Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Weather Alert

Well, as if we are not tired of winter as it has been one of the snowiest and one of the coldest on record, we now have another winter weather alert across the Midwestern United States beginning this weekend. Forecasters are predicting snow and ice beginning this weekend and as we are still have temperatures in the single and teen digits during the night, it is bound to be nasty.

We have had over 51 inches of snow here on the farm and have suffered through temperatures below zero for several days in a row, but the animals have all made it through without many problems. Our ducks and goose have even survived without too much trouble, but I am sure that they are ready to fly south. I personally, am ready to fly south too. The horses have been eating to stay warm and they have thoroughly enjoyed the barn this winter. Luckily, my husband and I prepared by purchasing extra hay last year and so we have been able to feed extra round bales and we always feed grain along with the hay.

With the prediction for ice, I assume we will be making preparations to keep the small animals warm again by filling pens with extra straw and finding extra water containers so that they can be changed daily as once again the ones that are in the cages won't be able to be emptied because of the ice and being frozen to the ground. Along with that, we will also be preparing our home by stocking extra firewood inside and getting prepared in case of power outages.

While preparing for the outage, I am sure we will be having a soup and when I make it I will share the recipe here as it will be something new. So check back for a delicious and warm recipe.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Healthy Breakfast Option

With the new year upon us, one of my resolutions was to eat healthier. I have always liked oatmeal and known that it was good for me, but just never really took the time to fix it. I have also made a commitment to add more dairy products to my diet and one of those choices was yogurt. I had tried it a few times, but never liked it and so just refused to eat it.

A friend of mine had suggested that I try it as a smoothie. I did that and found that if I added fresh berries or bananas to it along with spinach and a little milk, I could eat some of it. I had these for several mornings in a row before I decided that I wanted a warmer and more filling meal for mornings that I leave home for work. I remembered that my grandmother always fixed oatmeal for us in the winter and said it would "stick to your bones". A warm and healthy option sounded like what I needed to face this cold winter that we are having.

I did not want to buy the flavored packages of instant oatmeal, but I did want to add some flavor of my own. I decided the first morning that I would add cinnamon and a little nutmeg to it and that was nice. I always use a little Half and Half as well when I eat it. I know that is not a necessarily health option, but it is what I like to add for liquid to it after it is cooked. After a couple of mornings, I also wondered about adding yogurt and some other food items to it. I decided that I would make it with strawberries and blueberries as that was what I had on hand. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla yogurt and cut the liquid it it. I only added cinnamon to it as to spice it up a little. I must say that it was not a bad choice as I found that it was quite tasty!

Since that first experimenting, I have added strawberries and bananas with strawberry- banana yogurt, cranberries and plain yogurt or vanilla yogurt, strawberries and cranberries with varied flavors of yogurt and even added many spices with it. I even added nutmeg with the cranberries. I am finding that I can add many different fruits along with spices and yogurt and make a meal that is healthy and filling. I would suggest that you try small amounts of anything new that you add and then, if you find something that you like, you can add more to it as your taste would find appealing.

In these days of so many additives being in our foods, it is nice to find a wholesome and delicious breakfast choice.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter

As I stare out the window, I wonder just why we all complain so much about the weather. Yes, I am tired of the cold. Yes, I am tired of the snow, but I can't change it and it is the work of God, so why should I complain. He knows what is best and I don't question him on the other many things in my life that are not in my control, so why the weather?

I believe that we have some beautiful weather in the other months of the year and I believe that he gives us a season for each part of our lives and so the weather is just the same. He gives us cold and snow to kill insects and germs from the air and land and we should be willing to accept it and not be upset about it. I feel that we should appreciate the beauty in each day and if that happens to be a winter wonderland, then be thankful that we have seen another snowfall.

Be thankful that you are not blind and can see the beauty of the snow on the trees and the white that represents cleansing. Be thankful that  you are not paralyzed and can't make a snow angel or go sledding. Be thankful that you can feel the cold and that you have a warm place to sleep and food to eat on a cold snowy day. So many things to be thankful for and yet, we complain instead of enjoying what we have.

Life is so hectic and so many times I hear people say, "If only I were not so busy", well it could be that the snow is just for that, a time to remind us to slow down a little. Maybe companies should consider working snow days in for adults. Maybe we should all learn to slow down and enjoy the snow and the beauty of the earth around us.

Happy Homemaker - On The Farm - Jan. 20

Good Morning Everyone! I am so happy to be joining Sandra today with another wonderful Happy Homemaker Post. If you would like to join us, I...