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A bit after the fact, but a neat holiday video


Christmas day we had a bit of drama here when we discovered that our heat pump was completely encrusted in ice and the blades were seized up trapped in the ice. We quickly consulted a qualified HVAC professional Googled “frozen heat pump” and spent about an hour outside with a hair dryer, after cutting the power. Luckily the motor hadn’t burned out and the fan still worked once the ice was gone. Apparently that problem is something to watch for if the weather is very wet and hovering around freezing like it was that day.

A little bundle of Solstice sunshine

December 21, though we didn’t post anything that day, was a significant day in our household. It’s the first day of winter, and the winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year, after which the days start getting a bit longer each day. This year, it was also the day we adopted a new family member.

I hesitated to even post about this, given the way things turned out the last few times we tried to add another critter to the family or even foster… and with the issues we’ve had with Winter and Olive the past few years this will really have to be managed skillfully to succeed. But, we’re doing introductions very slowly and carefully and hope that this will have a balancing effect for that situation, and it’s hard not to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, when the cat in question is so darned adorable. So…


Introducing “Dandelyon”

How cute is that face? Dandelyon* currently lives in our office and is being slowly integrated into the family. He’s met Cricket, Simon, and Lindsy, and we’ve let Winter see and sniff him. Olive has also been exposed, at a bit of a distance. Winter is the big problem to get past initially, if Olive is going to cause trouble it will come later, at least that’s been previous experience, and we’re hoping that if he and Winter get along well then that will make Olive less likely to pull a sneak attack, because she’s very afraid of Winter.

He loves Cricket, and he and Simon are getting along well. Lindsy he is still trying to puzzle out, but he isn’t afraid of her. Winter is actually showing very encouraging signs around him (showing off and almost flirting, and not being reactive at all) but we’re taking this slow. She really is an active playful cat, and having another active cat to interact with might take a lot of the focus off her tormenting Olive.

Dandelyon came from the shelter, and is about three and a half months old, or a bit less. He and his three siblings were dropped off by a good samaritan about a month ago; they had been living in a parking garage on their own and were skinny, filthy, and flea infested. After a bath, some brushing, and a few days of feeding and care, they were transformed into beautiful little kittens. Everyone but Dandelyon was adopted, we aren’t sure why because he has such a great personality. Joy talked about him every day when she came home, and I was impressed with how good he was with Cricket last weekened when we were taking care of the shelter animals after the snow storm, and brought her along Sunday for the ride. We discussed it for several days, and decided to adopt him.


We didn’t take him because we felt sorry for him, but because we really thought he was a special cat and could work well in our household. He loves dogs, is very laid back, and quite smart. He really is like a little furry ball of sunshine. He brings a really good energy to the house and we’re feeling positive that this will work.


*Yes, I do know how to spell that word, the alternate spelling is Joy’s idea and I am trying to bend my rigid little rulebound universe and embrace it 🙂

Wishing all a safe and happy holiday


We still have the remnants of last week’s snow, turned to a big slushy mess by the heavy rain last night. It’s about thirty-six degrees out there right now and the ice storm warning we had just expired. But there are downed trees, flooded roads, and lingering patches of ice so we’ve decided to postpone our trip down to have Christmas dinner with Joy’s family, fearing what the temperature drop this evening might make of an already messy situation.

No complaints, though; we’re warm and cozy and were lucky not to have lost power through any of this bad weather over the past week or so, like some people did. Joy made french toast crusted with toasted pecans and granola for breakfast and last night we had pizza and some mead. Maybe tomorrow we can venture out, in the meantime we’ll just enjoy staying home with the critters. I cut a small spruce branch, some hemlock, and wee sprigs of rosemary and holly and put them in a vase, and we lit a few candles.  We hope everyone is having a safe, warm, and peaceful day.

A good example of why we don’t have a tree

funny pictures of cats with captions