Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday from the Weatherbunny

"Ahhh", you say, "what does she have to be thankful about today?" Well, I am thankful that I am cozied up in bed in my flannels with my laptop and not out in that deep freeze. This is not a great picture of today's newspaper but I couldn't bear to leave my cozy nest to trek off to the office and scan it. The banner across the paper's title is actually a graph with the temps. Where the graph rises you can see (or could have seen had I scanned the picture!) that we are in for a warmup next week. Ya Hoo! 20 degrees! I'm gonna dig out my shorts and tank tops!! But seriously, right now it is sunny and a balmy 10 below. But I am warm. The house is warm. We stocked up on all provisions to get us through this familiar but unwelcome cold snap, lots of firewood, a well stocked refrigerator, some good books...but alas, I'm out of coffee and pop, my main staples. So after I write this post I am going to have to suck it up, don my winter gear (layers and layers of clothes), warm up the car for 10 minutes and then brave that 2 block drive to the grocery store. What we will go through for our little addictions! :-D
I have given myself the title of Weatherbunny err...meteorologist ??? as I have posted 3 pictures of our winter weather and snow in the short time I have been blogging. And I am not even very seriously bothered by the weather having lived here all my life. But, it is dreary January and there is not much else for one to do but look out the window. Next I'll be saving rubber bands and stray pennies! But I am thankful that we are all warm and safe, that Chicago has warm shelters and food for the homeless or less fortunate who could not have heat, and that the news consistently reminds us to check on our elderly neighbors and friends. It is a good feeling to see your community come together in a time of need. I am indeed thankful today.
One last blast from my Arctic world:

I took a shot of my backyard this morning (you can see it is waaaay back in the distance, no way was I walking any further in that snow!!). That is our picnic table and recycle bin, frosted like cakes. I'd say about 7 inches of the white frosting. Believe me, the dogs were not romping around in that stuff this morning, I had to give Layla (all eight pounds of her) a little nudge out the door to do her thing.
I have heard that people are going outside with thermoses of boiling water and whipping it up into the air and it freezes on contact and crashes down like ice. Also, children go out and blow bubbles and they freeze on the wand like big glass balls. Wow!

Now I want to give thanks for two other happenings since I last made a post. As you must have seen from my sidebar (I also have a billboard out on Route 59), I have won two awards!!! :-)). The first Lemonade Stand award came from Susan at A Summer Daydreamer. Susan is not only a beautiful person, she is smart and creative and very computer savvy. She has certainly helped me out with some of her technical blogging tutorials! She had won her award after only about a month of blogging (and acquiring about 80 followers, if I'm off Susan, let me know). She participates in all the weekly themed blogs (her tablescapes are gorgeous!) and on top of that has found time to put together Outdoor Wednesday. You can go to her blog to get all the info on this if you wish to participate. I think it is going to be a big hit! The general rules when you receive this award is to pass it on to 10 other people that have "turned lemons into lemonade". I am going to take exception to this rule as since I have been blogging for only a short time, and while I feel all of my fellow bloggers are deserving of this award, well...I just haven't followed enough or have been followed enough (?) to really pass this award on to ten people. So I am giving this award to Laura at Shorehouse Chic . Laura is a real "Jersey girl" and she and her husband bought a fixer-upper on the Jersey shore a year ago. Her blog chronicles the adventures of their rehab/reno tales. Laura is a thrifty bargain hunter but the majority of my admiration goes to the fact that she can rewire a lamp!! What else is the girl capable of? I highly recommend you visit her blog. She is smart and funny and gives of herself to many charities and causes. She is definitely someone you will want to get to know. After receiving the Lemonade Award it is recommended that you give blog love back to the person you received the award from and then pass the award on to 10 fellow bloggers. Congratulations Laura!!
My second award is from a sweetheart of a gal, Sheila of the Quintessential Magpie. I can write for hours about Sheila ...well you all know I can write for hours about anything!! But Sheila was always kind enough to comment on my posts and when I started to follow hers, I immediately sensed that beneath her great humor and creativity lied a very warm, peaceful, spiritual woman. Her posts are LOL to read most of the time and in a lot of ways I feel we have been friends for a long time. I hope none of you feel that way because I want to have her all to myself! ;-). This award has been deciphered as meaning that the recipient "invests and believes in proximity" with the hope that "when these ribbons are cut, even more friendships are propagated". I hereby pass this award on to Carrie at Buzzings of a Queen Bee. I came upon Carries blog recently. She is a young wife and mother in Denver. She is, like all of us, a bargain and thrift hunter and pursues all avenues to create with what she has found or been given (read about her new sewing machine)! As a mother she is always on the go and her days are filled to the brim. Her writing is incredibly warm and light hearted and for any of us who are mothers she is quite the example of how we can improve by running, juggling, multitasking and writing blogs. On top of this, Carrie is two short weeks away from having her second baby!! She has a lot of blogger friends and I can certainly see why and that is why I feel this award is so fitting. So give Carrie a visit and share in her preparations for new baby Carrie-style! This award should be passed on to 8 people deserving of the award and I believe Carrie has quite a following to choose from. Blog love should also be sent back to the person the award was received from. I just luuuv that! :-D
Lastly, I promise I will not let so much time go by between posts, hence they will not be so wordy, to put it mildly. That said, I will conclude with a short synopsis of our last holiday party!! Since the Irish side of the family was spread all about over the holidays, yes, some even in Ireland, we concluded the last of the Christmas celebrations here last Saturday night. Blondie has not mentioned that she is recovering from a back injury suffered in an undisclosed airport around Christmas as she only has herself to blame for it (although she might file suit against a third party known only as Mr. Large Suitcase). And so I have kept in secret of my heart many days over the last 3 weeks spent flat on my back, popping muscle relaxants and pain pills, and on the days, or moments that I could get up, I could only speak gibberish and was promptly sent back to bed. For that reason I have not been blogging much so as to not confuse you with the details of my holidays in a little village in Bali...Soooo, I very quickly discarded my happy pills and began preparations for this final party. The old back was not doing too well on the day of said party but I was determined to pull it off , but mostly I wanted to get really buzzed on some wine after being abstinent since Christmas. Yes, New Years Eve was a quiet night sitting in front of the TV eating sandwiches and drinking pop, not so much as one glass of champagne at midnite. :-( So anyway I wanted to show you my little buffet, in particular the beautiful plate of prosciutto and melon that I made:

That's it in the forefront and that is pretty much how it looked at the end of the night. I don't know if this was due to unsophisticated tastes or that the potato chips were just darn good, but that was a waste of my energy. Another thing I made was inspired from a picture I saw in the February issue of Romantic Homes on page 50. (By the way, that was a great issue with so many bloggers and online shop owners we know or know of highlighted on their ideas of romance). In the interview with Libby Langdon there is a picture in the collage of what looks to be a pottery type planter filled with ice holding glass containers of veggies. I thought, what a neat idea. So I attempted to pull it off:

This is my version. It's kind of hard to see, but it was a big hit. Not only an innovative way to serve your crudites visually, but they stayed cold and crisp all evening (including the dip). It also helped that I made it ahead of time and put it out in the freezing garage. So moving on, the following is my tutorial on a new twist of serving veggies, the Libby way:

My bowl is from the bargain shelf at Target. I bought it about 3 years ago for $2.00. I later read on the bottom that it was poisonous to serve food in so I put it away for lack of a better idea of what to do with it. So it finally debuted last Saturday and fulfilled it's mission as a vessel for my veggies. So there you have the vessel. No empty flower pots to be seen. Sorry Libby.

You must fill those clear plastic drink cups with assorted vegetables, and I stress that you do this first as the ice will flip and tip them over. Then just toss some ice all around and voila!! I thought a votive candle would look really pretty in it but we had some kiddies there and I knew they would maul the vegetables first. Oh yeah, the dip goes in the middle which is a good idea as it also stays cold and no one goes home poisoned by spoiled mayo and sour cream.
So that is it from me today. I am Thankful I got to share this with you and I hope to get back into the game on a more regular basis. Take care everybody and look out east coast-this great weather is headed your way and this comes straight from your favorite midwest Weatherbunny!


Kathleen Grace said...

The party food looks delicious! I am so ready for spring...our temps were -10 this morning!

JudyBug said...

I'm on a diet so I'm not looking at the food! (ok, I looked and it all looked yummy!)

I haven't read my camera manual either. Are you supposed to do that? ;-p I use a Canon Powershot and it has a flower/macro button on the back for I'm playing!

Rhondi said...

Hi Janie
I guess we got our signals crossed. I didn't know you planned to join Thankful Thursday! I've added your name now and just let me know by wed if you're doing it again next week.
Warm hugs, Rhondi

The Quintessential Magpie said...

You are just about the sweetest thing ever, Janie! Thanks so much for your kind words. You made me smile real, real big... Cheshire Cat big... and I'm sending blog love right back to you! :-D

I'm glad you survived the Big Chill and hope you continue to stay safe and warm. Your food looked good, and I wish I had been a proverbial fly on the wall to see all the fun!

Love to you, and YOU deserve that award, Janie. You're one of my favorite bloggers!


Sheila :-)

Elle Jay Bee said...

I think I share your weather woes! We are in a serious cold spell (read, freezing), and I, too, prefer to nestle up near the fire and bask in the warmth. Sadly, kids need transported to sports and dance, and groceries need bought and work calls regardless of the temp!

I feel your pain!!
Thanks for visiting me,

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Whoa! That is some seriously COLD weather. I know this southern gal couldn't handle it for long. I pretty much wear flip flops 11 months out of they year!

Thanks for stopping by my blog to say hi!


Kathleen Ellis said...

Hi Janie~
Thanks for an amusing read! You poor thing, I hope your back is feeling better! It's been pretty frigid here, too...but we don't have any snow to make it look least you've got that!
I tried to use your links to the other blogs...something's not may want to check them.
Nice idea for the veggies and I can't believe the prosciutto and melon wasn't a hit!
Thanks for stopping by..good luck on Fifi's Art Auction..hoping to get a piece myself!
Have a happy day! ;-D

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Blondie, thanks for coming by. Oh those bunions are my enemy too. Mine aren't bad enough for surgery yet & I hope they stay that way. Working retail for Ethan Allen ruined my feet. I just have to stay out of heels for the most part now.

Oh, and that Sheila, she's a doll! She and I are buddies too & I'd love to meet her in person.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I'm almost crying (happy tears :-) with all the nice things you have said about me. Little old me! (And by the way...I'm fairly sure my lamp rewiring wouldn't pass "code," LOL. :-) But it gets the job done.) And thank you for the very kind comment you left on my blog this week...I'm catching up this weekend on blogging (mine, and others) and I'm rather enjoying taking it all in in one giant sitting (that, plus I'm finally off from work today and it's too cold to leave the shore house! :-)

I love your crudite display. Very crafty! (And less poisonous, lol!!)

You really are a special lady, Janie! Thanks for sharing the love.

Hugs from the (freezing cold) shore house,

JudyBug said...

That bad Hobby Lobby! I was "in town" today and completely avoided it. I knew not to even tempt myself. Thanks so much for your comments on my blog. It just makes my day!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, thinking of you this brrrrrrrr cold night! It's even cold here. I'm under a quilt! :-)



Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Janie, Thank you so much for your sweet comments about me and the award! I am just sorry it took me a few days to get over here...we are running around trying to get last minute things done for the baby since the doctor told me it could be SOON! :) Juggling might just be taken to a whole new level at my house! :) But seriously, thank you so so much, I am touched by this.