Thanksgiving Recap

The good news is the charging cord came for my dad’s camera so my next post will have real pictures again!

The bad news is I didn’t have it over Thanksgiving so this post is full of crappy cell phone pictures.

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My Thanksgiving started with being packed into the back of the car and sandwiched between bedding, food, luggage and dogs.  This trip taught me that Henry is not a good traveler.  He whined and could not get comfortable which meant that I could not get comfortable which meant it was a looooooong ride!

 

 

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But then we made it to Denver

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and I learned that I have a new favorite beer.  Holy moly, try this.

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My contribution to dinner were sweet potato pies and a cheese plate.  I didn’t get pictures of either of those-just the little muffins I made with the extra filling.

My photos of the weekend end there and don’t resume until I got home Friday night:

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My tree is decorated and in person it’s not blurry at all. 😉

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Henry was so happy to be home that he didn’t leave my bed for hours.

It was a great weekend and an awesome Thanksgiving hosted by my bother and his girlfriend.

-A

Do You See What I See?

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No, no, no.  Not the tree, this:

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My house was coooooold when I got home from work last night.  I didn’t think much of it initially because I like to keep my house on the cool side but after climbing into bed I realized that it felt colder than usual.  I went to the living room to check the temperature and found it was at 58 degrees.  I keep it set at 65 so I figured my pilot light might have gone out again.  I wasn’t thrilled (why am I not nervous in the basement during the day but at night it seems like a scary, scary place?  weird.) but I thought, “I know how to do this, I’ll have heat in 5 minutes, no problem.”

Not the case.  I followed all the steps (which I’ve now done a couple of times) and nothing.  So I pulled out an extra blanket and climbed back into bed.  When I woke up this morning it was a toasty 52 degrees in here.  Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised that the temperature inside only dropped 6 degrees.  I live in an old drafty house with old windows and gaps in my floorboards so I figured outside would suck all this heat out and the fact that it didn’t made me love my sweet little house even more!

Obviously I called my dad as soon as the sun came up and he came over to try to fire up the furnace.  He couldn’t.  So, for the first time in a year I called someone other than my dad to fix a problem in my house.

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I was nervous that the person they sent would tell me to scrap the old furnace and buy a new one.  Sure, that’s the plan but I’d like to do that this spring/summer instead of in the dead of freaking winter.

The man they sent was so nice.  I explained my concerns and he said that he has “worked on older furnaces” and that he would do his best to fix what was needed to get me through this winter.  I asked him to estimate how old the furnace is and he said that last week he worked on one from the 1950s and this one seemed newer.  So now I’m thinking it’s from the 60s?  70s maybe?  Anyway, still older than me.

He figured out the problem really quickly and it turns out the thermocouple was too far from the flame (?) and that was why it was so hard to a) light and b) stay lit.  He fixed that but said that a new thermocouple is a quick and inexpensive repair.  I told him to go ahead and replace it and within 30 minutes I was signing my check and he was checking to make sure there wasn’t any carbon dioxide blowing around my house.

So for less than $115.00 I have peace of mind and heat.  I know I got lucky and I probably won’t get this lucky again so it’s time to sit down and do some research and make a plan for my heating and cooling.

As a side note, when I realized I was going to have to have a stranger in my basement I was sosososososo glad that my mother and I finally got around to cleaning my basement last week.   Can you imagine what this nice guy would have thought it he walked in and saw this:

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That would have been really embarrassing!

-A

PS-Thanks for sticking around even though my posting has been so sporadic.  I’m still cameraless and I’ve been waiting to tackle some bigger projects until I can properly photograph them and post about them

 

It Has Begun

I know, I know.  It’s not Thanksgiving yet!  Christmas is still more than a month away!

I know, I just don’t care. 😉

I’m hosting a Pinterest Party Gift Exchange (those details coming soon) the first weekend in December so I’m trying to get a jump start on decorating.  I had a tree last year but didn’t really go decorating crazy but this year, it’s on!

I’m trying to DIY the majority of my decorations and here’s what I’ve put up so far:

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Yeah….another wreath.  It’s coffee filters and silver spray paint.  I’m still relying on crappy cell phone pics so sorry that it’s so hard to see.

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I got three bags of pine cones for $3 so I’ve spread them throughout the house.  Some are in this vase in the entryway.

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I bought two of those giant pine cones at the grocery store last year for $1 each and I plopped one into this basket on the dresser in my living room.

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And the other one went on the buffet in my kitchen

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Finally (for now) I strung the last of the pine cones on some twine and hung it above my fireplace.  This was super easy (I’m sure you’ve seen a million pins by now!)-all I did was screw some eye hooks in the bottom of some of the pine cones and string them up.

I got the menorah at Bed, Bath and Beyond last year and finally found the right sized candles at Target.  Who knew??

Hopefully by the time I’m ready to do another decorating update I’ll have a real camera and be able to show you better pictures!

-A

The Basement-Phase I

My mom and I did something major today.  Something I’ve been putting off for months because I thought it was going to be so bad.

Do you remember this?  Yeah, that was in freaking February and we finally cleaned it today.  Yes, almost a year later.

I’m going to show you pictures but, just to warn you, they’re all from my cell phone.  Yes, I’m borrowing my dad’s digital camera but the battery is dead and I don’t have the cord to charge it until between November 26 and December 2, according to the person I bought a new cord from on Amazon.

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My original plan for today was to put plastic up over the holes in the drywall but the stuff I bought was too flimsy so I scrapped that plan.  I want to gather a list of plumbing and electrical work I still want to do and get some people in to get those projects done.  Once that happens I’ll put drywall up over the whole ceiling.

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I did vacuum up all the spider webs (and spiders!) that I saw so right now I’m not as worried about spiders falling on my head while I’m down there.

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So, as you can see, I have sections of ceiling with broken up drywall, some with no drywall and some completely finished.  For now.

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There’s really only two sets of shelves down here.  This wide one and this

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this much more narrow shelves.  The paint and supplies all got moved over here where it fits perfectly.

basement7I’m thinking I’m going to paint that shelf white so it looks bright and clean.  I also really want some label holders to put on all the shelves down here.  Because they’re pretty and will make me feel more organized!

You can also see that I have finally hung my chandeliers!  Kind of.  Now they’re up off the floor and waiting for someone to come hang them upstairs!

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*note, I did not mind my head.  I hit it.  Twice.

Four hours ago you couldn’t see the floor in my basement and now that’s all you see!

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That back wall will get a shelving unit to hold all those bins and all my yard sale stuff got piled up in the opposite corner.

Amazingly, this project only took us 2 hours!  We filled the back of my mom’s car with cardboard and I don’t know how much trash we hauled out of here!  Now I just have to keep it clean…

-A

 

Things To Do

Now that it’s cold outside I can forget about all the stuff still to be done outside and focus on stuff still to be done inside.

Here’s my list of things I want to do:

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We took that door out of the guest room early on and it (and it’s twin) have been sitting in my basement ever since.  I would love to have a piece of glass put in that top section and put

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in the open doorway between the kitchen and laundry room.  There’s no heat in my laundry room and the entrance to the basement is open and it’s always a good 5-10 degrees colder than the rest of the house.  I would like to have this door up to keep some of that cold air out and also hide some of the laundry room clutter that is always there.  It would also be nice to be able to contain Henry when I have people over or when he’s soaking wet from snow or he’s a muddy mess from my backyard.  However, I understand that this may not work.  I won’t do this if closing it off could cause my pipes to freeze.

The second project I’d like to tackle is my fireplace.  By fireplace I mean, hole in the wall in my living room.

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Okay, you’re right.  It doesn’t look like that anymore.  But remember when it did??

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Yes, that’s more like it.

It’s already wired for a gas insert so all I need to do is buy one and slide it in.  I’ve begun my search for an insert that I like and I’ve started a board on Pinterest for ideas for the hearth.  I still have a pile of old bricks that I would like replace those tiles with and I would love an even chunkier mantle.  My goal is to have this project done this winter.  It’s been coollllldddd!

Finally, the basement.

basement7I’m not changing a thing down here!

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It’s perfect!

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Okay, it’s not.  It’s a disaster that I pretend does not exist most of the time.  This is really going to be a lot of cleaning with a smallish construction project mixed in.  Again, I’ve been pinning away and gathering ideas for a wall of shelves to organize all those bins.

My mom and I will probably start this project soon because it’s driving me absolutely crazy!

Mixed into all of this will be putting in baseboards, coming up with a plan for the bathroom and maybe painting something.  (Is it too early to start redecorating??)

-A

 

 

 

 

Grrrrr

*edited to add that my dad is letting me borrow his camera until I can get a new one.  Thanks dad!*

If it’s not one thing, it’s a broken camera.

I’ve been using a little Canon PowerShot that I got years ago for Christmas and I liked it.  Sure it wasn’t fancy and it didn’t take amazing photos but it was easy to throw into my purse and take it everywhere.  And it was indestructible.  Was.

It’s been dropped more times than I can count and it survived the beaches in Kauai, several snowstorms and moves and dust from drywall and construction work in my house.  What it couldn’t survive though?  Being dropped on my wood floor with the lens open.

So, now I have no camera (but hopefully Black Friday will come through for me!) and I’m on the market for a “real” camera.  I’d love some suggestions!

I spent all morning trying to get pictures off of my phone in hopes that I can use that in the meantime but, for some reason, it’ll only transfer my Instagram photos so that’s what you get today!

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What a sunset huh?

-A

Colorado National Monument

Despite living within driving distance of this place for most of my life, I made my first trip to the Colorado National Monument last week.  A friend was visiting from out of state and, I assume, everyone from outside of Colorado only comes to Colorado to see mountains.

I’m not very outdoorsy.  I know, a Colorado girl who doesn’t hike.  We drove the 23 mile road all the way around the park and stopped at various pull offs to take pictures.  Some of these spots required a little hiking but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t do in flip flops!

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The most amazing part of this park (I think) is that the road and tunnels were built almost entirely by hand.

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I love that tiny little lone tree up there.  Okay, it’s not tiny or little, it was really far away.

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We didn’t stop at the Visitor’s Center when we entered the park (we should have) so we didn’t know the names of the formations were were looking at.  As we were looking at this one I insisted that it looked like hands.  Turns out I was right, the name of this formation is, wait for it, Praying Hands.

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Balancing Rock

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Those cut outs!

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I fell in love with Junipers at this place!  It seemed like everywhere we went we came across at least one that was growing through a rock.

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We had a perfect Colorado Fall Day that was cool enough for jeans and a sweater but warm enough for flip flops!

Come visit me!  Now that I know my way around I’ll take you!

-A