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.

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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!

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.

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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.

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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:

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!

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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

A Monster Race: Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988)

Ah but soon there will be a new monster inside, the moon is moving quickly into position…we must turn Shaggy into a werewolf!

Like I mentioned Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, this is a movie I used to watch all the time as a kid; and still do as my nieces and nephew are always bugging me to watch it with them. We’re big Scooby fans.

They used to show this all the time in October on Cartoon Network, during their Saturday night Creature Double Feature.  They would also show Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, and Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost. My sister and I used to watch these all the time.

So the story starts out with Dracula getting ready for his grand monster race. He has a multitude of monsters assembked; Frankenstein and his wife Repulsa, The Mummy, The Witch Sisters, Mr. Bonejangles the skeleton, Dr. Jackal/Mr. Synde (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), The Swamp Thing, and Dreadonia. The only person missing is the Wolfman. It turns out that he retired and is vacationing in Florida.

“Dracula: What I want to know is, where’s my werewolf?

Screamer: He’s in Florida your majesty, he sent this postcard.
Dracula: Hmmmm… [reading] ‘Dear Drac, am having wonderful time in retirement, glad you’re not here, Wolfy.’ Bah! How dare he retire just before the Monster Road Rally? Doesn’t he know all the monsters of my realm have to be in the race?”

They can’t have a monster race without all the monsters present.

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Everything seems hopeless until Vanna Pira (Vanna White/Vampira), asks why they can’t just get a new one. So Dracula pulls out his book of possible people to become monsters, and finds that the next person who can become a werewolf is none other than Shaggy. Dracula sends the Hunch Bunch to go and make sure he turns into one. They have three days to do it.

We switch to Shaggy and the gang, who at this point is Scooby-Doo, Scrappy, and Shaggy’s girlfriend Googy. This suprised me as Shaggy has never had a girlfriend in the series/movies before, and after this video, we never see her again.

Anyways, so in this movie they are no longer P.E. instructors but are race car drivers. Shaggy and Scooby are actually really good and have a cool car that is all tricked out. They struggle through the race for a bit, but are able to defeat the other teams and win. They are happily celebrating, not knowing what is about to occur.

The next day Shaggy and Scooby are hanging out at home trying to watch a monster movie when the Hunch Bunch arrive. Only Scooby sees them, and he tries to tell Shaggy and Scrappy but neither of them believe him.

Shaggy: Monsters through the roof, huh? 
Scooby- Doo: That’s right. 
Shaggy: Okay so then where’s the hole? 
Scooby- Doo: [points up] Up there. 
Shaggy: Where? 
Scooby- Doo: Right up… [looks up and sees the ceiling in one piece] Huh? 
Scrappy Doo: Don’t worry Uncle Scooby, we still love ya, even if ya are a wacko.”

The Hunch Bunch are foiled in their plan tonight, but eagerly await the next day to try again. This time the Doos and Shaggy are at the supermarket; once again the Hunch Bunch Brothers fail, but both Shaggy and Scrappy think that Scooby is crazy

The next night, Shaggy and Googie are on a date at the drive-in. Scooby and Scrappy also came along.

“Scrappy Doo: Thanks for taking us on your date with Googie to the drive-in, Shag. 
Shaggy: Confidentially I didn’t want to leave your Uncle Scooby home alone, you know how he’s been seeing things that aren’t there lately?” 

Meanwhile, the Hunch Bunch twins are finally sucessful, positioning Shaggy just right s that he becomes a werewolf!

The only problem is, Shaggy has the hiccups! Everytime he hiccups he switches from human to werewolf. 

No one notices that he is a werewolf, but he leaves to get something from the snack bar to settle his stomach. He ends up scaring everyone there, as they all  start trying to chase him down. He finally gets set as a werewolf, and realizes that he is the one everyone is after. At first his friends don’t believe him, but he is finally able to convince them he’s Shaggy. Dracula & Co come after them, spraying them with knockout spray and whisking them away to Dracula’s castle.

Here in the castle, Drac wakes them up and introduces them to the crew.

They are of course freaked out and try to get away. Shaggy tries to get Dracula to change him back, but Dracula doesn’t want to. Eventually they strike a deal where if Shaggy races and wins then he can be human again.

Dracula wants Shaggy to fail, so first he tries to get them to spend all night at the pre-race party. When that doesn’t work he sends the Hunch Bunch to keep him up all night. That also fails and Dracula decides to wreck the Wolfmobile.

All of Dracula’s attempts fail as Shaggy and Scooby are able to fix everything.

“Dracula: I thought I told you to fix that werewolf car so that he couldn’t win the race. 
Brunch: Ah yes master, but Shaggy unfixed it. 
Dracula: Well then you un-unfix it. “

The race ensues with everyone cheating to win. Each car has tricks up their sleeves and they use them Throughout the film many cars crash and are totaled, but in the next scene they will show up as good as new.

Ah! If only I was a cartoon

Throughout the whole race Dracula does everything in his power to try and stop Shaggy, but everything fails. Googy and Scrappy really lend a hand in helping him out, even bringing him a spare engine. At one point Dracula sends Genghis Kong their way, but they are even able to get out of that mess!

Everyone: A nightmare called Genghis Kong!
Scrappy: He’s got uncle Scooby. You let go of my uncle, or I’m going to ring your gong, Kong.

Eventually the best racer, Shaggy, wins!

He demands that Dracula changes him back, but he doesn’t want to. He tells Shaggy there is no way to change back, but Vanna Pira reveals that the Book of Grim has the words that can change him into a human.

They gang has to defeat Dracula and then Shaggy is turned back into a human.

Shaggy: Oogly boogly wobbly wye, no more a werewolf am i, I’m [gulp] going to be a normal guy.

Everything is back to normal and the gang returns home.

They are just hanging out watching a scary movie when Shaggy starts eating too fast and getting the hiccups again. Googy warns him that he might become a werewolf again, but Shaggy is sure that they won’t go through any of that again.

Shaggy: Oh, come on Googy, lighten up. Believe me, we’re through with those werewolves and vampires and monsters forever.

Dracula: That’s what he thinks.

Dracula and the Hunch Bunch: [In Chorus] ♪♪ We’re Back!♪♪”

Hope you enjoyed that second Scooby movie. More film reviews to come.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

 To go to the previous film, go to Grimwood Ghoul’s Gym Teacher

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For more on monster movies, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more on The Bride of Frankenstein, go to I Want Friend Like Me

For more on Dracula, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more on Frankenstein, go to It’s Alive, it’s ALIVE

For more on The Mummy, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket

For more on The Wolf Man, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on witches, go to The Two Witch Sisters

For more on Mr. Bonejangles, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men

For more on racing, go to Sucky Sequels