As the Christmas Season ramps up to its climax, we've been busy with plenty of things that have nothing to do with the holiday.

The nursery is, for all practical purposes, ready for occupancy. Over the last month, Sarah repaired a rug her grandmother made. We got it cleaned by a local rug shop, and it is now on the floor in the nursery. The crib is assembled and in place. The blinds that came with the house have been replaced by new roman shades with blackout fabric. Sarah sewed new curtains and they're up. The changing table is stock with wipes, diapers, rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, and the like. Baby clothes have been washed, folded, and put into drawers. The glider and footstool have been placed in the room and tested to ensure that they can move freely. A dim light is in place for late night changes, feedings, and pacings. In short, there isn't much left to do in that room. We took some pictures a couple of weeks ago that you can see at the end of this post. They don't show the new curtains or blinds, but you can see the placement of the furniture and the rug.

We're ahead of last year's record snowfall already. We got over ten inches on Thursday evening, and another 2.5" on Saturday. Last year on this date we had 23.6" inches in December; this year we're up to 30.1" already. The forecast is for another 6-14 inches on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Friday morning, one of our neighbors was kind enough to lend us her Toro snowblower to clean up the big Thursday snowfall. It was so much easier than shoveling that mess. We'd also had some conversations with someone at the curling club about their Toro snowblower and how easy and powerful it was. So, when we had a forecast of another six inches on Saturday night, I broke down and bought one of my own. We're now the proud owners of a Toro snowblower of our own. I used it to clean up Saturday's 2.5" and the hardest part was getting it started the first time. Otherwise it cleared the walk and the drive like a champ. It even threw out the end-of-driveway drift that the city plows always helpfully leave us without a hitch. It wasn't the cheapest thing I've ever purchased, but it will likely make winter a whole lot less punishing on my back.

Sarah and I bottled up another beer on Sunday morning. This one is my Mystery Spot Ale. We gave the uncarbonated beer a taste while we were bottling it and there is definitely some potential for a tasty brew in there.

As you might expect, we've also been busy with baking, cleaning the house, wrapping presents, and all the other holiday activities. Those of you expecting our regular Christmas card will have to wait until the baby is born. We're going to send out both at the same time and save ourselves some postage and effort.

Sarah and Dalla in the nursery.

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