Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Friday, February 28, 2014

An Eventful Day

Hi, Cocoa here again. Mom said I could write the last blog post for February. She still doesn't feel normal, but she is getting better. Her headache wasn't as bad today. She spent the day doing laundry and making a big pot of ham and potato soup (but she didn't give me any of it). Dad had to go to physical therapy, then the Traverse got stuck in the driveway, then he had to dig it out. Needless to say, he says he's pretty sore tonight. I enjoyed being outside with Dad. I played in the snow while he worked. 

The Copper Dog sled dog race started in Calumet this evening. I heard a lot of barking, and I was a little concerned about that. I tried to ignore it and went back into my doghouse to sleep. I was rudely awakened again at 9:00 tonight by something that sounded like guns. I don't like guns. Then, I saw some bright lights in the sky. 

When I heard Mom in the kitchen, I jumped up to look in the window at her. She knew I was scared, so she let me into the back porch until the noise stopped. She told me not to be scared; the bright lights were fireworks. I don't care what they're called; I still don't like them.

Now for the most exciting thing that happened today: Dad got a call from Steven. He's at the hospital with Beth, and they're going to have a baby boy anytime now. That means I'll be Aunt Cocoa pretty soon!

Mom says she'll write something tomorrow.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not Normal

I'm still under the weather with this sinus infection - definitely not normal. Hey, no wisecracks! The worst problem is the severe headache the congestion is apparently causing. I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday.

In the meantime, Keweenaw County is reporting a conservative snow total of 272.5" as of yesterday. They admit that's probably not quite enough, as it's pretty difficult to measure during a blizzard. Our local weather guru believes that should be increased by another 6-10", but we'll stay with the official county total in order to make things easier.

I do have some good photos to share, but that will have to wait until I'm feeling better. I'm out of brain energy for the day. OK, no wisecracks about that either.

All else is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Reflections

Still down, but not as out with this sinus infection. Heavy snow in Calumet at the moment. Thought we could all use a refreshing summer shot of Lake Superior today.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Blizzard Continues

First, it was a blizzard watch. Then, it was a blizzard warning that was supposed to end at 8:00 last night. Next, it was extended to 8:00 this morning. Now, it has been extended to 7:00 tonight, and we have been advised to stay off all secondary roads in Houghton County and Keweenaw County through the weekend and into Monday afternoon. 

The house is dark today, as we're not getting a whole lotta light through our windows.

This is the window in the shower.

Here's the window above the kitchen sink. The BBQ grill is still under there somewhere.

This is the window on the enclosed back porch - next to the back door. 

That should give you an idea of how high the snow was in front of the back door this morning. The top half of the screen door is window, and the snow was half-way up the window.

As the snow continued to pile up against the back of the house last evening, we were a bit concerned about Cocoa and wondered how she was doing in her dog house. Past experience has taught us that she does what people do in the midst of a blizzard. She hunkers down and doesn't leave her house. It was impossible to get the back door open at all yesterday, but we tried not to worry about her.

About 1:00 this morning, I thought I heard Cocoa bark - just twice - but it sounded like she was near the front corner of the house. Hmmm, not where she's supposed to be. Did she get over the fence? 

I listened for her to bark again, but she didn't. Unable to rest after that, I got up and tried to peer out the windows. You can imagine how well that went. Our front window in the living room has been without a view for weeks now,

but there's a little gap between the house and the snow - just big enough that if I crank my neck around, I can see part of the front steps.

I turned on the outside light. Hmmm, if Cocoa was out there, I couldn't see her. I really hoped she was back in her doghouse. Once again, I tried not to worry and went back to bed. 

Steve was up early this morning. He knew he had a big job ahead of him today. When he made his way outside, he noticed that the snow depth on the driveway varied from knee high to chest high! Then, he noticed some faint tracks in the snow near the garage. He went around the corner and noticed the side garage door was open. Guess who he found inside?

Hi, Cocoa here. I hijacked this blog post to tell you the story from my point of view.

It's true that I do normally hunker down during a blizzard, but I can only hold my bladder for so long. Eventually, a girl's just gotta go. So, I dug my way out of my doghouse in the middle of the night to do just that. The only problem was that it was easier to get out than to get back in. So, I walked over the top of the fence and barked a couple times outside Mom & Dad's bedroom. I didn't think they heard me, so I figured I would just move into the garage for the night. I already knew how to open the door, as I let myself in there a lot when I'm outside with Dad when he's shoveling. After I let myself into the garage, I didn't shut the door again, so snow was coming in the door all night. Oh well. I curled up on a mat in the back corner of the garage and went to sleep. That's where Dad found me this morning. I was worried when I first saw him, because I know I'm not supposed to be out of the backyard, but he wasn't even mad! He said I was a good girl. He shoveled and shoveled until he could open the back door and he fed me on the enclosed porch and let me hang out there a while. That's when Mom saw me. She wasn't mad at me either! She told me how smart I was and said I was a good girl, too. Whew! The best part of having a blizzard? Dad spent a lot of time outside with me today. I played while he shoveled.

Yep, that's the fence I walked over!

The next two photos show the snow in front of my doghouse today.

Dad had to dig it out for me again. Here's a side view of it after he cleared the snow away from the door.

Well, the sun is out now, so the worst of the blizzard appears to be over. Life is always an adventure in the Keweenaw, but Mom & Dad say that I've proved myself as a real Yooper Dog!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Down and Out

Wow, I was down and out for a while - 27 straight hours on my back in bed with a massive migraine - triggered by my sinus infection (I think). It was a bad one, but I have partially returned to the land of the living today - just in time to enjoy our blizzard. This was the view out the front bedroom window just before 3:00 this afternoon.

This was all I could see out the office window at the same time.

The winds have gotten worse since then. Houghton County actually pulled their plow trucks off the road this evening - that never happens! Plus, Keweenaw County has closed Hwy 26 between Eagle River and Eagle Harbor. It's really blowing out there, folks!

Good News: The building inspector finally made it out to the property yesterday. Everything passed with flying colors so far!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

P.S. Snowfall chart is updated.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Works

I roasted a chicken on Saturday, so yesterday was "make a pot of chicken soup day" whether I felt like it or not. And, I definitely didn't feel like it. I'm in the midst of the worst cold and/or sinus infection I've had since we've lived here. You know the type - awful head congestion, headache, fever, chills, watery eyes, sore throat, body aches, sneezing, coughing - the works! I'm actually horizontal as I type this. I'm taking all the typical OTC medications in an attempt to somewhat manage the symptoms, but you know how that goes. No miracle cure. Let's see if the chicken soup helps!

We're up to 254" of snow now. Hopefully, I'll feel like getting on the laptop later this week to update the Snowfall Chart page. I have more photos to share, too.

Other than my current bout with the creepy crud, all is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love is in the Air!

My honey is taking me out to dinner tonight.
All is well in the Keweenaw!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Home Sweet Home

We made a quick trip to Saginaw on Saturday, but we've returned to Calumet.

Steve needed to see his doctors in Saginaw, so we took advantage of the opportunity to do some shopping to restock the shelves and bins in our pantry. . . 

and Mom's pantry.

It's snowing again here. Let it snow; we have provisions!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Settle and Squish

OK, we get a lot of snow here in the Keweenaw. You get that. Here's a photo I shared previously that was taken on Sunday, January 26.

I snapped some photos of the same clothesline pole on Tuesday, February 4 - just 9 days later - after we received an additional 10.5 inches of snow.  

Did you notice the difference between the two photos? Besides the fact that Cocoa was in the second picture? That photo and the next one clearly show snow around the clothesline pole that's not as deep as it was 9 days earlier. Remember, we had 10.5 more inches between those two photos. It didn't melt. The temps have been extremely frigid. So, where did it go?

I've written previously about how the snow compacts over time. Our local weather guru, John Dee, melts it down into simple language on his website. He writes, "The majority of the snow we see in the Keweenaw is Lake Effect. It is very light and fluffy because it is composed mainly of air. After a period of time, gravity will cause the snow to settle and squish much of the air out of the snow. I have found that lake effect snow generally settles at a rate of about 6:1, meaning that over time, 6" of lake effect snow will settle to about 1". Much of the settling takes place in the first 24-36 hours after falling and then slows down over the next few days and may take up to a week to finally settle completely. The settling process is why we can have over 20 feet of snow fall in a season, but yet have only 4-5 feet on the ground." 

I like how he put it: settle and squish! We've now had over 19 feet of snow this season, so we're thankful for settling and squishing!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blue Skies and a Super Feast

We ended the month of January with a snow total of 226.5 inches. 71.5 of those inches fell in January. That was about 4-1/2 feet less than we had in December. Since Lake Superior is now 92% frozen over, we are experiencing fewer lake effect snowstorms. That makes us thankful for the cold temperatures. Yes, you heard me correctly. I said we're thankful for the cold temperatures! Steve is very good at "moving snow," but he's running out of places to move it to!

When we're not experiencing that lake effect snow, the blue skies return to the Keweenaw. I took another photo of the blue house across the street on January 31. You'll see how the snow is still clinging to the one side of the roof, and it's beginning to build up on the avalanche side again. What I really want you to notice, however, is the color of the sky. That's the color I describe as "Keweenaw blue." It's the color of the sky on a typical day here when it's not snowing - winter or summer.

Here's a shot of our fence and the neighbor's apple tree taken the same day. The snow is causing the tree to lean toward our fence. Yikes!

Blue skies were also seen on Super Bowl Sunday. 

It was cold, but Steve said it wasn't too cold for this:

Yep, Super Bowl Sunday calls for a Super Feast! After all, Steve had taken the time to dig out the grill the day before. It looked like this back on January 31.

The same area of the deck looked like this on Sunday.

Steve was very happy to be grillin' again. He always gets this look on his face before eating a big hunk of beef.

I don't know why I didn't take any photos of the food - guess we were too busy eating. We had steaks and sweet potatoes cooked on the grill, steamed asparagus, lightly buttered noodles (one of his childhood favorites) and cottage cheese.

Blue skies and a super feast made for a super day on Super Bowl Sunday (even though the Broncos lost).

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, February 2, 2014