this weekend, december began and that was our cue to head out to our favorite tree farm. it's tradition. and it's also a tradition for us to pack up a picnic for the time we spend out there. so we assembled some hot cocoa & marshmallows, festive homemade ginger cake, thermos full of hearty soup, and some chips. each year we go, the planning routine gets easier and easier. same basket, same napkins, same cake recipe, etc... the unexpected variable this year however was finding a tree. when we started wandering around the rows of evergreen... we noticed that many were not only green but a surprising shade of brown!! it turns out that this was a result of superstorm sandy. the salty aired winds really did some damage to these trees by the coast, mostly to the douglas firs on their south sides . (just so happens that the douglas firs are my favorite). with everything in proper perspective, we continued to search for our 'perfect' tree... brown spots or not. we felt a bit lucky when margaret found a nice one, protected by some larger trees that was green all around. it was ours to bring home (and yes, even feeling quite thankful that we have a safe, dry home to bring it back to this year). and then we picnicked.