02 December 2005

ketchup, latkes and U-cut trees

Back from hiatus! Yea! I said I'd be back after Thanksgiving. Thank you all for those who inquired. :o) I'm sure you are all tickled pink inside. Oh, wait that's the Pepto-Bismal.

I've managed to throw out my lower back in grandiose style. It hurts to sit for more than about 15 minutes so my blogging will be sporadic for a bit. Oh, I'll live.

I think I hurt myself helping hubby lift our massive Griswold Christmas tree on the roof of the van. Seriously, the tree takes up a chunk of my living room and about a quarter of a million Christmas lights. It smells so dern good. Only in the State of Washington can you pay $15 for a green 8 foot tree. Okay, Oregon too..and maybe Arkansas, now that I think about it.

And for those with the romantic notion of cutting your own tree...just back up the eggnog, Tiny Tim. It's not all snow and hot chocolate.

There is a reason its cheaper to U-Cut. It *can be* a bonefide pain in the keester.

(I need to be a bit more positive about this. Okay, smile while saying: "It's a pain in the keester!" Ah, such a difference.)

This is how it is. You start mucking through acres of mud and pine needles, having hubby sport his muscles by cutting down the tree (okay, really not bad...hm, mm, mmmm) and hauling it back to your vehicle. How far? I don't remember but I think I might have seen the cast of LOSTon the way back. You then lob the biggest and best on the top your vehicle, sap first, when you notice that gigantic bald spot in the tree that will go against a wall for sure. The proverbial cherry on top is if you can stress like me and worry about the mile of string hubby used that would somehow snap while we are on the highway. I could just see eight feet of douglas fir taking a 60 mile an hour Nutcracker dive off the top of the van, gracing some tailgater with a new pine-scented air freshener through their windshield.

With a tree this big, I had to pull out all my lights and shocker! nothing works. How is it that you can put away perfectly good Christmas lights in an airtight container, place the container in your attic, not touching it for a year to take it down and find only half the buggers work? I think it's an evil GE-sponsored, maniacal, light-damaging Fairy....either that or maybe it's the $1.85 cheap-o string of lights that was made by a minimum wage, undervalued employee with below-par materials but, hey, that would be crazy talk!! Crazy talk, I say!

Now the decorating. The kids helped me with the tree which made it even more fun.

Me: Who's pulling on the lights?!

Cherub child #2: It's her!, pointing his red-candy-colored finger at the youngest.

Cherub child #4: YIGHTS! MAMA!

One minute later....

Me: Doggonnit! How many times do I have to say don't pull on the lights! Do you want the tree to fall on you?

See, parents must find this therapeutic asking dumb questions. I think its a generational thing that happens at their child's birth and comes to full maturity in said parent once the children are at the age of reason. Something will just click in your head to tell you to point out a child's worst fear and then ask them if they would want that to happen.

Do you want your brother to fart on you?
Do you want the police to arrest mama because you wont wear your seatbelt?
Do you want your face to stick like that????
Do you want to lose a privilege??
See? Dumb questions.


Me: No pulling on the ornaments...

Cherub child #3: I didn't do it!

Cherub child #1: I didn't do it!

Cherub child #2: I didn't do it!

Cherub child #4: YIGHTS! MAMA!

Me: Where are the candy canes??

Cherub child #2 with sticky substance covering face and hands and color-coordinating tongue: Um......they..ummm. gone.

Me: Couldn't you have eaten the broken ones? You've had your candy today. Now we don't have any candy canes for the tree. Ellie, no ornaments in your nose. Here hang this.

Cherub child #3: That's my ornament!

Me: Where is your DAD!? Aiden, not all on one branch. Spread them out....

Cherub child#1: He went to buy new christmas lights. The ones in the attic were broken.

Cherub child #4: YIGHTS! MAMA!

Me: Fine. Who wants hot chocolate?

So, the positive side is I finished my finished Hallmark-card, making-Martha-proud, racking-up-the-light-bill, picturesque tree. It's so beautiful even a *Rabbi would cry in approval. Late last night, I put on some coffee and plunked myself down on my couch and watch the original "Miracle on 34th Street". Sitting there with my blanket, hot coffee and a classic Christmas movie...this is my favorite season!!

*Note: If by chance a Rabbi does read this or someone of Jewish tradition and/or extraction, please be aware that I have the utmost respect for Jewish culture and tradition as I would hope you feel the same about my Christmas tree. My comments are not meant as an insult nor should my comments EVER be taken seriously. (..well, not always. But only if I say, "no,...seriously") And besides, if you don't think that Christmas trees are beautiful and the coolest thing around this winter, well, that is too bad because I appreciate the fact that potato latkes are so darn good. Hmmm and especially with ketchup.

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe