February 2014


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.

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I have been wanting to go snowshoeing pretty much all winter, but things have seemed to conspire against me. Either I didn’t have enough snow, or I didn’t have enough time. Today, I had enough of both, so Penny and I set out for Sandogardy Pond. I don’t know when I was last there, but I do know it’s my first time since taking a new job in NH in November.

I always like to take pictures of Cross Brook (or as I prefer to call it, Little Cohas Brook).

Cross Brook

Cross Brook

Penny was afraid to cross the bridge, so she started making motions to swim the brook. I called her off, but she really thought I was going to cross and didn’t want to be left behind. I attribute that more to her being a dog than to anything special about me. 😉 I told her to sit, and she did.

Penny waits obediently

Penny waits obediently


I took another shot or two of the brook and then turned around and came back across to her. She seemed relieved.

I didn’t notice this at first:

Stray paddleboat

Stray paddleboat


It’s a paddle boat. It’s owned by some people who live on the pond, but I’m not sure exactly which house they live in. Also, I didn’t see an easy way for me to rescue their boat without risking hypothermia, so I let it be. Maybe someone with an ATV or snowmobile could pull it out.

This hike was very much needed, both by me and by Penny who has not had a decent hike since at least November. I’ve been busy with so many things. One of them was this:

Ship in a Bottle

My Pinewood Derby entry


My Pinewood Derby car. Yes, it’s a ship in a bottle. Lots of people asked how I got it in there, and I told them I had a shrink ray and that it was a real boat. I had shrunk it smaller than that so I could fit it through the mouth of the bottle and then put it in reverse and tapped it a few times. It didn’t unshrink the bottle though, because the bottle is glass and the ray would just go straight through it.

But the real answer is that the mast folded down (towards the stern). It slipped in fairly easily with the mast pushed back, and once it was in there, I pulled it up with the rigging. I tacked the thread to the jib-boom with s dot of super glue (which sailors of old surely lacked).

The sails are made from a tea bag, and the ship is set in the bottle in wax. Once I had the boat inside, I shaved some wax, dropped it in, and set it on the stove until it melted. Then I set the boat in position and let the wax harden.

Nothing to it!

The Pinewood Derby was the last part of a very long day. It started with our annual Pathfinder Sabbath. We did a “Newscast” from Jericho in the time of Joshua. The kids did a great job, but the whole program was plagued with technical difficulties. After that we had a potluck lunch, and then went into the Bible Bowl, which is like a quiz show. This year the material all came from the book of Joshua (which is why we selected that for our newscast).

Then we had supper followed by the Pinewood Derby. All-in-all, I very much enjoyed the day, in spite of the technical difficulties.