Weekly Photo Challenge: It’s Not This Time of Year Without

A lot of stuff really.

For someone who has always lived in the northern area of the country, it’s not this time of year without snow & icy roads so be careful if you share this part of the world.

snowmoutainswtrclr

oil painting

For most of us, it’s the start of the holiday or Christmas season. I used to say happy holidays before it almost became illegal to say Merry Christmas. I found this cartoon a few years ago, so appropriate!i-said-christmas

Daily Prompt: Longing for What Once Was

Yesterday I created a post dedicated to all the little birdies out in the storm.

Today I recalled a poem my Great Aunt Ruth used to read to me all the time when I was small.  It took me forever to remember what it was called.  All I could remember was the line “And hide his head under his wing, poor thing!”  I was thinking of this line when the little birds, mostly small robins, were starting to gather around my warm car in the parking lot yesterday.  I wished I had brought some kind of food, like bread or crackers, not that it’s good for them, but I don’t carry bird seed and all the berries they were trying to eat were covered in ice.  I supposed they just cracked the crystals like they do the hulls of the seeds they eat.

I long to hear my Aunt reading me those nursery rhymes again.  She passed on when I was only seven, but I was blessed to live with her from the time I was born until the age of four.  At that time, my parents began living in one of the farmhouses that was owned by my father’s step dad.  I never called him grandfather and hardly knew the man.  I didn’t know my paternal grandmother either.  She didn’t have anything to do with us anymore than she did her son, my father.  Which helped to create our perfect dysfunctional family.

But I digress.  My sister and myself began to spend weekends with my Aunt and Grandmother after we moved way up to Richmond.  They lived together in a bungalow in Detroit at the time.  I loved that little house and it’s still standing today.  I did a drive by and the neighborhood is still very well taken care of by all who still live there.  Had a white picket fence, at the time, as well as berry bushes, an apple tree and a sour cherry tree that we kids used to love to climb and eat our fill in the late summer.

I have worried about birds in winter for as long as I can remember and sometimes would leave my garage door up during storms so they could go inside to keep dry.  I thought about those words in the Nursery Rhyme about the “poor little robin.”  I took it to heart and wondered sometimes when it was cold, how they could even stay alive out there, even in a nest.  I think this is part of how humans are taught something called compassion.  Something that many adults don’t have to pass on anymore.  Hence the necessity for religious training that the modern liberal world mocks every chance they get.

The North Wind Doth Blow

(the way it was told to me)

The north wind doth blow and we shall have snow

and what will the robin do then, poor thing?!

He’ll sit in the barn and keep himself warm

and hide his head under his wing, poor thing!

Poor little things indeed!

Poor little things indeed!

Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

Scene from frozen this morning after an ice and snow storm.  More due tomorrow.

The poor little birds were still eating the ice-covered berries in the trees.

There was virtually no one outside today and so the birds were very active and hungry after waiting out the storm.

 

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Enjoy the diversity of my photo display!

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Meaning of the Seasons

Changing seasons are one of the reasons I love Michigan.  There is seldom a dull moment.  I actually don’t have a favorite season anymore but I will say I hate oppressive heat and air conditioning which makes me stay north.

We do enjoy glorious seasons in Michigan.

I will also add that I am now in the season of what some call the “Sunset Years.”  If this is true, I’m in for one looonnnggg and glorious of those too!

SunsetPeace and God bless!

Enough With The Comfort Food Already!

This has been a long, hard winter for all of us.  I am sick of the severe cold and all the shoveling and I’m sure most of you agree.

I lost my job, again, right before the holidays and my only sister soon after.  It looks like I will be losing my home by the end of this year unless I find another job soon and I have to say I have not had the time nor the inclination to look under the circumstances.

Being snowed in and being depressed does not make for a healthy person mentally or physically when you decide to self-medicate with food.  I do not drink or have any other vices and have found through the years what a great comfort food can really be.  One of my overweight friends once explained to me “You cannot eat and cry at the same time.”  I see what she is talking about now because for most of my life, I would lose my appetite if I was upset about anything.  Now I become ravenous!

I am still working out regularly, but not happy with the fact that I had managed to lose over 20lbs last year and have now found myself putting that weight right back on again.

I have tried to take walks on several occasions only to start slipping and sliding on the mess that has continued for the last two months in my area so about the only time I am out is when I have to get supplies.  I dig out if the snow is deep enough.  For a couple of inches of snow I just drive right over it all.  The unfortunate result of this is that snow becomes so compacted down that I am not able to shovel it at a later date because of the severely cold temperatures.

This comfort food actually comforts my stomach as well.

Po’ Girl’s Rice Pudding

Combine 2 cups cooked rice with 2 cups milk and 1/4 cup sugar.  Cook on medium-low heat stirring regularly for approximately 20 minutes until thickened.  Then add an additional 1/2 cup warm milk with one beaten egg (to temper egg), one teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder stirring continuously for an additional 10 minutes or so.  I slowly added a few spoonfuls of the cooked pudding to the 1/2 cup with the egg before adding this to the hot pudding to prevent the egg from curdling.

This makes a very delicious, but not super sweet rice pudding that I much prefer to store-bought.  Much better for your sugar levels.  The following video gives you an idea of how thick the pudding becomes when it is almost done.  Please stir enough to prevent scorching keeping your eye on the heat, adjusting as needed.

http://youtu.be/tZISpHkvSoM

Video

2014 Winter of Our Discontent

After a seemingly endless, brutal winter…

“I shall revenge myself in the cruelest way you can imagine.  I shall forget it.”  Perfect quote from John Steinbeck “The Winter of Our Discontent.”

birdintreewtrclr2

Hearty Vegetarian Soup

With no sign of a thaw in sight

With no sign of a thaw in sight

craving comfort food that sticks to the ribs!

craving comfort food that sticks to the ribs!

hearty vegan soup
Place the onion, carrots, turnip, potato and squash in the pot of water that covers the vegetables at least a couple inches and bring to a boil, turning down to a simmer for approximately 30 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients bringing back to a boil.  Turn heat to the lowest setting to simmer an additional 30 minutes or until the pasta gets soft which should only take an additional 15 minutes.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with the ingredients and seasoning to your taste but this soup was delicious!  The amount of the vegan bouillon or soup base depends on the amount of water you use and soup you end up with.  This soup did not need any thickening due to some of the vegetables breaking down and the small amount of tomato paste.

Please see the following slide gallery for dessert!

Po’ Girl’s Peanut Butter Cookies

 

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