I need Novembers off…

Is there a career which would allow me to have Novembers off?? I feel the great pull of time, of the pages of the calendar turning turning turning, the pressure of all the things I planned to do this year, staring me in the face…

I want to be a part of Art Every Day month, and of NaNoWriMo but I don’t have the time, what with the escalation of pressure (Christmas music has made its way to my job) to make my Christmas lists, and then commit to the making of said gifts (which, of course could be part of Make Art Every Day…)

The great American novel may not be really floating around in my head, but I would love to challenge myself to write every day as well. (The goal of 50,000 words itself isn’t off-putting; I’ve written two fiction stories over three times that length, but the time-frame: 30 days, of which I have already lost the first 4….and the topic…)

Yet these have to compete with the new crisp visions I’ve had, the visions of quilts I would love to get back to, the desire to start new ones…

And the recipes! They come at you from everywhere– holiday cooking, holiday baking; it all looks so much more satisfying and so much less like another chore than at any other part of the year….

And of course all those things to do don’t even touch on all the time needed for pesky routine things like sleeping, and cleaning house…

So, if anyone is aware of a vocation I could take up, that would free up my NOVEMBERS, do tell!

Christmas without Wally…

(Wally-World, that is.) I can do it, can you?

I dislike– in so many ways it can’t be adequately described– Wal-Mart.

So much so that I can tell you exactly when I last set foot into my local WM. It was just over a week before Thanksgiving. So that puts it at what, 49 weeks ago?? I can’t say I’ve missed a thing not being there. Understand please, that it is SO convenient to my daily world that I can see the sign over the front entrance from the window of my job; that their parking lot is across the street from my parking lot….

I just am never HAPPY when I am there. The light is ‘off’, the air moves oddly, the hollow feeling of the place, even when over-loaded with (often cranky) people just bothers me. I have never saved enough money there to make it worth my while.

I have never found it one-stop-shopping enough to make it worth my while. It isn’t more than a lowest-common-denominator kind of place for me.

I have never stood on the check-out line without the thought running through my head, “WHY did I come in here?” (And all this without the first echo of the more overt political, environmental, labor and capitalistic  etc. issues that cause me to simply not need WM in my life!)

Oh, back when I lived on the Island, and the closest WM was over a bridge in another state, AND was a relatively new addition even there, I thought it was a fine thing.  A place I would have to make PLANS to get to. (It was before a Target became available to me, in that same out-of-state, ‘destination’ type of experience that even IKEA was.)

And when I moved here, I did on occasion shop there; before I really became comfortable with the other local grocery stores, and who carried what; before I had learned my way about the area.

It is the only place down here open 24 hours, and coming from a city where EVERYTHING seemed to be open 24 hours (even Home Depot), I felt it was the place to be. However, there is nothing I would need in the middle of the night that I can’t find at my CVS, closer to home and less of a headache.

So, with perfect honesty, I can say, I will not be doing my Christmas-ing at WM. I realize that for some, WM really IS the only ‘local’ alternative. And I feel for you. But, if you are reading this blog, you have within your reach, the entire WORLD.

Use it! Keep your UPS man in a job, and buy online! In your jammies, in the middle of the night, and think about those fools standing in WM at 3 am, cursing the 25 CLOSED cash register lines, while they stand 10 deep at the 3 lines open, waiting their turn to deal with tired, harried cashiers.

And order gifts to your hearts content; gifts far more unique, more whimsical and probably far more personal than the same red and black plaid flannel shirt that exactly 3,550,673 other tired Christmas shoppers tossed into their carts at the last minute, remembering that Uncle Jimmy would be at Christmas dinner this year!

(What? you don’t want to pay shipping and handling?? Well, how about GAS, and TIME, and all the other things that end up in the cart over and above what you NEEDED??)

Where to shop? Well, let me list a few gems:

Photography My photos, they make WONDERFUL gifts…

Collectibles My Dad’s web-site, where you will be able to find one-of-a-kind ephemera and small household collectibles; things that you will remember from your youth, and things that will make you smile…

T-shirts My babiest brudder’s T-shirt site…(he has a more unique view on the world than most, a great site for the teens and young adults you need to shop for…)

And hey, there are a gazillion OTHER sites out there, big and small, that offer just about anything!!! (But, if I were to start picking and choosing…. well, I figure I will just advertise for Us!! LOL)

(Oh, and by the way, I am NO LONGER early, folks. It is NOT too soon to be thinking about Christmas gifting. It is 53 DAYS till Christmas, otherwise known as November 1st, AKA ‘Happy Birthday Kerin and Elaine!’)

Christmas is coming…

…and I am aware that I’ve been slacking… Did you know almost 40% of your holiday prep time is GONE gone gone… and here I am, neglecting the posting of my “Christmas is coming, the sky is falling!” blogs…

My excuses, such as they are, are as follows:

  • I’ve been hanging out with friends.
  • I’ve been traveling.
  • I’ve been taking photos (Almost 600 images that I have shot over the past few weeks are grinding around in the computer waiting for processing so you can buy them!)
  • I’ve been fondling my quilting fabrics, thinking, planning, plotting….
  • I’ve been buying out the book section at Goodwill, so I have many more excuses not to do housework.
  • Oh, and housework.
  • And work-work.

Yet, time waits for no woman to prepare for the holidays. I DO have my Christmas cards already. They aren’t signed or addressed or stamped, mind you, but they are HERE!

I have the gifts for that list of ‘just a little something’ people almost completed, and I do have a ‘short-list’ of gifts for the majority of the family. Which is really a SHORT list this year (No, not the family–I haven’t off’ed anyone! Just the quantity of gift$ per person…)

The biggie is always Timmy. As I usually get one REALLY GOOD IDEA. And then, his birthday occurs on December 2 and I end up giving him the REALLY GOOD gift then, and have to hit the drawing board again….


Of course, since these two beauties will be joining our family on Sunday, I may just buy him stock in lint rollers—meet …well, Nameless and Nameless Jr.- (25 combined pounds of FUR)

I posted a poll last month. You responded that you feel that handmade is better. You preferred to give and receive thoughtful (and possibly handmade) gifts.

So, share with me, and the thousands (lol) of other dedicated readers…What are some of your favorite gifts you’ve received –and why?

And, one last thing…if you are looking for a bit of spiritual whimsy to add to your holiday stocking, check these out…my brother’s newest cool venture!