Monday, January 29, 2018

Post-Holiday Visit

As many folks know (ourselves included) it can be hard to visit with everyone at the holiday season. Of course, since retailers seem to start the Christmas season earlier and earlier perhaps we should plan for pre-Christmas get togethers.

We visited with the youngest granddaughter in mid-December to celebrate her birthday and an early Christmas visit, but didn't see the older grandchildren until recently for a post-holiday visit.

The grandkids had a 3-day weekend and the weather was also cooperative, so they traveled with their mother to  CT where we all gathered at the home of their Grenville's aunt and uncle. 

While the holiday decorations already had been put away, we brought presents to open. The adults enjoyed watching the grands open their gifts and joined in too.
It was nice to get together with family and have the holidays last just a little bit longer.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Morning After Views

A great thing about weather is that it's always changeable. After a day of icy branches, slippery walkways and roadways this past Tuesday, the day after was quite a change.
"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."   (John Ruskin, English writer)
That said, this was the view from our apartment window about 7:30 a.m. yesterday.
Scarcely an hour after the first photo was taken, this was the window view.
And by noontime, the blue skies were back and the ice scenes were all gone.
Yes, in reply to some previous comments, we do feel very fortunate to view scenes like this on a daily basis. It's one of the best things about  
overlooking the river and living in this NH mill apartment. 

As for how we spent our bad weather day, it's best put in the words of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who as Dr. Seuss in The Cat in the Hat wisely said . . .
“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house, all that cold, cold, wet day.”

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

It's M-e-l-t-i-n-g

Maybe it was the luck of the horseshoes shown in my recent Friday Funnies post, but the weather has changed dramatically in Nashua, NH, the past several days.

This was the Nashua River view from our apt window at the beginning of last week. While the river never freezes solid, there was a lot of accumulated ice.

We had a good view of these ice jams floating downstream.  Warmer temperatures over the weekend showed a much different view yesterday morning.
By day's end, the view had changed even more dramatically, not only was the waterway more open, but the current was visible again at least from our view. 
Temperatures will continue to be well above freezing here this week quite a dramatic change from the start of January. It's a wet start to the week as the next couple of days will bring a lot of rain but no snow. (It's a great time for us to catch up on some Netflix viewing as we're currently watching several programs on Netflix and Acorn.)
By mid-week, the rain is over and the extended forecast looks pretty good.

It's a great time for us to catch up on some Netflix viewing as we're currently watching several programs on Netflix and Acorn. Also, Grenville has taken up a new ham radio hobby while I continue to sort through photo CDs and copy to external hard drives.

Today's Update: Forecasters are not always right. After an all-day rain on Monday, temperatures dropped causing very slick black ice on walkways and roadways (attested to by Grenville who attended a meeting). Conditions haven't improved much today.

These are window views at noon time and 2 hours later (bottom)  — we're staying indoors.

How are the current weather conditions in your part of the country or world — if there's nasty outdoor weather, how are you spending your time ? 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Funnies

There's definitely a lot of luck here (as seen in a display at Shelburne Farms in Vermont).

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.

We're looking forward to a snow-free one here in NH (so maybe these will help).

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Couscous and Shrimp

Over the weekend, we tried a recipe using couscous which is a pasta made from semolina flour mixed with water. The process of making it used to be labor-intensive, but now most is machine-produced. It's steamed and then dried and all that's needed is to "plump" it up with boiling water. It's nutritional value is similar to white pasta.

Couscous and Shrimp 

This is an easy dish that can be made within 30 minutes from start to finish. Many of the ingredients may already be in your pantry. Luckily, we usually have several varieties of nuts, including pistachios. 
(Recipe serves 4, so we had leftovers.)
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • ¼ C raisins
  • 1 C dry couscous
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • ½ C frozen peas
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ C shopped pistachios
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish 
  1. Season shrimp with cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet. When oil is hot, add shrimp and cook for a minute on each side until pink, then remove from skillet.
  3. Add chopped onion and pepper and sauté until onion is translucent. Add garlic and raisins and cook for a minute.
  4. Add couscous and chicken broth to skillet and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and cook couscous for 10-12 minutes until broth is absorbed.
  5. Add frozen peas and cook for additional 2 minutes, until peas are defrosted.
  6. Remove skillet from heat and add shrimp. Garnish with pistachios and parsley.
While this dish was flavorful, we're planning to return to our favorites of wild and brown rice for future meal plans. That said, Grenville gave couscous two forks down.

If you've tried couscous, did you enjoy it and would you try it again ? 

Monday, January 15, 2018

What a Difference

A couple of days of rain and a day of temperatures near 60 degrees can sure make a difference in making snow and ice go away.

This was the view from our apartment window early Sunday morning.

Quite a difference from the view a week earlier on January 5.

Cold weather is returning this week, but there's no snowfall in the forecast, just some snow showers by mid-week.

Hope the weather is improving in your part of the world as well.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Funnies

Cold weather is definitely not enjoyed by many folks including these feathered friends.
These "snow" bird images were taken from a kitchen window vantage during wintry weather in VA a few years ago.
How many cardinals can you spot here?
They seemed appropriate in view of the recent snowfalls here in NH. Unfortunately, the apt window views while wonderful don't provide these same photo opportunities.
I'm returning to a project started in late 2017 which involves moving all of my photo images from CDs to external backup drives.
It's admittedly a (very) tedious and time-consuming project to look at the images and decide on which to keep or delete. In the process, it's been fun seeing many again.
Now like this (very wise) robin, I'm outta here.

(We're thinking of those affected by mudslides in CA and weather issues elsewhere.)

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone

Monday, January 8, 2018

In It to Win It

Did you hear the BIG news this weekend ?
A Powerball ticket matched all six numbers to win the $570 million jackpot. The cash value of the jackpot would be at least $300 million if taken as a lump sum. A Powerball winner can take the jackpot in 30 annual payments or a one-time payment in cash.
The ticket was sold here in NH. And we bought a ticket on Saturday before the drawing, because after all "you have to be in it to win it."
The prize drawing on Saturday night was the second-largest for a single winner in Powerball history and the seventh-largest in U.S. lottery history.
The winning numbers were 12, 29, 30, 33, 61 and Powerball 26.
Did we win?
We did not. These were not the numbers on our ticket — not a single one matched.
What are the odds of winning?
More than being struck by lightning it seems. The odds of being struck by lightning in the U.S. in a given year are about 1 in 1 million. By comparison, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are estimated at 1 in 292.2 million.
We're out $2. 
Anyone want to float us a loan for the next time?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Outta Here . . .

That's the best way to describe the aftermath of Thursday's all-day winter blizzard that dumped 13-inches of fresh snow in Nashua. This snowfall was almost double the 8-inch Christmas Day snowfall that's still around due to continued frigid temperatures.
The view from our apartment window was much better yesterday morning despite the -5 degree temperature reading. Beneath that cover of white and the mill apartment shadow is the Nashua River.
Grenville, a former NJ firefighter, braved the cold to ensure that fire hydrants around the property were cleared of snow drifts. (He's a really good great guy.)

Frigid temperatures will continue here this weekend, but good news is that a warming trend arrives next week.  We hope that others affected by wintry weather keep safe and warm. Thanks to all for your comments.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Funnies

Oh deer! was the only thought that came to mind on seeing this truck hitch topper.
Do you have any comments too?

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.
We're digging out after another snowstorm. How about you?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Oh, the Weather Outside is

COLD and SNOWY ❄️❄️❄️ in Nashua today as a blizzard is hitting NH and many other U.S. east coast states with cold temperatures extending into much of the country. We won't be doing ANY of what's suggested in these Winter Wonderland ❄️ lyrics today:

When it snows
ain't it thrilling

Though your nose gets a chilling

We'll frolic and play
the Eskimo way
walking in a winter wonderland

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Nashua from 7:00 a.m. Thursday, January 4 to 4:00 a.m. Friday, January 5. Heavy snow expected is especially during the evening commute. Plan on difficult travel conditions. Total snow accumulations of 8 to 11 inches with localized amounts up to 14 inches are expected. Wind gusts as high as 40mph will cause patchy blowing and drifting snow.

Here's WHY as shown in these views over a few hours this morning.

View from our apartment at 9 a.m.

View from our apartment at 10 a.m. 
View from our apartment at 11 a.m. 
It's an official snowstorm as schools and other public offices closed well before the storm. The City of Nashua declared a snow emergency starting today until Friday January 5 at 6:00 a.m: "If you don’t need to be out on the roads, please stay off them for your safety. We recommend residents limit travel, if possible.  Residents should only expect primary routes to be cleared initially during this storm. Residential side streets will not be plowed immediately. Regularly plowed sidewalks will not be plowed until crews have a chance to clear primary and residential streets."

Yes, we're heeding that advice by staying safe and warm indoors today. Thankfully, our vehicles are parked safely in the underground parking here. And, to celebrate this first 2018 snowfall, we've invited neighbors to a Post-holiday and blizzard wine-down this evening. (Everyone lives in the mill apartment building so travel isn't a problem.)
Fresh out of the oven for serving tonight

❄️ Winter Wonderland was written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (music) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist). It's been said that Smith, a native of Honesdale, PA, wrote the song after seeing his hometown's main park covered in snow. The tune is popularly regarded as a Christmas song, but the holiday is never mentioned in the lyrics. Through the years, it has been recorded by multiple artists. (A previous post contained more info on this and other holiday songs.)

How is the weather where you're located, here in the U.S. or other countries?