Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Days.

Went for a run yesterday during the beginnings of the Great Blizzard of 2010.  3.5 miles in the snow.  My thighs froze about halfway through, but I pressed on.

At the end, I felt amazing.  Runner's high = for real.

I took a warm-down lap on the sidewalk in front of my house and then laid on my back in the front yard in the middle of the snow.  I just stayed there, my body heat keeping me warm, and stared up at the sky and let the snowflakes fall all over my eyes and face and into my mouth.  It was lovely.

I made a snow angel before stretching and heading inside to write some poetry.  Michael was picking up Jonah from school and he had Maeryn with him so I was a free woman for a couple of hours.  When I started to get cold from my saturated clothes I headed upstairs and took a long, hot, shower until the rest of the family paraded in and we headed out to eat.  We had a few extra dollars this pay period.  Michael finally got a little bit of a raise.  We're trying to be wise, but celebratory too.

The snow has been pouring from the sky since 10 AM yesterday.  I love it.  It reminds me of home: the mountains of Western Pennsylvania.  Winds are at 30 mph.  I'm so thankful for my warm house and my abundance of tea and mugs and hot water and food.  I made homemade chili and biscuits last night.  They were a HUGE hit.  SO easy to make.  Today was homemade mac n cheese with baked beans.  My family loved last night's dinner and told me so.  I've had warm fuzzies from their compliments ever since.

Michael and Jonah are currently in the basement building a play house that Jonah designed.  Michael took him to Lowe's on their last "date" (every Wednesday at our house is either date night or whole family night - we take turns with each of the kids) night and Jonah bought the wood for the project with his own piggy bank money.  He's SO excited.  He and Michael drew up real plans and everything - complete with measurements.  It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

For our date, Maeryn and I took a bubble bath together, painted our toenails, and put barrettes in Maeryn's hair before bedtime.  I haven't really ever been very girlie, but it was a really fun evening together.

I never knew I could love as deeply as I love my children.

I admit that I'm ecstatic to be snowed-in.  I love being alone together with my family.  I am equally excited about the Superbowl tomorrow evening.  I've got a party planned for just the four of us - complete with chili/cheese nachos.

In case you're interested, here is my recipe for vegetarian chili and simple biscuits:

Bell Family Veggie Chili (serves 6 - 8):


1 pckg soy crumbles
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 can dark red kidney beans in juice
1 yellow onion
3 cups Prego Fresh Mushroom Sauce
2 cans water (use the cans from the tomatoes and kidney beans)
several shakes black pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic (all to taste)

1.  Sautee onion until fully cooked
2.  Combine onion and all other ingredients in crockpot or large pot on stove
3.  Cook in crock pot on high for 2 hours or low for 6 hours or simmer on stove for 1 hour.
4.  Serve; shredded cheddar topping optional

Simple 1933 Biscuits (dairy free):


2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
4 tablespoons butter or shortening (I use Crisco)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk (I use Rice Milk)

1.  Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift again.
2.  Cut in shortening or butter - use hands to knead together with flour
3.  Add milk gradually, stirring until soft dough is formed.
4.  Turn out on slightly floured board and lightly knead for thirty seconds (I normally have to add some flour to make an appropriate dough texture as I knead at this point) to shape
5.  Roll 1/2 inch thick and cut 2 inch squares.
6.  Form squares into desired shape
7.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet leaving 1.5 inches between biscuits
8.  Bake at 400 degrees (F) for 12 - 15 minutes

Michael during the blizzard, dashing back from the car after grabbing a box of screws for the new playhouse.

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