Tag Archives: snow

I’m SNOW Over It!

Let me share the tale of my harrowing Snowmaggedon The Sequel experience from today’s blizzard.

Has it been less than a week since the last snowpocalypse? Oh my!

With multiple layers of snow and ice and snow and ice and snow, we’ve been warned to listen for creaking sounds from the roof (cave-ins) and cracking sounds (downed tree limbs). My house is surrounded by big old trees. Really big. Really old. I’m ever wary in big storms for fear a tree might land in my lap. All this to say, I’ve been checking at every window for signs of something not quite right.

Something like this:

Broken limb held up by cable wire.

Snow-broken limb held up by cable wire.

I sprang into action: bundling up in boots, snowpants, hoodie, scarf, hat, gloves…and hedge clippers.

My problem. Scaling my 6-foot high snowberg to get up to the hill to reach the broken branch, held up by one single, solitary cable wire. (I must really like my cable service to attempt an outdoor rescue mission in a white-out conditions with 40 mph winds.)

Snowberg at left in front of my car.

Snowberg (left) in front of my car (midde).

So I climbed, using my trash can and recycling bucket — thank you City of Alexandria — and reached the high ground, only to sink waist-deep in snow. I stepped on top of one of my poor bushes (which may not live to tell the tale) and reached up to snip a few low hanging branches. But I kept sinking where I couldn’t reach the tree branch.

A snowplow driver came down the street at this point. He hovered for a bit. Perhaps he was curious? Perhaps I was an amusing side show. Perhaps he thought he might need to rescue me? I could easily have tumbled off the hill to the ground below (but I think I would only get swallowed by snow rather than break anything– unless, of course, I fell on my hedge clippers. Ouch.)

MacGyver Moment: I fashioned snowshoes (snow bridge if you want to get technical) from clipped branches to support my weight to allow me reach the top branches of the broken limb still caught by the cable.

Waist-deep snow: snow bridge of limbs to stand on.

Waist-deep snow: snow bridge of limbs to stand on.

I was so proud of myself as I clipped merrily away standing precariously on my tippy toes on top of a pile of branches. Proud, that is, until I heard the branch (barely held up by the cable at this point) crack loudly. I knew it was coming down.

Question was: would it take me with it on its way to the ground?

The snowplow driver was back now, watching me again. (He could’ve actually gotten out to help, had he been really worried. But no. He just watched.)

I snipped my last snip, freeing the cable from its prison. The tree limb came tumbling down behind me, missing my head. Whew! The snowplow driver drove away. I came back inside to find my cable still worked.

Cable is free now.

Limb is down (left). Cable is free (top).

All the broken limbs

So many snow-broken limbs. Offending limb (right).

View from front door

View from front door. That's my car buried down there.

McGyver Moment: Looking down from window.

MacGyver Moment: Looking down from window. (Car bottom right)

All is well with the world. Until I have to get out and shovel again.

Snowmaggedon The Sequel: I’m SNOW over it!


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SnOMG=X-teroid Invasion!

I’m snowed in. I should be shoveling out. But, I really don’t feel like it. I’m not in the mood to exert the energy required to uncover almost two feet of snow. If I were smart, I’d be shoveling out every couple of inches. Or if I were really smart, I’d move to the British Virgin Islands. Yet, here I sit — a blanket of white falling hard and fast out my windows. No end in sight.

Snowmaggedon. Snowpocalypse. SnOMG!

While I sat here, posting info on tomorrow’s Super Bowl Sunday STS-130 Space Shuttle launch on Facebook, I ran across this X-files-looking Hubble image of a “mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust” that astronomers have never seen before.

Hubble discovers X-teroid

Hubble discovers X-teroid

I know this can all be explained-away by science. Here’s what NASA has to say about it: “Hubble shows the main nucleus of P/2010 A2 lies outside its own halo of dust. This has never been seen before in a comet-like object. The nucleus is estimated to be 460 feet in diameter.”

But…what if it really is a spacecraft of some kind?

Ok, let’s stop here. Let me warn you that I have a vivid imagination. …Now, with that said, hear me out.

What if this crazy blizzard is a cover for a planet X-teroid invasion?

Look at the timing. Hubble catches a glimpse of the advance X-ship. Then, the snow storm of the century hits our Nation’s Capitol!

Rather suspect. Wouldn’t you agree?

No? You’re not buying my alien conspiracy theory? I’m crushed. 😉 But hey, what a fun SciFy plot. SnOMG=X-teroid Invasion. I’m selling the rights. Who’s buying?

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some of my crazy blizzard shots. Then, I guess I have no excuse left NOT to go shovel my way out.

SnOMG Trees

SnOMG Trees

snOMG snow boat (i.e. hammock)

snOMG snow boat (i.e. hammock)

SnOMG front steps

SnOMG front steps

snOMG is devouring my car

snOMG is devouring my car

Tootles! A-shoveling I go….

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Shame Saga of Icy Kitty-Littered Paths

Many factors brought me to my “snow low” — a nasty intersection of frustration and shame. Yes shame. That’s a degree or two..or three…beLOW embarrassment.

Here’s how it all started:

  1. I enjoyed the Christmas season with family in New York City during Virginia’s historic snowfall; therefore, I wasn’t here to shovel every few inches of snow to keep the walking pathways clear.
  2. I live on a corner. By law or city regulation of some sort or simple humanity rules, I’m required to keep the sidewalks clear for my neighbors’s safety.
  3. I stopped getting salt and chemicals to treat the snow — to prevent harm to the environment and innocent dog’s paws (probably red fox paws too since I’ve seen one in my back yard).
  4. We came home to snow drifts of three-feet or more in strategic places where walking or car transport would normally occur.
  5. I happened to have a bag of old kitty litter in the garage.

So let me set the stage:

Piles and piles of beautiful snow held us hostage — preventing passage from my doorstep to the road that led to civilization.

We shoveled and shoveled. Whew. Finished? Not quite. Once we dug out, every surface froze — transforming the steps, driveway and sidewalks into a treacherous ice creature eager to gobble up solid footing and crunch unsuspecting human, bone by bone, limb by limb.

Frantic to battle the evil ice creature and save myself, my family, and my neighbors, I grabbed the only weapon I had in my arsenal — the old bag of kitty litter in the garage!

I sprinkled (ok, poured) kitty litter liberally along the walkways. I stamped it in, feeling quite proud of myself. Proud, that is, until I took one step back inside the house and left a clumped, gooey footprint on my cute little Christmas rug.

I realized, to my horror, clumping-technology infested what looked like an ordinary non-clumping bag of kitty litter, and was now at work clumping the snow and ice on every walking path outside my house. Now, not only was the ice creature out there treacherous, but messy to boot!

My unsuspecting neighbors’ dogs will now track kitty litter paw prints throughout their houses.

Now, in my defense, I want you to know I really, REALLY didn’t know the kitty litter was the “clumping” kind. The bag looked like the prehistoric kind…you know, way back when before the clumping-technology lightbulb lit up the minds of pet-industry scientists. Where does it say “clumping” on this bag (see pic below)?

Kitty Litter bag

Back to the story:

Ever resourceful, I grabbed my recycling bag of Washington Post newspapers — which I knew to be kind to the environment since newsprint decomposes quickly. (I use it often to smother summer weeds under mulch in my garden.) I laid a new pathway of newspaper-covered clumping kitty litter-covered ice. Ah, my work was complete. I was ready for a long winter’s nap.

Not so. My daughters’ informed me the wet newspaper turned to ice. That EVIL ice creature assimilated ALL in its path.

Yesterday, rain came to the rescue. I decided to leverage the 40-degree WET weather to clean up the kitty litter newspaper soup. OH MY GOSH!!! What a sloppy, goopy, slippery mess. Nightmare! I won’t go into the clean-up details. I prefer to wipe them from my memory (pun intended). 😉

The moral to this story: Buy salt…or move south!

(But IF you insist on staying put and care about the environment, read the kitty litter label before spreading over ice.)

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Snowglobe: Winter Wonderland?

I can’t remember the last time I shoveled this much snow. Nor can I remember our last white Christmas. It even snowed last night in Dallas, giving my sister’s boys their own white Christmas.

When we first moved to D.C. from Texas, I loved the snow.

Everything felt so fresh and clean — a heavenly do-over every time the skies dusted us with snowy white. Like a snowglobe! My girls loved spending time sledding and building snow creatures. I even made snow ice-cream by mixing snow with vanilla flavoring.

Such a magical time for us…in the beginning.

Tree @ Rockefeller Center

Tree @ Rockefeller Center

I’m not so crazy about the snow these days. Seems a WHOLE lot of work. This year’s snowstorm found us in NYC for my daughter’s birthday. It followed us there after blanketing Northern Virginia. The weather kept people away from the City, I think. We’d never had so much room at the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.

The snow hit town on the evening of our Broadway excursion to see White Christmas. Fitting, don’t you think? We came out of the play to white-out conditions. We sang the song, “Snow,” all the way back to the hotel:

White Christmas on Broadway

White Christmas on Broadway

“Snow. It won’t be long before we’ll all be there with snow.

Snow. I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow.

Snow. I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow.

Snow. Oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow….”

Fortunately, our hotel was only a few blocks from the theater. We arrived at the front desk coated with wet snow.

NYC seemed absolutely magical covered in snow. Talk about snow-globe-like! Really. Lovely, that is…until the snow turned to brown slush. But, we’ll stick with the image of clean, white city streets. Here are a few of our pics from the trip.

NYC: Snow Ornaments

NYC: Snow Ornaments

NYC: Snow-covered trees

NYC: Snow-covered trees

NYC: Tree Lights

NYC: Tree Lights

NYC snowman

NYC snowman

NYC: 5th Ave Store Window

NYC: 5th Ave Store Window

NYC: Times Square

NYC: Times Square

Not so much fun coming home to several feet of snow and snowdrift. Picture us with shopping bags and luggage stepping into knee-high snow drifts to get into the house. My daughter made her way to the front door first, and stepped on a FED-ex package under the snow at the door. Surprise.

Lots of shoveling awaited us.

My car

My car

Sloveled Sidewalk

Sloveled Sidewalk

After a few really snowy winters here in the D.C. area, I’m really, really TiRED of shoveling. I’m still scarred by one snowstorm years back, when the snow was so high that, when it melted, icy water spewed into my basement through tiny fissure. Underneath the top layer of knee-high ice and snow outside, I discovered a fast-flowing river of slushy ice water that topped my snowboots. I worked for 8 hours with a pick-ax and shovel (and slush-filled boots) to dig an ice-water gulley that led AWAY from my foundation from the back of my house to the hill out front.

Think water under surface of icy moons.

After almost 20 years in this area, I’ve decided realized that snow is fun for kids and those who get to sit inside and look at it. For those of us forced to move the wet, icy white stuff — not so much fun.

But, what if I lived in a real snowglobe?

The scenery is always pretty. The snow never melts. It just flutters around with a shake of the hand. And, it’s the ultimate no-shovel zone. That’s my kind of winter wonderland. Maybe I’ll ask Santa next year….

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