Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pole Climbing, Taste Tests and Big Storms

 Well, I have nothing to complain about weather wise and I hope those that have been and still are being affected by Frankenstorm Sandy are safe and dry somewhere. What a storm she was! We all watched from the comfort of our living room while she blew into New Jersey, shut NYC down, dropped snow in feet not inches on WV and spread out along a vast majority of the northeastern seaboard. My parents home experienced neither damage nor power loss and thanks go out to the wonderful and diligent house sitters, for bringing stuff in, tying it down, keeping us posted and using good common sense in their care of the homestead. Barbara and Tom, you two rock! Laszlo says so. ;)

While Sandy roared in the east, we've been chugging along here in the west. Lots of wine and beer has been savored and some great meals. Dogs have been cuddled or reprimanded as needed, cats catered too and donkey's spoiled with carrot treats. Of course once in a while we don't feel like going out. Instead we do something silly, like taste test boxed Mac & Cheese.

 I don't know how it got to be on the menu, but Dad was for Kraft in the blue box and I stood for Annie's with the white cheddar. We had a throw down. Two pots, two brands handled exactly the same right down to separate spoons. No doubt Gene and my Mother think we're both crazy because let's face it, neither is stellar fare. Maybe you all think we're a little nuts too! ;) Anyway, along with taste and texture, cost and package weights were taken into account. The winner was Kraft. The prepackaged cheese whiz while neon orange was creamier and mildly cheesy, but what won the day for it was the use of elbow macaroni as opposed to twist pasta. It was also cheaper and you got a little more.

Now my favorite Annie's had better cheese taste, but the pasta is not well matched to the dish. In fact when I use it I usually toss the pasta, use elbows and add a little milk or sour cream to the mix, but none of those things was allowed since we adhered to strict testing guidelines! Served with salad and spinach and cherry ice cream for dessert, none of us went to bed hungry.

Then there was the pole climbing.

 Gene had to fix the antenna set up on the radio repeater for the fire department and the window is pretty small for getting up to the Soda Mountain lookout area. at this time of year.

Once the snow really starts in and at their elevation, only a snowcat can make it into that area. Gene spent two hours on this pole Monday and hopefully the welding repairs will hold through the winter and beyond.

It was a lot of work but he had a beautiful day to do it and the view from there is spectacular.

Halloween has not been forgotten either and while we have no children that Trick or Treat through the rural areas of the Greensprings, I could not let one go by without sharing this bit of comedy. A tip of my chapeau to The Cat in the Hat, I give you Thing 1 and Thing 2 as parting shots.

BTW, these adorable costumes were custom made by this wonderful gal on etsy.


  1. Still cracks me up that not only do the dogs allow you to dress them up, but they seem to enjoy it!!

    IMO, you have a real hero in Gene. No way would I take on that job! (shivering in fear at the thought)

  2. Thing One and Thing Two, now those are perfect costumes for Stella and Sweet Robin. They both look so sweet. Gene does indeed have a good stomach to climb to those heights. Heights never bother me going up it is the coming down that gets me every time.

  3. Hmm, mac and cheese. I like the whole grain Kraft boxed mac, okay, I admit it. It's easy and it tastes pretty good for something out of a box.
    Wow, that's quite a climb. Better him than me! The view must have been spectacular from up there.
    Glad to hear that your folks home wasn't impacted by Sandy.
    What cute puppies you have!

  4. Nothing like a mac & cheese challenge to keep family life lively!!!! LOVE the costumes...sure hope Stella & Robin get lots of treats!

  5. High flyin' Gene-is that in his job description? I thoroughly enjoyed the mac and cheese info as I am a Kraft girl. I have even made homemade mac and cheese-it does not come close to the cheesy goodness of Kraft. Give those doggies a smooch for me.

  6. Oh My Goodness. Those Things are adorable. I have a 15 year old toothless rat terrior nephew that needs a hoodie!

    I go for the original Kraft....there is nothing natural about it and it is a food group all to itself.

    Things are safe here and we are happy.

  7. Oh my gosh, Thing 1 & Thing 2 are so cute! Those costumes fit so well they look like they were custom made for Stella and Robin.

    Oh, isn't mac & cheese one of the ultimate comfort foods?! Can't remember when I last had some, need to add it to dinner list.

  8. I confess that I have a soft spot for Easy-Mac (also Kraft). While I eschew most things monsanto-esque, that one is still very rarely on the menu...

    Love the costumes! One year (last election cycle, as a matter of fact), there was a dog walk, where you were supposed to dress up your dog. I have a pit bull, and I wanted to put lipstick on her, but couldn't figure out how to keep her from licking it off...

  9. Your dogs look so cute in their outfits!phyllis

  10. If you ever come to Canada, you have to try Presidents Choice White Cheddar Macaroni, it is sooo good. The puppies look adorable in their costumes.