Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

As previously posted...

The stockings were hung by the fire with care...
(keep in mind this beautiful roaring fire)

The girls were all ready to help open presents.
(Or hop up on the stool!)

Everything was all set. It was VERY icy and I managed to get all but two horses (the two who couldn't take ice) out safely to their pastures and all the stalls and chores finished by 9:30am. Len was a big help - handling the gates for me so the horses and I didn't fall down and he also emptied and filled all the waters and put new shavings in the stalls.

We were sitting by the roaring fire with our tea and Tess's homemade ginger cookies - a picture perfect setting. .Until the fire popped and by a real freak event the fireplace damper slammed shut. Luckily Len heard it and we tried to open it back up - impossible with the roaring fire. We had no choice but to try to put it out. We dosed it best we could and slammed the doors shut. The house filled with smoke as you can see.

So much for a quiet Christmas!! We have no choice but to let the embers die out - there was smoke pouring out holes in the mortar between the bricks (I used my Sculpey clay to plug the holes). Probably in a day or so the embers will die out. Despite opening windows and doors, the house smells horrible. But whenever I feel sorry for myself not being able to relax after working so hard in the morning (I got to the barn by 6am), I count my blessings. We were in the room when it happened and Len heard it and reacted immediately. We confirmed something that we had suspected for a few years: despite having our fire alarm checked out (several times) and parts replaced (and it supposedly fixed) it STILL DOESN'T WORK!! All that smoke and NOTHING!!! The fire alarm use to go out if I snuffed out too many candles at once! So we will go to the painful expense to completely redo the alarm system. Wiring and everything since none of the trouble shooting shows any problem. But better that than having our house burn down with us in it!!

None the less, we did not let that ruin our Christmas! We opened presents with the "help" of the girls. Just very small ones presents - Our trip to Scotland was our present!

Here is a photo of Len's present from Maggie - a pair of new socks, guaranteed against holes for 3 years! Maggie wrote a little PS on the note telling Len if he didn't like the socks, she'd take care of them for him!

I don't know if you noticed in these pictures but we got an unexpected, very wonderful present - Penny has started playing with Maggie! As you can see, Maggie can hold her own. She even pinned Penny to the floor. They are having great fun!!

All that play/fighting does tucker one out.
As you can see from these photos.

Len and I are tuckered from fighting too - fire/smoke fighting!!
I'm sitting here typing this post (with a sliced open finger - that is a different story!) in a still smoky family room. We can't help that. The damper is closed and we can't open it (we opened the doors once and just about suffocated from the smoke). However, there is leakage around the closed damper - we can see smoke coming out of the chimney. It will just take it's own time to clear out. We'll need to baby sit the fireplace tonight (the glass and brick is still VERY hot) - just in case we get a nasty surprise! I'm taking the first "shift". I have buckets of water and a fire extinguisher on the hearth. I had plans of drawing some fun Christmas cartoons to post. You know what they say about plans!! Once things settle down we'll see what happened to the damper. Len thought he saw the leaver break. I'll let you know what we find. And I have to get up for work at 4:30am! UGH! Yes, the insanity that is known as our life!

At least we're not sleeping in a hotel because the house burned down!! There's ALWAYS a bright side!! Oh - the other great news is that we don't have forced air heat so our bedrooms are fairly smoke free (and the library where I threw the girls to protect their lungs). And me or a horse did not fall and break something on the nasty ice we had! I wish All is right in our world. And at least we're not eating at a Chinese restaurant like they did in "Christmas Story."

Be safe over the holiday season and upcoming year!!! XOX


kerrip said...

Oh the drama!!!! You are really an eternal optimist!!! I would still be cursing and pouting if I had come home from the barn to then go through such a scene... but you're right... if we just imagine those who may have it worse - or if the worst had happened, we can easily see the bright side. So glad you are all safe and smelling like a smoked sausage!

Going For Greatness said...

I am so glad that the girls are finally getting along!! I have 2 girls and the behaviour is very similar! HAHAHA! Somedays Mackie has absolutely HAD it with Ellie and wants nothing to do with her and other days she initiates play........ They are just like human kids, except furry.... hahahah!!!
Glad all turned out well.. what a scary ordeal that had to be!!
ps - ABSOLUTELY LOVED your Christmas eve poem and photos!!!