Post Blizzard Communiqué

Fingers still not totally thawed… Brain not up to a well-written account – just too wilted…
Hope you won’t mind this stream of consciousness kind of post…

* Safe and sound but have had a very wild ride since Friday afternoon.
* 20 inches of snow, ice, and hurricane force winds.
* Large tree down in our yard – took phone and TV cable with it.
* No electricity for 2 days and 2 nights.
Translation: No Heat, No Lights, No Water, No Cooking for 48 hours – in the winter!


* Snow began in earnest Friday afternoon. Lost power early that evening. Temperature inside the house went down to 50 degrees that first night – which made for a very COLD sleep. On Saturday morning, we woke up sore and shivering with no chance for a hot cup of anything.

*Our daughter was texting us constantly. She wanted us to drive to her place in the city where the power outages were not so widespread. That was out of the question as our Governor had placed a state-wide ban on all travel for the 24 hours surrounding the storm.

* When the ban was finally lifted, we attempted to drive somewhere nearby to search for a motel in which to spend our 2nd freezing night.

* Found vacancies but no power at any of the motels. Nothing open for miles. A thick crust of ice covered the face of the all big stores and restaurants, hiding their signs so we only recognized them by the shape of their buildings. No traffic lights anywhere.

* The roads were so dangerously clogged with snow, it was touch-and-go just getting through without becoming stuck. We didn’t dare go any further.

* Made it back home to an even colder house. In the waning daylight, we were now in almost total darkness (flashlights and small battery operated lanterns only).


* The weather report we’d just heard on our car radio said that temperatures were about to “plummet to the single digits” overnight. Our hearts sank. A second night with no heat? 🙁

* Inside our home, the thermostat was hovering in the high 40’s – and it was only 5 p.m. We couldn’t imagine how much further that would drop during the wee hours when it would be near zero outside.

* Figured our only chance to get through the night in an unheated house would be to spend short spurts of time sitting in our car with the heat on – staying there just long enough to thaw ourselves, then back into the house to brave the temps for another hour or two, and then repeat the process. I’ll tell ya, kids, it was feeling pretty scary about that time. All I kept thinking was: This must be what it’s like to sleep in a snowbank.


* Suddenly, a neighbor appeared. He told us they had a whole house generator and it was toasty warm there. He said his wife had just made a fresh crock of chicken soup and his daughter had made apple muffins. He INSISTED we go with him right away. When we arrived, they said we must sleep there, as well. Normally, we would never want to impose, but they were so sincere and simply wouldn’t take no for an answer. Heaven bless them!!!

* After a warm sleep and pancake breakfast, we thanked them from the very bottom of our hearts… and headed home. It was 9:00 a.m.and the outside temperature was 1 degree below zero. When we opened the door of our home – the thermostat read 38 degrees!
I don’t know how we ever could have slept there…


* We spent Sunday afternoon looking for stores that were open – just to have some warm shelter. As the day progressed, the sun was out strong and it began to feel much warmer outside than it had been in our house!

* We returned home from the stores around 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening. The solar effect had warmed up the house during the daylight hours – so the inside temperature had risen to 46 degrees. Let me tell ya though – it is amazing how cold that feels when you are inside a house! We’d heard on the car radio that the power *might* return by midnight.

*It did… actually, a few hours before that. The heat came on but it would be many, many, hours before we could take off our coats and hats and scarves – never mind get into a hot shower.


*This morning we woke up to a comfortable house and made a hot breakfast. Pure balm for what had been ailing us.

*There’s a refrigerator to deal with – have to sort the food that’s ok from that which could be questionable. We go by the old saying: “When in doubt – throw it out.” I don’t think we could handle tummy aches at this point.

* I know once my bones stop aching (from holding them so stiff while shivering), that I will have a better perspective on the positives of this experience. Right now, I’m just too exhausted to think of them….

Love you Kids!

Hug somebody you love for me, today, ok?


Playing with Dough

Comedians sometimes confess they use the antics of their families for joke fodder. This practice isn’t always applauded by the family members, however.

As someone who has a blog, I can identify with a comedian’s plight. When you write – you always need new material! Bless my own family for tolerating my gleefully raised eyebrow whenever I spot one of them involved in something with “blog-topic” potential. 😉

Today, the thanks and kudos go to Sir Beads for allowing me to unexpectedly accost him – paparazzi-style – as he attempted to recreate a baked treat he had watched his grandmother make when he was a kid.

Although I never met her, I’ve heard much about this wonderful cook, who was “Grandma” to Sir Beads and his brothers. She was born in old Czechoslovakia but came to the U. S. as a young girl. She eventually married, raised a large family, and was dearly loved by all of them. Sir Beads says he can still see her fingers nimbly handling the dough while she deftly braided a large loaf of bread called “hoska”. And he can still taste the delicious wheel-shaped pastries she made by the dozens called “kolache”.

From Wikipedia:Kolache (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolacky) from the Czech and Slovak is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough. Originating as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe . . .”

curlylineLuckily, I had the camera handy and the batteries charged last week when Sir Beads made “kolache” . . .

I was impressed with how he handled the dough. (It must be genetic!)


Cutting them out . . .


Adding the fruit filling . . .


Brushing them with butter after baking.


A generous sprinkle of powdered sugar once they are cool.


I think: They came out great – absolutely delicious!

He says: “They’re ok . . . but not Grandma’s.” (He adds that he’ll try again.)


I fibbed when I wrote “3-dozen” in the photo just above.

Kindly subtract 4 from that. 😉

(We did have to immediately “check” them . . . just to see if they were ok, don’t ya know.)



Even Faded Photographs Can Make You Smile

Studies suggest that perusing your collection of photos can be an ideal way to de-stress!

I don’t know about you but with Christmas just a couple of weeks away I need all the relaxing moments I can get right now. There’s still so much to finish – my lists have lists!

What to do? Well, I decided to test the relaxation theory by pulling out an old photo album. I have to say that the following trio of photos made me forget about my to-do list – at least for a few moments. 😉

I found 3 cute photos of my Dad and his sisters. The first one was taken when they were children, the second as young adults, and the last one when they were close to retirement age. It touches my heart that I have this record of the three of them posing together over such a span of years!

My Dad and his Sisters

1. As Children in the 1930’s….


2. As Young Adults in 1946 (My Dad is 20 and his sisters are teenagers.)


3. And as Grandparents in the 1980’s (In this photo, the 2 sisters have reversed their standing positions – each is on the opposite side of where she stood in the two previous photos above.)


So, now I can highly recommend curling up with your favorite photos whenever you need to unwind. 🙂

I’ll bet you have some sweet ones, some funny ones, and some you absolutely cherish!

Feel free to share them here if you like! I’d be happy to post any that are sent in.



She’s Leaving on a Jet Plane

Crystal and Sir Beads are feeling a little blue….

For the past two weeks, their eldest daughter has been stateside for an extended Thanksgiving holiday. Oh, what marvelous escapades she and her younger sister (and those above-mentioned parents!) shared during that time.

However, as we all know, a vacation day has fewer than 24 hours, and a vacation week has no where near 7 days.

Or so it seems.

All too quickly, the visit was over. Suddenly, fully-packed suitcases were waiting by door.

Crystal: “I wish I had squeezed in a couple of extra hugs before we left to take her to the airport. It was so hectic when we got there that I only managed to give one last big hug…”

Sir Beads: “I know.”

Crystal: “I miss her already.” (with tears beginning to fall)

Sir Beads: “Me, too.”

Crystal: “We sure had lots of fun though, didn’t we?” (smiling now)

Sir Beads: “Oh yes!”

Crystal: “I’ll focus on that.”

Sir Beads: “Good idea . . . Give me a hug.”



It’s Time . . .

I wonder if the real reason many of us are reluctant to say goodbye to summer is a holdover from childhood. When we were kids, the very mention of autumn meant the return to school – and who wanted to return to math and science when you could be building castles in the sand, or leisurely blowing bubbles from your back steps?

I was one of those kids. I didn’t want summer to end. I wanted to go on feeling the warm sun while I shivered on a towel after swimming all day. I loved the August breeze blowing through my hair while riding my bike to buy a Popsicle. I shuddered each time I noticed the days were getting shorter as Labor Day approached. It was sad to think it would soon be over for another year but, of course, there was no fighting it.


So, for those who are mourning the end of summer – I feel your pain.
I have been there . . .
but not lately.

Right now, after this summer with its unusually long spells of high humidity, I am longing for a cool fall breeze and a bright blue sky. I want to enjoy a hot drink whenever I feel like it. I want to be able to work on a project without the wind of the fan blowing my pattern pages away. I want to reclaim the space in each room that is taken up with cooling devices – whether they are air conditioners or fans. I want to unplug them and silence their hum. I want to put a blanket back on the bed and wake up feeling refreshed. I want to turn on the oven – every day if I like – and make pumpkin bread and suppers that require long cooking times! I want to take a drive for no reason other than to view the colorful foliage. In short, I want the autumn and I can hardly wait.


This week’s Make somethin’ Monday reflects my autumn state of mind.

These beaded earrings, which I’m calling, “Au Chocolat”, feature earthy chocolate browns, warm amber topaz, and just a glimmer of deep rust red. They are now in my web store. 🙂

Sending smiles to all,