I Do Love Quiet Days!

Today was a “recovery” day after all of the bustling of yesterday. A day when everything is so much slower, and I feel like I can gather my thoughts together.

This morning, I decided to enjoy a soak in that hot tub…a couple of days ago, I was shoveling the back deck. I twisted, *knowing* I had done something “funny”. I had to stop shoveling, as I felt so much pain, I thought I was going to SCREAM! I went inside, took two ibuprophens and drank a nice hot cup of tea. After the ibuprophen began to settle things down a bit, I went upstairs and took a VERY hot bath. The rest of the day, I took it VERY easy….By late in the day, I felt fine. Yesterday morning, however, my poor back hurt a little, and after sitting in the truck so much, it was pretty sore last night. This morning, after jumping into the hot tub, I felt terrific! That tub is great for relaxing….I have a tendency to get very “tight” when things go wrong, causing tension in my whole body. Wish I would learn to RELAX! I don’t get too upset emotionally, rather, I get stressed out in my body. Sometimes, I just need to tell myself to stop and SMELL the roses…..which I just happen to have on my table!

And, speaking of what is on the table, I decided to make our big meal midday today, as tonight is Michelle’s Bible study. I want to share this recipe, as so many people LOVE it!!! And, it is EASY!I have been making this recipe for years, as it came from a cookbook from the hospital where my mom used to work. It was called “Zucchini Casserole”, however, I have done and REdone it different ways! Here’s what is needed1 bunch of broccoli, steamed
1 cup mayonaisse
1 egg
1 cup cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, and place in a quiche dish. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. (I also add tiny dots of butter on the top and sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs. YUMMY!

I completely forgot to take a picture of the baked dish so I photographed this little bit that was left! Oops! While this isn’t a low-fat dish, it is satisfying to eat just a little. My mom used to love to take leftovers of this to work the next day and eat it cold! Mark likes it that way, too!

So, for lunch, we had steak (I buy the thin RibEye from WalMart…they are so thin, they grill in about 10 minutes. I really do not care for thick steaks!) a huge salad, and the casserole.

And, after lunch, I decided to work off some calories by shoveling MORE snow! Yup…it falls a little here, a little there…and, I missed some the other day when I hurt my back. As I shoveled between the house and garage, curiosity got the best of me……

I dug down through two feet of snow to take a peek…….

And, there they were…safely hidden under ALL that SNOW!



This was another one of those very loooonnnnngggg days!

Mark has set up my laptop so I can connect with another computer to watch TV on it. This is so nice, as I rarely have time to sit still. I really only enjoy watching HGTV….especially the home buying and selling shows. I love seeing glimpses into the way other folks live! So, last night, I watched a couple of shows before turning in for the night at about 10:30.

I was up again at 4:30. Since I let the fire die out all the way last night, it was a bit chilly this morning, so the first thing I did was build a fire in the stove. As that was burning, I went to the kitchen and washed all the dishes. Then, I awakened Mark shortly after 5, as he had to shower and get ready for a DR appointment.

I washed two loads of laundry, then packed some orders to ship out today. As soon as the boxes were labeled, I was off to shovel the snow off the paths around the house, and the sidewalk. Then I had to salt so Mark wouldn’t have to worry about falling on the ice! I reloaded the stove, then dressed, and we were off for Mark’s 9 am appointment. By the time we got to the office, I was getting so sleepy! As I sat in the waiting room, I was concerned I was going to fall asleep in the chair and roll off onto the floor……but, luckily, that didn’t happen!

After Mark’s appointment, we rushed off to Tractor Supply. Yes, we bought the SAME bolts and washers that I previously purchased at Lowe’s. The total before tax was $2.76, as opposed to the $10.82 (also before tax) I paid at Lowe’s. Call me cheap, but I was a little distraught over this BIG discrepancy.

From Tractor Supply, we went to the post office, then grabbed a little something at McDonald’s for breakfast. I got the CinnabitesYOUSAS!!! Are those SWEET? That *should* have awakened me, but nope…I was still so tired.

We went straightway to Mark’s other appointment. This was at the dentist, about 30 miles from the DR appointment. Mark parked in the underground parking lot. Although I am quite claustrophobic, I welcomed the quiet and darkness, because it just so happens I can stretch out across the seat. Which I did….I closed my eyes, and within minutess, I was asleep. Suddenly, I was rudely awakened by the sound of a LOUD vehicle which sounded as though it was in the cargo area of the truck! I sat up, and there, perhaps all of a FOOT away from my window, sat a man with a somewhat startled look on his face. Mark parks in the handicapped spaces, as he is…..well, quite handicapped. I was so put out that this man had to park so close, but I turned my back to him! He went away, and upon returning, he just stood behind the truck, as though looking for/at something. That was so strange….Mark finally came out after about an hour.

Off we headed to Henrietta for some shopping. We made several stops and as we were about ready to start for home, I asked Mark if we might check out some cameras at Circuit City. I have been “lobbying” for a new camera for a time now….I have wanted a DSLR. Mark kept quizzing me why and he said I couldn’t come up with any really GOOD reasons. hehehe Well, he was checking out all of the econo-buster cameras, and then he tried out a Nikon D-80. Oh my! If only I could have captured HIS excitement.

On the way home, Mark talked about the camera….he finally said that there are no words that can really convey the difference between point and shoot and DSLR’s. He was very impressed, to say the least. So, we shall see….

We finally arrived home at 6:30. I was so tired, but had a few things to do. I sat down to watch a hockey game with Mark and immediately fell into a deep slumber. Mark woke me up, telling me perhaps I might want to go to bed! I love running around a little but this was one very long day!

Oh, and yes….ONE of our stops was at Lowe’s, where I took back the pricey bolts and washers!

"Play the Guess the Price Game"….

I got an email this morning with that header on it. I didn’t bother reading the email, as I had already played that game yesterday at our local Lowe’s………

If you haven’t guessed, this is a *slight* rant.

Mark has been making bases for some of his tools in his woodshop. In the process, he needs some lag bolts, screws, nuts, and washers. After Michelle and I went to WalMart’s for groceries yesterday, I called Mark on my cell phone to get his list of needed hardware.

As we spoke on the phone, I was able to grab each item. Here is the list I got…..

12 – 1/4″x6″ lag bolts
16- 1/4″x 1 1/4″ lag bolts
28- 1/4″ washers for the bolts listed above

I was diligent to copy the item numbers for each of the pieces, even though Mark told me no one ever does this. He said the clerks can look up the numbers in a book they keep at the registers. I also wrote the price of the pieces off to the side so that I could make sure we were in the same ballpark.

When I went up to pay, the 6″ lags were 52 cents each, as opposed to the 47 cents I wrote down.
The 1 1/4″ lags were 14 cents each, instead of 13 cents, and the washers were 8 cents instead of 7 cents. Even though I was a little put off by this, Mark told me not to worry, as he needed these things and he would deal with it later. I realize that in all actuality I paid *only* $1.04 more.

Now, here is the “kicker”…

Mark recalled (after I had returned home from Lowe’s) that Tractor Supply had some good prices on hardware. So, this morning, he called TS to ask about prices. Get this, lag bolts are priced at $2.69 per pound, and screws, nuts and washers are priced at $1.69 per pound. Mark sent Ben to the basement to weigh the Lowe’s bag….it weighed in at a “hefty” one pound, two ounces.

If we multiply 1#, 2 oz. by the higher price of $2.69, we get 1.125 x 2.69= $3.03. Now this is the higher of the two prices, and the washers are priced at $1.59 a pound. I paid 12 x .52, 16 x .14, and 28 x .08, for a total of $6.24 + 2.24 + 2.24 = $10.72, plus tax. I paid a GRAND total of $11.48.

Tractor Supply………remember, I am doing this at the highest price, which is wrong. $3.25
Lowe’s………………………………….This is the ACTUAL price I paid!!!!…………………………… $11.48

I could buy a combo lunch at Wendy’s with the difference!

Oh, and if you are doing any renovations in your home, the price of drywall screws at Tractor Supply ALSO blows away the price at Lowe’s. Our Tractor Supply always has some older gentlemen around to help out, too, whereas Lowe’s is famous for hiring clueless youngsters. I realize that kids need jobs, but it is sometimes so frustrating to have to call the manufacturers themselves to get answers, as our local home improvement center cannot provide the info! (Especially on the WEEKEND!)

Winter Can Make People Weird!

Well, it can make husbands weird! I have proof!

Mark has always been a very conservative, forward-thinking human. I mean, he isn’t real excitable like I am….

So, here is the proof that winter has, perhaps, made him a little “funny”.
  • If you know me, you know that I have two Scottie boys, Angus and Murphy
  • Angus is an exceedingly food-driven Scottie
  • Are you ready for this?

This is a picture of a basic Canidae “break apart” biscuit. It is made with human-grade food. It is very enticing to a food-driven Scottie dog ….

This is a very long box that arrived via UPS to our home a couple of days ago. It measures about 7″ wide, 5″ tall, and 50″ long. A snowbrush for the truck arrived in said box.

Mark looked at the box, and, being the “forward-thinking” person I mentioned before, he decided to recycle the box. Hmmmm…..what would fit into this box? AHA!

Mark breaks off a piece of the delicious, delectable biscuit, and lobs it into the box…to the very end…..

Angus contemplates…..piercing holes into the box while deciding….to go, or, not to go? Poor little fellow….this decision-making is quite stressful to a little boy who stands only 10″ tall…..

Angus glances down the length of the box….Tis a long way to Tipperary……

After carefully and thoroughly considering his options, Braveheart Angus squats low, and begins the rigorous trip all the way to the end of the box….where he crunches away on the biscuit, then, slowly backs up….notice the tail…..

And, Mark, in all his glory, smiles and asks why would anyone need special agility equipment?

Me? Well, I am more stable in this weather….I just take pictures and enjoy myself…..

Little squirrely feet I found this morning in the snow….OK, so perhaps I am getting just a “tad” stir crazy……….

A Quiet Friday

Last night, the temps had gotten warm enough for me to scrape all of the ice off the back deck.

This made me so happy, as it is really hard to trounce outside on a slippery deck to grab firewood from the woodshed. I have fallen a couple of times when bounding out the door without thinking (or checking!) that the deck might be icy.

After cleaning the deck off, I loaded the little wood rack next to the stove and filled the wood bag with some more wood….thinking I wouldn’t need any more firewood until late today.

I stayed up late last night, as Mark had recorded the Sabres game and he wanted to show me a terrible brawl that erupted early in the game. Chris Drury, of the Sabres, had let go of the puck, and an Ottawa Senator came up from behind, and smashed into his head….Chris looked as though he was a victim of whiplash….his helmet flew off his head and onto the ice, and he went head down next to it. Immediately, blood began to flow. The Senator that did this (my personal opinion? He ought to be taken out back and SHOT!) was attacked by a Sabres player, then ALL the players on the ice were brawling. It was horrible….and the bottom line is that Chris is suffering all the symptoms of a concussion, meaning he cannot play for a time. (he is a leading goal scorer) The coach for the Senators said the hit was a legal one, and he was terribly upset with the Buffalo coach for sending out the Sabres “roughnecks” to get even. Hello? Does this guy have *no* concept of team LOYALTY? Ugh….Anyway, after seeing this, I could not sleep…I was just too stirred up! The last time I gazed at my clock, it said 11:39.

Murphy insisted that it was time to get up at 5:30am! I felt like crying, but just kept my eyes closed, thinking he would perhaps go back to sleep. No such luck!

When I turned on the light outside the back door, guess what I saw? Yup, snow. And, LOTS of it! There were also pretty icicle decorations, too!

Well, after my six hours of sleep, I was just too tired to deal with the snow, so I shoveled just a little path so the boys and I could go outside without getting all wet in the snow!

As I was looking at weather sites online today, I came across a question someone wrote in that I had also wondered about….HOW can ice and icicles melt when the temperatures have been so bitterly cold? Well, there is this “thing” known as sublimation! Sublimation means that ice can change from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid phase. This happens when the air is extremely dry. Now, you know! Isn’t that grand?

I took this picture this afternoon….all of the tracks in the snow are from deer. At this point, the snow is well above my knees, and I am not necessarily prone to shoveling little paths in the woods to stroll on a winter’s day! But, wouldn’t a snowmobile be fun? Perhaps next year, *IF* we get *real* snow again!

As the sun began to head over the western mountain, I just couldn’t resist the pattern in the snow….the trees casting their shadows was so pretty.

I did spend a couple of hours outside today, shoveling snow and cleaning off the truck and Explorer….grrr…..yes, the Explorer was left outside. Somehow, I was clueless to the latest bout of snow! It wasn’t too bad, although it looked like we got about 5 inches. Mark said there wasn’t that much, as when he plowed, the driveway had more like maybe 3 inches on it. It doesn’t matter, as my poor little shovel and I worked our way through about 8 or 10 inches where the snow all drifted in the yard and around the buildings. Ah well, that is how I am working out this winter!

Most of today was spent inside the house looking out. The weather station at the ski mountain is saying that our current wind speed is about 8 MPH. I would like to beg to differ, as it is bitter, BITTER out there! The wind keeps whistling around the house, and it sounds like more than 8 MPH! The current temperature is all of 8 degrees, so with that wind, it is unbearable!

I have decided that I really need to work on some kind of a bird feeder so I can resume feeding the birds. Last winter, I used a window mounted feeder on the second story bedroom window, but in the spring, it took some serious scrubbing to wash all the pooh off the siding. I don’t want to do that again, but need to think of something that will discourage squirrels. (and bears!)

No More Spring Fever!

Not here, anyway! The Polar Express has decided to return and the wind is merciless out there!

Carly and I had made plans to take the kids snowtubing today. It was funny, because as we spoke last week about sledding, we both thought of this place! It is called Polarwave Snowtubing.

We arrived around 11:45, and the kids tubed for two hours. Carly and I stood around watching the kids before we wondered *why* we were standing there in the freezing temps with the wind beating the tar out of us! We decided to retreat to the lodge to warm up! The kids were well-behaved and there was no reason for us to freeze!

I brought my camera, but the darn thing decided to act up. Apparently, the poor camera suffered from the stiff winds as much as we did! I was so disappointed I didn’t get any good pictures, but suffice it to say the kids had a ball!

After our excursion, we stopped at a Pizza Hut and enjoyed the warmth as much as the food! Mark and I had planned to do some shopping afterwards, but I was so chilled-to-the-bone, I didn’t think I would ever warm up again. There was also the problem of wet “fannies”! The kids found that in sitting in the tubes, the snow would melt, making their derrieres quite wet! Oh, I did manage to get a good picture of one of the tubes….

After watching for a little while, I wished I would have had Carly buy me a ticket…it sure looked like fun, and all the people tubing never seemed to notice the cold!

That Funny Thing Called Food….

I got to thinking about food today, and how funny it is that when we are tired and don’t feel so great, we are more apt to eat junk. When the world is looking grand and we are on top of our game, we adore cooking!

When I went to the (non-event) Christmas Craft Show at the community for seniors in November, I ran into a couple I have known for many years. As I spoke to the husband, he made a comment that they disliked the place because they were served only one meal, and it happened to be dinner. Sheldon commented that Annie has always made their large meal midday. She is from France, and that is how it was done there!

I have never quite understood *why* we eat a large meal only a few short hours before retreating to bed. And, to make matters even *worse*, how often do we get up and work off that large dinner meal?

With another warm day today, I decided to make a big lunch…Mark and I used to order the greatest chicken years ago at a restaurant. Mark is very fond of Buffalo style chicken wings, but realizes they are laden with fat! At the restaurant, we ate chicken breast that was coated in Buffalo wing sauce. It was served with bleu cheese dressing on the side.

Since this is one of Mark’s favorites, I decided to grill the chicken outside. I also had a huge bag of Normandy style veggies…broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash, that I had purchased at Sam’s Club. I made up a batch of Butter Rolls to go along with the meal and also scalloped potatoes. While the chicken cooked on the grill, I steamed the veggies on the side burner of the grill.

All of the sides took much longer to prepare than the chicken! I buy my chicken from Sam’s as well…it is Tyson and says that no hormones are used. The breasts are all
thin and cook very quickly. When they are nearly done, I drizzle the sauce (Buffalo hot wing for Mark and me, and barbeque for the kids) onto a heated skillet, and allow it to bubble up. As it bubbles, the sauce will thicken. Then, I swirl and coat the chicken thoroughly. Yum!

This is Mark’s and my meals…..

And barbeque sauce for the kids! This meal was so well-received, I am going to be hard-pressed to “produce” tomorrow!

Yet Another FUN Day!

Or, NOT!

After posting about taking the refrigerator apart the other day, what could possibly top that? How about emptying and cleaning the hot tub? hehehe

It really wasn’t THAT bad, but I should have read ALL of the instructions before cleaning the tub surface! I have never had the need to clean the tub before as I have always maintained a “perfect” balance. The last time I filled the tub, however, the testing chemicals I used were faulty, so I ended up with some residue on the surface. It didn’t really seem like “scale” as it readily cleaned off! However, when I looked at the “active ingredients”, I guess I should have donned rubber gloves for the phosphoric acid. I did thoroughly rinse the tub and my hands afterward!

After the vigorous cleanup and refill, I gathered a water sample and ran off to the pool and spa store to have an analysis done. No more guesswork here after that last fiasco!

Along the way, I had to stop and watch the skiers for a minute….ah, beautiful springlike conditions, as the temperature topped out at 42 today!

Of course, even though we enjoyed the warmth today, the reality of the fact that it really is still winter can be seen atop the wagon sitting out on the side of the house!

After my visit to the pool and spa store where I received a computer printout suggesting all of the (expensive) chemicals I need to add, I decided to go to the head of the lake to see what it looks like now.

Yes, it is quite frozen, and the poor ducks and geese have found a tiny little area of water that is moving quickly enough that it doesn’t freeze over! This is the same spot that I photographed the noisy geese on a couple of weeks ago. That was before the cold snap, and the water was all open!

I am so happy to have my little hot tub all balanced now! The temperature is rising from the 49 when I filled it, and tomorrow morning, I will add the recommended chemicals.

As I made my way to the house, I came upon this paw print….it belongs to my little Angus!

And, speaking of Angus…he is my little adventurer…NEVER will he miss a ride in the car! When he saw me getting ready to go out this afternoon, he anxiously jumped around my feet until I finally caved in and snapped his leash onto his harness!

After taking the geese pictures, I decided to just sit by the lake and relax a few mintues. Well, Angus suddenly became aware that mice have been in the Explorer! He looked as though he was going to pull the front dashboard off, opposable thumbs, or NOT! He made the funniest noises as he worked his way across every inch of the dashboard, sniffing out the rodent aroma! I enjoyed his antics to the point that I forgot WHY we were sitting next to the lake!

Spring Fever?

Yesterday was a busy day, getting the driveway all plowed and cleaning off the sidewalks and porches. The back deck has had a “coating” of snow about 2 inches deep. It drives me nuts walking over it, but try as I might, it just refused to budge!

Well, this morning, when I took the boys outside, I was shocked! Who turned the HEAT on? It almost felt as though there was a warmth coming from “somewhere” unknown! The boys romped about, Angus rolling all over on the snow on the driveway. Both boys looked like “spring fever” had struck…

I went back in and looked at the thermometer…it was about 32 degrees at 6am! I immediately grabbed a shovel and began unearthing the back deck. Hurrah! Much of the snow is now removed, and the remaning ice will be removed later, as I can see the edges melting.

Back to yesterday…we went out to have my front driver side tire repaired. It has had a very slow leak in it for the past several days. Mark suspected ice had done something to the bead on the tire. Well, after inspection, the guys at the garage found nothing wrong with it, and repaired the mount. Apparently, Mark was correct in his assessment.

After the tire repair, we went to Applebee’s to have our Valentine’s dinner out! We enjoyed a tasty dinner…and I enjoyed no dishes to wash!…

We took the Explorer to a “laser” carwarsh. The poor thing had so much gunk built up on the running boards! We paid a hefty $9.00 for the wash. Upon leaving, I felt so disappointed. The back of the Explorer was still filthy, and the running boards were still filled with salty sandy “gunk”. I decided to use some tokens I had and I manually removed the filth from the back and running boards. We decided not to pull the Explorer into the garage last night, as it wasn’t supposed to snow. This morning, when I saw it sitting in the driveway, I thought it looked like it belonged to someone else! It looks so nice! All that salt and dirt made it look so sad!

Although I would just as soon spend the entire day outside playing, I have lots of things I need to do in the house today.

For those who have grown winter-weary, I hope this little break in the cold will certainly lift spirits, and give cause for hope for the fast-approaching spring. This year is going by so quickly….I remember “just” hanging the new calendar for 2007, and March will soon be here!