Christmas Clean Up-The Tree

My schedule at work changed this week from late nights to early mornings.  My whole life is out of whack-I want to eat when I should be sleeping and I should be sleeping when I get my nightly burst of energy.  Ugh.

In order to keep myself from going to bed as soon as I got home last night I decided to tackle a big project.  An 8 feet tall project, to be exact.

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That’s right, I dismantled my tree.  It only took 2 hours.  I want to protect my investment (even if I did do everything on the cheap) and since I got my tree from the thrift store, I don’t have its original box.  So, I bought the biggest tupperware bin that Wal-Mart had.

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Then I gathered these supplies and got to work.

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First I took all of the ornaments off and stored them in gallon plastic Ziploc bags.  Then I started working my way down the tree.  I figured that this made sense for a lot of reasons.  First, obviously, the top will be the last part I put back up next year and it’s the easiest place to start taking off the lights and garland.

I unwound the garland and rolled it up and put it in another big Ziploc bag.  Then I took the lights off layer by layer.

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Not only do I not have a box for my tree, I also don’t have directions or color coding so putting it up this year was rough.  I don’t want to do that again next year.  As I took off each layer I shook off the dust, stacked them all together and tied the ends with some twine.  I also made a tag out of masking tape and labeled them 1-12 starting from the top to take the guess work out of set up next year.

To store the lights I wound then around the end of a plastic hanger.  I took the end with the prongs and slid it into the little hook inside the hanger to hold it in place.  You may remember that I had 9 strands of lights on this tree and I really didn’t want a tangled mess next year!

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As I got closer to the bottom I got simultaneously happy to be reminded of how much room I actually have in my living room and sad to see the tree go.  Next year I’m setting it up after Halloween.  🙂

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Happily all the lights, branches and the base fit into the bin.  I can’t figure out how to take the “trunk” of the tree apart (or if it even comes apart) so it’s wrapped in plastic.

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Okay, it’s pretty much bursting at the seams.

Once the tree was securely stowed I saw what had been hiding for the last 6 weeks.  Dust, “needles” from the tree and glitter were e v e r y w h e r e.

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Oh yeah, and dog hair.

I’m not really sure how to prevent this next year.  It’s too big (and my floor too precious) to slide out every week to sweep so I may just have to deal with it.

Tonight’s project is to get my living room back in order (and rearrange!) and this weekend I’ll get the rest of my Christmas decorations put up.

Oh yeah, and start working on my floor!

-A

Cranberry Orange Scones

For First Christmas this year at my house I made breakfast.  My dad and I are happy with eggs and sausage but my brother doesn’t eat eggs (although he’s the egg cook) and my mom’s not a heavy breakfast kind of person so I wanted to make something that I knew my mom and brother would like.

I found this recipe and decided to go for it.

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I chose this recipe because it called for fresh cranberries rather than crasins and I’m glad I did.  The fresh cranberries were a little tart (which you need with all that sugar and cream) and I think they kept the scones really moist.

scones2(side note: I’m going to be cleaning flour out of those grout lines for months)

I didn’t get many pictures of the process as I was working alone and had to keep cleaning off my hands to pick up the camera.

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Look at all those cranberries!

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While the scones were baking I made the glaze.  The scones have orange rind in them but no juice, so I juiced the orange and added it to the glaze.  Cream, sugar, vanilla and orange juice can’t be bad, right?

As a testament to how good these scones are, I got no pictures of the finished products.  I thought we’d eat a few and then I’d take pictures of the remaining ones.  That didn’t happen.  I think there were two left by that afternoon and my brother and I ate them.  So you’ll just have to believe me, they’re delicious and so easy to make!

-A

Christmas #106

My house’s 106th Christmas was perfect!  I got my decorating act together (unlike last year,) and we spent the day together as a family (dogs included!)  After two delicious meals and an early morning, I was ready for bed by 6 PM!

christmasCranberry orange scones (recipe coming later,) breakfast at my house, presents, snow storm, teaching Henry how to catch a frisbee.

Followed by 2nd Christmas at my parent’s house where I received a vacuum to tackle my Henry hair problem and a saw.  For reals.  A saw.  The project possibilities are endless now!

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While at my parents’ house today I found these three gems on their Christmas tree.  Thanks elementary school teachers for having us make these.  I’m so glad my 4th grade mullet picture is still hanging tough 25 years later!

-A

Christmas Card 2014

Last year I thought I was going to do Christmas cards.  Awesome ones in my new house with both of my pets.  It didn’t work.

This year I got my act together early and a friend and I (and Henry) went out and took pictures in the fall.

She gave me a disc with tons of pictures, but here are my favorites:

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I picked my favorite and made a postcard on Invite Shop

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What a handsome boy!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Eve!

-A