Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum!

Here it is - in all its lovely barely decorated glory!

This my friends is what a Christmas tree looks like after it has been beaten about by the cat, who not only like to knock it down as it travels from the window ledge to the floor, but also relished batting the ornaments about till they landed on the floor. And then, it wasn't bad enough to just knock the ornaments off the tree but it had to bat them all over the downstairs as well. One morning Mandy got up and there were five ornaments laying on the kitchen floor -and Nina (the cat) was hoving over them too!

There are somewhere between 15 and 20 ornaments no longer on the tree -pick any spot that looks barren (yes, I know -there are many) and that's where there had at one time been an ornament hanging there but five nose dives to the living room floor -plus Nina's gentle caresses to several of the more delicate ones, and this is what you are left with after ten days of having the tree "on display."

Now you can understand much better I'm sure, why I think our best tree bets for next Christmas would be to hang it upside down from the ceiling.

Not only have I personally been busy here with baking things but also with trying to remount the tree, stand and ornaments all together, to get it to stand upright again and then, gathering what ornaments survived the trip and finding places to put them to plug some of the many holes now present in this poor tree. Thank goodness it is not a live tree or there would be NO needles at all, I'm sure, left on it after having been knocked over so many times.

And this is the current leader in the "Let's destroy the Christmas Tree Contest" currently underway at our house. Nina -sweet, innocent (NOT), lovely little cat that she is has three completions in the "knock the tree down" aspect compared to poor little Maya, who now has a tally of two completions in that department. Hopefully, this contest will soon end -with one, preferably both of them deciding it's no fun to do this any more -at least not this season.

Friday, Mandy and I made a little deal - she stayed home with Kurtis and wrapped presents while I escaped for a few hours to do some grocery re-stocking and a little bit of last minute shopping for other things as well.

I came home with a lovely little present for myself from this trip. I broke down and purchased a digital camera - Kodak's M783 -with 8.2 megapixels and I can't remember now what the numbers were for the zoom feature but I think it is 3x optical and 5x digital. Now all I need is someone to explain what the zoom feature numbers mean - along with how to fully use this camera and all the little nifty features it has. The two photos posted here - the tree was taken with my new camera and the picture of Nina - much better photo than my tree efforts I must say - was taken by Katie - the 16-year-old, who also received a digital camera for her birthday last week. She's done quite well in picking up how to take pictures with her new toy - gotta give the kid a lot of credit for that, ya know. She even did a little video of Kurtis trotting around the house and she also did one of Maya out in the front yard playing in the snow the other day but last I checked, she hadn't taken it off the camera and put it on the computer as yet. I'll be happy as a pig in doo-doo if I can learn to take a decent photo with my camera from time to time.

While I was out Friday afternoon, I was able to stop by the nursing home to see my aunt and cousin. Part of me is very glad I was able to do that and then, there is a part of me that almost wishes my last memories of my aunt would not have included seeing her in the state she is in now. So weak that she could barely flicker one eye open for a second and even then, it is highly doubtful that she was able to focus her vision at all. I sat and held her hands in mine - first time I've done that where her hands were actually warm as the last couple of visits when I would hold her hands, they were as cold as blocks of ice. The nurse told me she had been given an injection for the pain shortly before I arrived so that would make her ability to try to rouse even more difficult too. I hope this doesn't sound cold and callous but you know, I have to pray that her passing will not be something just lingers on and on with her in so much pain, not knowing anyone around her either. She has endured so much already in her lifetime that I do hope the end is as peaceful for her as it possibly can be.

My son-in-law had a busy day today - working on a van the guy he helps out part-time at the local used car sales lot had acquired took him almost all afternoon and most of the evening. Then he had to do some work on Mandy's car and finally, he had to take my van up and fix a tire on it that has been leaking for the past month or two. One his way home with my van, he had a run of bad luck in that three doors up from our house he hit a deer. When he came in and told me what happened, I asked him how badly the van fared in that collision and he said the front end is all covered with blood --but that there were no dents! He had come home to get the big flashlight and was going to walk up to the neighbors house and check around to see if the deer was mortally wounded and laying in one of the nearby yards some place. However, after he did that he came back empty handed so it may have made it away from the road and probably far enough that he wouldn't be able to find it in the dark -even with the flashlight. I think he was kind of thinking -and hoping -he'd be able to retrieve it and then clean and butcher it up thus filling our basement freezer with a good assortment of venison.

And that, my friends, is pretty much the extent of excitement that's been going on around my home today.


lattégirl said...

Yes he is a Xmas tree disaster but he IS SO CUTE! ORANGE KITTEH!

Danielle Blogging for Balance said...

We have a box of ornaments that we have labeled "Marbles' First Christmas". Marbles is our, now eight years old, puppy that totally demolished the bottom half of our Christmas tree the first year he was with us (he was six months old at the time). I couldn't bear to part with the ornaments (they were actually some of Miss Sam's very first ornaments also) so they are a treasured part of our Christmas...only they stay in the box. ;)

Merry Christmas kindred spirit!!!!!

The Bipolar Diaries

Dianne said...

You won't regret visiting your Aunt. I went thru that for months with my Mom, each morning in ICU I'd never know who/what I would be greeted with but at the end she knew we were there. Plus it's only the exterior you're looking at. The vibrant, sassy, strong soul is there, I think it touched you in her warm hand.

The tree is fantabulous! It is a survivor and Oh, the stories it could tell.

And orange kitty is just doing her job. It was what she was born to do.

Dianne said...

Holy Crackers! I forgot to mention - congrats on the camera. Make sure to load the Kodak software, there's fun editing options plus you can go to their site and get all sorts of help, tips, tutorials specific to your model.

And just take tons of shots and keep the ones you love. That's the great thing about digital - we can just delete our mistakes.

Linda said...

But Nina looks so innocent in that picture! Ah, but don't they all? My son was telling me the other night when they were over that his two cats have been having a field day with the tree at their house, too. Ah, the joys of pet ownership!

Have fun with your new camera - I expect to see a lot more pictures now that you've got yourself a fancy-dancy digital Kodak!

Theresa said...

Love the picture entries of your blog- how could you blog that that sweet kitty in the picture was not so innocent. (although for our innocent kitty we do not hang balls or anything breakable on the lowest limbs)

The tree looks rather good for being in so many mishaps, what doesn't kill ya just makes you stronger- plus we like to say all that stuff just adds character.

I am on vacation, and I thought I left a comment yesterday to your first tree saga, but I didn't see it-- instead of tying it upside down which seems like a lot of work, just tie it to a wall. We always did that to make it straighter.

Yes very good you made the trip to visit even though you were busy, I know they appreciated it.

Palm Springs Savant said...

hey there. new visitor to your blog. cute christmas tree. My kitty usually bats at the ornaments and every so often I hear the "crash!" of another glass ball that bit the dust. Oh well, at least its entertainment for him!

fermicat said...

Your tree is beautiful, no matter what the cat did to it. We didn't even try to have a tree this year.

Merry Christmas!!!

Saedel said...

Hi Jeni, congrats on the new cam! I don't have one yet, I use my phone to take pictures. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures of Little Maya, hopefully she's not knocking the tree down.

Merry Christmas!!

Debo Blue said...

I thought the tree would look like the "Charlie Brown Tree" but it looks good in the pictures, and the cat's beeyewtiful! I want a cat:-)

You'll love the camera and like Dianne says, download the software because you can find great tools to use.

SnoopMurph said...

It appears that poor tree doesn't stand a chance with orange kitty and Maya-but I was laughing out loud reading this. You have to love a persistent cat, especially one as cute as yours.

Congrats on the new camera! My brother-in-law's tips: Always be prepared and move in closer for a great shot. Rules of thirds and all. I just shoot on automatic much of the time, but I love to play around with the settings and take the same pictures with a variety of settings and flash on/off, etc. It's helped me a bit. Have fun with it and maybe we'll see more photos on the blog too...hint, hint!

I am really happy that you saw your aunt. As difficult as it must be, I imagine that she can feel your presence warming up the cold hands and I think sometimes that when they know they are loved and not forgotten, they can move on peacefully.

You know, Connor has been interested in the tree too, but I have signed "no touch" and he grins and looks at the tree, watching to see if I mean it. Smart little guy. I might be posting my very own tree disaster story but so far, it's intact.

Debo Blue said...

Merry Christmas, love!

Be warm, be content, be filled with good food and good laughter:-)

Minnesotablue said...

She got one gift early!Our cat,s new nesting place is under the skirt of our tree. Usually find her there every morning. Our cat is a laid back one, mainly sleeping and eating. However I bought her a Christmas stocking and left it in the bag, on the floor. I heard some crinkling noises and sure enough, she tore the bag apart and managed to pull out one of the little mice. Must have been the catnip! She managed to get her an early gift!

Patois said...

Love the thought of the upside down tree. But I'm thinking the cat is a climber, no?