Help! My Fridge Has No Doors!

OK, so they are actually back on again *now*!

We have an old Amana refrigerator that is about 15 years old now. It is Almond color, and I must say it has sufficed in keeping our “keep refrigerated” items for all of these years. In fact, were that poor old refrigerator able to speak, I do believe it would tell such tales of woe….

In this world, there are “compliant” and “strong-willed” children. Compliant children are those who are told what to do and eagerly attend to matters at hand so as to greatly please their parents. Strong-willed are the children I was dealt…

When Michelle and Ben were born, they BOTH learned at an early age that when Mama said “NO!”, she more than likely hid whatever was forbidden atop the fridge…I do think you can see where this is going? Yes, rather than getting a chair and climbing to see if the forbidden contreband was nestled on top of the fridge, they merely opened the doors and climbed!!!

Over the past several years, the pile of broken plastic parts built up and grew…a broken shelf for the door, another shelf, the piece that held up the shelf for the crisper drawers, the *handle*….ugh! I do believe Mark tried many different compounds, trying (in vain) to mend the offending cracks and breaks.

I have NO idea *how* it happened, but over the past few months, the gasket for the refrigerator door began to “sag”. I kept trying to shove it back up onto the door, but to no avail. I really didn’t want to trouble Mark with this, but it became so obvious….the big rubber gasket hanging down on the bottom, like a jumprope!

Mark and I have been trying to come up with a plan to remodel the kitchen (yay!!!) but today, he told me that we REALLY need to fix the fridge! So, Michelle climbed up on a chair to release the freezer door. (yup…she is too big to climb up the shelves anymore!!!)She began ratcheting the bolts and within minutes, the freezer door was off! Then came the refrigerator door. Mark worked on the table, unscrewing the screws that held the gasket on.

I THOUGHT I was a fairly CLEAN person until I saw the CRUD growing inside the gasket! BLECH!!! I was delegated to the sink to scrub the gasket clean. I did the frezer one first. After finishing the gasket, I cleaned the inner door panel, which Mark also removed. I cannot believe the price of refrigerators….they really are NOT all that complicated! Lots of foam insulation with a metal shroud!

After getting the freezer door done, I had to do the refrigerator door. That one was a disaster! I couldn’t get over how dirty the bottom of the door was! After all those years of splashing stuff on it, it was a total mess. Goo,glue,icky poo…I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. And, after a while, it began to look CLEAN!

We worked like banshees for about two hours. My poor fingers got so tired from scrubbing gaskets with a toothbrush to eliminate all the “ickies” trapped inside. I teased Mark that now since the fridge is so CLEAN, we don’t *need* a new one!HAHAHA!

Oh, I Am So Tired!

Yesterday was Ben’s birthday, and he wanted to have a party. Michelle has had a few parties, but Ben never had one before. So, we agreed he could have one today.

The kids worked on this party for the past few weeks, buying goodies and preparing for the day. I let them do the planning and such, as parties are just not my cup of tea….I have never been too excited about parties, although I guess I have enjoyed going to many!

Ben decided on a small party with just a few kids. We were fortunate to get the snow we did, as the kids enjoyed sledding and just playing in the snow! Michelle brought down her laptop and hooked up her speakers…YIKES! Such music and so LOUD! I nust be getting old, because all the noise and excitement has caused me to feel so exhausted tonight. And, my poor legs hurt from standing!

The good news is that the kids had fun, and me? I will sleep like a LOG tonight!!!!

What Can Be Worse?

Than having a MESSY house when a visitor comes to the door? Well, how about a driveway that is not very accessible?

Such was how we found ourselves this morning! Mark had gotten a call from Gary Muxworthy, who works for the Buffalo Sabres. He called a little more than a week ago, and Mark apparently misunderstood that Gary was coming today…Mark thought he was coming last Friday. Last Friday, the house was so tidy, everything *glowed*! We figured he had gotten busy and forgot. Well, today, I looked out the front window and saw a man walking in the driveway. Where we live, that is a rather unusual event, so I scurried upstairs to remove my nightgown!

Gary came by with a Sabres hockey stick signed by Jason Pomanville. He also brought a copy of their annual “yearbook” and a calendar! We were so excited!!!

Today is Ben’s birthday, so he got a nice surprise! Unfortunately, Michelle woke up not feeling very well. She had coughed a bit during the night, and she felt like she had a cold this morning. I went upstairs to see her shortly after lunch, and, oh my!

How many girls get living, breathing stuffed toys on their beds when they don’t feel well? Angus crawled up above her head and just slept and watched over Michelle!

After Mark had spent time plowing the driveway on Wednesday, he sat near the woodstove in the garage. After coming inside, he discovered he had a blister on one of his legs….one of the most horrific parts of being paraplegic is the inability to feel your legs. Mark must have been a little too close to the stove. We have been putting a gauze sponge over the blister after washing with antibacterial soap. The blister is looking much better today. We need to be very careful about this because Mark burned his leg when we first got the Explorer. He had the heat on as high as it would go….his leg was too close to the heater vent and he burned his leg. He wound up in the hospital for 3 or 4 days after the blister popped and became infected. We are being diligent to not allow this blister to break open.

Today, Mark decided to try to finish plowing the driveway, as he got too chilled on Wednesday. The temperature actually climbed up to 20 today, and the sunshine melted snow off the truck and sidewalk! The winds were somewhat annoying today, but the sun made such a difference!

That ATV has paid for itself many times over in plowing the driveway. It does a super job, and it makes plowing fun! And, when Mark was finished, we had some respectable piles along the driveway!

It looks like the little rolling house on wheels won’t be moving any time soon!!

These last two pictures I could not resist adding…just LOOK at that sky! It was so amazing, so absolutely perfectly *blue”…which happens to be my **very** favorite color!

Brrrr….

This morning, when I got up to take the little Scottie boys outside, it was a whopping -6 degrees! Wow, that was enough to awaken me quickly! Not only was it cold, but the wind got to kicking up something fierce.

We are fortunate the woodstove we use to heat has no problem keeping us toasty warm in the coldest of weather. It is just such a shock to the system to step from a warm and cozy room into the cold! It is kind of like jumping into a cold pool of water! Brrrrr……

I wasn’t going to post any snow pictures, as it really is hard to see in a picture what you see in person. Everything is relative, and it is nearly impossible to convey the feeling of being totally overwhelmed by a frosty coating of snow…it always looks so “pretty”! Living in the country as we do, we needn’t travel far to see huge expanses of white “palettes”….totally “virgin snow”, that are just breathtaking! With no marks nor prints in the snow, it reminds me of a huge artist’s palette, awaiting the brush strokes!

Even though the truck doesn’t look “buried”, it took almost an hour to clear it off and shovel the snow away from it so Mark could plow it off down the driveway!

My little stream that runs across the front yard has now been hidden under a blanket of white.

The camper looks so pitiful sitting there buried in the snow! But it will soon be on the road again, happily hosting our family!

Ben’s fort of snow has now “disappeared” in the midst of all the piles of snow!

In looking up into the woods behind the house, one would never appreciate the frigid temps and bone-chilling winds this morning. Everything looks so peaceful out there!

This afternoon, I had to run to WalMart for Mark. Our local store is 16 miles away. Shortly after Ben and I started out, we turned onto one of the major roads, thinking it might be in good condition. The road looked in good shape, however, as we headed up the hill, a man was coming down in a small Subaru. Apparently, he was going too fast, and as he came towards us, his rearend fishtailed out into our lane. Ben became suddenly very quiet….thankfully, the man was able to straighten himself out, missing us. His antics certainly put me into *alert mode*!

We made our way to the store, did our shopping and arrived safely home before the sun set. I was so glad to be home again. Even though I had no problems getting around in the poor conditions, I took it very slow, as I just didn’t trust the roads! In weather this cold, not many compounds do any good on “greasy” roads. We went out in the new pickup truck, and it proved to me that it is an amazing winter vehicle.

Keep safe, keep warm!

The Weatherman Said…

The Valentine’s Day storm is “now winding down”…He also said that it has left many folks without power. Now, with the temps as low as they are, THAT is scarey.

I worked outside for several hours today, and I am thoroughly exhausted! To add insult to injury, we were going to go out for dinner, but the poor road conditions warranted a home-cooked meal. I was fortunate that I pulled a turkey breast out of the freezer a couple of days ago, so dinner wasn’t too hard! I did make Garlic Mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts to go with the turkey, and that was it! Simple, but everyone ate heartily!

Michelle worked alongside Mark and I most of today. She is such a good helper! We unburied the “old” truck and Explorer and put them inside the garage. I had to back the Explorer up over the unshoveled sidewalk, and it felt as though someone was lifting it off the ground! Mark said he watched to make sure it wasn’t going to hit the top of the garage door…it actually DID rise up in the air!

I made a nice fire in the stove in the garage so we could warm up from time to time…

And so, from our hearth to yours, hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day! Stay safe and warm!

Love

Today people across this country are celebrating Love. Oh, they sounds so poetic and beautiful, those three words “I Love You”. Roses and chocolate are given as tokens of affection and it seems everyone is loving someone, then there’s some odd number of people who spend today alone and isolated from the whole thing. Some choose to ignore that Love is even a real emotion and its all just a big marketing scheme. Ok, I have to give them credit here, alot of Valentine’s Day is commercial, but the idea behind Love is not. Love is so much more than that between boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife, its more than kisses and chocolate love is saying “I want this, but someone else…” its about thinking about other people before ourselves. Love is patient, kind, humble, selfless, in short love is everything about God.

So what do I love? I love Rese’s Penut Butter Cups, I love Underoath, I love hot summer nights, I love NYC… and the list goes on, but do I really LOVE any of these things? Would I give up everything I had for a Peanut Butter Cup? NO! lol, and if I did would probably be reallllllly hungry, huh? Well, I think this is one of the things we get ttly wrong in American dating relationships… we use the word “love” equally as we describe our boyfriend and hott shoes. God created this emotion of love to be so powerful, but do we really know what we love? If you truely love someone you would give your everything to make them happy. I think today thats what I’m gonna do today (instead of drowning myself in a flurry of choclate) I’m going to think about what and who I really love. My mom and dad, my lil brother (Mohawk an all…. don’t ask), my Jesus, this is what I love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Many thanks to my fellow Soapnut, Susan, for sharing a wonderful recipe for cutout cookies tonight! I just completed a batch, and Mark and the kids gave the cookies a resounding THUMBS UP! Mark said the cookies were at least as good as a bakery cookie, if not better!

The recipe can be found here:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Popes-Valentine-Cookies/Detail.aspx

Once the cookies were baked and cooled, I HAD to put a smidgeon of frosting and sprinkles on them! I put a wee bit of Almond Flavoring in the frosting, as I am an Almond addict!!!

Not sure if I will be able to post an entry tomorrow, as the weatherman is saying we will be doing some shoveling tomorrow….how *romantic*!!!!

Thinking About Mrs Bossmann

Ever have one of those thoughts “pop” into your mind, and you have NO idea where it came from? Well, today, I was thinking about Mrs. Bossmann. She was a very wonderful woman I met many years ago. She was very elegant, and yet, so down to earth! The thing I was thinking about mostly today was that I think she was in her 50’s when I met her. At that point in time, she rode a snowmobile with her husband, and her 90some year old father lived with her and her husband!

Mrs. Bossmann’s husband was named Val. Not many people probably ever questioned what Val stood for, but I knew! Mrs. Bossmann told me that Val’s birthday was February 14, so he was named for the DAY! One can only imagine the humiliation he put up with each year as he was teased….

We were supposed to run out this morning, but one thing after another called for Mark’s attention, and before we knew it, it was afternoon! Mark decided it was too late to run out, and I had nothing planned for dinner, so we called the “local” convenience-type store. They make excellent subs, and Mark and the kids were thinking some wings would be good.

As I walked into the store, there was a flurry of activity! Outside, cars lined up to fill gas tanks, and inside, the store was buzzing about the impending storm. The scene was filled with an air of excitement and anticipation. I waited in line while those ahead of me chatted about the weather. As my turn came up, I leaned towards the clerk and muttered about “remember when WE were kids and the snow would fall in FEET instead of INCHES?” She smiled, saying that she and some others were talking about that very subject earlier in the day.

Well, Mrs. Bossmann was a really accurate prognosticator. Every year, she would predict a bad storm around Valentine’s Day!

The Calm Before the Storm

Today, every time I took the boys outside, I had to swallow hard to unplug my ears….must be there was a change in the atmospheric pressure! (or, my head was really plugged up!!!)

As we walked around outside tonight, I took a picture of my (now nearly hidden) stream in the front yard. It is barely audible anymore, as the snow surrounding it acts as a “muffler”.

I have been reading blogs and on lists about how many people are getting down by the lingering winter weather. I wish there was a way I could help alleviate the anxiety, as I feel almost guilty that I take delight in this weather, but, alas, all that can be done is to wait it out.

I find winter to be such a “cozy” time, enjoying the shortened days and long nights. I enjoy catching a whiff of woodsmoke, and trying to identify the wood that is currently heating the home. I love my snuggly flannel sheets and putting on a warm wool sweater. I love the shadows cast on the ceiling of my lace curtains and the Christmas Cactus in my room from the nightlight I bought at Tractor Supply. I love watching the dogs play in the snow and I really don’t even mind shoveling the snow. The feeling of working hard and getting thoroughly cold only to enter into a warm and welcome home makes the entrance even grander.

My mind wanders off in the winter…I dream of a cozy little cabin off in the woods,complete with no phones nor TV’s…where games are played and time is slowed down to a snail’s pace. I also dream of owning a snowmobile and gliding over fields of snow and breathing in the cold night air while defying the cold! The thought of sledding and making snow angels still excites me….as well as a heavy snowfall.

I adore the bright crystal blue skies, as well as the skies that seem to have disappeared under a veil of snow. I love red cheeks and massaging lotion over dry heels and feet.

We are expecting some heavy snow tomorrow, as our “winter weather watch” has been upgraded to a “winter storm warning”. Perhaps I will get some good pictures! Keep warm, one and all!