Mad Woman on the roof

Happy Chinese New Year!

No fireworks or barbecue here, just the ongoing saga of the Great Snow of ’07. And the increasing weight on the rafters. We have had no luck getting qualified, insured people here to clean the roof off. (They are in short supply, for obvious reasons.)

The paper quoted Scott Steiger, a prof at SUNY Oswego, as saying a foot of snow puts .6 pounds of pressure per square inch of roof. Which means a foot of snow puts nearly 8,500 pounds of pressure on a 100-square foot roof.

We have had more than 10 feet of snow.

So yesterday was the day when I screwed my courage to the sticking-place, picked up a shovel and ascended to the roof in the bucket of the bobcat.

Like a lot of houses, ours has a couple different rooflines. Number One Son and I spent the afternoon on the roof that is closest to the ground (only one-story up), the Baby Roof, getting it more or less cleaned off. Today we have one more Baby Roof and the Momma Roof (two stories up) to take care of. The Daddy Roof, which is three stories up, we are leaving to the professionals, who claim they are arriving Tuesday. Maybe Wednesday.

We shoveled and BH ran the bobcat, clearing away the mountain of snow we dumped. He is not allowed on the roof because of the recent knee surgery. This does not please him. But if I were put in charge of the bobcat, I would probably drive it through the house, so things really are safer this way.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Me, feeling victorious over my fear of heights, which was conquered by my fear of collapsing roofs.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Boy with camera, author with shovel.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Enjoying a tall, cold (very cold) glass of water. We really worked up a sweat moving that stuff.

I will admit it wiped me out. I was asleep by 8pm, dreaming sweet dreams of victory.

It snowed last night and there is more on the way today, though it will be measured in inches, not feet. There will also be more roof cleaning today. When my back is sore and my legs tired, I’ll come in to begin preparation for the writer’s conference this weekend.

What day of the week is it?

The National Guard has arrived. Not at our house, but in our town and other places across the county to help the stranded and frozen. The Mennonites are here, too.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Yesterday was another digging out day. I hiked down to the road and reuncovered the mailbox. The new snow and drifts made it impossible for vehicles to get to the house. I canceled my eye doctor appointment for the fourth time. The receptionist just laughed. I called to set up a new frequent flier account at Southwest Air. The lady I talked to cracked up when I told her where I lived.

I bet that it’s really nice in the Bahamas. I’ve never been there. I will probably never go, because I’ve had skin cancer and a beach is at the bottom of my list of vacation spots, unless it is a beach that is attractive in the moonlight. But just say the word: Baaa-haaa-maaaz. Baaa-haaa-maaaz.

Back to yesterday.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Nearly lost the dog out on the tundra, aka the back yard. The guys with the heavy equipment to dig us out couldn’t come and couldn’t say when they would come.

(Hum “The Rocky Theme”.)

And then! And then!

Karma Chameleon in mittens

My subconscious operates like a jukebox. I often wake up in the morning with a song or a line from a song stuck in my head. After pondering it, I usually find something in the song that pertains to the work I have to do that day, or a situation I find myself stuck in.

Stuck. Stuck.. Oh, ha.

This morning I woke up hearing a line from Culture Club’s, “Karma Chameleon”:

Every day is like a survival….

My head has been stuck in the 80’s ever since I heard about The Police going on tour again. Stuck.

We got out for a little while yesterday. An elderly friend of ours was without propane and the truck couldn’t get close enough to his house to refill the tank, so we headed out with shovels to help. But by the time we got there, the propane company had sent a more experienced driver who was able to make the delivery safely.

We did some errands in downtown Mexico.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Saw this in the middle of town.

The snow keeps falling. In the last 48 hours, we’ve had at least two more feet, which brings my unofficial total for the last 12 days of snow to 130 inches. (The newspaper has a nice timeline of the storm. I hope they update it.)

And then the wind started. Our driveway is completely drifted in – we’re stuck again until the heavy machinery arrives. I have 8 boxes of signed copies of TWISTED that UPS wants to pick up. A) I’m not sure UPS can get down my road right now and B) Nothing is moving up and down my driveway until the payloader arrives… except for me on the snowshoes. (Calls have been made to the hero with the payloader, we’re just waiting. Why do I think we’ll be buying a tractor this summer?)

The entire Central New York region was hit with this phase of the storm. Our county is still in a state of emergency. Many other counties have travel restrictions. Pretty much everything seems closed. The nor’easter storm is dying down. Now we’re waiting for more lake effect snow to start up again.

Last night I watched the Travel Channel obsessively.

In non-weather news, you should read this article about the making of the Bridge to Terabithia movie. (Thanks to Fuse #8 for the link.) And while we’re talking about the Mother Goddesses of Children’s Literature, did you know Lois Lowry has a blog???!!!!

I’m pretty much done with the taxes and the travel planning for the spring, so today I will attack the fanmail pile that has accumulated for the last two months. I’ll also get outside for some fresh air and will report back with photos.

Stay warm.

The not-fun part of nine feet plus of snow

Geesh, what a day. It started out decent. The paperwork is almost done, and I’ve had fun answering email from friends all over the country who’ve read about our Snow Adventure in the New York Times, among other places. We even got to the gym, anticipating that we won’t be able to get there for a few days.

Why, you ask?

Because of the next storm. Cue the ominous music.

(Edited at 8pm to add: the snow has started.)

BH spent the afternoon helping out a friend in Oswego whose newly renovated rental house had its pipes freeze and burst and pretty much ruin everything. The insurance guy said an adjuster won’t be able to look at it for at least a week and half because of all the claims that are (ahem) snowballing in this region.

We know of one house in our town that suffered a catastrophic roof collapse. The gentleman who lived there is OK, but the house….

Last gasp of lake effect… Nor’easter approaching

My hat is off to whomever decided that Central New York’s boy’s swimming sectionals should be held in mid-February. Brilliant. Sitting at finals yesterday my feet finally thawed and bones warmed up. Number One Son took fifth in the section in 100-yard breaststroke and 3rd in the consolation heat of the 200-yard IM. Now he gets to chill (ha) a few weeks before track season starts.

(One quick rant… did you know that some people think that their flesh is transparent? I sometimes feel invisible, but I’ve never thought that others could actually see through me. A few truly obnoxious parents at yesterday’s swim meet (I will not name their kids’ team because other parents from there were sweet) kept standing at the railing while the rest of us stayed on the bleachers and tried to see through them to watch the swimmers in the pool. There were signs everywhere telling people not to stand at the rail. Maybe they couldn’t read. The situation started at Clueless, moved quickly to Selfish, and hopped to Rude. When BH finally asked them to sit down so that we could actually see the pool, a woman told him he should just stand up. Meet my husband, the man with the bum knee. I wanted to throw her in the water. Her husband finally got her to sit down and the meet concluded in a state of more or less peace. But, geesh…… end of rant.)

We’re expecting another six inches of snow today and that should be the end of the Lake Effect Snow that has been dumping on us for more than a week.

Late tomorrow and Wednesday we are expecting a Nor’easter storm to blow in. This could mean several more feet of snow piling up, quickly. Ye gods above. BH is working the phones right now to get someone to clear off our roof. The guy we had lined up to do it is still dealing with problems at his own house. We also need to have the driveway plowed out – a couple of feet of snow have fallen since the payloader came in last week. And we are cringing at the thought of spring…. because all of this has to melt. We’re going to need to dig trenches to ensure that the melting snow drains away from the house and not into our basement.

I am going to let him deal with that while I try to finish all the paperwork stuff I abandoned last week. Yippee. I also want to get outside and play in white stuff. That will be my reward.

Just a few photos today