...every time we throw a party, that is.  We had a big birthday dinner party for a close girlfriend.  What I learned this time, is that white twinkle lights, strung through trees, can give you the biggest bang you'll ever get for eight bucks.  Four packs of lights at $2 each was all it took to turn our yard from normal to exciting.  We found that the best method was to put a nail in the tree (high up, with a ladder) and use white twist-wire to secure the light cord....poke it through the cord, then tightly twist it around the nail.  This white twisty wire came on each strand of lights.  I cut the long piece in half and used each half for each end.

Since it's getting dark so early, I knew we'd need some additional lighting in our backyard, and this really did the trick.

I was going to copy my sister-in-law's beautiful lights:
...but she had ordered these online ahead of time, and I didn't have time.  I couldn't find them in the (sparse) Christmas light section, either.  So I just used cheap twinkle lights.

What amazed us was the dramatic transformation it gave our yard!  My kids loved it so much, that they have taken great care to plug them in, and unplug them each night.  They said, "Let's keep them up forever!" 

With the damp, salt air blowing in on our property, they may not last long....but they would have in other cities we've lived. 

I'll keep you posted.  We're going to hang even more strands tonight!
(By the way, those 3 people in the center are 2 of my brothers and my sister.  Awesome people, they are!)

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