January 8, 2016

I got up early this morning and could see the sun rising up in the distance from my kitchen window as I was making coffee.

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Frosty, cold morning.  I looked out at my car and it looked like an ice cube and frozen with frost all over it.  To try and stay fit and healthy, I did my one mile walk with weights from a DVD that I have.  Then I made oatmeal and had a nice breakfast.

Tomorrow is supposed to be freezing rain in the morning and then Sunday it’s rain with high winds.  So I stocked up on some food so that I wouldn’t have to go out over the weekend if I didn’t want to.

I like the Food Co-op as they have really nice stuff there and it’s all organic.  I got some kale and some parsley.  I made a really good kale salad today with bacon that was like chopped up, sauteed onions and mushrooms that were simmered in Chardonay wine and a balsamic dressing that I mixed up in a mason jar.  Soooo good.  I’m going to use the rest of the kale in a soup tomorrow.  Love it.

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Then on Fridays they have fresh fish at the local grocery store.  I got some cod and baked it with lemon and butter.  It was really good.

To make my day, my son called and told me that he really liked the 2 gifts that I gave him for his birthday this week.  And on facebook, a person that I really admired and had unfriended by mistake became my friend again.  So that added to making a nice day.  It meant a lot to me.

Cold Winter Days

It has been really cold lately outside.  Frigid weather.  I had to go to Keene, NH yesterday and coming back home at sunset, there were beautiful orange, red and yellow combined skies in the distant views of the mountains.  Just really pretty.  I stopped at Starbucks and got a Peppermint mocha “tall” (which is small) drink to enjoy on my way home.  I mean $5.00 for that?  Won’t be wasting my money on that again any time soon.  Would of, could of, should have gotten a coffee. Starbucks coffee is really good and tastes extra good on a cold day.

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The salad to have in winter seems to be Kale Salad.  I saw three recipes for Kale Salad in my facebook newsfeed yesterday.  I have a recipe for kale salad from a while ago that calls for artichokes.  I found a jar of grilled artichokes that combined with the Cannellini beans, red onion, my own dressing that I shake up in a small mason jar and over the kale is just one of my favorite kale salads.  Then shaved parmeson on top with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Yum.  But I printed out 3 more kale salad recipes that I am going to try.  Cranberries, feta and walnuts sounds good.  The secret to a good kale salad is to massage the kale with oil and vinegar and let it set at least 10 minutes.  And then let all the flavors of the salad blend in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.  Kale does not wilt.

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Powerball last night was 500 million dollars for the lottery.  No one won and next week it will be even more.  Can you imagine winning that?  I usually get one number and win nothing.  But at that rate of the winnings, I am willing to risk $2.00 for one ticket.  I’ve seen the whole office all go together and buy 100 tickets and win nothing.  So chances of winning are slim to say the least.  But wouldn’t winning that lottery warm up a winters day.  I think I would go to Florida for a week and then take a cruise to one of the islands where they have white beaches and crystal blue water.  Get one of those neat blue tropical drinks while soaking up the sun and getting all healthy and tan.  Enjoy all that and then in the Spring take a trip to Paris, France.  Send a postcard from the top of the Eifel Tower.  Then go to London and then go check out what Italy has to offer.  Go back to the states and take a train across Canada and enjoy the rocky mountain views.  Then land at the northern part of the states and rent a convertable sports car and drive down route 1 the big Sur.  Then drive back across the states enjoying all it has to offer.  After that a spa visit for a few weeks.  Then shopping and buying clothes that I have only been able to dream of having.  Designer labels and all.  Before all that, I would divide the winnings so my two sons would be set for life as well as the grand kids.  And a big boost for all my friends to enjoy some pleasures.  Doesn’t it make you sick when someone wins and they do nothing with it?  Like they keep working and act like they have not got a cent.  Maybe leave it to their cats or research in Africa to find a cure for toenail fungus on frogs or something.  Life just is not fair at all.  Or sometimes someone wins that doesn’t need any more money as they already have a 6 figure income and money means nothing to them.  If I can’t win, I would like to see someone that could at least enjoy and use the money win.

The following is a winter coat in Florida.  It’s the Casablanca trench coat.  I think it is so stylish and would be a neat coat to have even in Vermont in the Spring or so.  The coat has a belt to wear or not, but no belt loops on the coat.  I like the shoes, sun glasses and also the turquoise rings.  Then the skinny jeans well worn and faded looking even if they are brand new.  It’s what extremely rich people do I guess.

Casablanca trench

Back to cold weather.  It’s a good time of year for slow cookers or crockpots.  I have collected a ton of recipes from spaghetti sauce to pot roast.  So neat to just fix it and forget it as one of the crockpot cookbooks is titled.  I would like to some day have a personal cookbook with all tried and true recipes for all my favorite recipes for all 4 seasons.  Maybe have them on my tablet and be able to bring up the recipe on the screen and have music playing while I cook and prepare recipes.

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My latest thing is to mix up seasonings to use in cooking.  Like I have a chili seasoning I found a recipe to make up.  Then a taco seasoning and I have Paula Deen’s house seasoning that can be used on everything.  I have these neat little jars that have a chalkboard label on them.

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Little things like this make me smile cold weather or not.

 

 

 

January 6, 2016

I saw a really neat recipe for making a no-knead rustic ancient grains loaf of bread in a dutch oven.  The recipe was in the King Arthur Flour catalog that they send in the mail.  I think this would be nice to have with some really good home made soup on a cold day like today.  I made some chicken noodle soup yesterday using an organic gluten-free quinoa blend noodle that tasted just like regular noodles.  And I just sauteed carrots, onions and celery in olive oil and added chicken broth, fresh ground Italian herbs and chopped up leftover rotisserie chicken and let it simmer for 9 minutes to cook the noodles.  I put fresh chopped parsley and chopped chives on top to serve it.    Easy to make and I call it comfort food.

No-Knead Rustic Ancient Grains Loaf

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Ancient grains - Copy

Woodstock, Vermont is a beautiful and scenic town.  Right next to the town is South Pomfret where Suicide 6 ski area is located.  The whole area is just beautiful any time of the year.

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The Congregational Church in Woodstock is so pretty and has a colonial style.  A lot of the houses in Woodstock have a colonial style.

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I love the middle covered bridge that is in the middle of town.

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Some of the hills around the town have houses located there that just have the most amazing views.

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January 5, 2016

Extremely cold in Vermont today.  We have been lucky with not much snow so far and it just started getting really cold.

I like King Arthur Flour in Norwich, VT.  If you like to bake, that place has everything you ever dreamed of.  It also has a cafe where you can have lunch.  Lots of baked goods also to have with coffee.  I like their flourless chocolate cookies.  Really scrumptious.  They also have baking classes there.  One time Martha Stewart taught one of their classes.  I’d like to take their baguette baking class.

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They also have a pizza making class and you get to take home your pizza.

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The building itself has all open beams and cathedral ceilings.  All the classrooms have big windows and you can watch them baking.  The store has flours, baking pans, bread makers and just all kinds of interesting things to use for baking.

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I like to buy their vanilla that is the best ever.  Also their chocolate chips which are awesome to make chocolate chip cookies with.  Really good chocolate.

A couple of barns that impressed me as being kind of neat are as follows:

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Farms in Vermont

There are some beautiful farms in Vermont.  Butterworks Farm in Waitsfield, VT has organic yogurt that is made from Jersey cows.  The maple yogurt they make is just scrumptious.

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I love how scenic some of the farms are.

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I also like the Food Co-ops where they have organic produce and health foods year round.  Yesterday I got some organic kale, organic flat leaf parsley, pine nuts, lentils and bone broth at the local Food Co-op.  I think Vermont is a beautiful place to live with clean air, four seasons and also very healthy living.

January 2, 2016

The paperwhite bulbs that I planted are budding, but not fully out yet.  The following is a photo of how the bulbs I planted last year looked on New Years day last year:

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Stratten Mountain is not far from where I live in Vermont.  The following is a photo of their snow board park.  I think a lot of the younger people all like to snow board instead of ski.

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Jay Peak is in northern Vermont.  You can see the mountain from the fields on the farm where my grandparents lived.  They owned an 80 acre farm near there.  I think it is beautiful country.

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Woodstock, Vermont is a beautiful town.  We like to go there for bike rides in the summer.  In the winter they have sleigh rides that look like a lot of fun.

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Vermont is really a beautiful state.  The only problem is that there is not much work.  The few jobs that there are, do not pay well.  Employers attitudes are to make one person do the job of 3 people and if you don’t like it, you can be replaced in a New York second.  In Burlington, there is more work and they do pay better.  But other areas pay better in other states, so young people do not stay in this state.  People that have made money in other areas have summer homes here and then the ski people sometimes have a second home near the ski areas.  State laws have driven most farmers out and then the taxes drove most employers out.  That’s the way I see it, anyways.

 

January 1, 2016

First day of the new year!  I think that MT Ascutney is a majestic and beautiful mountain.  I saw the mountain this morning from a distance when I went shopping and it was just pure white with snow.  Later in the afternoon it wasn’t all white with snow, but still looked beautiful and you could see snow on it.

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Even though I am a Vermonter, I like the southern tradition of having a good luck southern dinner of hopping john that has black eyed peas and rice with chopped bacon on top, collared greens and corn muffins for New Years day.

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I got a new desk calendar today and a new journal.  The first of January is the beginning of a new year.  New dreams, hopes and wishes.  Wishing everyone a wonderful new year.