Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Ate My Yard, Too!

It took me over a week to do, and with no help from Jimmy, but I finally got the yard done! Yeah baby, yeah! But this isn't just a post with a bunch of pictures. No, there's a story to tell, as often happens with me. Things rarely happen normally here, and putting up Christmas lights has turned out to be no different.

First, let me say that a fat woman such as myself is not built to climb up and down ladders. When your belly sticks out as if you're 9 months pregnant, it's kinda hard to reach forward to put a clip on the gutter. I had to be very careful because as I lean forward, The Belly hits the top of the ladder and nearly throws Tiney off the ladder and onto her fat ass. Imagine the splat that would make!

Now, I really really really wanted lights on the roof-line, but Jimmy abhors heights and has just refused to do it. Well shit, I'm not getting up there! I mean, I could but I'm just not gonna do it. I jokingly completely seriously asked my neighbor, Manuel, if he'd do it for me, but I think I asked at the wrong time because at that very moment he was on the peak of his roof and not enjoying the view.

So, in lieu of lights on the roof, I figured I could manage to at least string some lights and garland above the garage on the gutters. Easy, right? Well, not so easy because a) I bought the wrong kind of clips, and b) the only ladder we have weighs about 50 bazillion trillion pounds and takes a VW Bug's worth of clowns men to unfold. But I'm now determined to get some Christmas spirit in my yard, so off I trek next door to Grisel and Manuel's to borrow their ladder and some gutter clips. Set up the ladder just fine but oops, I don't understand how these clips work. "Oh Griselllllllllllllllllll... I need helppppppppppp!" She drops her strand of lights and comes over to show me how to hang my garland. She even did a couple of swags for me. What a doll-baby. After many belly bumps and livid cursing, I got it done. Whew!

Now it's candy cane time, but I can't just put them anywhere because the neighbors decided they wanted us all to line the street with them. So off to Wal-Fart I went and bought 8 of the big ones, only to get home and realize I need at least another 8 of em. Back to Wal-Fart, buy more candy canes, come home to put them in and notice that everyone else has the little ones. Well screw it! I'm a non-conformist, right? But then Jimmy sees them and decides he likes the smaller ones better. So off to Walgreens he goes to get the little ones. We are now $70 in the frickin' hole on frickin' candy frickin' canes. And I can't even eat them!

At this point, I decided I'd let Mikayla have the task of unraveling them and inserting the stakes. Big mistake. Witch Sweet child can only get half a set undone before the rest is a mangled, tangled mess and she starts stomping around telling me I can just do it myself. Have I ever mentioned how much I love puberty?

So what do I do? I leave them in the garage and I move onto something else. Shrubs! Jimmy has finally trimmed them down, so I can put the lights on them! I won't even go into the trauma of trying to find enough extension cords, then trying to figure out how to get one connected to the other and so on. I mean, the cursing could be heard near and far. It was just pitiful. At one point I even threw a set of red C7s at the driveway and watched a bunch of them shatter with a POP. Fun times trying to sweep that shit up. Not to mention that at least 6 neighbors were outside and all looked up at the POP and gave me the "she's crazy" look. But my shrubs have lights, so neener neener!

Now I want garland swagged over Mikayla's bedroom window, but how do you stick anything to stucco? I had noticed that my friend Kristen had done it, so I stalked her until she answered her phone tracked her down to find out how. Command sticky hooks! YES! So, off I went to Walgreens to get my hooks. And another 8 sets of white lights. Ka Ching!

Well shit, I can't reach way up there with my little step stool, so I borrow Grisel's ladder once again. I did it, and it looks okay, but I should have used the thicker, stiff garland instead of the soft, thin stuff. Even put a big gold sparkly bow in the middle, just like I did on the garage.

Things are coming along nicely now. I've got some lights on the bushes, my wreaths hung on the coach lamps, garland here and there, but those damn little candy canes in the garage were haunting me, and no amount of pleading on my part would get Mikayla to try and unravel them again.

But you see, I'm sneaky and conniving and when I saw my other next door neighbor, Latika, outside talking to her next door neighbor, Tracy, I started cursing extra loud while slinging the candy cane strands to and fro... ya know, to get their attention. Wouldn't you know Latika offered to untangle them for me? Both sets! Yeah baby, yeah! So now Tracy holds Latika's baby, Latika untangles the canes, and I get up on my step ladder and start stringing lights in one of the trees. And lucky me, Latika's hubby comes outside with his ladder, and because he's so manly and tall, finishes the tree for me! Do you see a pattern going on here? Oh, and Tracy, if you're reading this? Thank you for lending me your duct tape!

You'd think this is the end of the post and I could just put up some pictures now, right? But oh no, now comes the GREAT CANDY CANE DEBATE. Ron has his facing one way, Grisel has hers facing another, but they look backwards to me. Her hooks are facing left, and for some reason it just seems wrong. So I put mine facing right, along with Latika and Brian, who also think Grisel's are backwards. I was so proud of myself when that was accomplished. I guess I should mention that I ran out of extension cords and had to ask Latika if I could plug one of my sets into theirs. Yes, now my crimes include stealing electricity. But yeah, I was happy it was all done and I could just sit back and enjoy my canes. Until I emailed the pictures to a group of my friends. I'm not naming names, Jill!, Buffie!, Bridget!, Becky! and they all in unison said, "They're backwards! You have to turn them around! The hooks should be facing left, like a number 7." I argued till I was blue in the face that there is no wrong way to face a candy cane, and much debating ensued, including various Google Images pics of candy canes facing like a number 7. Shit on a stick! I've been bamboozled! I can't take the peer pressure! So, I decided I'll turn them around, and then tell Brian and Latika that theirs are backwards and need to be turned.

Next day I was outside literally having a physical dispute with another thing of garland when Latika comes over and says, "Tracy and I drove over to TheNorthPoleExplodedOnOurBlock Rd., and like the way their candy canes are. The hooks are facing the street! So we're going to change all of them!" Oh glory be, someone just shoot me in the head! I'm over the damn candy canes now! But wouldn't you know, I didn't have to bend my fat self over to do it? Nope, Latika and one of her daughters, plus our friend Michelle turned all of them around. Mine, Ron's, Grisel's, Tracy's, Latika's. Whew! The next person that comments on the direction of my canes gets one right up the ass!

Here they are, facing the wrong way. Geez, from all the arguing, you'd think I'd put little red and white pentagrams out on the street!

Angled shot. Do you see why I'm so upset about Jimmy not getting up on the roof? The top half of my house looks nekkid! Like she ain't wearing a bra. And I want her to have on a really sexy one, with spangly, shiny stuff!
And btw... yes, I know this is probably the ugliest house you've ever clapped eyes on. That's why we ain't buyin' it!

Funky crooked "Rhea" kinda shot.

Oh, and that garland I was fighting with to put around my front door? Couldn't reach that with my step ladder either, so had to borrow Ron's ladder. Also couldn't get the push pins to stay with my finger, so had to hammer them. After cracking about 10 of them I finally realized I had to tap very very lightly. Ugh.

But look, now we're all facing the correct way!

Let's look at them from the side...

Some to the left...

And some to the right...

And let's have one picture of Grisel's house since she worked so hard on it and it came out so pretty! Still want Manuel to get up on my roof dammit.

So a quick recap. I borrowed Grisel's ladder. Three times. I borrowed Ron's ladder. I borrowed tape from Tracy. I borrowed electricity from Latika, and got her to unravel my candy canes. I borrowed her husband to string lights on my tree. I got Grisel to climb the ladder and show me how to hang my garland. I got all of them to turn my candy canes around. I found out that Command hooks really do stick to stucco. I also found out that even though I used at least 15 different extension cords, I still need to buy more for next year. I found that I can curse in two different languages simultaneously and loud enough for the neighbors to comment. And then this afternoon I found out that wind and garland don't mix, and all of mine was on the ground! I'm not even going there. I'm going to wait till Jill gets here tomorrow, and let her do it! She's the one with Christmas spirit coming out of her ass anyway.

Don't ya just love the holiday season? Ho frickin' ho!

38 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • squawmama

    Oh Justine as always you're making me smile ear to ear... Your house looks great and my suggestion to you is hire a hunky guy to put the lights on the rest of the house... Get a glass of wine, a lawn chair and watch him as he puts them up... It's Florida... Pick a warm day... NO SHIRT>>> LOL LOL... Have a fun day... Love YA


  • Ma'dame French

    Only you could take something relatively normal and warp into an actual comedy skit! You make me laugh out loud! The house looks great! I hate to tell you but your friends were right about the candy canes strange but true;) I say Bah-hum-bug to Christmas let's get it over with and let the New Year begin already!French;)

  • Tootsie

    your loopies were right...on the direction...but forward is good too!
    looks great justine.merry christmas

  • Jill

    OMG this is tooo damn funny! I am going to turn the ones facing to the right to the RIGHT position! You did it just to piss me off didn't you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Happy To Be

    Looks great Justine...and girl I love that house hope you have a great evening...hugs and smiles Gloria

  • nikkicrumpet

    I came over to yell at you for making fun of my jar sauce and fat laced chicken you toad....but then you made me laugh at your story so I'm over your mean finger pointing and ragging on my dinner..or maybe I'm not. I'll make myself feel better....ahem...I'M GLAD YOUR GARLAND FELL DOWN. Ok now I'm over it! Great post...I'm just impressed that you'd climb a ladder....I can't find one that has enough weight capacity to hold me!

  • Picket

    Justine..Justine...Justine...only you could make a mini series out of putting up Christmas Lights! lol lol I think they turned out great and I love your house girl..what's wrong with you! lol You got some great neighbors and the nerve of you borrowing electricity....I mean come on...borrow a cup of sugar or even some toilet paper but not electricity! lol lol have a great weekend girl!

  • Bridget

    Candy canes face left! lol Great tip on the Command hooks. Thanks girl!

  • Anonymous

    1. You NEED lights on that roof - It looks naff without them.

    2. You may splat but I bet you'd make a mean snow angel - if you had snow to 'angel' in that is!

    3. Your neighbours only offered to help because they knew their houses looked better than yours because yours has no bra.

    4. I understand why you didn't ask me about the candy canes as you didn't think I would have a clue - being English and all. However, In my artistic and creative opinion, they should point right.

    5. And how many times have I told you to call it your 'GARDEN'. Yard is sooooo American. Don't you want the neighbours to think you a little more cosmopolitain?

    6. By the way it does look lovely - kissX

  • Anonymous

    LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are hilarious!!!! I love your decorations!!!!! They look great!

    Donna Marie

  • Anonymous

    Oh Justine, you're so funny. But, I want to tell you how impressed I am that you decorated the outside. That's not an easy chore. My DH does most of that and it takes him a week to do it. I can't even imagine doing that by myself. So, you are woman, I hear you roar.

    Love ya,

  • Anonymous

    LMAO You crack me up!! At least you got out there and gave it the ol' college try! I hung a wreath on the door! My Mom & Dad bought me a huge one to hang from the's still not hung because I am afraid of heights and well, Randy is "going to do it"...when? Oh when the kids graduate college?!?!?!

  • Anonymous

    LMAO You crack me up!! At least you got out there and gave it the ol' college try! I hung a wreath on the door! My Mom & Dad bought me a huge one to hang from the's still not hung because I am afraid of heights and well, Randy is "going to do it"...when? Oh when the kids graduate college?!?!?!

  • Sue

    well after all that fun I must say your lights look fabulous! Seriously, I'm jealous cuz I don't have lights on my bushes or candycanes along the sidewalk, but I do all the outside decorating by myself too. I have a nekked upstairs and would love my roofline dripping in icecicle(?) lights, but that will never happen! You did good Justine, (or should I be complementing the neighbors for your pretty lights!?)

  • mrsben

    A CHRISTMAS 'STORY' by Justine. Thanks for my laugh of the day. Your begging, borrowing and stealing paid your place does looks awesome! The upside is, you didn't have to do it in a blizzard or wallow through SNOW, so if you have to change those candy canes around, you ain't going to get ANY sympathy from me girl :)


  • Buffie

    LOL! You do have a way of getting things done...maybe not all by yourself but hey, it DOES get done! It's looks beautiful Tiney!

    Buffie :)

  • jill jill bo bill

    You crack me up. I am exactly like you with the belly thing andgetting someone else to do it. It's called delegation....You forgot to add the shortness of breath we get when we move and bend. THAT is a downer for me. I think I have emphysema.

  • jill jill bo bill

    And you house looks gorgeous!

  • ~♥~ Monica S

    Hey! Sounds like you have had alot of work going on! :-) Good job girl!!

    Have a wonderful weekend!!
    All lit up!


  • Beckie

    This was hilarious!! I boycotted Christmas decorations this year because last year I was the only place that decorated and went all out for it and my neighbors were actually embarrassed! How horrible is that?? I think your house is gorgeous however!! With or without lights! And yours lights make me in a festive mood. Makes me want to eat some fudge, haha. So I'm doing well so far. Just bored as all get up. I put up another blog. I have a feeling my blogs will be increasing the longer I sit on my butt. I saw a picture of a something tree frog the other day and it made me think of you btw. I wanted to grab a copy of it and send it to you but my computer crashed on me and I couldn't find it again. Stupid viruses...Anywho, tell that hubby to get his butt up on your roof and get it finished! Can't have a naked house you know! And I hope you enjoy the rest of the 13 days left until Christmas. I still have to go shopping...Egad I know...Anyways darling, you have a wonderful day, thank you for making me giggle again and lots of love and thanks your way!!

  • Mama

    ROFLMAO!!!!! you are just to funny Justine, you did a wonderful job your home and gardern look so good. Vanni put up our garage lights but told me, if I wanted lights around the two huge trees (which flank the front window) I was on my own, he can be such a mizogg sometimes, I am about to get up the ladder myself, I'll show HIM!. have a wondefful Friday, hugs, Kathy.

  • Raxx - A day in the life

    Tiney your house looks lovely! But the lights on the roof would be icing on the cake, but if you cant' get it done ,you still look REALLY Christmassy! (my fave word)

    You had some drama getting those lights up, but no Chistmas decorating project is without drama. at least not at my house!

  • Rhea

    I loved the funky Rhea shot. hehe

    Your house looks great! You did a wonderful job. Even with backwards candy canes. lol I would have totally had them backwards too.

    I just put lights up in half my yard. The left half. Now my yard looks bipolar. Maybe I should leave it that the neighbors crazy.

  • Alex

    Justine...OH MY GOD! Holy freakin' ey, girl. Your house is gorgeous...and even MORE stunning with the lights and decorations (backwards or not). :)


  • Naz

    I never knew that candy canes had to go in a certain direction. Great decorations and a funny story to go with it.

  • Mariah

    I think you need to sit in a chair and delegate, you could be become a famous light director...and put a bra on that house. It does look gorgeous though...

  • Rachelle

    Oh Justine you sure know how to tell a great story! I love the way you got your neighbors to do stuff for you without them even realizing what was going on. Sounds like you live in a friendly neighborhood. Glad you got the candy cane fiasco settled ~ your house looks great!

  • cindy

    You are hysterical! I never knew so many people knew sooo much about fake candy canes! Place looks great! Are your neighbors going to help you take it down too? Cindy

  • laurie

    I'm a first time visitor to your blog. I'm impressed with your Christmas lights. I noticed you had commented on Kady's post (Life on Bonnie Lane). Her son has posted an update asking for b'day wishes for his mother, and since nobody had left a message yet, I was just trying to contact some of her readers. laurie

  • Sue

    Thanks J!! Up here we see the feather trees in Christmas shops and country decor shops, don't know if you have country shops down there. How about a country website?? I've seen them as small as 12 inches and up to 8 ft!! They originated from Germany and were made from real feathers, anybody reading this correct me if I'm wrong :), Good luck finding one!! xo

  • artis1111

    You did better than me this year. I don't have anything outside. Looks great. Kathy

  • Michelle

    You crack me up! I love all your decorations. I think the candy canes are my favorite. Great pictures. You really go all out. My husband does all our outside lights, I guess I should be greatful. :)

  • Shelia

    Hi Justiney!! I love a determined kind of gal like you! You little silly ~ you painted me a great picture of yourself climbing up and down on the ladder and driving back and forth to WM~ You're a hoot! Your home looks just beautiful! I know you're sitting inside thinking - I did this myself and it looks awesome!
    Be a sweetie,
    Oh, yes, my darling, you're correct. The Edra was downstairs but we carried her upstairs to the landing at the top of the stairs. I had my little dolls sitting in my builtins in the den but I had all the babies tucked safely inside their mommies. In Edra, I took out all of the babies. Glad you liked them.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  • Alex

    Hi Justine!! Hope you had a good weekend. Thinking of you. :)


  • Raxx - A day in the life

    Hey there, Tiney, how are you?!

  • squawmama

    Tag your it!!!! Come on over to my place and pick up the rules...

    Love Ya, Donna

  • NurseChessie

    Just to maybe sway the polls a little. for some reason. I prefer a candy cane facing right. it just looks more ocd correct to me.
    love ya

  • NurseChessie

    Just to maybe sway the polls a little. for some reason. I prefer a candy cane facing right. it just looks more ocd correct to me.
    love ya