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Let it snow!

I’m seeing big, fluffy snowflakes outside and it makes me want to cozy up with a blanket and mug of tea. I think I’m part bear because I tend to have decreased activity during the winter months. Part of it is because I get so busy before Christmas and I just need a break. I was in State College (Go Big Blue!) over the weekend to visit with friends and have a jewelry party. It was wonderful to just sit and chat and not have to be anywhere or do anything. We got 3″ of snow the night before I drove home, so I guess the snow season has begun! It figures that after a hot, dry summer we’d have a wet winter. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to go out in the snow until absolutely necessary, so I joined what seemed like hundreds of shoppers at the grocery store and Costco today. Monday is my normal grocery store day; this week it just happens to coincide with impending snowflakes. The HVAC guys finally installed the AC/heat pump unit in my studio after the summer had ended and it wasn’t cold yet, so now I’m all set to hunker down and enjoy the snow and heat at the same time. Merry Christmas to you!

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I need air

We live in a 140-some-year-old house, the third floor of which is my studio. The main part of the house has central heat and air, but there is no ductwork in the studio to keep the temperature regulated. Add to this the huge skylights and small layer of insulation between the ceiling and roof, and my studio turns into a sauna in the summertime and a walk-in fridge in the winter. We considered installing a window air conditioner, but the lone vertical window is too small to accommodate one. After moving my work area to a card table in the foyer for the summer and browsing online for a portable A/C unit, I happened upon a solution: a through-the-wall air conditioner/heater. Steve and I are all about DIY home repair, but something about cutting a hole in the side of the house and the resulting exterior caulking job 3 floors off the ground was a little too daunting, so I’ve called to get estimates from professionals.

Meanwhile, during the cooler weather I’ve begun to move my mess back up to the studio. I even have a new work surface! Our friend Mitch is fixing up a house and gave us the old butcher block counter from the kitchen. Pair that with an orphan file cabinet under one end and a new Ikea drawer unit under the other end and now I’ve got another great new spot to work. The piece de la resistance is that I took my handy router and cut long grooves in the surface for a built-in design board.