We are in the middle of another major snowstorm, and the snow is falling fast. I went to the office this morning as I had a fairly important meeting to attend. Jonathan went to UNH because he was having a quiz. They closed the campus at 12:40, 10 minutes after his quiz. At work, we were told to be gone by 3:00, but I bailed at 1:40.

Jonathan and I both made it home OK, but it was harrowing. I drove past our normal exit and went up to the next one because the hills are less formidable that way. I had great difficulty with the first one off the interstate though, since I had to stop at the bottom of the exit ramp and then try to climb the hill from a stop. I didn’t make it. I ended up turning around and going back towards town (downhill). I turned around at a gas station where there was plenty of level ground so I could get a run at the hill. That did the trick. I got home sometime after 3:00, but I’m not exactly sure when. Jonathan was home already, his car stuck in the middle of the driveway. He was running the snowblower.

I figured he’d need to back up and get a run at the little hill just below the garage, but my car was in the way. So I took the snowblower and clear a path to my parking space, took a run at it, and managed to get it up the little hill to its spot.

Then we worked on getting Jonathan in the garage. I had to push him, and we needed to put the floormats under the tires twice, but he got it in there. Then I pulled the snowblower back into the garage and closed the door.

Va was brewing some much-appreciated hot chocolate. I had a cup and rested for half an hour (no more!) Then I thought I should take a few photos, but I had left my camera in the car. I suited up again, braved the elements and fetched it. Penny came along. Here’s the haul:

The House

The House

Penny in the driveway

Penny in the driveway


Penny is looking for a stick no doubt. They are harder to find under the snow, but somehow, she manages.

30 minutes of snow and we got about three inches.

30 minutes of snow and we got about three inches.


In this shot I’m standing in a spot where I had cleared down to the driveway 30 minutes before. I think that’s about three inches of snow covering my feet. In thirty minutes!

Penny wants me to shovel (so she can attack the snow)

Penny wants me to shovel (so she can attack the snow)


Penny desperately wants me to use the shovel. Sorry Penny. Maybe later.

The sidewalk to the front door

The sidewalk to the front door


It’s time to go in now.

At least a foot more on the deck

At least a foot more on the deck


Here’s a shot out the back door. That’s a foot of new snow on the deck.

This is supposed to continue until midnight. I expect we’ll get more than the 12 inches they have forecast since I think we have that already.

April Fools Snow Storm

April Fools Snow Storm


Today I found out that on April 1st, it’s a bad idea to tell people that you’ve been praying for snow – even if you’re just kidding. Most people will not appreciate that.

I’m in Freeport, ME with Beth this weekend for Music Clinic. This is what my car looked like when we left the hotel this morning. The roads were kinda bad too, as one might expect. I made it to the school OK though, and got a pretty decent parking space. Beth had an 8:30 practice, and another one that ended at about 11:00am. I had forgotten my name tag, which doubles as a meal ticket, so we went back to the hotel. The roads were even worse then. I nearly got stuck, and actually had to shovel out the car to get out of my decent parking space. At the hotel we ate some PB sandwiches and watched cartoons (Curious George if you want to know). Then at 1:00 or so, we headed back to the school. The roads were a ton better by then. Beth had another practice. When that was over we were free until 5:30 which is when I was on the hook to help move ten pianos. Luckily, they were all electric, and I wasn’t doing it myself. We had to move them out of a practice room and onto the stage for the “dress rehearsal” and the first performance. Why ten pianos? Because Beth’s performance was shared with about 25 other kids. They actually sounded pretty good too.

Here’s Beth waiting for her turn on the stage for the dress rehearsal.

Waiting In the Wings

Waiting In the Wings


They did not sound good at all during their first rehearsal yesterday. I don’t know how the instructors can stand that, much less how they were able to turn it around so quickly.

Tomorrow she will participate in two more pieces. Between these two, we’ll take a short snowshoe trek. There are plenty of places to do that up here, and there’s enough snow on the ground that it won’t be ridiculous to try. As long as the snow is still here after lunch, anyhow. Since this snowstorm was forecast pretty well in advance, I brought the snowshoes with us.

Va and David will be coming up for the evening performance, and Jonathan will stay home to keep Penny company (and allow her outside to transact doggy business). We’ll drive home after Beth’s final performance.

In the morning I need to get up early. Beth and I are headed to Freeport, ME so she can attend Music Clinic. Va and the boys will stay home.

The forecast for Friday is calling for 9″ of snow at my house, and 6″ in Freeport. I still have 18″ in my yard in most places (though it’s bare over the septic tank). I’m thinking maybe we should bring our snowshoes.

Jonathan will have to clear the driveway Friday evening, but he’s more than capable of that, so there are no worries there. It’s supposed to be a wet, heavy snow, and they are expecting power outages. I’m sure they can deal with that too.

Yesterday I shod myself in snowshoes and made my way into my woodlot to check my sap bucket. There was a tiny bit of sap in it – maybe a quarter cup. It was frozen solid. Then I made my way around the rest of my trail, down the driveway to the front of the property, and across the woods in front to the frog pond. The snow was rather crunchy, and Penny was having a pretty hard time of it. She would get up on the surface, take a step, and then crash through up to her chest. She couldn’t plow through that, so she’d get up on the surface again and repeat. It was enough to make a border collie quit chasing sticks, which really says a lot.

We had more snow today, but just squalls. It wrecked havoc on the roads though. It wasn’t bad in Concord at all, so I let David drive us home (he came to town for a Pathfinder TLT meeting, but we ended up canceling it when the other TLT called in sick). Conditions quickly deteriorated after we got on the Interstate, and there were wrecks, ambulances, and fire trucks galore. And there I am being piloted by an unlicensed driver (NH does not require a driver’s permit for learners). Traffic was crawling along at 15 MPH on I-93, and he was really white-knuckling it the whole way. But he did fine. As soon as we got of the Interstate though, we traded seats. He was relieved.

We were planning to go to Border’s after grabbing a bite after the TLT meeting. They have a chess club that meets there, and David is now all about chess. He has gotten pretty good at it, and I have not been able to beat him for some time now. He wanted to check out this chess club so he could play people in person vs over the Internet. But with these snow squalls, wrecks, ambulances, and fire trucks scattered everywhere, it seemed prudent to wait for the next one.

It started snowing here sometime during the night. Beth’s school is out for winter break, and Jonathan’s classes were canceled. I needed to go to the office though, so I carefully drove in. It was slow going, but there were no problems.

Six of us went to an Indian restaurant for lunch, and I snapped this shot then:

Downtown Concord

Downtown Concord


I like it when the snow sticks to the trees.

I had come in to work Sunday evening, and was pretty well caught up with my work, so I bailed at 2:30 or so. I wanted to get home while the getting was good.

Road conditions had deteriorated significantly. I held to 30MPH on the Interstate. It wasn’t until I got off that the trouble started. They hadn’t plowed the secondary roads in Canterbury or in Northfield for a while (there was nine inches of new snow on the ground, and six inches of snow in the road). I was having a really hard time climbing the tiniest of hills, and was pretty worried about climbing an unpaved section. It was slow going, and there was plenty of tire spinning, but I made it up that hill eventually.

When I got to the road I live on, I was not able to get up the hill. I guess I was still 300 yards from home, so I called Va and had her dispatch Jonathan with a snow shovel. I just wanted to get my car out of the road and into a neighbor’s driveway. Between shoveling out a path and using the floor mats of my car for traction, we got the car off the road. Then I walked back to the house and got the snowblower. I snowblowed a track for the passenger side of my car on the way from the house, and did the same for the driver’s side on the way up. I parked the snowblower about halfway up, and fought the car all the way up the track I had made. Then I started snowblowing again, and told Jonathan to follow me up.

But he couldn’t. So we traded places. While I was struggling up the hill, a neighbor drove by and offered to pull me up the hill with his 4WD. I accepted his gracious offer, and he took me all the way to my driveway (which Jonathan had cleared earlier). I think I need to buy some new tires.

Whew! Now I’m pretty well exhausted.

This morning when I dropped Beth off at school, I was greeted by this sight:

The snow pile is deep

The snow pile is deep


The snow is deep, but this shot is a little misleading. The rim of that particular basketball goal is eight feet off the ground rather than the standard ten feet. Still.

Jonathan got out of class a bit early today, so the two of us went to Taco Bell for lunch. The plan was to swing by the church before piano lessons started and move some stuff out of the fellowship hall and into a closet. Unfortunately, traffic was not moving very quickly due to a lot of plowing & snow collection, and Taco Bell took a little longer than it should have. Also, piano lessons started earlier than we anticipated, because they were ongoing when we arrived. We didn’t move stuff into the closet, but I did grab the half-case of unsold grapefruit I had left. Jonathan dropped me off at Friendly Kitchen, and I gave them the citrus. He went home, and I walked back to the office (no need for him to navigate the tangle of downtown Concord, and the exercise sure wasn’t going to hurt me).

After work I met Va at Joanne’s Fabric (it’s maybe 300 yards from the office). They had a very long line, and Beth was still at school taking her turn with the piano instructor. We didn’t want to be late picking her up, so I abandoned Va at the store and went to fetch daughter. Only she wasn’t done with her lesson by then. Dunno why, but it is indeed apparent that my ability to project piano lesson logistics is somewhat impaired.

Praveen was there with his two kids though, so I asked him if he’d keep an eye on Beth while I fetched Va. So that’s how that went down. We made it back to the church and started decorating in earnest for Camp In (which is tomorrow). I hung some background imagery (store-boughten this year), and that does make it look a little more like Giza than Concord:

Praveen fits the cap

Praveen fits the cap


Yup. Desert. Praveen is fitting the cap to the pyramid. He’s going to paint it gold tonight (or maybe he has already).

Praveen is also building a full sized camel:

Headless Camel

Headless Camel


Here’s the as-yet-not-attached-or-completed head:
Camel Head

Camel Head


If he were a little more Godfatherly, I guess someone could expect to find this in their bed tonight. But I don’t think this quite reaches that level of gruesomeness.

We made it home around 6:00pm, which was a lot earlier than I thought it would be. Va is still working on some of the crafts for tomorrow, and i attached some brooches to four of the tunics and painted some plastic goblets with gold paint.

The cars are about 10% loaded right now – I have three sleeping bags in my trunk, and the tunics are in Va’s back seat. There’s about a half ton of additional cargo to load up in the morning. We’ll have the program, spend the night, and then come home and crash, exhausted. Unless we get snowed out! We’ve got another half foot ordered up for tomorrow. I hope that doesn’t affect attendance!

We got the forecasted snow. It started yesterday, paused, and resumed again today. All told I guess we got 8 inches, which is about half what they were calling for.

I didn’t bother trying to go to work, but instead stayed here and made several tunics for Va’s Adventurer Camp-in this coming Saturday. She’s doing a program of Joseph in Egypt, and wanted as many white tunics as I could crank out. I think I knocked out four – they take about an hour each. I was hoping to make it to the church during the evenings to start decorating – we’re planning to build a pyramid in the fellowship hall.

I also put on the snowshoes and walked around the house a bit. We’ve got some massive icicles on the part of the roof I haven’t added extra insulation to. I’m kinda glad about that, as it tells me with no uncertainty that insulating the attic will prevent ice dams. I just need to finish the project! Meanwhile, I turned on the eave heaters to try to melt some channels in the ice up there so we don’t get a leaky roof.

I also took a lap around the trail in the back of our property. Penny came along and amazed me with her ability to ferret out a stick from beneath three feet of snow.

Penny found a stick

Penny found a stick

I also noted that our well is completely buried now:

Buried well head

Buried well head

I cleared the driveway before it got dark, just because I like doing that better when I can see. The other thing I did was installed a new distribution of Linux on my laptop. Three times. Once would have been enough, but I was trying to preserve all my user files, and keep my numeric user id (technical reasons) and that got a little complicated. So complicated in fact, that I had to redo everything. Twice. But it’s all good now. I switched to a 64-bit version so that I can install some tools that are 64-bit only for work. It should make my life a lot easier, but of course there will be several adjustments to suffer through on the way to ease.

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