Friday, January 20, 2012

To all of my MANY followers... All 2 of you! you can get a widget for your website to vote for COHEN! 
Lets get those votes going.

I guess I do not know how to add a widget... 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snowed in, sorta. Today's Ramblnigs

Snowed in, Sorta

Jana wanted someone to write  a blog so she had something to read. She has the adorable baby to write about and take pictures of. I  have the dog. And he has made it known, he is NOT going outside for ANY more pictures! He has a heated mattress beside my desk and that is where he prefers to be. 
Marty-Pretending to be asleep so he does not have to go outside

He DID go out yesterday, before the winds started. But got high centered
He wanted back in RIGHT away. 

I have gotten out for several snow shoe trips around the 'hood and that has been fun. But the low temp got to 7 today and winds and blowing snow have made things a bit treacherous. Some sites say wind chills as low as -2. 
Here is a video of the snow in our neighborhood...

I had to go out and tend to the girls and my eyeballs got all dried out from the wind and my nose hairs froze. It was a quick trip. One of the eggs had all ready frozen solid, in the shell. 
Then I spent some time washing eggs. LOTS and LOTS of eggs. 

So being inside for a few days has been great. I COULD get out, but why? Our neighbors have a big drift in front of their house, where someone always tries to "shoot the wall" and gets stuck in the middle. I really don't want to be that person this year...One year it was higher than the milk truck. 
As I was thinking over what I have done today, and yesterday, I kind of made a list of "you know you have been snowed in for too long when..." I don't think I have ever thought I was snowed in for too long. I love the snow and the weather. I love the break from rain.  This is a compilation of 35 years of living out in this county. All the things we have experienced.  I know we don't have it as bad as the rest of the country most years. 

You know you have been snowed in too long when:

You convince yourself that 3 grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast is ok. 

You use all the stuff in the cupboard to make "Chex Mix" because it sounded good, but you don't actually HAVE any chex cereal.
You spring clean the WHOLE kitchen because you have been up since 3:30 am to send your husband out into the storm to go to work. THEN decide to make soup and can it, trashing the kitchen again.
THEN decide to make "real" baby food for you newest grandson, from your garden carrots, so he has something to snack on when he comes to visit. 

This is a "warming trend"

You are making coffee and drinking it out of a canning jar, so you don't have to bother with a refill

You bought chalkboard paint and want to get your moneys worth, so anything not being used is now a chalkboard...(any body want one?)

You wonder if THIS sign caused all this.

You gut  all the closets in the house to organize them. But now have to put it all away

You decide to get some chicken feathers for your husband, who ties flies, as you are SURE he will want to start in when he gets home from work. Dry them on the heater vent and then wonder what all the white stuff is floating all over the house

You bundle up all the kids and take them out to the road to watch the garbage truck go by, as NOTHING has been down your road in a week. 

You hear shouting."She can fly she can fly!"You look out the window to see your 4 yr old sailing across the yard attached to a 1 ton plastic  feed bag. Dear brother wanted to see if she could fly in a 40mph nor'easter. Yes, she can fly, she only weighs 30 lbs! 

Your 6 yr old daughter comes in and both her front teeth are missing, they fell out on the ice. Her brother goes back out in the storm and finds the teeth, so the tooth fairy can come!

Getting dressed is putting  on you clothes and then putting your bathrobe over it all to keep warm. 

Dressing your kids in their snow suits to go to bed, as you only have wood heat. 

Your husband and boys hike over to the neighbors with 5 gallon buckets to bring home water so we can flush the toilet, as the water has frozen again...

Then sit down with a canning jar full of coffee. I am looking at the pictures the kids got me for Christmas. Remember all the happy and crazy times. Hope that they remember their childhood with some good memories. I know I did  not always do things right, but I loved it all so much.. I so appreciated being able to be home with my kids and not have to work. Things were tight, but we survived it all. It is a joy seeing them with their own families and the memories they are making. It is far more fun to have a snow man, snow woman and a snow tractor out in your front yard, and then noticing they are wearing all MY snow stuff! 
I have been blessed. Thank you Lord!

Oh good, it has started snowing again...
You can find Jana's blog here
Karen's Blog here

THIS cracks me up. SO true if you watch any Seattle news.. That is if your satellite dish is not full of snow...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ways to Save Money

I know we all walk around and turn off lights and shut the doors. Most of the "money saving tips" I read, I have done for years. With 5 kids and all that goes with that, we had to. NOW we are kind of feeling like retiring in a few (many) years might be a reality. At least from a job where people expect you show up! With getting older, you finally realize you need to take care of yourself and eat well. I found this list on a place I was looking to find heirloom seeds. If I am gardening, I want to grow good food and not Genetically Modified food. So I found this site. I wish I could take credit for all the ideas, but they are found here.

We are not fanatics about the food we eat or anything, but are just trying to do better. I know you can NOT separate a Rinehart from his ice cream!! 

Some places we have been using...

Yes, Amazing, I know! It was the only produce picture I had this year. The FIRST tomatoes after a rainy, rainy, rainy, summer. I was happy to have any! 
I finally did get with it, after a long spring and summer with a lot of time spent on the road...

BUT by fall, THIS little guy came home! He loves his Twinbrook Creamery egg nog!

Saving Money Tips- STRETCH your dollars!!
Make your own laundry soap! Works and smells GREAT andonly .01 cent a load. I used this site and added a bit of dry calgon for scent. I have 5 little ones and like the clean looking and smelling clothes this soap gives our family (many times daily).

Use VINEGER rather than costly cleaning products!   Works just as good if not better.     (google: 101 ways to use vineger)

Use your crock pot 2 times a week.
Garden!! go figure....
Have a family game nite rather than going out.
(a 2 fold blessing)
Make your OWN coffee at home. Keep supplies on hand at home and resist, resist, resist the urge to stop at a stand!
Refill your water bottle and brown bag your daily lunch.
Slow down on junk food purchases! Pop, cookies.....maybe only "do junk" on family game nite.
NO NO NO to credit cards! pay it off- but you already know this.
Draw names and MAKE Christmas gifts this year!! Make it fun!
Top picks from  are...cookies in a jar...bath salts...daddys caddy... stepping stones... Nana's angels tshirt...coco jars.. printable calendars...printable coupons...candy jar...hollow book....tea cup / jar candles...memory jar...slime,dough, can stilts.
Buy the items you use alot in bulk.
Make a shopping list and stick to it!
Don's spend big money entertaining your children.
Children want most is your time, not your stuff- play/read with them.
Use craigslist and re-use sites for items you need.
Lower that thermostat a few degrees and wear socks!
Shop with coupons and store flyers.
When shopping for standard items (clothes, sports equipment, older games, etc.), start by shopping used.
Swap babysitting with neighbors and friends.
Learn how to cut hair. With my large family we save 1,000 a!
Maintain your own car.
Use the library for books and movie rentals- redbox is good too.
Go hiking and camping for this years vacation.
Cancel your phone and use your cell phone. (majic jack works)
**Remember- you can do it! Use a determined % of the money saved each month and get out of debt.**
From there you can save- save- save!!
Good luck!! I bet you can save at least  $1,000 dollars easily.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

King Tides!!

I had read that there were King Tides last week. I have never heard of these, so I read up and it sounded cool. The state department of Ecology was asking folks to submit their photos of the King Tides! WOW, I hoped we could see something with all the crowds that were sure to be out there! On December 28, at 8 am, the tides were to be +10 out at Birch Bay. I love salt water in any form, so I talked Warren into getting up and driving out about 7 am to see these tides and maybe some wild waves and adventure...I was glad  he said he'd go because he drives out there every day for work and he is on vacation this week! Of course the phrase "we can go out to breakfast after" had a little something to do with everyone's sense of adventure. I asked Chuck and John if they had ever heard of King Tides (hmm maybe I know something John doesn't!). They had not heard of them.  I waited for the question of the day... "what are they?"  I was able to explain what I had discovered..."King tides" — are higher-than-usual winter tides. These watery phenoms occur when the gravitational pulls of the sun and moon reinforce one another." So they asked if they could come along, too. I thought with the large amount of rain, rising river and King Tides, we could see some one of a kind event! 
So we were up at 6:30 Dec. 28, heading out at 7 am. We drove down to Birch Bay. It looked like it pretty much always does, of course the sun was not up yet, so we walked and waited. Well, maybe it was the bay thing... so we drove to Sandy Point. Hmm looks nice, sun is out, wind and regular old water. Not another soul around. All was not lost.  We had a fun, early trip to the water, a nice fresh air walk and Breakfast out. It was fun to do something with the guys, that as adults, we could all enjoy. It brought out some stories of trips to Birch Bay, crabbing, camping, and the buckets of rocks we all seem to collect anytime we go anywhere! The NEXT King Tides are in January. I am still wondering why I have never heard of these before. 
Chuck washed over by a rouge wave

Chuck, Warren, John, up before the sun

Chuck, Carol, John FREEZING!

Sun is up... No wild waves

The guys, still freezing

Finally breakfast!

Chuck the Salty Sea captain

And a game of giant checkers