Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Tree Calamities! Have YOU ever had one?

OK, so I'm waiting for my little sister, Marijo, to come out to my house so we can commence with the infamous yearly Christmas Tree Decorating adventure. Though growing up it was much more adventuresome as she and I would ride our horses up into the woods, pick out a tree, then hike up later with our big brother to retreive it. Joe always enjoyed the trek, both up, as he would throw stuff at us the entire time, and back down, as he would make US carry the tree with him STILL throwing things at us all the way back down. Ah the priviledge of being the one with the talent for wielding the ax! Suffice to say, it's been at least eight years since a tree has met it's untimely demise from our property, they being far too tall now to deal with. So gaks, and gasp! I've been paying for one ever since.
Of course, when you're a single gal, getting a tree can be just as challenging even though you are paying to chop one down. I'm not a skilled tree chopper and can't lift a nine foot tree by myself so I usually bribe ... oh I mean coerce ... er .. ah... ask kindly of some unsuspecting gent (usually my brother in law or best friend's husband, to wield the ol ax, carry the body, hoist it onto the top of the jeep where it is quickly lashed for transport, take it off the jeep at the house, and of course, get said tree into the house, and into its stand. The price of tree transport has gone up over the years. I used to get away with a batch of chocolate chip cookies as payment. Now it's full taco dinners for said help and their family! But it's fun!
To make the task ever more adventurous, one has to get all the decorations down from the attic. We prepare ourselves by putting on our gloves, hats, anything that can be used for armor against the eight legged masses, and our cans of raid. (Hey, it's a log cabin!) Years ago the only thing one had to worry about are what we call around these parts as simply 'wood spiders' which, can get pretty hefty in their own right. So much so that you can actually hear them walking on the wood next to you. Ewwwwwwwww ... unfortuneatly the wood spider population has diminished over the years when the "girls" moved in. When they moved in we're not sure, or perhaps they were always there but too few to make a decent showing. At any rate, Black Widows seem to have a taste for wood spiders, who in turn had a hankering for Hobo spiders, which are as nasty as the "girls". So you can see why we wait til we are armed to the teeth, then ascend!
After getting all the decorations down one has to sift carefully, to make sure no tag alongs made it down as well. I remember the year a nice big wood spider decided to take up residence in the baby Jesus's cradle of our nativity scene. He wasn't happy about being evicted but too bad! We threw him outside rather than "stone him". After making sure there aren't any decorations that are going to crawl off the tree by themselves, we can commence with the deocorating. After which we turn on the tree lights and oooo and ahhhh at our stunning achievement. Occasionally, however, after turning away from our task, knowing we've gotten through yet another year relatively unscathed, there has been the resounding CRASH!!!!!!
One has to weigh what is worse. Your tree falling over, visions of your mother's antique ornaments shattering on the floor flashing across your mind with your immediate demise soon following, or having to go up into the atic again for the spare ornaments. I learned the last time it happened, that it was a lot less frightening to go to the store to get more ornaments. But not near as adventuresome! So this year, should the tree take a dive, I've decided to make my lil sis go back up into the attic for the spares!!!!!!! OH! I think I hear her truck now!!!!!!!!!! Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ...... :)
So what sort of Christmas Tree calamity has befallen you?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Am I The Only One ...

... who suffers from the malady of not being able to read fiction once they really get to writing it? I've heard of this, suffer from it, and have known some other authors who are also plagued with it. Interesting, I must say. I have a small window of time (like about a week) to read like a maniac and get in what I can before I dig into Time Masters Book Two and plan to finish Sue Dent's Never Ceese and if I can squeeze in a good old fashioned sappy Christmas book I will. Hmmm, Vampires, Werewolves, and Santa. Well, that will make for an interesting mix, won't it? I'd better watch what I eat before I go to bed, eh? I'll be dreaming of a vampiric Santa Claus whose sleigh is pulled by eight really big werewolves!
Any suggestions for a good Christmas book?


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thank you Carole McDonnell and Wind Follower!

Ok, so how many of you panic at this time of year because you have those folks on your Christmas list that are just SOOOO hard to shop for? I know I have them, and two inparticular! And no, it's not that they have everything, or that they are extra fussy about the gift they recieve or are just so hard to please a new Jaguar wouldn't even suffice. No, I'm talking about the kind of folks who are so special to you, you want to give them something as unique and as special as they are.Every year, it's the same dilema, and I can never come up with something I think is special enough for them. These folks are like having another set of parents. I even call them mom and dad! They are Fitz and Jahna Houston, and they live in LA, work in the entertainment industry, aka "The Business" and are writers themselves. Many of you have probably seen Fitz on one show or another, and Jahna has been crowned I don't know how many times for different pageants she's been in. Fitz even won the sexiest husband in America one year and they were featured on the Montel show. So yes they are in the public eye a lot, and very, very, busy people. So this year I finally got clever, and decided to try to find something for them to have for those quiet moments, something they can share and come away from with a feeling of satisfaction. Something they can sink their teeth into that does't involve calories! But WHAT?!?!??

Enter the blog tour for Carole McDonnell's book Wind Follower. I didn't have time to read it before the tour, but did start to read the posts and Carole's own website and blog. All I can say is WOW! I logged into Amazon and bought it yesterday so I'd be able to get it mailed down to LA well before Christmas. It's perfect! It will tease the senses, feed the soul, taunt the intellect and most importantly, leave them feeling satisfied with an excellent read! WHEW! So thank you Carole McDonnell for penning a smart, tight, well written story that pretty much has it all! Now you'll have to write another one to bail me out again next year! Wind Follower is definitely a book to not only read for yourself, (which I definitely plan on doing) but to share with others!Get crackin Carole on that next book!

On sale at Amazon Books
As well as Juno Books
You won't want to miss her blog either at Carole McDonnell's Blog