It’s Not the Shovel’s Fault – #SoCS

It’s Saturday, and it seems to be winter everywhere. Our thoughts are with those people who are suffering under weather conditions uncharacteristic of their area. Winter visited us a couple times this week, but we’ve cleared the roads, driveways and sidewalks and we’ve settled into the bar for a chance to relax and see if we can make sense of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt,

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘nerve.’ Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

If we were having a beer, you’d be curious about my method for clearing snow.

“Did you break your snowblower, Dan?”

“No. Why do you ask, David.”

“I saw a picture you posted where you seemed to be pushing the snow with a shovel.”

“Oh, yes. That’s my hybrid mode. I push the snow to the sides with a shovel and then use the snowblower to move it from there.”

“Why not just use the shovel?”

“Lifting that shovel over the snowbank aggravates my shoulders – remember the pinched nerves that landed me in Physical Therapy?”

“So, you’re blaming the shovel?”

“No, it’s my fault. I need to keep up with the exercises my PT gave me. I’ve been a little lazy about that.”

“You know what would help, Dan. Lifting a weight from a surface say, oh, I don’t know, maybe head high.”

“I think you’re onto something, Cheryl. Do you have a small weight I could use?”

“I do. I think a bottle of Corona will provide just the right amount of resistance.”

“What about you, David?”

“Well, since my shoulders are fine, I’ll go with something lighter, say a glass of John Howell’s Bourbon.

“I’ll fill those prescriptions and be right back.”

“Ok, Dan. I understand the whole lifting and not lifting thing, but why not just use the snow blower for the entire job?”

“The shovel is faster.”

“The shovel is an inanimate object, Dan. It’s neither fast nor slow.”

“I don’t want to interrupt this exploration of all things pedantic, but here’s your Corona, I mean free weight, Dan. David, here’s your bourbon, seltzer and ice. “

“Thanks Cheryl. Cheers Dan.”

“Cheers David. For the record, I can move small amounts of snow more quickly with a shovel than I can walking behind the snow blower.”

“I get it. I didn’t mean to annoy you, or Cheryl for that matter. Endowing things with human qualities is one of those little things that gets on my nerves.”

“Perhaps you should try drinking something heavier.”

“Not those nerves, Cheryl.”

“But, truth be told, David. You understood what I meant…didn’t you?”

“Hahaha – of course I did, Dan. So my choice was to be annoyed or to annoy. What would you expect me to do?”

“Given your history…Still being quietly annoyed might be a better choice in a social setting.”

“But where’s the fun in that, Dan.”

“You’re right, David. It’s mid-February, we need to seek joy wherever we can.”

“Speaking of seeking joy, on a higher plane of course, are you giving up anything for Lent, Dan?”

“Yes, I’m giving up ball games, opera, concerts, celebrations of every kind and dining in restaurants.”

“Including Skooter’s?”

“You saw my car there yesterday…”

“I did. If I may say so, giving up meat on Friday’s during Lent would be more of a ‘sacrifice’ if you didn’t enjoy Skooter’s fish and chips so much.”

“You make a good point.”

“You know, Dan, we serve fish and chips here.”

“I know, Cheryl, but.”


“We’ve had this argu…discussion before, you guys make it too fancy.”

“Too fancy?”

“You don’t even serve it with Tartar Sauce.”

“You can request Tartar Sauce if you prefer it to our signature aioli.”

“See, that’s the thing. Fish and chips doesn’t belong next to a ‘signature’ sauce, artistically drizzled onto a plate. It belongs in a basket with a generous scoop of Tartar Sauce in a cup. And coleslaw, there should be coleslaw, which you don’t serve.”

“You’re probably right, Dan. But I’ve talked the chef into a special for next week. A Louisiana shrimp po boy, and I’ve offered to make remoulade – I make a killer remoulade.”

“That sounds delightful, Cheryl. You won’t let him fancy it up, will you?” “I said, ‘Louisiana’ shrimp po boy, Dan, although, he’s working on a lobster bisque to put on the menu with it.”


  1. Those fish and chips look awesome, Dan. The only thing you might need to add is a touch of vinegar. I loved the pedantic discussion about attributing human traits to inanimate objects. I am sometimes a bit of a grammar and stylistic nerd, but that is not one of my triggers. I like the look of your microspikes, which appear to be useful on your frozen tundra. I don’t know if Maddie pulls at all, but my personal experience is that it does not take much to lose your footing on ice when walking a dog. We haven’t had the amount of snow that you have had, but the 6 inches so far this winter are ten times what we had last year (and the total is almost 12 inches at Dulles Airport). The challenge for us has been the freezing drizzle and sleet that have made driving a challenge for those who have had to drive in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fun dialogue, Dan, and I loved the photos. Our cold, snowy days in MO make me envious of your snowblower with its plastic enclosure. And owning a pair of microspikes would sure be handy. CT knows how to prepare for and deal with winter, but our area was only accustomed to a dusting of snow and thus ill-prepared for this last storm. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is definitely fish and chips. It looks delicious. :-) Spikes are a good thing and keep us upright in winter weather. This last snow was pretty, but I’m really tired of it I must say not that Mother Nature is going to adjust her schedule. Stay well, and I hope you get a break from clearing snow at least for a few days.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t like fish period. Don’t eat it. But that breakfast would certainly tempt me to give it a try! 🤗 You even made MiMi hungry!

    The frozen leaf….. I think it might be two….forming a mini bridge is a short story waiting to happen at the capable hands of our dear friend Pam!!

    Your sidewalks look just like ours. Maddie must love getting back inside to get her footies warm. I know Murphy does. Yes Dan, our spoiled girl lays right down so I can use the blow dryer on her footies! 🤗

    I like the shots you got with some sunshine peeking through. Hopeful of what’s to come.

    Hope your weekend is warm, cozy, relaxing and interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Editor doesn’t like fish either, Ginger, which is why I’m always getting it at Skooter’s.

      I was careful not to read this on the couch with Maddie. We dry her feet, but we don’t use a blow dryer. I don’t want Maddie to know that Murphy is a notch above on the spoiled-girl scale.

      I took care of the last bit of snow that fell last night. We are bare and dry, at least for a couple days.

      Take care.


  5. Man, those spikes are SAVAGE! Maybe I’ve been watching too much Supernatural (as if there could be such a thing), but my first thought was, “You could do a lot of damage to a monster with those bad boys.” My late friend, Jane, gave me things to put on my shoes to improve traction, but they don’t have spikey bits. I agree with you about the fish and chips, although, ideally, they should be served in newspaper and sprinkled with malt vinegar.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Before I forget, thanks for the mention. I love those spikes. I could have used a pair. Today it’s supposed to be as high as 55, so we can say goodbye to the snow. I know Twiggy will miss it. (she is the only one) I loved the fish and chips shot. They look like a Friday feature that gives new meaning to sacrifice. The last good fish and chips I had was eons ago. Texas is just not the place to order that kind of meal. Great photos. Glad to see the sun make an appearance. Have a good weekend. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bunny! I saw him… ❣️
    We have that awful ice as well, which makes trips out to the Barn Majal quite precarious. But I woke up with an awful pain in my neck the other morning so I’m thinking some of those beer bottle resistance exercises might work for me too.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “Endowing things with human qualities is one of those little things that gets on my nerves.”

    Really? That’s one of those things that brings me comfort– especially when I’m wrestling with our printer, Eppie, who is sad disrespectful ornery old girl. But you do you, I’ll be me, trying not to take a hammer to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan, I sure wish Texas had that kind of equipment and experience dealing with ice and snow. This has been a helluva week for us who don’t do well in frigid temps with no power or water. This too shall pass, but it’s getting on everyone’s last nerve right about now. We have been so lucky, but once it thaws out, we have to deal with Dads Broken pipes! 😔

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That fish n chips looks amazing. Most places totally fail on the ‘chips’ part, opting for frozenated shoestring fries. Those look nummy for a potato freak like me. Last year I bought some of those spikey snow shoe thingies for my son and his wife in Nebraska. Their driveway is uber steep. She was pregnant at the time. Maybe Mimi would have liked a Lobster Bisque ‘sample’. 😉 We had a mini Lop Eared rabbit ‘back-in-the-day’ who had a hutch out back of our house. When he/she (another story) created a healthy mound under her cage, I took our wide flat shovel and moved said pile to another location. That night I awoke with such pain in my chest I thought I was having a heart attack. Pulled muscle. Keep up the good shoveling plan. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shoveling is a good way to get hurt. Pushing, lifting, throwing – so many muscles to pull. Those spikes are life savers. Skooter’s has pretty good fries, and the best coleslaw. MiMi is not a big fish eater. They both circle if we open a can of tuna, but neither of them eats much. Our previous cats would steal the sandwich from your hands.

      Take care, Cheryl.


  11. Not having a snowblower, B attempted to shovel our sidewalk on the first day of our Texas Snowmageddon. He got about 5 feet down the walk before he stopped … said he was only making it worse. He couldn’t get down to the concrete. The ice underneath the snow became more of a slip hazard.

    I absolutely loved the gallery today. And now I’m craving fish and chips for breakfast. Definitely has to come with coleslaw and tartar sauce.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Fish and chips…Mmmm. I haven’t had that meal in a long time, which is odd for someone who lives in a State known for its Friday fish fries. Lake perch is my favorite, and walleye, blue gill if I can find them. Golden brown, deep-fried fish with salty french fries and a generous side of cole slaw (not two bites in a paper cup). No fancy schmancy presentations required. Oh, and you need the appropriate beer or brandy old fashioned, of course. A good friend and I will be partaking once the Covid mess has settled down and we feel safe in a restaurant.

    Shoveling is the worst for neck and back, and sometimes the heart. Be safe with your snow removal, Dan, and have a lovely weekend. I hope better weather is headed your way. We’re slated for highs in the 30’s this coming week, which means there will be sightings of men in shorts and maybe even flip-flops.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary. My brother reported the first 24-hour period above 0f in three weeks. He said the same thing, time to break out the Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. We are warming up, but I had to push some snow around today. I did do the push to the side and clear with the machine. Lifting that stuff is just no fun.

      Skooter’s doesn’t serve beer :( It’s such a hard choice, but their fish is really good, and they make the best coleslaw.

      Enjoy the weekend warmth!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s good that you’re being kind to your shoulders. When you mentioned needing to keep up with PT exercises, I thought of how I’ve never been consistent with that sort of thing for long. That’s why I’m using a bit of my social security money for a personal trainer. Having a standing weekly appointment is helping. As far as lent goes, I can understand not wanting to give up fish and chips. Fish is the only meat I eat occasionally, except during lent when I go vegan. There’s always “Meatless Mondays.” :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We do meatless about once a week, not on any schedule. The exercises I have to do aren’t they kind they’d have you do in a gym, at least not any I’m aware of. Stretches and weights while laying on a foam tube.

      Liked by 1 person

        • It is like a gym, and I would have liked to have gone for a longer period, but my coPay was $45 a session, so…

          You can buy the tubes at Target. It’s about 6″ in diameter. The exercise I do is to lay down with it under my spine. That means my shoulders can “drop” behind me. I’m supposed to press dumbbells up, from that position. It’s a lot of work, even with light weights, but it strengthens the small muscles in my back.


  14. After reading about, and seeing those wonderful fish & chips — you picked the right photo to sum up the post, Dan. OMG. I’m going to be pulling everything out of the freezer to see if there is any fish hiding. LOL.
    ” Lifting a weight from a surface say, oh, I don’t know, maybe head high.” Back when I broke my wrist, I developed frozen shoulder within a couple of days (not weeks). The doctor described it as a reaction to the break and surgery. Anyhow, that was one of the things the therapist told me to do. Since I’m only 5’4″, it was not a challenge to need dishes that were at that kind of reach. Stay safe and well. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Growing up, every Friday night at my house during Lent–Mrs Paul’s Frozen Fish Sticks. School cafeteria (Catholic school, of course) smelled of fish all the way down the hall to the classrooms. Gross.
    “Endowing things with human qualities is one of those little things that gets on my nerves.” Why yes, I do that. Quite a lot, actually. I mean, like a real lot. Everything becomes personal….it is sad.
    You will enjoy this. Florida has also been having quite a cold snap this week. Our nights were down to the 20’s with wind chills in the teens. Schools closed for a day this week. My younger son works for the county. Offices closed due to the weather. No snow. No ice. COLD WEATHER. hahahah. I hear you laughing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember the fish sticks. During Lent, we went to The Ritz Hotel (a dump) where they made the best fish sandwiches for takeout. They made so many. I remember a fireman pulling up in a fire truck and driving off with bags full of fish sandwiches.

      Closing county offices due to cold??? That’s a new one on me. Enjoy the weather – I hope spring arrives soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I haven’t had a decent plate of fish and chips in a very long time. I’m with you, the newfangled stuff just annoys me. The old tried and true are classics for a reason. Don’t mess with the good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I like the spikes and that last photo. :-) When we lived in Illinois, there was a supermarket near us that also had a restaurant and bar that did amazing fish and chips, the chips that are slices of potatoes. Just and fish and chips hint: Always eat the chips first because they’re best when hot and crisp. Tartar sauce is necessary, but lobster bisque also sounds perfect to me. And I understand about the snow shovel/snowblower balance. When I shoveled, I would switch sides each pass or two, which kept me from getting sore or out of balance.


    Liked by 1 person

  18. As much as I like winter, browsing through your gallery of photos showing all the snow you have up in Connecticut, I’m beginning to yearn for spring. Maybe it’s just that I’ve been stuck here away from the north too long.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Cheers to fish and chips on Fridays :-). That’s awesome that Faith gave you those spikes for your shoes. We have some of those too. Definitely help for walking on ice. I like the abstract photo too – at first, I thought maybe it was an x-ray of your shoulder, then I read your comment on it. I saw the bunny too!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I shoveled out my car from about 9″ of snow on one side and about 5.5 on the other. I shoveled paths from doors to cars and garage to gate etc, and this is the year I said we should get a snowblower. (Or park at the end of the drive! Hah!) The Mister did not shovel, because he works from home and his trips are few. He drove out in my shoveled bit. Now it’s melted, some parts bare and some parts slush.
    Marian recommended the Yaktrax and I must buy them.
    I would like lobster bisque followed by fish n chips :P SO MUCH!

    Liked by 1 person

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