Thursday, February 15, 2007

This Week: The Story So Far

On Monday Danny had his adenoids removed. True to form, he bounced back from the surgery and was up and about the same day, with the only sign that he had been through anything his willingness to go to sleep at bedtime. Karen took that day off and I had to hear all about it from messages at work.

On Tuesday, Danny had to stay home. Rather than have Karen miss a day, I worked a half day so that she could go to work, from 2:00 to closing, getting home around midnight. Yeesh! Wouldn't you know, on the way home the front blower motor for the heater stopped working. So the only thing adding heat to the car was the rear blower. Not very effective on a frigid day. But we got everyone home where it's . . . well, drafty, actually, but everyone's bedrooms are nice and cozy.

On Wednesday, everyone stayed home. We don't even know how much snow fell, because the snow was so cold and dry, and the winds so fierce, that the landscape is nothing but drifts and pockets of fine powdery snow. But the 16-inch log standing upright in my front yard is almost completely buried.

Today I was supposed to go to court to sit on the Grand Jury, but without heat and with snow still blowing across the road, it really wasn't safe to drive all the way down to Dover. So I begged off in order to get my car fixed, and as a side benefit to work on my snow plow, which has a broken hydraulic hose. The hose is still not fixed, but I disconnected it so that fluid wouldn't be leaking, topped off the fluid, and managed to get the lifting ram working so that I could do some plowing, if inelegantly with a plow that always slants toward the driver's side.

Once I get the hose fixed, I'll groom the driveway and make up for the mess I made of it. But at least we can get out now.

Oh, and Karen and I both got haircuts today. Photos of Karen's new look will follow soon.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Icy Days and Frigid Nights

The day after Ground Hog's day, winter delivered our first real snow storm, leaving six inches of fresh powder on the ground here.

When I moved to New Hampshire, many people predicted that I would have a lot of trouble with the winters here. For the most part, I have not. But this winter, though mild, has just been a royal pain. Last weekend it was frozen pipes. Its happened before, but this time one of the was the kitchen drain. Ice clogs in drains are not easy to find, and now that Karen is working full time (and unpredictable hours), having to spend time belly-crawling under the house with a hair dryer instead of being with my wife is just not fun.

And then there is the snow. This year I am plowing on my own, since I have a plow (though it's not why I bought the truck). Unfortunately, as I was finishing up yesterday, I noticed that the plow was not responding very well, and then saw patches of green on the snow. Hydraulic fluid. Busted hose. Not terribly expensive to fix, but who has the time?

Especially when, in order to keep the house tolerable (and the pipes clear) in the frigid weather of last weekend (and the next four days), I've had to go down the hill and gather wood, which is quite an adventure in deep snow, especially when the wood has become frozen to the ground. I'm glad I happen to have a sledge hammer; on good hit breaks it free.

Not always so with splitting the wood. Most of the wood I have left to harvest is at least seven inches in diameter, and some of it is nearly 14 inches across. Even in this bitter cold, the big ones don't usually give way (for me, at least) in a single hit.

It's not all bad, though. Karen and William and I cleared off a space on the frozen pond with shovels and created a small ice rink. William and Danny skated for a while. William missed out on lessons this year (just bad timing), but he did very well remembering from last year. Danny didn't really get up on his skates last year, but he did much better on his own; he will be ready for lessons next year, I'm certain.

Thomas hasn't tried the mini-rink--it's a bit small for him--but he has been taking lessons again. It's such a pleasure to watch him; even when he hasn't set foot on the ice for more than half a year, he's just completely at ease on the ice.

Meanwhile, it's time for me to start hurrying children (including the teen) off to bed so that I can follow suit. I have to get up at five to get to work, and I'm all worn out. Good night.