This year, with two shops, we got two trees. It was a close call - some one suggested the possibility of just having one tree, but he was voted down amidst accusations of Grinch-like tendencies.

And so off we went, to the same Prestonvale Farm we went to previously. While we don't actually know too much about the folks that run this farm, we do go back year after year, and always enjoy the adventure. This year, Caleb is 4 and Naomi is 1, and, as with most things in life, it always gets a bit hairier before it gets easier. I'm looking forward to when everyone walks on their own, and no one is crying. If you couldn't tell, we are currently in the hairier season.

The forecast that I read earlier that week was for gloomy and grey, and I was complaining that the weather is never sunny for our Christmas tree hunt. It turned out to be gloriously sunny! And also, extremely, extremely cold. At the very least, the frigid weather made for some accelerated decision making. I don't think Jon and I have ever agreed on a tree so quickly.


In the hour and a half it took us to get ready and out the door, I found four right hand mittens. 
First tree! If you look closely, you can sense things are slowly starting to unravel at this stage. Strong ambivalence developing towards mittens, moose hat, and the situation in general.
The mittens have come off. 
Suspicions about how much longer this activity is going to last for. 
A look of concern. Mama slightly unhinged.
Second tree, harvested under dubious supervision.
At this point, we almost weren't going to get a second one, we were just hoping to make it home alive, but we walked past one that looked half-alright, so chop chop. 

In any case, we made it back alive, with two trees in tow. More photos soon of trees lit up, spreading good cheer.

It's always a balance - keeping the shop thrumming while also trying to make the season special, especially while the babies are babies. I'm realizing that as traditions become established, they're easier to do - we've already decided on the farm, we already know where to pick up the wheelbarrow, we already know we're going to futz around with the ratchet straps Jon bought years ago that we've used zero times, and then shove the tree(s) into the back. While we aren't quite at elf-on-the-shelf stage, I'm working up to the effort of a few new traditions, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed it'll all work out in the end.

In case you missed it, or want to revisit previous adventures, here are 2017, and 2015. I've hardly blinked and oh, how the years have flown by.


In other news, as we head into these freezing cold temperatures, I've been enjoying many cups of tea over the period of the day. Tea in the morning, tea early afternoon in the shop, tea late afternoon, tea after dinner. Eventually, one day far in the future, I hope to acquire this teapot, although I'm currently hindered both by its exorbitant cost and by the fact that I don't have time for dilly-dallying around with oven mitts to pour my tea.*

I think I've officially made the swap from being a tea drinker who requires honey or sometimes sugar and often milk and possibly even cream when I'm feeling wild, to someone who drinks all tea black. It's been a long journey, literally years - starting from when I was pregnant with Caleb and avoiding caffeine and so started drinking herbal teas.

Along the way I've gone through seasons of drinking specific types of herbal tea to now drinking all sorts of herbal teas, green teas, black teas, all just black. When I was a student and teacher, I was a coffee drinker, or, if pressed, a black tea drinker. I always avoided all those weird sounding herbal teas, but now, what do you know. Tumeric, ginger, chamomile, nettle leaf, lemon grass. Some teas might definitely be more palatable with a drop of honey, and some veer towards outright bitter, but as we head into these grey, cold evenings, I'm enjoying something hot.

To be honest, the biggest reason for the change to black is now that I've gotten used to it, the extra effort required to break out the honey, and stir things, and find a place for a spoon - it's all just completely beyond me.


Currently snacking on: the remains of an antipasto tray from a staff par-tay**
Currently drinking: ginger and lemon tea
Currently reading: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Currently working on: the letter R; babies keeping their shoes on; shop cats being a little more festive and little less their usual shop cat selves
Currently writing with: Platinum 3776 Chenonceau White with Aurora Blue-Black, Lamy All-Black with Sailor Kiwa-Guro, TWSBI Transparent Red with Sailor Grenade, Parker Sonnet Cisele with Waterman Mysterious Blue, Palomino Blackwing, Mitsubishi Hi-Uni 2B
Current analogue project: getting the last of my Christmas cards out the door


*Potentially more relevant at this time is the fact that our oven doesn't work, so I wouldn't be able to heat this kettle up in any case. Also problematic is the fact that the only time I would make the effort to use such a thing would be when I have company, and this teapot seems ever so slightly on the smaller end. So basically this is a teapot for my imagined self.
**Wherein where we stayed up playing cards quietly so as to not wake up the baby.

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December 11, 2018 — wonderpens

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