05 January 2016

The Neverending Christmas

Christmas week was a bear at work. When the mail arrived with a sparkling silvery blue wintery fat quarter bundle, I displayed the fabric on my desk instead of stuffing it away in my project bag because looking at it made my heart swell and brought a big smile to my face. All day long!

The bundle was sort of a present to myself. I'd had it on my wishlist ever since the design was released. Now that it was too late to craft something in time for Christmas with it, it had gone on sale. So I snatched it up. And oh, did it bring me joy for the entire stressful day. It's going to take me a long time to open this one because it's just too pretty to look at to cut into smaller pieces!

We'd planned to go cross-country skiing on the Grand Mesa on Christmas Day, the only day off I got for the holiday in 2015 (although we did get off early on Christmas Eve... YIPPEE!). A massive storm that dumped more than three feet in the mountains kept us safe and warm at home instead. No complaints! I ironed on Christmas Day! With my new iron!

Yes, in fact, I did indeed ask for a new iron for Christmas. Two years ago, I'd asked for an ironing board. The one I'd inherited from my grandmother in 1979 had become too wobbly, especially with all the quilting I'd been doing that year. Quilting in 2015 tripled or quadrupled, and the old iron had seen its better days, too. What better way to spend Christmas day than ironing with a fancy new iron that glides across the fabric just like skis on fresh snow!

Yes, I can think of better ways to spend Christmas, too, but you know what? I loved using my new iron on Christmas!

We had an owl outside the dining room/living room window for about half an hour Christmas night. We never got to see it; yes, we tried looking for it from inside the house. We never got to see the chubby raptor who serenaded us for about half an hour before disappearing into the snow storm. Just like that.

But his (or her) song was as good any any Christmas carol!

On Christmas Eve's Eve, The Lizard went Christmas shopping while I worked, and he turned off all the Christmas lights, including the battery-operated LED snowflakes on the tree, before he left. We had left the snowflake lights on since I'd put up the tree three or four weeks earlier. I never turned them off. I just kept recharging and replacing the batteries every couple of days.

When The Lizard got back home, he went to turn on the tree, and he noticed the plastic battery box seemed melted. He looked closer and noticed one of the rechargeable batteries was swollen and discolored, oozing with battery guts, and the anomaly had caused all three batteries to be misshapen. He removed the entire assembly from the tree. He saved it for when I got home.

I was so stunned. We've put those lights up several times, and I've left them on the entire time each year I've used them. The batteries... who knows how old any of them are? I've been using nothing but rechargeable batteries in my camera equipment ever since the day we could purchase AA rechargeables. I've bought or received as gifts a couple new packages every year to replace non-rechargeable batteries elsewhere in the house. Now everything battery-operated in the house is rechargeable. I've never had a single rechargeable battery go bad on me ever. Until now.

The Lizard didn't dare throw away the snowflake lights until I got a chance to salvage whatever I wanted. They were just plastic molds around LED lights, and without knowing for sure what caused the one battery to explode, I don't want to take any chances. I told him to throw out the whole mess, including the other two batteries in the unit. I didn't think to take pictures. I'm sorry.

I would have had to charge those batteries that night or the next morning, so if the unit had lasted that long, I would have noticed. But what if the unit had not lasted until then? What if The Lizard had not turned off the lights that day before leaving the house???

The possibility sends shivers down my spine. Our fake little wooden tree with fabric pine needles and all my cotton crocheted snowflakes could have gone up in smoke, taking the loaded bookcases behind it as well. The sheet rock in the living room/dining room could have been smoked to a different hue. Everything in the house could have been lost. (The bicycles would have been safe because they were in the concrete basement...)

Sometimes Christmas gifts don't come in packages. Thank you, Heavenly Father and Lizard, for this marvelous gift!


  1. I like the dress. Perhaps we should keep a peacock in the back yard. As with an owl, a peacock would have a nice song too.

    1. Oh, I agree! Would you really let me have a peacock!?!?

  2. Good thing he caught it indeed. Never heard of rechargeable batteries doing that. Ugg to all that snow, all yours lol iron? What's that? You mean my wrinkles aren't good? haha


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