Monday, February 10, 2014

Aerie Report: Week...Whatever

Sheesh, almost two weeks since I last posted anything here. Call me a slacker and I won't deny it.

Terry came back from visiting in South Carolina and we had our closing on the four acres. We are now owners of 21 contiguous acres on the mountain. The new lot is the flatest of all and should provide a suitable place to park the RV once the previous owner removes his truck camper when things thaw.


We traveled into NJ to clear out the last of the things we wanted from Mom's house. Pictures on the wall, towels, bedding, a few pieces of furniture, TV and VCR, etc. Some of it went to the second hand shop, some went into clothing/cloth bins, and some we kept.


Terry wasn't home more than a few days when we got the call that her cousin passed away, so Terry headed south once more for the funeral. She swung though NJ on her way home to sign over power of attorney to her lawyer so she wouldn't have to rush to NJ again for any closing that may happen...sometime...hopefully soon. The hangup is the report on the extend of soil contamination from the old oil tank. That should be finished today or tomorrow. The purchaser's attorney is concerned that their won't be enough money set aside for the clean-up. Terry has told him that ALL of the purchase price will be in escrow until it's cleaned up but he's still not buying it.


While Terry was gone, I went to see the doctor about my frost bitten fingers. Three of the four are almost back to normal. At the time, the middle finger, the one that had all the huge honking blisters, the mummified and dry gangrenous diagnosis still had some thick dead skin over most of the final joint and a very black fingernail. Some of the thick stuff had already peeled off and the doctor said that if the rest wanted to come off I should let it go. Well, in the next two days, the rest did come off and I was pleasantly surprised to see how pink the underlying skin was. And I could feel things with the very tip! I may not lose anything except the fingernail after all.


I also had to go to get the Tundra serviced. The dashboard light saying it was due for maintenance came on. No surprise since the odometer indicated it was time for an oil change. But, at 100K + there were other things that needed to be done, too. That $30 oil change ended up costing over $500 but the beast needed and deserved the TLC. (I still won't take it to the car wash, though. With any thaw we'll be in yet another Mud Season.)


Also, while Terry was gone, we got a beaut of a snowstorm. Overnight we had a foot of light powder that I spent all afternoon clearing from the driveway and deck. I needed all my tools to get those areas (and the Tundra) cleared. The snow thrower got used to clear a path for the tractor. The tractor's front bucket got the snow over the edge of the driveway and all the parking area down to (nearly) bare ground. It also was handy in getting rid of the huge pile of snow the town plow left at the end of the drive. The broom got the snow off the Tundra's roof and the shovel got the close in stuff around the vehicles where the thrower and tractor couldn't go as well as the stuff on the deck. It "only" took me six hours to do the work. (Knees did well with the labor!)


Joe and I got down to the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg on Friday. The only thing we really wanted to do was book a fishing trip with Caesar's North Camps for this summer yet we spent over three hours walking around looking at all the exhibits and talking to a few venders. We made a few donations to the NRA-ILA and Hunter United For Sunday Hunting, too. Joe ended up purchasing some gun cleaner that didn't smell like Hoppe's #9. (His wife just doesn't like that odor for some reason.) Gunzilla actually has a very faint floral aroma. We also traveled over to Cabela's where Joe picked up some primers to reload pistol ammo. I looked at some gun safes but passed on buying one knowing that it wouldn't be until spring that I could actually get it into the basement because of all the snow drifts/piles that are in the way. (Knees did well with all the walking!)


The "birds that I've seen" count has improved slightly. A pair of Downy Woodpeckers have appeared at the deck feeders at the Aerie. Usually they are winter travelers with the Chickadees, Titmice and Nuthatches, but they have been few and far between this winter. On our way to Harrisburg and back, Joe and I saw a pair of Bald Eagles along Route 322 and the Susquehanna River, a Turkey Vulture east of the city along Route 22 and a flock of Canada Geese along Route 61. And, this past Saturday, Terry and I saw a flock of English Sparrows over in Wellsboro when we went to the ski shop to get a really good (and expensive!) pair of mittens to protect my hands from the cold.


The temperatures have continued to range from near zero all the way "up" to the mid 20s. We got another inch of snow last night--the second such snowfall since the Big One on Tuesday-Wednesday. I have to go out with the shovel to get things down to stone again. Just let me have another cup of coffee and give the sun a chance to get above the trees on the hill.

There doesn't appear to be anything significant in the forecast for the next week or so. Hopefully they are on the money with that and the predicted rise in temperatures for next week. Looking at the rivers as Joe and I drove around on Friday, I sure hope things warm up and thaw before we get any heavy rains. There's lots of ice on the rivers and ice dams could created significant flooding if the water doesn't flow free before the runoff from melted snow/rain occurs.

The first person to complain about the heat this summer is going to get it! POW! ZOOM!


Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

busy, busy... glad the knees are doing well.

Rev. Paul said...

I swear, your weather report sounds like it could have been copied wholesale from mine in past years wasn't, of course, but could have been.

This is a strange, strange winter.

I'm excited to read how well your fingers are doing. Sounds like you dodged a very close bullet, my friend. And, for extended rides on the lawn tractor & such, think "snowmobile mittens". Just sayin'.