Is Winter Over Yet?

On Thursday, I was cleaning off my car when I slipped on some ice.  My legs went down under my car while the rest of me fell into the snowbank.  I was unhurt (or so I thought at the time) but had trouble getting up due to the slick surface under my feet.  I finally got out from under my car, dusted off my pants, and headed into work.  Unfortunately, my “unhurt” status changed over the course of the day as my neck/back began to hurt.  I realized that I must have wrenched it on the way down.

On Friday, we got at least nine additional inches of snow.  The following morning, I took some photos of the beautiful landscape.

IMGP2574 IMGP2610IMGP2580 IMGP2605 

Then, we went to B’s parents’ house.  Their driveway had been plowed and they had a mountain of snow in their backyard.  The boys and I had fun playing in the snow for a couple of hours.

IMGP2620 IMGP2623 IMGP2653 IMGP2702 IMGP2719 IMGP2741 IMGP2750

While this was fun, we’ve also had our gutters fall down from the weight of the ice on them and our seasonal snowfall totals are over 77 inches.  (Normal snowfall for the entire season is under 49 inches.)  The sea of white makes for driving difficulties (narrowed roads, trouble getting out of our driveway, blocked views when going around turns) and blinding reflections.  I’m ready for these piles to melt (even though I know we’ll have a flooding/muddy mess for awhile) and for the warmth to begin.  It’s March now.  Is it Spring yet?

Aloha Friday: The Icy Hazards of Winter

I’ve written before about our snow problems.  Chief among them are ice dams.  Basically, due to poor insulation in our upstairs room, heat warms our upper roof and snow on that roof melts.  The dripping water refreezes on the lower roof.  Over time, the ice gets very thick and very heavy.  We tried various methods of removing the ice, but had only limited success.

With the recent warm weather, we noticed two things.  First of all, the ice was melting and thus was separating from the roof.  Secondly, the gutter on one side of our house was bending.  Obviously, the ice was shifting.  Instead of putting its considerable weight on our roof, it was placing the weight on the gutter.  I decided to remove the ice dams before any serious damage was done.

I positioned a ladder and carefully scaled it.  Once at the top, I used a hammer to chip away at the ice.  Small chunks flew from the giant ice block.  (Fast moving, but small chunks of ice really hurt when they hit your face, by the way.)  Then some big chunks fell off.  I descended the ladder to reposition it so I could reach more of the ice.  As I stepped off the ladder, there was a creaking/ripping sound.  Suddenly, the ice came crashing down, bringing our gutters with it.

Here are some photos of the aftermath.  That hunk of ice was *heavy*!

P1010497 P1010498 P1010500

P1010501 P1010502

With the ice down, inspiration struck.  Here’s my own little creation.  I call it Ice Henge.  I shall pray to it in the hopes that Spring arrives quickly and gets rid of all of this snow and ice.



My Aloha Friday question for today is: Has your house ever been damaged by the winter (or other seasonal) weather?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #75

Aloha Friday: Snow On My Head, Snow In My Pockets, Snow All Over

Wednesday was the Snowpocalypse.  After a decent snowfall on Tuesday, and a ton of snow still on the ground from previous snowfalls, we were scheduled to get about 15 inches of snow.  Needless to say, schools were closed and everyone hunkered down.  I wound up working from home since the commute into work would have been hazardous to say the least.

B shoveled our walkway, sidewalk, cars and driveway out while I worked.  She came back in, sore from the shoveling and I made sure that a cup of hot chocolate from our new Keurig was waiting for her.  Sadly, I didn’t get to play with the boys as much as I’d have liked to.  After all, I was “at work” even if I was technically in my bed.  Before it got dark out, though, I decided to take a break from working, bundle up and head outside.  You see, we have a problem with ice dams and so the snow on the roof needed to be removed.

For those of you who don’t know what ice dams are, picture a roof covered in snow.  The heat from the house warms the roof which melts the snow.  The melted snow runs down the roof to the portion of roof that isn’t over a heated room.  Since that portion of roof is colder, the snow re-freezes into ice.  As more and more water runs over the ice, the ice gets bigger and bigger.  When the ice dam gets big enough, the water can’t get over the ice and pools up.  When this happens, the water can back up under the shingles and into the house.  Needless to say, this is a bad thing.

So out I went with my roof rake, a very long handled implement used to pull snow off from the roof.  I did all around the house, but the best part was when I did the front of the house.  JSL was able to see me from his bedroom window.  Since I had little room to work in, the snow kept coming down on my head.  JSL thought this was the funniest thing he had ever seen!  Don’t take my word for it, though, B shot a video.  See if you can tell where my pockets filled with snow.  I didn’t realize this until much later.

After I was done with this, I headed for the side of our house where I had to step in snow drifts that were, if you’ll excuse the expression, crotch-high.  Nothing like being half-covered in snow to make you cold!  I had heard that snow was insulating and that tunneling in snow should keep you warm.  Apparently, my toes didn’t get the memo though because they were going numb.  Granted, that might have been because the snow went into my boot, melted and soaked my socks with cold water.

After finishing the roof on the side, came another fun

part: walking in the backyard.  As you might expect, we don’t shovel our backyard.  So this would show me just how deep the snow really was.  So, how high was it?


Knee-high, which for me is about 22 inches deep.  Yes, we have a video of this too!

I cleared our roof as much as I could before noticing that the roof rake had broken.  Nothing major, just a nut that had come loose somewhere.  (You think a needle in a haystack’s hard to find?  Try finding a nut in a yard full of snow!)  A quick trip to Home Depot today and the roof rake’s all fixed.  Of course, after I was done roof raking, I had to go back and shovel up all the snow I had dumped off our roof.

With snow you basically have two kinds.  Heavy, wet snow is good for snowballs/snowmen but is a pain to shovel.  Light, powdery snow is easy to shovel but doesn’t stick together enough for snowballs/snowmen.  This snow was heavy.  Very, very

heavy. Somehow, though, it was powdery also.  Yes, this snow was a pain to shovel and also wasn’t good for snowballs/snowmen.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: TOO MUCH SNOW!  In fact, here is a little message for Old Man Winter:


My Aloha Friday question for today is: Did you get any snow by you?  If so, how much?  Also, are you sick of the white stuff yet?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #73

Too Much Snow! To Much Ice!

The freezing temperatures and repeated snowfalls have turned the landscape near us pure white.  On one hand, this is very pretty.  I loved taking snow/ice photos before and my new DSLR is giving me some great ones (click to enlarge):

IMGP2097IMGP2099 IMGP2096 

On the other hand, ice in the wrong place can be very bad news.  As snow melts from our roof (thanks to escaping heat), it runs down and freezes at the colder roof edge.  Then, this can drip to the ground, making our driveway an ice skating rink.  There are times that I think I’d traverse it easier with ice skates than boots.  A thin layer of snow just makes it more treacherous as it fools you into thinking the path ahead is ice-free.

Putting ice melt down doesn’t help as the melted ice just refreezes.  We have an ice chopper (long handled instrument of ice doom with a blade at the end), but the ice is so thick that it just laughs as we tire ourselves out.  Even if we manage to remove some chunks, more water drips from above slicking the driveway back up.  It’s a losing battle.

Still, this battle is nothing compared to the Battle for the Roof.  When that ice freezes on the roof, before it drips to the ground, it can form an ice dam.  If you’re unfamiliar with this concept (lucky you), ice dams are ice formations on your roof that block water (from more melting snow or from rain) from running off the roof.  The water backs up, goes under the roof’s shingles and, before you know it, there’s a drip-drip-drip in the house that isn’t coming from a leaky faucet.

In our case, we have a very bad ice dam on our upstairs roof.  Two water leak incidents (one before we moved in and one due to a leaky seal) necessitated the removal of some ceiling tiles.  That, plus poor insulation and their location directly above radiators, means that heat flows out of the rooms and to the roof.  There, snow is melted and it drips onto the roof below where it refreezes.  The piles and piles of ice threaten to back water up or simply damage our roof/gutters from their weight.  I chopped one ice dam back with a hammer and screwdriver (all the while fearing doing roof damage myself), but it reformed.

So, you’ll excuse me for both hoping that the warm weather arrives (so that the ice will melt) and dreading the arrival (as it will mean greater chance of ice dam-induced roof leaks).

Snowy Sentiments

This morning, we were greeted with a walkway full of snow.  This led to a sidewalk full of snow, a driveway full of snow and a car… well, not *full* of snow (all the doors and windows were closed), but certainly covered in snow.  This would have been bad enough, but our driveway full of snow led to a street full of snow.  No snow plow had been through yet.  There was no way I was going to get shoveled out and get to work.

 IMGP1880 IMGP1883

I called up and asked to work from home.  My boss allowed it, provided I could be productive.  I holed myself up in the bedroom with a laptop and a VPN connection while B kept the kids busy and relatively quiet.  Except for the occasional interruption when the boys forgot that I “wasn’t home” and was “in the office,” it worked out nicely.  I got a lot of work done and was able to take a shoveling break as well.

My first trip out shoveling led to my fingers going from cold to numb to hurting.  I took that as a sign that I should head in.  On my second trip out, I brought my camera for a few quick shots and then went back to shoveling snow.


For one shot, I decided to send the snow a message.  I’m sure many from the Northeast would agree with me.


If you live in the snowy east, how was your Monday?

1 2 3