by Bella Rum


ready for the ornaments

I finished putting the lights on the tree. It’s still sitting on the credenza in the office where it will remain until I’m ready to decorate it sometime after Thanksgiving. I only did one strand a day (100 light bulbs) because I did it Martha’s way. I figured since it’s an artificial tree, and the lights will stay on it until they die (or I do), I’d do it right. There are six hundred bulbs on that tree – at least one on every single branch. H thinks I’m crazy, and who am I to argue, but he agrees that it looks swell.

Hopefully those lights will last as long as the originals did – fourteen years. Is it kind of creepy that your Christmas lights might outlive you? How many strands of Christmas lights have you lived through? You get what I’m saying. I’m setting my goal at two more sets of lights. That’s the plan, and I’m not deviating.

Next time they need replacing, I’ll hire someone to do it for me, or downsize to a miniature tree. 😉

I joke about Martha, everyone does. Because of her insistence on being ‘Martha’ at all times (Remember when asked what she missed most in prison, she responded “lemons?”), she’s probably the easiest target on television, but I’m a fan. When I was growing up, there were quite a few folks around who sported some fairly undiluted personalities, people who didn’t conform to what was expected, people to whom you should never ask a question unless you wanted the truth. They may give you lemons.

I like watching her do all that fabulous stuff. I have a recommendation. If you like to cook or enjoy watching someone cook, and if you haven’t already done it, you should check out Martha Stewart’s Cooking School on PBS. She keeps it pretty simple – I know, right? – and each show focuses on a different technique: frying, sautéing, braising, glazing, sauces, deglazing, etc. On each half-hour episode, using a selected technique, she prepares three or four dishes. They are usually streamlined enough for the home cook, and they all look delicious. Of course, I wouldn’t know because I never make them… mostly never. And my favorite part? The show is peppered with histories and anecdotes that put it all into context: the origin of the technique or recipe, a primer on cuts of meat, the definition/origin of unfamiliar culinary terms, etc. I enjoy it. It’s a history/cooking lesson.

Martha’s Net Worth: $300 million