Fun with Lights + My Tree Gets Nerd-eh

Blogland has slowed down this month for the holidays, and my humble abode is no exception. This week, I've been busy with the usual Christmas trappings -- wrapping gifts, cookie baking, and singing along (loudly) to corny music on radio stations that normally I wouldn't be caught DEAD listening to.

You know what stations I'm talking about. Admit it, your car dial is totally tuned to them too.

So Jarrod and I waited until it was raining before picking up our tree -- because we are idiots -- but had a lovely time putting it up.

After the tree dried off, of course.

Many of my friends scratch their heads when they hear I buy a REAL LIVE tree. I have a wee reputation as a hippie . . . minus the Grateful Dead t-shirts and sandalwood incense. (Incense makes me sneeze, and I have a 87% allergy rate to jam bands.)

And for a few years, I felt guilty for this yearly arbor-icide. But THE SMELL, people! I require real-tree smell for survival. Every Christmas I spend hours underneath its skirt, refilling my sniffer tankard to "full" with its glorious piney scent, so that by the time Fourth of July rolls around and I'm sick sick sick of the humidity and barbecues and American flags, I can tap into my reserves and remember better things are coming.

Or something like that.

Anyway, I felt guilty until a very helpful issue of Vegetarian Times pointed out that at least while they're being farmed, Christmas trees provide a valuable service to our environment -- purifying the air and all that good stuff -- and once they die, they decompose quickly. Meanwhile, our landfills are up to the wazoo in fake trees, which are not exactly compost-friendly.

So if you feel guilty for your real-tree love, I hereby give you permission to sigh in relief. A real green tree IS the real green solution.

Anywho. After we put up our tree, we had fun playing with the lights:

Are those neat-o? Totally easy (and addictive) too. All you have to do is set a low shutter speed on your camera and wiggle it around while it takes the pictures, like the classic Picasso pen light trick. Whee!!!

So like a lot of couples, we celebrate every Christmas with a new ornament. This year, we picked up this handmade, knitted one on eBay. Check it out:



I love being a nerd. It's so much easier (and more fun) than being cool.

Jayne, modeling my ornament.

Speaking of ornaments, this daytime picture might help you spot something peculiar about our tree:

What's that, you say? We only have (non-breakable, plastic) ornaments on the top third of our tree? Noooo! How did that happen? And where are the pretty vintage glass balls???


I am not sure if I've mentioned this before, but there is this THING living in my house now. This THING that finds little dangly doodads irresistible.

It's called a cat.

And because I am annoyed with him right now -- for the ornament situation, for which I am told Mr. Tumnus might grow out of. Maybe. -- I am posting an embarrassing picture of him, in hopes that the calico next door he's been crushing on reads this blog and never meows at him again.

HA! Take that Mr. T.

(The dogs never give me half this much trouble.)

And look! Cookie proof!

So far we've made these gingerbread men (half with Red Hot buttons for me, half without for Jarrod who is WEIRD and doesn't like them even though they are CANDY and CANDY IS DELICIOUS), lemon bars, and these yummy pink peppermint meltaways, one of Laini's finds.

Next up: Chex Mix (you knows you loves it) and something chocolaty and peanut buttery. Jarrod lives for chocolate and peanut butter like I live for real-tree smell. In fact, he loves it so much I'm convinced he'd smoke Reese's in a crack pipe if, you know, we had one.

Which we don't.

Though sometimes I wonder if the cat does.

Happy Chanukah & Winter Solstice, everyone! And if I don't get back here in the next few days -- Merry Christmas too!


  1. I spit my coffee all over my laptop when I saw you bought an ebay replica of Jayne's hat. Why is it that every really creative, interesting, intelligent person I know LOVES Firefly? No need to answer that . . .

    And sadly, our Christmas tree is also missing the good ornaments because Evil and Evil are little gluttons for Christmas tree breakables.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Jayne's hat! Ha ha ha! What episode is that from? Or is it from the movie? We're rewatching Firefly now (watched "Ariel" last night. SUCH a good episode!) but there's stuff I don't remember.

    Your tree cracks me up -- and does nothing for my campaign to win Jim over to cat ownership, one day. I fear it is a lost cause.

    And those light pictures are awesome! But I'm too dumb with my camera to figure out how to change the exposure time. I don't even know how to turn off the flash!!!

  3. Great post, Rockingest rad long-distance friend chum! :) Like Elise and my Wiffles, I LOVE the Jayne ornament!

    Happy Holidays!!!!

  4. Holy crap, I NEED that ornament in my life. I have a pink hat that looks vaguely like Jayne's and it's probably my favorite hat ever. I'm glad you're able to enjoy a real tree..I'm allergic to pine. (I KNOW. WTH?)

  5. Tee-hee...you're tree totally cracked me up. Love your fun with lights, too.

  6. I know what I need for Christmas...the ability to stop screwing up your and you're...my brain knows but my fingers need help...or at least the communication between the two.

  7. I don't know about cats growing out of the whole wanting-to-bat-and-break-every-Christmas-ornament-in-sight thing. By the time my cat was 13, he always broke at least one ornament a year. I sound like I'm talking about a teenager. Happy Holidays! :)

  8. That's amazing ^_^
    I love those light photos, so cool. I especially love the photo with what looks like glowing hearts flying on the air.
    Merry Christmas Steph!

  9. Love that need for the tree scent.
    The light pix are slick!
    The ornaments only at the top of the tree crack me up.
    I could go for some peanut butter and chocolate too, but I just had some peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate at the big family hoopdidoo yesterday and they were to die for. Mmmmmm! So I'll survive today.

    Merry Christmas!

  10. Tacky Christmas lights are so beautiful.

    Love the blog.