Post 1639: I braved snow; Andy not so much

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Andy decided to take another look at the snow while I was bringing in groceries. “Nope!” he thought, “Still not for me!”

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I drove up on the grass and parked so the rear hatch was closer to my front door. After taking groceries in, I had a small problem with traction – see the two bare spots where the tire tracks abruptly slide right?

After a little slide, though, I regained traction and managed to get my car backed into my parking spot on the opposite side of the lane. Just love winter and snow!   

Post 1285: snow fun…(‘s’no fun)

The day started out fine. The kitty boys begged me to play videos for cats, and they were exceptionally good kitties while the videos played.

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Good fun for the kitty boys! And they were nice to each other while watching the videos.

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Yeah. What I saw at 10 o’clock. That’s my black VW Sportwagen buried in a drift!

The day before I’d called the Good Samaritan office to let them know I needed to have the snow cleared so I could get to dialysis Wednesday, and that it needed to be done by at least 10 o’clock so I had adequate time to make the 11 o’clock start time. That, I figured, would give me extra time in case of getting stuck or other snow related issues.

By 10 o’clock Wednesday, no one had come to clear the snow. I WAS PISSED!

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My neighbor, Gary, offered to help dig me out. His wife, Donna, told him he had no business exerting himself that way. I protested, too, telling him I expected Good Samaritan to do the job. NOW!

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Gary pretended to have chest pains. Donna and I were not amused!

Here’s what the passenger side looked like. The snow was up to just about halfway to my knees.

Note that I park in a handicap parking spot. The Good Samaritan runs the apartment complex I live in, and they are responsible for clearing snow. Theoretically, they will clear snow first for people like me who have medical issues and have to make appointments. Dialysis isn’t optional!

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Here’s the driver’s side of my car. The drift was crotch high! I didn’t know if I could even get into the car because the snow came up to a few inches above the bottom of the door.

I managed to get in the car. Gary walked down to the office to remind them in person I had asked for snow to be cleared the day before. Then a couple of maintenance people came over to help clear some of the snow around and behind my car off, but the main snow removal had to wait till the snow plow arrived from Hemingford, 19 miles away!

I tried to back up and got stuck. Gary and the maintenance people got me unstuck, and I drove down the lane and turned west on East 6th Street.

At the intersection of East 6th and Flack Avenue, I saw a pickup truck and a Bobcat blocking the intersection. There was a police car with lights flashing. It looked like an accident, but it might have been people clearing the snow at the intersection. Regardless, I couldn’t pass through the intersection to head north to the hospital. (Yes, I drew on my US Army vocabulary again to express feelings about that!)

I backed up to a turn off to the Good Samaritan parking lot, and headed east to what looked like the best way to get to 4th Street, which would take me to Flack, then the long way around to the hospital by 3rd Street, then Box Butte Avenue, two snow lanes that were cleared. Boyd Street looked impassable, so I turned down Lane 4, which had a path down it, thanks to a pickup.

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Here I am on Lane 4…

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…STUCK!

Yes, I was thoroughly wet, mad, and running out of time to get to dialysis.img_20170125_101132

The final trial: I waded through drifts up to my knees to get back to Lane 2 to try to run down a ride and to leave my keys with Gary and Donna so Gary could park my car in my spot after the snow was cleared and the car was unstuck.

I got thoroughly wet below the knees, and barely had the strength to make the full trek. Leroy, one of the maintenance guys, had to come to me for the final stretch to knock down a path for me to walk. I still barely made it. Yes, I cussed like a Sergeant Major all the way. Cleared my lungs, I tell you!

Donna called to find a ride for me. She eventually got the Handibus lined up, and I got to dialysis just slightly later than usual. (The Handibus is a city-run service used mostly by non-drivers, elderly, or handicapped people. You can get door-to-door service at a dollar per ride.)

Did I mention Gary and Donna are the neighbors who took care of the kitty boys for the two months and 10 days I was hospitalized, then in rehabilitation in 2016? Very good people! They helped turn my disastrous snow crisis into a successful trip to the hospital for dialysis. 

Post 1267: let it snow…!

I heard on the news this morning than Florida was the only state of the fifty US states not to have snow. I haven’t looked out the window yet this morning to see if we had any locally – I don’t think any was predicted – though we’ve had some in the past week,

It reminds me that Andy and Dougy are intrigued by the phenomenon of snow. Andy likes to eat it. Dougy wants to go out in it and explore. I offer videos from earlier times as proof! (Older followers of this blog may have seen these before, but there have been many new followers in recent months who haven’t. Regardless, I hope all  enjoy seeing the kitty boys in action!) 

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Post 1023: sun’s shining on a snow-covered May Day…!

We had a snowstorm yesterday, putting down many tree branches across town, knocking out power, and making my trip to the dialysis unit a bit treacherous. At one point, on Box Butte Avenue (the main street and the road to the hospital), I had to stop and back up because the way was blocked by a broken branch across the road.

For those who live in nice places without snow, a spring snowstorm usually is wet, heavy snow. If the trees have begun to leaf out or are in flower, the snow usually weighs the branches down to the ground, often breaking those with any weakness from rot or rodent damage. (Squirrels eat the bark, killing the branches, which then are vulnerable to breakage….!) It’s these wet, heavy spring snowstorms that cause heart attacks when old, out of shape guys try to clear the walks and driveways of their homes, too, so I’m glad that’s done by my landlord!dave's chicks and ducksHere’s what it looked like up in  the north part of the county at my friend Dave’s place just outside of Hemingford. That’s a fancy chicken house he won in a contest for producing a video about why he deserved to win the chicken house — a well done one, too, speaking as someone who knows about these things! — that the makers of the chicken house judged to be the best submitted.

Another friend, Marty, took this photo of a street in Alliance:marty jonesNotice the broken branch. Woe be to those who parked under a tree! I saw one pickup with a huge branch across it. April 31st, 2016. Ugh!

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Andy and Dougy stayed inside, of course, though Andy licked up the water from melted snow on the door sill. Mostly they enjoyed a host of pine siskins and American goldfinches at the feeder outside the dining room window. The fir outside the back window kept them busy as well since the birds had to go somewhere when they weren’t at the feeder.

Andy (left) and Dougy press closer together. They are safer that way!

Andy (left) and Dougy like the snow in different ways. Dougy wants to explore it; Andy just wants to taste it.

I did some wash in my new machine. The boys were fascinated by what they saw in the window of the washer, which is kitty level. Andy was especially brave, which surprised me since he is the more timid of the two. Dougy was spooked by any new noises coming out of the machine, though he ran away then came back for more spooking.

I’m doing more washes in my new machine today, Sunday, since I have the time and the loads that need washing. Andy and Dougy, of course, are helping me by observing me and making sure that nothing unacceptable to kitties happens. Nice to know I’m safe from things unacceptable to kitties!

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The first photo was posted on Facebook by Dave Minich. The second photo was posted on Facebook by Marty Jones.

Here's a new photo of Andy. Notice that his "horns" are up! Oh! Oh!

Here’s a new photo of Andy. Notice that his “horns” are up! Oh! Oh!

Post 770: Afternoon excitement!

The day started out blah. By afternoon, though, things picked up significantly! 

“What’s up, Andy?!”

“Can you believe it?”

The boys can't believe their eyes...!

The boys can’t believe their eyes…!

Andy takes off but Dougy sticks around....

Andy takes off but Dougy sticks around….  Too much for Andy!

Here’s a short vided of what the boys saw and what Dougy found so fascinating:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xkt5wKdxctg&feature=autoshare

Post 638: Bing never sang wistfully about a “white January”…

I had to come up with something for supper, but didn’t feel like getting groceries on such a snowy day.

As usual, there was a long, deep drifty across the front of the house that extended across the sidewalk. I'd have to wade through a couple feet of snow to get to my  car...!

As usual, there was a long, deep drift across the front of the house that extended across the sidewalk. I’d have to wade through snow a couple feet deep and more to get to my car…!

Visibility was maybe 100 ft. (30.5 meters) ahead, and the roads hadn’t been cleared yet, especially of people who don’t understand turning on their lights helps others see them, if not them see others. I had visions of getting t-boned at an intersection if I went out and drove…! 

But I had an urge for spaghetti and meatballs, so I came up with a plan. I’d buy a large Subway meatball sandwich, put those meatballs in the sauce, and toast the bread they came on in the oven! 

I’d have to drive completely across town to get the sandwich, but I thought I could manage if I followed snow routes, main streets that get first attention for snow removal. (But not until after the snow stops! Oops!)

The drive proved uneventful, though, and I arrived safely back home…with the prized meatball submarine sandwich, holding eight ready-to-go meatballs. 

Carpet isn'ty the best floor covering at the door in snow country...!

Carpet isn’t the best floor covering at the door in snow country…!

After I put the meatballs in the sauce, I saw the boys wanted to satisfy their curiosity about the latest snowstorm, which still raged outside with strong drift-making winds. I opened the door wide in the little ritual my cats and I have for snow days.

Dougy wasn't too sure he actually wanted to see it now that he saw how it was blowing and snowing. Andy took one look from the distance and ran back into the front room. No snow for Andy! He got the picture!!

Dougy wasn’t too sure he actually wanted to get closer now that he saw how furiously it was blowing and snowing. Andy took one look from the distance and ran back into the front room.

 No snow for Andy! He got the picture! And so much for our little snow day ritual. Dougy’s a brave boy, though, and he slowly eased up to the edge of the door — as far as Andy usually goes — and stopped to take in the scene. 

Brave but not stupid! No way was he going to venture out into that storm!

Brave but not stupid! No way was he going to venture out into that storm!

“Snow” much for curiosity! Dougy ran off to join Andy in the warm front room!

My mail carrier may have scared off Dougy. I didn't hear her coming, but Dougy surely did, and I gratefully accepted the mail from this poor, frozen servant of the people. That';s her trudging up an incline covered in another drift across the lane. My neighbor gets a big drift the length of the ramp up to her front door.

My mail carrier may have scared off Dougy. I didn’t hear her coming, but Dougy surely did. I gratefully accepted the mail from this poor, frozen servant of the people. That’s her across the lane trudging up a handicap ramp covered in another drift. My neighbor gets a big drift the length of the ramp up to her front door.

You can’t see it, but the car on the left has a huge overhang of snow on the south (left) side. Before I could drive to get the meatball sandwich, I had to knock a similar overhang of snow from my car, the one pointed toward the camera. That’s the way it is here. The wind comes from the north, big drifts form on the opposite side of the cars. There always is a big overhang of snow and a deep drift along the driver’s side of the car unless…

...I back my car into the spot, then the drift isn't on the driver's side where I have to wade through it to get into my car.+

…I back my car into the spot, then the big drift isn’t on the driver’s side. 

Winter driving in snow country is as much about strategy as it is defensive driving. I ignored the snow warning the day before, then had to deal with the snow overhang and the long, deep drift I had to wade through to unbury my car. I got needlessly wet and cold, and tracked a lot of snow into my car. Backing into the parking space, I avoid the worst of the problem. 

One further hassle: windshield wipers that freeze to the windshield. I turn my car off before the windshield wipers return to the bottom of the cycle, and the melted snow drains off them instead of pooling around them and freezing. I’m ready for the next snow now! 

🙁

p.s.: Bing never sang wistfully about a “white January”! Of course, he was from Seattle and lived most of his life in Southern California. What did he know about it? 

🙂

p.p.s.: The spaghetti and meatballs tasted great!

 

Post 628: Andy tastes the snow

We got a new dusting of snow overnight, and the boys were, naturally, curious about it. 

Dougy stuck a paw in it, but couldn’t make a bigger commitment to drop all four into the new snow. I could read his mind, “Ew! I think this is just another form of water!” Poor baby!

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Andy, however, decided to taste it! That’s pretty brave for him. He usually hangs back when I open the door to let the kitties see the new snow. 

Post 627: I get a white Christmas, kind of…!

There’s still some snow on the ground, with a 40% chance of more this morning and tonight, but as the Italian proverb states, “A thousand probabilities don’t make one fact.” In the meantime, we have old snow from an earlier storm, and it’s a bit melted. 

Snow where I park my car.

Snow where I park my car. One of these days, I may fall on my caboose in the drift along my car. 

Snow down by the Central Park. (Not New York City...we have one, too!)

Snow across the street from the Central Park. (Not in New York City…we have one, too! Nice but much smaller….)

Snow toward the football stadium. )(Go Dawgs! Go Big Blue!)

Snow, looking toward the high school football stadium. (Go Dawgs! Go Big Blue!) Must be Christmas. There’s Santa! And a tank’s aimed at the brick house in the photo above. Peace on Earth, Good Will to All!

Looking pretty good, what with all that snow covering the Canada goose poop for which Laing Park is notorious is, well,  Laing Park!

Looking pretty good, what with all that snow covering the Canada goose poop for which Laing Park is notorious. Yes, this is snow at Laing Park! It’s safe for your children to play here at the moment because the thousand resident geese are west of town terrorizing some guy’s farm for whatever they find to eat there. Just stay off the spots where the snow’s melted! Ew! May you have a Blessed White Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Post 523: You call that a snow?

It happened. Snow last night! I woke up around 11:30 and checked.

Such as it is, it's wet, white, and on the ground.

Such as it is, it’s wet, white, and on the ground.

The boys were really excited I was up during their part of the day, and especially when I opened the door. If you think the photo above is marginal, wait till you see the photos (heavily Photoshopped and cropped, granted) I took in the dark of the boys! I didn’t know if I’d get anything recognizable, but the little Nikon point-and-shoot’s capacitor built up a nice charge for the flash while the infrared focusing beam painted the dark with an eery red ray. Seconds passed before it took the photo, but they turned out to be recognizable photos of Andy and Dougy!

Dougy parked between my feet while I made the photo of the snowscape above.

Dougy parked between my feet while I made the photo of the snowscape above.

Here you go: Andy (top) and Dougy meet after I closed the door. "What's up, brother?" "Nothin'!"  You get to see their post-grooming look.

Here you go: Andy (top) and Dougy meet after I closed the door. “What’s up, brother?” “Nothin’!” You get to see their post-grooming look, sort of. The infrared focusing beam decided Dougy’s tail was the subject of the photo, so it is nicely focused!

 

Dougy, again.

Dougy, again.

Andy decides to have a midnight snack a little early.

Andy decides to have a midnight snack a little early.

 

The question came up about the boys and snow. It happens the video archive has several examples of Andy and Dougy experiencing snow:

 

Post 360: No! Snow!

“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb“.

Or comes in like a lamb and leaves like a lion.

Or comes in like a lion, is a lion off and on during the month, and leaves like a lion: Today is another snow day in Western Nebraska!

Andy isn't sure if he wants to get closer to see the snow out the front door.

Andy isn’t sure if he wants to get closer to see the snow out the front door.

Um...! No thanks, says Andy. Dougy's on the cat tree trying to decide if he wants to look outside or not.

Um…! No thanks, says Andy. Dougy’s on the cat tree trying to decide if he wants to look outside or not.

Andy looks out his favorite window roost...snow there, too!

Andy looks out his favorite window roost…snow there, too!

What Andy saw.

What Andy saw.

Dougy (front) beckons Andy to come see the snow out the back door. (Neither moves from his warm spot in this photo, though.)

Dougy (front) beckons Andy to come see the snow out the back door. (Neither moves from his warm spot in this photo, though.)

It's blowing hard, but not at blizzard speeds...yet!

It’s blowing hard, but not at blizzard speeds…yet!

Either they've seen it before or they don't want to see it again: The snow continues to accumulate!

Either they’ve seen it before or they don’t want to see it again: The snow continues to accumulate!