Saturday, December 24, 2011
I was in Austin a couple of weeks ago. While I had time to kill I decided to venture out and see a few of the sights. I wasn't sure where I was going but when I came to Lamar I figured it had to be a main thoroughfare in a city named Austin, so I felt pretty safe with the decision to turn left and cruise for awhile. I came across Sixth Street which I was pretty sure looked quite different at night. Then I came to Riverside and this gorgeous park. There were people and their dogs, Mamas and Daddys and their kids and others just jogging or walking. There was even another photographer taking pictures of the awesome bronze statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn. Although it was a foggy day, the colors of the trees and even the fog on the river made for lovely scenery. The rowing teams were training on the river. The whole experience was very relaxing and I'm glad I got to go. I've never been to Austin to spend any time, but after this trip, I will be going back.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
This is the first time in probably 13 years that I have had a real Christmas tree. For several years I used the skinny little wooden tree you see here. Why you ask? Well...the story goes like this...I had just had the worst day ever (argument with significant other) so I decided I needed a glass of wine. Half a bottle later I decided I wanted to go get my Christmas tree. I only had to drive one block to the tree lot so not a problem. I chose one that was really full, really pretty and really big. The guy offered to take it to my truck. Pshaw! I didn't have a truck. I had a Ford Probe...it had a hatch back...load it up. Off I go back up the road to my apartment...my second floor apartment. I now had to get the tree out of the back of my car. Wasn't as easy as getting it into my car...the branches were facing the wrong way now. I pulled and I twisted and I struggled until it finally came loose. Of course when it came loose I lost my balance and ended up on my back in the parking lot with my tree on top of me. Yeah, it only gets better. I managed to get up and get to the stairs with my tree. At that point it stopped looking like a small fir tree and looked more like a Giant Sequoia. The smart thing to do would be to turn the tree upside down and pull it up the stairs by the trunk. Did I mention the half bottle of wine? Yeah, smart didn't enter into the equation. So I start up the stairs carrying my tree...sort of. Every so often I would step on a branch, fall forward and slide down a step or two. Finally I made it to the top. Eureka! I unlocked my door and started to step through...remember when I said the tree was really full and really big? Yeah, it wouldn't fit through the door. The wrestling match was on once again. I pushed and tried to fold in the branches but they kept holding to the door frame refusing to go through. Out of exasperation I gave one final shove with all my might and the tree went flying through the door and ended up in the middle of the floor. Success! As I looked at all the needles scattered on my floor I was glad I had also bought a bag to put under the tree so I could wrap it up when it was time to discard it. No more needles. Have you ever tried to set a tree into the stand by yourself...and get it to stand straight? Not so easy. Wrestling match number 3. The tree had won the first two, it was not going to win this one. Finally I got it standing tall and straight. Wow was I hot and sweaty. But I had won! Or so I thought. Looking over to the couch I realized I had forgotten to put the plastic bag underneath it for easy disposal. crap!!! I refused to admit defeat by a tree so I got my other half bottle of wine and set about decorating the beast. It actually did turn out quite nice after all but that's why, for the next few years I used the skinny wooden tree. All I had to do was get it out of the closet and plug it in. Fast forward to 2011 and this year's tree adventure. I really didn't have any problems this year even though I live on the second floor again. Amazing how much smarter you are when there is no wine involved. No problem getting the tree out of the car and up the stairs and in the door. Although I did scare the dickens out of the dog and cat. Gave me a little bit of a chuckle. Even though that was easy enough, it's still not easy to set a tree in the stand by yourself. Worked up a little sweat with that. But it was all worth it. Now for that glass of wine...