Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Yikes! The temperature is backsliding!

I snapped a photo yesterday of the unusual icicles created during our brief warmup.

I also noticed the snow is getting deep on the roof of our backyard storage shed.

We had another 4 or 5 inches of snow overnight, and it continued to snow lightly all day today. Steve did a little cleanup work outside, ran an errand and retreated to the basement. He's deeply involved in his winter projects down there. He painted all but one corner of the exterior walls last year, so he's now finishing that project.

He also cleared off the storage shelves, cleaned them thoroughly, and painted them.

I wish I had a photo of how they looked before he started, but the difference was remarkable. Then, he started stocking them with our pantry items.

That shot was taken when he was still in the process of stocking. Can you tell he worked in a grocery store when he was young? Nice and neat with all the labels facing forward - just the way we both like it! Next, it was time to restack some of the bins we have stored in the basement.

Steve is good at keeping himself busy. I'm thankful he's not a couch potato. Speaking of potatoes, yesterday was a perfect day to make a big pot of ham and potato soup. I think I've told you that we're "soup people."

When the cold wind is blowing, it's also a good day to get out the breadmaker.

Steve likes to get on a "healthier-eating" kick during the first part of every year, so we try to stay away from bread until the end of April (about the time of our birthdays). However, I wanted to make some bread for my mother, so we were still able to enjoy the heavenly scent.

I know what you're thinking. "Ham and potato soup on a healthy eating plan?" Portion control! We have a small bowl of soup with a spectacular salad. No seconds on the soup either. Steve pushes himself away from the table feeling happy and satisfied. If the meal is enjoyable, it's easy for him to eat healthier.

That's it for tonight. Goodbye to January. All is well in the cold and snowy Keweenaw!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Double the Fun

From Saturday, January 12, to Saturday, January 26, we went from 56 to 117 inches of snow. That's the total number of inches we've had since October, not the snow depth. Did you get that? We doubled our total in just 2 weeks! As of today, we're up to about 124.5 inches. We have also been experiencing double-digit temperatures since Friday. Here's yesterday's shot of the outdoor thermometer.

The higher temperature caused the precipitation we had last night and today to arrive in the form of freezing drizzle and mist. It doesn't look like we lost much snow, however.

The heavy snows of the last 2 weeks made it necessary for Steve to rake the roof. Here's the result.

I shot that photo from inside our office. Steve is standing right next to the snow pile created from raking that section of the roof. Here's a shot from the exterior. The pile in the above photo is on the right side of the back door in following photo.

Can you also see the huge mound of snow on the deck in the above shot? Here's how it looked from inside.

Yep, that's taken through the window above the kitchen sink. The piles had to wait until the next day to be moved, as Steve had already put in a full day outside by the time the last shot was taken. The next day was bright and beautiful, and the temps had finally hit those double digits - a good day to be outside. He headed back out to finish the job, but he figured he might as well have a little fun at the same time. This was the result.

I pulled back the curtain to give you a better look. Cocoa really enjoyed that tunnel. It gave her access to the window again!

A boy and his dog - It's a beautiful thing!

You can tell they're buddies, can't you? Steve finished moving the pile off the deck just in time for another fresh coating the next morning.

Here's a shot of the pile that was moved off the deck. You can see it between the trees - topped with the fresh snow.

Uh oh! It looks like he has more work to do before Super Bowl Sunday.

The BBQ grill is covered again, and he's going to need it!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cleaning Up

(Scroll down to the bottom of this post for updates written on January 27 and 28.)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 - We made it into the double digits!

We also went from 56" of snow to 117" of snow in 2 weeks - with the last 3-4" during the night. Steve spent most of the afternoon cleaning up outside. It's getting late, so I'll attach some new photos of the accumulation tomorrow.  

While he was cleaning up outside, I was inside - cleaning up this old portrait discovered inside a closet at my grandma's house. Here's the before shot.

What a mess! It's one of those old frames with convex glass. I’m still working on determining who the man and woman are. Before I took it apart, I was hoping the names would be found on the backing cardboard or even on the old convex portrait itself, but no such luck.  It looks like the frame is made out of some terrific wood, but upon closer inspection, I realized the grain is actually a painted design, and it had a lot of chips in the paint. I cleaned it thoroughly, conditioned the wood on the back and “fixed” the bad spots on the frame using scratch cover stain and a Sharpie marker. The glass was filthy, of course, but the portrait itself wasn't too dirty. I just wiped it very carefully with a dry microfiber cloth. Here's the after shot.

Much better, right? I have one more portrait to clean, but I know the subject, my 2nd great grandmother, Ellen Esther Hoyt. Wish me luck on my detective work on this one.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27 - Sorry, time has gotten away from us today. We have some errands to run tomorrow. I'll try to update you on the snow situation with photos of the cleanup tomorrow night. It looks like another significant and prolonged snow event is on the way! All is well in the Keweenaw. (11:19 p.m.)

MONDAY, JANUARY 28 - Sorry again. Too busy running errands today to write a blog post. Had another 5 inches overnight. Here's a teaser. I'll tell you all about the next photo tomorrow.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


We've been having very cold temperatures, and it's starting to get a little deep around here. Remember, we could see patches of grass through the snow on January 12. I've been noticing that the house has seemed a little darker every day. Maybe this is why?

That was the view when I opened the curtains in the office this morning. Yep, the snow accumulating on the roof is now hanging in front of the window. This was the exterior view of that part of the house.

Steve decided it was time to rake the roof.

He also went down the block to Mom's place, and Cocoa tagged along. She loves going to see Grandma; Grandma gives her treats! Here's a shot of the neat drift on Mom's car.

OK, time to go home. Cocoa's was leading the way back down 7th Street.

Here's a shot of the front of the house today. I believe our house is underneath the snow - somewhere.

The snow total was 106.5" as of this morning, and it's still cold and snowing. The temperature may make it back to double digits on Friday - heat wave!

One more shot tonight. Here's some visitors we had at the bird feeder on Monday.

All is well in the Keweenaw!
P.S. Remember to click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Back to Normal

I don't have a lot to report tonight. Things are returning to normal around here. That means it's snowing. We're likely to have at least another foot or two of LES by Wednesday evening.  

I guess I should give you some idea of what our driveway looks like in order to document future snowbanks. I took this photo on Tuesday afternoon. I haven't taken the camera outside since then.

OK, the snowbanks are a bit higher now, but they're not out of control yet.  However, it does look like Steve may have to rake the roof soon!

Here's the shot I took out the office window on Monday afternoon. It shows the snow accumulating on the roof at the back of the house.

The next shot is from this morning.

Yep, almost time for a roof rake!

By the way, I walked into the kitchen yesterday morning, and I saw the biggest Blue Jay I've ever seen in my entire life. He was sitting on our bird feeder eating seeds. He was HUGE! I grabbed the camera and lifted the curtain to take his picture. I guess he was camera shy, as he hightailed it out of there before I could snap his photo.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, January 14, 2013

22 and Counting

22 inches since Saturday (5:15 p.m.) and still snowing! Last night's illustration collapsed shortly before 10:00 a.m. this morning. This is the last photo I posted on the blog last night.

I got up at 2:45 this morning to take some medication for a headache, and the pile on the deck railing was even more impressive at that time. I should have snapped another photo. Here's how it looked at 10:12 a.m. today shortly after the collapse.

It was still snowing when I took that photo, but we were having a light spell. It didn't last very long. If I look out the window in our office, I can see the snow on our roof.  Here's the view of that section of roof from Sunday afternoon.

Same roof - 23 hours later. 

Steve and Cocoa worked on our driveway this afternoon. Cocoa plants herself at the driveway entrance with her back toward Steve as he works. She looks down the road - first in one direction, then the other direction - guarding Steve as he works. When he goes down the street to shovel for my mom, Cocoa goes with him and resumes guard duty. She's such a good dog.

Here's one more photo tonight. This is a shot of the front of our pickup this afternoon. You can see the driver's side mirror.

We're getting buried and we're lovin' it! We'll keep you posted on the totals. All is well in the snowy Keweenaw.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

LES Continues!

LES continues to fall. They say we may have more than 20 inches by Tuesday morning! Isn't that exciting? It's the beautiful light powdery stuff. Here's a series of photos illustrating the changing view from the kitchen window in the last day.

Photo 1 was taken yesterday. This shows the snow depth after a few days of warm temperatures.

Photo 2 was taken earlier today during a very brief lull in the flakes.

Photo 3 was taken about 2 hours ago. 

All is well in the Keweenaw!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

LES is Beginning!

When we see that abbreviation in our local forecast, we get really excited - Lake Effect Snow! We may have more than 10 inches of the white stuff by Monday morning and a "very significant" accumulation of LES during the next 2 weeks. Yahoo! 

We've had a pitiful week with warmer than usual temperatures. Much of our snow depth was lost in the last 3 or 4 days. We could even see several patches of grass in the yard by daylight today, but we didn't despair. The temperature dropped continually all day, and the forecast told of better things to come.

Steve went outside to feed Cocoa at 5:15 p.m. Sure enough - the LES was just beginning! Everything was fresh and white (without a tire track on our street) by the time I looked out the front door at 7:00 p.m. We're well-stocked with food for our tummies and gas for the snowblower, so bring it on.

All is well in the Keweenaw!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bye Bye Burgers!

Bye Bye french fries. Bye Bye chocolate cake and ice cream. We'll miss you. January means we start eating healthy again--at least until the end of April. When we took our last drive to Copper Harbor, we decided to stop at The Hut (our favorite restaurant) for one last burger. Steve usually orders the Hut Hut Burger--a one pound burger with cheese and an order of fries or onion rings. Since he was trying to get in the mood for healthier eating, he downsized by ordering the 2/3 pound Hut Burger with cheese and an order of soup instead--Bacon Cheeseburger Soup.

OK, Bacon Cheeseburger Soup wasn't the healthiest soup on the menu, but it was fantastic!

I ordered the smallest burger they have--the modest 1/3 pound Steakburger Deluxe.

You can tell it's a lot smaller than Steve's 2/3 pound Hut Burger in the next photo.

Steve carefully stacked all the toppings on the burger and slathered the bun with mayo. He was visibly giddy with anticipation as he removed his glasses and hoisted the delicious burger toward his mouth.

He ate the whole thing--no problem. He's a "burger man," you know.

The Hut is fairly rustic and is decorated with historical photos. I'm not sure why they display the next photo at a restaurant known for such large meals.

Big Lydia seems to be a better advertisement for salad. Of course, the salads at The Hut are huge, too!

All is well in the Keweenaw!