This didn't go well today. I keep Christmas decorations outside very simple -- just wreaths on the windows and sometimes a very small lighted shrub or tree. I gave up wrestling with lights and anything elaborate years ago.
But this year even hanging wreaths went wrong.
Here, for a holiday treat, is a list of my complaints.
First, it was cold, only 32 degrees, and gloomy and not at all festive outdoors.
Second, the wreaths were too heavy. They are simple unadorned balsam wreaths, bought from the same nursery as every year, but somehow over engineered this time. I could not hang the one on the front door using the powerful thru-the-door magnets I have used every other time. It kept pulling the magnet hook off.
So I put up an indoor artificial wreath I had that looks skimpy but hangs on the magnet hook ok.
I put the balsam wreath on the garden arbor frame instead, where it is too heavy and will topple the frame when the wind kicks up. It actually took some maneuvering and was surprisingly awkward to get this hung, and my patience was wearing thin.
The window wreaths were too heavy this year too -- every year I use suction cup hooks on the glass and it works just fine. Not this year. I struggled, and froze my fingers but finally got them to stick after an hour of wrangling, window washing, rearranging and some major irritation.
Then the bows wouldn't go on any of the wreaths. The twist wires were too small to go around the wreath frames and it was a pain attaching them to random branches. Not a major catastrophe but at this point I was losing the will to decorate.
And fir needles make my hands itch.
It was all compounded by the snow, which is not pretty. It is a hard crusty snow that has bent some shrubs down, and smushed things. I can't release the bent branches from their icy traps. Walking on the slippery hardpack, back and forth to get twist wires and then scissors and then hooks and other things to hang the stupid decorations . . well, interest was ebbing.
In other grumpy news, the utility company came in the middle of the snowstorm the day before Thanksgiving and finally installed the net meter. It's a lovely addition to the garden scene, isn't it? Ugh.
We've had solar panels on the roof since October 24 -- over a month now -- but they were not hooked up. We had to wait for the utility company to install the net meter, so that when we are producing more electricity than we use, it flows back to the utility company.
Now the meter is finally installed, and the only thing left to do is flip two switches on the inverter boxes to turn on the panels. But do we do that? Or does the solar company? Instructions? Any manuals?
It's a really simple thing -- just flip the switches. But we are reluctant to do that without some kind of instructions and it's Thanksgiving weekend, and we'll have to wait till next week to talk to the solar company for their advisement and next steps.
So I am grumpy right now, in this festive season. The wreaths are hung, but not without some torture, and the panels are up but not producing electricity, and snow has blanketed the yard but not without damaging some of the woody plants out there.
Bah. My hands itch.