Saturday, November 27, 2010

Post-Thanksgiving (First official Christmas shopping weekend)

So, starting the night of Thanksgiving (what's up with that!??!) stores start their "Black Friday" sales. Black Friday....commercial-mas' favorite day. It's the day to put ultra chinzy stuff on deep discount in decent quantity and to give a deep discount on a FEW draw items (of decent quality) in LIMITED quantity, to entice customers in. This is to give people the IDEA that THEY could be one of the few lucky enough to get one of the rare, good quality items at dirt cheap prices. Which is good IF you can be that lucky, but for every 1 lucky person, there are plenty of unlucky people. When it comes to frugality, THIS is an awesome day. No doubt. Who wouldn't want to get Rocky Rocket for less than $10 when it is normally closer to $20, and your son is driving you CRAZY for it. It's the only thing he's asked Santa for Christmas. It's the ONLY thing on his Christmas list. He even mumbles about it in his sleep. So sure, you REALLY, R-E-A-L-L-Y want Rocky Rocket. The store only gets 6, and the sale starts at 5am. Is it worth getting up at 2am to be there at 3, to stand in line and wait and PRAY that those in line ahead of you don't get it first. And that's IF you have an organized store and kind and considerate fellow shoppers. This doesn't exist in the real world. I used to work this day. And I hate what Christmas has turned into. RARELY do you see the genuine Christmas "spirit". RARELY do you see people trying to help their fellow man or in this case "shopper". It's all elbows and grabbing and pulling and rushing and cursing....oh my goodness the cursing. Some of the nicest people you'll meet at any other time seem to be possessed during their Black Friday shopping spree. And I had decided that I was never going to participate in this ruckus. Dealing with the negativity and the hatefulness just isn't my bag of tea. Getting up so early in the morning, to stress about spending money, and to fight the crowd, only to not get the stuff that I had come for just doesn't seem worth it to me. So, how do I handle such purchases then, and manage to do things frugally. Well, I put money aside during the year and buy some gifts during the year, so I'm not hurting this time of year. I'm not against purchasing used books that are in good shape. I'm not against re-purposing some things for people. Which will require me to make some stuff, but really, that doesn't bother me. If my son HAD to have Rocky Rocket, I might give him less gifts to offset the cost of the toy he so desperately desired. And that's ok. That's how things go. And he has to realize that sometimes in order to get what you really want, you have to sacrifice some other things. The sooner that her learns that sort of fiscal responsibility, the better he'll be in the future when he makes his own purchases.

So this first week of Commercial-mas, we'll be doing business as usual. Except we'll be sending out our Christmas cards. We'll go to the grocery, pay bills, and continue about life like normal people. We do still have a few Christmas gifts to get/make and then they are all complete. The bulk of our Christmas gift getting/making is finished and was finished before Halloween.

I would rather spend this time unstressed and feeling joyful. For me, this is the season to spend with my family playing and enjoying each other and creating memories. And that's exactly how I'm going to spend it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's that time of year again! Time to sit back and reflect on your life and be grateful that you have a life to look back on. So, since this is the day set aside for such tasks, what am I grateful for today?

*I'm GRATEFUL for my FAMILY. They are loving and supportive and wonderful. We spat and we get cranky with one another, however, I wouldn't rather be in any other family. I see so many of my friends and loved ones that have such distant relationships with their family that though they care about each other, there's no genuine fondness. Or they have treated each other so poorly and so callously that there are walls placed so they can't get close.

* I'm GRATEFUL for my HOME. I don't own it, and it by far isn't large enough or even as nice as I'd like it to be, but it provides us with warmth in winter, air conditioning in summer and we are able to stay dry. But most of all, we can afford to live here with only one income.

*I'm GRATEFUL for Mr. V. He's an amazing man who's been through some really rough times, but his heart is good and he's gentle. He's an amazing father and he is a hard worker. He has similar values as I do so rearing our son is an easy task with him, because we don't have disagreements with how we're going to handle him.

*I'm GRATEFUL for Lil Mr. V. Though at this very moment, he's just awakened and he's fussy, he is the light of my life. Ok, now that I have him up and taken care of. :) He really is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

*I'm GRATEFUL for my FRIENDS. These people are my chosen family. I would consider my Thanksgiving/Christmas table complete with these people sitting at it. I hope that all through the year that I'm able to show it to each of them.

*I'm GRATEFUL for Mr. V's JOB. He has one. And though it really stinks in more ways than one, it is enough to provide us our home and groceries and other necessities. It's also enough so that I don't have to work and I can concentrate on school and taking care of our son.

*I'm GRATEFUL for SCHOOL. Education is so critical anymore and I've been able to attend school for such a long time. I'm glad that I can dedicate the time to go back. It's not perfect, but it will pay off in the end and that's what is important. That's why this is called an investment.

*I'm GRATEFUL that I live where I live. Even though I might complain that there isn't much to do or that we lack some things. Which is all true. However, it is safe. I don't have to worry about someone shooting my son accidentally because he's outside playing and there is a gang nearby. I don't have to worry about needing to keep him strapped to me because someone might steal him. We have trees and grass and there are farms nearby so he can learn about animals and plants without learning about them only from a book.

There's so much more that I'm thankful for. However, it is time for me to get back to my pie/bread baking. That's my contribution to our family Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law's house. Oh that reminds me....I'm GRATEFUL for her because we can split such responsibilities and she's such a great woman. She works hard and she loves my brother to pieces. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Time

It is that time of year. The time where people get all grateful for what they do have and what they were able to get through. I think that gratitude should be something that you do every day, not just something that you do once a year. I think in turn it helps a person remain more humble, but it also keeps you in a more positive frame of mind. Which considering how stressful people make Christmas, maybe it is a good thing that Thanksgiving is right before.

Thanksgiving day is on Thursday, and we're not having it at my house this year. My sister-in-law wants to have it at her house this year. She did Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. We're splitting them this year. So we're going to have Christmas at our house. She is having a turkey and a ham and all the usual trimmings. And I'm looking forward to having a meal with everyone, my family and hers included. I miss the big family gatherings we used to have when my Gramma was still alive. But as with all families, unless they are all close throughout the year, when the Gramma passes away, holidays will be infinitely smaller. 

Lil Mr. V will be 2 next month. The time really is flying by so quickly. I'm still trying to figure how he could be 2 already.  I'm excited for his birthday and Christmas. Last Christmas, he could really care less about things, but this year, he'll be so excited and it'll be hard to keep him from tearing everything up. :) But I am so excited. I'm also happy that I've gotten almost all the shopping finished. Mr. V has to get his family and closest friends something, and I have to get my brother and his wife something. Which really, I'm making their present, so it's not so bad. I also have get my brother his birthday present.

Why do people choose to stress so hard over the holidays? Is perfection that important? For me, I'd rather spend the time with my family with a few gifts and decorations and a typical dinner than to break myself and my bank account for everything to be perfect. Just the other day, I received some junk mail from a loan company asking me to take out a loan for Christmas. Is that what this world has come to? Let's put ourselves in debt just so Jr can have better toys than his friends and that my house could be the prettiest on the block and that my dinner is bigger and better than whoever threw it last year. No thank you. I like knowing that Christmas will come and go and I'll be in the same position financially.

This is a rather random post. And for that I apologize. It's just what comes off the top of my head. I guess we need these purging sessions every now and again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Crafty news front

This may or may not come as a shock to everyone, but I FINALLY learned how to use my sewing machine. I learned how to thread it and everything. Now, I'm FAR from a master at anything, but it's a start in the right direction. :) YAY! So I have some scrappy material, I'm going to do a 9x9 block quilt. And for those not sure what that is. There are 9 blocks and each block contains 9 squares of fabric. I have scrappy material and a powder blue sheet that I'm cutting up to make up the blocks, and I have this deep burgundy sheet that I'll be making the sashing. I think I'll stop at that. I'm not going to quilt these with this machine. I'm definitely NOT to that level. I'll get someone else to do that for me. I have my around the world quilt top that I'll be making next. Then I'll be tackling Lil Mr. V's GI Joe quilt. THEN I'll have to get someone to quilt all three for me. :) But it'll all be worth it. :)

I'm also still working on my crocheted granny square afghan. It's made out of this cotton yarn and it's coming along nicely. :) It's something else that will probably go in the living room or in Lil man's room. He's already grabbed it up several times today to rub it on his face.

Well, that's all that's going on here as far as the craft stuff goes. I work on things as I can. Lil man doesn't afford me much time to do a whole lot. He's one of those non-sleeping children. Naps are rare and short and bedtime is after I'm passed out and as soon as my feet hit the floor he's gibbering away at me.