Sprucing Things Up

Our friends Mikko and Malee visited for a weekend and helped us with some decorative projects. Sam and I managed to turn hanging lights into an ordeal (of course), so the pendant lights I had ordered were still in their boxes.

The pendant lights didn’t come with long enough wire for our 19 foot high ceilings, so Sam rewired them. Lucky for me, this was a simple task and not a big deal to Sam. Mikko helped Sam disassemble the lights and solder new wires. The new wire was much nicer than the original wire anyway.

I wanted to use threaded rods to conceal the wire (even though it was nice wire), but of course the lights only came with three feet of rod. Sam ordered an assortment of rods, and we ended up using three different brands of varying quality. Once we assembled the 10 foot pole, we carefully stood it up, although pole vaulting over the scissor lift was tempting. Malee helped me picked the perfect height to set the lamps, and Sam and Mikko affixed them to the boxes in the ceiling.

Since the scissor lift was already in the living room, we hung the chandelier too. I almost turned this into a similar project- rewiring and replacing the rods- but my consultants and I agreed that the chain and wire it came with looked great. Phew!

We took our friends to a wine club party before they headed back up to Seattle.

Next, we spruced up the crane. Carlos spent a week sanding and cleaning up the rust spots. Then the three of us went up in the scissor lift and had a painting party. They only make one shade of pre-mixed yellow paint for steel, so that’s what we used. Safety yellow! It brings a bright, modern look to the old mustard crane.

And finally, we spruced up the outdoors. More like larched it up. That’s right, we weren’t busy enough, so we planted 130 larch trees this year. There was still a little snow left on the ground when we had to pick our trees up. And there was more than a little snow on our summer driveway which we don’t plow. Moments after telling Sam it was a bad idea to go up that driveway to retrieve the tractor, we got stuck! Sam had to walk in the deep snow to retrieve the dozer. I couldn’t open my door, so I waited in the truck and climbed into the driver’s seat. Sam pulled the truck out to dry land.

It was nearly noon after that debacle, and we hadn’t even started planting. Sam used the tractor to dig holes in our very hard and rocky soil, and I followed behind planting the trees. We planted them all in the clear-cut area we’ve been cleaning up over the last few years. (It was cold and drizzling, hence my ridiculous outfit.)

The seedlings are hard to see in the photos. Larches lose their needles in the winter, so the baby trees look dead. Hopefully they’ll come to life soon.

We got the last tree in the ground before dark and hopped in the hot tub. While we were marinating, it started snowing again! At least we finished planting the trees, but when will winter end?!

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