Snowtorious B.I.G.

February 11, 2010

Arctic Grackle

We woke this morning to find that it was NOT snowing. Yay! Blue skies and the sun “splittin the stones”! Still a bit windy, but a big improvement over the conditions I woke to yesterday. Our wonderful snow shoveling crew rang the doorbell at 8AM, rarin to go. Neighbours are snowblowing and shoveling like fiends. Most folks don’t have to work today, schools and the Federal Government are closed again, so everyone’s mission is to get themselves dug out. We would like to send out a big “Thank You!” to our good friends Brian and Phil. They live on Capitol Hill and own Capitol Hill Stay, which offers short term luxury furnished apartment accommodation in the Nation’s Capitol. Even though they have many properties to take care of, they headed over to our apartment on the Hill to make sure it was shoveled while they were out doing their snow maintenance. We really, really appreciate it! With our driveways shoveled, we just have to dig out the cars. Jay and I have it a whole lot easier today than poor old John. We had freed Lopez from his snow cocoon after the last storm because we knew we actually needed to drive him. John has not had to go into work since the first round of storms and his car has not had any of the snow removed from it as of yet. (See pic below) Although our deck is still buried, we have uncovered the hot tub. While it is very tempting to get out there for a soak, I couldn’t help but notice the huge amount of snow on the roof right above the tub. The vision of us relaxing in the 102 degree tub popped into my head. I saw all of the heat from the tub rising up and melting that big, ledge of overhanging snow and icicles. We could potentially be impaled and then buried! Hmmm….maybe we’ll wait on that soak. The birds and squirrels are back at the feeder sans the grackles. They seemed to have moved on to another party spot today. (See photos of critters below)

Overall these Blizzards have been a lot of fun. We had some awesome meals-(and they are still happening….Jay is making his fabulous homemade pizza for dinner tonight…YUM) drank copious amounts of cocktails/wine, watched some movies, hot-tubbed, “played” in the snow, etc. Really memorable, good times. As much as I generally enjoy snow though, I think I may have had my fill at this point. I don’t know if any more snow is coming this way, I guess only Snowstradamos would know that (heeheehee-been waiting to use that one) but I’m not sure my waistline or my liver could take it!

Here are some pics from this last storm:

The Red and the Black

Gaggle of Grackles

Snow Jay

Mr. Cardinal

Madame Cardinal

Snowy Squirrel

Grackles Galore

Clear Driveway

Anyone seen John's car?

Post-Blizzard Sun

Drifts as far as the eye can see

John's Bistro Set.

Stairway up to deck

Hot Tub of Peril!

Avalanche waitin to happen! (Above Danger Tub)

Wall of Snow


Is it over yet?

Is it over yet?

Is it over yet?

Snow long for now!


February 10, 2010


Its BAAACK! I thought we were all done….but nope. Flakes are falling again. Not flurries either…a moderate amount of wind driven snow whacked me in the face as soon as I stepped out the door. This must be one of those snow bands they were talking about.


When it looked like Snowmaggedon Part Deux was fini earlier, people had actually ventured out to shovel (not us) and use their snowblowers (not us….yet….just wait til next year!)

Snowblower in Action

I took the opportunity to refill the bird feeder. Earlier today I was beset by Grackles. They stayed all day and ate absolutely every bit of seed around. I’ll post some pics of my birds in action tomorrow. Getting to the feeder was not the easiest, but -Mission Accomplished! We’re ready for the onslaught tomorrow.

Filling the Feeder-Snow to my Knees!


John was not playing around with any such stuff, but was working feverishly all day long. Hmmm…..John? What is that in your hand?

John-Hard at Work

Well, its dinner time now. We’re having some ravioli topped with my homemade sauce. This weather reporter has had it for today. I’ll check back in tommorow



February 10, 2010


Looks like we just have the occasional few flurries now but it is WINDY! The second I stepped out the door to snap the pics a huge gust came along and nearly pushed me back inside. In that movie-Whiteout-which we watched a few nights ago-the characters were only able to move from building to building on the Post they were stationed on in Antarctica by wearing a harness and hooking themselves to a rope. The visibility there was so nonexistent that ropes were strung between all of the buildings. If you didn’t have the ropes to guide your progress you were in danger of being blown away and then lost in the blizzard. I’m beginning to wish I’d strung a few ropes myself!


I’m afraid the Veuve isn’t accurately reflecting the total snow accumulation.


I think the wind is just blowing the snow elsewhere. I measured 10 inches in the driveway, but I’m not sure if that was a drift or not.   There are some crazy drifts forming all around the house. Looks like a weird moonscape.


We still have power though Jay just tried to “word” us by talking about how amazing that was. It was quickly followed by John and I saying “Toowee Toowee Toowee” to counteract any bad luck. Hmmm…we may be getting a bit stir crazy! See you around 8PM

Son of Snowpocalypse

February 10, 2010


Good ole “Junior” is still raging outside. No let-up whatsoever. It looks like we have about 7 inches of new snow out there.


Gimlet had to go out-nature calls you know-so out we went.

Lea & Gimlet

Blizzard Squint

I think Gimlet is over this Blizzard nonsense!

We hate-zez snows!

Snow Sorry I Ever Doubted You….

February 10, 2010


Goodness! I woke up this morning and peered outside to find I must stand corrected. I know I was doubting this storm at midnight. It was very quiet at that point, hardly snowing/sleeting at all. No winds. Well, that is not the case now. This storm is really raging! Not only is it snowing heavily, but the winds are gusting, at a guess, 30-40 mph.


We are feeding the birds and were able to get more seed and peanuts for them between the storms. I looked out this morning to see a full on Grackle feeding frenzy. The Grackles aren’t my usual takers, so it was a bit of a surprise.

Grackle Gathering

The wind is making it difficult to get any photos and I am really anxious about the power. I can easily imagine trees going down in this. We had a large branch which was broken by the previous storm, crash down out of a tree this morning. If I don’t blog at my usual time, you’ll know I’m likely “in the dark”. I tried to get a pic of what it looks like when its really blowing. I had to cower in the carport to do so because the lens of the camera was getting so covered with snow, nothing was visible in my first few attempts. With all luck, back at noon!

Looking out from the carport

Looking out from carport-side yard

Quiet Midnight

February 10, 2010


Not much precipitation at the moment, a bit of occasional sleet/freezing rain. We seem to be in a some sort of a lull, maybe between bands or something. It was an eerie quiet out there as well.


The forecasters said we would be getting the heaviest accumulations after midnight into the wee hours of the morning. Guess it hasn’t really got going yet. Perhaps the storm has tricked them and it won’t actually hit here as hard as they thought…..Hmmmm…..wishful thinking. Check back in the morning (definitely not at 4 AM-but sometime around 8-9’ish)

Snow, Snow……. Snowtorious!

February 9, 2010


It is definitely coming down now! The roads, our walkway and our driveway are covered already. I hope our nice, young shovelers come by on Thursday.

Snow Flakes

I think we might be getting a bit of a drift around our Veuve bottle.


*Thanks to Duran Duran for this blog title. Did anyone get that besides me? I fear some more of those may be coming your way…..Next update 12 AM (if I can stay awake!)

Here We Go Again!

February 9, 2010

4:15 PM-Tuesday

The snow began here at 4:15 PM. It was initially tiny, fluffy flurries. However, now it is 6:45 and the snow has mixed a bit with freezing rain and is coming down much harder. Even though the temperature was above freezing today, the roads are already covered.  We just watched the 6 PM news-NBC 4- and heard the latest. Apparently the storm will produce 8-12 inches here in Falls Church. Heaviest snow will fall after 12 AM. Winds tomorrow will be gust 30-40 mph. Widespread power outages are very likely when evergreen tree branches, already covered with snow from the first storm, become coated with more ice and snow from this storm, are then hit with the high winds and snap off, falling onto power lines and bringing them down in the process. Bummer. On Sunday when we had a three hour power outage, I was most unhappy. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Back to the flat roof anxieties-We just heard that this new storm will add 5,000 lbs. to the average roof! Yikes!!! I am definitely on the verge of a panic attack! However, I did feel somewhat better when they went on to explain that the amount of snow already on DC Metro area roofs added up to 20 lbs. per square inch. This new storm will add 5 lbs. per square inch, for a total of 25 lbs. per square inch. Building code dictates that roofs be built to withstand 30 lbs. per square inch minimum, but they can usually stand twice that amount. They went on to say, “DO NOT SHOVEL ROOFTOPS” because it is very dangerous. Hmmm…I guess I feel a bit less crazed, though I know my house was built in 1882 and don’t know what the building codes were like then.

The Federal Government is closed again tomorrow. That is three days in a row!  Possibly a record. I just spoke with the office I’m supposed to work with tomorrow and they have decided to close as well. Sooo……I will be updating the blog every 4 hours as I did per the last storm. I have decided not to use the fire hydrant as a measuring stick this time. It is difficult to reach now what with all the plowing. We will be using the bottle displayed below. Yay! Our favourite champagne-Veuve Clicquot. Don’t worry, no champagne was harmed in the production of this blog-the bottle is empty(don’t know how that could have happened.)

Veuve-4:15 PM-Tuesday

See everyone again at 8 PM!

Timeline Photos of Snowpocalypse

February 9, 2010


Good news! I made it in to work today and arrived safely back home. We only saw patients from 7 AM until 12 noon, but it is likely the only work or should I say the only dental hygiene type of work that I will do all week-what with the second storm bearing down on us as I write. The roads were passable, but I am so, so happy we have the Tacoma (aka Lopez). I can’t imagine driving on them with a regular car. Once I arrived at work I noticed that the new tables/umbrellas in the courtyard looked different. They almost looked wind blown, but it seems the umbrellas buckled from the weight of all the snow!

Damaged Umbrellas

Speaking of structural integrity, a big topic of conversation around here is that all of the flat roofs in the area are in danger of collapsing from the weight of all that heavy, wet snow. Of coarse these concerns are only heightened now since there is what is estimated to be another foot of accumulation on the way. I am worried about my house on Capitol Hill, however I don’t think there is much I can do for it. The roof access is normally through a trap door-which by the way is now covered with about 28 inches of heavy snow. We could get a ladder out on the upper deck I suppose and try to get up on the roof that way and once up there, try to maintain footing while clearing the snow and ice…..Seems pretty dangerous though and like I’d be asking for trouble. Jay has told me many times that the Ridgeways are not known for their sure- footedness! I guess I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

I’ve just seen the first flurries starting to fall. The temperature has been above freezing this afternoon and all of the icicles are melting outside of my window, but I understand soon conditions will be deteriorating rapidly. I am planning on updating my blog every four hours again through this second storm. What is it being called now? Snowmaggedon II, Son of Snowpocalyse, February Fury…Anyone got any good ideas? So check back for all the information. In the meantime, as a little recap-here are the sequential pics of our house from the initial 2010 Blizzard.

2:30 PM-Blizzard Friday

6:30 PM-Blizzard Friday

10:30 PM-Blizzard Friday

7 AM-Blizzard Saturday

11 AM-Blizzard Saturday

3 PM-Blizzard Saturday

6 PM-Blizzard Saturday-End

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!

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