Did Santa use the HRV ducts?

$35 from the neighbor’s tree lot. $100 for new LED lights. Kittens asleep on the snowy tree skirt: priceless. The children chose this 17-footer for the first official Christmas in our new house. Aged 9 and 11, they debated what Santa Claus would do without a chimney.

First morning rush for the school bus

The bus drivers know we’ve moved South by one driveway. One loooong driveway. Chris drives Nicholas to catch his bus at 7 am and Lily to catch her bus at 8 am. When it’s warmer, and maybe they are a little older, we’ll make them walk for some healthful fresh air, as Nanny McPhee advises.

CO celebration

We transferred the flag from the grandparent’s house where we’ve been squatting to take up legal residence in the new house as of Saturday, March 16, 2013. Suddenly we needed to celebrate, so we called a few nearby friends and family members to come over for cake and champagne.

Celebrating in the new house

Two days before Christmas we headed to Willard’s tree farm just up the road. Closed for the season. Then we tried the place on Maple Lane. Closed for the season. Route 9 seemed promising and soon we came to a landscaping business with rows of small trees marked $25 each. But the office was closed. And nobody answered the phone when we called. “We could stick the money in the inbox,” the adults proposed. “No, no, no. The police will arrest you!” the children wailed. We drove South to Cold Spring Tree Farm. Closed for the season. That is how we ended up at Walmart in Hudson buying an artificial tree (the white ones were 40 percent off). Santa found us — even if the tree was not, in any way, green.

The drywall finishing was finished on December 24th.

We discovered that Nick Ford, our builder, signs his work.

After testing many colors, we let the Shakers decide. The main room matches the round stone barn’s cupola and stables at nearby Hancock Shaker Village. The historic preservationist there said the color is closest to Cork by Benjamin Moore.  It is full-strength on the beams and a step lighter on the walls. The exterior siding is also Cork.

Chris has been painting from dawn past dusk.

It was -2 degrees this morning outside and 68 degrees inside. No drafts. Very cozy. Conditions will only improve once we turn on the HRV, but we’ll wait until the dust of construction settles.