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Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blizzard of 2014

Started Tues, January 7.

Not sure if it's really going to be called a blizzard or not- but around here it was, lol. Today the storm is supposed to break, and we are getting what will hopefully be the coldest day of the year- it's supposed to climb up into the 30's over the next couple days.

Here's a pic of what our little part of the world looked like during the storm:

We have indeed already seen a few moments of clear if watery and cold sunlight today :) I walked down to the pole barn for the snow shovel, and shit, that was a chore. I was wearing winter boots with a couple inch sole, and snow depth ranged from just below ankle deep beneath the pines, to breaking well above my knees along pretty much the rest of the drive, lol. I was all bundled up in coats and cloak, and I was roasting by the time I got back to the house, but my lungs hurt from breathing in the freezing air- despite having my nose and mouth covered.
Took a goodly rest after that, lol. Then I cleared a path to the upstairs to look for the body bag and ski pants. Couldn't find either :( But discovered that at least the drifting keeps the area between the house and corner of the garage clear.
Took a break to warm up again. Searched around again, and found the body bag, still no ski pants. Shoveled out to the second bay of the garage. Got all the path areas dug out so far salted. I figured it would be too cold for salt to work, but it is working so maybe it isn't quite so cold here.

I can tell ya damn skippy that when plans for the chickens get built in, we are putting a door or attaching the thing to the end of the garage for inside access for this whole strip, lol.

Why am I bothering killing myself with shoveling now if I know warmer weather is coming? Because if I leave it to the weather, we still aint leaving till the weekend- if I start clearing today, we can leave tomorrow evening at the earliest.

January 8...

This morning went out and cleared some more driveway swath. My love almost got the car stuck yesterday evening in an attempt to get out. It did push out a lot more path- but what was still left too much to even get to the thin spot under the pines and made me want to cry. No amount of pre-clearing and hoping for better weather was gonna get us out to the road for many days yet.
I said screw this and called Dave to see if he knew anyone that could push our drive today- and after some call around, we got Randy on the line and out here to clear at least the path up to the garage. Of course it was 40 instead of 20- we figured a regular push is 20, and Randy wouldn't know till he saw our drive that it would be a double sized push of heavy shit. And we tipped him an extra 10.
So now we can come and go again. Tomorrow I need to shovel out a bit of plow stuff to walk nice to the garage and get down to the mailboxes to make sure that is decent for the mail folks. And dig in a walkway to the pole barn. We really need to invest in at least a snowblower or rig up some sort of little plow attachment for the front of our yard tractor to help us out in heavier snow. It don't happen often to worry about snow in, but when it happens...

So, the plowing out the snow, Randy dug up some of the area around the pines and along the drive. We are 100% cool with this, all he really tore up was stuff that needed a good push back anyway.

Here's some pics from yesterday early and today after plowing...

 A lovely pic out the stair door showing the wee folk nook- those folks are well tucked in :)
 A pic out the library window- The snow was almost up to the sill, the huge dune in the back is a plowed dune.
 This is what the drive looked like before we started digging. We cleared about 6 feet back on bay 2, drove another 6 feet or so flat, the another few feet of digging in of what we gave up and just called Randy.

 Woot! The drive after Randy was here :) A lot of the black you see here isn't dug up edge of drive- it's a heavy mass of blackbirds that showed up and started checking out the much smaller gouged area.
 Here's a shot outside the greatroom- That's a lot of birds!
Another shot of some of them settled down again.

A bit after all of this action, and I sat down at the desk... Saw several chicadees at the feeder tree- and then I saw a red headed woodpecker looking for a snack! Apparently they saw the blackbird memo and thought they were gonna get goodies too. Well sorry birdies, that side of the house is snowed in, can't get to the feeders to fill them even if I had something to fill them with right now.
But, well, maybe not. If I can get at least in reach of the feeder I could get some goodies tossed onto the snow.
The office door is still snowed shut. So the solarium door- I managed to wedge it open using the ash shovel I left by the door, and shovel out the pad. Thank goodness we didn't need the gennie though this. But the corner was clear. Got a couple windows around the corner and realized the snow was way too deep for adventure boots. It drifts onto the southside- Perhaps only 18 inches given the stakes in the ground.
Decided to sort of try out the base form of my snowshoe platform idea- I used the stack of kitty litter lids as snow stepping stones to the house corner where the snow was low enough not to need them. I tossed out the lids as stepping stones to the corner to make sure I had enough stomp spots- then I collected the lids as I walked back after scattering goodies and stomped down the rest of the path. I'm almost positive given the results of this if I added the mesh in the pole barn it could make a great emergency snowshoe. And I have goodly access to the pole barn now.

Coming and going for snow stuff is making me realize how much I need to get done for wintersowing. We are under four weeks till our first planting. Good thing we already have most of the heavy hauling setup work done. I need to sort tons of seed, and still getting in bean and tomato swaps.

Thursday the 9th:

Just puttering around the house, cleaning and watching the snow outside start to change already- the stiff peak of the rail has now become a slumped wave. The snow has sunk down low enough that the kitty litter hump is clearly defined- that means under 14 inches. Saw a fat-ass bluejay pick off a whole piece of bread from the snow, then hop on down for an even bigger piece! Also saw a huge crow in the trees, and he landed into the snow to snatch a piece- then found himself snowbound a bit and floundered to get his footing enough just to flap off the snow- and flew off without his prize.

Extra exciting news! My package of the tomato swap has been mailed out today! Or at least the host announced in the thread my package was sent out today :) Of course these and the bean seeds will count as new in on the 2014 roster, even though the trade was started last year.

I finally changed over the wintersowing spreadsheet to official growschedule for 2014. Holy crap there's a lot of stuff to drop in already! And I've decided to really change the format of the monthly tabs. I've started setting up weekly and weekend to do lists and will work in set up charts.

January 10:
Temps were warm in the morning, producing some fog over the pond. Hehehe, the crows are getting pissed off at the bluejays and chickadees because they are light enough to alight on the deep snow and get the bread bits, but the crows are smart enough to have figured out it's too deep and sinking for them. As dusk settles in, so has the rain. Yeah, from the coldest day (hopefully) of the winter to rain tonight.

SQUEE!!! Bean swap came in today!  Over 20 packs of different kinds of beans. Glad I only have the tomato swap to wait for now, that should be coming in on Monday or Tuesday I think. It looks like I should be able to completely close the 2013 books and fully open the 2014 one before the end of the month. We got in and sent out a lot of seed last year- it was my first year of really seriously doing a lot of trading, and it shows. How I've set up my 2014 logs is way different.

January 13:
Didn't do diddly squat over the weekend. Read a couple books, watched a couple movies... Just hung out and waited for the weather break. And it did :) We got fog and rain, which made for two days of gloomy crap, but mucho snow melt off. At this time I'm hopeful that our Blizzard of 2014 has gone a long way to getting all the lake levels back up to where they really are supposed to be finally and perhaps the super cold snap might have killed off some of those bastard ticks.
So today was running errands- got a lot of stuff to catch up on. And got home to find the TOMATO swap came in! Holy shit double backflip, there are over 100 packets of seeds, all different!!! Considering I sent off 10-12 kinds of about 25 packets total, this has been a super oober trade.

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