Monday, December 29, 2008

Missed It By That Much!

Well, I let the picture of the day slip again, this time because I forgot to upload it. Oh well, I'll move the picture that was supposed to be today's to tomorrow so that you don't miss it.

The weather continues to be weird, a situation shared by a great many people, as I'm reading about parts of the Midwest who, after being buried in several feet of snow now have to worry about flooding as it melts. Our melt-off is not quite that severe, but the plywood I put on the back deck, that I couldn't work on Saturday because it was coated with slush and ice, was dry this morning when I went to replace it with deck boards.

Even better, our driveway, which was so bad it was all we could do to shovel down about twenty feet to make room for our cars to park at the top (plus a little alcove in front of the new house where Tom puts his car). Now the driveway and Tom's alcove are completely clear of snow.

Alas, it is not to last, for more snow is coming tonight, so we're told. It's only supposed to be a couple of inches, but then that's what I heard the last time. I'm breaking out the shovels to celebrate the coming of the new year.

Speaking of the new year, here's hoping that 2009 is better for everyone than 2008, even if 2008 was a great year for you. I know there's a lot of trepidation about the economy--certainly our family economy is nothing to shout about--but I see a year loaded with potential.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post-Christmas Breakdown

I'm exhausted. We stayed up very late Christmas Eve wrapping presents and making other preparations, many of which would have been done much earlier had we not had the worst ice storm in New Hampshire history (according to the electric company) followed by two consecutive snow storms.

Which, by the way, have been followed by rain and high temperatures, again, leaving us wondering what kind of weather we're supposed to be preparing for.

Anyway, back to Christmas. The kids got up early, of course. We had a deal with them: they bought some gifts for each other that they could open in their room and play with quietly until we got up at 7:30. Noon would have been nicer, but we figured that was pushing it. As it turned out, the power went out around 7:15, which kind of woke everyone up, worried about how to make food, not to mention flushing toilets (our water is supplied by an electric pump).

The power came back on about half an hour later, but going back to bed was, by that time, not an option.

The day was lovely, with wonderful gifts and good food: orange sweet rolls for breakfast, a glorious egg-and-cheese pie for brunch, and Chicken Tetrazzini, a family favorite, for dinner. (Curious fact I discovered while looking up the spelling of Tetrazzini: the dish is named after an Italian operatic soprano of the 19th Century.)

Good company, too. In addition to the five of us, we had Tom's girlfriend Julia for brunch and his good friend Jeremy for dinner and overnight.

At the end of the day, though, we were more than ready for a good night's sleep. Well, four of us were. The two teenagers were more ready for a late night of video games. They got to sleep in this morning. Not so Karen and myself. The kids get up around 6:30 even when there is no school, and Karen had to go right back to work.

I should recover just about the time 2008 comes to a close.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mountains of White

From Friday night through all of Saturday, and again on Sunday, an amazing amount of dry, powdery snow fell. It was like being in one of the ski resort towns in the high mountains of California. When we awoke this morning, more than two feet of snow was sitting atop our cars and, unfortunately, the driveway they are parked on.

I spent a couple of hours Saturday shoveling off the driveway, only to have it comepletely buried by today. So far I have only managed to cut a path to the top of the drive, where Karen is keeping her car, and to dig out around Tom's car (with help from Tom) which is parked in front of the new house, where it got buried by the town plow trucks.

Except for the what the plows leave, most of the snow is very light. But that's hardly a comfort when there's so much of it that you can't find room to put it.

On the other hand, I don't have to wonder much about what I'll be doing tomorrow. And the next day.

On Sunday, on the other hand, while things were getting very white outside, they were also getting very white inside the boys' bedroom in the new house as we spent the afternoon priming the sheetrock. We're going to stop at priming until we move in, and then do one room at a time until we are done.

Right now it's late, and I have to save up some energy for shoveling and looking after vacationing children tomorrow. Good night.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Powerless, Again

Well, you might have noticed that the pictures are recycling again. But this time I have a better excuse. The power was back up when we arrived home on Saturday, but we had to clean like mad from our camp-out to get the house ready to show on Sunday while we went off to Santa's Village.

I was going to catch up on the pictures today, but the power went out again. This time it was the winds, which were accompanied by temperatures in the fifties. That's right. Melting ice, run-off, just like a Spring thaw, fifty-plus degrees Fahrenheit. The rise and fall of temperatures here is making me seasick.

Sound like a good chance to catch up on some of those last-minute outside chores before the next snowfall. But not so fast! The snow may come before I even wake up in the morning. Sigh.

Anyway, I do have a lot of pictures to post and I will start putting them up in the morning. Assuming that we still have power.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dark and Icy

When we left the house around noon to bring Danny down to Chuck E. Cheese's for his birthday party, the power had been out for nearly 36 hours. We camped out last night in the living room to take advantage of the heat from the wood stove. Without electricity we have also been without any other source of heat and without running water. As I write this, we're still at the Seacoast and have no way of knowing if the house is still dark.

The ice storm that started all of this arrived as freezing rain on Thursday afternoon. By the end of the night the trees, power lines, and power poles were so coated with heavy ice that they started breaking and falling, and by morning more than 250,000 customers of Public Service of New Hampshire were without power.

The sheer scope of this ice storm is amazing enough, but it comes on the heels of a disorienting roller-coaster ride of weather, and even during the course of the storm the changes have been startling. After living with ice-covered trees all Friday morning, we watched as the sun came out in the early afternoon and the ice started shedding. It came down as if the trees were raining, and there were rivers of water running down the trunks. Although sheltered areas still have ice-covered trees, the trees on our property are now completely dry.

The trees along the road that are still covered with ice made a lovely light show in this morning's sun, without the spectacular shedding, because this morning the temperature was in the teens instead of the thirties. The storm has been very inconvenient, but still fascinating.

But if the power outage part of the story is over when we get home tonight, I won't complain.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Danny' Six!

Yesterday was Daniel's 6th birthday. Since Karen had to work from noon to nine, we had a celebratory breakfast, during which Danny got to open his gifts from the immediate family. No cake for breakfast, so that had to wait for dinner, and Karen had to wait until quite late to partake. Such is life with a Mom who works in retail.

Danny had a fun day, though; he got to spend a lot of time playing with toys and watching movies that he got to choose, while Dad added joists and most of the treads to our temporary staircase in the new house (I'd have finished the treads, but I ran out of light).

Today it has been snowing, though not much. Sunshine tomorrow would seems to promise some clearing of the snow, except that the high temperature for the day is supposed to be around 19. Degrees Fahrenheit. Brr. But the snow is dry enough to sweep off my steps, and I can add the rest of the treads and the rails in the cold. If I have to. Sigh. Oddly enough, we're expecting rain and temperatures in the 40s later in the week. It has been a strange Autumn.

But whatever the weather, we continue to plug away at finishing the house. Soon, maybe even before Christmas if we can solve a few minor problems, we will have a new address.

Well, a new street address. Wherever we go you'll still be able to find us at