My heart be still! I finally got out of the house after being cooped up for what seemed like the entire month of December. Yesterday I went to the sculpture park and saw the display of Christmas trees decorated in the customs of 42 countries. It was a little anti-climactic seeing so much Christmas after the holidays, but an outing is an outing so I jumped at the chance. Why should a date on a calendar take away from their beauty? For some reason it did---probably because the crowds of happy people weren’t there, full of promise and holiday cheer which can be as infectious as the flu. But my niece-in-law and I could walk right up to the trees, read about the customs and play touchy-feely with the delicate decorations and that was nice. The tree that represented the U.S.A. could have been pulled right out of the 1950’s living room; it had many ornaments that I remember from the trees we had growing up. They also had a tree that presented the Native American Indian Nation plus holiday displays from non-Christian nations. Monday they take the trees down. If you dread the job of disassembling your home tree imagine the daunting task it would be to pack up 42 trees, most of which are over twenty-five feet tall!
I didn’t make a lists of resolutions this year but I do have a new goal for this blog. I want to take more photographs and share them here. With that in mind, the photo at the top is of a baby car seat blanket that I made while I was snow and ice bound last month. It’s for my great-great nephew coming into the world in April. My blog goal was inspired by a fellow widow blogger I’ve been following this year---Hi Judy!---coupled by the fact that I have a new cell phone that takes great pictures. I also recently came across another blogger who spent last year photo-documenting 365 days of gratitude. What a great idea and she’s got a book out of all her photos and the notes she wrote about the subjects she documented. I admire that she was able to stick to a project like that for an entire year. When I attempt stuff like that I usually peter out by summer. So I’m not committing to anything that intense. I’ll be happy if I can throw in some original photos from time to time.
Another widow blogger I follow is planning to cut expenses as part of her new year’s resolutions---Hi AW!---and she is tracking what she spends for a few weeks to see what she can cut and live without. Already, she’s stopped three magazine subscriptions which actually gives her an excuse to go the library to fill in the gaps. I thought of her today when I got back from the grocery store where I got sticker shock when the cashier said I racked up $185.18 for my quick trip to stock up for the coming snowstorm. Here’s what I found I could have lived without:
- $29.90 spent on yarn when I have other yarn in the house lined up for a scarf and hat project.
- $14.99 for a bird feeder when I have four in the garage I’m not using. I’m a sucker for new feeders that look easier to clean.
- $17.88 for a bag of bird feed. What have those crazy little birds ever done to earn their keep? They are eating me out of house and home!
- $3.88 for a box of Christmas cards marked down 75%. This is clearly incentive to live another year if I need to justify the expense.
- $3.99 for a pot of daffodils. Spring flowers in the winter is another one of my 'can't resist' items.
- $13.98 for D batteries for my emergency lamps. A lot of money but with a ten year shelf life I should be good until I’m not allowed to live unsupervised anymore.
- $5.98 for two scented candles. Who cares if the house smells like fresh baked cookies without the work of making them? I'm not having an open house to sell the place any time soon.
- $4.99 for two Sterno fuel cans for my fondue pot. Okay, I admit this was really, really stupid. If the power goes out I’m going to need more than just a way to heat up soup. What can I say, I’m old and I worry too much. But on the other hand, having two cans of Sterno in my 'Hopeless Chest' would make me a rich bag lady should my financial life fall apart and I end up on the streets.
- $3.29 for a white nail tip pencil. I'm not be vain about many things but I am vain about my fingernails. They are the most perfectly shaped part on my entire body. If I ever had to learn to live out of a shopping cart under a bridge, my Sally Hansen pencil would be the last primping luxury to go. And if I need even more justification for why I will always want a white pencil in my life, I could leave notes on the pavement should I aspire to be blogging bag lady.
That’s a total of $99.88 of unnecessary spending I could have cut in just one trip to the grocery store. If this widow ever needs to start cutting corners to save money, I can chop them off with an axe and not really miss those corners. Of the $85.30 remaining in actual grocery items I could have done without some of that stuff as well, like paying $6.55 for two boxes of gourmet tomato and bacon bisque when I already had three cans of soup in my pantry. Yes, you guessed it. I am truly a child of depression era parents who thinks a pantry is too scary, empty if there is a unused square inch of space. Empty space means I'm not prepared for those hard times just around the corner...or so that was the message that was drummed into me and my husband when we grew up.
Well, that’s the end of my copy-cat blogging for today. Have you copied or been tempted to copy something from another blogger, a magazine article or a friend? Fess up. ©