Winter weather

Here’s one part of the concrete I don’t have to shovel anymore, thanks to an imbedded heat mat. It’s wonderful!

We’ve had snow, then rain, then more snow lately….The Big Thaw and The Big Freeze played out over and over again. Our driveway now has several layers of ice. The other day it rained and melted much of the snow on the driveway, then it froze, creating a skating rink. I spread sand over most of the parking area to prevent any slip-and-fall scenarios, and then that night it snowed, covering up all the sand. (!)  We’ve gotten about 7 inches of snow in the past two days, and today Steve plowed the driveway, uncovering….ice! My back got tired from shoveling, since most of our concrete is still uncovered. Once the remaining two porches are built that chore will go away.

I bought three bags of traction sand today and I’ll be out there again tomorrow spreading sand. We put our YaxTrax to good use in this weather – they allow us to comfortably walk up the road without feeling like we’re walking on a tightrope. We were walking the other day and got about 1/2 mile up the road when we heard gunshots. There are almost no restrictions on where you can shoot here so many people do target practice in their yard. Well, when we heard the shots we turned right around and headed home. I’ve got nothing against owning a gun, but I don’t trust that my neighbors are being careful about which direction they shoot. :-)

I’m mentally preparing for February and March, when we typically have our coldest weather. Luckily, the boys installed our new dog door, taking much less time than Steve and I would have, and it has cut down considerably on the cold drafts we were feeling. At first the dogs refused to go through, but then I put them outside and it was pretty cold, so they got over themselves pretty quickly. :-)




The Big Freeze (told ya!)

Part of our back yard

Yes, the day after I wrote about the Big Thaw, we had the Big Freeze. A couple of inches of snow and the temps started to plummet. It’s currently about 6 degrees out as I’m writing this (nighttime temp) and it gets up to 15 or so during the day. We’re spending a lot of time indoors. The dog walks have been shortened to a run to the mailbox.

The house is staying cozy with our newly insulated roof, but suddenly we are aware of small, cold drafts coming from other parts of the house, namely, the dog door. We have a homemade dog door in our back door, which we built many years ago with the help of a friend. We were convinced that a store-bought dog door wouldn’t last long with our big dog Charlie running in and out. It’s not a well-insulated opening, however, so we recently broke down and bought an Extreme Weather dog door (size large). But, it’s been too darn cold to take the old door out and put the new door in! It’s supposed to warm up later this week so maybe we’ll get a chance to put our new, magnetically sealed, insulated dog door in.

Our dog door doesn’t always close properly when someone goes in or out, especially when Sammy sticks his head out for a quick visual inspection and then pulls it back in, so our new door will be appreciated. If we ever get it put in.



The Big Thaw

It’s January in Montana, so that means one thing:  it’s getting warm. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t freeze all winter. Every January we have a week or so of warm weather, immediately followed by a deep freeze that turns all the remaining snow into sheets of ice. If we’re lucky, the rain we’re having today will at least melt all the snow off the driveway. If not, the resultant ice will turn the driveway into the Olympic luge training course that I’ve written about in previous posts.

Needless to say, we invest in YaxTrax, which allow us to walk on the icy driveway and road without the annoying groin pulls that inevitably result from trying to waddle down an icy road. The doggies must have their daily walk, after all.  :-)  Luckily, we don’t have to be watching the weather every minute of the day since our roof is now watertight. Yay!

It was 45 degrees today, practically a heat wave!