The stair project isn’t finished yet, but it’s at least to the stage where there are actual stairs that we can walk up and down!
More pics starting [here](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/house/stairs-during/?g2_page=2). We’re already thrilled with the ability to go down into the basement without having to go outside. Very handy for doing the laundry in this cold weather!
Our builder will be back for a full day of work today, and then he expects to do the final finishing touches on Monday. Woohoo!
1. Today was the starting day for work on the staircase from our living room down into our basement! This is a major hurdle and will enable us to more easily start on our next project – finishing the basement! You can see some [before pics](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/house/stairs-before/) and some [during pics](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/house/stairs-during/) to see what it looks like. Quarters are quite cramped, but we’re excited that we’ll soon have a way to get down into the basement that doesn’t involve going outside of the house!
2. Today was the first big snowstorm of the season in our area. I’m not sure how many inches fell, but it seems to have been quite a bit. Luckily it was fairly powdery, so I was able to brush it off of my car pretty easily. It took me about an hour to get home, which is a lot considering that it’s normally less than 15 minutes. However, it doesn’t hold a candle to a few years ago when it took almost four hours for me to get home (to downtown Beverly, which is only two miles further than I drive now). Here’s some [photos from the evening](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/events/2007/december_13_snowstorm/).
3. As a side note, tonight was the first time I had driven Rebecca’s new Subaru Legacy Wagon in truly bad conditions, and I must say that it was AWESOME! The all-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes were a godsend. It easily backed up our slick, snow-covered driveway, handled all of the twists and turns with no problem at all. Seriously, it’s like the car doesn’t even care that there’s snow. “Hmm, got some driving to do. What’s this white stuff? Oh, nevermind. Just keep drivin’, just keep drivin’…”
4. Corey’s Mini broke down on the way home from work (Peabody to Somerville), and so the three of us packed into the car to drive down and pick him up in Woburn. He’s staying here for the night – hopefully we’ll find a place to squeeze him in!
I hope everyone else affected by the storm is doing okay. Feel free to leave your stories in the comments, or else link to any posts that you’ve written!
I have many fond memories of [college](http://www.gordon.edu/), but end-of-term cramming and projects were not two of them. Over the past few days, I’ve noticed a decidedly tense air around the internet, whether via Tweets on [Twitter](http://www.twitter.com/), [Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/) status updates, AIM status messages, or various blogs and websites. It’s apparently that time on the academic calendar.
Best wishes to all of you students out there. Hopefully you can get everything out of the way and have at least a somewhat relaxing holiday!
I received the latest issue of [Good Magazine](http://www.goodmagazine.com/) today, and it had some really great quotes that I thought I’d share:
Although human subtlety makes a variety of inventions by different means to the same end, it will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple, or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.
R. Buckminster Fuller
We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.
Here at the Wood household, we don’t have a dishwasher, so all of our dishes must be cleaned by hand. We generally try to do them as soon as possible after a meal is over, though sometimes if we aren’t feeling particularly motivated they may pile up.
Recently, Catherine has been helping me do the dishes:
Usually, when it’s time to do the dishes, I pull out a stepladder and she stands on it next to me. She does things like hand me the next dish, scrub the counter, and dry things off. Occasionally she will also attempt to clean me with the sponge. Maybe I should take more baths?
Tonight for the first time ever, Catherine initiated the dish-washing. We hadn’t cleaned up our dishes after lunch, and this evening I was sitting on the couch watching some [WGBH](http://www.wgbh.org/) fund drive program. Catherine walked into the kitchen, and must have noticed that there were dirty dishes on the counter. She started trying to pull out the stepladder from in between the stove and the refrigerator, so I helped her and set it up in the middle of the kitchen, we had to get a refrigerator repair at the end because we actually hit it against the wall, thankfully it got fixed. I asked her what she wanted to do with it, and she pushed it over in front of the sink and climbed right up! She grabbed the first dish and handed it to me.
My daughter is more motivated to do the dishes than I am!
A family of Christmas Stockings
Last Christmas there was a little smudge on my festive holiday mood. Due to lack of inspiration, time and supplies I didn’t get around to making Catherine a Christmas stocking. Fortunately she had no idea, but I felt awful about it. I love my stocking and our family’s stockings were my favorite decorations to hang when I was small.
This year I was struck with inspiration, had the supplies and eked out some time to sew. Having a homemade Christmas stocking is very important to me. My Mom made mine (and Corey’s and my Dad’s) and every year I look at it and think of the time she spent making it and love knowing that it was made especially for me. I wanted to pass that same feeling along to my own little family. I sewed up Peter’s stocking for the first Christmas we spent together (2001) and now Catherine’s joins the group.
As a kid my stocking always had a box of Cracker Jax in it on Christmas morning. We don’t have a tradition like that yet- what do YOU get in your stockings?
In only two weeks and two days, we’ll be packin’ up the wagon and headin’ out to Ohio!
As you can see, we’re dividing the drive up into two manageable pieces with a strategic hotel stay in Syracuse, NY.
We’ll be spending the week of Christmas with my family in Mount Vernon. We’re looking forward to spending some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa, Mark and Kirsten, and the rest of the Mount Vernon crew.
We’d love to visit with any of our readers who are in the greater Mount Vernon area. Drop us a line and let us know if you’re going to be around at any point December 23 through 27!