Posts Tagged ‘snow’

sheltering sky

more sheltering sky

Well it’s not Vermont, but oh we got snow. Last weekend, we went from contrasting colors, migrating geese and rather “Winter is coming” mountain vistas to “No really, winter is here. And it wants a sandwich.”




As you can see, we got rather a lot of snow. So much snow, in fact, that I am rethinking my previous assertation that we had snow a few weeks ago. Snow? Ok maybe that was like, a tiny sprinkle of snow. A hinting at snow. This? This is SNOW.


I’ve seen snow before when visiting friends back East, but always after it has fallen. I never got to watch it fall before. Never got to see it when it was fresh – covering every leaf, every branch, every post. The world really does look like one of those tourism postcards promoting the beauty of the mountains, enticing people to come up and ski. I liked walking through it every day, crunch crunch crunch in an otherwise quiet world of white.

We had quite a spectacular collection of icicles. They grew and grew every day. I wasn’t sure why some houses (ours) had icicles and others didn’t, but the Captain tells me that this is how you can tell which houses are occupied. The warm air under the roof melts the snow and makes the icicles. The vacation cabins didn’t have any. Pity. Every cabin should get some icicles, if you ask me.




A certain kind of adventurous spirit can really enjoy the snow.


On the other hand… some spirits are less adventurous.


I suppose I am with the cats on this one. I was rather content to laze about next to the wood fire with my knitting, mug of tea in hand, watching fat flakes slowly drift down. The Captain industriously shoveled snow away from the bird feeders and the car (a good thing, that) and where ever else we needed to be.


shovel that snow

Shoveling snow is not so much my thing. I’d rather be eating pancakes. The nice thing about pancakes is, you can call in the person who is shoveling the snow and set a hot plate of pancakes and bacon in front of them, and they will think you are simply great. You will get all kinds of kudos. Plus, pancakes. Enlightened self interest for the win.

Sadly, our little red Honda has proven itself useless with even a little bit of snow on the road – even with chains. I’m thinking snow tires might help with the traction issue a little bit, but it is very apparent that Tosh is not really a Winter Kind Of Car. I think if cars had feelings, she’d be terribly sorry about that fact, being such a generally reliable little thing.

car getting buried

I keep telling her it will be all right come spring. And there are worse things than being snowed in for 4 days with pancakes, bacon and hot tea, while you wait for roads to melt. Even if you are out of clean socks.

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This week in mountain weather I have learned that sometimes, rain freezes when it falls.


The tiny frozen raindrops fell gently, like rain, but looked like hail when they hit the ground. I’ve never seen anything like it. They covered the ground and everything outside in a light, sparkly crust. The world looked like someone had taken a sifter and gently sprinkled powdered sugar on top. Sugar which melted a little bit when the sun came out, then refroze into something harder.



Now I totally understand why people panic and run to the stores for bread and milk when weather is on the way. Though in our case, it was bacon, honey and sweet potatoes. And a wreath of evergreen for the door. And perhaps some maple syrup and goat cheese as well. It’s important to make sure you don’t starve during a snowstorm. The essentials are key.


It froze even harder in the night, the ice locking us into the cabin as effectively as a foot of snow might have. I’ll be grateful when we get that four wheel drive we are buying, as the little Honda wants to slide everywhere on the slick mountain roads and we just can’t drive it when they are like this.

All this means, of course, that I will not be at Uptown Village Market in Long Beach this weekend. I have thrown in the towel as far as any travel goes. I will be sorry to miss it. They have some good artists on tap!

We will be raising a cup of paleo cocoa to them this weekend.

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Snow on my deck

The first snowfall of the season hit by surprise early Monday morning, and we were in the Valley. It was something of a shock to drive back up the mountain and see the signs that said “chains required.” I wasn’t expecting snow. The weather widget on my iPhone clearly said “rain” and not “freezing white stuff that will screw up your entire morning and ruin your reputation in town as a level headed individual who copes well with adversity.”

My thought process kind of went like this:

“Really? Snow? No way. What do they mean the pass is closed? No no, I’m sure they are joking. There’s no snow. I don’t need chains! Surely you jest…”

This, friends, is the “denial” stage.

“There is no snow. Obviously the weather guy is a moron. [ed note: this was at about 2500 feet] I see no snow. They lie. It’s a joke. It’s October. It was sunny yesterday. Everything will be fine. Please just let me get home and I’ll never be unprepared again. I promise.”

Some of those playing along with the home game might recognize “bargaining” when they see it.


Back to denial.

At about 4000 feet, a car drove past me and it had snow all over it. Then there was another car with snow on it, and then another. Like it is no big deal. OH LA, MY CAR IS COVERED IN SNOW. It’s like that website, Stuff On My Cat, except, Snow On Cars. This is about when I began leaving irate messages on the Captain’s phone. Not that he could help, being on a train somewhere around Bakersfield, but I’ve always felt that sharing is important in a relationship.

I began to have visions of the cats, freezing to death in the cabin, or worse, starving without their breakfasts. Would I come home to find them making like a tiny feline Donner Party? What if they were cold? What if their fur coats were insufficient? No one was home to light the stove for them! What were they thinking about all of this nonsense, being fat LA housecats with no previous experience of winter? Everyone was going to need extra Stress Stopper for sure.

With all of this going through my mind, I descended on the local ACE hardware and proceeded to get mildly dramatic (I know, it’s a shock). They sent me to the coffee shop while they dug the chains out of the back, and told me to come back in an hour. Probably because they didn’t want to hear any more dire theories about the fate of my cats.

Did y’all know that tire chains come in sizes? Which makes sense, given that tires come in sizes, but I definitely had a “Who knew?” moment about that one.

Tire chains are also really expensive.

Oh and to make it all extra fun, I don’t actually know how to put chains ON the car yet. The Captain was going to show me later since it’s not supposed to snow till December and we thought had plenty of time for learning snow skills. In the end, I couldn’t actually get the damn things on the car.  Being a brave sort, I opted to wing it, because HOW BAD CAN IT BE?

Now I know how bad it can be. Now I know why they say “If the car starts sliding, just stop messing with the wheel and DON’T HIT THE BRAKES.” There is nothing like hands on experience, nothing quite like sliding sideways off the road, to teach you why DON’T HIT THE BRAKES is important. There were also Adventures In Getting The Car Unstuck. Those adventures included swearing. The car was fine. It wasn’t actually very stuck, once the snow melted a bit.

Bonnie is baffled by snow

The cats were completely baffled by the change in their exterior environment, however, they rallied quickly and found a way to handle it.

Charly deals with snow

Because this week was all about Xtreme Snow Adventures, I tried shoveling snow, next. The novelty and adventure lasted about as long as it took to clear off my front walk, before an overwhelming wave of “Fuck This, I Am Over It. I Am Going To Go Inside And Bake Brownies Instead.” kicked in.

Why have all the sturdy, rosy-cheeked teenagers grown up and moved out, now that I need them for strategic snow shoveling purposes?

Bird Feeders In Snow

The part of me that’s been living in Los Angeles for 18 years keeps saying, “No, no really. This FREAK WEATHER will go away and it will be sunny and warm again! This white stuff falling from the sky is an aberration! This can’t be normal!” even though the logical part of me knows it is perfectly normal and we will get snow a lot this winter and that’s why I bought boots and a purple jacket.

Next week, a treatise on Pine Needles and Why Do They Keep Falling Into The Yard I Just Raked? Also: Spiders Hibernate In Firewood And Other Reasons Why We Need A Sheltered OUTDOOR Woodbox.

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