February 26, 2024 - Finally, the truck with the furnace oil arrived and Mary gave a big sigh of relief.
We've all watched Mary watch the gauges on the oil tanks for the past month as they steadily dropped. After the two big snow storms earlier in February, there was a period of time when the driveway was not safe for the oil truck to get here, so the tanks were both getting to a new low. Thanks to the driver, Allan, at Cozy Fuels for getting the oil to us while our weather window of opportunity remained open.
Monday was a sunny day and the temperature was above freezing for most of the day so we watched the snow shrink and display more of what it had been hiding for the past month. It also made for perfect snow bath conditions as you can see from the photos below.
We were all enjoying the expansion of our play areas as it became much easier to get into areas where the snow had been too deep and with the forecast of rain this week, we can begin to see ourselves being able to get back into the East pasture for a good run.
As forecast, the rain arrived on Saturday and we could watch the now piles shrinking from our vantage point inside the house. It rained right up until five o'clock when there was a distinct brightening in the sky but there was also a significant drop in the temperature.
We did get outside for a couple of runs and managed to get very wet but mostly we napped and the only action was the departure of Daisy right before dinner. In one spot where the snow receded, Stephanie discovered the buds from some of the spring flowers, maybe Daffodils or Crocus, were growing vigorously, insulated from the cold by that thick blanket of snow. It might surprise us to know just how much was happening under those snow drifts.
Overnight the temperature dropped about fifteen degrees so all that rain quickly turned to ice but the strong North winds did a freeze-dry job so that by morning, with the sun shining bright, it wasn't as slippery as we had feared. After breakfast, we welcomed Charly L, for his Sunday of fun and games and Stephanie took most of us for a long Poop Patrol now that the disappearing snow is uncovering lots of dog blossoms.
There is lots of grass now appearing after the rain and soon we may be able to get down to the beach once the snow on the path shrinks some more.
Later on, we got to meet a couple of new friends, Penelope , the Pug and Harvey , the French Bulldog. They have inherited the home and family of our old Pug buddy, Atticus, who crossed the rainbow bridge back in 2020. They will be coming to spend a few weeks with us soon and this was their first introduction. They are two very busy puppies and it didn't take long for them to fit right in with the pack and start enjoying themselves. It was soon apparent that they are one another's best friend and they are never far apart.
Hamish was quite fascinated with their antics and he kept a close eye on them in case they needed some help or a referee. They played hard for most of the afternoon until it was time to return home with their human and it wasn't too long after, that Charly L departed, as well.
Tonight we are all tired but Mary has lots of work to do so we won't be getting to bed early. In fact, the stroke of midnight had Mary, with her trusty torch, outside looking for Inky who decided to go on a little jaunt and not return to the house with the rest of the pack. Inky got a lecture about being outside at night, on his own, when there have been coyote sightings in the area. That Inky just laughed off the warnings and said that no coyote would even dream of tangling with him.
It's now Saturday evening and we can't recall what we did on Thursday and Friday. It seems like our venue has been shrinking each day. We have been hemmed in by tons of snow since early February and, while we have tried to make the best of the situation, it is hard to get excited about the same piles of snow, day after day.
So, we'll just publish the photos that Stephanie faithfully takes each day and you can decide whetherthere's anything that sets them apart from the previous day other than a few new players.
And Scamp is still using Hali's office and not showing any signs of vacating so she may find herself being served an eviction notice in the near future.
On Tuesday evening our dear friend Sasha , the Shiba Inu, was dropped off for a winter vacation and she has been a busy girl, checking out all the favorite locales although the volume of snow has limited the areas for us to explore. Her thick fur coat provides lots of insulation but this morning it was very cold and she returned to her favorite indoor vantage spot when her feet got too cold.
It was a busy day for the well-dressed Doodles as well as the more stalwart critters who eschew the jackets in favour of their own woolly coats. They all have a common objective, to enjoy the sun and snow and then head into the sunroom and bask in the solar heat. Here they will be swapping tales with the retrievers and others.
As the day wore on, the temperature rose and the winds dropped so more time was spent outside playing in the snow and Scamp gave the orange ball a lot of attention.
All in all, it was a great day with a big, noisy crowd and due to the deep snow, limited access to all of our usual haunts but we made the best of it. This snow isn't going to be disappearing any time soon so we'll just have to get creative. Maybe we'll try mountain climbing on some of the taller piles of snow or maybe we'll just soak up the sun and wait.
From the moment we raced out the door at seven o'clock this morning, we were busy meeting all of our regular Tuesday visitors as well as Tilley , who is here for a short stay. That included Henry and Oliver who both set off on a complete perimeter check while Mary kept a close eye on them so they didn't disappear into a snow drift.
Next to arrive was Swanson then Rosie and Griffin , always happy to dream up some new game or look for an adventure. While those new arrivals were busy, the rest of us were enjoying our breakfast and then the other day-visitors began to show up at the gate, demandng entry. This included Lyla , Rusty and Eddie , , Gemma and Ruger .
This was the first time in a long while that the Goldens could form their own gang and not be out-numbered by the Doodles and they had a grand time wrestling in the snow.
While it was a sunny day, it was also very cold so our feet got cold after only short periods outside and we retreated to the sunroom, to get a drink and warm up the paws.
Of course, Georgee would stay out all day because that thick wool coat and those well protected paws, don't seem to be bothered by the cold temperatures.
The exodus of day-visiting critters began around three o'clock so that by four we were all pacing the floor waiting for our dinners and then it was just a short wait for our old friend, Sasha , to get here and begin her mid-winter vacation. Mary put the special collar on her that glows in the dark and we can watch her progress as she strolls around checking all the favorite pee-Mail spots.
It wasn't a lot of snow but enough that the Plow Guy, Rollie, had to come at seven in the morning to clear the driveway. We were outside in the front yard when he got here so we gave him a big hello before Mary hustled us back in the house.
All of the regular Monday visitors arrived and the sky was blue most of the day but it didn't get very warm and the wind played havoc with the soft, fluffy snow making some new drifts.
We didn't let that little bit of snow ruin our fun and we had loads of fun playing games and taking long walks with Stephanie.
Scamp: Hello, to all of our followers and fans. Well Hamish, what did you do this weekend for excitement?
Hamish: Well, I tried to find some mice or moles under the snow drifts but they're getting very canny and managing to avoid my overtures of friendship. I can hear them and I think I've got them locked in with my radar but when I pounce on the target, no luck. Of course, it doesn't help that Georgee, follows me around wanting to learn the ropes but she doesn't quite have the knack for this sport.
Scamp: Well, I had lots to do. I was on duty in the mudroom, protecting the food from any thieving critters and able to lay a trap for them using Hali's office. See how effectively I am camouflaged . Of course, I have to pay her two liver treats per day in hush money, but the thrill of jumping out and scaring those big retrievers is worth it.
Hamish: The winds created a a minus, double-digit chill experience but I had my favorite sweater to keep me warm as well as the woolly company of Georgee who is quite smitten with me and always offering to cuddle. Of course, who can blame her.
Scamp: Those Retrievers, do tend to stick close together as you can see here with Finley and Molly S hamming it up for the camera with their snowy noses. Molly S was just here for the day, on Saturday, so she tried to keep Finley all to herself, which lead to some jealousy on Charlee's part, since she wanted her share of Finley time. Talk about your Golden Love Triangle!
Hamish: I stopped to admire Inky's sweater thinking he might be interested in loaning it to me while mine's in the wash. He told me to keep my paws off his stuff. I think he needs an attitude adjustment as well as a beard trim but I wouldn't want to get on his bad side since he has a lot of seniority and influence and I've heard that he knows voodoo.
Scamp: Well, it's Sunday night and we're heading out for our late walk, in yet another, snowfall. I tried to avoid the outing but Mary is very persistent so I made the best of it and took a couple of turns around the yards that are still littered with big piles of snow. That's when Arthur suggests we all sing a couple of verses of 'Frosty, the Yellow Snowman' , which of course, makes us all howl with laughter.
Today's DogBlog is being produced for you by me, Molly , one of the more literate critters and a avid spectator of what goes on around here. Not much gets by me and sometimes things get said, when I'm close by, that I will have no problem repeating. So, keep an eye peeled for some hot gossip.
The regular Friday gang got here, just as we were finishing up our breakfast, along with Joey and Daisy , who would usually have come on Thursday. They were both very excited to be joining the Friday gang and wanted to get introduced to the rest of us and see what excitement they could drum up.
Of course, Joey's idea of added excitement is run around looking for Stephanie so he can tell her what he's been doing every minute of the past week. This he does, at about eighty-five decibels, and he doesn't have any volume control or an off button. The best thing to do is just let him run out of stories and steam.
Daisy, on the other hand, rarely says anything but she has a significant presence and very little awareness of her size and her fellow critter's personal space. Often, you will hear the smaller dogs holler, 'Look out, Daisy approaching at full speed. Take cover!
We did have Finley , the Golden Boy, join the fun for a two-week stay and I offered to unpack his luggage because he usually brings a supply of these huge dog biscuits that we all covet. Imagine my consternation when I didn't find one biscuit, of any size, so I could only conclude that his humans must be watching his calories. I hope none of the others start making wise cracks about him packing on the pounds when I tell them about my findings.
Oak and Opal were here for their bi-weekly visit but Stephanie couldn't get Opal to slow down for a less blurry photo, much less stop and pose for the camera. The snow seems to add an element of intrigue to her usual perimeter check, having so completely changed the landscape, and Opal gazed across the fence, from her vantage points on top of some drifts. She muttered to herself that the snow is always whiter on the other side of the fence and Mary and Stephanie, knowing her lust for adventure, kept a close eye on her in case she succumbed to temptation.
Emo, a regular Friday visitor, has no such inclinations to climb up the drifts and look over the fence as it seems like a lot of effort for no particular reward. She knows that there is a lot of fun to be had wrestling and playing with their friends close to the house so they can slip into the warm sunroom and relax whenever they get tired.
Sula is always keeping an eye peeled for any unusual activity and today she is keeping watch on the Coast Guard ship in the harbour as it checks out the Bell Buoys. Inky is less than impressed with all this snow and he wishes he was back on the hot and sunny island in the Bahamas where he was born. He even goes so far as to suggest that Sula run away with him so they could explore the tropical locale. Pretty racy stuff, what?
I suggested to Karter that he might want to talk Stephanie into focusing her camera on him to get some photos for his humans to look at, if they could manage to tear themselves away from the pool. I figured that seeing their sweet boy sitting by the snow drifts, they might feel guilty about leaving him behind and send him some of
ourhis favorite Beef Tender Strips.
Well, I think I managed to stir the pot, so my work is done and we'll have to see if my efforts bear any fruit. Now it's time to hit the hay. Just in case you hadn't noticed, I'm a fan of idiomatic expressions.
The wind and the blowing snow made for a dark morning and we were up early to try and assess just how clear the driveway would be. We knew there had been lots of drifting overnight due to the high winds but we got a surprise when Georgia's human made it to within a couple of hundred feet of the gate and got stopped by three deep drifts. Fortunately, she was able to avoid getting stuck. She walked Georgia the rest of the way to the gate, gave Mary her assessment and returned to her car. She was able to get it turned around and went back down the driveway but she reported that the roads were very tricky due to the blowing snow.
So, based on this report, we figured we would be without the remaining Thursday crew of visitors so we decided to make the best of the day and play with one another in the snow for brief periods until the wind chill chased us back inside.
As the day progressed, it kept getting brighter so that by the afternoon the sun was shining and we enjoyed the warmth of the sunroom when we came inside.
After lunch, the guy with the big CAT Skid Steer Loader arrived to clear the drifts, again, widen the driveway, again, move the piles of snow from the parking area, again and move more of the snow in front of the house out of the way so the oil truck can turn around if he ever comes with the furnace oil. By dinner time the sun had melted a lot of the driveway so there was a lot of bare gravel and the wind was starting to shift direction so it seems like we will be back in business tomorrow.
February 13 & 14, 2024 - Another snow storm on its way Tuesday night so no day-visitors on Wednesday.
While the Tuesday night storm was not as powerful as last week's, it still managed to disrupt operations here particularly with deep snow drifts. There were three arrivals on Tuesday who needed to get here before the storm since they were on extended stays and there had to be some juggling of flights so their humans could get out of town. This included Marlea and Mylea and Molly M . Our old friend Stanley F , who we hadn't seen for a while, was also dropped off for a few days , sporting a classy bow tie.
Many of the day-visitors decided to cancel their appearance as the snow was scheduled to start in the afternoon. Those that did come enjoyed a lovely, sunny day up until the snow started. Mind you, it was cold and windy, but we enjoyed ourselves.
Lyla , who loves to show off her wardrobe, arrived wearing a sporty, fuchsia sweater while Charlee and Georgee watched enviously from the comfort of the cabana sofa.
The snow started to fall and the cars began to arrive and pick up their critters as we prepared for dinner and the evening ahead.
On Wednesday morning, we awoke at six o'clock to the bright lights from the Plow Guy's truck as he drove up, pushing through the snow drifts. The northerly wind was blowing the fine snow back into the driveway as quickly as he could move it back with his plow while we ventured outside for a short break so we could bark at him. All of the day-visitors cancelled their plans to come but Stephanie walked up from her house when breakfast time approached.
As the day wore on, the snow stopped but not the wind and we didn't spend too much time outside since we were always trying to find a spot that wasn't being battered by the cold wind. Stephanie tried to get some photos but it was such a bleak day, the photos were not that cheery but by late afternoon, some patches of blue sky were beginning to show. The Plow guy came back to clear the snow away from the area in front of the house and to push the driveway drifts back that had accumulated during the day.
After dinner, Ginger's humans arrived to pick her up and a short while later, Oliver and Drake were dropped off to spend a week with us. Mary had to do some e-mail updates for those that were planning to come tomorrow letting them know how the snow might drift in the driveway and how that might affect their arrival. We had to take a walk around eleven o'clock and we all made it as short as possible so we could find our comfy beds and get to sleep.