When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

The great storm of New Years 2010, a perspective from the 'Foreside

I'd been hearing the hype for about a week - a huge storm was heading our way. Two seperate Low pressure systems were actually barreling down on us and suspected to merge right over our heads. As such, people pushed each other down to get to milk, bread, booze and cigarettes knowing that we might be snowed in for days. Initial reports refused to provide accumulation numbers, and when finally revealed they spanned anywhere from a dusting to 3 feet. Seriously. I was sucked into the hype, making sure that I had bottled water, batteries and other various goodies from the grocery store (have you even been stuck in a house with an 8 year old bottomless pit?). I even went as far as to fire up the gas grill, pull out the little propane heater and make sure all the candle holders and oil lamps were filled. I haven't filled the bathtub yet, I'll save that for later. Below you will find my ship's log of the events of the great storm of New Years 2010.

Thursday, December 31st

3:00 - worked from home today. Snowfall estimates for my area are 1 - 3". The sky opened up around noontime and at this point we already have 1" on the ground. 9 turkeys and around 20 Juncos have been feeding non-stop, typical visitation by a small handful of BlueJays, 2 dozen Mourning Doves, the woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and titmouse and been steady as well. The monkey is already bored and recently had a meltdown, this could be a long weekend. He's dying to use his new snowtube. The plow just went by to start filling in the end of the driveway, let the games begin.

(Im)patiently waiting for enough snow to go tubing

Turkeys filling up the tanks

Digging for gold

Enough to scrape, I mean shovel the back porch

5:00 - Just came in from shoveling at least 4" of snow from the driveway. Light, fluffy and cold it was as we worked our way down the 90' of gravel driveway. We gave a hearty wave to the man who plows for the town. He reminds me with a big ol' teddy bear with a cheshire cat grin and we have an agreement that I will never curse him as he showers my drive with roadway slush. At least not since the day he dropped the plow wing in my driveway and cleaned out about 2' of snow for me - he's a good guy. WCSH6 claims that it will begin snowing in the morning and won't stop until Sunday night, still no snowfall totals. Oh goodie, am I ever excited. I suppose, it's time to start preparing for the New Years celebration. Monkey just announced that he's staying up until midnight - that only happens once in a Blue Moon. Speaking of which, I hope you got to see it before the clouds came in last night - it was beautiful. If you didn't, here you go.

The 'Blue Moon', taken on 12/29 - a few days premature

8:00 - We ate a bunch of stuff that's not good for you, and I can tell I'll have indigestion later from the dips, chips and chicken nugget sauces (that's the LAST time the monkey plans the menu!). They are now forecasting 6 - 10" for my area tomorrow, with no mention of totals for Sat / Sun. Maybe I should go buy a generator in case it turns into a Nor'easter that knocks out power for a year. We went outside and made a luge for the monkey's snowtube and he had a blast - told me this is the best night he's ever had. That's pretty darn special. It's rather nice out, the air is very still - not a breeze - and is strikingly warmish feeling. We had fun. Let's see if we can stay awake to ring in 2010.

10:00 - Well, the monkey didn't make it until midnight - he passed out cold around 9:30.  I put the dog out and it looked like it was snowing, very fine lightly falling snow. It's supposed to be snowing when we wake up, we shall see.

Friday, January 1st

7:30 am - Well, he might have fallen asleep late but with all disregard to his mother staying up half the night, monkey insisted I get out of bed at 6:30 this morning. Happy stinking New Year. It snowed overnight, but nothing to get excited over, just a dusting. The latest update states that between this morning and Sunday, we're supposed to get around a foot of snow. I feel bad for kicking that guy in the shins over the bottled water now, I had been led to believe it would be more like 3'.

1/1 weather map, courtesy of WCSH6.com

2:00 pm - What a boring day. It's been snowing since this morning but hasn't accumulated much at all. Turkeys, Juncos, Blue Jays and Mourning doves in large flocks, chickadees, titmouse, nuthatches and woodpeckers mixed in. We just watched "Everest", a movie from 2007 about a group of Canadian climbers and their experience - it was good. Ghostbusters is our afternoon entertainment. Oh, and I made my own 'suet cakes' this morning out of peanut butter, cornmeal, flour, mixed birdseed, cranberries and Crisco.  I'm just waiting for them to harden up in the freezer than I'll give them a whirl and see what my birdies think. We just got back from walking the 'back 40' and soaking in the sights. It's a beautiful winter wonderland right now!

Homemade 'suet'

He ♥s the snow

9:00 pm - Well, after snowing all day we probably have around 2" on the ground. The radar has taken on a life of it's own, appearing as though to continuously loop the same images over and over and over again. For the first time that I can recall, I'm hearing four - yes four (4) - severe weather alerts as I listen to the Weather Channel. They are now saying that between now and Saturday night we could get 6 - 12" - so maybe WCSH6 won't be too far off. I have to laugh listening to the 'weather experts' on the talking about how we need to stock up on supplies and make sure we know where our snow shovels are. Really? Apocolypse!

Oh yeah - monkey passed out cold around 7:00 after talking me into snuggling up with him to watch Star Wars III - Revenge of the Sith. Of course he was practically lying on top of me so I proceeded to watch the whole thing, I found it interesting. Please Lord don't let us get buried if that's how I feel already. I need some rest for tomorrow, can tell it's going to be bad already.

Saturday, January 2nd

9:30 am - Woke up to a consistant light-falling snow that appeared to have accumulated little more than an inch overnight. When I put the dog out, the Pileated Woodpecker started screaming at us from the top of the big pine out back. Same birds frequenting the feeders as in days before, with more visiting the pan feeder since the ground snow is getting so deep. I'm expecting the turkeys to emerge from the back '40 any time now to graze like they did all day yesterday. Snowfall amounts now are between 5 - 12", no two stations reporting the same. I guess the two Lows have now met and will start to backtrack. I'm making a beef stew in the crockpot in case the power goes out - at least it will stay warm for a long time that way (if it gets a chance to finish cooking!). I should have soaked beans last night.

12:30 pm - My neighbors plowed a swath up the driveway for us while I was in the shower (figured I'd better tidy up in case we loose the power for a month or so), the monkey was pretty excited about that. We just had 7 wild turkeys FLY in - I laughed out loud at the sight of them using the driveway as their landing strip.I would say that in total, we've probably hit the 6 - 7" mark since New Years Eve day which seems incredible since it hasn't really stopped since. Feels like we should have more like 6'. Monkey made some salt dough clay this morning and we baked his creations. Kept him preoccupied for all of 15-20 minutes - he's moved on to shoveling again. I think we might need to drag out the showshoes here in a little while......

Sammie lives up to her breed

Salt Dough Clay

3:30 pm - I've decided to make Beef and Broccoli soup, I had enough leftover fresh broccoli to say what they heck. It's still snowing and getting windier - looks like we have bands of heavier snow on the way. Not much buildup since the last report as of yet, but then again they did say the apocolypse would occur overnight tonight. We gained 14 turkeys, two American Tree and a Savannah Sparrow as the afternoon has progressed. All the critters understood the need to feed and albiet probably reluctantly they all joined forces to eat all the suet and seed I had provided to them and just about drove the cat nuts in the process.

American Tree Sparrows in my ingenious eco-friendly feathered-friend feeder

Monkey and the turkeys discuss the weather

How many animals do YOU see?

9:00 pm - Monkey has a best friend that lives up the street, and his dad swung by and plowed out the driveway then took the monkey back to their place. I had almost 4 hours of peace and quiet after being cooped up together the past few days. It's still snowing and blowing like crazy! Still have heavy snow coming on the radar, very curious to see what the totals will be. We are easily over 10" total now, a far cry from 2'. I'm hoping for a break tomorrow to shovel and actually GET OUT. For now, I pray we don't loose power. I'm going to fill the bathtub.

A wicked winter wonderland

The picture just doesn't do justice

Sunday, January 3rd

7:30 am - We lived through the night, although I'm not quite sure how. I watched the news at 10:00 and noticed that we were in a break from the snow with some heavy bands coming in quickly. I quickly donned my shoveling best and cleaned the 4" off the back porch so I wouldn't have to deal with it in the morning. I'm kinda glad I did - I just went out and cleaned another 3" off while waiting for my coffee to brew. It's still snowing and the wind is wild, I can't imagine being Downeast right now. So by my calculations, we have a total storm accumulation of 14". Whooptie-freaking-doo. I'm a Mainah, that's like nothing! Good thing this wasn't a school week though, oh - and Kevin Pannix is claiming we have another big one coming on Tuesday. Muahahahahahahah!

Oh, that's gonna hurt....

Looking across the back field

9:30 am - It appears as though we are officially 'done' with the snow. There are a few light areas that will cause flurries as the day goes on, but aside from the 1/2 we gained since I last wrote - that's all she wrote. Time to pull out the snowshoes and pack up for a hike! Thanks for putting up with my 'cabin fever writing'!

Thank goodness she keeps us fed!


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