I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Winter Snowfall

If anyone was watching the weather, you all know that night before last and most of yesterday, Mother Nature decided to dump a bunch of snow on us. A neighbor just up river from us reported an official measurement of 19 inches. I woke up yesterday morning to find 4 or 5 inches piled on top of previously cleared objects, like the snowmachine and it was coming down in huge wet flakes - my favorite kind. By the time I finished my advertising and other Facebook sidetracks, a healthy foot or more had accumulated. Since my battery had run out, and since we didn't REALLY need to start the generator yet, I decided to enjoy the day and shovel off the bedroom roof. Of course, I also needed to brush off the eye of our satellite dish - again.

When I shoveled off a spot on the roof big enough for me to stand on, I discovered that our total, disturbed only by gravity, snowfall for the winter was nearly waist deep - funfunfun. Actually, I did have fun. When I got the last crumbs shoved off the roof and was nearly ready to step off onto the ladder again, I looked back - our house is only 12 feet wide plus a few odd inches, and over there on the other side of the roof, already about an inch of fluff had accumulated. No worries though, it wasn't long after that when it stopped snowing and warmed up enough to sprinkle a little of the liquid stuff, fortunately not very much.

Today's task was to shovel off the other nearly flat roof we have here and to snowshoe some of the trails. By the time I was done with that roof, Don was starting up the snowmachine with some dread. Sometimes this much snow all at once can make packing trails a bit of a pain if not a total nightmare. Today, it ended up being a pleasure. The snow stayed where it was packed and it didn't suck the machine off the side or sugar away from under it and sap all traction and steering.

For me on my snowshoes, it meant I only had to lift my feet boot high most of the time. All this snow did cause one problem for me on my snowshoes. A couple years ago we decided to move the outhouse. When it was first built, it was nested on a bit of a hill. Nothing tremendous, but the ground in back was a handful of inches higher than in front. To compensate this, we put the little building up on logs. It's new home was more level and leveled even more by the gravel dug from the hole so we decided it didn't need a log foundation. Take my word for it, if you live somewhere where snow falls by the foot, you want your outhouse up on something. Today, as I was shoveling the snow away from the door, I was standing at least a foot off the ground on my snowshoes. The task was awkward to say the least.

Trails to the outhouse, the dump, and to where I dump our compost all finished, and the day was rapidly waning so I hitched a ride on the snowmachine to the top of our hill so I could pack the trail out to the river before it got any colder than it was. The day was in the upper 20sF (that's barely below freezing C), but it was clearing off and it was best to take advantage of the warmth and get the snow settled down on the trail down the hill and on the ramp out onto the river, even if only by snowshoe. Tomorrow's plan is to brave that trail with the machine. Going down is the easy part, it's the coming back up that could get interesting.

Once again today, I was thinking about winters past plus my fifty pounds, lost but not missed this summer. What with my night-owl husband keeping me up until the wee hours of the morning every night, I still wake up with daylight, which is around ten in the morning these days, and I still have energy even now after shoveling snow and snowshoeing trails. It's just awesome. Thank you HCG!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Like last winter, we are planning to spend time in town. Things are much better set up for it this time around. We have gas, and thanks to an incredibly bitter cold November, we have ice on the river. Also, thanks to those -20sF (which is -30sC), it was nearly impossible for us to move around and get some outside things wrapped up and battened down. Then, to top off our troubles (nothing is ever trouble free) Don ran out of tobacco, and he gets nearly sick and rather disoriented whenever he tries to quit. Because of that, and though we really wanted to, we missed a delightful Thanksgiving dinner cooked by my daughter-in-law.

In an effort to celebrate the meal without all the fixings, I heated up some canned chicken, made some turkey gravy and a box of instant rice pudding. I also opened a can of cranberry sauce. It was a pretty thin dinner but it was fun in a funny sort of way.

Now that the weather has let up, we've gotten a couple feet of new snow (fortunately not all at once). It even rained one night, but though it was warm the next day the snow packed really nice rather than turning completely to mush.

Though we have the ramp shoveled in so we can get down on the river with the machine, we haven't actually driven it yet. It's rather steep and it's important that it settles and hardens before we try to abuse it with the machine. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to dig a fairly heavy machine out when its been nosed directly into a vertical bank.

What I like to do is walk up and down the ramp as we are shoveling; it serves to push the snow down where it is needed most and pack it into place as well. I deem it good enough if I can walk up and down without slipping much, and certainly without landing on my duff. This year I did the initial walking up and down without snowshoes, but recently doing so with snowshoes to keep new snowfall packed down.

Today was my second trip out to the river with snowshoes. Since the trail to the river was already packed, I didn't put them on until I got to the top of our hill. It's awkward walking in a snowmachine trail with snowshoes; the track is too narrow and the skis are too wide.

As I walked down the trail, it was very quiet. No little birdies twittered in the trees; no bigger creatures trudged through the deeper snow off among the brush. My own noise was muffled by soft snow as I shuffled along. I never did walk like my mother thought I should, and big, heavy boots are just plain big and heavy. My method of walking is most noticeable when I'm in town, say at the mall. I've always worn my boots essentially unlaced and they do flop. This makes walking with snowshoes easier, but it's a really sloppy stride on a hard floor. It's not so noticeable with shoes, but I've finally succeeded in wearing them all out - I bet you can't guess what one thing on my shopping list is.

A few days ago, when we were out and about packing trails, I was snowshoeing the hill and carrying a can of gas up too. Don was waiting for me at the top with the machine. After several trips up the ramp, and then trudging up the hill, it being the first time this year for me being on snowshoes too, I was coming up the last stretch quite slow. Also, I do much better pulling my kiddy sled behind me than I do carrying a can full of gas, so I was setting it down frequently - it seemed like about every ten steps, but it really wasn't that bad. Don commented that it must be nice being fifty pounds lighter. Oh, man, you have no idea how much nicer it is. Yeah, I was pooped, but always, walking up that hill, summer or winter, I used to take old lady steps. Now the only time I take old lady steps is when I'm purposely shuffling in order to pack the snow.