Friday, March 21, 2008

First day of spring

I would have posted this yesterday but, as you can see from the picture, we got an ice storm that weighed the trees, full of sap from a few upper 30 degree days recently, down into crazy almost touching-the-ground-positions successfully blocking our satellite internet signal.

So this is our first day of spring. It is almost April. April?! Spring?! Warmth?! I know it will be here eventually because I have seen the buds on the trees but the view from our window tells a different story.

I am finding parallels everywhere around me in nature to this season of the church year. Knowing there is hope for life and warmth in the midst of a frozen wasteland that speaks to the opposite. Seeing, living and interacting with nature in such an interdependent way has given me lots of metaphors for faith. If I can be so sure of spring's arrival against all odds here, can I not also remain strong in my faith for Christ's redemption of all I see as well?

This a tree leaving on the telephone pole that carries all our utilities to our house. Nice, huh?

Speaking of new beginnings, below are two new and important parts of our life. With mud season coming, as soon as the snow melts, we needed a 4 wheel drive vehicle of our own since the truck will be needed for Manice. Here is our new (used) Jeep that we love.

And our dog Holly, who is so sweet! She really has just a great laid back, gentle personality. Great with kids and other animals. I think she will make a find camp dog. We are also beginning to see her watch dog side. She is really the total opposite from aggressive in so many ways you might say she is a push over. I have only heard her bark or growl twice in the 2 weeks we have had her and both times were when she thought someone was threatening her family. I feel much better having her around when Matt is gone for work, especially considering it takes the state police 45 minutes to get here!

Prayers for an Easter season of hope and new life, even if it is buried under a frozen wasteland.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

The snow is beginning to reach the windows...

This last storm dropped a foot of snow for a grand total so far of 3 feet, give or take where you are, with 7 more inches to come this weekend. The snow is to the top of the railing on our deck and has reached the windows in the back of our house. At this rate, I think we might float away when spring, aka mud season, actually does come.




Friday, February 22, 2008

A "family" recipe

Making this for dinner tonight gave me the motivation to do something I have been meaning to do for a while (the story of my life), post it!

This recipe is a favorite in our house. It's comfort food, warm, yummy and a good way to sneak vegetables into our daughter (one of many reasons I love soups). Perfect for a day like we are having today; snow, snow, snow. The best part, though, is the recipe itself. My dad gave me this recipe over the phone when Matt and I were first married and his description just cracks me up.

Wedding soup - Jack Russell style

-Chicken breast (cook a little by itself in water to get blood out) Dad, I am still not sure I fully understand what that means :-)
Chop up small onion, saute in oil
-Throw in couple of cloves of garlic for 30 seconds
-Throw in 1 large can or 3 small cans of chicken broth
-Chop up a couple of small carrots and some celery including the leaves and some parsley and potatoes, if desired
(although I usually don't include the potatoes)
Once boiling, throw chicken and vegies in. Simmer for 45 minutes.
-Take chicken out, shred, throw back in pot
(as you can see, there is lots of throwing going on in this recipe, watch out!)
-1/4-1/2 cup of acini di pepe pasta and some chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
-Cook another 15 minutes
-Top with parmesan cheese

Enjoy! (Thanks, Dad)


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Trying to catch up...on life

It can be so hard to be consistent in life with two small kids. Lovely as they are, they sure can be needy sometimes, can't they?

All joking aside, we have been busy and not really in the best ways. The last few weeks have been filled with colds, snow, shoveling, ice, stomach virus (experienced by the whole family!), getting our vehicles stuck and unstuck, did I mention snow and ice? It really is so beautiful this time of year. The trees have been caked with a wonderful white coating for the last week, like they were all dressed up for a wedding. This last storm (or two) has brought an onslaught of ice, though, that is now covering everything. Earlier this evening I thought it was still raining out until I stepped outside and discovered the sound I thought was rain was actually the ice ridden trees moving and rubbing up against each other. I have not ceased to be amazed at the weather here. And the thing is that the mountain's weather really is quite intensified than the lower elevations (flatlanders, as we found out they are called). When I was talking to a friend who lives in town recently, she said "wow the weather really is a life style for you now isn't it?". And it is. We are at the mercy of nature, the town's road crew, and our own two hand's energy for the day. It is not a bad thing. Just tiring. Remember when I asked for a long winter? Well, it seems that my prayers have been answered!

With being snowed (actually more often iced) in, my creative juices having been flowing. The kids and I have been doing some fun projects and I have been sewing my rear end off any chance I get. My previous sewing machine was broken beyond repair and we were able to get a vintage Singer with cabinet and attachments for $50! It is a 1946 and it runs smoother than any machine I have ever worked on. It only does a straight stitch but it has lots of fun attachments and I am enjoying the challenge of sewing without the zig zag option. Here are a few pics of the beauty.

Here are also two recent projects I did. The first is a pair of pants made out of a Jon Check t-shirt my brother gave me that was too big (thanks, Jas!). They are great bumming around the house pants for Abigail.

This picture of a purse I made. The picture does not do this Goodwill-found-fabric justice. I love it and still have a yard and a half left over for lots of other projects... It's reversible with a red fabric inside and a pocket of the same patterned fabric as this side. As you can see, the colors compliment my coat pretty well. :-)


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Since it was warm today...

I thought I would post some pictures of our snowy winter wonderland. The temperature got up to 55 on the mountain today. Most of the snow is melted off our roof and driveway. Our road is a bloody, muddy mess but we still have 8-10 inches of snow on the ground. Even more in the deeper parts of the woods. But it does almost feel like spring. We even took the kids on a night hike this evening. It was nice to be outside and not freezing.

Monday, January 7, 2008

You know you live on the mountain when...

  • You see more snowmobilers on your road in a day than you do cars in 2 weeks.
  • The 5 ton plow truck gets stuck in the snow on your road and has to radio the highway plow truck to pull him out.
  • You and your spouse stand admiring and talking about the positive qualities of your woodstove. This is after 2 weeks of a smoked filled house, CO2 detectors blaring, finding a manual online (who knew our stove had a damper? That's helpful to know!) cleaning out the chimney and buying a new one piece elbow for the pipe. And weeks later still periodically saying to each other. I love our woodstove, don't you?
  • You have to transport the Home Depot employee and all his equipment to your house in your own truck because his won't make it and shovel a path around your house from the 2 feet of snow so that he can install storm doors.
  • The UPS carrier leaves a note in your mailbox that says "Left your package at John Smith's house on the corner". I guess that's one way to meet the neighbors.
  • You step outside to get your ash bucket for a morning's cleaning of the woodstove and think, hmm it's awfully warm out here. You check the temperature and realize, golly, it's a balmy 10 degrees compared to the -12 the morning before.