Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Bring on the Rotaries!

We got about 2 cm accumulated snow last night, which I know is nothing compared to what gerisullivan is dealing with. But the walk still needs to be cleared. After a cup of tea to fortify myself this morning, I got the small broom and began sweeping the sidewalk between the trailer and the house. After I was about one-third of the way there, Lisa came out with travelswithkuma to encourage me.

I came up with an analogy based on snow clearance on the Donner Pass Route: "This little broom is like a flanger. The push broom is more like a spreader. But when things get really tough, they call out the rotaries. Not that we get enough snowfall here to need a snow blower."

Lisa got a glint in her eye, much like that before she built Snow Kuma (who is still guarding the front gate, by the way, for it has not been much above freezing for most of the past week). "I'll be right back," she said, and took Kuma Bear back inside.

A few minutes later, she came out of the garage trailing the leaf blower we bought from Big R last year to help clear away the stuff that blows into our property from all around. (We don't have many trees, but lots of other junk.) I retreated, she donned ear protection, and turned on the power. Whoosh! She proceeded to clear the rest of the sidewalk and the front porch in jig time, then went back and re-did where I'd swept and re-cleared it.

She said, "Aren't you happy we're getting extra use out of the equipment we bought?" I allowed as she'd done a good job, although now where was I going to get the exercise I was getting from sweeping snow? After a big breakfast, she answered that as we walked down to the Fernley Nugget, where unfortunately the law of averages finally caught up with us, as I burned off all of my pocket cash playing blackjack and Lisa finally had bad luck with the slot machines. But we did log 4-5 km of walking in the snow, which is good exercise. Also, late this afternoon, as the weak winter sunshine began to fade, we moved three armloads of the juniper we bought yesterday from the trailer to the wood box. It does indeed burn with a nice aroma.

More winter tasks: When I had my oil changed at Jiffy Lube in Newark a few weeks ago, they refilled my windshield washer — with plain water. Well, I didn't specify otherwise, and yesterday, when we went out in my van for a short errand to Walgreen's, I discovered that the windshield washer was frozen up and wouldn't pump anything. So this afternoon, Lisa siphoned out the water, then had me bring several cups of hot water to pour into the reservoir to melt the slush, then siphoned that out, and finally refilled it with de-icing washer fluid that we bought from Big R yesterday. She'd left the jug in the Big Orange Van overnight and it hadn't as much as slushed, so she figured it would work here. I started up my van and sure enough, I got proper fluid to clear the windows.

Finally in the chores department, I got out the flat-blade shovel and chipped away as the accumulated icy spots and dug up the small snowbank that was forming under the travel trailer, swept away the water that was accumulating in the walkway (it won't drain properly in one spot), then spread more de-icing salt there so that it won't freeze back up again tonight. The weather forecast is for overnight lows of -14° C with a high of 0 or +1, so we need to watch out for ice. Living in a place that gets an actual winter is something I haven't done for some years (aside from some time in Mehama), and I'm being extra careful, as wiping out on an icy sidewalk and breaking something is not in my plans.
Tags: casino, fernley, kuma bear, lisa, snow, weather

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