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You know what? These constant snow alerts are getting old. Would it snow Thursday? How about tomorrow? Not looking like it right now thankfully. We got lucky this week.

It seems to be shaping up as one of those winters.

Snow on the ground and icy spots in the driveway. Not fun as we age.

We didn’t get the latest expected snow but we certainly are getting the cold. We have the faucet in the upstairs hall bathroom dripping since that is our weak spot when it comes to pipes getting cold enough to freeze. We updated the insulation everywhere we could access, just to prevent any reoccurrence of our minor flooding catastrophe that we had in January 2014.

Sometimes I feel like we are just living in anticipation of the next unplanned challenge. Every bathroom has a couple gallon jugs of water snuggled by the toilet for use in power outages. Burlap stretched between rebar is protecting the evergreens from wind damage. The newest trees have been treated with deer repellent.

The local meteorologists have a thankless job in the midAtlantic. Water to the east. Mountains to the west. Lots of hills and elevation changes that create uncertainties. Yesterday was a bust for those predictions with schools closing when they didn’t have to close.

When we moved out here 17 years ago, we moved 10 miles north but 250 feet higher in elevation. Temps are 2-4° colder than those in our old neighborhood. We get more snow, more ice and some serious wind.

This is also my time to use the oven and stove often in the kitchen. Keeps it warmer in there. This winter I am breaking in a new appliance and learning while experimenting.

I resisted following the trendy items like juicers, instapots, etc. But I finally caved and got an air fryer/smart oven. Threw away our old toaster.

I am having fun with it. Frying with very little oil. Proofing my dough for my bread baking. Making flatbreads and pizzas. And this summer I intend to use the dehydrator instead of my regular oven to process the cherry tomatoes from my garden.

Some recent uses.

A supreme flatbread with salami, ground beef and homemade tomato sauce on a quick rise dough.

White chocolate macadamia nut cookies from dough frozen before Christmas. I have several small containers with enough to make 6-8 cookies in each. The oven is a perfect size to make small batches.

I air fried button mushrooms stuffed with crab for dinner last night. Tonight I am experimenting with parsnips. Air frying them with Indian spiced seasoned salt.

I enjoy trying new things. Keeps us from getting bored during our cold dreary winters. I do have one small complaint. It takes much longer to make toast in this oven. It is perfectly toasted though, but five to six minutes is an eternity when you want breakfast.

Winter in Maryland. Completely unpredictable. We can embrace it, endure it or leave it. We aren’t going anywhere.

Just hurry up springtime!

My Love-Hate Relationship with Snow

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It is considerably colder outside today than it has been in quite a while. And, on top of all else, it has snowed about an inch. It’s about the same as it was the day after Christmas.

boxing day snow 155

Just a dusting. Enough to delay the schools so the buses can safely navigate after they treat the roadways. I hate the dustings of snow in really cold weather, when the sun comes out. It doesn’t go away and it becomes black ice, treacherous to walk and drive on.

Since I don’t have to get up at oh dark thirty anymore (the proper military shorthand, and not that stupid movie title), it doesn’t bother me much when it snows. Usually it melts before you have to deal with it. Today, though, it is bitter cold. I can look at this as a good thing, as finally some of these nasty flu and cold germs will hopefully die. When it doesn’t get cold enough, the colds and flu bugs linger on.

Additionally, the nasty little bugs that thrive in our bushes and trees will vanish as well. Good things for my plants, and our friends’ vineyards.

I just wish I didn’t have to clean off the car to go out later. Yes, we have a garage. It is the home of the snow thrower, and the tractor. The shed has the materials for the radio tower in it. Bolts, masts, coax cable. Tower base. All those things in the place the tractor belongs.

As for the snow thrower, it has to occupy one space for the winter. You don’t want to be digging your way to the shed when this happens.

our welcome in winter

our welcome in winter

As I said, the snow is just a nuisance for a little while around here. Today it is sunny and lovely to see it sparkling. I do hope we don’t get more tomorrow though. I have things I want to get done.

Tonight we will make a cozy dinner, and try out a new grain for risotto. I will see how it goes and post about another notch in that 60@60 challenge.