Tag Archives: winter

Fun Friday: Blizzard Juno

30 Jan
The calm before the storm.

The calm before the storm.

The last time I wrote, it was Monday, and now it’s Friday, just like that.

So we had a blizzard!

Yep, just as the forecasters had predicted for days prior, we got approximately two feet of snow, give or take an inch or twelve, depending on the drifts.

I spent most of Monday running from store to store to gas station getting the rest of what we needed for food, batteries, and gas for the car. By the time I sat down to start my actual work for the day it was 2pm and by the time I finished it, it was midnight, but I’d beat the storm both in my work and in my preparations at home. I was ready.

Thankfully, we didn’t ever lose power. The temps were frigid and the winds were howling, and we thought for sure it was going to go at any moment, but it did not. That made the week of days out of school and work much more enjoyable. It was like a surprise vacation.

At times we could barely see out the window, especially at the height of the storm.

At times we could barely see out the window, especially at the height of the storm.

We spent the first part of Tuesday literally just hanging out. People slept late, some later than others, and we watched the snow falling furiously and listened to the wind. The term “white-out conditions” was fitting for most of the day and night. We’d gone to bed with about 5″ of snow Monday night and woken up to find 12″ in the morning. By the next day we had at least 18 inches, maybe more. The plows would come by, and seemingly minutes later, you could barely see the path they’d made. We sat and watched TV until about 1pm and then we shut it off for most of the rest of the day.

Even though we didn’t lose power, we made use of the meals we’d planned, and we had several days to hang out, do things we never get to do (including put laundry away), and relax. The kids still had things from Christmas they hadn’t gotten to play with or use yet, things that are more involved and take time, so those things came out early on and I tried my best to make sure we made use of at least one of each child’s “things” during the week, so that no one felt left out. Because we had power, we baked; making special snacks using some fun kits the

The day after the storm dawned so bright and beautiful, a perfect, sunshiny day.

The day after the storm dawned so bright and beautiful, a perfect, sunshiny day.

kids had gotten for Christmas–individual pie makers, giant sugar cookie makers, and the like, all things I’ll focus on for upcoming blog posts throughout the next month or so. We had a family movie night, right in the middle of the week, all piled into the living room, watching an older movie that most of us had never seen.

We had three days out of school and on the second day out, they all got to go outside and play, and as cold as it was, they were in snow-day heaven, as was I. It was so great to see them free and relaxed, enjoying outdoor play time in the middle of the day, in the middle of a week. So much time is spent working on work at school and then working on even more work after school, and doing extra-curricular activities, that many a day go by when outdoor play time just isn’t in the cards. Although everyone had homework this week, some more than others, they still had time to play inside, to play outside, to catch up on sleep, to relax, to cook, to create and to hang out.

For a blizzard, it was a great week.

And guess what?
It’s going to snow on Sunday and Monday. A big Nor’Easter. Again.

I’m not returning my extra batteries and hand-warmers yet!

No matter how old you are, you can always find something fun to do in the snow.

No matter how old you are, you can always find something fun to do in the snow.

Hooray for snow days!

Hooray for snow days!

{Meal} Planning for a blizzard!

26 Jan
It's going to be a good one!

It’s going to be a good one!

We live in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places in the United States. Clearly, I’m biased, but we love it here and we love it for the experience of every season. In the winter it snows, in the summer we have the ocean, in the spring we have rebirth and in the fall we have the splendor of autumn. For those who love nature and scenery, we can’t be beat.

That said, it definitely snows here and sometimes it snows a whole lot. In 1978, when I was a child, we had the Blizzard of ’78 (well named, right?) In 2013 we had Blizzard Nemo, my first really intense snowstorm with a family of my own and one of my kids’ all-time favorite memories so far. Tonight we are expecting a similar type of storm which should last through early Wednesday morning.
It’s very exciting stuff. I love the hype of a good storm and I love seeing all of the various predictions coming in, although I must say this time around they all pretty much match up to each other. They all say it’s going to snow a ton, two to three feet.

Today, I spent most of the day running around getting last minute supplies. I had picked up batteries and water yesterday and some food earlier in the weekend, but that food shopping was done before we’d gotten the newest data for the weather, showing just how bad the storm was going to be.

Last time we were out of power for several days. That meant no heat, but we did have hot water and the ability to use the top of our stove. Thankfully when it’s a blizzard (versus a summer or fall hurricane) it’s cold enough outside you can keep a lot of things out in the snow, so you don’t lose a lot of your perishables.

Knowing that, and having one of my strongest memories from that NEMO week being the moment I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my oldest daughter’s teeth chattering in her sleep (we all slept in the living room), here’s some of the planning I’ve done today, including some meal planning and prep.


Batteries in sizes C and D for flashlights and for the radio (we have several smaller lights that take AA and AAA batteries, and we’re well stocked in those two sizes already.)

Extra blankets brought in from the car, washed and dried

Gas in the car, filled up. Thankfully gas is so cheap now!

Prescription needed for midweek picked up

A case of water, (we already have two gallons of water also)

Two bottles of apple juice plus a case of Vitamin Water for the one who won’t drink apple juice

Extra gallon of milk, plenty of half and half for my coffee or to top off a hot chocolate made with water

Lots of bread (white, wheat, rolls, and cinnamon swirl)

Hamburger and hot dog rolls

Cans of tuna

Cans of soup

Cups of fruit (we do have fresh fruit also.)

Hot dogs and ground turkey for hamburgers

Plenty of packets of oatmeal and hot chocolate

Plenty of flour, sugar and eggs

Muffin mixes (to bake ahead for grab and go. Well really, for grab and stay put.)

A thermos for regular coffee

Hand/body/toe warmers (I got ten sets of each figuring five people times two days.)


Don't they say beauty comes with sacrifice? There's some prep involved in getting ready for a snowstorm.

Don’t they say beauty comes with sacrifice? There’s some prep involved in getting ready for a snowstorm.

For meals we can have:
Breakfasts: French toast , pancakes, oatmeal, eggs, cereal, grilled bagels (anything hot can be done on the stove top on a flat topped griddle, in a tea pot or in a cast iron pan)

Lunches: sandwiches such as tuna, peanut butter, jelly, lunch meat, grilled cheese

Dinners: Pasta with leftover sauce and pork from last night’s dinner and salad, hot dogs/hamburgers with steamed broccoli and cauliflower, leftover chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes, which will be left over from tonight’s dinner, and we could even do omelets if we need another stove-top meal, which I’m hoping we won’t.

To me, it’s very exciting preparing for and thinking about an impending storm. I like being in the stores, talking to people in line who are all doing the same thing I am, and chatting about the upcoming weather. It brings people together. In situations such as these, you can either choose to smile and be kind or you can choose to be miserable, and today I found most people have chosen to smile and be kind, even those who are working the cash registers and dealing with long lines of customers.

The most important thing is to be sure everyone is safe, warm and fed. The rest is just waiting it out, and with that comes lots of memories. I’m sure I’ll catch you on the flip side of this storm and let you know how it all played out, so watch your weather news over the next few days, and be thinking of us New Englanders!





Monday Musings: Spring is on the way!

7 Apr
Spring is on the way!

Spring is on the way!


One of the things I so love about living in New England is the fact that we get to experience every season. I love and appreciate them all, even winter.

My scrapbooks and photo albums would not be complete if they did not have photos from each season: snow days, snow men, and sledding in the winter, jumping in the leaves, apple and pumpkin picking in the fall, and of course my all-time favorites: swimming, fishing and boating in the summer.

When I first met my husband, I distinctly remember though, a conversation where we discussed the start of spring. Not the first official calendar day of spring, but rather the first day. That day you know that spring is coming. The sky is blue, the sun shines, it looks like spring, it even smells like spring. We both knew which day we were talking about and we both knew that there was nothing like that day every year.

I know too, that if we didn’t experience the winter, we would not appreciate the spring, not as much as we do.

Today, I was reminded of that conversation and I actually think of it every year at the start of spring. After a particularly long, snowy winter, today was gorgeous. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. We’ve been seeing buds from our flowers appearing in recent weeks. The days are now officially longer. It’s coming, and I’m so excited for a new year’s springtime to start.

This week, the kids brought out the jump ropes, and played outside again, without needing snow boots and snow pants.

A sure sign that spring is on the way: the sidewalk chalk is out!

A sure sign that spring is on the way: the sidewalk chalk is out!

And today….today they played with the sidewalk chalk in the driveway.

I absolutely love sidewalk chalk. I think that it’s one of the truest signs that spring is coming, when I see our driveway covered in my kids’ artwork. You never know what they’re going to draw and it’s always beautiful, full of bright colors and it’s always creative, full of whatever theme they’re currently into at the moment. It changes after each rainstorm, another sure sign of spring. And then, new art appears.

I used to run classes at my house when I was a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator and I once had a customer say to me that she always waited with great anticipation to see what the art would be on our driveway whenever she came to our house. It always made her smile.

It always makes me smile too. I love seeing it in front of me when I back out of the driveway and I love seeing it again when I come home at the end of the day.

It’s warm and it’s welcoming.

Last summer, after several seasons of wishing and hoping for one, I received a special gift for my birthday from my husband: a bench for my front yard so that I could sit out there and watch my kids play in the spring,  summer and fall; I could curl up and read a book, and all the while, listen to them chattering, running, jumping, riding bikes and scooters, and watch them with their chalk.

Big bows and applause for a job well done!

Big bows and applause for a job well done!

Today, I pulled my bench out of the garage and dragged it out to the driveway.

I got my book, my camera and my phone, and a blanket for my legs.

And then out I went to watch my kids, as they ushered in the spring.