Thursday, December 27, 2007

Before Christmas Says Hello, It Says BUY BUY BUY

Remember a while back I said I was going to have a "spend as little as possible"
Christmas? I think I did it. Sort of. For my father I made a "Ramella Radio Hour" cd with Holiday tunes. Hosted by Moi. He loved it! But then I bought a $10 coffee card at his favorite Barrista drive through. I didn't feel it was enough...

For my mother I made her a "Music to Paint By" cd with various Enya and Loreena songs. I also bought her a $10 purse organizer (which...oops...she already has) went in on a rock/crystal candle holder (have yet to pay my share) and bought her an electric bean sprouter machine from a Korean store. Total, including debts outstanding = $100.

For my dear friends I got some great pictures of Moscow, Idaho from the early days. Thanks to Kym at the Latah County Historical Society for her help and enthusiasm! I also made a bear out of a sock. Total = $57 Pictures, frames and sock.

I also made some bird seed wreaths = free because my neighbor provided the materials. Thanks Rhonda!

Finally, a gift for my special friend, Robin Rilette: A cd with my singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." Now. This is especially special to Robin because I did it in my nerd alter ego voice. She loved it. Price = priceless!

My gifts were good. Thoughtful and nice. Yet, I felt they were wanting. It wasn't enough for me to give my mom a cd I made. I had to buy her some big ticket items. I found it interesting that while walking in the mall I had a urge to just buy things. I started to question my gift choices. Am I being cheap? Will they think I am cheap if I just give them this? Maybe I should buy a gift card to supplement.

I had to get out of the mall stat. I was starting to feel guilty for no reason.

Frankly, this has been a financially challenging year. My close friends know this and wouldn't expect me get into debt for Christmas. But there is something inside me that is so willing to do that. Why is this?

Merry Belated Christmas My Listener. Happy Late Holidays!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Soapy Water, Theatre People and Taxi

I went to Soap Lake to visit my friend, Bobbi (with no E). We had a great visit and she took me to a Masquers Theater Holiday Party. I managed to almost embarrass her and myself several times. I love meeting strangers. Especially ones full of drama. Many asked me why I was there and I told them I was there to celebrate Hanukkah with Bobbi.

Person: "Oh!? Are you Jewish?"
Me: "No. I'm not one of the chosen people. But Bobbi is."
Person: "Bobbi? Really? I didn't know that?"
Me: "Yeah (finger to lips) but it's on the down low because she hasn't told her mother yet."
Person: " ...?"
Me: "Well. You know it's..."
Bobbi: "SUEANN! What are you doing?"

Bobbi made Latkes... which for the life of me I am saying LatKEYS and thinking of Latkah from Taxi. Remember that show? It came on at 7pm and after that was my bedtime. Yup. My parents let me watch Taxi and I went to be dreaming of Tony Danza.

Everyone at the party was associated with the Masquers Theater. They are very nice people and seem to attract men by the name of Don.

After settling in the Hostess, Mary, said I had to play a game.
Mary: "You have to tell us a secret about yourself that no one else knows!"
Me: "But I just met you people!"
Mary and Masquers Gang: "Oh! But you can say anything because we don't know you! Yeah but it has to be true!"
Me: "uh...ok... (the stares were intense - like theater lights!) Well. I don't think even Bobbi knows this...Sexual reconstructive surgery is really not that expensive."

They laughed. I got out of that one! Phew!

Then Bobbi took me to her secret club - the Businessmen's Club. Apparently, they have very cheap chicken dinners...that's why she became a member. I bought Bobbi and I two Cosmopolitans had made her pay. (They don't take plastic!) What was cool was talking to the ladies there about the attention spans of today's youth.

What was I talking about?

Oh's youth. Attention... OH! LOOK! Flip This House is on!

Shoot. I really need to stop playing the video games, listening to my Ipod ALL THE TIME and chewing Bubbalicious.

Seriously. We met another Mary and she works with kids. She says it is a whole lotta work to get them to pay attention then what it used to be. This thought was confirmed by a Jr. High Art teacher recently. Unplug your kids people!

At Bobbi's house we lit the Menorah and watched the candles burn. Happy Hanukkah Bobbi!

The next morning I had to leave early to get to work - so I could talk to you, Dear Listener! But on my way out I stopped by Soap Lake to get some of the water.

All night long I heard about the healing properties of this Alkaline lake. Cancer curing, skin irritations curing...could it work on my allergies?

The water was delicious. I highly recommend it when you are craving fish.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Handmade Gifts! SO CUTE

I was googling craft ideas for Christmas gifts - one Chanukkah gift for my friend in Soap Lake...and came across these sweater kids! How adorable! Then more searching resulted in this site:

Buy Hand Made

I also was taken in and lost at least 30 minutes looking through all the handmade gifts here:


I'll take a photo of what I am working on - it's a secret right now but will be 1. cute 2. recycled or partially thrift store material and 3. handmade by yours truly.

I remember a former Aunt of mine made me a doll. It was one of my favorite toys. This cloth doll had four faces and a bonnet. So you could swing her head around to sleeping, happy, teary or upset. Her dress was white with black little rose buds...all hand made and wonderful to me. I saw her again with I was 24 and told her how I loved that toy. She was very touched, just as I was.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Challenge!!!

I used to be one that would overspend every Christmas - taking the whole hear to catch up...only to repeat the debt cycle again.

Well. No more. I am going to make gifts, recycle things or regift...Let's see how little I can spend and how much cheer I can give!

Here is a comment from a listener about a great card idea!

About ideas for a purchase-free holiday...
You've probably heard this already, but, considering that emailed greeting cards are a bit impersonal and homemade cards can be quite labor intensive, last year we sent out "freebie cards" -- all the cards that we receive, year after year, from Nature Conservancy and other nonprofits, but we can't bring ourselves to toss. Over the previous few years, we had accumulated about 100 of these blank cards, so we sent them to our friends and relatives, with a short note inside that offered the usual "past year's events" and an explanation of our odd card (we usually send very creative homemade cards, but last year we had no time).

I won't waste any more of your time. Your blog must just create a snowball of work!

We really appreciate your sense of humor and personality (?!) on the radio.
Thanks to all of you for bringing David Sedaris to us!

-Andy G.

Thanks Andy! What are you doing to save $ this Holiday season? How does it make you feel to give or not?