Monday, December 4, 2017

Lighting up the Neighborhood

Come a quick January thaw, or March (or knowing Wisconsin, June) whenever things warm up around here once again after the holidays, I'm going to be outside with cold, stiff hands, kicking myself for going nuts in December.  

As if I don't have enough to do, for some unknown reason I went off on a tangent with Christmas lights.  The weather has been ridiculously warm up until now and of course, instead of tending to all the other chores in the garden, I blew most of it off to decorate instead.   
Not to be outdone, Mother Nature has been having her own light displays.  I can't compete.

After decorating the urns just before Thanksgiving, I was intending to only decorate the lamp post and one tree to go along with the wire horses.  Very simple and tasteful.  

 Lousy picture of the lamp post, but there it is.  One of the three lightbulbs in the post was burned out, so we had to go to the store to buy a new one.  (Little did we know running to the store was going to be a continuing trend.)

Last year I had decorated one tree in the front yard with white lights in the area we still call the 'Willie Bed' in honor of the memory of Willie the Willow.  
Willie, the way he was before old age arrived.  And yes, that's my splendid greenhouse.

 Fast forward a few years, and Willie was replaced with from left to right: Picea Omorika, commonly called Serbian Spruce (love this tree, very soft and graceful) a very young Picea Glauca 'Pendula' (Weeping White Spruce), next up, picea Pungens 'Fat Albert' who is ailing a bit near the bottom, and finally, Thuja Occidentalis 'Sunkist', a cedar we moved rather unceremoniously from the front garden using the tractor bucket.   Oh, and hiding behind Ernie the Urn, is the gazebo which we moved from the back yard to the front this April. 
The way it looked in July 2017

 Last year, I had only decorated the 'Fat Albert' in the middle with white lights and set up the horses on either side of the bed.  There.  Done.  (I can't find a picture, you'll have to imagine it.)

This year, one thing led to another.  Again, I'm not sure why.  I think it's a delayed reaction to all of the stress of the past year, from all of the funerals and the threat of losing my vision eventually; whatever the reason, I'm trying to enjoy what I have before I no longer have it.  

Maybe it was the Full Moon making me crazier than usual?
While I was running around decorating the yard, poor Carl was trying to get the garage cleaned out per my request so we could put the much bigger Buick in.   But since I lose my patience with his way of 'cleaning' process, he said he'd do it on his own. I was free to go decorate or something, anything to keep me from trying to toss what I feel is junk. The garage cleaning has been going on for over a month, but to his credit, we've also been running in circles with my doctor appointments and his parent's needs, too, plus he works a full-time job and the poor man has to sleep sometime.  Carl did come out to help me with the higher branches on the trees, though, too, which also slowed down the garage cleaning.  I just want it all, don't I?

There's that Supermoon again which must have been the culprit.

And speaking of making many trips to the store for lights, when I decorated the Serbian spruce on the left side of the picture above, I was going to use green lights.  However, the tree was bigger than I anticipated, so I added some white lights to fill in.  Then to my horror, the tree looked to be green and gold.  

Now, we live in football country, near Green Bay and a team called the Packers, but I am not a fan.  (I know, how scandalous of me.)  I texted a picture of the tree to Joel who came back with, "Someone might hang a Packer jersey in that tree."  Well, that was it.  Off to the store for another three hundred green lights.

                                    There.  Much better. 

I found I had to wait until after dark to work on the trees since spacing is hard to judge in the daylight.  I'd decorate until it was time to leave for the nursing home visit and then afterward, we'd run to the big box store for more lights.  This went on for four nights in a row.  Oh, brother.

Once I was done with the trees, the thought occured to put white lights on the stone walls around the gazebo and the Willie Bed.  We bought a great big roll of cool white icicle lights for the job.

We should have bought warm white instead, the wall lit up like a runway.  It was ok, but I had another idea for the icicle lights.  First we tried wrapping the stainless steel urn Carl made for me a few years ago, again, I can't find a picture of it when we'd wrapped it with red rope lights, but suffice it to say, once it was wrapped in the icicle lights it looked like a glaringly white giant snowball.   (No pictures of the fail.)

Scrapping that idea, I decided to light up a young Ostrya Virginiana, commonly known as an ironwood tree, instead. 

Once again, I dragged Carl out of the garage to help me decorate this tree.  If you look closely, he's on a ladder on the right side.  This process took me two days; one set of a bazillion lights wasn't enough and you guessed it, back to the big box store for more. 

I restrung new lights on one of the horses on Saturday night, the other one is awaiting renovation.  We bought warm white LED lights for the horses which are a little easier on the eyes.

 The other horse will arrive as soon as I get him relit, but I think I'm done with that poor tree.  (And with making Carl haul me to the store one more time.)

We're in the fifties today, but oh dear, the weather is going to change; going down to the twenties for high temps with lows in the teens and winds up to forty mph all the rest of the week.

 It's a good thing I got this all out of my system before winter arrived. 
But as I said in the beginning, I'm going to hate myself when it comes time to undecorate.

Falalalalalalala............ and best of all, the Buick is now in the garage!


Charade said...

Pretty... Funny... Pretty Funny. Around our house, we call living with someone like you "An Adventure Vacation." Here that moniker is assigned my other half, but what I wouldn't give for his adventures to be more oriented to landscaping and decorating outside for Christmas like yours. If we didn't live so far away, I'd drive by your house every single night and appreciate the glow just for stress relief!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I sure love your sense of humor dear Karen. All of the lights are so pretty. I've yet to put any outside, and they are 'purple'. :-)

Happy Christmas holidays dear friend ~ FlowerLady

Ellie's friend from canada said...

I agree pretty funny. And just a couple of days ago you were lamenting not getting any exercise. It looks like you've made up for that! Between the two of you, I am sure you got LOTS of exercise! The lights look truly beautiful and are well worth the effort! I am starting to make ice lanterns. I am going to make one a day until Christmas, line the edge of the driveway, and on Christmas Eve I hope to light them all up! Wish me luck! Ann

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Your Christmas lights are so pretty. I love the variety of trees you have, and how you have named some of them.

Alison said...

It all looks wonderfully festive, and if it's making you happy, then it's worth it. I don't decorate any more for Christmas (is that scandalous of me?) It's the dread of undecorating that keeps me from even starting.

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Good for you! You really know how to decorate--in so many ways! I agree re: the sunsets we've been having lately -- no one can compete! They're simply incredible!

chavliness said...

Ha! Around Seattle, we pay to see those outdoors light displays, in the zoo or a botanical garden. This is remarkable, and somehow you always manage to get everything done!

outlawgardener said...

Thanks for the laughs! I can't believe you created this holiday light spectacular and still had time for everything else on your plate right now. The result is beautiful!

Dewberry said...

I love your house and garden decorations :) My kids would love that.

Happy New Year!