Tag Archives: decorations

Festive Fall Tips for the Domestically Disabled

Considering the fact that middle class white women are freaking out over everything pumpkin flavored, it’s safe to say that fall has arrived.

Seeing as I hate 90 humid degrees and 90 inches of snow, fall is a great season for me. Along with the beautiful foliage in Michigan and the chance to finally wrap up the horticultural hospice I’ve been harboring for the summer, it also means playoff baseball, college football, hockey and hoodies—just a few of my favorite things.

I know some people are already freaking out over Halloween, but seeing as I deal with it five months out of the year for work, I’m over it. Plus, I believe my tips from last year shall remain eternally relevant, so we’re skipping ahead to my tips for a fabulous fall.

Outdoor Decor

Start by putting a wreath on the door that says “festive, yet I’ll dive behind the couch if you ring the bell and expect me to put on some pants.”


I might be a Publisher’s Clearing House million dollar winner if not for the fact that I perform a death roll behind the furniture the second I hear the doorbell.

If that fails to ward off those looking to interrupt your upcoming preparation for winter hibernation, simply build a corn maze in your front yard that never quite leads to the door (this also works well with your desk at the office.) The added value with this situation is that you can charge a bit of admission, which might come in useful when exploring the next tip below.

Seasonal Shopping

Shopping for that festive wreath is a great chance to get your Christmas shopping done. Who doesn’t love pumpkins, decorative corn and Halloween candy? I’ll tell you who. People who don’t appreciate you thinking ahead and being proactive with your gift-giving prowess.

Shopping early—and economically—leaves more time to drink spiked cider come the harsh winter months.

Indoor Decor

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart and devise a centerpiece out of unicorn hair, sparkly pine cones and the tears of kittens. You can basically take crap that you find in your yard and call it festive. Just spray some pine cones with apple cinnamon air freshener and stick them in a basket with a few colorful leaves and acorns.

Plus, after the season is done, you can take the tops off the acorns and use them for fashionable little berets or tiny serving plates for your traveling gnome.


Sorry that it’s a bit blurry, but Uncle June never stands still for long.

The trick is to gather these things before you “rake,” and by rake of course I mean wait for a windy day and gently urge the piles of leaves to migrate into the neighbor’s back yard.

Speaking of which, the neighbor kids’ basketball—the one they are constantly bouncing loudly against their garage door every. single. day.—looks quite similar to a pumpkin. Considering they’re back in school now, you can sneak over while they’re gone and turn it into a festive-looking decoration to be used for an impromptu pumpkin chuck.

Not only is this festive fun, but it’s a physical activity you can do together as a family. After all, someone has to keep lookout.

Happy Fall!

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Ba Ha-Ha-Humbug

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

While I would debate that fact for several reasons—that is neither here nor there—as the holiday season is here and there, and with it comes a variety of expectations. You see, we are often presented with “ideal” situations that in reality, fall a bit short.

But have no festive fear! No holiday season is perfect, and as long as you don’t hold things to the ridiculous standard often presented to us, your expectations will surely be met.

The Meals

Expectation: Martha Stewart is truly a genius in that she makes her beautiful soirees look elegant and effortless—and calls them “soirees” and not “dysfunctional family functions.” The food is perfect, the conversation is jovial and no one’s career choice, sexual preference or bodily functions are discussed.

And no one ends up drunk under the tree.

Reality: There will not be enough chairs. Someone will pronounce “hors d’oeuvres” as “whores de-vores” (that would be me). The food will be good, but conversation will cover someone’s career choice, sexual preference or bodily functions. There will be a debate over whether the plastic silverware can be reused for Easter and whether it’s pronounced “PEE-cons” or “pick-ONS,” which will lead to an inappropriate joke about nuts from that one creepy uncle.

Romantic Gifts (as presented in jewelry ads)

Expectation: Cue cheesy background music and a setting that involves a fireplace and gently falling snow. Two people are casually huddled around the tree with hot cocoa as he pulls out a small box to surprise her with a rock of some sort. They kiss and live happily ever after.

Reality: What they don’t show you is that later he poses under the mistletoe wearing nothing but a well-placed Santa hat, thinking that small little box with the bow has earned him at least a few nights of appreciation. She will be too busy tweeting a picture of the ring to show off to her friends to notice him—or care when she does—meaning the ornaments on the tree won’t be the only blue balls in the room.

Exterior Illumination

Expectation: That your house can be perfectly decorated with thousands of twinkling lights and décor in no time at all, with your handiwork serving as a beacon of light for all other holidays revelers.

You will never have to launch an investigation over this carnage. But on a positive note, Frosty has been fixed. A Festivus miracle!

Reality: Despite trying to put the light strings away “neatly” last year, they will come out of the storage container in an arrangement that looks suspiciously like a Noel noose made of tangled up wires. The ordeal will begin with a joke to make sure to call 911 if you fall off the ladder—ha, ha, ha!—and end with a simple wreath on the door after the discovery that half of the bulbs just don’t work, despite testing each one and hanging them up.

But even though most will experience a less-than perfect meal, sub-par gifts (make donations, not debts people) and defunct decorations, remember what’s truly important—family, friends and your holiday spirit(s).

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CSI: Frosty

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook know that I have been dealing with a personal trauma this week.

I came home to find my outdoor snowman had been tipped over and decapitated. In lieu of flowers, please send cash or Vodka.

(Sorry-I don’t know how to take screen shots of Tweets.)

After leaving for work at 6am and spending four hours that afternoon with tech support in an effort to make my work computer functional, this is what I came home to.


Ahh! The horror!

Frosty was flat on his back, his little body twisted and torn after being displaced from his holiday perch on my front porch ledge. I immediately got out of my truck, and despite the fact that it was raining and “Wizard of Oz” windy, I attempted a rescue.


As you can see, that did not go well.

After several more feeble attempts in the wind and the rain to put his head and his smile back on, I realized that the only holiday spirit I was feeling at that moment was the quote from A Christmas Story that had popped into my head:

“I have since heard of people under extreme duress speaking in strange tongues. I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed.”

At that point, I took him in the house and carefully put him in the basement, and placed a call to my mom—the official decorator and seasonal surgeon—to set up a date for repair.

In the meantime, I grew suspicious of the circumstances surrounding this incident. While the 40 mph winds and rain would seem like the obvious reason, the whole fountain issue this past summer left me hesitant to trust the obvious.

My first thought was that crazy drunk neighbor lady was overdoing it on the holiday “spirits” again. Although she has some decorations on her house, the bright and “festive” red light she put in her front porch lamp led me to believe the feisty old broad might be supplementing her cocktail fund in a slightly shady way.

But as much as I want to blame her, kicking over my snowman would have required her to go out in the rain, prompting this scenario:


Remember? They melt.

So then I considered the squirrels and other small woodland creatures that might have a beef against an illuminated snowman placed in my yard to project an image opposite of the slight Grinchiness that may be felt inside.

But although pushy and mighty with their demands for better seed and a heated waiting area surrounding the pond-turned-squirrel-skating rink, I don’t think they have anything against Frosty.

frozen pond2

You should see them drive the little Zamboni.

It was also suggested that Frosty has simply partied a bit too hard (possibly with crazy drunk neighbor lady?) and found himself passed out drunk in the front yard, not unlike a couple boyfriends I had in college. However,  I could detect no trace of alcohol on him.

Plus, you know, his mouth fell off.

So I suppose I’m left to believe that it was in fact the wind that toppled Frosty off the ledge and not tipsy neighbors, speed skating squirrels or a case of him trying to beat the blues with some brewskis.

He’s set to undergo surgery this week, and barring warm weather or high winds, a compete and speedy recovery is predicted. In lieu of flowers, he has requested cash or Vodka, both of which can be sent directly to my house.

Well, he didn’t say that—you know, his mouth fell off—but I’m sure that’s what he would want. After all, why do you think he’s such a jolly happy soul?

Merry mystery solved.

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P.S. Look for a post next week showing exactly what Round One of the book money purchased for the animals at the Humane Society of West Michigan. (Sneak peek!) I don’t just donate money, but prefer to donate goods, so you can see just where your money will go—directly to the animals. Hopefully the first shopping spree of many!