Tag Archives: decorating

Shopping for a gift in the basement.

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We love our local. It’s not a fancy place just a small rustic pub where, like Cheers… everyone really does know your name. The business is owned by two men… one cook, one bartender and I’m sure it would come as no surprise to either that their decor leaves a bit to be desired. The building is old, built at the turn of the century and the pub room is entirely wood. The few decorative items displayed are vintage Maine… an old sled, some snowshoes etc. A year ago I framed a collection of antique postcards of the town as a gift. Since then my husband has been sputtering about donating something as well. So…

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We went shopping. In the basement. I avoid this part of our house like the plague due to the mess, the clutter and the absolute lack of organization. Truth be told I start twitching after even limited exposure… but I endured, for the pub’s sake.

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The husband was all for giving them random junk but I said no. It had to be something Maine… or at least bar related.

This is what I chose:

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A nice pair of vintage wooden skis.

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And an antique wooden whisky crate. Perfect… right?

Wrong.

As I was cleaning the cobwebs and wiping off years of accumulated dust, the husband looked up the items online. Wooden skis in good shape can fetch a premium price in Maine as summer people like to decorate their vacation homes and cabins, so when he found a similar pair listed for $550? He changed his mind about letting them go. The crate? $55-70 … so it went in his I may sell this at a flea market pile.

Sorry local pub, no gifts for you today.

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Always read the reviews!

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After careful consideration… I decided I needed some festive chickens for next year’s Christmas display.

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I mean really, how could I not? They’re delightful.

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I have to admit I was a bit put off by the price. $63 per bird seemed a trifle much.

It was then I decided to read the product reviews and see if the clucking things were worth it.

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A bright light of nothingness? How could that be! They looked so wonderful in the ad.

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Well that is a seriously disappointing hen to be sure.

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It’s…. flat.

Exactly how flat?

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Flatter than my high C note when I’m singing in the shower flat.

And no one wants that.

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I’m festive damn it.

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I used to go all out for the holidays. If it stood still? I decorated it… for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentines Day etc.

My husband used to roll his eyes, but our neighbors loved it. Matter of fact… I never realized how much our neighbors loved it until recently.

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As I’ve said previously, this year’s decorations have been scaled down. Wreaths on windows and doors and a festive sled.

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A kissing ball.

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Candles in the windows and a ( still standing! ) lighted animated reindeer.

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The Barn Mahal has Santa in a plant pot…

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Snowflakes in the windows and twinkling trees on the porch.

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(The trees are multicolored, the snowflakes are white. But my phone apparently has a sense of humor and changes color at will. WTH?)

But even with all that I’ve done, my neighbors have repeatedly waxed nostalgic over the good old days “when you used to decorate”.

Like this year’s display is chopped liver!

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I mean, really.

There’s a feline Lord backlit by candlelight. What more do they need?

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Christmas chuckles.

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If it stood still.. I used to decorate it for Christmas. I’ve strung lights on roofs, railings, windows, stone walls, mailbox posts and well houses. I’ve had lighted reindeer, snowflakes, trees, snowmen, holly leaves and yes, an alligator.

Trust me when I say stringing lights and keeping them lit is a full time job in Maine winters. It’s not for the faint hearted and over the years I’ve simply lost the will. These days I throw some wreaths on the windows and doors, some candles in the windows and call it good.

But every once in a while I’ll see something that makes me want to decorate again…

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Christmas chickens!

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You have to admit… that’s different.

And while I don’t have a farm, I do have a large barn where those birds would look right at home.

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This is why I stopped decorating.

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A friend gave me a reindeer for my birthday a few years ago.

Sadly it wasn’t a real one, just a Christmas decoration in a box.

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Ironically, the timing of this gift coincided with my I’m tired of fighting with f*cking lights that don’t stay lit, snowflakes that flip up on the roof and trees that spend more time lying on the ground than standing up change of heart about festive displays… but for some unfathomable reason, I decided to break it out of its box and put it to use this year.

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Easy to assemble? My ever widening ass. The legs wobbled, the antlers kept falling off and the stabilizing bars didn’t stabilize anything.

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Did I mention how pleased my husband was to secure said reindeer in the first snowfall of the season? It just started when I was taking pictures, but trust me.. it was cold, wet and windy.

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The stakes that come in the box? Useless. The wind blew the deer over as soon as we finished.

Solution?

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Drill screws into a flat stump and zip tie the reindeers legs to them for anchorage.

The decorating gods laughed and said, nice try suckers… and blew it over again.

Enter the sledgehammer.

I thought that might be for my head….

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But thankfully it was just to pound two thick iron stakes in the ground. ( side note – those suckers aren’t coming up until spring )

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A roll of safety wire and 20 frozen fingers later…

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There is a lighted reindeer on our front lawn.

Whether he will still be standing there tomorrow is anyone’s guess.

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What fresh Christmas Hell is this…?

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Since the husband and I usually travel for Christmas, I haven’t done decorations for years. Wreaths in the windows, a few snowflake lights on the barn and a Charlie Brown tree on the table was as much enthusiasm as I could muster this season.

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And when you’ve been married as long as we have (37 years in a few weeks) presents aren’t a big deal either. We’re lucky enough to buy what we want, when we want (and he still doesn’t know my taste in jewelry) so we took a pass on that as well.

There is however one gift that keeps on giving.

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Yes, after a prolonged absence in which I continually prayed for her earthly demise…

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She was back on Christmas Eve. Looking for a way into the house.

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And taunting me…

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The little bitch.

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So if she comes down the chimney wearing a Santa hat today? I won’t be held responsible.

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No. It most definitely is not…

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Random winter scenes.

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One of these things is not like the others.

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Which makes me wonder what that poor bird did to be ostracized.

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And speaking of wild turkeys, did you know they make excellent snow shovelers?

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We cleared the path but they’re enlarging the dining room.

And speaking of paths…

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Now that the man cave is being readied, more shoveling is required after every storm.

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Welcome… one and all.

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Aside from the wreaths on our home’s windows, this was the extent of my lackluster Christmas decorating this year.

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Snowflakes lights in the Barn Mahal. Battery powered and on a timer.

Ho! Ho! Hum…

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And while Christmas will feel a lot different this year, there are some things to look forward to.

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Things I don’t need.

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I dislike Pepsi and find it sickeningly sweet.

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So Apple Pie Pepsi? That’s a hard pass.

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While this sounded like a cute idea?

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The aesthetics leave a lot to be desired. That looks less like a mouthful of chocolate chip cookie and more like a mouth filled with…. well, never mind.

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Sorry, but my cabinet doors aren’t playing loud music past 10:00 pm or yelling at their husband to pick up his dirty socks. No noise suppression is required.

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First they want me to exercise with rubber bands, now they want me to wrap them around my mattress? I’ll tell you right now…. neither one of those things will be happening anytime soon.

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No.

Just, no.

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Vintage recycling.

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Since I multi purposed our giant crock as a trash can, I decided I wanted something equally fun and antiquey for returnables.

You would think shopping in my husband’s vast array of crap stuff would yield the appropriate receptacle, but sadly nothing was found. Which is when my spouse gleefully suggested we visit the antique mall.

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I was on a mission and didn’t dilly dally. The same can not be said for my spouse.

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I moved him quickly away from this horror…

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Because right now the only thing the barn Mahal doesn’t have is a kitchen sink… and I wasn’t taking any chances.

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Fresh lobster made us laugh. There’s nothing worse than cheeky crustaceans.

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I had my eye on that wagon to the right. But at $520 it seemed a bit pricey for empty beer bottles.

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Even the chicken thought so.

And then I found it…

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Buried in the back and full of oars.

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$50 later…. the old barrel with original lid… made a perfect returnable container.

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