Winter Arrives - in March!

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Once again, winter has arrived in March! Many people in the comments shared that they have had an unusual winter, just like us here in North Idaho.  In late January, we experienced frigid temperatures, with the lowest reaching -23 degrees, not factoring in windchill.  A chinook or warming wind arrived two days later, increasing temperatures by over 60 degrees in just one day. This rapid warming caused all the accumulated snow to melt, giving us a taste of spring and allowing me to do some gardening. February followed a similar pattern - abundant rain, with occasional snow, but a hint of spring in the air.  March came and it's been nonstop snowing ever since. Every day in March has seen snowfall, and today marks the 4th day.  Despite my love for snow and knowing how much we need the moisture, I am not complaining, but sharing how strange this winter has been! 

My garden is under its new blanket of March snow!

Little bits of joy - sunshine sparkling on the crisp snow on my clematis - awaiting spring patiently!

Winter showcasing its glorious beauty! 

I think Riley likes the sunshine too! 

Oh! It is a glorious day when the sun comes out with peeks of blue skies! 

Last week, as Riley and I were walking, we saw this large elk herd on our neighbor's property. 

Elk are very skittish, and as soon as I stopped walking, and took out my camera - they moved quickly away,
back into the cover of the forest. 

In my keto journey, I've been using almond milk, and making my own rather than using dairy.  All in limited quantities of course - but here is my process for making almond milk.  

1 cup organic almonds
5 cups water
Dash of salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover, and let sit overnight. 

In the morning, drain the liquid. Add almonds to the blender, with 5 cups of fresh water. Blend on high until smooth. 

Using a nut milk bag, or clean tea towel, strain almonds from the milk, squeezing until the almond meal is dry. 

Pour milk into a glass container. Stays good for 4-5 days. 

NOTE: Almond meal can be dried and used as almond meal flour - spread on parchment paper on the sheet pan and bake at 200 degrees until dry to touch about 1 hour. Refrigerate.

Then... once you have your homemade almond meal from your almonds - you can stretch that 1 cup of almonds a little farther, and you can make homemade Sourdough Almond Crackers! 


1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup bacon grease (melted butter can also be used)
1/2 cup sourdough starter, freshly fed
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp seasoning of choice - Everything Bagel, Italian, garlic etc. 

Mix all ingredients together until it forms a ball. If the dough is dry, add more bacon grease until you have a workable dough.  Cover in a bowl and refrigerate. After at least 30 minutes, place the ball onto a parchment sheet placed on a cookie sheet. Place a parchment paper over the ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to the edges of the sheet, until very thin.  Slice the dough with a sharp knife into small squares. 

Bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow crackers to cool on cookie sheet. Store in an airtight container. 

My favorite way to enjoy these crackers is to mix a pouch of Lemon Pepper tuna (or any tuna you may have, about 6 oz) with 1/4 cup cream cheese spread, 2 Tbsp diced onion, and enjoy with the crackers. 

A delicious snack :) 

I am of the mindset to use up every bit of everything I can and make it useful.  Isn't it great that from 1 cup of almonds, you can get 5 cups of almond milk and 1 cup of almond meal which can be used in other recipes‽ ?!

By the way - I learned something this week! Do you know what an interrobang is? (I used it at the end of the last paragraph) Well, I did not - but it is this little punctuation marker created back in the 1960's indicating a question asked in an exclamatory manner.  It looks like this ‽  It is basically an exclamation mark and a question mark together. Have you ever used or seen one of these before? I thought it was a fun piece of information to learn :) You can find more information about interrobang here on the Merriam-Webster site :)  Interrobang

I've got seeds started in the greenhouse! I use seedling mats to keep them warm. I have not had to heat my greenhouse this year. If the temps drop down into the teens, I will put out a heat lamp, but the seedlings are fine on the mat with temps into the 20s. 

I don't buy expensive pots to put my seedlings in. I simply use plastic grocery store containers with plastic lids.  I make holes in the bottom for drainage and keep the containers covered.  This process has worked for me for many years! 

My neighbor's Australian Shepherd puppy, whom I've been "puppy-sitting" is wiggling her way further into my heart! She is just so adorable. 

She and Riley enjoy playtime in the garden, a safe place where she can run to her heart's content without too much freedom. In her puppy stage, she has no clue about roads and wild animals, so this is a safe place for her to play unleashed for now - at least while it is still winter! 

She and Riley are masters at their silly dog games! 

Riley is a good "momma" influence to Bejeweled and makes me think... is it time for me to get another puppy? 

After playing in the garden, she was so exhausted, covered in snowballs, that she just collapsed once we got inside! 

Sound asleep by my chair as I worked on this blog post :) 

On the 28th of February last year, I took Annie on her last walk. We knew she had been failing, and I had found a back brace for her that enabled her to walk. She was so happy in that snowstorm as we walked. I let her off the leash, and let her explore to her heart's content. 

Annie never liked the camera, and would never look at the camera.  Thankfully I did get this picture of both of us enjoying the snow just days before she passed.

On March 3, 2023 - a day that hurts to remember still - Annie couldn't walk to the door. I had to carry her to the car. I was home alone, and somehow, I managed it. She was in pain and I was sobbing. At the vet's office, we found she had advanced-stage cancer, and we had to let her go. I called my family on a conference call, and the vet kindly gave us all the time we needed, as each one of my family members told her how much they loved her.  Her passing left a gaping hole in our life.  She was a dog that understood me, and loved us - we were her world.  She and I shared a love of the snow, and walking together - we both would happily walk all day long if we could!  We know she lived her best life with us, and though we will always miss her, she was a special one-of-a-kind dog - and we've had a lot of dogs.  Her memory will never be forgotten. 

This passage of scripture has spoken to my heart this week - I wanted to share it with you: 

Verse 5 "Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee", really ministered to my heart. How I depend on the Lord for His strength - I go from strength to strength, leaning always on Him for all things.  

I worked on a new video this week - one that you can use as background music for your Easter/Lent/Passover time of remembering the Lord.  

If you watch the video closely, you will see a picture of me enjoying a sunrise on the shores of Prince Edward Island.  We visited the Island while in New Brunswick visiting my Gram in October 2022 as she was so ill.  It was a special morning, the sunrise was so magnificent as it rose over the Charlottetown,  PEI harbor, and the song I chose to pair it with is "It Is Well With My Soul".  

Indeed, that song still ministers greatly to my heart today.  Life is full of ups, downs, joys and sorrows, health and sickness, worry and praise.  But - through it all, I can still say, It Is Well With My Soul. 

May this video be a blessing to you, and please know that each one of you remains in my prayers - the days we live in are troublesome, and worries are many.  Prayer sustains us! We must keep our thoughts on Him while looking at all the beauty He has created in this world for us to enjoy. 

God bless each of you! 


  1. What a white winter you are having. I take it you have power and are safe during all this.
    And thinking of garden while watching inches fall over and over.
    I am so sorry to hear you had to let Annie leave you. And you had phone family to help you through
    this. Modern ages we are in and it can be a blessing at times. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Lynn and Precious

    1. Hello Lynn and Precious - we have been blessed to have not lost power this winter, thanking the Lord for that! The garden will definitely benefit from the extra moisture! Annie's loss remains acute even a year later - I know you understand, we love our precious fur balls so much! Blessings to you both :)

  2. Dearest Marilyn,
    You sure got your load of snow!
    Lovely photos of the two canine friends—it is heart warming to see them take on a momma role for the young ones.
    Losing your loyal and sweet Annie was tough and remains hard to cope with.
    Our pets are such loyal companions—never understood those people that neglect and/or abuse them!
    You sure know how to provide your own food in the winter time.

    1. We have definitely gotten more snow in March than we have in February, for sure! It will be a blessing for the garden this spring :) It is wonderful to see Riley and Bejeweled play together. They are the same breed. I know your loss of your precious kitty was so hard. It is hard to lose them; they are like family! Many blessings to you, dear friend!

    2. Two kitties: Dido boy on November 28, 2023 and Speckie girl on January 19...๐Ÿ’ž

    3. I'm so sorry, it is such a loss - and then to have it doubled!!!!

  3. Wow! That's a lot of snow! Pretty though. :)
    Bejweled has such pretty blue eyes!
    What beautiful elk!!!! I always find it neat which states have different wildlife.
    No, I don't think I've ever heard of interrobang. :)
    Hard to believe it's already been a year since Annie's passing. I'm glad you're experiencing the Lord's comfort, especially through that beautiful psalm you shared. It took me a few years before I could even mention our dog's name after she passed. I admire your commitment to honor Annie's memory as well as lean on the Lord every day.
    God bless you and your family, Marilyn!

    1. Thank you Valentine for such a lovely comment - yes, we've had a lot of snow this winter, and a lot of it has melted too! It is hard to believe it's been a year since Annie passed - she was so special. Thank you so much, I'm sorry for the loss of your dog too. Many blessings to you dear friend!

  4. We have had a very mild start to winter here. It actually was almost 70 here, record setting temps yesterday. But I know we will see snow again and it's much cooler today.
    I love the beauty you share of the snow and those elk are so majestic.
    I learned something new, never heard of an iterrobang before, but I could use it sometimes.
    I remember the sadness of Annie's passing. What a blessing she was to you, and what a great life you gave her!

    1. It is always such a treat to see the elk - they are very elusive. Wow - 70 degrees! Will be a while before we see those temps here! I know - I thought the interorbang was an interesting concept also. Thank you for your visit and kind words about Annie, they are appreciated so very much!

  5. Replies
    1. I praise God every day for the beauty we get to enjoy!

  6. Ah, winter! Just when you think you have it all figured out, it zigs and zags and dumps a bunch of snow on you!! I just hope it doesn't come our way, although it's been raining and chilly for a few days. Spring feels very far away. I remember your sweet posts about Annie and how heartbroken you were. I know that pain doesn't subside quickly or easily. I hope the pics and memories do bring you some measure of comfort. Hugs you my friend.

    1. It's so true - winter is full of surprises, every year! Spring will come eventually. Thank you for your kind words about Annie - she was a special dog, so intuitive to us and loved us so much. They are like family! I hope better spring weather comes your way soon!

  7. Hello Marilyn: I've heard of the snow in your area. The northwest has gotten a LOT more snow than we have this winter. We've been in the 50 & 60's for the most part which is very, very unusual.
    Bejeweled is a gorgeous puppy. Her eyes. Oh my! Riley seems to be a great Mom and it may be time for you to think of a puppy. Annie was much like our Chloe was. When we had to let her go almost 4 years ago it broke our hearts completely. She KNEW us. We've had several dogs in our marriage, but none like Chloe. Our little Zoey is a sweetie but nothing like Chloe. She couldn't care less about pleasing us, it's all about her and her wants. :-) But we love her completely. She has resisted every bit of training that we've tried with her. Yikes.
    The world is such a mess right now but none of it is a surprise to God. I get my peace in knowing this. I really feel that we're going to see amazing things happening in 2024. If a lot of scholars are correct, Bible prophecy is playing out before our eyes in the middle east. I know we don't know the day or the hour, but I'm sure keeping my eyes open and my heart tuned to the LORD.
    Blessings and hugs,

    1. We have gotten a lot of snow it seems, but now they are saying the snowpack is very low, and that doesn't bode well for summer. So I do hope we continue to get more moisture, even if its just rain. Riley is so good with Bejeweled, which is making me think I probably need to get another companion for her. You're right - some dogs are just special beyond words - they "get" you. Annie was that dog for us. She was so in tune with us. Riley is very special too. I love her dearly. Our fur babies mean the world to us! You're right - prophecies are being fulfilled before our eyes, it is wild but exciting times that we live in! Blessings to you dear friend!

  8. Nothing like being able to say that it is well with my soul no matter in what situation we find ourselves. Gorgeous photos, Marilyn, and sweet memories of your precious Annie. May God continue to bless you and yours!

    1. It's so true Martha - we can't control what comes our way, but we can adjust our attitude to be grateful, thankful, and see what we can learn through it all. Blessings to you dear friend!

  9. Marilyn: Your winter is beautiful but I can only imagine how cold it must be. A beautiful time of the year for sure. The Elk look so beautiful and we saw big groups when we were in Montana years ago. They seem so foreign to me but I would imagine they are just like the deer we see all the time here to you. Do they come and feast on your gardens? The dogs are just so cute and I am so sorry for your loss of Annie. We have been through that too many times and it never gets any easier..I don't know why I am suddenly turning up as anonymous. Thanks for you visit to me. I always love hearing from you..xxoJudy

    1. Yes, I see your comment coming up anonymous, I've had more people having that trouble lately. Not sure why at all! So sorry! Thank you for your wonderful comment. I love seeing the elk, they are elusive, and like to stay hidden. My garden has a fence, so they don't bother it, thankfully. No, it never gets any easier to go through losses! Blessings to you dear friend, thank you again for your visit!

  10. You have had a crazy winter, Marilyn! How fun for you to be dog sitting. I remember your Annie, and can’t believe it’s been a year. I love that you get so much from the almonds. I’m not into waste much either. I have never heard of the exclamation point inside a question mark….that’s a new one to me! I hope you have a wonderful March; you have much to look forward to this Spring.

    1. It has been a wild winter here Kitty! But spring will have its way before long - the days are getting longer! I love to use it up if I can, I don't like waste of any kind! the interrobang is a new one for a lot of people. I thought it was interesting! Happy March to you as well :)

  11. Our latest snowfall is mostly melted now. It was so cold today, though. You do keep busy and productive! What a treat to see all those elk! Ahh...sweet Annie. It's easy to grow attached to pets.

    1. It has been cold this week-but I've sure enjoyed the sunshine! Yes, there's lots to do to stay busy around here, lol! We love seeing the elk - they sure are elusive animals. Happy March to you - and hopes that we get to see more signs of spring very soon!

  12. WHOA! SO Thankful my area in NYS is not getting snow. We've hardly had any so need the moisture but it's been raining almost every day this in torrential downpours...which is good.
    LOVE the pic of you and your precious Annie. And that Psalm is one of my faves, too.
    I'll come back to watch the video. I'm off to church to interview a young woman who wants to join my Hikers group. :)
    That's so interesting about the punctuation mark. NEVER heard of it!! I'm gonna ask hubby if he has as he knows all this random trivia.
    I'm impressed that you have time and energy to make your own almond milk. I gave up cows milk MANY years ago.....mid 40s and switched to Unsweetened Almond Milk which is plentiful in the grocery stores around here. My vegan daughter (now on her own) prefers Oat Milk as does our oldest girl. My husband has happily embraced the no cows milk. We do still eat cheese though :) I have trouble giving up my cheddar!!

    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! A hiking group sounds wonderful - I do a lot of hiking, and we used to have a group but it fell apart when the leader got ill. I had never heard of the interrobang either - thought it was a fun thing to share! I had to go off dairy as well - although I do eat some cheese (fermented dairy doesn't bother me, if I don't over-indulge). Interesting how sensitive our bodies are to certain things. I limit how much of anything I eat, as it seems like too much of anything becomes a bad thing! Glad to hear you're getting needed moisture, we need more as well, believe it or not! Blessings to you :)

  13. Oh, you are getting lots of snow too, Marilyn. Up here, the snow can fall until April, and it's a special time for me, especially when the sun comes out from time to time. Bejeweled is the cutest pup, and look at those eyes! She sure is having a fun time playing in the snow. Your lemon peppered tuna and crackers looks delicious, and what a good idea to add the cream cheese. What a sight that elk herd must have been. Take care, Marilyn, as you are thinking of your Annie, who was so dear to you.

    Happy March days. Enjoy your snow. It's lingering, but Spring will come in its time. : )


    1. You're right - spring really doesn't come here either fully until May, although we get lots of nice weather through April too. Bejeweled is just precious, we love her dearly!!! I am thinking Riley might like another companion, since she lost Annie. I enjoy the lemon pepper tuna cream cheese, and the sourdough crackers have enough tang to make the perfect snack. Many blessings to you dear friend, continuing to lift you in prayer!

    2. Thank you, Marilyn. I appreciate that so much. : )

  14. I enjoyed your post. The puppy is so sweet, I love her eyes. Will they stay that bright blue?
    Sending a HUG as you remember your Annie.
    I love when you share the Elk. :-)
    P.S. thank you for sharing about your seedlings and greenhouse.

    1. I think her eyes will stay that bright blue. She is bred for that reason, I think. She is just precious, I love her so much! I love seeing the elk too - they are elusive, and always a treat to see them. You're welcome about the greenhouse. I used to start things inside, but found its just easier in the greenhouse. I hope you're having a great start to your spring :)

  15. Thank you so much for your visit, and wonderful comment, always such a blessing! The look on Annie's face stays with me always - she was such a snow girl. And yes - all this extra snow is an added blessing! Much love to you dear friend!

  16. Oh wow I didn't realize you were getting that much snow again, we have just had rain down here.
    Anniversary's are hard of our furbabies deaths, they each hold a special place in our hearts.

    1. Our snow comes, and then it melts, spring will prevail soon! Thank you for your kind words! Annie was so special to us.

  17. Goodness, so much snow!
    I do enjoy seeing it in your photographs.
    Lovely pictures of Bejeweled and Riley.
    That photograph of you and Annie is very special, so many wonderful memories.

    Many thanks for sharing your recipe.

    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  18. Thank you for your visit Jan, I appreciate your kind comme ts and faithfulness to visit my blog!

  19. Oh Marilyn, what a variety of weather you've had! My Madras weather was similar in January and February! Now being here in Astoria, Oregon, it's pretty much just been rain! (ha ha).... I'm used to it, having grown up in Portland, Oregon. The puppy is a darling and glad Riley has a friend to romp with. Yes you may need another! That photo of you and Annie is just beautiful.. what a love she is/was. You have been busy with making almond milk and sourdough! The crackers look so good. I cook and use mostly grain free flours now, such as almond flour and coconut flour, very little flours now that are grains, even if gluten free. I still miss real wheat flour for baking though! I drink only almond milk or coconut milk. I saw years ago that someone made their own almond flour and baked bread with it. That was way before you even heard of paleo or grain free! I was intrigued! I still want to grind some of my own. I hope your weather is starting to warm up. We actually did have some snow here last week! I live by a pretty good sized mountain at 2,500 feet, so it has snow on it all the time. I didn't realize that when I moved here! Sure is pretty, as long as that white stuff stays up there!

    Thank you for the beautiful scripture. You are such a dear to do that for your followers! Hugs from me to you! Marilyn J.

    1. Oh Marilyn, I'm so happy for you to be in your new home, surrounded with the beauty your heart loves so much! I can't wait to see how the Lord abundantly blesses you in this new place! Yes, it has been very hard this past year, losing my Annie, my Gram, my Dad, and my Mom-in-law. A year of loss, 2023. Glad to see it go, and thankful for better things in 2024! I look forward to hearing about your adventures in your new home!!!! Many blessings to you dear friend!

  20. It's hard to believe Annie has been gone for over a year now. I know you miss her terribly. Yes! I think it is time for you to get a new puppy! God bless you, sweet friend.

    1. Thank you so much Cheryl, it is hard to believe she has been gone for a year - time marches on! I may have to get a new puppy, while Riley is still young enough to enjoy having one to play with! Blessings to you dear friend!

  21. Marilyn, I really enjoyed your pictures. Do you enjoy making your own almond milk? I switched to almond milk years ago, but I haven't tried making my own yet. I heard that homemade almond milk tastes much better than the store-bought one. I think I will give it a try.

    1. Hi Stephanie! Yes, I think the homemade tastes better. It doesn't last as long as the storebought milk, but in my opinion, the value of making it yourself is worth it!


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