Because nothing says "I Love You" like a chainsaw!I haven't used it yet (gotta get fuel) but I am SO excited to take it out and cut up some logs. Cary really got it right this year! It's a Poulan with a 14" bar, nothing fancy, but it will be a really super useful tool when we start working on landscaping, starting with cleaning up some of the trees that came down in November's storms. (I opened it on Christmas Eve, so that is the apartment in the background.)
We also received a nice shiny new sledgehammer with a fiberglass handle from Janet and Gabe, which will also be super useful in future projects, starting with finishing the split-rail cedar fence this spring. Steve & Laurie Ripp gave us a shop-vac as a housewarming present too. We haven't actually used it in the shop yet, but it's been really useful in cleaning up inside the house during the move-in. Aside from the tools, we also got a beautiful table cloth from my brother & Nadege, a really great kitchen compost bucket with a carbon filter lid (which actually works amazingly well to keep the smell from stinking up the kitchen), three beautiful serving dishes, several bottles of wine, and lots of cookies. Mark & Robin gave us a really lovely fruit basket full of fruit, chocolate, and wine. My mom gave us a gorgeous handcarved (by her) coat rack, which I will get some pictures of as soon as we decide where to put it up. We pretty much made out like bandits. :)
Christmas Day we had both of our families over to the house for a Christmas dinner & housewarming party. It was a good crowd, I think we had 19 people at the zenith. We had a lot of fun... most of those bottles of wine I mentioned above mysteriously disappeared! Dad brought over a few rounds of firewood, so we had our first fire in the new woodstove. It really cranks out the heat, we actually had to open some windows.
As seems to happen at every party, everyone congregated in the kitchen. Luckily, we designed it for that. :)
Dad also brought us a little tree, so we decorated it up. My mom (center) and auntie Pam (her sister) had fun with the assortment of ornaments. Many of them are from when I was a little kid, and there was a lot of speculation about which ones I made by myself, and which ones I had "helped" to make. That's my uncle Harvey (Pam's hubby) in the background, getting the next ornament ready.
The cats thought the tree was pretty cool, sort of a giant cat toy dispenser. Several glass ball ornaments met with a tragic fate. Turns out they just don't hold up to much swatting around the floor... Iggy says "Christmas Scrishmas. When do I get some salmon?"