When trees coming crashing down into yards, the landscape and sometimes the roads are affected. Monstrous branches with emerald green foliage plummet to the earth making us wonder how this tree lived for so long upright.Things come to a stand still as people wrap their brains around a sudden event. The chainsaws come out much to a working man’s satisfaction( for what man doesn’t love a good chainsaw cutting). My husband is one of those men with a lumberjack tendency.
With these unexpected falls, roads can be blocked and everyone just stops. Cars wait or turn around as road crews work their magic. Every now and then power lines whip down from the weight of bulky snow or from the piercing force of winds. A few summers ago our town had a road blocked and power out because of a tumbled tree. Our little hamlet came to a standstill for a few short hours.
Maple stood erect and towered towards the heavens with it’s sturdy branches intact. Until one day…a few years back a major appendage to this tree plummeted to the ground in a wind storm. For countless years this maple hovered over the yard, providing well needed shade and a sense of comfort to all. It witnessed many families come and go. We were just one of a few families who lived in the “cottage” at the Geneen Estate, appreciating that tree.
As Tom assessed the scope of the situation, I grabbed my camera and flashed photos. Most people overlook the significance of a downed tree or major limb. The towering tree still proudly stood but it was scarred. It would never be the same. But as we know, humans can also be hurt and changed but they amazingly adapt, staying strong. That maple still stands proudly lacing the property, providing shade for the new young family living there.
After a couple of hours of cutting and tedious piling up heavy branches, the yard was once again manicured, resembling a show piece. That’s what my caretaker husband prides himself on. That day as we trekked down the winding driveway, Tom and I had a new appreciation of all the towering trees, stretching our necks up to see the wondrous erect trunks and widespread branches. Their elegance framed the estate’s winding driveway, like standing soldiers guarding something precious.
Thank God for trees and the beauty, shade and oxygen that they gift us!
Ice blankets our driveway in gleaming sheets, making a trip to the mailbox a risky excursion. Icy crusted snow encompasses the perimeter of the house. Everywhere one looks a fierce whiteness blinds, yet the sky above is a robin egg blue. The air is crisp and cold, while inside the house, it’s warm and dry. It’s the winter season and we are in the midst of snow storms, icy roads in the early mornings and bright twinkling stars adorning the blackest night. This is all to be expected of this month in New Hampshire!
Usually in late February I fall in a cabin fever trance, longing for spring sun and blooming plants and blossoms. This year there’s a stark contrast in my attitude. I’m feeling great physically and healthy, with a sincere wish to skip the winter blues. After all, I choose to live here so why shouldn’t I make the best of it? Why not enjoy winter’s gifts, these little moments that some probably wish for.
Our family has much to look forward to this month, as we celebrate three family birthdays and a quiet Valentine’s Day. But also we live in such a beautiful place with white magic lying around. It’s fun to walk in it, to explore the frosty woods and look at animal tracks. You can hear winter birds cooing in the trees as well as a random owl hoot now and then.
There’s a time and season for everything and presently it’s time for snow, ice, chilly temperatures and red hot stoked stoves. It’s a perfect opportunity to move the body and snowshoe in the deep woods, to look for animal tracks and white owls, to hike on the snowy trails and truly appreciate the warmth of a raging fire afterwards. Even lugging armfuls of wood feels good as we walk the snowy path to the house.
As I close this post I wish to share Dylan’s first modeling job. I’m just kidding but that was what his wife Lexy joked about. This photo was taken a few years back while he attended a community college for Auto Technology. I randomly found it on a Facebook post a friend shared. At first I wasn’t sure where it was from but I figured it out. The college used it as a cover photo for their Facebook page. Tom and I, like most of you parents, are proud of his accomplishments and thank God for him! ( As well as our other son Branden).
I hope the start of your week is wonderful and if it’s not, breathe. This too shall pass and better days are ahead. Believe me.
For many years cooking for my family unfortunately was one of my disliked chores. It’s not that I didn’t love serving my family but every day and night I had to rack my brain of meal ideas and then magically throw them together for their consumption. It was the constant pressure of having it done by 5:30 or 6 and no matter what was happening with the kids, it just had to be on the table for all. I can imagine many of you busy moms feel the same way, right?
With that said, the last six months I’ve noticed a change from dread to excitement with a burst of creativity. It may be because there’s just the two of us now or the fact that I wanted to transform these feelings from dread to desire. It happened slowly at first. My flourishing garden produced fresh herbs, greens, carrots and tomatoes ( to name a few), kindling my interest in cooking. As you may know, mastering delicious and healthy meals depends on fresh ingredients!
I would pick the ingredients in the afternoon for supper that night. It was straight from our rich soil to the dinner plate. This excited me beyond belief that I was homesteading in some ways! The food started tasting more delicious, for with freshly grown ingredients and locally raised meat how could you go wrong? I experimented with pungent Basil, sassy Cilantro and lemon Thyme.
My youngest son was greatly influenced by this, learning the herb names and cutting his own for his cooking creations. His interest intensified mine and my love for cooking grew even more! There were a few summer meals we co- cooked, which was so much fun!
With a positive and creative outlook, my disliked chore is a loved one now! I think I got tired of the dread hanging over me and I wanted to feel good about creating dinner! Now I plan ahead with the ingredients, read cookbooks, browse Pinterest and borrow recipes from my blogging friends, all to craft delicious meals for my family. I’m truly grateful for making this change and turning meal time into love! Wow, the food tastes more delicious because of my new passion!
Is there a household chore you dread and dislike? Could you put some imagination and creativity into it to make it fun and rewarding? Can you make a game of it? Is there a way you can have fun doing it by listening to a podcast or your favorite music? Whatever it is, I do hope you can beautify this chore to something incredible!
This Sunday morning I woke to yet more snow on the ground and chilly temperatures. After loading up the stove with trusty hard wood, I ventured to my kitchen to create a warm wholesome breakfast! My husband was out snow plowing while I happily cooked. One of his favorite breakfast foods is crepes, a thin pancake made with flour, salt, milk, an egg, and oil. ( I use coconut oil and added a few tablespoons of Oat flour to the white.)
I try to use up what I have in the fridge and freezer and since I had a few frozen whole strawberries, I tried my hand at making strawberry sauce. My first time, other than making blueberry sauce! I put the strawberries in a small pot, added honey, cinnamon and water. It took a few minutes to boil and then I turned down the heat to a low simmer. It smelled like homemade jam and tasted so delicious with a bit of New Hampshire maple syrup and crepes!
Below is the Crepe Recipe I took from my aged Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
1 cup flour ( I added 3 Tbls. Oat flour for a healthy nutty taste)
1 1/2 cup milk ( I used Lactose free Milk)
1 Tbls. Oil ( I used Coconut oil melted)
1/4 tsp. Salt
Combine dry ingredients. Add milk, eggs and oil. Beat until blended. Heat a skillet or electric skillet. I brush it with butter. Spoon about 2- 3 Tbls. batter for crepe. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with blueberry or strawberry sauce and top with maple syrup.
I hope you enjoy your Sunday morning breakfast and savor every delicious bite!
A few weeks ago we celebrated the union of family when my son’s girlfriend came to visit. I thought it would be fun to get our family together on a Friday night to make our own pizzas. To start, I made my father- in- law’s pizza sauce a few days before. Next I bought Boboli crusts, different cheeses such as Mozzarella, Extra Sharp ( my favorite because I can eat it being lactose intolerant), Monterey Jack and Parmesan. I sliced peppers, broccoli, onions and black olives. Unfortunately the pepperoni stick I bought smelled bad so I ditched the pepperoni idea. ( Next time I won’t buy the Bridgford brand)
While we chatted, everyone made their own pizzas. Once we were done we sat at the dining room table and ate much to our hearts’ content. Lexy brought bacon maple cupcakes for us to enjoy for dessert! It was fun to play card games after, screw your neighbor ( it sounds naughty but it’s not, you just trick your neighbor) and Emma Jo’s version of Trash.
All in all it was a special evening of family connections. It’s these times that bring joy to a mother’s life. I value the moments we can unite, talk and laugh. How could anything else be more important, than family?
Here’s a thought…create your own pizza night. Maybe you’ll want to make your own crusts! Next time I’ll invest more time to make my own pizza dough, which involves more time. Invite family or friends. Do your research ahead and ask your guests what they prefer for toppings so you’ll be prepared. Plan on games or conversation starters after dessert. Enjoy the memories you’ll make!