O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

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So I don’t know about you all but my family actually cuts down our Christmas Tree. We always go the day after Thanksgiving to the black friday sales, and then a few hours to the forest to cut down our tree.

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Now some of you may wonder why we would go through so much trouble? Why not buy a fake one? Well I’ll tell you why:

1) The permit to cut down a tree only costs $10. That means you can get as big a tree you want for only ten bucks! For instance we got a 12 foot tree for 5% of the cost of  buying one from a lot.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

2) Cutting down your Christmas tree is very good for the environment.

Say What

 I know many of you have just read that and are probably saying to yourselves this girl is stupid, but just hear me out. You see trees grow in clumps and while that is a great thing as they share resources, protect each other, pollinate each other, etc. However, at times this can be bad. Sometimes trees grow too close together that they are unable to get their share. Often times one, or all, the trees will die as there isn’t enough to go around. Cutting down your own Christmas tree from one of the clumps means that one side might be a little thinner (you just aim that side in the corner) and it helps the other trees grow big and strong. Also periodically clearing out sections of trees protects them in the summer when there are threats of forest fires. And of course, this cutting isn’t a free for all. You can only cut from certain sections, therefore protecting a wider majority of trees. You also have restrictions on the tree size. Your trunk can only have a diameter of 6 inches and there is a restriction of high the stump can be. These regulations keep older trees protected, along with making sure people are not cutting off the tops and leaving the rest of the tree.

That's a lot!

That’s a lot!

3) Cutting your own tree means that it will last longer. You see one of the biggest problems with tree lots is that these trees are cut at the end of November, shipped over to the city they will be sold, and hanging around on pavement until they are sold. They are not getting the same TLC or water and a lot of them die really early, shedding tons of pine needles along the way. Now when you cut your own tree, it is nice and fresh and lasts much, much longer. As I said we always get our tree at the end of November and take it down at the end of January. We could keep it up longer, but usually by February we are packing up our Christmas stuff. Besides longevity, it also smells absolutely wonderful.

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And with cutting down your tree there are always adventures. Three years ago I went with my parents and we brought my two nieces, my nephew, and our dog. We hiked all over the area in the snow looking for the perfect tree.

We finally found it and my dad cut it down using a manpowered saw rather than a chainsaw. I tried to help him but it was hard work and both of us were pooped. He was really tired so I had him rest and had to carry that tree on my own. Let me say, I’m never doing that again. It was sooo heavy! I don’t know how I was able to carry it even for a minute.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

After my dad’s rest we finished moving the tree to the truck. After that I had to carry the three kids as the snow embankments had grown larger, and they wouldn’t be able to make it out. Yep, every time I feel like something is too hard, difficult, or heavy, I just remind myself that I carried a tree down a mountainside. I rule!

notimpossiblebutpossibleAudreyHepburn

And this year wasn’t any duller. There was no snow as we’ve been suffering some strong dry spells, but we still had a lot of fun hiking up and down the mountainside for that perfect tree. When we found it we cut it down (using a chainsaw this time) and started to head down the mountainside. Now, we’ve been doing this since I was like 13, but this year something happened that had never happened before.

As we started down the hill trying to bring the tree to the truck, my dad yelled at us to turn the tree as he wanted the weaker side pointed to the ground as that side was to lay in the flatbed. As we turned the tree, BAM! SMACK!

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The tree branches kept smacking me in the face. And when I mean kept, I meant it didn’t stop. I guess it was the section of the tree I was in, but I couldn’t see a thing, just branches and branches smacking me in the face.

I felt as if it was like in The Wizard of Oz when the trees come to life and start smacking Dorothy.

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It was almost like it was mad at me for me cutting it down.

When we got home we got it out of the truck and was taking it into the house and had to turn the tree again. Now this time I had stood on the opposite side of the tree, hoping that would keep it from hitting me, but now once again tree slap.

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Hair everywhere, I can’t see a thing, I’m afraid my glasses might get knocked off and go flying, and I am praying so hard that I do not fall in our pool.

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Luckily we get it in the stand and straighten it out. And boy does it look lovely. It kind of makes up for the abuse it gave me.

Now my abuse from the tree branches doesn’t end there. Oh, no! You see after I graduated and interned this summer; I moved back home. I’ve been trying to find a job, but this is pretty much what it is like.

PearlsBeforeSwineWorkExperienceJobSearching

So to fill the time until I am hopefully hired, I am volunteering at quite a few places. One of which is my local museum. So last week I headed down there as it was my turn to work the desk. I brought with me some pine clippings from our tree as the museum was decorating for Christmas. Well it turned out that they didn’t have as many volunteers as they hoped, so they asked me to help with the decorating. I thought okay, it will be fun.

big mistake

So I thought decorating meant we were going to hang ornaments on the tree.

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We were making these giant wreaths.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

So I was paired with one of the volunteers and let me just stop and share something with you. Most of the volunteers at the museum are older, like 60+. So the woman I had wasn’t the most helpful. You see you take branches of the tree and put them on a plastic doughnut, tying them down with string or wire as you go along. Adding more and more branches until it is filled. However, that’s not what happened here. My helper laid tons of branches down and then sat down as she couldn’t tie them on. I tried to tie the branches down, but the wreath slipped and they all went crashing to the floor.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yep, I had to do everything over, but this time I did it right. As I continued, more people came and helped out which was nice. It was a really hard process though as it had rained for the past three days, and all their tree clippings were soaked, making the already hard job of trying to tie them down even harder!

Replace Rothbart with wreath

Replace Rothbart with wreath

Finally we had completed it and I was tired. It’s a lot of bending over and being pricked/stabbed by the wire and tree branches. I sat down for a bit but then had to move on to making garland.

Stupid, stupid

OMG it was so hard. You have a piece of rope and have to twist tie the branch to the rope. Yep, those flimsy little twisty ties. IT TAKES FOREVER! You keep placing branches over and over each other to make it fuller and until you cover the rope. This is extremely hard. At times I was trying to use one of those flimsy things to tie three branches together! And because a lot of people had to leave, I had to do it all on my own. By one fourth of the way I wanted to burn the thing.

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We had a time limit to this as at noon the county was sending over free labor and the right machine to hang this things high up on the walls. So when every team completed theirs and saw I wasn’t even at the halfway point they all descended on me to help out.

Now you think this would have been nice, and it would have if it was one or two, but there were like five trying to take over the tying or telling me what to do. It made me feel kind of surly:

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But I just kept to myself, trying to be professional.

After that my shift was over and I headed home, bearing more battle wounds that those brought on by the slapping tree. My hands were covered in cuts and they hurt sooo bad, my back was aching from bending over, my feet were sore from standing, etc. But hey beauty is pain, and the place sure did look amazing!

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Merry Christmas!

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For more on Christmas trees, go to On the  7th Day ‘Til Christmas

For more on Christmas, go to the 25 Films of Christmas

For more moments of my every day life, go to How Can This Be?

For more on the Wizard of Oz, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

For more of my favorite songs, go to Fantastic Fantasies

For more of my favorite quotes, go to When in Doubt

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Looking at the Past, Focusing on the Future

Happy-New-Year

So another year has gone by, and full of interesting and unexpected things. I will say that to me, 2013 will always be remembered as the year of the weddings, as I had a TON of friends get married this year. It was like every other week was somebody’s wedding.

Anyways, so this is a time to reflect what the past year held for us, the big posts, the planned posts, and what you all seemed to like the most. 😀

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1) The Views

According to WordPress I had 9,542 views this year. That’s 7542 more than last year. I would like to thank all of you for being a part of this and giving me your time and attention.

Anniversary 2) #1 Post

Surprisingly, the top post of the year was my Happy Anniversary post in which I celebrated six months of blogging. I have to say I never saw that one coming. Runner ups were Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year, Fulfilling the List: A Walk to Remember, Grimwood Ghouls’ Gym Teacher: Scooby–Doo and the Ghoul School, A Monster Race: Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant  Werewolf, and Save the Last Dance for Me: Dirty Dancing

thankyou153) The Followers

I now have 42 followers, that is 28 more than last January. Thank you all who follow and make my blog a part of your life. You are all awesome! 😀

Now for the success and failures of the year.

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4) My Favorite Movie Lines Lists

This all started when I did a post on one of the best movie lines ever. I then decided to do my own countdowns and post them once a month. I only did two; My Favorite Movie Lines and It’s BACK!: The SequelI planned up to 10 lists but never finished looking for videos to include, so they are just backlogged waiting to be published. I will have to look through them and post them this year.

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5) Musical Musings

I also started my musical posts, writing about some of my favorite songs. This year I covered Nothing But a Good Time, Eye of the Tiger, In Rhapsody Over Clint Eastwood,  Jump (For My Love), I’ll Be Alright Without Youand The End which reviewed a bunch of different songs. Look for more of these as I already have a few ideas for more.

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6) Romance is in the Air

Fourteen posts about some of my favorite romantic moments in film in honor of Valentines’ Day. I covered Say Anything, He’s Just NOT That Into You, A Walk to Remember, An Officer and a Gentleman, The Wedding Singer, Shrek 2, Enchanted, Runaway Bride, 10 Things I Hate About You, An Affair to Remember, Music and Lyrics, It’s a Wonderful Life. Dirty Dancing, and Northanger Abbey.

16741-Slimy_Stretch_Mini_Schlange-Halloween_Dekoration-Snake 4_leaf_clover_banner Holly7) One Day Holiday Posts

 Instead of doing a post everyday like with Romance is in the Air or Horrorfest, I did a couple of holiday posts in which I reviewed the films or books that applied in one post on one day. This is can be easier and fit for the holidays chosen; Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year, Pot O’ Gold: Saint Patrick’s Dayand the 25 Films of Christmas

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8) Painted Portrayals

For Easter I did something a little different from my other holiday posts. I discussed art that featured Christ, discussing the history and advancements of the pieces.  These posts were The Last Supper, The Betrayal of Christand Good FridayI mean I have to use my Art History skills for something.

Pride and Prejudice Book Cover9) Pride and Prejudice Summer

So this was a failure. I had planned to spend a majority of my summer posting about Pride and Prejudice as it had just turned 200, but unfortunately my plans went awry. However, I did get a few done and I am going to complete this quest this year, so I can move on to another book. The posts that I completed as part of this goal are the following: Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice, It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged, The 12 Men of Christmas, Parental Favoritism, and Definitely Not Mr. Darcy.

halloween-wallpaper-large00610) Horrorfest II

Now Horrorfest II wasn’t a complete failure, but it didn’t turn out how I originally planned. I wanted to do 31 days, but it was far too much work and only did 16. I didn’t get everything I wished to accomplish, but I think it turned out well. I covered the films; The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Warm Bodies, The Mummy (1932), The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Crucible, Ringu, The Beast of Yucca Flats, Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Jurassic Park III, and Children of the Corn. I also did the episodes “A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It” from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, “Night of the Day of the Dead” from Lizzie McGuire, and “Midnight Madness” from Are You Afraid of the Dark. I also discussed an artist who mixed horror films with Disney, Disnified Horror.

Of course there are plenty of other things that went on this year, but this finishes our review of the year.

On ending note I found this on Pinterest in the spring:

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and wanted to do it, but I thought it would be better if I waited for the new year to partake in this. I think that it is a fun idea and I encourage everyone of you to do it as well.

So Happy New Year, I hope it is the better than last year! And I can’t wait to see what posts come up this year. 😀