To Gramma’s House We Go – aka – Back to the Forest, aka – Yes, We Wanted a Real Tree, Again…

Much like gathering the family around the telly for the annual viewing of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street, or even National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,

ALL RIGHTS TO NATION LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION - CHEVY CHASE

ALL RIGHTS TO NATION LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION – CHEVY CHASE

…it isn’t really and truly Christmas until The Bowery Girl posts her now annual Christmas Tree post. Last year’s went over so well, we just had to give it another go.

Our search party was smaller this year, as First Born Son was scheduled to work, and I choose to believe that Dad was with us in spirit. With my Mother’s blessing (but not participation- she had heard about last year’s antics), Second Born Son, The Big Guy, and I headed out into the great green yonder.

The Big Guy is making sure we have no issues with area hunters.

The Big Guy is making sure we have no issues with area hunters.

We passed the area where we found last year’s tree, certain that there were no suitable specimens from last year. We walked and walked. Eventually SBS was feeling the strain of the trek.

Piggy back ride anyone?

Piggy back ride anyone?

After all, it had been a solid 10 minute walk!

We cut across open spaces, since that is where the most evenly developed trees can be found,

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…and SBS thought he’d found the perfect tree, but we thought it was a little on the small side.

Not bad, not bad at all!

Not bad, not bad at all!

Then The Big Guy thought he’d found the perfect tree!

Um, little full, lots of sap!

Um, little full, lots of sap!

Then he suggested the one I was standing beside, but I quickly advised him I was not a “Scotch Pine” kinda gal.

Nooooooooooooo!

Nooooooooooooo!

Finally, there was a choir of angels singing, a beam of light shone down and THERE IT WAS!!!!!

HALELUJAH!

HALELUJAH!

Unfortunately, The Big Guy thought we were pointing at the tree BESIDE the one that SBS found!

Um, no.

Um, no.

Finally the confusion was clarified, and we decided we had our tree, thanks to SBS. Now, it was time to cut that bad boy down and haul it back. SBS was a little slow to volunteer, after what had happened to him last year, but his father convinced him that would never happen TWICE! SBS stood his ground, so it was The Big Guy who had to cut the tree.

Cutting,,,

Cutting,,,

We waited.

SBS taking the "supervisor" role.

SBS taking the “supervisor” role.

You don’t realize how big the trunk of these darn trees are until you start sawing them!

Losin' daylight here bud!

Losin’ daylight here bud!

And then it happened!!

And he tells me he's on the Health and Safety Committee at work!

And he tells me he’s on the Health and Safety Committee at work!

The tree jigged when it should have jagged and SBS misjudged how tall he was in relation to the tree and it GOT HIM!

He might just make it doctor!

He might just make it doctor!

Once we realized there was no long-term damage, we propped him up and told him to drag the tree out of the bush. We’re awesome parents like that.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

So like the trouper that he is, he agreed to pull the tree out of the bush. But he forgot how far we had walked to get into this little clearing.

No child labor laws were impacted by the removal of this tree!

No child labor laws were impacted by the removal of this tree!

The Big Guy is now supervising!

The Big Guy is now supervising!

We told him it would put hair on his chest!

We told him it would put hair on his chest!


And before you know it – it was all trimmed up and decorated! Made all the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile! (Almost – right SBS?)

The purdiest tree you ever dun seen!

The purdiest tree you ever dun seen!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Pie Man

Most people know how much I love to bake, but one dessert eluded me – PIE!

Now I have tried. Lord knows my mother tried! A dedicated pie maker herself, Mom tried on more than one occasion to teach me the art of the pie crust, to no avail. I continued to persevere on my own, with hope building up each time I saw a recipe entitled “No Fail Crust” or even better, “Really No Fail Crust”.

Guess what, they FAILED! Or, perhaps I failed, depending on your definition of womanhood and one’s ability to whip up a good ol’ fashioned apple pie!

So what I lacked in pastries, I made up for in cakes, cookies and muffins! So when First Born Son came to me and asked how to make pie, I hung my head in shame and told him I was not the woman for the job.

But his Gramma is!

So before you could say “Pumpkin Pie” we dragged her to my kitchen and armed her with pie plates and flour.

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With an interest reserved for only for antique trucks and farm equipment, FBS was riveted. He worked the dough just the way she asked. He rolled the pastry with the utmost care!

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She taught him the fine art of crimping the crust. And crimp he did!!

Gramma crimping on left, FBS crimping on the right! His fingers are considerably  larger!

Gramma crimping on left, FBS crimping on the right! His fingers are considerably larger!

It was heart warming to see them in action…

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Delish!

Delish!

…because we finally get to eat pie again!

Time Warp!

The most remarkable thing has happened!

This wee lad…

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woke this morning looking like this!!!

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It’s hard to believe that Second Born Son turns 14 tomorrow. The same kid who required two hour-long trips to the hospital in order to get into this world, is now in high school! It seems like yesterday that we took him to speech therapy! Yes – don’t get me started on the fact that I devoted hours to helping get this kid to talk. I’m painfully aware every time he starts discussing his latest video console obsession!

SBS is such a wonderful combination of light and fun. He hates it when animals or the elderly are endangered. He could care less about what other people think of him. For example, he’s not fazed by an unusual coat or jeans he’s grown out of; after all, he’s comfortable!

Our son has impeccable comedic timing, so it’s no surprise that he’s joined the Improv Club at school. He’s always been a fish around water…
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and has now earned Bronze Medallion with his eye set on the Bronze Cross in the spring!

His artistic ability is amazing!

Original on left, SBS's rendition on the right…crazy, right?

Original on left, SBS’s rendition on the right…crazy, right?

Artist at work!

Artist at work!

He’s a good friend, a great brother and a wonderful son!

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I cannot imagine our lives without him!

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Happy Birthday Sweetie!