So the blizzard has passed, and has been replaced with extreme cold warnings. As I write this, we have warmed up to -26C/-15F with a wind chill of -34C/-29F
In our own little front yard microclimate, however, it felt a lot warmer, and the outside cats were out in full force!
A few were holding out for the warm water before coming out, though! 😀
The sun spot at that window must be very pleasant in there. 🙂
As for Butterscotch and Nosencrantz, they would not let me take photos! Nosencrantz wouldn’t stop wiggling around, and Butterscotch just moves away. They are eating and drinking just fine, though unfortunately, from the smell I walked into, they are finding somewhere other than the litter box to do their business. *sigh* I’m sure we’ll find all sorts of “surprises” when the sun room gets its spring clean up. The litter box is being used … by one of them, at least.
Once the critters were fed, I headed out to dig us out. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it might be, though. We didn’t have a lot of new snow, which helped. The high winds were mostly moving around existing snow which, with our garage, meant blowing the snow off the roof and dumping it into a drift in front. The van might have been able to go through the drift, if we really had to, but we could not open the doors to the addition my mother’s car is parked in. It has swing doors that need to be replaced. One of them drags on the ground, so that area needs to be cleared a lot more thoroughly, just to open it wide enough for the car to drive through.
The other side of the garage, where the snow blower, lawn mowers and wood chipper is stored, also has swing doors.
We can’t get into there right now.
When our neighbour cleared our driveway, he pushed aside a snow ridge that was creeping in front of the middle section of the garage, where the van needs to get through. Unfortunately, he pushed it too close to the double doors to that side of the garage. There is enough space that we could clear one of the doors, which would allow us to at least get in, but not with our usual snow shovels. They are a strong plastic, but not that strong. We’ll have to tackle the pile with the ice chipper and a steel shovel before the snow can be moved and really, we don’t need to get into there that badly!
Once the front of the garage was clear, I checked out the driveway and was pleasantly surprised. The road itself remained clear enough that it won’t even need to be plowed. The main road would have drifted over, but I’m sure that’s been cleared by now.
The drifting over the end of the driveway wasn’t all that bad. In fact, I could see the tracks of a vehicle using our driveway to turn around. With the walls of snow left by the plows, our driveway is the only one nearby that’s open enough to do that. All the other driveways for about a mile in either direction are into fields, or empty properties, so no one’s keeping them clear.
I did have to dig out the gate. I’d opened it before the blizzard hit, just in case. They weren’t drifted in place too deeply, but the snow was packed so hard, I had to use the ice chipper to break it up, first.
I was mostly concerned with this side. While swinging it open and closed, we noticed it started to shudder and vibrate. When our vandal busted up the hinge pins, my brother replaced them with pairs of J pins, so that no one could simply use a jack to take the gate off anymore. My concern was that a pin had snapped in the cold. I was able to check the top ones before, but couldn’t see the bottom ones. So this morning, I used the ice chipper and shovel to clear it away to check, and they were fine.
The shudder was also gone when I swung the gate back and forth, so it looks like it was the build up of ice and snow that was causing it.
On this side, I had to dig things out a bit more, just so we could swing it open further – and dig out the little path to the mini solar panel powering some decorative lights we have on the fence. We used to have several strings of white LED Christmas lights all along that fence, but they got very weathered and I finally just took them off. At some point, we want to have lights along the fence line again, but until then, the mini string of solar powered LED lights will go. The solar panel just needs to be kept clear of snow, and it’s resting on the hub of that wagon wheel in the fence.
Interestingly, the hardest area to dig out was the path to the trail cam. Talk about hard packed! I had to use the ice chipper on almost the entire path. But I got to it, and was able to switch out the memory card – and got to see the vehicle that used our driveway to turn around it! 😀 I don’t know who it is, but it’s a truck I see regularly, and I am jealous of the plow attachment. 😉
On my “when we win the lottery” shopping list is either a RAM 1500 or an F150 (the top two highest rated trucks for winter driving, last I looked) with a plow attachment.
I should probably buy a ticket… 😉
So we are now cleared out enough to get the van out of the garage and drive. We’re expecting a delivery from the pharmacy today, so the gates are being left open. I haven’t seen hide nor hair of our vandal in the trail cam files, so it looks like he’s actually avoiding using the roads past us entirely. Which is not something I intended as a condition, as that’s just not realistic in our area, but who knows what the judge or his lawyer managed to drum into him! Anyhow, between the court order, and the weather conditions, I think we’re okay to leave the gate open for a while, though I’d rather never have to close it at all.
The paths around the yard are pretty filled in. I’m leaving that job for my daughters to do, later!
For now, I’m going to call our mechanic back and book that oil change again!