Cider Press Hill

Either way....

Friday, 8:07 pm

By Kate

Jan

30

2009

partly cloudy

Looks as if we’re getting weather again on Monday and Tuesday. Being a coastal storm, it’s hard to predict what will happen here. If the storm tracks to the east, we’ll get buried in snow. If it tracks a little bit inland, we’ll get torrential rain. Either way, the end result is lousy. Rain and massive snow melt mean floods. Most likely in my basement. Heavy snow and I’m packing my bags and running away.

Today was stage three of getting rid of ice from the last storm. I’ve been whittling away at the ice pile at the end of my driveway with a pitchfork and salt. I thought I’d gotten it down to a manageable size, but when I got in the car to run errands, I discovered pretty quickly that the ice pile was not whittled away quite enough. And I was out of salt. I got good and stuck. One of my neighbors came out to help. We chipped away at more ice and dumped an entire bag of kitty litter on the ice to see if I could get some traction. It helped enough for me to get out of the driveway. But there was no way I was getting back in without getting rid of the rest of the ice pile.

Soooo...I looked in the local stores for some salt. None to be found. I had to visit Wally World where I stocked up. I came home, parked on the street, and opened the trunk to haul out the bags of salt. The trunk lid and my head met soundly and suddenly there was a rush of blood pouring down my face. I slipped and slid into the house to see what damage I’d done to myself. Turned out to be a rather small cut on my head just a couple of inches above my hairline. But the path I left behind me looked as if I’d butchered a small animal. Good grief. What a mess.

Patched up and feeling fine, I resumed the de-icing routine. It took a while, but the ice loosened up enough to break up with the pitchfork and, finally, I was able to shovel away the crumbly bits. Enough to get back into the driveway.

At this point, I’ve had enough of winter. Really. And we’re only half way to spring. I’m not sure I’m going to survive it this year. I have so had it. Right up to my wounded noggin.



 

We're getting something today

Wednesday, 5:17 am

By Kate

Jan

28

2009

light snow

Good morning. It’s snowing outside. Depending on which forecast I listen to or read, we could face 12” to 20” of snow today or 6” of snow and a lot of ice or some snow, some ice, and a lot of rain. I love the certainty of it. The only thing I can say for sure...we are getting something. The schools are all closed, though. Just in case.

I am prepared for anything. All my batteries are recharged. I have plenty of oil for my oil lamps. My solar powered LED lamp is fully charged and ready to go (I used it every night to read in bed, anyway. Love that thing.). I have wind-up flashlights, a wind-up radio with a weatherband, and also a wind-up gizmo to charge my cell phone and my Kindle. I have enough candles to light a cathedral. There is enough wood in the house to keep me going for days. I have a ton of staples to cook on the wood stove. And I have a French Press coffee maker with plenty of coffee.

That should cover the necessities in case the power goes out. Then again, it might turn out to be a rain storm and I’ll get a flood in the basement. One way or the other, something’s gonna happen today. I’ll let you know. Or if I don’t turn up for days, guess you’ll know the power went out.



 

Longer days, projects, and procurement specialist

Monday, 6:12 pm

By Kate

Jan

26

2009

partly cloudy

I realized today that it was still daylight at 5:10 PM. The days are growing noticeably longer. Since the winter solstice on December 21, we have gained 42 minutes of daylight. Today our sunrise occurred at 7:03 AM and sunset at 4:49 PM. Twilight was at 6:33 AM and again at 5:20 PM. I’m loving this extra daylight! I’ve also noticed that the sun is growing stronger and warmer (colorwise, too). The anemic (lack of) color of deep winter seems to be waning. Not a moment too soon. I can’t wait until Daylight Saving time on March 8.
_______________

I have quite a list of projects for the rest of the winter. Some are definitely carry overs from autumn. I need to get busy. One such project is a carpet ripping project. I have lived with carpeting on my stairs for the last 15 years. And I don’t know why. Cleaning stairs with carpeting on them is a time consuming and lousy job. There is no vacuum cleaner on the market that makes the job any easier, I swear. And whoever built my house evidently never gave that job any consideration because there isn’t an electrical outlet anywhere in the stairwell.

For the first 18 years of my life, there was no carpeting on my stairs. And it was my job to clean them every weekend. It was pretty easy, too. A little dust mopping and, twice a month, a swipe with a damp rag. They always looked shiny and clean.

I don’t know why I didn’t dispense with the stair carpeting the day after I moved into this house or why I had them recovered when I had new carpeting put down. What was I thinking?

So...I’m now thinking loving thoughts about ripping out the carpeting on the stairs. That means I’ll have to refinish them, but that’s not a big deal. It’s tacking down the carpeting at the top of the stairs neatly (and professionally) that presents the challenge. If I screw that up, then I’ve just grown my project by magnitudes.

J...help?
_______________

In the last two days, I’ve received two emails asking me for products that I’d never heard of before. One was for a book published by Cider Mill Press. The fellow wondered if I had any spares in my office. Well, no, not even one. But I can understand the error, and, in fact, I helped the fellow find the book he wanted. I located a good price for him, too. But the other email asks if I carry Toter Half Round Lockable Security Containers. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would think I might. I mean, they both used the mail form on my blog...does this look like a commercial operation to anyone else? Still kind of scratching my head over that. Perhaps people got new computers this Christmas and haven’t learned the finer points of Google yet?



 

Ups and downs

Thursday, 6:32 pm

By Kate

Jan

22

2009

partly cloudy

Today was trash and recycling day and I was prepared. As you may recall, my preparations can be rather hit or miss, quite often miss. I was looking forward to it, though, because the bird cage boxes were stacked in my kitchen taking up a lot of space.

Last night I noticed that not one of the neighbors had taken their trash or recycling out yet. That’s very unusual. It made me think maybe I had the wrong day. But no, the calendar clearly said Wednesday PM and trash collection is early Thursday AM.

I pulled the new trash collection rules and regulations out of the desk to check. Indeed, they said that the only holidays affecting trash collection are New Years, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Christmas. All other holidays are not affected. According to the old rules, just about every holiday pushed our trash collection back a day to Friday, Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday included. I think perhaps none of my neighbors read the inserts in our tax bills last month.

Being the lone exception on the street, though, it still made me wonder if I’d missed something along the way. This morning, I was so gratified to see the trash truck pull up. And equally amused to see a few people making the mad dash to the curb in slippers and bathrobes. For once that wasn’t me. For once I was ahead of the curve and I quite enjoyed it. Sometimes the littlest things really make my day.

_________________

Then again, little things can kind of take the blush off the rose, too. This afternoon I learned that the lad will be departing tomorrow instead of Saturday. It’s only one day’s difference, but it was unexpected. A class mate of his called to offer him a ride back and he’s leaving very early on Saturday morning. Jeff lives in the same town as the lad’s Dad, so I’m taking him down tomorrow evening and dropping him off. Vacation is over and it hit me rather hard.

I told the lad that I was sorry to be such a Soggy Sally, but he just hugged me and said it was extremely flattering. Maybe so, but it’s still feels ridiculous to get so emotional about it. I expect I’ll still be this way when he’s 30. I suppose it’s a parent thing, but, then again, my friend with a college age son called this afternoon celebrating the fact that her son is leaving this weekend. She’s excited to have her house and an orderly lifestyle back. She wondered if I wanted to go out and celebrate with her. Well, I think I’ll go, though celebrating isn’t quite the word for it.

It’s the preparing and packing that get to me. I’ll be fine by Sunday, but the next 24 hours are going to be tough. Wish it wasn’t that way. I know he’s ready and looking forward to getting back, and that is as it should be. I should be glad of that. Which I am...but I’m still a bit of a mess tonight. Guess there’s nothing to do but accept that this is just the way I am and get on with it. 



 

President Obama's Inauguration and Address

Tuesday, 6:31 pm

By Kate

Jan

20

2009

overcast

Text of his address here. Quite a bare bones speech. Not flowery or fancy. I heard about rolling up our sleeves, hard work, responsibility, and service. That’s quite a change.



 

One of those changes

Tuesday, 4:34 pm

By Kate

Jan

20

2009

overcast

The White House website has a new look. And I surely do like it. Very, very nice.



 

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