Sooooo my mother fell down the basement stairs and killed her foot. The carpet has kind of a slick, low pile; I've stumbled over it myself before. So she's going downstairs to do I don't even know what--takes a tumble and ends up with her shoulder rammed into a metal cabinet, landing on her (arthritic) right knee but somehow jacking up her left foot. At first she thought it was broken, but she can move it just fine; it only hurts (acutely) when she puts pressure on it. Which, you know, one kind of has to do in order to walk. So we think she's probably sprained or strained or hyperextended or somethinged a ligament or... something. We "think," because she refuses to go to the clinic to have it checked out: "I'll see how it feels in the morning." So right now, she's laid up in the recliner watching her beloved Peyton Manning play whoever on whatever team it is he plays on. (Me, surveying the cabinet damage: "We need us a sparklepire to pop that dent back out." My mother, deadpan: "Yeah... go see if Your People have Edward's number.") (Y'all are My People, obviously.) So then we went to the Galleria, as planned, to do some Christmas shopping. It was 10:30, but for some reason half the stores hadn't opened yet, so we walked around for literally ten minutes and then went home, because her foot was bothering her too badly. Which was a relief to me, because I kept telling her that if she needed to give up and go home, you know, don't push it just to be stubborn and end up hurting it worse. So finally, she did. On the way home, though, because she would not be denied, we stopped by the Boy Scout Christmas tree sale (across the way from the Vestavia Panera, for y'all locals), and they really did have some gorgeous trees. (I ended up chatting with one of the Scout dads--looked like someone's grandfather, actually--and we agreed that good rains this summer had resulted in a superior crop of Fraser firs.) So we walk onto the lot, and I get to the second tree in the second row and say, "I like that one." "Well, let's look around, we just got here..." "I like that one." "There's more trees over here--they must have hundreds--" "I like that one. Look--it's the right size, it's got a great shape even at the top, it's kind of big at the bottom but we'll have to trim that off anyway, it's got great color, kind of blue underneath--" "WELL LET'S KEEP LOOKING AROUND." So she wanders around two or three rows with her bad foot pushing through various swaths of pine--I think we ran into a faun at one point--poking them all to death, until finally she decides, as if she has never seen it before, that the second tree on the second row is the best one. This is something you should know about me: I am generally a quick study. It takes me about thirty seconds to pick out a birthday card, for example. I know what I want, and I know it when I see it. When I tell you "I want that one," I mean it. Not that you have to agree with me, obviously--you can pick out whatever you want, but when it comes to what I want, I know it. And then I turn out to be right anyway, so there. Bless. So the Boy Scouts lash the tree to the top of our car with some very fragile looking twine--I was put on Rearview Mirror Tree Watch the whole way home--and it's still out there in the driveway, waiting for my stepfather to come home and deal with it. I think we're going to stand it up outside for a couple of days and let it fall out a bit; Sister Girl wants us to hold off on decorating until she can come over anyway. And that was my morning.