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Snow. To a lot of people it’s become a four letter word – even to a lot of people who love snow. We received about another foot on Friday and then about another five inches last night into today. It’s snowing again now and we’re supposed to get more snow tonight into tomorrow with a little ice thrown in for good measure. I love snow and let me tell you there is A LOT of snow outside.
There is so much snow, that it is impossible to see out our front windows into the driveway, which also complicates the fact when someone is coming to pick kids up for carpool. An entire pick-up truck can be hidden from our view outside our front windows. It’s damn cool, I do have to say.
As I was driving home tonight by myself in the car, singing along to the radio, I realize how much the words of a song can control your emotions. I write and while I love to write, I envy songwriters. They are the poets of the musical world. They are able to capture emotion, both good and bad, in a few lines of a song. They grab a snippet of time, freeze it and craft it in such a way that one cannot help but be moved by merely listening to the words.
I wish I possessed the talent to use my words to create such basic, core feelings. I am sure that you know what I mean. A song can conjure up a memory so specific or an emotion so strong that it moves you. A specific song can be a special bond between a couple (for example, a wedding song, a song played on a first date or during a special time in one’s relationship) or place you with a specific person or at a specific time (for example, the song your grandmother lulled you to sleep with in her arms). Music is soothing and emotional but the words –well the words can add another level, the words are the outpouring of the heart.
It’s been a busy couple weeks. The boys were on vacation last week and we had company over the weekend, my family visiting from New Jersey, which is always nice. Unfortunately, my sister and her family couldn’t make it so the boys were a little bummed to not see their other cousins as well. This week the boys were back in school, but we still had company visiting with us. Our goddaughter, along with three friends and her mother came up during their winter break (of course the weeks didn’t coincide) to go skiing. I hope that the girls had a good time, since we had a good time hosting them. It was nice to have the hormones in the house tip in favor of estrogen for a change — as you can imagine I am sorely outnumbered most of the time. They left today after we had a nice girl’s lunch in Manchester.
Tonight into tomorrow night we’re forecast for a storm. The weather is forecasting about a foot of snow, lots of wind and blowing and drifting. Each time I look at the forecast, they are inching up the accumulation predictions, which is more than fine with me. I love, love, love a good “no one is going anywhere” snowstorm because it’s almost like Mother Nature telling us all to just slow down and relax. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature, as so many have learned during this very snowy winter across much of the country. I think that sometimes she just wanted to remind us of who, really is in charge. It is most certainly not us.
So….with an impending storm and cold blustery weather planned, it seems like a good excuse to hunker down and enjoy the winter before it’s over and mud season rears its ugly, messy, goopy head.
Good thing that I actually looked at the calendar last night. The school calendar. Seems that kids have school tomorrow. Who would have guessed? Silly me, I was thinking it was a holiday. Of course the boys were well aware that they were headed back to school tomorrow from vacation — good thing someone was on top of things. It evidently wasn’t me.
It’s always challenging when the boys are off from school and I work from home. My schedule is thrown into a tizzy – attorney me collides with mom me and all sorts of guilt comes along for the ride. I remember when I used to complain (to myself mostly) about how crazy they made me when all they wanted was food and someone to play with them. Now, thinking back on that I realize that I did have all the power.
I could tell them when to eat, what to eat, what to wear, what we were doing and miraculously they listened and they did as they were told. These days, everyone has a mouth and an opinion. Even a simple thing like lunch or dinner takes on new levels of difficulty when everyone can actually voice an opinion about it. I honestly can’t really remember the last time I cooked something that I wanted – now almost every meal is to either conform to 1) a time schedule – it’s what we can make and eat in the allotted time between activities, pickups, drop offs and the like; or 2) who’s eating with us – they have friends and their friends have likes and dislikes – vegetarian – vegan – you name it and I am not the type of person to throw food on the table and demand the attendees to “take it or leave it” (mostly because I guess that they would just leave it and me with a load of uneaten food); or 3) dietary issues – different from likes and dislikes these are medically restricted things such as my one son’s allergies (no nuts, peanuts, sesame or white fish on the menu) or my husband’s avoidance of foods that trigger a painful gout attack (no tomato, no beans, no spinach, no shellfish and the list goes on). I adjust, I occasionally grumble and complain, but I deal.
I could tell them that we were going out and they would get their coats on and go.. no grumbling, no complaining. Instead these days my plans revolve around their plans. Don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful that they are healthy and I am forever reminding myself when I grumble or cry how much worse it could be and how lucky I am. Yet, school vacation is always a challenge – conflicting desires, emotions.
Ah… the pressure. Valentine’s Day is a day both anticipated and dreaded. Single folks lament their lack of love, couples rack their brains trying to outdo each other and those around them in demonstrations of affection and love. Restaurants are booked to the nines with couples looking to share a romantic meal for Valentine’s Day. Silly people. While I wouldn’t turn down a beautiful bouquet of some pastel colored flower (red is not my personal favorite for roses), I do have to admit that there is a great deal of time and money and anxiety surrounding this holiday. We have personally witnessed the angst of a poor guy who didn’t really think that he needed reservations on Valentine’s Day and we (the group of friends who decided that going out together on Valentine’s Day was fun) kindly offered he and his date the two empty seats we had at our table when our reservation got called. It turned out to be a fun evening, probably one of the more delightful Valentine’s Days we’ve spent.
Valentine’s Day should be but one day in a year, or if you’re lucky – a lifetime of love, flowers and chocolate (probably in that order although there are days that I might shuffle it around a bit).
I am lucky to have a husband that I love and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him. I am lucky to have three adorably handsome healthy young men. Flowers will die and chocolate will be eaten, yet these gifts will remain.
May you enjoy your Valentine’s Day however you wish to spend it, and remember it is but one of 365 days. How those that care for you treat you the rest of year really is more important than what happens on just one day -even if you do spend most of it in a car – driving kids around like I did.
It can get really windy up here and when there’s snow on the ground, it can look like a mini-blizzard even if snow isn’t falling from the sky. We often comment about how very different our weather can be from weather in the surrounding areas, just due to the difference in our elevation. Our house is a 1,620 feet and that seems to make a world of difference. Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening in Rutland being the POD (parent on duty) for Tim’s Odyssey team. While there were some flurries there, there were inches of snow here. Inches. Crazy.
What’s for dinner when you have a load of broccoli in the fridge? Broccoli Cheese Soup of course!
- 3 large broccoli crowns, rinsed and roughly chopped including stems
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 medium onion
- 12 cups chicken broth
- 2 T butter and 1/4 c. butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 c. milk
- Chop onion and celery in a food processor, place into stock pot with 2 T. butter, saute over medium heat until softened.
- Add chopped broccoli and chicken broth
- Simmer until broccoli is tender.
- In a separate pot, melt remaining butter and add flour, making a roux. Then add milk and stir over low heat until the mixture thickens.
- Remove 1/2 of broccoli mixture, without broth to a bowl.
- Add milk mixture to stockpot.
- Use blender or stick blender to puree soup in stockpot.
- Add reserved broccoli back into stockpot.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese.
There is a bill that will be considered this year in the Vermont Legislature to declare snowboarding the official sport of the State of Vermont. Yes, in case you were wondering, Vermont evidently has no state sport. Other states do have official sports, both team and individual. For instance, were you aware that the official sport of the State of Alaska is mushing or Maryland’s official individual sport is jousting. Hawaii’s official sport, in the individual sport category is — no big surprise –surfing. So, why then, thought a group of children at Swanton Elementary School, does Vermont not have a state sport? The children gave it a great deal of thought and research and four years ago came up with the idea that snowboarding should be the official sport of the State of Vermont. They worked hard on promoting their concept and a Bill was even introduced into the Legislature. Unfortunately it didn’t clear both houses of the Vermont Legislature – since there were those that felt that skiing was being rebuffed by the bill.
The reasons why snowboarding should be Vermont’s official sport (in no particular order)
- Jake Burton is considered the king of snowboarding and Burton Snowboards originated in Vermont.
- Vermont was the first place in the country to host a snowboarding park
- Stratton Mountain is considered the birthplace of snowboarding
- Stratton Mountain also hosts the US Open in snowboarding every year for the past 27 years and will again this year in a few weeks
- In 1982 Vermont’s Suicide Six became the first ski resort to allow snowboarding
- Kelly Clark, Ross Powers, Hannah Teeter (from the town next door) and Lindsey Jacobellis all hail from Vermont.
There is some concern that skiing is getting shortchanged if snowboarding is given this “official” designation. Folks, don’t be upset – New Hampshire’s official state sport is skiing, and we’re like brothers (or sisters) right?
Did you know that Mad River Glen is the only ski resort in the state of Vermont (and one of three in the country) that PROHIBIT snowboarding?
Snow day. We spent the day home, not that the weather was all that bad, but hey isn’t hanging around what a snow day is all about? Dinner was going to be simple, burger, potatoes and salad. One problem, no buns. I pulled up this recipe from King Arthur Flour and made these hamburger buns. They were easy to make, came out looking delicious and tasted even better. Next time, I’m going to substitute honey for the sugar in the recipe. I didn’t want to try it first time out of the box, since I wouldn’t know whether I goofed the recipe or the substitution didn’t work correctly.
Here’s the link to the recipe at King Arthur’s site.
Groundhog Day is celebrated today and so is Candlemas Day. Candlemas Day originated from the Celtic holiday of “cross-over” or festival of light to signify and mark the day that lands midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Candlemas Day was expanded by the Christians to celebrate the purification of Mary and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple for the first time. It is 40 days after Christmas, or February 2nd.
Groundhog Day is the day where we determine, according to the good ol’ groundhog or woodchuck if spring will come early or there will be six more weeks of winter. No matter what Phil or any other friendly neighborhood groundhog may have to say about it, a look out the window pretty much across most of the country would have you believe that winter is still here. Sure, Phil says spring is coming early – but Phil I have news for you – we’re deep in the heart of winter up here and loving all the snow. No matter what you say Phil, there is still six weeks until the “official” first day of spring so in the words of Bon Jovi … “we’re halfway there…..”
Our storm dropped in and about a foot here for us, but essentially when you’re expecting two feet which is what they originally predicted, it’s rather anti-climatic. Boys were happy since they had a much-coveted snow day, but everyone’s back to school tomorrow.
Here’s some pictures of life outside our door this afternoon.
Trying out my new mobile posting capabilities while we were running some lunchtime errands. Hoping that this will give me the ability to post when I am out and about not driving of course but most likely waiting for a child or two.