Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Long time no write

Yes, I've been slacking... Well, at least when it comes to blogging :) We had a pretty busy weekend, and even weekdays have been pretty filled the last week or so. We've finally resumed working on finishing the basement. It's only been going on for 2 years now :O But the end is in sight! For over a year the only thing that was left to do was baseboards and quarter rounds. Well, as of Sunday, the baseboards have been installed! They just need a bit of touch-up paint, and they're ready to go. We need another free weekend to do the same with the quarter rounds, and the basement floor will be officially done. It will be a great accomplishment, although we do feel quite guilty for procrastinating so long on something that only takes 2 weekends to do...

I'll post some photos of the stages of our basement "upgrades" next time I post from home. With the fake fireplace, and some furniture strewn around the room it's starting to look like an inhabitable space, and not the ginormous cavern it used to be :)

To get the baseboards installed, we needed a nail gun, and so we proceeded to a Canadian Tire store to get it. Usually, I avoid shopping for at least a whole month after Christmas (being all "shopped out"), so this was the first time I got to see the Canadian Tire parking lot in early January. I could not believe the number of cut Christmas trees still in the lot, that never got sold. It's so sad that all those trees have been cut, and are now pretty much useless (well, except maybe for mulch or something). Christmas trees always present me with a dilemma. We always had fresh cut Christmas trees at home, as big as we could possibly fit into the house! So I always associate the smell of the sap and the evergreen with the Christmas season, and find it hard to imagine celebrating the season without a fresh tree standing in the corner. On the other hand, I have some concerns about buying live Christmas tree, mostly because of the environmental impact (big waste, and poor forestry practices associated with the business).

One year we went to a "cut-your-own" lot (where at least few trees get wasted, and some are left to grow to full size), but we ended up with an infected tree with bugs that were quickly eating up the needles. We had to throw out the tree a few days after Christmas, because we were afraid the bugs would attack our furniture or something. It was pretty gross, and I even had nightmares of the bugs eating through our floor for a few months after that...

Then another year we bought a tree in a pot. We figured we would use it as a Christmas tree, and in the spring we would plant it in the back yard. Sort of a slow re-forestation process for our back forty. Unfortunately, I was pretty clueless about this. We had been storing the tree out on our deck, and brought it in for the Christmas season. When all was said and done, I brought it back onto the deck. Going from the temperate climate of inside the house to the dead of winter killed the tree pretty much on the spot... This is probably an experiment worth repeating, keeping the tree indoors until the spring. But it requires andvance planning, because it's hard to find potted evergreens in November, when all the nurseries have closed...

This year we cut a tree that was on its way out anyway, so that made the decision easy. We definitely have a bunch of adequate Christmas-like trees in the back yard, but I'd rather see them grow and multiply rather than cut them down. I would love to have more trees growing back there, though so far all our efforts to plant new ones have been thwarted (mostly by the animal population deciding to munch on the tasty new greens...).

So that's my rant about Christmas and evergreens and trees in general :)

Take care!

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