Category Archives: Snow and Snowstorms

Spring in Northern New Jersey: Snow

The snow came down thick and fast this morning.

This past weekend was gorgeous weather-wise, a little nippy but sunny and hopeful feeling, like winter was gone. Not so much. I woke up this morning to snow. The first full day of spring in my Northern N.J. world and the snow is falling thick and fast. I raced outside to rescue the pot of herbs I had just cleaned up, watered and put outside on my back steps just yesterday. I covered my strawberry pots with an umbrella-like cloche and will keep my fingers crossed.. The hostas and astilbes I planted? They will likely survive. The two kinds of heirloom poppy seeds? Not likely. The lettuces? We’ll see.

This cloche operates like an umbrella; let's hope it keeps the plants in the strawberry pots I showed you yesterday nice and warm!

That’s what I get for rushing the season. You’d think I would have learned by now. I mean, I’ve lived in New Jersey, Northern New Jersey, for more than 25 years. I should know that spring around these parts is unpredictable, kinda like a two-year-old in a department store: Here one minute. Hiding under the women’s clothes rack the next.

P.S. I was so distraught at the snowfall that I videoed it. I know. I know. It sounds like I need a vacation. . .in a warm place. Anyway, if you like snow falling, take a look at the video to the right under “My World in Photos.” And yes, that is my depressed voice you hear!

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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, New Jersey, Snow and Snowstorms, Uncategorized, weather

Another Snowstorm: The Official One

In case you were wondering, Sunny the VW Bug is sulking in our driveway; she's back from her latest spa treatment.

Yesterday afternoon Northern New Jersey received a lot of unofficial snow. Last night we received a crapload of snow. I mean it. The official snowstorm arrived, on schedule, and dumped a crapload (I think the word is evocative) of heavy white stuff on top of all the heavy gray stuff we already have. It’s official: We’ve run out of room to put the snow we keep shoveling off our driveway and walkways. What do people in, say, Buffalo, N.Y. do with all the snow they receive every year? Never mind. . .I don’t really care what they do. I’m grouchy.

My husband Mike got up extra early this morning and used our petite snow blower to clear the driveway of snow. Honestly? I don’t know how he did it. Our snow blower balks if it has to chew and swallow and spit out more than 6” of snowfall. And it isn’t a self-propelled model either, which means that I usually fall when I use it since I have to push it so hard up our driveway hill that my feet slip out from under me and I fall face first in the driveway. It’s ugly. Trust me on this one.

Our non-self-propelled, 6" or less snowfall snowblower.

When I went out to shovel and clear the front porch, my lovely car and the rest of our sidewalks, I saw we had well over the predicted 12” of snow. Two-and-a-half hours later I shoveled my last shovelful of snow. Part of the time I used the petit snow blower. That would be the part of the time when I hurt my back, resulting in the shooting pain that’s going down my left leg.

 

The birds picketed until I cleared a path to their feeder!

Snow blower 1; Me 0.

But that isn’t the worst of it. The worst of it is that we have walls of snow about 5’ high lining our driveway so when we back out we have zero visibility all the way down the driveway to the street. And the town plows didn’t clear the full width of our wide street so the opening at the end of our driveway is like a funnel with no room to maneuver. We have to back straight out across both lanes of traffic to escape our driveway. It’s high anxiety time. And you? Did you get a crapload of snow dumped on your neighborhood? Make me feel better. Tell me your shoveling woes so I can focus on you instead of me.

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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Audi A5, Snow and Snowstorms, VW Bug, Whining

Shoveling Snow: A Novel Sport in These Parts

It’s snowing here in Northern New Jersey, but that’s old news.

What’s new with you?

Nothing?

Nothing?

Okay. You’re going to have to listen to me rant! Or else you can leave quietly. Immediately.

The snow, the unexpected snow, started around here at 7:30 a.m. today. It flew thick and fast for hours. Mind you, the weatherman kept telling me that this is not the snow he’s been talking about; this was unexpected snowfall. So, okay, the unexpected snowfall lasted for hours.

Our snow blower works just fine as long as the snow isn't more than 6" deep!

At about noon, I fired up our little snow blower and tossed all the snow on our driveway and sidewalks onto the ever-growing piles on our lawn. I shoveled out the bottom of the driveway too. That’s the part that gets ugly sometimes, particularly when I get splashed with the crappy snow/slush mix that the cars speeding by catch me with. Ah yes, I’ve mentioned that in a previous blog post.

I retired to the house, made a cup of hot tea and called my girlfriend Pat; she lives in Colonia, NJ, south on the Garden State Parkway about 30 minutes; she had been outside shoveling just like me. But unlike me, she had hand surgery in December and recently had the awesome pins removed from her hand; she’s in physical therapy three times a week to get her mobility back in said hand. So, yes, my Amazonian girlfriend was shoveling snow one-handed today. When I asked, she mentioned in her typical low-key way that it was no big deal since she used a snow pusher, and when she got the piled-up-with-snow pusher to the edge of her driveway she just used her foot to launch the pusher/shovel loaded with snow into the air so the snow would just fly off the pusher/shovel. Easy peasy.

God, I love Pat. And have I told you that I always, always want her on my side in a fight? Trust me when I tell you that you do too. The woman is as tough as nails and then some.

After talking with Pat and realizing that I was a whiny so and so, I looked out the window. More snow, a lot more snow had accumulated. Stiffening my resolve (which was now about as stiff as my shoulders and thigh muscles) I went back outside to hand shovel the driveway and sidewalks of an inch or so more of fresh snow. Then I drove to our local high school and picked up my daughter Tory. All her activities for the evening were cancelled so she’s sleeping on the couch while I talk to you. Fun stuff, huh?

No more blue tape on Sunny's window. Nope. And it only cost a small fortune to fix that window. Yup.

And Sunny, Tory’s beloved VW Bug? My husband Mike picked her up from her most recent spa experience and drove her home. The little darling is not much fun in the snow; she fishtails. And slides. And generally behaves like a recalcitrant toddler. <sigh>

I’m off to bed now because tomorrow. . .wait for it. . .I will be shoveling snow! The anticipated snow!

 

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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, best friends, New Jersey, Snow and Snowstorms, VW Bug

The Repair Saga Continues: Sunny the VW Bug

Sunny, the money pit.

My daughter Tory’s beloved VW Bug Sunny is at her favorite mechanic to get her driver’s side window repaired. You may remember that Sunny’s power window cable broke when I was at our bank’s drive-through window a few weeks ago. I heard was a horrific grinding noise and quickly got the window up all but about 1”. We’ve been using bright blue painter’s tape to seal the 1” gap prior to every snowstorm to prevent snowdrifts from gathering on her front seat.

Painter's tape, a low-tech solution to preventing snow inside Sunny the VW Beetle.

On Saturday, Sunny’s best friend the mechanic said she needs a new window regulator. Total Cost: $300. Plus Tax.

Yesterday, Sunny’s boyfriend the mechanic called  and said that when he dismantled the window unit he saw shredded teeth on Sunny’s window motor; the motor needs to be replaced too. Total Cost: $650. Plus Tax.

Today, Sunny’s secret lover the mechanic called and said that he just found out the new regulator is a “superceded” one (fancy word for updated to better do its job) so that the matching motor it needs is a “superceded” motor. Bottom line: The whole shebang just got more expensive, $80 more expensive in this case. Total Cost: $730. Plus Tax.

We can pay Sunny’s latest spa bill and pick her up late tomorrow, just in time for the weather rolling in to our area.

More Snow on the Way

This afternoon, the News Radio 88 newscaster mentioned that at the rate we’re going and with no letup in sight for the next two weeks (how does he know that anyway?!) Northern New Jersey’s snowfall for the 2010-2011 season could be one of the top ten EVER! How Exciting!! Not.

This news does not make me happy, nor does his prediction that we’re getting snow again tomorrow: Maybe by 9 a.m., but definitely by noon, he said. And it’s supposed to snow all the rest of the live-long day, except when it’s raining.

Tonight our local food stores had their typical run on bread and milk, and tomorrow after everyone has slip slid home from school and work, local folks will be drinking chocolate milk and eating buttered toast. Meanwhile, I will be. . .

Are You Ready? . . .

Shoveling snow. . .

and daydreaming. . .

I daydream about peeling Sunny's VIN number off and abandoning her in a handy snowdrift.

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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Bread and Milk, New Jersey, Snow and Snowstorms, VW Bug

Another Snowy Day; Bad Roads and Silly Drivers

Conditions were not great for traversing the hilly street in front of our house.

We live on a busy through street in our town. When it snows the road is usually plowed pretty well and traffic flows. Not this morning though. For some reason, the 6 inches of new snow was poorly plowed and huge snow ruts were the order of the day during the morning commute. As I shoveled out the end of our driveway I watched vehicles try to navigate their way up and over the small hill near our driveway. Some people were more successful than others.

Poor driving conditions on our little hill today.

The drivers who maintained a steady speed crested the small hill without incident.  Other drivers who inexplicably stopped halfway up almost without exception ended up with spinning wheels, revving engines and sliding backwards sideways down the hill as cars behind them tooted anxiously.

The SUVs, which were mostly driven by bullies if today’s behavior was any indication, tooted impatiently if the car in front of them started to slow down or slide; the SUVs, without exception, passed the hapless sliding car by swerving into oncoming traffic.

Most roads in town were still snow covered and difficult to navigate.

I drove my daughter Tory to school. We waited until most of the traffic logjams in front of our house had cleared, then I backed down our driveway and into the street. My Audi A5 performed like a champ in the rutted snow, but even more important, I chose to drive down the street – that would be down the small hill – instead of taking our usual, shorter route up the street. As we rolled along Tory called out the names of the high school students in the cars we were passing that were headed up the hill. We didn’t stick around to see if they successfully crested the hill.

Less-than-optimum conditions today.

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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Audi A5, Snow and Snowstorms, weather

Amaryllis Apple Blossom

This morning I walked in to the butler’s pantry to feed the cats, just like I do every morning; however, today a surprise was waiting for me!

The amaryllis bloomed today!

I’ve had these amaryllis for two years. Last Christmas they bloomed at Christmas.  I kept the strappy leaves watered and plopped the pot outside for the summer. This fall I hacked off the strappy leaves and brought the pot in. The bulbs pretty much looked like this for a few months:

Nothing special about these bulbs, right?

Then last week a couple of the bulbs sent up stalks!

Still not much to look at, right?

Then, today I saw the first blooms. And they are simply gorgeous.

The flowers are so beautiful. And cheerful.

Just what I need to cheer me! We have a snow watch for tonight into tomorrow and the weather folks expect us to get 3″-6″ more snow. I can’t be in Bonita Springs, FL, but I can look at beautiful blooming flowers. That will have to be enough for now!

Gotta love my Nikon D90; check out the close up!!

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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Amaryllis Apple Blossom, Nikon D-90, Snow and Snowstorms

Another January Weather Day

Have You Heard of “Snoice?”

Snow. Ice. Freezing rain. All at once.

Snow, ice, freezing rain. Dreadful today.

This morning I walked outside and skidded on the black ice that had formed where my husband Mike’s Honda CRV had sat less than 30 minutes earlier. The snow on the rest of the driveway had a crunchy coating of ice on top and it was drizzling ice. Not really thinking, I shoveled around my car and started to shovel a path down the driveway. After a few short minutes my brain kicked in and I stopped, turned to look behind me and saw a beautiful path of clear black ice. I conceded defeat and inched my way back to the relative safety of the porch. Then went inside for a second cup of tea.

Sidewalk or skating rink?

Two hours later I reversed carefully down our still-icy driveway and into the icy street. Our school district had declared a two-hour delayed opening to give the weather a chance to improve. But it didn’t improve by much; the weather, I mean.

solid ice in the driveway today

I learned an important mathematical formula today that I’d like to share with you:

[Inexperienced teen drivers x angry Moms in oversized SUVs]+ [snow-narrowed roads x icy weather]
= dreadful conditions around our local high school

I need a trip to a sunny place.

Bonita Springs, FL? I miss you!

Now.

 

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Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Snow and Snowstorms, weather