Saturday, December 15, 2012

With Christmas Looming.....

Just as I started to think up a blog this morning, I looked outdoors and what did I see?
It was snowing!
The temperature was hovering near 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) and the rain turned to snow.  The weather prognosticators confirmed we would be facing on and off snowfall for the next few hours. Accumulations are not expected because, here on the west coast, it typically warms up and snow quickly turns to rain and melts away the snow.

I went out to clear the snow from the Nissan truck as Jeanette was preparing to leave to attend another nurses Christmas breakfast at Northview Golf & Country Club. This is the third Christmas function she will be attending this season.  Party animals, these nurses are! 

View from my upstairs office window.
Ginette and Easton dropped by our home yesterday afternoon to visit and to assist in setting up a surprise Christmas tree Jeanette kept hiding from me.  Upon my return from the local lumber and hardware supply place, the tree came out of hiding and, once set up, it was interesting to see what all the hoopla was about.
A Palm Christmas tree.
This is quite the change in tradition.  We all like it!  It's OK to change things up once in a while.  Jeanette is always full of surprises! The other decision we made as a family was that gifts would be 'stocking stuffers' only.  Well, do those gifts under the Palm Christmas tree look like stocking stuffers?   Perhaps the other surprise Jeanette has up her sleeve is to string up some really large stockings. We'll see!
This was last Christmas - one year ago - the traditional tree.
Once Christmas is over, we'll be quickly taking down all decorations and storing them before we roll south. Jeanette felt this tree - with a tropical flare - would be a nice change.  And you know what?  It is!  
Easton seemed to like it too!  His mom and dad decorated a traditional tree at their home.  Best of both worlds for him!
Easton's first Christmas!

A few days ago.
I called a furnace maintenance company to attend to our furnace recently.  We have a high efficiency furnace that is now seven years old.  On rare occasions, these past couple of weeks,  we would hear some few seconds of grinding sound when the furnace would begin heating up before the blower would kick on.  I would quickly run to the furnace to isolate the problem.  I was convinced that it was not the blower, nor the furnace motor, that were problematic. High efficiency furnaces include an 'inducer' that exhausts the gases.  It seemed to me that the grinding sound was coming from that source.  I could not fix that problem.  So, a mechanical heating firm showed up and the tech was quick to identify that the bearing on the inducer shaft was worn out.  Upon start up, the shaft would move a metal part toward the exhaust system and metal to metal grinding would occur.  The solution?  A new inducer! Yikes!

We don't seem to replace bearings nowadays!  The only fix was to remove the entire inducer and replace it with a brand new one.   With our end of December departure for the southwest US, we were left with no other option.  We had to replace the inducer.  The furnace has a ten year guarantee but (will you be surprised to learn this?) the inducer is only warranted for one year.  Now I know why!  Inducers do not have a long shelf life.  The installer told me that inducers typically last ten years. We paid the price and feel we can leave without worrying about furnace issues while we are away.  Our house sitters do not have to deal with the problem either.
Jeanette's mom, Mary, and sister, Darlene.
With smart phones, it's so easy to keep in touch with siblings and Jeanette and sisters do just that.....often!  They send photos through text messages and I thought I would feature this photo.  Darlene assisted her mom with packaging Christmas presents, and writing out Christmas cards, to send out to Mary's children, grand children and new grand child.  We had a courier drop off our Christmas package two days ago.  So, Santa has already visited  our home....and is likely to return a few more times.

As I sign off, and publish this blog, the snowfall has ended.  The white stuff is already melting.

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. Here's hoping your white Christmas is gone by the time you leave.

  2. Agreed JB. We don't want any white stuff when we head out.

  3. what a 'festive' christmas tree you have this year! very fitting considering soon you will be sitting in the sunshine!!!

  4. Love that Palm Christmas tree - the snow? Not so much! Glad it stopped.

    Easton looks like he's ready for Christmas - nice pic with Jeanette.

    Jeanette and her sister could almost be twins!