Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The kids are out on Christmas vacation.  Today we did our annual "day of giving".  We took tons of clothing and household items to Goodwill.  We donated 101 pounds of food to the food bank and Stephen gave blood.  :)  I do not give blood because I did it twice in my life and I fainted once and nearly fainted the second time.

I had a goal to be finished Christmas shopping by the 5th of December (some random date that I have no idea how I came up with) and I failed miserably.  Most of it is done and there has not been a lot of scrambling around to get it done.  I just have a few more stocking stuffers for Stephen and to get something for the mail lady.  Stephen always takes care of the kids because he loves rushing around the last week and getting it all.  And he loves to spoil the kids so I let him do it.

We won't be having anyone over for Christmas dinner for the first time in 10 years or so.  So it will be a nice, quiet day with no mad dash to stash the opened boxes and get all of the wrapping in the recycle bin immediately.  I am looking forward to having a quiet day.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

O Tannenbaum

Christmas trees in our house always manage to be quite an ordeal. We always seem to have issues with stands and I cannot tell you the number of Christmas tree stands we have purchased in the past 10 years.

A few years ago, after our Christmas tree had fallen down, we bought one of those swivel stands which we thought was pretty great but the next year out Christmas tree was too big (the trunk was thick!) to fit in the stand so we had to buy another stand. Of course the tree fell down again that year too! I think we have had trees fall 4 or 5 times in the past 8 years!

This year we managed to have to go buy yet another stand after buying what we thought was an awesome tree. It was tall and very full with branches that swept right to the ground. Of course the trunk was thick and there was a knot in it so it did not fit in either of the two stands that we had so I ran out to buy yet another stand. We struggled and strained to get the tree up (it is 8 and a half feet tall and very heavy). Stephen kept askin if I were sure that it was straight (he was under the tree tightening the screws on the stand ) and I was staring at the top of the tree which was perfectly straight. Then it was a up - voila!

Stephen then trimmed off some of the bottom branches an I put on the tree topper the sat down on the couch to admire our lovely tree.

Then I saw it. Can you see it?

Our tree has scoliosis! OMG how could we not have seen this?  Of course we had not seen it - the branches went straight to the ground and all we did was admire the height and fullness of the tree.  So, this tree is balancing precaiously in the new stand.  It managed to stay standing while I strung lights and while the kids and I hung the ornaments.  I guess those are good signs.   We hope that it does not fall over sometime over the next two weeks. Mostly I am worried about any water ruining the new wood floors but of course I am concerned about broken ornaments. 
And for Christmas I have added this tree stand to my Christmas list.  I hope it is the last one I will ever have to buy:

The Reveal

Here is a photo of our newly redone living room. We had the walls painted, the fireplace painted, hardwood floors installed, bought a new floor lamp, couch and chair. We also had shelving installed on either side of the fireplace. Oh and a new area rug. I am very pleased with it!

We also had a console and shelf custom made for the front hall/foyer. This hallway and the kitchen already had hardwood floors so we just had them stripped, stained and finished.