.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


Because wherever you go, there you are
Welcome NSA!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lights. Lots and lots of lights.

Today was the day I had designated for hanging lights on the tree. I got up incredibly early--well, early for me on a weekend--and got going. My parents came over at ten, and the assembly line began.

My father checked the strings of lights to make sure they lit up, and did the shake test to look for short circuits and broken wires. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a string of lights onto the tree, and then having it go out....or worse, go off intermittently. He also replaced bad bulbs on the strings from my box of 500 or so spares. (I save bulbs when I throw out bad strings.)

My mom and I wrapped branches. The strings of lights, almost all of the 50s, were plugged in along the trunk, and then wound outwards along branches. There were up to six strings plugged in at each of the 12 outlets on the trunk:

The strings are green and, when wrapped properly, are not very visible. This is what the branches look like:

I got to climb the ladder--a nice ladder, mind you, with wide steps to stand comfortably on--but a ladder none-the-less, and get all those small branched at the top, and then stand and do the branches slightly lower down. My mother got to sit in a chair and wrap, a much better gig. Wrapping the small branches from a ladder takes forever, and little seems to get done. Here's my mom at work, deep inside the tree:

In the end, we didn't use as many strings of lights as in previous years, as this tree is a bit smaller than the one I had last year. Based on our primitive tabulation system, and counting the number of strings plugged in along the trunk, I estimate about 3500 small white lights.

I had to remove two strings, one a 50 that went out on me after I'd wrapped half of it, and then a string of 100. That string started acting up, with half of it going on and off when it was touched. This is why I no longer buy strings of 100--there are two separate circuits, and often one will go and the other still work. it's a waste, and It's twice as much work to remove.

So how does the tree look? Not too bad. Judge yourself:

I've shaken the spruce needles out of my hair, and picked them out of my sweat shirt, and am looking forward to a long, hot soak--after I make 32 batches of Bailey's.....................


Post a Comment

<< Home