Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays

Red Front DoorOne of the deficiencies of our new home was the entrance. Made of wood, it had suffered the effects of moisture and its southern exposure. The frame had become rotten and the door ill-fitting. So I installed a new energy efficient fiberglass door about a month ago. My wife wanted a red door, so red it is - just in time for Christmas and a new wreath.

Although the painting is not finished - more coats of red are needed to deepen the color and I am not sure I am happy with the trim color - it still makes a decent Christmas photo.

So, Happy Holidays to our friends and family. The door is always ajar.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter Solstice, 2007

Christmas Card 04Winter solstice occurred for us in the northern hemisphere yesterday at 1:08 AM, EST. Our hours of daylight will now become longer, making another spring an eventuality. Let us welcome the return of the sun.

Every now and then it probably does us good to be reminded that we are part of something larger than ourselves, much larger. Humans have been using this date to do so for a long time, in many ways, in many places. We are probably better off for that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just Right

Woodstock StoveFrom the first moment I set foot in what would become our new home I felt something was missing in the living room. Between two windows on the east outside wall should have been a fireplace. But none was there. Given the difficulty (and expense) of adding a traditional masonry fireplace to a log wall I looked for an alternative, one that would also provide both supplemental and backup heat. The Cottage Franklin Soapstone Gas Stove was our choice.

We ordered it early last spring when it was on sale and finally installed it a few weeks ago. It was one of the few projects around here that went off more or less with no surprises. The stove has performed perfectly, providing backside warming on cold mornings - like today - and a pleasant glow in the living room in the evening. I like to wake up before sunrise, make my coffee, push the button on the remote, and watch the flame and feel the radiant heat as the sun comes up. Given the layout of our house the stove can heat the whole house if called upon. When we complete the soapstone heat shield and mantle behind the stove that space between the two windows will look complete.

Thank you Woodstock Soapstone Company, West Lebanon New Hampshire. It was a pleasure to work with you. Great Stove!

Now all I need is to pull my chair closer to the stove, open a good book, and pour some egg nog. Winter has its rewards.