Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas to Our House!

I guess it was probably past time that the furnace puffed its last gasp (it was installed in 1974), and we knew it was coming, but not so soon! We just didn't expect it the week before the holidays ... and the sudden expense resulted in initial severe sticker shock. But having had it working for about a day now, we're convinced more that in the long run, it was a good thing after all. The old unit was horribly inefficient and never quite got the whole house warmed ... and at phenomenal expense usually. So ... despite our four chilly nights without real heat, the weekend turned out quite well, thanks to our erstwhile and wonderful folks at the heating/cooling service company we've always used. They did their best to work us in this week so we wouldn't have to wait until 31 December, which was their next scheduled installation date. As it turned out, the guy who installed the new furnace had finished a big job early this week and was available to do our house.

This Goodman unit is a 95% efficient furnace that I had installed with a programmable thermostat, so we should start seeing some savings very soon, I would hope! If you'd like to see the nitty gritty specs on it, then head on over here. So far, we're just tickled to have heat again and are enjoying the difference it's already made! It may have socked a hole in our pockets right now, but it's definitely a good investment for the future of the house ... so we're grateful to have this all done now, especially before Christmas.

With regard to the holiday doings around here today, it's been really busy, thus the late hour of this posting. We had the last of gift and grocery shopping today, just before the most recent snow storm blew in (literally!) with its 3-4" of snow. If it's the weekend in Iowa, must be another storm ... as has been the pattern for the last month.

Once warmly ensconced back in the house, I worked up to making cookies ... 3 batches of Snowball cookies, 24 gingerbread men (I wimped out and bought frozen pre-cut dough, but it's good), and also mixed up two batches of Spritz cookies (cookie press stuff). Along with the big batch of Chex Mix I made last night, that put a dent into my holiday kitchen duties. Today's goodie tasks are a few batches of peanut brittle and my English Almond Crunch Toffee (basically butter, sugar, almonds and chocolate coating). Fernymoss will be decorating the house and the gingerbread people and I'll be making the candy ... and probably another big batch of Chex Mix since I've already bagged up a lot to give as part of our gift plates.

Arrgghhh .... I love making the cookies and candy, but it always means that I'm insanely behind in getting things wrapped! Somehow that's on the agenda today as well ... Packages are starting to appear under the tree, and as soon as we get most of them done we hope to do a pups and presents picture to feature here.

So from our house to yours, flying by the seats of our pants, scrambling to finish the decorating and the wrapping ... hope you're staying warm and cozy, especially those of us in the snowy zones! Sounds like Ottawa, North Dakota and Colorado are all snow covered ... so wherever you are, we hope you are making the best of the season in your own way!

More soon ... ornament blogging, dog blogging and other stuff!


olivia said...

Hi IVG and Fernymoss!

That is one purty furnace ... :D

So good to learn that it's all installed and sending out it's warm air goodness. You should definitely notice a difference in function and efficiency, making such a jump (from a 1974 furnace ... :)

Sounds like you're in a baking frenzy there ... but it's making my mouth water. Mmmmmm ... Maybe you could get Fernymoss to take some pix of the gingerbread men once decorated ... ;-)

FARfetched said...

Yay, heat!!!

As I told FM, I'm doing challah bread tomorrow, and trying cinnamon rolls later this week, so I have plenty of kitchen time coming. A whoooole week off, although it's at FAR Manor so it's really not "off." But hey. Mrs. Fetched gets help with the chickens.