Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day in Oklahoma 2009

We had prepared a huge Christmas eve feast for family and friends and they all got stuck in Oklahoma City in the blizzard. Our daughter Tori and three of her co-workers (tor is on the left) were snowed in the mall where they worked. All their cars were buried and they had to hike in the snow up to the Fairfield Inn where Bath & Body Works graciously put them up for the night (no dinner though . . . every surrounding eatery was closed up, so they had Pop-tarts from a machine for Christmas eve dinner!)

We got up Christmas morning, put on our winter gear, loaded shovels and drove to the city to dig her out. It took us more than two hours to drive the turnpike at 40 mph. I stopped counting abandoned vehicles at 220 LOL!

Above, our front porch and below is the road in front of our house (old 66)
This what the main highway (new66) looked like . . solid snowfloor

Jim & Tyler digging out cars of the Crossroads mall parking lot. Along with Tor's Jimmy and the cars of the three other girls, they dug out two additional cars nearby

There were a couple of folks taking advantage of a large open parking lot to do some "truck skiing"

Highway 240 going into Edmond

Intersection in Edmond (most intersections were blocked with stalled cars and huge snowbanks)

A line of cars and trucks blocking an on-ramp to I-35

It was an exciting Christmas Day! We got back home about 6 p.m., warmed up the leftovers and are looking forward to leaving for our trip to Cody, Wyoming on Monday! (will send pics from the road trip)

Oklahoma Christmas

According to the weather experts here, this is one of the worst blizzards in Oklahoma history. Maybe it was because of the 40-60 mph winds that came with it, but we didn't think it was all that bad (maybe that's because we both grew up in Idaho . . . where they have REAL snowstorms and blizzards!)

The night beforeDuringA white Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Butternut squash and cranberry casserole

Mmmm . . this is great hot or cold and can be made ahead of time and baked later.
Try it, even Jim who swears he hates squash likes it.

Pre-heat oven to 350 and spray coat a rectangle glass baking dish

Small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 hot water (or red wine for a tastier version)
2 medium onions quartered, then cut in halfs (small chunks)
Small jar (6 oz.) whole peeled garlic cloves
2 T. Olive oil
2 T. Chopped fresh oregano leaves (can used dried)
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Salt & Pepper

Pour hot water or wine over cranberries and let them sit until you assemble the rest of the ingredients.

Peel and dice butternut (easier if you peel first then cut in half and scoop seeds), throw in a large bowl
Cut onions into chunks, throw in bowl with squash
Add entire bottle of garlic cloves
Add olive oil and herbs
Drain cranberries and add to bowl

Toss well and place into baking dish in an even layer.

Bake on 350 for 1 hour and 10 min (check towards end, you may want to increase or descrease cooking time depending on if you like your squash firmer or softer)

You can add salt and pepper to taste when served or sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar or splenda to brighten the taste of the squash.

Makes about 8 servings

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ow! . . . . I mean Owl

We were zipping along a windy road, somewhere in the mountains and like most country roads, you see a number of animals that didn't quite make it across. Just a fact of country life. We saw this "lump" in the distance, barely being missed by passing cars and when we passed it, it looked up at us. That is all it takes for me LOL, I am a sucker for an injured animal on the road. I was afraid that someone would run it over so we turned around to pick it up.

It was the most pathetic thing I have seen in a while. He was just a handful and weighed barely anything. His eyes and feet were the biggest thing on him. We took him to a nearby road off the highway (he most likely swooped down in time to get bonked by a car). We waited a bit to see if he would recover and when he did, Jim put him on a pile of rocks. He had a bloody beak, after checking him out, nothing appeared to be broken, he just was stunned from boinking a car.

We googled owls when we got home and we think he is a Flammbulated Owl, which is native to the Ozarks and the western US. He was about the size of a softball and almost as round.


How cold is it when the springs coming off the hills freeze?? This was "somewhere" in the Ozarks (can't remember exactly where LOL)

Wanna buy a Ra Bite?

While shopping in Van Buren, we stopped in a great store call the Main Street Connection. They had an old sign on the wall that I didn't see until we were walking out . . . it made me giggle all the way down the street. I finally walked back and asked the lady if I could take a picture of it.

She was thrilled to tell the story! She said she purchased it from an old guy up the road near where she lives, when she stopped to ask him to buy it, he said, "I think it's spelled wrong, let me make you a new one" . . she insisted on buying the original. (it's NOT for sale, I asked). Apparantly the old guy wasn't sure how to spell rabbit, so he stopped a truck on the highway and asked him, this is the spelling the trucker gave him. The gap between the FO and the R is because there was a tree growing where he wanted to nail the sign up and that's why he left the gap. The shop owner pointed out that she especially like the extra efforts like the "dot" in the middle of the O.

She showed me another great original work of "art" that she purchased at a local flea market. This one is hanging in the back of her shop. Apparantly there wasn't enough room for a capitol "D"

If you are near Van Buren, stop into the Main Street Connection in old downtown and let Marcia know you saw her on my blog!

Shopping in Van Buren

We decided to take a weekend off and head to Van Buren, Arkansas for a day of antique shopping. We are looking for a mission oak style dresser for our bedroom. We didn't find the piece we wanted but we got some quality stocking stuffer shopping done! Old Van Buren has a gorgeous restored downtown and it was all decked out for Christmas.

I love a good sign!

Sign on a BBQ joint just outside of Fort Smith, Arkansas

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Uh Oh!

When I got up this morning and looked at the temp (a balmy 5°) I told my husband we need to check the well house for a lightbulb (he said it's done) and check all the outside faucets to see if they were turned off and disconnected (famous last words)

When I went out to feed and I walked back up to the house, this gorgeous ice sculpture was waiting for me!

Lucky enough the water was still running through the connections and it didn't freeze into the house.

Check your faucets (before the temps dip)