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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Someone Left The Icebox Open

As we prepare to hunker down for these ice cold temperatures coming, we were pleasantly surprised at the good sense of the people that operate our county handicap transport system. It's being closed down for the next two days so Steve will not have any driving jobs.

I suppose if there's a real emergency that someone needs to get somewhere, they can contact an ambulance. He is normally transporting wheelchair patients from nursing homes and hospitals back and forth to clinics and doctors and dialysis. The sub-zero wind chills will be down in the 50 to 60 below zero range for Wisconsin. This I am sure is a determining factor to close down the courthouse and thus, Steve's transport driving department. The vehicles that he uses are somewhat old and maybe not capable of handling this cold weather too well. Today he had one idling for almost half an hour to warm up enough before he picked up some residents at the nursing home to bring them to Appleton. We are at 0° but it's 25 below zero wind chill right now even in the sunshine. You got to figure, these poor old folks are coming out of nursing homes that are warm (usually in the 72 to 75 degree range). They just can't tolerate these cold temperatures either. If there would be a break down on the side of the road with Steve's transport vehicle, I am sure Steve would have to call an ambulance to transport them immediately to somewhere warm.

So the next two days 
my hubby will be home with me!


I'm working right now on a pink baby quilt. It's made with the leftover squares from the quilt I posted yesterday. The pink blocks just didn't look right in the big "Winter in Wisconsin" quilt. So I arranged them into a small baby quilt or wall hanging or lap quilt. I have it all sandwiched together with batting and backing.... ready to start the stitching. This is what I will do the next few days.

I recently invested in these little plastic templates and a special machine foot from Westalee.  I did a little practice with them, and they are kinda fun! They will allow me to do cute little designs in various portions of the quilt.

I think I will put some little snowflakes or flowers in the larger blocks, and then still do regular quilted stippling in all the other areas. Maybe this evening I will load it up on the frame and get started?


For lunch today I made up one of my most favorite soups. Cream of potato with ham and shredded carrots. I cheat a little bit though...

I get Steve to peel me up a couple potatoes. I hate peeling potatoes so if he is around, he is conscripted into doing the job. I cut them up into chunks and put them in a pan with water and some chopped onions and shredded carrots. I add some of these dried vegetables from Piggly Wiggly. I just love these in soup.

I simmer them until the potatoes and carrots are tender. I added some chunks of baked ham that I had in the freezer. Then I cheat by adding a couple glug glugs from a jug of milk and then I sprinkle in some instant mashed potato flakes!!! It thickens the soup and makes it creamy rich. I add a little seasoning and some dried parsley.

Tastes like I simmered it all morning long and it really only took me about 15 minutes tops. I made enough that we can have some for lunch tomorrow as well.


This afternoon I finished off a pair of socks that I have been hand knitting on needles.  I started them last week when Linda was visiting. They are thick wool knit with doubled yarn. A long time ago I learned how to knit two socks at the same time on one long circular needle. That way when I change the colors on the socks I change both at the same time and they come out identical.

When knit on a long circular needle, they also both come out the same size. Sometimes when knitting two individual socks at two different times, one sock will be tighter than the other due to a difference in tension while knitting. They say when watching a drama on tv, your stitches get tighter than when you are relaxed while knitting. This way, the socks both come out the same in diameter as well as length.  For those knitters who are curious as to the method:

I had made a matching hat a while ago,
and I have a scarf hanging with my coat in the back hall.

Got these socks done just in time for the cold cold weather!


I noticed something strange this afternoon. While I was knitting, I had Binney by my side but Finnegan was nowhere to be found? I looked and looked for him. I finally found him way upstairs alone laying in the bathroom between the tub and the shower on the floor! He appeared to be sleeping there. I hope he's not getting sick. It was so strange because he and Binney are always glued to each other's sides.

When I called to him, he woke up and perked up and looked alert. I hope he is okay. Otherwise, our vet is only a couple blocks away if we need her.

p.s. he ate supper now at 5pm and is acting fine. Whew! 


As a boring old person here talking about the good old days: we never knew about "wind chills" when I was a kid in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the 60s and the 70s. Well, at least the weathermen didn't talk about wind chills. If it was cold out, that didn't matter, we went to school anyhow. 

(me on the left and friend Sherry Masonova on the right) 

  • We wore two layers of clothes under our thick snowmobile suits. 
  • We wore long johns or thick cable knit fuzzy leotards or "tights" under our jeans.
  • We wore heavy snowmobile boots with thick felted wool liners and double woolen socks. 
  • We had double knit heavy hats underneath our hoods as well as face masks or multiple layers of a scarf wrapped around our neck and covering our face. 
  • Our hands were protected by thick leather choppers, which were sheepskin lined, along with an extra pair of mittens inside of those as well.

I remember a pair of yellow woolen mittens knit by my great-grandmother Anna Today that had a certain smell when they got wet. That wet wool smell gives me comfort to this day because it makes me think of those yellow mittens.

Cold didn't matter to us.....

(me driving and Shelly Sarafiny Losey and Lori Angus riding) 

 (brothers Randy driving, then Umpee, friend Jamie Angus and sister Linda Anderson on back)

Do you know what? As soon as school let out? We hopped on our snowmobiles or grabbed our sleds or ice skates while we enjoyed the weather outside.

We didn't have "wind chills" telling us when it was too cold. 
If it was the weekend, we would load up the snowmobiles and go into the woods
traveling the trails and stopping to roast hot dogs over a fire.

 I know the temps were below zero on these days, 
but we didn't know about wind chills. 
It was just a weekend family outing. 

Winter in Wisconsin! 


  1. I grew up in NJ and it sure would get cold. I went to school in pants since I had to walk along way. They made me go right back home to get a dress or skirt then I got a whippin from my mom. And no she didn't drive me to school I had to walk back it was about 2- 3 miles. Stay warm

  2. Karen, I loved this post. One question though, when you and your friends were out enjoying the snow, how did you find time to text and use your cell phone, or watch TV? I miss the good old days when kids could play freely outdoors and not have to worry about being watched by an adult at all times!


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