Here’s the bottom line up front:
On Friday we received 15” of snow. Yes, in Georgia on December 8th, we were ground zero for an historic weather event that dropped snow over a large swath of northwest Georgia. More on that a bit later.
The Days Leading to Snowmageddon II:
The early part of the workweek was pretty normal other than having my first two physical therapy sessions at Pinnacle Orthopedic on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
As for all that stuff that I ordered last week, the replacement glass, LCD display and frame for Debbie’s broken cell phone arrived on Monday. It took me about 30 minutes to get it installed, but the phone sprang back to life as good as new and I was then able to recover some 300+ photos that were on the phone and moved them to Debbie’s new phone. So, for that alone it was worth it. Now I just need to decided if I want to transfer my service over to Debbie’s old phone since it’s actually a newer and better model than the one I’ve been using for several years now.
I think it was Wednesday when the new DirecTV receiver I ordered through Walmart arrived, only to discover that it was of no use to us given “new information” on the packaging that was not provided on Walmart’s website; boo hiss. So, that will be going back for a refund and we’ll continue to search for a way to update our Satellite receivers that won’t cost a fortune.
The new entertainment system receiver arrived on Thursday along with the new Canon Elph 190 digital camera. The camera is perfect! Call us old farts, but there are just times when it’s a lot easier to have a real, compact camera at your disposal to snap off photos vs. using the larger and more awkward to hold and shoot smart phones. Best of all, this camera allows us to transfer photos to our cell phones and laptop computers via a WiFi connection. As for the receiver, I discovered that I had a bad HDMI cable running between the receiver and wall-mounted TV through the wall. It was Sunday before I was able to get out of the house to get a new HDMI cable which has now unleashed all of the new receiver’s capabilities… so worth it.
Thursday night we headed over to Henry’s Louisiana Grill for dinner, something we’ll do about once a month when the mood strikes on a weeknight since we can usually find several empty seats at the bar. Such was the case on Thursday and we had an amazing meal; just what the doctor ordered! The appetizer included four locally produced smoked pork ribs and home-made cole slaw and our entrée was blackened Mahi Mahi over linguine and veggies. As always, we shared our plates as neither one of us can eat an entire appetizer or entrée anymore.
And now, Friday’s weather….
On Thursday the weather guessers began to post winter weather warnings that called for up to 1” or 2” of snow that might collect on lawns but was not expected to have any street accumulation given the above freezing temperatures we were experiencing. By Friday morning’s 5:45am drive into work there was some freezing rain falling but it was indeed melting on impact with anything that it touched. As the morning went on the folks who arrived at work a bit later were reporting that snow was falling and by noon a check of the traffic cameras on-line showed a growing amount of snow accumulating, especially out in West Cobb County where we lived. The local schools and government offices all put out notices that they’d be closing down at noon and that’s never good.
Given a variety of factors, rather than hanging in at the office and “hoping” the afternoon driving conditions wouldn’t be an issue, I opted to jump out into the self-created traffic mess at noon and headed home where I’d finish out the work day by telecommuting. Traffic was, indeed, a mess and I was having all kinds of traction issues with the tires on my truck, more so than the motorists around me. There were several times where I was certain I was going to slide into other cars, noting that after coming to a stop my truck would just start sliding on any kind of incline. This was close-in to Marietta where the snow fall was not as heavy as it was out in our neck of the woods so my thinking was traction would improve the closer to home I got. Such was the case, but it still took 1.5 hours to make the 30 minute drive. That 1” to 2” snowfall on lawns was now 3” of snowfall on the roads around our house and our driveway when I finally made it home and I was never so glad to be at home and with Debbie as the snow continued to fall with no end in sight. Photo at left below was taken around 2:00pm; the one on the right at 4:00pm.
I was able to get on-line and finish out my work and, to be honest, it may have been an easier drive home had I stayed at the office until 4:00pm… but too had to know and I had no regrets for leaving when I did. My truck may look like a 4WD vehicle but it’s not and I’m now wondering how good the tires I have are on snow: a change may be needed. Nevertheless, it was pretty clear we’d be staying in Friday night… and most likely on Saturday as well. Thankfully, we always have more than enough food on hand to cover us for several days so there really wasn’t any reason to even consider heading out as we watched the snow continue to pile up on everything to an eventual packed height of about 12”. I say 12” but I’m fairly sure over 15” of snow fell, much of the early snow melting and while the rest of the falling heavy wet snow simply became packed down and compressed by its own weight. It took a heavy toll on a lot of our trees and shrubs, some of which will bounce back others… probably not.
Throughout the evening we lost power several times for a few minutes but only once was it long enough for us to break out the candles. However, after going to bed we must have lost power for 5 hours based on the clocks, where the only indication to us was a very cold feeling house when we woke up around 6:00am and realized the power had gone out. The power thankfully came back on around 6:30am and once the furnace fired back up we were good-to-go for the day. Sadly, late on Friday our Comcast / Xfinity internet service went off-line and remained off-line as of Saturday morning. Thankfully, we still had cell service and our TV’s run off satellite receivers and were not acting up. Amazingly, it was still snowing when we got up.
I had to spend some time outside knocking snow off some evergreens at the road’s edge that had been weighed down so much that they were blocking 2/3d’s of the road. There was no point in shoveling the driveway since (a) my left hand didn’t need that kind of aggravation, (b) we weren’t going anywhere, and (c) the sun and daytime high temperatures would make short work of it by Sunday when we “might” want to venture out. So, having done what I could short of cutting down the bent over evergreens – something that is likely in the near future – I went back in the house where we both remained for the rest of the day.
We busied ourselves with finishing up holiday decorations by putting the electric candles in 14 of the 15 front windows, hanging the wreath on the front door and putting up the associated spotlight, and attaching the pulls on the garage door light fixtures. I worked on my Christmas letter, but couldn’t finish it since the internet was still down and just about all of my photos are now stored on-line not on my computer’s hard drive: I may have to rethink that. I also moved about 200 additional photos off of Debbie’s old cell phone to her new one that were “trapped” as attachments to text messages.
Toward evening I improvised and made chicken strips from a fillet as we were out of chicken wings. Sadly, I discovered that while bone-in chicken wings take 10 minutes to cook in the deep fryer, chicken strips only need about 5: so yes, we had chicken jerky. It was tasty, but I was reminded of the family eating the grossly over-cooked turkey in the movie Animal House’s Christmas Vacation. But, the fries were really good! And so were the margaritas. And, if that weren’t bad enough, when talking with my mother earlier in the day she jokingly suggested that I make a batch of shortbread and son of a gun, that’s what I ended up doing. Again, I didn’t quite nail it as I used a baking dish sized for a double batch, not a single and the very thin shortbread got a little toasty around the edges. As the day came to and end we still didn’t have internet access and so we couldn’t watch the last college football game of the day, as it had to be streamed from ESPN3. I could have probably done that via my cell phone to our Smart TV but we opted to watch some Christmas movies and Thor, instead.
I was up with no hope of returning to sleep at 5:30am and headed downstairs so as not to disturb Debbie who as of 8:30am is still sleeping soundly. Still no internet access from Comcast / Xfinity and word is we won’t have it back until this afternoon. It was a brisk 23°F in the morning but clear and sunny with a high of 41°F predicted. So, as expected, a lot of the remaining snow that the sun could get to began to melt away. The snow that’s in the shadows, no telling how long that might remain short of getting several days with highs in the upper 40’s or 50’s, which actually is in the forecast.
As far as what we did to stay busy while fighting off cabin fever, I made a second batch of Scottish shortbread: it may have been my best batch yet! I made a point of doing a really good job of creaming the butter and then adding in the powdered sugar in the Kitchen Aid. Once that was about as well-combined as was possible I switched over to the dough hook and used the Kitchen Aid to fold in the flour, even though the recipe says to do it by hand. The Kitchen Aid did a great job of folding in the flower, perhaps too good! But, I was able to get all nicely distributed in the smaller baking pan and, no kidding, it was easily the best-tasting batch of shortbread I’ve made in my 30 years of making it.
Knowing that I’d have to get out and drive to work on Monday morning, after lunch I ventured out in the truck to see how the local roads were and to pick up a few things I needed back at the house. At the top of the list were some HDMI cables for the wall-mounted TV, as I was pretty sure the one I originally installed was somehow damaged. I also needed to pick up a new BluRay / DVD player as the disc carrier on the very nice one I bought a few years back no longer wanted to open. I suspect that having it sitting under a video player may have collapsed the case just a millimeter or so, but enough to put it out of commission. This ended up being a successful project as the new HDMI cable solved the connectivity issues and since I’d put a pair of conduits in the wall, I was able to use the old cable to pull the new cable into place.
At Debbie’s request I also replaced about 30 dark bronze Christmas ornaments on our tree with 30 brighter red ones just to perk-up the tree a bit. While I liked the bronze ones since they were part of my original tree design, she was spot on with perking up the tree: it looked a lot happier with the red ones.
I was pretty much a quiet afternoon at the house after that. My little field trip confirmed the roads would be OK for Monday’s commute to work even after the deep freeze that was coming over night. Our Comcast / Xfinity internet service came back on around 4:00pm in the afternoon, having been off-line since Friday evening. Frankly, the only reason I missed it was because I couldn’t update my blog on-line… anything I needed to such as communicating with friends or Email could be handled on my smartphone. And, while I picked up all the things I’d need to make pizza for dinner, Debbie had also requested guacamole and chips for an afternoon snack. Well, that afternoon snack and a couple more margarita’s pretty much took the place of dinner.
All-in-all, not a bad weekend and good that the snow storm hit on a Friday afternoon so that we could just sit back and enjoy the day. Had it come during the work week, I’d have been on the computer in my office doing Skype meetings all day and while I like working for a few hours at home, day-long-stints in the home office aren’t my favorite as there are too many other things I’d rather be doing that are close at hand.
Post Accident Update:
We’re still waiting to hear from the insurance company handling the claim as to whether they intend to total or offer payment for repair of the Honda Goldwing. Amazingly, the claim’s adjuster from The Hartsford had first attempted to do the estimate from Connecticut using photos taken by their contract vehicle storage facility in Cartersville, Georgia. No surprise that he was not able to fully assess the damage so now an independent claims adjuster will have to do a physical inspection and estimate which was likely be further delayed due to Friday’s weather.
Me, I’m on the mend. My left wrist and back continue to remind me that I’m not 100% just yet. But, with any luck the orthopedic doctor will confirm that what I have in my left wrist is some soft tissue injuries not a scaphoid fracture and that should allow me to ditch my brace on Tuesday and regain guarded use of my left hand. The physical therapy and daily stretching exercises are helping to eliminate the tightness of the strained muscles from neck to my knees, and that’s a good thing.