A good deal of today was spent outside, shoveling snow. We got a foot or more dumped on us yesterday, and at least part of the driveway needed to be cleared. Before lunch, Sam, Henry, and I shoveled the snow covering the asphalt in front of Bridget’s car. The toughest and most time-consuming part was getting through what got piled next to the road, courtesy of the plow. While I was up there, I also worked to uncover the mailbox, which had gotten knocked over and buried. Last year, instead of placing the new post in the ground, we planted it in a bucket filled with sand. When Dennis is around, he moves it away from the road at the start of a storm. I generally forget to plan ahead in such a way, but being able to right the bucket and move the whole shebang where it needs to be is much better than having to buy and bury a new post.
Once that area had been cleared, the three of us went down to the garage too see if we could start the snowblower. It took a little doing, but we got it going. There was a problem, though: after spitting out some snow, it stopped doing that, and I could not coax it into trying again. So, I called Jeff, our contractor, who also plows driveways, and asked if he could stop by and consider plowing ours, but I warned him that some seriously slippery ice lay beneath the snow, and if he didn’t think he could get back up the driveway, he shouldn’t try to go down it. I saw him when he showed up and watched as he cleared snow from the very next to the road. Then he got out and started shoveling. That’s when I put on my coat and boots and headed outside with Andi. I introduced the two of them after telling Jeff that I didn’t need him to shovel for me. He said he was looking for ice beneath the snow. I told him he wouldn’t find any where he was standing, but there was plenty the rest of the way down. He was relieved that I had set him straight, because he figured it was clear all the way down and was going to go for it. Not wanting to get stuck, he said he’d have to take his plow and be on his way. Before leaving, he asked me about the snowblower, and I told him how it had stopped blowing, presumably because there was too much heavy snow for it to handle. He said, “Nah. It’s light,” asked a few questions, and suggested that the cable on the snowblower had come loose. It just so happens that the last Dennis cleared the driveway, he had to tighten that cable because it had become loose. I think Jeff is on to something, but I did not go to the garage to investigate. I’ll leave that for Dennis tomorrow.
Earlier in the afternoon, Bridget and I shoveled behind her car and the area in front of the house where we often park the minivan in the winter. I moved the minivan to that spot. Later, Sam cleared more of the driveway in front of the house, so all in all, there is room for Dennis’s car when he gets home from New Jersey tonight, and room for Bridget’s when she gets in from work.
Soon enough, I’ll be taking Andi outside for her last go-round before bed, unless Sam wants to take her. He has fallen for that puppy, and I like watching the two of them interact.
I’m happy with the image I created for today’s 365 entry. Right around the time the sun in my studio started fading, I got out my camera and started shooting out the window, hoping for a decent multiple exposure/intentional camera movement shot of the trees and fading sun. I got a couple that looked promising, but then I turned my camera on some of the mixed media works in progress sitting on the counter in my studio. After about a dozen shots, I put my camera away, fairly confident that I had gotten something good. When I downloaded later, the ME/ICM images were all a bit washed out, but rather than giving up, as I have done in the past, I tweaked the exposure and turned contrast all the way up. Ah, that was better. From there, it was a matter of sliding the saturation, vibrance, clarity, and a few other sliders. The finished product can be seen here.
Tomorrow is rapidly approaching. I’d like to be in bed, preparing to meet the morning, but I have a few more words to add to my tally. My weather app tells me that tomorrow will be one degree warmer than today. That’s something to bear in mind when I’m out there shoveling and trying to make even a little progress in my battle with the ice. At 26 degrees Fahrenheit, I’ll likely be dealing with shice, or perhaps a subtle variation on it: brice, which is brittle ice: even more uncooperative than shice.
Want to know what’s playing on Youtube as I write? A Tanita Tikaram playlist. Ever heard of her? Dennis discovered her at some point in our early dating years. She has a fascinating voice, interesting lyrics, and an intriguing variety of sounds. I almost chose Shawn Colvin, or even Toni Childs, but a Tanita song came up on Dennis’s playlist the other night, making me want to hear more. I looked up her Wikipedia page and discovered that she’s only about a year younger than Dennis and I. Another interesting bit I found on her page is the word “ombudsman,” which immediately carries me back to Luke, Bridget, and Henry’s early years and 3-2-1 Penguins on VHS. From the second episode, “The Cheating Scales of Bullamanka,” the words “Toadroller,” “Squidhopper,” and “ombudsman” entered our vocabulary.
Well, would you look at that: here I am crossing that thousand-word threshold. To bed!