Monday, December 16, 2013

A Lovecraftian Christmas

This won't be a long blog post.  You see, I am descending into madness.

There is an evil witch haunting me.  I let her hang around last year--the infamous Weather Witch.  She was my friend, actually, and we cheered on every single opportunity for snow.  I gave her up when I moved to the country.  See, I thought I ought to be more respectful of the weather.  I didn't know that behind the cute fur-trimmed parka lay a loathsome beast which knew my name.

So, the spring was an odd one.  Super hot one day, cool the next, and wet after that.  And sometimes, it was even all in one day.  The summer was even weirder--cool enough that plants grew slowly, wet enough that what grew redefined the term, and cloudy enough that the sun didn't help ripen much.

At least, that was the case in my garden.  Apparently, everyone else had nice tomatoes, and healthy corn, and a great crop of pumpkins.  Oh well, right?

And then the fall...where we alternated between cracked earth and thick gloppy mud.  And days of incredible heat.  And then the several days of snow.

The Weather Witch's tentacles are emerging.  She's preparing to trap me on the farm.  I just know it.  The last two weekends are just a taste of what she has in store for me.  Cars trapped in the ice, an inaccessible driveway, sheets of ice sliding off the roof.  Snow, then ice, then freezing temps, then a bit of sun to make a nice soupy mix, and then freezing temps again.  I go out to clear this or that, or dig out a tunnel... and I hear her breaking ice in the woods.  Maybe I just missed seeing the squirrel or a deer, but the slithering sound is NOT ice melting down the branches.  The footprints are suspicious...
Those are cloven hooves!  Not deer!

And then I make it into town, and the roads are clear, and what snow I see clings desperately to a few shady lawns.  I breathe a sigh of relief.  No scary winged creatures sitting in the trees, calling to me.  No ice tunnels under the path I walk, waiting to drag me to the underworld.  No odd drafts where there should be nothing, or loud skittering behind the walls.  (How could those be mice?--there are two cats and a dog!)

She's here, and she's coming for me.  She wants me to go all R-E-D-R-U-M.  The rage cannot be expended on battling ice, or cleaning.  She keeps tempting me to explore new buildings, looking for sleds or shovels or towing cables... and then I come upon the scythe, or heavy duty chains, and even the hand saws.  

Right now, I hear the incessant dripping of ice on the roof.  Drip, drip drip, drip, drip, drip drip.  The clicking of the heating system.  Click, click click, click click.  The never ending honking of the geese.  I hate them.

Must get out.  Must go hike through the woods to find my car.  Must get out.

She's coming for me.  But first I better go into the shed to look for a bigger shovel.

[satire.  look it up.]

Monday, December 9, 2013

Idiot's Guide to Winter

Hey there, City Kitty!  Welcome to the country!  Glad to have you here-- I know you're eagerly looking forward to pretty white fields, and icy ponds, and the quiet solitude to appreciate the sound of ice melting and the single snap of a dead twig in the forest.  I just wanted to let you know that there might be a bit more to winter weather than that.

Oh, you got a generator?  Smart move!  So many people never think about a generator until they need it.  You are ahead of the curve, what with the snow and ice coming.

It's still in the box?  Well, that can be remedied without too much trouble, although it really is a good idea to know where it will be set up and how far it'll be from the house.

You don't have a transfer cable yet.  Hmmm.  Okay, you have some work to do.

I know the forecast is for only 1-3 inches of snow.  (bark of laughter)  Honey, I'll let you in on a secret.  You are in the mountains now.  So, don't believe what the forecasters tell you.

Yes, you are in the mountains now.

Yes, you are.  Look out that window.  See the peaks there, where you can see that they are already white?

Oh, you did notice that?  Yeah, I suppose it is kinda pretty.  But it means that whatever you think is gonna happen will be worse right here.


No, I am not going to take you on a snipe hunt next.  

Okay, please stop interrupting.  Whatever they predict for this part of the county, you need to expect the high end, and then a bit more.  Rain, snow, wind, whatever.

Yeah, you've been in the county for twelve years.  Good for you.  You were in the central part, as in, the part that is not in the mountains.  So, preparing for 1-3 inches of snow in the 'burg is no big deal, even with some freezing rain after.  Here, make it the worst case scenario.

Look, you cannot walk to the corner store if you need something!  You cannot walk a few measly steps to visit a neighbor.  You have a freaking mountain as part of your driveway-- you have to maintain constant vigilance! 

(Sigh)  Yes, that was a HP quote, and your driveway doesn't have a literal mountain.  Are you the only one allowed to exaggerate?

Okay, look, City Kitty.  Lemme break it down for you, and stop interrupting!

First, don't park your car where you won't be able to move it out.  Icy hills are not the friend of your cute little city car.

Second, don't assume the county will be out to plow your road any time soon.  A farmer will beat them to it, but they'll do it on their own time.

Tin roof-- great for the country.  It also collects snow and ice.  And then it slides down.  And falls.  Don't bother digging charming paths there.  Stay the hell away from where it falls unless you want to die.  

Don't assume you'll only be trapped for a day.  Prepare for three.  It's called being prepared, remember?  And that means, since you are still insisting on drinking your fancy store-bought spring water, that you need to buy more than five gallons.

Last, stop trying to look cute.  Seriously.  No one cares if your new 3-layer winter coat has been properly accessorized.  And your cute little fuzzy boots?  They are not waterproof.  If you are attempting to free a car from snow/ice/slush, mud will find you.

You're welcome.  Advice is free.  But just you wait 'til winter hits.

And get your stinkin' generator set up before you need it.

[We just got like 6 inches of snow, followed by a steady freezing rain, all in freezing temps.  And more snow tomorrow.  I've spent the last 24 hours smacking my head with my hand-- I was woefully unprepared.  Hopefully, I've learned a lesson.]

Monday, December 2, 2013

An Unexpected Posting

As I was driving around most of the day, I was trying to decide which of many subjects to tackle for today's post.  Thanksgiving?  Visitors?  The mysterious brunette who invaded the farmhouse oh-so-briefly and wrecked havoc?

And then I came home today after multiple errands and found what remained of Gandalf.  Alas, poor Gandalf is no more.

A four-legged predator captured her in the driveway, killed her, and carried her off.  We found this scene, and I followed a trail of feathers leading off into the woods.  The Boy is heartbroken.  I am sorely disappointed, as Gandalf was the champion egg-layer. I will have to find some more chickens.  But, out of the sadness in the house right now, the marvelously amusing blog I had planned will have to wait until next week.  

And now, we will pay homage to this brave leader and pretty bird, who sacrificed her life to enable Vader and Leia to escape.  I suspect her death was a lot like this...