Tag Archive | snow

Vaguebooking was in Vogue Today

I hate Vaguebooking more than many things in life, and I did it all day today, so my apologies to those of you would saw my day bookended by the twin statii

Dear Driver Who Slowed Down to Look as He/She passed Me Lying In the Snow Trying to Dig Out My Car in My Driveway on a Private Road with Only About 30 Residents and then Continued His/Her Merry Way,

You are a jerk.

No love, Me.


Quick PSA: When someone is having a complete breakdown in front of you and just barely holding it together because they’ve had a really shitty day and this is the last straw, the appropriate answer is NEVER, EVER “Oooh…well, it could be worse.” Yes, it could be worse. I could be dying of cancer. I could have a splinter in my foot. I could be having my arm gnawed off by a walrus. Yes, things could be worse. But right now, at this moment, for me, it is bad enough. Don’t minimize that.

To clear up the mystery that I’m sure has been haunting each of you all day – “What the heck happened to Karyn today?” I present to you “The Last 12 Hours of My Life” [as in, the 12 hours immediately preceding the time that is now, not to be confused with the final 12 hours of my life, which I hope will take place far in the future].

Prologue: It’s March Break. Ben, Molly and I are up at my parents’ ski chalet, which is on very small, private (as in, not municipally maintained) crescent. There are 20, maybe 30 chalets in all on this road. Ben and Molly are in a ski day camp. Yesterday the weather was balmy. Today there was a massive snow storm.

9:10 AM Realized we had plenty of time. Let Ben and Molly continue playing before getting ready to go.

9:30 AM Told Ben and Molly it was time to get ready to go. They did not share my sense of urgency.

10:00 AM Actually got out the door and into the car. Realized that my decision to park in the middle of the half-circle driveway facing the steeper exit was not my best ever.

10:02 AM Ben: “We’re stuck, aren’t we?” Car: “whuh-ERRRRRRR” Ben: “Yep. We’re stuck.”

10:02-10:30 AM Tried to dig the car out with bare hands and a snow brush.

10:30 AM Abandoned the idea of getting the kids to ski school and sent them inside. Put on mitts. Searched, unsuccessfully, for a shovel. Continued, unsuccessfully, to try to dig car out with snow brush. Watched Jerk #1 drive by slowly.

10:45 AM Gave up and went inside.

12:00 PM Dressed warmly, armed myself with a broom, and went back out to try again.

12:00-12:30 PM Alternated laying on the ground digging under the car with broom handle and trying to rock the car out in reverse. Watched Jerk #2 drive by, slowing down for a good look at the chick lying under her car.

12:30 PM Knocked on neighbours’ door.

12:30-1:00 PM Lovely older couple with much better tools than my broom and snow brush dug the car out. With me and her pushing, he successfully backed the car out of the snowbank and into the snowbank on the other side of the driveway.

1:00-1:10 PM Dug the car out of that snowbank and pushed it up onto the road.

1:15 PM Loaded the kids into the car and took them up to the hill for their afternoon session.

1:45 PM Molly refused to ski.

2:50 PM Put Molly into the car and tried to pull out of parking space. Stuck. For once someone ACTUALLY STOPPED and pushed me out. Yay!

3:00 PM Picked Ben up and drove back down the hill. Discovered that the entrance to the private road had been blocked by the municipal plow. Tried to dig it out with Ben’s ski. Municipal plow drove by, presumably laughing at me.

3:15 PM Drove back up to the ski hill and explained the situation, and asked to borrow a shovel. Lady at the desk said, “Oh my! You’re about to have a breakdown, aren’t you?” Burst into tears. She had a girl take me out to find the shovel. Girl said comfortingly, “Oh, well…it could be worse though.” I said, “True. I could be facing charges for having kicked in your stupid teeth, you utter moron… Uh-huh.”

3:25-3:40 PM Shoveled out the road, stopping to give thumbs up to Jerks #3-12, who drove by without stopping. Special honourable mention to Giant Jerkwad Supreme in the pick-up truck with the plow attachment who could have done it for me in one pass. Drove home to the chalet. Backed into parking space. Pretty sure I’m stuck again but no longer care.

3:45 PM Phoned Municipal Public Works office and was assured that blocking in the private road was standard practice, as was ignoring motorists stranded by the aforementioned action. “If the plow driver stopped to help ever stranded motorist, we’d never get the roads cleared.” Hung up on him. Got a big cuddle from Ben. Felt marginally better.

4:00 PM My mom called. She agreed that John from Public Works was a dick and all the people who didn’t stop were jerks. Felt somewhat better.

4:15-5:30 PM Chatted with friends and received “likes” on Vaguebook. Felt significantly better.

5:30 PM Built a fire and toasted and ate 1 bag of marshmallows (with the help of the kids). Felt quite a lot better but now slightly ill.

9:10 PM Finally was able to see the humour and wrote this post.

Epilogue: In conclusion

1. Yes, it definitely could be worse. I have a pretty awesome life, and at no point was I or any of my loved ones in danger of losing it. But still, sometimes things suck and you get upset…and whatever has caused it, telling a person who is upset about their particular circumstances, “It could be worse,” is not comforting, it is invalidating and minimizing. So if, “smack upside the head to give perspective,” is what you’re going for, then by all means, say that, but if you’re aiming for “comfort and console,” try a simple, “That sucks. I’m sorry.”

2. People are stupid jerks, but it’s nothing a roaring fire and a bag of toasted icing sugar, artificial vanilla flavouring, and gelatin can’t fix.

~ karyn

breakdown picture

Text reads: “If someone is having a breakdown in front of you because they’ve had a really shitty day and this is the last straw, the appropriate answer is NEVER, EVER “Oooh…well, it could be worse.” Yes, it could be worse. I could be dying of cancer. I could have a splinter in my foot. I could be having my arm gnawed off by a walrus. But right now, at this moment, for me, it is bad enough. Don’t minimize that.”


Shoveling tips for a Canadian blizzard

Well, I’ve been living in this great country for 27 + 6 years now, and I’ve been around the block a few times. That’s ’cause in a proper Canadian snowstorm, you have to go back over your sidewalk and driveway over…and over…and over…and over…until the storm is finished.

Bob and Doug McKenzie - show shoveling in Canadian winter

Photo of Bob and Doug McKenzie Whoever said, “Do the job right the first time and you’ll never have to do it again” never shoveled snow off a Canadian driveway, eh?


I think we Southern Ontarians may have gotten a bit complacent over the last couple of years and we’ve forgotten what a real Canadian winter looks like, eh? Since Snowmageddon caught us all by surprise, I figured that as a reference for next time, I should share some helpful shoveling tips.

The Top 5 Snow Shoveling Strategies for a Canadian Snowfall, Eh.

1. The Perfectionist: This method involves shoveling the same stretch of pavement over and over until every last snowflake has been lifted and deposited neatly on the lawn. Be prepared for some backbreaking labour as you scrape your sidewalk clean. There may be some demolition involved as you pulverize and remove the icy footprints rudely left behind by passersby during previous snowfalls that you somehow didn’t get to in time. If necessary, you may have to pull out your metal garden spade for the iciest bits, but if The Perfectionist is your goal, then gosh darn it, that’s the price you pay, eh?

2. The A-Little-Off-The-Top: Favoured by those for whom perfection is seriously overrated, this method involves skimming off the fluffy top layer of snow and leaving the smooth packed under-layer clinging to the pavement. Drawbacks include those pesky lawsuits that spring up when your mail carrier slips and breaks a wrist.


Ben demonstrates The A-Little-Off-The-Top
©PicklesINK 2013

3. The Leap-Frogging Snowplow: A back-saver in a proper Canadian blizzard, especially when you have a long driveway (“Oh honey, look at the driveway! You could fit 6 cars in it easily! Isn’t that great? What down side could there possibly be?”), this method involves using your shovel to plow the snow as far as you can before it gets too heavy, then skimming off the top to continue working your way towards your deposit area. It’s important to use your hands to push the shovel – under no circumstances should you push the shovel handle with your torso if you like your lowest ribs intact.


Properly graduated snow pile placement for The Leap-Frogging Snowplow
©PicklesINK 2013

4. The Off-Roader: NB – This method works best with winter tires. This is easily the quickest of all the strategies, so it’s great for busy people with places to be. The Off-Roader involves starting your car, aiming for the end of the driveway, and taking a run at it. Back in and out of the driveway several times, each time entering the driveway in a slightly different line than before. With skillful maneuvering you should be able to achieve a shoveled “look” by flattening the majority of the snow on your driveway. Downsides include icy tire tracks that will remain until spring. **NOT RECOMMENDED FOR SIDEWALKS**

Tire track

Ice tire track, a side-effect of The Off-Roader
©PicklesINK 2013

5. The RIGHT Way: ‘Nuff said.


When the going gets tough, the tough get snowblowers.
©PicklesINK 2013

I hope you will find this helpful during this beautiful winter season (especially if Mother Nature dumps any more of this %^$%#* on us!).

~ karyn

Did I miss any? What is your method of choice?