Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are You Ready?

Well, it seems that the month of November has nearly slipped by and it's time for Thanksgiving. Yesterday, I took my Mom to finish her shopping as she is preparing Turkey dinner for 20 people at her house on Thursday. Yes, I said 20 people! And my mom just happens to have turned 79 years old just 2 weeks ago. I hope I'll be up to hosting family and friends when I'm her age, after all, that's what Thanksgiving is all about.
This morning, I donned one of my favorite aprons about 9:30 and by lunchtime I had one apple pie, two pecan pies (one is already in the freezer, saved for Christmas) and a pumpkin bread cooling on racks. After a quick lunch, I mixed up a cherry cheese pie and stuck that in the fridge to chill. Tomorrow, I'll make my cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese to go in the crockpot for Thursday evening's meal. You see after feeding 20 people a huge meal at lunchtime, more family will arrive at my parent's home for an evening buffet. Mom is planning on about 30 for that meal.
Everyone helps out with food and clean-up. The women have always taken turns on helping with the dishes after dinner. Last year my sister-in-law made some comment about why didn't the men do the dishes this year. So they did!!! As I always tell my son, you don't know if you don't ask.
Sending you my wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving Day spent with your loved ones.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Halloween Trick

Saturday afternoon, October 29, 2011: Since they were predicitng snow, we spent the morning and after lunch cleaning up the fallen leaves from the dozen trees in our yard. Later that afternoon, huge snowflakes begin to fall. Snow in October or early November is very unusual for us.
At 6:00 P.M. we lost power. We woke Sunday morning to a chilly house and this...

Absolutely beautiful but the heavy, wet snow brought down countless trees and branches. Power was out all over the East Coast.

We had branches down onto our deck,
and onto our patio roof and blocking the back stairs.
Branches down in the front and back yard.
The worst was this Beech tree. Half a tree fell mostly into our neighbor's back yard.
My prayers before bed Saturday night had been answered and there was no damage to our house and we were safe. In fact, I saw very little damage to any houses. The trees had fallen away from houses. Truly a miracle.
Thanks to the tireless work of tree and power crews, both local and from across the country, we had power back on Wednesday at 5:00 P.M. That was 4 full days and nights with campstove meals and candlelight board games. Luckily, we have town water, though cold, was readily available. My parents and siblings all have well water... no electricity, no pump, no water. They do heat with wood and have generators. We do not have a generator, but we are blessed with kind, generous neighbors who ran a power cord from their generator to our house. We swapped back and forth from running the furnace to running the upright freezer.
These pictures from Sunday morning don't really capture how beautiful it was. The sky was an incredible bright blue and the sun made shadows everwhere.
The kids were disappointed that Trick-or-Treat was cancelled but were not so sad about having a week off from school.
There were some deaths following the storm, mostly people who brought their generators, gas grills and propane heaters inside. And some who thought that since their house had no power, neither would the downed power lines.
We were blessed with a week of sunny weather and spent hours cutting and hauling brush to the curb for pick-up. It's not all cleaned up yet, but it's under control. Anything big enough for firewood will be shared with family and neighbors who heat with wood. We pray that the winter weather yet to come will not be more of this.