Last Wednesday, after a long day of flying, we made it safely home to The States. At the present we're up in Bellingham getting ready for Nicola and Matt's wedding which is next Saturday! I'll have to continue working on the posts about our trip - Venice and Oslo were amazing! But in between the catching up, I'll try to post some of our current happenings.
The photo above is our fireplace and mantle decked out for the Christmas season with the heart garland I found in Oslo, a couple of poinsettias, and new candles. In the center of the mantle sits our new Julenisse, the Norwegian version of Santa Claus, and his wife. For more info on Julenisse, check out this article by L-Jay over at MyLittleNorway.com.
We have been especially grateful for our fireplace today. When we woke up this morning, our room seemed especially cold and before long we realized that our furnace wasn't working at all. The temperature has been in the 20's to low 30's lately and our house has terrible insulation so we really prefer to have our furnace in working order! We have an old oil furnace (which we plan to replace during the remodel we are currently dreaming of...), so the first thing Woodley did was to check our oil level. The tank gauge reported 1/4 of a tank left so Woodley figured that probably wasn't the problem. He then called up the repair man to have him look at the furnace. He arrived late in the afternoon and sadly wasn't able to fix the problem - he suggested we order more oil and see if that made a difference. So our new oil will arrive tomorrow and until then we are making excellent use of our fireplace. We are very very thankful for our wonderful neighbors who have given us extra firewood and space heaters!
To get out of the house a bit today, we drove out into the county and found a U-Cut tree farm (Alpine Meadows) where we cut down 2 lovely little trees (one for our house and one for my mom)! The farm is located in the foothills at the base of Mt. Baker.
Many of the trees were covered with snow!
Woodley cut down the trees we picked out in no time! (For which I was especially grateful since I had lost all feeling in my toes due to the cold.)
Back at home I began thinking about decorating the tree. Unfortunately I didn't ship our Christmas decorations up to Washington so we only have 2 ornaments that we picked up on our trip. I really didn't want to spend a lot of money on new ornaments since we already have a bunch which we have collected from our travels. Instead, I decided to make some simple decorations such as gingerbread ornaments, strings of cranberries, and paper snowflakes.
This afternoon I started baking the gingerbread ornaments and strung a big garland of cranberries while I sat by the fire.
I can't remember if I've made a cranberry garland before but it was a fun and surprisingly easy project. I just happened to have a bag of cranberries in my refrigerator and some embroidery thread and a needle in my closet. In about an hour and a half I strung the whole bag of berries and I have now draped them around the tree. They only reach about halfway down so I'm hoping to get 2 more bags to string tomorrow and I think that will cover the rest of the tree.
It is so nice to be home for a bit doing Christmasy things!