Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

SnowshoesWith any luck these babies will be seeing some action on Sunday.  The forecast is for 8 to 10 inches and I have to tell you if that doesn’t happen I will be a little disappointed.

The first good snowstorm of the year – especially right before Christmas – motivates me like nothing else.  The snow will be coming down outdoors and I will be baking up a storm inside.  Nothing says cookies to me like bad weather.  It also makes me want to get out the decorations, light the fires in the fireplaces and make the house as warm as possible both literally and figuratively.

In years past Christmas Eve has always made the Martha Stewart come out it me.  I work hard on setting the mood.  I want my guests to look forward to it year after year.  The first year we had it in Rowe I took it as a challenge.  The living room was at the end of its renovation and I used the invitation to the holiday to give that little push to get things done.  MOST STRESSFUL CHRISTMAS EVE EVER.

We took the plastic up off of the floor the day before, there were big holes in the walls where sconces were supposed to go, the panel that goes over the mantel covering the chimney was drying on sawhorses the week before – unpainted and more than 20 people had RSVP’d.  The girls were awesome at helping to clean up the mess.  I decided we would do more of an 1830’s theme and took my Old Sturbridge Village and City Stage theater skills to new heights.  Everything was by candlelight.  Redware was on the table, the menu was traditional beef and root vegatables.  There was mulled cider and potted cheese.  It was wonderful, it was an event and it was all theater.  There is a lot you can hide in the dark.

So in addition to baking I will be finalizing my dinner theme ideas and making my lists. And when all of that is done I may throw in a little weaving.

Library Xmas

A Whole Different World

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When I got up this morning this is what I saw looking out of an upstairs bedroom window.  Pictures sometimes don’t do justice to the reality.  It was stunningly beautiful out (and quite warm as well).

 

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I took another photo from the living room window – the snow bank is what is up over the windows.  I didn’t think we were going to see that this year, I was wrong.  It will be months before I can go out the patio door.

 

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It was so nice out that I decided to put on the snowshoes and walk down to the back forty before I left to go back to Enfield.  I swear Chester intentionally photo bombs every picture I take.  He’s like that, it’s all about him.

 

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This is the second time this winter I’ve seen this.  I always count those days as special because the beauty is extraordinary.  These are also the days that are so peaceful and quiet.  Nothing but bird song.  The songs are changing now.  It’s beginning to sound like spring even with all of this snow the birds are coming back.

 

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Looking back at the outbuildings the snow makes everything look so clean, fresh.

 

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We all enjoyed our little trek out back, breathing the fresh air and listening to the birds.  I got into my car and by the time I’d reached Route 2 in Charlemont the world had changed.  It looked more like spring there, with much less snow.  By the time I got to Enfield it was a whole different world.  Nothing but mud and puddles.  This time of year it amazes me the difference in two places that are really not that far away from each other.  This is when I remember that the growing season in Enfield starts 3 weeks earlier than it does in Rowe.  As much as I like spring I have to say I’ll take a snowy morning like this morning’s any day.

Snow Day

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Today, while everyone had a miserable rainy day, we had another day of snow.  I had come up to be here when they changed the internet from satellite to DSL.  I went to bed after 11:30 last night and was seeing the moon peaking through clouds.  This morning there was about 6 inches on the ground at 7 a.m.  Verizon showed up about 9 and did a cursory drive through then called about a half hour later to say everything was all set.  I spent the next 4 hours trying to get it all to work.  It is now so I will stop complaining.

The snow is very heavy and wet.  Jay came to plow and had a difficult time moving it much of anywhere.  I shoveled a little and played with the dogs.  Chester was excited about the snow but now so much about how wet he got while he was in it.  The wind is really picking up now and it’s still coming down.

I have a nice fire going in the fireplace and think I may pour myself a glass of wine.  Then I will do a little rug hooking or read a good book.  There’s a lot to be said for a snow day.

 

Hello Old Friends

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Yes, by now everyone has heard about the snow in the northeast.  We left for Rowe in the morning on Friday after finding someone to clear our driveway in Enfield after that fateful event.  It snowed, it was a blizzard but waking up on Saturday morning with the wind still blowing and it being in the mid teens in temperature we stayed inside next to a fire.  Reports began to come in from the daughters – one in Enfield, one in Boston about the amount of snow and their cars being buried or nearly invisible.  They had their shovels and food, hadn’t lost power, were working their way through the mess with everyone else around them.  What they had in southern and eastern MA and CT was not really what we had in Rowe.  We had a good snowstorm – anywhere from 15 to 18 inches of white, fluffy snow, what they had was monumental.  The problems in those urban areas were compounded by an inability of the cities and states to handle the amount of snow they received.  I can tell you there are a lot of trucks today with blown transmissions that failed the task of plowing out streets, parking lots and driveways.

Sunday morning the winds had died and the temperature rose to a balmy 30 degrees.  We decided to get the snowshoes out.  We use beautiful vintage models made in Maine in years gone by.  The problem was that my leather bindings had broken beyond repair over 2 years ago.  I had scoured the internet and found someone out west that made bindings for these in neoprene.  They’d been kicking around the house for almost 2 years since there really hadn’t been enough snow to take them out (or I was too lazy to rebind them).  I was also a little skeptical that they would be as good as the old ones and was really contemplating dusting off the old leather working skills to just make another pair.  The weather was just too nice to watch Bill snowshoe away and sit in the house so I dug those neoprene bindings out.  What a chore that turned out to be.  The instructions were vague at best.  I’m pretty good at reverse engineering something but none of the new straps were marked so I had to guess.  Fitting my boots into the bindings on a table was a lot easier than doing it in the snow and finally we were ready to go.

Chester went with us, the little dogs stayed behind.  We have learned from experience that if you take them out in deep snow with snowshoes all they do is walk on the backs of your shoes, not fun or funny. So Sophie spent the entire time we were gone looking out the window from the back of the chair at a snow bank barking – she couldn’t even see us.  Chester took this opportunity to bring a tennis ball and played an extended game of fetch.  Extended because he continually lost that ball in the snow and would take forever to find it.

It was nice to walk out to the wood lot, a place we have difficulty getting to in other seasons due to beaver activity.  It was so quiet and beautiful out there.  The only noise was an occasional crow or chickadee with the sound of the snow beneath our shoes.

This is winter as it should be, outdoors, quiet.  And those new bindings?  Spectacular!

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On a Snowy Morn

This is Chester’s favorite kind of morning, one with new snow. Although we didn’t get hit as hard as most of the state our morning will be spent digging out. Bill has the tractor out plowing most of the driveway in back of the house. Jay was here at 5:30 this morning plowing it enough to use in an emergency but we will have the rest cleaned up before he comes back. Bill loves using his tractor for anything he can, best investment we ever made.

We are beginning to get that closed in feeling that happens every winter we have snow. Our world here becomes a little smaller because of the drifts and banks of snow. I think that’s one of the reasons I love springs arrival, the world opens up again with that smell of wet earth.

Calm before the Storm

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Anyone who lives outside of the New England I’m sure has no idea there is a life altering event about to descend upon us.  Snowpocalypse, snowmageddon, call it what you will but the entire region is abuzz with anticipation of the upcoming Nor’easter.  The weather projections look pretty impressive.  I went to the local farm to get milk this morning, farmer Smyth told me that his two farmers markets had cancelled for this weekend.  These are the only two he has this time of year so that means his largest source of income is gone for the week.  I filled my tank with gas – no one was at the station when I went which I thought was odd.

What I really think is happening is the media has cried wolf so many times that the population of CT just ignores them. We’ve had some pretty mild winter weather for the past two years so people think it’ll probably blow over.  The grocery stores will be packed today with everyone buying their milk and bread.  The gsa stations will be jammed from around 4:00 on with commuters stopping for their fill on their way home.  By the 11:00 news tonight you will start to see school cancellations coming in.  Tomorrow morning it will just be a few little flurries so people will think they’ll just drive to work and leave early.  Of course they think that their all weather tires are the only way to go until they are driving in 6+ inches of snow.  Did I mention that people in CT don’t know how to drive in the snow?  Or that it appears they believe that when it snows you do not have to obey the rules of the road including stopping at red lights.  As my brother always said, “More idiots than ice.”  Seems to hold true every storm.

So here’s my quandary – stay in Enfield and ride it out or drive to Rowe in the early a.m. and watch it happen there.  I could rebind my snowshoes in eager anticipation of Sunday with mounds of new snow.  The dogs could just run around in it instead of me taking them out on leashes.  I could park my car in the garage and wait to get plowed out.  Could knit, hook, read a good book.  I’m sure I will be without internet and tv since both are on satellite but who cares?  Doesn’t seem like it should be a difficult decision does it?  We’ll see how it all falls out.

 

Quiet Beauty

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It seems as if it snows every day in Rowe.  Last night we had maybe a half an inch of light, fluffy snow.  It settles on the trees and shrubs and waits for a breeze to come along and blow it to the ground.  There is such quiet beauty here.  The sun came up this morning competing with the low clouds shrouding everything in a pink glow, wonderful.

Snow, Snow and More Snow

Spent this past weekend moving snow. But this post is really
about Sophie and her love for the stuff.

She loves jumping in the air to catch snowball. At times she quite
athletic.

Buddy goes out with her but only feigns interest. If you throw
snow at him he’ll duck.

Not Sophie, she’s always ready.

Even when you don’t think she can see.

But she really comes into her own when the snow shovel comes
out as you can see.

Then she becomes an acrobat.