Good Morning Everyone! I see that all of our friends in the east and mid-west are getting hammered by snow and ice again. Here in Washington the sky is blue, and the temperatures are cooler than normal. The weather-guessers are saying that it should be in the teens at night, low 30s during the day. Now to those of you who are struggling in the truly cold temperatures, and buried under a blanket of snow, that sounds sort of wimpy, but this is our version of cold. When I was little it was different. It got truly cold, cold enough to freeze the lakes so we could ice skate every year. We NEEDED snow boots and every year I got a new pair of ice skates so we could go play on the ice after our neighbors had tested it out thoroughly. These neighbors, I think they were more excited than anyone else. It was inevitable. They’d go out too soon and fall through the ice, someone would fish them out, and then we knew. Another week at that level of cold and we could go have some fun. They were sort of like the lake guinea pigs every year. Thankfully nobody ever got hurt! Dad would drill down into the ice to make sure it was thick enough, and we’d go play. I remember him sitting me on a metal folding chair and pushing me out onto the ice in front of him. The frigid air would be blowing in my face, making my eyeballs cold. I would be laughing so hard that icy tears flowed out of my eyes, trying to cover my mouth with my hands so the cold air wouldn’t hurt my teeth . . . and he would let go of the chair. I’d go spinning out across the lake, laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, eventually sliding to a stop while Dad caught up and we’d head back the other direction towards home. My little brother was still too young for this sort of fun, so it was just me and my Dad out there playing on the ice. It was special. Funny, I haven’t thought of that in years. Thanks Dad, for those memories. Those were precious times and I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much I appreciated them. (This picture I found looks a little like the lake we used to skate on, but ours had more evergreen trees around it.)
As an addendum to yesterday’s information about being ready to be out in the cold in your car, my hubby found a really good post from “Preparedness pantry” about How To Winterize Your Car. It’s worth a read. I won’t recreate what they did so perfectly, but here’s the link, and please take some time and take note of what they say. It’s pretty important stuff.
National Weatherman’s Day – I admit that I have a like/dislike TV viewing relationship with most, if not all, weather people. Sometimes it feels like they just throw a guess out there and hope that it is correct. Granted, more often than not they hit sort of close to being accurate, but seriously, I often wonder what is the point? Even with all of the inaccuracies they do work hard, and weather is often pretty fickle, so it can’t be easy. They have all sorts of technological advances, super computers and all of that knowledge they got in school, but weather is tricky! Knowing what the weather is going to be affects our daily lives. How we dress, where we go – or even IF we go. I can save lives! It tells us when and where hurricanes or tornados may hit. This day commemorates the birth of John Jeffries, one of America’s first weathermen. He was born on February 5, 1744 and kept weather records from 1774 to 1816. Pretty much ahead of his time! If you happen to know a weatherman/woman, thank them. If not, maybe send your local gal/guy a quick email to their station. I’m sure they hear a LOT of griping when they are wrong, but maybe they don’t hear the positive when they get it right! My favorite local weather forecaster is MJ on Q13 Fox. Good job MJ!
Western Monarch Day – Today we celebrate the annual migratory return of the Western Monarch butterfly to the central coast of California, where they spend the winter during October through March. Thousands of the Monarchs come to the California coast each year, with one of the most popular spots to see them being Pismo Beach, CA. The estimated count of the butterflies all in one spot, as of January 23, 2013, was more than 23,000 monarchs! That is a lot of butterflies! The migration draws many visitors to the central coast, where they are studied and celebrated. Wouldn’t that be something amazing to see? Perhaps I should add that to my list of “want-to-sees”. I think I will!
World Nutella Day – I admit it. I’ve only had Nutella once in my life. We were on a cruise to Alaska (my first and only cruise . . . so far) and I thought, what the heck? I’ll splurge! I had it on my English Muffin for breakfast and I have to say, it was delicious! So delicious and rich that I will agree that it deserves its own day. In 2007 two Nutella lovers, Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio, started World Nutella day to celebrate the delicious hazelnut/chocolate spread, but to encourage other Nutella lovers to celebrate as well. For some reason Nutella had their lawyers issue a cease and desist order in 2013, demanding that Rosso and Fabio stop publishing anything with the Nutella name. The decision has since been reserved and Russo’s website and Facebook page have been allowed to continue. You would have thought they’d like all the free publicity! They have since thanked Rosso for being a devoted fan. Nutella has been around since the 1940s. Each 13-ounce jar there are more than 50 roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and cocoa. What each jar does NOT have is artificial colors or preservatives.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Chocolate Fondue Day – A slice of cake’s got nothing on fondue when it comes to turning a crowd into a party. Here, www.food.com has given us chocolate and a few other sweet versions. You know, the other food celebration was Nutella Day – I bet that one and this one would combine very nicely! Hmmm . . .