Winter Newsletter, 2016

Christmas Bench

By: Wayne Coolidge
   We have a large entrance foyer that has a staircase that leads up to the left. This creates a little alcove area with two adjacent walls. Wendy hired a local artist, Michelle Munson, to paint a mural on the wall that faces the front door. She painted a scene of a long winding path that is lined by trees, birds, and flowers. It looks like you could walk right into the mural and up the path. I thought it would be nice to put a park bench against the side wall as it seems like it would be a great place to sit before continuing on the journey up the path. Then, during the Christmas holiday, we could put gifts around the bench so it would look festive.
   I went on eBay and did a search for park benches and I found one. Not only did I find a 6 foot long bench, but the price was incredible - only $6. The shipping was $20, but that wasn’t surprising because I could see from the picture that it had a cast iron frame with 6 foot long wooden slat seats and backrest – so that had some weight to it. But the price, only $6, oh my gosh, how could I lose? Even if it was some cheap knock off from China, it would still be a steal. I hit the ‘buy’ button with a smirk on my face as I considered myself a great bargain hunter.
   Three days later UPS delivered a small 1’x1’ box. The box said it contained 1 park bench. Now I anticipated that there might be ‘some assembly required’, but how could they pack all the parts for a 6 foot bench in such a small box?
   That curiosity turned into confusion as I opened the box. There inside, all wrapped in bubble wrap, was a beautifully crafted cast iron bench with wooden slat seat and backrest- all 6” of it.
   What? I rushed to my computer to check the eBay listing. That was when my confusion turned to dismay and embarrassment. Now you would think that after having been in construction for over 30 years that I would know the difference between the foot symbol (‘) and the inch symbol (“). I obviously overlooked that little extra hash mark because the listing clearly indicated that it was a 6” long bench and not a 6’ long bench as I thought…
   I swallowed my pride and placed the bench adjacent to the mural just as I had originally planned. Wendy, our girls, and everyone they could tell this story to - got a great laugh. Now every Christmas season, Wendy pulls the bench out of storage and proudly places it on display and gives me that silly little smirk. To her credit though – she found some tiny presents and placed them on the bench. Now my vision is complete. I love you too dear, Merry Christmas! 

Happy Hibernating

   Winter can be cold and cruel, and we all need a little warmth to help us through! Create a more comfortable and cozy environment in your home to help ease the chill and have a happy hibernation.
   By adding simple accents, you can change the feel of a room. Try to enhance comfort and warmth in each room’s décor. Welcome winter into your home by choosing pale, winter tones and woodsy patterns. Soften your space by adding plush throws and area rugs, which can easily be stored away in the warmer months.
   Rather than shutting the winter out, embrace it and try to carry the beauty of the outdoors in. Introduce natural woods into your décor, in turn making you feel closer to nature.
   Also add more warmth through your lighting. Place table or standing lamps throughout the rooms to bring extra light in. Form a natural balance by pairing earthy wood with warm metal colors. Or better yet- trade the light bulbs for candlelight. Add some scented candles for a gentle glow with a pleasant aroma.
   Last, but of course not least- reconnect with loved ones. Put down your phones, turn off the TV, and make the routine of sitting at the table for dinner every night. After all, a house is made of wood and stone, but only love can make it a home.

Holiday Décor Storage

Ornaments- Use egg cartons to store ornaments, keeping them organized and preventing breaking.
Ribbon- Save ribbon you receive from gifts or leftover from projects. Roll them up and store by color in a shoe box.
Lights- Use a piece of cardboard to wrap lights up and avoid the tangles. Hint: shoe box covers are a great size.
Wrapping paper- Fill a clear garment bag with wrapping paper and hang it up. Easy storage and you can see all of your choices.

Organize Winter Accessories

   During the cold months, it’s important to have winter accessories easily accessible and to keep pairs together. Put the accessories in a bin and create a label for it. One option is to assign each person their own bin. Another option is to put all like items together in a bin, like hats, gloves, etc. The bins can easily be stored away in a closet, on shelves, or under a bench.

New Year's Resolution: Vacuum Often

   Of course you probably vacuum when expecting company or when someone forgets to take off their shoes (you know who you are) - but did you realize how important it is on a weekly basis? Dirt on carpet is like blades cutting into the fibers, wearing it down as traffic walks over it. Overtime, the carpet will break down and lose its sheen. It is also just as important to rid of the dust that can pollute your indoor air and cause allergic reactions. If vacuuming isn’t your forte- try a robotic vacuum cleaner.

Fun Suggestion:

Make a living center piece that turns into party gifts for the guests
You can take it with you when you go!
1. Start with a base (bark, firewood, burlap, etc.)
2. Choose your plants
3. Bundle your plants in moss (secure the moss around the soil with a few rubber bands, twine or ribbon)
4. Arrange

When the party is over, send each plant home with someone!
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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 1701
Dover, NH 03821-1701

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W. A. Coolidge Company · PO Box 1701 · Dover, NH 03821-1701 · USA

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