When it Pays to Spend $14

Some time ago I was window shopping at Pottery Barn during a rare outing all by my lonesome. The store was decorated for fall, and I admired all the beautiful harvest decor and various displays the store employees had put together.  I especially paid attention to the dining table arrangements in hopes of snagging a cool idea or two to use at home in my humble casa.  That’s when I saw these

filler

And these

morefill

I loved the way they used filler like leaves and acorns around a pillar candle set inside a simple glass hurricane, and resolved to replicate the idea on my own dining room table.  But, being the cheap, er frugal gal I like to be, I couldn’t imagine why in the world I would want to pay a precious $14 for their cheap, plasticky acorns to “harvest up” my house when I have two perfectly good oak trees growing in my yard.

The next day I snagged a willing helper and we stepped out front. It was raining, but it didn’t matter: we were on a mission. Jonathan willingly held my basket as I stripped as many acorns as I could off the lower branches of our little oak out front. He was thrilled to be gathering acorns, and I was thrilled at how clever I was at saving money.

I purchased some inexpensive white candles to put in some large glass hurricanes, piled my fresh acorns around the bases of the pillars and was pleased with the effect. After a few more simple decorations, our dining room felt more harvesty; nowhere near the magnificence of the grand PB displays, but also nowhere near the cost (again, please pardon the blur on my photos):

HF100_3352

HF100_3357

HF100_3364

Jay arrived home, praised my little decorations, and we settled into fall enjoying the orangey fun of pumpkins, the cinnamony scent of pinecones and the excitement of anticipating some trick-r-treating in a few weeks.

And then one morning in October while my 5th grader sat in the sunny dining room working on her math assignment, she uttered a disgusted cry and called, “Mom! Come quick!”

I ran into the dining room, saw her panicked face, and looked at where she was pointing. And there, inside my harvest hurricane was one of the more disgusting sights I’ve witnessed inside the comforts of my home (you can just stop reading here if you are easily grossed out):

A small army of white grubs crawled in and around my acorns, adding a dimension I had not counted on to these particular harvest decorations. They looked exactly like little maggots, and even my nature girl, Abigail was repulsed by the sight of them. It was especially awful the way the glass magnified their presence and movement…YUCK!

You may thank me for not providing you a photo of this nature moment for your enjoyment. We saw grubs in only one hurricane, so outside it went, we cleaned it out, popped fresh acorns inside, and hoped that was the last of our tiny friends.  But a few days later, Jonathan spotted some of their distant cousins crawling around in the other hurricane…

So apparently our little oak tree’s acorns have grubs in them. Does this impact the vitality of the tree? Should we be concerned?? Are any arborists reading this blog? If so, I’d love your two cents.

Regardless, yesterday morning, credit card in hand, I called Pottery Barn’s catalog division…and ordered me a set of these.

tinyac

Here’s hoping they are the grub-free variety!

9 Comments

  1. Rita
    Nov 6, 2009

    All I can say is “yuck.”

  2. Uncle Keith
    Nov 6, 2009

    Good story, Tricia – well worth the wait from yesterday. And even though I continued to eagerly await the details, you’ll likely be pleased to hear that I was – in fact – able to fall asleep last night.

  3. Mom/Ruth
    Nov 6, 2009

    Heehee! Sometimes artificial IS better!

  4. Jordana
    Nov 6, 2009

    Not quite as realistic, but also probably grub free (ew!) and cute — wooden acorns. I always want to order these, but never have.

  5. Grandy John
    Nov 6, 2009

    Tricia,
    Please give me a call if there is another grub attack. Bluegill love grubs.

  6. Lisa Rosendale
    Nov 6, 2009

    Tricia, this is disgusting for you but hilarious for me!! You tried, dear, you tried. I can relate too. Katie loves to harvest acorns, and one day I looked at her bag on the counter and noticed a white grub that had chewed a little hole in the bag and was crawling along the counter. AAHHHHH! I found one more that had gotten further along in my towel drawer. (They ALL got washed. :b) So it’s not just your trees.

  7. Tricia
    Nov 6, 2009

    hey Lisa, in some parts of the world, grubs are considered a good source of protein! Seeing as they were already in the kitchen, maybe you should have searched for a few more nice juicy ones, and made a special surprise supper for Tim!

  8. Steph
    Nov 7, 2009

    Ugh! I did giggle at John’s comment! :)

  9. Leslie
    Nov 7, 2009

    Oh, I see what you meant on Friday about your yucky nature. Ugh. The artificial acorns are very realistic looking and cute!