The Valentines snow storm

Well, as I had talked about last weekend . The February storm is/was here. With the tractor, sami ( only rig w/ chains ) down , even the jeep down and the truck in need of work all pretty much at the same time …Jeep and sami with in the same day .

And here we go…

The tractor worked pretty well last Sunday. Monday however , it died on the road out between a 1/4 and half mile from the house..blocking the road and dragging a nice tight pile of snow and ice..Perfect.. I got it limped home , hand dug as much as I could before I was done for the day…while it was snowing…around two feet of new  snow here for the day.

Tuesday pretty much followed the same as Monday as did every single day of the week : More snow work on the tractor for around an hour, it ran for around 15 minutes and died in the worst spot it could find , making the entry worse and worse. I would then shovel snow until my body gave out. Each day the tractor would throw something new into the mix along with dying before I actually could get anything done.

Hydraulics on the front end went out with the bucket down …. I got that winched up so when it started surging the next day , it threw a chain …. The next day when it started surging , it threw both chains… It pretty much went like that every day while the snow kept coming. Every day , whatever was predicted , we got double the snow….*shrug* welcome to Zen.

Now , IF the tractor was fine and the sami was running and chained up , this would have been just a PIA but we would have only been snowed in a couple days .

The day that was suppose to be clear, but wasn’t we got seven new inches before the sun came up. Where I had spent , the day before , digging anywhere from hip to shoulder deep snow in an area 15 feet by around 9 feet… All next to the truck , and then again in front of the truck.. now had more than a foot throughout both areas… Needless to say, I threw a tantrum.  The day that I finally retire, I would still throw a fit but I would just wait it out… I knew that if I didn’t keep working at it , I wouldn’t be getting out this coming week either.

The present

Today actually IS sunny…yes , we did get snow this morning again…and Yes, I did work on the tractor again ..and yes it did die at the entry to the property again blocking the road with snow and ice again..and yes , I did shovel until I was wiped yet again…

Ma and I think we know where the problem is with the tractor..maybe.. not our first guess but it is definitely fuel related and we got more run time today..though granted most of it was while I was waiting for it to die…It didn’t until I thought we figured it out..silly me…..

There just isn’t any way to work on the problem..well for me to work on it until the snow is gone..then we will see if we figured it out.

I walked down the road and , of course, the snow has filled it back in since last weekend..shocker… I can only hope at this point that I can get through it and out. I really doubt I can though . I guess we will see..

The nice thing is it is suppose to be nice for a bit, the bad thing is , it makes it easier to get stuck when you can’t ride the top of the ice , you just sink into the soft-serve ice cream…

If I get stuck.. I will be very stuck.

The Near future

We are suppose to get hit again this next weekend . As of now , they are calling for about the same as last week. At this rate , I will have a long late winter vacation and no Spring or Summer vaca .

This should be the last of the storms, though last only means it could storm until March…

Needless to say , we will be getting ready for Next winter in a few weeks instead of waiting for August….

The Up side of being snowed in

It has been beautiful up here …when I wasn’t under a friggin tractor.. trying to limp a tractor back to it’s starting spot, shoveling snow or getting all grouchy trying to figure out where to try next on the tractor…


I got to spend a bunch of time with Ma as she took off some time to spend with me…Most likely to keep me from totally blowing a gasket …Which I did more than once anyway .

I do NOT like to be without options. I do NOT like to feel like I am letting people down..It doesn’t matter that even the freeway was closed down more than once , that one day it was back up past our on ramp which is getting out of out road , then seven miles down to the village and the on ramp is another seven miles before where the closure actually was.. So folks were stuck for hours and hours in winter on the freeway … At least I was stuck on Zen.

We have had a fire going all day and with the EST chair pretty much back to its norm , I could sit and watch Ma spin and knit.

The local kids

The coyote kids came through a few times but I wasn’t able to catch them with the camera this time. It was even sunny-ish when they came through.

Hummie took off early in the week. HE wasn’t stuck . The little guy just put on his sweater and cap and flew down to Gotham for four days. He came back this morning to visit which made Ma all excited.

The CawCaw kids, who are at present still out there, have been hitting the ” Fly-N-Go” for an easy quick meal . The Suet is getting hit pretty hard. They sit on the fence off and on all day, fly around a bit and back for more Good Eats.

One of them was sitting in the tree above me while I worked my way down the fuel line from Tank to Carb looking for obstructions…and finding none but ran into what may be our problem area and Ma is pretty sure she has it figured out…..While he watched me he gave out helpful hints ..which lead to a snowball firefight….Personally I believe he cheated , he had gravity in his favor…and he swears as well as I do so no personal advantage for me.

Sit and Spin

Ma is getting close to the end of her Hap ( shawl ) project . All the yarn spun by her..she is right now spinning up the last of the white for the edging . Once it is all finished , I’ll post pics.

The work is beautiful , as we all have come to expect with Ma’s work .I can’t begin to imagine how big this shawl is going to be once we block it…We may have to use it as a roof cover to block it. By the time it is finished , washed and blocked then folded diagonally in half for Ma to use it will be perfect to be light enough so that she wont be over burdened and being all Shetland wool it will still be super warm .

The knit is extremely soft and almost spongy . I know it will be a fav of Ma’s once it is completed  All natural colors , as in color of the sheep , no dyes , natural or other . Traditional Patterns as well for this Shetland shawl fits Ma and Zen perfectly.

She was swapping the colors on the borders so quickly as she worked , she literally had four different spools attached and running at the same time.

I know I am excited to see it finished , but at the same time it’ll almost be a shame as it can only be the first of this complete style of so many things once.

Watching Ma work out the patterns to make them fit what she wanted , figuring out the colors. Hand plying one of them to get a different shade and texture and getting all of the yarn to spin up consistently from color to color and day to day week to week… Of all of it though , that really is just what Ma does…Every piece is a treasure …which I tend to wear out … Mostly socks at least… Even though Ma makes them special for how I wear things out. Of course, as I am known for wearing out a pair of store bought much faster that says a lot for Ma’s work as well.. It isn’t anything new when I come home with both heals out of both socks..some weeks four to five days in a row. I pivot a LOT.

Final Thoughts

When I don’t think about trying to get out , it is amazing up here. I might be able to hire someone, ok , Ma might be able to hire someone to break through now that the storm is over, for now… It’ll more than likely cost more than I’ll make this week but I suppose come next weekend or while I am swearing at being stuck and now have to figure out what to do next It is probably worth it. I am torn.

If we didn’t get another storm , I would be pretty much fine with things up here. We have a few things we will have to pick up at the store before long and If I continue to stay home , it’ll take more wood. We use more when we are in the living room than when we aren’t but I have enough to get us into March even if we are still stuck. Then I’ll have to figure out how to break through the wall of Snow and Ice I built up tossing snow over my shoulder and not watching.

Yup.. I’m whining this week. It has been a rough one trying to just catch up let alone any dreams of getting out. If we would have gotten the snow predicted it would have been tough but doable .. Double at every shot and more that was a bit much let alone the tractor being a pill , the sami misbehaving and well… the jeep is completely under snow somewhere .

No storm lasts forever, I just hope that Today isn’t just another calm before another storm.

Zen it really started to come down

I knew as I lay in bed that there would be more snow. It had been snowing when we went to bed and I knew it was suppose to be nasty today , so there would be more snow.

The sun was still fast asleep and yet I could see a glimmer through the windows..Snow. I crawled out of bed and looked out the window…

” Oh…Look at that..It’s white.. “

When it snows up here on Zen and things get covered, it really looks the same at a foot as it does at seven feet ..Sadly , I know this for a fact .

Until you look at buildings , it just all looks the same..White…

Ma was up and bustling around the house more or less waiting on me. I opened the door and thoughts of using the broom slid away. The furniture on the deck was gone. They were buried under the night’s snow. I sighed , looked back through the door then went to the other entry to grab the big shovel.

Walking through the kitchen , Ma looked over at me and I shrugged , sighed again and walked out to the porch.

Some few minutes later I had snow at least away from the porch though the deck was still covered . I had been keeping up until now. I looked back at the door, the shovel , the door…grumbled under my breath and started the path to the stairs.

Snow above my hips to either side , I finally had the path to the stairs…. Then I started digging down.

In short order I was standing as close to the ground as I was going to get..In a hole… The steps were cleared and a pad at the bottom. I even dug a couple steps out so that when I put on snowshoes , if I did on this side, I could get them on here and work my way out to the top again.

Turning around I saw Ma under the cover of the porch…. The deck was already covered with snow …again…. I walked back to the porch , swapped the shovel for the broom…Took a few passes and swapped back….Then the real snow hit.

I looked at Ma, then at the skies….

” CRAP!” and stomped my way back in to the house and the main entry.

Opening the door , I all but fell back in semi hysterical laughter when I faced a bank of snow as the top 10 inches fell into the room……………


Shoveling my way out of the room and to the doorway I began to chant… Something completely chaotic and mostly in vowels….I imagine I was swearing in Tongues ….

Digging a hole to the truck I turned to see that what I had done was already filling in.

Sighing one more time, I trudged back into the house, glared at the shovel…..Because I really good shovel wouldn’t let snow fill in its work so quickly…

I walked back into the kitchen , looked at the coffee and thought;

” Do I REALLY need that right now? “………….. I grabbed a quarter of a cup anyway and walked back out to the porch with Ma who smiled and said;

” Its snowing. “

” Really? “

I grabbed up the shovel again , clearing the deck one more time , drank my cold coffee , thought about the broke down rigs and laughed to myself…………..

“This is definitely…….. Just another day on Zen Mountain.”


I looked up just in time to see the snow break loose from the side of the house as it plastered my face…..Jolly



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