Calm Before the Next Storm

February 8, 2010

Sun Dog

Gimlet took some time today, since he wan’t working, to take a little sun bath while looking out over all the snow. Lots of people were off work today, though I doubt they were lounging around in the sun. I’m sure a whole lot of diggin was going on. The Federal Government was shut down. Georgetown was closed today, so John was working from home. My dental office closed as well. Poor Jay, who always works from home, was diligently working as per usual.

If all of your digging is done and you have some time to search the “intertubes”, I just discovered that my one of my best friends, Theresa, who lives in Ireland, has an awesome blog-thegreenapron– The Green Apron is Theresa’s company which makes a fabulous range of award winning homemade jams, marmalades, chutneys, ketchups, sauces, herb mixes, butters, mustards and pickles using her secret family recipes. She, along with her family, grow most of the ingredients they use in their preserves themselves or when that is not practical she sources the ingredients locally. She is a fantastic cook and while I was living in Ireland I was lucky enough to scarf down many of the yummy meals she made. An amazing thing was that when we were in college, I would go look in the kitchen and think “Man, there is nothing in here to eat”. Then Theresa would go in, take a look and come out with the most amazing dinners she just managed to “whip-up”. I was delighted to see many of my favourite recipes from the past listed here, plus lots of other cool tidbits. Take a look!

Theresa, husband Mike, and children-Alexander, Athene and Isabella

I did mention previously that another storm was on the way. At first we heard that it would bring us another 1-3 inches. Then it was upgraded to 4 inches or so. Last night before I went to bed they were saying that it would likely be 5-8 inches. I just now received a revised update and am literally sitting here in shock. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service is that we could get an additional 10-20 inches of snow between tuesday afternoon and wednesday evening at 7 pm. I can’t even imagine what that will be like! I’m fairly certain that the dental office I’m scheduled to work in tomorrow will be open. Its located right in Falls Church city, maybe 10-15 minutes away from the house and I’m pretty confident Lopez (our Toyota Tacoma) can make it there. I guess I’ll try to get some supplies while I’m out -some ice melt, birdfood, eggs, $ to pay our shovelers should they come back. Luckily we are still good with respect to toilet paper and milk. Check back with us to see how “Son of Snowpocalypse” shapes up!

Post Snowpocalypse

February 7, 2010

Bird Toes

So its Day 1 after the Blizzard. I would have checked in sooner, however just as I sat down to write the blog, we lost power. Drat! However, its back on now. I guess three hours out isn’t so bad. Anyway our day started out with our doorbell ringing at 8:30 am-and yes I will just admit right away that we were all sound asleep. When I opened the door I was quite delighted to see the two kids-they look like brother and sister -around 14 years-ish-who shoveled both of our driveways in the last snow. Mind you, the last snow which fell on tuesday night was about 4-5  inches. They were wondering if we wanted the lower drive shoveled and if they could finish shoveling our main drive. Not only “Yes”, but excuse me when I say-“Hell Yes!” What a relief! So really now all we have to do to potentially drive out of here would be to get the snow off of our cars. Osgar (my mini cooper) was under the carport for the storm, so he is in good shape-as if we would attempt to drive him anywhere in snow. Lopez, our Toyota Tacoma-who with his 4 wheel drive is awesome in snow, was completely covered. Here is a picture of what he looked like after I had exhumed him partially.

Poor Lopez

Kerns still hasn’t been plowed today. It does appear to be passable with four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles. However, the side street-Randall-right next to our house had people getting stuck on it all morning. The neighbour right beside us has the “mack-daddy” snow blower which has with out a doubt given me a serious case of snow blower envy. He took pity on the neighbourhood and was actually trying to use it to clear the entire street.

Snow Blower Envy

I took Gimlet for a walk up to Sleepy Hollow Road, which isn’t a main road per se, but is close to one. It has been plowed, but as you can see is still quite snowy.

Sleepy Hollow Road

Sleepy Hollow Road

On the way to Sleepy Hollow, we ran across a side road which had not been plowed at all and no cars had driven upon it. I know its hard to pick out the road, but I was standing on Kerns to take the picture. The untreated/plowed road is Rutland. There is over 2 feet of snow on it! Those folks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon!

Untreated Side Street

We did have another fantastic Blizzard Brunch today. I am planning on making a shepherds pie later, so I had some mash potatoes around. I went ahead and fried up some potato farls-YUM!

Farls A-fryin!

We also had some sausage, eggs, chocolate babka, pears soaked in champagne and more champagne to drink. How decadent!

Blizzard Brunch-Part Deux

Post Blizzard Fun

February 7, 2010

Hot Tub Therapy

Great evening! We did indeed enjoy one or two cocktails. We had some really exceptional pasta from Pete’s, which was followed by the movie Zombieland. It was actually very good. Anyone who enjoys zombie movies like Shaun of the Dead would like this one as well. We have been quite disappointed with movies recently. Public Enemies with Johnny Depp-the one in which he plays John Dillenger-was no exception. The movie is visually fantastic but all praise stops there. We did see a movie with Kate Beckingsale called-I believe-Whiteout. It took place in Antarctica and was a good, old fashioned thriller. We liked it, but Jay and John both figured out who the killer was before “all was revealed”. I was blissfully unaware. When I say we “saw” these movies, don’t get any strange ideas about us actually venturing out to a theatre. We’ve recently discovered the Video on Demand feature on fios, so we see these films from the comfort of our sofa.

Jay and Gimlet were a bit too tired for the hot tub this evening, but John and I hauled our sore shoveling muscles out there. The temperature outside was 22 F with a wind chill of 11F. The water in the hot tub was 102 F. I think it definitely helped. It was somewhat surreal though what with the Arctic landscape surrounding us. Not to mention we were a bit concerned about “snow zombies”……

Snowmaggedon Winds Down

February 6, 2010

6 PM-Blizzard Saturday

At 5:15 PM we noticed that it was no longer snowing. I waited a bit to see if it was just a wee break, but when the flakes had not made a reappearance by 6 pm, I went on outside to take the last “house in snow” pic for the storm.

Kerns Hydrant-6PM-Blizzard Saturday

I went around and took several snow measurements in the yard. It looks like we have 27-28 inches of accumulation here. The good news is we still have power. The bad news is that it is unlikely we can just stay here until the snow melts, we’re going to have to shovel. And believe me, although we have diligently been shoveling away, we still have TONS of snow to clear. The main driveway is not shoveled completely down to Kerns-not for John’s lack of effort as can be seen.

Driveway Clearance in Progress

The second driveway, where John’s car lies buried, has not been touched yet. The cars are still completely encased at this point. We did manage to clear a path to the hot tub and all hope to take a soak later this evening-God knows we’ll need it after all the shoveling! I haven’t actually see a plow go by in some time, so Kerns is not passable for regular cars. I really wonder if we’ll be headed to work on Monday. It truly was a historic snowfall. I’ve never seen anything like this here before. We haven’t been listening to the news much this afternoon, so I’m curious what all is being said.

What’s on the agenda for tonight? As I mentioned-some hot tub time- but also possibly a movie, definitely some cocktails, and some awesome pasta from Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza. Did someone mention that we are actually due for some more snow on tuesday?!!

“It takes 3 shovels to get down…”

February 6, 2010

3 PM-Blizzard Saturday

Hmmm….Valuable words to live by. There is STILL a very steady snow coming down. We’ve continued fighting the losing shoveling battle. John was heard to utter the above comment (blog title) as he doggedly shoveled down the driveway in an attempt to reach Kerns Road.

Mad shoveling skills in action

Alas, you can’t really tell I did much shoveling when you look at the old hydrant shot.

Kerns Hydrant-3PM-Saturday Blizzard

We thankfully still have power, though the whole time we were outside we could hear the eerie sound of branches cracking and actually saw a huge one crash down in the neighbour’s driveway-yes, that would be the driveway he literally spent 4-5 hours shoveling and removing branches which had previously fallen! Poor guy. He popped right back outside and started work again.

I guess the snow is supposed to stop some time this evening. We definitely have well over 2 feet on the ground. When I go out for the next update, I’ll make sure I take a ruler and get an official number of inches.

Christmas Lights and Icicles

Guys? Is it still snowing?


February 6, 2010

11 AM Blizzard Saturday

You may have guessed by this point, but….YUP! Still snowing! And I mean snowing HARD. I guess it is not as bad as it was last night…..but still! Oh SAVE US!!! We go out literally every hour or so to shovel and are not making much of a dent at all.

Lea and Gimlet

Shoveling Jay

After seeing our neighbour’s wires down, we took a good look at the power supply coming into our house and noticed some heavy branches laying on our lines. Out we went with long poles to try to shake some of the snow off  of the branches which were directly on the wires. I don’t know how much good it did, but we’ve already watched a fairly large branch break off that very tree due to snow weight, so I suppose it was worth a try.

10 AM-Saturday-Branches on Wires

Shaking the branches

I did shovel out the fire hydrant on our property so that in the worse case scenario the fire department would be able to find it.

Kerns Hydrant-11 AM-Blizzard Saturday

Kerns Hydrant-11 AM-Blizzard Saturday-Post Dig Out

After all that work it was time for Blizzard Brunch.

Blizzard Brunch

I did set out some peanuts and seed for the outside animals. Here they are chowing down.

Spying the right nut

Is that a peanut down there?!

And what are you looking at?

Made it through the night…Snowpocalypse rages on!

February 6, 2010

7 AM-Blizzard Saturday

Well I did fall to sleep last night, so there were no wee hour of the morning photos. Here is the scene this morning-STILL snowing steadily, wet flakes that really stung my face. Occasional gusts of wind, but nothing sustained. The snow has really piled up! I would estimate-I did not have a ruler with me-that there was about 13-14 inches minimum.

Kerns Hydrant-7 AM Blizzard Saturday

We still have power and it doesn’t look like it went out at all last night. Lucky us! Around mid-night last night I looked out and noticed that several large branches had broken off of our neighbour’s tree and taken some sort of wires down with it. The same tree had big snow laden branches resting directly on the power lines nearby.

12:30 AM-Branches/Wires down on Kerns

12:30 AM-Branches on wires

Kerns Road-12:30 AM-Blizzard Saturday

The birds and squirrels are already out at their feeder looking for some food. There is very little distance now between the bottom of the feeder and the snow piled beneath it. I guess I’ll try to toss some seed and peanuts out on the snow. Stay posted for further updates…

Late Evening Blizzard Update

February 5, 2010

10:30 PM-Blizzard Friday

The snow is coming down at an incredible rate now! Quite a big change from 6:30 pm. Still not much wind yet, but every once in a while there is a gust and visibility goes down to zero. We keep hearing that there is a strong possibility we will lose power, but so far so good.

6528 Kerns Hydrant-10:30 PM-Blizzard Friday

We’ve been trying to keep up with the shoveling around the front door and along the front walk of the house. However, we seem to be fighting a losing battle. The snow is that really wet, heavy stuff that sticks to the shovel. John just went out to take a stab at it.

A losing battle?

The next update to this blog should be around 2:30 a.m. I’m afraid I can’t make any promises for any wee hours in the morning pics, but check back-you never know……

Early Evening Blizzard Update

February 5, 2010

6:30 PM-Blizzard Friday

Snow is still coming down-very steady. Its a really heavy, wet snow. Getting a clear photo of the house was tough-it is so dark you need a flash but when you use the flash it comes out like this:

Which I guess is good because it shows all the snow coming down. The above house picture was taken with a 3200 setting. Jay went out just before dark and shoveled some of the snow off the walk ways and shook it off some of our poor trees.

We’ve been watching the evening news and seems like everyone is sufficiently panicked. John’s been getting phone calls from friends and family in Ohio to check and make sure he was doing o.k. Our big upset thus far is that we just tried to heat some taquitos in our new microwave/pizza oven and it completely died! No matter how many times we unplugged/plugged it in, it did not resuscitate-it remained DOA. Very disappointing considering we just bought this one to replace the old one that died on St. Stephen’s Day. Boooooo!

The next blizzard picture update will be around 10:30 pm. I guess the storm isn’t supposed to really crank up until 4 am, so I don’t know how much of a difference will be seen. Since there were some difficulties seeing the house at this point- I will be taking photos of the fire hydrant on the edge of the property as well.

Kerns Road hydrant-6:30 pm Blizzard Friday

Thus it begins!

February 5, 2010

2:30 PM-Blizzard Friday

Snow started this morning at 10:30 a.m.-very small, fine, wet flakes. I went into DC for the old hair appointment. Poor Suzanne was swamped with folks whose hair appointments she had to reschedule from tomorrow. Actually when I arrived in DC it wasn’t snowing there at that point, but it had started by the time I left. When I got back to Falls Church there was some snow accumulation on the ground, but the roads were just wet and I didn’t find them slippery at all. John just arrived back here completely laden with food bundles…believe me we will not starve! Thank’s to Pete’s pizza and John’s generosity we have a large New Haven style pizza and several varieties of pasta. I made some of my pasta sauce as well because Jay had whipped up some pizza dough that he wants to bake on his new pizza stone. I have the fixings for Shepherd’s Pie, there are various munchies, cheese and crackers, etc. Needless to say, we are set with alcohol. Very exciting! We’ve decided to post a picture of the house in the snow every 4 hours to show the progression of the storm. It will be located at the top of the blog. WTOP is now saying the predictions have been revised to 20-30 inches of snow. The record for DC was set in 1922-the Knickerbocker storm produced 28 inches of snow. There is a chance we might break the record! Stand by for all the details….

Getting ready for the storm!

Knickerbocker storm you say?

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