Snow

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Sissy stuck her head out and went right back into the coop after we had snow last night.

All winter we begged for snow!  My kids love snow, we are outdoor people regardless of the snow.  But we only had a few lucky days of it compared to last year when we were buried most of the winter (this was the last week of March 2015)

hockey net snow

Now we have switched to “spring” mode and sure enough here comes the snow!!

I actually planted bulbs yesterday from our hyacinth plants and the primrose are in full bloom as seen in the pictures below:

And this is the little garden today after a bit of the warm sun melting the snow.

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Tonight we are getting another 5-8 inches so somehow, someway…we need to switch our minds back into winter mode for a few days.

Easier said than done!!

Lake to Lake

Being on an Island surrounded by the Niagara River which is fed from Lake Erie and flows over Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario, offers us many wonderful things to do.

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Grand Island

On the second last day of the year we headed along Lake Erie to Hamburg, NY and had a fun Hibatchi style dinner.

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On New Years Eve we had an early dinner on Lake Ontario.  The streets lining Lewiston, NY were wonderfully decorated and the lights twinkled as you made your way down to Lake Ontario where we had a nice dinner overlooking a dock with a fishing boat ready to head out the next morning.

lewiston lake ontario

And a few nights later we were headed to Canalside in downtown Buffalo, NY on Lake Erie for a fun night of visiting the new ice rink which opened a few weeks ago.

downtown canalside jan 2

It was a balmy 30 degrees but there are plenty of heat lamps along the rink and a warm room with benches.  There are little shops along the way, a few different food trucks and these really, REALLY cool ice bikes you can rent.

canal bike

Can you tell what I will be renting soon???  I can’t wait to try these.  But tonight was not the night as we were headed to watch the sad Sabres play.  The kids had fun heckling the opposing team 🙂

panthers game

And after another bad loss for the Sabres we headed back to the rink to watch the novice curlers trying to learn the game which is another feature of the new rink.

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I love the fact we have so many things to experience right in our back and front yard just over the bridges.

First 2014 Snow Storm

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We have had our first blast of snow for the 2014 Winter season and it was/is a doozy.  It is still going on all around us.  It has stayed a little to the south of our little Island so we only have about 3 inches so far.  We are supposed to get more later tonight and into tomorrow morning.

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It started coming down and picked up speed covering many areas all over Buffalo, NY.

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Plow crews from all over are dedicating their time to different towns and areas.  This is Lancaster, NY and the photo is courtesy of a Grand Island town employee who traveled the 25 minutes to help dig this area out.

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In other areas sadly people are snowed in (the man of the house’s parents are one of them).  They can’t get out their doors to even begin the shoveling process.  But they are much better off than the people who are dealing with the weight of the snow crashing through their windows and collapsing their roof.

Here is a link to more snow pictures:  Buffalo, NY snow

And while this is a huge nuisance, I can’t complain as we are toasty with our woodburner, stocked with animal feed for the farm, have a pantry filled with canned goods and a freezer jam packed with meats, frozen fruits, and homemade pies just in case we get hit like the other areas!

Winter Predictions?

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This was a storm we had in March 2014

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Snow Ponies have a stretch of their legs while I cleaned their stalls March 2014

Our local newspaper ran an article tonight about the Polar Vortex happening in our area in September. See it here.   This past winter that was the phrase of the season “polar vortex”. 

While I understand some think a few feet of snow all winter long is something that should not happen, this is Buffalo, NY people.  As a child growing up the snow started in early November and lasted straight through to the end of March.  For the last 15 years we have been blessed with little shots of snow here and there and not all winter season.  As a child I had to literally trudge through snow to my barn to feed my horse and sometimes it was up to my waist.  It was winter and that was expected.  School was closed many times, work was canceled for my parents and even our bridges had to be shut down temporarily to allow salting trucks to back up them salting as they went so they could get up to the top.  This has only happened once since in the last 15 years.  This was winter not a “polar vortex” back then.

So am I worried about the upcoming polar vortex and snowy winter?  Heck no!!  We prepare and have wonderful fires in the woodburner heating the house if the power goes out.  We will burn around 10 to 15 cord.  We have a stocked freezer with meats we purchased from the butcher and all of our yummy canned and frozen veggies/fruits, stock for soups, and homemade breads and pies.  I will stock up on flour and we have a pasta maker so we have plenty of pasta anytime we need to make a batch.  And we stock our barn for the animals with great quality nutritious hay (see our first load here) and grain/corn to help our chickens keep producing the eggs.  We will stock up on gasoline for the snowmobiles and 4 wheelers and have the tractor ready to pile the snow and make a small sledding hill for the kids.  Our pond will freeze and we will plow it and have the lights on and a fire in the barrel so we can ice skate with our friends.

What do I say to Old Man Winter (and the looming polar vortex)……bring it baby!!  (But not for at least another month please) 🙂

Baseball

Bisons

You should always try to find a way to support your local sports teams.  I am not a huge baseball fan, but we have a team in Buffalo, the Buffalo Bisons, and I think it’s important to support that team.  Tonight my friend took her daughter, my daughter and another friend to watch the team play.  You can always find deals and tonight’s game was $5.00 to get in and you received a $5.00 food voucher FREE with your purchase. It’s also fireworks Friday so they will get to see a free fireworks show after the game.

Where there’s a will there’s a way to get yourself out and enjoy all the little treasures your area offers!!

Ride around our Island

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our bridge from the underside

Friday the man of the house announced he had been looking at a boat and decided to buy it. SURPRISE…oh boy.  It’s not that I don’t like boats as we live on an Island surrounded by water and had a boat before we had children, horses, goats, chickens, rabbits, dogs and 34 acres of land.  We enjoyed that boat for 5 wonderful years until there was no time.  How can we fit this into our schedule now??

He has brought up buying a boat for a few years now and being a city boy who adapted to my farm lifestyle I know I must bend to some of his forms of entertainment.  Our children have only been on a boat once so they were more than excited.  How could I be the party pooper pointing out all the negatives?  (not that I didn’t I just did not do it in front of the kids). 

So yesterday after we worked on the gardens and finished about 3/4 of the projects on our to do list we took our maiden voyage.  I have some wonderful pictures to share showing the sights around the Island.  The kids are already waiting to go again today.  And I realized last night this is another way our family can enjoy time together!!

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loading up to go

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71 year old gram with hair flying

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City of Buffalo in distance

 

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Chance waiting to take off

 

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selfies

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cool boat ahead

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amazing what you find on the water

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Our friends Don and Cindy

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cruising

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sunset heading home

 

Buffalo Zoo Visit

It was a beautiful morning so I decided to take the day off from work and treat the kids to a day at the zoo.  The Buffalo Zoo may not be one for the record books, but we are truly blessed to have something less than 15 minutes away that offers an insight into these wonderful animals lives!!  I do not think you can ever be to old or to young for a zoo visit.  When traveling we always try to schedule a quick trip to that state/city zoo.

I am not a photographer and this is truly the time I wish I was so I could capture the special moments these creatures offer the zoo visitors!!

These Buffalo represent our great city.  Enjoy!!

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