Sunday, December 22, 2013

Oh.....the weather outside is frightful....

But, the fire is soo delightful!  So, glad to be indoors!  Yep, we had a pretty rough ice storm last night. We've lost a few trees, with lots of branches down, but no house or car damage, and we did not lose electricity...yea!  Even though the ice is dangerous and damaging, it is also very beautiful.  
 I got up early to see the damage.  I couldn't venture out very far because the branches of the trees were so heavy that every few minutes there would be a loud "CRACK,"  sounding like a gunshot, then suddenly a branch would fall with a bevy ice particles  tinkling down.  Again, so pretty and so scary!
 Just after eerie, magical world!
 Once the sun rose, it was a bit easier to see what had occurred over night.  These are the branches of  one of our Amelanchier trees (Serviceberry or Juneberry, bent to the ground.
 A better view of the tree.  Yes, we use the some of the scientific names for our trees; my father-in-law was a landscape architect.  Anyway, we planted these trees when we built our house 26 years ago and it is one of our favorite trees.  It blooms very early and tells us spring it on its way.  Looks like we lost this one, the trunk has cracked.
 The Amelanchier in the springtime!
 My poor Paper Birch, (Betula Papyrifera) it was a birthday gift from my father-in-law.   It came through the last ice storm, hope it does again.
The Paper Birch in the spring time.  It is amazing how the weight of the ice can lay it right on the ground and that it can recover to stand tall a few months later!

 Yes, we were really lucky that the cars weren't damaged...but were completely covered with ice!
 Everything was covered in ice, even the wires.  With branches and trees crashing down, no wonder so many people lost their power.
 After my father died, and my Mom decided to sell the family cottage, in Northern Michigan.  We brought home one of the little Cedar trees as a remembrance.  The deer tended to feast on the tree, that is why the branches start high off of the ground.  I was sad to see it laying on the snow.  I am not sure if this one can recover.  We will see.
 You can see how heavy the ice is in the Cedar boughs.

The Cedar on a much warmer day.

 Another Amelanchier
 The Amelanchier branches encased in ice.
 This is our Weeping White Pine, (Pinus stroba pendula)...a beautiful tree, again, encased in ice.
Weeping White Pine...without the ice!
 Our icy, winter wonderland!
Taking all these pictures made me very wet and cold, so I was so glad to go in the house, with a cozy fire, and sip a cup of hot chocolate, mmmmm.
 I made this hot chocolate mix as a gift for a few of my loved ones for Christmas.  I tried to find a recipe that was richer than most instant hot cocoa mixes.  Thanks to Alton Brown, here is a really delicious hot chocolate mix recipe:
Mix together:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup Dutch process cocoa ( I used Penzey's)
2  1/2 cup powdered milk ( I used Nestle's Nido whole powdered milk)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Fill mug 1/4 full of hot chocolate mix, add hot water to just cover mix and stir.  Then add the rest of the hot water and stir.  Enjoy! 

And, as you can see, I had fun decorating a bunch of marshmallows with smiley snowman!

Be sure to take time to enjoy this wonderful holiday season!

Merry Christmas!!!


  1. I hope all your trees recover...sad what the ice can do...we lost power for 5 hours this morning so our outside lights are still on after 1 AM..Neighbors probably think there is a party going on...completely forget I would have to re-set THAT timer....Christmas Blessings to the family & your Mom and have a Joyful 2014...Sally & Don

  2. What awesome photos and LOVE those marshmallows! :)