Showing posts from December, 2012

She with the ugliest tree…

We’ve been married thirteen years, and by that calculation it’s been 13 years since my prettiest Christmas tree.  Young and full of energy, we were gifted beautiful glass ornaments for wedding gifts.  Each was packaged in safe space age padding, and I specifically remember hanging each and every beautiful one.  Delicate glass icicles hung and the thinnest of tinted glass sparkled in the soft glow of the Christmas lights. Back then, without the general rigors of family keeping me overly occupied, I actually did something I can barely bring myself to mention.  I, um, used to watch crafting television shows. I thought it would be decorative and clever to tie tiny rustic bows on the tips of each limb, and I remember posing by the tree that took me hours upon hours to embellish, wearing my best Martha Stewart grin.  Those were some different times. Nowadays they are but faint whispers on a faded photograph of times gone by and thankfully never to return. When you start having children

When the star touches the ceiling. Then it's big enough.

There is never a time when I want more to live in a house with a vaulted ceiling than during December, when we go shopping for a Christmas tree.  Not because I really long to decorate and manage anything so massive, and not that I really want to rearrange my whole house to accommodate the girth for something so large.  Mostly I want to live up to the challenge and the memories of my youth, when the star brushing against the ceiling was all my parents really wanted for Christmas. You know how, when you look back at the way your parents acted when you were a child, you stop and chuckle and wonder deep down in your heart if you missed something because there’s no way they could have been that nutty on purpose?  That’s how I feel during the annual event that is the Christmas tree.  In my own life, I just can’t imagine trying to tackle anything near to what they did.  (I think they must have sniffed a little too much eggnog.) But these are my memories, my wonderful and crazy memories.

RACK-ing ‘em up for Christmas

Come December, we are all suddenly reminded of the spirit of giving.   It’s more than just buying presents for your family and friends, it seems that the whole giving thing has spread out and bubbled over onto every bit of life.  Teacher gifts, extra tipping, kettles of every color.  Every organization I know has some sort of charity for which they are raising money, and I admit at times I feel overly obligated to give away everything I have and then some to the point where, honestly, I get a little exhausted by it all. But even with the barest of pockets, I still find myself wrapped up in the spirit of giving because it just feels so good.  As if you can actually feel your heart getting bigger every time you do it but you just can’t quite explain it.  There are plenty of places and programs that I feel I need to donate to, but it is the other small things that I don’t really have to do that get me giddier than a gingerbread girl. That’s why I decided to RACK it up this year, an

Man vs. Woman: brain style

I once read an article that perfectly explained the woman’s brain.  (I’m guessing now that I’ve got the attention of plenty of men.)  So often in my life, while harboring so many tasks and duties in my head that I feel like it is near explosion, I go back to that tidbit of psychological knowledge and feel just a tiny bit better.  There’s just something so comforting about knowing that you’re not alone and understanding why you are the way you are. Because personally I know that sometimes I feel like a cartoon character with my tongue hanging out and dripping, running so fast that the artist only has to draw my image once when I start, then a giant blur bouncing off all four walls, and then finally again when I crash into one of them and collapse in a heap with little stars and birdies flying in circles above my head. This particular article clearly depicted a man’s and a woman’s brain by using the analogy of a room with doors around the walls.  Each door was labeled something s

Batty for bats

Even in the aftermath of Halloween, when a few soggy decorations linger and pumpkins begin to rot, I can’t help but think about bats.  And thinking about bats takes me back in time to the most stressful interview of my life. At first I was not asked about myself at all.  I was asked about our flying mammalian friend. There I was, a high school student still trying to learn to like the taste of coffee and trying not to look like a dork, and I sit down to my first interview for a college scholarship, and she asks me about bats. Nothing specific, just something like, “tell me about bats.” Truthfully, I don’t remember how I answered the question.  I was so nervous that probably all that came out were a bunch of “uh’s” and “um’s” and a trickle of drool down my quivering chin.  I think I spent a lot of time questioning in my head what she wanted to hear, if she wanted to hear about bats as they are in the movies, or bats as they are in real life. I could have told her that bats are

Life is like a pile of leaves

Look out, Forrest Gump.  Life may be like a box of chocolates to you, but ‘round these parts when fall is in full swing, I’d like to argue that life is like a pile of leaves. And Shakespeare might debate whether to be or not to be, but when it comes to that pile of leaves, we might argue to rake or not to rake.  That is the question in late October. The glorious colors that light up our autumnal days with trees of bright reds and yellows eventually lose their ability to hang on and fall ever so gracefully to their final demise wherever the wind may take them.  And by wherever the wind may take them, I mean all over your lawn.  At this point in the season, we have a few options.  We can rake them ourselves, hire someone, invest in a leaf blower so the job goes more swiftly but annoys the neighbors with the loud noise, grind them up with a lawnmower, or just leave them be. According to the experts, the option is up to you.  Some say that you should mulch them with a lawnmower a