Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Present: Montanism

Christmas Tree at RantMom's
Christmas, or at least the Christmas tree has arrived at RantMom's. RantMom recently had hernia surgery and cannot lift more than 10 pounds for 6 weeks. RantMom's Christmas tree resources include 5 large plastic containers of sentiment carefully culled from a whole house and adult lifetime of accumulation. Putting up the Christmas tree tends to involve RantWoman doing enough stevedoring to make one think of those number puzzles where the object is to move the squares around until the numbers are in order. At RantMom's it's not numbered squares, just boxes. This year because of RantMom's surgery and because boxes left unattended seem to breed more boxes, there seemed to be more stevedoring than average.

Also a deviation from past practice: the topology of Christmas lights. RantMom's Christmas tree is a commercial thing that comes in three stem parts with branches of some papery plastic stuff. This is great for saving on water and keeping the house free of pine needles. The tree comes with a string of lights already in place, but by the time the tree has been put up and taken apart a few times, the lights had become a tangled mess.RantMom's first decision was to try to free the tree of the lights. This yielded one tree which could be fluffed somewhat from its Charlie Brown lumpiness and one tangle of lights.

RantMom immediately set about fiddling with the lights. RantWoman wathced this for a bit and then looked around for lifting chores to keep herself busy while RantMom fiddled. RantMom eventually got frustrated. RantWoman's puzzle brain kicked in. RantWoman's tendency  when confronted with unpredictable topology embodied in some inanimate object is to try to pull apart; RantMom's efforts seemed mainly to make the tangle tighter. Puzzle brain persisted and the tree trimming effort made GIANT steps forward, enough progress that the cloverleaf of wriing and lights could be redraped over the tree!

There is more to say, but RantWoman needs to get about her day with only a few more modest notes:

This year RantWoman is collecting electronic packages, the sort of holiday presents which seem to accumulate in her vicinity. A gift via someone on Facebook: if RantWoman heard the word Montanism and the suggestion that it is a religion, RantWoman's first instinct would be to assume that the term refers to over-the-top worship of everything to do with Montana.

RantWoman would be WRONG:

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