Today, I had the ridiculous idea to put up Christmas lights on the outside of the house. Not with any intention of turning them on quite yet, but since the weather was nice, I thought it would be an easier task than trying to do it in a few weeks when snow may or may not be covering the ground and the weather may or may not be freezing cold. It was still a stupid idea.
First, the outside lights we have (pretty white ones with the old school large glass bulbs) decided not to work. Apparently when the cats tipped over the box marked "Christmas Lights" this summer, they did some irreparable damage. Two strings in the trash. Next I bring up 4 strands of multi-color indoor/outdoor lights. Two more strings of lights go right to the trash, but since I was only looking for two working strands of lights, I'm ready to rock and roll.
Until I get the staple gun.
I like to pride myself on being somewhat independent, and able to handle some basic tools. But apparently putting the staples in the staple gun is just too much. Fortunately Don was around to take the staples out, and properly fit them into the staple gun so they would come out and not slide around rattling inside.
I probably should have just given up here.
But, I got the rickety wooden ladder from the shed and somehow managed to hang lights around one of the bay windows all by myself. Unfortunately, I didn't exactly plan my hanging strategy appropriately and the end of the string of lights I wanted at one end of the window ended up at the other end of the window, but with some quick thinking and an extension cord, I solved the problem.
The second bay window is partly covered by the ugliest rhododendron in the universe. Every year I swear I'm going to cut it down, but then it flowers, and it's pretty, so I leave it, but by the end of summer it's back to looking like the plant equivalent of a moulting parakeet and I wonder why I don't just chop the stupid thing down. But I digress. With my husband holding the ladder (and being unhelpful by critiquing my stapling abilities) I get the last string of lights up.
I then go to connect the extension cord between the two sets of lights, only to discover that the extension cord has three prongs...and the lights two. Who the HELL designs these things? Seriously? As I grumble around the house trying to find some magical device to convert three prongs to two, and ponder the wisdom of just "removing" a prong...I remember the lights in the trash can. Technically half of the lights on each string were working, so they must be able to convey electricity from one end to the other...perhaps if I used the broken strand as a half-assed extension cord I could connect the strands without a trip to the hardware store with the knowing clerk giving me a look that says he knows women can't hang Christmas lights.
SUCCESS! My broken Christmas light extension cord worked, and I hid the working portion behind the ugly rhododendron to obscure the fact that the half a string of lights dangling just above the ground is not supposed to be part of the decorations.
Next year I think I'll just get a light up snowman.