By Bea Westerberg
News
It’s that white time of the year

 

SPELLING BEE Time

“Celebrate endings-for they present new beginnings.”

– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Okay, who is the person who had the magic power to order all this beautiful artist snow and had it placed so carefully on the trees and buildings? It sure is a winter wonder land with joy for the kids, adults and dogs who love rolling and playing in or on the snow. Then we get to the real life story of us realizing that we can’t spend the rest of the winter admiring the snow. We have to get out and move in it, shovel, plow, sand and scrape it. I am sure a lot of words were used in giving it blessings. Some of us also got to renew our thinking of how great it is to have electricity 24 hours a day. If the electricity is out, those lights just will not come on no matter how many times you flip the switches. It also turned out to have a showing of how people can work together and help each other out. It renewed the knowledge that there are really good people in this world.

I slipped another change into my life just as the old year was on its way out. I did some serious 4 wheel drive-all wheel drive vehicle shopping on the computer. My Brother Marvin suggested that I look at a Subaru Forester and that is what I focused on. It appeared I could go to California or Florida and get the same vehicle for at least several thousand dollars less. I did this shopping without any of the passion or the will to travel to get the new Mustang, so almost any color or year in my price range within 100 miles was game. Burnsville was the place I saw the best deal so it was a quick trip to view the “new” and trade in the old 2 wheel drive pickup. You will not be able to tell if I am driving around town because I ended up with a car that looks like what every other human is driving these days. Its a sliver, 2011, 4 door Subaru Forester with a roof rack. For now, I am planning on keeping a large object that I picked up at an auction last week in the back so I can make it easier for me to pick out my car in the parking lots. Once the orange and black Mustang gets loose in the spring, you will be able to track me.

The holiday treats are slowly being munched up. My fruit cake was good at Christmas but it was even better on New Years. I put what was left in the freezer to enjoy at a later time. I did not get to bake all the cookies I wanted to but I was amazed at how the simple combination of soda cracker, butter and sugar could make a large amount of a wonderful treat. I added pecans to half the batch of this very quick recipe. Its humble beginnings sure makes a knock out treat!

The story always comes back to the weather and I learned a few things about getting stuck and trying to get out. I checked out different products to use on ice and what to have on hand in case of emergencies. Hopefully a whole lot less needed with Sylvia, the all wheel drive Subaru.

I have several steps and porch area that are used by the Siberian husky who does spend most of his time outside. At ACE Hardware, I found a product for ice, Safe Paw, that does not have salt to get on the dog paws. It came as a bag or a sprinkle container and it does a pretty good quick job of eating into the ice.

The sand tubes used for weight in back of vehicles are no longer tubes. The 60 pound sand vessel is a square and is not a lot of fun to handle. I bought 4 and I used 2 of them in the back of the Mustang when I put it away for winter and then took them out of the truck and just left them in the barn. The 2 I had in the pickup were just left in the truck when I traded it in. I did not feel like handling them so someone else can get them. I found that we had at least 6 brush/scrapers in the pickup so I am well stocked with them. ACE also suggested “grit” as a plain sand which can work very well to get out of a snow-ice situation. I got a pail with a cover to transfer as needed from the big bag.

On one of my earlier adventures when I got stuck in my yard (doesn’t that happen to everyone?) I went through a lot of kitty litter. Once I did research, I found out it might not have been the best thing to use. There are 2 main types of kitty litter. There is the kind that clumps and the kind that does not form clumps when the kitties use them. They are made different and the ingredients react differently to salt and liquids. Generally they dissolve and become a mess that is tracked in or frozen in place to make a slippery mess. Sand is denser in volume and easier to toss in place and you can sweep up tracked in sand once it drys. It also does not “melt”.

Concrete does not like salt so there are 2 products that I came across (no doubt many more) to use on it. There is Traction Magic to get instant traction and Safe Thaw that breaks the surface tension and instantly starts to melt ice/snow. Safe Paw and Safe Thaw are made by the same company and both are dog friendly.

I had not heard of the combination of cabbabe juice and vinergar to de-ice but that got bad ratings. It sounds strange but both beet juice and molasses are mentioned and I think they have found ways to use them on highways and other large areas. It seems one can spend a good amount of time in the stores shopping for deicing products. That is once you get plowed and shoveled out! Walk CAREFUL!

Bea Westerberg [email protected]

January 11, 2023