No Place Like Home

The term “home” has lots of meanings these days. We have been busy the past few weekends. Last weekend we were out of town. I had Sunday to hang out in the Twin Cities before traveling back to our home in the country. Saturday night my husband and I had supper at a quaint, little Indian restaurant. We haven’t been able to have that since we moved. It was yummy! I had the chance to have breakfast at Panera Bread the next morning, visit Trader Joe’s for some goods, hang out at Starbucks and have lunch at Noodles and Co. These are all things we had in Mankato but are no longer near us. What a treat!

Home is also a local restaurant we are now regulars at and visit often. We are on a first name basis with the staff. Thy know what we drink. We are chatty and catch up when we visit. We love the food but even more than that, we love the atmosphere. It’s homey and familiar to us.

Home is our residence, they place we come home to at the end of the day. We have had old friends visit recently and stay with us. It is great to host and entertain, be able to show our friends our new world, and share the familiar stories and laughs.

Soon home will have another meaning – Home is where the heart is…and no matter where we are my husband and I are still home with each other.

Enjoy home wherever you are!

Bitter Cold

I think the weather has been a part of many recent posts but there isn’t much else to talk about in winter in MN – except the Vikings. SKOL!

This past week was brutal and we have at least four more days of this crap. Besides the cold it seems to be exceptionally windy lately. Being outside is hard. The cold hurts your face. Everything takes longer too. Longer to warm your car, longer to get places (you have to drive slower) and longer to do things (more clothes in the way and we just move slower in this weather).

This morning it was my turn to move snow. Fortunately for us we have a plow on our ATV. I have my doubts that it was above zero when I ventured out mid morning. The machine started hard, but it did start. That’s a blessing. I’m short in stature. I have to stand up to plow otherwise I can’t see ahead over the front and I usually have to lean forward too. The cold air was making my eyes water and my lashes were instant icicles. Up and down the driveway I buzzed. It went pretty quick I guess. It could have been worse.

So for the rest of the day – a pot of chili and some wood in the fireplace.

This was what I dealt with on the way to work on Thursday – snow and ice.

Mystery Solved

We are going on month 7 since our move and making good adjustment to our new normal. The past month has been exceptionally cold with long streaks in negative temperatures. Temps have been frigid with wind chills in the -30 to -50 at times. This morning was no exception.

For months we have been on the hunt for a missing box. My husband and I have had several conversations about it. We know roughly the time frame in the move it would have been packed and loaded. We know what was in the box, the closet it came from at the old house, etc. it has been no where to be seen. We have back tracked our steps, looked in every odd place possible, gone back through areas that have been previously unpacked and revisited every storage space and closet in the house.

The boxed container winter gear. These are things that have been much needed in prior weeks – winter parkas, heavy boots, etc. It has been frustrating.

Magic happened today.

We have cleaned and rearranged our garage several times since our move. Many of the things that remain in there belong in our shop which is not completed. We have opened kids, renamed boxes and reorganized. Even though we had done all those things the box still eluded us. That finally ended today.

Like magic, it appeared. We will never know how many times we moved it or moved things around it without looking inside. Now we have our cold winter gear – even though we have already survived weeks of these frigid temps; now that the weather is supposed to hit double digits tomorrow for the first time in a while. Oh well, there is always next year, or next month, or next week. After all, this is Minnesota.

Just Stay Home

As the kids get older the idea of shopping for gifts seems to go away. Two in college. Two finishing high school. Money, gift cards, gas cards. That’s where it’s at.

This past weekend was spent cleaning and doing random chores at home. We ran errands (on a very loose schedule), ate out and chilled. This low key thing is easy to adopt. Gone are the days of shopping at 4am on Black Friday and planning out every weekend trip to the mall. Things are slowly making their way into the stockings.

I have the food planned out for Christmas Eve. We will celebrate here at home. Looking forward to a calmer and quieter Christmas this year.

Winter Lazyland

So the cold is rolling in again. The last week has been balmy…40 to at time over 50 degrees. Tomorrow the forecasted high is 16 I think. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like winter. However, I don’t particularly like cold. I don’t snowmobile. I don’t ski. I have and I could but I choose not to. I don’t really ice fish. Again, I have and I could but that’s a weekend thing for me. It’s a weeknight.

I have a fire going in the fireplace. It will probably be a regular thing this week and likely for the rest of the winter. It’s cozy. Who wants to go outside in this weather? Well, that only lasts so long. I get bored. I can get stir crazy. I need activity. So tonight I started running up and down the stairs. I didn’t do it long. Just long enough to get the heart rate up and feel the burn in the thighs. I might have to make it part of my winter routine. Closest thing to a gym to me for 25 miles.

It’s Warm Inside

I love Autumn. It’s my favorite time of year. I struggle with winter. Granted, I live in Minnesota so that’s part of life but that doesn’t mean I like it much. It’s bearable. On the up- side we have a beautiful fireplace that cost us some blood, sweat and tears and it is now cold enough to enjoy it. We had a few days here that really belonged in January – they somehow ended up in November.

It’s hard not to love that smell – a roaring fire made of dried hardwood. That smell carries many memories for me. Lots of reflection. I grew up in a home with a wood burning fireplace. Not only does it warm the room it also warms the heart.

This will be an enjoyable feature for many years to come. Bring it on Mother Nature. We’re ready.

The Hunt is Over

I took firearms safety when I was 12 years old and have been coming to north central Minnesota to hunt well over 20 years.

It was so weird this year to not travel. I literally pulled out the tub of orange clothes the night before the opener. No packing the car. No planning to take off work or school early. I got a deer on day 1 so that changed up some plans. I had intended on taking off a few hours early later in the week but instead of hunting was cooking and butchering. By the time Thursday rolled around we were 7 of 10 with three full days to go. We were all filled out by 8:30 am Saturday morning. It was the best year we have ever had hunting. The most my dad could ever remember getting on any given year was six deer. The meat will be share across six families. It was a good feeling.

As the seasons change we are remembering again why we made the move. I love the serenity and the scenery. The camaraderie is always nice. We truly appreciate time with our friends when they make the trip up the visit. The annual Saturday pizza gathering at the neighbors was A LOT shorter drive this year!