December 15, 2006
Light Craze
I now know why I should have maintained contentment with not decorating with lights outside my house.
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One triple strand, triple swag set of lights above the entryway has turned into the swag set plus 4 strands of lights on bushes. Plus, I'm really considering putting some lights into the pots of poinsettias. And I'd reeeally like to buy another set of the swags, to finish the front.... And wouldn't a [fill in the blank] look great, too?
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This is the way it happened:
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The neighbors all have beautifully lit houses, varying degrees of fanciness. Many of the houses in the neighborhood have wreaths of greenery adorned with bright red velvet bows in all the windows. I never thought to do that, but on the brick houses, it's simply lovely.
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I thought that since my house essentially looks like a black hole at night, I should put up some sort of lights, thus a trip to T*rget to look at the selection. I picked something that I thought would look good all on its own, something that I could just slap up there and be done with it. I also bought two strands of lights (100 mini lights ea.), thinking one strand on the bush on the left and one strand on the bushes on the right; and bought a small box of the clips to hang the lights to the house.
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The girls and I arrive home and I pull out the step ladder. Only it's not a step ladder - it's Cara's two step thingy that helps you get about 15 inches off the ground. Clearly this is not going to help me reach the 15 foot eaves. I begin to hyperventilate, thinking my children are going to consider me a failure. I send Bookworm next door to beg for a ladder, though I am certain sending a 6 year-old to ask such a question really wasn't so smart. But, since she is smart, a few minutes later, the neighbor and a friend come over, bearing a huge step ladder. This sucker reaches clear to the roof of the house. We set it up and fold a light box and put it under one of the feet to steady the wobbling (the sidewalk isn't level right there). The neighbor offers to stay and hold the ladder for me while I work. I insist that he go on home, as I know this is going to be ugly and the less witnesses, the better.
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I place my cell phone on the puny step ladder and remind Bookworm who to call in case there's blood when I fall. I make her recite our address and phone number, just to be sure she's clear on it. Then, I ascend the ladder. Have I mentioned before that I am terrified of heights? What in goodness name possessed me to hang lights on the outside of my house while my husband is in another state? I get to the top of the ladder, the lights dangling beside me as I fumble and realize that the gutters have guards on them, so the clip won't just slide on there, I've got to work it under a shingle - but I can't. quite. reeeach where I want to clip it, due to the placement of the ladder. Oh crap, this'll have to do, because I am not going up and down this damn ladder more than necessary.
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I slowly step down the ladder, clutching the sides until skin is pulling off my finger pads and the palms of my hands. I move the ladder over a few feet and climb back up, attaching the next clip under a shingle. I repeat the process for the last time and realize I've got to go back up at the beginning and plug the stupid lights in. Which means I have to figure out a way to string the extension cord up there safely. What have I gotten myself into?
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After the lights are plugged in (it's dark by now), I realize they are way off center, by nearly 8 inches. I go back up and try to move them, but then realize I will have to move each clip, which means 6 more trips up and down the ladder. eh, they look okay.
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I start to wrap the strand of lights on the bush to the left and realize that one hundred lights really aren't that many. And they don't really cover a large bush. Oh, well, I'll use both strands for this bush. But then, the house looks lopsided - lights only on one bush? On one side of the door? Well, it does kind of balance the lopsided swag above the doorway, you know, giving weight to the unbalanced side. Right?
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Oh, but I can't plug those lights in - they are on the opposite side of the entryway from the outlet and I used the extension cord to plug in the stupid lopsided swag. So, now what do I do? That's right, I have to go back to the store, but not for a couple days because I know if I go tonight I will buy another swag to hang along the rest of the front section of the house and I will buy at least 6 more strands of lights for the bushes outside in an attempt to make things look more festive.
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One squid, 2 extension cords and a couple strands of lights (that I took from the christmas tree box) later, this is what we have:
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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I have already begged Husband to find us a place in Baltimore where people don't put up lights outside and if at all possible, I'd like no yard so I won't be tempted to do this crap again.
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But it was pretty cool when my kids ran over to me and hugged me, exclaiming, "Mommy, you're so great at that - it looks so beautiful! Thank you!!"
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