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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Crabby Christmas - Coach Light - Quilt

 We had a Crabby Christmas!

Since we weren't going to be seeing the kids and the grandkids until New Year's, we knew we would be spending Christmas Eve alone. We splurged with a little errand to Festival Foods to buy their very freshly frozen snow crab legs. It's one of those special treats we only do a couple times a year.

We have an outside propane burner, that's actually part of a turkey deep fryer set up. We don't really deep fry any turkeys, but we do put on a steamer kettle to cook the crab legs. After 14 minutes of plunging them into the boiling water, they are done to perfection.

We made up some mashed potatoes and salads to go with it. Topped off with a glass of whiskey for Steve and wine for me.  Steve and I easily plowed our way through two and a half pounds of crab legs, and it was really a nice treat. 

Then we watched It's a Wonderful Life.... 

On Christmas morning there really weren't any presents to open for each other. Our present was our new tankless water heater system. That was enough for each other, it was quite a splurge, and we both REALLY appreciated it.

Steve got it all hooked up perfectly earlier in the week.  Then he finished up with the recirculating pump plumbing, which means we now have hot water at all of the faucets at all times. Kind of like an on demand system. No more wasting a quart and half of water at the shower, sink or tub in the master bath while waiting for the hot water to come through the pipes.  Plus it is now unlimited hot water, as long as we need it, instead of emptying the tank and waiting for it to reheat a new batch.

It's nice now that we have switched over to natural gas, as opposed to the 40gal electric tank water heater. We sold that on Facebook Marketplace to a young couple. Their water heater had just broken down and they said they really couldn't see spending a lot of money for a new one right before Christmas. We lowered the price in half and said Merry Christmas and sent them on their way.


Christmas morning was relaxing and we had coffee, the music playing and a fire going in the gas fireplace. It was nice to not be rushing off anywhere, although we were missing family on such an important holiday. We know that we will be getting together with some of Steve's family and Pops Pfundtner on Tuesday. And of course our kids and grandkids on New Years, so it was time to just sit back and relax for the day together, alone at home.

We spent the rest of Christmas Day in the sunshine down in the She Shed. It was nice to relax by the tree in our chairs with some soft Christmas music playing on the sound system.

I was working on four corner block pieces for my newest quilt. Now I can finish assembling it a section at a time to put it all together. 

Here are the border pieces that are all ready to go on next. The borders are called "piano keyboard" that will go around the four sides, with a strip of white between it and the main body of the quilt.

This is my happy place. With the music and the sunlight and a lot of projects under my fingertips, the hours just fly by when I am here in the She Shed.  Steve sits in the chair, reading or watching tv, while I am busy with my fibery fun stuff. 

Sewing on my adorable antique Singer Featherweight machine. It is the one that I got in September with my sister, while at the State Fair Park in Escanaba Michigan. It is just delightful to sew on. I have a big computerized fancy machine, but this little antique one is just so much fun.


A couple weeks ago, I had popped into the local Goodwill in Marinette to see if they had a certain lamp base that I am looking for. I didn't find the lamp, but I did find this heavy cast metal light fixture! It exactly matches the other fixtures we had found over the last two years over at Habitat for Humanity ReStore, just a couple blocks away. I have never seen light fixtures like this before, or since, in any store or shop or even online. So it's kind of unusual to run across one more a year after we found the last three. It was $2.99, and then it was the right colored tag for a half price special, so I paid a whole $1.50!

After a little sanding and little scrubbing, I was able to paint it up with two coats of exterior acrylic enamel paint . Now it could become a glorious new light fixture again, and match the rest of the coach lights that we have on our house and garage.

Here's a pic from last year when I painted the other three that went on each side of the garage doors and one by the service door. We also have the first one we found, wired up out on the front porch. Those coach lights were collected in 2019 and 2020.

I am such a "Matchy-Matchy" Girl.... 
 Steve calls it "Prettying Up The Place"

When the lamp was finally dry, Steve went out the side door of the She Shed that leads to the doggie potty yard. We only had a basic everyday little white coach lamp out there before.  He turned off the power and changed it over quickly. He didn't even need the ladder, he used a picnic bench instead. 

He wired it up and in no time it was doing it's job with a motion detector bulb inside. 

Any time we open the door to let out Binney, the light goes on. Also the light goes on anytime there might be some stray animal in our backyard. We have had bobcats, coyotes, opossums, and just recently a couple stray feral cats wandering on through. Binney has never tangled with any of them, and we hope she never has to. With the light flashing on when it detects movements, hopefully it will scare any "intruders" away.


We had a nice visit today with Steve's dad, Paul, and his special friend Sandy. We shared a big pot of chili and a couple games of Cribbage, it was a really fun way to spend the day. (we women teamed up against the guys and won BOTH games!)  The snow started on the way home, and we are due for another 3-5 inches or so tonight.  


  1. Your quilt is going to be gorgeous! I love the bright colors - makes it fun playing with the fabrics. I can't believe the excellent find you made at Goodwill for that fixture! Dolled it up beautifully. To quote Hannibal on the A-Team, "I love it when a plan comes together!" Great post, thanks for taking the time.

    1. Thanks for the compliment! It's going to be nice once I get it all done.

      As for the light fixture, I was just so surprised to find this fifth one. Now every single exterior light fixture on the house and garage matches.

  2. Sounds like you had a lovely day and your family photo is wonderful.

    The motion light should help keep other animals away. I'm sure Binney will appreciate it too.

    1. When our neighbors spotted the Bobcat on their backyard game surveillance camera, we know we have to be a little more careful because it can jump high and jump over fences really easily. Binney is a lover, not a fighter, so she wouldn't know the first thing of what to do if an animal attacked her.

  3. Your Christmas sounds wonderful and relaxing, especially knowing you will see family again soon. Always amazed by your finds. I must caution Steve not to use the picnic bench to stand on - my husband did, it collapsed and he crushed his ankle. Happy New Year!

    1. I told him the same thing! But he did it anyhow. I find a lot of times I can't tell him to slow down and be careful, cuz he gets in his zoom zoom mode. Man!

  4. Loving your quilt!! What great colors, can tell it's going to be a showstopper for sure. My daughter is getting into quilting & my mom gifted her a quilt lay out wall so she can easily design her quilts and move things around as she decides on her pattern and not have to do it on the floor - so fun! That's such a great find at goodwill too - what are the odds you'd find another matching lantern?! Love seeing you guys fix up your home, you guys are the cutest! Sounds like a lovely Christmas dinner, crab legs are my fav! Just curious, why didn't you get to see any of your kids or grandkids for the holiday? Were they out of town or something? At least you two know how to keep busy & have fun by yourselves ;) Wishing you both a very Happy New Year!! :)

    1. Thanks for your compliment on the quilt. I'm anxious to get it finished. I started it a while back.

      All of the grandkids have a lot of relatives to visit this year. Being from a blended family, we have to give them the opportunity to visit with the other side of the family along with their spouses families too. They had to travel a ways in a couple different directions . So we schedule our time together for another weekend or usually New Year's weekend to get together. Tonight we are babysitting a bunch of them overnight for New Year's, tomorrow will be our Christmas Day with them, and then Sunday is going to be a really special epic event that they don't know about yet that is part of our gift to them all. I will write about it in the next blog.


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