Tuesday, December 9, 2014

'Tis the Season!

It's the second week in Advent, and true to past history, chaos reigns.  I don't have time to write a blog post, but that's what I'm doing.  It's my version of risk-taking.  Some people sky dive, I write blog posts in the midst of chaos.  Well, there's some escapism involved, too . . .

Even though I preach all year long about the necessity of getting Christmas shopping done early - like October - I did my first day of Christmas shopping yesterday.  It was a full 9:00 to 5:00 day.  I learned some things that don't have anything to do with Christmas, but they were interesting anyway.  

Did you know that there is a product called "Poo-Pourri?"  It's a spray that you use if you think the bathroom won't smell as good when you leave it as it did when you arrived.  It's to be used when you first go in the bathroom.  I don't know if it's effective after the fact.  I passed it up because, after all, I was Christmas shopping and couldn't think of anybody that I'd want to give Poo-Pourri to.

I learned that having purple hair and a very large crystal-studded nose ring does not mean you're destined to a life of unemployment.

I found out that the younger sales people at Office Depot do not know what notary seals are.  "You know," I said, "those round gold self-adhesive stickers that have pinked edges?"  The response was a blank stare.  The young salesman took an electronic device out of his pocket.  After a few minutes of searching, he said, "Nope.  We don't have them."  I said, "Well, now, where in the world am I going to find notary seals?"  He said, "Try Walmart or maybe CVS." I'm not sure he knows what a notary is.  I strolled on down the stationery aisle, and lo and behold! - there were packages of shiny gold notary seals!  Not that I'm a notary, I just like notary seals for my return address embosser.  

I saw a neat idea on Pinterest for managing in-coming Christmas cards.  As your cards arrive, you punch a hole in the corner and put the cards on one of those hinged loose leaf rings.  Attach a bow or a little bit of greenery to the ring, and display your corralled cards on the coffee table.  Did I buy any hinged loose leaf rings while I was at Office Depot?  No, I did not.  At the time, I didn't know what to call these rings.  I was reluctant to try to describe them to the young salesman.  What would I have said?  "You know, those round metal ring thingies with a hinge and a notch?"  That would surely have gotten me another blank stare.  I've since learned online that these things are called "hinged loose leaf rings."  Besides, I just knew I had some at home - in more than one size.  But I've ransacked the drawers in three desks, the pencil drawer in the kitchen, and the closet upstairs where I keep office supplies with no success.  For the time being, I've strung the Christmas cards we've received on to a bit of chain.  

I noticed that there were a lot of bewildered-looking grandparents in Toys-R-Us.  I was one of them.  Toy-R-Us is another dimension.  Never in my entire childhood did I see so many toys assembled in one place.  The grandparents who were in front of me in line had given up on toys.  They bought  $200 worth of candy for their seven grandchildren.  They seemed like very nice people, but I'm glad I won't be spending Christmas day with their grandchildren.

I'm just now mailing Christmas cards to my pen pals overseas.  Sometimes I'm my own worst enemy.  Two weeks ago I ordered those pretty round wreath postage stamps for international letters.  A week and a half later I wondered why I hadn't received them.  Of course, I blamed the post office and railed about their inefficiency.  But when I looked at my account on the postal website, I saw that I had neglected to click the "place your order" button.  My stamps were still in my cart.  (My apologies to the post office.)  I hit the magic button, and the stamps arrived in my mail box three days later.  But it's late now, and my Christmas cards probably won't arrive on time.  

It's cold this morning, but last week was like spring.  I cleaned all the dead plants out of the pots and planters on the deck.  (Didn't I realize I should have been Christmas shopping?) Then I took a day to shop for bedding plants.  I came home with pansies, dianthus, dwarf snapdragons, rosemary, spearmint, chocolate mint, a bay tree, and some paperwhite bulbs.  I got them all planted before they withered up in their tiny pots.  I've been known to let plants wither in their tiny pots.  As I've mentioned before on this very blog, I am a poor excuse for a gardener.  I hate watering plants in the heat of summer, so I've decided to try winter gardening.  Will I like watering in the cold any more than I like watering in the heat? I don't know.  Stay tuned.  We'll see.