Monday, February 9, 2015

Ice Fishing & Eddie

We spent the afternoon out ice fishing on Saturday. 

The first lake we headed to didn't seem to have any fish, so we headed to another one that was close.  Set up some tip-ups and then put up the portable shacks and started fishing. 

I was in our shack when I heard someone say my name and so I headed over to Bryce's shack thinking Eddie probably needed a diaper change.

I was wrong.

Eddie and Uncle Bryce - February 7, 2015

Turns out, he stepped into the hole and got wet!

Uncle Bryce and Auntie Leah had already stripped him out of his jacket, snow pants and boots and were trying to dry out his sock in front of the heater! 

Eddie was of course okay so I headed to find out if we had some spare clothing in the diaper bag and grabbed his extra pair of boots we had brought along.  He got to spend the rest of the day in the truck watching a movie or sitting in one of the heated ice houses helping us fish!

We did (well, William did) catch some pan fish, so last night he made up a big batch of fish for dinner with some fresh green beans and broccoli.  A delicious dinner made even better by the fact I didn't have to cook it!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Morning Moon

The moon had a wisp of a cloud above it this cold, clear morning. 

February 5, 2015

Of course, the photo doesn't do it justice, but I had to stop and take in the beauty of the moment. 

How I would have loved to sit at the end of the road for some time while I enjoyed my coffee, but the office was waiting for me to arrive. 

Instead, I allowed myself a minute or so to enjoy.  Took a few deep breaths of the clean, crisp air (-8 degrees) and admired the artist of the sky. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

A New Skill - Lefse Making Lesson

On Saturday, a group of young ladies and I headed to my Grandmother's house to learn the lost art of lefse making.  It is only a lost art in my family because my Grandmother is the one who always makes it, so none of us have ever had the need to!

Most of us love it (or have family that does) so it was time we learned how to make it before my lovely Grandmother is no longer able to teach us - she is 85 years old and while she still lives at home by herself, she isn't getting any younger.  Although, she did seem busier than all of us the entire day.  Running around, doing the dishes - we had to tell her to stop so we could take over and help!

Half of our potatoes getting ready to boil.

We all thought it was going to be a much harder task than it was!  We made quick work of 10 pounds of russet potatoes (peeling and slicing to get ready to boil).  Then it was into the living room to sit and chat while they boiled. 

Ricing the hot potatoes.

Once we riced the hot potatoes, we added the shortening and then let them cool.  Now, Grandma has never used a recipe, so the last time she made them, she wrote down some instructions on about how much shortening and flour she adds.  Thankfully, we were able to follow pretty well.

Making sure the mixture "feels" right!  Love this woman!

After the potatoes cooled (and we ate a wonderful lunch of homemade meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy and peas) we were ready to begin the last steps.  We added the flour and rolled the dough into small balls. 

The special rolling pin.

We rolled out the dough as thin as we could.  This is the stage where not having the right consistency of dough really makes or breaks the process!  Our first batch was excellent - the second two were okay. 

Cooking the lefse.

Once you cook the lefse on both sides, they get placed under a towel to begin the cooling process.  After we made a fairly substantial pile, we transferred them to the porch (not heated) and placed them on a sheet in a single layer (or double layer is okay too) and covered them with another sheet to let them dry and cool.

The fruits of our labor!  Yummy!

Our batch of lefse was pretty large, so we all went home with a large Ziploc bag full.  Mine went right to the freezer (lefse freezes very well) so I can enjoy them at a later date.  I still have some of the leftovers from Christmas that Grandma made for me in my freezer and refrigerator to enjoy.

Amanda and Grandma Donna.  Our expert teacher!

Grandma was such an excellent teacher.  She showed by example and then let us take turns at all the jobs.  She thought we did a great job!

Leah and myself (My sister-in-law)

Leah has lots of family that loves lefse.  She is of Norwegian heritage and knew many more traditional dishes than we did!  I would be excited to try some that her family makes!

Nicky and me (Nicky is an old family friend from way back - plus she family too - Stacy's sister-in-law)

Nicky was also excited to learn the process.  Now there are four of us ladies that can all get together and make lefse every year!  While you could do it by yourself, it would be so much more fun doing it as a group!

Me and my silly sister, Stacy.  Usually one of us is making a silly face in our photos together. She wins this time!

It was such a blessing to finally take the time to have Grandma teach us how to make the lefse.  I am so very glad we had this wonderful day with her!  It will be a memory I cherish long after she is gone!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ice Fishing

Took a chance and went ice fishing this past weekend with the family. 

I haven't been ice fishing in YEARS...  But, I did have a fun time even though I didn't catch any of the fish. 

We met up with our Chiropractor and some of her friends on a little lake where the Rainbow Trout were huge!  And they were so fun to try to catch.  William caught two large ones (in addition to the three he had caught the day before!). 

William helping get a fish of the line.

Getting ready to put a waxie on the hook.

The delicious rainbow trout!

Elizabeth's snowman - named Strawberry Shortcake!

Eddie fell asleep on the way to the lake and so he stayed in the truck for the first hour or so and napped while Libby and Grandma Sue build an awesome snowman named Strawberry Shortcake!  Once Eddie woke up, they both had fun with their shovels and looking at all the fish that had been caught. 

It was such a fun afternoon.  Almost makes me want to go again...

And the trout was delicious!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Goodbye Sam

We said goodbye to our kitty Sam this weekend.  He became sick and we made the difficult choice to put him down.  Our house already seems a little less happy without him.  

Sam - January 16, 2015

I will miss him and the funny way he liked to lay on his back.   And how he loved to sleep curled right up next to my arms.  And pretty much everything else about him.  Except his litter box.  I will not miss that one bit!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Yummy Vegan Meal - The Roasted Buddha Bowl from Oh She Glows

I made a delicious vegan meal this past week.  It was from the Oh She Glows website and is called the Roasted Buddha Bowl.    The absolute best thing I ate all week long. 

The Roasted Buddha Bowl

Who knew some simple vegetables, chick peas and a easy sauce could be so very delicious?  It was even great as leftovers for lunch the next day heated up in the toaster oven at the office - I did add some quinoa for the noon meal to give it the substance needed to hold me over until I got home from work. 

I am really enjoying trying out new vegan recipes - even when William does say it needs some spicy sausage mixed in with it...  What can I say, he likes to have meat with his vegetables. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

My Goal in 2015

I am keeping things simple this year.  One goal (that has two parts). 

Create the 1) garden space and 2) plant a couple things in the orchard.

Simple, yes.  Easy, no. 

I still do not know where I want the garden to be.  I don't know how big I really want it to be (but I do know I want it big).  Makes perfect sense, right!

For the orchard, I know I want a couple (more) apple trees, a pear tree, a raspberry patch, a strawberry patch, some blueberry bushes, an elderberry bush and probably other things too.  I also need to get an asparagus bed started as it takes 2-3 years to establish one and I hear they can be very difficult to start.

Then we start in on the herb portion of the garden... 

And the idea to have a small greenhouse that is about 10' X 16' in size - I need to see if it is okay to build one of these - not sure if our covenants restrict this type of building.  I want one very similar to the one the Elliott Homestead built this past year.  It is beautiful and would be a welcome addition to any gardening lovers plans!  Can you imagine how early I could start vegetables and how late I could harvest them?  Wow.  What a wonderful addition if I can make it happen!  If I can't do a permanent structure, maybe a smaller portable greenhouse (like this???)

I am really excited to begin this process and planning where everything will go and how we will accomplish it!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Kitchen Faucet - Getting Rid of the Leak!

We took advantage of our local Menards 15% off bag sale (in combo with a gift card received from William's sister for Christmas!) and purchased a new kitchen faucet.

The old one leaked and honestly, everything in our house is builder grade and I really needed to do something small to remind me that I can (and will) turn this home into something that isn't quite so cookie cutter!  It seems that when you buy a newer home these days, unless the initial builder/owner had the money for the upgraded finishes, you get bare bones basic everything.  And this house fits that description!  But it also leaves tons of room for me to put some great ideas I have into play.

Our beautiful Moen faucet.  The wall is not green... Not sure what happened with the lighting to make it look that awful green color!

In our last home we purchased our first faucet where the sprayer pulled out of the faucet itself - this one is the same, only a little higher quality.  Even though the sink itself is in pretty bad shape, we will try to shine it up with some wet/dry sandpaper and see if we can make it last until we decide to fully remodel the kitchen (should that ever happen!). 

After a leak in the sink drain (William think he bumped it and that likely caused the leak) he fixed that drain and now it is working well again.  I am so happy to have a new faucet that doesn't leak and is pretty as well!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Visiting with Santa

On our way back from having a breakfast out on Saturday, we decided to try to go see Santa with the kids.  He was visiting in our old hometown at the community center.  They had a few vendors selling their items, some food and Santa & Mrs. Claus.

December 13, 2014

This is as close as Libby would get to sitting on Santa's lap and she told me that she didn't have to tell him what she wanted for Christmas as she had already told Gin, our Elf on the Shelf and he told Santa.  I really only think she even posed for these pictures because Mrs. Claus had apples and M&M's to hand out after the kids were done with the pictures. 

Eddie wouldn't go near either of them and clung to William tightly through the whole time we were there. 

I guess it wasn't a terrible first time meeting Santa & Mrs. Claus!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Date Night - Minnesota Wild

William and I were lucky enough to escape on a date to the city the other night and take in a Wild game in St Paul.  I love watching hockey live, so it is always fun when we can get tickets - especially free ones! 

The Wild lost the game, but it was a good game to watch as they did play pretty good.  Plus, hanging out with my husband is fun and I like surprising him with tickets to these events when I am able to. 

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