Monday, December 12, 2022

Digging Out

 How much snow did we get? The weather service insists it was 12 - 15 inches in our area.  THIS was AFTER the 2 feet of snow that was dumped on Tues/Wed which we had just dug out of...two more storms are forecasted for later this is expected to drop 2 - 5 inches and the other "may be another large storm."  They say it's a "rare occurrence" due to an "atmospheric river" 500 miles wide and 2000 miles long which came over from Hawaii and merged with the storm front...lots of moisture. 

It is enough snow the schools were closed down for the 4th day in a row (this doesn't happen up here), Alaska Waste didn't pick up, Alaska Daily News didn't deliver, McDonald's stayed closed (because many couldn't leave their driveways) and we have no idea if the mail was delivered because our mailbox is 1/2 a mile away and we didn't care to drive or walk today. LOL 

I KNOW Michael was SO relieved to have both boys home today to help with the snow. We have snow shovels and a little plow on our riding lawn mower. It took them 4 hours to clear the driveway and a few walks. 

Our Snow Removal Team 

I think if we are going to continue to live out here, we need to consider finding a used 4 x 4 and attach a plow.   Michael pointed out the areas where he is dumping snow this year and they got to work. 

First, Michael had to retrieve his shovels...and we are properly chastised...though it was funny to watch Michael sink in the snow for once. In family lore, *I* am the one that always sinks to my waist in snow.  It turns out I left a shovel on the deck for easy shoveling (at least for me) and Stacia left one out by the sledding hill she was trying to build before the plague hit her. Unfortunately, it is across the yard....
Hill directly above Mike, handle of shovel to the left right at the 
tree line

Millie was EXCITED to have someone outside to play with. Watching her run in the snow is Hilarious!

She caught up with Michael and tried to break trail. She quickly realized it was better to let Michael break the trail. 

At this point of the day, we could tell we had at least 12 inches of new snow. There is just over 25 inches of snow on our deck railing. 

Allie and Stacia worked on school today. They sound like they have really bad colds and are tired, but they are improving. 

It was the BEST call not to travel today. In fact, many flights are delayed or canceled out of Anchorage today. We may not have even been able to make it. 

Stacia also made cookies so there would be yummies when the guys came in. A new batch of kombucha was ready...this one is pomegranate/apple. I like this much better, but it seems others like more flavor. 

It was the perfect night to make a couple of quiches for dinner. Ye old ham and cheddar and one with asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, ham and mozzarella. Both were good. 

*Note all three plates pictured here are from Japan. I just began using them. I told Stacia this is proof I believe she is actually going to move to Japan. I've begun using the plates because I know I can replace them if need be. LOL 

The girls built a fire and kept it going so the house was toasty. After dinner we all gathered in the living room and watched Encanto.  The boys are sure they'll be at work tomorrow and headed off to bed. The girls watched the snow for a bit and did the same thing. 

Girls' Cars

We have been reticent to post photos of the girls' cars. An online safety thing.... The girls are proud of their new cars, and they are adults or nearly adult in Stacia's case....

We've decided to take the plunge and post photos of their cars. 

Can you make them out? This is Allie's new car. 

This is Stacia's new car. 

Snow Day

Five years. Mom has been "gone" five years. I'm not sure how one is supposed to feel. I've been told it would get "easier and easier," and that isn't quite my reality. It was terribly hard at first, then I seemed to hit a zone, but lately...the reality it's been five long years and I really am not going to have another conversation with Mom is setting in. It's hard. I've learned it's very possible, good even I think, to grieve and experience joy at the same time. 

There is one thing mom loved - SNOW. She told us repeatedly how excited she was to someday move to Alaska with us and get to be in all the snow again...and so it is fitting we have SNOW this December 12th - LOTS OF SNOW!  Today, I'm going to snuggle inside under blankets and enjoy a snow day in her memory...though we all KNOW Mom would not be content to watch it - she'd be out there in the middle of it...sledding, building snowmen and pelting us with snowballs. I sure miss her, still. 

Michael checked how much we had last night, and I can tell you we had 7 new inches at 0800 this morning. I have no idea how much we will get in the end as it has not stopped snowing since last night. 

Before you see the next photos you need to KNOW - YES, we DID shovel after the last storm.  FOOLS. The wisdom of the Japanese becomes apparent on days like this.  The city of Misawa did NOT shovel roads in the winter. We got lots of snow. Their philosophy "It will melt in time." BUT we DID SHOVEL. I had beautiful trails to the chicken coop, the compost, around my car...the driveway was shoveled...we could get ou of all the doors. Not so this a.m.  Millie was not impressed this morning when we could barely get the door open for her. 

This is the tallest we've seen the snow on the railing...because we clear it between storms...this is only our 6th winter but it sure FEELS like a lot of snow. 

Winter grilling anyone? 

I shoveled a path to the stairs for Millie. I figured she could just slide down the stairs. She did have the same idea at all. We have been training her to outside off leash and to come back...she didn't want to go anywhere this a.m. 

Hope for spring, summer and fall days....and next summer we'll have 2 new babies for the baby swing. 

The front edge of this railing was cleaned off last night. We've had a good 12 inches in the last 12 hours. 

This was all nicely plowed yesterday. Lovely trails around the cars....

Michael had shoveled paths so I could easily get to the chickens (red bldg on left) and compost (bin between coop and my van).  Maybe I won't compost for a day or two. 

I did have to go out and visit the animals. Dash is such a good sport. I gave him an extra treat or two today...though it IS warmer than it has been. 

About that chicken coop....

The chicken yard. Michael had shoveled a couple of areas for them but alas...snow everywhere once again. 

I turned around and realized I had to get the door open. LOL 

She does not seem suitably impressed with my efforts. 
I entertained them this morning with Karen Carpenter songs. 

For all the trouble, the girls rewarded us with 18 eggs this morning (and 2 more this evening). 

The greenhouse with a new coat of snow....another hopeful sign that this is just ONE of four seasons.