Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter Storm Pax


We knew this was coming and had prepared for it, with food we could consume with minimal water usage and loss of power should that occur.  It started snowing during the overnight from Wednesday to Thursday. 

Dave and I both spontaneously awoke around 3 AM, courtesy of our internal alarm clocks.  We had talked about actually setting alarms for that time, but decided not to; turns out we woke up anyway.  I took a peek out the door and things didn’t look too drastic, so we dove back under the covers.  Well, heck.  I was awake and got up at 4 AM.  Dave joined Maggie and I in the office about an hour later.

At times we were under whiteout conditions.  Still, every couple of hours we went out to manage what had fallen.  Dave got up on the roof of our rig to sweep off snow while I shoveled our paths.

Feb 13 Betty and Rig

Better to clear 3” at a time than wait and shovel out a foot of snow.


Feb 13 Truck in Snowfall

Although early morning, it should have been lighter out than this.  It was just a very dark morning and didn’t lighten up until much later in the day.  That’s our truck.  Yes, it’s snowing in the photo.


Feb 13 River 2

Looking upstream at the Musconetcong River, which is slushy at this point.


Feb 13 River 1

Turning around in the same spot, this is the river looking downstream, slushy and then frozen.


Feb 13 After Plowing

Parking lot after plowing in the afternoon.  The lot is diminishing in size due to the piles of snow around it.  Our rig isn’t going anywhere until Spring.


We had snow, then sleet, then snow/sleet and then a lull in the afternoon.  It then resumed with sleet/rain, then sleet/snow and finally more snow overnight.  Final count is 15 inches from the storm.  We experienced lightning and thunder during last night’s snow/sleet event. 

Thundersnow!  It is surreal and rather eerie.

We have asked to be transferred somewhere more temperate.  It’s tough, as we really like our job and our setting – when the weather is good – is very, very nice and peaceful.

However.  We will have been here three years this month.  During that time . . .

  • Hurricane Irene – river flooded and we evacuated the rig
  • Tropical Storm Lee – river flooded and we evacuated the rig
  • Sandy – evacuated us and left rig
  • Numerous power outages
  • Numerous times with no shore water, relying on our tank
  • Several Nor’easters
  • Winter Storm Pax

That’s in three years.  Dave really shouldn’t be getting on the roof to clear snow, especially with minimal neck/back issues at the least.  Even in 100% condition, it’s a risky thing to do in snow and ice.  Living by a river is dodgy at times.  I am in some ways not looking forward to the Spring melt with a view to flooding issues.

Besides, we’re full-timers!  We and the owner of the security company agree it’s time for a change of scenery.  He has said we have done very well here, have stuck it out above and beyond, and have been the best team with regards to interaction with the contracting company.  He’s working on finding something for us in a slightly warmer climate. 

Ideally, it would be with the same contracting company, but I’m not optimistic about that.  Their properties are in the East and more in the Northeast.  Too bad, as we really enjoy working with them; we’d like to stay with them if possible.  Our local boss called the night before Pax to make sure we had everything we needed, and he called yesterday morning and this morning to see how we are faring.  Really good guy.

Bottom line, the environment is too harsh here.  Even if we had a carport or some type of shelter for our rig, that would help.  As it is, our rig is our home and it – and we – are taking a beating here.

It really shouldn’t be this difficult all the time, right?

I’ve also activated our resume on and have had a few responses already.  We’re not desperate and will look for a decent situation; however, we’d like to be gone no later than October.  We don’t mind working, but we’re being taxed to our limits just surviving here.  Pensions are still a few years away, so we need an income.  Dave said this morning he’s thinking even if we don’t have anything lined up yet, let’s just leave.  Or get a typical seasonal workamping gig in the meantime until something else comes up.  I’ve also got my virtual assistant work; it’s part-time now, but I know I could land a full-time assignment if I looked for one.

Ideally, we’d like to be doing work such as we are now. 

So!  Lots to be done if we are looking at moving out of here.  Being essentially stationary for three years, we accumulated “stuff” – washer/dryer, generator, etc.  We could sell those outright or possibly even to an incoming team.  I’ll need to get my annual follow-up CT scan done, and that should be coming up in March; I need to schedule it.  We also need new tires for the 5th wheel.  Oh joy.

Today, however, is more shoveling, see if we can get shore water and then off to the market after work for a few groceries.  We are looking at a few inches of snow this weekend and then the possibility of another storm next week sometime. 

And resting.  Whatever healing of Dave’s shoulder/neck took place has been undone by the last couple of days.

We’re tired but hanging in.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Beep, Beep


That’s the sound of snow plow/salt trucks this evening.  It has become a familiar sound.  Yes, it’s snowing again.  This is supposed to be a light event which started at 4 PM and should end by midnight.  We have a chance of “significant” amounts midweek.

We have paths shoveled from our door to the office, to the dumpster and to access points on our rig such as the propane doors and basement doors.  Today I needed to empty the kitchen tank, so I shoveled a path to it.  Well, hacked a path is more like it, with a bit of shoveling.

Hack, you ask?  Well, you see, the snow now has about an inch of ice on top.  Yes, we have concrete snow.  Actually, the snow under the ice is easy to remove – well, to a certain point and then it’s frozen ice on the ground.  Thing is, you have to get to that snow through the ice layer on top.  So it was chop, chop, shovel, shovel.  At least I didn’t  have far to go; this was an offshoot of an existing path just to the tank valve.

Of course, all the paths are now under an inch or two of new snow.  At least I got the tank emptied.

After the midweek event, it looks like our temperatures will rise a bit, perhaps more to the typical level for this time of year.

On more routine notes, after rescheduling my hair appointment twice this past week, I was finally able to make it to the salon.  Yay!  Today I got a call from my stylist; she is leaving that salon for another one about 15 miles from here.  Dang.  She’s been cutting my hair ever since we’ve been here.  She’s a sweetheart; very young but very talented and just a sweet soul.  She even came here to cut my hair between my two surgeries in 2012.  It was a nice day, so we had “salon time” in the parking lot.  How many stylists now days will do that, eh?  So we’ll see.  I’ll take a run up to her new location when the weather improves and see how far it really is, what the drive is like, etc..

I got some cleaning done today and then baked chocolate chip cookies and a quiche. 

We are Downton Abbey fans and watch faithfully.  Our PBS station airs it on Wednesday evenings; however, this past week we could not get reception due to the weather.  Each episode is broadcast again on Sunday afternoons, so we got caught up today. 

I’m still working my part-time virtual assistant job, enjoying it and thankful for the extra money plus something to occupy my time these days.  Obviously, outdoor activities are extremely curtailed and there is nothing happening here at the property.  Having my wee job helps fills the hours and brings in a few extra bucks.

Hope you’ve been having a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Our Day Today . . .


I apologize for having not much else to talk about other than our weather.  It started snowing sometime in the early morning hours.  When I woke up around 5:30, things were already white(r) outside.

 February 3 2014

Late morning

Today we got 9 inches of heavy, wet snow. Dave at one point got up on the roof of our rig to get some of the snow off the slides.  That turned out to be pretty much a futile endeavor.  He did get some of the top layer off, but there’s a hard-packed layer underneath.  Oh well.  The slide toppers are taking most of the weight on the slides at this point.  There really isn’t anything we can do about this.  With the overnight freeze, it becomes hazardous for him to get up there.


Dave changing propane in the afternoon

By the time of the above photo and the one just below, it had about stopped snowing.  It was coming down heavily most of the day.  Dave measured.  We got 9 inches today and there’s 12-14 inches in our “front yard.”


I got it on with the shovel and cleared a path from our rig to the office


The good news is that the high was around 33F today.  Well, that’s good news in that it’s not painfully cold out, but bad news in that it makes the snow slushy and heavy.  Dave cleared a garden for Maggie again, so she’s good.  She loves the snow and goes bounding out in it.  Back in the office after her potty breaks outside, she does the “crazy dog run back and forth” thing.  It’s great to see her so happy and all that running gets a lot of the snow clumps off her legs.

February 3 Dusk


Sounds like we’re going to get hammered this week.  We’re forecast for another 8 inches tomorrow into Wednesday and then there’s “something” headed towards us for the weekend.  There has been hype on the Internet about a possible 24-36 inches, but it’s too far out to get a solid forecast.  We’re hoping we get a break in weather Thursday or Friday so Dave can go get propane and I can get more provisions.  So far we’re fortunate and grateful we still have power (and water, but it’s not that cold now); there are numerous power outages throughout New Jersey at the current time.

If we do get the 24-36 inches, it’s a whole new ball game, folks.  We’ve already been talking about preparedness – like one or both of us sleeping here in the office just so we can clear a path to the door of the rig and be able to walk Maggie, getting a “go” bag together just in case, etc..  Heck, if we got that much snow, we’d have to dig out the generator!   I need to do laundry Thursday or Friday, too, in case we lose power.

Oh my.  Sure is a freakish Winter, isn’t it?

Our plow guy was scheduled to be here around 4 PM, but seems they are having issues with the plow truck.  About an hour ago, they said they would be here shortly.  I’m sure they’ll be here when they can.

Dave did clear both trucks, we could get out should we need to do so (thank goodness for 4-wheel drive), and the main roads are slushy but passable.

We’re warm and we’re hanging in.  We are also ready for Spring.

February 3 Evening

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Nice Quiet Weekend


I think that’s just what we needed, or at least I did.  Getting a few things done, but not going crazy trying to accomplish everything on my mental list.

Dave’s shoulder and neck are feeling somewhat better, but he’s still not up to on-the-road cycling.  Not that he’d get the chance, as we’re supposed to be getting 4-6 inches of snow from tonight through tomorrow sometime.

Naturally, I have an appointment for a hair cut tomorrow afternoon.  Hopefully the snow will have ended and the roads will be clear.  And the parking lot . . .

It has been warmer – above zero at night and above freezing during the day – for the past few days and we have water again!  Yay!  I’ve been able to empty our tanks and Dave refilled our fresh tank.  Hot showers!  Whoohoo!

Life is Guid, indeed!

We’re both hopeful that we’ve seen the back side of ridiculously cold temperatures.

I do believe it’s movie night around here in just a bit.  Nice way to wind up (or down) the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!