Monday, November 30, 2009

A Ureterally Stented, Peri-menopausal, Obsessive-Compulsive With Outdoor Christmas Lights Decorating SeaSpray .....

Suffice it to know that a ureterally stented, peri-menopausal, obsessive-compulsive with outdoor Christmas lights decorating SeaSpray... is NOT the most festive person to be with when helping her with the placement of said light decorations. Fa la la la la la LA! :)

Christmas lights are my favorite thing. I enjoy putting them up and looking at ours and everyone else's all throughout the season. (even in February - Because they're all white, I turn them on during rainy or snowy weather. :) What a fantastic way to celebrate such a wonderful holiday!

Younger son was the one who helped me last night. Actually..we both trimmed the bushes the day before, but I had some sort of virus and had to stop and so we did the lights last night..Sunday night. They had to get done because I knew we'd have bad weather today.

This kid ..of 21 years ..has the patience of a saint. He'd HAVE to... to have put up with me last night. I was all kinds of snappy and whiny. Had to be the hormones and the stent cause I really am not that way... okay..maybe just a bit whiny on occasion... and okay ..maybe a bit hormonal every so often now that the cotton pony is preparing to leave town. But it wasn't fun bending up and down and wrestling with the lights with this stent. :)

First off..and WHY does this happen? ... Six sets ..SIX I tell you ..sets of 100 lights per set did NOT work!!! These were new last year! Changed the fuse ..nothing. All the lights were in the sockets and not burned out. so why does that happen?

Mr SeaSpray saved the day by buying up all the cheap sets of a hundred white lights Walmart had..which was 10 boxes. I was concerned because they were so cheap and not GE ..but he pointed out that I spent more last year and they don't work this year. So I figure he is right..UNLESS ..these go out mid season or something.

Btw ..Mr SeaSpray is NOT Mr Christmas and so that was the extent of his helping with the Christmas lights. LOL! He told me he is a morning person and he'd help me in the morning ..but he knows that ever since 1977 ..I ALWAYS put the lights up at night ..because I am a night person ..and I like to check the progress in the dark.

His saying that is akin to me saying "Oh know I'm a night owl, but if you weed the garden at night...I'll help you." Not gonna happen that way. :)

It is just as well, because he would not have been as patient with me. Younger son is Mr Christmas and so does get into it..although ..he did get a little testy with me too which tells you .. I was being every bit the ureterally stented, peri-menopausal, obsessive-compulsive with outdoor Christmas lights decorating SeaSpray mother. (Oh ..and I mean mother as in Mom ;)

Mercifully.. it was somewhat balmy and there was even a full moon. The moonlight helps when trying to plug things in in the dark and you just don't feel like going inside to get a flash light. We could hear coyotes howling in the distance. The howling coyotes didn't affect the decorating ..just an observation.

Anyway... The crazy making part is when you've decorated a whole section of bushes and realize you don't have enough lights to decorate the largest bush of all at the end. Or when you come just short of connecting to the last strand around the door and the only way to do that is to add another set of 100 lights ..which will then put you over the 500 light limit per the instructions on said lights. Eh..what could going 1 set over do anyway? Just move on to the next section.

A little into the middle section you envision all the lights burning out on the first section. Wait..let's go back. We have to undo them all and start over.

Back to the middle section. Too good to be true. This is going well. "Do you want some hot chocolate honey?" I ask son feeling pleased and in the Christmas spirit.

Wait ..what the heck? Aren't these the same sets from last year? Yes they are. Well why won't this plug go into the receiving plug?? doesn't. Fine do it. See DOESN'T go in! I HATE that! Okay ..take this back off ..yes that one too. I hope we have another one. Oh good. We then redo the last two bushes..but not enough for the largest bush. Okay..rearrange and rearrange and rearrange.. we did it! Still need more but will have to suffice.

By the way .. how is it that 6 strands of last years lights that were completely untangled inside ... became all tangled up during the short walk outside. How did that happen??

We completed the 40 thousandth walk to the road to asses the lights. If you look at the lights with your eyes can see the gaps and rearrange accordingly. The bushes have gotten so big ..that 500 lights a section is nothing. The other set we used last year let you have 600 lights. *sigh*

I put black electrical tape firmly on every open exposed plug opening as we went along and showed son how I take little sandwich bags and enclose each connection in the bag...sealed with duct tape to prevent moisture from possibly getting in. He went back and did all that for me.

Now we usually do the walkway..but had to pull those bushes and never replaced them and so we did the pine tree at the end of the yard. I miss seeing those lights.

Son and I had a" Who's on first and What's on second" conversation about the connecting of the extension cords that went around about 4 times before we resolved it... and it turns out he was right. :) We didn't do it, but now that I found a new box we didn't use.. I may just add them to the big bush. Although I was right about needing 3 heavy duty cords to get to the tree.

Then ..after we just finished wrapping the first string around the pine tree, we noticed a defective light. He removed it and no matter what either of us did ..we could not get any replacement bulbs back into the little socket. Fine! Remove that set off the tree and I will go in and get another one. This tree is halfway to being Woodstock's Christmas tree. It is sparse in sections and I saw it had a problem after I got it home, but thought it would grow out of it. It did not.

So..does anyone know if it's okay to have little white Christmas lights on the dead parts of a tree. Maybe it's not dead .. but just doesn't have any needles in places... what you would call sparce ??

So then I noticed that the way I wrapped the lights around the angel didn't look so good from a distance and younger son said he'd do it tomorrow and went in. I stared at it, walked over and just yanked it up, removed the lights and dispersed them on the bushes. Done!

I have to felt good to finish everything with son by 9pm ..then doing it by myself until 1am or so. I just have to put the bows on the fresh wreaths and hang them and then the outside is done. I may put little red bows on the bushes ..I'll see.

Oh and younger son and I have been having discussions about the validity of global warming and in frustration I blurted out.."Well they better NEVER mess with the Christmas lights! Al Gore will RUE the day he did THAT! I know no one has suggested it ..but they better never even think about it!" Younger son(Chris) just got this big grin and walked away. :)

So ..this ureterally stented, peri-menopausal, obsessive-compulsive with outdoor Christmas lights decorating SeaSpray Mom wants to say ...I really appreciated our son's help last night. Thank you Chris!

P.S. I just had a perplexing thought. The math doesn't add up with the lights.

10 new boxes - 1 with defective light - 1 we forgot to use = 8 new boxes.

5 boxes used in 1st section + 2 boxes on tree = 7 new boxes used.

7 used boxes + 2 unused boxes = 9 new boxes.

10 new boxes - 9 new boxes = 1 missing new box of lights.

The middle section used all lights left from last year.

I can't account for the 10th box.

Sinking feeling ...


What would really happen if we did use 100 more lights then recommended in the instructions? We must've gone over by one set in the 1st section.

Fa la la la la la! :)

***I know I get a little obsessive about this part of Christmas... the Lights... and the Christmas tree .. the size and decorating it.. but that's it. I do know the real meaning of Christmas... the birth of Christ ..God's perfect gift to our world and all of us. It's a time to embrace the message and appreciate your loved ones well as helping others. I love that Christmas inspires people to want to be with the special people in their lives and brings about the spirit of giving. Christmas is a message of God's love for mankind.

Previous Christmas light post written as a newbie blogger :

2006 - PLEASE God - Let There Be Light :)


StorytellERdoc said...

Hey Seaspray

Great post--funny and real. We, too, have all white lights and about five years ago I gave up on the burnt out strings and just buy new like your smart husband did.

Hope you are feeling better. Don't forget to buy your son a coffee! for his help

passionstamper said...

ha ha! saw you out there...thought-WOW! Seaspray is out there EARLY this year...we aren't even THINKING ABOUT IT..till after the Wallkill Valley Craft Fair THIS WEEKEND! Sorry Seaspray, our neighbors BEAT YOU by about 2 weeks...Jeff had his stuff out there and done...just didn't light it up till this weekend. AWWWW..not to undermine YOUR TERRIFIC TENACITY...and GETTING OUT THERE right after Thanksgiving-that's the spirit! I'M PROUD OF YOU! You SHOULD feel proud..and they look GREAT! Let's see how long it takes MR. PASSIONSTAMPER to help me get the stuff out of the attic this year, after the 12/5 Craft Fair at Wallkill Valley! This is all I'm doing this week...(in case you're wondering why you aren't hearing from me for my PUMPKIN COOKIES!) HA HA!

SeaSpray said...

Hi Story - Glad you liked it. Thanks for the suggestion. I do nice things here and there..surprise him with something made extra special for him and still hug and thank him ..but I must admit..I never thought to go out and treat him to something. I think that's a GREAT idea! make a bigger deal of it because let me tell you..he has always been good about helping around here and helping others. And he was a Godsend with my aging mother these last couple of years..especially when I had a very large stent that kept me from doing much of anything last summer and he took her shopping, etc. and he helped me clean out mom's apartment..which was exactly one year ago yesterday..that we finished with heavy duty cleaning, moving out the final stuff and locked her door for the last time at 1 am on December 1st. I don't know what I would've done with out him!

Yes..I do agree with Mr SeaSpray's choice of lights/reasoning. Ha! Providing they don't burn out mid season! :)

Thanks for your input. I appreciate your view of things. :)

Oh..please don't think I go around all witchy, etc. as I am really nature. Ha! Just Chevy chase obsessive about the Christmas lites. ;)

SeaSpray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeaSpray said...

Hi pstamper -I always put the lights up Thanksgiving weekend(read my 2006 Christmas lite post-link at bottom of this post), preferably the Friday right after..unless there is a snafu. (sick,working or really bad weather)

We never even thought about decorating inside or outside until around the 10th or so..but then one year I noticed Marion and big Allen had all their lights up the day after Thanksgiving ..inside and outside..fence and on top of the roof even.

I LOVED it! I had never seen anyone do that so early and thought that was so cool because I LOVE Christmas so much!!! And so then I put ours up early and because I always had to work at the hospital the weekend after Thanksgiving and then more recently also at Lifeline on Friday during the day ..I wanted them up that Friday night. Otherwise ..they could be really delayed and I really love the lights and so that is why they are always supposed to go up the Friday least that is my perfect plan.

With Mom getting sick and in the nursing home I wasn't much in the mood last year tho. Amazingly this year i am into it again.

It's the weather I mostly worry case of snow/ice or heavy rain because they are the hardest thing to do aside from the tree.

Yes..Jeff and Evelyn's lights look pretty and Marion's. Yours always do too. I think we all do a nice job and I love everyone's decorations... and hopefully we'll have a white Christmas. :)

You'll do great at the craft fair. That's a good one. If I can ..i will stop by. Then you can relax and do the other things you want to do.

Is Mike coming home for Christmas?

Did he get the pumpkin cookies you made and were they in one piece? I am going to send some out to J's aunt Lois in Ohio. Wondering how you packed them?

Chrysalis Angel said...

i love to see all the lights people put up. that's one of my favorite things about the season - other than the obvious.

i'm lucky, fireguy will just shimmy on up that ladder and hang those lights like it's nothing.

love the sparkling trees on your post, beautiful.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Angel - I know..the lights are so beautiful and just think ..for the best birthday celebration of all!

I know some people say Christmas is too secular and it can be that way.. but when centered on the real meaning of Christmas.. It's just one beautiful world wide celebration.

And it stirs up the kid in us I think too. :)

Am I right about decorating? Didn't people always wait until closer to Christmas to do it?

My girlfriend's mother was German and they didn't put their tree up until Christmas eve. then they went to midnight mass and had their Christmas dinner and opened presents after.

I love the different traditions too. This is a little one..but I always let the boys pick out 1 small gift on Christmas eve.

I used to read the Christmas story from look before we ate and I might do that again this year.

I was thinking..I won't be buying Tabu this year...Mom's favorite perfume.'s bitter sweet. In a way..I think I am keeping real busy to be busy to not feel... which in the end is better for everyone else anyway. :)

I hope I don't come across as putting my husband down when I say he's not Mr Christmas. Ha ha! he really isn't. But I have enough enthusiasm about it for both of us. he is good about helping me with errands, cooking, cleaning for company, etc. but just not into the decorating ... which actually works cause I can be particular. :)..Which my be why he's not into the decorating. :)

That's great that fireguy is quick to do that. My uncles always decorated too. We don't put the lights on the house other than one of the doors. If it involved rooftops ..believe me he'd be doing that part of hanging the lights. I think like I never mow the just evolved that he never does the lights. we couples all have our routines with each other that we fine tune over time. :)

I love those trees too. I may try to put on sidebar.

Chrysalis Angel said...

no, it doesn't at all sound like you're putting hubby down.

i chuckle sometimes, because i think of you and your "situations," and think the guy is awesome. he has his hands full and yet he's still there! I can practically see the guy coming home from work and saying, "Seasprayyyyyyy what have yu don?" ;)

yes, people are putting their lights up earlier this year. i think the smart ones figure, do it now -while it's warm out. they won't be the ones out there with frozen hands and fingers trying to hang the lights later, in the freezing cold. they'll be the ones driving bye saying poor such and such. :0

SeaSpray said...

LUcyyyyyy! ;)

I mean it just seems the trend has been for a while now to decorate earlier. I drove past someones house 2 days before Thanksgiving and they had their Christmas lites on. i love Christmas..but am also crazy about the Harvest season (Sept -Thanksgiving and really get into decorating with cornstalks, pumpkins and some neat window stickers (You have to see them and then the latest thing is I put up the Christmas candles in each window but put clear amber bulbs. It is soooo cozy looking and harvesty. :) Then ...I just switch out the amber bulbs with the clear and instantly ready for Christmas.

I drove by someones house last year..saw the amber candles in the window, loved it and just had to do it.

I wish I could keep candles in the window all year. my neighbor across the street does and I've seen it..but I lose patience with plugging them in in warmer weather and I suppose more exciting when only done a short while.

My large window in the kitchen has a Christmas tree white lites and decorated (fake) and a collection of pine trees and snow men and 1 candle on each side of the tree. I leave that up through Feb in celebration of winter. :)

Then I put pointsettias in 2 other windows with white candles on each side and a single candle in the smaller windows. Also a tree with white lites on side window..leave up through feb. then whitelites in garland and whitelites on fam room beams and then the Christmas tree. I am CRAZY about the white lites. I love the color too but can use whitelights longer and they remind me of snow.

Can you tell I like decorating? :)

Devan staying over this weekend and will help with other decorations. As each one comes out and we set it up ..I will tell her who it came from and the story behind it just like I do with the tree ornaments. it's a nice way of remembering those no longer with us and creates memories. :)