December 6, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!

Jan

Monday, February 2, 2015

Aftermath of the First Big Snow Storm of 2015 -- DIGGING OUT!

Hola everyone!

Wow, do I have impeccable timing or what, I ask you?  I DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE OFFICE TODAY, or ever again!

Just to warm you up, here are a couple of pics taken last evening.  As the day wore on, the snow and conditions got worse and worse and worse, and the winds whipped the snow horizontally every-which-way, including straight into my camera lens:

Back yard.
Back yard.  See that wind scoured spot to the left of the bird bath?  That was totally disappeared this
morning at dawn -- see pic below.
Back yard, taken at dawn, this morning.  The fence is five feet tall -- notice the drift where the hydrangea
is now buried!  There are peaks and valleys all around the yard.  Just amazing!
Looking toward the northeast, last night.
Backyard, dawn, this morning.
Backyard, dawn, this morning.
Official snow fall as reported at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee:  11.5".  Now at this new Maison Newton, I had 3 and 4 foot tall drifts all over the place -- my backyard and driveway look like the Sahara Desert, only in white.   Super pain in the neck!  And I thought the former Maison Newton used to have a problem with drifting snow.  Geez!

For the past week or so I've been waking up at 3:40 a.m. and can't really fall back into a deep restful sleep again. ARRRRGGGGHHHH!  So, sans alarm, I was out of bed by 6 a.m. anyway, my usual time.  I turned on the radio and learned that - THE SEAHAWKS BLEW THE SUPERBOWL -- THEY LOST!  Bwwwwwaaaaaaahhhhaaaahhhhaaaaahhaaahahahahahaaahahahahahahaha!  The Goddess of Football delivered us Packers fans some sweet revenge, let me tell you!  Maybe I'll even forgive you for not delivering on giving us the NFC Championship this year.

A cup of coffee and some mini-Belgian Chocolate Eclairs later, I was bundled up and ready to shovel, around 7 a.m..  Except I couldn't get out of my back door.

What the heck?

The snow was taller on the back stoop than the bottom of the storm door!  I had to push, heave and mightly shove that sucker outward to get it open.

And then I stepped down.  Sunk into what seemed a foot of snow.  I gingerly held the shovel out in front of me, probing for the end of the step.  Moved forward - nope, not it.  Moved forward - nope, not it.  Moved forward - BLOOP - FELL OFF THE EDGE OF THE STOOP INTO A SNOW DRIFT.

Darlings, the damn snow was so deep I didn't even make it to a prone position!  I fell and was still standing up in thigh-high snow.  OH, MY BOOTS MY BOOTS MY BOOTS ARE FILLED WITH SNOW.

Did I give up and go inside?  HELL NO.  I'm not a stupid Newton/Villeneuve-Jablonski for nothing.  Ha! What's a foot of snow inside my boots, heh?


One hour and 42 minutes later, when I realized that I could not feel my feet, I went back inside.  I will never "tsk-tsk" again at idiots who go out in 20 below zero weather without hats on, and then wonder why their ears fall off...

Fortunately, my feet have not fallen off.  The boots are drying out over the register in front of the patio door.  The squirrels have returned -- amazing how they find ways to get here through feet and feet of snow -- and all is right with the world.

The sun is out and has melted all trace of snow off my now shoveled-off back stoop.  I have about a 3-foot wide pathway shoveled from the back stoop down the driveway to the sidewalk.

I got a LOT of exercise this morning.  ME STRONG LIKE BULL.  View from back stoop, down
the driveway, toward the sidewalk.  Notice the mountain of snow just waiting to be removed
in the driveway entrance, courtesy of the City of Milwaukee plows?  Gee thanks, dudes.
Cleared a good pathway (but not full width) on the public sidewalk the width of my property, then doubled-back and did the front walk to my front stoop plus the stoop, so my mail carrier would visit safely.

Front stoop and walkway to public sidewalk, taken through my front door.  I
wonder how many hundreds of pounds of snow I moved today?  Damn, ME SUPER WOMAN.
Nice neighbors (a lovely young couple with two small children) across the street - Mr. was out clearing his driveway when I fell into the snow (hope he didn't see me, geez!) and then he jumped into his gigantic truck and drove away.  While I was laboring on the front sidewalk Mrs. drove out of their driveway in her pretty white car and pulled over.  She told me that Mr. had told her to tell me that he would be by after he gets home from work this evening to clear out my driveway and sidewalk.  Very grateful and happy!  I have absolutely no idea where he's going to "blow" the snow because there doesn't seem to be a spot left to put it within the confines of my lot lines, but if he can do it, Goddess Bless Him!  Look at these piles of snow!

Partially cleared walkway to front stoop from public sidewalk.  This pic gives a better perspective
of just how deep the snow is piled up!
The snow bank is so high, you can't even see the part of the driveway that I shoveled!  All those
chunks of snow - I SHOVELED THEM!  
Believe it or not, there actually IS a path I shoveled along the public sidewalk, LOL!  You just can't see it in this pic because the snow is piled up so high.  Later on, my firefighter neighbor to the north arrived home and snow-blowed
out his driveway and curb-cut, he also ran his snow blower down the other side of my sidewalk that I did not shovel
out, so now there is a nice wide path for people to walk.  Look - you can almost see bare pavement on the road!
That snow drift I fell into -- now it's even taller after I piled all the snow on it that I shoveled off
the back stoop and closest part of the driveway!  Thank goodness I don't have to get a car out of the garage!

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