One Light Goes Out, They All Go Out!

This weekend we have so much to accomplish!

We have to hang our lights, which is going to be a feat itself with the amount we usually put up. On top of what we already have, we’ve been talking about buying more boxes. Then there’s the issue of measuring to make sure things are balanced so I don’t feel fidgety and uncomfortable every time I catch a glimpse of an extra three feet of lights hanging off the edge of something. I can tolerate there being an extra amount of lighting but it really has to be balanced or it’ll drive me nuts.

Then, we have to order our snowman ornament and our year’s representation ornament. Every year since we moved in together we’ve purchased a snowman ornament and one additional ornament to represent our latest year. It’s our way of phasing out the usual ball ornaments and personalizing our tree with tradition and things that mean something special to us. We didn’t get to order any last year because our cabin didn’t have an address for mail/deliveries, so we’re going to have to pick out four this year, which doesn’t seem like a very big deal, but if you were the one picking them out with me, you’d know better.

A couple years ago we also started the tradition of each painting a decoration. It’s cheaper than buying pre-made decorations and we can have fun personalizing them. The first year we did tiny cabins that the wild mice in our farmhouse used for scavenged food storage. So, we have this year’s pieces to pick out and fancy up before the weekend is over.

We also have to pull out all the appliances and drawers to find where the mice are getting in here. We’ve already blocked a few access points but after seeing one (quite large) mouse running back and forth to one of the dog’s bowls yesterday afternoon, it’s clear we’ve obviously missed a sizable entry hole.

Our Christmas tree is going to have to wait until next weekend, I’m afraid, since I haven’t located a Christmas tree farm around here yet and with everything we have to do it would just sit unadorned for another week anyway.

Title From:
The 12 Pains of Christmas
by Bob Rivers

How ‘Bout We Sing Some Holiday Songs?

I love the holiday season. I start listening to Christmas music weeks before Thanksgiving. The first snowfall (when it’s not in September) brings with it the excitement over picking and chopping our tree, hanging lights, wrapping presents, baking cookies, and getting snockered on eggnog.

I have so many heartwarming Christmas memories but, by far, my favorite memories revolve around my sister. Even when we didn’t share a room, we would sleep in the same bed for days before Christmas, counting down in eves (Tonight is Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve!) and whispering about the presents we knew the other was getting. Finally, on Christmas Eve, we would wake up all through the night to check if Santa had been to the house. Then we would wait anxiously for the clock to read 4:30am, a perfectly acceptable time to begin the day when you’re 10 and it’s Christmas, and wake our parents.

It’s been many years since we shared a bed at Christmas, but I still catch myself counting down in eves.

Title From:
Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday
by Brad Paisley

All That Meat and No Potatoes

Two days before Thanksgiving we usually start all the prep work for The Big Day. We wash and chop every vegetable and prepare everything that can be prepared because, if we did everything on Thanksgiving day, we’d be eating in December. Unfortunately, this year our water decided to drop to a dribble and we were unable to begin as usual. Despite the setback, we’ll be celebrating this evening.

In addition to all our normal dishes, this year we decided to attempt our own brine. I both hope it’s fantastic and hope it’s not that impressive since I failed to write down what exactly went into the pot and how much of everything was used. I definitely know two lemons went into the mix, along with what appears to be a plethora of tiny seed pods, and some yard clippings.

Title From:
All That Meat and No Potatoes
by Louis Armstrong

Where My Heart Can Roam

This is one of my favorite photographs from our nomadic summer. I’d like to have a print made to hang around these barren walls but, as I said before, I don’t usually keep track of the original full-size images I finally choose among them all, which I find very annoying about myself at this moment. It’s our favored campsite on the BLM land near Castle Gardens, outside of Ten Sleep, Wyoming.

There was something about the smell of the sagebrush, the open range, the red hills in the distance, and the solitary feeling that appealed to us. If I could build a home anywhere on Earth, it would be right there.

Title From:
Weathervane
by Miner

And May You Need Never to Banish Misfortune

Things are troublesome here at the moment.

When I wrote the mini bio for this blog I said, “the hovel I call home,” but hovel was written about 60% in jest. A hovel is defined, according to dictionary.com, as “a small, very humble dwelling house; a wretched hut.” Originally, I was hinting at the humble dwelling portion of that definition, now we’re approaching the wretched hut portion.

Our bedroom floor has collapsed. I can’t believe I have had to write that sentence. Now, to avoid giving the wrong impression, our bedroom floor isn’t caved in with all the contents in a heap down a giant crack through the room. There are support beams that remain intact and some portions of the floor are still holding solid. However, one 1.5′ x 2.5′ section is now carpet covering a void. I can thwump it like a trampoline. I don’t know how deep the hole goes but it’s definitely a hole. Multiple other sections, all along the main walking path through the room, are soft, with another section immediately on the verge of collapse. Should this new portion fall into the abyss beneath the carpet, I will have to leap along the support beams and crawl across the bed to get to my side of the room.

Title From:
Sleepsong
by Secret Garden