Saturday, February 28, 2015

Turned On

The shoveling of the driveway next door went well. It was cleared and melted, ready for use. Not this one. I plan to park at the top until the melt is complete down to the permafrost. Shoveling one gravel driveway is enough. The snow shovel has seen its last though. Why is the scoop made out of brittle plastic?

The answer of course is so it won't last and I'll have to go buy a new one. Consumption.

Turning the water back on next door turned into a bit of a mini-disaster. A trip to town and a very wet basement floor were involved before the filters were cleaned, leaks stopped and the system put in working order.


Miss Dinah gets one more night at her winter home. I didn't have the mental resources left for herding a cat once the long painful process of turning the water back on was finally complete.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Just To Get To The Front Door

The front porch isn't covered and the roof drips two feet from the door. There used to be gutters, but a big snow ripped them off the house. Since no one is supposed to be here in the winter, it usually isn't a problem. Who cares how deep the snow gets?

Tomorrow afternoon it will be a problem. People are arriving with all their stuff and they have to get to the front door.

It's a long way from the scenic byway just to get to the front porch. While I was told don't bother to shovel the driveway, we'll make do. I wasn't seeing that as a viable option. Lucky I have time on my hands while gardens are buried in snow.

Let the shoveling begin.

Did I mention it was a long way from the scenic byway to the front door? That is why I started shoveling a day early.

I could do half today and half tomorrow.

Unshoveled, there will still be snow on the ground tomorrow evening.

Shoveled, there is the good possibility the melt will clear the snow down to the gravel drive. It will be close. There might be some remnants.

There is just one big problem at the bottom of the drive on the edge of the scenic byway. Thanks a lot snow plow dude. That's what I get for closing the gate. When I left it open in past winters he shoved the pile a few extra feet so as not to block the driveway.

Piles like that are like avalanche snow, hard and compacted and a pain to shovel. Thanks a bunch snow plow dude.

I'll finish shoveling tomorrow and turn on the water, clean the filters, crank up the heat, turn the refrigerator back on, put a few things in it and stock kitty supplies.

Someone is moving tomorrow if I can get her to go for a walk through the snow. It's a long way to the front door. It may take some coaxing.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Now Melt

The heavy snow stayed south. Thank you. Another three inches was added to the pile here. All that snow does make my future tree and shrub border more visible while it is still small. During the Lush of summer it is next to invisible.

Soft fluffy mounds cover the cold stone truth beneath.

The Fothergilla twigs have grown.

The impervious Witch Hazels bloom on.

Ramp heads poke through the snow.

Now melt! I really do not want to have to shovel the driveway next door. It was bad enough the road grader that went by left an extra big scoop of snow at the end of the drive by the road. Why did he have to put the excess there?

Next week is looking warmer. Highs in the 50's with rain.

And then more rain.

The snow will melt. I will go back to work. I may even work in the rain just to get caught up. A red bicycle will be hung in the trees where that opening is in front of the red telephone pole. One more object to puzzle and frighten the travelers along the scenic byway.

Enough with the snow. Now melt!

Think spring. Think warm. Think crocus and daffodils. Think green.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Run Toto Run

Right in this group of trees, up at the top of the driveway, flying through the air is where it will be. It's just best I wait til the snow melts. Previous experience with high shiny balls and ladders in snow proved a bit dangerous.

I have left over cable and eye hooks from the mini loft library railing project. I went to the store today and bought the last packet of 1/8" ferrules they had. One packet was not enough and it was the wrong size for the 1/8" cable. Apparently I forgot that detail. Hopefully that will mean they are not out of the larger size I need when I go back after it snows.

The new basket is on. I even found some golden tassels in my collection of debris. It is ready to hang.

After a dash of morning sun, the sky turned a thick steel grey. A stillness settled in. We wait for it to begin. There is hope under the threat of another winter storm.

How much more will get added on top? Does it really matter?

Unfortunately it does. There isn't going to be much melt time before Saturday's arrivals. A whole lot of snow may mean I have to shovel the 200 foot long driveway to the house next door.

I'm ready for spring.

But spring is not ready to come. In stillness, the snow has begun.

It looks like the heavy snow is staying south. I'm in the 3 to 5 inch coverage zone. But I will get the cold north wind wrap around of this storm, the part where more snow piles up along the Tennessee border.

Next week will be spring.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More Than Expected

This much snow was not part of my plan.

The suggested amount was an inch at most. I planned for a dusting.

It looks more like four inches.

Now there is a suggestion that another two to four inches could be coming on Wednesday night.

That was not in my plan either.

My plan included getting some spring cleaning done in a long list of gardens.

Instead what I got was watching a road grader go by because there was more snow than expected and the regular plow truck must be busy elsewhere.

It's hard to get any spring cleaning done when the garden is buried in more snow than expected.

I have this sinking feeling spring is just going to arrive one day unannouced and I will be scambling to get every thing done for the bulb displays.

I am now very ready for the jet stream to move its loopy ass to a new location.

I have chores to do.

This was not in the plan.

This was the plan. My driveway was going to refreeze and I was going to get unstuck. I managed to do it. I didn't plan for no shovelin' though. I don't shovel snow......except when things do not go according to plan.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Trapped By Indecision

I blame it on the dung. If it wasn't for the mountainous mound of manure needing feeding I might not have come down the driveway. I knew it was risky. The poop was backing up at the Posh Estate. A load of it needed to go.

Now I am stuck.

Yesterday it was warm and a melt commenced. This morning it was cold and a snow commenced.

Then things changed and it went back to melting. Now it is turning cold again and the snow might come back.

You see, the driveway is at the horrible stage of melt after a deep penetrating freeze where there is a layer of melt on top of the frozen. It is too warm to refreeze and too cold to melt completely.

This is my driveway after making an attempt to get up it this morning and then raking out the deep mud ruts I made in the effort. That long dark streak on the right is the imprint left by a mud covered tire in fresh white snow while coming back down.

Now I have to wait. Will it freeze or will it thaw? It has to do one or the other. Until then I am stuck.

This indecisiveness shows up every year at some point. I do know better. I could live without this crap, but it is free for the taking and well, we all know, stuff happens. I blame it on the dung. Time will wipe things clean.

Since I was stuck, I put on my layers and went on a stick pickup patrol. Without any wind, even the not cold enough to freeze and not warm enough to thaw is tolerable enough for a short stroll. I saw lots more snowdrops and the very first signs of the 10,000 daffodils.

A decision of some sort may be coming soon.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Day Of Unpleasantness

Yesterday was gross. Every variety of frozen precipitation you can imagine fell from the sky until it eventually turned to rain after dark.

I am used to that. I can cope. What made it truly unpleasant, next to unbearable, was the wind. The wind screamed all day long.

The temperature kept creeping up. It got well past freezing. A good melt commenced and frozen crap continued to get tossed through the air.

All the way up to 40 plus. It was a new cold with that wind. I went next door to reconnect my exterior water exhaust for the furnace in that cold. Without any negative and single digits in the diagnosis I wouldn't have to collect the water in a bucket in the utility closet and have to empty it every other day.

The utility closet is unheated, but it has to get very cold to do that to my water bucket.

Poor Uncle Ernie. It was miserable out there.

Today there was a reprieve. All that howling warm air pushed away the cold for one short day of respite before the cold returns again.

I went to town to check on my babbling brook and koi pond. The snowdrops opened for business while they could.

It actually made it up to fifty today, a new, new warm for a short amount of time.

One short spurt of fifty isn't enough though. The ground is in that horrible state of melt where there is a layer of thaw on top of frozen. I brought a load of dung home with me and am now stuck at the bottom of my driveway until the mud refreezes.

The ground has stayed so cold there really are not any signs of the 10,000 daffodils yet. This will be the latest emergence of the bulbs I have ever seen. I hope that means there will be a really good show this year.

'Arnold' is quite fine with a short spurt of fifty.

Once it finally turned to rain, it rained all night and melted all the snow. The next round of snow and cold will have to recover the ground starting from scratch.