Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Winter Willyland

So here it is.. Winter!  When we arrived in February it was -45* and snowing.  I swear it didn't bother me in the least! It helped that I couldn't wait to get through the 1600 miles of rainy and snowy roads during a terrible storm the entire way!!! Not to mention all of us wanting to get out of the car that had 4 kids and 2 cats in it.  Snow Drifts everywhere and it was cold, cold cold. 

Now on the first day of snow, I turn into a basket case.  A little snow accumulates on the ground and I can't function!  I drove home from work, white knuckles, radio off, heater on high and defroster going!  OMG I was a mess. I cancelled plans to have dinner with a friend because I was afraid of the conditions...Hello, I have 3 or 4 more months of this... I cant just shut down and go from work to home and vice versa! Right?!

So now I am forcing myself to embrace it, easier said than done... my hair is full of static, my skin is dry and flaky and I have NO idea how to dress.  Some mornings are below zero and some would say cold is cold, is it really any different if it is below zero?  OH YES this girl will tell you the difference.  Your car does not want to start, and if it does it takes forever to warm up.  I started my car (and poor Daisy whined for 10 minutes, much like the kids when they don't want to get up for school) 20 minutes before I was to leave for work.  Threw my jacket, in the back seat with the mittens, hat and scarf in the pocket and started on my way.  Thinking the heater is going to kick in any minute!  UUUH NO! I traveled for an additional 20 minutes and it was like driving with the AC on.  I was a human Popsicle when I got to work.  Friggin Freezing! But on a day it was 3*, I started the car 10 minutes before I left and by the time I was ready to leave the heater had already kicked in when I headed out.  There is a big difference in the above and below zero temps!  You don't want to head out without emergency supplies because you never know that you might break down or have an accident.  You could easily be in a life or death situation if you get stuck in the snow! 

The wind here is brutal! There are days that the wind chill adds an additional -20 degrees! So the temp might be -8 but the wind chill brings it to a "feels like" -28 temperature.  You find many people speak very differently, than in other areas, about the weather in a conversation.  You hear alot about  'feels like' temps and the 'wind chill'.  But honestly... it is just effing cold! 

So here I am embracing it, well actually bracing for it, today it is going to be 32*, I caught myself saying to someone that it was a beautiful day!  I guess it is all relative! With this warm weather maybe all this white stuff will melt...I crack myself up!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

When in Williston do as the Willys do!

It is getting chilly here and I have no idea how to adjust!  In Rancho Mirage CA, it was 85* at 9am the other day.  Williston, 9* at 7:30am, pitch dark and still...we see our breath in the air and have to start the car at least 15 minutes before you head to town. Do that or stand outside in the freezing cold and scrape all your windows! 

Logan my oldest HATES the cold, he now knows if I don't get that car started he is out there doing the scraper.  Thank goodness we have the auto start on the car...Being from California I had NO idea what good this function was!  ...I have started saying "Defrost Activate" and press the button on the car remote and Daisy (the Durango) is toasty warm when we get inside!  Love this feature! Sheila the Rover doesn't have this and having to traipse through the snow and start the car was not my favorite thing to do that's for sure!!!!

It still hasn't snowed yet so it is a little strange to me that it is 'tongue stick to the flagpole' cold but you look out the window and it looks like it should be 60*...Now there are days it warms up to a beautiful 55* blue skies and sunny, there are others that it is Cyclone windy and you need gloves, Parka, hat and face cover just to get to your vehicle, the locals are all bundled up but this Cali Girl still isn't quite embracing the Chilly Willy state of mind! 

They dry air is turning us all into flaky people...I don't mean the type of people who don't show up for appointments... But our skin is such a mess.  The only thing in the world that helps is Grateful Garden Pure Shea Butter.  But man oh man, I have no idea how the farmers or oil workers can stand the chapped cracked skin.  You gotta slather your body with moisturizer to get through the day.

I am embracing the cold this year.  I am a little worried about the driving aspect of it but what the hell, When in Williston do as the Willys do.  Drive slow and let the car stop on its own.  If you end up in the ditch, just drive out the other side (and have a tow strap, just in case) Don't go out, unless you have to, or you are out of wine. Hope for a "beautiful day" one that is above zero.

Most of all, don't let it get to you, enjoy the adventure, you never know what might happen next!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gastromical Delights in Williston

I thought I would update everyone on the changes in beautiful Williston.  First and foremost, I am enjoying every single minute here.  I have never had the enjoyment of seasons.  When Spring "thaw" happened (I have never EVER referred to spring as a thaw) it was like the prairie came to life.  We had NO idea we had so many children in the hood.  It was like someone set out a picnic and the ants came running.  Kids on bikes, Moms with strollers and of course the young studs on their dirt bikes flying down our street heading to the "hills".  (The Hills are a big pile of fill dirt from the basements they have dug out of our subdivision.)  Guys take their jeeps and trail bikes out there and get muddy!   There were people everywhere!  Funny how during the wind and snow everyone goes from their cars to their houses and vice versa!  Its like everyone says when they get out of their car "Heads down everyone...get inside, Go go go!"

The nice months are the only time people have to get their main building done.  During this Summer we had some new eatery's open.  I am a self described foodie and love a good meal!  In turn I have created little foodies who know the difference between a mediocre meal out and a gastronomical delight!  We also like to have great ambiance when we go out.  We are not looking for a Wham bam Thank You Ma'am meal.  We like to enjoy our surroundings, as well as go with our friends to enjoy these places with them. 

We had a few new restaurants open here, and in my book that is reason to celebrate...

"Basil" is in walking distance of my office and they have amazing Sushi and Sashimi,  You can't go wrong with anything on this Asian Cuisine Menu.  Yes I said it...I am eating sushi in a land locked state.  But I also know what day they get delivery, and have researched their supplier and I am not concerned about getting, the least bit ill, from the food. 

"Williston Brewing Company"...This has been needed here for a long time.  The Decor, fabulous, the proof is in the details, from the Main door handles that are replica antique Rifles, to the light fixture that has been constructed from amber beer bottles and make up the lighting at the bar seating area.  A lovely stone fireplace gives you the visual and physical warmth required here!  Delicious!  Everything we have had there is so very good.  I love having a little craft beer every once in a while and it brings us both back to being a little homesickness!  Every Monday was Beer appreciation night when we lived in Cali, We would enjoy the local brewery and new beers on tap during happy hour at home... As an aside restaurants and bars don't need to offer Happy Hour... ever... because it is busy every minute of every day in Williston. Burgers are incredible and if you want a great steak this is the place to have one.

"Doc Holidays" is another Steakhouse with a small bar but a very inviting atmosphere.  It seems like you have more families that head here than the other new restaurants.  It has a smaller menu and the staff just keeps up but if time isn't an issue I would at least try the food.   It is really cute and has a little Stuart Anderson Black Angus feel to it. 

We keep our eye out for anything new and have been lucky enough to visit these new places during their soft openings and have been loyal customer since!

When going out to dinner (or any meal for that matter) in Williston expect to pay a little more than you would in other NoDak small towns.  With the Oil Boom you have to pay your employees (especially service people are hard to keep) alot more than minimum wage per hour and even in some cases supply them with housing or affordable housing to get them to stay!  It is a different world here and it is reflected in the cost of living.  I refer to Williston as the Manhattan of NoDak because everything is so busy and the prices of many things remind me of the City.  You see it across the board, groceries, eating out and real estate to name a few...but that is the subject for another day!  I am starving now, I am going to visit one of my favorite foodie finds now!