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  1. #1431
    MRD
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    We are actually looking forward to cutting down our own tree this year. I say we. I am looking forward to going to the tree farm and WATCHING hubby cut down the tree. He keeps asking why I keep saying "we" when he knows full well that it means "him". I said it's the "royal" we.

    We have had a prelit tree before and honestly, I would not buy one again.
    I thought it would be different than it was, you can still see the strings and I thought you wouldn't be able to see the cords. I guess I never looked at the display ones that closely.

    I too am like Muduh and have enough lights to light the FORT up for Christmas. (and enough decorations to do everyone's home. I usually put up 3 or 4 trees. One big one and 3 smaller, theme trees in various rooms of the house and yes, I have a pink flamingo tree! And a Wizard of Oz tree too.)

    I am actually allergic to real trees, but love the smell and want the experience of cutting one down (or watching it be cut down). In the past, I have worn my oven mits to help hubby get it in the stand and he and my daughter hang the ornaments (I do all the other house decorating) because I break out where I touch the tree. But you can't beat the smell.

    But I hate the mess the needles make.

    I guess its all a trade off.

    I have always said I wanted a house with a trap door in the ceiling and every December, we open it and lower the fully lit and decorated tree down into the living room. Then on Jan. 1, the tree is reeled back up through the trap door still decorated and waiting on next year!
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

  2. #1432
    Endlessly ShrinkingViolet's Avatar
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    The quality of the tree (and the lights that are on it) and going to influence the appearance, how well it performs, and whether you like something or not. It's like any other product. I bought an expensive tree that looks like a real tree. We bought it at a Christmas specialy shop. It has premium, bright lights on it, and it makes a big deal about that on the packaging. No strings or cords show on mine because they are wrapped around each branch.

  3. #1433
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    I no longer put up a tree due to a couple of whacked-out cats that live with me. I don't like the look of no ornaments on the lower half of the tree.

    I once (pre-cats) kept a live tree in my home until March, and it could have gone longer! I was a little embarrassed to put it out for garbage collection shortly before Easter. Imagine that.

    mrd, you are the only person, other than me, that I've heard talk about breaking out where the Christmas tree stuck them. That problem stopped when I started buying my own trees. Didn't have the problem when I switched to soft needle trees, White Pines, I think.
    "...each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - Mitch Albom, one helluva writer

    When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, you know which one you hit by the one that yelps!

  4. #1434
    FORT Fogey Muduh's Avatar
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    mrd, my girlfriend's sister built a new house a few years ago and I kid you not, she had a large closet, with folding doors, so that she could put her decorated tree away without doing a thing. Someone at her husband's shop built her a little dollie that the tree "lives" on and she just rolls it in place. We all make fun of it all of the time but we're secretly jealous as heck.

    By the way, I also break out if my arms touch the live trees. We haven't had one in years and years. No one ever touches the tree, or any other decorations, except me, so I make it easy on myself.

  5. #1435
    MRD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muduh;2111115;
    mrd, my girlfriend's sister built a new house a few years ago and I kid you not, she had a large closet, with folding doors, so that she could put her decorated tree away without doing a thing. Someone at her husband's shop built her a little dollie that the tree "lives" on and she just rolls it in place. We all make fun of it all of the time but we're secretly jealous as heck.

    By the way, I also break out if my arms touch the live trees. We haven't had one in years and years. No one ever touches the tree, or any other decorations, except me, so I make it easy on myself.
    Oh, that would be my dream. While I LOVE decorating for Christmas, decorating the tree is not one of my favorite things. I prefer putting up my other decorations, so this idea is PERFECT!

    My other idea is that if we build, we are putting electrical outlets under the eaves of the house so when you put your house lights up, they have plugs up there where they are and no extension cords. And those outlets will be tied into a switch in the house or garage and with a flip of the switch, the lights are all on at one time, no running around to various outlets, finding timers, etc.

    I have spent the day cooking. We are taking food and serving and eating with 2 homeless families my church is sponsoring this week. I did this on tues and had so much fun, we signed up to do it again tonight.
    Tonights menu: Sausage pie, broccali with cheese (requested by one of the moms), cornbread and pizzas for the kids and halloween themed cupcakes.

    I also have a bit pot of chili going to take with us tomorrow as we are going to a farm that has apple picking and picnic areas and since its supposed to be rather chili, we are taking the camp stove to heat up chili and cornbread.
    Also taking brownies.
    And coming home with some great apples I hope.

    I am loving fall even tho have been attacked by leaves. Yes, was attacked!
    After days of rain, gloom, fog and blah weather, yesterday was gorgeous, sunny and in the 70's. My daughter had a school holiday and we went to the park downtown with the waterfall, got ice cream, sat in on of the porch swings and had a wonderful mother/daughter time. Until the leaf attacked me.
    I swear when it hit my arm, I heard a buzzing noise and thought it was a bee and I jumped up and screamed. My daughter just about fell out of the swing laughing at me. And each time the wind blew and leaves fell, she would say:
    "watch out mom, more attacking leaves!". She is so funny! NOT!

    So now I have been attacked by autumn and scarred for life!
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

  6. #1436
    FORT Fanatic anemone's Avatar
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    myrosiedog: Here, I'd always heard that a falling leaf landing on you was good luck!

  7. #1437
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    myrosiedog, your menu for your dinner with the homeless families sounded DELICIOUS (esp. the corn bread)! What a great idea--it sounds like you're already well ensconced in your commuity. Good for you!

  8. #1438
    MRD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane;2111427;
    myrosiedog, your menu for your dinner with the homeless families sounded DELICIOUS (esp. the corn bread)! What a great idea--it sounds like you're already well ensconced in your commuity. Good for you!
    We had the BEST time tonight. THese are 2 single moms. They each have a 2 year old and then one has a 6 week old baby and the other has a 15 year old boy. My husband and the boy really hit it off and spent the evening shooting pool and playing air hockey (the youth room at our church has ping pong, air hockey, a pool table, foosball, tv and stereo. It's NICE. I never had that in youth group! )

    The moms are so nice and we just talked and I got to hold and feed the baby. He's adorable.

    These 2 families are so nice. They are just down on their luck. One has a job, but had such a difficult delivery and c-section her doctor has not cleared her to go back to work and so she lost her apt. because she couldn't pay. The other one is an airforce vet who was disabled and the VA is helping her with medical problems, but because of those, she can't work either. The 15 year old boy is working, going to highschool AND playing football. He was such a nice, polite young man. Very mature for his age. I guess he has to be.
    The situations are sad, but the people are genuinely very nice.

    You think, there but for the grace of God go I. These were women that once had jobs, a home (the one with the teenager had a GOOD job) and because of circumstances, now have nothing. But they are not down and out, they are in good spirits and this program really helps them with food, housing and finding work or getting back on their feet. We had 3 families this week originally, but one got placed in an apt. The vet mom is hoping to get placed in the next couple weeks. AFter spending a couple hours talking to them, they were just incredible women to have gone through so much and still be upbeat.

    And the sad thing is, that hardly anyone volunteers from our church to help with this program (its an interfaith program that several churches participate in, each hosting the families for a week). I did it twice because I enjoyed it so much the first time. People can be so prejudiced. These are not bag ladies, they are not crack heads (the program requires a drug screen and criminal background check before the families can enter the program).
    And both moms confided in me tonight that most of the volunteers would come in, throw the food down and leave. Or stay in the kitchen and serve from behind a window. We had the table set and the food out on it and we all sat family style and ate together and talked.
    I really enjoyed it and plan to say something next time our turn rolls around to host again to try to get more volunteers and better, nicer ones.

    These women have dignity and should be treated with such.

    I've been saying for years that I want to work for a non-profit agency that does help like this, but those jobs are so hard to find. From what I've been told you have to volunteer your way into a paid job.

    Anyway, I learned my own lesson this week that not all homeless people are homeless because they are alcoholics or drug addicts or whatever. Sometimes its just a paycheck away from disaester for a regular family like these.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

  9. #1439
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    I think some people think that the homeless are "less than" and that they should just be grateful that they're given anything (food, shelter), when in reality human compassion is just as important. Once when I was younger, I was derisively talking about a "bum" who was sleeping underneath a bench at the train station. My father very sternly told me that not every one who doesn't have a home is a bum, and that the man most likely chose that spot 'cause it was the best shelter he could find for the evening. Don't get me wrong--my father was very cautious and didn't want us to be blithely unaware of what strangers could do to little kids, but he also didn't want us to grow up with this air of entitlement. And I've always been a saver 'cause I've always been afraid of being poor, but I know many people I work with who never save any money and spend like it's an endless supply. Some have rich parents who will bail them out. But others are just two paychecks away from being homeless if they ever lost their jobs. Congrats again myrosiedog. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. And I'm jealous--you got to hold an adorable little baby to boot! The mom must've really liked you--new moms don't just pass their newborns around to every person they meet! That would've made my day!

  10. #1440
    FORT Fogey cricketeen's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the tree advice! Mr. Cricket decided to go with a pre-lit one we found a Lowes. Since he already had a few gift cards, it only ended up costing us $30, so we figure even if it only lasts a few years, it amortizes out to be a lot cheaper than real ones. The lights are all white, but there aren't so many that adding a few colored strings on a separate cord would burn down the house.
    I've tried the Yankee potpourri tarts in the greenery scents, but the smell is overwhelming to a certain person in my house and he always blows it out. I'll try a candle this year.
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti

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