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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let There Be Light?

So today was supposed to be the day that my Christmas house tour excuses! But, you know how sometimes life just spins you around and points you in a totally different direction? That has been my week! A few boring details. I have to be pretty much ready for Christmas by Friday of this week. This is the yearly traditional Nutcracker weekend in our house. The time when the oldest grand daughters join us for the beautiful ballet that is still being presented by the ballet troupe originated by the woman who taught my girls dance for so many years. It is fabulous and every year the changes just make it more breathtaking...but, I digress.

On Monday, I am off to St. Pete for a few days to attend my oldest daughter's annual cookie exchange and then hopefully watch some of the little ones ice skate on our way home. When we return, I will have 2 days to plan the menus for Christmas, bake all of my cookies and finish making some gifts that are taking way too long!

My goal had been to use my "free" days this week to finish planning, get out cards, bake for the exchange, do a bit of cleaning, etc. As they say, the best laid plans.... I have literally accomplished none of the above!!! The culprit being our outdoor lights! Every year we totally line the front roof of our house and much of the privacy fencing with our beautiful icicle lights. Some years we add globe lights to a tree, others we add lighted reindeer, etc. Ever since my husband had his knee replaced, the ladder has not been his friend and when he took a tumble off of it last year, I put my foot down. Now, he has never liked high places, so I have always been the one to head to the roof to clear leaves, clean gutters, etc. I will admit that it is getting harder and harder each year! Sometimes the old bones just don't co-operate. In any case, he got up the lights along the lower roof (thank goodness he stands about 6'2") one day and then I came along to climb to the peak and do the rest.

The peak went rather smoothly-even if I did have to stand on the 4th step of the ladder- and then the trouble hit, First, we realized that my poor husband had hung the first lights in the wrong direction-meaning, we couldn't get the power source correctly for all of the rest of the lights to come. Not a biggie, we would simply reverse them after we finished the hard part.

We had tested all lights previously, but as we got into the next few strings, parts just died and no amount of coaxing would help. I started to try to change dead bulbs but with the new little latches, it became obvious that that would not work. Hubby suggested we get in the car-at 5 P.M. and quitting time- and just head up to K-Mart to buy new which point I say "might as well go the for gold and replace them with the new LED lights and then we can do the other side of the house after Christmas when they're 50% off". Yeah! Right!!! I guess everyone else had the same idea this year albeit weeks before I did.

K-Mart-sold out! Lowes- sold out! Wal-Mart had 4 sets, so we snatched them up! Too late and too dark to do anything else that night-except pour a big glass of wine!

Then, the next day, one of us had the brilliant idea to head for breakfast and run to one of the other Wal-Marts to buy the same for the other side since we had to move them all any way-because of the lack of power in case I have lost you at this point and this is all just a big blur!

At least we got an early breakfast because Wal-Mart #2-sold out! Lowes #2-sold out! Wal-Mart #3-sold-out! Hobby Lobby-never had! Finally, success at Target-or so we thought!

O.K., I'll put you out of your misery....We finally started to hang them and discovered they were so much shorter and spindlyer(?) than our others, but at least they are LED & "will last forever!". Then we get to the point where we started adding the ones from Target which we knew were about 2/3 the length of the G.E.s from Wal-Mart. We finally see the end in sight and we replace all of the other side. We are now FINALLY ready to get them plugged in to power and I see 2 different colors-even though all of the bulbs are clear. The ones from Target are reading as blue-only it is called "cool white". There it is right on the box but I was thinking all LED lights read that color. Apparently not! Does everyone else know this simple fact? Any way, we now have short, scraggly icicles-cool white and yellow mixed together-and I am doing my very best to convince myself that I am O.K. with it. I am not, but I have now given 3 days of this week to this debacle and I MUST MOVE ON! I don't have one more up & down the ladder left in me!!!!

Last night I told my husband that we will leave it like this this year-who cares what the neighbors think-and next year I will look for more G.E.s. We can then cover the house with yellow light-traditional and just what we are used to-and hang all of our fencing with the cool white. At least then it will look like we knew what we were doing. Of course, all he could see were more dollar signs flashing before his eyes. These LEDs are pricey! But, I read somewhere that they are supposed to save you $2.28 a year on electric-that better mean per light or I'm not sure how they're suckering us into this!

The good news is that I had a nice breakfast out, I did find a set of the "shooting star" icicles that I have been wanting and I had lots of wine to keep me "happy"!

I will do my best to finish some of my tasks today so the house is somewhat picture ready tomorrow-you can't see cob webs or dust bunnies in candle light-right? Stay tuned.

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