Monday, November 10, 2008

Sierra Highlights #7

My occasional Daybook.

gray and cold. The first snowfall to stick was yesterday, though it is gone now.

Inside.... the wood stove makes it nice and warm in the center of the house, at least, though the perimeter is still chilly.

Waiting.... for Sean to get home from school. He gets the day off tomorrow! and has to study for an Earth Science test.

Catching up on.... laundry. It's been getting ahead of me these days.

In the Kitchen..... the freezer and pantry are a bit sparse right now. We are due for a shopping day. I will probably make tuna casserole, and supplement with fish sticks for the teen boys.

Schoolroom Events.... it's exam week.

Reading .... The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The title in French is more poetic: Scaphandre et la papillon. Kevin and I watched the screen version last week, so I requested the book.

Hearing.... Paddy singing the Mighty Mouse theme song. I know why he caught on to that. Kevin watched Man on the Moon last week, and talked about Andy Kaufman a bit to the teens.

Seeing.... Brendan pacing back and forth. Which means he is thinking. I asked him and he is physically thinking out a story. That's what I used to do. I should try it again sometime, actually.

Remembering..... for some reason, Jean Claude Killy. Maybe because of the book I'm reading. Killy was the graduation speaker at the school from which I graduated. My dad was impressed with his speech... on how important education is. This Olympic skier basically said he wished he had not devoted quite so many brain cells to his sport, because he had to live many more years than his athletic prowess lasted.

Recent Past -- we cleared our lot of tree-brush yesterday, since Smokey Bear had left a gentle note on our door saying that one of his representatives was going to come and check. Damp, cold, hard work but having five and a half workers (the half was Aidan) meant less than 2 hours of time to do about 10 man-hours of work.

Near Future -- Liam will come home for Thanksgiving, and Sean will play his last JV game.

Plans to Focus On
-- holidays, and tackling the house, and getting things winter-ready.


Katie said...

So pretty... we used to 'go to the snow' in the Sierra's (near Tahoe) when I was growing up in California.

lissla lissar said...

It snowed here yesterday- only a few flakes, but it was real snow, not sleet or frozen rain.

Christmas is so close, suddenly. That's what it feels like here, anyway. I know it's not even Advent yet, but it's only two weekends until our first family Christmas trip, and I have to have all sorts of baking and cooking done...

Deep breaths, and how do you decorate a Christmas tree so a barely-toddler doesn't destroy it? :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds lovely. Your comment about the wood stove prompts a question. How well insulated is a log home? Does it keep the heat well? We've seen one we like (built with logs imported from your side of the continent so similar though the house is smaller than yours) and are seriously considering.

Willa said...

JoVE, I found this site which discusses some of the possible ins and outs of keeping a log home warm. I'd make it a priority to ask about insulation strategies with the contracter.

We manage to heat the house mostly just by the wood stove... that being said, it does get cold in the perimeter.

You definitely need insulation between the logs (at least where we live) and the fact that we have a lot of big windows doesn't help much. We have a high ceiling so the heat tends to rise up above where it's useful for us.

A smaller log cabin with normal windows and ceilings would probably be a different proposition. If we had to do it over again we would probably go for more of a "cabin" feeling and less of the spectacular log cathedral look.

Kevin read when we were first researching that the logs actually act a bit as a thermos (keeping warmth in during the winter and warmth OUT during the summer) and this seems to be true here.

One other thing to look into is floor insulation, and also, ask about the contractor's strategy for central heating vent placement. Our contractor put several of our vents into cupboards. This was completely weird -- I'm not sure if the wood floors/log walls presented a logistical problem but now our bathroom and kitchen cabinets soak up all the warmth when we do occasionally turn on the central heating.

Willa said...

Lissla, some ideas:

Watch him very carefully at first (seems obvious but I think this was about 70 percent of what we did, just lay down the ground rules in the first couple of days).

Forget about the glass ornaments for this year, unless they are way up high.

Unplug the lights when not using them.

Use ribbons instead of hooks to hang the ornaments.

Keep a few neat little toys or baby-friendly ornaments in a basket in front of the tree for "his" Christmas.

Put something crackly around the tree so you can hear when he approaches it if you're not there.

Put the tree in a gated corner or room, if you get really desperate, or even put the whole tree in a playpen. Or put the sofa at an angle and the tree behind it (he might be able to manage to get past that kind of obstacle by now though, right?)

My kids usually got used to the new item after a couple of days, so once this "orange alert" period was over and I sort of had an idea of the precautions to take I could go back to normal toddler-level vigilance.

lissla lissar said...

Hmm. Good ideas. So far we haven't gotten 'Not for Baby' across to him in any form, except that he knows to go really fast towards things he wants but isn't supposed to have. And wailing as soon as we start toward him.

So I suppose he kind of understands the concept of No, but not why it should apply to him....

Susan L said...

I love this kind of post. It's snowed here, too. I am snickering at the Mighty Mouse song because I've seen that Andy Kaufmann Saturday Night Live bit, and it really is funny. And I remember watching Jean Claude Killy in the Olympics! (I am old.) I like what he said at the graduation at your school.