I Ran Out of Milk So I Put Buttermilk in My Tea

So buttermilk…I have never really drank it or used it except when making Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Next year I promise to do a post on it, for now if you want to make it yourself, head over to my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.comAnyways, every year I am leftover with buttermilk and have no clue what to do with it.

I know most of you are thinking: pancakes.

I’m not really a big pancake fan, so I’m not into that.

Meh.

The other day I ran out of milk, and I LOVE milk in my tea. I don’t like to drink my tea without it.

Now normally I would just go to the store and buy more but its been raining.

Actually, that’s not an accurate description. It has been storming-windy, sheets of water, etc. The type of weather that makes you want to just stay home in pajamas with a good book or movie…

 

And tea!

But I had no milk!!!!!

So then the idea came to me…what about buttermilk?

I had never even drank buttermilk before, I mean I know you can make a substitute using vinegar so I’m pretty sure it isn’t sweet. And I know in the one Ramona book they call it “sour”

“How else am I supposed to reach things?” Ramona successfully broke the egg and tossed the shell onto the counter. “Now I need buttermilk.” Beezus broke the news. There was no buttermilk in the refrigerator. “What’ll I do?” whispered Ramona in a panic. “Here. Use this.” Beezus thrust the carton of banana yoghurt at her sister. “Yoghurt is sort of sour, so it might work.” The kitchen door opened a crack.“What’s going on in there?” inquired Mr. Quimby.” Ramona Quimby, Age 8

But then in Westerns they always have the men drinking it when they come back from working the fields and such.

So I tried it and…

It is so sour! It’s like drinking plain greek yogurt.

I can’t imagine drinking a whole glass of it. But I thought maybe a few drops…?

It came out…okay. I only did a tiny bit and put in quite  lot of sugar. I don’t recommend it for everyday use, but only in a tight squeeze and only a little bit.

Well in the end it worked out, and I got my tea.

For more tea posts, go to I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Infused Facial Cubes

For a recipe that uses buttermilk (which I had completely forgot about), go to Harlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme Scones

For more rainy days, go to A Water-Logged White Christmas

For more C.S. Lewis’ quotes, go to Book Club Picks: A Wrinkle in Time

Viva Las Vegas

So I know you’ve probably been wondering, what’s going on? Where have I been? Have I just crashed from my Valentine’s Day postings?

i'mtired

Well not exactly. I’m sure you have seen on the news how crazy the weather in California has been. We actually had to evacuate the area for fear of flooding.

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

Headed up more north, where I connected to the internet and was able to finish the Valentine’s Day countdown. Then we returned home, as no water had overflowed, repacked and planned to head down to Southern California to wait out the evacuation.

I'm outta here

I’m outta here

But they were going to get the worse storm in 20 years. We decided to skip it, which was good as everyone I knew house’s got flooded.

Not good

Not good

So we were trying to decide where to head next, when Las Vegas was just randomly chosen. There we headed out in a trailer, with my cat (as I wasn’t leaving her) for Sin City.

I'd never leave you.

I’d never leave you.

Now I’ve never really had a desire to go to Vegas. I like gambling, but just for fun. Anytime money is involved I lose; if we play for fun, chores, candy-I’m golden.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

If money-

idon'tgotthis

But that is where everyone wants to go, so we went. Well it took a day to get there as California is huge.

What?!

What?!

We got there around five, but were too tired we just stayed there in the trailer resting.

Draculasleep

The next day it poured! Like crazy pouring, like monsoon weather. It was so crazy and we were so tired of the water that we decided to just stay in again.

Saturday and Doing Nothing

The next day was sunny, but cool which was nice, and we decided to head out. But you know me, I’m not normal.

OneTreeHillIAmWhoIam

Now what I wanted to see more than anything was the mob museum.

TheGodfatherTaketheCannoli

It was AMAZING! Tri-level, with information from the early years to present time. It was chock full of information on the 1920s to the 60s. The later years focused more on the police and FBI. It was extremely interactive with video in a replica of the Las Vegas courthouse, depicting the hearings and using actual furnture from the time period.

loveitSupernatural

They had practice with weapons, a fake tommy gun that you could pretend shoot:

bonesgunsshooting

and the wall from the St. Valentine’s Massacre that was brough over and reassembled brick by brick. You could see the bullet holes.

saintvalentinesdaymassacre

There is so much more, I barely even skimmed the surface in this review of all the amazing things this building has to offer. If you are ever there you should check it out as it was AMAZING!

Iloveit love

After that we drove down the strip looking at all the lighted signs and buildings.

What?!

Wow!

The next day we hit the casinos, but not to play.

Whattheheck

Yep, I wanted to look at all the architecture.

SayWhat

Hey, I told you I was different.

normalweird

I loved looking at them, and spent hours walking and checking them all out. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see everything, but I tried my best. My favorite was probably Caesar’s Palace. I loved the extensive details in recreating the roman architecture. It was beautiful. As a former Art History student, I was enthralled.

They even have a life-size replica of Michelangelo’s David, made from the same marble as the original.

16830823_10208401932514299_458816416112942729_n

Michaelangelo purposely made this disproportionate as it was supposed to me placed high above on a roof in Florence, so that all could see it.

The sculpture is designed to show David’s warrior soul, not actual physical age, that is why is so muscular and strong. It was also designed to be right before he throws the slingshot, his face in fierce contemplation. It is amazing the way Michelangelo is able to create life out of stone.

The Flamingo is the oldest casino on the strip. It was created by the mobster Bugsy Siegal and his friends and the reason for his death. It was taking too long to build, using too much money, and many believed Bugsy was skimming off the top. Never try to cheat the mob, they will always take you out.

16864762_10208401923594076_3909524561337177826_n

The Paris Casino was also amazing as it tried hard to replicate the city-from the Arc de Triomphe, to the “cobblestone” floors, to the Rococo style artwork and Salon furniture.

What?!

Wow

And it was cool looking at the Bellagio first hand instead of just a movie, like Ocean’s Eleven.

But there was one big disappointment for me.

Laura Angry Mad Upset

So you all know how much I love Elvis, I am a super fan.

ElvisPresleypandemonium

So I was looking for an Elvis themed souvenir in all the souvenir shops on the strip. But I couldn’t find anything!

SayWhat

I know, right?! I searched every where and was getting desperate…at this point I would have bought anything.

So cool, I want it to be true.

But there was nothing, nada, zip!

Life'sNotFairPrincessBride

I know, crazy! No Elvis in Vegas! No nothing! Not even an impersonator! Not a copy of the film Viva Las Vegas!

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Oh well, I could probably find something cheaper online.

Supernaturaldean whinchester shrug smile oh well

But hey, just because I missed out doesn’t mean you should. So Elvis, take us out:

ElvisPresleyDanceDancing

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Vegas, go to A Fantabulous Post

For more on the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, go to You’re Sad So I’m Making This Day Extra Special: The Bikini in the Soup, Bones (2011)

For more on Michelangelo, go to The Death of Christ

For more Elvis, go to Someone is Killing By Copying Old Murders!: Real Murders

Rainy Days Are Reading Days

I don’t know about you all but it has been raining so badly where I am at that parts of the community are on flood watch.

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

But I don’t mind the rain, I LOVE IT!

rainydayperfectday

And you want to know why?

Why?

Why?

Because:

Rainy Days Are Reading Days!!!!!

ReadingandRain

Yep:

rainyday

If people ask you to come over and do something, you can use the rain as an excuse; and then just enjoy your time snug and full of fun!

gloomyrainydays

Yep, that sounds like the perfect day to me.

teabookshotdate

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on rainy days, go to Every Month at the Quarter Moon There’ll be a Monsoon

For more book filled posts, go to Never a Lender Be…Because You Might Not Get Your Stuff Back in the Same Condition

Winter Wonderland

So do you all remember my post last year on chopping down our Christmas tree? I talked about how hard and heavy it was and the way the tree kind of beat me up.

WizardofOzAppleTreesDorothySmacked

Well this year wasn’t as painful, but it was just as interesting.

So every year after Thanksgiving my family drives up to the mountains to chop down our Christmas Tree.

OChristmasTreeOChristmasTreeGrimm

So some of you think that it seems like a ton of trouble but cutting down your tree is way better than buying it off the lot.

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 13 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 given a home. 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.

-Jim-Carrey-beautiful-gif-UYfb

So this year we were gearing up to go, when we were called up by some friends of the family, the Nelsons. They’ve seen our trees and wanted one for themselves, so they asked to join us.

Double double yay

30 mins later, another family called, the Salamancas. They also wanted to join us, the more the merrier.

AWESOME!!!

And not too long after that, the Hawkins called and wanted to come too.

morethemerrier

So the next day, the day after Thanksgiving, we headed up the mountain caravan style. When we got there we got one big surprise. Snow!

Now you may recall me stating again and again how California has been in a drought the past few years. I mean, yes, we have had a few rainstorms but no one was expecting this. Of course when we saw it, we were all kinds of excited!

snow

Now we may only be like an hour or so away from the snow, but where I live it never snows. It may get under 30 degrees, but if it does it will never rain.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

 We never get a white Christmas, the closest we ever come to it is a wet one.

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

And after like three years of going to the mountains and getting nothing, we finally had snow once again!

snowsnow

Of course I always dress for the snow, even when there isn’t anything, just because it is cold up there. But my family is the only one who was prepared that way. Everybody else had the wrong shoes, jackets, etc. Oops!

SherlockPoppedcollarcoolandmysterious

In fact there was so much snow that we weren’t even able to go to our usual tree cutting spot. The road was just covered in snow and black ice, in fact we almost got stuck at one point.

OMG gasp

So we went back down the mountain, found a spot, and began the search for the perfect tree.

It was hard going, even harder than last time as the snow blinded us and made every tree look amazing. But upon closer examination, they were not quite what we wanted.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

At one point it felt like we were never going to find it.

Reality Sucks

But then we found it. A beautiful 13-footer.

-Jim-Carrey-beautiful-gif-UYfb

But then came the problem of cutting it down.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

You see we had forgotten to bring the chain saw, and instead only had a regular saw. A saw which is very hard to cut down the tree with.

We all tried, but it was hard with that sap. However, thanks to our extra help we were able to get it down and to the road.

One-does-nottimber

When we reached the road, we discovered we had walked really far away from our cars. So my dad went to get our truck while we waited.

Now by this time it wasn’t really snowing, but it had gotten colder and icy. The roads were completely covered in ice.

snowsnow

My dad drove down the hill, but when he tried to get back up to us, he almost got stuck in the side of the road as he started swirling off the road on the ice.

OMG gasp

Luckily my dad was able to drive in reverse and get out of the ice so we could put the tree in the back of our truck.

When we got home it started raining, and we had to get our tree into the house in the wind, rain, and the dark. But it was all worth it. It looked absolutely beautiful when we put it up in our house and decorated it.

victorian_christmas room decorated for christmas

A absolutely beautiful tree.

OChristmasTreeOChristmasTreeGrimm

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on cutting down the Christmas tree, go to O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

For more on White Christmas, go to Sisterly Roles

For more stories from my everyday life, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

christmas-flowers-banner

So today’s Christmas Carol is not Winter Wonderland as let’s be honest, it’s not even really about Christmas. Instead today’s song is I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. The song was written by Irving Berlin and was sung by Bing Crosby, originaly in Holiday Inn, although at the time it was overshadoed by Be Careful It’s My Heart.

For me this wasn’t the first place I heard the song. The first time I was  introduced to the song was in the Christmas special claymation, The First White Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow. In it one of the nuns, Sister Theresa, sings about how she misses the white Christmases from her hometown.

FirstWhiteChristmas

However my favorite version comes from the film Holiday Inn, the first film to showcase the song.

220px-Holiday_Inn_poster

I think the way that Bing sings it in this film is much better than the way the group does it in White Christmas. In Holiday Inn it just sounds so much more personal and meaningful.

Plus I like that movie better.

christmas-flowers-banner

For more on The First White Christmas, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

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

For more Christmas carols, go to Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze, Welcome Christmas

Every Month at the Quarter Moon There’ll be a Monsoon

So I have experienced quite a lot of terrible rainstorms.

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

When I was nine there was a tornado warning on my birthday. (My birthday takes place in a season where there is zero rain, so it was a really random year.) There ended up being no tornado, but it was really rainy and windy.

I don’t remember it being too bad as we didn’t have to do anything in school but hng out (away from the windows, and we all got picked up from school early. I spent the rest of the day chilling, happy birthday to me.

gloomyrainydays

Then there was the time I went to Arizona right in the middle of monsoon season. The rainstorms don’t last long, but they are extremely powerful and crazy. And of course because this happens only one week out of the year, they don’t build the buildings with the capacity to handle such storms, i.e no rain gutters to catch the rain or storm drains. There was water coming from everywhere. It was like Jumanji.

At one point my sister and I were running to our hotel room (in our shorts and tank tops as it was too hot for either of us to bring a coat or sweater) and when we almost reached it, we were hit by a waterfall of water streaming off outdoor walkway. We both were totally soaked.

HairaMess

Then there was that time during my freshman year in school were we had crazy rainstorms up until the beginning of May. Things were so bad that one week (right before finals) they canceled classes that met in the lower floors of the buildings and were all issued a flood warning. In fact it got so bad they had to sandbag some of the buildings, as the nearby river began to overflow.

Pocahontas

Then there was Wyoming. Now that rain is tough. It doesn’t pour down on you, but the wind moves so fast that it knocks the rain drops into your body and face, making you feel as if you are being punched by a million tiny fists.

dean_punching_supernatural

The wind completely tore my umbrella, in fact it wasn’t until a second storm weeks later that I was able to find all the pieces of it.

I’m telling you, those Wyoming storms are crazy. I could barely find my way home, and was completely soaked from every inch.

Sadface Batman

But the worst storm happened last Sunday. I woke up, planning on getting ready for church when I looked outside to see water just pouring down from the skies. It was as if a faucet had been turned on full blast. Just gallons of water everywhere! Like you needed an ark to maneuver out of there.

There was no way I was going to drive in that!

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

So I waited until there was a break, but then I had the worst luck ever! As I was driving, the street that goes across one of the freeways’ light was broken!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was totally scary! Cars were just crossing all over the place, barely managing to dodge each other. I swear I saw like ten near accidents as I sat waiting for my turn.

Supernatural impala

I had to wait at least 20 mins, using a car making a left turn as a shield and praying that no one hit me.

pretty please beg

Then later as I was driving, I noticed that on the one way road I was going down, there was a section completely filled with water.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

There was nothing I could do but go forward. Praying again, but this time that my car wouldn’t get stuck in the water.

Carnival of Souls

I was somehow able to push through, and get to church.

Finally something GOOD!

Of course being California, two hours later the rain had stopped, the sun was out, and the only markers of the deluge were a few puddles.

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

Well that’s life in the golden state.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more adventures in the rain, go to It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

For more on living in California, go to England Dreamin’ On Such a Summer’s Day

For more adventures from my everyday life, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

christmas-flowers-banner

Now for today’s Christmas Carol, I have chosen When Christmas Comes to Town from The Polar Express. 

polarExpress

I think it is a cute song and my favorite from the film. I thought it was just so beautiful; the lyrics and the very talented voices.

christmas-flowers-banner

For more on The Polar Express, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

For more Christmas Carols, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

 

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

So I like the rain.

rainyday

It is cozy, it is pretty, it’s fun. And living in California while in the midst of a drought, we have all been wishing for rain.

rain

And when it comes we are all ecstatic! Rejoicing in the streets!

Now the other day I was out running errands. The skies were kinda gray and it had been raining every few days, so I brought my umbrella along. I had just left a store when it happened.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

It was like all of a sudden the Kraken was released or something. Water was pouring, galloping, annihilating.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It seriously hurt when it pelted you. I got in my car to drive home, but it was like I was in Psycho or something. I couldn’t see anything.

StoryOfMyLifeSomeLikeItHotMarilynMonroe

Good thing it was daytime or else I would have been out of luck. Of course when I got home, the rain become enjoyable again.

gloomyrainydays

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on rain, go to Rainy Days & Rainy Nights

For more on my everyday life, go to Walking on Pins and Needles

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

In other news, I have to get my wisdom teeth out. Yep, all four.

ouch Hermione

I know. So I may or my not be taking a break from posting. We’ll just have to wait and see how I am. I may be in killer pain, loopy from the drugs, or just fine.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Rainy Days & Rainy Nights

You know what I love?

What?

What?

I LOVE:

ReadingandRain

Yes. This is one of my favorite things to do, and as it has finally started raining, this has once again become one of my favorite pastimes.

rainyday

After all:

gloomyrainydays

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more bookish posts, go to When I’m Reading

For more on my love of rain, go to England Dreamin’ On Such a Summer’s Day

England Dreamin’ On Such a Summer’s Day

All the grass is brown and the sky is gray.
I’ve been for a walk on a summer’s day.
I’d be nice and cool if I was in Great Britain;
I’d even have to wear a coat and a mitten.

All the grass is brown and the sky is gray.
I’ve been for a walk on a summer’s day.
If I didn’t tell ’em I could leave today;
England dreamin’ on such a summer’s day.
England dreamin’ on such a summer’s day.
England dreamin’ on such a summer’s day.

So a couple of weeks ago I had this dream that I was in England, London to be exact. It might have to due with the fact that I was re-watching Sherlock that night, but he funnily wasn’t in my dream.

Anyways, I am digressing from the dream and need to get back on track.

So in my dream I was visiting or there for a job, it wasn’t quite clear (you know how dreams are) and I just kept going on and on about how awesome the weather is.

indiana_jonesoh_yesyeah

And everyone was asking me what I was talking about as the weather was hot to them. I pointed out that it was in the ’70s and there was a chance of rain, the complete opposite of how hot is has been in California lately. And I’m not kidding it has been crazy hot.

ItsTooHot-44191

The last few days (before my dream) it had been 102-104 degrees fahrenheit. It was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk (By the way, never ever do that. My friend and I did it once and it was impossible to scrape off.)

too_hot_7215

A five minute walk from my car in the parking lot to staff entrance left me feeling as if I was melting into a puddle.

I went to an outdoor wedding, I don’t know why they did that as it was crazy, and felt like I lost ten pounds due to sweat. I’m not kidding, I almost slipped out of my seat.

StarTrekBonesMcCoyPoorGirl PM

So it makes sense that my subconcious really wants to go to someplace cool, where I can wear coats, sweaters, and mittens.SherlockPoppedcollarcoolandmysterious

In fact I keep wishing it to be October (the start of rain) .

FavoritecolorOctober

The dream went on to be a bit boring. I was dog sitting a giant great dane named, Whittaker.

There was also this part where I wasn’t using the car to see the sights, and the people I was visiting/renting from were worried about me, thinking something was wrong. In reality, I was afraid to drive as everything is backwards. I was so sure I would drive like Booth in  the Bones episode when they go to England, and horribly crash.

Oh My Bad

When I woke up I was sad to discover I wasn’t in nice, cool England; but hot sweaty California.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more of my dreams, go to Krueger Town

For more on England, go to By Boat, By Train, By Foot, By Plane

For more on California, go to Let Them Fight: Godzilla (2014)

For more on Bones, go to Present Versus Past

It’s a Jolly Holiday

14) Your Favorite Holiday

Your favorite holiday? Oooh that is a hard one to answer. Choose one?

uh-no-gif

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big holiday person. I love all holidays, even those that aren’t “real” (November 5th or May 4th?). What can I say?

love it

So if I had to pick my three favorite holidays? Here we go!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

3) Thanksgiving

THANKSGIVING-38

I love Thanksgiving as I love everything it stands for. I know a lot of people want to say how “the first Thanksgiving shouldn’t count” as “it opened a door to genocide” or whatever, but that’s not true. Not all relationships between the Native Americans and pilgrims (pilgrims not Puritans. Huge difference) was bad. In this case, the Native Americans helped those early settlers. If it weren’t for that goodwill, I wouldn’t be born as my family most likely never would have immigrated and met.

I also love how Abraham Lincoln recognized that in all the stress, bumble, and grind of everyday life; time should be given so that all can stop and be thankful for all they have.

“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

I also love gathering with family and enjoying each other’s company. And of course, I love to eat until I explode.

hungry

For more on Thanksgiving, go to I Before E, Especially After P

halloween banner

2) Halloween

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

I know you had to see this coming. What with my Horrorfest I do every year (going on my fourth year and it is going to be good. I promise!), you had to know that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

What can I say about this holiday? I love that it is fall and there are dry leaves and pumpkins everywhere. I love the chill in the air and that it is usually the start of rain. I love the candy. I love dressing up in a costume, I only wish I could do that more. And most of all I love the horror films that are showing everywhere and on sale to buy. I just love Halloween.

EverydayHalloweenHorrorfanOctober

For more on Halloween, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

christmas-flowers-banner

1) Christmas

300px-Nativity_tree2011christmas

I LOVE Christmas! Words cannot describe how much I enjoy when it comes around. I love how almost everyone is trying to be nice and kind, goodwill abounding; people actually going out of their way for others.

Plus I love picking out the perfect gift and wrapping it up and placing it under the tree, just waiting to see their face when they open it!

Going to church, cookie baking, carols, Christmas movies! And the tree, we go every year to chop one down and then decorate with the same decorations we’ve had every year. Pulling out our nativity and retelling the Christmas story again!

I love it, and can’t wait for it to come around!

ChristmasfromJaneAusten

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

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more holidays, go to Every Heart Beats True for the Red, White, & Blue

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

OChristmasTreeOChristmasTreeGrimm

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.

One-does-not-idy8we

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.

-Jim-Carrey-beautiful-gif-UYfb

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!

batmanBamSmackKaboom

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.

WizardofOzAppleTreesDorothySmacked

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.

WizardofOzAppleTreesDorothySmacked

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.

pretty please beg

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.

Bishop's wife christmas tree

howtheGrinchstoleChristmasWrongo

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.

HateEverythingthewomen

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:

Game of thrones jon Snow kit harrington I know how

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!

victorian_christmas room decorated for christmas

Merry Christmas!

Holly banner

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