29 November 2009

Pleasant Valley Sunday

We usually put up the Christmas lights and outdoor decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving. The lights are pretty and festive, and it's nice to admire them for the month, though I'm a stickler for not putting up the tree until the weekend before Christmas.

Yesterday, after mowing and blowing, I wandered off to the nursery to get new flowers for the front flower beds. I haven't replanted them since March, and they're quite scraggly. Because they were on sale, I also got some poinsettias for the area around the front door. You know: pretty and festive.

A bit of weather moved through on Saturday, bringing us clouds and the mountains a little snow. Then the weather people promised us wild wind, set to begin this morning at 3 am. So the poinsettias went into the garage because the wind would make instant hash of them, and then naturally, the wind didn't materialize until later in the day, for which I am infinitely grateful because I don't like the wind anyway.

My day commenced to disappear and around 3:30 pm, the spouse announced that it was time to put up the outdoor lights. Since he's still nursing a torn biceps, this meant that I would be putting up the lights, which isn't unusual because he's just as likely to be in Venezuela as is he to be here to put up the lights.

Home Despot announced a few weeks ago that they'd give a coupon for LED Christmas lights for every incandescent string turned in, and the spouse duly went off and turned in five strings of C-7s and purchased, with coupons, LED strings. Also a gadget to attach said lights to the eaves of the house, rather than use the gadgets that attach the lights to the gutter.

With some ceremony, the spouse brought forth the new lights. It's true that the old strings really needed to go. They vaguely resembled something out of A Christmas Story, and probably a good quarter of the sockets has ceased to work. Still there was something about their soft glow, interspersed with the occasional blinking light that definitely calls to mind Christmas. The LED lights are frankly unattractive, giving off a somewhat garish and neon light, but I unfurled them and prepared to put them up nonetheless. I lost patience with the gadget in about five minutes when it turned out that only one of every five plastic anchors didn't break when I attempted to attach it to the eaves. So up the ladder I went, light string in hand.

While engaged in this labor, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that the house needs to be repainted. And that someone--hopefully not us--has termites.

It also didn't take long to come to the unfortunate conclusion that the five strings of LED lights only covered half of the linear footage previously covered by the strings of incandescent lights.

So, I'll be looking for more tomorrow to finish the job.

Or I may just settle on the poinsettias for pretty and festive.

Go listen to some good music: "Pleasant Valley Sunday" from the album The Best of the Monkees by The Monkees. And tomorrow is the end of NaBloPoMo. YAY!

No comments: