30 December 2005

Nothing much doing..

I've not done much of anything this week. I'm almost finished with one of the sleeves on Jack's sweater (and it turns out I wouldn't have needed the extra yarn for the sleeves, but I might to finish the rollover collar bit) and almost out of fleece to spin, but neither is on the order of impending doom. I have other things to start knitting but not much push to do so. I haven't warped either loom yet, but will pr'bly warp them both sometime this weekend. *shrug*

Work has been quiet, but I guess fairly productive. Or at least, I'm farther along on some projects that requires rather significant thought than I was before. Still haven't figured one of them out entirely, but it'll get there. I think.

Tonight I'm making truffles and rosettes for snacky bits for tomorrow night and a couple loaves of banana bread for brunchy bits Sunday. I'm also going to be trading a couple pairs of Addi turbos that I used once and not again and 6 dozen mint truffles for 9 skeins of Noro Lily, so I'll pr'bly be making truffles again Monday. Need to stop and get the chocolate and more cream and butter this afternoon.

Yup. Time to make coffee and then more presentation graphs. And at some point I need to actually write out an outline for the Pivot Table "class" I'm doing at the end of January.

28 December 2005

I need a bigger house.

This is not the realization one should be coming to less than a year after closing on their first house, I know. But I do. Because the answer clearly can not be that I need to have fewer hobbies. Nope.

In an effort to occupy my mind on my drive in this morning (in the car without the CD player and, hence, with the audiobooks), I decided to figure out how to rearrange things in my house so that I can find room not only for a workout space (bike on trainer, weight bench for Jack, small TV or laptop stand and floor space for an exercise mat), a pottery studio (wheel, small kiln, drying shelves, glazing table - this is actually feasible in the basement where we have the vestiges of a canning room that would work beautifully as a drying and kiln room), a fiber space (somewhere to put the fleece I'm told will eventually start to accumulate even though I'm almost out of the stuff mamacate sent me, the eventual spinning wheel and stool, and all the stash yarn, and all the works-in-progress and finished objects awaiting homes, and my knitting needles and ball winder, and both the (small table) looms (one for tablet weaving and one rigid heddle), and the eventual floor loom (or two), and the bobbin lace pillow and bobbins and spools of silk, and the sewing machine and serger, and the fabric stash), a book binding space (workbench with space for davey board, fun papers, glue, tools, clamps, waxed thread, a heavy mallet, a cutting board and slew of sharp-cutty-things), and a brewing space (shelves for bottles and equipment, a sink, a stove, a lagering fridge, and a wine cellar - again, this is feasible, but competes with the pottery studio for the canning room).

My current plan involves knocking out at least one wall, lots of electrical work in the basement and the possibility of a small addition.


I can make this work.

Now, where's that winning lottery ticket..?

27 December 2005

And the reindeer, having put in a good year's work, rest.

We've been married something over three years and have had Christmas with each other's families for somewhere around five years. And every year, Jack's family Christmas feels more natural. I like getting to hang out and watch the kids do whatever they're doing and join in or not. I like chatting with Judy about crafting stuff (we've both recently started spinning and she's very crafty, so as we get to know each other better, we find more and more stuff to talk about) and catching up a bit with Sara.

Of course, there's also the marked contrast between 5 kids ranging in age from 5 (maybe 6?) to 14 and Dawn's two little ones. Gift opening tends to be a lot more chaotic, but I was able to snatch some glimpses of folks as they opened things. Most everything seems to have gone over well, though it remains to be seen how the kids will like the books we got them.

I think my favorite gift this year, though, was from Hunter. He knows that Jack and I both like to read and he picked out books for us as gifts from him this year. I'm not sure I can explain just why that meant so much.. it's something to do with the idea we had several years ago that we wanted to try to instill a love of reading into these kids so we get them books (instead of or sometimes in addition to toys or games) every year for Christmas. But it's also something to do with how excited he was to watch us open them. He stopped opening his pile of gifts to stand in front of us and watch us unwrap them; when a 10-year-old boy puts aside his own gifts for that, you know it's something special. He picked out the first of the Bartimaeus trilogy books for me and Eragon for Jack - both very good selections for our reading tastes.

It's also nice that Judy and Sara get us both clothes. I don't like to shop for clothes for me much, so it's really neat every year to get a couple sweaters or shirts that are new and stylish and all that. I got a light sky blue washable suede shirt, a lovely tan sweater and a funky squash-colored chenille sweater with little fringy bits at the bottom hem. I was a little worried about the color, but I put it on this morning and it looks fine and is very slimming and comfortable.

And then there are the things that weren't gifts, but rather things that Judy found out I was interested in and decided to give me. Like the rosette irons. I'd never had rosettes (not sure why.. just never had one before) and they're really good. I asked how they were made and Judy got out her irons to show me the set up and ended up digging out two or three irons that were duplicates in her set to send home with us. I'm thinking about making them for this weekend as we're having folks over to play games New Years Eve and they're good not-too-heavy cookie bits.

Later, we were sitting spinning and comparing notes - she can't get thin consistent yarn and I can't get thicker consistent yarn, but I think part of that is because she doesn't actually let her spindle hang to spin because she runs out of roving too fast (she's using Romney, maybe, that's not been carded, just washed and combed out a bit) - and I mentioned that I wasn't quite sure what to do with my first yarn. She said that the woman she was getting her fleece from suggested weaving with it since that would show off the thick-n-thin quality better than knitting or crocheting.

About half an hour later, she reappeared as I was sprawled on the kitchen floor helping Jack and Hunter with a model car kit with an old rigid heddle loom that she'd gotten from her father's house when he passed away a few years ago. One of the pieces needs to be glued back in place, but it's otherwise in fine condition. So I'm now the proud (and excited) owner of a small rigid heddle loom and can't wait to have some time to sit down and figure out how to warp it up.

She also mentioned that she has a full floor loom up in the attic (and Don mentioned that there's apparently another out in the garage), so at some point I might find myself with some larger looms as well. Which means the futon might just have to come out of the upstairs craft room so I have somewhere to put it to weave.

Too many fiber crafts..? Nah. Just not enough time. *grin*

24 December 2005

The Great Midwestern Tour

Generally, I don't mind that we are the ones who do the annual Christmas travel between our two families. We're the ones without kids, who don't have to explain that Santa would still find them even if they're staying at grandma's or their aunt and uncle's house or put up with simultaneously over-stimulated, over-sugared, and over-tired children in a car for several hours each way. There's also that whole thing about not having to have my house "relatively clean" (which, according to my brother-in-law means "cleaned to within an inch of its life because the relatives are coming").

But it's still a bit draining, maybe moreso this year than it has been in the past because we switched the days around this year and are spending Christmas Eve at home so we don't have to figure out what to do with Jali. Which meant we woke up at 6 this morning, shuffled around to get some breakfast and coffee and showers and the car packed and were on the road by 7 for what ended up being an almost exact 3-hour trip to my sister's. We chatted and puttered for a bit getting things for dinner ready, opened presents, ate, played a couple games and then were back on the road home at 7 p.m. for what was, by the grace of warmer weather and less icy roads, only a 2 hour and 45 minute drive. It was a wonderful day and I wouldn't have missed it or changed it, but sitting at the far end of it, I realize just how utterly exhausting it was.

Of course, the booty, for lack of a better term, mitigates the exhaustion somewhat. Sometime over a year ago, I put the four-DVD Stott Pilates matwork set on my WishList and never really expected that I'd get it as a gift, but rather that at some point when I started to hanker for a more serious pilates workout (or even one that I could do at home at all), I'd just order them one-by-one myself. Mom and dad, however, decided that it had been on my WishList long enough and I am now the proud, if somewhat slightly overwhelmed, owner of the entire set. The timing on this is very good because I've been trying to figure out a home workout routine that.. well.. would work for the last couple of weeks, and my recent venture into the world of professional chiropractic care has me thinking that strengthening my back wouldn't be the worst place to start.

Also in the on-the-WishList-but-never-really-expected-to-see category was a beautiful Blue Willow cardigan kit from Blackberry Ridge, which also showed up, complements of my sister as a combined birthday and Christmas present under the tree. I'm slightly intimidated - I've never done any Fair Isle work and don't want to mess the sweater up - but also very excited to have the kit and looking forward to starting it. Blackberry Ridge is in Mount Horeb and I keep meaning to find an excuse to go out there and see their farm in person. Maybe once I get the sweater done, and my spinning improves, I will.

And if that weren't enough (and really, either of the above would have been on their own), my dad also managed a beautiful coup de grace and built me a tablet weaving loom ala White Wolf & Phoenix just by looking at the pictures on the website. Dad's somewhat of a master carpenter in sheep's clothing, but I wasn't sure if he'd be quite up to taking on the design of a loom like the one I wanted; I figured they'd find it easier to simply order one and be done with it, if they got it at all. But my dad's not one to turn down a challenge and it's immediately apparent where I got my "but I could make that" instinct when you see some of what he's accomplished for his daughters over the years (a good half of the furniture we own is dad's handiwork, including our bed and my cedar chest). The loom is gorgeous - birdseye maple and beech - and really is indistinguishable from Herveus's as far as I can tell. While I feel a slight twinge about inpinging on Herveus's design, I can console myself with the knowledge that dad certainly isn't going to be making any more of these, nor will he have any impetus to share his plans with anyone, especially anyone who might possibly be seen as competition. I can't wait to warp up some double-turn, double-face in 60/2 silk on it and try it out...

There were also, of course, a few other smaller things, but those are the three big ones, at least from the family. Jack and I also exchanged our gifts for each other tonight when we got home, and he got me the ABC print set from Ursula, which I was really hoping to get. The prints are gorgeous in person and I can't wait to get them framed and hung, most likely in my office, though we may have to hang on to them here for a bit first so we both get to admire them. I really love her work and these three prints especially, largely because of the text that accompanies them.

So while I'm exhausted, it's not in a bad way, but rather in a content way. I'm also very much looking forward to using and enjoying all of the things we received and no doubt will receive tomorrow when we join Jack's family. Fortunately, though, they're only an hour away and we don't have to be there until afternoon. *smile*

23 December 2005


It's very quiet today. This is not, in and of itself, unexpected or unusual. But it does nothing for motivation. *sigh*

My holiday knitting is not finished, either. I ran out of yarn for the tank with just the neck edging left to do. Actually, I'm not entirely out, I just know there's not enough left to finish the neck edging and I didn't want to start and then have to join yarn in to finish. So I have to run out and get another skein to finish it off tonight.

It's pr'bly for the best that I gave up on trying to finish the sweater, too; the extra skeins I ordered were sent by Priority Mail from California Monday (or at least, that's when I got the notice that they'd shipped), but they're still not here. So even if I had gotten through all the yarn I have, I'd still have been unable to finish on time. :/

I also realized that I wrapped up the Lucy bags and I think the only "finished" picture I got was when they were drying. Oh well. *shrug*

Right.. what was I doing?

22 December 2005

It's really pr'bly not funny.. but it is.

So, in figuring out Bloglines, I found mamacate's Bloglines and have been enjoying cherrry picking blogs more or less at random to preview and decide if I want to follow them on a regular basis. I've come to the conclusion that as a rule, knitters are terribly clever and witty. I've also come to the conclusion that my life is not nearly as exciting as it could be. This for instance had me laughing until I cried this morning. I'm fairly certain it wasn't funny when it happened, and I'm also certain that my thought process would have been about the same.. until the part where she speculates about why he stayed. *chuckle*

And after that wonderful start to my day, I'm off to worry about financial aid analysis and how I only have to finish about 8 inches of straps on my last real holiday knitting.

21 December 2005


I think I've given up on trying to get the sweater done on time. Between trying to finish the tank for my sister and trying to cram in knitting time on the sweater, it's just putting too much strain on my hands. :/ I told Jack last night that one of his presents would be late and he wasn't upset or anything, so that helps. And now that he knows it's something knit, he volunteered to "go away" upstairs in the evenings so I can work on it at home, too. Such a sweet man sometimes. *chuckle*

The tank, however, is turning out lovely. I'm almost done with the back and then I have to seam it together and do the neck and sleeve edgings and then it will be donedonedone. Then I just have to put the soles on the two pairs of FuzzyFeet and all the holiday knitting (except the sweater.. *sigh*) will be completed. Which means I'll have more time to spin again. *grin*

I finally figured out Bloglines, too, so I'll pr'bly play around with that more and hopefully figure out why it doesn't alwasy seem to update when I update.

19 December 2005

It's what time..?

*sigh* The whole plan of finishing Jack's sweater before Christmas entails me knitting over my lunch hours this week.

Which will pr'bly work a lot better if I actually remember to *take* lunch hours this week. There's something about taking lunch at 2:15 that just doesn't feel .. right..

(But I did have a very productive morning working to catch up on a project that got lost last week. I'm learning our financial aid data tables, which is both scary and good.)

17 December 2005


No, not that kind. Or maybe that kind.. what were *you* thinking?

The Shapely Tank did not stretch *at all*. So I have resigned myself to trying to cram in something suitable as a substitute in the next week. I decided to do a ribbed tank from Hip to Knit and picked out a rather luscious burgundy color of Caron Simply Soft. So far it's beautiful and soft and hopefully it will be much more successful than the Shapely Tank.

That's not, however, what I've been frantically working on this evening. Because this evening, despite Stephanie's repeated warnings about the dwindling time remaining until The Big Day(tm), it dawned on me sometime last night that I have a week to finish Jack's sweater. So I sat down tonight while he is off gaming and relaxing after completing something like two-thirds of his finals and finished the back of the sweater and am now some six inches into the front (after the armhole split) and ready to start the neck shaping. Goal is to finish the body tonight.

And then it occured to me that six skeins of Cascade Cotton Rich is not going to make sleeves long enough for my big-and-tall husband. I expect that three skeins per sleeve will end somewhere around 20 inches. I think I need at least 24 to 26 inches (will have to measure one of his sweatshirts again to be sure). *sigh* So off I wander into the web of online knitting suppliers in search of 4 additional skeins (even though I'll likely only need 2.. not going to have to do this *twice*, after all), which I find and plunk an additional $25 on my check card to get.

Here's hoping they arrive by, oh, say, Wednesday at the latest. They're being shipped to work (priority mail from California), which is where I'll have to complete the sleeves so he won't see me working on them (what he'll see me frantically working on is the aforementioned ribbed tank (which has to be finished and wrapped by Friday night), and should I finish that with time to spare, maybe his Fuzzy Feet) so if they arrive Wednesday, that should be okay timing.

Not ideal, mind you.. I've thought that just in case the dye lots don't match, I'm going to have to strand the mismatched skeins in, pr'bly in fibonacci stripes, which means I can't just knitknitknit until one sleeve is finished and just get as far as I can with the yarn I have. Or rather, I can pr'bly safely knit through one skein on each arm, but after that, I need to wait, just in case.

Fortunately, this is the second of two gifts, the first being City of Villans, which he'll get at my sister's on Saturday, so if needed I can shoo him away somewhere Sunday morning (or just get up before him and hope it's enough time) before we leave for his grandma's and then his family's Christmast sometime in the mid-afternoon if I don't get things all wrapped up by Friday. And there's always the option of taking an "emergency" half day off Friday afternoon to go sit in a coffee shop somewhere and frantically knit my little fingers off in hopes of getting it done. It's not as though I expect things will be terribly busy Friday, anyway.

At least the sleeves are in the round..

Right then. Neck shaping.

16 December 2005

.. am I the only one..?

It occured to me this morning to wonder if I'm the only one (I can't imagine I am) who wears hand knit, pretty socks to their annual exam appointment. I mean, the nurse practitioner's going to see me without a stitch of clothing on *except* my socks, so I sort of feel like I owe it to her for that stitch of clothing to be .. special. *shrug*

You can tell it's the end of the semester.. campus is quiet and I have time to do all those things I had wanted to get done at the beginning of the semester. Like the Fact Sheets. *sigh* Better late than never, I guess.

Spinning proceeds apace. I started having issues with the spindle getting unwieldy, for lack of a better word, last night, so I took what I had done off the spindle and wound it into a center pull ball (pr'bly not the right thing to do, but it looks better this way than as the little owl-pellet-looking-bit it came off the spindle as) and started again and it behaved beautifully. (Yes, yes, I know I promised pictures.. soon.)

I need to figure out my sister's holiday gift. We're into the last week and I'm still more or less avoiding the Shapely Tank. I did the arm edgings and have the stuff with me to do the neck edgings over lunch, so theoretically I can wash it tonight and find out if it stretches (a lot). But assuming that's a vain hope, I need to figure out what *else* to make for her. I could do another Falling Leaves scarf, but she looks sallow in yellow and I don't have any other suitable mohair to hand. I could do a shawl like my Birch, but I'd been wanting to do one for my administrative assistant and don't want to "burn out" on shawls. I could also do another Shapely Tank and try to get the size right this time. I'll have to ponder it.

15 December 2005

So this home owner thing, part 2..

It snowed yesterday. Which it's done before, but yesterday was the first time we got 4-5 inches all at once. It started in the morning and snowed all day. We were concerned enough that roads were going to be scary once the sun started setting that we left campus at 3:15.

So we got home before dark, which was nice. It was also still moderately warm - pr'bly about 30 degrees - so the snow had not yet become ice on the sidewalks. And the well-meaning neighbor who has had a tendency to take his little snow blower over our sidewalks for an inch dusting, thereby packing down an inch of nice, fluffy, easy to shovel snow into half an inch of hard, packed, difficult to shovel snow hadn't yet managed to moosh everything down into little chunks of ice.

And because I'm determined not to continue the life-of-no-yardwork my father set for his daughters (dad mowed the lawn, shoveled the driveways, etc., so my sister and I never did those things until we got to be adults), I went out to shovel last night. We don't have much sidewalk - just a strip across the front (short-side of the lot) with our walk way out to the street - so it doesn't really take very long to do, and, as I mentioned, it was relatively warm out. And (largely because I was never forced to do it as a child I'm sure) I don't mind shoveling (except the snow plow berms because they're hard, packed, difficult to shovel snow).

But there's a trick I've not yet learned. It's the whole trick of how not to have cranky mid-lower back muscles the next day. At least this time I remembered to switch hands while shoveling, so the muscles on both sides are equally cranky. But I've not ever heard anyone else complain about this malady, which leads me to believe there's a trick. So, fess up. You know who you are.

(Of course, some of the stiffness *could* be due to sitting on the floor wrapping presents, or retrieving two pairs of Fuzzy Feet and two Lucy bags from the washer, or sitting in my rocking chair spinning, but I refuse to believe any of those activities is taxing enough to cause this.)

14 December 2005


Okay, okay, so after many, many (many) patient attempts by Carol and Pixel, much encouragement (and a gorgeous spindle and beautifully prepared hunk'o'fleece, which is so much more important than I realized for learning with) from mamacate, a few minutes closely watching Guilia's hands as she drafted, and some hand-holding and guidance (and more patience) from Joan, I *finally* get spinning. Things just clicked. I get drafting, I get tension, I get the whole twirl-the-spindle bit. I. Get. It.

WHEE! I can make my own yarn! How much does that rock?! And it's pretty and soft and a gorgeous color (brownish with little glints of lighter bits sort of) and I can't wait to make something with it.

Yes, yes, I'll post pictures later. I just wanted to share that I finally get it and my spinning is coming out much, much more like yarn now than it ever has. It's still not all even, but it's a whole lot closer and less chunky than I've ever made before. And I'm not having issues with over-twisted and under-twisted bits. Drafting.. wow. When it clicked, it just.. clicked.

So. Stoked. *GRIN*

08 December 2005

C is for cookie..

My morning has been.. odd.

The last song on my tablet last night was "A Bog Down in the Valley-O" or something like that by Minstrels of Mayhem. It got stopped midway through, but stayed stuck in my head all night and played fun little games with my not-quite-conscious mind.

We're currently listening to "Guards! Guards!" by Terry Pratchett (we have an Audible.com subscription and we usually listen to audiobooks on our commute). This morning, Sam Vimes met Cybele for the first time. It's hysterical. Even with the roads icy and slippery, we were both laughing out loud. Made the commute much more tolerable, but I have to admit that it was a bit strange to be laughing at the same time worrying about whether we'd be joining the many cars already in the ditch.

I walked into my office this morning and got an immediate craving for hot-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. At 8 a.m... *sigh* The ironic part is that we have a tub of cookie dough in the fridge at home, so I *can* actually have hot-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies tonight. Just not when the craving hit.

To back track a couple days, the HCWR silent auction at the annual meeting went very well. They had a lot more stuff than I thought they would! The Falling Leaves scarf went for $10, which is less than I'd have sold it for outright, but about average for what things were going for. I picked up a neat little old-fashioned looking desk clock for work for $10 and won a pink poinsettia as a door prize. It's on my meeting table at work since plants left at home have a tendency to be utterly neglected lately.

(Oooh.. Camelot..)

My hopefully-last yarn order for holiday knitting came in Tuesday and I'm almost finished with knitting mom's FuzzyFeet. Not sure if Jack's will be done now or wait until after the rest of the holiday knitting is done. Felting will likely happen Sunday or early next week, and then I get to sew on the little suede sole things. I also made some progress on Jack's sweater the other day over lunch. So far, everything looks to be on schedule to be finished in time. Ahead of schedule, even. (Yes, I'm still avoiding the Shapely Tank.)

This weekend will be somewhat of a madhouse. I'm to arrive on site at 8 a.m. to set up Artisans Row in the merchants area. From 9-10 I'm holding CoR office hours (from Artisans Row.. I'm hoping it will be early enough so that the office hours aren't disruptive). From 10-11 I'll likely be trying to wrap up office hours and make sure things are more or less set for Artisans Row to run without me for the next three hours. Need to send another email plea for volunteers to keep an eye on things.. From 11-12 I'm teaching list admin and from 12-2 knitting. From 2-4:30 I'm back on Artisans Row, but this time I intend to be doing stuff. If there are spinners around, I'm hoping to get (another) refresher course in drafting. Otherwise, I will likely knit, though I've also thought about bringing either the lace pillow or the inkle loom warped with some double-turn, double-face tablet weaving in silk from Handweavers.. We'll see what gets packed tonight I guess. Court is at 4:30 (I think) and then after that is feast and then back to the hotel to either post-revel or crash, whichever I'm up for.

(Rusted Root.. haven't heard this one in awhile..)

At least Sunday we just have to drive home and pick up the dog. There's a holiday gathering at the Chancellor's house that evening, but I think I'm going to skip it in favor of spending at least a couple hours at home before the work week starts again.

Right.. back to the Major list for the College Board survey.

06 December 2005

Holiday knitting update..

It's done. Okay, well, not really. But darned close. Both Lucy bags are knit, so I'll be fulling things sometime in the next week.. I ended up ordering more yarn to make mom a pair of FuzzyFeet and Jack decided (again) that he wants a pair, so I have yarn for his and mom's on the way, along with 3 pairs of the little Fiber Trends slipper soles. But those will only take a day each. So the fulling party might wait until next week so it can all be done at once. I wonder if I have enough pillowcases..

I still need to do the finishing on the Shapely Tank. I've decided I'm avoiding doing it because I don't want to find out that I did, in fact, make the darned thing too small. *sigh*

And Jack's sweater is still languishing. I'm hoping that I can knit some on it this weekend, or maybe in the car if Toki rides up front on the way to/from Milwaukee.. We'll see.

In the meantime, since I can't work on the sweater in the car and the yarn for the remaining FuzzyFeet hasn't arrived (and as I've already stated, I'm avoiding finishing the Shapely Tank), I decided it was time for something for me. So I cast on for socks with the really gorgeous and amazing soft CashSoft from Kim's stash. MMMMMMMmmmmmmm. (Except that I cast on too many stitches and have now decided to make them with the Thuja pattern, so I'll have to rip out what I've done and start over. But it's only two rows, so nothing traumatic.) And if it turns out that the Shapely Tank is too small, she might get the socks (though it would make me very sad to give up such loving softness) as a stand-by and I'll get her another Shapely Tank later.. like for her birthday in February.

Tonight is the HCWR silent auction thing. I really hope the scarf does well. Or that at least it does *something*. *jitter* On a related note, I have to runrun home after work and cut up fruit and put together a fruit tray (various apples, pears and grapes, with a dip that still needs to be made) and get back to Hokah by 6, which ought to be interesting. Doable, but interesting.

05 December 2005

So this home owner thing..

.. yeah. This weekend I had the first of what will undoubtedly be many "not liking this whole home owner thing" moments.

Our furnace was broken. Not majorly, but enough. What's worse, we're pretty sure it's been broken all along, but we didn't notice it until it got *really* cold out. See, we have a forced-air furnace with old duct work and really big vents in most of the rooms in the house. And it's been a fairly mild winter so far, so the outside temperatures have been above freezing more often than not. And so long as the outside temps were above freezing, the heat in the house was about where we wanted it (67 degrees in the day when we're gone and at night when we're sleeping; 70 when we're home). We commented a couple times on how quiet our furnace appeared to be, but didn't dig into that thought deeper because there didn't seem to be an apparent problem with the heat in the house.

Jump to last weekend, the weekend after Thanksgiving, the first weekend the temps dropped below freezing for a couple days in a row. I noticed that the living room was rather chilly and that the termostat was only reading at 63 degrees despite it being set to 70. And the vents in the bathroom and laundry room are *cold*.

Okay, so I go poke about and note that the furnace is working - it lights and there's a motor that comes on and seems to blow air - but that the warm air isn't really.. going as far as it should. Namely, the new(ish) addition that was put on the house in 2001 isn't getting any heat, thus the cold vents.

The new(ish) addition that includes the main bathroom isn't getting any heat. Showering in a bathroom that's below 60 degrees is darned cold, no matter how hot the water gets.

And it seems that the furnace is coming on every 15 or so minutes, but only for about 45 to 60 seconds at a time. Odd. (You all remember that we're new at all this owning your own home and all the appliances and such, right..?)

So we fiddle with the thermostat and knock it up to 75 and the heat in the house starts to come up and the outside weather warms up and we thought all was good, we pr'bly just had something wonky in the thermostat, but that it could wait until we could afford to have it replaced, sometime about February.

Until this weekend. When the temperatures drop below freezing again. And the house temperature plummets back down to the low 60's. Right. That's no good. Go poke around again, decide a call to dad is in order, sit on the phone next to the furnace with dad so he can hear it go through it's little 45 to 60 second cycle and listen to him explain the functionings of a gas furnace. Huh. There's a bigger motor underneath the little motor, you say? Who knew? Okay, so dad diagnoses that our blower motor isn't kicking over - we can hear it try to click-click, but no hot blowing action occurs.

This is Saturday afternoon. There's one heating/cool/refrigeration place in our town and they're closed until 7 a.m. Monday. Okay, not a huge deal, the house is warm enough if we stay bundled up (thank goodness we had all the windows replaced in October though!), so we decide to gut it out. This is not really difficult - we have lots of blankets and lots of warm clothing - but starts my head spinning about how the furnace has pr'bly been trying to heat the house to 67-70 degrees for *weeks* without a blower motor, which means it's been coming on every 10 to 45 minutes for 45 to 60 seconds at a time.. and the gas bill is looming very large and unknown and figures like $500 are running through my head.

The anti-climax came this morning - 7 a.m. call to the heating guys, 7:45 a.m. arrival by said heating guys, found a cracked solder connection, repaired, house back up to 70 degrees by 9 a.m. (at which point it got turned back down to 67 for the day while we're gone). In the end, it's going to cost us pr'bly around $50 and is now fixed, which is a *huge* relief.

Except for that still-lurking gas bill.. *sigh*


01 December 2005