Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow, Sleet, Rain, What did we get?

It's hard to see but it's raining out there - hard!

I got a few messages asking what we ended up with, snow, sleet, rain what????
The answer is YES we got it all with high winds tossed in just in case we missed it.

I woke up at 3am to see nothing outside so I went back to bed. By 5 am we already had 3 inches of the heavy white stuff. I bundled up and went outside to shovel off the deck and stairs for the dogs.

By the time I got done with that, the snow had turned to sleet and it was coming down and the steps began to freeze.  Hubby went outside to help Becke get up them since her legs were going out under her.

August ran back in, jumped on the bed and burried himself under the covers. His opinion of the mess was very clear. Once he got out he decided to watch it from on top of the toy chest.

By 6:20am it was snowing again, big large flakes, heavy wet flakes. The local TV station asked people to stay off the roads as they were slippery and cars had run off the road.  That did it for me!

I called work to find out that they were having all rain and that it was fine if I stayed home and worked from there. I can work from home so I logged on and did all that I could do from there. There were phone calls to make and emails to answer.

Then it turned to sleet!  Oh good, just want we needed, crunchy snow as the sleet froze the top layer of snow that was on the ground.

Becke gave up drinking so she wouldn't have to go out anytime soon. She climbed on her bed and decided it was a nap day (untill Spring)

August emptied his toy box trying to entice me to play with him since he was missing his agility class and playing with his 4 legged friends at day care.

Then the wind blew - and blew - and blew some more and I expected anytime to look out our window to see the wolf blowing our house down.  But it stayed upright, and the power stayed on.  Thank you Lord.

Sleet and rain followed by....

Then it got very quiet and I was sure it was over. I even thought about going in to work on a project that had come over the work email.
That thought didn't last long as it started all over again.
Snow, more snow and wind again.
Becke's face says it all don't you think?

Today is the official last day of February - I'm so glad about that. March will be so much better, brighter, warmer, and I'm pulling out my Spring/Summer decorations.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Thank you Joyce for another weeks set of questions.  Come one all, play along.

1. When were you last facing an ocean? Using just ONE word, describe how you felt as you faced that ocean.
We don't go to the ocean very often, but I always feel the same way - small

2. What are three sounds you hate to hear?
Children crying
Animals crying
The sound of a car accident

3. This question comes to you courtesy of some real life friends. Hi real life friends! When you shop for yourself, do you try everything on in the store before buying or do you buy, try on at home, and then return what you don't like or what doesn't fit?
Most things I try on in the store.
Things like jeans or shoes.  Summer t-shirts and pj's I don't try on in store.

4. February 26th is National Pistachio Day...are you a fan of the little green nut? Do you use them in cooking and baking or prefer to eat them right out of the shell?
Not a fan, don't use them.

5. When did you last have to compromise with someone? Were you happy to reach the compromise or slightly irritated it was necessary?
As a wife I have learned to compromise all the time with Hubby.  I'm fine with it most of the time. There are times when I would have liked to have won and have things go my way but in the end, it's not worth holding a grudge over it so I drop it.

6. Have you ever written a letter to an elected official? Did you get a response?
I once wrote my Congressman and received a form letter response. I don't remember why I wrote but I did write.

7. We 'March' into a new month at the end of this week...what's something on your March calendar guaranteed to make you smile?
This weekend, all of the winter decor is coming down. All the snowmen, all the dark colors all of it!! It's all going to get packed away and all the summer decor with butterflies, bumble bees and flowers are getting put up! After so much snow, I need something - anything- that looks like spring/summer. So it will make me very happy indeed.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Today is the 27th of February. Our daughter and Son-in-Law were married on the 27th. Happy Anniversary to the best daughter and son-in-law in the world.  They are so perfect for each other! They have given us the best granddaughters EVER.
It's also the Birthday of my cousin, Candy.  Candy and I were friends for 4 years before we found out we were cousins.  Interesting story....for another day, another blog post.

So now it's your turn - how would you answer these questions?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's All About The Snow

Well with every news update we hear the same thing, "More Snow On The Way".  We are watching the snow that is, as I type this, still over Texas and Oklahoma. It's not a pretty sight either.

OK so it's pretty to look at.....from inside a nice warm home.......with a cup of hot tea in your hands....and standing by your fireplace, wood stove or pellet stove.

Knowing that you don't have to go to work in it, or be outside at all!

But if you have to be outside, for any reason, it's not pretty.

Schools are closed. Office buildings are closed. People are told to please stay home and off the streets.  Winds are so strong they reach hurricane force strength. Can you imagine having hurricane  force snow blowing at you? Now that would not be pretty at all!

People digging out all over down south is not a pretty sight. This stuff is wet and heavy and there are usually stories about heart attacks and back issues due to the heaviness of this stuff. I do feel for them and hope they are safe.  

All of that is coming our way...AGAIN !!!

So far this month we have received 47 inches of snow!  At last report, we are due to get at least 6 MORE INCHES.  That's 53 inches of snow.  It's all supposed to start sometime on Wednesday but as of right now, no one is saying when.  

So like everyone else, we stay glued to the news, watch the weather channel, and talk about working from home or leaving early from work to get home before it hits us again.

Once again, people will fill their tubs with water to flush the toilets in case they loose power. People go to the grocery store for bread, cold cuts and bottled water. They get extra gas for their generators and make sure the shovels are ready to get back to work. Between now and then, they are shoveling off the roofs because we all know what happens when those roofs get more snow!! 
And if you don't know, then you live in the desert where snow is not an issue and I am glad for you.
You do have spiders the size of a coke can however!
We don't. So, it's not all bad!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Review: SNOW AGAIN

For the 3rd weekend in a row, we got snow!   I'm so glad that next weekend it will be March!!  I hope we don't get snow in March. Spring starts in March. I'm SO ready for Spring!

We didn't get a lot this time - about 6 inches but on top of what is still in our yard, it's 6 inches that I didn't want. It's 6 inches of HEAVY WET SNOW that hurts your back to shovel and makes roads wet and slipery. And we are just about out of room to put it!  Some snow piles are taller than Hubby who is 6'3" and even he is complaining about heaving the snow over some piles!

 I sent out the following Facebook post:
"More Snow, yup, it's here folks! I'm putting on the kettle and looking forwarded to seeing all of you who love snow so much showing up here to take it away. Yup, the snow is here, where are you?"

No one showed up to take it away!
  Go figure!  
Guess they all had enough at their homes and really didn't need/want ours. Too bad, because I see all the time on facebook how much they are looking forwarded to hiking in the snow, or playing in the snow. They can come here anytime to get it, but no takers!

So after a busy week of different places to go and different people to see (all good meeting friends and eating out), we had a quiet weekend of laundry, digging out, card making, digging out, floor washing, and of course digging out! Good thing Saturday was clear so we could get all the shopping done!  Now we hope the power stays on, this stuff is HEAVY people, and heavy snow brings down power lines (yes our power lines are above the ground!).

Where for art thou March! Better yet, Where for art thou SPRING!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Gift and a Breakfast

Monica over at The Homespun Heart had a giveaway one day and I ended up being the winner of her gift.  The Gift was the above cookbook. Have you ever heard of the Gooseberry Patch Cook books?  They collect recipes from all over and put them together in these wonderful binders that stay flat when open, have nice big type (for those of us who wear Bifocals) and the directions are easy to follow and calls for easy-to-find ingredients.

I love my crock pots, in fact I have 3 different sizes of crock pots. A real small one for just Hubby and me. A medium one for when we have company and a large for those Church meals.  I use my crock pot a lot but for some reason, I never think of using it in the summer.  I guess I'm thinking more salads and grilling than crock pot meals. And I have never used it for desserts! 

So I spent a few days flipping through the pages looking at the different meals for the different seasons and came upon this one for a nice pasta dinner.

I ended up using what I had for vegetables, Spaghetti squash, green beans and mushrooms, but for the rest, I followed what was on the recipe. I would show you a photo, but it got eaten really fast!

As I was looking, I saw this recipe as well. YUP oatmeal in a crock pot.  Who knew??  It took about 2 hours, but in that time, I could feed the dogs, get ready for work, pack our lunches and do other morning things all while a hot crock pot made a wonderful warm breakfast for us on a day where the temperature was 13 degrees but felt like -11!

I even found a recipe from Wendi over at My Heart is Always Home!! I will be making that one soon Wendi.  It looks wonderful.
What a great gift. What a great blessing. What a great couple of meals we have had.  Now to pick a dessert.......

Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend Review

Good Morning All.

How are all of you doing? Is the sun shining down your way? Are the flowers blooming in your yard? Are you grilling out on the back deck? Wearing flip flops?  Not us!

After a pretty nice Friday where our 22 inches of snow became about 19 inches of snow thanks to a warmer sun that contributed to some melting, we woke to this.

Yup, 2 more inches of the white stuff and it was pretty cold. I headed back into work for 5 hours. A few times a years I teach our staff Dog First Aid/CPR. It's an important skill to have. It's an important skill to learn. It's a skill that we all want to know and hope we never have to use.  The reality is we do use it.
We use it on our own pets and sometimes on the pets in our care.  I love being able to teach it. I'm glad I know it and I'm humbled when it gets used by me or by the ones I have taught.  Do you know what to do in a pet emergency?

After that class, I went home and worked on some embellishments for future cards. I really do like my Cricut Machine.
Sunday we woke up to this.
You guessed it, 2 more inches and bitter cold. It was "0" most of the day! We had a great morning worship service and I tried a new crockpot recipe from the new cookbook that I won from The Homespun Heart. It turned out really well and I'll share more tomorrow.

 The wind has been blowing really hard. Friends who live near us lost power. I don't know why but with it being that cold I was sure glad they had a fireplace. We offered our hot shower and coffee/tea and a warm house (in hopes we didn't loose power as well)

February has always been the hardest month for me in terms of "Cabin Fever"  I sure am glad that it's a short month.  I keep looking at the upper left of my blog where the "Days till Spring" is counting down. I'm bored of wearing long johns, turtle necks and sweaters/sweatshirts.  I'm tired of turning on the electric blanket and sleeping all bundled up.  I'm tired of dry skin and chapped hands.  I want to open the windows, change out the air, grill chicken outside (well Hubby can do that), and dig out my flip flops.  

So those of you in the south where it's already looking like spring, how about sharring some beautiful photos of your back yard - green, or flowers growing, or bare feet!  I would love to see what is coming my way soon.........  

Friday, February 15, 2013

One Word - JOY

Funny how when you only concentrate on one word, you find lots of examples of that one word.  It also makes you focus outside of yourself and see others. Each of these things is a good thing.

This has truly been a month of JOY.   My first and best earthly JOY is my husband.
After staying up most of the night when Nemo hit to be ready to get the generator started if we lost power, he shoveled the deck just for the dogs. He shoveled a path down the steps and around them to allow the dogs to get out, down and under the deck to go answer the call of nature.  He shoveled more again every few hours to keep up with the falling snow followed by the blowing snow.
It's funny but a lot of people would ask me if I was sick of him being home now that he is retired.  I find it funny because I have waited for him to be home for 30 years.  
As a retired police officer's wife I spent many a "Nemo" digging out alone because he was on duty-caring for others-who otherwise cuss at him-and call him all sorts of names-and then, when they are in trouble-call him. AND HE ALWAYS SHOWED UP.
I married my best friend, we were then, we are now. He still brings me JOY.

I have other JOYS in my life. Two of them have 4 legs. Their names are August Rush and Integrity Starbeck.
August has short legs but boy do they move fast. He loves to sit ontop of the toy chest looking out the window and often barks at whatever moves.
Becke has longer legs and they don't move as fast anymore, but she is my nurse when I'm sick, my body guard when she is in my office. She makes me laugh when she runs like a puppy and cry when I remember she is 13 years old.  

I have JOY in 2 children who are now married and have each given us 2 grandchildren.
Our son and his wife have given us 2 grandsons.  We don't get to see them much but there is SKYPE and that brings us JOY.We get lots of Smilebox's and photos from them.

Our daughter, and her husband have given us 2 granddaughters.  We see them a lot more often and I love when they hug my legs and tell me I'm the best Grannie EVER!!

I have JOY in creating cards for people who I love. I love matching the papers and embellishments that I add to them.
I have JOY with my friends who laugh with me, cry with me and pray with me AND for me. I love them all and some are close by and I get to hug them often and others are far away and I get to send them cards.

I work at a dog/cat activity center where the staff, ALL the staff, are there for the dogs and cats in our care. I often hear them talking in the halls about the pets in their care and how they can make the day better for them. When emergencies do happen, they all jump into action and do what they have been trained to do, protect and save the pet.  What a crew!!!

Yes, when I concentrate on Just One Word, I find it everywhere.  How about you?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thank you Joyce for the questions, you all play along OK?
1. This week marks the beginning of Lent...will you be giving something up or adding anything to your life during this season of the year?
No (I like easy questions)

2. The day before Lent is Shrove Tuesday... tradition states you eat pancakes on this day. In some parts of the world Shrove Tuesday is actually known as 'pancake day'. How do you like your pancakes? Or don't you?
I really do like pancakes! Low carb ones are just as good as the regular high carb ones. I normally use "sugar free syrup" but warm blueberry syrup is also really good.
I remember my dad use to make pancakes with sausage cut up and added to the batter. Those were wonderful!!

3.  I'm sure there are many, but what's one love song you really love?
"Colour My World" by Chicago. It's our special song! I wish it could be a ringtone. Anyone know how to make it one?

4.  What are some things you do to let others know you love them?
I send out cards for no reason. I let my hubby live after he took a photo of me sleeping. I will pray with them. I will see something in a store that reminds me of someone and if I can afford it, I will get it for them. I give them hugs and call them to see how they are doing. I listen.

5.  Roses...red, pink, or do you prefer another color? Can you recall the last time someone gave you flowers? Given your choice would you like to open the door and see a dozen red roses, a dozen purple tulips, or a dozen pink peonies?
Roses are not my flower of choice. I really love Sunflowers and Carnations.  So none of the ones listed are my favorite.


6.  President's Day will be celebrated in America next Monday. Does US Presidential history and trivia interest you?  Many Presidential homes are open to the public and offer guided tours...Monticello (Jefferson's home), Mount Vernon (Washington's home), Montpelier (James Madison's home), Hyde Park (FD Roosevelt's home) andThe White House (home to the sitting President) to name just a few. Of those listed which would you be most interested in touring?  Why?
Hubby was reading over my shoulder while I was typing this and said that he wants to see Monticello home of Thomas Jefferson.  He loves history and really has a lot of trivia in his head.  I would enjoy seeing any of the homes to see the architecture and decore of them.

7.  Are you good at keeping secrets?
Yes but I can't tell you why because that's a secret.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - I am SO DONE WITH WINTER! I loved this photo that went out after Nemo hit the east coast.
Now it's your turn, how would you answer these questions?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nemo Again

Nemo kept dumping and blowing snow around. We kept shoveling it and moving it from one place to another.  

That small yellow building is a very large dog house! No one is using it for a while!  The shed is snowed shut for a while. 

What a great sight! The plow guy showed up and found the driveway for us.  Our drive is about 75 feet long so we hire a company for that job! 
Hubby ended up digging a path to under the deck to help out the dogs and give them someplace where the wind was not blowing so hard that August could become a kite.


This is what a 22 inch snow fall looks like once we got a few paths dug out for the dogs. August really liked running back and forth in the snow. But it was very cold so once they got back inside, they were able to relax.

I wish I could fall asleep as fast as Becke can!  

We made it out of the house for Sunday worship service, then we played with the grand kids.  
I am very glad that the storm is over. I know that winter is still with us but really??? I'm so done with this whole thing. How many days till Spring.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekend Review - NEMO

Nemo descended on the New England States and for many, the "Joy" (sarcastically said) continues today. 
Schools in most of the New England states were canceled while others had only 1/2 days so that everyone could get off the roads early. In NH we were told the worst of the storm would hit after 3pm so people headed home in time to batten down the hatches.   Some gas stations ran out of gas as people filled up their cars and gas tanks for generators. A few stores ran out of bread and milk and bath tubs were filled with water while others filled 5 gallon container to put by all the toilets.  Everyone was ready. After Sandy, no one sits back and does nothing. Facebook was filled with people checking in on each other and relaying info about anyone in trouble. We were ready.
Hubby is retired so he took care of our house and I worked from home.  We had ourselves and our pets ready to loose power and still keep warm.

And then it started to snow....
It was slow getting going, in fact I was mocking all the planning that we did because the snow was not much to talk about.  But by 4:30am when I let the dogs out, we had a few inches up over the door. Since there is a step down to the deck, this is about 5 inches all ready.

So, hubby went out to start shoveling so that the dogs can "go".  At 4:30 in the morning, in the dark, just for the dogs!

The dogs finally went out and did what they needed to do and then came back in and we all went back to sleep. For a few hours at least.
When we woke up a few hours later we had this.

And this.

Oh my!

That is our well under there someplace.
We never did loose power, but we were not going anyplace. We spent the day watching the snow pile up, digging out a path for the dogs, watching the wind blow the snow back into the path and digging out the path again for the dog. It was pretty much shovel, watch wind blow it back, shovel, repeat.  

In all we had 22 inches of snow at our home. Other parts of the state had 27 inches. Except for a few places, the state didn't run out of power. We kept ours on. We also kept the pellet stove going....just in case.

Boston and south of us got the brunt of Nemo. In fact Boston MTA is still down, and some people in CT are still without power 4 days later!

More tomorrow.....how was your weekend?