If we still had minstrels they’d write a song about how I tamed the snowblower beast – all by myself no less. As a Minnesota blogger I take on most of my tasks with the idea that I will probably write about them. Usually something goes wrong and it’s worthwhile to take a few pictures and have a laugh or two at my expense. I know a little about a lot of things and can handle most fix-it jobs around the house without assistance but occasionally one comes along that intimidates me just a bit. Learning how to assemble the snowblower was one of those things.

I have tools (not the ex husband) and am not afraid to use power tools if I have to. I’m not afraid but truth be told I probably don’t really know how to use them properly. I’ve found that I’ve acquired a decent set of tools over the years but most jobs require a butter knife and nothing more.

Assembling the snowblower required more than a butter knife but not by much. Most of the challenge was getting the damn thing out of the box. I bought the snowblower a few months ago, long before snow was in the forecast and while it was still balmy out. I purchased it when I did because it was on sale and I wanted to save $50 and because I didn’t want to be putting it together right before a storm or even worse, right after one. I had plenty of time to put the snowblower together but every time I thought about tackling the project I found something better to do. The box was big, it was difficult just to get out of the car and I really didn’t know how I was going to cut around the box like it showed on the box opening instructions not unlike Ikea packaging.

Instead of taking a box cutter and cutting a top out of the box (because I knew I’d cut myself, that’s why) I decided to turn the box over and open it up that way. It wasn’t a bad idea either except I ended up with one flap tucked under the box and ended up having to cut that which wasn’t that big of a deal once I got into it.

Once I got it out of the box I was tasked with the removal of the box which caused a fair amount of anxiety since it was Saturday and recycling day was the day before. Now I had a huge box that had no place to go for a week. I set it on top of the discarded TV from 2007 and haven’t thought much about it since (yes, missing another recycling day).

The box was a distraction from the real task at hand. I could put the handle on and make it upright. All that was necessary there was to screw on two bolts to each side of the handle. After pulling it upright of course.


That was the easy part. The scary part was figuring out what to do with the bag of extras that was in the box. Included with the red and black behemoth was a bottle of oil and some other plastic things.

It was at this point where I left the garage and came inside to check the weather.

The storm wasn’t due for a couple more days and I was hoping my neighbor would return from hunting soon so he could to the rest. Putting oil into a machine scares the crap out of me for some reason. It’s irrational, I know. The problem is I’ve seen people put the oil in the wrong part of the machine causing my dad to yell and scream and accuse said idiot of not knowing anything about machines (which would be accurate). Not wanting to repeat that scene even if he has been dead for 8 years I was a little worried about where to put the oil.

On an ironic side note I froze up an engine on a ’72 Nash because I didn’t check the oil. I’d only had the ugly ass car for a couple of weeks and no one (I’m talking to you dad) had ever told me about putting oil in the car.

Where was I?

It’s not like there was more than one place to put the oil. There were two places to put fluids into the engine. The gas tank and the oil thing. The gas cap was clearly marked but the place to put the oil was not and that was what tripped me up for three days while I waited for my neighbor to return.

pink flamingo covered in snow

In the mean time storm Astro arrived and dumped a whole of 1.5 inches on St. Paul. A snowblower wasn’t necessary to remove the snow so I was off the hook until the next storm. Surely by then my neighbor would have returned from hunting, right?

He’s still not back so after texting my brother a rambling text about the snowblower, and getting shamed by him for not actually reading the operator’s manual I found my courage and poured the oil in the only other place to pour anything.

Nothing blew up, even though nothing was turned on, so I figured it was all good. I added some gas, I put the key in the slot and pulled the rip cord.

It actually started up!!!

I engaged the auger and tore up some of my driveway and then the engine killed reaffirming my belief that I should not be allowed to play with any kind of engine.

Upon closer inspection of the words that are printed on the back of the machine I learned that the rip cord should be pulled while the lever is switched to choke and that once started it should be moved to run instead of the other way around.

Amazing how it works so much better now. And, it makes a decent lawn mower in a pinch.IMG_0290