Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ornament Blogging: Sometimes Life Just Gives You the Bird!

Last night I talked about our propensity to include birds on our tree, so here's another example of a bird-themed ornament we always make sure to place in a prominent spot on the tree. This cardinal and nest is a hand-me-down from my sister, who probably got it sometime back in the 70's and decided she didn't want it anymore a few years ago (when the box of cast off ornaments arrived mysteriously on our front porch). This is one of those pieces that, no matter how tacky it may appear to contemporary sensibilities, is one of our favorites. It attaches to the tree with a clothespin and even has two tiny eggs in the nest ... what more could you ask for? And it has one of our favorite native birds, the Cardinal, as its focus .... I guess it's one of those 'must have' ornaments we have in the repertoire, without which the holiday just wouldn't seem complete. Kind of like my Santa in a Rickshaw coming soon ....

Update on the heating situation: our repair guy came by today and managed to coax the furnace into working for a few hours, but warning that it could crap out at any time. Well, that happened this evening. It now looks like we're buying the house a new furnace for the holiday. I'm getting on top of this first thing in the morning, but I'm not optimistic that we can get it replaced within the next week, given the holidays. So at this point it looks like we'll be having a chilly holiday with just the radiator space heaters and the oven to keep us warm. As Fernymoss put it tonight, this is going to be a candle lit holiday! At least we have lots of blankets and comforters to wrap up in until we can get the new unit installed. And with more snow on the way predicted for Friday and Saturday, I'll be doing plenty of baking!

So it goes ... we'll muddle through. (Apologies to Kurt Vonnegut, jr. Bless him!)


FARfetched said...

Baking… now there's a way to heat the house and have fun at the same time. I think I'm on the hook for bread on Saturday. Hope you get that new furnace going and soon!

You were saying this house is pretty old — it doesn't have a fireplace you can use?

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey there FAR!
Nope, no fireplace even though the house was built in 1902 ... I will be baking some tomorrow night and finding something to heat up tonight to help keep warm. We have 2 radiator style (oil filled) heaters that do pretty well, along w/lots of blankets and comforters and sweaters.

We got up to a power outage this morning ... due to a transformer blowing somewhere in the neighborhood. I stayed home today to deal w/the furnace situation and we regained power about 3:00 this afternoon.

Fortunately a phone was working so I got in touch with our heating folks and got a quote on a new furnace ... it's a 95% efficient, 2 stage variable speed blower, which should save us significant amounts on the gas. (The old one was 33 yrs old!) I researched this stuff last night and thought this was the best (though not cheapest) way to go in terms of doing a better job heating and saving on the gas bills. We'll also get a $325 rebate from the energy co, and a $200 tax credit to help soften the blow a bit.

By some miracle, they'll be able to come out Friday to install the new one ... bless em! At first they told me they were booked until 12/31, but the sales person I talked to said he could rustle up a couple of guys to get out on Friday. We've never used any other company for these things and these folks have never done us wrong in 8 yrs ... reasonably priced too.

Sticker shock? Going to be setting us back about $3,000 until we get the rebate. Not like we have much choice, eh? At least we'll have heat again, and that's the most important part, right? :-)

FARfetched said...

Woo, 3 grand? Yeah, like you said, not much choice. You might as well splash out for one that's going to give you more heat for less fuel; that will pay for itself pretty quick.

As far as heating up something to keep warm, what about Fernymoss? :-)

olivia said...


IVG, so glad to hear that you're going to get the new furnace w/out having to wait. Although, yeah -- it's not the kind of money you want to be shelling out esp at Christmas. Ah well, you gotta have it ... and hopefully you'll notice a difference in terms of efficiency (esp compared to a 33yr-old!) ... Just be careful w/ all those space heaters and whatnot. Be safe ... :)

As for the cardinal ornament, lol ... I think it's perfect. I love that it attaches w/ a clothespin.

Puget4 said...

Hooray for a new furnace! That's wonderful news. Last winter we went through a spell of no electricity due to storms. That meant no heat, no oven, no lights, no hot water. Not fun so I sympathize with you completely.

As to your cardinal... it's wonderful! That's one of the main things (along with Blue Jays and crickets) that I miss the most about living out here instead of Ohio. No cardinals, no eastern blue jays and no crickets. The summer evenings here are too quiet.

Enjoy your new furnace