Saturday, February 27, 2010

Deja View

Enough already! I love snowy winters as much as the next guy, but we're getting out of hand here. Yesterday's storm dumped at least another 6" and the high winds drifted it deeply across the driveway and in front of the garage again. Another day of shoveling and blowing ahead of me. Back in the veg garden the big pots are sinking back into the regenerated snowbank.

This morning I had to dig my way out to the bird feeder while the local band of crows cawed their impatience for me to put out their bits of bread. The squirrels were also on alert. The first to get to the seeds was the male cardinal, making quite the splash against the fresh white background.

Meanwhile, leftover ice from the last blast has spawned a new gutter glacier. *sigh*

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


A trick of the light this morning. The camera caught this rosy sunrise through a quick flurry. The result - pink snow. Just beautiful!

The weather has been relatively mild for the past few days. A couple of sunny days. A rainy day. Temps in the low 30s. The snow has been shrinking from the top and from the bottom. (Honestly, the ground is not frozen under there! I can still push a sharp stick well into the lawn.) As you can see from the pic, the pots in the garden have re-emerged from the drifts and the 12" of snow has melted off the arbor.

I took the opportunity to work on the monster ice dam next to the front door. It took me several days up on a ladder wanging on it with a small sledge hammer and a hatchet. (Honestly, I really need supervision!) Anyway, yesterday I had at the last holdout - a knot of ice bigger than a bushel basket. It had encased the entire gutter and pulled it half-way out of the house. The downspout had given up days ago.

Eventually I got the ice down, but for the life of me could not get the gutter off so had to hammer it back into the house. The gutter itself is filled solid with ice - kind of like sourdough starter for the next dam. Oh well, Spring is coming. Right? RIGHT?

As for the leak from the bay window - it trickled for 2 days, easily filling a couple of buckets. Then it stopped. Obviously the ice melt over that bumpout found its way off the roof via other routes. When the weather warms I'll climb up there and try to caulk that seam. Meanwhile, in the off chance the seam leaks again, I've strategically rearranged some potted plants in the bay window. When ya get lemons.... ;-D

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snow kidding - we got more

I had moved all the snow by noon yesterday. But it kept snowing. All day. All night. Still a few flurries even as I type. Another 4-6 out there to move around today. Thankfully no wind so no drifts in front of the garage to dig out. I've been in this area for 30 years and never have we had such deep, persistent snowfall. This winter is one for the record books for sure. And no end in sight. *whimper*

But even with all the work, all the cold, and all the ibuprofen, you can't escape the fact that the view, the snowscapes are just downright stunning.

Later that same day -- OK, now it's lost all it's charm.

The front bay window is leaking from the seams where it attaches to the house. I dragged out the ladder and standing on the highest step I used a hoe to scrape off as much of the 15" of snow and ice on the window overhang roof as I could. Don't think I can do much more than that.

Inside - some plastic containers to catch the dripping, while I myself am slipping into angst mode..... *fume & worry*

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Even MORE of the same - sheesh!

We got about 8" of snow since yesterday afternoon. It's snowing right now. It's supposed to snow off and on all week. It's getting a little old. I'm getting a little old!

And check out the icicles. Monster, just monster. After I took this pic I tried to knock down as many as I could with a hoe. Hoe hoe hoe, boy that was fun - not.

I always get a big ice dam right next to the front door. The original builders designed it so that maybe 300 square feet of roof drain into a 16" length of gutter. (You can't even see the thing under that mass of ice.)

But this year has been the worse. I'm seriously considering taking down the gutter and let the rain/snow/etc just sluice off the edge of the roof. Trouble is, then the stoop might channel water toward the house. Again - decisions, decisions. But really, could it be any worse than this.

Anyway.... I've blown off the driveway, shoveled off the deck and even dug a path from the driveway almost to the front stoop, stopping right in front of the gas meter. A lot of work, but then, if I didn't have to take a meter reading today those icicles would still be there, turning into glaciers. *sigh*

Now where was I? Oh yeah. The comfy chair.... ahhhhh

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More of the same

Daytime temps aren't getting out of the 20s in the foreseeable future so the icicles just keep growing. (Wish I had a bank account like that! ;-D ) I know I should have dug my way out to the front door and began knocking those at the side of the door a couple of days ago, before they got this big.

Now the issue is that it would probably take a sledge hammer to break those up and with all that weight hanging from the gutter the gutters could be dislodged in the process. Parts of me could be dislodged in the process! *sigh*

About the only thing I can hope for is that the ones that now reach the stoop now might actually support the rest due to their pillar-like effect. Decisions. Decisions.

I guess I can take some kind of comfort to know that as far up and down the lane I can see that every other house have ice sculptures like this. Wish I could just send it all to Vancouver where they really need this stuff! :-D

On the brighter side - local stores have put out their seed racks and I've been unable to resist their siren call of Spring.

This year I'm going to grow more herbs so succumbed to pretty packets of herbs, spring greens, bunching onions, an assortment of radishes (although I've never really had luck with them - still, the 14th time may be the charm!), and some hyacinth beans.

Y'all know, too, that the basement plant lab is calling out to me where lay my seeds for wintersowing in jugs as well as seeds to start under lights. Hmmm.

Tempting, but not an overpowering urge yet....

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The icicles are getting longer and thicker. You can almost see them swelling out the front window. Meanwhile, back on the deck, the snow has drifted deeply onto the arbor and icicles that used to only hang off the gutter are now growing from the crosspieces. It's becoming a concern. Last summer's arbor rebuild gives me hope that the whole thing isn't going to come crashing down due to all that weight. The new ledger board et al are secure up there. The old arbor (only held up by nails, not bolts) would never have survived this assault.

Yesterday I posted that I wasn't going to do any 'heavy lifting', and as much as I was determined to stick to that resolve, *sigh* I did have to haul myself outside to clean the driveway again due to 5" of new snow. After that I had hoped I was done as the storm had passed and it didn't snow at all last night. Unfortunately we got some high winds and when I went out to fill the feeders this morning I saw there is a knee-deep drift in front of the garage door. *whine whine*

This stuff didn't use to phase me. But now that I'm, uh, more mature, I don't rebound as quickly from lots of cold hard labor like I used to. I'm going to have to resort to a few ibuprofen and a large dose of comfy chair.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Don't get me wrong. I really enjoy winter. I enjoy all four seasons. Really. But the snow is still piling up and the gutters are jamming up with ice dams again. Pretty, but potentially destructive. These outside the front window present the home owner with one of those brain tricks you see. Look at a picture and it's a duck. But then it's a rabbit. Icicles like these are sparkling and beautiful. Or they can mess up your roof. Take yer pick. LOL

Anywho... I'm walking away from the snow (yesterday dropped an additional 7" !) and the shoveling and the worrying about gutters and roofs. Yep, I am waaaay overdue for a little time out. After I dug out yesterday I braved the slippery streets and headed to the library where I raided their shelves for books and DVDs.

Today I'm off the field, on the bench and plan on nothing more strenuous than turning pages and refilling the teapot as necessary.

Hmmm. Perhaps a nap may be in order too. *ahhhhhhh*

Monday, February 8, 2010

Frost & flakes

Goodness! Talk about pretty! It got down to almost 0 last night, well past the dew point so this morning everything is covered in frost. It's darn near impossible to take a pic that does this sparkling world justice, but at least you can see from the shot above how flocked the world is today.

Weather channel has issued another winter warning for tomorrow & Wednesday. Perhaps 6 or more inches of snow. Oh joy.... :-/

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dug out

A big shout out to my great neighbor Craig who spent nearly 3 hours clearing my driveway last night and connecting me to the rest of the world again. The snow was so dense and so frozen near the ground he was having a tough time of it, even with the big machine. Sufficed to say, I can't thank him enough.

So this morning to celebrate being able to get out, I went right over to my mother's house and dug her a path down to the mailbox and, more importantly to her mind, a way back to her bird feeders! LOL

Today the sun is bright and the sky a brilliant robin's egg blue. It's positively dazzling to look outside and with the flocked trees and deep snow it makes one feel like being right in a Currier and Ives painting. Temps are predicted to stay below freezing all week so the effect will last though next weekend.

Mom is settled, the birds are fed. All that is left for me to do is dig my way to my stash of firewood.

Or not! Oh well, maybe just some hot chocolate. Wonder if I've got any marshmallows?

Stay safe and warm, everyone!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

And we're back...

It's been a while since I've updated this blog and I'm sorry. I've been very busy around the house since winter set in and today I updated the 'household adventures' and the 'garden project' pages(<= click to view details) with lots of newsy info and pics.

Like most the eastern U.S. today we're dealing with the after effects of the big storm. We have at least 14" of snow that came down in about 18 hours. With the 20-35 mph wind there is a lot of drifting. So much so that for once I cannot dig out my own driveway. I have a very small snowblower. Not very tall and does not throw snow very far. Luckily my neighbor has graciously offered her hubby and his monster snowblower to take care of things. Honestly, that blower is huge - like a VW with handles. Bless 'em.

Since I'd gotten settled in with groceries and other amenities earlier in the week I can just hunker down, stay inside and enjoy the gorgeous views. There are some things, though, that just have to be gone outside for. There are birds to feed! So early on I grabbed the snow shovel and dug my way out to the feeders. What fun....not.

Woof! That was my exercise for the day. Last thing I needed was fall down and get drifted over. I filled up the feeders and threw out a loaf of shredded bread and hustled back inside where it's nice and warm. You can't beat a nice pile of snow on the roof for extra insulation!