Saturday was spent running errands and we visited with Sarah for awhile. After a while, Carey left with the kids and I got some more me time. So Sarah and I talked quite a bit, ran out to get some coffee (or in my case chai) and we spent some quiet time going through some of Grammas things to get ready to get ready to donate them. I found a really neat little handkerchief that I'm going to use to make a doll for Kitty. It made me sad to be going through her things as if she never existed. But there are so many memories wrapped up in her possessions and several items recalled special times to us. I had a pleasant, if sad,evening with Sarah and Carey wasn't happy that I got home so late because it made him late to his D&D game.
Winter has definitely arrived with a vengeance. It has been very cold lately, generally under 20 F every day and often below zero at night. We have piled the blankets a mile high on the kid's beds even though it actually stayed quite warm in there. Carey and I keep each other quite warm as well as little Kitty. Gramma's heavy feather tick was a nice addition though and I think of her each time I see it gracing our bed. We only keep the heat on in the living room and the kids' room; I was still shocked that our electric was well over $200. Ack. We are very careful with our power, or as much as you can be with several small children that don't always remember to turn it off when they leave a room. One idea that our neighbors had was to hole up in one upstairs room but they only have one little girl. It would be a mad house if I did that with four little ones in a tiny 200 square foot room. But it's freezing and cranking the heat up won't help any as well as it would just shoot the bill through the roof.
I did hit upon one idea of keeping the heat trapped downstairs; hang a curtain across the arch at the top of the stairs. So I bought a spring loaded shower curtain rod, and shower rings at the local building supply store. I went to JoAnn's and asked for help with the fabric. I was wanting a fabric heavy enough to trap the heat, soft enough to drape and would be relatively indestructible. The woman I asked sent me home with duck cloth. (I also left with a yard of beautiful blue and green tweed but that's another story. :D) Granted, it's indestructible, but when I mentioned it to my MIL, she just laughed and said that duck cloth was nowhere near heavy enough as well that it wouldn't drape right to trap the heat and gave me a thermal blanket that used to live on Gramma's bed. It's a beautiful soft brown with a nice pattern in the weave. Every so many inches there are runs down the complete length of the blanket. For experienced knitters, they look like so many ladders from those ghastly little beasts known as dropped stitches. I took advantage of them and used the small holes to poke the rings through so I wouldn't ruin the blanket. It was a queen size, so I folded it in half to hang it and it was a perfect fit. It was the right choice. It drapes nicely, so it filled in all nooks and cranny's leaving no room for the air to escape, it's heavy enough to block the air (especially since I folded it in half) and it's working! Yay. There is a discernible difference in temp on either side of the curtain and it's much warmer downstairs now. In an effort to use less energy, we also got several low watt CF bulbs. We have slowly been switching over, but we still have several older bulbs in residence. A new one went in the stair well since that seems to be the most used light in the house, and one in the living room. We also aren't using the fluorescent lights in the kitchen anymore. One, they don't work half the time anyway and two because it's nice eating with the soft light that a torchere lamp provides.
We went to Church today and we both enjoyed the service. Sarah joined us and she liked it as well. Carey lit a candle for his grandmother and several people paid their condolences after the service. Most of them knew Carey's parents and several had actually met Gramma themselves so they were all saddened. Stu gave us all of Gramma's food but we couldn't use all of it so we gave it to the church to donate to the food banks.
It's been so cold that we haven't been able to let the children play outside. Today was gorgeous but it was so cold that the snow was sparkly and looked fakey. LOL. The wind was picking up the snow and swirling it through the air like glitter. It was so pretty. We took the kids to McDonald's so they could run some of their excess energy out. We lost James' coat and we looked everywhere for it; it wasn't anywhere. We decided that someone must have walked off with it, forgetting that we had shoved it behind Kitty to support her in the high chair. LOL. Poor little Deedee fell on the stairs and received a bump on the head along with a bloody nose for her troubles. She was very brave about it though. Those definitely weren't crocodile tears running down her cheeks and she received solace from Carey in the form of lots of hugs & kisses as well as ice cream.