After a lovely Thanksgiving, I got up on Friday morning ready to do my Black Friday shopping. For me, that means seeking out a local release of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, an amazing beer aged in bourbon barrels that comes out on this day each year. It was hard enough to find when I was living in Chicago and even harder to find out here in Colorado, so usually if you haven’t snatched any by the afternoon of Black Friday, you aren’t getting any.

My favorite liquor store in Boulder was doing a release, so I ran out that way to make a couple stops. First, Trader Joe’s, which has lots of yummy holiday treats that are in much shorter supply this year, so I wanted to pick up a few things there while I still can. And then it was over to Hazel’s for the stout. I got there just as they opened and was thrilled that there wasn’t a line and I walked right up and had my pick of the extra rare variants. There was a limit of four, which is plenty, and I was pleased with my haul.

After that, I headed back home and we all went out to a local nursery to get our Christmas tree. We found a nice one and had to let it settle a little, so we focused on doing other decorating around the house on Friday afternoon. Erin handled the inside and I got the outside. First thing I had to do was clean up the autum/harvest time decorations we had out front, and Henry was kind enough to help me with the sweeping.

Next up was the big challenge…decorating our huge pine tree in the front yard. It is pretty tall and I’ve somehow gotten away for years using my ladder and a telescoping Swiffer mop with a 3M hook on the end. Suffice to say, getting those top lights set (the tree is taller than the house) was extremely challenging and probably not super safe. Erin finally convinced me this year to actually buy a tool intended for this job, a telescoping pole with an actual hook on the end. It is pretty sweet and I was excited to use it for the first time.


It made the job INFINITELY easier. I got the top lights set on the first try, and all in all the whole process went pretty smoothly. Well, except for the one time I fell off the ladder…sort of. It was a more of a stupid reaction/miscalculation on my part. With the snow on the ground, it was pretty slippery on the rungs and at one point I was sliding a little and reflexively thought, “I’ll just jump backwards and off,” on some level thinking I was like on the second rung. Well, I was actually on the top, and I totally had a mid-air, Wyle E. Coyote-like realization before I dropped like a stone. I was only missing a little sign that said, “Yipe.”

Down I went, and it was a little bit of a rough impact, but I was OK and fell back in to the snow. I was immediately thankful that there didn’t appear to anyone around to witness this super smooth move. Still alive and well, I finished the tree and was pretty happy with how things turned out.


Erin and the kids did an amazing job inside and I’ll share photos of that tomorrow’s post. After dinner, we headed to a drive through Christmas light display near us, and it was really impressive. Kids and adults alike loved it. It was a really cool set up.

After that, we headed home for some hot chocolate and dessert. Erin had ordered some hot chocolate bombs from a local seller and they were amazing. They are big chocolate balls filled with marshmallows and hot chocolate mix, so you pour the hot milk over it and boom…hot chocolate. Quite delicious. 

Before bed, I came down to take little Islay out one last time and found her asleep on her water dish.

Ah, we can all remember those wild days of youth, falling asleep in our drinks. Looks like we have a party animal on our hands.