Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger"

We had a very strengthening holiday weekend.

Wednesday morning we were up early in anticipation of needing to clear the driveway of accumulating snow due to the storm moving in. There was about 3 or 4 inches at this point. It was wet snow, so I needed to stop the snowblower to clear the clogged discharge chute. Restarting the blower, the pull cord snapped. The snow was still wet snow, so I still had to clear the discharge, but now I had to keep the blower running while I did so. Not as dangerous as it sounds as I could disengage the blades while keeping the motor running. However I had to keep a grip on the safety lever on the handle. You let go of the snowblower and it automatically shuts off. But the lever was diagonally opposite where the chute was, so a bit of a stretch and I was doing it one handed. A longer than anticipated time to do the driveway. Snow was still coming down, so by the time I was done there was another inch already on the part I first cleared.

In case you're wondering what Carrie was doing, she had a shovel and was doing touchup and clearing spots I couldn't use the blower on.

I had to work that day, so while I drove the hour and a half crawl in to work, Carrie first tried finding somebody to repair the snowblower. The machine is too big to fit in either of our vehicles, so we needed a housecall. The earliest anybody would get to us was Friday.

Carrie got to work to find somebody to plow the driveway. We expected about 12 inches on top of which the street plowing was sure to pile it in front of the driveway and I would need to get my car off the street. She did get someone who agreed to come out in a couple of hours. That was around 10:00 in the morning. A couple of couple of hours went by and she tried getting a hold of them again. Eventually they called her and Carrie now expected them at 5:30. Still plenty of leeway as I normally get out of work at 5:00 and was going to be driving slowly home afterwards.

As I pulled up to our driveway in the dark, I saw Carrie shoveling snow. I put on my hazard lights and got out to help. We cleared enough to get my car off the road.

The plower called later on saying they would be here in 15 minutes. They finally showed up around 7:30. And did a lousy job.

During the day, between calls, Carrie noticed her truck had a flat. She got out the jack and spare tire and started to change it. But for some reason, her jack would not lift the truck high enough for the spare tire to have room to be put on. I asked if it could wait until morning for me to tackle it.

Thanksgiving morning I got out my car's jack and used it on a piece of wood to raise the truck off Carrie's jack. I intended to put hers up on some bricks to get enough height to put the spare on. But the truck decided to shift forward, bending my jack and falling off it. Adrenaline rush as it topples in front of my eyes and I know I cannot catch it in my bare hands as much as my impulse tells me to. Argh! Guilt because it's Carrie's truck!

Carrie's jack caught the truck frame in a different spot before the wheel hit the cement floor. Whew! So I had to use the 2 jacks in a series of careful lifts to get the truck high enough and another series to lower the truck back down. My jack still works, but it's a lot more difficult to raise and lower it along the new bend. I went back inside and changed out of my now filthy clothes.

Every Thanksgiving since we moved to Maine, Kemmer has come up to visit and this year was no exception. The drive up from Massachusetts was pretty easy until she got off the highway and noted how the roads could use another plowing. As she signaled her turn into our driveway she hit an especially slick spot and spun, almost into a tree. The poor plowing job left enough snow in the way to stop her car before reaching the tree. With the help of a neighbor we dug and pushed the car out of the snow bank and she got safely into our drive.

We didn't wait too long to head out for our dinner. Carrie had won a free Thanksgiving Dinner for two at the Hilton Garden Inn in Auburn. We figured to get a plush meal for three at the price of one. The main course of turkey was actually turkey loaf! Other parts of the meal seemed equally fabricated. They actually had some fresh vegetables and fruit for salad makings that was almost the only thing that wasn't extremely disappointing. It was buffet style and my first round I loaded up on meat and starch. My second round had fruit and veggies.

They had live music there. After my stint working in a mall I can usually tune background music out, but the faces Kemmer kept making about it made me alert to it as well. And it was pretty bad.

Kemmer and Carrie had a girls day out to go to a couple of farm stands' last sales and a visit to the Cora Shriner Temple's special christmas tree show. A very loud, crowded, and uninteresting bunch of trees it was.

Back at home, Carrie started a fire in our wood burning stove with a chimney we'd just recently gotten cleaned, only to have all the smoke pour into the house.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Guess Who's Coming to (Avoid Ending Up as) Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 20th wedding anniversary. People who have seen us together can attest that we are very happily married. Some people marvel at how happily in love we have stayed. One of the reasons is that there so many things we both like. Following is a list, in no particular order, of a small number of them. In honor of the anniversary, that number is 20.

  1. Sedona
  2. Japan
  3. Hellboy
  4. Usagi Yojimbo
  5. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
  6. Monty Python
  7. Seasons
  8. Dia de los Muertos
  9. Cats
  10. Gerbils
  11. Tonari no Totoro
  12. Casa Blanca
  13. Books
  14. Ethnic Music
  15. Road Trips
  16. Big Yards
  17. Trees
  18. Gargoyles
  19. Indian Cuisine
  20. Artisan Bread