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See Pictures of Tornado Shelter Installation

Disaster . . . Averted

Before I get started, had to post this sunset – never ceases to amaze me  how beautiful the sunsets are out here in the country.

 

sunset_2017feb

 

 

Now . . . . I have found that in life the things – bad things, that is – that you try to anticipate and  plan for, aren’t the things that happen.  It’s the unplanned  events that sneak up on you and catch you unaware.  Such was the case this last week.

 

burnedhatDavid built me a lovely long closet in the bedroom, with lots of shelves for all my stuff. So, decided this week I’d get a ladder and check on the upper shelf to see what I has stored there.  Amazing how one can forget what’s been squirreled away.  Anyway, I was digging around and had carted some of the mystery boxes to the kitchen to open.  Fortunately, I had to go back to the closet for some reason.  When I opened the door, the acrid smell of smoke hit me square in the face.  Something was definitely BURNING!!!  PANIC !!!

I immediately called for David as I couldn’t see anywhere there might be a fire – but my nose wasn’t wrong – something was burning. My first thought was the electrical wiring since that was the only thing in there that could possibly cause a fire.

And, I wasn’t too far off. Seems that while rummaging around on the upper shelf I had accidentally knocked a hat onto the top of the hanging light fixture and  the edge of the hat had started to burn from contact with the hot light bulb.  Thank goodness the hat was slow to flame.  Can’t imagine what could have happened if the hat had been straw or some other material that was quick to flame.  Just thankful there was no serious damage – although did have to leave the vent fan on and open the windows to get the smoke smell out.

 

Quick Tips

bundtcake1)  When I make baklava, I only make half a recipe but there is always half of the syrup recipe left since I always make full recipe of syrup. (Found by cutting it in half the consistency isn’t right.)   So, rather than toss it, I use the leftover in hot tea. The honey, lemon flavor is perfect and I don’t waste anything.

spaghettivstoothpick

2)  When making loaf or Bundt cakes they are too thick to test with a toothpick so I use a piece of uncooked spaghetti.  It is thick enough to pierce the cake, but not so thick as to leave an open ‘hole’.  Have found that thin or regular spaghetti works best – angel hair spaghetti is a little too thin.

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3)  Now for a recipe I saw online – how to make your own homemade Febreeze®. [1]

  • Pour 1/8 cup of your favorite fabric softener into your spray bottle (bottle size is approx. 27 oz.).
  • Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the bottle.
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with water.
  • Replace the cap and shake the bottle well.
  • Spray – might need a shake before using again if it has been left unused for a while; don’t know if baking soda will settle.

 

 

[1] http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Febreeze/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Good Not to Share . . .

 

costco

Queso Dip

With Super Bowl upcoming this weekend, this queso dip is perfect to serve along with a big bowl of chips. Granted it starts out with the same basic ingredients as the Velvetta® & Rotel® original dip – but I’ve added a few of other ingredients to give it what we think is more of a restaurant taste and texture, ie., it is much thinner than the original dip.

 

queso

 

Queso Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Velvetta-type cheese, cubed
  • 5 TBSP Rotel tomatoes & peppers
  • 1 TBSP Rotel juice only
  • 1-1/2 TBSP chopped green chilies (mild or hot)
  • 1/2 tsp corn oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt to taste (optional)

 

Directions

  1. In medium-size microwave safe bowl, melt cubed cheese and Rotel tomatoes & peppers, Rotel juice and green chilies – approx. 2 minutes; then stir. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds until cheese is melted and smooth
  2. Add corn oil, onion powder, and water to melted cheese mixture
  3. Microwave for approximately 1 minute, stir making sure cheese is smooth
  4. Optional: add a little salt to taste

Serve with chips or fresh veggies.

 

This dip keeps well in the refrigerator and reheats nicely – just add about 1-2 teaspoons of water and microwave until warm.

 

Leftovers? Use any leftover dip as follows:

  • Taco meat on a tostado covered with queso dip
  • Drizzled on top of hot tamales and chili
  • Topping for beef enchiladas
  • Mix with leftover mashed potatoes for spicy new flavor
  • Add to fajitas and onions wrapped in tortilla; heat in microwave

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queso??

 

For those that might be wondering . . .  ‘where’s that queso recipe’  . . .   it’s going to be next week due to the fact that the last 10 days have not been friendly.  Two night trips to the ER and what might be considered emergency surgery for David to remove his gallbladder.  We’re doing ok now – and things are settling down so hoping to get back to some semblance or normalcy next week.  J

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But For The Grace of God . . .

Our New Year started off with a ‘bang’ or more accurately a rumble.   We were roused from sleep by a phone call Monday morning (last week) round 5:30am – County Emergency Alert – that we were in the path of a strong line of thunderstorms that would be passing through our area.  These storms would include high wind, hail and rain.

 

buffalopressheadline

 

If you’re like me, getting a phone call at an odd hour  in the early morning or in the middle of the night means there’s no going back to sleep.  So I got up and let Bear out for a potty break in case the storm lasted past his ‘break’ time.  It wasn’t bad outside when we went out.  Not terribly cold, little or no wind and certainly no rain . . . yet.

buffalopresspicture

Came back in and sat down in the den, in the dark . . . and waited.   Didn’t have to wait long before lightening flashes lit up the windows.  Like someone outside flipping a light switch on / off really fast.  That wasn’t too bad and didn’t hear a lot of rain but did hear what sounded suspiciously like a tornado passing over.   If you’ve ever heard one, you’ll never forget that sound.  I kept thinking, maybe it’s just a lot of large hail hitting on the metal roof – but the rumbling sound kept on rumbling.

 

By the time I heard all that noise, it was too late to think of heading to the shelter.   So I just sat there . . . hoping, praying – that  if it was a tornado –   it didn’t do any damage.   Or better yet, maybe it was just hail.

 

The rumbling didn’t last that long – and after about half an hour everything else was over as well. Still too dark to see outside so I just sat there with Bear  waiting for morning light.

 

When I could see outside, thankfully, no damage had been done. But was I surprised to see in our local paper later that week that a series of tornadoes had in deed raked  across our area.  Guess it wasn’t hail after all.

 

Update: Went to the store in Buffalo today (wrote post yesterday)  and passed through some of the affected areas – and boy were we lucky that tornado passed over us.  One really cute little  house had the entire front porch torn off with the roof peeled back, a local cafe looked like a bomb had gone off inside – all the glass windows were broken with the curtains flapping through.  Café also had roof damage and damage to out buildings.  Lots and lots of trees along the road were snapped off with boo-coodles of branches laying  everywhere.  One pile of debris that some people  had been piled up must have been 10 foot tall.  No telling how much more damage we couldn’t see to homes, sheds, etc. along the storms path.  May try to go back and get a few pictures – if time permits. 

1/12 – Here are a few pictures hurriedly put together

 

Tornado

 

New Start

To me the New Year seems like a good time to take inventory of everything and maybe make some changes . . . for the better I always hope. To that end saw an article  online from Cure Joy [1] that pretty well summed everything up.   I’m going to paraphrase their thoughts, and give the link at the end for those that would italian_flowers_onroadlike to see the original wording.

 

  • Our present situation is not the final destination. The best is yet to come.
  • Sometimes the bad things that happen are the stepping stone to the best things .
  • If you don’t like where you are; move, you are not a tree (My favorite one)
  • You can’t start the next chapter if you keep reading the last one over and over.
  • If the door doesn’t open, it’s not your door and you’re not meant to go through.
  • Sometimes you just need to stop – and as they say ‘smell the roses’
  • Sometimes you need to talk to a 3-year old to understand the simplicity of life.
  • Listen and Silent are spelled with the same letters (My second favorite)
  • Don’t over-think, just follow your heart
  • You don’t have to have all the answers to move forward
  • Never stop believing – miracles happen every day.

For those who would like to read the original, please visit this link. 

 

The picture below  is of the moon – now that in itself is not that big of a deal. But have to say I was amazed to see the moon in the sky around noon-time when noon_moon

 

Bear and I went walking.   And, just so you’ll know – it looked much more impressive in person than in this picture.

 

 

We’re looking for warmer weather this week – back to the 70’s YEAH !!!! And be sure to check back next week – I’ll post my recipe for restaurant-style queso along with a couple of kitchen tips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[1]  http://www.curejoy.com/content/11-inspiring-quotes-will-give-needed-push-life/