Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow is Still There

It's been a week since our "big" snow and there is still plenty on the ground and is slowly soaking into the ground. Temperature got up to 45º today and I scooted out of town for five hours.  It was a beautiful day to spend time outside.  I'll take it!

I found some fabric to start making my pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer again this year.  The pillowcases are used at cancer care hospitals for children receiving treatment to make their visit a bit more cheerful.  The patient gets to take the pillowcase home.  Last year I made a dozen of them - don't know if I can get that many made before spring activities pull me outside.

Last year I made a bunch of pillowcases for my grand nephew and this year I will be making some for his younger sister and their cousin.  She's into jungle animals.  I don't know what their cousin likes. Maybe I'll have a picture of them next time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let the Melting Begin . . . .

Backyard thermometer says it's 41 degrees out back.  That's enough to start that melting. A nice slow melt would be good so that it would soak into the ground. We ended up with 17 inches from the storm last week.  We didn't see but maybe a half inch from the one that hit the State this week.  Wichita area got 21 inches for the month of February - an all time record for the month of February for them.

I got the de-humidifier set up in the trailer today.  Wouldn't surprise me if we have somewhat of a wet spring.  I often have the trailer pulled over to the driveway by now; but, alas it will be sitting where it is until April/May.  At least it is up on jacks and there is a big piece of plywood underneath so where the tires are touching, they are not on the ground.

I got smart this year and pulled our trash poly cart to the front of the house before the City asks us to do so.  The alley will be pretty muddy before long and when that happens the City asks folks to bring their carts around to the street side for trash pickup.  Figured it would be easier dragging the cart over the snow then through mud.  It was.

It is so nice to see the sun.  Can go out and get my Vitamin D.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Blizzard of OZ

It's been snowing since 7:30 a.m. Wednesday with one 30-minute break the whole time.  I don't recall ever having a 30 plus hour steady snowstorm, since living here in Kansas - nor do I recall a constant snowfall for this long anywhere I have lived where snow has fallen. 

I just read that the snow that has fallen is the most in a 24 hour period yesterday, as recorded at the K-State Agric Research Center, located just south of Hays, in 110 years.  Today's information is not out yet.  We didn't get to hear the thunderstorm that was heard on the eastern side of the state.  I have experienced it before, in fact I think a couple of years ago for us here.
Ain't my trailer's propane bottles cute with their snow caps?

I had cleared off the top of our alley trash cart less then 24 hours ago from this picture taking.  And, there was a path to the cart between the garage and trailer.

This little light is right next to my trailer's door and that little "bump" to the right, is the very top of my step stool corner sticking out of the snow where it is situated just under the trailer.

Snow drift in front of garage door.

Looking back at house from garage - lotta driveway to shovel!  I'll be brave and just back up the truck.  Nope, no 4-wheel drive.

And, looking at garage and trailer from house.

My generator - I had cleared around it and the top Wed afternoon.  That's snow from about 20 hours.

A wave of snow on the garage roof.  Thought it was cool.

Yup, there's the truck.  That's the trailer's battery solar panel hanging off the back end.
By golly, there is the mail person delivering mail.  Well, as they say: "Neither snow nor. . . "
Love the wind sculptured snow hanging off the porch roof.

Neighbor's daughter Sidney, showing off the icles on my house.

Monday, February 18, 2013

It Is the Battery. . .

The dealership called this morning and my 84 month warranteed battery is coughing it's last breath. Won't hold a charge. I bought this battery Oct of '09 in Ottumaw IA.  I replaced OEM one, with the same hoping I would get the same lifespan. Didn't really expect to get the full 7 years.  They checked out the starter and other stuff and everything is working good.

Now to pay for it.  Ugh.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Good/Bad Things Come in Threes . . . .

It is said that "things come in threes".  I think I have felt more bad things in groups of threes versus good things in threes in my life.  I read that in some cultures, if something was broken like a vase, then two other less valuable items were immediately broken to ward off the proverb.

Last Saturday I dropped a window fan on ye old kitchen faucet and the clunk broke the spigot part.  The window fan sits just above the kitchen sink and helps draw air through the house when needed.

I have been wanting a high rise faucet anyway - just didn't need it at this point.  I kept looking at the hole, under the sink, that one needs to climb into to change out the old and put the new in. Can I . . . . can I . . . . do it myself?  Guess won't know until I try, I told myself.

Got a new faucet from Home Depot.  Sunday I spent removing the old one - only needed help removing the lock nuts underneath and neighbor Kris helped there.  Cleaned all the old caulking away.  Took a day of rest and Tuesday started installing the new one.  The outside of the box said "Easy to install" and everything I read said the new faucets are much easier to install - the hard part is removing the old ones.  That's what I encountered.  Think it took me less then an hour to install and check for leaks.  It was easy. Am thankful I could do it too.

Today, I had planned on running into Hays to do some grocery shopping.  Got all "dolled" up (for me) and jumped into the truck; and, it wouldn't start.  The clicking sound did not sound good. Oh s*#t.  I checked the battery and the voltage was down just a tad due to the number of times I tried to start the engine; but, all the lights and radio worked.

Called my local Toyota dealer, whom I have used since I bought the truck, and talked to Jessie, my customer service rep.  Jessie takes care of me and Mike takes care of my truck.  I called Augie's to come tow the truck into the dealership and Jessie said they would try and get started on it this afternoon.  It's 5:30 p.m. and haven't heard from them yet. Thank heavens for towing insurance, especially right now.

At least I was here at home instead of already in Hays with a truck load of groceries.  Am thankful for that.  I shed a tear as Big Red was taken away.  My good friend has an "owie".

Okay, am waiting for the third event.  I feel it should be a "good" event and not another event with outgoing $$$$$.  Hey, incoming $$$$$$ would be a good event.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Justa Bakin' up a Storm

Today I made my favorite scones:  Cinnamon Chip Scones.  I like the recipe because it doesn't call for buttermilk, which a number of the cinnamon chip scone recipes call for.  I don't keep it on hand - I know I could make "buttermilk" but that wouldn't keep within the simplicity of this recipe.  Here is the recipe I use.

Above is a picture of my scones (at the bottom of the plate).  At the top are my cinnamon chip, coconut, oat bran muffins.  One of the muffins, along with 2 slices of turkey bacon, and a Greek yogurt - and a cup of coffee - make up my morning breakfast.  Boy, am getting hungry right now.

The oat bran muffins came about because of the diet I was/am on, requiring consumption of 2-4 tablespoons of oat bran a day - depending on what phase of the Dukan Diet I was in.   Oat bran is so blah and the recipe I had for oat bran muffins was so blah, so I came up with my own - after I got to the last stage of the diet.  With the above breakfast, I can putter along quite a bit for around 5 hours before I start to feel the ole tummy telling me "it's time".  And the recipe is so quick.  Here it is, if you are interested:

Preheat oven to 350º

Mix all dry ingredients together:
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp oat bran
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp sugar-free vanilla pudding
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1-1/2 tbsp favorite sweetener

Mix all wet ingredients together:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp fat-free Cool Whip
2 tbsp fat-free sour cream

Note:  sometimes I like to add my favorite seedless preserve - about 1 tbsp
Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well mixed.  I like to add a handful of shredded coconut and about a handful of the Hershey Cinnamon Chips. Use your imagination.

Fill 5 muffin cups (I use the paper liners) about 2/3rds full.  Sometimes I have to fill them a little bit fuller.  They don't rise very much so you'd be safe with even 3/4ths full.
Bake for 20 minutes or at least until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool.  I keep mine in the freezer until I need one.

Hey, if you like a Black Cherry Cream soda pop, here's a good one.  Made in Texas and really hard to find in stores.  It is Henry Weinhard's Black Cherry Cream.  My son brought me a case of it for Christmas and he had to order it online.  Think they are better known for their beer. Have no idea if the beer is any good.

Well, Superbowl is over.  Don't watch it but do like to see the commercials.

I forgot to add that I happen to get my gluten-free oat bran from Montana Gluten-Free Processors in Belgrade, MT.  Lots of gluten-free products for those that need to be gluten-free.