Picky pines

The hubs and I have survived a serious test of marital compatibility: picking out a Christmas tree. Our differences started before we even left the apartment.

“What are you wearing?” I asked, shaking my head at his loafers and overcoat.  “You’re going to get all of that dirty when you have to get down on the ground and saw.”

He raised a brow.  “Where exactly are we going?”

We were going, of course, to cut down a Christmas tree.   My family did this every year when I was a kid, and now that I once again live in an area where evergreens grow?  Heck yes, I was going to a cut-it-yourself farm instead of a grocery store parking lot!

“What about those ones that are already cut?” the hubs asked, as we pulled our 4-Runner across a muddy ditch and in to a parking spot, of sorts, at the edge of the farm.

“Nah, those are more expensive,” I said, dismissing a little group of prissy-looking pre-cut Noble Firs.  “Plus, you don’t get to saw.”  The hubs sighed.

The next two hours were spent tromping around the quaint little farm, trading comments like:

Him: “What about that one?”  Me: “Oh NO, it’s way too fat.”

Me: “Hey look at this!” Him: “That one?  It’s balding on top.”

Him: “What about this one?”  Me: “Ugh, seriously? There’s a weird lump on its backside.”

Me: “Here we go!” Him: “What, thatThat misshapen thing?”

So judgmental, we are.

Eventually we were able to come to an agreement.   And after a brief discussion on how one actually goes about felling a tree with a tiny dull saw, we had harvested our little Virginia Pine and were on our way home.

It’s a little…crooked.  And on the verge of falling over.  Methinks we need a better stand.

Lights?  Decorations?  Eh.  I’m sure I’ll put some lights on it, at least.  Honestly, I am not a huge holiday decorator.  I like Christmas trees mostly for their wonderful smell.

Today’s EAT: Dinner was a hot dog and movie theater popcorn; we saw the new Harry Potter movie tonight.  (It was just okay – not as good as its predecessors.  I liked those Hogwarts kids better when they were little and cute.)

Today’s DRINK: Post-movie beer.  (Wouldn’t going to the movies be more fun if the concession stand sold booze?  I’ve been to a few small independent theaters that do this and it’s awesome.)

Anyway, I’ve had this Abita S.O.S. Pilsner in the fridge for a while now.  It’s like, a charity beer for coastal restoration.  Or something.  Cool.

Fairly light, just slightly bitter, and a bit of pucker (grapefruit?).  Easy to drink at 7% ABV.  Tasted slightly summery and beachy, which I suppose is fitting!

Today’s RUN: Five miles – again.  I’ve done a lot of fivers lately.  Here’s how the week shook out:

M – 5.14 easy (43:51, 8:31 pace)
Tu – 3.86 easy (34:15, 8:52 pace)
Th – Turkey Trot 8K w/hubs (44:14, 8:47 pace)
Sa – 3.84 easy w/hubs (37:45, 9:49 pace)
Su – 5.04 easy (41:08, 8:09 pace)

22.9 miles.  I was trying to keep it around 20.  I’m still having some stiffness and aches in my stupid Achilles, especially first thing in the morning.  It feels fine when I’m running and throughout the rest of the day.  But I’ll continue to keep the mileage low and baby it for a while.  Stupid crankle.

It does seem to be progressively getting better, so I’m not too worried.  And it’s kind of nice to take a break from speedwork and long runs – and to run a couple of times a week with the hubs!  But I’ll be glad when I can up my mileage a little.

Aiming to hold it to 20-25 again this week.

Today’s QUESTION: If you’re a Christmas tree person – real or fake?


20 responses to “Picky pines

  1. I like my trees like I like my men…tall, broad, and able to rewire an electrical socket in 14 seconds flat.

    My husband and I are so loathe to tree-decorating we bought one of the fake getups with the lights already on it. All we have to do is put the ornaments on and we’re donesville. Lazy folks, we are.

  2. i prefer the real trees (yes to the smell!) but loathe the maintenance so i’ve stolen the fake one from my mom’s house. oops. i guess i’ll likely put an airfreshener on it hahah

    but your tree is cute. can’t wait to see how you decorate it 🙂

  3. I haven’t had a Christmas tree in 8 years…basically since I got my cats. I hope this year I can get one!

  4. We go with the fake tree. Chris is opposed to it, but I am Little Miss Allergic, so he goes with the flow and puts up with a plastic tree. We put it up a few years ago, but are going to go a second year in a row with no holiday decor. Even picking a fake tree was a huge marital compatibility test.

    Was the Abita S.O.S. in your refrigerator for a long time because you weren’t thirsty or because it tasted like crap? I have had the remains of an Abita Purple Haze in my refrigerator for weeks. No beer lasts for weeks at our house unless it is borderline undrinkable. Thanks to our super strict no alcohol sales on Sundays rule, one more Purple Haze got polished off last night.

    • Remains of a six-pack, not remains of a single beer. Haha, we are thrifty, but not so much so that we wouldn’t dump half of one nasty beer. Only thrifty enought to keep five beers of a six-pack of nasty beers sitting around in case of emergency.

      • When I read that I totally thought you meant single beer and was like…eww, just dump it! Haha. The SOS was actually a single beer (big bottle – 22oz or something) and I had honestly forgotten about it in the back of the fridge with all of the Thanksgiving stuff in there!

        I enjoy Purple Haze – you can send it my way! 🙂

  5. We only had a real one once when I was a kid. It smelled great but they are messy and do not last as long as a fake tree.

  6. A real tree for us for sure! We don’t have it yet, but I’m hoping we’ll go and cut it this year instead of just buying it off a Christmas tree lot. Our house is tiny, but we TRY to pick a reasonable size of tree and just make it work.

  7. There are definitely movie theaters in Raleigh that sell beer! Check out Raleigh Grand (regular movie theater – not a small independent) at the intersection of Glenwood & Lynn. Also, Raleighwood Cinema Grill serves food and beer!

  8. We are fake for now. Growing up I think we only had 1 or 2 real trees.
    I hated having to clean up all those pine needles. And now that our allergies have worsened since we have aged I don’t know that we would be able to tolerate a real tree.

  9. Real for me. I go all out with Christmas decorations – I even decorate the ceilings – 3 floors. Yes – there must be Christmas stuff hanging from every possible place! It’s a bit nuts, but I do wait until Dec. 1st.

  10. I grew up with real trees and I do love the smell of them. However, I don’t like cleaning up after them. So, right now we have a 3 foot fake tree in our apartment. I’ll light a Yankee Candle to get the smell. 🙂

  11. I like the IDEA of a real tree, what I don’t like however is the thought that a family of spiders may be hiding in that tree waiting to hatch in my house. Or a snake is waiting to crawl out of it.

  12. for me, alcohol + movie = expensive nap 🙂 sometimes it’s still fun, though!

    the chelsea in chapel hill (right near where we live!) has beer and wine.

  13. I once had a very, very activist-type hippie-ish vegan acquaintance who told me she pitied me because I had never experienced a “real” Christmas tree and how one of her favorite memories growing up was going to the tree farm and picking one out with her family.

    I zinged one back at her by saying that trees should live freely in the forest and not be raised cruelly on farms for the express purpose of being cut down and then having their dead remains propped up and decorated in our houses. She temporarily hated me.

    Honestly I have no opinion either way. The Christmas tree smell you get with real ones can’t be faked… !

  14. One Christmas I got home so close to the actual day that the town my parents’ house is in was clean out of trees. Luckily, their property is full of them and my dad and I set out to chop our own tree. That was a Charlie Brown tree if I’ve ever seen one, but the best Christmas-tree-procuring memory ever.

  15. I also didn’t think they HP movie was as good as previous ones. However, I was at a theater that sold wine, which made it more awesome. It also had couches and “love sacs” instead of seats. I’m torn if this also made it more awesome or just gross and possibly contagious. The wine helped with that, too :o)

  16. You don’t need to get that tree any more straight, that’s why it’s in the corner, right?! It already has not one, but TWO support walls! Nice pick. As environmentalist as I am, I love a real tree too:)

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