Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Oh, Christmas Tree”

Yesterday we cut down our Christmas tree on a tree farm (I mean Mark cut it down; I just laid hands on him).

After four years of a fake tree, it was time to have the real thing. You know? The kind that sheds needles; the one that your cat jumps on and goes crash in the middle of the night; the one you have to give a drink of water to when it’s thirsty, and the one that everyone says, “Wow, that’s a big tree!”

Yep, eight feet tall (and growing!).

Funny how the trees look so much smaller on a 10-acre lot than in your own living room. We narrowed the 600 trees down to three, two, and then one.

“Oh, that’s it…there’s our tree!” I shouted.

Mark turned toward me and said, “No, that’s the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.”

I have a soft spot in my heart for the trees that everyone passes by: the one that has a huge “bald” spot, lop-sided, and half dead. They come calling to me.


Hubby won the first round of "Christmas Tree Bingo" and we settled on a somewhat irregular Norway Evergreen (instead of the usual Douglas Fir). I think. Who knows, really; they all start looking the same when your hands are blue and your feet are numb.

Cutting it down is the easy part, stuffing it in the back of Dave’s truck (our neighbor) was another Houdini act. Their tree makes ours look like “Tiny Tim.”
Unfortunately, our tree doesn’t fit in the living room and is taking up most of the dining room. We moved the furniture around so our cat "Bianca" can take flying leaps off the second story balcony and land on the tree top!

Or maybe we'll let our neighbor's kitten, Lily, do it...she's already had some practice jumping off the second story balcony!
Today we are putting on lights. No simple task with our “disabilities”; I can’t use my arms and Mark can’t use his legs (the odd couple!).

When we have it all dressed up, we’ll invite you over for some cookies and cocoa—okay?

Can you tell I’m distracting myself? Jon left for college this morning (and will return in two weeks). I made his favorite treat for the road: “peanut butter balls.” They require no baking!

Here’s the recipe:
3/4 c. Quaker oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
3/4 c. instant nonfat dry milk
3/4 c. chunk style peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. raisins or nuts

Combine oats and nonfat dry milk, stirring until well blended; set aside. Beat together peanut butter, honey and vanilla; stir in combined dry ingredients and raisins. Mix thoroughly and shape dough into 3/4" balls. Keep refrigerated.

Sing, “Oh Christmas Tree” while you’re rolling the balls!


Kim <3 said...

oohhh my baby made it up in your post! shes a superstar! remember the twelve pains of christmas, stringing up the lights? haha, yuppp thats dave! and our christmas zoo outside must have just turned on, lol.

Connie Pombo said...

Yep, Lily is a superstar now! She is just too adorable! At least she has a "jingle bell" and you know what she's up to.

Your house looks so festive; I just peeked outside. I think we should have a light decorating contest on our street! But I think you already won!


Lonely said...


When are the cocoa and cookies going to be served, I will be sure to be there?

I love going out and cutting down a live tree, Carole and I did it in 2005 with a foot of snow on the ground, we just returned from Florida the day before, it was like 2 1/2 weeks before Christmas.

I have not done it since, we were in Florida for Christmas 2006, and of course you know Carole was not with us for Christmas 2007.

I know about the cat jumping in the tree, it actually happened to my parents when I was maybe 10 years old, we had just finished decorating the tree, went into the kitchen for supper, and then we heard this strange crash, bang, boom, Daddy said, so much for the tree or cat, I was not sure which was going bye bye, when we got to the living room, we had to laugh, I do not remember the cats name, but she was trapped under the tree, and knew she was in trouble, up came the tree, and the cat just lay there, she was terrified, we all had pity on her, so she got off easy, she did not go near the tree from then on.

Sorry this story is long, but I just had to share it with you.

God's Blessings to you and Mark,


Connie Pombo said...

That's a great story, Terry! Our cat, Bianca, keeps drinking the water out of the Christmas tree stand. She also likes (loves!)hiding under the tree skirt. She hasn't tried to climb it yet; mostly, she's just curious about why this "outside" tree is in the inside of the house!

You can visit us anytime you want for cocoa and cookies; you are ALWAYS welcome in our house!

Blessings to you, Terry!

Susan Skitt said...

Wow - that is sommmmme tree :) I would be happy with an artifical (especially with my allergies), but my dear husband insists on a real tree each year. It wouldn't be the same for him. In fact for a small amount of time before his dad passed away at the age of 42, (Jim was only 8), their family had planted two rows of trees to eventually sell. That never happened and now those trees stand almost 100 feet in the air, just across the driveway from our house.

Flea said...

Bianca's friend is beautiful! I'll be there for cocoa in a bit! I wish ...

Connie Pombo said...


Ya like?

You're right; it is HUGE! But guess what? We were able to use all the ornaments for the first time. This is the last year we're putting the boys' ornaments up. They are now being "retired." Jer and Jon are each going to take their 18 ornaments "home" with them. I started the tradition when they were born. Since none of them are married and we're moving to California, it's their turn to start their own tree. We will keep our own, including the Norman Rockwell ornament dated 1975 given to us for our wedding day. It's traveled the world with us.

Oh, and we have an ornament from every family vacation, including the Portland Maine lighthouse. I love to watch the light go on and off! So cool (I'm like a little kid).


Connie Pombo said...

Flea, Flea, Flea,

Long time no "hear."

Don't you LOVE Lily? She is absolutely adorable and wears a purple collar with a bell. She is too cute. Bianca knows when I've been over to play with her and she gets soooooooo jealous. But Lily is just a kitten and she makes me want to have another "baby." ;)

I gave my blog a facelift and lost half the stuff and gained some new things. I need to add your link and a bunch of other ones; let's see if I can manage that (I'm learning to save before I delete!).


Tracy Ruckman said...

I did the same tradition with my boys, Connie. Zach got his box of ornaments two years ago, and we still have Jonathan's for when he settles down somewhere. (He's with Zach this year!)

And I continue to add to their collection each year based on their interests. This year I'm looking for something golf related for Z and something jui-jitsu (is that even spelled right?) for J.

Fun post. And I'm hoping you survived without any incidents!?!?

Connie Pombo said...


That's so awesome you have the same tradition. The last two years we did a theme tree and this year we brought out all the know the ones with the green and red tissue paper with their school picture posted to a paper plate (I think it's supposed to be a Christmas wreath). We had to get a tree big enough to hold them all so we could divide and separate afterwards. It's bittersweet, but maybe I'll get to start a whole new collection with grandbabies. :)