Saturday, March 3, 2018

March Came in Like a Lamb? Huh?

     March came in gentle as a lamb on Thursday.  People were running around in shorts and t-shirts but Mother Nature was having a good laugh at our expense because this is what we woke up to on Friday.  At first the forecast was for 3-5" of snow overnight but it got closer to the 7" mark by the time the sun came up.  The rest of the day we were suppose to get 6-10" which they changed to 9-13" and finally settled for 10-16"...all wet, heavy snow that caused power lines to snap and trees to break.  Or bend over as you can see in these photos.  Jeff had spent Thursday morning getting the snow blower
onto the Cub Cadet and he found out as he tried
to make his way down to Wally's that he had it attached incorrectly.  He
kept getting stuck but eventually made it past
the fence and headed towards Wally's garage.   He had asked if he could pull into the garage and reattached the blower in there where there is a cement floor and not have to crawl around thru the snow.  Unfortunately,  the Cub Cadet got stuck in front of the garage and Jeff had to walk back up to the house and get the walk behind blower and clear a 2nd strip down to Wally's.  He got the tractor loose and then cleared a path to Wally's deck with the walk behind. By then he had a broken belt on the Cub Cadet.  Wally took over trying to clear the driveway with his rider but ran into
some trouble when he got to the mouth of the driveway.  (The Town manages to fill the mouth and block it very well.)  Wally ended up a broken belt on his Cub Cadet, too, and the driveway is still impassable.
   The cedar tree at the corner of our TV room was bent in half with part of it leaning on the roof last night.  The part that was on the roof has
straightened up but this part is still bent over this morning.  The snow has slipped off the TV room's a steel roof, and the porch roof...also metal.  There are a lot of small branches down but I can't see any major damage in our yard.   This branch came off a big

oak along the west side of the property and missed the house by a couple of feet.  The lilacs along the back of the property took a hard hit, too.  The big purple one has been broken by branches falling on it and snowing weighing it down.  Oh, well, a little pruning will help everything.    

   Wally's electrical entrance took a major hit and is loose but still hanging on.  We lost power for a few minutes last night but it came back.  My cousin Ed on Folts Road was without power for part of the afternoon but finally got it back.  Just in time, too, since he relies on a sump pump to keep his cellar dry. He said water was within 2" of his furnace when the power was finally restored.
   Today it's sunny and cold outside, a beautiful winter day.  Any hope for an early spring has been dashed.  The view from my window is of a snow covered field.  Maybe we'll be able to get out by Monday.  I sure hope so but in the meantime I'll knit.  I finally finished by size 4 Black Sheep sweater.  I think the next couple of sweaters will be small sizes, 1's and 2's.  They go faster, use less yarn and I don't get bored doing them.  I found I was getting lost working on the size 4...losing my way working thru the pattern.  And besides, the pile of library books next to me was more interesting than the sweater I was knitting!   

Saturday, February 24, 2018

End of February Ups and Downs

   The weather's been changing very fast around here.  We had 3 days of mid-40's to near 70 degree weather and then it snowed again.  The driveway...a speed skating rink this time of year...went from ice to mush to frozen mud back to muck in a week's time.  The yard's been covered with new snow...and looked so pretty...and then it melted and we're back to brown leaves and fallen tree branches.  When the ground is soft OR covered with new snow, the dogs will run around the house but when it freezes into a mini glacier field Fanny won't run thru it.  (Zoey takes off for Wally's thru the old horse pasture then forgetting her instructions to 'stay in the yard.')  Yesterday it rained and I ignored Jeff and put a fire in the stove.  Used all the wood that was inside and took the chill off the house.  Fanny and Zoey napped on the couch and I got most of my size 4 Black Sheep sweater done.  Today after we go to Walmart, I should finish it. Don't know if I'll start another size 4 or knock out a couple smaller sweaters.
  Fanny & Zoey went to the groomers, Olivia's Happy Tails, on Main St in Herkimer on Thursday to have their monthly mani-pedi and their ears cleaned.  Neither was too happy with the procedures but Zoey loved the attention she got...even rolling over to show off her spaying scar!  (Fanny tried to hide under a chair in the waiting area in hopes that we'd forget she was next!)
   I didn't have to cook supper when we got home because when we stopped at the N Main St Greek Diner for a late lunch Jeff was able to get a covered roast beef sandwich (with mashed potatoes)...something he's been wanting for a couple of weeks.  I ended up fixing myself a PBJ around 8pm but I don't know what...if anything...he had later.  Jeff had got a good size pork loin at Hannaford earlier in the week and when we stopped there on the way home he finally found Campbell's slow cooker sauce for pulled pork.  We had it once before but haven't been able to find it since.  I think I'll put it in the crock pot tonight and that will be dinner tomorrow.  Definitely something to look forward to!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Zoey, the Flat Tire and the Mailbox

     Zoey's been carrying on like crazy whenever one of us leaves the house because she's being left behind again.  We were told at the vet's not to bathe her and we figured walking thru the +8" of snow in the driveway would get her incision as wet as a bath, so Zoey has been house-bound...and not very happy about it.  Her post-op appointment is Wednesday and maybe she'll be able to play outside after that.  Keeping a healthy, headstrong, 8-month old puppy quiet has not been easy.  The first 2 days she went from being a total zombie to slowly being her old self but moving a lot slower! She didn't get that bounce back to her step until Saturday!  She didn't even want to wrestle with Fanny until yesterday!  (Had to step in and send them to opposite corners!)  Her incision looks good to me...hope the vet thinks so, too.  And we haven't had to put the Elizabeth collar on her to keep her from it, either!
   Since we decided Zoey wasn't going anywhere until she went back to the vet for her post-op check up I got to go grocery shopping alone on Friday.  Not exactly a great day for driving to town, the roads were lousy and it was snowing lightly.  I had my list which meant zig-zagging around town.  First stop was Rite Aide to leave Jeff's Rx for a refill, then across the street to Walmart to pick up my Rx and some groceries.   Smoker's Friendly on Main St for Jeff was the next stop and then over to Hannaford's to finish the grocery shopping.  Back to Rite Aide for Jeff's Rx and finally Arby's to treat ourselves to lunch.  When I got home I noticed the rear tire on the driver's side of the Forester was soft again so I told Jeff.  There wasn't any reason to go anywhere on Saturday so the car sat in the driveway with the tire getting softer until Sunday when Jeff went out headed to the pharmacy again...but he didn't get anywhere because by then it was flat!  He tried putting air in it with the small emergency compressor he has in the car but it wouldn't inflate.  Then he tried changing the tire but decided he wasn't a match for the hydraulic drill used to tighten the lug nuts.  About then I suggested calling the motor club (why do I pay the membership fee?) and they sent somebody.  Jeff hoped they'd change the tire but they just put air in it.  He went to town looking for someone to fix the tire but everyone was closed already so this morning he was up and out of here by 7:30am to take the car to have the tire fixed. (Seems there was a hole in it!  Cost $10, not bad...just hope it holds!)
   I have been having some trouble with my left knee for quite awhile now. Been to the doctor for it and have been following his advice but not much improvement until Zoey jumped from the foot of my bed on to the knee...landing squarely on it! I let out a scream and Jeff came running!! When the pain ebbed away I realized the pain had ebbed away! Zoey's landing had done something...pushed the meniscus back in or something. Whatever she did it worked. Don't know for how long but right now my knee feels better. Maybe Zoey could be a massage therapist when she grows up?
   When Jeff got home he had to reattach the mailbox to it's stand at the end of the driveway.  Looks like it lost an argument with a snowplow.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Snow Day

  Today Zoey was scheduled to be spayed so Jeff took her to the vet's, Herkimer Veterinarians across from Denny's Restaurant, about 7:45am.  He was positive she'd carry on and bay up a storm when he left her but she remembered the tech and wagged her tail and went with her willingly without a single tear...or bay.  (I think Jeff was disappointed.) He stopped for coffee at Crazy Otto's and was shocked again that it cost him $2.50 for a single cup.
  Fanny and I had breakfast while he was gone and Fanny spent some time looking for Zoey.  I told her she had gone to the doctor's and would be back later and she didn't seem upset.  I got dressed and we were ready and waiting for the phone call to pick up Zoey when it came at 10:30am.  By then the snow storm had started and I told Jeff he'd have to do the driving.  I grabbed one of the towels from the chair next to my computer and told Fanny to watch TV and not to answer the phone and we left.  
   The road was lousy...I was very glad not to be doing the driving.  We decided Jeff would greet Zoey first and after he paid the bill he'd carry her she wouldn't have to wade thru the snow...and put her on my lap in the car.  I had the towel ready and quickly wrapped her up and slowly she stopped shaking as she leaned into me.  She whimpered a little and looked at me but I knew she had no idea who I was or where she was!  Talk about being high!  Zoey was really flying this morning!  
   When we got home Jeff carried her in and put her on the couch so Fanny could inspect her.  Fanny accepted it was the real Zoey but again you could tell Zoey wasn't quite sure of anything!  She stayed on the couch for about half an hour getting use to the house and then decided to take a walk.  She wobbled into the kitchen, sat for awhile by my computer and eventually made it to Jeff's room and had to be helped into the dog bed under his computer table.   Zoey let loose with a couple of blooding curdling bays that sent Fanny under the kitchen table to hide!  She got into several positions trying to find the one that was most comfortable and finally fell asleep leaning 
on Jeff's leg. She changed position a couple of times so Jeff was finally able to move his leg!  She's still stretched out in her dog bed. 

   In the meantime the snowstorm has intensified and it looks like we will end up with the +7" that was called for.  This is the view west towards Wally's garage.  Really looks like the groundhog knew what he was talking about this year, doesn't it?  I just glad we had an early appointment for Zoey's spaying and that it went smoothly and she was home by 11:30am.  I wasn't looking forward to going to town around 3pm to get her.  Now I have a nice fire going in the stove and I think it just may be time to get comfy in my chair...maybe with a book today.  I can fall asleep reading a lot easier than knitting.

Monday, February 5, 2018

New Glasses

   I had an appointment today with Tim Woolner, an optometrist in Ilion.  He was recommended by Fran Baggetta, my usual optician, after my recent cataract procedures.  Bassett managed to screw up my records telling Dr. Woolner that I had had only 1 eye taken care of and sending the Rx's for both eyes but incorrectly labeled.  I had another eye exam...or rather 2 eye get the Rx's straightened out and found out that I already have the beginning of a cataract on my right eye which will probably require a laser treatment and the stitch is still in my left eye.
   Steve, the optician at Dr. Woolner's, was surprised how quickly I picked out a pair of plastic frames.  I went with plastic frames because I'm tired of having to hide my metal framed glasses when I take them off.   (Zoey has done quite a number on one ear piece and both lens!)  With the new plastic frames I can just slip them up on my head like a hairband...well out of her inquiring way (I hope)...when I get up from knitting to go to the bathroom or get a cup of coffee.  The new glasses will be invisible bi-focals, in transition lens so I can knit or read outside in comfort.  They will also be scratch resistant...for 2 years in case Zoey does get at them! The new glasses will make it safer to drive because they'll allow me to see the dashboard of the car.  Without glasses, I have no trouble seeing beyond the end of the hood but the speedometer is totally out of focus! 
   I had to pay the $40 copay for the office visit (which I expected) and the glasses came to around $400 but Dr. Woolner wants to submit them to my insurance and Medicare before I worry about any
copay.  I  was very satisfied with the way the appointment went today and was hoping to get Jeff to make an appointment for himself but he beat me to it by asking if they were accepting new patients.
(only those related to current patients or referred by another doctor).  His appointment is in March.
    I explained the chewed up state of my glasses(Zoey) and Jeff mentioned she was in the car and the next thing I knew he was asking if he could bring her in.  She behaved beautifully...she even sat down when I told her to!  And Steve took her photo!
   Now I just have to wait for my new glasses!

Friday, January 26, 2018


   Last evening around 8:20pm I was hankered down next to the glowing wood stove with a new book, all comfy and warm, Jeff was stretched out on his bed, Fanny was snoring in the power chair and Zoey was curled up on the loveseat when every thing went quiet and black.  The power was out!  I stood up and checked Wally's house...totally dark down there...and the highway...just blackness.  It took me a couple of minutes to slowly edge my way to the kitchen trying not to trip over any of the dog toys on the floor.  Once I got to the kitchen I continued my slow progress to the door...still just blackness...even the street light on the highway was out!  I managed to feel my way to the hall and got the small penlight we keep under the thermostat.  Once I turned that on I could walk at a normal speed back to the kitchen and look for the new flashlight Jeff's sister Sherry had given him for Christmas.  It's a small but powerful  tactical collapsible lantern (the commercial says you can see the beam for a mile!) and it does makes it seems as if the lights were on. The fire really needed more wood but since the fan wasn't working I didn't want to put any in.  I just put my book away and snuggled in my chair with an afghan. 
   I figured the power outage was caused by the ice jam under the Rte. 5 bridge over the West Canada Creek.  Telephone, cable and electrical lines all go thru conduits along the underside of that bridge and the ice jams probably had caused a problem.  The ice jam was also causing flooding along the creek.  You'd think someone would just break up the ice the way they do in other places (Ilion and Whitesboro come to mind). 
   After about half an hour the power came back on and I put more wood in the stove.  The furnace kicked on and Jeff got up and asked if I ever baked the frozen pizza I had bought.  Between the wood fire, the furnace and the oven the house warmed up quickly and I went back to reading my book.  I read for a couple of hours and ended up going to bed around midnight.  Around 1:30am the power cut out again...but this time for just 10-15 minutes...just enough time to make everything that blinks when the power is cut start blinking! 
   This was the 2nd time this month that we had a middle of the night power outage...both during a relative 'warm spell' so the ice jams had to have something to do with it.  And you just don't realize how dark it is at night until you have a power outage out here in the 'little woods'.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Let's Fill That Stock Bag!

    I finally got my first sweater of the season finished last night...all except the buttons and some ends worked in.  It's based on a design I found on called 'Frost Princess' but mine is a raglan cardigan worked from the neck down.  It's a size 4 done in Red Heart acrylic Minty and White on my new interchangeable rosewood circular needles from Knit Picks.  I complained most of the time I was working on it because it seemed to take so long to work around the sweater (what a change from a baby raglan!).  Anyway, it's done and now I can't wait to do another size 4...or maybe a size 6!