Nasty, raw day! 40°. After being the "squeaky wheel" trying to get the Township Supervisors to send someone out to clean up the dirt clogs left on our lawn after winter plowing I saw them working! After stepping outside on the porch to thank them for coming, I recognized the younger fellow as the snow plow driver who caused the problem. He told me that they would probably come back again when there were more workers available to build up the ditches along the property. Their staff is cut down to only these two workers!
The window at the end of the cabin has three parts: inside panes, outside storm glass, and between both - screen! Poor James! I cut off his nose!
If you feel anxious because what we've all been going through, I get it. I, personally am not bothered by being confined or by being kinda/sorta alone, or having my normal routines out of order. I have not lost my social contacts and am not struggling to not unglue from the constant news reports. Some of you are, and have trials. If this time is overwhelming to you, it needs to be corrected - any way you can. Look out your windows. Look at your surroundings with a positive attitude. Smile. Find something to do with your hands. Call someone. Wait. Bake. Cook. Clean. Read. Create. Write a story. Draw a picture. Take a walk and pick up trash. Stay safe. Don't let the uncertainty and stress take over. Just DON'T. Look forward to good days. Here in Northeast Pennsylvania, pretty soon we will see Spring's renewal and beauty. Appreciate what you have wherever you live. Ok lecture over. Great Grandsons getting fresh air. Oblivious of world worries.
Here at Camp Isolation I made a flower and named it "Corona." Camp is where we stay and stay safe and busy. It's VERY wet here and chilly but we are warm and well fed. I dug into the craft supply box (it is very small now) and found that I had some multicolored pony beads left from making suncatchers at home back in 2016 when I couldn't go to camp. I also found a small bundle of thin 6" sticks. Hmmmm... wonder where they came from? After sorting colors, I found enough beads to fill the 27 sticks with 20 on each plus the end bead. Hot glue at the beginning bead kept them all on until each stick was full and hot glue at the other end kept them from sliding back off. It took 567 beads. Then what? I had to figure out how to fit these "petals" in a circle in order to use them all and so that none would overlap. Hah! Hah! a mayonnaise jar lid was the perfect size. I just set it down into a bowl with a piece of double-sided tape to hold it there so the bead-filled sticks could rest over the edge of the lid and also on the edge of the bowl. It worked! That darn old hot glue gun is cumbersome and HOT! I made my flower to last. I'll soon figure out how to hang it. The center is coated with one of my gold-colored permanent markers. The Corona flower is a one-of-a-kind variety so I don't believe it will reproduce.
If it's still raining tomorrow I plan to keep busy too — somehow! — someway! The chuckhouse is serving egg-spinach-cheese-quiche... Gotta go!
A fellow blogger had described a book she read and it sounded like one I would enjoy. Our local library didn't have it so it was ordered to borrow from another town. This is usual as I have reserved books before. They usually are available in about a week of standing by. Not this one! I waited almost a month and, thinking I missed the call that it was available to be picked up, I called. They still hadn't received it but would check. End result - after about another week it was waiting for me to pick up and I also found a couple of others that sounded interesting. So here I am, reading, reading, reading. We cannot return books when due as the library is closed. We cannot put them into the drop box either. It is sealed off.
The book was "All the Ever Afters" by Danielle Teller. I found it boring at first but closer to the end I really really liked and understood the story. When I run out of books to read I'll have to resort to reading cereal boxes like I always did as a kid. I like a book in my hands and hope to not resort to reading online!
First, when the Governor of Pennsylvania put out the "Industry Operation Guidance" list it was worrisome. Today his "Business Closure Order" has been changed. The enforcement has been delayed and the list shortened. It will change again, I'm sure.
These are rough times for so many in multiple ways but we are taking it seriously and living our lives quite carefully, with so many thoughts of others and their distress.
Personally, we are thankful that we don't have kids home needing schooling. That must be very difficult for many. We are thankful that our jobs aren't in jeopardy. We have always practiced frugality because we had to and there is no change in our lifestyle or kitchen activities.
I have only hope that waiting it out in a safe manner will be the best thing, considering what a mess it is. Dealing with facts, not fear is the main issue here.
Interesting fact: The PA Fish and Boat Commission announced this week that it is delaying the start of trout season in Southeastern Pennsylvania, but they have to stock the streams anyway! This is so if hatchery personnel or field personnel get sick, the fish will be out to the public. Fishing can be a safe activity because people can move around in streams and find their own spots away from others. Statewide opening day is now April 18.
I don't have a problem keeping busy. At first I thought I'd make a batch of no knead cinnamon rolls, but there would be too many and not good options for sharing at this time so I changed gears. I made Anni's "Candy Bark." She published her "How to..." quite a while back around Christmastime, but it has been on my mind for a while and the ingredients have been waiting for my action. I was very surprised how easy it was to make and how GOOD! Nice treats are handy and welcome here. I used white chocolate and ground walnuts instead of what the recipe gives, but is was a personal choice.*
First, line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
In a medium to large bowl pour in a small bag of chips (12 oz.) (chocolate, dark, milk, white, peanut butter)
Add:1 tsp. oil or shortening.
Melt at high for 30 seconds in the microwave. Take out and stir. Put the bowl back in the microwave and cook for another minute(depending on your microwave, it could be less time or longer time). Do not overcook.
Take out, stir until creamy and lump-free.
Pour onto papered cookie sheet, spread the mixture evenly. *(I clipped two clothespins at each end of the tray to keep waxed paper from moving.)
Top melted chips with *lightly salted almonds (crushed with a rolling pin). Press almonds into the mixture. Use a slightly dampened hand to keep the nuts from sticking to your hand. Chill until well set. Break into pieces.
And then I created "Monkeys in a Tree" using an image of my great nephew and great niece from Philadelphia keeping active outdoors.
As I looked out the window this morning I was delighted to see my first robin - from far away, but definitely identified. It was picking for worms on the dam bank.
Twice now a bird has flown in and perched on my pine cone mobil. They don't stay there very long when they realize this tree branch has too much swing and sway for easy balance!
So far there are two pairs of Canada geese looking for a nesting spot along the lake's edge. The Bufflehead ducks stand out very well and, they are very busy diving. It's entertaining to see the dark colored "dippers" popping down under the surface and then coming up in unexpected spots after a bit of fishing. I think they are Scaups. There is a fur bearing head popping up sometimes, perhaps a muskrat; definitely not a beaver.
Hopefully, I'll be out and about riding in my golf car taking pictures very soon - I'm waiting for the muddy road to dry out. In the meantime I've called our local contractor to come take a look at the leaning post on the front porch and the front gutter situation. The porch concrete on the corner has cracked and tipped down so the pillar is now leaning. It became very evident after the foliage was removed.
The big old Seedum on that corner hides a lot, doesn't it?
AND....A new roof is going to be discussed. The probable cost scares me out of my wits, but it's time. 22 years ago it was replaced. I'd also like to be adventurous and consider the metal kind. We shall see. The colors of brown and dark green seem pleasing in my imagination. Gotta be sensible, though. Major project! Stay tuned.
Well I'm feeling back to normal now so no more word sillies. An almond pound cake was baked.
I took off James' scarf and holiday bells this morning. Still frozen but drying out in front of the heater.
I took pictures of the daffodils that are poking up through the frozen soil. Then I looked back two years ago and was quite surprised that the season this year is very different than the past. Every spring I take pictures of these old bulbs bursting through the frozen soil. You see, my mother planted them when the cabin was first built and they have survived for almost 60 years.
For anyone who has trouble hard boiling and peeling eggs I am not on that list! I have no tricks. I use fresh (very fresh from a nearby neighbor) large beautiful brown - sometimes greenish or bluish eggs. I do one dozen at a time in a pot that holds exactly 12 and none lay on top of another. I start them in very cold water and when it starts to boil I time a fast simmer for 15 minutes. When time is up, I immediately pour off the hot water and fill the pot with very cold water from the tap. I change the cold water three times, and then start the peeling. I tap the round end in the sink to break the shell and then roll the eggs until it is all cracked. I open the round end first and the rest just slips away!
I open two cans of small whole beets and make up a mixture of brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, water, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, sea salt and the beet juice. This mixture is brought to a boil and simmered for about 15 minutes and is then poured over the 12 eggs and 26 little beets. When it has all cooled down, it is poured into a large jug which is just the right size to cover the eggs and beets. Into the refrigerator it goes for at least 3 days, but mostly is not touched for a week.
Golly did it smell good in here! Sometimes I think I should boil up some cinnamon sticks and whole cloves just for the aroma.
Now they are married and shall stay that way until the temptation to eat them is broken. Time to jug up!
Better than candy any day!
For real recipe ingredient measurements (grandmother's, mother's, friend's husband's) that I combined to my satisfaction, see below.
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 cans red beets and juice
10 whole cloves
*3 sticks cinnamon
12 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
Mix sugar, salt, cider vinegar, water, beet juice, cloves and cinnamon, and heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add red beets into mixture after it has cooled.
Pour over hard boiled, peeled eggs. Let stand in refrigerator 3 days or longer. It gets better as it ages.
I'm still in the kitchen waiting for Spring. I will direct you to the recipe I used for our dinner a few days ago. Tasty but too much work. My shoulder injury from eight years ago is giving me grief now and I'm trying to avoid some movements that aggravate it.