Friday, December 6, 2013

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Nooooooooooo!

I grew up in Maryland, and I can remember loving those "snow days" which would occur during the school year.  We would all bundle up and head for the steepest hills in the area.  We would stay out til we couldn't feel our extremities anymore.  What fun!  None of us had any expensive snow toys.  In fact, one of the most fun ways we chose to "sled" was four to six of us piling into an old car hood.  We would create a "jump" toward the bottom of the hill and then all climb into the hood and head for the bottom of the hill.  When we would hit that jump, about half of us would go flying out of the hood and rolling down the hill.  What fun we all had.
One of my girlfriends grandmother's had an old wood stove in her house nearby and we would go there to warm up occasionally.  She never seemed to mind our dripping clothes and boots.

This past Summer we moved to Utah.  Now, don't get me wrong, Utah is the most beautiful State.  We live at the foot of the Wassatch Front and there are towering mountains all around.  We also live within sight of Great Salt Lake.  I am learning for the first time what "lake effect snow" means.  It has snowed twice in the last week.  It has only accumulated about three inches, but the ICE! We have had incredibly cold weather.  It didn't get above 16 all day yesterday and the nighttime lows have been in the single digits.  Oh my Gosh!  I have lived in Florida and Georgia for the last 30 plus years.  It does NOT get this cold!  The ski resorts here are thrilled, most have had upwards of 30 inches of snow in the last week.  But, I think even the ski enthusiasts would like it to get out of the single digit range.  Brice Canyon was actually at 44 BELOW two days ago!  That is not the wind chill, that was the actual temperature! Brrr.

My little Boston Terrier is having a very difficult time.  He does okay just walking on the bitterly cold snow, but when his paws hit ICE he becomes hysterical...this is a dog who NEVER barks or cries. Twice now (and I'm not sure if it's the cold/ice or the salt and de-icer that is causing the problem) he has gone completely ballistic when his feet hit the ice - squealling and screaming - it is terrifying for both of us!  I'm working on booties, but it is difficult to get them tight enough around his skinny little paws and legs that they don't slip off.  My hubby and I have taken to carrying him down the stairs and putting him down in the snow to do his "thing."  I am going to try to make some kind of apparatus which will attach to his little sweatshirt to hold the booties on his little feet.  I feel terrible for him.

We are expecting yet more snow tomorrow - at least 3-6 inches in the valley.  Much more on the benches and mountains.  It is rather beautiful, but this deep freeze is a bit much.  I checked yesterday and it was actually colder here than either Anchorage, Alaska or the NORTH POLE!!! I did not sign on for that! The ski resorts are thrilled as most of them have already accumulated over 30 inches of fresh powder, and there is more to come!

But, Buddy and I are trying to figure out ways to cope with all this crazy cold and snow!  Here are his little boots.  They have velcro straps, but it is difficult to decide how tight is too tight to wrap them on his paws.

He actually likes his little sweatshirt and although dressing him is somewhat like dressing an uncooperative Barbie doll, we manage to get all his gear on three times a day so that he can go out to take care of business.

I have been washing his paws with warm water after each trip out as I read yesterday that MOST de-icers used out here are TOXIC for animals!  So foot washing is in order.  I also read that conditioning his feet with "Bag Balm" might help.  I guess I will try to find some of that this week.

 So, as we prepare for the next week, I hope if you have any suggestions for keeping my little friend comfortable (I've even considered trying to train him to "pee pads") please let me know.

We are both working at getting used to our new environment here in Utah!

It really is quite beautiful, and although I need "spikes" on my shoes and boots, I do love it here.

Thought I would give you a recipe for something to keep you warm during the Winter no matter where you are!


1 Pound ground meat (honestly I use anything from very lean ground chuck to ground turkey and even vegan "grounds."
1 Large Green Pepper, finely chopped
1 Large Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeno Pepper finely chopped (optional)
2 Tablespoons ground Cumin
4 Tablespoons of FRESH Chili Seasoning (when it gets old it loses its umph!)
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
2 cans or jars of Marinara Sauce...(choose your favorite, I usually use Hunts)
2 cans Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 can Black Beans
1 can Garbanzo (yep chick peas) They add great texture
1 Tablespoons Worchestershire Sauce

Brown your meat and then add vegetables and saute' until transparent.  I add the spices at this point.  Then add tomatoes, marinara, worchestershire sauce, and beans.  If you like it extra spicy, you can add some hot sauce or cajun seasoning at this point.  Turn down on low and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  This is even better the next day!

Serve with chopped onions, shredded cheddar cheese as toppings! YUM...I guarantee it will warm you up!



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