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I grew up in New England.  Connecticut, specifically.  You know, the land of lots of snow.  But I never heard of snow cream until I moved to NC for college.  I was intrigued.  Many of my NC native friends said they looked forward to snow storms so they could make this mysterious concoction.  It was always such a treat because NC doesn’t really get all that much snow (unless you’re in the mountains, obviously).  And when they do get snow, it’s rare that they get enough to cover the grass.

The gist I got from CR, was that you put some fresh, clean snow in a bowl and mixed it with some stuff and it turned out to be an ice cream-like treat.

I never actually tried it though.  Until today.

We got a pretty big storm (for here, at least) today.  Almost 8″ at our house and the freezing rain is now moving in that will inevitably turn all the roads to a sheet of ice.  I sat on the couch and attempted to work from home, easily distracted by watching the puppies play outside, making chicken soup, following the hype on the news, etc.

I went out to play with the puppies for a little bit and the snow was so pretty and fluffy.  And then it dawned on me – I should try making snow cream!

I googled the winter weather treat and found a few different recipes, but they were all pretty similar.  I grabbed a bowl, a cup of sugar, a cup of milk, my spoonula from Crate & Barrel, and some vanilla extract.

To the yard Iwent, where there was some untouched, clean snow (stay away from the yellow stuff!) and I put about 10 handfuls into my bowl (the recipe said 8 cups, but other recipes said to just put snow in a bowl, so I guestimated).  I poured in the sugar, then the vanilla (the recipe said 2 tablespoons, but I didn’t have that much – I don’t know how much I put in though – maybe 1 tablespoon?) and stirred it a couple times.  Then I added in the milk and continued to stir until it was all combined.

You have to do it quickly because the snow melts quickly.  And a few places said to just bring the bowl and ingredients outside with you, which I did.

I thought that it would be liquidy, but it really wasn’t.  The more you mixed though, it did get thinner.  I popped it in the freezer to refreeze, but before I did so, I tried a spoonful.  And OH. MY. GOD.  It was SOOOO good!  Sweet and creamy.  I can’t really describe it other than amazing!

I can’t believe that I went almost 28 years without this!  After it was in the freezer for awhile, I tried it again.  It just gets better and better.  One article said you could add ingredients (choco chips, cookie dough, oreos, etc.) to mix in, or even hot chocolate mix to make chocolate snow cream.  I did the latter and that was freakin amazing, too!

I wish I had more vanilla so I could make more because who knows how long it will be before we get another snowfall like this.

My amazing winter treat:

Ok, only one part left of my never ending work project.  It’s not due until next Friday, but I think I’m going to have it done before then!  Which will be a good thing since I’ve missed my past deadlines by 1-2 days.  Even though it didn’t hold the next step of the process up, I would hate for someone to notice.  Anyway, that’s why, as usual, I haven’t posted much this week.

Plus I’ve been lazy.

So here are some pictures from last weekend.  I have some videos too, but they’re taking too long to upload into YouTube. 

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Puppies checking out the beach and that loud ocean noise from our balcony

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Not a sole out there

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Shep running toward the water

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Apparently he changed his mind

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“Alright, Dad, I’ll try it, but I’m not making any promises.”

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“You know what?  I do not like this at all!”

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“Noo! That water is cold on my little toes!”

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Dixie didn’t seem to mind

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Me and Dixie-Dog

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Me and Shep (the “I’m a water dog, but I hate to get my feet wet” dog)

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Me and my two puppy dogs

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L’s picture came out way better and I was jealous

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I like this one because if you look carefully you can see Shep’s ear blowing in the wind.

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The last picture reminds me of this one – taken at Easter last year in CT – almost exactly one year ago!

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Me and L at the piano bar

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Fiddle player on top of one of the pianos during “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”

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Dixie sad that we were going home

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Umm, I think you should be looking at the road, L.

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Monday morning after our snow fall

Dear Mother Nature, Please make up your mind.

I’m having trouble dealing with this weather we’ve been having lately.  In November, we were setting record lows.  The icy air cut through your pants as the wind threw you across the parking lot.  It reminded me of the walk I had from Grand Central to my office building in NYC.  Except now, my walk is only 10 feet, not 10 blocks.  Why was it so awful still?

In December, it wasn’t so bad.  The usual somewhat mild weather the Carolinas expect.  Cold at night and slightly chilly during the day. 

And January, January started off alright.  It’s always the worst month (in my opinion).  The coldest.  But it wasn’t so bad.  And then the chill warmed up to near 60s.

But soon after, the meteorologists are hyping up this deep freeze we were experiencing.  Deep freeze? I thought to myself.  It’s in the 40s.

Then last weekend happened and it started to get cold.  Really, really cold.  Ok, not really, really cold for say New England.  But really, really cold for NC.  It was only in the 30s during the day.  And then, oh, what’s that?  Yes, we got anywhere from 1 – 5 inches of snow on Tuesday.

Snow.  One to five inches.  We hardly get anything.  Roads were frozen.  Highs were barely 32.  And lows were in the teens.

Ok.  It really feels like winter now.  That’s fine. 

Until they start forecasting a warm up for tomorrow.  What kind of warmup, you ask?

Tomorrow’s high is supposed to be 60.

Serioulsy, how do you go from 32 to 60 in a matter of three days?

I can’t keep up.

I’m glad that I never switched out my seasonal clothes in the closet.  It’s a mush of summer, winter, fall and spring.  But hey.  Now I can say I planned it.  I couldn’t put them away because you never know what season it’s going to feel like tomorrow.  Yes.  That’s what I’m going with.  I planned it.  It wasn’t left that way out of sheer laziness.  No siree Bob.

But really, Mother Nature.  Pick winter weather or pick fallish weather.  And space it out by more than 3 days.

But please make sure it is pretty on my birthday next month.  Because it is always pretty on my birthday.  🙂  And this year it’s a three day weekend for me!

After the news and weather guys spent all day yesterday forecasting a winter storm and announcing that the winter storm watch had been upgraded to a winter storm warning, much to my disbelief, there is actually snow!

We’re in a funny area.  Besides being in the South, obviously, we’re in a part of the state where storms are often broken up by the mountains before they get to us.

The last time there was any significant snow here was in the winter of 2004 when we got about 13 inches.  The winter before last, we got about a half inch.

L woke up at 4:45 to check the roads and determine if he needed to leave early for work.  He came back to bed and I figured it was a bad sign.  He said the roads were fine.  “Is it even snowing,” I asked.  Indeed it was.  We had a little less than an inch maybe.  He ended up leaving at 6, about 30 minutes earlier than usual.

I got up, then bundled up with my Colombia jacket and rain boots (I had to improvise, I don’t own any snow boots down here) and took the puppies outside.

The snow was still coming down fairly hard.  It was so fluffy and everything was so pretty.  I turned the news on as I got ready like usual, and they kept saying how bad a lot of the roads were, especially down near our house. 

L called me about an hour later to let me know he made it to work and said that the roads were ok in Charlotte, but by us they were just s0-so. 

Well, the news (who stayed on past 7am, therefore not allowing me to watch Good Morning America) made it seem like the roads were worse than so-so.  I decided I should leave early. 

So I did.  I left at about 7:10.  I normally leave at 7:40.  I got to work at 9:15.  I normally get to work at 8:30.  Yikes.

The road in our neighborhood was fine.  Even the road I turn onto out of our neighborhood wasn’t too bad.  If anything were going to be bad, I would have thought this would be it.  It’s hilly and windy, and although many people use it as a cut through, it’s not a main road.

Then I turned onto the main road that I take for 10 miles to the highway.  This is a heavily travelled road and is really the only main way in or out of our town.  At first it wasn’t so bad.

Then I went down a hill and everything was very icy and slippery.  On one side of the road, two police officers were tending to a car that had slid into a ditch.  On the other side of the road, a volunteer firefighter was tending to a car that slid off the road and through a fence in someone’s yard.

I was going 15mph on a completely straight road and I was slipping all around.  I could barely come to a stop at a traffic light without sliding out of my lane.  I thought I should go back and wait a few hours to go into work.  But frankly, I don’t think I would have made it back up the hill I had just come down without going off the road. 

I decided to just go really, really slow.  And I did.  At one point, I sat at in the same spot for about 25 minutes.  A car a slid off the road and the other car was not continuing on (not sure why since the lane was clear).  The tow truck came and blocked our travel lane more.  But no one could go around because it was at the beginning of a hill and there was no way to see what kind of traffic was coming from the other direction. 

It took me over an hour to get to the highway – it usually takes about 20 minutes.

I talked to L while I was waiting for the tow truck to move.  It was obvious that the roads had gotten much worse since he left.  He also mentioned that when they went on a call the parking lot they were in was all slush.  When they left about 30 minutes later, it was frozen.

That was the major problem.  It didn’t get nearly as cold overnight as they expected, but around 7, the temperature started dropping.  And it’s not supposed to get above 32 all day. 

I do believe I’ll be working through lunch and leaving at 4 or 4:30.

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Checking out the fresh snow

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Snow falling – it was still really early

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We actually got more than it looks like – the grass is just really long

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Puppy paw prints

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Driving into Charlotte.  That would be ice on the road.  Oh, and don’t worry, I was at a stop light.

I’m a little late, but what the heck.  I started a post yesterday detailing everything we did last week.  And then I realized it was super boring so I deleted it.  However, I did want to share some pictures of the puppies and L’s Christmas present – so here’s my second attempt.

We set off for L’s parent’s house Sunday morning (after we jumped my car’s random dead battery the night before) and went to his grandma’s for the family dinner. 

Monday started off early as we got up at 5:30, packed up the car and headed for CT at around 6.  A wonderfully smooth ride – we didn’t hit any traffic whatsoever, and arrived at my parent’s house around 4. 

I didn’t get to see any snow actually fall, but there was plenty on the ground – about 14 inches.  The puppies had a grand time playing in it.  I wondered if they would be tentative or inquisitive about it since they’ve never seen snow before – but they weren’t.  They just jumped right in.

Tuesday  my mom and I taught L how to make pierogies.  We make them from scratch every year.  He didn’t really want to do this, but I told him it was a good cultural experience.  There may have also been a flour and dough fight at the end.

Wednesday morning we got up bright and early again and headed for the airport at 6.  It was time for him to leave so he could have dinner with his family and head to work that night and for Christmas Day.  Bummer.  I didn’t want him to go.

My aunt and cousins came over for dinner that night and we had a relaxing time.  The puppies were so well behaved I thought that someone had switched them with different dogs. 

Christmas Day was very low key.  We hung around the house all day, took the puppies to a playground in my neighborhood to play with my parent’s dog, Max (he spent a lot of time in his crate because he was a little too friendly with Dixie – if you know what I mean).  We headed to my aunt’s for dinner and there was only 4 of us – but it was nice.

Friday, my mom and I did some after Christmas shopping where I may or may not have spent $50 on ornaments at Crate and Barrel.  Once we got home, I packed up the car and headed back at 7 on Saturday morning.

Sunday morning L came home from work and we were finally able to exchange our presents.  I was very excited to give him his, I had been coordinating it since August.

As a result of my Weddingbee reading, I had found Erinkejo on Etsy.  She does custom dog portraits.  I spent a lot of time talking back and forth with her deciding on sizes, colors, etc.  I sent her a few photos of the puppies and she turned them into a masterpiece.  Check out her site – I highly recommend her.  (She’s using our portrait as an examply on her site, here’s the link to ours)

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These are the two photos she used

L loved the gift.  I didn’t have it framed (only because I couldn’t afford to do it professionally and I want it to look nice.  We’ll have it done this summer perhaps), but I’m hoping to possibly hang it over the TV – or wherever L wants to since it’s his painting. 🙂  I’m so glad he liked it.  He loves those puppy dogs so much.

I had NO IDEA what he was getting me.  But he told me he was afraid it was going to fall into the category of getting me a vacuum or something.  But he said that I said I wanted it.  I was nervous.  I mean, what if it was one of those things you say you want, but you don’t want it as a gift?  Or you don’t actually want it?  Know what I mean?

I opened the first one.  This wasn’t the one he was nervous about.  It was a framed sign that says “Always Kiss Me Goodnight” in a beautiful script.  I’ve seen these around and have been wanting it forever.  I always tell him that he has to always kiss me goodnight before he falls asleep. 

Next up was the big gift.  It was in three parts.  I opened the first bag and in it was a single lightbulb.  Did you buy me lamps?

I got to the second bag, a Crate and Barrel shopping bag, and he told me that what was in it was not actually from that store.  Inside, was a lamp shade.  That just so happened to look exactly like the lamp shade for the lamps from Crate and Barrel that I’ve been drooling over for like 3 months. 

Holy hell, did you get me the lamp???

I opened the box and there it was – my lamp.

He got up and went to the laundry room.  Well, if you like one, then you’ll probably like two – as he walked out with a matching lamp already out of the box.

I was so freaking excited. 

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It extends to be a little taller too

You see, I have about $400 in Crate and Barrel gift cards.  I had been saving them for the last few years saving up to buy a bed from there that I really watned.  Then when I moved in, I didn’t need the new bed, so I told him we could spend them together on stuff for the house.  We went one day to look at lamps (to replace the ugly brass good will ones he had).  I found one I loved, but he didn’t want to spend that much on lamps – even though it was FREE MONEY.  Nice lamps are expensive.  I kept telling him he would find the set in the house one day.  But I never got around to buying them.  He kept telling me we should get a lot of smaller things with the gift cards instead of two big things.  It was all a ploy!

And it totally didn’t fall into the “vacuum” category.  I love them!!!

Here are some pictures of the puppies playing:

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L and the puppies

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Me and the puppies (and yes, I realize my scarf doesn’t match)

playing

running

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Shep and my parent’s lab, Max – he’s 95 pounds!!

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My parents have these cubes they use as coffee tables, so I took the top off one and put Shep in it.  He just sat there until I took him out.  Dixie did not even come close to cooperating.

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My love

Today is my last day of work.  After today I will be out for 9 whole days (that includes weekends unfortunately, I would prefer if it was 9 work days).  I am very excited.  This is the first time in my professional career that I will be out of work Monday through Friday.

Heck yeah!

Today we are having our holiday luncheon.  You can see the economy is affecting us.  The first year I worked here, our boss reserved hotel rooms for any employee that wanted them and we began with a cocktail hour at the hotel bar.  We then moved over to dinner at a fancy-schmancy steak house and then to a nearby bar for more drinks.

Last year there was a huge catered affair at his house where he may have had waaayyy too much wine.

This year, we are having a luncheon.  He and his wife (whose company shares our  building) will be providing a turkey.  We have to provide everything else. 

I know this is a sign of the times and that we are not the only company doing something like this, but it is kind of annoying when he tells you about this $1000 trailer he bought to tow his motorcycle in when he drives to his huge beach house right on the Intercoastal Waterway.  Oh, and the reason he bought the trailer?   He got a new BMW.  This one is black and his old one was white.  So he wanted a black one to match his car.

It’s his money and if he has it, great.  Just don’t rub it in our faces when we already know we’re not getting our bonuses (usually 10% of our salary) – and there’s been no word of even getting a small bonus (I’d be happy with $50).

Anyway, I made cookies last night as my contribution.  Thumbprint cookies and sugar cookies – I chose christmas trees, snowmen and stockings as the shapes.  I took pictures, but I don’t have my transfer cord.  Oh well.

I worked on them from 6-10 last night.  Then I ate dinner.  Phew.

After work, I’m going to L’s Christmas party for his full time station.  It’s just his shift going, so we’re just having dinner at a restaurant about half way between everyone’s houses.  I’m looking forward to it.

We’re leaving tomorrow night to go to his parent’s house, we’ll be having dinner at his Grandma’s on Sunday (hopefully there will be no more requests for me to change my religion) and then leaving Monday morning to head to CT.  He is flying back Wednesday morning and going into work that night so someone can go home and be with the kids when they wake up Christmas morning since he is scheduled to work on Christmas anyway.  I’m driving back Saturday. 

Oh!  And the puppies are coming with us.  My parent’s area is forecasted to get up to 14 inches of snow tonight.  Maybe it will actually come (they closed schools this morning even though it wasn’t snowing yet) and there will be some for the puppies to play in.

I learned some random things yesterday and today:
-The woman who was the voice of Wilma on the Flinstones?  Yeah, she was also the voice of Rosie, the robot maid, on the Jetsons.  Hmm, now that I think of it, she must have been pretty busy when they made the movie, “The Flinstones Meet the Jetsons.”  I loved that movie.

-Also, according to the gossip reporter on the radio this morning, apparently Jessica Simpson only washes her hair 2-3 times a month.  How does it not get greasy?

Then, just as I was pulling into work this morning, it finally felt like Christmas because they played my favorite Christmas song of all time.  My grandpa and I used to dance around to it in the kitchen.  I’m actually surprised it was on the radio, especially down here, and especially on a country station.

Sighh… Wordpress won’t let me post the video.  Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQrdxtWgHbE

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!  I probably won’t be back until after next week, but might be able to sneak in a post or two.  I’ll definitely let you know after I give L his Christmas present that I’ve been dying to give him/tell him about for months now!

There has been a winter storm predicted for our area all week.  At the beginning, it sounded like we wouldn’t get all that much, that it would really be more north of us.  But then, it started to sound promising.  Snow, sleet and freezing rain.  Although, I would prefer the snow, the freezing rain causes ice covered roads – and no one can drive in ice. 

Would this mean a snow day for me?  I mean, I do live much farther from work now.

Then at 10 o’clock last night, it started snowing.  And sticking to the grass.  Maybe by the time I woke up, it would be covering the roads as well.

L woke up at 3:30 to check the roads and determine what time he would have to leave for work.  Poor guy, he’ll never get a snow day.  And when he came back to bed, it crushed my hopes.  “Won’t have to be leaving too early, there’s nothing on the roads.”

Sigh.  I was so hoping for a snow day.  I remember when I was in elementary school and the superstition was to sleep with your pajamas inside out the night before snow was predicted.  Maybe if I had done that, I wouldn’t be sitting at my desk.  Doing nothing.  Because work has been slow lately.  And most of the bosses are away.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to conspire with a couple of people on my team as we make our case for needing to leave early.