Christmas Tree Day 2015

It’s Saturday early evening, I’m sitting down with a beer and listening to Christmas music. For the next half hour or so I will have the equivalent of a day to myself, to relax and write.

In the spirit of the season, we went out and bought our Christmas tree today. It’s a live Norway spruce tree, or at least that’s what we think it is. They weren’t labeled at the tree farm. As is our tradition, we get the tree a few weeks before the holiday, then bring it inside a few days before Christmas and decorate it. After the holiday we plant the live tree in a pre-dug hole somewhere out in the yard. This year the tree will go out on the pond dike. Previous year’s trees can be seen just off the driveway. Once a tree graduates from home to yard, the following year it gets a string of colorful solar lights. The idea being that, let’s say we’re here twenty years. Visitors would be able to see twenty trees in the yard with colored lights on them. Fun.

Back inside the house, I’ve been slowly continuing work on the basement. I’ve started tiling my office area, and I have also essentially finished the full bathroom.  Tiling is going slow, but I think I’m doing an okay job. I got a new tile cutter at Lowe’s and I’m very happy with its performance. I haven’t really ruined any tiles yet. I think it’s got a good sharp wheel and easier action, and that makes a difference. I do need a grinder though to angle cut some tiles around a doorway. But there’s no reason to spend $80 on a tool I probably won’t ever use again. I’m going to see if I can make a Dremel tool work or, worst case, rent a grinder.

In the bathroom, all of the accessories are hung. It took me a while to figure out where the blocking was for the towel bar. In the process of discovery I drilled about a half dozen holes in the drywall, all of which I had to patch up and repaint before mounting the bar.

While figuring out where to hang up the toilet paper roll holder, I discovered that you’re supposed to mount it about 8″ in front of the toilet bowl, off to the side. Well I don’t have a wall in that location. I could have mounted the holder on the adjacent cabinet, but the wife and I both voted against that. So, behind and to the side of toilet the holder went. I think it’s fine. I don’t see how just putting the roll in a basket or a freestanding holder does anything. It’s fine back there.

As time allows I’ll continue to tile. I want to make sure I get all the tile down as soon as possible, in case they discontinue the tile style. I don’t want to be left short of tile. Then I’ll really be in trouble.

Earlier today I extracted honey from hive No. 3. As I may have mentioned in a previous post, this hive died late this autumn. We got nine frames of honey. I haven’t weighed it yet.

Next year we’re just going to manage one hive. If it gets large enough we can split it. Otherwise, we’re not pouring any more money into beekeeping if we can help it.

Actually we’re not going to pour any money into any projects for the foreseeable future. I’ve got the materials to finish the basement, except the ceiling. That should keep me busy DIY-wise for a while.

One interesting side note, I’m finally selling my trusty Rabbit. The wonderful VW that kept me company throughout our new home build, and was mentioned in many a post, well it’s time to say goodbye. We need more space and more doors in a vehicle. If you know anyone who’s looking for a great, clean car for commuting, running errands, or just starting out, let me know. I’ll make you a great deal on our good friend.

Ok, here’s today’s pictures. Time for me to go back to the real world and all of its responsibility. Cheers!

 

 

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Christmas Tree 2014

We’ve been crazy busy lately. The basement project is on hold until I find the time to work down there. A cold has knocked me on my butt mentally. Physically I’m near 100% but a persistent (3 month on again, off again) cough has me thinking of offing myself on a daily basis.

Despite a busy Monday though we darted out as a family for an hour to pick out our Christmas tree for this year. For the third year in a row we bought a live tree. The tree will sit outside until the week of Christmas, then we’ll bring it indoors and decorate it. After Christmas I’ll plant the tree in the yard. There are a dozen or so spots where the landscape architect indicated fir trees should go. Each year we select one of those spots and dig a hole ahead of time, before the ground freezes.

I’m not sure what kind of tree we got, other than it looks like some sort of spruce, like we got the previous two years. It’s about 6′-7′ tall.

We decorate each previous year’s trees with solar twinkle lights. So if you stop out at night you may spot random lit trees in the woods. Those are the previous year’s trees. It’s a really fun tradition I think. The whole family helping to dig the hole, picking out the tree, decorating it, planting it, enjoying it for years to come hopefully.

The other two trees (this is our third Christmas here) are doing great by the way.

This year's tree waiting outside by the playground. I'll cover up the ball with some more dirt in case the ground starts to freeze.

This year’s tree waiting outside by the playground. I’ll cover up the ball with some more dirt in case the ground starts to freeze.