Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Monday, February 27, 2023

Ice storm

We were hit with a big ice storm last week.  Our area doesn't get a lot of this, we tend to get more snow but this time we had snow, then sleet, then freezing rain.
It shut most everything down on Wednesday and Thursday.  All the schools were closed, the county buildings and courthouses were closed, lots of offices and some stores also closed.  My doctor office was closed, but we all worked from home to handle calls and concerns.  It was another time that I was so grateful for the job I have.  What a blessing to be able to work from home!
On Friday, the roads were mostly clear and it was amazing to see this coating of ice over everything.  
My brother's house is on a slight rise, and when he went to back out of his garage, his car slid right off the driveway.  When he got out of the car, he slid onto the ground.  He got up and slid down again.  He said it was like something you see on funniest home video.  He did manage to get to the house and didn't hurt himself. 

This gives you an idea of how things looked.  Kids were having a great time sledding with all that ice, but not so much fun getting back up the hills.

This friend decided to make the best of things and went ice skating in her driveway!

We had the girls over Friday night, and we got some snow during the night.  They decided to check out our yard in the morning. They wanted me out there too, but I stayed on the safe part of the driveway and it was a good thing, because that yard was pure ice under the snow.

There was a lot of laughing going on and Ruby just couldn't stay standing up.

We were hoping that was the end of it, but guess what?  We got hit with another ice storm on Monday.  I work from home every Monday, and this is what I was seeing.

In the back yard, I could see ice hanging from the branches.

Here's the view out our front window; everything was glistening. The wind was blowing, and our power kept blinking off and on.  I was afraid I was going to lose it and along with that, the internet which would make it impossible for me to work.
It stayed on though, and by the afternoon it had warmed up a bit and the ice fell off the trees.
I'm hoping this is the end of crazy weather here!  

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Lighthouse in the Winter

Last week I was in Grand Haven for a haircut.  Grand Haven is about 25 minutes from my house and is known for Lake Michigan, miles of beaches and the Lighthouse. Since I was there, I made a stop at the pier.
We enjoy walking the pier in the summer, but I like to stop in the winter to see it in the ice and snow.
I was there on Tuesday, and we were expecting a big storm that evening.  Things were already starting in the early afternoon.  The wind was howling, the waves were high, sand was blowing across the road from the beach and it wasn't a place you wanted to stay for any period of time.

This is the walkway along the channel to the lake.  The waves were so high that they were washing over and flooding the walkway.

Ice everywhere!

The channel is usually calm because it's protected, but on this day there were some pretty big waves there.

Big waves on the lake.  People have been out here surfing, which sounds pretty miserable to me.  I don't know how warm those wetsuits are, but I would be freezing.

It's a whole different kind of beauty from what we see in the summer.
I was happy to get back in my car and warm up!

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Cooking Thursday

 During the cold winter, I am a big fan of soups and chili.  I like all kinds of chili, especially white chicken chili. Last year our church had a chili cook off and a white chicken chili was the winner. I've made it several times since then, most recently last week.  I often pull up my blog to find favorite recipes and when I did for this one, I was shocked to find I never shared it.  So, I'm sharing it now.  Believe me - this is a good one!

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

2 chicken breasts
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 package ranch mix
1 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-25 ounce can corn, undrained

Place chicken on bottom of crock pot, pour can of corn, Rotel tomatoes and black beans on top of chicken.
Top with seasonings and ranch dressing mix. Stir together.
Place cream cheese block on top.
Cover crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours on low.
When cooking time is up, shred chicken and add back to chili. Stir together and enjoy!

*optional - add 1 teaspoon garlic powder.  You may also all a little chicken broth if chili is too thick.  (I've never had to do this.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Monday, February 20, 2023

A little weekend fun

 We had a busy weekend!  Friday night was something we always look forward to. Our church has a sweetheart dinner every year around Valentines Day.  There is a delicious meal and the youth dress up and do the serving.  They have 2 different times, we came to the later one because both Bob and I were working that day.
They set up tables and decorated the Narthex, everything looked great.

We were with 2 other couples.  We had such fun, lots of good conversation and laughter.

Look at this yummy meal!  Salad, homemade rolls, prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans almondine and red velvet truffle to finish it off!

Saturday afternoon I was back at church for a bridal shower for a young girl from church.  I remember bringing a meal to her family when she was born, and now she's getting married!

Saturday evening we had Cassie over, while Heather and Andrew went out for supper for their anniversary.

Is there anything more fun than building and knocking over towers?

I love those brown eyes.

She pulled out every stuffed animal we have.

How can she sit like that?  And then stand up from that position.  :)

There was big excitement when a package arrived.  "Grandpa, get in the box!"  Of course he did!

Such a fun night!

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Sisters Day Away

 I don't often have the chance to go out and do something fun with my sisters.  We all work and although we get a day off during the week, it's not the same day as each other.

A few weeks ago, my sister Terri told me she had to use a vacation day and wondered if I wanted to do a little day trip on my day off.  Of course I did!

It's not so easy figuring out what to do in Michigan in February, but we decided to take a trip to Ludington.  It's about 1 1/2 hours north of us, is on Lake Michigan, has 2 lighthouses, a big car ferry and is a cute little town.

We were so lucky, to have the most beautiful day to do this.  Sunshine, blue skies and temps in the low 40's, all of which are extremely unusual in February.  (The next day was cloudy with high wind warnings, and the day after that, we got hit with a snow and ice storm!)

About halfway there we passed these wind turbines.  When you get close to them, you see how huge they are.  Occasionally we see a truck hauling these blades, and each individual blade is longer than a semi truck.

When we got to Ludington, we made our way to Lake Michigan and one of the lighthouses.

We noticed lots of sea gulls, standing out on the ice.

The rocks making up the break wall were covered in ice.

Here's Terri braving the wind so I could take her picture.

Isn't that blue sky pretty?

We walked out to the end of the pier, and when I stepped through the rails at the end, she took my picture.  Never fear, I stayed far away from the edge.  That water looked far too cold to get close to.

There were large sheets of ice floating on this section of the lake.

When we walked back, we saw this little stack of stones someone had been working on.

The beach area was pretty desolate - no sun bathers this time of year!

This is the type of ice near the beach.

Doesn't it look pretty in this large area?

This is called pancake ice and it was stacking up on one side of the pier.

After we left the lake, we drove around town and saw some of the beautiful, old houses that are there.
We stopped for lunch in this old building that has been renovated.  It had old wooden floors, one wall was brick, tin ceilings, and our booth was in a little alcove.  Lots of charm and the food was good too!

After lunch, we walked around town and did just a little shopping.  Lots of the stores are open only on the weekends because it's a tourist town and the tourists come in the summer.  Several of the buildings had murals like this on them which were fun to see.

Soon it was time to head home.  What a great day!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Cooking Thursday

 My sister Cheri sent me a recipe for a potato corn chowder and said I had to try it.  Imagine my surprise when my friend Jenny posted about making potato corn chowder herself a few days before I was going to make it.  Jenny had a great tip, that I think I'll use next time I make this.  She said to use leftover mashed potatoes to thicken it!  We also thought there was too much corn, so I'll cut down on that.  It was very tasty though!

Creamy Potato Corn Chowder

  • 4 strips bacon cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped small
  • 3 sticks celery chopped small
  • 2 medium carrots peeled & chopped small
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups frozen or fresh corn (I would use 2-3 cups)
  • large Russet potatoes peeled & diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Prep your bacon and add it to a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy (about 10 minutes).
    Meanwhile, prep your onion, celery, and potatoes.
    Once the bacon is crispy, take it out of the pot and remove to a paper towel lined plate. Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pot.
    Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.
    Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
    Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring nearly constantly.
    Add in the chicken broth and give it a good stir to ensure the flour has dissolved and the brown bits are scraped up from the bottom of the pot.
    Add in the cream, corn, potatoes, Italian seasoning, and most of the bacon (save the rest for garnishing the bowls later on). Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to a rapid simmer so it's gently boiling. Cover the pot so the lid is slightly ajar.
    Cook until the potatoes are tender (about 15-20 minutes). Stir every so often. The soup will thicken up more the longer you cook it.
    Season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. Garnish bowls with the rest of the bacon.

  • Tuesday, February 14, 2023

    Monday, February 13, 2023

    Cartoon Characters as real people

     I saw this fun post recently and thought I would share some of the pictures. They had taken cartoon characters from different movies and tv shows, and put the info into computers to show what they would look like in real life.  


    Ariel (Little Mermaid)

    Bart Simpson

    Prince Eric (The Little Mermaid)

    Elsa (Frozen)

    John Smith (from Pocahontas)

    Olive Oyl

    Carl (Up)


    It's amazing that these are computer generated.  I think they look like real people!