Friday, December 19, 2008
A few years ago, my in-laws decorated their house for Christmas.
The Christmas Ladder!
Complete with red shiny nose.
And the rarely seen act of nature never before caught on video... the mating of the mechanical deer:
These were not allowed into the front yard, sadly, but have made appearances at several Christmas Parties.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
1) Finish Bathroom- Not Yet!
Well... we've installed a light, hung the door, and scraped part of the wall (leading visitors to query us over our "interesting" wall covering). I'm not sure I like the light... but it's there for now!
2) Replace Front and Back Door- 1/2 Done
We've replaced the back door, and have stripped the new front door and bought a new storm. I really wanted to get it in before this winter, but it's too cold to paint outside now.
3) Finish Landscaping Backyard (and Plant) NO!
All we did in the back yard this summer was finish the firepit and build a hammock stand.
4) Finish Master Bedroom- Um... NO!
Didn't do a single thing except create a myriad of plans and dream of including a bathroom!
5) Finish Laundry Room- No
We did hang the kitchen cabinets... but that is all!
6) Wood Flooring No
We didn't lay the flooring we have... but I did discover tongue and groove flooring under our carpet.
7) Replace Trim No
We've looked at trim styles and talked about what we want... is that close?
8) Research and Plan Exterior Paint/Stucco/Re-Siding DONE!
We sure "resided" the house! No more asbestos siding for us... and it's DONE!
9) Dog Door No
Somehow this just didn't seem that important... and without a deck in the back yard, it didn't seem that possible yet.
10) Compost Piles Done!
Here's our compost piles!
As we face the next year, we will make a new list... some things left unaccomplished will remain, but new priorities have been made. And, of course, we will expect the unexpected!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It is SO COLD here! BRRRRR! In honor of the cold, I'm reposting a very old post (that nobody probably saw before!). I've seen some discussion over whether lowering your heat really helps save money... these numbers prove it does (on a forced air heating system, at least).
One of the first things we did to our house was install a programmable thermostat. We chose this Honeywell 5-2 Day Programmable Thermostat. $30 later...
This is what we set the thermostat to:
Year 1: 62º (No programmable thermostat)
Year 2: 62º During the Day, 54º at Night and While Gone
Table 1, Monthly Therm Usage
October: 47 Therms, 30 Therms
November: 24 Therms, 19 Therms
December: 96 Therms, 75 Therms
January: 113 Therms, 63 Therms
February: 69 Therms, 71 Therms
March: 72 Therms, 50 Therms
Average: 70.16, 51.33
Total: 421 Therms, 308 Therms
Table 2, Monthly Outside Temperature
Year 1, Year 2
October: 53º, 56º
November: 44º, 46º
December: 32º, 29º
January: 29º, 38º
February: 37º, 29º
March: 39º, 36º
Average: 39º, 39º
We saved 19 therms a month, simply by installing a programmable thermostat! Installing the thermostat took about 20 minutes of our lives. WELL worth it! We have definitely saved our $30 many times over. Now that we have made the house more efficient in other ways, I'm looking for even more savings this year!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'd encourage everyone to make something for a present this year. Putting a bit of yourself in a present makes it that much more special, and you can be sure it's exactly what you want to give. It can be as simple as homemade candy or as complex as a hand knitted scarf. Perhaps framed pictures of a loved one's favorite things. Use your imagination!
For those that don't have the time to create something by hand, be sure to check out Etsy. If you order in the next few days, it will still get here by Christmas!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
It's not a bad little door... $30, and solid wood. Looks a lot better than the flat paneled hollow core door!
To match the hinges up, I stacked the doors on my "workbench" (picnic table). This allowed me to match the positioning exactly.
I reused the existing hinges, though they may not be beefy enough for this door (which is very heavy). The door is installed... and it does feel a little warmer in the laundry room now.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
On Saturday, we bought a 5 foot Noble Fir, made steaming mugs of hot cocoa (and Kahlua), and set to decorating the tree with our box of ornaments:
We had just enough tree for the ornaments!
I created a wreath out of a few extra branches, a hunting horn, and some small glass balls:
The wreath looks especially nice on our brick house!
... hung by the furnace with care.
Here's looking forward to a wonderful Christmas season, filled with love and care!