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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne


Good morning!  (That exclamation point expresses a much more lively mood than I'm actually experiencing this morning.)

I had a crummy night's sleep last night.  First off, because of a stayed-later-than-I-expected visit to Bundle of Joy and her parents, the last I'll see them before Christmas, and a big dumping of snow, I didn't get to bed until just before 11:30 last night.  And then I couldn't fall asleep.  I heard the distant chime of the cuckoo clock in the kitchen as it rang 11:30 . . . and then midnight.  Then I fought a coughing jag for a good couple of hours, I think, on and off.  Then one of the dogs gakked and needed to go outside.  And back in, of course.  It was 4:30.  While I waited for them to finish up outside, I made myself a glass of Emergen-C, and I had no more coughing, thankfully.

Because I didn't get up early enough yesterday, I set the first alarm to go off at 6:30 this morning and placed it next to the now-upstairs coffee pot.  I turned off the alarm when it rang, turned on the coffee pot, and turned on the radio.  As I hopped back in to my cozy bed (well, no wonder it was so damn cold in the bedroom:  look how wide I'd opened the window during the night!), I wondering why I couldn't hear the radio playing, gently nudging me awake?  Oh, leaving the bathroom, I'd snapped it off - force of habit.  Duh.

Second alarm went off at 6:45, but that was the one right next to the bed.  Note to self:  move that one across the room, too.  By the time I finally dragged myself out of my cozy cocoon, it was 7:15.  But, that's 9 minutes earlier than yesterday morning, so I'm making some progress, right?

* * *

It was snowing when I went to work yesterday, so I drove the truck.  Plowed out although there was only a couple of inches at that point.  But, snowmobilers had taken my driving guides (the snowbanks) down a bit in the last couple of weeks, so it was time to do a "clean-up" run, anyhow.  And, the snow was heavy, so it was good that I was getting a jump start on the job.

When I left town just after 6:00 PM yesterday (good girl!), the snow was coming down sideways, thanks to the wind, and sticking . . . so much so that, twice, I had to clear off my side-view mirrors because they were absolutely covered with snow.  As early as 8:00-ish yesterday morning, the school district had already decided to close at 10:30, but everyone I spoke to was pretty disgusted by that decision.  At the post office, I asked if the delivery truck coming up from the big city 120 miles south had given a scary road report (which would give a good reason for the school closing)?  Nope.  Roads were snow-covered but fine.  Yeah, that's what I thought.  There was a lot of "when I was a kid . . . ." (let me go grab my walker).  (You get the point.)  But, these last couple of years, it seems that the district has canceled school when so much as a flake falls (well, not that bad, but I'm trying to illustrate a point).  I don't know whether it's more due to the liability angle in such a litigation-happy society now or if it's just that The Powers That Be have lost their moralistic accountability and just don't want to put on their big girl panties and deal with it?  Either way, it bugs me.  Yet another good reason I didn't go in to the teaching field as I'd originally planned!

Hang on, more coffee . . . .

So, the snow.  There was less snow at my friends' house last night than there was in town, but that's the way the weather tends to move:  up the shore.  So, it was very possible AND probable that the heavy amounts were coming.  And, they were.  Right as I was driving home.

Aside from one ice storm when the ex and I were trying to drive home in two cars, I have NEVER seen the main dirt road in worse driving conditions.  As I turned off the highway and onto it, I was a little stumped as to why the truck seemed to be laboring as much as it was.  Emergency off?  Yep.  Hmmm.  Then, I figured that, because the first three of those 12 miles are on blacktop, it was probably quite slippery underneath the snow I was slogging through and, even in four-wheel drive, I might be slipping even tho I didn't feel it.  As I drove over the cha-chunk that signals the change from the blackto to gravel, the feeling didn't change.  And, ohhhhhhh, was there snow!  Bundle of Joy's daddy had insisted that I call when I get home, even though they'd be in bed, and I'd told him to "give me an hour" to make the 19 mile drive.  I allllllllmost turned back, a mile or to on to the gravel, knowing I'd never make it home in an hour.  And, there was NO WAY I'd have made it in the Yaris!  Flat-out, Blizzaks or not, no way.

The snow was coming down in a white-out fashion, and there was once that I know I came damn close to driving into the ditch . . . on the WRONG side of the road.  You couldn't see a THING!  I checked my speedometer, and I was topping out at 15 mph.  There was a faint pair of tracks that I was trying to follow, but the road was slick enough underneath that it was hard to stay in them.  Couple that with the fresh, deep snow pulling you this way and that, and I was on the edge of my seat, trying to stare through the windshield.  

Eventually, I realized that the driving was a little easier.  Huh?  Oh, my gosh!  The driver whose tracks I was trying to follow had been driving a truck with a plow on it . . . and he'd dropped his blade!  On the county road!  Now, you KNOW the snow is bad when someone drops their personal-use, hard-on-the-truck blade on any road other than their own driveway!  And, if they have to do that just to make it home?  Well . . . !

Directly upon the heels of me sending up a silent thank you to this guy, I realized who it must have been . . . and where he lived:  only half-way up the 12 miles I needed to drive.  Damn!  (With only two people living up this road year-round, him and me, it didn't take much to figure that out.)  Sure enough, the plowed road turned off where I expected it to.  And those last six or so miles were BAD.  Definitely the worst I've ever seen it.  I was stressed because I knew Bundle of Joy's daddy would be heading out to dig me out of a ditch in a matter of several minutes.  But, there was no option of rushing.  Absolutely not possible (and dangerous, anyway).  I considered dropping my own plow several times but kept assuring myself that I could drive more expeditiously (see, I'm waking up!) if I didn't.  I think I was wrong in that, though.

FORTUNATELY and oddly enough, my winter driveway was FINE when I turned off the main road.  That west end of the driveway and the main road always seem to get about 2" more snow with each snowfall than here at Swamp River Ridge, and it was definitely a factor last night.  Sure, the snow was heavy and deep enough that I couldn't plow straight-on last night:  I had to kick the plow to its farthest angle, more than once.  But, whatever it was that made the main road so bad was gone once I turned off it.  I made the 4 1/2 miles in on the winter driveway in good time and tritzed into the house to call that "I'm home, safe & sound!  Stay in bed!" as soon as I pulled into the yard.  All was well, no harm, no foul.

So, how much did I get here?  Probably just 6-8" inches, but it was heavy due to the temps being in the high 20s.  Out on the main road, I'd say there'd been closer to 10", absolutely.  I'll take some extra time this morning to plow out and then will trade vehicles at my folks' for the day when I drop off the dogs:  Dad can have the truck to plow them out.

After only one full day of my new schedule, I can see that I need to allow myself more morning time on my "shower days" (I take a shower every other day to save time).  I know the schedule will change and evolve as I pay close attention to the clock.  I made myself a 10:30 appointment with a client this morning . . . purposefully giving myself that deadline.  With plowing, that means I'll need to leave here at 9:00.  And, that said, I may even need to bring the dogs to Mama & Papa Pea's boarding kennel (hee hee) AFTER that meeting rather than before.  We'll see how long it takes to make the 4 1/2 miles this AM.  AND, we'll hope that the (absolutely fabulous, works his arse off) county plower that services the road will have already made at least one pass through this morning.  I'll bet he has.

Sorry 'bout the color quality.  Morning hadn't quite broken!
I took this out the front door this morning.  I know you've seen this angle quite a lot lately, but it's all I could manage.  More interesting pictures coming soon . . . I know I haven't included any in quite a while.


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    God Bless You :-)


  2. weather forecast from GFS, with snow maps

    snow rain maps

  3. I'm impressed you didn't rationalize staying in bed late, given the night you had!

  4. I hate driving in conditions like that - you are lucky that you didn't follow someone else's tracks right into the ditch! Your hard-working county plow guy had to pull me out of a snow bank one morning (on the only winter visit I've made) and it wasn't even snowing at the time!


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