Christmas is coming!

Fall is an amazing show of colours here on the island. Bright red blueberry fields flanked by tree lines of various shades of orange, gold, red and green against a blue sky with white fluffy clouds, makes you want to take a paint brush to canvas. But the colours have all now faded to muted browns and golds.

With heating oil being a huge expense on the island, paired with the fact that we have a drafty, old house, we investigated some alternatives to keep warm this winter. We finally settled on getting a heat pump installed. We still have the oil furnace to turn on as a backup if it gets too cold for the heat pump to keep up, but hopefully that will only be a few days a season. The day came to install and that day we had snow all day and dipping temperatures. I felt sorry for the poor installers out in the cold wind and tried to tempt them with homemade chicken soup and rolls for lunch. Their little noses sniffing deeply and their eyes looking like they could use a hot lunch but they declined. I guess they aren't allowed to accept such things, but they did tell me how much they appreciated it and that they rarely get those kind of offers. But all said and's now in and working beautifully but only after some tweaking.

As you can see we installed it over a window in the livingroom aiming it towards the front entry way and the dining room. The idea was to get the warm air to the entry way where it would rise and waft up to the upper rooms. The vents can be stationary or sweep with motions up/down and side to side. The first night we didn't have the optimal settings to accomplish this and with a huge north wind coming at the front of the house the bedrooms were mighty cold that night! As I lay under three heavy comforters dressed in flannels and socks, watching the curtains moving gently in the cold breeze leaking in around the windows, I wondered if this was going to work out.

But after some tweaking with air flow mechanics and installing shrink film on all the north side windows we finally have a warm house we can live with. Phew! So far so good! If there is a power failure (and we've already had one) we can always haul out the generator. So far the only power outage we had, lasted less than an hour.

As for snow....well the snow that came down that day melted by nightfall. After that we had a string of indian summer days in which we barely needed the heat pump at all. We took a lovely walk through the crown land across the road and amid the incredible quiet our feet crunched on the dead leaves and twigs. We saw some amazing beauty in tiny little fungus and moss of various kinds.

Then came the day when friends came to visit with their chainsaw so that we could hunt for our respective Christmas trees in our own little bit of woods on the property. Once again, the snow came down in big, fluffy white flakes which just added to the magic of cutting down our holiday trees. Suddenly the drab brown of the scenery was traded for a white and sparkling scene right out of a Currier and Ives picture. So off we went hiking through the woods looking at this tree and then at another and trying to picture it in our livingroom all decorated.

There was something decidedly special about cutting down a tree from our own property. Not only the fact that it would be infinitely fresher than the ones we always used to buy in the shopping mall parking lots. But this one was FREE...just the idea of getting a tree that didn't cost us an outrageous sum of money was enough to get us feeling just a little giddy. Of course it was a little too tall so we did have to trim some off the bottom before we could get it into the door.

Before the visit was over and daylight was done, we had to make a quick visit to the beach. It's a little too cold for wading in the water of course, but a winter walk on the beach still has some enchantment. Hearing the waves roll in and the seagulls hovering over the snow covered beach was still relaxing.

So now we have the tree. All that's left is to put up the wreaths, decorate the tree, get the Christmas baking done and get ready to enjoy the holiday season.


  1. I enjoy viewing your pictures, in particular the beach photo. As we liked this beach so much we stayed there in September with our Volkswagen van. And we met you walking along the beach on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
    You found a wonderful Christmas tree. Have a happy Christmas in your new home.

    1. Thanks Erika! We enjoyed meeting you and having you stay with us and if you ever visit this way again we hope you will come and see us. Glad you are enjoying the pictures! It really is a great tree but it won't truly be Christmas until I bake my Stollen! Have a good Christmas!


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