Saturday, December 15, 2007

Everything's better with

I swear to you, there is nothing that smells better in the morning than fresh brewed coffee right from the chocolate flavored bean! It's 4am. Even so, the sinuses are awake, allbeit somewhat stuffy, but I can still smell chocolate--even if it's a mile away.

I pulled the Wheel of Fortune reversed yesterday, and expected a really bad day, but it turned out pretty normal--the world didn't cave in and I didn't get into an accident. My husband was home when I got there, we had dinner and I got another 50 rows done on the back of my son's 3rd sweater vest...Yes, friends, I am nearing the end of my RACE TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE.

Today has been designated Christmas Shopping Day. That alone will send even the savviest shopper running for cover, but today--on my "I can do anything today" day, the courage and bravery have overcome my good sense, and I am planning to venture out into the world of "last minute" Christmas gift shoppers.

Not that there's a lot to buy mind you.

My husband's family draws names, and I only have a few in my family. My husband is my biggest (and my hardest) to buy for--then my son and my mother. That's about it. I have a couple of really good friends that I like to get a little something (read that "under $10"), but elsewise, I'm pretty good to go. This year, I drew my step son--who is EASY SCHMEEZY to buy a gift--he's going to school, so I gift card at the school bookstore is the thing for him. My mother gets crochet cotton--as that's her favorite hobby. My son gets some long-sleeved T shirts and his sweaters. My mother-in-law (who I wasn't supposed to buy for, but the item is just so perfect, that I just couldn't resist) is getting a crochetted doily to go underneath the glass on her kitchen table. This thing is a work of art that my mother made and sold to me so she could pay for her eye surgery. But beyond that, there's the grandkids--another easy buy--because little kids love everything, and sometimes you can really get the niftiest things that they just can't keep their hands off--I mean, let's face it, children are happy to sit on the floor and play with rubberbands!

But I have a couple gifts in mind for my grandchildren--none of them are expensive--I just have to FIND them..and let's face it--that's the hardest part of Christmas--finding that elusive gift this late in the "season". This year, there doesn't seem to be a "must have" gift, like there was in the past--remember the Cabbage Patch Wars? Tickle Me Elmo? That talking bear?

If Walmart has anything to say about the popularity of children's gifts, everything would be BRATZ. Sheesh. These dolls don't even resemble reality, and all the glitzy, glammy wardrobe and accessories just set a little girl up to hope for the same sort of items when they grow up. Nothing bratz for my little grand-daughter. She's just too cute to go in for all that glitzy stuff. She's more the big, stuffed, fuzzy dog sort of girl...her brother is a boy's boy. He likes cars and army guys and all that sort of stuff. Of course, my step daughter doesn't want all the toys laying about--and so a toy with "many parts" is not likely to be something SHE wants her children to have. And so it will probably be something that will help them explore their creativity and ingenuity, rather than something electronic. I have ideas...just not CONCRETE ONES.

But my husband is an enigma. He always says "don't buy me anything", which totally destroys my Christmas giving spirit! Or he will go out and buy what he wants, then ask me to put money "toward it". For instance, this year he purchased a flat-screen monitor--and not just ANY flat screen monitor. This one is as big as a television set...well, okay, from when I lived in an apartment--it's 24" wide and 22" tall. We had to take a tape measure to the store to verify it would fit under the cupboard in his computer room! Frankly, I think it's a bit much. He plans to hand down his old computer to his son, and his son's old computer to his daughter. What fun! He hasn't even given any consideration for his grandkids yet. I'm not sure he remembers that he has them!

One year, I had just the perfect idea of a present for him...and this might fit in with this year's gift for him as well. He loves polar fleece. He literally stole my pink and purple fleece coverlet, and wouldn't give it up--even when I bought him his own! I think it may have been that it was the flowers that drew him, but he ended up with the pink and purple, and I ended up with one that had colorful maple leaves on it, which was bigger and longer (of course, meant to fit him), so it was a happy trade, I suppose. So maybe some satin sheets---because he loves to sleep next to soft things. Velour is another favorite, and I might replace the old tattered velour blanket with a new one that fits our decor in the boudoir, and use the old one to make stuffed toys for the grand children!! HEY!

The brain works in mysterious ways, doesn't it? I have this idea in my mind to create a teddy bear (stuffed of course), but made of velour patchwork. Now doesn't that sound cool? I'll have to think about this one for a while, though--as it will take time to get the pattern and stuff around, plus to sew it...what day is it? The 15? Can I do this in 10 days and still get those sweaters done? Probably not. Okay, scrap the idea for a Christmas present--maybe a birthday would be more appropriate at this late stage...

More coffee required..

I remember the year I made Raggedy Ann and Andy for my own child--it cost more to make than it would have cost to buy already made. What did my son love most? This tattered bear I made out of a Jo-Ann's panel and poly stuffing. Called a "Hug Me" Bear. It went everywhere he went. As far as I know, he STILL has it--somewhere. His dad bought him a Hillbilly Bear (stuffed) and he used to drag that around the house by the hand. Pretty soon, the arm fell off, so he dragged it around by the ear. That bear didn't survive. The Raggedy Ann and Andy are no more. I do still have the pattern, however, it's likely that I will never make them again. But a simple $3 panel from JoAnn's made the cut and has lived a long life. It amazes me the choices children make in toys...what they love and what gets relegated to the toybox, often broken, and never again see the light of day. It's not too late to go to JoAnn's and get one of those $10 panels, is it? And I have a 40% off coupon!

The other pain of Christmas--is standing in line waiting to check out. It was, sadly so, left out of the "12 Pains of Christmas" lyrics. This is a song you have to at least read, if you haven't already heard it, it's a parody of the "Twelve Days of Christmas", and right about now, I'm on day 2--rigging up the lights. Yes, that's about how I feel...but the chocolate coffee is helping.

What did I ask Santa to bring ME for Christmas? Well! That's easy--anything knitterly or spinnerly--and I did ask for a couple in particular...

Santa, I would like a real Turkish spindle--and a wrist knitting bracelet--both can be found at the Woolery

So you see, I am very easy to get something for Christmas. Beyond these things, YARN always certificates to my favorite LYS always works. And yet, when Christmas rolls around, whoever pulls my name always asks "What do you want for Christmas?" I don't get that! I'm so easy to figure out. An entire set of light up needles would work! I mean, just WALK into a yarn shop and buy just about anything off the notions/accessories shelf, and I'd be REALLY pleased! Or perhaps you could stand in line at JoAnn's and buy that fabric panel for me...

I also could use more storage. Anyone can use more storage but I seem to need more than the average person. One day I should show you the storage for my FABRIC needlecraft book/magazine stash...never mind the yarn and the fiber stash. I don't know how my husband puts up with all my hobbies, but he manages somehow. Of course, putting a Sterlite Container under the tree doesn't seem like much of a "present", does it? People like to think that they've given the PERFECT IF I get what I asked Santa for, I will need to take yarn and fiber to the Christmas party, so I can demonstrate how to use these handy dandy accessories. The kids will love the show!

Maybe I'll take my spinning wheel along, so that they can ask questions. Kids love wheels--especially boys. Even though space is an issue, it will keep at least one grand-child enthralled for hours trying to figure out how it works. Ah, maybe not. Knitting is MUCH more portable.

Today's Tarot card is the Lord, reversed. This card tells about my inability to accept authority due to a difficult relationship with a father or father figure. Now this is such a true story, it isn't funny, but when I first pulled this card, I thought...hmmmm. I'm going to have to shop alone. If I go with my husband, he will try to direct my coming and going, and he will get tired of all the running hither and thither and yon--and want to go home, and I'll chafe and squirm and feel all bitter, and it will ruin the Christmas shopping experience for me (as if I needed any help considering I hate to wait in line). And just last night he was telling me that "WE" had to do our Christmas shopping this weekend. I can tell by the pulling of this card, that if *I* want to get any shopping done, *I* will need to travel solo. He's not going to like it, but after about an hour of unsuccessful shopping on my part, his feet hurt, he's tired of it, he wants to go home. It would be very nice to take him with me, but he's just not a "shop til ya drop" type. He completes me. I am so superlative in so many directions, but he's so laid back that the tortoise looks fast in comparison! What was it they said about "opposites attract"?

And that's sort of why I chose him. Quite literally, we have nothing in common, except the house and property, and we share each other's family. I did that on purpose, you understand. While it's nice to have somebody to do things with all the time, if they leave you, suddenly, nothing seems as fun. I also chose him because he's the best looking fellow I've ever seen, and he's a good provider and a good man--DEEP DOWN. He had a solid upbringing with parents who have been together for over 50 years and are still in love. He wants the same thing for himself. I hope I stand up to that scrutiny, but 50 years might be a stretch, since I'm 50 now, and have only been married to him for a little over 7, I don't think we're going to make it to the golden anniversary, but the silver one might be attainable if he can stand my superlative-ness that long. I mean, he grouses about a lot of things, but lately, he's talking to me more--mostly about work and the guys he rides to work with--you know the BIG issues in his life. He's ready for retirement, but hasn't got a direction--I'm at least 10 years from retirement, and I'd like to retire now--I have all sorts of direction for myself, which may not fit with his lack of direction. I don't wish this for myself, but I sort of expect him to die first--mostly from this lack of direction. I'm concerned he will get bored with nothing to do, and sad from a lack of purpose. Those things aren't good for a man with his "old school" beliefs. What he really needs is to discuss this with a counselor or something like that--somebody who can set some ideas on him--perhaps a financial advisor--the man needs to realize his dreams.

Quite a digression from chocolate coffee, isn't it?

So there's the plan. Shop til I drop, and figure out my husband's future for him. Well, I suppose I could knit too, at least until 8am when the stores open...since I just checked the clock, and it's only 6 am. Hard to believe isn't it?

So I asked the Tarot--What should my husband do after he retires? Answer-"The Warrior" from the celtic circle deck. He needs to face and conquer those things he fears--explore and calm his mind and psyche. Evaluate his life, both past and present, to prepare himself and his strength for the future. This card is a strong "build yourself" card-physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically. In short, he needs to work hard to take care of himself, so that he is able to stay the course. Nothing about anything "work" related, but more "adventure" related. The man needs to LIVE and to be ALIVE from within. This doesn't mean adventure that could kill him--in other words, not DANGEROUS adventure, but the things that he needs to conquer. He hates to travel--actually, that might not be true...he hates to DRIVE places. He hates to RIDE to places, but a cruise or a plane flight might not be so bad--of course, I believe his biggest adventure would be to cruise through his own mind--LOL!

For instance, I'm always asking him "What's on your mind?"

Now, men hate this question coming from the women who love them. And so they respond


Now I have asked this question for several years, and I always get that answer. It hasn't wavered since the day I met him. He ALWAYS looks lost in thought (dangerous territory), but there's never anything on his one day, I got quite the smart remark to respond...

"Well, for someone so smart, there just never seems to be anything goin on up there!"

Keep in mind, he purchased a puzzle book for himself of the MENSA variety. This man THINKS. God forbid that his wife should know about it. My women friends say "you don't really want to know, because they really only think about one thing." I can't accept that answer, since I think about a thousand things at once (there I go again, being superlative..not to mention slightly might only be 999 things), but of course, I have a woman's mind. My favorite joke on that line is the one where the guy goes in for brain surgery/replacement, and the man's brain is $100,000 and the woman's is only $1000...because it's used.

And so I prepare for knitting until my husband wakens, and I prepare him for the bad news that I can't go shopping with him..and then head out with my head into the wind. I hope that he's successful, because I intend to be. He might need another day to THINK about it, though.

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