Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blizzard of '15...and Smoothies.

About 8am Tuesday 1/27. Had 18" by 11am.

This is pretty common for a smoothy, which I make almost every morning. Usually don't have time to take photos since I'm getting ready for work! Pat got me Nutribullet for last Christmas.

Usually drink it on the way in, along with an large ice coffee (decaf) and a plain doughnut.

Time to snowblow!

Unfortunately fifty feet from the garage the chain that drives the wells broke apart. I don't know if I didn't align everything right when I put the transmission back together or what. I did push it down the whole driveway and break out to Route 6, and push it back -- but I couldn't push it up the hill.

So I pushed out of the way and parked it. And called Dubay's who had a skeleton staff in during the blizzard and they will deliver a new Toro tomorrow :)

Ended up easily with 20". Thompson had 33", Worcester set a new record at 34.5".

Dubay's finally delivered it at 4:30. Met them at the hardware store across the street and worked my way back in -- had my car out on Route 6 by 6:30 which wasn't too bad for my driveway and 20"!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stew, snowblowers, and yogurt...

Photo dump from this weekend.

My back/neck/arm that I hurt on New Year's Day was finally healed enough I could putter steadily -- still had to take lots of breaks, frequent massages, heating pads, and exercises my Physical Therapists gave me. Had to use a TENS unit I bought once on Sunday. (The muscle formed a knot, which was pinching a nerve, which was causing severe pain!)

Saturday morning as it was snowing I started a stew.

Look at the color of that beef from Hunter's! Undoubtedly I saw that cow grazing dozens of times over the years.

Carrots & Cabbage from Abington Grown. I really like the Winter Farmer's Market they have every other Saturday at the Killingly Grange!

My own onions, though the supply is dwindling (and the reds are starting to send up shoots).

Some cider to help the liquid get going...

Mostly my own herbs too!

Then I did my bank run (bank was closed! I could drive up and down my driveway in my Fusion, WTH?!), post office, and dump -- then went visited mom for a couple hours to let my neck and shoulder rest.

With a big storm brewing, I decided to see how I was to work on the snowblower. I was really happy it did very well, though I still had to be careful and had some pain.

First real time I've used the propane salamander -- it's already in serious contention for the best $99 I ever spent, made it comfortable for me to work in my garage!

The heater made quick work of melting the snow out of it, so it won't be full of frozen snow come the next storm.

Sunday was yogurt day. Hadn't made a batch since I started at CVS in June, since my schedule was no longer good for the crockpot method I had been doing, and I had been having trouble the last few times I did it. Decided to try a water bath in a cooler this time.

Heat the milk to 185, let it cool to 115 before stirring in some starter (I did a combination of Chobani and Siggi). I'm not sure if I was having issues with keeping it warm or if it was the culture in the yogurt with the last few failures.

Filled the color with enough 120 degree water to cover the jars. Suppose I could have done it even higher, which would keep the heat up longer.

We'll find out tomorrow if it worked!

Over Saturday & Sunday I also slowly got the house filled to the brim with firewood -- we got some cold, wind, and snow coming in this week!

And checking Monday morning, the yogurt set up really nicely! Think I have a new preferred method.