Pictures from the Blizzard: Blizzard Blog…

This was the February Nor’Easter from start to finish in my neck of the woods.  First, a “gratuitious” not very well photographed self portrait.  The iPhones are a bit heavy to hold out at the focal length required to get a clear picture. But I do like the two faced camera so that self portraits, however badly shot, are possible.  I just won’t tweet or instagram the bad ones, promise! 😉

Anyway, this is about 9:15 am.  on Friday Feb 8.


Here’s his Mama’s snowy  boy!  Chewy loves to be outdoors with us, We have to check him carefully and limit his time outside because the snow tends to ball up and stick to the fur between his footpads. And that hurts.

Below, puppies on patrol.  The top of the dike is paved and gets a lot of foot traffic.  Sophie (back at the fence) and Chewy (mid pic) make sure to greet all pedestrians, cyclists and fellow pooches as they walk past.  Theres about an inch on the ground, approx 10:30 am Feb 8


An afternoon culinary project  for Jillian and me.  Homemade Mac and Cheese with Ham. Recipe is easy:  2lbs elbow mac. Cook in salted water for 7-8 mins until al dente. Drain. Bechamel Sauce:  1 stick unsalted butter, melted  1/4 to 1/2 c flour add to butter and mix. cook on med until roux turns golden brown ( maybe 3-4 mins)   add 4 cups milk and stir with whisk over med heat.  Whisk constantly till sauce begins to thicken, add 1 tsp pepper., 1 tblspn brown mustard, 1 tsp grated nutmeg , then add 4-5 cups grated cheese (we use a gruyere/cheddar/monterey jack mix) and continue whisking until cheese has melted.  Add the elbow macaroni and diced ham and stir till combined.  Spray a nonstick coating (Pam) into a 9X13 casserole dish (or butter it) and pour the mixture in, spreading it around evenly.  Sprinkle more grated cheese and bread crumbs on top. Cover with tin foil and bake at 325 for at least one hour –  or until bubbly.  Uncover and bake for 15-20 minutes more until the top becomes golden brown and crispy.  Remove from oven, and dig in.



Below, our street at what passed for twilight – about 5:00 pm.  Wind had kicked up and it started snowing moderately.


Our backyard about 9:30 pm – at least 6 inches of snow piling up, wind howling.


10:30 pm  Whiteout conditions – taken with iPhone with flash on. Wind definitely out of the Northeast.


Below, a view from my bedroom window (it faces NNE) 11:30pm (ish) Please note that  is NOT fog or mist surrounding the streetlight.  Despite it being an iPhone pic I think its one of the better ones I took during this event.  Snow was heaviest between 10pm and 3am.  At this point we had at least 10-12 inches on the ground. The wind made it hard to tell. In fact, the NOAA later classified this storm as a blizzard for Westfield – we had sustained winds 30 mph or more for at least 3 hours.


Aftermath.  We measured in 4 different places and averaged to get 23″ at our house.  Some spots were drifted to at least 4 ft.


Oh hey – THERE’S  my car!


This is the south side of the house. Small kitchen window with those thick glass blocks. LOVE how they let the light in – especially in summer. But look at these killer icicles!  By Monday the melt had created a small ice dam and the roof started leaking through the canister light directly into our shower. Fortunately the girls and I were home because another storm came through (sleet and freezing rain this time) and our roads were a MESS! (They remained a mess through Wednesday the 12th)  I got up on a ladder and raked more snow off the roof. When the Viking got home, he broke up the ice dams and Voila – no more leaks.


Oh snap!  iPhone screenshot from our local newsstation website:


Can you find Nemo?  Hahaha!


My older daughter was “stranded” with her boyfriend and his family during the storm.  They had quite a scare with power surges that literally melted many of their electronics, caused some minor soot damage and the Hatfield Fire Dept had to come out and check their walls for hot spots.  A transformer blew right outside their house.  She told me that their lights started flickering and glowing brighter and she felt like she was in an episode of “Supernatural”.  Other houses on the street were doing the same.  Then she heard a “pop” and smelled something burning.  They were all very fortunate not to have had a fire. Sadly, there were also some tragic but completely preventable deaths in the area.

Storm Safety Tips:  NEVER run a generator inside your  house, EVER. Run it outside, ALWAYS.  Several people (Darwin Award Nominees for 2013) died of CO poisoning in Springfield because they fired up their gennie inside their house.  “Ladies and Gentlemen – the city of Springfield regrets to inform you that your family members are dead because they were stupid”.  NEVER sit inside a vehicle whose engine is running  to “warm up” unless it is parked in a cleared street or driveway and the exhaust pipe is COMPLETELY UNOBSTRUCTED.  An 11 yr old from Boston died from this during the storm. Completely shut down and unplug any valuable electrical equipment, game consoles, computers, etc . If your lights flicker, dim, or brighten: Shut off what you can,and monitor your walls for hot spots. Call your FD immediately if you smell smoke or anything burning. Take the usual storm related steps and precautions. Batteries,flashlights, blankets.  Make sure you have enough of any medications you take for at least 3 days. Keep important papers etc on hand and ready to take with you if you have to go to a shelter.  Keep a roof rake handy and make sure you clear off your roof – or get someone to do it for you.  Leaks are no fun, and costly. Roof collapses – even less fun, more dangerous and wayyy more expensive.   Winters not over yet here – so stay prepared my friends.  That’s all the news fit to print for now….. Love and Hugs from the Great White Northeast!