the original plan was to walk down to the cafe sometime in the late morning to do some snow shoveling. but when i woke up at 9am and saw that there was hardly any snow on the ground, i called my mother to let her know i'd wait until there was more accumulation. my father was itching to use the snowblower and was waiting for me to arrive, but i told my mother to give him the go ahead to plow without me.

when the phase shift finally arrived - transitioning from rain to snow - it came down with quite a force. i went out in the early afternoon to shovel my own sidewalk. as soon as i was finished, all my hard work was covered up by a fresh layer of snow. it wasn't just the sidewalk, as my entire jacket was encased in snow as well. the trick seemed to be to shovel multiple times in order to keep the walk clean. the only way to do that was to go out every few hours.

i finished the last of my chicken sausage for lunch mixed up in some oatmeal.

i noticed something unusual today: all the local female news anchors and meteorologists were wearing red dresses. could it be just coincidence? or maybe people subliminally associate the color red with snowstorms?

i also watched a flock of robins taking shelter in my backyard. there have been winters where robins were everywhere, but not this winter. i hardly ever see a robin these days. but apparently they're still around. they look sort of pretty, all puffed up to stay, with their red breast, white eye rings, and yellow bills.

by 1pm i finally decided to walk down to the cafe, which would take half an hour. i wore a pair of snow pants that my father gave me last night; they were a bit long so i rolled them up over my rain boots. i had my dSLR camera out, hoping there'd be some great photo opportunities, but it still managed to get soaked, despite the umbrella. snow was flying everywhere, it was impossible to stay dry. and when i did find time to shoot, either the viewfinder or my glasses would fog up, or the front of the lens would be wet. it was not good photo taking weather; better to wait when the snow stops. kind of shame, because it was definitely beautiful, with trees coated in layers of wet snow.

when i finally arrived at the cafe, i looked like a mess, covered in snow, jacket soaking wet. as my father has just plowed the sidewalk a second time, i waited around for enough accumulation before going outside to do some plowing.

around 2:30pm i went out so my father could show me how to use the snowblower. i've used it before, so this was just a review. this was the blower with the rubber paddles, a smaller one compared to the bigger blower with the metal blades (which we haven't used yet this winter). the snow was a bit too slushy and had a tendency to get stuck in the chute. it seemed like it'd be easier to just push the snow with a shovel. when the snowblower was working however, it made quick work of the accumulation.

i left sometime after 4pm. the sidewalk needed another run through from the snowblower, but i left it up to my father. i wanted to get back home before it got dark, as there was still a 30 minute walk.

as i got close to home, the storm finally let up. the sun broke out, lighting up the tree tops in a golden hue. as it was approaching sunset, the sky changed into soft pastel colors like something out of a maxfield parrish painting.

of course my good-for-nothing upstairs neighbors didn't shovel the sidewalk while i was gone. i dropped off my things and then outside to clean up. it wasn't very hard, as the snow was still very slushy, and wasn't sticking to anything yet. many other neighbors were out shoveling as well. everyone would stop intermittently to admire the sunset and the snow, and to take photos with their phones.

mary came home while i was still in the shower around 6pm. she told me she was going to go take an evening nap, wake up a few hours later to make herself lunch for tomorrow. i busied myself with my spaghetti recipe. i'd gone out earlier to grab a box of noodles and an onion. when i returned i realized instead of spaghetti noodles i accidentally bought a box of linguine noodles.

i have a fairly simple spaghetti sauce recipe that requires only 4 ingredients: onion, garlic, ground beef, and a jar of tomato sauce (any flavor). i cook the chopped onion and garlic first (in a bit of olive oil) until they're soft, then i add the ground beef. i wait until the beef is nearly fully cooked (scooping out some reduced beef fat in the process) before adding the tomato sauce. of course i can also dress it up a bit, like add some italian spices (basil, oregano, parsley) and a dash of red wine. the sauce was a little sour at first, but after i cooked everything on a slow simmer for half an hour, all the flavors fused together for a nice sweetness.

mary woke up around 8pm, while i was boiling my pasta. she only got up to use the bathroom, and went back to bed. but before she did however, she poked her head out from her bedroom and asked if i could please turn down the volume of the tv in the living room. in all the times i'd had roommates, i've never once had a noise complaint until tonight. i'm typically very considerate when it comes to tv sounds, but in my defense, i also don't have roommates who take evening naps. i agreed to the turn the volume down, but it left bitter taste in my mouth that will only be fixed once mary moves out.

originally i cooked just 1/4 of the linguine, as that was for 2 servings, but it seemed too little, so i used half the box, which was 4 servings. my eyes were probably bigger than my stomach because that turned out to be too much pasta. it was delicious for the first half of dinner, but by the end i hit a food wall, despite finally finishing everything. pasta - though great - leaves me feeling bloated and gassy.