A combined post.
First, we had a nice Sunday. It was the first time we have seen the sun in many, many days. Everyone around us has power and we are grateful for that. The wreckage from the storm is everywhere.
But the wreckage is not as bad as I thought. As bad as it looks, there are so many trees that made it through relatively unscathed. Or not destroyed. Our maple, we think, will make it just fine. It, like the neighborhood, will look different, but it will be ok.
So, only a week delayed, we decided to get a Christmas tree (we wanted to go last Sunday, but the ice storm had already started). One little detail, this was the first Christmas to buy a tree sans pickup. But the Matrix is pretty space efficient, as you will see:
SOF had to sit in the back seat for the mile ride home, but the car worked like a charm. We also found that the twine wrap made for a much easier transport into the house and onto the stand:
Unbound, it looks a little more like a Christmas tree:
Decorating might take a little longer....
Now for the music. A Christmas music aside, by the way. I have started disliking Christmas music. I think I have just tired of it. But this year, I made a playlist of Christmas music that were made more recently. Mindy Smith, Aimee Mann, and Sarah McLachlan make up part of it. I also have really enjoyed Sufjan Stevens 4 or 5 album Christmas set. I like his regular stuff, but think that his sound is just perfect for Christmas stuff.
But for the best of the year.
I don't have that many artists in my collection named Brandi, but this one is a gem. We downloaded her single and waited anxiously for the release of The Story. Compared to her first album, this one really jumps. It was recorded in live sessions--not live in front of an audience, but not in piecemeal tracks. And that gives this album a fresh quality. Carlile's voice is another marvel. I can't recall a voice that has grabbed me like hers. Her power sometimes is scary, and often even sounds as if she is pressing it to the limit. I don't know if she will be able to sustain it, but this album has some great moments. If you can, listen to the title track.
As an album, it might not measure up to the great albums in our collections, but it is a very good one. Well worth an inclusion in this list.