That time of year

March 1, 2019

If you live in the snow belt you know I’m talking about the annual return of the pot holes. It’s getting so bad here you can’t even swerve around them as there are just too many.

After we finished running our errands and getting things put away, the wife showed me a picture of a pot hole within walking distance of our house. Claim was it is 3 feet by 5 feet and 15 feet deep. Now that’s a pot hole.

The location surprised me as the street has a crown in it and is much higher in the middle than along the curbs. So much for drainage. Not sure what caused the pothole but am fairly certain somebody is going to ignore the barricades and run into it.

Our city has patched several pot holes which always return after the plows come out to remove the latest snow. One former Mayor even declared a war on pot holes yet they keep returning. These holes do make driving interesting though.

We’re fairly certain that by July said pot holes will be a thing of the past and residents can then go and get tires replaced and front ends aligned. Until next year. It’s part of the cost of living on the east coast of Iowa.

If you live in an area that doesn’t get cold weather, snow, sleet, and pot holes you should count your blessings. Those of us do live in such an area just state that at least we don’t have a mosquito problem.

Enjoy our Friday as the weekend has arrived. Now I need more coffee, or a nap.
Comments are always welcome.

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The white stuff

February 18, 2019

It snowed off and on all day yesterday and even the birds took to higher ground. They perched on wires, fences, and tree branches to watched the white fluffy love from above make its way to the ground. A few of the birds liked the snow and played in it.

Never heard how much snow we got but do know I was out a few times pushing the snow blower and a shovel. For a change it was a light snow so the work wasn’t hard, just aggravating. The snow would quit falling and when done the driveway, alley, and front walks were down to bare pavement.

So I’d watch some of the Daytona 500 until the snow started again and my gear went back on to remove it. When the snow falls there is usually an eerie quiet that is only broken by the sound of snow blowers and shovels scraping bare pavement. Even the birds just looked on in silence.

The last time out was after sunset so I decided to do one more pass and leave the inch of snow that fell later until today. Since I knew the moon would be out I looked to the Heavens only to see a blanket of white covered the sky. It looked like even the sun couldn’t penetrate the snow.

Now I’m getting ready to go back out and shovel again. With the sun shining today it should be a piece of cake. Plus I can see what I’m doing. To those who dislike winter and the snow that sometimes falls I will say it’s only about 3 weeks until Spring.

So enjoy our Monday as it means we’re one day closer to Spring. Now I need coffee and bacon before going out.
Comments are always welcome.


One picture

February 13, 2019

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this one pretty much sums up being outside today on the east coast of Iowa. The freezing rain is covered with a fine dusting of snow on yards and
fine white fluffy love from above is falling or blowing on the wind.

The little bird has a good grip on the ice covered branch and looks to be waiting for a ride to warmer climes. Even with the weather people of TV forecasting gloom and doom some birds haven’t left. In fact, the birds come every morning after I put out the bird food in number.

A couple cardinals next to wrens next to starlings gather and have a meal. Things don’t thin out until later in the day when some playful young squirrels scrounge through what is left before running away to climb into the trees and play some more.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer before another cold front moves in and drops us in the deep freeze again and the forecast calls for the wind chill to be at -12 about the time we go grocery shopping Friday. The actual temperature will be around 12 above which tells us it will be windy.

And if I was a gambling man I’d bet the birds and other critters will be out enjoying the day Friday regardless of what the weatherman says. I’m going back out myself after I finish this to reclaim the part of our driveway that hasn’t been cleared yet.

So enjoy our Wednesday, and Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Now I need a cup of coffee before putting on my gear to clear the snow.
Comments are always welcome.


Stay calm

February 12, 2019

Even the squirrels are getting confused here on the east coast of Iowa. Overnight we got about an inch of white fluffy love from above and two tenths of an inch of ice. And if you turn on the TV to listen to the local news and weather you may think it’s the worse storm ever. Cars in ditches, icy spots on the roads, and high winds later.

The critters are still out foraging for their food, traffic keeps going by, and the end of our alley got plowed in again. I don’t get how a plow can turn an inch of snow into a berm of heavy, frozen slush a foot high and a couple of feet wide. In another hour it won’t be there as I’m going to grab the shovel in an attempt to clear the alley.

We have some without power to their homes and being told the number of us without power could grow when more freezing rain comes later. 50 mph wind gusts? Bring it on as that just means it’s harder to start the grill. We’ll say again; it’s not the coldest winter ever, the snowiest, the windiest, or the longest.

So everybody take a deep breath then leave a little early to get to where you’re going without ending up in a ditch. Put the smart phones away, don’t try to eat and drive, keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Now I have to shovel all the love the plow left at the end of our alley.

Enjoy our Tuesday and hang in there. Before long we’ll be laughing at
all this. Now to get my gear on and the snow moved.
Comments are always welcome.


Good start

February 1, 2019

Although we’re told our high today will be in the 20s when I
stepped outside at 05:00 this morning the temperature was -5.
We received around 4 inches of white fluffy love from above
yesterday and I needed to remove it from the car and driveway.

It felt like five below in the pre-dawn darkness but I got
enough done that we can get our running done this morning before
finishing the front. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be around
40 but we do our running on Friday and imagine stores will be
busier tomorrow as opposed to early today.

We try to get to the grocery store around 7 am and continue our
trip to the pharmacy and other places. Just because it would be
about 30 degrees warmer tomorrow morning is no excuse to wait.
Besides, we need a few things to make a batch of au gratin
potatoes.

The weekend has started which doesn’t mean much to us retired
folk as we don’t get weekends off. Golden years my butt, I knew
growing up was a trap. At least our errands will be done along
with the shoveling before nap time.

Enjoy our Friday as we’re going to. Now I need coffee to get
ready to get things done.
Comments are always welcome.


Seen worse

January 31, 2019


Picture from the Iowa Historical Society

Since we are supposed to be over 40 degrees warmer tomorrow and
even warmer for a few days after that I thought one more mention
of winter of 1936 is in order. Some called it the “telephone
wire winter” due to a newspaper article by Jim Pollack that said
Lloyd Keller walked from Clarksville to his job at a college in
Cedar Falls with drifts so tall he touched telephone wires.

For a 36 day stretch that spanned January and February the
average temperature was -2.4 degrees. There was so much snow the
plows couldn’t move it, trains couldn’t push it out-of-the-way
to operate, businesses closed, and ice on the Iowa river near
Rock Falls was 42 inches thick.

About half of all wildlife died, livestock doubled their feed
intake along with drinking more water, farmers couldn’t get
their milk and eggs to market. mail wasn’t delivered, and there
was a coal shortage.

All during the Great Depression. This all happened after a hot
summer in 1936 and before a hot summer in 1937.

We have handled a short cold spell and above average snowfall
this go-round but feel it safe to say we’ve seen worse. And
people will do what has been done in the past and knuckle down
to get it done. Just please don’t pray for warmer weather as God
has a sense of humor and I don’t want a string of 100 degree
summer days coming up.

Enjoy our Thursday and keep warm if you’re still getting bit
by the Polar Vortex. Now I’m having more coffee while I make a
big omelet to keep up my strength.
Comments are always welcome.


Here we go again

January 30, 2019

It seems the older I get the more I get confused. Had someone
ask me yesterday if wind chills were this cold when I was a wee
lad. The younger person who asked that question looked confused
when I stated we didn’t have wind chills when I was growing up.

Back then if it was -20, it was -20. The weather report may
have mentioned wind, or lack of, but it was still -20. Fast
forward to todays weather speak and it looks like this-

It is now -19 with west winds from 10 to 15 mph with gusts to
25 mph and wind chills to -51. Tonights low will be -27 with
west winds from 5 to 10 mph with wind chills to -45. Huh? I’ve
been out a few times this morning and it felt like it was -19.

If it is -19 and windy I put on an extra layer, go out and do
what has to be done, and get back inside. And yes I know about
frostbite. The backside of one ear is still purple from the
experience. I didn’t like it then and am not looking for a
repeat.

Putting up with colder weather in the winter is a small price
to pay for our beautiful summer days here in Iowa. And spring
will be here before we know it. Of course I’ve also seen snow
here in April so who know what spring will bring.

So our coffee pot is working overtime, there is no danger of
our water pipes freezing, and ourselves and this 109 year old
house will survive the cold spell just fine. Besides, the high
Sunday is supposed to be 40. I am going to look into getting
heat into my office though.

So enjoy our Wednesday and keep warm. Now I need more coffee
and to check the heater on the water pipes.
Comments are always welcome.