November 2006

the bathroom reader website just told me that about 75% of American families put up a Christmas tree, and of those, 54% are artificial.

rich brought into our marriage, his own Christmas tree.  it had a slight dent on one side, so we always aimed that side to the wall.  our second married Christmas found with a minor problem.  the kitten he had received (chewie) kept jumping from various pieces of furniture into the tree.  after picking it up off the floor and rehanging the ornaments, twice, we realized that we probably were not going to break him of it, so rich anchored it to the wall with eye-hooks.  thankfully, the next year chewie didn’t seem interested in the tree, other than a few sporadic sniffs.

when we moved to north carolina, we gained 20 acres of woods.  so for the first few years, we cut our own tree.  I loved them, they looked primitive, like you would find in southern living magazine.  rich and the kids, though, thought they looked like a charlie brown tree, so eventually they won, and we stopped dragging them up from the woods.  we bought one from a lot one year, but the next year, rich didn’t want to spend that kind of money on a tree that was going to die.

so, it was back to an artificial tree.  I found a good deal on a pre-lit model at walmart on black friday 3 years ago.  last year when we set it up, the middle section was burnt out.  after messing, and testing, and pulling, and replacing, and I daresay a little cursing, we just strung some other lights onto it.

this year, we went to lowe’s looking for a new tree.  I wanted one of those that look life-like.  have you seen them?  they’re really cool! unfortunately, they’re also all pre-lit.  they only had one tree that didn’t have lights on it, and it was really stupid looking, with pine cones…I apologize if any of you have that tree, I’m sure it’s perfectly lovely in someone’s home, but not on the display stand at lowe’s.

needless to say, we left empty handed.  I would have bought one of those beautiful trees in a heartbeat, pre-lit or not.  but, they all had clear lights on them.  now, lights have always been a point of contention in the hockett household.  I like clear lights, I think they’re elegant, pretty, I just like them.  the people who live here with me, all prefer colored lights.  and garland.  and tinsel.  YUCK!  YUCK!  YUCK!

this became such a sore spot, that several years ago, I bought a tree of my very own.  I would set it up in the kitchen of our old house, and then in the entry way of this house.  I string it with clear lights and cranberry garland.  I decorate it with all of my primitive ornaments, the ones that just don’t blend in with all the cutesy ones on the family tree.  I have little elves and angels that sit in my tree, and gold stars scattered in the branches.

anyway, this year, we pulled all the stuff out of the garage attic, and this year, the bottom most section of the tree is dead.  we now have a striped tree, one section lit, the next not, the next lit, the bottom not.  pretty avant garde, actually.  we didn’t even attempt to figure out where the problem was.  rich just sighed, and went to walmart for more lights.

I have a feeling that next year, we’ll bring home one of those beauties from lowe’s.


So often, in reading other blogs, I’m reminded of things in my own life that I could blog about (does this mean that I can’t come up with my own blog ideas?), and meno’s latest is no exception.

last friday night, not this past one, rich & I went to charlotte to see the blue man group. we had looked forward to this night for a couple of months. the show was scheduled for 8:00, and it’s a 2 hour drive, but I didn’t want to get caught up in friday rush-hour traffic, so we left really early, which put us at the arena bout 2 1/2 hours before the show started.

so, we walked around the bus station and the area around the arena for a little bit. uptown charlotte (that’s what they call it, it seemed more like downtown to me) is nice, and, aside from the bus station, quiet. maybe I’m naive, but I have never been to a bus terminal, other than the little greyhound station in greensboro. I have never seen one like they show in movies or on tv. this one is big. there are 3 different fast food places in there, a little quickie mart, some bathrooms. it’s not a place that I would like to spend a lot of time, but it was cool.

so, anyway, we were finally able to get in and sit down. we were alone for probably 45 minutes, then people started filing in. and then…the MOUTH arrived. 2 parents, and 2 grown children. the son sounded about 15, contrary, rebellious, you know the typical teenage boy behavior. when I caught my first glimpse of him, I realized he had to be atleast 25, maybe closer to 30.

he was up and down during the show, gone for 10 minutes or so at a time; but he always came back, no matter how much I wished he wouldn’t. he argued with his dad the whole concert, about anything and everything.  thankfully the music drowned him out; unfortunately, the blue men don’t always play loud enough to drown nuisances.  and he would whistle at the end of every song.  which was not lovely, as it allowed me to smell his beer breath.

near the end of the concert, the band was playing, and he was arguing with his dad about who the original artist was.  his dad was correct, but he wouldn’t let it go.  I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I turned around and told the “boy” that the song was Crazy Train by Ozzie Osborne, which is what his dad had been saying for the last several minutes.  when I told him, however, he said, “I think you’re right.  thanks.”

soon after that, he disappeared for the rest of the show.  the parents grumbled about having to look for him in all of those people, and the mom told the dad he shouldn’t have let him go, because, he should, after all “remember the last time!”  I really wanted to know about the “last time” but didn’t dare ask.  I was just glad to be rid of him.

after the concert, I started to feel guilty about feeling so angry, but I got over it.   thankfully, the show was still very enjoyable.

there are times when I have so many things to do, and I can’t figure out where to start, that I just say poo on it all for now and veg (this is not difficult for a lazy person such as myself).  this is the season when I am busiest – or should be.  every few years I make my own Christmas cards.  only every few years, because it takes that long to forget what a pain in the rear it is.  I have to struggle to remain motivated enough to finish them, but I really do like the feeling of accomplishment, and I prefer to give cards that have more meaning than the ones I could buy.  the other years, I just go buy cards.  if nothing else, it keeps people guessing, wondering which they’ll get this year.

I have several gifts that I want to sew, but I’m not sure they’ll get completed in time.  and, I bake, and bake, and make candy.

so, right now while I’m blogging, I should be doing something more productive.  guess how motivated I am?

arnoldsays, originally uploaded by hockamama.




arnoldsays, originally uploaded by hockamama.


what’s the difference between a cat and a frog?

a cat has nine lives and a frog croaks every night!


can anyone tell me why tony walks around the house, wearing only one sock?  every.  day.  when asked, he gives me the standard little boy answer, “I don’t know.”  my house is chilly this time of year, I keep the furnace set at 69, so half of his piggies have got to be cold, so why not cover them?   maybe I’m missing something…

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