i woke up at 7am and didn't come home until 1pm. this after just 4 hours of sleep last night (went to bed at 3am). first i shoveled my own sidewalk, then i walked down to the cafe and shoveled there with the snow blower (which kept clogging in the wet snow) including not only the sidewalks but also the parking lot because the plow guy said he had a flat tire and would take a few hours to get fixed. during a break i spent 20 minutes defrosting the freezer with a hairdryer. then my sister gave me a ride to belmont and we shoveled the sidewalk and driveway, before i climbed a ladder and tried to clear the snow off the solar panels. i managed to avalache the 6" pile of snow on the main roof but the snow on the sunroom was just too hard to push, i'll work on it tomorrow morning. my original plan was also to go up to my aunt lili's place and help shovel their sidewalk while they were on vacation with my parents in china, but after 6 hours of shoveling i was soaked, hungry, partially snow-blinded, and had zero energy to do anything else but get a ride back home to cambridge.
there didn't seem to be a lot of snow but what little we had was very heavy and wet. it was easy to clear off the sidewalks but lifting the snow afterwards was the back breaker. paul came out of the house while i was shoveling, "thank you for doing this," he said. typically i wouldn't be shoveling this early in the morning, though he didn't think it was unusual. he shouted something to steve back at the house. i was expecting steve to come out, but he never did, perhaps too guilty to show his face and wanted to wait until i'd finished shoveling first. there were already a few other neighbors shoveling, some of them digging out their cars to drive to work. there was the sound of shovels scraping the pavement, of melting snow running down the storm drain, and the incessant sound of clumps of ice thudding on cars.
wet snow is a pretty snow as it sticks to trees coating the landscape in white. it's better than an ice storm which glazes all the trees but harder to see. my 2nd aunt decided not to come to work today, even though the weather wasn't that bad, not as bad as yesterday when it was rainy and windy. i started clearing a path with the snow blower. the snow was easy to work with at first, but as it continued to melt it became stickier and would clog the machine, to the point where it would've been easier and faster just to clear the sidewalk with a shovel. my sister came out around 9am, after i almost knocked on her door asking her to come out and help with the shovel removal. the snowplow guy had cleaned the parking lot at some point overnight, but there was 1-2" of fresh snow.
an old black lady wearing a fur coat pulled into the parking lot, told me she was going to park there until they cleared the snow on her side of the street (which is never since the city doesn't plow the curb). i told her the plow trucker was coming back, she said she'd move her car when it did. then she began talking as if she knew my parents and i could care less, because i still had a lot of shoveling to do. that's when my sister showed up and i told her what happened and she went across the street to tell the lady to move her car. she's seen her before: it's one thing if she was a regular customer, but she has never spent a cent at the cafe and expected to park in our parking lot for free.
an empty parking lot is irresistible following a snowstorm. a mail carrier was the next person to parked her van in the lot. my sister went to talk with her, she said it was only for an hour, which ended up being 2.
my 2nd aunt surprisingly showed up for work around 10:30am. when i commented that i didn't think she'd come in today, she didn't say anything.
at 11:30am my sister drove me to belmont along with hailey. i was worried that i parked the car too close to the sidewalk tree, with a large branch destined to break off at some point. fortunately that didn't happen. all the clocks were flashing, so apparently there was a blackout at some point last night.1 hailey was crying inside the house while we shoveled the sidewalk and driveway because she wanted to be outside playing in the snow. only afterwards did we let her out in the backyard. we found out that a strength of low fence had blown over from the storm. we tried to upright it but there was too much snow on it. when my sister ignored hailey to help me clear the snow from the solar panels, she began barking impatiently.
i made a critical mistake while clearing the solar panels: i didn't clear the bottom first. so when the upper snow eventually avalanched, there was a thick and heavy pileup that took a bit of time to clear. i was so tempted to climb onto the roof which would've made everything so easy but i wasn't that stupid and didn't want to risk slipping off the roof. eventually i managed to clear the panels on the main roof, but the 6" worth of snow on the sunroom solar panels was too heavy to push with the foam roof rake. a few times the resistant was so much that it nudged me and the ladder, which was simply too dangerous. in the end i decided to come back and work on the roof tomorrow morning when i had more time and energy. we finally close to 1pm.
i took a shower as soon as i got home, stripping out of my soaked clothes. my body seemed to hurt everywhere: unformed blister/bruise on my left palm, blister on big right big toe, left shoulder blade ache, left pectoral muscle pain, left forearm pain, both triceps sore, ache at base of spine, general torso ache, thigh pain both front and back, right wrist, left shoulder, and aching hands. the only good thing was i temporarily lost a few pounds (down to 147 lbs) which i'm sure was just dehydration and not having had any breakfast or lunch yet.
i did grab a raspberry ice tea from the fridge when i first arrived at the cafe and ate two slices of scallion pancakes my 2nd aunt had made before i left. though i was hungry, i was also tired and wasn't in the mood to really eat anything if that makes sense. instead i drank a large glass of soon-to-expire whole milk, which seemed to be enough. in the late afternoon i cooked up some instant sour cellophane noodles (chongqing-specialty, but tastes nothing like the real thing). for dinner i had the rest of my leftover pozole and chicken dish. i was tempted to get some takeout, but once again, my lack of energy lead to a lack of motivation. however, i did venture out to star market in the evening to buy some batteries (remote control and weather sensor in belmont needs fresh pairs) and a box of pirouline straw cookies.
i ordered a pair of nodeMCU ESP8266 wifi development board ($3.92/each) and water sensor module ($1.19/each) from gearbest, for a wifi water sensor project i'm working on.
i've got another early day tomorrow. my sister's getting her wooden floor resurfaced and will be dropping off hailey at my parents' place, bringing me as well to dogsit until they finish working. in the meantime i'll need to turn on the heat at my parents' place gradually, because their oil furnace takes a long time to warm up the house (like hours) and i want to reheat the place gradually so it won't kill the old furnace. the indoor room temperature had already dropped to 52°F. i raised it to 55°F today, and tomorrow i'll raise it to 60°F before we arrive. if i manage to clear all the solar panels and we get good production, i'll also turn on the electric space heater.
1 it must've been for just a second because i didn't see any zero energy consumption periods from the smarthub electricity utility app. judging from the time difference in the clock, i'm guessing it happened at 1:26am.