Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas tree

Reclaiming Normal

with 4 comments

For all the times we look forward to holidays and time off from work, it feels wrong to be so interested in having things get back to normal. I am a big proponent of staying open to variety and change, but at the same time, I have a very strong comfort with routine.

This weekend, we brought a return to normalcy in a variety of ways at home, not the least of which involved the taking down of Christmas decorations and returning furniture to the usual arrangements. I will be lobbying for a return to our artificial tree next year.

Getting back to my routine of days commuting to the day-job, and (full) days home without travel holds a surprising appeal now that we are a week into the new year. I’m guessing one of the reasons it seems so appealing to me today is because my health has also made great progress toward normal wellness again.

I spent much of the weekend lying low in quest of recuperation. It seems to have produced desired results.

Here’s to the rare phenomena of feeling good about the arrival of a typical Monday morning.

Hah!

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Written by johnwhays

January 7, 2019 at 7:00 am

So Christmassy!

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Christmas morning with Cyndie’s family is all breakfast and presents, on a grand scale, both. After getting lavishly fed, we headed downstairs to find 23 people’s-worth of presents around the tree.

It doesn’t take too long for Santa’s little helpers to distribute the packages around the room.

Then begins a cacophony of ripping paper, saving bows, exclamations of surprise/love/and delight, and many voices talking all at once.

As quickly as possible after everything was opened, I needed to slip out for a return trip to the ranch, where Delilah was patiently awaiting some attention. She was very grateful to have a chance to get outside to do her business. I granted her as much time and freedom as possible, trying to make up for the many hours she has been left alone in the last few days.

She seemed to think it made for good opportunity to hunt critters that live in the grass beneath the snow.

“Wha-aat?” she says after we get back inside. “I’m a good girl!”

After I got her fed, and darkness moved the chickens into the coop, it was time for my second drive of the day to Edina.

The Christmas feast which included salmon and beef tenderloin, easily justified the added driving.

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Cyndie stayed at her parent’s house overnight Monday and all day yesterday to help with preparations.

Christmas 2018 was definitely a day that felt wonderfully Christmassy in our family! The added blessings of having Norwegian relatives joining in the festivities was icing on our cake.

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Written by johnwhays

December 26, 2018 at 7:00 am

Well, This

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So, I mentioned in Sunday’s post that it’s been many years since we had a real Christmas tree in the house. I guess we forgot to appropriately prepare for the interest our dog and cat might have in this incredibly natural smelling specimen suddenly appearing in their living space.

Cyndie was away for a few hours yesterday morning, and this is the scene to which she arrived upon her return home:

Oops.

Live tree went topsy-turvy.

I might need to rig some wiring to hold the trunk in a vertical orientation, regardless the added few pounds of feline that might be exploring the branches. Or the canine who would obviously be interested in shepherding the cat back down out of said tree by means that would likely exceed the simple norm of just barking incessantly.

Maybe, if wires are going to be required at all, I should just hoist it up in the air and let it hang from the rafters.

It is so strange to hear myself say this, but… I think I already miss the artificial tree.

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Written by johnwhays

November 27, 2018 at 7:00 am

Real Tree

with 4 comments

It’s been more years than I can count since we have put up a real tree in the house when decorating for Christmas. I have a thing about cutting down trees, you know, even if it was grown specifically for that purpose. By buying our artificial tree so many years ago, I was making a statement that I no longer wanted to support the Christmas tree growing industry.

Here’s a classic example of how people change with time. When I was young, I felt Christmas trees made of plastic represented everything that was wrong with society. After a few years of seeing house after house with dead trees at the curb near the end of December, I began to have pangs of remorse over the demise of so many trees for a few weeks of holiday decoration.

Then I spotted the impressive advancements in fake trees. At the point it became difficult to tell the difference at a distance, my attitude changed and we stopped buying real trees.

This year, we will be giving our plastic tree a break.

Yesterday, Cyndie asked if we could trim some branches to bring in boughs of pine for decorating around the house. While seeking out possibilities, I spotted a spruce tree that was seriously encroaching on a new oak tree that has established itself nicely, just outside our bedroom window.

We decided to cut it down and bring it inside for this year’s Christmas tree.

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Now you see it, now you don’t. Or, if you consider it from a focus on the young oak tree, at first you don’t see it, and then you do!

Having a real tree indoors again reminds me of one of the significant advantages of the plastic replica we have used for the last umpteen years. No mess.

Just one day inside and already there is a surprising number of needles covering the floor beneath this real tree.

Well, at least we have a back up. If the real tree loses all its needles too soon, we can always bring out the old plastic one.

The fake tree has lasted long enough that we have more than gotten our money’s worth of use out of it.

At least this real tree didn’t cost us any cash. In fact, cutting it down will greatly benefit the oak tree we value even more.

It’s a win-win!

Bring on the Christmas extravaganza! Cyndie has leapt into preparations with gusto this year, and with only four weeks to spare.

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Written by johnwhays

November 25, 2018 at 10:31 am