Sunday, January 12, 2014

Underground Railroad Bicycle Tour

In my November 3 post last year, I outlined some of my plans for 2014. So far, so good. My last day at work was January 7. I signed on for a bicycle tour offered by Adventure Cycling Association; I will bicycle the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route starting in April. I have set up a blog to chronicle my preparations for the tour and my experiences once the tour is underway.

I will continue to post to this blog as well since I will pick up working on the JayBee project again. We're in the deep freeze here (sprinkled with random 50-degree days--weird), but I hope to make some progress on the pantry cupboard before long. Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Things I Learned While
Shoveling the Roof Today

1. While climbing a ladder and getting on a snowy/icy roof freaks me out a bit, the climb up feels more secure and stable when the ladder has become a solid, integral part of the roof's ice dam and the snowbank below.

2. Wrestling with deep snow and ice creates enough body heat that, in these temperatures, eyeglasses don't just steam over--they freeze over.

3. I had not added shoveling snow to my get-in-shape plan but, after today, I will. Today was full of aerobic activity and lifting heavy weights.

4. Remember to bring a water bottle and some tissues. I've learned this before, but I can't seem to remember it from one time to the next.

5. When walking backwards up the slope of a roof, be careful not to walk too far (which can put you at risk of flipping backwards over the peak of the roof).

6. Taking a break and listening to all that winter quiet is its own reward. (So is discovering that you sat so long for your break that your pants are now frozen to the roof.)

7. It's not just heating with wood that "warms many times over" (when cutting it, splitting it, stacking it, hauling it, etc.). The shoveling of snow and ice off a roof is not done when the roof is clear. Afterwards, you have to shovel it all again--off the driveway, the walkways, the bulkhead, the deck, the doorstep, etc.

8. The days may be getting longer, but they are still incredibly short! (Exactly 9 hours of daylight today.) If I have something to get done, I better get moving early. Also, that low-lying sun, refracting through the ice-covered trees, can be blinding.

9. Once the job is done, it's best to keep the dancing and back-slapping modest. After all, more snow and freezing rain are forecast to arrive tomorrow.

It's been so cold, not much has come off the trees since the ice storms weeks ago.

Doesn't the JayBee--viewed from this perspective, up on the roof of the house--look like it's a miniature?

Ice damage is everywhere. Many trees will never recover.