Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wait, that's not the Eiffel Tower.

Not France, I know but I had to share anyway. None of the pictures from France feature the girls since they weren't there and the girls are cute, they should make you smile. They make me smile. They also make me want to pull my hair out, bang my head against the wall, run away and spank them all soundly and put them to bed. Wow, that was a tangent right there. Just for the record, sometimes the girls behave in a way that causes me to want to do these things, not that I do them. I don't "believe in" spanking (strange phrase for this I think) so no worries, that was just a reference to a nursery rhyme. As for banging my head against the wall, what are you looking at?

ANYWAY... we went and got our Christmas tree today. I have no Norman Rockwell type photos for you of us bundled up on a Christmas tree farm or out in the woods selecting our own, nature grown Christmas tree, not even close. The quality of these pictures pretty much stink but considering they were taken with my phone on a very sunny day and I made not even the feeblest attempt to make them interesting they aren't too terrible. Fine, maybe they are terrible. We're getting a Christmas tree, not going after artistic expression here. So the tree, we love live trees. Or at least we do for about 2 weeks while they are still soft and smell nice and aren't raining showers of needles every time someone sneezes near the thing let alone touches it. We were given a fairly decent artificial tree some years ago after the massive job loss experience and we stuck with that for a few years to save money. Until that tree died. Yes, the tree that never was alive died. I'm not sure why but suddenly the limbs had issues staying up and every year another set of limbs would look like we needed to feed them little blue pills in order to keep the ornaments on. After one particularly hazardous limb drop problem (there were a few ornament casualties involved) we decided that tree was done and the next year it was time for a real tree again. So excited. We went to a reputable nursery in town and picked out a lovely, over-priced, dying tree. I had my suspicions that they may have painted the trees but when we asked they said no, of course not. I mentioned it was a "reputable" nursery, right? Car dealerships are "reputable" too. Just keep that in mind. After picking out this over-priced, dying tree we wander around more and spot a huge, as in bigger than Jeremy, vat of green/blue paint with a sprayer hose attached and right next to it a whole slew of trees drying from their touch-ups. Why we still got that tree I'll never know. When we got it home we were able to clearly see the paint lines on the trunk from where our "never been painted, fresh pine" had indeed been painted. Ah, a reputable business. That tree was showering needles well before the 2 weeks mark, actually, I think it was showering needles before we got it home, we just missed that somehow. Chalk it up to having used an artificial tree for a few years, we'd lost our touch. So the next year we decided we'd head elsewhere, perhaps some place a little less "reputable" for a tree and saw a sign that IKEA had trees for $20. We got a great tree there, fresh, well shaped (minus a big hole in one side, but so what?), not falling apart and green all own it's own accord! Cool, huh? It was a good tree and held up well so we were hoping that IKEA would be doing the same deal again this year and guess what, they are! We got embarrassingly excited over this fact. They started selling yesterday, they were out of Douglas Firs almost today and I bet by Saturday they will be out of trees completely. Rushing to finish school work and chores, we had pumpkin soup for lunch and then headed out to pick out the tree. Which is a bit like opening a book randomly and pointing at a passage looking for inspiration, you never really know what you're going to get. The trees are all bundled up tight with their limbs strapped to their bodies in a "stick-em-up!" pose. There are a few things you look for: no obvious gaps (unless you're like me and think it could be fun to have an odd looking tree), what appears to be a nice taper to the top, a good height, a trunk small enough to fit in our tree stand, fresh needles (these trees are pretty darn fresh, they almost made me blush), and just no obvious "ugly." Oh yeah, and height. I tend to like them very tall. As in so tall Jeremy ends up cutting several inches off the bottom and the tree topper doesn't fit on top. That's ok though, I still haven't found a tree topper I love. This time I decided we wouldn't get a huge tree. In fact, I was thinking a small tree, maybe only 4 feet and not too wide. The girls loudly and passionately disagreed. Had to be at least as tall as Daddy. I consented, as long as it wasn't too big and so today, outside of the blue and yellow building next to I-10, we picked our tree. A picturesque setting to be sure, it really is a lovely blue. We picked a tree that was just a smidge taller than Jeremy and looked pretty decent in it's over-all shape. Oh yes, dear Christmas tree, you're about to be fulfilled in life in our modest living room for the next 4 weeks. When you can't really tell how a tree looks, picking one out goes pretty fast. Height? Check. Trunk? Check. Shape? Think so, uh, yeah, check. Good, let's go, we're having hot chocolate at home. The girls had fun and it was just the right amount of time. With all the talk of snow we're supposed to have in Houston (uh-huh, right.) we actually made the girls wear coats to go shopping for the tree. Big mistake, they complained about being hot. Oh well, at least the pictures look like it is chilly lending a slightly more Holiday feel to the experience in hindsight than shorts and sandals would. Maybe. The best part of picking out our tree? The girls pushing the cart with the tree on it and Helena and Evangeline along for the ride. They thought that was pretty cool.

Way too many words for what is supposed to be just sharing pictures of picking out our Christmas tree.Yes, the tree is taller than Jeremy.

The whole gang with THE tree.

Jeremy and O loading the tree onto the cart.

Tree transportation. H and E enjoyed the ride.

This one is just because he's nice to look at.

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