Monday, January 17, 2022

T Stands for Winter Weather

 Hi everyone. Happy third T for 2022.

I hope everyone is storm free right now and not shivering from temperatures that are too cold.

Here in New Hampshire, January this year is not anywhere  as mild as it was last year.  This morning I woke up to some expected snow. We received about 7 inches.

You can see it on the steps at the bottom of the photo. And the view out my kitchen window was just as dreary. (Of course, it's not like it was snowing on one side of the house and not the other. Smile)

By shortly after 9 AM the snow turned to ice and then quickly over to rain. I went out to shovel before the snow turned to cement.  Boy did I get wet. 

Besides the (weather)  we received last night into today, we've been having some cold temperatures. This past weekend the mornings were both in the negative numbers (degrees Fahrenheit), making it a quiet weekend with the woodstove going. The woodstove had gone out over night on Saturday, and Sunday morning you found me in 2 fleece shirts along with my bathrobe and a hat until the house somewhat warmed up a bit. (This is because we discovered our thermostat had died, and since we had been running the woodstove for a couple of days, we hadn't noticed it wasn't working. All fixed now!)

To amuse ourselves, my husband and I started a puzzle I'd given him for Christmas. I also made some blondies (brown sugar brownies with nuts and chocolate chips-but I've forgotten to take a photo of them) as well as some sourdough English muffins.  (recipe here for the English muffins: King Arthur Sourdough English Muffins)

Our woodstove is in our dining/kitchen area, so when it's this cold, I tend to hang out on that side of the house. Instead of wood we burn the "bricks" you see in the packages on the floor. They are called bio-bricks and are made of compacted sawdust. I like how they aren't full of bugs like wood can be, and since they are packaged, they are easier to carry upstairs to our woodstove. They must be stored inside, so we have them stacked in our garage, meaning we don't have to go outside and fill a wheelbarrow with wood when we have a woodstove fire. That is nice when it is icy or when there is a lot of snow on the ground. Plus no creosote, a product you get burning wood and needs to be annually cleaned out of the chimney to keep you from getting a chimney fire.

The negative part is they don't burn as long as a nice oak log wood, but they save cutting trees down just for firewood. 

And since it is T day, where we share our drink related stories over at Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog, let me show you one of the treats I received in my Christmas stocking this year.

You put heated milk in your mug and stir the stick until it melts.  I am not patient so I put the stick in and then heat my mug of milk in the microwave. 

And I also have a new mug.

When my daughter was home on her shopping with mom vacation a couple of weeks ago, we went into a homewares store. There were several carts of major markdowns, most of which were holiday left overs. Low and behind on a cart I saw this mug which spoke to me. And it was only $2.99, so I bought it. It is big and fairly heavy too.

Even though I've already shared a couple of drink related photos, let me tie together much of this post with some hot coco made with those Trader Joe's chocolate sticks in my new mug. I'll also  include a toasted homemade English muffin, my Sunday morning breakfast next to the woodstove.

On a side note, 6 people I know came down with Omicron in the last 2 weeks. Luckily they were all fully vaccinated and only had minor cold like symptoms.  Please stay safe and wear your  masks if you go out (N95 or KN95 even better) so help decrease any risks of catching Omicron.

Stay safe, stay warm, and have a great T day and week ahead. 
Thanks so much for visiting my blog.


Mae Travels said...

Your English muffins look fabulous -- so does the cocoa. What a nice breakfast!

best... mae at

kathyinozarks said...

Hi Erika, I love your new mug and not familiar with the chocolate sticks sounds like a fun way to make hot cooca
that's allot of snow-no snow here so far. we have had cold and a bit of ice but not bad.
Not familiar with what you are using instead of firewood-sounds like it is much lighter to carry, I hurt my back many a winter getting wood into the house. but I love real wood-we would go out in the woods and only cut up dead trees that were already down. I have several friends up north that use pellet stoves-they buy bags of pellets
Larry requested English muffins last time I went food shopping, we don't eat much carbs any more so he really enjoyed it--Happy T stay warm

nwilliams6 said...

The snow looks so pretty! Ours melted immediately and just made cold mud. Our back driveway is a mess and will have to be graded again.

Your drinks and food look great. I LOVE that new mug. It makes me smile and what a good deal too. Fun stocking stuffer you received.

Very fun to see how you keep your house warm. We just have a boring old heater and sometimes hubby will build a fire (has been a while as we need to have a chimney sweep come).

Happy T-day, Erika. Hugz

Annsterw said...

Great post! Those muffins look amazing! I had never heard of burning those bricks instead of wood but what a great idea - I love saving trees and I love NO bugs!! HAHA! Thanks for promoting mask wearing! I am vaxed too and I am wearing my N95 everywhere! HUGS

Angie's Recipes said...

That looks beautiful and so freaking cold! Time for some hot chocolate :-)) Love those English muffins!

Iris Flavia said...

Cement! Sorry, this made me laugh!
Oh, boy. I put on "party-mode" again, means the heating is working. The cold cellar is right beneath us, brrrr...

Your home is beautiful.
My Brother has a real woodstove, too. I have a tiny fake one right here, a pressie from Ingo. Warms my mind. And heart.

Love the mug! Must blog a pic of Ingo´s honey (bought).

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

The snow was beautiful until it turned to ice and rain. What a mess you must have endured.

I hope you show that puzzle as it progresses. I can;'t figure out what it's supposed to be. Your bio-bricks look like they are useful and saves you from trekking outside for wood.

I just learned we now have a Trader Joe's. I must go one of these days and when I do, I'll look for those chocolate sticks. I hope they have them in milk chocolate because I'm not a fan of dark chocolate. One thing I DO love is your new mug, It is YOU.

Sprry to read about your friends who now have COVID. I was scared of it before, but got complacent once I got my booster.

Thanks for sharing your week with us, along with your new mug and chocolate sticks for T this Tuesday, dear friend.

craftytrog said...

I love your new mug, and the muffins look delicious, I haven't bought those for a long time.
The snow looks very pretty, and the wood burner sounds very cosy.
Happy T-Day,

Jeanie said...

I'm sorry about your friends, Erika. I know you guys are being really careful -- maybe this snow is a good thing to keep you in a safe place! I love the wood stove and those bricks sound like a good thing to have on hand. We usually use wood at the cottage (time to do the chimney sweep again next summer, though we don't burn pine -- still...). Having those on hand would be very good.

All your baking, puzzle and such look so cozy. Love the cocoa idea and the puzzle is a perfect winter activity. Snow can be a bit much, but ice is WAY too much! So be careful shoveling and take care. (Show the puzzle when you're done!)

CJ Kennedy said...

You got a lot more snow than we did. I bet coming in after shoveling sitting by the woodstove and having a cup of tea or cocoa would feel like heaven. All your goodies look wonderful, too, and your new mug is perfect for you. Stay warm today. Happy T Day

Linda Kunsman said...

Again it appears we have gotten very similar weather- only we didn't get as much snow- dreary indeed! I've never heard of these bricks for a fire but they seem like a great idea all around. Homemade English muffins look delish, and I should try making some myself;) Love the new sweet bee mug, and hot chocolate on such cold days is perfect. Stay warm, keep well, and happy T day!

Divers and Sundry said...

The snow is so pretty, but ice is scary :(

I've never heard of those bricks. I wonder if they'd work in a chiminea... It's been a while since I've had an English muffin, but I enjoy them. I've never tried to make them myself, though. I saw an ad for what looked like that very mug on FB the other day and thought of you :)

Happy T Tuesday!

Sharon Madson said...

Oh, now chocolate sticks are my kind of thing! Yum, Yum! Nice mug! We didn't get much snow here, and it is mostly melted now, too. I am glad to hear your friends just had mild symptoms. Stay healthy. Happy T Day!

NGS said...

What is about cold weather that makes jigsaw puzzles so appealing? In all honesty, it would be easier to do them in the summer, with more hours of sunlight to help with identifying the slight variations in color, but I, for my part, almost exclusively do jigsaw puzzles during the winter. I guess it's just an indoor activity that can be slightly meditative.

DVArtist said...

I know I have said it before but I am so glad I don't live in snow country anymore. Stay warm with the bricks. I like that idea too. Your English muffins look amazing and that hot chocolate, uhhh give me two please. Have a great day today.

Lisca said...

Of course I am fascinated by your wood stove and bio bricks. It appears you have other heating (or not?) We only have our stove, full stop, and I also go about the house in freezing (well, just above freezing) conditions until the stove is lit or until the sun comes out. Whichever happens first. Of lately, we have had the sun warm us up very quickly. But I can just imagine you in two fleeces and a dressing gown. With wooly hat and wooly socks too probably!
I love your new mug and the muffins look delicious.(although they have no holes)
Happy T-Day,

Birgit said...

I'm glad your heating is fixed as I know what it is like to wake up to a freezing house. My in-laws never got their furnace fixed so they always heated with wood. When they went to Florida one time, my ex and I stayed there and I awoke to frost on the blanket from my breath. My ex got up and started the fire. It was cold at first but soon it was nice an cozy. Of course, the wood was outside.
when my parents added on to the home, we had a fireplace and a woodburning stove below. I had to bring the firewood in but my mom had 4 boxes made to place the wood in so I only had to make the trip outside occasionally.
Freezing rain is worse than snow! We got dumped on and got almost 2 ft of snow yesterday! When I went for a walk, some homes did not shovel their sidewalks yet and the snow was above my knees!

Lowcarb team member said...

That looks a lot of snow.
Stay safe and warm,

... and enjoy warming drinks from your new mug - I like it.

All the best Jan

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Hello Erika: The Bee Happy mug is perfect for you. Hot chocolate sticks sound great, but I am sure that in a bee mug you will want to drink something that needs a little honey added to it. It looks like you are all set for a cozy winter, with minimum effort and a warm fire to add atmosphere as well as provide heat. I have never had sourdough English muffins, but they sound delicious. Good sourdough bread is one of life's great treats. Our friend, Valerie, seems to be going through a rough spell right now. I hope to see her back on form as quickly as possible. Hugs, David

Kate Yetter said...

Wow, what gorgeous looking English Muffins! They are on my to-make list someday.
Love your bee mug! It's adorable and very appropriate now that you are a bee keeper.
The hot chocolate sticks looks yummy. I am guessing that it takes the place of cocoa mix. And certainly more tasty and rich.
What a not-so great time for your thermostat to fail. Thank goodness you had a back-up source of heat. It sure has been cold lately.
Stay warm!
Happy Tea Day,

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Your part of NH received more snow than Nashua from this week's "storm" Erika. It also turned to rain here which was sort of disappointing because the early morning snow was beautiful. But then, since we do not have to out and shovel or move our cars, it's easier to say that. Your hot cup of cocoa and the homemade English muffin looked delicious especially with the hot cocoa sticks. And a bargain mug is always good especially yours with the bees.

NatureFootstep said...

we have a snowstorm going on right now. Glad your heating problems are solved.

Caty said...

Oh Erika, what a beautiful snowy view you have from your window, and outside too! Although, yes, it is cold, it is tremendous and I know that you have to cover yourself from head to toe.
Happy belated T-day! that chocolate bars, yum! We sometimes buy a tablette of chocolate, and we put it in a saucepan with milk, it's delicious. English muffins look good.
An interesting puzzle, you are advancing! And I really like your new mug, it's very funny.
Here in Spain, there are also many infections with Ómicron, it is unstoppable, and we must continue to protect ourselves, even if the measures are less strict.
I wish you a very happy Friday, take care of yourselves, and big hugs