21 12 2009

For once, the weathermen were correct and we got slammed by a blizzard over the weekend!  On Friday afternoon, I ran around getting some last minute things accomplished: I got gas in my car, because when the temperatures are going to be below freezing, you want to make sure to have at least half a tank of gas to avoid any freezing and subsequent water in the tank.  I ran to the grocery store (along with everyone else in a 25 mile radius) to pick up eggs and milk, so fortunately, I was in and out quickly.  I picked up dog food for the pup (and got suckered into getting him a couple of toys and a new bed that was part of a great sale).  I made sure to get the pet-friendly salt for my sidewalks and some logs for the fire (though fires actually pull more heat out of the house than they push in).  And I finished up a couple of other things I needed to get done. 

Before going to bed, I made sure to bring my shovel inside so that I didn’t have to fight my way into the shed to get it in the morning, in case a lot of snow had fallen already.  And I was ready with some Pam (which if you spray it on the shovel, helps the snow slide off a little easier.  Then the shovel isn’t as heavy when you’re working). 

I woke up at eight the next morning and immediately sat up in bed – was it snowing??

Oh yes. We already had two inches of snow.  I called my parents to see how much snow they had (none) and to figure out when I should start my shoveling.  I thought four inches, and my dad said I could even wait up until six had fallen. 

At this point, it was still just looking pretty - I do love snow, just not shoveling!

But at 10, we had about four inches of snow, and I could hear my next door neighbor outside shoveling, so I thought I’d better get out there.  It turned out that his girlfriend had been bugging him to dig the cars out, so that’s why he was out there earlier.  And supposedly a mythical large snowblower would be arriving that afternoon, so they told me not to go crazy.  Good thing I didn’t listen to them, because the snowblower didn’t arrive until I was almost done with my driveway.  Yesterday afternoon.

Anyway, I managed the four inches in about an hour and because there was going to be so much snow, I didn’t even bother with the sidewalk closest to the street.  My driveway is long enough for three cars, and I only have a little one, so there was a LOT of shoveling to be done.  I figured I’d have to get out there sometime during the afternoon, once another four or so inches had fallen, so I left on my base layer and ski socks (I don’t ski, I just own the clothes for it) and started some holiday baking. 

Around three, I realized that the neighbor I share a driveway with had shoveled my driveway along with his – I almost cried, it was so nice of him.  That meant I could stay in my warm, cozy house watching Christmas movies and baking until about six.  Because I live on the coast where it’s perpetually windy, we were basically in blizzard-like conditions, with gusts up to 50 miles an hour.  Because of the wind, the snow was forming drifts everywhere, and it seemed that all the snow my neighbor had shoveled landed right back on the driveway.  So I shoveled about six inches at 6, which took me forever.  I cleaned my car off and left the engine running for a while – my car seems to attract ice on the hood in cold weather, and I wanted to make sure I was melting it whenever I could. I also left the windshield wipers sticking up so that they didn’t freeze to the windshield – that has happened to me, and if you pull them off before they’ve defrosted, you can rip the wiper (SO annoying). 

Before my second shoveling - the car was totally covered

But my house looked pretty, all snowcovered - even though you can't see a lot of the lights under about 10 inches of snow!

This tree did look very cool

Very Christmas-y

My driveway-sharing neighbor came out again to shovel, so I was able to tell him a big THANK YOU and he still helped me shovel the rest of my driveway!  I was really struggling towards the end – I like to say I have freakishly strong upper arms, but there was so much snow and no where to put it as I shoveled, so I had to do a lot of lifting.  I felt like a wet noodle by the time I was finished with that round.  I took a short break to chat to my  next door neighbor who told me the showblower would be arriving in the morning and not to go crazy with shoveling.  I finished what I could and decided I was done for the night, if a snowblower would be handling the rest!

After a lovely hot shower and some clean pajamas, there was a ring at my door – it was my next door neighbor, with a meal of a Hungarian hamburger and mashed potatoes!  The perfect cold weather meal, I saved it for Sunday night, when I was the most tired.

Before I went to bed Saturday night - we had about 11 inches of snow

When I woke up on Sunday, the snow was finished and the sun was peeking out. All told, we had about 15 inches of snow.  I could barely push the back door open to let the dog out, and he was overwhelmed by the world of white at first.  He managed to get stuck in a corner of the yard, so I had to pick up all 56 pounds of him and carry him back to the deck – I almost dropped him because I was so sore from shoveling!

Once he got the hang of it, the pup LOVED the snow!


Finally got up the energy to shovel a path on the porch

I was hoping for a snowblower miracle, but when I didn’t hear it, and saw my driveway sharing neighbor out there working on our driveway, I figured I’d best get out there.  I managed to shovel my front stoop, clear off the car, and shovel a path on my porch for the pup before I felt done for.  My back was starting to spasm, and I just wanted to lounge in a hot bath.  But it was not to be – I headed out again to work on my sidewalk and driveway and finally, the snowblower arrived! 

After I had finished half the driveway.

Maybe I'll see my swing again in the spring?

But they seemed to be having some trouble getting it to keep going, so I kept working on the driveway just in case it was a goner.  I didn’t want to give up shoveling, only to find out an hour later that I needed to finish it up!  But finally, my neighbor assured me that it would be working soon and unless I felt I needed the workout, I could put my shovel away.  Of course, I was almost entirely finished with shoveling, but he cleared up the hardest part – the end of my driveway – the entire sidewalk by the street, and shoveled out our mailboxes, as well as cleaned up the other end of the driveway, where I’d lost energy and just put snow wherever.   Despite the one creepy neighbor behind me, I am very lucky to have such great neighbors who really helped a girl out this weekend!  They will definitely be receiving some of my holiday treats!

It was awfully pretty

Also, I do need to salt again today in the areas I didn’t get to yesterday, but the salt did it’s trick and kept the sidewalk from freezing with the low temperatures we’re experiencing here, so I highly recommend it.  I’m not going anywhere until at least tomorrow, but it’s good to be able to get out of here if I need to!  Now, I just have to live in fear of the high temps they’re promising for Friday, when I’ll be celebrating Christmas elsewhere – I heard that a few years ago when a big snow melted, sump pumps were overwhelmed and flooding made a mess of things.  That would not be so good – so I’ll have to check to make sure the pipe is exposed before I leave and just hope for the best!

The pup & I in our own winter wonderland


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