geese fly over the house twice a day but I'm not yet sure if this pond is where they're going or if it's the dam that's about a mile away.  When I met Mary Ellen and Butch, they told me how they go down to the dam and see American Bald eagles each spring.  I can't wait for that adventure!  Meanwhile, I want to follow the geese.  Gosh, I wish I could fly!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Welcomed Friends

The bird feeders didn't arrive until the third trip and I must admit that I just picked up the seed a few days ago at a Tractor Supply store that is close by.  Anyway, I filled the feeders and then the waiting began.  But two days later, as the Prez and I returned from our walk down the gravel road with Moon and Copper, we saw some interesting activity.  We saw feathered friends picking away at the seed and the suet.  Now I just have to take a few pictures with birds in them!


I don't want to get too excited, but there's been a nice Red Tail Hawk frequently the edge of the yard.  Oh we also have geese flying over twice a day.  There's a pond close by which I know I want to explore.  I do know that the "locals" have found the feeders because they are very active with Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Chicadees and Nuthatches. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ultimate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know I'm not big on recipes but if there's someone important enough...someone who touches my heart in some way...and they ask, then I'm glad to share.  Since my buddy, Bev requested it, here's the recipe from A Taste of Home:

Ultimate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies..................they are AWESOME!!!
(courtesy of Nestle')

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 Nestle Toll House Baking Cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter or margarine softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degreese F
2.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt in a medium bowl.  Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Beat in eggs.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in chunks.  Drop by rounded tablespsonn onto ungreased baking sheets.
3.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set but still soft.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

P.S.  I will tell you that these suckers taste like you're eating fudgie brownies!!!!

On A Roll


Today was a little showery so after the Prez got back from grocery shopping, he dipped all the Peanut Butter Balls and the Coconut Macaroons while I worked on the Ginger Crinkles...:)

I only have one more kind to make which I'll do next week along with the pies, cheese balls and crab salad.  That way each of the four kids has that to share with drop ins.

Whew!  I'm pooped.
...:)  JP

New This Year


Each year I introduce the kids to a new cookie.  Then I patiently await the reviews without solicitation.  This a recipe that appeared here in the paper from a woman who is affiliated with A Taste of Home.  I just might have to sample one of the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies!
...:)  JP

Is That...Gr...Gr...Grass?


When we closed in October, our yard had been grated and seeded.  I am happy to report that we now have GRASS!  Oh, I wouldn't exactly call it a lawn yet, but all these little green hairs are sprouting up everywhere. 

 It was a very warm Fall with the exception of that nasty snowstorm we had in October and that heavy rain storm we had in December.  Today was in the high forties and tomorrow is supposed to be in the fifties again.
I'm hoping that this warm weather will give our grass a chance to grow and establish new roots as we have done.



Can imagine how nice the lawn will be come Spring?  If you look closely, you'll see the white plant markers that I stuck in the ground when I planted the perennials.  I've also been keeping a close eye on the Hydrangeas and English Boxwood that I brought with me.  They appear to be doing well and both have new growth and or buds!

Terrific Tuesday

Stepping out of the shower, I heard the phone ringing.  Good gravy, who could that be it's only 7:30am?  Checking the Caller ID, I saw that it was my daughter so I called her right back.  She had the day off and wanted to know if we could meet up at Buckland Hills Mall and hang out for a while before she headed off to do her errands on her day off!  I jumped at the chance and said, "tell me where and what time."

And so we did just that.  Wandering around Michael's I found the cutest little ceramic bake ware for only $1.00.  I'll be able to use them to make small loaf cakes so I was excited.   Then we hit Joanne Fabric for their sales...picked up my cookie bags there.  Oh I won't use them for the kids' cookies as there's too many.  But I will be able to use them to give to my neighbors and new hair dresser.

Then we did lunch at Panera's and it hit the spot.  Chatting over lunch was just like old times as we devoured our French Onion Soup and Roasted Turkey sandwiches.  Then it was time for my daughter to head in her direction and me mine.  Buckland Hills is forty minutes drive for both of us so it looks like it will be a good meeting place other than our homes. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Timber…..aka Listen to Your Dog

Last week that heavy rain storm that hovered over the South for a few days found it’s way to Connecticut.  During the day, we had intermittent sprinkles.  No big deal.  However, that night it got down right nasty! 

Awakened by the howling winds and torrential rain, I climbed out of the covers and peeked at the clock.  It was 1:30 in the morning and I couldn’t wait to climb back into bed and get back under the covers.  Falling back to sleep listening to the wind howl was more relaxing than I realized.  Then I was awakened by barking.  It was Copper.  It sounded as if he was right outside his condo.

In the pitch dark I couldn’t see anything let alone decipher what he was barking at.  I decided to wait until daylight before I went out to investigate because he’d stopped and returned to his house.  Pulling on my nylon pants over my jammies and zippering my jacket, I shuddered to think how it would feel to be out in this storm.  Off I went.  Through the garage, filling the red bucket with their breakfast, I grabbed an extra treat for each of them.  To tell you the truth, I’d forgotten about the barking until I raised the garage door.

Holy moose poops!  There it was.  Our forty foot cedar tree was leaning on a cluster of dead trees.  Its roots had been ripped from the earth swollen with rain.  Crap!  Now the Prez would have to contend with another “widow maker.”  The Prez knows how to work with trees and chain saws.  He's been doing that for forty years, growing up on a farm and living in the country.

After feeding the dogs, I immediately went in.  No playing until the rain slowed.  Waiting until the Prez got up, I broke the news to him and never finished explaining when he was in the garage ready to push the button for the door.  “At least it didn’t hit your truck,”  I said.


The day after the storm, the sunny was bright as could be.  Have you ever noticed how clean and clear the sky looks after a bad storm? 


As the Prez artfully attacked the cluster of dead trees, the cedar remained steady.  However, I noticed that the trunk appeared significantly different that it did when it was discovered.  Not to worry, the tree is down now resting comfortably.

Note to self:
Always listen to your dog.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Things Never Change



Yep.  I'm at it again.  Same old spare refrigerator and upright freezer came with us from Virginia.  They are still in the garage. And as you can see, I've been baking.  Same old Kitchen Aid.  Same old cookie sheets and spatula..nothing wrong with old...:) 


However, this year I had a new challenge set before me.  I had an AWESOME island in my new kitchen to use along with a brand new double oven.  The lower oven can be used for convection baking and has eight racks in it.  SWEET!!


Last Saturday my mission was to make Chocolate Chip cookies.  I got close to twelve dozen.  I try to bake every other day and/or when the weather is going to be bad. 

When the Prez was up in CT putting up the fence, it rained heavily one of the days so he and our builder went appliance shopping.  He was prepared though and he'd been doing his homework for several months in VA. 

Yep, he picked out the stove, the microwave, the French door refrigerator and the dishwasher!  That night when I called him at his Mom's, he told me that he was exhausted from shopping with Corey but that I would be happy.  I am...very happy as I fulfill my baking desires.

Thus far, I've made:

Orange Sandwich Delights
Chocolate Chip
Oatmeal Raisin
Bev's Coconut
Mexican Wedding Cakes
Ginger Crinkles
Molasses
Spritz
Italian Drop
Coconut Macaroons
Peanut Butter Balls
Peanut Butter Kiss
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip

HO! HO! HO! 
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