Monday, January 6, 2014

Snow Shovelling Basics - NEVER Shovel ANGRY!

Snow Shovelling by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 006_zpsb61d212c.jpg

Snow Shovelling Basics - NEVER Shovel ANGRY!

I grew up in Canada & have now lived twenty-some years in Michigan - Snow has always been part of my life.  I can't imagine life without Winter - I love it!  With the "1978-like" Winter (if you are from the mid-west you know what I am talking about when I say "1978-like") that we are having this year I thought it would be a good idea to talk about snow shovelling.  The tips that I share are from my own experience - I'm not a doctor (please read the disclaimer at the end of this post).

Spelling Note:  Word Spell Check kept changing the spelling of "shovelling" to "shoveling" with 1 "l" and it didn't look right to me so I looked up the spelling of "shovelling" and both the "" & "" said that it can be spelled both ways: shovelling or shoveling.

Snow Shovelling by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 008-Copy_zps5fde5334.jpg

1.   Dress the partIt’s not a fashion show!  Wear the proper attire making sure that your ears, face & hands are covered.  Wear long underwear and clothing that is made from moisture-wicking fabric like “Polypropylene” and a warm insulated coat like a down-filled jacket.  Your boots are just as important as your coat! – Don’t shovel snow in your slippers!

Snow Shovelling by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 007_zpse17a6008.jpg  Snow Shovelling by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 005_zps095fa829.jpg
2.  Use the proper tools & the proper techniques – I’m sure you’ve heard everyone say “lift with your knees” – well it’s true!  I always try to push the snow as much as possible but at some point you will have to lift the snow off to the side.  Everyone will have a different technique that works best for them.  I find it easiest to push the snow & make a line in the middle of my driveway and then push little pathways at 3 feet intervals (see picture below).  Then, that way I can walk up the middle and vary my shovelling going right one time and then left the next shovel (see the top 2 pictures) (this really helps with my spine & muscles by not only using one side of my body).  Also, the tool – your shovel quality and fit for you body size can make or break your shovelling experience.

Snow Shovelling by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 001_zps411bc60e.jpg

3.  It’s not a race.  Pace yourself and take breaks when needed.  If you can – shovel a few times throughout one storm.  For example:  If you are expecting 7 inches of snow – shovel mid–way through the storm after 3 inches has fallen and then shovel the remaining 4 the next day after the storm has ended.

4.  Pay Attention.  Watch your breathing and pay attention to any aches or pains that you might feel in your body.  If you have any kind of chest pain at all STOP SHOVELLING and call your doctor.

5.  Never shovel ANGRY.  I’m sure we all know someone who hates Winter so much that they either panic when a blizzard is on it’s way or they work themselves up into a tizzy and even yell at the snow as it’s coming down.  I have one family member who does just this (I’m not naming names but that person knows who they are).  This anger raises their blood pressure, heightens their breathing and tightens their muscles all before that person even steps outside!!  This snow is a passing thing – relax and enjoy – it really is beautiful!

I had a guard watching me to make sure that I followed all of these steps correctly.

Snow Shovelling by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo 002_zpsd5aef8e0.jpg

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  1. I love your guard, also dressed appropriately for the weather in a winter white fur coat! ;-) -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    1. Thanks! We just received another foot of snow last night!! - It's so beautiful.

  2. Wonderful! Now can you please tell me how to deal with water? We are drowning in the stuff in the UK, and it just won’t stop raining. I’m shaking my fist at the sky as I type this (see I can even type angry) Happy New Year. Barbara

    1. Oh my goodness - you made me laugh! I heard about the record rain in the UK - all I can do to help there is pray :-)
      Thanks for stopping by!
      PS - ATA - Angry Typing Anonymous meets every Wednesday (hahahaha)

  3. never shovel angry....a good hint for all of life's problems. :0)

  4. Wow. You look cold. I agree with all you words of wisdom. We too got pounded with snow this weekend. I knew I'd freeze trying to shovel us out. I gave it some serious thought, then I sent my husband out to shovel it. He looked really cold out there as I watched him from the window while I was sipping my hot tea. :)

    1. Actually, I think I have that expression on my face because I was kind of scolding my husband - I asked him to take some pictures of me & he kept saying that he didn't know how - so as I was walking up to show him how to use the camera (which I had already explained) - I was also scolding as I walked (that's when he took this picture) - hahahaha.
      Sounds like you had an easier shovel than I did ;-)

  5. Good tips! Where in Michigan are you from? I live in Michigan, too! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I will be following along with yours!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

    1. I'm in southeastern Michigan near Toledo Ohio - where are you?

  6. These are great tips!

    I grew up in Alabama, where we rarely saw snow, unfortunately. My husband and I lived in New Jersey for 2 years, and he would get SO EXCITED to shovel snow because he never had the opportunity before. When I was very very early pregnant, in my first trimester, we had a big snow, and Daniel went to borrow a shovel from the maintenance guys at our apartment complex. The said, "Sorry sir, we can't allow you to borrow it." And my Daniel was so desperate to shovel that he promptly responded, "But my wife's pregnant." They handed them the shovel and told him he could keep it for a few days. These poor maintenance men probably thought I was about to go into labor, when they were really just deceived by a Southern little charmer!!

    1. That is so funny!! Thanks so much for sharing!! - You made me laugh.

  7. Barbara took my words right away from me! I've never seen so much of the wet stuff (rain, I mean) as we're having in the UK at the moment. At times it has reminded me of the monsoons of my childhood - but that was in India, where such torrential downpours are expected! We can expect to left overs of the "Polar Vortex" you folks are suffering in about a couple of weeks, if normal patterns are followed: however, given the winds we've been having with the rain, it could be by the middle of next week!! So your advice is timely and good! Thanks Angie¬

    1. Such strange weather! Actually - these snow amounts that we have now are more like what I remember from my childhood so not all that unusual for this area. I hope the Polar Vortex will weaken by the time it reaches you! God bless!

  8. I like your tips! Some of them sure made me smile! I was born and raised my first 12 years in WI... so I've shoveled before! I love snow and I don't think I'll ever shovel angry! :)

  9. Never shovel angry, lovely all of your tips. Thank you so much for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop so much fun Hugs!

  10. I love your guard, he looks like mine when I am dealing with tropical storm debris. I am sharing this because I thought it was so funny and true! Thank you for sharing it on our Four Seasons Blog Hop.

  11. Born and raised in Chicago I have done my share of shoveling. My favorite time to shovel was when it was dark out, if I could. I loved the way the street lights hit the snow making them appear as little diamonds sparkling in the lights. I also found it very relaxing, I do miss the snow, now in Louisiana it has been three years since I have seen that lovely white stuff. Thanks for sharing on Tuesdays With a Twist.


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