Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007! . . . and Christmas pics, finally

Well, here it is -- the first day of a new year! Hard to believe, but here it is anyway. Time marches on, no matter what. Its like that saying: Life is like a roll of toilet paper -- the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes! That is so true.

We took down our Christmas decorations today, and in doing so, I decided to re-arrange our living room furniture! I've not been happy with the way we set it up, but it never seemed like there was really any other way to set up the furniture. We have this little, tiny living room and its got a lot of windows. Before we got our new TV, we had a large entertainment system that we had to put catty-corner in one end and try to arrange the furniture around it. This meant that the gas fireplace at the other end was blocked, and so even though we've been in this house nearly two years, we've never used the fireplace! Now that we have our new TV, its on a smaller stand with the components underneath. When we set up the Christmas tree, we pulled the TV and stand, etc. out of the corner and against the wall, blocking some windows. Trying to arrange the furniture around the windows has been really difficult, so when we moved the TV in front of the windows, I really liked it there! It looks a lot better.

This means I finally got over my hesitation to block windows with furniture, and had the bright idea of moving the love seat to the other side of the room against the wall (in front of a window) and it looks great! This also meant that we can use the fireplace, because the back of the loveseat was facing the fireplace before. We also centered the big couch in front of the TV, which makes for better TV viewing and surround sound listening. We also moved the end tables to each end of the couch, so we can each have the best viewing of the TV and sound, and still have a place to put our drinks. I REALLY like the new arrangement; I wish I'd done this when we first moved in! It feels a lot more open and feels like we have a lot more room. When there is a bunch of windows on every wall, it makes arranging furniture a challenge. Like I said, I never thought to put stuff in front of windows. The windows are high so there is still plenty of light coming in, despite the furniture.

When Mark brings back our camera, I will take a picture. Hopefully I have a "before" picture to compare with the "after." We can turn off the heat in the evenings, and turn on the fireplace, which, even though it doesn't have a heatilator, seems to put out a lot of heat! Its a gas fireplace, so Bill had to light the pilot and it has that burning dust smell, like you get when you first turn on the furnace in the winter. I am so excited!!

And I finally got some pictures from my Aunt Wanda and Uncle Al in email the other day, so here's some pics from our Christmas:

Bill and Karen opening gifts:

Velma (Karen's Mom), Bill and Karen

Bill, Karen and Mom

Christmas Tree and Gifts!

This tree is loaded!

Cliff (Karen's Dad) and Patches, the cat

Dad, grabbing a snack!

Cousin Dan, warming his hands by the "fire"!!

Karen and her mom in the kitchen

Karen, Lindsey and Scott

Karen, Mom and Aunt Wanda in kitchen.

Mark and his girlfriend, Candice

Mark, Karen and Bill getting ready to open gifts

Mom, Aunt Wanda, Bill and Karen, visiting

Mark and Scott, getting ready to open gifts!

Uncle Al and Patches

Well, Bill and I are off to Tucson this week. Bill's folks are in Chicago and have been for Christmas, and they decided on an assisted living facility in Chicago to live in. Bill's dad is flying back to Tucson for a week to get some stuff and see their attorney and things like that. Bill's sisters and he decided that Bill's dad shouldn't be by himself while he's back in Tucson. Bill's dad is getting rather forgetful, so we will be there to help him and make sure he doesn't get lost and also remembers to get back on the plane. We also want to make sure he doesn't decide to refuse to go back! Its tough getting old. Anyway, Bill's sister Jennie has their mom at her house, and Nancy, the oldest sister, already had plane tickets to visit her daughter in Florida next week. This left Bill to go back and be with their dad, and Bill asked me to go with him. We are flying out of Reno on Thursday the 4th and will return on Saturday the 13th. I'm just glad we are able to go back and help him out.

We're not taking the computer with us, and Bill's dad doesn't have one, so if I don't have time to post before we leave, then I will post when we get back!

Happy New Year, everyone!