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Do It Yourself with a Little Help from Google

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a chlorine generator looks like? Wonder no more my friends! This amazing piece of equipment turns salt into chlorine in case you aren't familiar with it.
One day last week I began thinking the pool didn't look quite as blue, nor as sparkly, as perhaps it should. Then too, the water level was so low due to the ever present sunshine we've had. Couple that with no rain, and the water evaporates more quickly than you would think. Although there is some sort of automatic filler should the pool get too low, it didn't seem to be doing its' thing, so I finally put the darn hose in there to bring the water level up. A 40 pound bag of salt also got dumped in there. Alas, by Friday it still did not look quite right, not green mind you, but just not right. Opening the door to the above chlorine generator I discovered that the lights were out which couldn't be good. Calling a pool company we have used on occasion, I was told that the technician would be out on Monday with a $125 charge for the visit, along with whatever parts he uses. Hmmm....ok.

But then I thought to myself, wouldn't it be good to use that money elsewhere, like in giving it to someone? That's one of the great things about our new church, opportunities for giving are abundant. During the week I put together the items for the names I picked from the "Angel Tree." Pam gave me the brilliant idea of putting everything in laundry baskets because the instructions told me not to wrap anything.
I picked two names, both of which are young people who are "aging" out of the home for children where they have resided because they have been removed by court order from their parents. These gifts, should you be thinking towels are pretty lame, are for setting up their own household. Although needs are great throughout the year, it seems as if Christmas time is filled with even more!

While we are on the subject of church, we sat near the front yesterday, and I was struck by the lovely light shining in on the beautiful Chrismon tree, which you can further your knowledge of, should you care to, here.
As we were making our way to the fellowship hall, following the service, I saw a woman examining the altar flowers closely. Of course I was intrigued and had to do the same. Not flowers at all---kale plants!
Isn't it lovely?

Returning to the pool story, I can't imagine I did not think of checking online about what could be wrong, but eventually it came to me that there is a wealth of information to be found with just a few typed words. Time and I again I say it, but I'll say it again...God bless those wonderful folks who freely share their knowledge and experience! Turns out, others have had the same problem, and the fix is a $2.50 part that I could order from a site called DigiKey. Never heard of it, but I called them, placed my order, cancelled the service, and bought some chlorine to keep the pool blue until said part is delivered. The guy at the pool store told me Radio Shack might have the part, so why not check with them? Let me tell you, the guy there was wonderful! Although he did not have the part, he told me when it did arrive he'd gladly solder it onto the board for us!! There was an older gentleman in the store, oh wait, I'm older! Anyway, he remarked that the young man was a genius, and could fix anything! SOLD.
I spent the rest of Saturday, watching football and sewing the binding on the quilt which is now washed and ready for action the next time Bruce can't sleep and heads to the couch so as not to disturb me. He asked for patchwork so patchwork it is.
Now you understand the color scheme a little better. The best part is, aside from the backing fabric, as well as the new additions from Matt and Tom, everything came from my fabric drawers.

Bruce worked at his desk all Saturday, but he promised we could get the tree Sunday afternoon. On our way to Harris Landscaping to buy a tree, I was floored when we drove past this burned house.
A stark reminder of the people suffering in Tennessee whose homes look way worse than this one. My heart breaks for them. 🙏

Harris Landscaping donates 10% of what they make on the Christmas trees to the Russel Home for Atypical Children, thus we buy our tree there most years.
Because we waited a little too long last year, our tree was quite small, however, I forgot just how tiny it was. Enter last year's blog post! Holy Cow, it was small!!

Bruce reminded me how cute it was, but I did not listen as carefully as I should because I decided on a tree that is about twice the size of last years. In fact, so darn tall I had to get a ladder out to put on the angel! Laughing, I had B take a photo me doing just that.
As you can see, my back is healing much better this time because I am moving very freely. Yippee!

Anyway, I told him, he wins--no big tree for me again! I am not the greatest tree decorator anyway, well make that, I'm pretty bad at it, so putting on 700 lights was not something I want to do again. Meanwhil, Bruce did our mantle, which is really probably my favorite part of the decorations.
Did I tell you that Matthew taught himself to knit via YouTube? Well he did, and he's been gung-ho ever since learning. The first ornament I put on the tree is this one he brought home.
Super cute isn't it? The lights gave me such fits that I did not make too much headway before it was time to go to Hills Happy Hour. How lucky am I that I can just do it today? Very lucky. Cathy showed us her lovely tree decorated with ornaments they bought in her native France last year. Adorable owls everywhere.

David called earlier in the day asking us to come over to Lake Pineloch for a Christmas get together at the front pool. Celebrating the brand new Christmas lighting that the board made happen, it was loads of fun. Leaving Hills early, we stepped into a Winter Wonderland when we met first at Michelle and David's place. Oh my goodness!!
Everything is decorated so beautifully it puts my efforts to shame! Instead of owls, Michelle has a white theme going on their tree.
Just when I thought my final tree lighting didn't look half bad, I saw hers! From there we walked to the pool to gather with lots of the residents for a pot luck. Good times!
Bruce left early this morning for Plano. How early? 6 AM flight!! The job is underway and so far so good. He won't return until Wednesday evening, so, with any luck, I'll have the monster tree done when he gets back. While we were setting it up I reminded him of how, maybe two years ago, I thought the tree had no water, so I kept putting in more and more until such time as I noticed flooding! He laughed, saying, "that is one of the things I love about you Gail, you can laugh at yourself." Indeed.

Not taking myself too seriously,

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