Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quote of the day

When I asked for my Jericho dvds mom said "yes, better watch them while we still have electricity."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lighting the way

I've been thinking about something I normally take for granted - light. How would I adjust to the lights going out long term? I've always kept a few candles and a couple of oil lamps, but what if that were all I had to work with?

The experiment I'm trying is to do without electric lights in the evening and see what works. The oil lamps put out a lot more light than candles, but it's still much, much less than I'm used to. Just compare that dim glow to a computer monitor! I also need to buy wicks.

I placed an order with Emergency Essentials this month to take advantage of some good sales and the free shipping. Part of my order was light sticks (very good temporary option avoiding any fire hazard) and 'one hundred hour candles'.

Of course, I also have some flashlights. Those with rechargeable batteries could be a big help. I'm tempted though, to find a battery operated clip-on light for reading. An evening without a book would be a sad time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back and forth

My son had a flat tire this weekend so when it came time for him to go back to school I took him. Cold, windy, blowing snow...normal winter driving. Just minutes after I'm home again I hear the front door unlocking. He forgot his laptop charger and got his roommate to give him a ride. I started to say he could have asked me to bring it, then thought 'No, another hour on the road tonight would have been too much. He made the right choice.

Super Yum

I put half the leftover roast lamb into a pie (the other half is frozen). I have to admit I prefer it this way to the roast itself, probably because I'm still adjusting to the flavor. The recipe is adapted from a Betty Crocker chicken pot pie recipe. Besides switching the meat I also used cream in place of milk.

I'm sending a slice over for my parents to try. If they learn to love lamb maybe they would be willing to raise a couple next year.

I've been looking at pressure cookers again but, ouch!, the prices on the quality pieces.

The wind has switched to the south and other parts of the state may even see temps above freezing this week! Any increase will feel great to me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Extra Brrrrrrrr

I left the milk in the porch. Normally, not a problem since it's like an extended refrigerator out there. This time? Froze solid. Oh, the joys of a mid-western winter.

Recently I read a thread on Powerswitch (a peak oil site for mostly UK dwellers) where they were discussing how cool their homes would get without heat....somehow, none of them mentioned frozen. It's illuminating how different our climates really are with many of them beginning to work outside now and some even seeing the first spring flowers. We, on the other hand, are pleased with a forecast that looks to be mostly above 0 F (-18 C).

Spring is still a fantasy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Roast lamb

I couldn't tell you if this is how it was supposed to look, but it tasted good. :)

Funnily, just minutes after the lamb finished, the element in my oven burnt up so no bread sticks for us. It was pretty spectacular with a brilliant glow and bright sparks; unfortunately I'm without an oven until the replacement element arrives. It shouldn't be too difficult to install. I really want to put the leftover meat into a pie, so I hope the part arrives soon.

It's snowing again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

An interesting week

My son went back to campus to begin his second semester. Happy related news: while playing with numbers for my income tax return I discovered the education tax credit! I'll get enough back for my refund to push my debt payoff date forward two+ months. This means I can be finished this year. :)

I placed a good sized order with Emergency Essentials taking advantage of the free shipping offer. Also, received my order from Cabela's; they were having an ammo sale and I found a good pair of shoes and nice thick socks on clearance for my son. Something I've been wanting for quite awhile is a .22 rifle. Rabbits are a problem here and now I have the means to deal with them after a visit to the sporting goods store. I did notice it's difficult to get waited on, maybe because I'm female?

The leg of lamb roast is in the oven. The smell is very strong probably because it's unusual.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter continues

Another 5-6" of snow added just in case we didn't have enough. ;) It's a strange phenomenon when the clouds are the same color as the snow, the roads are snow-packed and snow is falling...the horizon disappears and your eyes latch onto every skeletal tree just to focus on something that isn't white.

Of course, the town hasn't done the plowing so I got stuck. We tried shoveling and pushing but the car wouldn't budge. Then two neighbors showed up, one in a little tractor to push the snow out from in front of his house and the other in a four wheel drive truck (with a tow rope!). The car is now safely tucked away in the garage.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Or 'just in time' delivery gone awry? I had a shopping list when I stopped at Walmart early this week but was only able to find some of the items. It's a weird feeling to stand in front of a section of shelves that are completely empty; how does a store not have boxes of tissues in mid-winter? I have enough in my preps, but would like to replenish my stock after the colds we had.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store; it was only the second day of this week's sale, yet some items were sold out already. Other, non-sale stock was also bananas!!!!

Combined with the rising prices, all those empty spaces gave me an eerie feeling that a conspiracy nut was about to leap out shouting 'The end is nigh!'

Friday, January 7, 2011

Strange day

It started off normally enough: up at 6, getting ready for work, heading out for the 40+ mile commute. That was the end of normal; a light dusting of snow had obviously been blowing vigorously all night causing drifting. While there were tire tracks to follow, the snow still was scraping the bottom of my car. Where were the snowplows hiding?!?

The main question in my mind at this stage was if the interstate would be in better shape because of more traffic or worse like Thursday. The radio soon answered that question; a state trooper rolled over in the ditch, a semi jack-knifed, four miles of traffic backed up by another serious accident. I turned around and went home. I'm lucky that I could call one of my co-workers to turn on my computer and remote-access it from home yet it felt odd to be geared up for going to work only to spend the day here.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hooray (yum)

Recently I got my lamb, all neatly packaged in white paper, frozen and labeled. It was a little intimidating since I'd never cooked lamb and had barely tasted any long ago. I wanted to make spaghetti today because it's a good meal to take to work for lunches.

Thanks to Denise of mrsnesbitt's space fame for the cooking suggestions and I cooked up a big batch. My son started hovering around the pan early and pronounced the lamb "exquisite". Very high praise indeed!

I am so relieved because it was a costly purchase (more than I anticipated) and it would have been horrible if we had hated it.

A happy outcome for buying local meat. Now, if only I could find the equivalent of Stonehead nearby for the perfect pig!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Our weather was challenging this week beginning with freezing rain, then snow, and now winds. This combination closed all the interstates and caused 'No Travel Advised' warnings for the rest of the roads yesterday. We didn't get the masses of snow forecast (funny how they never mention those predictions when they fail to happen) but enough to drift. I'm just happy the power stayed on!

It's hard to photograph beauty this time of year since I favor lush greens and life.

Here is pure life-force in a compact but intense bundle. Meet Harley who lives next door. He is a blue heeler/corgi cross and this is his first winter. I think he is adorable.

I hope everyone had a safe new year's eve.