Tag Archives: Marsden

When Your Christmas Tree Is a Rat Bastard

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I never thought I’d say this in reference to a Christmas tree, but I did yesterday: “I’m scared.”

Yesterday was our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm near our house to cut down a tree. The place is called Stokoe’s, and it does a bang-up job, with food, activities, decorations, wreaths, petting zoo, tractor rides out to the fields…you name it. We’ve gone there for our tree every year for the past decade. We go there to get pumpkins, too. I love it so much I modeled Bowen Farms, hero Casey’s pumpkin patch/inn/conference center/etc., in my Marsden books, on it. I got to interview a member of the Stokoe family and everything!

This one might have been a little ambitious...

This one might have been a little ambitious…

Anyway, back to the tree. Clan Denker has a size problem. Namely, Casa de Denker has 11 ft. ceilings and a bay window in the living room, and the space must. be. filled. We tend to get monster trees—not just tall, but also fat. Every year, we seek out the biggest, gnarliest tree we can find and nearly kill ourselves cutting it down and getting it into the house.

But this is the first year the tree fought back. Read the rest of this entry

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I Want My Fall TV!

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Did somebody say Halloween party?

I can has Halloween party?

Did you know that in the calendar the ancient Celts followed, New Year’s Eve wasn’t December 31? Nope. Their wheel of the year turned to a new one at midnight on a completely different date: October 31. On the night of Samhain, they believed, the veil between this world and the Other Side was the thinnest, and the living and the dead could pass freely through it. (Ditto on the eve of April 30, before May 1, Beltane, but to a lesser degree.) This was the origin of the traditions that we’ve come to cherish as part of our annual Halloween celebrations, although we tend to give it a much more sinister flourish.

But it’s not time to talk about Halloween just yet—hey, I haven’t even picked my pumpkins, and gods only know where my bat garland is. The reason I’m bringing up the turn of the year is because I think New Year’s in autumn works great. Of course, I can only speak from the northern hemisphere’s perspective, but up here, it just makes sense. The entire vibe is different. There’s so much change going on. I mean, look at it—the weather cools off abruptly (your mileage may vary, of course, depending on your latitude). The landscape changes color (ditto). The kids go back to school.

Oh—and another “new” thing begins: the fall TV schedule.

And here is where I start snurfling and feeling sorry for myself. Read the rest of this entry