another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

I hate struggling with Christmas lights. I pulled stuff out to decorate the tree and I had two strings of lights that didn't light at all, and one that only half lit. I couldn't really figure out what was going on with them -- changing individual lights didn't do it, and there was no missing bulb. We wound up stripping off the bulbs (apparently good, swapping them into one know good string) and throwing out the bad strings of wires/outlets. I had the girls go get four strings of good lights -- commercial grade -- and even then one socket was falling apart on me.

At least with the better strings of lights I feel I've got a bit more I can do to fix anything that goes wrong. They actually have replaceable fuses -- the bad strings probably have an internal fuse that's blown, or just a short I'll never find. And the quality of the wire is much better -- thicker gauge and the wind is tighter so I don't have indivial wires hanging out everywhere.

Anyway, the tree is up. The penguins with their igloo are out on the lawn, as are the choir kids on the other side of the door. Everything is going on and off with the timer.

I didn't get any lights hung on the house this year. Weather and events conspired against me. I didn't want to hang things while it was snowing heavily at the beginning of the month, and now the gutters are iced in so that I can't hang the usual hooks.

The annual lighting stuff is one of those things I always want to get figured out in advance. Next year maybe I'll just get lights up the weekend before Thanksgiving, and just keep them off until the beginning of Advent.

But, no, I'll be saying the same thing next year.

Christmas will be a bit odd this year. Ellen and I and the girls are going to Iowa to spend some time with Ellen's family and to pack up some stuff in Mom's house. Both Matt and Ryan had got work schedules that prevent them from joining us, so we'll probably do family Christmas on the evening of the 26th when we get back, or maybe the morning of the 27th (probably depends most on Ryan's work schedule).


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