This is fire.

Fire Prevention Now!


Facts about home holiday fires

  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  • Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 31 reported home structure Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every four of Christmas tree fires.
  • More than half (56 percent) of home candle fires occur when something that can catch on fire is too close to the candle. (Note: the wooden cabinet above your kitchen countertop candle is flammable.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle-caused fires.


What can you do?

  1. Make sure all your tree ornaments are flame retardant or fireproof.
  2. Check all light strings and if one is broken, do not fix! REPLACE.
  3. Check live tree water three times per day. Dry air? Huge tree? Teensy pan?
  4. Never, ever, ever put lit candles on a tree.
  5. Never sleep or leave the house with the tree lit. If you forget, call a neighbor and ask him or her to turn off those lights. Even if they have to break in, it’s worth it.
  6. Pay attention to candles. Blow them out.

Be safe, friends!


Can You See Your Horizon?

Another WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

We live in a lovely spot on the side of a forested hill. I cannot see the horizon from my house, much, because millions of lovely trees block the view.

However, in the winter when the leaves have dropped, the view changes drastically.

Winter Horizon

Winter Horizon

As with the cycles of the seasons, so with the cycles of life. As I age, I can see things I never dreamed were there.

As my peers age, they see more, too.

You could say we can see the forest, for the trees.

They say wisdom comes with age. I hope it. But trust me, I’ve seen the horizon, and it’s really out there.

Wait for it.

Hope for it.

Look for it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down – 4

double duty

Double Duty

Some trees, like some people, use the wounds of their past to shape them for sheltering. They grow to have room in their hearts for all and that certain open-armed welcome you just know you will need someday.

Others go on to be more nurturing. They serve and give generously, providing those who come to them with nothing less than plenty. We will look at some of those types of trees, today.

drink it down

Drink it Down

And, although these trees offer tantalizing refreshments, let us not forget the harm they endured to become what they are:

for larger storage

For Larger Storage

It can be hard to imagine how these trees must have looked when they were going through all this scarring and the needed recovery, but now they look inviting, as if something special might be happening in their lives.

small treats

Small Treats

What about you?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down – 3

We have a lot of dead trees after last summer’s drought and have been marking them for a sale. Since I was keeping the tally while someone else did all the work, I could spend time looking around. I have seen a LOT of trees.

Some of these poor things are real troopers and remind me of myself and some of my friends. They have been wounded down near their bases by ice storms, insects, buck deer, and other invaders of their quiet domain. I wonder if I am imagining things here, or if others can see themselves in these trees, too.

This first type is the sheltering type:

tiny home

Tiny Home Down Stairs

This tree will never make fine furniture grade. It is a humble, struggling entity, but has a spot to share with any other humble, struggling entity. Can’t you imagine a wee mouse family finding comfort here?

tunnel to safety

Tunnel Down to Safety

Here is another. Don’t you love the way this tree, though obviously dealt a heavy blow in early life, has risen to the occasion by developing an upward-reaching lifestyle in non-standard ways? It ‘s almost like a life motto: Always reach up!

And because of their flaws, they will never be part of a paladian palace. They may not even possess health enough to live as long as other trees.

But they do make a grand shelter from a snowy wind.


Down Spout

This one is similar, but look: Perhaps it was a bit older when it’s down days came, or the damage was heavier, but this one is able not only to help a bit larger creature, but also to provide guaranteed dryness during storms. Who couldn’t use a friend like that!

But here is my favorite:

drama queen

Drama Queen

I knew I remembered this one and looked a long time to find it for you. I named it “Drama Queen” because of that look of surprise all over it. I imagine a friend I normally would not hang with a lot, because she is loud and pushy. Yet, I know I am safe with her and if I needed anything, big or small, she would be so glad to help me, to draw me in with what might seem like five or six arms, and would have a large base of resources to draw from.

Wounded? Yes, they all are.

Fine, straight, high dollar? Nope.

Just invaluable to someone and absolutely necessary in this ol’ life.

This Present Fog

Fog Is a Gift

Blocking all but me and mine,

Sighing canopy, dark lace,

Breathing to me.


Baring soul in black trees,

Urging notice of the near-by,

Blurring impending day.


Stirring from the valley,

Muffling distant hammers,

Whispering damp over all,

Stopping the world.