GoodBye Irene…Hello Autumn

 

It has been a very humbling few days for us, here,  in the wake of tropical storm Irene. We have been reminded once again that Mother Nature is a powerful force and once she gets rolling, no one, no human, no machines, no technology can stop her. Living in Vermont, we have been getting a lot of heartfelt and concerned messages about how we weathered the storm, and I am happy to say that we were extremely lucky and are all OK.

The animals, homestead, buildings, and even the garden came out of the storm with no damage. We are very grateful to have been spared and at the same time feeling devastated  for our fellow Vermonters who were not as fortunate. It broke my heart watching videos of  Irene’s  devastation in Wilmington, a town we lived very close to 5 years ago – the river rose so fast and most of the town was left underwater. One woman was even swept away by the rising waters while her boyfriend could do nothing but watch.

I got a message from my best friend Liz, who weathered Irene in NYC, she was feeling really sad about Vermont when she heard about all the terrible flooding here. Through her visits to see us, she has come to know Vermont as a friendly yet hard-working place, full of mom and pop stores where people talk to you like you are a human being with smiles on their faces. Yes, that is Vermont, and because this way of being is so akin to the people that live here, it means that those in need aren’t going to have to look very hard for a helping hand.

I have to say though, as Irene was bearing down on us, and state officials were telling us to prepare for the worst, I was so thankful for all the canning and preserving I had done throughout the summer. I was thankful to the garden, and to the chickens, both for eggs and meat. This is the first time we actually really NEEDED to be prepared for something major, and it was nice not having to worry about that, on top of all our other preparations.

I was also thankful for social media – through facebook and twitter (amazingly we did not lose power!) I was able to keep tabs on the storm and what was happening in our local area. We heard about evacuations in nearby towns at midnight yesterday morning – and learned about a website where we can see all the road closures in the state. Vermont Transportation Agency officials stated that every major road across the state has some kind of damage, and many town roads are facing much worse.

So on that note, as Autumn is starting to make itself known here in the North Country, I am going to be taking a bit of a break from blogging during the month of September. There is a lot going on and life is sort of taking over at the moment, which right now is definitely a good thing. Especially in light of terrible events that have happened over the last few months, I am concentrating on slowing down a little and spending time with family. It is all good stuff, so nothing to worry about. I have arranged for some of my favorite bloggers to fill in for me in my absence. I know you are going to enjoy their posts, and I will be back with new blog posts in October!

Finest Foodies Friday on Hold Until Next Week! :)

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Thanks Guys for all your comments and support! I am sorry, but our power is so sporadic right now, that I am not going to be posting Finest Foodies Friday this week.

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I think Fay has really arrived now! Today there is much more rain and wind. The streets are flooded again, and it is likely to be more so when the tides come in a little after 1 PM. The flooding yesterday was from the tides, not really rain. Our power is also sporadic at times. We lost it for most of the night last night.

We are trying to get as much done now, so that in case we lose the power again this afternoon, we will at least have gotten something finished. Hopefull things will be back to normal tomorrow! Fay is expected to be out of our area by this evening!

Fay is here to Stay…

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(this is our parking lot)

I must admit that I am kind of enjoying the storm watching. Mother Nature is such an incredible force to be reckoned with. I mean we think our lives are ruled by technology, but once in a while, when you get to see the strength of nature first hand, you know who really rules the world. She brings life, bears fruit and her harvest keeps us alive, but she is also capable of enormous destruction. Not to say that we are really experiencing anything too too terrible. We still have power and we have lots of food – mac n’ cheese, ice cream, chips, wine, etc. But our streets are flooded, so we aren’t going anywhere. The wind is still whipping and it is still raining. But we are content and probably by tomorrow in a severe bout of cabin fever! :)

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Stormy Weather and Comfort Food: Keeping away Fay with “Italian Style Mac n’ Cheese”

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Nothing says comfort food like a Tropical Storm!

We are still waiting for the storm to hit. Latest news reports say that it will not have enough time out in open water to turn into a hurricane once it hits land again, which is good, but it will hit land again as a tropical storm, right here in our lovely town of Saint Augustine. We are right on the coast here in Northern FL. Less than a five minute walk from the water. We have already seen rising waters and some low lying areas (well everything is low lying around here) have flooded and the storm isn’t even here YET. We should be expecting it tonight or more likely tomorrow. Everything is closing up and our county has declared a state of emergency. The National Guard is already here, thankfully, and we live on the second floor, so we are staying put. We are ready with supplies and we have just moved everything off the porch. The wind is starting to pick up, but nothing severe yet.

The summer has been pretty rainy here especially since the end of July, which is like monsoon season in Florida – it rains everyday, and even if it doesn’t rain, a large part of the day is gray and the sky rumbles.

So much for The Sunshine State.

My appetite begins to get confused – from inside, looking out it seems like a fall day, but as soon as you step outside it is sweltering hot and sticky humid. Even so, during the first week or so of this, my brain temporarily goes from cooling summer foods, right back to the land of comfort food. Which in this case, was Pasta al Forno – or oven backed pasta, much like a Mac n’ cheese of sorts. This dish was creamy and satisfying – chock full of flavors and textures. Roberto took one bite and he was transported back to childhood memories of tortellini with peas in bechamel. This may be a new family favorite. It certainly does hearken to rainy days under a blanket with a good book and glass of rich red wine under a Tuscan sky… Or perhaps just a storm safe closet! ;)

But maybe this will even stave off Fay! :)
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