Seasonal Chit Chat

Is it too late to list 183 items that don’t fit in this house on eBay? I mean, the Christmas rush is NOW if you figure 7 days to sell it, a few days for someone to pay and then I need to ship it out. Shipping is the downside of eBay- I hate that part. But I’m too cheap to drop my stuff off at one of those eBay stores because I do a better job of photos and hype than they do and I don’t charge myself an outrageous commission. Sometimes I pimp the cats in my photos. Once I sold a bunch of Abby’s beanie babies when she lost interest in collecting them two weeks after she started. I posed them all around our ragged old cat, Velcro. You would be surprised at how many people wanted to know if he was part of the package. I also got lots of unsolicited cat health tips because he looked so gnarly. He was 18 at the time.
EBay is a good place to recycle white elephants before you get a whole new supply of them for Christmas. I’m in the frame of mind where I don’t want another thing in my life. Well, maybe a flannel nightgown and the new Annie Leibovitz photography book. It has black and white photos of Susan Sontag when she was dying; I think they were partners. I saw one of the photographs and it certainly looked like love. Otherwise, I lack for nothing.

Rich gets some odd business gifts. Two years ago he got a 400.00 Hermes porcelain ashtray. I was so excited opening that Hermes box when it came in the mail- and then it’s an ashtray. The real bite is that it’s really lovely, with African animals on it. Elephants, lions, gazelles- just my thing, but it’s an ashtray, for pete’s sake. Last year he got a top of the line radar detector from the same people. Dan has been itching for that but it’s still sitting in the box. If I don’t list it on eBay soon, it will be obsolete.

The other thing he gets from work is logo stuff. All his clothing has logos on it. This year we laid hands on a World Series official hat; it’s very nice but the Tigers lost. Bud will be glad to have it in any case and he can wear it while he steers the pontoon boat around Gratiot Lake.
Speaking of work, Rich is gone this week. Yawn. Actually, he’s off doing good works. His new company flew everybody to New Orleans where they are building a house for Habitat for Humanity. No excuses, everybody goes and no spouses or family because it’s not supposed to be a boondoggle. Top to bottom, they complete one house before they come home. Now, that’s a good business deal.
I’m going to brave the cold (check the thermometer down in the sidebar) and Chicago traffic in search of a Christmas tree. I know for certain we are not going over the river and through the woods to cut one this year and that makes me pretty sad. But time is short and family is coming so I’m in search of a lot with nice trees. Also, I want to get it up because we’re headed south shortly after Christmas so it will come down earlier than usual.

I always secretly admire those goofy families that leave them up until April while they wait for some family member to show up from overseas. Then they either get on the news for the reunion or when the house goes up in flames. But I do love my Christmas tree and I wouldn’t mind having one twinkling away on all the dark nights of winter. What I need is a tree that is about 3 feet wide and 14 feet tall. I have three open stories here but no floor space. I was thinking about some kind of cedar but that is too exotic for the city, I fear. I’ll see. When I get back maybe I’ll post a picture of my space so you can see what I’m dealing with.


Okay, I’m back. Two tree lots with dried up trees that had food-colored green trunks and then I headed to the upscale garden store where my worst suspicions were confirmed. They did indeed have extra fine trees that were fresh and springy to the touch. They even had a tall and skinny stately Frasier fir that appears to be the right size. AND they will deliver it and put it up in the stand first thing tomorrow morning. Provided I take out a second mortgage on the house. Sigh. So, three days late (seeing as how Advent started on Sunday) and numerous dollars short, I need to figure out where it’s going. See my space constraints? I’m already claustrophobic with all these darn plants in for the winter. I think it has to go right where that chair is, next to the glass cabinet. Then where will I put the chair?Dr2 Lr2

16 responses to “Seasonal Chit Chat

  1. First off, you know I love you. Secondly, I’m glad you’re mailing the ebay packages this time. I KNOW you have some wonderful goodies that people would gladly snatch up in a heartbeat. Maybe you could get some of those Potlatch gifts out the door? Remeber that one blue tub of them that I packed for the move to Chicago??? And didn’t we send the Christmas tree to Chicago, too? It was in that large green plastic bag with handles down in the storage room….. Yes, I still dream of my summer adventures with you. 🙂

  2. There is an ancient form of exercise and meditation that goes well with the burning of incense. Ashtrays are great for incense burning and frankincense is perfect for Advent. Christmas trees go up on Advent and come down on Epiphany. Does one have to be a SPARTAN to know this stuff?

    The Tigers lost?! The CARDS won!!

    Miss you!

  3. I love those herringbone floors. Put the chair in another room. Can you handle an artificial tree? You can get one 3′ in diameter and 8-10′ tall if you can.

  4. Your house interior pictures are gorgous. Is anything ever out of place in your home?

  5. We have a similar problem – tiny house that’s laid out oddly. Plus a big dog with a swooshy tail to break our priceless ornaments.

    I figure you’re quirky enough to appreciate this – we have an artificial tree, but it’s an *upside down* tree. Skinny on the bottom where you don’t have the floor space and wide up top where no dog’s tail can reach to break the ornaments. Most people would probably think it’s awful and some sort of sacrilege, but hey – it’s our tree! I’m sure the neighbor’s wonder about us for it, though.

    We don’t use it every year, but sometimes it’s hard to find the skinny tree we need – I do love a real tree when we find one!

    One of these days (if we ever get it put up!) I’ll post a pic.

  6. I think a smallish tree is in order. The only time I almost divorced my husband was when he brought home an enormous 10 foot tree that we had to stand on a ladder to decorate. (with little kids) He has never done it since. I too would like to get rid of some stuff, and tactfully tell my mother-in-law not to buy us all SO much more. She goes crazy at Christmas,and her taste is questionable. (one year I asked for navy blue and black dress socks and got peach and yellow)

  7. If you put it by the glass cabinet, then how will you decorate it, if it is really tall. One of the docs I worked with had a big old antebellum mansion in Mississippi. It had ceilings a kazillion feet high. Each year he went to the Christmas Tree farm in his Mercedes, had them cut down a fifteen foot tree, flock it, and then they delivered it with six or seven men putting it in the house, in the stand and putting the lights on it. Sherry (his wife) probably had them put the ornaments on to. I never saw the sense in having one that big. Cats chew on them, whether real or not. It isn’t as big of a disaster if they knock over a 5 foot tree as it is if it is 15 foot.

    Currently our tree is still in garage. I haven’t developed enough Christmas spirit to put it up yet. Max, the resident dog, had to go to the vet for an eye check up. He has corneal ulcers, won’t let me put ointment in, won’t let me muzzle him to do it and tries to snap when I try to do it. Now, we are trying drops… like that is any better. I promise that dog can duck and weave his head as well as Mohammed Ali when he sees that little bottle. So…. I had one sedative pill left. I gave him half in his supper. About an hour later I went out to try and muzzle him and there he was sitting in the flower bed, drunk as all get out. Muzzle success… eye drop success…. twice. I can get one or two more instillations with the other half of the pill. A phone call and more sedative is in order. If I can keep him quiet for a few days I might be able to get it cleared up. Why are animals more complicated than children?

    I don’t need anything or want anything for Christmas, ….. well, if I could get my sinuses roto rooted out with a laser at my brother’s ENT in DC, that would be great.

    Can’t wait to see pictures of your tree all beautiful and decorated. Mr. Rhett is looking for one of those “bananas” for Miss Sophie but they were out and he is very upset right now. He asked if you have room for a “banana”?

    I appreciate your prayers for my mom tomorrow, or rather later on today. She has her angiogram and though they won’t do the angioplasty today, I don’t know how long they will have to rest her kidneys before they do the second step. With her symptoms, I feel certain that angioplasty or a stent will be needed.

  8. I knew you were a woman of many talents, but an e-bay Queen? I am impressed. Truly.

    I tried to buy something on e-bay once through my husbabd’s account and he was terrified that I would mess up his rating. It’s very serioud stuff, isn’t it?

    Your tree will look splendid in you cozy city home. Christmas in the city makes me think of When Harry Met Sally.

  9. I guess that’s another bennie of living in WNC. I just stopped at a Xmas tree farm on my way back from Atlanta, let the kids play hide and seek for 20 minutes, then we picked out a tree, and the cute young farmer revved up his chainsaw, cut it down, and I had it home and in a bucket of water an hour later. Fresh as can be. And I won’t tell you how little it cost, cause that would hurt you.

  10. I bought a rug on eBay once, when I was a rug addict and spent many a good hour looking at Persian patterns with a virtual magnifying glass! I think the advice above is excellent, to use the ashtray for incense. Great idea.

    By the time you read this, you probably have already solved your Christmas tree space dilemma, have the tree up and decorated, and presents wrapped and ready beneath.

  11. There’s a couple of guys from Northern Wisconsin selling beautiful, fresh trees on Randall Road, west of River Road in Des Plaines. Might be worth the hike if your heart is really set on a fresh tree.

  12. Oooh! It’s positively a jungle in there. A $400 ashtray? I can’t believe that. Useless gifts are one thing, but over-priced useless gifts that the money could have been spent on something really nice? I’m glad that they’re down building for Habitat now though. I think that’s awesome.

  13. I looked for fruit rollup trees but couldn’t find one.
    How about edible wreaths?

  14. Whyn’t you just suspend it from the ceiling? Then you could lower it when company comes or when you want the cats to play with it.

    (Why do I have to think up all the good ideas?)

  15. I have ebay elbow bad right now from all the propping up in front of the screen. Last year my daughter gave me one of those gel-filled rests but it can only do so much.

    If I could only tie a cedar to the car roof and bring it to you! I’d love to go to Chicago RIGHT NOW. We always cut a cedar off the property but the reality is that they smell great but don’t last very long. We don’t put up a tree until abou 10 days before to make sure it stays green for the big day.

    I really like Horsetail Snake’s idea. Lets run with it.

  16. Put the chair on the balcony (you can be white trashy for a few weeks) and then you’ll have your tree spot. 😉


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