Thursday, January 27, 2011

See that birdbath in the last picture? That is about 2 1/2 feet tall. I think we got 8 more inches of snow last night. The only good thing about it is that the sun is out and the sky is blue and the trees look sugar-coated.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I promise I'll stop posting screenshots. I seem to be having fun doing that lately. I just wanted to show the temperature. Minus 8! (-22C)! Feels like minus 24! (-31C)! That is just insane.  Conversions are provided for my international readers.

Java and I have to go out to acupuncture. Thankfully her appointment is at noon so it should be up over zero by that time. This winter is very cold and has been very snowy but I don't feel the seasonal hibernation kind of feelings I usually have. Maybe it's my vitamin D level or my blood sugars, but I feel good even though it's snowy, cold and dark.

On Saturday we saw The King's Speech. It was very good. We are lucky that there is a theater about 1/2 hour away that shows the more obscure films that don't make it to the mainstream cinemas. We've seen some interesting films there. The owner is a huge movie buff and also owns a drive-in in the next town over; I think it's the last one in the state. The theater is on the top floor of the town hall and they show old movies for free on Sunday afternoon. It's pretty cool.

I finished the little Boston Terrier Valentine beads I'm making for a Valentine's card swap on the Woofboard. I'm going to make them into keychains and also provide a zipper pull clip. I have both because I had to go to two different stores to get the split rings, if you can believe it. I bought the zipper pulls at the first store just in case I couldn't find the split rings at the second store, but I did.  Here's a picture of the beads. They aren't cleaned yet in this picture, but you get the idea.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just another plug for the hummingbird camera. I can't stop watching it. She's so cute and the babies are so ugly.

Brrr. That is all.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This is what my back yard looks like. I am beginning to think that winter will never end, even though it kind of just started. We've had three major snowstorms in 10 days and there is about two feet of snow on the ground, with more to come on Wednesday. 

The dog yard is buried and the snow blower has broken down but seems to be easily fixable. 

The birds do love that we put out food for them. They are very active when it snows and when it's so cold.
 We are supposed to experience very cold conditions in the next few days, with highs of only 10 degrees F. and lows in the negative 10's F. I am not looking forward to this.

In the meantime, I'm dreaming of spring and my water garden and watching this little hummingbird raise her chicks on this webcam: 

Friday, January 21, 2011

My mom bought me a new camera and I'm pretty sure I love it! I took this picture of the dogs at night with no flash and I think it came out great.

We had a fun weekend at Woodstock. I love hanging around with my family. They are fun and funny.

Robert and I worked on my bead room and have gotten it to be manageable. Most of the beads are put away in their cubbies and I even restrung a necklace for someone while sitting at my clean table. I still have one cabinet I want to empty the drawers and organize the contents of, but that can wait. I also want to put a semi-comfy chair in the corner for a place to bead and relax.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pretty soon we are going on our annual visit to Vermont. This is my favorite time of the year. Family, fun, knitting by the fire and relaxation. I'm really looking forward to this. Here are some pictures from our visit last year.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Crock Pot Oatmeal

 4 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup half-and-half

I have a cute $15 3-quart crock pot from Target. I bought it because I also have a $175 6.5-quart All-Clad Slow Cooker. While I love the All-Clad, it's just very large for small meal preparation. Since having the new gadget I've been keeping my ear out for things I can cook in it. In the past few days, both my mother and my sister mentioned crock pot oatmeal. I was intrigued. I bought the ingredients, found a recipe online and started the crock pot on "Low" as the recipe called for just before I went to bed. 

I woke up at around 1:30 am and found that I could smell the oatmeal cooking. There was a strong smell of warm half-and-half pervading the bedroom. I knew this wasn't a good sign, but made the choice not to get up and stir, turn it down or otherwise tend to the oatmeal. After all, this is why I was making it overnight instead of in the morning. That decision was a mistake. When I got up in the morning, I checked the oatmeal and found that the middle was runny and raw and the outside was browned in a solid ring and stuck to the walls of the crock pot. Blech. Robert was game to try it anyway so he doctored it up with raisins and brown sugar and took a taste. He declared it to taste something like wallpaper paste and so we chunked it. I ended up making soft-boiled eggs.

So I tried again. I knew the recipe was right; I felt that the fault lied with the temperature of the crock pot. So yesterday I tried again. This time during the day so I could be awake to watch it. I prepared another recipe's worth and this time set the crock pot on "warm". I wasn't sure it would get hot enough to cook but it did. It was great; we re-heated it this morning in the microwave.

So my advice is use the "warm" setting and not the "low" setting to make crock pot oatmeal.