Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Adventures with Emma - A Winter Stroll

     Here's Emma posing this afternoon after a trip to the groomer. Let me tell you what happened earlier today . . .
     It was about 8:30 and the temperature was four degrees. I was tempted to let Emma go out by herself, but after seeing the hawk last week, I bundled up and joined her. The air was crisp, clear, and very cold. I was leaning on the deck railing when I was startled to see Emma at the very back of the yard. For the past three weeks, she had been restricted to a long narrow path that I had shoveled. With the frigid temperatures, the snow was frozen solid and after evidently finding a low spot she was  walking on top of the snow. My first reaction? Oh, that's good! Now she has the whole backyard for exercise. Maybe the cold had momentarily frozen my brain. Suddenly I realized there was nothing to keep Emma in the backyard as the four foot chain link fence was buried in the snow with only a mere three or four inches uncovered. Emma was heading in that direction, so I yelled, "Come!" Not deterred for even a second, she kept walking. Next, I called out in a happy, enthusiastic voice, "Emma, come. Let's go get a treat." Nope, she kept walking right over the fence into the front yard.
   OMG! I ran inside, grabbed a handful of sweet potato chip treats which she loves, and raced out the front door. I didn't see her at first but then spotted her in my neighbor's front yard.  Since I wasn't able to walk on the snow, how was I going to get her? Last week a front end loader had carved out a few places in the high bankings lining the street. I got as close as I could and called out, "Emma" "sweet potatoes," and soon she appeared at the top of the banking.  I reached way up and was able to lift her down from the snow mound which had to be five feet high. We can now add mini mountain climber to her resume.
     This afternoon after dropping Emma off at the groomer, I went straight to the pet shop to buy a fifteen foot tie out since the one that is already there is buried under four feet of snow.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hawk Visitor

This afternoon I grabbed my trusty snow rake and once again did my best to remove as much new snow from the garage roof as I was safely able to do. As I was finishing the back roof, it began snowing steadily, so I disassembled my snow rake and headed to the deck. It was then that I saw this hawk in the woods behind my house. 

It was my reward for all the shoveling and snow removal that I have been doing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Living in a Snow Globe

     It turns out that the Saturday-Sunday storm wasn't a true blizzard. Sure we had snow (15" in our area), strong winds, and low visibility, but apparently it all has to be occurring at the same time to make it a true blizzard. Who knew? Nevertheless, it was our fourth really big snowstorm in three weeks.
      It's beginning to feel as if we are living in a snow globe. It began snowing this morning around 9:00 and now at 6:30, it is still snowing. (This photo of the steadily falling snow was taken late in the afternoon.) It's not particularly heavy only about four or five inches so far which compared to what we have been having is practically nothing.
     Thirty-one days until spring . . .

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015 - Another Blizzard on the Way

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!!!

A couple of days ago, I collected my snowmen decorations and wallhangings and packed them away, but I just finished this wool felt appliqué piece this afternoon so I will hang it up for awhile.  I had purchased this wall quilt kit "Snowmen Friends" before Christmas at Quilted Threads in Henneker, NH. The design is by Rachel T. Pellman and the finished piece measures 13" x 15." I started seriously working on it during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. 

Here's a close-up of one section. A stab stitch was used for all of the appliqué.

This morning Emma carefully inspected the path I had shoveled to get near the back of the garage roof with my snow rake.

It will be interesting to see how much snow we receive over the course of the next twenty-four hours. The meteorologists are warning of high winds, heavy snow, and extremely cold temperatures to follow. We have had more snow in the last three weeks than Chicago has ever had in an entire winter. Anchorage, Alaska, has only had twenty inches this year. This is crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank goodness we have received help from neighboring states in the form of heavy equipment and snow melting machines, and the National Guard in this area has been working on removing the mountains of snow at intersections. 

We will get through this together, and spring is coming soon, right????????

Friday, February 13, 2015

Another Blizzard Is on Its Way

It doesn't seem possible, but we're expecting another blizzard for Valentine's Day tomorrow. This afternoon the sky was so blue that I decided to grab my camera and go for a ride. I saw a number of scenes that I would have liked to have captured, but with the snow-covered narrow roads there was just no place to pull over and park. Eventually, I ended up in Scituate Harbor where these images were taken.

On the way home while stopped in traffic, I spotted this sign on the lawn of St. Jerome Church in North Weymouth. 

What did the sign say?

May I hear a resounding "AMEN" please!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I'm Doing My Part

I'm through with winter. In all my life, I have never seen so much snow in such a short period of time. Therefore, I am going to do my part to try to reverse this situation. I've gathered all of my snowman and winter decorations and quilted wallhangings and packed them away until next year. Will this help??? ?Probably not . . . but anything is worth a try at this point.

Roof Raking . . . The experts on TV keep telling us that we need to remove the snow from our roofs. Except for one spot, I believe there is not too much on the house roof, but the snow on the garage roof is something else. Yesterday, I cleared as much as I could from the driveway side, but the back was at least five feet deep. It was really starting to worry me, so this afternoon I began shoveling a narrow path through the deep, deep snow in the backyard. . . a distance of about eighteen feet.

Can you believe how incredibly deep it is!!!!!!

It was slow going, but I took my time and eventually made it to the patio.  I took these photos because even I can't believe it. This is the face of one snow weary woman. :-()

I made some progress, but with another potential storm on the way for the weekend I'll try to remove even more tomorrow. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Thirty-eight Days until Spring and the Snow Keeps Coming

What  have I been doing when I haven't been shoveling? Well, yesterday I finished the covers to complete my cigarette silk actress book.  Take a look inside. . .

Please click on any photo to see a clearer, larger view. I truly loved working on this project.  It began back in the fall when I took a class on making a crazy quilt book taught by Jerrianne Ouellette  at Emma's Quilt Cupboard in Franklin. My focus was a bit different as I wanted to showcase my cigarette silk actresses, but it was easy to adapt what I learned for this project. If you haven't tried crazy quilting, let me warn you . . . it is wonderful fun but highly addictive.  Yarns, floss, buttons, beads, lace, and charms, etc . . oh, my!

Snow update: For those not from this area, let me tell you that we are in the midst of out third major snowstorm of the last sixteen days. It began late on Saturday and will continue through Tuesday morning. Even more special, my area will win the snow jackpot; a jackpot no one wishes to win. We had around thirty inches to begin with and this storm when it ends will have dropped another twenty-five to thirty inches. I live here and even I can't believe it. Here are some photos I just took to give you an idea of what it is like. They are similar to previously posted photos so you can see how much more snow we have received. Side yard . . . four foot chain link fence completely covered.

Back yard fence nearly buried.

Sunporch view . . .

We've been told by the experts that we should try to remove the snow from our roofs. My garage roof has about five feet of snow, and I have a snow rake but it is impossible to get near enough from the backyard. I'm thinking that maybe I should get some snowshoes so I can traverse the deep snow, but that's for another day.

Think warm thoughts as they are predicting more snow on Thursday night. Thirty-eight days until spring . . . 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fourteen More Inches of Snow!!!

Last night, one of my wonderful neighbors used his snowblower to tackle the last third of my driveway. I had shoveled the rest during the day, but there had come a point when I just couldn't do any more. Unfortunately, it then continued snowing throughout the night. My stairs and walkway were filled with snow again. The blowing snow had also filled in part of the driveway and worst of all, the last four feet had been filled in by the snowplows. GROAN!!! This morning, I shoveled again for over an hour before another neighbor came along with his snowblower to help me finish the impossible, hard packed last few yards. Thank heavens for good neighbors!!!

This afternoon I decided to take some time for photography.  You should have seen the set-up near my kitchen door where the light was softly filtering in. I almost took a photo of my crazy set-up, but suffice it to say, it involved two kitchen chairs, a tripod, a large can to prop the plant on, and an oven splatter guard. A splatter guard??? Yes, it's three separate white pieces of plastic which interlock. I picked it up years ago at Bldg. 19 thinking it would be good for outdoor flower photography. Outside I put it around low flowers to block the wind and to kick up a little natural light. Anyway, I propped it up to reflect a little more light on the subject and grabbed my macro lens. These may not be as sharp as I would have liked, but it was a fun way to spend an hour.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow and Joy in Patriot Nation

     I cleared half of the deck and steps down to the bare wood a little after 8:00 this morning. This is how it looked four hours later. It just keeps coming and coming and coming. I know where they are, and even I can barely make out where my gardens are, not to mention the buried doghouse which is in front of the tree on the left. Not even the tip of the roof is visible.

It also means that I need to keep shoveling out a small area for Emma. After last week's blizzard, in the last few days she had just begun to be able to scamper up onto the top of the snow. Being light, she didn't sink down too far. She won't be able to do that for a while.

Picnic anyone?

Backing out of the driveway safely will be a challenge for awhile. Let's make a guess how long it will take for these piles on either side of the driveway to melt.

Now to the JOY part . . . the New England Patriots last night won the Super Bowl. What an incredible game it was!!!  I was totally worn out watching it, and the last two minutes nearly gave me a heart attack. I've definitely been overdosing on the NFL network these last few days. Most of the experts had given the edge to the Seahawks, but fortunately, Brady and the Patriots proved them wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!