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Winter Wonderland


More snow pics

The entire gallery can be found here.

Winter thought she wanted out…

…but changed her mind.

The snowcat was joined by a snowowl

if you look real close you can see our power lines – under the weighted hemlock branches.

neighbor’s house through the snowy fence

Even the abandoned rundown house next to us looks pretty in the snow

My favorite pic – one of our dogwood trees, as seen from below.

We ended up with eight inches and the snow was tapering off when it got dark. The roads are now clear. I am assuming at this point that I’ll be able to get out of here and get to Tennessee tomorrow but it should make for an, uh, interesting journey through Sam’s Gap.

In like a lion… or maybe just a snow cat?

March is starting off with a bang…as of right now (3:36 PM) we have about six inches of the “two to four inches” of snow we were supposed to get, and it’s still pouring down. This picture was from around noon:


I was originally scheduled to go to Oak Ridge, Tennessee today but had to reschedule for tomorrow. This morning the snow wasn’t sticking and the roads were OK, but I was worried about getting stuck on my way back. That turned out to be a good call on my part, it would be an hour from now before I came back through the mountains and I don’t think I would have made it. Instead, I caught up on some training and inventory work, clocked out early, and built a snowman!


Or rather, an snow cat.


Joy supervised from the porch, and took a few pictures:

snow covered bush

driveway with the Jeep in position in case we get snowed in

abominable snowcanuck


the snowcat surveys his domain (note ears at lower right)

The flakes are getting bigger and falling harder. Maybe time for some hot chocolate and popcorn. 🙂

We got off fairly easy, this time

Ice encrusted fence

We awoke yesterday morning to a sea of snow, slush, ice, and freezing rain. It was also pretty chilly because we’d turned off the heat the night before so we wouldn’t have to worry about the heat pump seizing with ice.  I’d already rescheduled my service calls for the day, which were way up near the NC/Virginia state line, and planned to work from home, but at 7:00 AM the power went off so I ended up having to call in and take a vacation day. At least we’d been able to heat the house back up and make coffee before we lost power.

Ever wonder what it would be like to be inside the Slurpee machine at a 7-11?

The shelter was closed due to the bad weather but Joy and I went in for a few hours and helped clean and feed. Afterwards, since downtown still had power, we went out for lunch and picked up a few things from Ingles, and this proved to be a great day to go to the DMV to renew the Jeep’s registration – no lines!

Ice-encrusted trees

By the time we were home for the day the power had come back on. We were really lucky – as of today there are still over 15,000 people in Henderson County without power. We did have some problems with our heat; I knew I was going to have to keep an eye on the heat pump icing up and even bought a heat gun to be prepared for this, but besides having to de-ice it ever few hours we also had an issue where the furnace would not shut off. We ran the heat pretty much full out for most of the day, in case we lost power again, and when we did finally cut it back the motor just kept running. I went up in the attic and there wasn’t any obvious switch or cutoff, so I finally flip the switch on the circuit breaker panel. This morning when I turned it back on it seemed to be working normally, maybe we had tripped some sort of relay or something?

Icy power lines. That green blur, I think, is some effect of water pouring down, the edge of a Tibetan prayer flag, and the camera flash. Or ectoplasm. 😉

All in all, the storm wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and for us, impacted life pretty minimally. The gas logs kept the living room nice and warm while the power was out (we shut them off while we were at the shelter, of course) and we didn’t have any big downed limbs or anything like that. We hope those without power have it restored soon. I suppose we do need to figure out a better long term solution for the heat pump icing issue – maybe build the roof overhang out a bit? Spending the evening babysitting it, running out with the heat gun every couple of hours, was a bit nervewracking. But then again, this has been a really unusual run of weather, not typical at all, hopefully next winter the El Nino will have passed.

Cripes, enough already!

Here we are battening down for more bad weather, not even a week after the last stuff hit. This time it’s worse, Henderson County is supposedly ‘ground zero‘ for some serious ice accumulation, and with the ground already saturated and the trees getting pre-coated with wet heavy snow right now, there will probably be a lot of trees coming down.

We’ve got fresh batteries in the flashlight, lots of candles, and have the thermostat set higher than usual to get the house good and warm because we’re going to have to turn off the heat pump overnight due to the risk of it freezing and seizing up. There’s a really good chance we are going to lose power, so if the blog goes silent for a few days, that’s what happened. If the blog goes silent permanently, then it means we lost power for several days and Joy is in jail for murdering me; I don’t tend to cope real well with long term cold and darkness, and she can only be expected to take the whining for so long.