Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekend winter jaunt...

So maybe I was a bit premature with the whole spring is close theory.  We have averaged about 3-6 inches of snow almost every day since.  I'm afraid to say I haven't done anything very inspiring while housebound.  I did make a little ironing board for my quilting corner.  

I have been doing a lot of snowshoeing.   It does make me feel better to get out and seeing something pretty.

 We had a heavy frost.  I tried hard to capture the individual flakes.  

Home again home again jiggety jog.   I was in a good mood after my weekend jaunt, until I had to shovel for the second time that day.  Since the snowshoeing gives me a different perspective on winter, I thought I'd share a different perspective of our cabin in the woods.  Hope you are all holding tough and finding something to keep you sane this long winter.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A heat wave...

It was a heat wave this weekend.  We got up to 51 degrees on Sunday.  Ella knew as soon as I poured my coffee that we were headed to the porch.  It was wonderful.  I looked through my gardening catalogs and tried to envision what could be under the snow.  As you can see in front is a new addition to my garden.  I have forever wanted an old tool box for a planter.  I found the perfect one in an antique shop.  Of course the poor shopkeeper was using it for a display of old spice containers.  It took him a while to get it taken down.  It is perfect for keeping Ella's pinecones from falling off of the front.  I can't wait to fill it with flowers.

 Don't be fooled by my warm sunny porch.  There is still plenty of snow out there.  We seem to be getting 3 or more inches every night, despite the fact that the weatherman never mentioned it.  
 I tried to get into the greenhouse, but there is too much ice in front.  I just opened the top door and filled my nose with the scent of warm earth.  It will do for another week, but sooner or later I need get in there.  
 Every year I am in charge of making dinner rolls for the officer's banquet.  I enjoy spending the day making bread.  I make a super big batch, so there is plenty for people to take home and a few for us to bring back.  There is something so fulfilling about making bread.  Sorry, no photos of the finished product.   Just know it was a successful day of bread making.

 I was not as successful in my annual bird count.  I didn't have any sunflower seeds.  This made a big impact on my count.  I think last year I had about 20-30 chickadees.  This year I had a whopping 2.  My two white breasted nuthatches made sure they were counted.  I also have at least one downy woodpecker every year.  I did finally get some seeds today.  Not in time for the count, but I'm sure the birds don't mind.

We hit the 50's, so I have high hopes that spring is around the corner.  I hope others had a more successful bird count. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wishing away the winter...

It is snowing again.  Ella and I went on our weekly snowshoeing adventure.  This time without the camera.  It was a real workout.  

When we returned I was excited to try something new, strawberry cocoa.  We had some great strawberries in our Bountiful Basket.   I am very happy with the outcome.  

Strawberry Cocoa
1 1/2 c. milk
3 T. white chocolate chips
1/4 c. pureed strawberries
1/2 t. vanilla

Heat on low stirring constantly.  Add vanilla after removing from the heat.

 After making my winter treat, I settled into my chair, wrapped up in a blanket, and reviewed gardening magazines.  Dreaming away the winter.  

Meanwhile, Ella dreamed of chasing pine cones.  

I hope everyone else has found a way to pass the winter time.  Only three more months. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Take a hike...

I try to be positive, but I am just plain sick of winter.  Ella, on the other hand, is not.  Winter is just as fun and exciting as any other season.  It is hard to turn her down when she begs for a walk.  Even when it is flat 0 degrees outside.   Today I gave in to her enthusiasm, put on my snowshoes, and we took a hike.
Ella was overjoyed!  She took full advantage of our time together.  As the saying goes, "She lived like someone left the gate open."  Can you say happy dog?  My grouchy despise winter disposition quickly dissipated.   Maybe all this snow isn't so bad.

After all, the views were very pretty.  If you look closely you can see Orman Dam.  I also noticed nestled among the hills is a little farm.  I did observe that there doesn't seem to be any snow on the prairie.  

But then again, the snow does give Ella an nice frosty sheen.  She looks so elegant.

The sky was a vivid blue and the wind wasn't blowing for a change.

The landscape was dazzling.  Everything just stood out;  The clouds against the blue sky and the shadows against the gleaming white snow.

Despite the cold, I quickly warmed up while snowshoeing.  The woods were quiet.  There were no tracks.  It was like Ella and I had the world to ourselves.
An enthusiastic dog paired with a panoramic view is a nice way to spend the day.

OK maybe winter isn't so bad.  Thanks, Ella for reminding me to have fun, no matter the season.