Sunday, February 7, 2016

battening down the hatches!

we have started our preparations for getting ready for "blizzard warning february 2016" in our area. apparently some of atlantic canada is being hit tomorrow, more on tuesday and then some on wednesday. we're not expecting the blizzard until tuesday. so we started our preps today and will have all of the hatches battened down for tuesday morning. which sucks because i had my dental consultation for tuesday which we will now have to cancel.

anyway - we have been having a sorta milder winter overall, always good. and it looks like we are in for an early spring. fingers/toes and every other appendage that can are crossed for that.

we've been eating really good. here's some homemade sweet and sour pork with rice, homemade pickled beets and our own mung bean sprouts.


something that i have been meaning to mention since we got off dairy about 2 months ago (except for butter. they will have to pull the delicious butter from my cold dead hands!) - is alternatives to dairy. like soy milk. and almond milk. like this:


our friend W sent us a bazillion of delicious almonds and when we quit dairy - we started making almond milk. almond milk is sooooo easy to make and tastes delicious if you are using W's super almonds!!! we love the stuff!

jambaloney likes his weekly steak and he works so hard - he deserves it. he eats more steak in the spring summer and fall - but when he finds good steak on sale - he buys up a bunch and then we have plenty of it in the deep-freeze waiting for the next sale. here's his steak, potatoe salad made with our own potatoes and carrots, our own sprouts and our own beets.



jambaloney was on-site to work for the day this past friday. he had a really good day and accomplished and delivered much! i wish i could tell all of you the kind of stuff he is doing but it is proprietary work. just trust me when i say that he is guaranteeing work for all of our friends for many years to come!

spent the morning canning beets and don't have any idea for dinner? grab a can of  atlantic sardines (the very best on the planet!), some sprouts, some avocado and some lime. that'll fill you up and keep you working for the rest of the afternoon.


hey! look! it's a basket of beets!


stored in the basement in a box with a towel covering them for months now. we are running out of our last jar of pickled beets so it was time to bring them up and make more (i make 4 jars at a time during fall and winter and spring months. we eat a lot of pickled beets during those seasons. plus we love beets roasted and/or steamed!).

here's jambaloney peeling a bunch of them while i make the pickling brine.


once the pickling brine is ready, we stick it out in the snow to cool down and fill our jars with beets. once the brine is cooled, pour over the beets and yummo! 4 jars of pickled beets to enjoy for the next month and a bit!


this recipe is the simplest recipe known to man but tastes so goooood! we love it! we stored one of these jars in the fridge - we still have a half bottle left from our last pickling - and the other 3 jars went down to the basement, kept in a dark and cool place to be brought up as we need. we love pickled beets and we re-use our beet juice when a jar is emptied - we then re-fill the jar with garlic and/or onions and/or turnip! and we love all of that too!

here's tonight's supper - stirfry with rice, orange and kimchi! the sauce is loaded with ginger and garlic.



now we are settling in, checking over our list of what needs to be where and things that have to be checked before getting ready for "blizzard 2016" on tuesday. the sunset after supper was beautiful:


too beautiful not to share!


the skies here are amazing! by end of day tuesday we are expecting at least a foot of snow, a day full of blizzard and 100km (60miles) winds gusting all day. we'll be ready for it. it won't be pretty and we aren't looking forward to it - but we'll be ready.

if you don't hear from us for a couple of days - week - no worries. we might be getting this storm sooner than expected, we may lose power or it may blow over us. weather here is so unpredictable!

but for the rest of the evening - we're cuddling up in our chairs, doing a marathon of mad men and dealing with the unpredictable when it happens.

we hope you all had a great weekend!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

stormpalooza 2016

we knew earlier last week that "stormpalooza 2016" was gonna blow up on most of atlantic canada this past friday. we went about our normal chores each day and got set up to enjoy stormpalooza and make sure we got everything ready for an extended power outage. we have a tried and true list that works for us in our surroundings. which is why we don't panic.

ryobi lanterns and all flashlights - check. all 12 batteries charged - check.



generator filled up, in fine working condition, extra gas handy - check. 10 million candles - check. two big bins of water in the bathtub - check. four 5-gallon jugs of berkey-filtered rainwater - check (in fact we always have the 4 jugs filled - jambaloney is pretty fastidious about that!). and as we were expecting a ton of snow - we could have used melted snow (quick fact - our first winter here, our pipes froze and for 2 weeks we had no running water...so we melted snow for bathing, for cleaning dishes and general cleaning and used filtered rainwater for drinking. no biggee. we made it just fine!).

extra blankets - check. several pairs of warm socks, sweaters, pants - check. first aid kit checked and ready - check. kerosene lanterns filled and on the ready - check. kerosene heater in the basement filled and on the ready -check. the usual. we don't lose power often but we do get snowed in for extended periods of time, so we are kind of used to this.

on thursday we woke up to almost bare ground.


looking down the road to the river:


on thursday i made a steak and kidney pie:


delicious when hot, but also delicious eaten cold as leftovers during a power outage.


we wanted to have some food on hand for the storm that didn't require much effort. i also made a giant pot of chili.


easily re-heated on our butane stove during the power outage (note: that is some of the chili out of the big pot and put in a little pot).



on friday, we filled our cooler and put whatever refrigerated food that we thought we would enjoy during the power outage in it. and because we live where we live, we just threw the cooler out in the snow. can't do better than that for refrigeration. the reason for doing so is so that during a power outage we won't open the freezer or refrigerator and that will save any food inside of either for several days. if we had an extended power outage, we would take all of the frozen food from the freezer and bury it in snow. but that has never happened. however, it is something that we have thought about and planned for.

when we woke up friday morning waiting for the storm to start, it looked like this.


all the little goldfinches came to get a good meal before the storm started.


and then it started. it was quite magical.


friday night we lost our power at about 8:30pm. no worries - we busted out the big guns - sweaters, socks - no need for the generator just yet as we had turned up the heat full-tilt-boogie during late afternoon so that the house was really warm.

the we busted out the bigger guns - cards and hangman. we are easily entertained when we have no power.


we woke up on saturday to this majesty:


we didn't get very much snow at all! birds were fed and cat paths all around the house were promptly cleared.

because it was so sunny, it melted the cat paths down to the dirt. and also kept the house warm. no need for the generator.

then jam jumped on the atv and plowed the driveway.


the sun slowly going down on saturday evening - beautiful!


now kids - here is a prepping topic that never gets raised on other prepper/survivalist blogs. and it is an important topic that no one ever seems to touch on - not rawles, not Harry Flashman, not PioneerP - in fact none of them have ever done a single post about a very important part of being prepared during a snowstorm/power outage situation!!! i felt it was time that someone finally touched on this topic!!!

you may be out of power and buried in a pile of white stuff and can't out for 3-5-9-11 or whatever days - but please kids - be fashionable.


that's me wearing my minnie mouse onsie and furry pink and black boots - jam got it for me and i finally had the perfect opportunity to use it!!! bahahahahah! it has ears and a pink bow on the hood! (quick fact: my father called me "Mini" right up until the day he died).

on saturday evening we turned on the generator and ran two small heaters for a little while and then busted out the scrabble board.


as you can see, we are mavens of word creation!


then we grabbed some of our Harrowsmith magazines - they are the canadian version of Mother Earth News and these magazines - some of which are 30 yrs old still contain information that helps us, teaches us and makes us remember things we may have forgotten!!! we re-read these magazines every winter! jam's mom and stepdad gave them to us before we even left the city. we love those magazines and we have at least 10yrs worth of them - of the earliest years when the magazine was best in my opinion.

and then at 7:30pm...BLINK - the power was back. Nova Scotia Power is the best power company on the planet with 30 minute updates during all power outages - you just call in to get your update.

which brings me to another important prepping for a power outage point: have an unpowered, push-button phone (and a back and a backup)! because we have this kind of phone (and the backups), we can call in for updates all day and all night.

anyway - we partied because we had our power back. but we didn't get our internet back until today at about noon.

today when we got up, it looked like this.


so we had our morning juice, fed and pet cats, fed the birds, cat paths were cleared again, and jambaloney cleared the driveway lickety-split. tomorrow is supposed to be 7C (about 45F) and that will get the driveway and cat paths down to bare ground again. and then we just wait for the next snowfall.

we had a great experience during this power outage in the sense of practice for another one. we don't get a lot of power outages here - which is amazing! but we never panic when we do. we always know about them in advance and get ready for it. there was no driving in to town in the middle of the week in order to stock up. there was no panic at all. the only panic was when i though jambaloney was going to beat me at scrabble - bahahahahah!

after jam finished his shoveling/plowing, and i finished making some food for us - we sat down and had a nice dinner of "kymberz version of tabouleh salad adding extra stuff and leaving other stuff out" salad and some "just-fresh-boiled-and-then-put-in-the-snow-boiled-eggs".


i plan on doing a post about the importance of sprouts in your diet and what better way to introduce that upcoming post than this:


Frankie-Blue-Eyes sleeping on the sprouter. i have received many compliments on how fresh our sprouts look and i guess now - you all know my secret! bahahahahah!

we had a great weekend, power or no power, and we hope that you enjoyed yours too!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

couple of chilly days and a couple of melty days (we like the melty days best!)

it's been a couple of bright, blue...but very chilly days!


a great day to enjoy some proper miso soup (made with soya bean paste and nori) and some kimchi.


kids - i can't help it - we've been eating sushi a couple of times a week - for dinner, and then a few days later for supper...and then there's always snakck!


we made avocado, carrot and cucumber rolls - tuna rolls that we got from the 'Tuna Guy", tamago (egg made with sugar and soya and rice wine vinegar) and then of course my plain shrimps! i looove me some shrimp! (think bubba gump. ya - that's me!)

we had a really pretty sunset the other night but the colours didn't come out right. one of these days i am going to learn how to use this camera that i have had for the last 5 years, never read the manual, and just point and click. but there were sooo many colours in the sky. just not a good pic.


jambaloney was on-site working all day monday. they are really vamping up the plant to get ready for this year's fishing season - it's very exciting! he's also been working at home on his contract as well as building our new shed. it's built but he just hasn't had the time to do a post about it - he promises he will have a post up about it soon. it's perfectly built, just a little ugly - by oh my! what a godsend it has been!

here's some yummy all veg curry that we had for supper the other night - deelish!


back to the shed - here is a pic of it in the early stages:



we have been spending the last 2 weeks sorting/decluttering and emptying the attic of stuff that is taking up too much room in this stuffed little house. our prob is that we intend to you use some of this stuff when we build our addition - so we don't want to get rid of it. but having the shed is allowing us to store some of this stuff until we can use it. have a peek:



it's a real beauty isn't it? this is the backside of the shed. jambaloney built it to be mobile so that when we finally figure out where it will live for good - he can break it down easily and then re-build it easy.

for the past day and a half it has been mild temps, fog and rain - all good for melting snow. look how much has already melted!



but we're supposed to get a flash-freeze tonight so whatever snow is on the ground at midnight will turn to ice. but then in the next few days we'll be hovering around average temps which make for lots of snow, then it melts, then more snow, etc., etc.

here's one of our favourite suppers - steak for jambaloney and lambchops for me.


here's a great netflix snack - it's a bit messy but well worth it! toasted baguette with some really strong salsa on top - yum!


check out the inside of the shed - pretty schnazzy eh?



 but man has it made our lives easier for being able to put items in bins, label them and get all of the furniture out of the attic so that the attic is strictly for storing books, clothes and extra linen. it's been a lot of work but it has so been worth it.

up next - we'll be culling our computer room as it is just a catch-all room for everything we can't find a place for. when we get that room culled and re-arranged - oh life will be so easy!!!! bahahaahah!

and next year we build our sunroom off of the kitchen - and all of the sudden - i'll be able to have a normal-sized kitchen - i'm probably not gonna know what to do with it?!!?!!? i love those kind of problems!

dinner today was leftover steak for jambaloney (a lamb chop for me), some delicious potatoe salad and some turnip pickled in left-over beet juice from a jar of pickled beets.


i've been busy working with my friends s and v as we are planning the valentine's day dance. we hope there will be a great turn-out (weather-permitting) and we are all looking forward to getting together. hope you all have had a productive week and are looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Happy 15th Anniversary!

some time in the first week of january one of us mentioned to the other that our 15th anniversary was coming on january 19th. as we regularly forget our anniversary, we laughed and said we'll probably remember it sometime around the 29th or 30th.

but wouldn't you know it - our brother g and sister c remembered and sent us this beautiful card!


It says "Anniversary Blessings to Two Special Lovebirds". on the inside it says "When God chose you for each other, He knew your love would be Sweeter still with each new day and anniversary. Happy Celebrating". then c wrote: "Love Always, your friends and bro and sis, c and g, xxoo"

sweet huh? what was sweeter still is that we HAD forgotten our anniversary, but when jambaloney went to get the mail - there was the card! thank you c and g!!!!

it was freezing outside so there was no hottubbing!



we started our celebrating by sharing this fresh-squeezed orange juice with pomegranate seeds:



and with this chia fresca with lime and pomegranate seeds:



i told you kids - when we party, we party hard.

we reminisced about various milestones in our lives together - the biggest being moving to the Manor.

we reminisced about our first time together at jambaloney's mom's fishing camp. that was our first summer together. we had a blast at the fishing camp.



most mornings we woke up together but on 2 mornings i woke up first. a hat tip now to jewlz who put up a "word cloud" in her most recent post here that you can get from www.wordle.net.

anyway, it got me to thinking about how i always do doodles and things like that. so on the two mornings i got up first, i went and got a piece of birch bark and wrote little things to give to jambaloney after we left the camp. here is the first one:



it says "memories gathered and saved forever. thank you."

the other one is more like a word cloud and is full of silly words and phrases that are inside jokes that only mean anything to us.



some examples are "swooshes and plunking" which refers to jambaloney casting - there is a swoosh and then a plunk. then there's "losing the hatchet" - pretty self-explanatory. another is "invisible newts" as he kept telling me there were tons of newts but not a one was to be found for 2 whole weeks! there's "the storm" - it was the most awesome thunder and lightning and warm rain storm ever. we sat on the dock and watched the whole thing move by. then there's the "candle eating raccoon" - we were napping on the couch right next to the window and right outside of the window was a raccoon eating our candle! we laughed and laughed and laughed! and he just kept right on eating!

the best though is "manhood, robin hood and little red riding hood". our first day he took me out fishing and after several hours of catching nothing, i said let's go back. he said "no way - i bet my manhood that i will get a fish in the next 3 casts" and got nothing! then he said "i bet my manhood AND robin hood that i will get a fish in the next 3 casts"! nothing again! so i said "maybe you should bet your little red riding hood" and he got a fish - bahahahahahaah!

so thanks to our brother and sister we managed to celebrate our 15th anniversary on our 15th anniversary! we love you c and g!

and because everyone loves pics of cats...here is Frankie Blue Eyes on a box on the fridge.


we hope you all have a great rest of the week!