Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The beauty of a March Snow Storm~~~~


We have been waiting for a good accumulation of snow this winter. Yes, we did have a few storms of 2 inches or less. But we are snow lovers and it is not winter unless you have a good snow storm that produces a substantial amount of the white beauty.!! Plus it provides our wells with our drinking water and helps in getting the ground ready for Spring Flowers.!!

Not everyone agrees with us, but being retired we can bask in the luxury of staying indoors and settling back and enjoying the quiet beauty of the snow.

If you live in a snow region you know that  you have been trained since childhood to go to the grocery store when you hear a storm is coming and stock up on toilet paper, bread and milk. Even if your cupboards are already filled with these supplies. YOU have to do this each time~~~ it is the routine.

The only thing that is not good, is loosing power. But this year we are prepared. On my last post I showed how my husband and I cooked over an open hearth. Preparing to have at least hot meals and some heat in the home.

On Tuesday we drove to the grocery store to do our stock up. On the way home we drove to the reservoir. I wanted to take some "Calm before the Storm " pictures. And I was not disappointed in the ones that I had taken.

The lake was so calm and peaceful and the sky was beautiful. It was evening and I knew the sun would soon be setting on the lake. Providing us with pretty reflections on the water.

Isn't it breath taking and so peaceful.
 Even the Red Winged Blackbird was wondering what the morning will bring with the talk of snow.

Well, we soon found out this morning when we awoke~~~~~~~

They are calling for about 12 inches. This was at 8:00am this morning and still the rest of the day to go.

 This storm is a wet snow~~~which is not good for the trees and electric/phone wires. Hoping this beauty will not turn into loosing our electric and communications.

As you can see it is already pulling down the branches on the pine trees.
We are feeding our birds~~~~and love the company that comes to the feeders!

A Winter Wonderland to be sure. If this is the only big snowfall of this season this year, we are not disappointed.

I am thinking this is a very good day, to get a good book, cup of coffee and sit in the recliner with my feet up and just enjoy the quiet .  Who knows ~~~~if the storm moves out, we may not get any more today and it would be gone by this evening.  Hope not!!!

                                                 ~Take the Time~ to enjoy your day today. Even if you do not
                                                                        have snow!!  :-)

                                                            Hugs, Eileen

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Taking the Time~~~to cook over the hearth.

 I have not been blogging for a while now. Life in the retirement lane offers so many different things to do. Some that need to be doctors and dentist and others that make retirement enjoyable.

In past post, I  have put on about cooking over an open fire. I think my last post was one that took place in the Fall season where my husband and his childhood friend made chili outside over an open fire.  It brought back their memories of their Boy Scout days.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to try our hand at cooking over an open fire in our fireplace hearth in our dining room. Many a time we loose our electric during a storm. So we wanted to make sure we could russel up a meal by cooking it in the fireplace hearth if we needed to in an emergency.

We made two meals on this day. The first being breakfast.
Blaine got up early to start the fire, as it takes a long time to get it to the right heat. Once that was done, he got his cast iron spider pan out and got it set up to cook the bacon first.  This way we could use the bacon grease to cook the eggs next.


As the eggs were cooking we put bread on the cast iron toaster. You have to keep turning it to get the bread to heat up even on both sides.

When the eggs were done, we cut up some apples and put them in and sauteed them.

By now the house was smelling so good and we were getting very hungry. It takes longer doing the cooking over the fire. Once the fire is just right, it does not take long after that.


The finished breakfast meal.  Cooked to perfection.  Well, we now know we can cook a good breakfast over the hearth.!!

We figured that since that  meal turned out well, we would just keep the fire burning the rest of the day and do a late lunch/early supper next.

I was pondering what I had in the refrigerator and freezer that we could try to cook. And came up with Salmon fillets, potato and onion wedges and broccoli with onions and tomatoes. So that was our next meal plan for that afternoon.

We were really becoming creative on this spur of the moment decision. But this would have been the case if we did loose power.

I cut up the potatoes and onions and Blaine put some oil in the pan this time and a few pieces of bacon to give it flavor.  The coals were now nice and hot. And the trick is to learn where to sit the pans or pots in the fire to get the benefit of the right temperature to heat the food.

Next I cut up Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and sliced onions. We put them in the pan when the potatoes were done.
He had to keep an eye on them and kept stirring them so they would not burn.  Don't they look yummy?!

And  last but not least, the Salmon fillets.
And this is how every thing looked once cooked and plated.!!
This was an experiment and we were so pleased with the way it turned out. And something we will definitely try again.
After having the fire on since early morning and all day, we let it die down to embers. Not only did it provide a new way to cook, it kept the room nice and warm and cozy on a very cold and chilly winter day.

Hope  you enjoyed our experiment with us. I have to admit everything tasted so good. And we only used the one pan. So not much of a cleanup for two meals. And we were so proud of our accomplishment.!

hugs , Eileen

Sunday, November 18, 2012

~Taking the Time ~ with my husband's old childhood friend.

We were enjoying the beauty of a November Fall day this Saturday.  The air was crisp and still some color abound on the trees.

About two years ago, my husband built a shelter  in the back yard which he had planned to use for cooking out over the open fire and maybe get in some  sleeping out under the stars .
As most of you know, we get ideas and they do not always follow through as we wish.  

This weekend an old childhood friend of my husbands came and spent four days with us. They were in Boy Scouts together and both and gone into the Marines after graduating from school.  My husband thought this would be a good opportunity to take the old Boy Scout memories and share them with  his friend.  And he  decided to cook chili out over an open fire.

They were dressed warmly with layers of clothes and hot coffee.  Blaine prepared the fire to cook the  chili . This gave them the time to sit and chat and enjoy the time together.

He wanted the fire hot so he would have some hot coals in which to cook.

Now the coals were nice and hot. And ready to put the cast iron pot over them .

      Now just have to sit back and wait  until the chili cooks.

They are all settled in in front of the nice warm fire, with the delicious aroma filling the air.  I had a friend in Virginia e-mail me and said they could smell it all the way down there. lol  So began their talks together about the old days of camping in their youth. And some of the dishes they cooked over the fire. Some good and some disastrous.

I sat outside with them for a while. Of course I was wearing layers and layers of clothes. But it was worth it to enjoy the pretty day and knowing I did not have to make lunch for them that day. It was being taken care of.!

As you can see we have a large wood pile near the fire. I am hoping this means there will be more meals cooked outside over the fire!  As long as we do not get heavy snow. Not counting on getting that many more meals, but it is a nice thought.  A lot of friends have shown an interest in coming over and sharing an over the fire cooked meal with us.

The chili is boiling and awwwwww smelling so good. Tummies are starting to grumble and growl.  Can't wait for it to get done.  We even had a Buzzard fly over us, guess he could smell it. He was circling around over our heads, but I could not get a good picture of him.

After a while, Blaine checked the chili with a spoon and gave us the proud announcement that  it was done and time to eat.!! yahoo!!!

  Yup it is ready to be taken off the fire and into the house to eat.  We would have eaten it outside, but the coldness prevented  us for taking it that far.

He made some homemade cornbread muffins from scratch. These were made in the house in the oven. Using the cast iron muffin pan for the first time. They turned out well.

Oh my, I am getting hungry just posting these pictures.!!!

The "Boys" each ate two big helpings! Believe it or not we had enough for at least 6 more large servings!  

We not only enjoyed the meal that was prepared but the time for them to share the memories. We live about 2 1/2 hours away now. But they find time to get together through out the year. And always enjoying the time with each other.

This is what life should be about....~Taking the Time~ to remember the good memories with those you shared them with. It is not always possible because of certain circumstances. But if you cannot share the memories in person, do it in thought and heart.   

Have a wonderful upcoming week.  Thanksgiving will be upon us in a few days. My daughter Jill and her family will be coming down on Wednesday night to spend the Holiday weekend with us. Our oldest daughter will be traveling to Kentucky to visit in-laws.  Hopefully at Christmas time we can all be together.
How will you be spending your holidays?

hugs , Eileen                           

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Black Butterflies

In May I had written of my personal experience of the passing of my infant son and  how a black butterfly had come to us about a month after his passing. It has been 39 years ago and the Black Butterfly still comes to us every May. This was the month that our son was born and he passed away 5 weeks later. We have also had the experience of a Black Butterfly on the sudden passing of a niece and a orange Butterfly when my Mother passed away.

I have received many responds from other people who too have been visited by a butterfly on the loss of a loved one. It makes my heart feel good to know that we are all bound in some way, by our grieving experience and the Butterfly.

So without any more words, I am going to share some more pictures I had taken in September, as my husband and I were sitting out on our deck one afternoon. Two Black Butterflies came to the Hummingbird feeder and stayed for hours , much to our delight . And continuing the peace of knowing they are still with us.



May there always be a Butterfly or another meaningful way to let you know that your loved ones are always with you. It may be shown in different ways. For us it has been the Black Butterfly.  Our granddaughters now will tell us when they see a butterfly.  

Even though the season for  the  Butterflies is over for this year. We will be looking forward to next May, when they will appear again.

My heartfelt thoughts are with all of you, who have had the lost of a very special family member.  May your heart be comforted in some way with the knowing of their presence .

Hugs, Eileen