Craft Bonanza

This time of year is Merry Important! (New phrase, courtesy of Z.)

My version of holiday decorating–especially with the Small People. This kind of magic is important to them– they have no idea what all the social implications are behind a Made In China Snoopy ornament, or the amount of money and fossil fuels that are wasted in the name of Griswald. They don’t conceptualize the vomitous greed that is stabbing someone with an ornament. Or that the current Occupy movements across the country are fighting the corporate greed of the credit cards that are underwriting everyone’s holiday cheer (and January antidepressants).

Now, as the adult, I do know about all of that crap. And as the adult, I get to decide how much of that crap comes into my house. Knowing about it is how I ended up on this crafting ride to begin with, you know? Because while I can’t craft a Batman Geotrax train (no really), I can craft something to offset that purchase.

It’s the crafting version of carbon credits.

And making new decorations after copying becoming inspired by more expensive options makes me happy. Case in point– this Christmas tree shaped advent calendar from Pottery Barn, for which they charged $69.

I started this last December… somewhere around December 6th, because that’s how a scattermom does things. I used felt because I have an abundance of green felt (situation NOT improved by a husband who thought briefly of being Gumby for Halloween this year).

As I tried to coax my aging, and damn cranky, sewing machine into cheerfully sewing 3 layers of felt last night, I realized that I didn’t care enough about the finish work on this particular project. You know– decorative zig-zag stitch around the pockets, quilted batting, etc. Ahem… numbering the days. (okay, I will add the numbers).

My husband– always my biggest supporter *sarcasm*– critically pointed out that mine wouldn’t ever look like the pottery barn one anyway, so why bother? I choose to take it as a compliment that he looked at my version against the picture of theirs and replied, “I stand corrected, that’s not too bad.” 

PB Advent Tree

Where the felt tree monstrosity secures its position in our tradition is what was left behind from last year. I had spent the evening up to this point sort of wailing and complaining about the testosterone in this house. Sometimes I feel as if I’m the only one here that makes any sense.   Probably as often as they mumble about crazy mom.

No matter.

As I had finally calmed down about the injustice of my force-the-constipated-three-year-old-to-graciously-accept-the-suppository kind of day, I noticed a piece of paper in one of the pockets.

And this is what I found:

*Love* my short-hand on the word complaining. Adds to the appeal? I have no recollection on when/where/why I wrote this down- but it’s my handwriting so I claim it.

A not-so-subtle reminder that *my* life is also a carnival, compared to many others. And even my day, fraught with sibling bickering and general domestic nonsense
wasn’t that bad. After all, it was a suppository, not an enema.



The question of the day for one of the forums on my online mom’s group was “Do you have any phobias?”. Yes, yes I do.

I am SO not a fan of a fair chunk of Mother Earth’s creatures. She can take all of the rodents in the world and send them to outer space. We don’t need ’em, there are plenty of other scavengers. Don’t fool yourself into thinking the damn things aren’t around you either–vole, squirrel, mouse, rat–they are all rodents. Ground tunneling, attic-nesting, lawn-eating rodents.

And all of them might be looking at you without your knowledge.

That’s my phobia. Someone/something watching me and I don’t know it. I even know when/how it happened. My Dad was not paying attention (this will seem quite ironic later) to the fact that an 8-year old me was crouched under the dining room table watching old episodes of Twilight Zone. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, which is the one with Shatner on a plane–that was what did it. There’s some youtube stuff, but I couldn’t force myself to watch any of them.

Whatever neuron chose to fire on that memory did a fantastic job. I wish it would have chosen something useful, like algebra. Or grammar.

Same Dad was also a Vietnam Veteran/Career Army. There were…procedures…to complete before one could safely retire for the evening. I didn’t know other people didn’t do a perimeter check. I guess it just never came up. I always have a special place in my heart for people that get that behavior was the norm. It’s like finding out you have a cousin you didn’t know about. Sorry, that was a little tangent. Apparently the “have a linear thought” neuron never fired either.

It would seem that suburbia mellowed Dad out enough to not notice someone crouched under a table, however.

There it is. Jump out at me, yell “boo”, and watch me scream just like the stiletto-wearing white girl in any B-rated horror movie.

Though the other things skeeve me out; rodents, large spiders, venomous snakes, any kind of roach (palmetto bugs…EW!), flocks of grakles, but nothing so much as feeling that shoulder-blade itch of being watched.

Thanks to my continuing quest to win my battle against the wildlife I now know that I’m being watched by something every time I’m outside. Thankfully, critters tend to be more scared of humans, which means if you stomp your feet real loud they’ll likely run away.

I stomp a lot.