Storm, Part Deux

So not fair. Just when we were getting over Super Storm Sandy, we get this. Well, you know what they say. When life gives you a damn blizzard, break out a brand new Champagne-O-Meter!

The snow started at 11 in the morning…

…and it lasted all damn day. This (above) gave me the only laugh I had the whole time, to see the Champagne-O-Meter sporting its jaunty Blizzard Chapeau.

But by the next morning, I wasn’t laughing anymore. We got a lot of snow, heavy, wet, relentless snow. We lost power at 4:30, got half of it back by 7, and there was much more damage from the blizzard than from the hurricane. NOTE: I refuse to call this blizzard a Nor’easter because I never heard of any damn “Nor’easter” while I was growing up in the damn Nor’east…I only started hearing about “Nor’easters” in the mid-1990s when weather forecasters started using it to jazz up their TV news spots. I loathe the word “Nor’easter”. So I’m going to call this episode of snow and wind, Buster.

Anyhoo…here’s how much trouble Buster gave us (I took these pictures from inside the house, looking out the den picture window):

The backyard cats before Buster.

Lickety during Buster. Don’t worry. As soon as it got dark Lickety came in the house and spent the night curled up on a warm electric blanket.

From the upstairs guest room I got a view of what came down during the night :

But wait a sec…this doesn’t look right…

I don’t usually get a tree-top view from the first-floor kitchen window. And the view from the little window in the mud room usually gives me a clear look all the way to the backyard fence:

But today the view is blocked by our lovely Japanese dogwood tree that normally shades our patio but today is leaning against the back of the house. The tree didn’t fall down, it just bent waaaaaaay over (but our little rhody, still propped up from our rescue last week after Sandy, is still standing!).

The problem is that the trees still have lots of leaves on them, which made them so very heavy when they got eight inches of snow dumped on them. Oh, sure, it’s kind of pretty…

…but it’s scary, too.

You can’t tell, but this is a really BIG tree. Snapshots don’t do Buster justice.

This here is the tree that really has me worried:

We’re counting on our little backyard shed to break the fall when this maple tree comes crashing down towards our house. Looks to me like  it’ll take out the roof above the guest room, maybe wipe out the guest bathroom too, when it tires of teasing us with its hulking presence creeping closer and closer, and says WTF, I’ll Just Go Boom..

And when it does, dear readers, you will read all about it right here.

24 Comments, RSS

  1. O M G !!!!!
    I had no idea it was this bad :(((
    Must not complain about how I am FREEZING in Paris anymore :(((
    How I rented a meat locker to stay in and didn’t know it, ahem…
    Youse got it way badder
    No use using a leaf blower to get the snow off those leaves I guess?
    Dumb idea sorry 🙁
    Wish I knew something helpful to say…

  2. Mary

    Anyone who can meet the challenge of a Double Whammy Storm and still share a great idea like the champagne-o-meter gets my respect! Glad also to hear that your kitties are okay. No doubt you have the music of chainsaws to look forward to when the snow melts. Good luck!

    And yes, Florida came through you, at last.

  3. Mary

    Mary: Mary here. You shd read Vivian’s oldies but goodies. The champagn-o-meter has been a laugh for a couple of years. I see you’re new.
    You’ll love the humor.
    Vivian: Thank dog you’re back on track. Humor with the determination to see all this stuff through.
    We’re with you, girl.

  4. Deborah

    We went through a similar thing here 3 or 4 years ago, except the 2 storms were 3 mos. apart. First Hurricane Ike blew through here — a hurricane, in Indiana: no one expected that, the way nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! It took out a lot of trees (we didn’t have any damage). Then an ice storm in Jan. wiped out more trees, and we had some tree damage. They still hadn’t cleaned up all the debris over in Louisville by Derby Day in May. So I’m feeling the anguish. Hoping the area has all its bad weather behind it now.

  5. Janet

    So glad your good humor is still intact. Wish all of us fans could come to your house and help with the clean-up. That giant tree leaning toward your house is especially scary. Stay safe.

  6. I am hoping the tree gets cut down before it falls..I live in a similar area..I know what trees can do:(

    The weather really is unpredictable..

    All that snow..

    It is picturesque..but I know exactly what you mean.
    One yr we returned from a holiday..and our neighbors tree had traversed their property(a white old old pine..)split our hedge.. and the pine needles were in the screen of our bedroom with the branches and tree still attached..we arrived home in the dark..our neighbors had gone’s a half acre property..

    I pulled up our blind and the tree was staring at me in the face with the needles poking through..that is close..too close for comfort.

    I keep thinking of you finding mittens….this s too early.

    Take care.

  7. jacqui

    7:00am out here on the left coast and the FROST is on the pumpkin this morning. I always check email and FB first with morning coffee and THEN I am ready to read about making molehills out of mountains on Long Island…This time it is Vivian first……….a long week waiting to hear about you, cats, Tom Kat and all….I was so relieved I called my sweetie in Portland to share (since he had come to see you at Broadways Books) I was so HAPPY to see the CHAMPAGNE O’Meter, the kitty huts, …………wow, this makes my day.
    Well, at least you can see what that tree is doing…or threatening and can take personal precautions. I imagine the tree docs are booked solid like plumbers, linemen, …ok, off to scroll down to part one

  8. Barbara Lemme

    What a time you all have had. We read that NJ even had a small earthquake this week. Good to have that champagne and some warm clothes. Don’t put away your summer clothes yet. Indian Summer hasn’t arrived, has it? Any consolation to know NJ and AZ deserts will be about the same temperature this weekend? Keep smiling.

  9. Joan

    Getting the Double Damn Whammy from that stupid snow/wind storm right on the heels of a hurricane is just too much of a bad thing.

    I hope you can get that tree shored up to lessen the threat of it caving in your guest bedroom and bath! That would be terrible and add more misery/cost to an already dreadful situation.

    Heard that 50 volunteer power trucks were turned away by NY or NJ because they weren’t UNION!!!! Now this, if true, is beyond stupid. Unions over peoples misery? I don’t get it.

    Hope the worst of the bad weather is over for you folks and that life returns to some level of normal soon. Best to all the kitties, Top Cat and you, Vivian. Thanks so much for keeping us posted on your situation.

  10. Sandy R

    Glad you survived – bubblie and all- My side of the sound (CT shore) fared a bit better but wow driving in icy wet snow was a (rhymes with witch). I for one plan on wearing my flip flops this weekend (60 degrees) just to snub my nose of the damn fickle NE weather.

  11. Nadine

    Great photos, and thanks for the cat update. That Oscar is a tough cookie.

    Joan: I live in north New jersey where we were without power for 5 nights, and where many households are still without power 11 days after Sandy, and I haven’t heard of that story about non-union help being turned away. Remember: NJ’s Gov is Chris Christie, Republican. He hates unions (even if his new BFFs are Barack and Bruuuce) and he would be screaming on TV and the radio if this story were true. It’s not.

  12. Vivian, I just stumbled onto your blog last night and chuckled so. Love how you write. Then this morning a friend gave me your new book! How cool is that?
    I do hope next week you can get out of the pattern of storm posts. Two in a row! Who’d a thought? I’m hoping the sun shines and melts all the snow before more damage occurs. Those are some scary photos.
    Wonderful to have found you. I’ll be diving into your book today:)

  13. Susie

    Man, you guys are getting it all! This is quite dreadful…
    Here in the upper end of the Southern Tier we’ve had some rain, some wind, little bits of hard snow but mostly just gray and cold.
    Love your Champagne-o-meter to see how much snow is how much snow.
    I think of you, TC and your herd of cats every day and am glad you all pulled through. Bum leg and all….

  14. Sally

    So sorry you got weather-whacked again, much worse than what we saw in New England. FIngers crossed for you and The Tree of Damocles. I just looked again at the photo and am glad what I thought might be an electrical line is just a tree branch. It looks like you are due for an emergency arborectomy before the wind begins again. Best wishes.

  15. Margaret

    Oh dear – it has been one thing after another for you this year. I do hope you manage to get your tree sorted before it does damage. Thinking about you and sending you best wishes.

  16. As my eyes popped open this morning I sweat to god, I thought “OH: I never checked to see how VS survived the storm!” So I read these blogs this morning before coffee, though I’m only now able to post to say: holy CRAP I am so, so so so so so sorry. That big tree is terrifying! Has someone been able to come out and sort it out yet? WORRIED.

  17. Tracey

    Glad to see that you, Top Cat, and the hobos survived. Those are pretty tough cat shelters! Hopefully the warm weather prevented the tree from crashing done prior to removal. More trees came down in my immediate neighborhood than when Sandy hit. One maple lost a branch covered in small flame-colored leaves; they reminded me of your paintings.

    I’ve also heard of power crews from other states who are working in NYC, but I haven’t seen anysince my neighborhood did not lose power. Governor Cuomo’s house lost power and he is using a generator so he has a vested interest in getting power restored quickly. You and Top Cat should buy a wood stove – you won’t have to buy wood for a few years.

  18. Christine

    I saw the LIPA protesters on the news this weekend. Can’t even imagine living 2 weeks without heat, light, refrigeration. I hope you have smooth sailing for a good long while and can catch your breath. How is your healing progressing? You can complain to us:).

    WHEN you get back to normal (I’m choosing optimism:), I would be grateful to be considered for the stunning leaf gifting and the joyous Winter Holiday card gifting. Heartfelt thanks.

  19. Long live the Champagne-o-Meter! You are a clever and practical gal after my own heart. Sorry to hear of all your weather woes. I truly empathize. I grew up in the foggiest place on earth, survived Hurricane Juan (8 days without power) only to be dumped on a few months later by white Juan. Glad you are finding the humour is it all. What else can you do?

  20. Deb mattin

    Holy guacamole! You’ve had way too much weather. Glad no trees down on the actual house and hope the garden shed is up to the task of protector.

    the champagne snow gauge is the best!! stay warm, dry, and well illuminated.

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