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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
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Snow -- AND Freezing Rain (No!!!!!!) 
snow, let it snow
Usually when the weatherman tells us we have SNOW coming, he's wrong. Seriously! I can't tell you how often snow is predicted but doesn't happen. So we had no clue if we'd actually get snow, or not. Anyway, it was a surprise to wake up to snow sticking on the ground this morning -- much earlier than had been predicted, however...

So I hustled around to try and make things nicer for our animal and bird friends outside. The poor hummingbirds were flitting around and landing on the feeder, but it was frozen solid! So I mixed up a new batch (and left it warm, rather than letting it totally cool down), and took it out. We had hummingbirds much of the day. They not only come to feed, but just to land there and rest (I guess). I think they like it because it's under the overhang of the house, which means it's a bit sheltered. And I suppose it might transfer some warmth to them from the window (not sure about that).

I also put water in the dishes out front. It's hard for the critters when things get frozen and they have nothing to drink!!! (I actually did that more than once during the day, because the water continued to freeze, of course.) And I took out some food and bird seed. We had crows and starlings and wrens (and maybe more), plus a bunch of squirrels, too.

The house went down below 60' last night. (I think it was 58'.) So we turned up the heat, worried that we needed to make it warm in case we lost power. Happily, we didn't lose power all day long! We were among the lucky ones, as many in the area did lose power (poor people).

It's one of the things we hate about freezing rain, by the way! It frequently knocks down power wires from the weight of the ice! Freezing rain is nasty business. It's awful to walk on (I've fallen more than once on freezing rain) and TERRIBLE to drive on! As a matter of fact, many schools were closed by 11:00 p.m. TONIGHT for Monday morning -- and that rarely happens! Usually you're up early on a wintry day and listening to the radio or TV to see if schools will close or not.

Portland Public Schools are closed tomorrow -- so it's a 'snow day' for our office. Marilyn and I weren't slated to go in tomorrow, anyway, but I'm always happy to see a snow day. Hahaha.

I built a fire in the fireplace, which is a cheerful thing -- especially on a cold day!

We had ham and leftover hominy for brunch. That ham is really wonderful, I have to say! And lots and lots of hot, sweet tea.

We watched a bunch of TV today. And played on our iPads. Marilyn slept a ton on the sofa. But I never quite got around to lying down for a nap! At the point where I'd decided to go to my bedroom we decided to fix dinner, so that was that. I'm really yawning tonight! Hahaha.

I was pleased to see people mentioning Velveeta and the pizza kits from yesterday's blog. Hahaha. I can't believe both products are still around! (Actually, I was surprised to find Suddenly Salad still around, too!) Hahaha.

I guess I do think of these foods as being something my mother used, and not as being current choices. But what the heck! We're going to get that pizza and try it. (Which, by the way, we both remember as being A LOT OF WORK to make! We're pretty spoiled by pizza you buy frozen and ready to heat in the oven! Hahaha.) I wouldn't be surprised if many of you have never heard of these things, anyway...

Also, back when I was the Nanny for my nephew and niece, I used to have a limited food budget, so I really learned to make my $$$ stretch. It was great for when Marilyn and I first had our own home and were on a strict food budget. Anyway, I used to make Bisquick pizza on a cookie sheet. I guess I had my own recipe, because I didn't see one online that looked familiar to me. It was mainly about the crust -- then I added whatever I had around at the time.

That reminds me! I used to think it was the height of laziness to purchase black olives sliced or chopped up! I'd get a regular can and do the slicing by hand. I have no clue why that mattered to me. Now I think it's a huge WASTE OF TIME not to get them already sliced and/or diced! Hahaha.

Those Bisquick pizzas could be pretty tasty, depending on the toppings. Sometimes we had sliced pepperoni, other times olives. And usually we had sliced cheese to throw on top -- with lots of tomato sauce and tomato paste! Yummy. I haven't made one in ages, but used to bake them all the time!

The kids (gosh, they aren't kids anymore!) always liked my 'pan sandwiches' -- I'd butter bread on both sides, put lunch meat and cheese inside, then fry them in a pan. No, we didn't call them grilled cheese sands back then. I don't know why. Hahaha. And they loved my meatloaves, too. I'd always add filler to stretch the meat. My favorite filler was Grape-Nuts cereal, which made a delicious meatloaf (I got that straight from my Mom). But when I didn't have any Grape-Nuts around, I'd try any number of replacements! Rice was a total FAIL, though! It looked like 'worms' inside the meatloaf, so it didn't matter how it tasted (I don't even recall). Nobody would touch it! Hahaha. Anyway, meatloaf made with Grape-Nuts really holds together well -- and tastes very meaty! It slices GREAT for sandwiches, as it went directly from dinner to lunches the next day! (grin)

It was YEARS before I realized that not everybody made their meatloaf with Grape-Nuts! Crazy, huh? And we NEVER had onion in ours, so the first time I had meatloaf that contained onion I was shocked. Hahaha.

The house has been COLD today, even with the furnace running. It was that cold out, I guess. When I talked to June she said the same thing. And we ran the water last night and all day long. All day long, every time I went to the sink and turned the water on full, I'd hear that 'sound' that indicates how cold the pipes are. (If you've dealt with cold pipes, you know what I mean!) The last thing we want is frozen pipes, that's for sure!

I just realized!!! I think one of the outdoor spigots isn't covered!!!!! I need to get my ass outside and take care of that. I wonder HOW I could have forgotten to do it??? It's really, really not like me.

Before I end, I want to mention that today was Epiphany (as celebrated by many places in the world, and as observed by the Catholic church). This is the day that people have their houses blessed for the coming year! Or they can bless them themselves, as Marilyn and I did!

I set up our two saint candles in the front flower bed, along with our gold five-pointed star (that used to go on the top of the tree). And I borrowed the Magi (three kings) from the Nativity on the mantle and put them outside, too, along with the angel from our coffee table.

Then I found a stool and stood on it to clean off the lintel of the front door. And I hunted for chalk and found a piece we could use. I had the scripture and the parts for the leader and responses ready for us to read. So we both went on the porch and read, then I chalked above the door.


This stands for Christus mansionem benedict -- May Christ bless this house. AND for the Magi (three kings), Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar -- with CROSSES between them. Obviously the numbers come from the current year (2016). So now our house is blessed for this year. A whole NEW tradition for us! I like it.

On that note, goodnight, friends. Sleep well! And may you always enjoy yummy food, a warm house and unfrozen pipes!
January 4, 2016 (Monday) 03:33 pm (UTC)
The house blessing tradition is lovely and is seen mostly in central and northern Europe...though I have occasionally seen it in Spain as well.
January 4, 2016 (Monday) 09:11 pm (UTC)
Glad that you did not lose power and the water could have been worse. Lucky for us that Larry got our front door fixed. It was really bad and needed to be fixed. Larry took me to Safeway for a few things before they went home. It was nice that Tammy did not come over with them. Nicole worked all day and was so cold from working to drive thru window. She works hard but makes very good money.