Just a bit more about the weather, then I will stop

*By the way, we did it! It is officially the coldest month in recorded history in Bangor. As of the 27th (still waiting on the data from today, the 28th) our average temp was 6.1°. The next coldest was a temp of 8.4° back in January of 1991. In fact, all of the other top 5 coldest months have been Januarys. The next coldest February was in 1993 with an average temp of 11.3°. And don’t even get me started on the snowfall totals. So exciting (unless you hate snow/have to pay for plowing/have nothing else to complain about)! We’re number 4 right now, with 117.1″. We’ll make it into the number 2 spot soon I think which is currently 119.7″. The all time record is 181.9″ and Lord help me if we get there.*

Jessica Conley Meteorologist WABI TV 5 & The CW

See?  Not crazy.  This weather has sucked.  BTW – that snowfall – all in 5 weeks. Not in a  whole winter like those other years.

OK, maybe crazy, but I blame it on cabin fever.

IT’S MARCH!!!!  So we are only getting 3-5 inches of snow tonight, and there is a chance of snow/sleet/rain on Tuesday night.  I guess we have to endure ice before it all goes away and we see spring flowers  mud.

The next day

It turns out my forecast was pretty accurate, although the wind *might* have been more fierce than I expected.  We got about 14-16 inches of snow, I would guess, although there is no place to really measure it accurately, that is what the towns around us report.  It is still snowing lightly, but the storm is pulling away, and we should see sun this afternoon.  Yeah!

In spite of my shoveling the vent out periodically all day Tuesday, it still clogged and so we have no hot water or radiant heat until the plumber comes over.  I called early, they will call me back when they get a feel for the schedule.  Since we have electricity, we have our pellet stove and of course, the wood stove in the cellar, so the house is quite warm.  However, that means that I have to stay close to home to keep fire going and pellets in the hopper.  And today is the day I was to head over to Mom’s for a visit.  I am bummed. Not to mention the lack of hot water for washing people and dishes and laundry… also a bummer.

I did, however finish the mittens last night, and I wore them out to shovel this morning – so much warmer than my acrylic gloves!  I used Elizabeth’s Zimmerman’s thumb trick, and really like it.  Obviously, I went with a solid thumb, and struggled with keeping the alternating stitch pattern while increasing for the thumb gusset.  I have some ideas how to deal with that the next time, like make the thumb gusset solid, and the thumb. Or do the increases together in the center of the gusset so the pattern isn’t interrupted.  But that won’t be for a while, these were far more work than I expected when I blithely cast them on.  🙂

mittens jan 28

Here’s another shot of something with progress to show – at last!  The blue sweater body, all blocked and drying out, waiting for me to finish knitting the sleeves, which are about 3 or 4 inches long at the moment.

blue sweater jan 28

Aside from waiting for the plumber to call back, today I plan to work on the blue sleeves, maybe cast on a beaded silk necklace for the daughter of a friend, shovel off the decks (more snow on the way, and the next storm is said to be a heavier, wetter snow.  That means we have to clean now while we can!) and I should probably clean up the mudroom, which looks like a wet mitten and boot tornado hit it. A is back at work today, so I can work at my own pace.  🙂

Monday between the storms

It seems Mother Nature has suddenly remembered that it is, in fact winter.  Our snow storm Saturday started on time, and gave us 5-6 inches of pretty fluffy snow.  Not bad.  We got our Saturday chores done early, then hunkered down and enjoyed the pretty stuff.  Sunday we cleaned off the car, went off to Brewer to do a few errands, then came home, and learned of the Nor’Easter headed our way.  In true hysterical meteorologist fashion we have heard the following for a forecast:  Blizzard conditions for three days, winds in the 50 mph range, power outages, and accumulations?  Anywhere from 7 inches to 2 feet, depending on where you are. (Duh, of course it depends on where you are!  If you are in Florida, you won’t get any snow.  Jeesh)

Forgive me if I find it difficult to buy into their wild stories.

I expect we will get quite a storm, and that it will start tonight sometime and be over and gone by Wednesday morning, and that we will have about a foot of snow. I can predict this because I have a degree in Finance. (As useful as any when it comes to the weather.)

They get so darned excited that it goes to their heads, I think, and they predict wild and crazy things, then they back off of them, then afterwards, no matter what happens, they can say they predicted it.

Oh, and lest we decide to let that snow hang about uncleared for any length of time, Thursday night into Friday, we are getting more, as yet unspecified amounts, except that it will be “plowable.”  Another few inches at least.

So, this fine Monday, A is home (previously scheduled) and we will clear off the paths and decks in preparation for more snow.  I’ll fill water jugs, charge cell phones, etc. We already have candles and flashlights out for the season, and so are in pretty good shape for a few days of storminess. I roasted a chicken yesterday, so we have leftovers ready to be warmed up. Life is good for the moment.

Of course, Tuesday, A is scheduled to go to Brownville, but I suspect that won’t happen. She may have a mini-vacation this week!

Wednesday, I am scheduled to spend the day with Mom, but that may be only half a day, or get rescheduled as well.  We will see. That would be a shame, as we had a hard time finding this day, when we were both free.  Taxes start next week, so my weeks become instantly full.

Thanks, Mother Nature!  Get it out of your system now, please, and then go back to sleep.

drip freeze drip freeze

Oh man, I think we are in for it.

The warmth on Friday made all of our snow full of water. Then it froze. So all paths and the driveway became sheets of ice.

Then it started raining, and it rained all yesterday afternoon. Then it snowed last night. Now it is raining.
The trees are coated in ice. The house is coated in ice. The partially complete screened porch is coated in ice.

icy porch

A and I went out and shoveled off the front deck – 20 inches of snow had compacted into about 10, and had about half an inch of ice on top, so that was our aerobic workout for the day.

Now the deck is coated in ice.

As we were shoveling, we noted that “at least it isn’t windy.”

But I notice that a gentle breeze has come up and the trees are stiffly moving to the beat. I fear that soon we will hear the sounds of breaking branches in the woods, and I hope that we don’t hear any trees falling on house or drive or wires, but if that happens, we are ready. Jugs of water, cell phone charged. Plenty of activities to do that don’t require electricity.

more ice

The only bad part? Sound of Music is on tonight, and I have the DVR set to record it. Yes, I have the VHS tape, and so could watch it any time I wanted to go upstairs, get the VCR, bring it down and figure out how to hitch the old stupid thing to the new smart TV. But I would rather watch it the lazy way. 🙂 And yes, I do know it by heart – literally word for word. But I love it and want to see it tonight. So I hope it warms up a few degrees and the wind doesn’t come.

cherry tree on ice

Storm photos

Sorry these aren’t very good, but it was cold. And snowy. And screens aren’t clear glass. 🙂 But I think you will get the idea.

door from outside

door from inside

Dining room doors from inside and out! That is a lot of snow.
out back

Late in the afternoon, we realized the house was getting chilly, even with the pellet stove going. We checked, and found that the hot water heater was off. We hit the re-set button, but it wouldn’t stay lit. Thinking that this was a lousy day to have to call a repairman, we did a little investigative work. That involved me going outside in the storm to clear out the vent pipe. Since we could only get out the cellar door at that point, I had to hike around the house and up the grade to the back yard. I do that hundreds of time in the summer… but it is a whole lot harder in snow that is up to your hips. I cleared the vent, and the heater started easily. Thank goodness for safety features! But it also showed just how powerful this storm was, because normally, the heat from the vent itself keeps the snow clear around it. So, while I was out, I hiked over to clear out the dryer vent, too. And shoveled the snow from in front of the back door so we could get out that way next time. And of course, I took a whole lot of photos which are dark and boring – nothing to show the scale of the storm. But it was cold, windy and snowy, trust me.

bench 1

Nan’s bench is our snow gauge – it is a regular height bench with a back that probably ends a little over three feet from the ground. I’ll try to remember to measure it in the spring when I can find it again. This was at 7 am.

bench 2
Noon time

bench 3
Sunday morning. The last corner of it is behind the bird suet. All that is left above the snow line is one rail of the back – and that is not counting the big snow bank. That is about 6 feet tall I figure – it is pretty clearly over my 5’4 head. But note that the deck rails are almost clear of snow – it was one windy snow event!

day after the storm

Tuesday night was wild here – wind howling, rain pouring down.  A cold front followed the storm through, and so last night was chilly, although we did not get the predicted frost – still haven’t had a frost, and the tomatoes are HAPPY about that.  Anyway… today is so clear and cool, just the most beautiful fall day.  I went out and got the lawn chair out of the vegetables (did I mention the wind blew?) and noticed that all of my sunflowers, which were FINALLY opening, are gone.

“The wind” you say confidently “blew those tall plants down.”  I beg to disagree.  These sunflowers have been neatly pruned, about 4 feet above the ground.  Those lovely little deer we see all over the place, with their cute little fawns, have discovered a taste for sunflowers.  They left them alone ALL summer long, and now that the flowers have bloomed and were looking so pretty by the blue pool, the varmints came along and ate the tops of them.  How long have they been checking them out, waiting for the blossoms?  I don’t know, but it is annoying.  Our neighbors have huge beautiful gardens, and I have 6 paltry sunflowers.  Doesn’t seem fair.  And they did it before I got a photo!  I guess I will have to rethink my flower plan, and do more Queen Anne’s lace, which they apparently don’t like as the yard is a field of the stuff all summer long.

The only storm damage we had besides a chair in the carrots is a geranium which fell from its stand and smashed on the deck.  I thought I had pulled it close enough to the house, but the stand was tippy, and I should have moved the plant to the ground.  Oh well.  It was just a clay pot, and I can use the pieces for drainage in other things.  And I think I can save the plant if I get to repot it soon.  I was just glad it wasn’t one of my special glazed pots that broke.

Other than that what we got for a night of howling wind and rain was one nervous kitten, no sleep, and a world that looks freshly scrubbed.  Not a bad deal. Didn’t even lose power.