21 December 2008

Ice Storm- Our home

Scroll to next posts for slide shows! There are two of them!
On the Thursday before last I went to the town X-mas party and was having a great time, but knew that I had to get on the road to do a deposit (tax time, of course!) before it got any worse outside. The prediction was for an ice storm. It had been freezing rain all day. The road agents said I would be fine, but I stopped at home to see if Art could take me. He could. We headed back up and had a great turkey dinner (turkey was on sale after Thanksgiving). I had also gotten a lovely bottle of wine at the Yankee Swap that day. We had dinner at about 7:00 and settled in to tube. The brownouts started immediately, so we downshifted to reading and knitting after getting out flashlights- just in case... The first fire call for a branch on a wire came in a little after that. By 11:00 pm the power was out all over town. By three am Art could not get to the fire station because of downed trees. The next day I lit the wood (pellet) cook stove for coffee and breakfast then kept it going all day for heat. I am getting pretty good at cooking on it and regulating the temperature. I even baked in it for the first time! Delish!

It wasn't that terribly cold out- maybe 25 or thirty. Art was gone all day clearing trees with his Bobcat, and responding to calls. Later that day he headed down the hill in the 4x4 to get gas for our generator and extras for the FD. He had to go all the way to Nashua and waited in line about three hours. The next day Art's sis and her family showed up with their lizards as they had no power at home. We had fun playing risk, and drinking hot cocoa. My nephew S loved playing with Blizzie, Polar, and the chickens. He memorized all of the chicken's names, even! Very fun :-)We had our generator wired up so that we would have power in the basement for the pellet boiler and water pump, four outlets in the garage, the fridge, kitchen outlet, and kitchen lights (which we didn't remember until Sunday night!LOL!. That with the wood cook stove kept us in a simple but comfortable lifestyle. The next days were a blur of fire and rescue calls, volunteering at the warming shelter, keeping our house going...

Blizzie found a new comfy place! Under the cook stove. Must be toasty warm- and no one would reach under the hot stove to get her!Art got a line on some generators midweek and headed off to New York just as it began to snow. I did a double shift at the school the first night he was gone after having the midnight to four am shift the night before. Some friends stopped by at about midnight and because I was so excited about the MP hummers riding around town they asked if we could get inside to see it. They were great! Big kudos to the help the National Guard is giving our town first of all! Then to let us take pictures and poke our head through the roof to get the gunner's view :) Happy happy! Then after two hours of sleep had to hitch a ride with one of our guys to do end of the year inventory, as well as keep the generator going for our house. Luckily it was only about three or four inches so I didn't even bother shoveling. Thursday a second snow storm rolled in dropping about six inches overnight, then about eight more on Friday. This added Bobcat duties to Art's roster. Here we are on Sunday with another snowstorm, a Nor'Easter, that will drop another foot to foot and a half of snow. We got our power and internet back last night. We still have about 30% of our town without power.

We just keep plugging away! Our town budget is blown to you know where, and the fire department has been operating on fumes and donations! It has been a challenge for sure. I am impressed with how well people pulled together to help each other out, to clear the roads, and take care of those who needed it.

I do recall wishing for a white christmas!! LOL! Be careful what you wish for!

Ice Storm- On the roads...

Route 101 (our main East West road) in state was closed for a day and a half. Most other roads were closed including the state route through our town for many more days. Even when you could get out you had to skirt around fallen trees, down power lines, as well as fallen poles and transformers. The scariest things to drive under were the trees that had fallen on wires but were still suspended fifteen to thirty feet in the air. Our fd was working long days to help clear the roads, as well as help folks with generators, fallen trees on their homes, and we set up a 24 hour a day warming shelter at the local elementary. Somehow I always ended up with the overnight shifts :(> I can't even remember which day now, but we also had a house fire in there somewhere...

Ice Storm 2008- First days

Many had trees hit their house. This is a garage of a friend with a 15"+ diameter tree through it! They also had another through a kennel, another on a temporary garage, and two trees rip not only the wires but the boxes off of their home.
Forests look like a box of broken toothpicks, even though they are fifty foot tall trees snapped in half, or ripped right out of the ground roots and all.
This was the most impressive/devastating tree damage I witnessed. It looks like it had a stake driven down from the top center down to the ground. Shredding it and spreading it out 360... Trunk was probably three or four feet in diameter.

15 December 2008

Ice Storm 2008

Saturday am- Thanks everyone for your concern.
We are still plugging away up here in NH. No power yet. Lots of pics to share when we get back online. At a cafe with wifi to check mail for first time this week so I can't stay...
Three inches of snow fell on Wednesday, a foot or so last night and still snowing...
The fun never ends ;-)>

Here is a link to an interview with our Chief at the only ((cross fingers)) structure fire we have had as a result of the ice storm...

Power has been out since Thursday night. Hubby doing ot with fire department. It is a mess! Trees and ice everywhere...
We are fine. LOVE my wood cook stove, and generator!!
More when the power comes back on!

11 December 2008

Christmas Tag

I have been pseudo-tagged by Paula over at The Fraker Farm for this fun holiday tag.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I love them both! Maybe I should try hot chocolate eggnog??
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We must be on the naughty list becuz' Santa doesn't come to our house anymore ;-)
3. Colored light on house/tree or white? I like white lights, or the new blue led lights. I just like them to be the same or a simple combo- no potpourri!
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No. Just call me the grinch!
5. When do you put your decorations up? I used to do it about a week or two after Thanksgiving. This year I haven't done it yet, and not sure how much (if at all) I will do. At least my (hubby says 'tacky') fiber optic mini-tree will make an appearance!
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Green Bean Casserole.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? We did not live near our extended family growing up and did not see them often. We spent (I believe) only one X-mas visiting everyone. I went to church with my great grandma who just kept saying that none of her grandkids ever asked her that before (with a big smile on her face :) We did a secret Santa with my Mom's family. My Grandpa Jack and I went out for a late night snack and ended up thawing out cream puffs with his cars heater. I miss him terribly!!!
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was very young. Pretty sure my brother ruined that one for me. We did "pretend" for a few more years thinking that got us more presents! (yes, we were rotten kids!)
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? When we were young- no! Now, because my brother spends eve with my folks, and day with his inlaws we do all on x-mas eve (when we are together...)
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I am pretty matchy matchy. I have white lights, and blue and white ornaments. I am not big on tinsel so I have the little wiry strand with silver and blue snowflakes.
11. Snow. Love it or dread it? Love it!
12. Can you ice skate? Yes, and no. I love to, but I am not graceful- AT ALL! I love it when hubby skates with me and lets me hold hands with him ;-)
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My Mom spoiled me growing up. Most memorable would be a doll that was almost as tall as I was (when I was four or five??)- I named her Kethany. Then, when we first moved to Colorado I remember a white stuffed cat. My bro and I used to "pre-open" presents to peak inside (told you we were ROTTEN!) and the paper ripped on that gift. We hid it in the tree and it was forgotten until Mom was taking the tree down and found it! Oops :-)>

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family and catching up with friends. I love getting Christmas cards (or e-mails) with updates from folks I don't hear from every day updating me on what they are doing... My Aunt Lynn always sends the sweetest letter!
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? All of them!! Love the almond butter press cookies, kringle, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, candy-cane cookies...
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Don't really have one anymore.
17. What tops your Christmas tree? A star.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? "Oh, Holy Night" When I was younger I was able to sing the soprano in chorale, and choir... Mr. Stephens (my high school music teacher was right- cheerleading does ruin your voice! Rats!)
20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck? Yuck for hard candy. Love the cookies!!
21. What do you want for Christmas? We don't really do presents (except for kids) so my wish is always to be with family. Maybe to get Art to go to a Christmas Eve service (but that won't happen...)
22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party? Yes. FD had their's last Saturday, and I am going to the town party today. We will have a mini party with a few friends next week.
23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's? PJ's.
24. Do you own a Santa hat? No. One of our employees wears one every day at work, though. So cool!
25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with? We used to do Thanksgiving with hubbys, and X-mas with mine. My folks are boycotting Christmas this year and staying in Mexico (speaking of bah-humbug...). We hosted at our house the last two years and talked about going to NYC this year to see my neice, but looks like it might just be a quiet holiday at home this year...
Instead of tagging individuals, I just hope that you answer at least one question in the comments, or copy the whole tag on your blog :) Let me know if you do that so we can see!! Have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones!!

10 December 2008


L is for the long drawn out stretch I made this morning when rolling out of bed at the crack of nine.

A is the apathy I feel for accomplishing anything today

Z is for the many extra zzz's I got last night- except for hubby's fire pager going off at 3:30am because a tree had blown into road in the storm last night, and the cat barfing up something at 5:00am...

Y is for the many yawns I have had escape me today...

Didn't see that coming ;-)

07 December 2008


Yay hubby!

Today he passed his OEC course and is now certified for Outdoor Emergency Care.

This means he is ready to go with Ski Patrol!

Ski on!

Favorite Things- Online

This is a blog series that has been brewing in me for a while. I know, Oprah did it first but sometimes when you something good you just have to go with it! Hope you enjoy and maybe find something new :)
Miss your favorite show? Have a hankering for an old flick? Or just want to see that scene that everyone is talking about, but don't want to watch the whole show? Hulu. My new fix. It has taken me all day to catch up on the Sanctuary I missed, or see 24 because I forgot to set my tivo. Most things are free and you can pause for as long as you need which works out well for me since I have a short attention span, 11 animals, and a phone that never seems to stop ringing :)

My desire for fitness and eating well comes and goes but this web site helped me understand how much I was eating, what I was getting out of what I was eating, etc... I use the freebie online version.

This site is awesome! At a fire over the summer our Chief lost his new glasses at the scene. His wife was very casual about it. She said she got them for $15 so not a big deal. $15?!? I had just gone to the eye doctor and the glasses I really wanted were over $400 for the frames alone. I didn't order them, and had been looking around for an alternative since only finding lesser glasses for still over $200. I went on Zenni and found the glasses I wanted with the lightweight memory metal, size and shape of lenses I wanted for $49. I have since referred my folks, my SIL, and a friend. They deliver in about two weeks and all I know who have gotten glasses from them rave about them!

I find this to be a great cost saver. For $24.99 for line one with voicemail that I can get through my e-mail on the web site or from my phone, and $10 for a second fax line I get the same service that I used to pay over $80 a month for without long distance and without voicemail! You also get caller id, and 3 way calling.

I don't know how I did without this. GotomyPC gives you access to your home or work desktop from any high speed connected computer. I can log into the store to help with technical issues, do end of day reporting, transfer files, check the schedule, and chat with the user on that end. In my committees we use GoToMyMeeting which allows us all to log in to the same computer to view structure files, PowerPoint presentations, etc.

Of course, I will end off with my guilty pleasure/main source for clothing. The Sale section is where you will find me most of the time. Bean is simply the best. High quality, and great deals. They have a warranty and return policy that are unmatched!
LOVE them!

05 December 2008

28 egg day!

Here is a funny little story from a chicken newbie...
My girls and roo are pretty spoiled. They have a coop built for
fifty, and a greenhouse to run around in all day with lights on until
7 or 8pm. They usually give me four to six eggs a day.
Over Thanksgiving we were gone a lot so I left them in their coop. I
didn't put their light on since I didn't know when we would be home.
They still got oatmeal and apples, rice and beans, or pasta and corn
made for their breakfast.
Suddenly they stopped laying eggs. I
didn't get any for two days, one the third day, and two the fourth
but laid from their roost so they fell and cracked. This poor egg
laying behavior has persisted since that time. I really thought
they were mad because they were locked up in the dark coop for three days!
I also noticed some holes in the ground of the coop again.
I really didn't know what to do! We went to Tractor Supply and got
more rat traps, and two have a heart traps and set them all around
the coop thinking surely we have a predator in our midst still/again.
This morning I went out to spring them from their coop and I was two
beaks short. I am vigilant about counting beaks. I would hate for
someone to be left outside. But, I didn't put them to bed last night-
hubby did... I ran around looking in all of the obvious spots and
calling for them. Then outside doing the same. I didn't see any
blood or feathers indicating a scuffle, but they were gone!
I ran inside and asked hubby if he counted beaks. He said no, he was
too busy looking for broken eggs under the roost since there were
none (again) in the boxes. So we both headed out and repeated our
search. Two of my girls were gone!
Then hubby heard a sound and one of my girls ran into a side room of
the greenhouse. We both followed and lo and behold there was my
Araucana Dorey in the corner in a make-shift nest. I grabbed her to
hug the stuffing out of her when hubby exclaimed, "Whoa!!" I look
down and there are about six eggs under her. Five blue eggs, and a
brown one. Before we could blink Abbey-Buff hopped on the eggs!
LOL! So we shooed the girls out into the greenhouse and collected
the eggs.
We are still missing one chicken. So, we repeat the search coming up
empty handed.
Back to the predator. I get my gloves, staple gun, snips, and
chicken wire. I am going to sure up the coop more since we have
obviously still lost one girl...
Our coop is divided into two parts, with the back part separated by a
swing half-door. It is all meshed off except over the door. I go
through to mesh that up when I hear a scuffle behind me. I turn and
there is my little Australorp tucked up in the eve of the coop. I
pulled her out and hit the motherlode! 19 eggs under her broody
little hiney!
If you do the math that is where all of my eggs for the past week
have gone! I spent the rest of the morning sealing off the back part
of the coop, the rest of the eaves, and securing all the other side
rooms in the greenhouse! Add that to the three I got out of the boxes today and vwa-la- 28 eggs today!
I checked the eggs using the sink/float in water method. Any other
tips? I had two floaters, and two that stood up on end that I
They crack me up and surprise me daily!!!
Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I emptied my in boxes by the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and this is what my in boxes looked like on the Monday after! Not to mention it is tax time for the town again, end of year tax prep for the biz has begun... and this doesn't show the work that arrived via e-mail... I will get around to visit everyone as soon as I can!

29 November 2008


My turn to do a thankful post. I'll try to keep it fresh ;)
I am thankful for life. It is very short, and I hope I can make the best of every moment. Mine, my family and friends, and my fur and feather babies. I am grateful that we did not euthanize my cat when the vet suggested it two months ago. She is doing great! She has put weight back on, and is better than she has been for many many months.I am thankful for my home. Growing up I never imagined that I would have the wonderful home that I do. I am not just talking about the house although I enjoy that too. I have a wonderful husband who tolerates my love of feathered friends, as well as my two darling kittens. Hoping for three soon ((fingers crossed)). A friend in town has a preggers kitty and I am pretty sure one is looking for a bed...
I am thankful for my health. The ear ringy thing is annoying, but not debilitating. My MIL makes sure we all appreciate our health and seeing her struggles really drives home what health is worth.
I am thankful for the weather this fall. It was warm early alleviating fuel issues at the shop, Thanksgiving day was absolutely gorgeous for going to the beach, and with a storm rolling in we will likely have a white Christmas!

I am thankful for my family. I missed my parents and in-laws but know they are happy and warm down in sunny Mexico, and/or Arizona.
My sisters and brothers in law are a lot of fun, and my nieces and nephews are a joy! We had a great time seeing Art's extended family at the beach. What a wonderful tradition. For forty years his family has met on the same beach at Thanksgiving time. It is amazing to see how the kids change from year to year!
I am grateful that the eating is over, and that I have the exercise equipment to work off the SEVEN freakin' pounds I put on this week! Hubby is giving me credit because my Aunt Flo is visiting and I am a little stopped up... Such a wonderful hubby! (sorry if that was too much information, but he cracked me up!)
Lastly, I am glad that I have finished my first knitting project!!! My SIL was an incredible teacher, and so nice in undoing whatever booger mistake I made. She scared me a little (LOT) when she took the needles out of the yarn completely and unraveled five rows of work to go back and undo a big hole I inadvertently made... But, here it is! I am now working on a scarf to match, and with eight rows in I have not added or missed a stitch yet- YAY!

25 November 2008

Back to work

Things have been picking up with the fire department. A couple of weeks ago the guys had a professional come in to show them how to correctly use a chain saw. Unfortunately, he dropped a tree on a beautiful blueberry bush. The owner thought it needed pruning anyway, so no harm no foul. Not a week later they had a call for a chain saw accident. Rule of thumb: Chain saws and ladders do NOT mix! The guy didn't do the ultimate Darwin award manuevre of putting the ladder on the part of the tree he was cutting off, but close enough. When the tree branch freed it came around and swung at him like a baseball bat. He did an endo and fell about 20 feet to the ground.
Car accidents are the number one foul weather call the guys get. We live on T Mountain and the whole town is a series of hills. Most of our roads are unpaved which helps with maintenance and allows to flatten frost heaves, etc. The rest of it needs to be diligently salted, sanded, and plowed. I paid almost $7g to Morton Salt earlier this month for our first of many loads of road salt/sand.
Not sure what happened last night. The weather reports have been saying rain turning to snow turning to rain... for over a week. That is the worst of the worst because it usually means that we end up with no one's friend- ice. The temperature has slowly been rising from the teens and early twenties up to the thirties over the last couple of days. Later last night it started to snow. We got about two inches before it warmed to the upper thirties and turned to rain. Result? The inch to two of snow was now a block of ice. Even better the plow trucks don't come out for just a couple of inches so the roads were coated. Why they didn't salt or sand I am unsure. Budget concerns could be a possible reason there. So many of the town's budgets in NH were depleted last spring due to all the snowstorms last year, and just budget cuts in general. Add to that our town is getting less (as are most towns) money from the state and federal governments.
The guys were toned out at about 10:00pm for a motor vehicle accident on the North side of town. The car had bounced off a tree and was laying in the middle of the road. It was so icy they had a hard time getting the engine up our main road (state route). They determined that was in a different town, but before they could even ease their way back to the station there was another call so back out they went. Then a third. He got home after midnight. No major injuries, but it makes for a restless night wondering when the next call will come. Luckily it warmed to about 40 by the middle of the night and was raining hard enough that it must have washed the snow/ice mess away.

24 November 2008

Puzzler II

Here is a new puzzler for you. No fair googling- I did try it on a few and it is not an easy route to the answer(s) anyway ;)
Thought it might be fun for the holiday week!

Instructions: Each question below contains the initials of words that will make it correct. Find the missing words.

Example: 16 O in a P
answer- 16 ounces in a pound

Good Luck!

26 L of the A
7 W of the W
1001 A N
12 S of the Z
54 C in a D (with the J)
9 P in the S S
88 P K
13 S on the A F
32 D F at which W F
18 H on a G C
90 D in a R A
200 D for P G in M
8 S on a S S
3 B M (S H T R)
4 Q in a G
24 H in a D
1 W on a U
5 D in a Z C
57= H V
11 P on a F T
1000= W that a P is W
29 D in F in a L Y
64 S on a C
40 D and N of the G F

26 Letters of the Alphabet
7 Wonders of the World
1001 Arabian Nights
12 Signs of the Zodiac
54 Cards in a Deck (with the Jokers)
9 Planets in the Solar System
88 Piano Keys
13 Stripes on the American Flag
32 Degrees Fahrenheit at which Water Freezes
18 Holes on a Golf Course
90 Degrees in a Right Angle
200 Dollars for Passing Go in Monopoly
8 Sides on a Stop Sign
3 Blind Mice (See How They Run!)
4 Quarts in a Gallon
24 Hours in a Day
1 Wheel on a Unicycle
5 Digits in a Zip Code
57= Heinz Varities
11 Players on a Football Team
1000= Words that a Picture is Worth
29 Days in February in a Leap Year
64 S on a C
40 Days and Nights of the Great Flood

22 November 2008


No matter how old I get in life there are still many, MANY, things I have yet to learn. Unlike the smart aleck high school kid that I was, I like to think that I now appreciate being able to learn and try new things. When I was young school was very easy for me. I didn't have to study, and it was probably a good thing because my parents didn't really have any expectations when it came to homework, reading, etc... When I got to college it opened my eyes fast! Too quickly, I didn't know what they were talking about and I couldn't make my stop light turn from green to yellow in my first engineering class. I pulled the plug and switched schools. I floundered through the next three plus years with poor study skills and not much appreciation for what my parents were giving me (free education). This week I have been taking opportunities to learn again. One self-taught, one submitting to a higher power (not that one- but close ;), and one I hope I am getting better at.
I have always wanted to know how to knit. My Mother never knit, and I could just never seem to find the time to sit down with Art's sister (who is an amazing knitter btw). So I got a pair of needles, and an inexpensive roll of yarn and the first time I tried to knit this is what I came up with-
Yeah, didn't mean to make a triangle. I was shooting for a square. I got frustrated and put it away for about a year or two. I pulled it out again a couple of weeks ago because I had found a how to video online. Knitting Help Online
This was the best tool I had found so far. Check her out! The problem is turning corners. Other than dropping a stitch here and there I think I have the general stitch in a row process down. Somehow when I turn corners I am prone to skip a stitch (or three), or my old nemesis- adding a stitch. This new project has been doubly frustrating because on one side I seem to be doing o.k., but the other looks like a triangle! How on earth can I do it right only half the time when I am doing the same thing!! I brought it over to my friend's house last night to see if she could figure out what on earth I was doing wrong, but she doesn't stitch the same way so she couldn't help much. I tried the way she was stitching but I kept dropping the needle and therefore a stitch or three... Renna might have some thoughts on this too :)?? I will try again on Monday at the auxiliary meeting. One of the ladies is a knitting guru, and my friend said she holds her yarn the same moves her needles the same way so she may be able to tell me what's up! My backup plan is to bring it over on Thanksgiving to have my sil help. I will get there!
The second is school. I have put it off for a long time, just learning what I needed to know to do my job for the biz. I went to school for Physics, and Electronics. You don't learn very much about accounting in either of those departments. I could always squeak by, but that darn balance sheet keeps tripping me up. I need to learn from someone else. So, I investigated the different schools around me and settled on a tech college in Nashua. The question is whether I should just take what I need or should I go for the piece of paper? Of course, the class I need is buried under a pile of prerequisite classes, so it may be irrelevant. So, my plan is to start taking classes this spring. I just couldn't let Art have more jobs than I do! LOL! So now, I have the biz books and payroll, job as treasurer, auxiliary, chickens (gotta love those beaks!), the new biz, three sub-committees for the industry, and school. They always say if you want something done ask a busy person! I am a little scared about school. I was never good at the show up in class three times a week, and if they start with too much that I already know I may doze off and miss it when they come to something new! But, I am up for the challenge and I think it will be a good exercise in discipline. Lord help me!
Lastly a seemingly complex task made simple. How do you get eight grown men to not only smile but dress up in the same outfit at the same time for a photo-op? Set up a fun evening going to the Garden to see the Bruins! Last year we were in the top ten dealers in teh nation for our main stove manufacturer. This year since we were all on allocation they glossed over the awards. But, since we all had the same increase, our standing stayed the same. So we wanted to give them a reward for all their hard work this last year. Of course, we will take some of our Canadian friends, too. The game with be the Montreal Canadiens vs. the Boston Bruins. The details of how we get there and where we eat are up for grabs.
Should be a great time for all!