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February 06, 2010

Liveblogging the Sneaux, Part Deux

8:30. Holy crap. Robert Frost was right. Need more coffee.

I never realized this before, but my Mazda CX7 looks like a buffalo:

Buffalo in Storm.jpg

8: 35. Scoop up the Dorkhound, carry him outside to do his business. He is not amused.

8:47. Back outside to begin shoveling a path up the stairs and out to the street.

10:39. Shoveled a NARROW path from my front door, up the stairs, down the driveway to the buffalo at the end of my driveway. Was met at the front of my buffalo car by my neighbor, who came to my rescue with his snow blower. He cleared out a wide swath big enough for me to get my car out to the road.

I tried to get him to go back inside where it is warm, but he would have none of it. He said it was the least he could do since my husband was deployed.

Men rock. I can't even think about it without feeling my eyes fill up with tears. A few pix from early this morning:

beaten_path.jpg
The path from my front door.

bath_window.jpg
The woods from my bathroom window.

12:33. Incroyable. It's still coming down like gangbusters.

Al Gore can kiss my rosy pink tuckus.

office window.jpg
Noon, taken from my office window.

For reference purposes, what lies under the snow in the foreground is the path that runs along the front of my house. The snow is about 6" beneath the window sill right now.

2:08. Still coming down, but seems slower. Just completed the 2nd shoveling run and am really feeling my age.

snowplough.jpg
Why men rock, the sequel.

And yes, I am a Goddess:

path_2.jpg

In a sane world I would be naked on a beach with an obscenely large drink in my hand.

Posted by Cassandra at February 6, 2010 10:57 AM

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Comments

The snow is over here, the plows are out, the roads are clear.
My wife measured about 9 inches of snow in the front yard. I measured a drift in the side yard about 18 inches deep. Our big fat yellow lab was having a great time in the snow (up to his chest), and then he wore himself out.

And that's the story from this side of the snowstorm.
Back to your lives, citizens.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at February 6, 2010 01:15 PM

It was fifty degrees today in Georgia, but we've had a ton of rain. We've been struggling with the erosion problems all winter. I spent the day digging a new French drain, filling it with boulders from the property, and then smashing them with a sledgehammer. Not quite snowshoveling, but still a fair bit of weather-driven work.

Posted by: Grim at February 6, 2010 03:18 PM

We live on a very steep hill, so rainwater runoff is a BIG deal for us. We have multiple French drains on our property - even underneath the flagstone path that runs along the front of the house.

Last year we finally put in a big drain running all the way down the left side of our property. We also had to put in a grate at the end of the driveway that acts as a cache for rainwater heading into the drain. It has made a huge difference with the erosion.

That sort of thing fascinates me. It was interesting talking with several contractors to hear their analysis on how to solve the drainage problems on the lot. One thing I took to heart is that if I had it to do over again, I would have put in a paver driveway rather than a blacktop one.

I have seen them before and have always liked the way they look but never thought about the drainage functions they perform.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 6, 2010 03:42 PM

"we've had a ton of rain. We've been struggling with the erosion problems all winter. I spent the day digging a new French drain, filling it with boulders from the property, and then smashing them with a sledgehammer."
We're on a hill, above a spring fed pond that's 150-200 yards down in the pasture. We've had little to no drainage problems since first moving in. But I did borrow a neighbors backhoe/front-loader to perform a bit of sculpting on Gaea within the first few years we were here. It was in the late 80's, early 90's, along about when the regional drought of the 1980's was first broken with a cycle of monsoon seasons.

I am just pleased as punch that we've recently had a new roof and exterior overhaul performed on the hun hovel. Just prior to the latest monsoon onset.

"if I had it to do over again, I would have put in a paver driveway"
I'd love to once again borrow that front-loader and tear up the concrete drive and walks, then replace them with pavers. Unfortunately, at this point I'd have to pay someone else to do it, and I'm too chea... er, frugal, not to mention picky, for that to happen.

Posted by: bt_of_then_mudpuddle_&_whispering-pines_huns at February 6, 2010 04:01 PM

I have been considering doing something much like that, bthun. At the bottom of the hill, rainwater collects in large pond-like shapes inside the larger pasture when it rains. I have been thinking of digging out a proper pond with a backhoe, and then burning some of the trees that would be removed within the hole -- red clay mud should bake into a nice bowl, which ought to help it retain the water the rest of the year. We'd benefit from it for watering the cattle I want to put out in the spring, and it would help resolve some of the drainage issues that came with the land.

Posted by: Grim at February 6, 2010 05:20 PM

Grim, I'd be happy to help you with that task, but lately just keeping my fingers online and synced up with the voluntary motor-controller has been a task.

Ok, I've got it! I'll volunteer to provide moral support and help with the beer management. =8^}

Posted by: bt_of_the_mudpuddle_&_whispering-pines_huns at February 6, 2010 06:21 PM

Advice from NH...spay vegetable oil (like PAM) on your shovel and the snow won't stick if it's wet snow. Also, PACE YOURSELF!!!!! Think of it as an adventure rather than a chore and it's lots of fun.
Every few minutes, lean on your shovel, look at the sky and think lofty thoughts or throw a ball for the dog (same thing, really). Then back to the snow. It's not like you're going anywhere in a hurry, now, is it.

Posted by: jmb at February 6, 2010 07:31 PM

Thank goodness it doesn't often throw frozen white stuff on us here in Seattle. It's generally wet, not white, so drainage is the only challenge.
Go have that drink now!

Posted by: Barb at February 6, 2010 07:37 PM

bthun,
You worry me with your comments lately. Have you injured your back (herniated disc or discs )? Torn or damaged something? 'Fess up.

Cass, nice that you have good neighbors like that. Buy that man a cold beer next summer.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at February 6, 2010 08:14 PM

Welcom to my world, get snow like this all the time in Norway

Posted by: john at February 7, 2010 04:38 AM

Old injury Don. Other than being frustrated with the unwillingness of the old carcass to obey the brain, and the amount of energy required to force some compliance, I've been a bit more cranky than usual.

I'm fine, in a P.O.'ed curmudgeonly sorta way... =8^}

I think I'll start the morning with some mood music.

Posted by: bt_of_the_mudpuddle_&_whispering-pines_huns at February 7, 2010 06:14 AM

spay vegetable oil (like PAM) on your shovel and the snow won't stick if it's wet snow.

I like that one - that was a real problem yesterday.

I did pace myself, though. I had to! The last photo shows less than 1/3 of my driveway. I also used a smaller shovel. That was huge. I don't think I would have been able to lift a shovel full of wet snow with my full sized snow shovel.

A few years back I bought these neat snow tools designed to go in the trunk of your car for The Unit. They have telescoping handles. There was a small shovel, an ice scraper/brush with an extended reach handle that lets you reach most of the way across a large car and a neat weighted cover you can place over the car to keep ice/snow off if you are parked somewhere outside.

One of the better purchases I've made over the years.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 7, 2010 09:27 AM

These past 20 some odd years have seen our snow shovel doing duty in the garage as a very large dustpan. I like my snow shovel so much more now than 20+ years ago.

♫ Oh, the weather outside is frightening... =8^}

Posted by: bt_of_the_mudpuddle_&_whispering-pines_huns at February 7, 2010 10:36 AM

As for shoveling steps...I've found it's good to step gracefully (ie. w/out falling on your face) down to the bottom of the steps. Then go up the steps and use a dustpad as the shovel. Just fill the dustpan and flink it up and over. Usually 2 or 3 flinks/step. You can also sit on a cleaned step and do the next 1 or 2 steps up.

I may need to get a life. I think too much about snow. And you're right, 2 half shovelfuls can be easier and more efficient than 1 full shovel.

Posted by: jmb at February 7, 2010 07:43 PM

That's a great tip. Usually I use a broom or my small shovel but a dustpan would be easier, I think.

I got these great ice pads for the steps from Vermont Country Store. They have saved me so much work - I just put them down before it starts snowing or sleeting and if ice forms on the steps I can easily break it up by stepping on the pads.

They were not inexpensive but they're totally worth the money:

http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/browse/Home/For-The-Home/Yard-Garden/Seasonal-Solutions/Ice-Breaker-Mats/D/30100/P/1:100:1030:10380:101300/I/f54657?evar3=SEARCH

Since we have slate steps I have to be careful with them.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 7, 2010 08:00 PM

Yup, huge snowstorms, freezing rain, and 30 degrees below zero with the wind chill is why I left Chicago years ago.

Down here in Phoenix, it also got so chilly that I had to close the windows. Brrrrrrrr!

Posted by: a former european at February 7, 2010 11:47 PM

We live at the lower end of a hill, so the swamp in the back yard is none too attractive at this time of year. The Engineer is considering terraforming our bit of Gaia with a backhoe to get it to drain better and to give us more 'arable' land. We only have an acre and a third. We have put french drains around the garage and around the house. The basement used to be the garage, but the previous owners finished it, and did a terrible job. It has the Engineer alternately cursing and blessing the fact that they did.

One of the curses was they didn't finish one wall correctly, and it leaked every now and again. He was able to correct it, and we have had a dry basement for several years. The other curse is the insulation, the acoustic tile ceiling and do not mention the bathroom. He was so annoyed that I thought he would be catatonic.

afe, I remember those days in AZ. A chill factor for you in the winter would be what...70 degrees?

Posted by: Cricket at February 8, 2010 07:35 AM

We got 33" here, digging up my civic was NOT fun, not at all... took the pictures for the record... still snowed in here with the Metro only running underground... and another storm coming tomorrow - not only I am missing a day of work today, I am going to miss my ballet tomorrow, dang it... I HATE snow...

Posted by: olga at February 8, 2010 09:50 AM

Here is a cure for cabin fever, working in a cube farm and a variation of Ninja Nerf Warriors (aka the CLUs).

Nerf War

Posted by: Cricket at February 8, 2010 11:42 AM

I never realized this before, but my Mazda CX7 looks like a buffalo:

Lemme get this straight -- your car has *hair*?

Posted by: BillT at February 8, 2010 12:15 PM

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