Best Nine 2016
Year in Review: 2016

Weekending: O, Christmas tree

We finally brought the tree up on Saturday morning and I promptly took off all of the dead and half-dead strings of lights.


Well, not all. There is still one string near the bottom with the non-working half wadded up and stuffed near the trunk. I just couldn't bear to detangle one more string...


Then I went shopping and, among other things, came home with these:


There shall be an "amaryllis watch" at Chez Knitorious this year! It's been a few years and I'm really looking forward to it. They're your hardware store variety bulbs, so nothing special... except that they're amaryllis and that's special enough!

I took a nap, and then went over to babysit the grands.

There was some snoozing.


This was a pretty common photo op when Jun was a babe, but very rare with Gin. Everything's always go-go-go, we rarely have time to snuggle together. 


After everyone woke up, I had some fun with Snapchat filters. Reindeer games!


We had our first official snow storm:


It started Saturday evening and snowed steadily through about mid-afternoon on Sunday, accumulating to 5 or 6 inches.

On Sunday morning afternoon, I finally got back to lighting the tree. First the top:


I'd been unable to find a string of 50 with a green wire, so there are 100 on just the top. We don't take the whole tree apart every year, but we do remove the top, so it needs a dedicated string of lights.


And, finally, 500 more new lights later. There's some unevenness, but it'll all work out in the ornamentation.


There was a mismatched string of LED lights on the tree, probably a last-minute addition last year, so I took them off and strung them up in the Garden Room! They always seemed jiggly and weird, but I didn't realize that they really were jiggly and weird until I went to take a photo. There's a video on my Instagram feed if you want to see for yourself.


Finally, we made paella for dinner last night. We used the guidelines in Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix cookbook (birthday present last month), which I've only just begun to explore. We loved the paella -- and I believe we did achieve soccarat -- but I can't wait to visit Valencia (home of paella) to see how close we really are to the mark.

I hope you had a great weekend!



Beautiful job on the lights! And that paella looks absolutely delicious. Looks like a great weekend all around!


The lights on your tree are gorgeous! And I always love a picture of a sleeping babe.


Gin looks positively cherubic, that paella looks delicious, your tree looks great, and so do the amaryllis! The jiggly lights not so much, but I also read that BBC article about flashing light therapy showing positive results in mice to get rid of the amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's.


Reindeer games are the best pictures!! And, the light gremlins have arrived here - grrrr! So frustrating! But your tree looks so magical!


"And, finally, 500 more new lights later. There's some unevenness, but it'll all work out in the ornamentation." This is clearly tree-speak for "that will totally block out", as a knitter would say.

Love the reindeer games, too fun!

Linda Piotrowski

Love the white lights on your tree. They seem to personify the whole point of Christmas trees-bringing light to the darkness. The reindeer games look as if they were great fun. Your amaryllis will provide more magic. I love watching the grow almost before your eyes. The paella looks wonderful. I've never had it but seeing yours makes me want to try it. Time with your grandchildren... all in all a weekend to remember.
PS Snow looks lovely, too.


You did a wonderful job with the lights. I have to put them on every year (and take them off) - my least favorite holiday chores ever! and oh my I LOVE those Snapchat filters. what fun!!


I LOVE your Christmas tree! All those lights! The paella is my FAVORITE recipe base in the Matrix cookbook. So. Tasty. (every time) And . . . amaryllis. So wonderful in the dark of winter! XO


Your weekend antics were very Christmasy! After years of watching you put up your tree it just wouldn't be Christmas without Vicki's relighting extravaganza! I had no idea Snapchat was so fun!


Love Paella! My sister-in-law from Chili fixed it once when visiting - delicious! Reindeer games always fun and your grandchildren are just precious. Your tree is looking good!!

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