Saturday, March 22, 2014

North Woods Plow "Truck"

I remember it well. The thrill that surged through me every time I heard the plow hit hard ground at the end of the driveway. Grinding and scraping, disturbing the neat layer of crushed rock as it pushed the snow.
Standing by the window with my little brother, we would watch and wait to see how tall those snow banks would grow. All the while, categorizing and placing them in neat columns for fort building, sliding, and jumping.
 As a kid, the scraping of that plow meant the possibility of so many things. The snooze button…time on the snowmobile…comfort food….naps…lounging….reading….and later, the gathering of friends. In my family, more times than not, snow storms mean parties with lots of good food, card games, and plenty of NOISE. When my husband married into the family he struggled with the whole idea. With people off the roads, power lines down, and visibility at it’s worst…this is the time that my family gets the urge to get out and socialize. Call us crazy…I’m not really sure why that is? It just is. :)
Up here in the North Woods, giant loaders come and clear our yard and  graders clear the road. It doesn’t get much more exciting for little boys. Plow, carry, lift, dump, and repeat. I am thankful for the opportunity for them to observe…it serves as a great babysitter while it lasts!

Ashland Adventures

We decided to venture out the other day. It's been about three weeks since the boys and I have left the house. Ashland has become a place where we can go for a change in scenery. A place where we can see other human faces and get some fresh social interaction. 

It isn't very often that I get to be a passenger on the Realty road and I took full advantage. My camera was out and ready in case any creatures decided to show themselves, but I'd say that they're still pretty well hunkered down. We saw a couple of deer when we crossed the Aroostook river in Ashland.
Now I know that the Ashland One Stop doesn't look like much....but I am in love with their pizza. I don't know, maybe it's the fact that it's the closest place I can go for someone else to make my family and myself dinner...but I don't think that's it. I would openly call myself somewhat of a food snob...I can be quite particular. The crust is nice and crunchy and topped with the perfect proportions of cheese and sauce. It's one of the reasons that I look forward to our trips to Ashland!
A package was waiting at the post office for the boys sent from Florida, filled with shark gummies, stuffed gators, plastic gators and other little trinkets. We stopped at IF&W headquarters to visit with our Warden friends. It's always an exciting stop for the boys...they know they will get treats and attention from someone other than mom and dad. Jackson loves the badges and pins and lollipops and gadgets...and Andrew always runs strait for the lynx display.

 The most exciting part of the trip other than the pizza? There are a few bare spots of road where the dirt is not covered with any white stuff. I never though dirt could look so lovely!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cusk Chowdah

After around 15 fresh inches, the snow started tapering off yesterday afternoon. The sun made a strong attempt to peak out from behind the clouds, but didn't succeed until right around sunset, leaving the edge of the horizon painted in pinks and purples. We took full advantage of what might be our last big storm by cooking, eating, and lounging around.


Chowdah....the classic Maine comfort food. Potatoes, onions, butter, heavy cream, and salt and pepper, and did I say, BUTTER? When I see that much butter floating in top of a dish...I can't help but smile. It's a beautiful thing!

1978858_10101542392729459_1466844046_nThe cusk was caught at neighboring Ross Lake. It was our first time trying the white fish and we were pleasantly surprised at how much it reminded us of haddock.


Similar in texture and with the same mild taste, exactly what I'm used to in chowder. Jackson was particularly excited when he got a sneak peak inside at the fish's stomach contents.


It will be interesting to see what the rest of the month brings us, but until the snow starts to melt, we will lay low and enjoy the stillness of winter and all the comfort food we can get our hands on.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Winter Blues: More snow coming?....this squirrel has had enough!

photo 4

So, last night I made myself a piƱa colada with fresh pineapple juice, coconut milk, and vanilla vodka....I HATE my drinks not frozen and I didn't have enough ice so I put the blender outside. I left it there thinking I could just have it tonight after it was good and icy. Just walked over by the door and well....it's clear that someone has a problem. This naughty creature took the top piece off the blender. It's 5 o'clock somewhere I guess.....

No squirrels were harmed here.....hope he made you smile!
Happy Monday! :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Daffodil: One of spring's friendliest faces

Today I'm so thankful for this friendly daffodil who came out to say hello yesterday. With the thermometer reading -15 early this morning, I welcome any sign of spring even if it is inside the house. As Mainers, we know that March 1st means one thing...that the days to follow are going to be a jumble of mixed signals.
I am interested to see how bad the spring thaw will be up here in the North Woods. From what we have heard....it might not be pleasant. We've been told that the Allagash river will come up in certain places and wash out the road.

At 17 degrees I guess it's not something I have to worry about today. Instead, I will sit here in this sunny kitchen with my friendly daffodil and enjoy a cup of coffee (while two little boys run around screaming and throwing things like wild animals). :)

Happy Saturday!