Thursday, December 18, 2008

When? Well, right about now, I think!

The Christmas spirit is finally invading my soul. It's quieter this year than in years past, but it is making itself known to me now. The Christmas cards still haven't been mailed, but I think they will actually make it to the mailbox this year. Maybe not to their destination by Christmas, but into the mailbox is a huge step forward!

Last weekend, Darling Man and ZBoy decided it was time to get a tree. There were lots of lovely little trees and big trees, but Z chose this one. It's barely taller than he is and has huge gaps in its foliage - a slightly more robust Charlie Brown tree. They put the lights on and had to be cautioned to only use the lightweight ornaments this year. Poor little tree was shedding the heavier ones like dry needles.

Charlie Brown's tree

I dug out ye olde tree skirt and discovered that it was covered in hair. Tottie really enjoyed sleeping under the tree last year and apparently decorated the skirt herself. A few bits of sticky tape got most of the hair off, but I think I might try to make a tree skirt that I can toss in the wash at the end of the year. I got this one at the store and it's got glitter and stuff on it so I can't wash it. My life definitely needs to be wash and wear!!!!

hairy skirt Clean skirt

The final product turned out quite nicely. I rather like the smaller tree. Living with it in the room doesn't seem quite so daunting and overwhelming like it does with a tree that takes up half the room and touches the ceiling. Plus, when it's time to get rid of it, it's a heck of a lot easier!

Oh, Christmas Tree

While the guys were decorating the tree, I thought I'd try out the blue paint I bought around the light switches. Next thing I know, that wall is painted, the stairs have been cut in and I'm thinking about repainting the entire downstairs. I kind of liked the light yellow, but living in Florida, that just feels hot and stuffy in the summer. There wasn't enough light to bounce it and brighten the rooms - so we talked about it and decided a light blue/gray would work.

Blue stairs

I think I like this much better. It's also a semi-gloss instead of a satin so the light reflects a little better (plus it'll be MUCH easier to clean handprints off of in the hallway).

You might be wondering what precipitated this... well, the hardware for the handrail broke (it's only been there for 40 years), and since we'd never gotten around to painting the stairway, I decided I wanted to paint it before we rehung the handrail because trying to paint behind one of those is a bitch. I'd gone to L*wes and gotten hardware, new knobs for the kitchen cabinets and picked out a paint color. I was just going to paint a little, I swear...


After all that decorating, Darling Man took the dogs for a bike ride. We've had more rain lately than we've had in a few years, but the sinkholes are still looking pretty sad. This one is only as big as this picture and up to the dogs' bellies. The alligators obviously went off in search of bigger water or I wouldn't have dogs anymore. Revan's turning into a pretty good bike dog. Kida's been teaching him and DM's been supplementing his cooperation with treats.

Smiley dogs

We're into the early-release week of school (before the holiday), so today, I picked ZBoy and his friend Jesse up. We had lunch with my brother Jerry for his birthday and his friend Eric and my parents, then went out to the farm to spend the afternoon.

The boys immediately took off with Deacon and the golf cart, while I went inside and fought sleep. I've been going so much lately that as soon as I stopped moving, my body wanted to crash. I wound up helping mom move a couch to get at the table behind it (where the tree will go), then having interesting discussions with mom and dad about all kinds of things, including the nature of God. We seem to be in some agreement these days, which is a Platoean view. I didn't know that was what my point of view was officially called, but Dad has been studying this very thing in a 4-year class he's been taking (he's in his 3rd year). It is actually a nearly universal take as most established and ancient religions incorporate these ideas in one form or another.

As stimulating as this conversation was, I had to end it to take Jesse back to his mom and take my boy home - it is still a school night even if school is only half-day.

Before we left, Dad introduced Jesse to gathering eggs. They wound up with a little more than half a dozen in the blue basket.

Gathering eggs Jesse, Dad, Deacon & ZBoy
The boys ran around so much that they pretty much wore themselves out. After a quick trip to the grocery store and a fast BK dinner with Jesse and his mom, we headed home. Even though it was only 7:30 when we got there, Z headed for bed without protest and quietly read until lights out at 8:30.
After I finish a couple of work related things, wrap a few presents and let the dogs back in, I'm next!

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