Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas -- actually, several days before Christmas...

A few early Christmas shots. Boomer, the Christmas kitty:

Our front door:

The arrival of our first guest, Brian's brother Bruce:

We have had a wonderful holiday so far.

Client quilts

I had a crazy Christmas quilting rush this year. I was so busy I didn't even photograph them all. But I did manage to get pictures of a few. The first is Teri's civil war basket quilt:

And the back:

Caroline's beautiful batik quilt:

A closeup:

Syd's African animal quilt:

Billye's 30's scotties quilt:

And finally, Karen's Christmas Carpenter Star:

I finished the last quilt the day before our family arrived for Christmas, leaving me just (almost) enough time to clean and grocery shop. Crazy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside!

And inside, too.

Here in North Texas we're in the middle of our first cold snap. Our first freeze is expected either this morning or in the early hours of Saturday morning. We may even get a little snow. All very seasonal -- great for putting me in the Christmas spirit. I enjoy cold weather, and love nothing better than curling up in my nice warm house with a book and a cup of tea when the outside temperature plummets.

But one problem -- our ancient furnace has ceased to function. We have a monstrous unit -- a combination heater and air conditioner -- that serves the ground story of our house. When I turned it on last week it worked, but sounded rather funny. The repairman came out yesterday and gave me the bad news -- not only was it not functioning properly, but it was a hazard to run. Leaking carbon monoxide like a sieve. Sorry, ma'am, you cannot use the furnace in it's current state. And just to make sure we couldn't use it, he took it apart.

By the time he had declared the furnace dead, the inside temperature was down to 62 degrees. This morning it is 54 in the living room, and just slightly warmer in the kitchen (57).

Luckily, the house has a second furnace that heats the two upstairs rooms. My studio and the guest bedroom. Brian and I camped out in the studio last night, eating dinner while sitting on my small love seat. And if it gets too cold tonight, we can sleep in the guest room (we opted for the chilly master bedroom last night, adding a feather duvet to our bed for warmth).

The new furnace will be installed next Wednesday. Until then, brrrr!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The tale of the 18 foot Christmas Tree

While in Denver, we helped our friends cut down a Christmas Tree in the nearby National Forest. What an adventure! They had obtained a permit and scouted the perfect tree, so Friday morning we trekked into the woods to chop it down and bring it home.

Here it is! And only one mile downhill on a very snowy trail:

Getting ready to cut it down. I think it is bigger than that little blue tarp:

Cutting it down was the easy part. Now how do we get it back up the trail?

After much tugging, pulling and hoisting, the tree is on it's way:

OK, it's by the car. How do we get it home? It's bigger than the car! And we're all exhausted from the climb out:

Erik had better drive home slowly...

On the way out of the forest we met Smokey the Bear. Elena was excited:

We had to cut off 1 1/2 foot of trunk to make the tree fit in the living room. Final height was therefore 16 1/2 feet. It was 10 feet across at the base, and getting it in the front door was an amazing feat of pushing and pulling. That's Erik in the picture for scale:

Janet has promised to send a picture of the tree fully decorated, as well as an account of the number of strings of lights needed. Can't wait to see it!

Our own tree is going to look pretty small this year. Our ceilings are only 10 foot....

Random pictures from Colorado

Brian and I celebrated Thanksgiving with our closest friends up in Evergreen, Colorado. It was a week filled with fun, food and friendship. As well as quite a bit of snow. A few shots from our trip:

Dressed up for Thanksgiving dinner:

Playing "Pin the Hat on the Turkey":



Erik and Carolyn:

Hiking near Evergreen:

Janet at Red Rocks:

A view of Denver from Red Rocks:

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