Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Day Ramblings

French toast made with Grandmother Bread, topped with butter and homemade plum jam.  Bacon on the side.  A cup of fresh brewed coffee.  Two dogs of the ankle-biting variety cruising my kitchen in hopes of a piece of bacon coming their way.  Fat Cat stretched out on top of the chest freezer, patiently waiting to supervise whatever action is happening in the kitchen today.  Life doesn't get much better than this.

I know I said that I wasn't going to talk about the weather any more, but damn!  It is 10:30 AM and it is still minus 14 degrees outside, with a wind chill of minus 37 degrees.  Here in town we don't have the white-out conditions of blowing and drifting snow like they do on the open prairie.  I live in an old building with walls that are maybe 8 inches thick.  I can still hear the wind howling down the alleys and around the corners.  City Hall is right across the street.  The flag on top of that building isn't waving like flags in the wind usually do.  It appears stiff as a board.

You know those dust devils that you see in the summertime?  Where the wind picks up dust from the fields and swirls it around like mini tornadoes.  I look out my window and watch snow devils dancing across the roof of the building next to City Hall.  It looks like the building could be on fire, but it is not.  Warm air escaping from doors and windows freezes immediately and looks like plumes of smoke.  I am glad my building has thick walls and lots of insulation.

Even with the cold and wind, my apartment stays toasty.  And I am ever so glad that I spent all of those hours canning food last summer and fall, for I want for nothing.  The only thing I have run out of that I can't make for myself is yarn.  I am working on a couple of afghans and I used up the last of the colors of yarn for those projects.  But that can wait until the temperatures get above the zero mark again.  I still have lots to keep me busy.

I hear other retirees complain about being bored.  I am never bored.  I seem to never have lost my yearning for learning.  When a subject catches my interest, I can spend hours in online research.  Last week I learned how to make some types of cheese from the powdered milk I keep in stock.  Before that I found all sorts of information on healing herbs and how to use them.  This week I am looking for tutorials on how to crochet scarves and mittens, to use up the leftover yarn from the afghan projects.  And after that I want to find recipes to make things like my own taco seasoning or pumpkin pie spice or other combination seasonings I can make from the basic seasonings I keep on the shelf.  And as a bonus, I stumbled across a YouTube channel with a bucket load of hour long Sherlock Holmes mysteries.  Yippie Ki-Yay!  I can watch those in the evening while I crochet or sew.  There is always something.  How can a person ever be bored?

And now I think I have rambled on enough - or too much - depending on your point of view!  On to the little dab of housework that awaits my attention, and then the fun stuff.  Even with the cold and wind, my life here in the frozen north is pretty darned good.  Oh, I still get worked up over the insanities in the world around me. Our government officials in particular tend to tick me off.  Even though I never forget the threats to our freedoms and the threats to our way of life that we cherish and I continue to prepare, I choose to enjoy my life as much as possible.  Those words, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" are as true today as they were when written.  And I believe in them.


  1. Vicki, you are an excellent you know that.
    I agree, boredom is the lack of imagination. My books, firearms and kitchen and writing hold my thoughts for hours. Stay warm. Hey, check out my blog list for ideas on spice combinations....thanks.

  2. Thank you, Stephen, for the compliment. I think the desire to write is in the genes. I have folders full of stories and memories written by my grandfather and his brother. It is something I mostly enjoy, and that is why I write. I will check out your blog list for spice ideas. I have kids who like to BBQ, and I thought that a selection of dry rubs for meat might make a good gift. I also balk at paying $1.25 for one packet of taco seasoning when I can make lots for the same price. Frugal - or cheap! Or both.

  3. I thought of you and your son when I saw the CBS evening news, they should a charity ice fishing event in Brainard, MN. Some 11,000 people went out to brave the extreme temps for a chance to win a new GMC truck.

    They also showed a place in Ohio where the winds have been so strong they have created what they call "snowweeds" (tumbleweeds) of sorts..

  4. JUGM, you couldn't get me out on a frozen lake in this weather for anything - not even a new truck! I may be a Minnesotan, but I am a wimpy Minnesotan. I'll stay by the fire. No frostbite here. I have seen strange things in cold, snowy weather before, but I never saw a snowweed. That's a new one on me.

  5. I think being downwind from your home would be a heavenly experience. Just the thought of your food cooking is wonderful.

  6. Aw, thanks, Jess. I have to laugh at my landlord, who usually shows up to collect the rent about the time something good is coming out of the oven. I accuse him of having food radar, and threaten him with bodily harm if he eats the cookies I send along for his wife.