Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Cutting of the Christmas Tree...Part 1

The Idea – Cutting my own Christmas Tree has always been a holiday dream of mine….there’s just something very romantic about going out into the WILD, choosing just the right tree, neatly cutting it down and bringing it home. My sister, Polly has done this for two years, this will be her third. This year, she talked me into going with her.

The Plan – We are planning on getting up early Saturday morning before the sun comes up to stand in line in sub-zero temperatures with 200 other people here in Manti, Utah, competing for about 50 Christmas Tree tags. Once we get our tags, we are going to come home and take naps before we get up at a much more reasonable hour to actually go cut the trees.

The Forecast – For Saturday, the current temperature forecast calls for highs in the 40’s, lows in the teens, with a CHANCE of sun in the afternoon. So far, no snow in sight. (According to Polly, it’s really too bad, because it’s easier if you can ride your Christmas tree down the hill like a sled.)

The Preparation – Friday night we are watching Chevy Chase’s “Christmas Vacation” for those last minute hints, ideas, and inspiration. Over the last few months, Polly has also been scouting the hills up the canyon on her horses, finding the perfect trees to go cut down.

The Tools – A BIG Truck for 2 big trees (thankfully, Polly has a Dodge Ram), a tape measure (trees always look smaller in the wild than they do in your living room), an ax (Polly doesn’t think I can chop my own tree down with an ax), a handsaw (for when the ax doesn’t work), good hiking boots, warm clothes, good work gloves, a tarp, rope, an Emergency First Aid kit, Bear Repellant, a camera (maybe a helmet cam?), a GPS watch (so we can find our way back to the truck when we get lost), a Cell Phone (so we can call 911 when we can’t find our truck with the GPS), water (they say staying hydrated helps prevent altitude sickness), biodegradable toilet paper (because of the extra water), Repelling Gear (just in case), oxygen (again, just in case – I’m not quite used to these elevations, and supposedly Polly found the perfect trees, but they are on the top of the mountain far beyond what MOST people consider an acceptable distance from the road), and finally, a hand gun to protect my perfect tree from other tree hunters who don’t want to work as hard as we are going to!

The Adventure
– stay tuned…I will write all about it next week. (I’m sure I can write from my hospital bed with the free wireless internet they have in most hospitals these days!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

3 Kids, 2 Dogs…and a perfect day at the beach!

I spent a few days with the Felts in Long Beach, Washington, from the 31st of October to the 6th of November. The weather was perfect! One of the days while I was watching the girls so Brian and Tiffany could get out of town, I got the bikes out with the kids, and they all rode while I walked behind (to push, encourage, etc), on the trail right by their house.

I did a variety of things that week, some with them and some alone…trick-or-treating, bike riding, driving around and exploring the peninsula, playing cards, sitting and watching the ocean, etc… I had a great time!

Ready for trick-or-treating!

Brian and Tiffany in costume!

The kids on the trail...

The dogs can't get home fast enough.

Ilwaco, Washington on a perfect day...

I could live here...

The view from their back deck.