Home > Holiday Gear Up is Going Well

Holiday Gear Up is Going Well

December 13th, 2021 at 11:55 pm

The last of our Christmas presents have arrived from Amazon, so no more Christmas shopping to worry about.  Now I just have to get our wrapping paper from the storage unit and get everything wrapped and that portion of the holiday is taken care of.  I have been working down our Christmas paper supply for the last few years.  We used to have two big containers of paper and now we are down to one that is about 3/4 full.  I haven't bought paper in about five years now.  I just want to use up all or most of the old stuff before buying more.  It is expensive.  Plus is we ever don't have enough, MIL has tons and tons of paper that is open to everyone in the family to use.

We finished putting up our front yard lights and decorations last night.  It took about 4 weekend days between rain and hail flurries, but it looks amazing.  Everyone keeps slowing down to look at our house, which isn't a bad thing since people tend to speed down our road.

Our elk is malfunctioning, so if we can get that working we will stick it up front, but it may take more work than anyone is willing to do until next week.  We have to take it apart and then check all the light bulbs in the back half to see which one is out and then see if we can fix the antlers and ears so they will stay in place, which may require a soldering iron, which we don't have, but a small one is not that expensive.  I am still hoping we can figure it out with zipties.  If we can get it working we will just pop it up front and pound in a t-post to secure it to.  All of our lawn ornaments get secured to t-posts because of the amount of wind we get this time of year.  They are too unweildy and will fall over, otherwise.

Either way we did the gutters and porch, including the columns with multi colored lights and then the deck rail is done with blue icicle lights.  One side of the deck has the back of the porch swing facing the road and on it we have mounted a star of Bethlehem with angels on either side slightly lower facing it, blowing horns.  Then on the bannister rails there is a giant red lit bow.  We can't do much else there because of the rose bushes.  On the two porch columns we have a Santa face and a red cardinal.  On the other side of the deck on the rail we have a polar bear with a multi-colored ball and then on the bannister rails are candy canes alternating three red, three green, three red, and three green.  Blue icicle lights drape the rail that goes down the front steps.

In the yard we have wrapped bushes.  We have one yellow, one green, one purple, one blue, and one multi-colored.  We have a couple more bushes we could wrap, but not enough extension cords, I don't think.  Our lawn ornaments are a 3 foot tall lit Christmas oranament, a 3 foot tall lit snow man with a blue cap and red scarf, and a five foot tall Victorian lamp post.  I'm pretty sure you can see the snow man from space, it is so bright.  Everything is on timers so we don't have to worry about turning it off and so it will be out in time to not disturb the neighbors' sleep.

The only things we couldn't do are the peaks of the house.  I have a tool coming for that, but it is for next year.  We have enough lights to do the back porch and handicapped ramp, which would be just for us, not for the enjoyment of others.  That is the way we go in and out of the house and with it getting so dark these days and the back porch light being so dim and currently unaccessible to put in a better bulb, this would be helpful at least until it is light until five again or we clean off the back porch.

The next big task is to put up the Christmas tree and decorate it.  It will look so pretty in the picture window and add to the ambiance of the yard for anyone passing by.  We are digging our own ornaments out of storage this year instead of using Mom's.  We will be using the green tree and not the white one this year, since the green is pre-lit and fast assembly with two pieces and the white one is the kind where you have to put all the individual branches into place.

We don't do real trees due to allergies and the mess and I'm a little put off by cutting down a tree only to throw it away.  When we lived in the mountains and had a wood stove, that was different, because we would end up using the tree to heat our home once it had dried out and the ashes would then go into the compost for the garden.  We don't have that anymore, so I would feel like I'd be wasting a perfectly good tree for a couple weeks of pretty.  It's my mentality to be able to find multiple purposes for things.  Reuse, recycle, or repurpose.

After the tree is up and decorated and the presents are wrapped then I feel like we can just sit back and enjoy the holidays.  I think our only ritual left is to go around and look at all the Christmas lights before the 22nd as a lot of people don't have their lights on if they go away for the holidays so waiting until Christmas or Christmas Eve, you may miss quite a few and going the 26th or after a lot of people have already shut off their lights.

I am thinking about making cookies this year.  I want to try making these chocolate peanut butter balls.  I think they are called Buckeyes.  But I want to try making them gluten free.  If I can find candy wax.  They are basically Reese's peanut butter cups in ball form.  Since I can't eat those anymore due to the chemcial BHTQ (I think that's the one), I'd love to have something similar.  And there is a gluten free sugar cookie with royal icing recipe I'd also like to try.  If I have the stamina, I'm thinking of making rughelach, too, but not gluten free.  I saw one with cinnamon sugar and pecans for the filling and since DD doesn't like pecans, there is no point in making that one gluten free.

I'd also like to try my hand at making challah bread sometime soon, just because I love the look of braided breads, again, not gluten free.  Don't know if that will be for the holidays or not.  I've just always wanted to try it.

Last week was a busy week of appointments and this week is, too.  I've got physical therapy, regular therapy, and DD has a telemed I have to be there for.  At least last week I got to meet up with my eldest sister.  We went to Shari's and we had soup and I had orange juice and she had a strawberry milkshake.  I picked up the tab, since I know she doesn't make a lot of money.  She did find a new job where she doesn't have to get vaccinated, but it isn't making any more than she was making at the old job.  We talked for a couple of hours.  It was dead in the restaurant so we weren't keeping a table occupied and I left the waitress a $12 tip on an $18 bill, so don't feel bad about taking it up that way, either.  She kept us pretty well supplied with water after we finished eating.

My eldest sister is a little further into conspiracy theories than I am comfortable with, especially regarding the Covid vaccines.  I understand the medical reasons people may not want to get it, and I don't think it should be mandated, and of course I wish there were longer trials, but I don't believe it contains a tracker or is population control, that's crazy talk.  They have the ability to be tracking us all day anyway through facial recongition software, our online activities, our phones, and maybe even our credit card Rfid chips if they want to, so what would be the point of injecting anything?  The tech isn't even there.  Probably.

So, mostly I would stear the conversation away from that if she veered that way, because we are trying to build a relationship and that doesn't work very well when one of us starts talking cuckoo bananas.  I guess her daughter is even further into the conspiracy theory stuff than she is.  I haven't seen my neice in a couple of years because of Covid.  I guess when you spend two years locked down at home, on the internet, you can only go one of two ways.  My other sister is even worse and that's one of the reasons we went no contact, because she got super offended that I didn't believe her crazy talk and I wanted her kid vaxxed if he was going to keep living with us.  She didn't want him living with her, but wanted to dictate how he lived with us.  He's living with my eldest sister now and still hasn't gotten a job.  She's starting to see what we were talking about.

I just don't get being perfectly able-bodied and 30 years old and not working.  Not learning to drive.  Not being self-sufficient.  Just leeching off of family.  I'm not sure how he'll find a job now without being vaccinated.  Not that he wants to.  Eventually his savings will run out.  Eventually my eldest sister's patience will run out.  I guess then we will drive him back to his parents and dump him there.  He should ultimately be their problem if anyone's.  Or one of his brothers.  Oh, well.  It's not my problem anymore.


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