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Not the song that’s stirring so much this year. I’m talking about the cold weather. I know most of the country, are watching the weather maps and hating Florida. While we are not buried under several feet of snow, it’s too cold for us. The earnest day here gets a high of 62 this week.
Not to disappoint or irritate anyone, I do not live where we have subzero temps with bitting wind chill. We get our fair share of cooler weather. Last week our high was only in the 40’s. Had to wear socks and shoes other than flip flops. What gets us is the humidity down here. In summer the moisture in the air guarantees afternoon showers with only 20% precipitation. It weighs heavily on everything during our hot and humid months. Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Texas… you all get the same conditions.
What makes those frigid lows so bad here? We have no supplies nor experience in these conditions. This year we may get some snow and ice. Natives like me who were born here have very seldom even see it (unless on holiday somewhere north) or have moved here from cold climates. My hubby hails from Wisconsin, and we have other family there and in Missouri. He refuses to drive even with all his experience doing so.
It’s not the sleet, snow, ice, or even blizzard conditions that keep us off the roads unless absolutely necessary. No my friends he will not drive with my fellow southerners who cannot drive in it. “I freely admit this”. We have no chains, snow tires, and the most salt we see is on the rim of a Margarita glass.
This winter has been an interesting season so I thought with snow and ice reaching as far south as Tampa it would be a good time to remind ourselves of cold weather preperations since it’s not over yet.
For most of us it’s not very different from hurricane prep. Batteries, water, food, prescriptions, and extra warm blankets are just a few. Those who didn’t know before Hurricane Michael should refresh your memories, or learn for the first time.
- Take measures to protect people, property, plants, and pets.
- Store some extra gallons of water in case of frozen or burst pipes.
- Have cold weather attire. 60% of body heat is lost from the top of your head. Warm knitted hats are helpful, and those that block wind can be added if needed outside.
- I love my Isotoner gloves! The soft inner layer keeps hands toasty warm while the leather outer layer blocks both the wind and wet, your hands may come into contact with.
- If your hat doesn’t cover them you may want to consider ear muffs. Since I have grown my hair long again I generally leave it down to help.
- Invest in a warm outside coat. Wool pea coats ( I got mine at JCPENNEY) still one of the best and as most are lined they are very effective. I prefer mine in a longer trench length for days I may wear a long skirt.
- Wrap outside or exposed pipes in fabric or foam. If you have something like a Dollar Store pool noodle, cut for length and secure with zip tie. Protection that will hold up all year long.
- Move potted plants inside or cover with plastic sheeting, to create green house warmth around the plants.
- Bring animals indoors. If it’s too cold for you it’s too cold for them.
- Make sure if you cannot bring animals indoors that they have heated shelter from the weather, and plenty of food and water.
- Great story with happy ending for caring for community cats.
As for me well I just got a notice that the temps are going back into freezing this weekend. I’m also goning to order some more Florida Sunshine, to go with the hearty recipes inspired by the cold. We are out of our stash we got for Christmas. With colds and flu’s on the rise the citrus will help our systems ward them off. Stay warm my friends. How do you stay warm this winter? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or drop us an email at. email@example.com
Okay thought this would be a good time to review the basics as we once again face possible storms. Most items gathered here are for almost all natural disasters Mother Nature throws our way. All household members should know what to do in case of any kind of emergency, Get a plan for Hurricanes, Tornado, Fire, Flooding, some even recommend for home invasion and terror attacks. We also have a nuclear power facility and chemical plant near by so keeping current on local news is a must.
For Hurricanes we use both our local news tv and radio, as well as alerts from our counties Emergency Management. The Alerts for sevalerts like severe storms, flash flooding, Amber, and security, Active shooters, Police chase or fatal crashes on roadways. They come direct to our phones so at home or on the gowe get the information to keep our family safe.
Click the link to see both an explanation of why and when we worry as well as a great list of items to include in your kit. We rotate the food items out to the pantry throughout the year and always have stock of what we might need. We are adding new things like solar chargers for cell phones and tablets, new flood blocking water dams, new medical devices and recently added the new super bright led flash lights that are super tough and the batteries last much longer than the old incandesenct style.
Keeping this ready the whole year through for us means if there is any major storm headed our way our only preperations include filling our water tanks, gasoline in vehicles and for generator, and get medication refills if needed. Get cash and a quick easy trip to buy any last minute needs, wash any dirty laundry, and make sure the house is clean so Mother Nature can bring it on!
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We’ve all seen the meal prep plans where you prep a bunch of meals, throw it in a freezer bag, put it in the Crockpot and its an easy dinner. Well I’ve looked at quite a few, saved them on my Pintrest, but have been too lazy to do them. Well for those readers who don’t know I had a brain aneurysm about 5 years ago. Complications have landed me back in the hospital several times. So with my physical limitations we, that is my husband and I moved into my mom’s house. After my dad passed, my brothers took turns living there. They have both moved on and are starting families of their own. So we decided that with moms physical limitations and mine it would make a good compromise and save us both some money.
Up to now she does the majority of the cooking since I can not. However, with cataract surgery looming in the immediate future, we have to figure out an easy way to cook meals. She will not be able to bend over or lift more than 10 pounds.
My husband hates being in the kitchen, he’ll help me cook but, he must have step by step instructions and you can’t assume anything. He cannot boil water without the microwave. My sister-in-law now lives across the street and has offered to help out but, they have two small children at home and my brother works out-of-town for weeks at a time.
So an alternative is to try freezer to crockpot meal prep. It’s that or takeout and frankly its too expensive and very unhealthy. So here’s what happened…
After looking at various pins on the subject we decided to do a combination of our favorites and try very few we’ve never had. This required some adoptions of our normal favorite recipes. At the end of 2 days we have about 30 dinners in the freezer, ready to go. So here are the tried and true recipes we used.
2 Meat loaves Chili Chicken Caprese
Beef Stew 2 Moms Homemade Pizza 2 Spaghetti
Pepper Steak Beef tips with Mushrooms Pot Roast with vegetables
Mongolian Beef Broccoli Greek Turkey Burgers Pork Loin Roast
2 Lasagna Beef Stroganoff
Most are ready for a full day in the Crockpot. Some like the Ranch or Korean pork chops, Shrimp Scampi, Bratwurst, Liver and onions, Creamy Tuscan Salmon do not translate well to the freezer and are very easy prep and time to make day you want to enjoy. If you only want freezer to table just skip those. (I included them because they are favorites.) We took our time and since this was first time through. We spent time deciding what to make, how much and grocery list and shopping. With the hard work done, all you have to do is enjoy.
If you have a recipe we should add to our list we are open to new ideas to answer the age old question of “What’s for Dinner”. I hope this makes cooking easier and you get to enjoy the extra time not spent in the kitchen. By the way Mom’s surgery went well with no complications. We had so much fun doing it and seeing the valuable time it saves it will be happening more often in our home. So when you are tired after a busy day this is quick, healthier for your family and economical. A home cooked meal beats a take out burger and fries etc… anytime.
One last note…. My husband and I are both Diabetic so the recipes have been talored for special dietary meals and we must be doing something right since neither of us require drastic medical for the condition. Probably to many burgers and fries that put us here, but that’s my perspective.
More recipe links to come
We have probably heard the song “Goin to the Chapel” and “Ding, Dong , The Wedding Bells Are Gonna Chime”. It’s wedding season in Florida. The mild spring temperatures, especially in Florida, gives us the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor venues before the heat and tourists descend on our beautiful beaches. I hear they are very popular spots for weddings.
As a native I considered several parks and indoor/outdoor locations. A beautiful oak shaded round gazebo surrounded by historic buildings. Across the street a 650 year old church neatly kept behind a white picket fence. Whatever your dream location, I know how quickly the sunshine turns liquid here, so mine had both indoor and out.
As we celebrate 14years this Tuesday, so even though it’s not always rosy, we’ve made it this far. We must be doing something right if we’re still happily together and happy 14years later. I would say our stubbornness, patience, and positive vision has served us both well over the years.
As I look back almost all our squabbles, they have stemmed from miscommunication. He speaks apples, I speak oranges our stubbornness keeps us going until we figure out where the issue is. Our patience with each other runs from infinite, to really short, yet here we are. 20 years ago I would have said some very different qualities make for a good, lasting, happy marriage.
The last five years humor, patience, fortitude, and hopefully Grace have seen us through.
Do you cook up something special, or let him treat you to a favorite? I save new recipes for occasions other than this. I’ve done this before so no anxiety during cooking. I try to surprise him. I’ve tried several themes over the years for these special evenings. Do your hair, makeup, fragrance, and decorate and or dress according to your theme. We’ve traveled for candlelit dinners in France, picnics on the beach, or English countryside. My goal is to make it memrable. A rustic country picnic with the family, might be right, or a sultry night with Spanish flair. Lower the lights, move furniture, get creative, choose a soft music to reflect your locale and theme. Without leaving our home.
Did our marriage happen like a romance novel not exactly. 14years strong, is a testament to our faith, love, and humor. Even more important the ability to adapt, meet life as it comes and never let those forces tear us apart. To the man I love twice as much today as when we first fell in love, Happy Anniversary. I love you, today, tomorrow and always.
Dust off your Easter bonnet, and get ready to put a spring in your step! For those of us in Florida spring temperatures came early again this year, so we get to put on our sunny dispositions now. All the flowers will soon bloom, and so will my allergy season. Cue my box of tissue that go every where with me. My favorite spring fun is watching the children as they help color the eggs, and search for hidden eggs to go in thier baskets. I always hoped to have a little girl just to dress for Easter. Sadly thst will not happen for us. So we live vicariously through our extended family and friends. While the advent of social media makes access to family photo’s much easier, here are several tips to help keep everyone safe.
Sadly, this fun-filled occasions must be tempered to keep our loves safe. I love Easter family photo’s!
- If you use a cell phone to take photos please make sure GPS/location function is turned off in the settings menu.
- Make your profiles private. I love social media, but after my ex-husband started spying on me, mine went to ultra private. The only people who can see anything have to be a friend first and approved by me.
- Tag your private photos to let people allowed know they are online. Control who can see these albums by invite only.
- If sharing even the aforementioned ways do not include child’s name, school, age, or other sensative info. A family member or friend knows any private info about your child. Apparently the bad guys can use this info at a school or other places to help them abduct children easier.
- Do not list the church you attend with your children. I know, I always want to be inclusive and have more members at my church too, alas not over social media posts, with pictures of your children. Cyber safety is both a new and scary reality in our world. Parents and extended family, and friends need to know this info to safeguard tour most vulnerable, just like locking our doors and windows, setting the alarm, or having a secret password that must be given if someone else tries to pick them up.
- Have fun! If you’ve taken these steps before like for school selfies, you’re all set. If not they only take five minutes to do. Relax enjoy the laughter, triumphs, and everything eggs. With the important tasks finished you can focus on coloring eggs, what to put in an Easter basket, and the menu for Easter brunch with familyfamily, the perfect egg hunt before everyone retiring for the evening. So the adults can relax and the children, go to bed dreaming of chocolate bunnies, and multi-colored peeps. Check out Spring cleaning tips, recipes, and easy decoration in our next posts!